What we're reading: Osman, Riley & McGann
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.
Gabrielle Williams is reading The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman.
I’ve just finished reading Richard Osman’s second book in the Thursday Murder Club series. It’s very light and funny and utterly enjoyable. I’m recommending it all over the place.
It centres around four old people living in a retirement village, one of whom happens to be an ex-MI5 agent. The other is a retired nurse, there’s a retired psychiatrist in there, and an ex-thug who doesn’t mind crossing the legal line, but is very firm on what’s morally right. When an old contact of MI5 uses their retirement village as a safe house while hiding out from the mafia (with $20,000,000 worth of diamonds stashed somewhere) things get hilariously complicated.
Joanna Di Mattia is reading My Phantoms by Gwendoline Riley.
It’s been another year measured out by lockdowns of varying lengths, measured out by time away from work and unavoidable gaps in book knowledge, so it’s not surprising that certain books haven’t received the attention they richly deserve, because they have remained hidden from public view, bookseller view, and then obscured by the spotlight on so-called bigger books by so-called more important writers.
Gwendoline Riley’s My Phantoms is one of those books, and it would be a real shame if it doesn’t get into as many hands as possible because it’s something very special. A small, explosive novel about a frustrating, fraught mother-daughter relationship that slowly reveals itself to be something more than you first think.
I loved this tense, devastating, often funny, completely unsentimental novel. I’m glad I found it.
Angela Crocombe is reading A Glint of Gold by Kate McGann.
I’m reading a gorgeous new picture book by Kate McGann, a debut author from Castlemaine. A Glint of Gold is a paean to life’s golden moments. The sparkle of frost on a winter morning, doing a kindness for a friend or a stranger, and cuddling a beloved pet are things that can bring us all joy. Even when life is challenging, (and whose life isn’t challenging right now?) there is still much beauty to be discovered in the world around us. Such a lovely, wise message for us all in difficult times! It’s a beautiful feel-good book to read to kids aged three and up.