Bron Bates recommends some newly released titles by four great women.
I grew up reading loads. As an only child, lying on my bed with my book and a snack was a very happy place for me. As an adult, I continued to read every night before I went to sleep, but then a few years ago something happened: I got a smart phone (and had more children). After that, I found I still read before I went to sleep, but it was always on my phone. And it was articles and blog posts instead of books.
In the last couple of months, I’ve managed to get into a pretty good reading groove and I have four great new-ish titles to recommend that you may love too!
1. One Life by Kate Grenville
This is a beautifully written biography about Kate’s mum growing up in Australia through the early and middle part of last Century. Her journey as a woman and a parent struck such a chord with me – there really are parts of motherhood that are universal and continue to be relatable over time.
2. M Train by Patti Smith
Most people think of Patti as the godmother of punk, but I’d never listened to her music until I read/listened to Just Kids (soon being made into a biopic) and now M Train. She says she thinks of herself as less of a musician and more of a poet, and her storytelling has a whimsical, transportive quality, with M Train taking the reader through her recent everyday life and dream life. I am now obsessed with everything about Patti and am currently reading Woolgathering.
3. Second Half First by Drusilla Modjeska
Hands down my fave Aussie author, I once saw Drusilla Modjeska in the halls of Sydney Uni, but was too shy to tell her how much I love her work! This memoir opens on the eve of the author’s 40th birthday and provides thought-provoking recollections and observations about the nature of womanhood and creativity that resonated with me.
4. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
This is the book I’m currently reading, so I probably shouldn’t be recommending it until I’m done, but OMG it’s a good read. It may seem daunting at 700+ pages, but I picked mine up on Saturday (four days ago) and am up to page 375. Following four friends and their lives after college, its intricate realism really appeals to me. It does deal with disturbing themes, which isn’t usually my cup of tea, but context is everything and Yanagihara’s exploration of how human relationships are highly informed by a person’s past is skillful. I’m carrying it with me everywhere because I need to read it in spare moments. It’s that type of book.
Have you read any of these books too? I’d love to hear.