The air is fragrant and the nights are hot, but screw summer love – bring on summer reads! Crack your books in the sun, get some sand in the spine and ice cream on your pages. Here’s what NSWWC staff have been reading…
Ashley Kalagian Blunt, Program Officer
This month I’ve spent equal amounts of time cringing and laughing at The Family Law. I picked up a copy at the Creative Non-Fiction Festival, so was able to get Benjamin Law to sign it. The book explores his family and childhood through a series of strange episodes and memories, such as the time his family visited a drive-thru wildlife park and an overzealous emu got its head stuck in one of the windows as the kids tried to force it out and the dad tried to drive away. The humour is clever and Law’s experiences are poignant.
Now I’m about to start Hades by Candice Fox, the first in her ongoing crime series. I got to see Candice speak at Newtown Library, and her storytelling skills grabbed me. Even speaking off-the-cuff, she uses humour and vivid detail to weave memorable narratives. I was also impressed by the years of effort Candice put in before she managed to get published, including collecting over 200 rejections for four novel-length manuscripts, among other work. I can tell from the first page that Hades is going to be a perfect book for holiday travelling.
Julia Tsalis, Program Manager
I am deep into the Elena Ferrante Neapolitan series and have discarded all other reading.
Jane McCredie, Executive Director
I’ve been reading Leila’s Secret by Kooshyar Karimi, an Iranian-born doctor who now lives in Australia. Despite his medical career, Karimi occupied an uncomfortable position in Iran: as an opponent of the strictures of the fundamentalist ruling regime, and as the son of a Moslem father and Jewish mother. His situation became more precarious still when Karimi started helping desperate unmarried women by terminating the pregnancies that could, if discovered, lead to them being stoned to death. Karimi too would likely have faced the death penalty if caught performing the procedures. This gripping, sometimes harrowing book, made me grateful to live in a country where women have the right to control their own lives.
Tess Ridgway, Intern
I am reading Cloudstreet for the first time and I am thoroughly enjoying. It’s so beautifully nostalgic it’s like leafing through old holiday photos, sepia tones included. A good summer read, Tim Winton at his best. Also if you haven’t watched the mini series version of it that Showcase put out in 2011 it’s required viewing and with an all star Australian cast!