I’ve just had a week’s holiday, travelling on the Ghan from Darwin to Adelaide. What a great trip it was, in spite of Darwin’s cyclone and Virgin’s computer issues. Still, holidays make problems like this easier to cope with. I read a couple of really exciting books due next month. The first is I Am Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira. It’s set in the period of the American Civil War, Mary is a midwife who wants to become a surgeon and in the midst of the carnage of Washington and the surrounding battlefields she comes close to her ambition. It’s very well written and reminded me of Cold Mountain in the writing style. Definitely one to look out for.
This is Barbara Toner’s manual for domestic life. Do you want to know how to fold a fitted sheet? When do you have a Caesarean? When is your bathroom a health hazard? And how on earth do you select a solicitor? How do you manage money – how do you budget, choose a bank, select a financial advisor, invest in property, investing for retirement. How long do you freeze meat, or what to do if you get arrested. It’s a fascinating book, delightfully written. Full of all that information you wish you knew.
At long last we have stock of this brilliant autobiography of Mark Twain. The reviews out of the US over Christmas were quite exceptional, so Roger is really looking forward to reading it. Twain ínstructed his editors in 1906 ‘From the first, second, third and fourth editions all sound and sane expressions of opinion must be left out.’ So we are lucky after this long wait we have the unexpurgated autobiography. There will be another three volumes to come.
I’m just reading Alan Carter’s first novel, Prime Cut, a crime novel set in Western Australia in a mining town called Hopetoun. So with a name like that there has to be murder and mayhem. Carter’s writing style is terrific with a lot of humour. I know, how dark can you get when you are dealing with a headless, armless, legless corpse that the sharks have been frollicking with, but it is great reading.