What We’re Reading

Each week we bring you a sample of the books we’re reading, the films we’re watching, the television shows we’re hooked on or the music we’re loving.

Emily is reading Pureheart

pureheartShame on me, for I have only just read my first book by Cassandra Golds: Pureheart, which was published just a couple of weeks ago but is the Australian author’s sixth novel.

Pureheart is pure poetry. A young adult novel based on Arthurian legend (but no knowledge of such legends required in order to enjoy the story), it’s about a young couple who are trying to trace their brief but tumultuous history, concealed as it is in the depths of a labyrinthine house and their own highly vulnerable memories. It’s whimsical, beautifully written, life-affirming, original and yet somehow so familiar it gets right under your skin. I loved every word, can you tell?

At the lighter and jollier end of the scale, our big hit at children’s storytime this week was Maisy creator Lucy Cousins’ Peck Peck Peck, in which a daddy woodpecker encourages his fledgling to learn how to…peck! The fledgling takes this instruction very seriously indeed – pecking first a tree but then the door of a house and pretty soon every single item inside the house so that by the end the entire page is covered in holes. Simple and utterly delightful.

Have a look at our new Facebook page for more children’s storytime updates and favourites.

Chris is watching Borgen

borgenEvery single person who follows Australian politics should watch Borgen. The parallels between Julia Gilliard and the depicted female Danish PM, Birgitte Nyborg are extraordinary: moderate governments with a minority hand.

Written by the same people that created The Killing this is fine viewing. Bring on Season two!

I’m also reading Philipp Meyer’s The Son which certain passages have actually frightened me on occasions. His writing is so vivid and descriptive that it is as if I’m watching the action, rather than reading.

Annie is reading What Was Left

WhatWasLeftThis week I’ve been reading two novels with main characters the same age and gender, but worlds apart from each other.

The first one is what I think is Sleepers Publishing’s best book of the year. What was Left by Eleanor Limprecht (out September) is a story about Rachel, feeling alone in the sleeplessness, worry and physical pain of new motherhood. She finds it difficult to connect with her husband or any well-wishers after a difficult pregnancy and traumatic birth. More importantly, she finds it impossible to connect to her baby, Lola, and is increasingly frightened by the intrusive thoughts she has about hurting her. Rachel leaves abruptly for overseas, seeking answers to questions that were never answered in her own childhood, and gradually learning that being a parent doesn’t have to mean you are perfect.

The other protagonist, Celeste, from Tampa by Alissa Nutting is extremely self assured. Celeste is relentless in pursuit of a lifestyle and profession that provides what she requires – a fourteen year old boy to satiate her sexual desires. Due to its content, this is a book some bookstores have refused to stock, but I picked it up after reading reviews that praised Nutting’s writing style.

The writing is indeed brilliant; the author is an assistant professor of Creative Writing in the USA. The content is disturbing, but the author has cleverly ‘got inside’ the head of a highly intelligent, determined sociopath and child abuser. The details of how Celeste goes about her crimes are fascinating and it makes me want to read the non fiction book I’ve heard so much about, Confessions of a Sociopath.