On the Shelf

Last Updated: 14 June 2020

Pandemic Purchases (May-June 2020)  

  • Maggie O'Farrell - Hamnet (read review)*
  • Kate Elizabeth Russell - My Dark Vanessa (read review)*
  • Bernardine Evaristo - Girl, Woman, Other*
  • Julia Baird - Phosphorescence (read review)*
  • Suzanne Collins - The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
  • Iris Murdoch - The Sea, The Sea
*Because the library is closed and I couldn't wait!

Autumn Collection (April 2020)
  • Jess Hill - See What You Made Me Do (read review)
  • Madeline Miller - The Song of Achilles
  • Emily St John Mandel - Station Eleven
  • Candice Carty-Williams - Queenie
  • Patricia Highsmith - various
Books on Order from the Library
  • Joey Bui - Lucky Ticket (read review)
  • Josephine Rowe - Here Until August (read review)
  • Kitty Flanagan - 488 Rules for Life (read review)
  • Zora Neale Hurston - Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick (read review)
  • Maggie O'Farrell - Hamnet (read review)
  • Many Ord - When One Person Dies (read review)
  • Julia Baird - Phosphorescence
  • Bernardine Evaristo - Girl, Woman, Other
  • Kate Weinberg - The Truants
  • Kate Elizabeth Russell - My Dark Vanessa 
Christmas 2019
New Books (October 2019)
  • Heather Rose - Bruny (read review)
  • Ottessa Moshefegh - My Year of Rest and Relaxation
  • Michelle McNamara - I'll be Gone in the Dark
  • Colson Whitehead - The Nickel Boys

Spring Acquisitions (September 2019)
  • Gillian Triggs - Speaking Up (read review)
  • Anna Burns - Milkman
  • Elizabeth Gilbert - City of Girls
  • Edna O'Brien - In the Forest
  • Robert Harris - The Second Sleep
  • Malcolm Gladwell - Talking to Strangers
  • Annabel Crabb - Men at Work (QE75) (read review)

Ordered/Received (July 2019)
  • Margaret Atwood - The Testaments (read review)
  • Brian Bilston - Diary of a Somebody (read review)
  • Niki Savva - Plots and Prayers (read review)
  • Emily Nussbaum - I Like to Watch (read review)
  • Taffy Brodesser-Akner - Fleishman is in Trouble
  • Max Porter - Lanny
  • John Lanchester - The Wall (read review)

Sydney Writers' Festival purchases (May 2019)
  • Daisy Johnson - Everything Under
  • Meg Wolitzer - The Female Persuasion
  • Okinyan Braithwaite - My Sister, the Serial Killer (read review)
  • Jane Caro - Accidental Feminists
  • Clare Wright - You Daughters of Freedom
  • Tim Soutphommasane - On Hate

Shopping in Melbourne (February 2019)
  • Susan Orlean - The Library Book
  • Nora Ephron - Heartburn (read review)
  • Janet Malcolm - Nobody's Looking at You
  • Rebecca Solnit - Hope in the Dark

Holiday Acquisitions (December 2018)
Ooops! I did it again! (October 2018)
Have Gift Voucher, Will Shop (September 2018)
  • Bri Lee - Eggshell Skull (read review)
  • Sinclair Lewis - It Can't Happen Here
  • Rick Morton - One Hundred Years of Dirt (read review)
  • Robert Galbraith - Lethal White (read review)
  • John Williams - Stoner

Shopping Spree (July 2018)
  • Nick Drnaso - Sabrina (read review)
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - We Should All Be Feminists
  • Kenneth Mikkelsen and Richard Martin - The Neo-Generalist

Holiday Purchases (June 2018)
  • Janet Malcolm - The Journalist and the Murderer
  • Julian Stodd - Social Leadership Handbook (read review)
From Sydney Writers' Festival (May 2018)

  • Helen Garner - The Children's Bach
  • Helen Garner - True Stories
  • Helen Garner - Stories (read review)
  • Sarah Krasnostein - The Trauma Cleaner (read review)
  • Amy Goldstein - Janesville

April 2018
Out shopping at Bondi Junction today and purchased two books I have wanted for some time:
  • Helen Garner - Cosmo Cosmolino
  • Rachel Cusk - Outline
Christmas Books (December 2017)
Here is what I got for Christmas:
  • Julia Baird - Victoria The Queen (read review)
  • Jennifer Egan - Manhattan Beach
  • Mohsin Hamid  - Exit West (read review)
  • Samantha Irby - We are never meeting in real life (read review)
  • Celeste Ng - Little Fires Everywhere

