Mushrooms and Mourning

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything about anything for this site. I’ve a lot of ground to cover. With such a backlog of bookish thoughts to share, I could at this point wax lyrical about Meg Mason’s Sorrow and Bliss, but Kate @ Booksaremyavouriteandbest has already done it and far better than I can. I could offer a luke-warm appraisal of The Dictionary of Lost Words, but I’ve decided I’m no longer up for reviewing books that I didn’t love. I could sing with excitement about Richard Flanagan’s new book The Living Sea of Waking Dreams, but he has the whole Penguin Random House orchestra behind him and doesn’t need me to add to the chorus.

So instead, I’m offering up a delightful book called The Way Through The Woods by Long Lit Woon (translated from Norwegian by Barbara J. Haveland).

I heard about this book during our first lockdown, thanks to the sterling work of our local librarians who, committed to their largely unrecognised role as community superglue, kept our spirits up with videos and reviews and photos of baby chicks. The Way Through The Woods featured in one of their reviews.

Four awesome audiobooks (listen to them now!)

I’ve recently developed a deep devotion for audiobooks. The key, I’ve found, is to be picky. A strong plot, well-cast narrator and not too long. That’s the winning combo.

I love how audiobooks can transport me to another place while I do commonplace and mundane jobs: painting capacious walls, walking a stubborn dog, driving un-picturesque motorways. These are the perfect opportunities to be wrapped up in another world.

I try to go for library loans through Borrowbox (free and guilt-free) where I can and then as a fall back, Audible (which is neither of those things being owned by Amazon).

Here are four audiobooks guaranteed to give you aural pleasure…

‘Grounded in Truth’: Young Dark Emu

It was Reconciliation Week last week in Australia and this year’s theme was ‘grounded in truth’. It highlighted Aboriginal and Torres Train Islander peoples’ call for a process of truth-telling about Australia’s colonial history as a way of healing historical wounds. Because let’s face it, someone has to – there’s a leadership void where the political classes are concerned (apart from in Victoria, of course).

While this country remains in deep denial about the trauma white settlers visited on this continent (just change Australia Day goddammit!!), I figure one small, small way that I can contribute to reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Indigenous Australians is to educate myself better about the wrongs of the past and to understand their impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. I shake my head whenever I reflect that I never learned anything about this trauma during my decades of formal Australian education.

Young Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe is the perfect entry point for this. By reexamining journals and drawings from early Australian settlers and explorers, Bruce Pascoe paints a radically different picture of Aboriginal people and their culture.

Hisashiburi! 久しぶり

As the Japanese would say, hisashiburi! It’s been a long time!

I’ve had all sorts of blogging trouble-malware, hosting issues, subscriber stuff ups-dating right back to November.

I’ve been quite cross about the whole debacle.

But I like to think that it’s all behind me now, and it’s happy days from here on in.

Stayed tuned for your regular tea and book news. There’s a lot to catch up on.

Hisashiburi! 久しぶり

As the Japanese would say, hisashiburi! It’s been a long time!

I’ve had all sorts of blogging trouble-malware, hosting issues, subscriber stuff ups-dating right back to November.

I’ve been quite cross about the whole debacle.

But I like to think that it’s all behind me now, and it’s happy days from here on in.

Stayed tuned for your regular tea and book news. There’s a lot to catch up on.