Tag Archives: reading

Spring reading

Is it really spring already? I’m not sure Melbourne is certain it is. Pretty sure it’s still winter at the moment with these blast of chilly days.

But it is great weather for curling up with a book, and I’m sure the sun and slightly warmer days will present themselves soon enough (then I’ll be complaining about it being too hot). Anyways, with the end of winter, came the Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) where I spent the last two weekends, well not the full first weekend since I was recovering from gastro. But I did spent a considerable amount of time listening to panels and a considerable amount of money purchasing books.

This was my first visit to the MWF and it didn’t disappoint. Federation Square is a great venue with lots of great spaces and food and drink locations. Also conveniently close to Flinders Street Station.

Melbourne Writers Festival books
Melbourne Writers Festival loot

Here’s what I’ll be reading this spring:

  • Neon Pilgrim by Lisa Dempster (I’ve actually already finished this one – I read it in two days!)
  • Not Just Lucky by Jamila Rizvi
  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  • China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
  • Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan (this was the new one this year, but I haven’t read his previous two novels above so they’re on the list)
  • Sunlight and Seaweed by Tim Flannery
  • I, Migrant by Sami Shah
  • Flight Like a Girl by Clementine Ford
  • Wish You Were Here by Sheridan Jobbins
  • Depends what You Mean by Extremist by John Safran
  • Fighting Hislam by Susan Carland
  • The Good Girl Stripped Bare by Tracey Spicer
  • Colombiano by Rusty Young (sadly, not at the Writers Festival).

Surprisingly a large number of non-figure this year, which is unusual for me, but there were some really strong authors this year and I can’t wait to dive in.

This weekend I’ll be up in sunny Brisbane spending time with my partner, seeing my new little faux-nephew, and attending the Brisbane Writers Festival.

What are you reading this spring?

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

I won’t lie, this book was a bit of a struggle. And by struggle I mean it took me about three months to get through it. It’s an amazing topic, but I found the main character’s voice fragmented, distracted and quite annoying. But this is a result of her the deep trauma you discover as the story unfolds.

The story is an important one. And considering this book won The Man Booker Prize, I think others would disagree with my review.

Current day is set in the 1990s and flashes back to the family’s home in the 1970s, Rosemary tells a fragmented story of her twin sister, Fern, who is a chimpanzee. Rosemary and Fern were raised together and then separated at the age of five – Fern is never to be seen again. As a result, the family is divided.

What I found most fascinating about this novel was this story is based on a series of events that actually occurred in real life – there really were scientists and psychologists putting chimps into homes and seeing how they developed amongst humans. Sadly, what the story demonstrates is that the animal is left in some in between world of never being quite human and never being able to function amongst others of it’s own kind.

The book is a confronting and distressing read – but excellent. I don’t want to say I wouldn’t recommend it… however I probably wouldn’t go back and reread the book.

Have you read this book? What did you think?