i have the time to read these days, what a luxury! there are definate benefits to having few friends in melbourne, and no computer at home. i love to read, i really really do. it's so nice to have all these opportunities to do it.. trams, trains, lunch breaks, bedtime.. you can be sure to find me with a book in hand.
i've decided to read as many australian books as i can, in an attempt to get the feeling of this country. a few weeks back i went into a fairly decent second hand book shop in st. kilda, and was a little disappointed when the woman working there couldn't recommend me any female australian writers aside from sylvia plath.
but, all is not lost! i am lucky to have acquired kj as my self-appointed personal librarian. and even luckier that it appears she has brilliant taste!
the first book she leant me was The Monkey's Mask by dorothy porter. a crime thriller written in verse, it left me with a burst of enthusiasm and excitement for words that i haven't felt so strongly in quite some time.
the next book i read was Eucalyptus, by murray bail. i bought it on the recommendation of the aforementioned woman at the st. kilda bookshop. it is "highly acclaimed" and all the rest... but did zilch for me. a story about a guy who obsesses over eucalypts and makes a rather wacky decision to marry his daughter off to whoever can name every species on his nsw property.
thankfully kj saved the day with kate grenville's The Secret River, which is a beautifully written account of william thornhill's life as a convict sent to australia. i haven't really been drawn to historical fiction in a big way, but this book was so good. it offered a real sense of what it must've been like for those first settlers, thefeelings of isolation and fear and hope and opportunity. and the revolting way the 'savages' were treated, in reaction to the "depredations and outrages" they were perceived to be guilty of. sick sick stuff, i was brought to tears a few times. unfuckingbelievable.
on a lighter note, i saw a women's bookclub advertised the other day, i'm going to get in touch with the organisers, and i really hope that the meetings are at a time i can do. will be cool to meet people who are as nerdular as myself.
(no really, it's not just a way to meet girls...)