reading

Books I’ve read, 2020

Though I did read these books last year, they are not part of the official list.

What could I possibly write about 2020 that hasn’t already been said? It was a strange year. Add having a baby to the mix, and last year was even further outside of my normal than expected.

The fact that I managed to finish 27 books by year’s end (two more than I planned) makes me happy. I often felt like I wasn’t making the most of my time at home, so exceeding my goal by any amount is a win. Plus, I read 12 of these after my daughter was born – a major accomplishment in any year.

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Books I’ve read, 2019

Andrew Sean Greer & Alexander Chee at the 2019 Sydney Writers’ Festival

We’re already well into 2020, and I realize I’ve not yet posted my previous year’s reading list. My mind has been elsewhere the past couple months (we recently moved house and found out we’re expecting our first child later later this year!), hence this less-than-punctual post. But, better late than never.

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5 non-fiction books to feed your ghoulish curiousity

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Image via Unsplash

Even though I mostly avoid scary movies and TV shows, I love true crime and have a fascination with death culture. These obsessions naturally found their way onto my reading list in the form of non-fiction. Real life situations and science appeal to me much more than fiction, mostly because truth is often far stranger than fiction. (more…)

9 books I’d give my 12-year-old self

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Yesterday I came across an article on Bookriot, in which the author talks about the 12 books he’d give his 12-year-old self (assuming he had a time machine, of course). This got me thinking about myself at that age. I, like the article’s author, was a voracious reader. Most of my friends would beg their parents for video games or CDs or clothes, but I almost always asked for books. (more…)

the unbearable unfairness of Lolita

 

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

[Spoiler alert on this post. If you haven’t read Lolita, please do so. It’s a classic for a reason. ]

I read Lolita for the first time in June as part of a classics book club I’ve attended regularly since the beginning of the year. It is definitely a book I wouldn’t have picked up on my own. As much as I love stories of sordid crime, the twisted tale of Humbert Humbert and his child lover always felt too unseemly. (more…)

sydney writers’ festival

swfI’ve lived in Sydney for nearly four years now, and somehow the Sydney Writers’ Festival escaped my notice until a month ago. This event is a must for anyone who loves writing or reading. The week long schedule is packed with thought provoking discussion from authors writing in all different genres.

Not knowing what to expect, I only bought tickets to one event. This was a mistake. The hour long discussion I attended, A Life of True Crime, left me eager to read the books discussed by the three authors profiled (The Tainted Trial of Farah Jama by Julie Szego, Have You Seen Simone? by Virginia Peters, and One of Us by Åsne Seierstad). I can only imagine how much longer my to-read list would be if I’d attended more sessions. I also regret not immediately booking a ticket to see author and mortician Caitlin Doughty discuss her memoir, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematorium. I went back and forth about whether I wanted to go into the city two days in a row, and when I finally decided to just do it, the event was sold out. (Yes, I’m well aware my tastes are on the morbid side.)

Next year I plan to make a day of it. Or maybe two. I might even take a day off work. (There were several events I wanted to attend, but didn’t because they fell on a weekday.) Though my interests this year were purely in non-fiction discussions, I’m interested in hearing more from fiction writers as I work on my own story. I also never know where I’ll get my next creative idea, and the diversity of topics presented lends itself to learning something new or unexpected.

I’m glad I finally found the Sydney Writers’ Festival, even if I only dipped my toes in the water at this year’s event. Now that it’s on my radar, I’ll commit to a fuller schedule next time.