what i've been reading
I heard about this book on the Tuesday Book Club when Toni Jordan said that she was very proud to be known as Kate Richards tutor. I immediately added this to my reading list and I am so glad.
This is such a beautiful and heartfelt insight into Kate's real life battle with mental illness. A sufferer since she was 16 this book spans the three year period in her late twenties/early thirties when she learns to accept and manage her illness.
She provides a poignant insight into the realities of a mentally ill person, the fact that they are at the mercy of sometimes indifferent and even cruel medical professionals, the vulnerability of not being able to trust your own mind, and the brave battle she undertakes to try and manage a regular life. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Madness: A Memoir will provide some much needed insight into what it means to be mentally ill and create empathy for these sufferers.
This book has been on my radar for a while. It's the story of Krissy's exploration of sexual desire.
Kneen is a great writer who tells her story of sexual exploration and acceptance with great honesty and forthrightness. There are moments of great eroticism as she lays out her sexual adventures and revelations.
Kneen has also written a book of erotic short stories and I'll be following this up.
I read Rebecca James' debut novel Beautiful Malice and absolutely loved it. I've had her follow up novel Sweet Damage sitting on my shelf for a while because it required a special reading day. I was determined I would read it from cover to cover, and I did, and it was fabulous.
James excels at writing thrillers that are surprising and chilling. Best of all she excels at red herrings so there is this absolutely fabulous moment when you reach the climax and just sigh with satisfaction. Loved it, loved it, loved it.
I read a review of this memoir and was intrigued. A young bride in the 1950s is escaping from her abusive husband. She's sitting on the train with her one year old son on her lap when her husband appears like a horrible nightmare. He snatches the boy and threatens to kill her and him if she ever tries to find her son.
And so this family memoir of loss, grief, and longing begins. It's the story of a mother who is always grieving and searching, a son who is lost without a maternal presence, and a family that grows up in the shadow of this. It's a memoir about a time in Australian history when children were stolen, when women had no agency and when motherhood was viewed as a personal burden. Reading this memoir made me so angry and sad at the way society failed mothers and children, and so grateful to be born in this time. Cannot recommend this highly enough.
This is a digital short story collection published by Scribe Publishing. All stories were previously published in journals. I love short story collections and how they are little gems that give you that hit.
Really loved this collection and probably my two favourite stories are The Chamber about a woman who finds a gun and the way it changes her, and The Tower about the carelessness of youth and how we can be haunted for a lifetime by our bad decisions.
Mundell is a beautiful writer who is so precise and lyrical in her language and each story is so sharp and brilliant that images remain with the reader for a long time to come.
I hope more Australian publishers take up this type of publishing and we see many more such short story collections.
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Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
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