Favourite books: a mid-year recap

29 May 2018

Somehow, I've managed to read 20 books this year. Relying on library books has definitely helped - they come with an inbuilt deadline, which can be as short as two weeks if it's a new release. Reading also helps me wind down, so I always have something on the go. Here's a quick look at what I've read and loved:


Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman was funny, totally relatable in parts, and heartbreaking too. I read it over Easter and was devastated when it was over - I loved the main characters so much.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee was my first epic of 2018. I found it all-consuming in the same way that A Little Life was, only far less traumatic.

Our Town by Thorton Wilder is a classic play that I read for the first time this year. I am fascinated by the minutiae of other people's lives and the beauty of everyday life, so this play felt profound. (This podcast is an excellent companion piece and introduced me to the play in the first place).

(I also read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng but didn't find it as captivating or believable as these three).


And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O'Connell. The most expensive book I've ever bought on my Kindle but I was desperate to read it after sampling this excerpt. It was totally worth it. I am still researching life with kids and found it raw and honest. I only wish it had been longer.

Am I there yet? by Mari Andrew. I follow Mari on Instagram and love her observations of life, its challenges and the crazy ways we relate to each other. This is a memoir with her classic illustrations and written essays and it's great. It's also one of the few books I've bought this year.

Drop the Ball: Achieving More By Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu. Tony and I are trying to share household chores more equally, especially as our jobs change. We've made a start, and while I didn't always relate to the author, this book helped me consider some of the things that've stopped me from doing less. One example: I'm fussy about what I eat, so have made most of our work lunches. Now we take turns, swapping every other day, and I eat what I'm given (and am grateful!).

Talking To My Country by Stan Grant I've mentioned here before. Having spent some time in the Riverina region of New South Wales, I had a strong sense of the places he wrote about from his childhood. The writing is powerful and the book showed me how much I have to learn about the history and experiences of Australia's first people.


I whizzed through Rupi Kaur's two poetry books, The Sun And Her Flowers and Milk and Honey. Poetry normally intimidates me but Rupi's poems are both simple and powerful. They come with a good dose of feminism and insight into what it's like to be a woman of colour today.

The Uncommon Feast by Eileen Chong. I often feel conflicted about my identity, being Chinese Australian. I worry that I'm not Chinese enough because I don't have any language and know very little about holidays and traditions. Eileen's poems, essays and recipes made me feel like I had more culture than I realised, and not all of it is food related :)

And books I've reserved...

Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger by Fiona Wright
Staying by Jessie Cole
You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (I loved her Death, Sex and Money interview)

P.S Let me know if you're read something great - new or old.

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