What we’re reading: Mantel, Christle & Keyes
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.
Tye Cattanach is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
I’ve been lured into what might seem a daunting commitment (so many pages) by my wildly enthusiastic colleagues and my own curiosity. After all, it’s not every day I hear such glowing praise for historical fiction… What really got me across the line, was the almost sentimental way in which Mantel fans talk about its main character – a man, I confess, to knowing almost nothing about. Mere pages into Wolf Hall, I began to understand exactly what everyone is talking about. I don’t think I’ve ever read prose like Mantel’s before and there’s good reason she’s a two-time recipient of the Man Booker Prize. I’m still reading, but I’m completely committed to the trilogy, however long it takes me.
Chris Somerville is reading The Crying Book by Heather Christle
While I can be a bit exasperated with books that are presented in small little chapters, the exasperation is mostly focused inward on myself, since I’m such a sucker for this form. Dept. of Speculation did it very well, a bunch of others not so much. Initially I wasn’t sure if The Crying Book, a book-length essay in small fragments all about crying, would pull it together, but then a short way in The Crying Book finds its feet and becomes a compelling read. Encompassing historical research into the nature of crying, depictions of weeping in statues, the weaponisation of white women’s tears in race relations, and the own birth of her child, Heather Christle manages to fit a lot into this short and satisfying work.
Chris Gordon is reading Grown Ups by Marian Keyes
We are living in crazy mixed-up times and it feels all out of our control. Last weekend I went to the beach in sunny NSW and wanted something, anything really, that would allow me the pleasure of forgetting about everything, just for a while. Grown Ups is just the ticket. Marian Keyes has created a delicious collection of characters that will have you nodding in agreement, laughing out loud, sighing in acknowledgement, and maybe crying a little. Most importantly it will keep your mind well away from anything to do with the climate, the virus, the men in power, and the fact that you have to complete so much in one day. The novel is over 650 pages long but I promise you that it really will only take a few days to romp through this entertaining and completely engaging family saga.
This recommendation is my gift to you. You’re welcome.