What we’re reading: Atwood, Tolentino & Viskic
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.
Chris Gordon is reading The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
There are some weeks where a television series will take over my life (thank you Succession) and during those periods, I simply can not follow two intense storylines at the same time and find myself reading magazine and articles online. Sometimes I need a novel to take me quickly to a new reality, far away from the world I am watching. Margaret Atwood recently led me safely away from my small television set into a much broader creative world. I read The Testaments over one 24-hour period. Within the first page I was completely transported, and I was away. I then re-read The Handmaid’s Tale, dipped in and out of Cusk’s Coventry, sped through Olive, Again, and before I knew it – weeks had passed and my pile of reading material had increased tenfold. I am back in my safe quiet world of books, until of course, the next television series binge… Where oh where is series three of Succession?
Ellen Cregan is reading Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
I’ve been reading Jia Tolentino’s excellent collection of nonfiction, Trick Mirror. I am possibly the last person in Melbourne to read this book, and I am absolutely loving it. Her thoughts on modern life are skilfully fleshed-out and filled with curiosity and humour. Her essay on women’s workout/fitness culture may echo throughout my mind forever – it’s seriously that great. I have underlined a lot of this book, and expect to underline more before I finish it. I was lucky enough to catch Tolentino in conversation with Zadie Smith at Broadside last weekend, which was also excellent. I want her to keep writing books and speaking at events forever, and also for her to be my best friend. Read this book ASAP!
Bronte Coates is on a crime binge
Over the past few weeks I’ve been luck to get my hands on forthcoming novels from two of my favourite crime writers: Dervla McTiernan’s The Good Turn (available March 2020) and Emma Viskic’s Darkness for Light (available December). Both books had me hooked from page one and I’ve already lovingly passed them into the hands of fellow crime-loving colleagues to devour next. These are wildly addictive, character-driven reads which explore morally complex questions, so if that sounds like your thing I urge you to seek them out. Find the first book in McTiernan’s series here, and in Viskic’s series here.
I enjoyed these two novels so much I’ve ended up picking up another crime read: Hannelore Cayre’s The Godmother, which was translated from the French by Stephanie Smee. This book is about a woman who, in her 50s, becomes involved in the high-stakes drug trade. It was recently shortlisted for the Staunch Literary Prize which is awarded to the best thriller novel in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered, and comes highly recommended from our crime columnist.