Monthly Archive for August, 2014


Hello all. Hope your summer is lovely and full of books. I have just read Black Girl/White Girl by Joyce Carol Oates. Not a fun read, but interesting from a first person narrative point of view and evocative of a time (post Vietnam 1970s) and place (American College). It’s not simply about race, but about young women, friendships, family and the lack of it. I like the way she describes the narrator’s parents – 60s radicals with form. But like many of her novels, I find myself asking – what did you want to tell me? Maybe this is why she is good.
The other novel I have read this summer is All That Is by James Salter. Had great reviews, but I find the central character an appallingly self-centred misogynist, which got in the way (to say the least). It is somehow empty. Lots happening but a massive void at the core. Depressing – but I had to finish it.
And in the car on my many journeys to my mum’s I listened to Julian Barnes reading his own Levels of Life IMG_0004which I loved. A kind of what goes up must come down view of life, marrying stories of early balloonatics with his own personal loss. Excellent.
And for September – we will be reading Gail Jones Dreams of Speaking. Jane’s choice and she will be leading. Next books to follow.