Why reading and writing is the road to happiness...

This blog started years ago as a place to muse on the life projects keeping me entertained. It is no surprise then that it has morphed into a blog about my reading as that has been my lifelong project. Here I review lots of different types of books, with an added focus on Australian women writers. Hope you enjoy - feel free to contribute to the conversation!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Update: Book Reviews and a 'Reading Challenge'

It's been a while since I've updated the books I have been reading but of course, me being me, I have turned my very reading into a challenge.  In August 2011, for whatever reason, I started noting down the books I had read and finished my list in August 2012: I was interested in how many books I read in one year. Turns out that the number was 30: is that any good?? That's one a fortnight or so. I guess that's a pretty good reading rate. But there are so many books to read - and at this rate I'll only get to approx 1113 books before I die. How will I get through everything I want to read??!!!
So the tally for this reading year so far - 10 months to date - is 26 - so looks like I'm going to hit the 30 mark again unless I start counting picture books into my tally (this is becoming like the Premier's Reading Challenge isn't it?).

Looking at the last three books I have read:

The Engagement by Chloe Hooper

Tense thriller from the Australian writer whose previous work was The Tall Man. This is a gripping read, but has that terrible feeling of being trapped pervading it. The central character goes willingly with her lover to his isolated farm in Victoria where she hopes for a relaxing, sex filled weekend. The weekend becomes a menatlly exhausting game between the two, where the main character is trapped in his house, unable to escape his increasingly disturbed behaviour. This is not an erotic thriller, but rather a psychological study into the male and female dynamic and the trust we place in relative strangers after we have had sex with them Highly original concept and well written.

Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson is getting a lot of publicuty at the moment for her latest novel, so I went back to her first crime novel in the Jackson Brodie series. I was really surprised by the humour in this novel and the original premise, given that I was expecting a usual Brit crime drama. Atkinson has created a completely likeable rogue in her Brodie character, and the language and dialogue are witty, despite the dark premise of the crime.  I'll be going back to Atkinson again.

Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson

This has been on my e-reader for a while and I finally got to it. I have never read any Winterson but I loved her interviews when this, her memoir, was released. She is so honest and disarming which is a revelation today in the world of celebrity. And I love the title of this memoir which was what her mother said to her when Winterson told her she was gay. This is a moving and of course, well written memoir, and it is a particularly poignant examination of being an adopted child.

So what am I reading now for No 27?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Bestseller, thriller, acclaimed page turner. Well, I'm two thirds in and it is certainly delivering on all the promises from the great reviews. Don't know how it will finish, so that is always refreshing for a novel. I'll update when I have finished.

Until then - happy reading.

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