Stories & Shout Outs #46

Stories & Shout Outs Badge

My Year so far:

  • After our self-isolating Omicron Christmas and New Year, Mr Books and I were able to escape to the South Coast for a week of walking along the beach, swimming and reading.
  • Since then we have been trying to organise a family get together to make up for the one we missed out on.
  • But B21 went away for a week’s holiday with his GF.
  • Then B24 and GF caught Covid.
  • Mr Books & I got our third vaccinations during the week.
  • I was meant to line up for jury duty this week, but it has been postponed for a month.
  • It’s still raining, almost every single day, thanks to La Niña.


  • Last night we had our family Christmas dinner which means I can now take down the Christmas tree!

What I’m Reading:

  • To Paradise | Hanya Yanagihara
  • Collected Stories | Shirley Hazzard
  • Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens | Shankari Chandran
  • The Cat Who Saved Books | Sosuke Natsukawa (but I suspect this will be a DNF; it’s too YA, too simple and not capturing my attention)
  • These Precious Days | Ann Patchett
  • Last Letter to a Reader | Gerald Murnane
  • Fishing For Lightning: The Spark of Poetry | Sarah Holland-Batt
  • Signs and Wonders | Delia Falconer

Read But Not Reviewed:

  • The Red-Haired Woman | Orhan Pamuk
  • No. 91/92: A Parisian Bus Diary | Lauren Elkin
  • So You Think You Know What’s Good For You? | Norman Swan
  • Fire Front: First Nations Poetry and Power Today | edited by Alison Whittaker


  • The Sydney Festival is under way and in a fit of hopefulness last November, I booked us in for two shows.
    • Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Drama Theatre in the Opera House (this week) and
    • The Museum of Modern Love at the Seymour Centre (next week).
  • Despite Omicron, we have decided to still go.
  • The theatre was less than half full on Weds night for Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Which was desperately sad for the cast and organisers, but it matched the tone of the play perfectly. Such unhappy, messed up couples!
    • Dinner at the Opera Bar beforehand was also far removed from the crowds of old. The only good thing about so few patrons was our uninterrupted view of the Harbour Bridge.


  • Microbat relocation process.
  • We have microbats in the roof in our mountain retreat.
  • We have to wait for the end of the breeding season and for the babies to be old enough to fly before we attempt a relocation. Just a few more weeks….
  • We are in the process of making special funnels that will allow them to fly out, but not back in again. Also hoping to source some microbat boxes to place around the edge of the property to encourage them to set up home away from our roof!

New to the Pile:

On the Screen:

  • During our week of self-isolation of Christmas, Mr Books and I caught up on some the series we’ve been meaning to watch/finish for ages.
  • Finished the second season of The Great – huzzah! So much fun. We both love this series.
  • The Beatles: Get Back – 8 hours of watching the lads from Liverpool pull together their final album. The mumbled dialogue was subtitled and it was long, but the pay off was hearing/watching how, out of nowhere, one of them would suddenly pull out a melody, a line, a riff that is now instantly recognisable as one of their iconic tunes. And, of course, the final roof top concert at Apple Corps headquarters, complete with London bobbies concerned about the disturbing the peace. It was wonderful.
  • Mr Books whiled away the afternoons with Jeremy Clarkson’s Farm. I watched the episode where they were lambing the ewes. It was better than I thought it was going to be.
  • Don’t Look Up was tedious for the first half, but got better towards the end. Not really worth the hype in our opinion.
  • And then we started Emily in Paris for some light relief.


  • The Edith Trilogy Readalong
    • Grand Days – March 2022
    • Dark Palace – April 2022
    • Cold Light – May 2022

Shout Outs:

  • Love is in the Air with The Classics Club during the month of February.
    • Read a CLASSIC book that you classify as romantic, glamorous, sexy or alluring. It could even be a book or author that you are predisposed to LOVE (because of its topic, its reputation etc).
  • Lizzy & Karen are hosting Reading Independent Publishers Month again in February
  • Reading Wales 2022 #Dewithon is on again from the 1st – 31st March with Paula @Book Jotter

Until next time, stay safe, and happy reading!

This post was written on the traditional land of the Wangal clan, one of the 29 clans of the Eora Nation within the Sydney basin. This Reading Life acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are our first storytellers.

22 thoughts on “Stories & Shout Outs #46

  1. Well, your ‘adventures’ with Covid must have tested your mettle a bit, but I’m glad you finally had your Xmas dinner!
    What did you think of The red-Haired Woman? I liked it, but it’s not one of his best.


  2. I am glad you finally did get to have a Christmas Dinner! That is the important think, never mind when and how! I so do want to watch The Great…unfortunately it is not being streamed in India! Sigh!


  3. I think Covid will do in my family reunions too. Two (out of 3) kids not able to get home for xmas and no mum’s 90th in April looking less and less likely. (Mum sent us a photo of her in an astronaut’s blue suit and helmet, visiting my aunt in a nursing home).

    I read, and was impressed by, A Difficult Young Man for my matric. I’ve read other Boyd since and recently made a start on A Cardboard Crown but got sidetracked.


    1. So many family events side tracked. April is still a long way away though, so hopefully you’ll be able to have a gathering of some sorts….whether or not you’ll be allowed back into WA afterwards is another matter!!
      How do WAian’s feel about the change in opening up date?

      I really enjoyed A Cardboard Crown a few years ago and thought I’d go back and start the quartet from the beginning….when I fit them in is another matter of course. But I do love the anticipation that unread books conjure up 🙂


  4. I know what you mean about having to be in a certain mood for kidlit/YA. Often the case for me as well. You’ve got some great books on the go and in the wings though! I wish we could more easily find the Text Classics series.


  5. Somehow I missed this … there’s way too much here for me to remember all I want to comment on, but glad you finally had your get family get together. And, I can’t believe you are reading so many books at once. I usually only have a couple going. I suppose right now it’s 3, but one I’ve been reading for over a year on my Kindle when I’m in waiting rooms etc. I guess that counts.

    We were booked to go to the opening night of Bangarra Dance Theatre in the Sydney Festival on 15 January, but it was postponed due to rehearsal difficulties re COVID. Such a shame as we couldn’t make it later.

    What a great haul too … I have read, enjoyed and reviewed A difficult young man, and have had Cardboard crown on my TBR for ages. The Mary Gaunt appeals, as do a few others there.


    1. Please don’t worry about missing posts, I’m missing lots at the moment too – a combo of my phone issues re logging in to WP, but I also (mostly unconsciously) eased back on blogging during January. But thank you for taking the time to comment 🙂

      4 of my books are non-fiction which I tend to leave in different places knowing I can read them in shorter spurts – my work backpack, my weekend bag for our mountains home…etc. And such a shame you will be missing Bangarra.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Because of work I do crazy things like start Chai Time, love it, but then pick up To Paradise in my lunch break & decide to go with it. The plan – pick up Chai Time again when I finish Paradise. But of course today, on my lunch break I picked up the new Judith Wright selected writings…& suddenly I have another ‘currently reading’ book! It’s a hazardous job 😅

          Liked by 1 person

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