December 31

2014: Books I read

  1. Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett
  2. The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn
  3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (re-read)
  4. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton [book club]
  5. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  6. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  7. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  8. Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold (re-read)
  9. We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver
  10. Life After Life by Kate Atkins [book club]
  11. The Girl with all the Gifts by MR Carey [book club]
  12. The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult [book club]
  13. Cartwheel by Jennifer DuBois [book club]
  14. Sabriel by Garth Nix (re-read)
  15. Lirael by Garth Nix (re-read)
  16. Abhorsen by Garth Nix (re-read)
  17. Across the Wall by Garth Nix (re-read)
  18. The Happy Prince & Other Stories by Oscar Wilde
  19. Murder in Mississippi by John Safran
  20. The Chaplain’s Legacy by Brad R Torgersen [Hugo nominee]
  21. The Butcher of Khardov by Dan Wells [Hugo nominee]
  22. Equoid by Charles Stross [Hugo nominee]
  23. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie [Hugo nominee]
  24. Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross [Hugo nominee]
  25. Parasite by Mira Grant [Hugo nominee]
  26. The Double by Fyodor Doestoyevsky
  27. The Diviners by Libba Bray
  28. Clariel by Garth Nix
  29. Livid by Francesco Verso (translated from Italian)
  30. Maze Runner by James Dashner
  31. All You Zombies and other stories by Robert Heinlein
  32. Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  33. Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
  34. Mortal Instruments: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  35. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
  36. Stranger on a Train by Jenny Diski
  37. Inheritance by Lisa Forrest
  38. Moron to Moron by Tom Doig
  39. Book of David by Anonymous
  40. A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
  41. My Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
  42. Deeper Water by Jessie Cole
  43. The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty
  44. The Call of the Trance by Catherine Clément (translated from French)
  45. The Hunt for Pierre Jnr by David M Henley
  46. The Tea Chest by Josephine Moon
  47. Manifestations by David M Henley
  48. Holiday in Cambodia by Laura Jean McKay
  49. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (re-read)
  50. Stories of Sydney edited by SWEATSHOP and Seizure
  51. A Man Made Entirely of Bats by Patrick Lenton

Some random stats:

  • 25 books by women; 24 by men; 1 anonymous (Book of David—presumed male but may be a collaboration); 1 mixed gender collection
  • Books from 10 series or parts thereof (throwing dirty looks at Jaclyn Moriarty and David M Henley who’ll have their respective third books of trilogies out in 2015)
  • 47 novels/fiction collections versus 4 non-fiction books (my quota of 3:1 went out the window when I read 18 novels before I picked up Murder in Mississippi)
  • 6 short story collections
  • 9 of these books were made into 11 movies in the last five years (that odd number brought to you by the three movies made from The Hobbit)
  • 18 books by Australian authors
  • 14 authors I’ve seen live at events
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December 15

Mad, bad, sad

renaissance-baby-swing
“None of these babies are even close to handling this other dickhead baby on a swing.” From 39 Renaissance babies who can’t even

This week has been… I’m a professional wordsmith and I can’t even—I cannot find or create a word that can actually describe what this week has been like. It’s been mad, bad and sad in immeasurable ways and as I’m trying to process things, other things keep coming up that are important, true, significant, relevant. So I’m sorry that this post is going to be a collage of musings rather than anything analytical.

Mad

Tony Abbott and Richard Flanagan Photo: Josh RobenstoneThe craziest things that have happened have happened to the Abbott government, mostly because they deserve it. First there’s Richard Flanagan and Bob Graham who, at the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards—usually a safe space for the PM of the day to do something positive and get in a few photo ops—pledge prize money to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and the Asylum Seekers Refuge Centre respectively. It was one way to fire a shot at the foundations of this lunatic government: see all those things you’re not funding any more? We’ll fund them because you’re an arsehole for not valuing those things, and we’ll do it publicly too.

Then at the Human Rights Awards, once-upon-a-time Gitmo detainee David Hicks heckles Attorney-General George Brandis, possibly the strangest person to invite to speak at anything related to human rights. Apparently Hicks was there to support his lawyer, who was up for an award, and had no idea Brandis was going to be there to speak. When opportunity knocks…

Bad

I could keep you here for hours with a rant. instead, I’ll just give you a short list:

  • Not just the evidence of the CIA torturing people but the fact medical professionals assisted them (also, don’t read below the line).
  • Scott Morrison using detained children as a bargaining chip with crossbenchers to extract more immigration (read: refugee control) powers.
  • Malcolm Turnbull, that lying bastard, trying to filter the internet (to ‘protect copyright’) but not calling an internet filter an internet filter.
  • Tony Abbott playing the gender card for Peta Credlin. Not pretty.
  • Greenpeace setting back the plight of climate activists by trampling all over the Nasca lines. Idiots.

Sad

Stella Young, writer, comedian and disability advocate, died. The tributes to her last week were mostly heartbreaking with room for a laugh. The one thing that really hit me was this letter to herself, which appeared in Between Us: Words and wisdom from Women of Letters, curated by Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire.

#writingwhilefemale, a hashtag Maxine Beneba-Clarke started, that shares the everyday struggles of writing while female. I’ve been fortunate in my career in comparison to a lot of the contributors and for that I am grateful.

Having to rearrange my dentist appointment (my third in two weeks) because the $1,417 I’ve paid to him so far, including an $800 splint that gave me a headache all Saturday, was pretty much my cash reserve for the rest of the month and I have no money until my clients pay my invoices. Yeow.

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