Things To Look Forward To 

David Gaunt has owned Gleebooks with partner Roger Mackell since 1976.

August 2017

 - Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Nothing like a holiday (to Peru and Ecuador no less, with lots of long distance reading time) to shake out some reading cobwebs. And a time to catch up with old favourites, some recommendations from trusted companions, some books that just had to wait for holidays, and a handful of publisher advance copies. Here’s my response to some of the offering (sadly, the pile remains dauntingly high, and the next holiday is nowhere in sight)
Carried Away by Alice Munro: the author’s selection of seventeen stories  published across a forty year career of exemplary writing. Exquisitely constructed, utterly absorbing stories. Thank goodness they gave her a Nobel Prize, so her genius could be shared between more readers
Position Doubtful by Kim Mahood: It took me a year to get to it, and this memoir (in some ways a sequel to the beautiful Craft for a Dry Lake from 2001) lived up to my high expectation. Original, heart-felt and beautifully revealing of the country and people Mahood grew up with. The title beautifully captures the notion of the wild and exotic and remote world of south-east Kimberley and its first-nation people who are the focus of this must-read book
Hillbilly Elegy by J D Vance: You’ve heard all about the book, and the author from the ‘read this if you want to understand why America voted for Trump’ angle. It’s a different, and more interesting, book than that, albeit one you should treat with caution. Vance’s narrative of his white working-class hillbilly heritage is fascinating, but somewhat warped by the complacent cultural assumptions of someone who succeeded in transcending that heritage
Close Your Eyes by Michael Robotham: Another tense, dark, brilliantly paced and psychologically complex thriller from a top-rate crime writer
A Long Way from Home by Peter Carey (due in November):  I’ve been reading and admiring Carey for the bets part of 40 years, and I’m delighted to see the freedom and rambunctious energy with which this new novel is infused. Set in suburban and provincial Australia of the early 50s, (would you believe a car dealership in Bacchus Marsh), with a narrative threaded around an around Australia Redex trial (old enough to remember them?), this is a novel which doesn’t shirk serious engagement in major social issues (most significantly, Aboriginal Australia). But at the same time, it fairly rattles along, with an energy and verve I can’t remember since Illywhacker and Kelly Gang. Quite brilliant and ambitious in scope and tone, and I loved it.
Rain Birds by Harriet McKnight (due in September): This is a powerful and touching first fiction, the political and personal through an intense, intimate focus on two women’s lives
The Red-Haired Woman by Orhan Pamuk (also due in September): This is Pamuk’s first novel since the lovely Museum of Innocence, and it is another intriguing and engaging chronicle of life in that most fascinating of cross-cultural cities, Istanbul, with a political murder-mystery focus. David