Stories & Shout Outs #53

Stories & Shout Outs Badge

What’s On My Mind:

  • I’m so grateful that I thoroughly enjoyed the two weekends of sunshine we had in August, because Sydney in September is back to rain, rain, rain.
  • Thankfully we are taking off for a week to (hopefully) find some sunshine and warmth in FNQ and to celebrate the birthday of Mr Books.

What I’m Reading:

  • The Sun Walks Down | Fiona McFarlane
  • Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here | Heather Rose (my lunch time read at work – not what I was expecting at all)
  • Womerah Lane: Lives and Landscapes | Tom Carment
  • After Sappho | Selby Wynn Schwartz (disappointed this did not make the Booker shortlist – fascinating feminist lit)
  • A Woman in China | Mary Gaunt (in preparation for an AWW post)
  • Burning Questions | Margaret Atwood (my bathroom read. The brief chapters/essays are perfect for this type of reading!)
  • The Gates of Europe | Serhii Plokhy (Reading Ukraine) (my walking backpack book. How much I can read at a time depends on how noisy the cafe is when I stop for a coffee mid-walk)
  • Essays Two | Lydia Davis (my loungeroom read. For some reason I have it my head that I need to read Proust before continuing with the next section of this book…)
  • Last Letter to a Reader | Gerald Murnane (my Blue Mountains backpack read, stalled around the half way mark. The chapter titled ‘Emerald Blue” may have put me off…)

Read But Not Reviewed (Yet):

  • Otherland | Maria Tumarkin
  • She and Her Cat | Makoto Shinkai and Naruki Nagakawa

Holiday Reads:

  • Haven | Emma Donoghue
  • Limberlost | Robbie Arnott
  • Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs | Beth Ann Fennelly (with thanks to Kate for bringing this to my attention)

New to the Pile:

This Blogging Life:

  • You may have noticed that my posting schedule has become pretty erratic lately.
    • During the various Covid lockdowns of the past two years, I had developed a regular schedule of posting every 2-3 days. Now that life is all-but back to normal, I have found this too hard to maintain. I have also found it impossible to pick two regular days a week to be my posting days.
    • I’m now simply happy to write two posts a week, publishing them whenever I get time to finish editing them to my satisfaction.
  • I do my best to scan the comments filling up my spam folder on a daily basis, to make sure there isn’t a real comment hiding in there. But most of them are pretty vile, and incredibly long. Why they even bother, I do not know.
    • Bulk deleting is the only way to get rid of so many – apologies if you have tried to comment and it never appears.
  • Just a little whinge about the changes to the wordpress draft editing mode. Various options do not appear to be working properly (list indents is the latest)…until you preview them and see that they are.
    • I guess as long as they work properly on the published page I can live with it, but it does make drafting & editing awkward.
  • Starting to think about AusReadingMonth in November & the possibility of a readalong of Voss by Patrick White with Bill and Karen?

Book Group Reads Coming Up:

  • September – Chloe Hooper’s Bedtime Story
  • October – Damon Galgut’s The Promise
  • November – my choice – Sophie Cunningham’s This Devastating Fever

Shout Outs:

  • 1929 Club with Simon & Karen is due to run 24th – 30th October 2022
  • It’s also time to start planning for Novellas in November with Cathy @746 Books & Rebecca @Bookish Beck – a buddy read of Claire Keegan’s Foster is on the cards.
  • The Giller Prize Longlist 2022 has just been announced, which means the Shadow Giller with Penny & Lindy et al is up and running again. This Canadian Literature prize has always fascinated and I usually manage to read a few of the list each year….eventually! I’ve already read Sheila Heti’s Pure Colour, but would also like to read We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies | Tsering Yangzom Lama (set in Tibet) and the short stories of Kim Fu,  Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century.

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.

20 thoughts on “Stories & Shout Outs #53

  1. Ok. I have Voss as an audiobook -19 hours of Humphrey Bouwer, not my idea of a good time! I’m happy to listen to it in Nov., not sure I’ll have time to write it up, but at least I can comment ‘intelligently’. Let me know if you’d like to communicate at stages along the way (if, that is, you decide to proceed).

    Looking forward to your review of Heather Rose.


    1. There is absolutely NO PRESSURE about Voss. It was something muted early this year, but I am not commited to it one way of the other. I’ve read a number of chunksters this year already.

      The Heather Rose book is truly extraordinary in a way I did not expect. You know how it is when you discover that someone has this whole other side to them or whole other belief that was not evident in anything said or done previously… or maybe it’s just another example of me being obtuse!

      I also had a lovely visit/comment from the playwright of the Miles Franklin play reading that I went to a couple of months ago. She was blown away by the engaged comments from my blogger friends 🙂


  2. I’m excited about Sophie Cunningham’s This Devastating Fever too. I’m buying it with my birthday book voucher… the first one I’ve had since my parents died so it’s pretty special!
    I don’t know why people think I have enough books, I really don’t….


    1. I always feel a little pressure when it’s my turn to pick for book group. But over the years I have realised it is best to pick a book I haven’t already read, but really want to.

      I’m with you, there is no such thing as too many books!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I never recommend a book I’ve read for reading group, either.

    Too much here to comment on … am on the road. My posting has become erratic this year and I’m just trying to let it go. Life is for living not stressing. I have my sights on the 1929 club and Novellas in November! And I will be reading at least one Aussie book that month too.

    Which spam folder? The WP one? I almost never look at it. Too overwhelming and time wasting but you are right that occasionally there’s a valid one in there and I’m sorry about that.


    1. It has taken me a while to get to the letting it go’ stage Sue! But I think I am there now 🙂

      Is this your school reunion weekend? I hope you have fun.

      Yes, the spam folder is the one in the WP comments section. After several bulk deletions where I did check for genuine comments, and found none, I will now just bulk delete once a week or so.


      1. Good for us eh!

        No, it was last weekend – Sydney then Mollymook for 5 days, then home for two and now Melbourne-Perth (flying)-Melbourne! Also we are starting to actively work on downsizing including looking for places to downsize to.

        After all this I might have the time and mind space to pick up more again.

        I should do that too re spam. I tend to leave it for months and months and then feel I should delete page by page which takes forEVER!


        1. You do get around don’t you? Will you be seeing Bill and Kim in Perth?

          Downsizing is on our minds too. B22 is in his final semester of uni, so he will probably think about moving out in the next year or so. But what we do next still has so many variables to factor in, our ideas on what we might do next change every week!!
          Although this week will be all about FNQ and Port Douglas ☀️


    1. I’m pretty keen to get into the bio about John Donne, but Haven will be first from this list as I’m taking it on holidays with me. I also took Pull of the Stars to the beach with me a couple of years ago – it was perfect – not too many characters or complicated twists and turns, but a fascinating story that is easy to pick and put down.


  4. Glad to hear that Aus Reading Month is back, I actually have two books lined up – Springtime A Ghost Story by Michelle de Krester and Rabbit Proof Fence by Doris Pinkington. And both work for Novellas in November too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooh, thank you for the reminder of 1929 week: I have a Dean Street Press book lined up for that. I am excited about Aus Reading Month as I have I think FOUR books this time, and one of them will also work for NonFicNov and Novellas in November! Hooray!

    Liked by 1 person

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