What I’m reading lately

November 14 2012
by emma

I don’t know about anyone else, but I always have a few books on the go, sitting on the coffee table or my bedside table in various stages of reading.  Books are such a huge part of my life, I have a house full of them, many old, some belonging to my parents, old school and uni books – from cute and lighthearted (I stand by my old, much loved 80s/90s Jilly Coopers) to texts, to cookbooks, to the classics like Alice in Wonderland and Catcher in the Rye.

I can’t imagine ever getting rid of any, they’re like trusty old friends who never change, no matter how scary the world becomes.

So currently I’m reading:

London in the Sixties edited by George Perry
I love this book featuring one of my favourite eras with the most mesmerizing vintage black and white photographs straight out of the swinging 60s.  I honestly don’t love the term ‘coffee table book’ as it sounds sort of silly but I suppose this book is that in a way, as it stays on my coffee table because it’s achingly cool and I don’t want to shove it away in a bookcase somewhere.

Easy by Bill Granger
Bill never disappoints with his delicious, simple meals and this beautiful cookbook isn’t any different.  Dishes such as chickpea tomato and spinach cottage pie, feta and Gruyère pastries with spicy tomato relish and chocolate and cherry tart feature.  I respect Bill because he seems a lovely fellow who unashamedly uses tinned tomatoes and chickpeas and other easy ingredients and is probably the most down-to-earth of all the TV chefs.

The House of Memories by Monica McInerny
Monica is one of my favourite authors because she writes so beautifully about family dynamics, tragedy and finding your way back.  I’ve just started reading this but like all her novels I’ve read, it’s thoughtful, poignant, has a strong female lead and likeable, empathetic characters which I always appreciate in a novel.

Michael Tolliver Lives and Mary Ann in Autumn by Armistead Maupin
I’ll always remember when I first bought the funny, moving, historically significant Tales of the City series, way back when I was still in high school (reading about 1970s San Francisco, the coolest apartment house ever, Jim Jones, Alcatraz and 70s pop culture fascinated me and I always imagined myself to be Mary Ann making my way in the big city).  I remember only being able to afford one book every few weeks and couldn’t wait to see what happened next as the characters seemed so real to me.  And I loved the series of the 90s!  Laura Linney as Mary Ann was exactly as I’d imagined her.

So I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to know what happened to everyone some 20 years down the track and being well, so much older – I’m one of those people who’d rather remember people as they were (whether real, literary or imagined – this is why I don’t use Facebook) but in the end, I felt I had to know everyone’s story.  I ended up reading the earlier books again and although I’ve read them quite a few times over the years, I still found it so funny and nostalgic reading these books from my youth as it gave me such a different perspective in a different time of my life.

In the end, reading these two books was like visiting old friends and although it wasn’t quite the same experience as the earlier novels (life can never be the same as it was can it?), I really missed the characters when I finished the whole series.

Kitchen Coquette by Katrina Meynink
I was lucky enough to win this through Katrina’s blog giveaway some time ago and was thrilled to receive it.  A quirky, deliciously written, sweetly illustrated, beautifully photographed cookbook featuring recipes for every stage of your life you could imagine … Road Trip, Grandma for a Cup of Tea and Meeting the Ex, just to name a few.  Currently I’m eyeing off spiced vanilla rice pudding pots with Turkish apricots, sashimi salad (yes please!) and Limoncello vodka sunrise, however there are so many lovely recipes I could go on and on.

Principles of Anatomy and Physiology (1990s edition)
In first year my friends and I would open up our texts on the train or bus, looking at body parts and medical conditions and loudly discussing them, giggling at how horrified our fellow passengers were.  It’s amazing how quickly you learn to look at certain parts of the body like they’re just an arm or leg or something.

And I’d be so excited to run off to the Co-op Bookstore on campus at the start of every semester and part with massive amounts of cash for shiny, sparkly, excitingly new textbooks which held such promise and hope!  Of course, they’d stay all shiny and sparkly for months, while we were at the pub, until approximately swotvac week at which point they’d be hurled on the floor or shoved into backpacks and treated very badly.

So occasionally I use my A&P text to looks things up, as it were, instead of using the internet in that mindless way we all do now.  Textbooks are awesome and they always makes me feel like a 19 year old student again.

What are you reading lately?


5 Responses leave one →
  1. Perfect! I’m almost finished with the two books I’m reading and the hardest part for me is finding my next book. Thank you for sharing these suggestions… I’ll definitely check them out!

  2. I am a Monica McInerney fan too! I loved Alphabet Sisters, and At Home with the Templetons is sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read.
    I have just finished devouring (quite literally, it made me very hungry) Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life – highly recommended!
    At the moment I am getting hooked on Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches. I haven’t been much for the supernaturally themed book over the past few years, but this one has me intrigued 🙂
    Go the textbook reading! I keep a stack of my dietetics and food science reference books close by, just in case the urge to browse through something intellectual (apart from research papers that I read at work) takes my fancy.
    Books are like old friends indeed, and I can’t bear to throw any away, well, there are worse things to collect 🙂

  3. I love this (quite literal) peek into what you’re reading! Making a note of all of these, especially Easy by Bill Granger. I’m not familiar with his show, but it sounds right up my alley!

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