My book list: august 2011

on Sunday, September 4, 2011

I was chatting to a stranger a few weeks ago, making polite conversation while we were waiting for our respective partners. I had a book with me and we got to talking about reading, and he lamented that he loved to read but couldn't find the time to do much of it.  And he asked me if I read a lot, and of course I said yes, quite a lot. Where do you find the time he wanted to know.  And without thinking about it, without knowing it was the answer, I said 'I make it a priority'.
And that's the trick. I make reading a priority. And I hear you say, if only it were that easy. And I know it's not. But in my world, living alone and without small people needing my attention, or people of any size really, just an annoying cat at meal times, I can do it. And the reality is, I would be lost without the pleasure of reading. Completely lost.
I read eight books this month...I'm pleased about that. The reading frequency dropped off for a while there as I let other less important things get in the way. You'll notice that there are more non-fiction than usual and that many of them are about writing. I'm trying to learn as much as I's not easy! I've also been doing an online creative writing course with the Sydney Writers' Centre so writing has pretty much consumed me lately. Here's the list:
Writing down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg - non fiction
On Writing by Stephen King - autobiography
The Sweet Poison Quit Plan by David Gillespie - non fiction
Short Circuit: a guide to the art of the short story edited by Vanessa Gebbie
Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant - non-fiction/journal
Shooting the Fox - short stories by Marion Halligan
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - novel (for Book Club)
The Pigeon by Patrick Suskind - novella
It's hard to choose a favourite this month because I've read all sorts of books for all sorts of different reasons (I'll let you know about the sugar quitting in a few's not a pretty story I'm sad to say!), but if I were to recommend a book to you, the prize would go to....
...maybe that's because it was the only novel I read, or perhaps I liked it because it's about a writer...two in fact :) Margaret Lea is the narrator, a book lover, and part time biographer who works in her father's bookstore and lives a solitary life defined by an event in her past. She is contacted by Vida Winter, an ageing, ailing and famous author who wants Margaret to record her autobiography before she dies. Vida tells story upon story before the truth is finally revealed. I think you might like it. And you lovely people, what's your latest good read?