One of the most delightful aspects of this whole publishing-a-book caper is meeting writers; new writers, experienced writers, writers with lovely new books you just want to sink into the couch with and consume in one go.
And then there’s the added bonus of preparing for panels at upcoming festivals by…reading more books.
Sure – this influx of new books on top of my previous book-acquiring habits and my long hold list at the local library have led to a bit of a book glut, but I’m not complaining, I just want to read them all NOW.
Those books that I have managed to get to most recently are:
- Catherine Deveny’s Use Your Words – a fabulous writing how-to book I have already gifted to one writing friend.
- Kate Tempest’s The Bricks That Built the Houses – incredible story, such memorable characters and language that made me weep – so damn good.
- Jane Harper’s The Dry – compelling debut, already a bestseller. Murder, mystery, country town crackling with drought…definite page-turner.
- Peggy Frew’s Hope Farm – shortlisted for the Stella and Miles Franklin’s Awards, this one’s been on my must read list for ages and it was worth the wait. Beautifully rendered characters, setting, story.
- Myfanwy Jones’ Leap (also shortlisted for the Miles Franklin this year) and Jennifer Down’s Our Magic Hour, both deal with grief and relationships and the lives of urban twenty-somethings. Very different books and enjoyed both for different reasons – Jones and Down are both enormously talented writers.
And because it’s not ALL about reading these days, I’m also listening to people TALK about reading. I’m loving Unladylike,the new podcast on women and writing from Kelly Gardiner and Adele Walsh. Have to give a special mention to the hilarious Episode 5: On Swearing where Toni Jordan and Patricia Cornelius discuss the art of swearing well.
And I’ve spent the start of Melbourne’s literary season (when it’s cold and wet and we all want to be indoors in the company of excellent people and books and wine) heading out to lots of events:
- Hanya Yanagihara in conversation with Jason Steger, which you can listen to here.
- The Emerging Writers’ Festival, where I attended and was involved in a number of events. Amazing festival, great ideas, stellar line up of talent.
- Launch of Michelle Wright’s debut collection of short stories Fine at Readings Hawthorn.
- Rajith Savanadasa, in conversation with Dr Mridula Nath Chakraborty, on his debut novel Ruins at Eltham Bookshop.
So you see, one can keep themselves very busy doing wonderfully bookish things and thus avoiding the new writing project, but that’s another story…