1. Women of Letters curated by Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire. I'm a huge fan of anything Marieke Hardy does. I might have a slight girl crush on her. I was also fortunate enough to meet her a couple of years ago during the country music festival in Tamworth. It was unexpected, that's for sure. The Women of Letters book stems from a series of live shows where a bunch of different creative folk are asked to write a letter on a certain theme and read it on stage. I haven't had a chance to make it to one of the shows yet but it's on my bucket list for 2013. The book is a collection of most of the letters written and presented so far. They also introduced a couple of 'Men of Letters' shows last year and some kind men-folk have submitted their letters to the book as well. If you want to read heart-felt and often hilarious letters from well-known Australian artists, musicians, media personalities and other creatives, then this book is for you.
2. The Memory Keeper's Daughter. I borrowed this book upon recommendation from my BFF. If you're reading this, remind me to give it back! It's quite a sad story set in the 1960s about a Doctor who gives away his newborn baby because she has downs syndrome. He also keeps this from his wife for a very long time. As horrible as it sounds, I ended up really feeling for the man because he honestly thought he was doing the right thing. It's an interesting read, but a sad one at that.
3. Gaysia by Benjamin Law. I've briefly touched on this book in another recent blog post but wanted to tell you a bit more about it. In the same way that I'm obsessed with Marieke Hardy, I cannot fault anything that Benjamin Law does. Since I discovered him in Frankie magazine, I've also read his other novel, The Family Law. I also recently listed him as one of my favourite people to follow on Twitter. A gay man himself, Ben says he feels pretty lucky to live in Australia where he can speak up about gay rights and hold his boyfriend's hand in public. In order to write Gaysia, he traveled around parts of Asia including Bali, Thailand, China, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar and India to find out what it's like being gay in these parts of the world. From a ladyboy pageant to gay sex workers, he spares no details. It's confronting and sometimes shocking but there's also plenty of funny moments. It's the relationships Ben forms with the various people he meets along the way that really got me in. This man knows how to tell a story and I can definitely say I learnt a lot.
I've been trying to read a lot more of the classic novels lately and I'm currently onto The Great Gatsby, which I will tell you about once I've finished. In the next few weeks or so, Bec from My Bloggable Day and I will be sharing our reviews of Wuthering Heights, as we both happened to be reading it at the same time. If you're interested in being a part of this book club, please feel free to email me and we can choose a book to read and review together.