What I’m Reading – March 2012

I made up this cover collage late the other night and in doing so left off a couple of other titles I’m reading, so I’ll just add those in as we go. As you can probably tell from that first sentence, my reading has been a bit spotty lately. This is surprising as on the days I work I have at least 45 minutes each way on the train to do nothing but stick my nose in a book and it isn’t happening. I get distracted, I like looking out over the backyards of other people, sticky beaking at their gardens and abandoned play equipment and so on.

This run came to an end when I opened Ethan Frome earlier this week, and what seemed like only moments later I was already in the city. This tale of sexual repression and the questioning of personal human freedom (and morals) is quite the page turner. The cover above is different to the one I have and also kind of gives away the whole climax: it’s like a scene would look like with Anna Karenina standing in front of the train. Even better, Ethan Frome is on my 1001 books challenge list, so that gets a strike through.

The 20th Century in Poetry is one of those massive, it-could-kill-you-if-dropped-on-your-head-from-a-height anthologies. The difference with this one in comparison with all the others out there is that it presents the poems in chronological order – not from date of publication, but the period in which they’re set. So at the front, almost at the start, you find a Les Murray poem (‘The Ballad of Jimmy Governor’) next to Rudyard Kipling and Noel Coward. It threw me off at first, I’ll admit, but eventually I left aside any misgivings and just enjoyed the poems.

The Nevil Shute is because I’ve wanted to read more of his work since finishing On The Beach (which I devoted a whole post to), the one about children’s books because I was curious and I’ve got Planet of the Apes here on standy.

I’ll finish by mentioning The Best Australian Stories 2011 and the story which still has me thinking by Karen Hitchcock called ‘Forging Friendship’ which deals with friendships and consumption in this digital age. There’s a line that goes, “I’ll comment on your post though I wouldn’t cross the street to say hello”.

And my heart went, oof.

A bit of that kind of thing goes around, yes.

Edit to add: And here’s the link to that story. I think it’s plucked a nerve in some people.

What are you reading at the moment?

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Karen Andrews is the creator of Karen Andrews. This is one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country and is a two-time finalist in the Best Australian Blogs competition. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Is an exercise junkie (when she finds the time).


  1. Michelle says

    I was disappointed with the little books I have read these past months. I included reading in my monthly goals and planned a schedule so I can achieve the goal. Thank you for the motivation.
    Michelle recently posted..DTS HomeMy Profile

  2. says

    Just read ‘Specimen Days’ by Michael Cunningham and ‘Red Spikes’ by Margo Lanagan (both worthwhile reads). I’m currently reading ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ but am finding the prose incredibly dry, so to colour things up I’ve begun reading ‘A Brave New World’ too.

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