Stories & Shout Outs #54

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Stories & Shout Outs with

Last night, halfway through an episode in season three of For All Mankind, the ‘new-in-the-house’ book stack by my computer table spontaneously tumbled down across the kitchen floor. A sure sign it’s time to compile my next Stories and Shout Out post!

What’s On My Mind:

  • November
  • So many reading events fast approaching on which I have barely spent any thinking or planning time.
  • I had one rainy Sunday early in October when I started my Voss Readalong post, downloaded images for the various Non-Fiction November weeks and created draft posts for each one, started a William Trevor post and tried to write my next Australian Women Writer’s bio – the second half of Mary Gaunt’s life.
  • As a result, I have a lot of half finished draft posts, but none anywhere near completion!
  • Fortunately my next two weekends are ‘at home’ weekends. Maybe I will finish some of them soon.

What I’m Reading:

  • The Jew’s Beech | Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (novella & German lit)
  • Shrines of Gaiety | Kate Atkinson (lunch time read at work)
  • A Woman in China | Mary Gaunt (in preparation for an AWW post. I really need to finish this, but it’s on my eReader – ugh!)
  • Burning Questions | Margaret Atwood (trying to finish this for Margaret Atwood Reading Month)
  • The Gates of Europe | Serhii Plokhy (Reading Ukraine)

Read But Not Reviewed (Yet):

  • The Swimmers | Julie Otsuka (novella)
  • Lucy by the Sea | Elizabeth Strout
  • Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here | Heather Rose (non-fiction)
  • Passing | Nella Larsen (1929 club, novella, cc spin)
  • Runt | Craig Silvey (children’s book)

New to the Pile:

This Blogging Life:

  • It’s probably a good problem to have, but I’m reading much faster than I can write.
  • I’m keeping up with note making for each book – i.e. the things I want to remember about the book like the epigraphs and opening lines and which edition I’m reading and when.
  • Pulling my thoughts together about what I’ve just read though, has become the hard part.
  • I blame the never-ending perimenopausal brain-fog phase I seem to be stuck in!

Book Group Reads Coming Up:

  • November – Sophie Cunningham | This Devastating Fever (my choice)
  • February – The Island of Missing Trees | Elif Shafak

Shout Outs:

  • 1929 Club with Simon & Karen is next week 24th – 30th October 2022
  • Novellas in November with Cathy @746 Books & Rebecca @Bookish Beck is fast approaching. They have a number of weekly challenges you can join in but I will focus on the buddy read of Claire Keegan’s Foster.
  • Non-Fiction November – I hope/plan to join in at least 3 of the 5 weekly challenges.
  • Lizzy is once again hosting German Literature Month in November (hopefully a confirmation post will pop up soon). I found it! Lizzy has a new website @Lizzy’s Literary Life Vol 2. Link will now take you to the appropriate 2022 post.
  • Margaret Atwood Reading Month (MARM) is also in November, hosted by Buried in Print.
  • Voss Readalong for AusReadingMonth. I’m just doing the one thing for this year’s AusReadingMonth, to keep things simple and easy. Although I’m not sure that Patrick White is either simple or easy!
  • 2023 will be A Year With William Trevor thanks to Kim @Reading Matters and Cathy @746 Books. I have his second collection of short stories that I would like to make my way through.

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.

21 thoughts on “Stories & Shout Outs #54

    1. I’ve actually been thinking about that a bit this weekend Lisa.

      Non-fiction Nov is relatively easy as it is talking about the non-fiction books we’ve read in the past year, the new to pile etc, not actually reading something new during November.

      Novellas are also relatively easy for their slimness, and their ability to fit a couple of challenges at the same time.

      I’ve basically read everything Atwood has written, this is the first year I will be adding something new thanks to her book of essays published earlier this year. That’s not quite true, I still have Hag-seed on my TBR and I never finished the Oryx and Crake trilogy. I ran out of steam with it.

      I like the idea of joining in GLM but have only ever done so sporadically.

      I’ve been doing AusReading Month ever since 2013 but realistically I read Australian books all year round, but I know that some of our friends save their Australian book/s for this event. I could pick another month? I also prefer doing a buddy read of a book, like I plan to do with Voss. Maybe it should morph into something new like a month long readalong of just one book?

      Thanks for being listening buddy as I think out loud 🙂


      1. Well, like you, I have only ever joined in GML sporadically and the same is true for Margaret Atwood and I think that’s because I see a kind of social purpose in these focus weeks and months… that is, they are an opportunity to promote an underappreciated literature. That’s why I’ve run First Nations Reading Week for over a decade and why I’m now reconsidering it because it’s now pretty much mainstream in OzLit, which it wasn’t when I began. I’d be more inclined to support a Canadian Reading focus because like AusLit, their literature is swamped by big names in world lit, mostly from the US and UK. In the same way, I’d be more inclined to support a EuroLit week or month, to bring in books from the countries that don’t get much exposure.
        What you could do is to foreshadow this year, that you’re going to move AusReadingMonth to a different month next year, one that isn’t so crowded. That way you wouldn’t disappoint this year’s readers but you’d be signalling a change of month, and perhaps you’d get some good feedback about which month would suit your readers best.


  1. Flying back to Darwin today. It occurs to me I could listen to the audiobooks I’ve downloaded to my phone – including Voss – but I’ll stick to paper while I have the chance.
    Keep that Mary Gaunt going. My Nov AWWC post is a blank, but I’ve packed a Rosa Praed.


    1. I’ve had a bit of a catch up weekend so far, finishing 3 of the half-done posts last night in an unexpected spurt of creativity. Mary Gaunt is next on my radar!

      Hope all is well in Darwin.


  2. Why do we have so many things in November? Alliteration has something to answer for – Novellas and Nonfiction, but how many more can one cope with?

    I always read Aussie books so I’ll contribute at least one or two books. I have just read a novella which I might post on before November but will cheekily argue for it to belong. I have no idea about reading more non-fiction but I can talk about the nonfiction I’ve read this year.

    Glad you read Passing. Hope you will post on it.


    1. Margaret Atwood was born November 18.
      GLM officially claimed the ground first in 2011.
      Myself and Katie came along in 2013 with our reading months. I picked November because it was also AusMusic Month, back in the day when I was still an avid Triple J listener. Perhaps if I were to go with alliteration, I could move AusReading Month to August?

      I found Passing to be quite chilling, the ending was a bit of a surprise! Very glad I finally read it.


      1. Ha, thanks Brona for the history. Perhaps you could! August is a nice quietish month!

        Yes, re Passing – including the ending. A surprise but not unbelievable either, which makes it even better.


  3. Glad I’m not the only one behind in my reviewing. Think I’ve got 5 to write!

    Thanks for the shout out re: A Year with William Trevor.

    I’m going to try to kill three birds with one stone by reading novellas that are either by Australian or German authors! 😉


    1. I had an extraordinary burst of blogging energy last night and finished 3 of the half-written posts – now all scheduled for next week. A quiet weekend at home and a looming deadline have helped fire up those creative juices!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done on sorting out blog post drafts for NonFicNov. I was fretting that I have to do one while we’re on holiday (I am taking a laptop but it’s not the same!) then found I happened to have already drafted one for the week in question.

    I’m doing Novellas in November and your AusReading Month of course – I have four for that hooray and Beyond the Rabbit Proof Fence will do for ALL THREE challenges which means I win the bookblogiverse or something.

    Happy reading and reviewing!


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