Friday Faves: Beloved by Toni Morrison
…In which I invite someone bookish to tell us about one of their all-time favourite works of fiction, and why it’s so special to them. This Friday Fave comes from author Sara Foster: 124 was spiteful. Full of a baby’s venom… So begins the story of Beloved, a book I often cite as one of my favourites. I was introduced to Beloved during my undergrad degree in the UK about sixteen...
The aim of literature is the creation of a strange object covered with fur which...– Donald Barthelme Come Back, Dr. Caligari
Writers Ask Writers: Where I Write
This month, our writing group is answering the question Where do you write? I wrote much of my first novel, A New Map of the Universe, in the gorgeous domed reading room at the State Library of Victoria or my then-local library, St Kilda library, which is shaped, rather snazzily, like an open book. My second novel, Whisky Charlie Foxtrot, was written largely at the State Library of Western...
Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Book Covers
Your turn: What are your favourite book covers?
It was a sad folly, he knew, to assume that even this feeling, the most powerful...– Jonathan Dee A Thousand Pardons
'What I'm Reading' Meanjin →
I shared my recent reading, and the things I haven’t yet got round to, at Meanjin.
Working on the source of pain awakens something emotional, something embryonic...– Amanda Curtin Elemental
Cracking up & Breaking Down: Top 10 Novels about...
I’m a big fan of the films of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, and on the weekend rented his early classic Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown for a re-watch, which inspired today’s top ten: 1. Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (1945) 16 year old Holden Caulfield describes the days that led to his admission to a mental institution, stumbling around New...
Writers and readers seek a solution to the problem that time passes, that those...– How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, Mohsin Hamid
Top 10: Dysfunctional Families
I’ve just started reading Jami Attenberg’s The Middlesteins and it is my favourite kind of book - an analysis of an ordinary family’s psychodramas and dysfunctional relationships. Since my own novel, Whisky Charlie Foxtrot, also deals with this murky territory, I thought I’d make a top ten in honour of dysfunctional families. 1. The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg Mom...
Giveaway: Win 12 Books by West Australian Writers
To celebrate the launch of our Writers ask Writers blog series, we’re giving away a copy of each of our books to one lucky reader. The titles up for grabs are: Fractured by Dawn Barker How to Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman If I Should Lose You and What Is Left Over, After by Natasha Lester Whisky Charlie Foxtrot and A New Map of the Universe by Annabel Smith The Sinkings, Elemental...
Friday Faves: Carbonel by Barbara Sleigh
Each week I invite someone bookish to tell us about one of their all-time favourite works of fiction, and why it’s so special to them. This week’s Friday Fave comes from author Danielle Wood: Lately, I’ve been writing for children, and this has had the glorious spin-off of sending me back to some of the books I loved when I was a child. I wonder if there is anything quite like the...
I was your basic overachiever, a workaholic, a pathological beaver of a boy who...– Wallace Stegner Crossing to Safety
Writers Ask Writers: The Writing Process
As I mentioned last week, each month, myself and six other Perth-based writers will be answering questions about the writing life for a series called Writers Ask Writers. This week we’re talking about writing process. Scroll down for links to articles by Dawn Barker, Emma Chapman, Amanda Curtin, Sara Foster and Natasha Lester. The pen vs the keyboard It’s hard to imagine now, but when I...
Top 10 Tuesday: Books that Confounded My...
There are some books you can’t wait to read, but somehow leave you cold, despite the accolades they have received elsewhere. On the other hand, there are those books which, on the surface, don’t appeal, but when you eventually read them, usually under duress, turn out to be delightful. That’s the subject of this week’s top ten, as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Books I...
Friday Faves: Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
Each week I invite someone bookish to tell us about one of their all-time favourite works of fiction, and why it’s so special to them. This week’s Friday Fave comes from author Yvette Walker: Being asked to choose the one book you couldn’t live without is a terrible, frightening exercise for a writer, but a good one, as it makes you stop quibbling and take a stand for one novel above them all....
Writers Ask Writers
I’m pleased to announce a new feature on my blog, commencing next week, called Writers Ask Writers. Myself and a group of five other West Australian fiction writers will be blogging the answers to the questions we are most often asked by our readers, and sharing links to each others’ posts, on topics such as inspiration and influences, writing process, writer’s block and the...
