Stories & Shout Outs #37

My Week:

Having a birthday in the same week as St. Valentine’s Day means I have never got caught up the commercial hype that surrounds today. I’d much rather everyone focus on my special day!

But it has been very interesting to observe both B23 and B20 this year with their girlfriends. Despite our parenting model of not observing commercially motivated events with extravagant presents, they have both embraced them. B23 loves the dramatic impact of flowers, chocolates, jewellery and a high class dinner booking. B20, in his first Valentine’s with a special girl, has chosen the fancy dinner booking with some jewellery on the side. When queried about the expense of this on his student budget, he replied, ‘we always pay our own way when we eat out’, even on Valentine’s Day. I like this girl!

(I feel I should qualify that statement by saying that I really like both of the lovely young women the boys have chosen).

I Am Reading:

  • Wolf Hall | Hilary Mantel
  • Wolf Hall Companion | Lauren Mackay
  • Born into This | Adam Thompson
  • The Pea-Pickers | Eve Langley
  • First Person Singular | Haruki Murakami
  • The Passenger: Japan | Various
  • Vesper Flights | Helen Macdonald

Readalong Updates:

  • Very happy with my (re)read of Wolf Hall so far. I’m loving it as much as I did ten years ago. The ‘He/Cromwell’ device is much easier to navigate second time around and the historical elements are more familiar. Currently 26% done #WolfHallReadalong2021
  • I still do not know if I will have the stamina required to (re)read all twenty Master & Commander books, but I so enjoyed reading the first book again, I know I will be lining up for book 2 in March #AubreyMaturinReadalong

Read But Not Reviewed:

  • People From My neighbourhood | Hiromi Kawakami
  • Master and Commander | Patrick O’Brian
  • Homeland Calling | Ellen Van Neerven
  • Honeybee | Craig Silvey
  • Klara and the Sun | Kazuo Ishiguro

New to the Pile:

  • The Japanese: A History in Twenty Lives | Christopher Harding
  • The Story of China | Michael Wood
  • Dust Tracks on a Road | Zora Neale Hurston
  • Miss Carter and the Ifrit | Susan Alice Kerby
  • The Native Heath | Elizabeth Fair
  • Spam Tomorrow | Verily Anderson
  • Sansei and Sensibility: Stories | Karen Tei Yamashita
  • Austen Years: A Memoir in 5 Novels | Rachel Cohen
  • Into the Loneliness: The Unholy Alliance of Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates | Eleanor Hogan

On My Radar:


  • By our summer.
  • Mostly wet, grey and cool.
  • Not that I should complain too much after the horrendous bushfires last summer.
  • But still a week of hot summer weather might have been nice.


  • Laura Jean McKay has won the Victorian Prize for Literature with her pandemic story The Animals in That Country.
  • Archie Roach won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Indigenous Writing for his memoir Tell Me Why: The Story of My Life and My Music.
  • Paddy Manning won the Non-Fiction Prize for Body Count: How Climate Change is Killing Us.
  • Winner of this year’s Costa Book Prize was Monique Roffey with her book The Mermaid of Black Conch.

Shout Outs:

5 thoughts on “Stories & Shout Outs #37

  1. I think I’ve missed your previous post (on the road!) but I’ll go back and find it. I got into my nearest library yesterday but no Wolf Hall. Will keep looking. Will even use internet/WA libraries database.
    Looking forward to what you say about Hurston and Murakami, neither of which books I have read. But particularly looking forward to Ernestine Hill/Daisy Bates – I see it’s new. I’ll chase it up through my local bookshop.


    1. I loved Their Eyes Were Watching God a lot, and have been keen to try something else by her ever since. I haven’t tried any Murakami short stories before, so I’m curious to see if he can work the same magic in a shorter form.
      Not quite sure when I will be able to fit the Hogan into my schedule, but I will keep the book on the top of the pile to keep tempting me.
      Hope you track down a WH soon 🙂


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