Newest purchases (October 2017)
Here are the latest additions to my library:
  • Richard Flanagan - First Person
  • Jane Harper - Force of Nature (read review)
  • Hillary Clinton - What Happened (read review)
  • Penelope Mortimer - The Pumpkin Eater (read review)
  • Karin Slaughter - The Good Daughter

Recent Acquisitions (August 2017)
I know some people find gift vouchers impersonal, but I love them. I recently cashed in some vouchers I had for bookstores and got a stack of books I have long wanted:

  • Mark Colvin - Light and Shadow: Memoirs of a Spy's Son (read review)
  • Rupi Kaur - Milk and Honey (read review)
  • Naomi Klein - No Is Not Enough
  • Michael Ondaatje - In the Skin of a Lion
  • George Saunders - Lincoln in the Bardo (read review)
  • David Sedaris - Theft by Finding (Diaries Vol 1)
  • Colson Whitehead - The Underground Railroad

Holiday Reads for May-June (April 2017)
I am off to Europe for a holiday next month and have loaded up my eReader with a range of titles (200+) so I have plenty to keep me occupied as I plane and train all over Europe. I have got a mix of titles and genres so I can let my mood carry me away. Some of the ones I have been holding on to waiting for this trip are:
  • David Marr - The White Queen (Quarterly Essay 65) (read review)
  • Nancy Isenberg - White Trash
  • Gillian Flynn - Dark Places (read review)
  • Diane Ackerman - The Zookeeper's Wife
  • Robert Harris - Conclave
  • Ann Patchett - Commonwealth
  • Liane Moriarty - Big Little Lies
  • Amy Schumer - The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
  • Lauren Groff - Fates and Furies
  • Ian McEwan - Nutshell
  • Maria Semple - Today Will Be Different
  • Heather Rose - The Museum of Modern Love (read review)

Plus, I have about a million classics, the Sookie Stackhouse series, all the Harry Potters and various others to keep me out of trouble.

New Year, New Books (Jan 2017)

Latest acquisitions include:
  • Jane Harper - The Dry (read review)
  • Graham Greene - The Third Man
  • Paul Beatty - The Sellout
  • Lindy West - Shrill (read review)
  • JD Vance - Hillbilly Elegy (read review)

October 2016 - New books to add to my pile include Hannah Kent's second novel, The Good People,  (read review) and Clementine Ford's Fight Like a Girl (read review).

Latest Acquisitions (September 2016)

Have recently bought a few books without knowing too much about them. Here are my latest additions to my to-be-read pile:
  • Emily Maguire - An Isolated Incident (read review)
  • Graeme Macrae Burnet - His Bloody Project (read review)
  • Philippe LeGrain - Open World - the Truth About Globalisation

Have Coupon, Will Shop (July 2016)
I have had a coupon for a discount from a bookstore for some time now, biding my time and trying to decide what to buy. As my opportunity is about to expire, I went shopping and bought things I have had an eye for a while now, and a couple of things that fell into my cart!

  • Clive James - Collected Poems 1958-2015 (read review)
  • Christina Stead - The Man Who Loved Children
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates - Between the World and Me (read review)
  • Richard Flanagan - Notes on an Exodus (read review)

Sydney Writers' Festival purchases (May 2016)
  • Frank Moorhouse - Grand Days
  • Anna Funder - The Girl with the Dogs (read review)
  • Kate Tempest - Brand New Ancients (read review)
  • Kate Tempest - Hold Me Now
  • Peter Garrett - Big Blue Sky
  • Jeanette Winterson - Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? (read review)
  • Marlon James - A Brief History of Seven Killings
  • Gloria Steinem - My Life on the Road (read review)

Impulse Buys
This week I bought two books from the Stella Prize shortlist:
  • Elizabeth Harrower - A few days in the country and other stories (2015)
  • Tegan Bennett Daylight - Six Bedrooms (2015) (read review)
All About Women 2016
I picked up the following titles at the All About Women festival on 6 March 2016.

  • Jennifer Clement's Prayers for the Stolen (signed by author)
  • Anne Marie Slaughter's Unfinished Business
  • Tara Moss's The Fictional Woman
These get added to my To Be Read Shelf alongside Charlotte Wood's The Natural Way of Things (read review).

