What are you reading?
My copy of Shibboleth arrived on Monday, so I’m enjoying the stories in it. I’ve read Jo_Riccioni’s title story and Magdalena_McGuire’s ‘It used to be a Boyd,’ so far, and loved them both.
Helen Garner’s ‘Everywhere I look.’ I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Helen’s work. She has such a clear, unforgiving eye. Sometimes I wish there was a bit more compassion for weakness and folly.
Teju Cole’s ‘Every day is for the Thief.’ I heard it reviewed on Books and Arts. Cole is returning to Nigeria after a long time away.
The sense of going back to somewhere that’s distanced in both time and space and being disappointed that both you, and the place have changed, is very familiar.
Patrick Ness’s ‘The Rest of us just Live here’. It’s a Y.A. novel with a great premise – while the cool kids are off someone in the background fighting the vampires and zombies and saving the world, everyone else is getting on with their own messy lives.
Peter Temple’s ‘Dead Point’ – and I’ve just reread ‘Truth’. I’m trying to go slow and appreciate his language, but the story keeps sweeping me along.
Nikki Sava’s ‘The Road to Ruin,’ for a bit of schadenfreude.
‘Thoughtful Gardening,’ by Robin Lane Fox. Robin was ‘Garden Master’ at New College Oxford. It’s so terribly English in that old fashioned way, like reading Evelyn Waugh or Nancy Mitford. I have to stop every few lines and look up pictures of plants I don’t know – Rudbeckia Goldsturm, winter flowering Mahonias, phloxes and Narcissi. The names are intoxicating – like learning another language.
I’m saving ‘Tracks’ by Louise Erdrich for the right time. I’ve read the first two sentences – ‘We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall. It was surprising there were so many of us left to fall.’ I feel like I’m standing at the edge of a pool on a wintery morning hesitating about diving in. It’s the same feeling I had when I started ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy.
What are you listening to?
A punk retrospective on Rage had me jumping around the room the other night. case / lang /viers is my latest download. Radio national podcasts. Nick Cave, PJ Harvey. My latest live gig was a trip to the distant Aussie past with the Sunny Boys and the Hoodoo Gurus.
What are you watching?
I’m a bit of a political junkie – seven hours of election coverage on Saturday night – and still it continues. Catching up on Game of Thrones. The difference is I can fast forward through the horrendous bits of Game of Thrones, but we’re stuck with the politics.
What have you got a taste for?
Anything savoury and salty– cheese, anchovies, olives, miso, seaweed, Japanese food in general
What scents surround you?
I acquired an Australian Native Bee hive late last year. They don’t sting, so you can get very close to the hive and their honey has the most amazing smell. The clever little bees don’t fly unless the temperature is over 18 degrees, so they’re hunkered down for the winter now, and the scent isn’t as strong, but in the late warm autumn it was wonderful.
Catherine Moffat lives on the NSW Central Coast. She’s had short stories published in literary magazines including Australian Book Review and Australian Short Stories, on Radio National, and in a number of anthologies. In 2011, she won the Katharine Susannah Prichard Short story competition and has been shortlisted or commended for other prizes including the Newcastle Short story prize and the Elizabeth Jolley Short Story competition. She was shortlisted for the Margaret River Short Story prize in 2012 and 2015 and commended in 2016. Catherine has also recently won The Hope Prize, which was established by the Brotherhood of St. Laurence.