Yep, been reading. A real mixed bag of books.
Just thought I’d share my thoughts about a few of them.
Every year our local newspaper runs a literacy campaign for kids. Included is the opportunity to collect a boxed set of story books. This year it was the set of 15 books pictured on the left. I collected all of them of course – and read them. They join the Roald Dahl and Dr Seuss sets on my bookshelf. I’m just a kid at heart! Mem Fox, who has several of her books in the collection, is a local Adelaidean.
Possum Magic is THE best book in the set according to son number 2. I would have to agree with him. As a mature age literacy student, she wrote the first draft for one of her assignments. It was rejected nine times over five years but went on to become (and continues to be, to this day) the best-selling children’s book in Australia, with nearly 5 million copies sold.
I discovered Judy Nunn’s books last year. I’ve just finished reading another one of hers. The story knits two stories into one, cleverly weaving the two together in the end with a few interesting twists and turns along the way. Starting with the voyage of the ship Batavia as it leaves Holland, the story then jumps to the second world war in England and follows the heroine’s journey to the outback of the Northern Territory. Alternate chapters skip from one to the other storyline. I must say it initially left me wondering how it was all going to come together as a cohesive story. It did. Territory is a good read, giving insights into the horrors of the Batavia shipwreck, to the bombing of Darwin and its recovery, to the thread that brings the whole together. She explores different cultures and influences with the ease and comfort of good research and skillful writing. Like any good book, I was disappointed when it finished. I wanted the story to continue.
A couple of months ago the title of a new release book captured my attention. At first I thought it was about health and nutrition. And in a funny sort of way it is. It also piqued my interest as my father had Alzheimer’s.
This is Rachel Khong’s first novel. Written a bit like a diary, it follows a year in the life of Ruth. She moves back home to live with her parents at her mother’s request. Her father has Alzheimer’s. Coincidentally her own life is in a state of chaos, having just split up with her fiance. What follows is a mixed bag of tales about her stuff and life caring for her father whilst supporting her mother. It is sad. It is funny in parts. It is about things that happen in real life. Personally I found the style of storying did not really grab me.
© Raili Tanska