Tag Archives: reading

Summer reading

Best book ever

29601654The Summer That Melted Everything by debut author Tiffany McDaniel is my new Best book ever (for January anyway).

Some ‘Antarctic noir’ might have been a better choice while melting in Melbourne’s hot summer, but I couldn’t peel myself off the couch until I’d read the final page of this dark, gothic novel.

This book requires some willing suspension of disbelief, and I saw most of what was coming, but from a few pages in I was completely captivated by McDaniel’s stunning prose.

It’s a hell of a story (sorry, I couldn’t resist 🙂 )! It’s about what happens when prosecutor Autopsy Bliss (don’t be put off by the name like I was — that’s why it took me a while to get around to reading) invites the devil to the backwater town of Breathed, Ohio in the summer of 1984.

The Summer That Melted Everything is about family, redemption, love and evil. It made me cry, and at times I didn’t think I could bear the suffocating claustrophobia and aching sorrow — there’s not much bliss for the Bliss family that the story centres on. I’m not sure about the ending, and the book left me feeling shattered for sometime afterwards. Its images are still infiltrating my dreams.

Compelling, beautiful, brutal. If you’re looking for a cheery holiday read — this is not it.

Something old

xjane-eyre-popular-penguins-jpg-pagespeed-ic-lunfyo9spvJane Eyre | Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre is my current ‘bed book’. Unfortunately I often fall asleep and lose my page in my bed books. This one is so long — it’s going to take forever.

I avoided this classic when I was a teenager but felt compelled to give it a go after recently re-reading Wuthering Heights — which I adore — and was reluctant afterwards to leave the Bronte’s gothic 1800s world. Jane Eyre is quite different — obviously, I know; it’s not Emily — but I’m enjoying it. Slowly.

Something new

Confessions of a Mad Mooer: Postnatal Depression Sucks | Robin Elizabeth33152096

Confessions of a Mad Mooer was released at the end of last year. It’s a memoir about the author’s battle with PND and admission to a psychiatric hospital’s Mother and Baby Unit.

Confessions of a Mad Mooer is told with honesty and humour. The writing’s great, and it’s a compelling read about a widely misunderstood topic. Oh, and it also contains some hilarious parenting and cleaning tips!  

More info about Confessions of a Mad Mooer here

Something borrowed

1471987Tell Me I’m Here | Anne Deveson

Tell me I’m Here is Anne Deveson’s beautifully written, heartbreaking memoir about her son, Jonathan, who had schizophrenia. I borrowed it from my local library, and read up to the penultimate chapter. Jonathan’s death occurs in the next chapter — I read ahead to prepare myself, but still couldn’t continue.

While avoiding the last chapters, Anne Deveson and Georgia Blain (who I hadn’t realised was Anne’s daughter mentioned in the book) both passed away.

Tell Me I’m Here is still sitting on top of my TBR pile, with a book mark sticking out of the final pages. Now the library wants it back — I’ve already renewed it twice, so I can’t keep it any longer. Sadly, I don’t think I can finish.

Something blue

Mayan Mendacity by L.J.M Owen and The Light on the Water by Olga Lorenzo are on my TBR pile, but I haven’t started either yet. They both have beautiful blue covers.


Mayan Mendacity | L.J.M Owen


The Light on the Water | Olga Lorenzo







More of What I’m Reading can be found over on Meanjin’s blog.

What have you been reading this summer?

When you love a book too much

book of fishI’m a big fan of Richard Flanagan, and never admitted that I hadn’t read Gould’s Book of Fish. I thought it might be too hard, and it received mixed reviews (not that I should be discouraged by that — check out Please Don’t Leave Me Here on Goodreads for a mixed bag. Ay ay ay!)

Anyway, I had some time on my hands after finishing my second manuscript and thought I’d give Book of Fish a go. I so wish that I hadn’t. I devoured it in a few days, and every book I’ve tried to read since seems flat and lifeless in comparison. Having not studied literary theory formally, I cannot comment on Flanagan’s postmodern experimental narrativisation of colonial Tasmania. Nor can I made clever comparisons to Melville, Dickens, Joyce, Faulkner, Dostoevsky or García Márquez. However, I can say that like the Book of Fish discovered by Sid Hammet in a Salamanca junk shop, for me, Flanagan’s writing glitters with a mesmeric, luminous radiance. Gould’s Book of Fish is both magic realism and brutal realism. Beautiful and grotesque. Truthful and fraudulent. I find myself flicking back through the pages, like lost love, for a glimpse of words, a sentence, a paragraph.

I am prone to making silly, sweeping statements, and I know I’ve said it before (after The Narrow Road to the Deep North) but: BEST BOOK EVER.

I’ve been sucked in by the Elena Ferrante hype and started reading one of her books. It’s good, but … I feel like putting it aside and reading Book of Fish again. And again. In fact, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to love another book.

Help! How can I move on?

Have you ever loved a book too much?