Sunday 18 October 2020

Stories & Shout Outs #34


My Week
  • In the past few weeks I've suddenly been confronted by the ageing process and genes. 
  • I am now taking cholesterol reducing tablets (not so surprising, the numbers have been heading in that direction for a few years now).
  • But not so expected was the sudden sharp spike in my blood pressure. I'm slim, I eat well, and exercise some, but the bad genes will get you in the end! 

What I'm Reading:
  • The Last Migration | Charlotte McConaghy
  • Vesper Flights | Helen Macdonald
  • Phosphorescence, On Awe, Wonder And Things That Sustain You When The World Goes Dark | Julia Baird
  • The Salt Path | Raynor Winn
  • Hansel and Greta: A Fairy Tale Revolution | Jeanette Winterson
  • Duckling: A Fairy Tale Revolution | Kamila Shamsie
  • Cinderella Liberator: A Fairy Tale Revolution | Rebecca Solnit
  • Blueblood: A Fairy Tale Revolution | Malorie Blackman

Read But Not Reviewed:
  • Intimations: Six Essays | Zadie Smith
  • Our Shadows | Gail Jones
  • Fracture | Andrés Neuman
  • The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst | Jaclyn Moriarty
  • Landing With Wings | Trace Balla

    New to the Pile:
    • A Russian Journal | John Steinbeck
    • The Cat and the City | Nick Bradley
    • Coventry | Rachel Cusk

    Bookish Events:
    • Last week I attended my first Zoom book event thanks to Avid Reader Bookshop in Brisbane and Lisa @ANZLitLover alerting me to the fact that they were hosting a chat with Gabrielle Carey about her new bio-memoir, Only Happiness Here. Lisa summed up the chat beautifully and now I just have to find time to read the book!
    • Next week I plan to join another Zoom event, this time with Gleebooks in Sydney for Gail Jones' Our Shadows. 

    Shout Outs:

    • Cathy @746Books has created a trend-setting Venn diagram to help her work out what to read in November with FIVE reading challenges on the cards (listed below).
      1. German Lit Month - is the month for reading all things originally written in German – in whatever language you wish to read it – and then telling the world about it #germanlitmonth - I plan to read The Land of Green Plums by Herta Müller - a very slim book that has the benefit of also being another #ReadingtheNobels contender. 
      2. Non-Fiction November - with 4 weekly hosts & questions/discussion points to help you through the month. I plan to finish Vesper Flights, The Salt Path and Phosphorescence (Australian) and if I have time I would like to read Stasiland by Anna Funder (an Australian writer on East Germany) or dip into The Griffith Review #68 Getting On (also Australian).
      3. Margaret Atwood Reading Month - with Naomi & Marci. I have a slim copy of The Penelopiad waiting for this event. I'm trying to work out if this is slim enough to also register as a novella?
      4. Novella November is still up in the air for 2020, but I have a few possibilities up my sleeve if it firms as an event.
      5. AusReading Month - hosted by moi. I have several non-fiction titles I'd like to finish, plus I have high hopes of dipping into another Miles Franklin-writing-as-Brent of Bin Bin story.


    1. I really want to read The Salt Path. And I don't know if your doctor spoke to you about this but it is often possible to reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol by either cutting down carbs or cutting down saturated fat - the latter worked for me and has worked for 7 years so far. Whenever I mention that people talk about the carbs way so I always feel I have to mention it, although it basically works in a similar way, not allowing excess carbs to get stored as fat, some of which gets deposited in the system. But hopefully the pills are trouble-free and you don't have to go on a sad diet!

      I loved Cathy's Venn Diagram, too. Thank goodness I only have two challenges for November!

      1. Thanks for your comments Liz. I've been low-carb, low-salt, low-sugar ever since I started doing the Fast Diet in 2013. My adherence to the diet is not as strict as it once was, and nice cheese is my weakness, but I've cut out/reduced as much as I can and still live a good life :-)

    2. Congrats on your 1st literary zoom! I have attended a few, including those organized by my public library.
      Funny we both read The Last Migration | Charlotte McConaghy and Vesper Flights | Helen Macdonald.
      I hop your November will be as enjoyable as it is busy. I will just stick to nonfiction November

      1. They do seem to be a natural fact I think I can feel a Non-Fic Nov book pairing coming on :-)

    3. Oh and I meant to add: I had never heard of Steinbeck's Russian Journal, just added to my list of classics to read, thanks!

      1. I only learnt about it recently too, thanks to Madhatcap
        It looks wonderful with photographs by Robert Capa.

    4. Yeah, the genes got me too. I'm on a statin now, after the doc told me to do six months of a low-fat diet and see what happens. My numbers went UP. Because there is a special high-cholesterol gene from my grandfather that likes to do weird things.

      1. Yes, when I started taking the statins, Mr Books a little too gleefully for my liking, sent a message to my parents saying I had now joined the Cholesterol Club!
        He's now confronting the 50+ Aussie male thing of having all his sun spots checked after all those younger years of not wearing a hat or sunscreen. This getting older thing is not always graceful!


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