Stories & Shout Outs #49

Stories & Shout Outs Badge

What’s On My Mind:

  • After my holiday, I flirted with the idea of giving up blogging.
  • I’d run out of scheduled posts and I thought, that’s that.
  • I’ve got nothing left to say write.
  • I backed up my blog and logged off.
  • It lasted a week!

What I’m Reading:

  • The Birds and other Stories | Daphne du Maurier
  • October | China Miéville
  • H is for Hawk | Helen Macdonald
  • Burning Questions | Margaret Atwood
  • Essays Two | Lydia Davis
  • Collected Stories | Shirley Hazzard
  • Mauritius Command | Patrick O’Brian
  • Last Letter to a Reader | Gerald Murnane
  • Fishing For Lightning: The Spark of Poetry | Sarah Holland-Batt

Read But Not Reviewed:

  • Elizabeth Finch | Julian Barnes
  • Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
  • To the Ends of the Earth | Susanna de Vries
  • The Moving Finger | Mary Gaunt
  • Pure Colour | Sheila Heti


  • Axiomatic | Maria Tumarkin
    • Tumarkin is a Ukrainian – Jewish – Australian writer.
    • Highlighting the disadvantage that many of our fellow citizens live under day in day out is a worthy project.
    • Being reminded of our extreme good fortune and advantage in contrast is important to remember too.
    • But after four nights of falling asleep utterly depressed and upset, I decided to call it quits..
    • However, I have ordered Tumarkin’s earlier book, Otherland: A Journey With My Daughter (2011) detailing her trip back to Ukraine with her teenage daughter.
    • Visit her webpage for links and information about Ukraine.
    • Which is where I discovered her audio link for a reading of the final chapter in Axiomatic that she did last year (2021). It is ‘a conversation with my friend of 40 years Alexandra who has just escaped from Kharkiv‘.
    • I listened and read along. It was incredibly moving.
    • Sometimes you think you are done with a book, when you’re not.

New to the Pile:

This Blogging Life:

  • Thanks to my holiday, not a lot of blogging happened.
    • But I have been reading.
    • I just don’t feel like writing about it very much at the moment.
  • The Edith Trilogy Readalong
    • Grand Days – June 2022
    • Dark Palace – July 2022
    • Cold Light – August 2022

Shout Outs:

  • Daphne du Maurier Reading hosted by Ali @HeavenAli runs from the 9th – 15th May and celebrates the birthdays of both, Daphne and Ali.
  • Cathy @ 746 Books has posted her annual reminder post that 20 Books of Summer Winter is fast approaching. Time to start making lists!
  • For quite some time now, the lovely Paula @Book Jotter has been spreading the love in bloggingland for anyone who wishes to promote a bookish event. Her weekly Winding Up the Week post features events, reviews and links to interesting articles. There is sure to be at least one that tickles your fancy. Including links like this – JSTOR Daily: Lesya Ukrainka: Ukraine’s Beloved Writer and Activist.
  • Very pleased to see that Evelyn Araluen won this year’s Stella Prize with her poetry collection, Dropbear. Even if poetry is not your thing, her poems and poetic essays could be the ones that change your mind.

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 this land’s first storytellers.

27 thoughts on “Stories & Shout Outs #49

    1. We had a launch with the authors at work this week, which my colleagues say was one of the best launches they’ve been to. Unfortunately I had other things on that night & couldn’t attend. If you get a chance to see them at one of the writer’s festivals this year do!


        1. Same is true for me as well. The launch was hosted by Jemma Birrell, with a musical group fronted by Keppie Coutts that apparently complemented the conversation and storytelling beautifully. Everyone who attended has been raving about it ever since.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the belated bday wishes 😉 my bday was in Feb. but Ali and Daphne du Maurier celebrate their bdays this week.

