When I finished school, I felt so fatigued and overloaded and, as strange as this sounds, sick of words. I was sick of writing them for my Studies of Society subject, reading them for English, translating them for Italian and listening to them from the endless stream of people trying to give me advice for the new stage of my life I was about to begin. It’s taken me a full two years to fall back in love with language (especially the written word) and I’ve only just started to read novels for pleasure and interest again. In my usual manic style, I’ve gone from reading only trashy magazines and the weekend newspapers (which are arguably just trashy magazines themselves) to having my head in three or four different books at once. I’m still nowhere near my Mother’s power-reading capabilities but I’m getting there, and I’m enjoying it. Slow and steady, easy does it.
Thought it might be nice to share with you what I’m reading at present and I might even make this a regular thing…
First up is Traces of Absence, written by one of my ex-teachers, Susan Holoubek (published by Pan Macmillan).
Sue (Ms. Holoubek? Still not sure if I’m grown-up enough to use the first names of teachers…) was one of those rare teachers who just had a real spark about her and was one of the warmest, kindest presences in the school. This really translates onto the page as she weaves the story of Dee and the desperate search for her missing daughter, Corrie, between Adelaide and Buenos Aires. Written with such humour and heart, every little idiosyncrasy of Holoubek’s characters have resonated deeply with me. Really truly worth reading.
Next up, something a little less weepy but equally as thought-provoking. Advance Australia… Where? by Hugh Mackay (published by Hachette Australia).
I’ve been feeling incredibly disillusioned by the state of politics in this country for the last few years and very disappointed by a lot of the widely-held attitudes of our society in general so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that I’m an avid Q&A watcher, occasional reader of The Monthly (this edition was my favourite) and subscriber to about 3500 advocacy and charity group emails. I devour healthy political debate like Gwenyth Paltrow devours her bloody kale-maca-quinoa-chia-coconut-acai protein ball shake crap (see Goop for more if the sound of that tickled your fancy. If it did though, I’m unfriending you). Even though I’m a few years late in jumping onto the Hugh Mackay bandwagon, I’ve been really enjoying ploughing through (yep, that’s the most accurate way to describe it) his analysis of post-millennial ‘Straya’.
To round out the mix, I’ve got a few magazines that I’m loving at the mo whose stories have significantly more depth than your average NW/OK/WHO/Grazia. Apart from old faves Frankie, Yen and Peppermint, I’ve been picking up copies of Dumbo Feather and Renegade Collective and getting all inspired from their stories of innovative creatives, businessy folk and all ’round extraordinary people. Both of their websites are worth a squizz, so click on through those hyperlinks and check them out. The editors of these two publications, Berry Liberman (DF) and Lisa Messenger (RC) are two of my biggest role models at the moment too; I really respect their work so much.
So there you have it! That’s what’s occupying (part of) my busy little mind at the moment! If you have any book suggestions for me, feel free to add a comment below and send them through!