Christmas Books 2015
  • My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante
  • The Story of a New Name, Elena Ferrante
  • Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, Elena Ferrante
  • The Story of the Lost Child, Elena Ferrante
  • The Economics of Inequality, Thomas Piketty
  • Career of Evil, Robert Galbraith (read review)
Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2015 
Here is my list of books which I purchased and had signed by authors at FODI:

  • So You've Been Publicly Shamed (2014) by Jon Ronson (read review)
  • The Rise of the Robots (2015) by Martin Ford
  • This Changes Everything (2014) by Naomi Klein
  • The Challenge of Things (2015) by AC Grayling
  • Knowledge Wars (2015) by Peter Doherty

August 2015
My latest acquisition is a beautiful hardcover of Women I've Undressed by Orry-Kelly. Kelly was a designer who created some of the most memorable gowns to ever been worn on film by Hepburn, Monroe, Hayworth, Stanwyk and many more. I heard about him because of Gillian Armstrong's new documentary and I am keen to read his memoir.

Long awaited... (July 2015)
I have just received a copy of Harper Lee's long awaited Go Set a Watchman (2015). I am so excited by this book but am trying to decide how to read it. Should I go back and re-read my long held favourite To Kill a Mockingbird first? Or should I get straight in to Watchman? Should I read it now when everyone is talking about it? Or wait until I can read uninfluenced by others? I doubt I will be able to resist for long!

Sydney Writers Festival and more (May/June 2015)
I picked up the following books at the Sydney Writers' Festival this year and had many of them signed by the authors.
  • Forgotten Children: Fairbridge Farm School and its Betrayal of British Child Migrants to Australia (2007) by David Hill
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) by Mohsin Hamid
  • One of Us (2015) by Asne Seierstad (read review)
  • The Bookseller of Kabul (2002) by Asne Seierstad  (read review)
  • The Spare Room (2008) by Helen Garner (read review)
  • Not My Father's Son (2015) by Alan Cumming (read review)
  • Farewell Kabul (2015) by Christina Lamb
  • And What Do You Do, Mr Gable? (2011) by Richard Flanagan 
  • Schindler's Ark (1982) by Thomas Keneally
  • The Golden Age (2014) by Joan London (read review)
I also have the following to read:
  • Quarterly Essay 57 - Blood Year Terror and the Islamic State (2015) by David Kilcullen (read review)
  • Black Widow (2015) by Carol Baxter (a loan from my mother) (read review)
  • Carol (1952) by Patricia Highsmith (also known as The Price of Salt)

More to be read (April 2015)
  • The Girl on the Train (2014) by Paula Hawkins (read review)
  • A Spool of Blue Thread (2014) by Anne Tyler
  • The Strays (2014) by Emily Bitto (read review)

From the All About Women Festival (8 March 2015)
  • Bad Feminist (2014) by Roxane Gay (read review)
  • An Untamed State (2015) by Roxane Gay
  • Overwhelmed (2014) by Brigid Schulte

Gift (January 2015)
Super excited about a book my uncle gave me. June Wright's Murder in the Telephone Exchange (1948) was a best-seller when published but then the author was forgotten. Her book has recently been republished by Dark Passage. Can't wait to read it!

Christmas Books (December 2014)
  • This House of Grief (2010) by Helen Garner (read review)
  • All the Birds, Singing (2013) by Evie Wyld
  • My Story (2014) by Julia Gillard (read review)
  • Not That Kind of Girl (2014) by Lena Dunham  (read review)
  • Yes Please (2014) by Amy Poehler (read review)
  • The Paying Guests (2014) by Sarah Waters
  • Capital in the 21st Century (2013) by Thomas Piketty
  • The Sweet Spot (2011) by Peter Hartcher
  • Quarterly Essay 56 - Clivosaurus (2014) by Guy Rundle (read review)

Yup...More Books (September 2014)
  • Being and Being Bought - Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self (2010) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman (read review)
  • Slavery Inc - The Untold Story of International Child Sex Trafficking  (2010) by Lydia Cacho 
  • Quarterly Essay 55- A Rightful Place (2014) by Noel Pearson

More books... (July 2014)
  • The Goldfinch (2013) by Donna Tartt (see review)
  • The Silkworm (2014) by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) (see review)
  • Top Secret Twenty-One (2014) by Janet Evanovich
  • Quarterly Essay 54 - Dragon's Tail: The Lucky Country After the China Boom (2014) by Andrew Charlton