There are two kinds of fearlessness. The first is the fearlessness of lovers, of...– Peter Hoeg, The Quiet Girl
It’s like that game where somebody holds a bunch of threads, and they all look...– John Jeremiah Sullivan, ‘On False Starts’(From the Proceedings of the First Annual Norwegian-American Literary Festival), The Paris Review
Reading Round-Up: March 2013
March was a bumper reading month for me. I not only read a lot more than I usually do but I read more widely. My month began with our annual extended-family getaway at Dunsborough with my parents, my brothers, our partners and all our children - 13 of us in total. We all shared a house, which does not sound conducive to reading, but while my son ran amuck with his cousins, I managed to tune out...
Some things you might not know about my reading habits, via Love2Read.
I was a shell. Empty. Put me to your ear and you would hear the distant rush of...– Peter Heller The Dog Stars (2012)
Friday Faves: The English patient by Michael...
Each week I invite someone bookish to tell us about one of their all-time favourite works of fiction, and why it’s so special to them. This week’s Friday Fave comes from author Dawn Barker: When Annabel asked me to write about one of my favourite books, I scanned the spines of the books on my shelves, then scrolled through the titles on my e-reader (which was not quite as satisfying). Like most...
A more truthful dust-jacket sketch would say that the author…learned to be...– Tobias Wolff, Old School
Australian Literature Month 2013
This April, Kim Forrester is hosting a month-long celebration of Australian literature at her blog Reading Matters. She’s inviting other people to join in by reading an Australian book or two, writing reviews, or simple joining the conversation on her site, or Facebook and Twitter. I’m going to attempt to read four Australian novels for Australian Literature Month: ...
In the beginning, a piece doesn’t seem to be made of sentences and pages,...– John Jeremiah Sullivan, ‘On False Starts’(From the Proceedings of the First Annual Norwegian-American Literary Festival), The Paris Review
Q & A with Author Madeleine Thien
Photo by Coey Kerr via Illa Fabulis Canadian writer Madeleine Thien was born in Vancouver, British Columbia the year her Chinese-Malaysian family immigrated to Canada. Her novels include Certainty, a story of great love and loss during the Japanese occupation of Malaysia during World War II. More recently she has published Dogs at the Perimeter, a novel about a...
Literary Awards: who are they for?
It’s prize season! At the moment it seems a longlist or shortlist is announced every few days. And last week saw the announcement of a new literary award: the Folio Prize, which aims to ’recognise and celebrate the best English-language fiction from around the world’. The prize was born out of controversy surrounding the 2011 Man Booker...
Reading, real reading, is a strenuous and pleasurable contact sport.– Maureen Howard, The Enduring Commitment of a Faithful Storyteller
ABC Radio interview on Whisky Charlie Foxtrot with...
Top 10 Tuesday: Books to Read this Autumn
Each week the Broke and the Bookish hosts a top ten list, and this week it’s all about the books we’re planning to read this autumn (or spring, depending on where you are). Here’s what I’m planning to get my teeth into: For the AWW Challenge Floundering by Romy Ash The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee For the...
Friday Faves: Ulysses by James Joyce
Each week I invite someone bookish to tell us about one of their all-time favourite works of fiction, and why it’s so special to them. This week’s Friday Fave comes from voracious reader and blogger Lisa Hill: It’s really hard to choose an all-time favourite book so I’m going to use a simple criteria: Ulysses by James Joyce is the book I’ve read and re-read most often. It was a real thrill...
February Reading Round-Up
February was a great reading month for me. Gillian Flynn’s ripping thriller Gone Girl absolutely lived up to the raves I’ve been hearing, as did Stephen Chbosky’s poignant and moving coming-of-age tale The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Perhaps less worthy of the hype was Herman Koch’s The Dinner. Though it was undoubtedly a page turner, the preposterous ending lost my vote. After being...
Perth Writer’s Festival
For many years I have attended Perth Writers Festival as a reader and audience member; this year for the first time I had the privilege of attending as a writer. Poets vs Novelists Debate On Friday afternoon I took part in a Poets vs Novelists debate, in which Peter Heller, Ailsa Piper and Ali Alizadeh (on behalf of the poets) challenged myself, Stephen Scourfield and Kunal Basu (on behalf of the...
Top 10 Tuesday: Authors Whose Books Are Impossible...
Do you have a favourite author whose new books you’ll buy without even having to think about it? That’s the topic of this week’s Top Ten, as hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Most of my reading comes from the library but there are certain authors whose books I know I will read again and again, and whose books I will want to vandalise with my...
