I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
This is an epic book (more than 800 pages) which I probably wouldn’t have launched myself into had it not been May’s book club book. I was invited along to book club by a lovely person who works in my office after she discovered that I was new to Hobart and loved reading. This will be my second session, currently being conducted digitally of course, and the first for which I have actually read the book. It’s a perfect book club to be part of, full of people around my age who are all lovely and intelligent. And while this book is not something I would have launched myself into voluntarily given its length and genre (I watch a fair amount of crime/murder mystery type stuff but don’t typically read it), I’m glad I was forced because it is excellent. Within the first couple of chapters (and the chapters are short and snappy, something I always appreciate in a book), I was hooked by this mystery/thriller/crime /murder mystery novel. You get the sense Hayes spent days/weeks/months/who knows how long storyboarding it, working out how all the different moving parts would intersect and interact. The result is a masterfully crafted novel which covers a lot of terrain. It’s been a great post-work read, something I look forward to picking up and diving back into each night and something I read until I’m too tired to keep reading any more (usually around 9pm, yes I’m an old lady at heart and full-time work is tiring). Anyway, highly recommended.
South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami
This is another of the selection of books one of my housemates provided me with as a sampler of some of her favourites. I have been aware of Murakami for quite some time but this was the first of his books I have actually read. This book spans many decades, following the relationship of two childhood friends into their adult lives. Told from the perspective of one friend, the other remains mysterious and alluring throughout the novel. The book is the perfect mixture of optimism and melancholy. Bittersweet is a good word to describe it. I’m now seriously contemplating tackling some of Murakami’s heftier tomes such as IQ84, which there happens to be a copy of in my house.
Hobart by Peter Timms
I read this book for the first time in November last year when I was gearing up for my move to Hobart. It was a great introduction to what was to be my new home which made me start falling in love with it. After three months in my new home, I thought it was worth reading the book about this place again now that I am becoming increasingly familiar with its streets and suburbs and moods and people. It didn’t disappoint, just bolstering my sense of love for this place. It was also a particularly timely read given that I am basically stuck here and searching for new places I can walk and explore which are close to home.
Not Alone from Beyond Blue – hosted by Marc Fennell was my new favourite for May. Each episode of Not Alone is an interview with an Australian who has been on a mental health “journey”, plus some insights from Beyond Blue’s Lead Clinical Advisor from Dr Grant Blashki. All the episodes I’ve listened to so far have been fantastic.
Conversations from ABC RN continues to delight and inspire me. My favourite episodes which I listened to during May were:
- From the Festivals — Cheryl Strayed – A great interview with the author of Wild.
- A true Lord of the Flies story and what we got wrong about human nature – a fascinating interview which brings to light a true story where the circumstances parallel those of Lord of the Flies but the outcomes do not.
- Marian Keyes on growing up – touches on several interesting themes including losing a parent and Ireland’s recent vote to legalise abortion.
- Not fourteen for ever – journalist Shannon Molloy’s story of surviving horrific and relentless bullying for being gay.
I’ve returned to an old favourite in Kishi Bashi – thanks to my brother and his now fiancé for introducing me to him. His music is uplifting and fun, just what I need at the moment!
The parcel I received in the post last Tuesday from Mum. It was a container full of my favourite dark chocolate, oat and almond cookies which Mum had made specially for me with this beautiful message attached. I felt so many warm fuzzies reading the message and called Mum straight away to say a massive thank you. The parcel was just what I needed after a bit of a rough patch health-wise.
That’s it for May.
Love, hope and peace from Emma.