yeah it's a good name for a book shop. but why wasn't it open on a tuesday around lunchtime?
tim winton's breath.
it's funny. in the writing course thingo on saturday, the woman sitting next to me had a physical reaction when it was suggested we read this book in the next 2 months. she kind of sat back in her chair and sighed quite loudly. the only novel i've finished of tim winton's was dirt music. from memory i didn't mind it. and i remember being inordinately pleased that i'd managed to finish it. the only other book i've finished of his was a collection of short stories, published reasonably recently, called the turning. i didn't mind that either, but i think it got distracting because i was trying to work out how each story connected to the other. it's a nice idea, having a series of short stories that are connected in some way, but again, it distracted me. actually, i've just remembered i also read the riders, and while that was unsatisfying, i finished it and didn't mind it either.
but i want more from my reading than not minding it.
cloudstreet i started reading, and while i quite liked the beginning bits, i let it go because it was hard work beyond a certain point*. i think around the same time i read murray bail's eucalyptus and adored it. bail is on my list, he's been short-listed for the miles franklin, and once i've read him and winton's breath, then i'll have read 3 of them.
one last thing, before my current reading list. i'm not disposed to envy of other people. i don't covet other people's houses, cars, husbands, looks, clothes or shoes. not much. of course i notice, i see my friend with the luscious lips and the way her lip gloss is just so attractive. i see the expensive clothes, and think how nice to be able to buy them. but it doesn't make me, ME, unhappy. it never has. but recently, i had a sharp stab of envy. let me tell you what it was about.
in our course there's a writer who has published a book. it came out last year, and was launched by helen garner. it was a sharp pang, and it hurt. i raced out, got the book and am now nearly finished. by about page 4 i was reassured that while this is a finely-written book, it's not a threat to me. it's not the sort of book i want to write. WOW. i could relax, and all was ok with the world again.
do other people feel this sort of thing?
to my list:
breath - tim winton.
the fable of arachne - sallie muirden. (poetry, even though i don't do poetry.)
landscape with animals - anonymous. (anyone read it? apparently it's very sexay.)
surrender - sonya hartnett.
the photograph - penelope lively.
the white tiger - aravind adiga.
what i loved - siri hustveldt (spelling!?)
the kindly ones - jonathan littell. (recommended by bookmoth, i bought it already and it sits, like a brick, on the floor beside my bed. a besa brick.)
the pages - murray bail.
ordinary people - judith guest.
sybil - flora rheta schreiber.
* * *
the last two are for research purposes for my story. what i have bought so far from this list: dissection, the kindly ones, the white tiger (2nd hand, yay), the photograph** (ditto, yay) and breath.
i'm still reading the time traveler's wife, about half-way through, it's good. but am sidestepping with another book, just a brief affair. a fling, if you will. then back to my main novel.
happy reading everyone. for is it not the most blissful of activities?
* 2012 note - I have read Cloudstreet now and adored it. Strange - and wonderful - how we can change either in our responses or some books just need to be read at the right time?
** 2012 note - I didn't read this. Couldn't get past the first few pages I think. Didn't want to spend the time.