Book Chat Issue #25
Caring, sharing, and watermelon cake
Hello reading friends!
Welcome to my newsletter for people who love reading and eating. If you’re looking for some great book recommendations and the occasional recipe, you’ve come to the right place.
It’s still raining here, although a little bit of sun peeked through the clouds a moment ago. Hopefully it will improve later in the week. The constant rain provides plenty of opportunities for reading, although to be honest, I don’t need much encouragement.
Quote of the day
Life always offers you a second chance. It’s called tomorrow.
What I’ve been reading
Careless by Kirsty Capes was recommended by Denise, my longtime book group friend and reader of this newsletter. It’s a coming of age book about teen pregnancy and children in care. I was a bit reluctant to read it because I suspected it would be sad, (which it is in places) but it’s also really well written and occasionally funny. I wanted to give the main character a great big hug and tell her how courageous she is. It made me think about my own experiences of being a teenager and making foolish choices, and that made me want to give my fifteen year old self a big hug as well.
Here’s an excellent review by The Guardian.
An old favourite
My sister Bev reminded me that we both enjoyed Extinctions, by West Australian author Josephine Wilson, so I thought I’d give it a shout out here.
Professor Frederick Lothian, retired engineer, world expert on concrete and connoisseur of modernist design, has quarantined himself by moving to a retirement village. Surrounded by ‘stuff’, he’s determined to be miserable.
He meets Jan, owner of many budgerigars and brightly coloured clothes, and is forced to rethink his life and shortcomings as a husband and father.
As this review says, Extinctions is a thoughtful exploration of disability, ageing, adoption, discrimination and coming to terms with one’s self.
Do you have a favourite book? I’d love to know what it is. Pop it in the comments.
Other writing I’ve enjoyed
A middle-aged woman decides to love herself despite her flabby arms and lopsided hips.
What I’ve been baking
I was fortunate enough to have lunch with three lovely friends last weekend. My friend Megan made us the most delicious watermelon and rose layer cake for dessert. Instead of using sponge cake, she substituted madeira cake and we all agreed it was perfect. She grew the watermelon in her garden and made her own candied rose petals!
Here’s the recipe.
That’s all for now. Please look after yourselves and one another.