Book marks 19 July 2021
Book Marks

Bookmarks: Monday 19 July, 2021

A slightly quieter week on the cards, I think. No major announcements to look forward to, for instance. And if you’re in some parts of Australia, including Sydney where I am, COVID enforced lockdowns, seeing most of us staying home for the time-being.

Currently reading

Sorrow and Bliss, by Meg Mason.

Last week’s book reviews

Last week I reviewed three books. That set me off on a bit of a look around the inter-webs, to see what other reviewers have been saying the titles I wrote about.

The Lying Life of Adults, by Elena Ferrante

Fleur Morrison, writing for Readability:

Throughout the novel, there is a sense of latent violence, reflecting the volatility and unpredictability of young adulthood, as children become teens and enter the sometimes disappointing, deceptive world of adults.

Angela Gualtieri, writing for Drizzle:

The Lying Life of Adults infuses the journey from adolescence to adulthood with equal parts emotional impact, discovery of one’s self, and significant life lessons. Ferrante’s relatability to her audience transcends the page, causing her readers to reflect on the milestones of their own lives with a new gaze. Through Giovanna, we encounter life’s saddest fact: someday, we have to grow up.

The Weekend, by Charlotte Wood

Whispering Gums:

By now, you may be thinking that this a grim book, but while its intent is serious, Wood’s touch is light, using some humour – sometimes generous, sometimes satirical or ironic – in the telling. This humour – as in the scene describing Adele, in the park, having just peed, running into a theatre producer – keeps these women real and relatable, and the tone edging to hopeful.

Shelleyrae at Book’d out:

Told with wit, tenderness and brutal honesty, The Weekend explores the mundane to expose the extraordinary.

How Much of These Hills is Gold, by C Pam Zhang

Sylvia Bozym, writing for Roaring Stories:

Zhang’s writing has the graceful weight of poetry and the litheness of a wild creature. Her re-rendering of the mythologised Wild West is atmospheric and revolutionary; she re-inscribes the cowboy-archetype’s stranglehold on history with nuance in terms of race, gender and identity.

Electra, writing for Book Breath:

How Much of These Hills Is Gold smoothly sweeps you along its otherwise quite hard narrative. Cultures clash and merge as two girls claw their way to some sense of identity and home. It’s a bittersweet novel brimming with heart and truth.

And to conclude…

Congratulations to Amanda Lohrey, winner of the 2021 Miles Franklin Literary Award, with her 2020 novel The Labyrinth. In my opinion though all nominees for the Miles Franklin, and other book prizes, are winners. Thanks to you all for inspiring my reading choices.

So with the 2021 Miles Franklin behind us, let’s look to the future. Are you a writer who aspires to win the coveted gong? Pallavi Singhal, writing for the Sydney Morning Heralds outlines seven steps for success, though some present more problems than others:

Be a man, be in your 40s or 50s, be white, write about 400 pages, begin your book title with “the” and keep it short, be published by Allen & Unwin, and be Tim Winton or Thea Astley.

5 thoughts on “Bookmarks: Monday 19 July, 2021”

  1. Oooh, great wrap-up! I *loved* The Weekend, a truly fabulous and underrated read. Lockdown is treating me well as far as books go, I’m chewing through them in the absence of any temptations to go anywhere or do anything. Hope you’re staying safe and well!

    1. There were parts of The Weekend that made me laugh out loud! Part of my work is copy-writing, which is online and has been surprisingly busy, so sadly I’ve not had the time I hoped to read more, an hour or two a day at the most ATM.

    1. A fair bit of my work is copy writing and graphic design, which I do from home, so at the moment lockdown’s not all that different, just obviously can’t leave the house as much as we’ve been used to 🙂

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