Stories & Shout Outs #58

Stories & Shout Outs Badge

What’s On My Mind:

An overnight trip to the mountains has suddenly made everything feel better. I suspect Mr Books and I are getting closer and closer to making the decision to move for good.

What I’m Reading:

  • The Mabinogion | Jeffrey Gantz (translator – Reading Wales)
  • Thirst For Salt | Madelaine Lucas (April release A&U)
  • Cursed Bread | Sophie Mackintosh (Women’s Prize longlist – Reading Wales)
  • The Quiet and the Loud | Helena Fox (my lunch time read at work – a YA new release 28/3/23 Pan Australia)
  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma | Bessel van der Kolk (my 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)
  • All Sorts of Lives: Katherine Mansfield and the Art of Risking Everything | Clare Harman (suddenly felt in the mood for a literary bio)
  • Katherine Mansfield: A Secret Life | Claire Tomalin (when one Mansfield bio is not enough!)

Read But Not Reviewed (Yet):

  • Glass Houses | Anne Coombs (April release)
  • Victory City | Salman Rushdie
  • numerous Katherine Mansfield short stories and one more William Trevor


After 97 pgs I recently abandoned my lunch time read, History Keeps Me Awake at Night | Christy Edwall (April release).

I loved the premise – a London based journalism student getting caught up in what happened to the missing 43 from Iguala – and I enjoyed the writing, but I got tired of waiting for something to happen. I think I waited long enough!

New to the Pile:

My lovely reps keep tempting me with new releases. How could I say no to these?

This Blogging Life:

  • I have been slowly making my way through the old Brona’s Books blogspot posts, updating them with author and date of publication tags.
    • I am up to Nov 2012 – three years worth of blogging.
  • I am also fixing defunct links, missing images and weird formatting issues that occured during the migration to WordPress.
  • Random posts between 2012 and 2020 are also getting ‘wordpress-ised’ if they happen to link to any new posts I am writing now.
    • This may cause you to receive random pingbacks from my old posts, especially if the post in question was part of a reading event. Ignore or accept as you will.

Mr Books:

  • A new section where I keep track of some of Mr Books reading habits.
  • Mr Books is currently going through a poor sleeping phase, so at 4am he is reading also sorts of [dreary] crime stories that I promptly forget about as soon as he tells me their name.

Book Group Reads Coming Up:

  • April – Lessons in Chemistry | Bonnie Garmus
  • May – All the Broken Places | John Boyne

Shout Outs:

  • Reading Ireland Month with Cathy @746 Books is now on #readingirelandmonth23 or #begorrathon23
  • March is also Reading Wales Month with Paula @Book Jotter #Dewithon23
  • Zoladdiction 2023 is also fast approaching. Check out Fanda’s Announcement here. I will be reading L’Assommoir (1877) The Dram Shop, book 7 in the Rougon-Macquart series throughout April.

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.

30 thoughts on “Stories & Shout Outs #58

    1. Don’t be too impressed! As you can see by this month’s summary I haven’t paid much attention at all to his recent crime reading frenzy. The main one I do remember him commenting on was Vikki Petraitis’ The Unbelieved, which he found incredibly disheartening due to the female characters having to negotiate toxic masculinity in small country towns and in the police force. He found himself getting really angry on behalf of the women and I had to explain that I couldn’t read these types of books anymore for that very reason.

      We do enjoy regular book chats about the books we’ve both read or new releases that I will never read but he has tackled. Like many of the reviews written by you and others, I can then use your thoughts as a basis for discussions at work with customers.

      Liked by 2 people

          1. The Spouse reads jazz bios as research for his radio shows, and philosophy and Oz history for some courses he’s doing with U3A.
            But it’s not usually the sort of Oz history I’m interested in…

            Liked by 1 person

        1. So am I, my husband does not read books, although he reads a lot of other stuff. Certainly not so important as reading good fiction, or nonfiction.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. A couple of my reps at work have been my reps for nearly a decade now. They have come to know my reading tastes very well. It’s such a thrill when they turn up with a real gem like a new Simone de Beauvior out of the blue! Makes my day 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  1. About this:

    This may cause you to receive random pingbacks from my old posts, especially if the post in question was part of a reading event. Ignore or accept as you will.

    I will do as you say, and I congratulate you again. I too made the move to WordPress years ago and I am extremely happy about it. The reader is excellent and the features much better on WordPress. I too clean house as needed.

    I am jealous of your possible move to the mountains. This post told me a lot about you and I keep your titles as reference.


    1. Thanks Silvia. WP is much more user -friendly platform. Trying to leave comments on blogspot posts now makes me realise how hard it was for everyone to communicate with me back then. I am extremely grateful to those who persisted!

      The move to the mountains is realistically still a couple of years away, but at least we have a goal to aim for now 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL, I still leave comments on a few blogger blogs because the authors are worth and deserve it, but it’s cumbersome yes!
        I am glad for your plans, we too are envisioning a change in two years time as well.


