Well, I’m glad you asked.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, this year I’m trying to knock over some of my to-read pile by not buying or borrowing any more books until I’ve read 20 books I already own. I’ve failed: Harry Saddler was kind enough to send me a copy of his novel Small Moments, now sadly out of print. I justified reading it immediately even though it’s not on my list because it’s about the Canberra bushfires and I’m writing a book about living through and recovering from natural disasters. (He also sent me his non-fiction Not Birdwatching which I am dying to read, but am holding off.) I also snuck in a quick read of Jenny Valentish’s Cherry Bomb before giving it to a friend for Christmas.
Of the books I’m supposed to be reading, I’ve now finished six:
- Cold Light by Frank Moorhouse, which I blogged about already
- Suddenly a knock on the door by Etgar Keret
- Slow water by Annamarie Jagose
- A mercy by Toni Morrison
- Falling by Elizabeth Jane Howard
- Demons by Wayne Macauley
I started Ablutions by Patrick de Witt but I wasn’t feeling robust enough to deal with its very dark (and funny) story of a bartender and his clients destroying their lives. And I’m now reading Lost and Found by Brooke Davis and The weight of a human heart by Ryan O’Neill, which I am rationing out to myself in teaspoons.
Part of the reason I wanted to do this exercise was the hope that I would just stumble across great books largely accidentally. Lately so much of my reading has been driven by things I must read, either for research or because everyone else is talking about them and I think they’re somehow going to change my life. I wanted to discover an unheralded joy. Etgar Keret (widely heralded, but not in earshot of me) has been just such a discovery. What funny, bleak, real, surreal short stories this bloke writes. I don’t even know where I got this book from or how long it’s been sitting on my bookshelf. So thanks, #TBR20, for making me finally get around to reading it. (A mercy was pretty damn great too.)