This book could break you

Adjectives that come to mind when I think of Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart: devastating, heartbreaking, ruthless, brutal, distressing. And yet, in the last sentence of the book, I glimpsed hope. The last sentence made me cry, the only time I shed tears despite all the shocking events of the previous 430 pages. All those … Continue reading This book could break you

Nature Girl meets Courtroom Drama

"Where the Crawdads Sing" is a North Carolina way of saying "Beyond the Blackstump" which would probably also be a good name for a book if it is not already taken. Everything you need to know about the main character in "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens is contained within her deer analogy. “Kya … Continue reading Nature Girl meets Courtroom Drama

Where’s the Rakija?

The Pocket Bookclub set a dangerous precedent when we emulated Eleanor Oliphant's favourite dinner of vodka and pizza. It seemed that on every other page the characters in Téa Obreht's The Tiger's Wife are drinking Rakija or Rakia. This is essentially fruit brandy from the Balkans which you cannot buy (easily) in Australia. We know … Continue reading Where’s the Rakija?

“I left the baby on the bus and now I’m going to fall into a delirious fever”

Pocket Bookclub is not enamoured with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or the monster in the book.  This a story we retell and reimagine over and over. In fact, Frankenstein is 200 years old this year. It has captured our collective cultural imagination but the source just did not stand up for us. Let's start with who … Continue reading “I left the baby on the bus and now I’m going to fall into a delirious fever”

Hungry and lost: Terra Nullius

The Pocket Bookclub does not have many rules. It is however customary for the month's chooser of the book to bring supper. Of late these suppers have in part been inspired by the book.  Some members have been quite imaginative and set a high bar. Notably, our civil war inspired supper when discussing Lincoln in … Continue reading Hungry and lost: Terra Nullius

Pocket Bookclub gets bloody and goes to hell

This month the Pocket Bookclub dove into a vat of bloody organs and the genre of crime fiction with Hades by Candice Fox. Homicide detective Frank Bennett has an intriguing new partner. Dark, beautiful, coldly efficient, Eden Archer is one of the most enigmatic colleagues Frank has ever worked with—that includes her brother Eric, who’s … Continue reading Pocket Bookclub gets bloody and goes to hell