What we’re reading: Romanova, Peters & Richardson

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.


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Jessica Strong is reading Goblin Girl by Moa Romanova (translated by Melissa Bowers).

Goblin Girl is a semi-autobiographical graphic novel which follows a young struggling artist who matches on a dating app with a famous celebrity, Known TV-Guy, 53, who quickly becomes a source of intense validation for her personage and a patron for her art – before things begin to sour; This is where Moa’s story takes anchor (and blurb), but at its gooey centre, Goblin Girl is an exploration of our world and how we move through it.

Dark humour and striking artwork (think a muted 80s retrospective) colour Romanova’s world and this slice-of-life to create a compelling addition to conversations around power, depression, technology and creativity, and how each of these intersect in our daily lives. Moa sees the overlap of the inverse – the monstrous in the beautiful, the isolation in the saturation, the beginning in the end.

This is the perfect graphic novel to read when you’re feeling disgruntled, depressed, and at a loss for your next step; it also pairs really well with cancelled plans.


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Mike Shuttleworth is reading Sissinghurst: The Dream Garden by Tim Richardson.

Sometimes you want inspiration, sometimes you want comfort, and sometimes you just want to look at beauty. Sissinghurst: The Dream Garden meets all these needs and does something more.

Tim Richardson, an advisor to the National Trust at Sissinghurst Castle, walks the reader through its numerous ‘rooms’: the top courtyard, the rose garden, the cottage garden, the orchard, and so on. Photographs by Jason Ingram supply delicious detail, and crucially, atmosphere.

Nurtured from the 1930s to the 1960s by writer Vita Sackville-West and husband, diplomat Harold Nicholson, Sissinghurst was a place for their ideals and emotions. Richardson examines the garden’s design and sees in its illogical layout and abrupt changes a charm and character that reflect its makers. He also takes considers how a heritage garden can is best managed – can a garden receive too much care? But, ultimately, the author and photographer celebrate its enduring beauty.

With overseas travel off the agenda for now, Sissinghurst is a perfect book for gardeners and dreamers.


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Kim Gruschow is reading Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters.

Over the weekend I was supposed to be packing up all my things to move house but I just kept finding myself sitting on the couch or lying down on my bed with my copy of Detransistion Baby because I could not stop reading it!

It’s an excellent book, and an astounding debut. I’m absolutely loving this hilarious, moving and extremely relevant look at relationships and families.

Goblin Girl

Goblin Girl

Moa Romanova, Melissa Bowers

$41.95Buy now

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