My summer reading

What bliss it is to sit down in front of a fan in the middle of the day in Perth and read a book purely for pleasure, not for reasons of research or teaching, but just for my own delight!

I started this year with The Devil’s Cave by Martin Walker, the latest Bruno, Chief of Police story set in the Perigord. Of course, I had to drink wine and eat lots of soft cheese and pate at the same time, as food is so much a part of this book!

Now I am half way into The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves by Siri Hustvedt, a fascinating memoir that is also about neuroscience, psychology and even philosophy. I’m reading it after reading her essay collection Living, Thinking, Looking, which I also found absorbing. As I read, I keep marking especially intriguing passages. I used to feel a bit guilty about writing in books, but now (if I own the book), I find it liberating to do this. If I go back to re-read a book and see my own marks or comments, I’m often amused to see how the same or different things catch my eye at different times.

The next book on my January reading pile is Theories of Memory: A Reader edited by Rossington and Whitehead, which a dear friend gave me for christmas – what an inspired choice!

And of course, I must recommend The Best Australian Essays 2012 edited by Ramona Koval, not just because one of my essays is there, but also because there are a lot of very good essays in this book, including Gillian Mears’ essay about writing the wonderful novel Foal’s Bread.

Happy New (reading) Year!

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