  2. Sounds interesting. Are you thinking of moving to the mountains from the city?
    Quite a few interesting reads there, which I have to look into.


    1. That is the plan for one day in the next few years. Both Mr Books and I grew up in the country, and we can feel ourselves coming to the end of our time living in a city. We’ve loved it, but the thought of more open space, more green and less bustle sounds very appealing. Especiialy as our mountains house is only a 90 min drive from the centre of Sydney (or a 2 hr train ride) it will mean we can be back in the blink of an eye if we want to come in to visit the boys or see a show etc!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I adored Testament of Youth, and have Testament of Friendship on my TBR, so I’m looking forward to the bio – a lot!

      Ohhh Spain! That sounds rather delicious. By the beach or in the mountains?


  3. Will you be moving to the mountains? We have recently moved to a farm in the country – it’s a lot of work but it was worth it! I enjoyed Louise Kennedy’s novel Trespasses. It’s quite good.


    1. Most likely in the next couple of years. We are starting to declutter and think about what down-sizing would look like for us, and what work we could still do etc. B22 plans to move out sometime this year which will dictate some of the timing for what we do next. A farm is more work than we want to be doing, although our mountains house does have rather a large garden area that needs lots of love!

      I had hoped to read Trespasses this month but I think time has got away from me.


  4. I always admire your neat and thorough blogging system. If only we can boast book-blogging as our profession! :))
    I’m looking forward to your thoughts on L’Assommoir. It’s the book that gave me the most (book) hungover I’ve ever experienced – the other one was probably Rebecca. Few days after finishing it, I couldn’t even eat without thinking of its ending. So I’m eager to know how others would react to it, maybe it’s just that I’m too sensitive? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m getting excired about another Zola! I plan to spend the next couple of weeks clearing the decks, and finishing as many of the books above as I can.
      Thanks for hosting Zoladdiction once again 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh no… you mean we may not see any more jacaranda photos on Insta? What a loss to my world that will be – haha! Seriously though, sounds like you both know what you really want to do so I hope you get to do it soon. Mr Gums are I are just exhausted from our decluttering/downsizing work but every time we go over to our new place, we feel it is right and will work. The proof of the pudding and all that, but so far so goo. We just have to keep pushing through.

    I didn’t realise Robin Cadwallader’s book was out … I was given a book voucher last week so that might be what I buy. I loved The colony so I hope you do too.

    Mr Gums is a sporadic reader, but often what he reads (unless he’s reading German) is something I’ve recommended, so there’s often some conversation though not necessarily the sort I might have with my reading girlfriends. He also reads Jane Austen in German – and will often talk to me about what he’s reading, might clarify something or chuckle with me about something. I really enjoy that of course. He reads very little nonfiction, besides the news. Nearly every nonfiction book he has been given over the years – often those history of science books has remained unread.


    1. I was wondering how your move was going. It’s such an exhausting process, so I feel for you. It will be worth it in the end – at least that’s what we’re telling ourselves!! Any move is still a couple of years away, although we are making small inroads on decluttering, so that if something suddenly changes, we could go earlier if we wanted to.

      Robyn’s book is an advance copy – it’s due out in May.

      Mr Books read P&P for his HSC, but it isn’t the love of his bookish life. But at least he read it, appreciated the language and will watch a movie version of an Austen book with me. I’m impressed with Mr Gums’ German reading. Is it a part of his heritage, work or an interest?


  6. Finally feel good while typing….you don’t realise how important a thumb, wrist or arm muscles are until you can’t use them! You’ve written so many comments…so feel free to leave my reply unanswered. No problem. I don have a few thoughts I’d like to share: Claire Tomalin: so many great bio’s but I would probably try “Thomas Hardy” b/c I think learning more about his background would inpire me to try one of his books again. I’m not a real fan of TH. New to pile: Simone de Beauvoir would be my first choice…still so very impressed with her book “Un mort très douce” (available in English “A Very Easy Death”). Mr Books: It warms the cockles of my Irish heart (…today is St Patrick’s day!) to know there is someone else reading books in another language. German…yes I can read it…but French is my strong foreign language. Dutch? It is so easy after so many years in NL…as easy as reading English! Reading in foreign languages…takes more time and not everyone is eager to read the books I select.
    Et done, c’est la vie! What I’m reading? Starting he original French version l’art de perdre by Alice Zeniter that was published in 2017, the English translation in 2021. Claire McAlipe’s review February 16 2023 on her “Word By Word” blog…convinced me to read the book! Two more books ready for Reading Ireland Month…and one ready for Zola Addiction! So after many weeks of no comments…you are Up-To-Date!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed!

      Luckily I scanned my spam comments before bulk delting them today – your comment plus Cue Card’s were in there for no apparent reason.
      Glad to hear your wrist is getting better though. When I broke a toe a number of years back, I couldn’t believe how much it affected my gait, my ability to stand and to drive!

      Curiously I read Tomalin’s TH bio a while back and it made me like him even less than I already did!! Good luck 🙂


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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s