      And thank you for your kind words. I couldn’t leave you alone with the cc spins 😅


    1. Thank you too Jule – the positive affirmations have been lovely although I wrote about my sudden disillusion with blogging to help those who may also feel the same way too. I was a little shocked by the intensity of my desire to give it all up after 13 yrs!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Is it your birthday? Happy and Joy filled it must go. I imagine blogging is very close to human forming or like a garden. Once we start, it should be kept as far and as much we keep ourselves.

    I ll be looking forward for your review of the ‘Shortest History of India”. It won’t be easy if its only History 🙂 !!

    Narayan x


    1. Thank you but not my birthday – it’s Heavenali’s and Daphne du Maurier’s birthday this week, hence the reading week 😊

      The shortest history books have been great so far in filling in m gaps of knowledge and leading me to new areas of interest. Im sure the India will be the same for me.


  2. Well, I’m glad you didn’t give up blogging ! You would be missed.

    This is also a nice reminder I need to hunt down a copy of Grand Days. It was out of print when it was flagged on The Books that Made Us TV show but looks like it’s available again… I can feel a trip to Dymocks or my local indie coming on.

    I bought a copy of Unlimited Futures at the Perth Writers Festival back in March. I attended the session about it and found the voices of African immigrants refreshing. Yet to read the book though. Need to bump it higher up the pile.


    1. So glad you will be reading Grand Days with me. Edith is an extraordinary character and I can’t wait to spend time with her again. And I’m going to try and read Unlimited Futures for Lisa’s Indigenous reading week…


  3. I’m glad you are still writing. I never put up posts as often as many others as I couldn’t possibly keep up. Just post when you’re pulled towards it, when you want to and don’t worry if there are spaces or they are short posts. Be kind to yourself so you continue to enjoy. After all the world won’t stop spinning if you miss some days. 😁😁😁 Just read and enjoy.


    1. Thank you Pam, after the blogging trauma you went through recently, your words of wisdom mean a lot.

      I’m thinking I will do a regular mini review feature for those books I don’t want to write a lot about, but still want to record that I read them, before I pass them onto family & friends…


  4. Thanks for the shout-out Brona. I’m relieved to hear you haven’t given up blogging, but sometimes a wee break is good. Look forward to hearing what you think of the Charmain Clift essays, I’d be very interested in that one.


    1. The break made me realise how much of my time blogging takes up. It was lovely to have a whole weekend where I simply read and pottered around the house and did other stuff instead…but by the end of this week, I started to get twitchy fingers and I kept wondering about what everyone else was up to on their blogs…and I knew I was back 🙂


  5. I’m glad you didn’t – personally I couldn’t give up the connections I’ve made
    I’m glad you didn’t – Mary Gaunt! (AWWC stuff)
    I don’t think I’m ever done with a book – they, or disconnected images from them, come back at the oddest times.
    I’ve about given up on Julian Barnes. Is this one any good?


    1. It was the connections that drew me back Bill. I started wondering what everyone was up to!
      And yes Mary Gaunt is well under way.
      If you love Julian Barnes, you will thoroughly enjoy Elizabeth Finch, but if you don’t, then this will not change your mind.


  6. Your experience with Tumarkin is so interesting. I’m sure you did the right thing in giving up as it was taking a toll, but how wonderful that you found another way to experience her and were moved by it. I’ll remember this next time I’m struggling with a book, to see what else is out there from a writer.


    1. I often forget to ‘google’, ‘duck duck go’ etc but it is especially helpful when struggling with a book for whatever reason.
      I knew that Tumarkin’s book was going to have challenging content going in, and I felt strong enough to go for it. But it turns out I was wrong!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I ammmmm soooooo happy that you did not stop blogging though I do understand your sentiments. I have those feelings too! Shortest History of India….that is intriguing!


    1. The Shortest History books have been a great series. Written by an expert in the field, they give a great overview and help fill in some gaps. Naturally, each one has also led me onto topics that I would like to explore in more depth!

      And thank you 🙂
      I couldn’t give up on the blogging community – it’s all of you who drew me back in as I started wondering what you were all up to.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I took a two year break and I am ready to come back but I still remember that sometimes during my active blogging times I also wanted to quit, LOL.


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