It’s been a big month, though not so much for reading.
I’ve started my final semester of uni (completing my Bachelor of Arts – Creative Writing), and gotten my teeth sunk into my major project, which is a memoir. I’ve been contacted by the wonderful people at Giramondo, who very kindly sent me a book to review. And I’ve been accepted as an Emerging Blogger for the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, later in August.
So the reading has been a bit slower than usual. Also, all my books are all packed up in green bags, in preparation for moving house on Saturday. Tip to book-lovers: green bags are perfect to move books. They’re strong, they’re re-usable (unlike boxes, which you spend months trying to get rid of afterwards) and they fit most paperback books two-across.
The two books I did read this month were fantastic.
Ruth Fields’ Run, Fat B!tch, Run is a no-nonsense guide for people who want to start running, which is what I’ve recently done. Fields’ secret weapon is The Grit Doctor, who (with a heavy pinch of salt, this isn’t a sexist or self-hating book!) whips your arse until you’re hot. This guide is great for those who need a bit of extra motivation, and it’s genuinely hilarious. I laughed all the way through it, and when I finished, I got up and went for a run.
Charlotte Wood’s Love and Hunger blew me away. As a writer, and someone who has a really strong connection with food (both my brother and father are chefs), this book really moved me. Love and Hunger is a strange memoir/recipe book – Wood tells stories about food, about what food does and can do. She tells stories about food’s potential to heal and strengthen relationships, food’s emotional meaning and its connection to our self-identity. At the end of each chapter, Wood shares recipes that are relevant to that chapter. Strangely, the pairing of these stories and recipes made me far more hungry and motivated to cook than any photo-heavy gastro-porn that’s available at the moment. There are no pictures in this book, just the stories and Wood’s ability to write a recipe well work better than any fancy photography ever could. Food is not just sustenance, and in this beautiful book, Charlotte Wood well and truly teases out all this idea has to offer.
What did you read this month?
A Hologram for the King, by Dave Eggers
Wildwood, by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis
Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, by Chris Colfer
My Hundred Lovers, by Susan Johnson
The Memory of Salt, by Alice Melike Ulgezer (thanks, Giramondo!)
Whores for Gloria, by William T Volmann
Run, Fat B!tch, Run, by Ruth Field
Love and Hunger, by Charlotte Wood
Our Father Who Wasn’t There, by David Carlin