After struggling, really struggling to find something great to read, I discovered two highly enjoyable books – both by Australian authors.
The first was The Near Miss, a work of contemporary fiction, set in Melbourne and revolving around a near-tragedy that ends up entwining the lives of three complete strangers. The marketing describes it as The Slap meets Love Actually, and while those sorts of comparisons are never quite spot on, it does convey the idea of this book sitting comfortably somewhere between literary and commercial fiction. One added bonus – it’s an e-only book, which means a cover price of $2.99. I know. Less than a coffee for quality fiction. I find this whole idea quite intriguing, so I tracked down the author, Fran Cusworth, for an interview, which you can read here.
My other find of the week was Clancy of the Undertow, by Christopher Currie – a work of Australian young adult fiction, set in the fictional QLD town of Barwen. While I am completely outside the target market for this book, I was totally sucked in by the cover and the title – both so evocative. Also, I think there’s a part of me that will always be a 16 year old, full of romantic ideas, confusion, hopes and dreams. I’ll post some more complete thoughts on this soon.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I was desperately wanting to love The Beautiful Lie (the ABC’s contemporary re-working of Anna Karenina) but finding it a bit difficult because the main love interest was a narcissistic dick.
Well, the series finished up on Sunday night (catch it on I-View) and wow! What a finale. This was a series that really grew on me. While the chief love story failed to completely convince me in the beginning, it didn’t really matter in the end.
This was chiefly a story of a woman who wanted more and could never really be happy. Was she ever truly in love with Skeet? If it wasn’t Skeet, it would have been someone else. Anyway, the performances in the latter episodes were extraordinary – Sarah Snook portrayed Anna’s descent into paranoia with great power and intensity – and despite the tragedy of it all, there were some true, laugh-out-loud moments where the comediennes pf the show (Gina Riley and Celia Pacquola) finally got to be funny.
I’m now a good few thousand words into my WIP and suffering occasional bouts of huge self-doubt. This is a huge waste of time. You could be cleaning the house. This will never be published. etc etc.
‘Your fear is boring’ – I’ve seen this comment around twitter lately. I think it’s from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, which I have not read but heard so much about that it feels like I have. Anyway, I think it’s a brilliant comment, so I might just shut-up about self-doubt right now.
Sorry, I might just break that rule, as I read another blog post during the week from author Josephine Moon (author of The Tea Chest and The Chocolate Apothecary) on this very topic. She calls her fears Maureen – which I think is fabulous. Maybe mine need a name?
It would have to be something friendly, as we are going to spend LOTS of time together, though I will politely tell her to f*** off every now and again.
I used to call my inner critic Myra after a crabby old aunt I had. Mostly now I forget to chastise her.
I’m glad you liked Clancy of the Undertow cos I included it in a wrap-up post I did for another blogger this month. I usually write about my favourite books but this month she asked me to do a Xmas gift guide.
Def a good Xmas pick for a girl aged 15+. The themes are familiar territory – but what makes it different is Clancy herself, and as it’s told from first person POV, that’s definitely the key. Cassie
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