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Australian Women Writers’ Challenge 2013

In 2012, I made the committment to read 6 books by Australian women writers and review 3 (the ‘Miles’ level of the challenge). Ultimately, I read 11 books in this category and reviewed at least 9 and so, buoyed by the craziness of success, I this year vowed to read 10 and …

The Year of Reading & Writing

I thought I’d recap on my year of reading during my Year of Writing (since my ‘six months off’ kinda snowballed there). Goodreads tells me that in 2011, while I was allowing the bulk of my productive time to be sucked into the pitiful task of ‘earning money’, I read …

AWW2012 update

Whatever your preference, whether you’re a fan of one genre or a devoted eclectic, the 2012 Australian Women Writers Book Reading & Reviewing Challenge invites you to celebrate a year encountering the best of Australian women’s writing. Last December I signed up for the Miles challenge to read 6 books …

Women’s History Month

AND today is the day I rave about Shirley Hazzard on Gillian Polack’s blog for Women’s History Month (cross-posted below, for the curious): Novelist, memoirist and essayist Shirley Hazzard has won the Miles Franklin Award (2004), National Book Award (2003) and National Book Critics Circle Award (1980). She’s been nominated …

Checking my #aww2012 progress

Going back to my 18-December post, I wrote: I’m a Dabbler (according to the rules: more than one genre), & I’m aiming at the Miles challenge level (read 6 & review 3 books by Australian women). It’s a kinda modest number, but the challenge contradicts an earlier rule I’d laid …

Shirley Hazzard’s TRANSIT OF VENUS (& slight rant)

It’s taken me a long time to write this review, mainly because I became aware of how negative it was becoming. But THE TRANSIT OF VENUS is a marvellous book, a literary love story which ponders beauty and time, and is written with Hazzard’s trademarked sharp, searing prose. Hazzard offers …

Short stories down the (BBC) tube

BBC Radio 4 has been a fantastic champion of the short story and short story writers for many years. It provides one of very few opportunities in the UK for both new and established writers to have their short stories broadcast to a large national audience, and for radio listeners …

Free Books put the fear into booksellers

World Book Night, 5 March, is freaking out booksellers. One million free books on the market are gonna kill independent book selling. (Obviously they’ve never heard about Bookcrossing. Shhh!) Which goes against a lot of the authorial commentary on Creative Commons & the value of the ‘first one free’ approach. …

Crossed

The bf, familiar with my irregular craving for ‘brit cop drama’, was surprised to find an actual brit cop drama on TV last night that he hadn’t seen before. ‘Why haven’t we seen this?’ ‘Ah, yes. This is CRACKER. It’s very dark. I mean, it’s excellent but … too dark.’ …

The le Carre distortion

“‘The Spy Who Came in from the Cold’, my third book, changed my life and put me on bare-knuckle terms with my abilities. Until its publication I had written literally in secret, from inside the walls of the secret world, under another name, and free of serious critical attention. Once …

Coming in from the cold

I’ve been reading THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD (John LeCarre) for the past month now — or so Goodreads tells me — because I’m spending a lot of time staring out the train window instead. This has nothing to do with the book. More to do with …

25 May: Towel Day

There are few drawbacks to living ‘in the future’ (i.e. in a city which is 10 hrs in advance of GMT), but one of them is not realising until reading it on BoingBoing that today was (or, is, for some of you) Towel Day, in honour of the great, late …

What I’ve been reading

Yes, I actually have blogging time today! Because I am home sick. It is a bittersweet kind of deal, eh? Lately I’ve been working full-time, alas, but one of the silver linings of full-time work (apart from cold hard cash) is commuting. But only because commuting grants reading time. Here’s …

David Mitchell’s Rat

Yes, yes, we all love David Mitchell. How can we not? The man’s a bloody genius. For proof: a story about a rat and a divorce. Thank-you, Guardian. I love you. Today is typically Sydney: both overcast AND muggy. To compensate I am watching In Treatment Season 2, which is …

I remember now

I was gonna say, my stars are warning me that I’ll be very happy this year, provided I’m not too prescriptive in what I want. Man. I only just got through setting those goals. In other news, I went into Dymocks today to spend some of my Xmas book voucher …

The year that was

If you asked me how I feel about 2009 being over & I started with “WooooooHOOOOOOO” and ended with “thankgod, thankgod, thankgod”, then you’d probably have a pretty clear idea of your answer. No? There were some highlights, of course. Apparently my name is now on the cover of a …

A brief delay

I made it. With the emailing of the full draft of my 21st Century Gothic essay on NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, I’m done. That’s it. I’ve met my deadlines for 2009. Which is remarkable because for a while there I thought I wasn’t going to make it. (I think …

Stories: how they end, what comes next

Taking a breather from trying to come up with finish an essay on why I consider No Country for Old Men gothic, to close some browser windows. So, then. If this is the future of storytelling, I don’t think I mind it at all. Also, some reading for 2010. Could …

A deathknell!

Well, I didn’t have to go very far to find my welcome-back-to-the-blogosphere deathknell. Fictionbitch calls this the end for writers, but I wonder if it’s more about the end for readers. The end of a nice sit down in a bookstore, that is, heralded by Waterstones — a British bookchain, …

Full armour and a hot fudge sundae

Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae. — Kurt Vonnegut Oh, all right, I admit I’ve laughed along with the best of ’em at Dan Brown’s …