Latest purchases (May 2014)
  • A Bigger Prize (2014) by Margaret Heffernan
  • Dear Life (2012) by Alice Munro (see review)
  • Parade's End (1928) by Ford Madox Ford 
  • Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (1982) by Anne Tyler (see review)

Happy New Year (January 2014)
  • Found in Translation (2013) by Linda Jaivin (see review)
  • The Oasis (1949) by Mary McCarthy
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North (2013) by Richard Flanagan (see review)
  • The Walking Dead Compendium (2009) by Robert Kirkman

New arrivals (November 2013)
  • Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (2003) by Chris Ware (see review)
  • Maddaddam (2013) by Margaret Atwood
  • Takedown Twenty (2013) by Janet Evanovich (see review)
  • Standing in Another Man's Grave (2013) by Ian Rankin

Impulse Buys (October 2013)
  • Quarterly Essay 50 - Unfinished Business (2013) by Anna Goldsworthy (see review)
  • The Company She Keeps (1942) by Mary McCarthy
  • Quarterly Essay 51 - The Prince (2013) by David Marr (see review)
  • The Bone Season (2013) by Samantha Shannon
  • Quiet (2013) by Susan Cain

New arrivals (July 2013)
  • Enid Blyton Famous Five 21 book collection
  • The Cuckoo's Calling (2013) by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a JK Rowling) (read review)
  • Burial Rites (2013) by Hannah Kent (read review)
  • And the Mountains Echoed (2013) by Khaled Hosseini
  • Skagboys (2012) by Irvine Welsh

Christmas Books (December 2012)
  • The Getting of Wisdom (1910) by Henry Handel Richardson
  • The Slap (2008) by Christos Tsiolkas 
  • Notorious Nineteen (2012) by Janet Evanovich (read review)
  • Mortality (2012) by Christopher Hitchens (read review)

Latest arrivals (October 2012)
The latest books to be added to my e-reader are:
  • JK Rowling, A Casual Vacancy
  • Sam Harris, The Moral Landscape - How science can determine human values 
  • Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall

E-Books for travelling (May 2012)
In April 2012, while in New York, I bought a Sony e-reader to house my books. I had been reading e-books on my iPad, but was finding it too heavy and not great for my eyes after long periods of reading. The Sony e-reader has been wonderful - light, compact, and easy to read with e-ink technology. I have transferred many of my e-books to this device including:

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins:

The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin:

  • A Game of Thrones (read review)
  • A Clash of Kings (read review)
  • A Storm of Swords: Part 1 Steel and Snow (read review)
  • A Storm of Swords: Part 2 Blood and Gold (read review)
  • A Feast for Crows
  • A Dance with Dragons

  • Christmas Books (Dec 2011)

    • Philippa Gregory, Lady of the Rivers
    • Jennifer Egan, A Visit From the Goon Squad (read review)
    • Janette Turner Hospital, Forecast: Turbulence (read review)

    Even Newer Arrivals (Dec 2011)
    • Tom Rath, Strengths Finder 2.0 (read review)
    • Stephen Fry, The Fry Chronicles
    • Daniel Pink, Drive (read review)
    • John Le Carre, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    • Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (read review)
    • Janet Evanovich, Explosive Eighteen (read review)

    Newer Arrivals (Oct 2011)

    • Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy (read review)
    • Anna Funder, All That I Am (read review)
    • Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
    • Christopher Hitchens, Arguably
    • Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
    • Nancy Mitford, Love in a Cold Climate
    • Edna O'Brien, Down by the River  (read review)
    • Michael Ondaatje, The Cat's Table
    • Richard Wright, Native Son

    New Arrivals (Aug 2011)

    • Robertson Davies, The Salteron Trilogy: Tempest-Tost, Leaven of Malice, A Mixture of Frailties
    • James Lever, Me Cheeta (read review)
    • Rob Lowe, Stories I Only Tell My Friends (read review)
    • Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (read review)

    To Be Read (as at June 2011)

    The following books are at the top of my To Be Read pile...
    • Joseph Boyden, Through Black Spruce
    • Geraldine Brooks, Caleb's Crossing
    • Robertson Davies, The Manticore (read review)
    • Margaret Atwood, The Year of the Flood
    • Andrea Levy, The Long Song
    • J.M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello
    • Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
    • Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea
    • Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
    • J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
    • Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow (read review)
    • Margaret Heffernan, Wilful Blindness
    • Wangari Maathai, Unbowed
    • Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22
    • Gayle Avery, Honeybees and Locusts