Stories & Shout Outs #56

Stories & Shout Outs Badge

What’s On My Mind:

So, 2023.

How’s it treating you so far?

My first week of January involved catching up with the extended family, plus some time in our house in the mountains attempting to complete DIY projects inbetween bad weather. A few visits from friends provided lovely diversions.

Then it was back to work.

I didn’t get anywhere near as much reading done as I thought I might have during my time off. It’s curious how I tend to read more once I start back at work.

What I’m Reading:

  • Adam Bede | George Eliot (Eliot readalong)
  • Dead-end Memories | Banana Yoshimoto (Japanese lit challenge – short stories)
  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma | Bessel van der Kolk (my new bathroom book)
  • Womerah Lane: Lives and Landscapes | Tom Carment (my sitting under the skylight on the stairs book)
  • Cressida Campbell (my lounge room coffee table book)
  • The Island of Missing Trees | Elif Shafak (Feb book club read)
  • Glass Houses | Anne Coombs (my work lunchtime read – April release)

Read But Not Reviewed (Yet):

  • The Woman in the Purple Skirt | Natsuko Imamura (for Japanese Lit Challenge)
  • The Room | William Trevor (short story)
  • Infidelity and other Affairs | Kate Legge


  • Wildflowers | Peggy Frew

This continues my sad but true history with Frew’s novels (Hope Farm and Islands). I want to read them, I like her writing style, and in this case I was very keen to read something set in FNQ. But in the end the subject matter leaves me cold. I simply cannot read any more family trauma stories.

New to the Pile:

Most of these books made it onto my TBR around Christmas time thanks to generous reps who know my reading habits well.

Since then I have made a resolution of sorts to only bring home ARC’s and reading copies once I am definitely engaged in reading them. This of course means that I now have a steadily increasing stack in a corner of the office at work instead!

The aim is to take one of the possibilities to lunch with me every day. If it still intrigues me after 2- 3 rounds of sushi or sandwiches in the park, then it can come home with me to be finished properly. After two weeks back at work, I have only brought 2 books home so far – Belle Greene and today Glass Houses came home. Another four books got returned to the collective ARC shelf.

Little Plum by Laura McPhee-Browne is my next lunch time possibility.

This Blogging Life:

  • I accidently changed my blog template. Thankfully I remembered the name of it (as it didn’t automatically appear in the list of options), but the page and sidebar margins have been adjusted back to the default settings and I cannot work out to tweek them.
  • Note to self – leave well enough alone!!
  • I have now added a reading timeline to my sidebar. I hope this helps me keep track of the reading events I like to join in each year as well as encourage me to read more books from my TBR.
  • As with all things bookish and bloggy, I reserve the right to change my mind and mood, at any time!

Mr Books:

  • A new section where I keep track of some of Mr Books reading habits.
  • Mr Books reads an eclectic mix. He will have a go at most things I bring home for him, although he still has the unfortunate habit of finishing EVERY book he starts. Even if this means spending a whole week complaining to me every single night about how terrible the writing is, how many holes the plot has or how unbelievable the characters are!
  • His go-to genre is crime fiction, but he also enjoys a political memoir and contemporary fiction.
  • He recently read and enjoyed Bournville by Jonathan Coe far more than I did, although he also had trouble keeping track of who was who. He particularly enjoyed the political machinations of the EU and the chocolate wars.
  • His is currently reading Spare by Prince Harry (ghost written by J.R. Moehringer). He finds himself feeling very sad for Harry. Curiously it seems that not a lot of (good) counselling was available to him during his teens and early years.

Book Group Reads Coming Up:

  • February – The Island of Missing Trees | Elif Shafak (not sure if this one is working for me….)
  • March – The Salt Path | Raynor Winn

Shout Outs:

  • 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.
  • Nick @One Catholic Life is once again hosting a chapter-a-day readalong throughout 2023. This time it is the works of George Eliot (minus Felix Holt) #EliotReadalong
    • As much as I would like to read all of these books one day, it will not be 2023. I will propbably stick to the two on my unread TBR pile – Adam Bede and Silas Marner – and save a reread of Middlemarch for another time.
      • Adam Bede: January 1 to February 24
      • The Mill on the Floss: February 25 to April 23
      • Silas Marner: April 24 to May 14
      • Romola: May 15 to July 26
      • Middlemarch: July 27 to October 22
      • Daniel Deronda: October 23 to December 31
  • The next club with Simon and Karen will be 1940 – April 10-16 2023.

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.

6 thoughts on “Stories & Shout Outs #56

  1. My template apparently doesn’t exist anymore, so I can’t change anything even if I wanted to, except to a new template I suppose, but I can’t imagine making that much effort.

    I’ve read the first two Peggy Frews, she doesn’t do much for me. And I’ve read all those Eliots except Romola. I’ll have to look it up.


    1. In Blogger, I could play around with template designs and as long as I didn’t press ‘save’ I could go back to my original template. Turns out that WP doesn’t encourage such frivolity or experimentation and saves automatically! Lesson learnt.

      I’m enjoying Adam Bede, although I’m ahead of schedule as I’d like to get into the 2 Boyd’s soon.


  2. Great wrap-up post. Yes, the TBRs are all bothering us. Since I subscribed to an audio/e-book app I just seem to download a lot of books that someone recommends, and I tend to forget my physical books. The Island of Missing Trees is on my radar. Luckily, they did not have it on the app, haha…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s