What we’ve been reading

Posted: July 13, 2010 in Reviews

It may shock some of you to know that after a long term of dealing with books and thinking about books and shelving books, librarians often like to relax in the holidays by reading books.  But what books?  Our hard-hitting investigative journalists asked the tough question: “Tell me about what you’ve been reading”.

 

Ms Marquard

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
“I re-read this book and found that I still loved it.  It still stands up really well, especially the first-person narration that really gets you inside the head of this little girl who’s seeing everything happen.”

 Theft by Peter Carey.
“I had to read this for my book club and at first I hated it: it was aggressive, rude, and gross.  But I looked on the internet for reviews of the book and found a podcast of Ramona Koval interviewing Carey, and after that the book made sense to me.  It’s a flawed but interesting story about art and family and how we cope with who we are.”

 Ransome by David Malouf.  “I’m reading this at the moment.”

 

Mr Castles

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.
“This book reminded me of Anne Tyler’s writing: it’s about a horrible woman who is nasty to the people around her and can’t relate to others, but comes to realize her own faults.  It’s a gentle, human story set in a small town in Maine, in the American mid-west.”

A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie.
“My daughter had this book and I just picked it up and started reading it.  It was a blast from the past and reminded me of my childhood.  It’s funny and clever, but a bit dated.”

 

Ms Fisher

 Mister Roberts by Alexei Sayle.
“This book was absurd and black and funny and weird.” 

Hey Nietzsche, Leave Them Kids Alone by Craig Schuftan.
“I started reading this book while I was cataloguing it and it gave me shivers down my spine.  That’s always a good sign.  The book started when the author was listening to My Chemical Romance’s ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ one day and figured out that it’s actually really really meaningful.   It’s a mad rant about gothic music and how it relates to philosophy.”

 “I read all the Twilight books for some reason… I’m finishing the last one now.”

 “Plus I watched ALL of True Blood.  I’m obsessed with it.”

 

Ms Versteegen

 Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert.
“This is the sequel to Eat Pray Love.  I didn’t think I’d like it because it’s not the kind of book that usually appeals to me, but it turned out to be really interesting.  It’s a true story about how Elizabeth Gilbert and her partner always said that they hated the idea of marriage, but end up having to get married so that he can get American residency.  So she decides that before she gets married she has to figure out what marriage is really all about.  This book is the result: as well as her personal story, it’s a big history of marriage in all cultures and what it means to different people.”

 

Ms Day

 Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
“I thought that this Swedish vampire story might be a good book because the film adaptation was excellent.  But I struggled with the graphic horror: some bits were so scary and gross that I had to skip them!  However the story is well paced and suspenseful and there is a nice sense of place.”

 Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenberger.
“Awful, awful, awful.  I hated this book so much that I don’t even want to talk about it. I kept hoping and hoping that it would get good and it just never did.   Gah.” 

The Women by TC Boyle.
“This is a great book based on the complicated personal life of superfamous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  The story centres on his three wives and his girlfriend, but you also learn about his life and work.  The narrative structure of this book is interesting without being gimmicky and the characters have real authenticity.”

 Wake in Fright by Kenneth Cook.
“I started reading this when I found it on the floor of our van during a long  road trip.  It’s a bit of an Aussie classic about a teacher working in remote NSW who is on his way to Sydney for the holidays but gets stuck in a hellhole town called Bundanyabba (loosely based on Broken Hill) after losing all his money in a two-up game.  Heavy drinking, despair, and guns ensue.”

What did you read in the holidays?

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