Stories & Shout Outs #50

Stories & Shout Outs Badge

What’s On My Mind:

  • I have had a head cold this past week, so not much!
  • And it’s cold outside. I don’t like being cold.

What I’m Reading:

  • Grand Days | Frank Moorhouse
  • Chernobyl Prayer | Svetlana Alexievich
  • 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:

  • Queen Menopause | Alison Daddo
  • Americanah | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

New to the Pile:

This Blogging Life:

  • I’ve been rather absent lately thanks to tiredness and lack of motivation.
  • Reading lots though, especially a couple of chunksters (Americanah at just over 600 pgs and now Grand Days at almost 700).
  • The Edith Trilogy Readalong is now underway.
  • Follow along on Twitter #EdithReadalong
    • Grand Days – June 2022
    • Dark Palace – July 2022
    • Cold Light – August 2022

Shout Outs:

  • A CC Spin is due soon over at The Classics Club, so starting to think about my list.
  • I’m hopeful for a Paris in July in event with Tamara @Thyme For Tea but concerned that her blog has been quiet since September last year.
  • I’ve swapped in my first book (Chernobyl Prayer | Svetlana Alexievich) for Cathy’s 20 Book of Summer Winter!

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.

18 thoughts on “Stories & Shout Outs #50

  1. Poor you with your head cold. Hope you are now properly getting over it.

    I have read Grand days and H is for Hawk. The latter I loved (like the former) but it was not a universal reading group favourite by a long stretch, which surprised me. I’d love to read the Murnane.

    Would love to do a CC spin one day but just know I have to get my most-read pile down a bit.

    Anyhow, have a better week.


    1. Thanks Sue, it has been a slow few days and very hard being back at work today, although we had a lovely visit from Nigel Featherstone and his publicist today which made my day. Your ears may have been burning as we both sang your praises!

      I’m really enjoying/appreciating H is For Hawk but I can almost hear my mother saying in my ear that Helen should just get over it and move on, so I can see how people who don’t like to sit with grief and loss might shy away from this book.

      The Murnane has been a slow read. A great spurt of reading around Christmas time but then I stalled. I need to find a way back in.


      1. Haha, Brona… that’s so nice of you both. What a lovely community we have! So kind and generous. And, doesn’t his book have a beautiful cover.

        Yes, that was certainly part of it plus some criticised her attitude to her mother. Her mother was the prime mourner some said but I don’t believe you can measure these things, or that we all mourn the same way.

        I am reading a book very slowly at the moment. It’s good but I keep being distracted.


  2. I thought I had a head cold but a PCR test revealed it was covid! Hope you are on the mend soon.

    I’m yet to begin Grand Days, but hope to make a start soon.


    1. Thanks Kim, slowly improving. Mr Books has caught it too, so at least we can sympathise with each other!

      No hurry re Grand Days….it took me over a year to settle on a timeframe 🙂


    1. We have a book event on tonight with Eleanor, but I’m too tired to go out after work…and it’s very cold tonight. Will have to catch up with it on Youtube after I’ve read the book.


  3. Glad to see your post on BronasBooks today….! I completely understand the lack of motivation. I thought my 31 May post would be my last ..but just told myself to just read a book I like…make a few notes and see if I review it…no pressure. Have you ever read Alice Walker ? I heard that her writing helps one find an equilibrium and balance in life. She writes of her intimate connection with nature, focuses on racial questions, reports on trips to China, Bali, and Jamaica, and more. I ordered the book yesterday. I know you love to travel and enjoy reflective reading. Just a reading tip from me and hope you get through the winter doldrums


    1. We have the Alice Walker book at work and I have been eyeing it off. I’ve really enjoyed her fiction over the years, but haven’t dipped into her essays before. I’ve been slowly reading Margaret Atwood’s latest book of non-fiction. She has a similar effect on me – very calming and balanced. I sometimes think that Australians and Canadians look at the world in much the same way at times, so I do find her quite comforting.

      I used to love winter when I was young, but then I lived in London for eight months, during one of their wettest, coldest spring/summers ever! I now love summer!! But thanks to all the La Nina rain we had this year, we didn’t really get a decent summer at all. I feel cheated and not at all prepared for wintry days and nights.


  4. Oh, I will look at that book as well! Time for a coffee here (12 noon)…as I wait and see if Boris Johnson will survive a vote of no confidence in UK Parliament tonight. BBC news is all a buzz about this now! XO


  5. I read Americanah a while ago, listened to it that is. I like Nigerian fiction but as I remember I thought Americanh was just ok. I should at least buy Murnane’s Last Letter – I’d get to it eventually.
    Hope you get to Chelsea Watego soon – it’s absolutely eye-opening.


    1. I thoroughly enjoyed Americanah, I was desperately in need of a great big rollicking book to get lost in for a while, and it did the job beautifully. I’m also a fan of stories where young lovers go off and have seperate lives but find each other again before it’s too late 🙂

      I will have to get over this cold before jumping into Watego. My brain is not ready to be stretched/challenged right now. And you will love the Murnane I’m sure, so yes you should get it to save for later.


  6. Sorry about your cold Brona, hope you feel better soon.

    Glad to see Grey Bees added to your pile. I still haven’t gotten to it, but I hope to do so before getting back to work in the coming week


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