I have fallen behind in the blogging, but not so much in the reading! So many Australian authors this week! I am definitely finding it easier to keep up with these weekly wrap-ups than my normal blogging! I’ve been finished uni for a week, but I then worked six days in a row, so I haven’t managed it. And I’m heading away to the snow this week so the blog will be very quiet!
The Boundless Sublime – Lili Wilkinson (4 stars) (Australian author)
This is a book about a cult. Ruby Jane Galbraith is vulnerable. Her little brother died, and she feels at fault. Her family has fallen apart, and she doesn’t know where to turn. And then she meets Fox – he is stunningly attractive, and rather naive. He is part of a cult, dedicated to achieving The Boundless Sublime. Ruby signs up to spend more time with Fox, and becomes indoctrinated. It was absolutely amazing to see someone go through the different stages of scepticism. I can’t wait to review this book in full, closer to the publication date! I have lots of feelings! (Particularly about the fact that everyone in the cult calls their leader ‘Daddy’. Ewwwwww!)
The Hate Race – Maxine Beneba Clarke (4 stars) (Australian author)
An incredibly powerful memoir about the author’s experiences of racism within Australia. It was a confronting, but important read. I felt great shame reading it – I know that I have witnessed racism and not spoken out. Reading about Maxine’s experiences as a child and teenager were horrifying – particularly the memory of other children at primary school calling her ‘Patch’ because she resembled a classmate’s dog. Awful. But Maxine spins a wonderful tale, referencing her West Indian ancestry regularly as an influence for her storytelling technique. I am now determined to seek out her other works – Foreign Soil was shortlisted for the 2015 Stella Prize.
The Special Ones – Em Bailey (5 stars) (Australian author)
Another cult book! Once I’d started on this theme, I just couldn’t stop! This book was totally compelling – I seriously couldn’t put it down. Esther, Harry, Felicity and Lucille live a simple life on a farm. But every night they sit in front of computers and answer their followers’ questions. They are the ‘Special Ones’. Although their followers believe that they are immortal beings, they are children, abducted from their lives to follow a set of rules determined by ‘him’, their mysterious ringleader. A totally thrilling read, and the cult was super creepy.
It – Alexa Chung (3 stars)
I bought this book ages ago, when I was determined to be a part of the stylish set. And then I opened it to a page with two photos of a totally naked woman – I wasn’t expecting that, and wasn’t ready for that, so I never picked it up! However, I noticed that it was easy to read, not least because most of its pages are photo-only. It didn’t give as much biographical information as I wanted, nor even that much discussion about Chung’s status as an ‘It girl’. But she wrote as though she were pouring out parts of her soul, and I did really like that. I only wish there had been a little more to it.
Words in Deep Blue – Cath Crowley (5 stars) (Australian author)
This is definitely one of my top five of 2016. It’s set mostly in a second-hand bookshop. And the bookshop has a Letter Library (which is officially the coolest thing ever!) – people can leave notes to strangers or friends in a specific shelf of books in the store. Henry and George are siblings who live in the shop with their Dad. They have a cat called Ray Bradbury. George was probably my favourite character – she wasn’t very trusting, having been bullied at school. But she had such heart. Rachel used to be Henry’s best friend, before she moved away. She was in love with him, but he had his heart set on the selfish Amy. Rachel’s brother has died, and she’s come back to get away from her new life. Working at the bookshop, cataloguing the contents of the Letter Library, she slowly learns to live with her grief. It was a truly wonderful story, told through both Henry and Rachel, as well as the occasional letter! Cath Crowley – you are my new favourite!
The 13-Storey Treehouse – Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton (4 stars) (Australian authors)
With the newest treehouse book due for release in August – it’s going to be BIG for my work! – I thought I should probably see what all the fuss is about with this series of books. I honestly did not expect to like them as much as I did – very, very funny. (I even missed my train stop because I was too absorbed!) Terry and Andy live in a fantastic treehouse. Through the course of their story, they fight off a sea monster, a giant gorilla, and a horde of monkeys. And somehow they manage to write a book so that their angry publisher doesn’t fire them!
The BFG – Roald Dahl (5 stars)
I needed to reread this book in preparation for seeing the movie. (Sadly, that won’t actually happen until I return from my holiday in a week and a half!) The book was EVEN BETTER than I remembered! The BFG is just a fabulous character with his unique way of speaking – not just the snozzcrackling, scrumpdiddlyumptious words he uses, but his endearing incorrect conjugations (I is…). Sophie, too, was just as marvellous as I recall. Can’t wait to see the movie!
Currently reading: Inbetween Days – Vikki Wakefield
What did you read this week?