What I’ve been reading

May 23, 2017

Every year I promise myself I’m going to be better at recording the books I read. I’ve tried the back of my diary and made one thwarted attempt at Goodreads, but still the task evades me.

Here’s an attempt at recollecting what I’ve been reading (and listening to) over the last couple of months.

In my ears

If you’re a writer and you’re not already listening to The Garret Podcast , you should be. Season Two includes fab episodes with Tony Birch, Jill and Andy Griffiths, Anita Heiss and more. I finish every episode with a list of reading and ideas, and eager to jump into a writing session.

S.Town. Like everybody else. Binge-listened on a long road trip. Laughed, wept. Managed to get my tickets to hear Brian Reed talk about it in Melbourne before it booked out!

There are some great conversations on First Draft: A dialogue on Writing, an American podcast featuring well-known writers and others I’ve been introduced to for the first time.

I’ve not yet listened to all of Season One of the  fabulous Sisteria podcast, but particularly loved Episode 6 with writer Julie Koh. Funny, clever, great ideas to think over.

From the shelf

Hisham Matar’s Anatomy of a Disappearance and The Return. I read these two books in preparation for seeing Matar speak at the Wheeler Centre next week. I’m so thankful for the Wheeler Centre for introducing me to writers I had not previously known (for my sins) and whose work has had such a profound impact on me.

The Art of Frugal Hedonism by Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb. Practical, funny and joyful read for those attempting to simplify.

The harrowing Dogs at the Perimeter by Madeleine Thien – another introduction to a writer via a wonderful Wheeler Centre conversation (listen here)

Emily Perkin’s The Forrests – incredible. Loved this book and the ‘hot noticing’ it exemplifies.

Stella Prize Winner – Heather Rose’s The Museum of Modern Love. I thought this book was wonderful – it’s still with me – all those ideas about a creative life, and how one might live it.

The Writing Life – Annie Dillard. Second read after a particularly trying week in the world of my manuscript. Worked a treat. I got back on the horse.

Jane Rawson’s incredible From the Wreck. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with Jane and with Anna Westbrook as part of the Emerging Writers Festival’s National Writers Conference. Read the books and come and join us!

A Hope More Powerful than the Sea – the story of Syrian refugee, Doaa Al Zamel, as told by the Chief Spokesperson for the UNHCR, Melissa Fleming.

I heard poet Andy Jackson in conversation with Sandy Jeffs at a new Writers Festival in Christmas Hills. His work is wonderful. I’m currently poring over his collections, Immune System and That Knocking.

On the TBR pile

Sally Abbot’s Closing Down, Anna Westbrook’s Dark Fires Shall Burn, the anthology They Cannot Take the Sky – Stories from Detention, Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West, Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu, China Matters, Courtney Collins’ The Burial, the UWA anthology Shaping the Fractured Self, Karen Andrews’ On the Many Shapes Bodies Will Take and finally an early copy of Emily Brewin’s Hello, Goodbye which I have the honour of launching in June.

I’m delighted to be heading down the coast to Airey’s Inlet this weekend to appear with Lucy Treloar at Great Escape’s Literary Lunch, one of a series of fabulous events with Australian writers. Then I’m heading in the opposite direction, up the Hume to a residency at Bundanon where I’ll be hunkering down to continue work on my second novel. Stay tuned for notes from my adventures…


bleedingheartwriter" alt="bleedingheartwriter">


Hi Kate I have a system this year where I take a photo of the front cover of every book I read (or screenshot the ebooks) and keep it in a photo folder on my phone. Have screenshotted – see attached. First time ever that I’ve kept a list so I’m pretty happy! Cheers Caroline

Sent from my iPhone


May 23, 2017 at 3:07 am
Leonie" alt="Leonie">


I use Evernote to keep track of the books I read – with tags you can categorise the books, leave notes as to what you thought. It’d a rather useful app.

May 23, 2017 at 4:45 am

Kate’s first book, SKYLARKING was published in Australia by Black Inc. in 2016 and in the UK by Legend Press in 2017. Her second THE MOTHER FAULT is published in Australia by Simon & Schuster in 2020 and in the UK by Harper Collins UK in 2021. Kate’s third novel, THE HUMMINGBIRD EFFECT was published in Australia by Simon & Schuster in August 2023.

Stay in touch with Kate via her newsletter, The Bowerbird.