What Else We've Been Reading
The release of this stunning book could not have been more perfectly timed. A beautiful, intimate and inspiring investigation into how we can find and nurture within ourselves that essential quality of internal happiness - the 'light within' that Julia Baird calls 'phosphorescence' - which will sustain us even through the darkest times. Equal parts intellectual and moving, this book seeks out optimism and is the perfect balm to these anxious times.
Blueberries is a book that resists classification. A blend of personal essay, polemic, prose poetry, true-crime journalism and confession, it's a reflection on what it means to be a woman, a body, and an artist. It's about creative freedom, violence, choice and time (and so much more). The creative impulse of this book is rooted in its author's shrewd awareness and her capacity to transfer that into insightful and expansive writing. An astonishingly impressive Australian debut for fans of Jia Tolentino and Rebecca Solnit.
Emily St. John Mandel has been a popular author recently due in no small part to her 2014 dystopian novel Station Eleven which involved a pandemic that wiped out more than 99% of humanity. Light reading it was not, but let's just say Mandel knows how to craft an utterly captivating and possibly prophetic story. Her latest novel, The Glass Hotel, is a story of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it. Sounds like a page-turner (and it is) but what surprised us about this book was its profound examination of human behaviour, specifically how people respond to a crisis. Completely absorbing!