what I read in september 2011...

on Thursday, September 29, 2011

Can you honestly believe that it's the end of September already? I'm sure it was only February five minutes ago!
I feel like I've been a reading machine this month, and boy, it's given me so much pleasure. And it seems my 'make reading a priority' message last month resonated with some of you too. I'm really happy about that. Of course, all this reading hasn't done much for my writing practice! But still, I'll take my pleasures where I can get them.
So, here's this month's book list...ten tomes. I've even impressed myself :)
The Contest by Matthew Reilly - sci-fi thriller
The Secret River by Kate Grenville - historical fiction
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - fiction
Plan B, Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott - non fiction/memoir
The People on Privilege Hill by Jane Gardam - short stories
The Writing Book by Kate Grenville - non fiction
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote - fiction
Marrying George Clooney by Amy Ferris - nonfiction/memoir
Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey - historical fiction
The Tall Man: death and life on Palm Island by Chloe Hooper - non fiction

It was quite a mixed bag this month; a bit of science fiction (The Contest) which I normally don't read, but have to admit I enjoyed - it was a page turner but not particularly deep and meaningful! Not that there's anything wrong with that.
The non-fiction/memoir selection was a bit disappointing to be honest. Not bad, but I expected more.
The fiction books were all sensational and I would find it very hard to select a favourite. I really enjoyed re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird. It was required reading for my writing course and I loved it. It never grows old. I'd never read Breakfast at Tiffany's before this...how did that happen!  Kate Grenville is a brilliant Australian author and I love reading anything she writes, but this month the fiction pick has to go to another Australian, Peter Carey. His novel about two highly unlikely companions who travel to the new world is full of delicious detail and hugely fascinating characters. Loved it a lot and I especially loved reading about New York at its genesis.
But for me, the pick of the month was The Tall Man. The story of the death in custody of aboriginal man Cameron Doomadgee on Palm Island in 2004 and the events that took place after, including a riot on the island and the trial of Senior Sgt Chris Hurley, this is a book that stays with you. I couldn't put it down. It was interesting to read The Secret River earlier in the month, a story that told of a massacre of Aborigines in the early days of the colony...and two centuries later, the injustices continue. The book paints a sad picture of a remote community. I visited an aboriginal community on Cape York a few years ago and spent one of the best weeks of my life there. In that eight days I saw both the worst and the best and considered it an enormous privilege just to have been there, but that's a story for another day. This book is not an easy read in terms of the subject matter, but it is a must read in my view. A review of the book can be found here.
So there you have it. It's a long weekend here. Bet you can't guess what I'll be doing :)