The last week in particular just flew by, and before I knew it I was heading off to the inaugural Australia & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts in King's College London on Saturday afternoon, neglecting my backlog of unwritten reviews and hoping no one would notice. So, while the month might be officially over it's probably going to extend into the next week while I play catch-up. I also want to report on some of sessions I attended at the Festival, so do stay tuned.
In the meantime, here's a quick round-up of what happened during the past week.
Despite my best intentions, I only managed to review one novel, but what a novel that turned out to be. Tim Winton's Eyrie is just an extraordinary read about giving up on life, moral courage and what it is to help others less fortunate than ourselves. That probably makes it sound like a goodie-two-shoes type of story, when it's actually quite dark and disturbing in places, but it's also very funny and warm. I would be very surprised if this doesn't turn up on the Booker longlist this year.
Triple Choice Tuesday
I was incredibly fortunate to have one of Australia's rising stars take part in Triple Choice Tuesday. Fiona McFarlane, who has been shortlisted for this year's Miles Franklin Literary Award (alongside Tim Winton, no less), chose an intriguing array of books, which you can read about here.
During the week I also ran a competition to win a Text Classic of your choice and I'm delighted that a copy of Don Charlwood's All the Green Year is now winging its way to Germany as I write this.
Tim Winton interview
I also published a short interview with Tim Winton on literary prizes and the success of Cloudstreet. A longer interview, specifically about his new novel, will be published on Shiny New Books soon.
Seeing Clive James on stage
I couldn't think of a better way to round-off what has been a rather full-on ANZLitMonth than by seeing one of my heroes, Clive James, live on stage at the Australia & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts. It was a privilege to be in the audience. His comic timing was just as extraordinary as ever and I laughed at pretty much every single thing he had to say. But at the end, when he bowed and waved to a standing ovation, I wanted to cry. You can read my account of his show here.
It's been inspiring to see the list of ANZ books being reviewed elsewhere across the blogosphere — there's 38 at last count — but do keep them coming in. I'll keep the widget open for another week to catch any stragglers.
To add a link to your own review or to see what others have reviewed, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Once again thanks to everyone who has actively taken part and reviewed books on your own blogs or Good Read accounts, left comments on Facebook or Tweeted about the month using the hashtag #ANZLitMonth. It's been great fun and I look forward to doing it all again next year!