Things To Look Forward To 

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

February 2018

Gleebooks Bookshop - Friday, February 09, 2018
Great to be back. Best wishes from all here to all of our loyal readers and customers for 2018. This year we’ll still be publishing 10 Gleaners from February to November, however only five (February, April, June, August and October) will be landing in your actual mailbox. The other five will be available on line as a download from our website. They’ll be online on the first of each month, and if you’d like to be notified when they’re available for perusal (and aren’t already on our weekly email list), please send us your email address. For all those who are yet to join this weekly email I’d highly recommend it—in this way you can keep abreast especially of any live updates to our events programme.

In a brief summer break I managed some catch up on the reading backlog. You’ll have already heard about these, but they were such good holiday reads that I’ve got to recommend them, in case you missed them. Dave Warner’s Clear to the Horizon  and Garry Disher’s Under the Cold Bright Lights maintained their splendidly high standards of Australian detective crime fiction, and John Le Carré’s reprising of George Smiley in A Legacy of Spies was all I could have  wished. Stephen Fry’s Mythos and Richard Fidler and Kári Gíslason’s Saga Land were fascinating and enjoyable, and I’m pleased to have finally got to Shashi Tharoor’s Inglorious Empire, a cogently corrective history of Britain’s colonial India.

I was also delighted to lay my hands on two great early year Australian releases. Ceridwen Dovey is without doubt of the most exciting new writers I’ve read. Her story collection Only the Animals (2014) was absolutely compelling: beautifully constructed and  unforgettable tales told by the souls of dead animals, connected to some of history’s key moments. If you are as excited by her new novel In the Garden of the Fugitives (March 2018) as I am, you should read them in preparation. The title of the new novel is drawn from the centrepiece of its subject matter—the excavation of the ancient city of Pompeii, and its secret garden. And it’s just as apt as a description of the book’s main characters. Essentially the story takes the form of an exchange of correspondence between South Africa born Vita—Australian educated, and now living in Mudgee, and Royce, an older benefactor who sponsored her fellowship to America years before. All we know at the outset is that Royce, in the months before his death, is trying to renew the contact she broke off some twenty years earlier. What unfolds is a disquieting and compelling narrative across three continents, where the power of compulsive love and the quest for knowledge and control contend to produce something quite unexpected. Dovey is a brilliant, and creative original.

And, after a five year wait, we welcome a new Tim Winton novel in March. It’s fabulous. The Shepherd’s Hut is written with an urgency and a tension to take the breath away. Stunningly original, the action crosses a landscape like no other. It’s a heartfelt meditation on keeping love and hope alive in the most brutal of circumstances—through a first person narrator you won’t be able to forget. David Gaunt

 
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