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Book Chat Issue #57
A winter warmer
Hello reading friends
Tomorrow is the first day of winter in Australia and I’m wearing my fluffy slippers and contemplating whether I can type with gloves on. Like many Australian houses, my home is not designed for the cooler months, so it’s pretty chilly in my little office. I spend quite a bit of time making cups of tea and thinking about what to have for dinner.
It’s perfect weather for eating and reading, but I guess I say that about every season. If you live in a warm part of the world, I hope you are enjoying the sunshine.
What I’ve been reading
I finally got around to reading Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype but it was an enjoyable, if somewhat meandering read. I’m an editor by nature and although I don’t mind reading longer books, I sometimes get frustrated when they get bogged down. There’s a section near the end that was a little drawn out and didn’t add much to the overall story, but it was otherwise intricately structured and engaging.
When I first heard about this book I was puzzled by the strange title, which frankly made no sense to me. I’m showing my ignorance here, because apparently it’s quite a famous quote. In my defence, I didn’t study Shakespeare at school and I’ve never seen Macbeth. In the play Macbeth is referring to the futility of life (we’re all going to die in the end) but in the context of the book it seems to be more about second chances.
The novel is about two young people who both love playing video games. They meet in hospital when Sam is recovering from a serious car accident and Sadie is visiting her sick sister. They become friends and later join forces to design video games.
I found this aspect of the book to be really fascinating, especially the parts describing the creative process, but don’t be put off reading it if you’re not into gaming because the book is really about fame, failure, and friendship.
Sam and Sadie are not always kind to one another, but despite grief, loss and heartbreak, their friendship survives. And like any good video game, there’s always the chance to start over again.
Have you read it? What did you think?
What I’ve been writing
New subscribers might be interested to know that I also publish short personal essays on my blog. Yesterday I shared a piece about Anne of Green Gables. If you haven’t subscribed to my blog (please do). If you missed it, you can read it here.
What I’ve been eating
My youngest daughter requested roast lamb and butterscotch self-saucing pudding for her birthday dinner, so that’s what she got. I used this recipe for the lamb and it was very tasty. I would recommend making the eggplant sauce in advance, (it takes a little while to fry all the eggplant) as this would give you more time on the day to make dessert.
I’ve never made a self-saucing pudding from scratch before, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. It’s pretty easy, but not really very different from the good old supermarket packet mix. Both are delicious with vanilla ice cream.
I forgot to take a photo, but here’s the recipe if you want to feel virtuous and make it from scratch.
Book Club is happening soon!
We will be discussing The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Friday, June 16 · 9:00 – 10:00am
Time zone: Australia/Sydney
Google Meet joining info
Video call link: https://meet.google.com/jjn-zpmp-fjp
That’s all for this edition,
If you have any reading recommendations, do let me know. I love to hear what people are reading.