Top 10 Tuesday: Favourite Speculative Fiction...
Each week the Broke and the Bookish host a meme inviting bloggers to share a top ten list of something bookish; this week it’s our favourite characters in a given genre. I’ll happily journey into the future, into an alternative past or even to other planets, no matter how dark and disturbing those worlds might turn out to be. So my top ten features my...
Q & A with Author Emma Chapman
Emma Chapman was born in 1985 and grew up in Manchester. She studied English Literature at Edinburgh University, followed by a Masters in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. She currently lives in Perth, Western Australia. How to Be a Good Wife is her first novel. http://emmajchapman.com/ When did you first start writing? When did you decide that...
International Book-Giving Day
I hate Valentine’s Day! Who’s with me? Finally, someone has come up with a less commercial and bigger-hearted use for February 14th: International Book Giving Day. There are three simple ways to get involved, and the good news is, none of them involve flowers, chocolates or cheesy cards. And they don’t even have to cost anything, except a little of your time. Go...
Friday Faves: Through the Looking Glass by Lewis...
Each week I invite someone bookish to tell us about one of their all-time favourite works of fiction, and why it’s so special to them. This week’s Friday Fave comes from book blogger Kate Whelen: There’s one book that has been a constant in my life and as such, it is very dear to me - Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. Usually when...
As a writer, I’m always a little annoyed when people attempt to interpret...– Tony Earley on William Maxwell, The New Yorker Fiction Podcast
Reading Round-Up: January 2013
Did you read any great books this month? January was a somewhat disappointing month for me, with a couple of abandonments, and one book that I had been looking forward to turning out to be so disappointing that I was forced to write a ranting post about it. Yes, Mr Penumbra, I’m talking about you. Australian Women Writers Reading & Writing Challenge After my extremely poor performance in...
NaNoWriMo? No. PeNoWriWe!
As you may know, NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, takes place in November each year. All over the world people try to write 1667 words a day, every day, with the aim of having a 50,000 word draft by the end of the month. The event, which has been running for more than a decade, now attracts more than 200,000 participants each year. I tend to be a very...
Plots are interesting, characters are fascinating, scenery can be totally...– Toni Morrison, How to Read a Novelist
Dan Brown, Mr Penumbra & Other Things That Make My...
This week my book club met to discuss Robin Sloan’s debut novel Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, which we chose because it was voted one of the top 10 books of 2012 by thousands of readers on Goodreads. Thousands of people can’t be wrong, right? WRONG! Though the book has received more than 1200 five star ratings on Goodreads, (which according to the ratings system, means those readers are...
Leap of Faith
My first two novels have been traditionally published. My third, a speculative fiction called The Ark, I have been planning to self-publish as an e-book, with an accompanying interactive multimedia website. I’ll need a team of people to help me build this site, including programmers, graphic designers, 3D animators, and audio engineers. And all of these people are going to need paying for their...
Top 10 Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2013
2012 was an exciting year for me in a bookish sense. I read many great books, had a novel published, and became an avid user of social media. I decided to set some bookish goals for 2013 in all of these areas: Reading Though I’ve been a member of Goodreads for a while, 2012 was the first year I faithfully recorded every book I read. Last year I started 65 books, of which I finished 52 (abandoning...
Life According to Literature
Catherine from Life According to Literature has hosted a meme, asking bloggers to finish the following sentences using only the title of books you read in 2012: Describe yourself: The Windup Girl (Paolo Bacigalupi) How do you feel: Naked (David Sedaris) Describe where you currently live: Home (Marilynne Robinson) If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Telegraph Avenue (Michael Chabon) Your...
Top 10 Tuesday: (The First) Ten Books I Plan to...
Each week the Broke and the Bookish host a meme inviting bloggers to share a top ten list of something bookish; this week it’s books we plan to read in 2013. 2012 is the first year where I’ve kept track of my reading habits (using Goodreads) and I noticed a few patterns, some of which I’d like to break. While I’m sure I’ll still...
2012: A Year in Writing
After a long fallow period following the publication of my first novel, A New Map of the Universe, 2012 has been an exciting year for me creatively, with the publication of my second novel Whisky Charlie Foxtrot. Like all writers I have also had plenty of rejections, unsuccessful applications for residencies and grants, slower progress than hoped on various projects and other frustrations and...