Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday.
Richard Flanagan won the Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North a few weeks ago. The Book Accumulator read it in April and raved about it then, and I have put below a very brief guest review. I’d better get myself a copy!
I judged it a serious contender for the title of the GAN, the Great Australian novel. I was surprised after reading the Miles Franklin winner that the Flanagan novel missed out (though All the Birds Singing by Evie Wyld was not an unworthy winner of the Miles Franklin).
Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (2013), a serious attempt to take the title of the Great Australian Novel, as it comes to slippery grips with big themes of suffering, death, love and loyalty, while also depicting the terrible life of the prisoners on the Burma railway in the Japanese prisoner-of-war camps. Disturbing is the hero’s inability to love, even though he has scores of romantic relationships as well as a family, and even though he as doctor and officer is deeply committed to the soldiers under his care and command in the camp. A book that moves at vastly different speeds, often too tediously in parts which needed editing.
Have you read it? What did you think?
Tired now. This weekend has included: lunch and hot chocolate with 3G, Scrabble and cream tea with a friend and then dim sum with two work friends today. Then I walked from Chinatown from Victoria (which is really not very far!) to do a spot of shopping, and am now totally exhausted.
I haven’t read anything this week; I’ve got four or five books lying around but can’t really get into any of them. In a bit of a reading slump.
Now corrected – chocolate BARS not chocolate bras…
Totally off-topic today.
Is it any surprise that I like chocolate? It fills the gap between cups of tea very nicely. Some of my favourite chocolates, all of which aren’t made in the UK and therefore either have to be bought at ridiculous import prices or bought overseas and saved up, are:
Ritter Sport, especially the dark chocolate and marzipan one. It is totally impossible not to eat the entire 16 squares at once.
Mint Slice biscuits, made by Arnott’s in Australia. These, believe it or not, are greatly improved in taste, texture and longevity (at least, duration of time they can be in my house before I eat them) by keeping them in the freezer.
Violet Crumble and Cherry Ripe chocolate bars, again Australian. These are The Musician’s and The Book Accumulator’s favourite Aussie chocolate bars respectively so always seemed like a huge treat. And they’re so yummy.
Golden Rough (again, Australian) – this is a pretty cheap 6/7cm disc of milk chocolate with coconut mixed through it. So good.
Oh, and Choco Leibniz and Ohne Gleichen biscuits from Germany as well.
The common factor for most of these is dark chocolate. Do we just like dark chocolate less in the UK?
What are your favourite chocolates?
Obviously, what you do on the first morning you’re feeling better after a cold, is to sit and go through your LibraryThing and Goodreads histories, cross-referencing to blog reviews and spreadsheets.
Anyway in the process I discovered a load of books I had totally forgotten I had read. By this I don’t just mean I didn’t remember what I thought of the book, but that if you’d asked me, I would have said that I’d never read it. Even looking at my records, I don’t remember reading the book, despite having given them good marks! They include (links to reviews!):
The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory – 8/10
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards – 7/10
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin – 8/10
Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips – 7/10
Does this happen to anyone else?
(buying a book you have forgotten that you own is totally normal and acceptable, right?)
Because Booking Through Thursday often doesn’t post until too late in the day for me (thanks to time differences), I have decided that on Thursdays I’ll either answer a Booking Through Thursday question or a Top Ten Tuesday question (the latter are run on The Broke and The Bookish blog), although I might let myself stop at 5 rather than going all the way to a list of 10! This week’s:
October 21: Top New Series I Want To Start (New..let’s say within the last year or two)
Well. What new series do I want to start?
I can definitely think of some series that I have started in the past and would love to complete or re-read. Anne of Green Gables, the Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone “A is for Alibi” series, Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series… in fact:
1. Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series. I’ve only read the first one (Crocodile on the Sandbank) so that definitely nearly counts as a new series.
2. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I’ve heard so much good stuff about them, how can I resist?
3. Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall series (is it a stretch, at two published and one more intended, to call it a series?). I’ve had The Musician’s copy of Wolf Hall for at least 2 if not 3 years now. No excuse that I haven’t read it.
4. Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher series. I love the TV series, when I get a minute to watch it; I suspect I’d get through the books faster.
and finally, though perhaps not quite within the next 2 years,
5. The Little Golden Books series – I had some of these as a child and have no doubt I’ll be reading a lot with baby RWT eventually!