Review: Novelist as A Vocation – Haruki Murakami

Novelist as A Vacation

Haruki Murakami

Philip Gabriel (Translator),

Ted Goossen (Translator)

Penguin Randon House

Harvill Secker

ISBN:9781911215387

RRP $35.00

Description;

Thoughts and advice on the creative writing process from an international master of literature.

In this book Haruki Murakami explores his craft. He muses upon the qualities a novelist needs such as endurance and delight in the process as well as laying out his own methods. He covers topics such as originality, finding your own style, creating characters and links between literature, music and art. He also talks about his own life experiences and how they have influenced his work and his relationship with the Japanese literary establishment. He discusses education, the importance of reading, his literary influences and his path to success and the way he balances physical and intellectual work in his life. Wise and enlightening, this is a window into the world of an unique writer.

My View:

Imagine you sitting in big cosy armchair, opposite you in the famous writer, Haruki Murakami. Perhaps it is after dinner, you are both feeling comfortable and relaxed, you have, after all spent some time that evening around the table getting to know one another during a superb four course meal. Relaxed, you sit opposite one another and conversation begins or maybe continues. This is the book you now have in front of you – conversations, musings, reflections.

I found it entertaining, engaging and surprising, unpretentious.

A stand out reflection for me was ” I have a standard answer when interviewers ask me about literary prizes – this question invariably comes up, whether in Japan or abroad. ‘The most important thing,’ I tell them, ‘is good readers. Nothing means as much as much as the people who dip into their pockets to buy my books – not prizes or medals or critical praise.’ I repeat this answer over and over ad nauseum, yet it doesn’t seem to sink in. Most often it is completely ignored.” pps 44-45. Did I mention humility?

I enjoyed this conversation with Murakami.

Davitt Awards Shortlists 2022

Davitt Awards 2022 shortlists announced

26 July 2022

Sisters in Crime Australia has announced the shortlists for the 2022 Davitt Awards for best crime books by Australian women.

The shortlisted titles in each category are:

Adult crime novel                

  • Unforgiven (Sarah Barrie, HQ Fiction)
  • Before You Knew My Name (Jacqueline Bublitz, A&U)
  • You Had It Coming (B M Carroll, Profile Books)
  • All That I Remember About Dean Cola (Tania Chandler, Scribe)
  • Bodies of Light (Jennifer Down, Text)
  • Shelter (Catherine Jinks, Text)
  • The Beautiful Words (Vanessa McCausland, HarperCollins)
  • Once There Were Wolves (Charlotte McConaghy, Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Family Doctor (Debra Oswald, A&U)
  • The Second Son (Loraine Peck, Text)
  • The Silent Listener (Lyn Yeowart, Viking) 

Young adult crime novel

  • The Gaps (Leanne Hall, Text)
  • Dirt Circus League (Maree Kimberley, Text)
  • Sugar Town Queens (Malla Nunn, A&U Children’s)
  • House of Hollow (Krystal Sutherland, Penguin)

Children’s crime novel

  • Night Ride into Danger (Jackie French, HarperCollins)
  • The Detective’s Guide to Ocean Travel (Nicki Greenberg, Affirm)
  • Ella at Eden #6: The London thief (Laura Sieveking, Scholastic)

Nonfiction crime book

  • Empowering Women: From murder and misogyny to High Court victory (Susie Allanson with Lizzie O’Shea, Wilkinson Publishing)
  • Larrimah: A missing man, an eyeless croc and an outback town of 11 people who mostly hate each other (Caroline Graham & Kylie Stevenson, A&U)
  • The Winter Road: A story of legacy, land and a killing at Croppa Creek (Kate Holden, Black Inc.)
  • Banquet: The untold story of Adelaide’s family murders (Debi Marshall, Vintage) 

Debut crime books

  • Before You Knew My Name (Jacqueline Bublitz, A&U)
  • Shadow Over Edmund Street (Suzanne Frankham, Journey to Words)
  • Larrimah: A missing man, an eyeless croc and an outback town of 11 people who mostly hate each other (Caroline Graham & Kylie Stevenson, A&U)
  • The Waterhole (Lily Malone, Lily Malone Publishing)
  • Unsheltered (Clare Moleta, S&S)
  • The Family Doctor (Debra Oswald, A&U)
  • The Second Son (Loraine Peck, Text)
  • Shiver (Allie Reynolds, Hachette)
  • Crime Writer (Dime Sheppard, Ruby Books)
  • House of Hollow (Krystal Sutherland, Penguin)
  • The Silent Listener (Lyn Yeowart, Viking).

This year’s judging panel was made up of medical autopsy expert Philomena Horsley; YA expert and reviewer Joy Lawn; Sisters in Crime’s president Moraig Kisler; and authors Janice Simpson, Emily Webb and Jacquie Byron. The judges selected the 33 shortlisted titles from a longlist of 169 books.

The six category winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Melbourne on Saturday, 27 August. No prize money is attached to the Davitts; the winner of each category receives a trophy.

Last year’s winners included Sally Hepworth for The Good Sister (Macmillan) and Leah Swann’s Sheerwater (Fourth Estate).

For more information, see the Sisters in Crime website.

https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2022/07/26/218068/davitt-awards-2022-shortlists-announced/

My New Passion

As most of you would probably already know I have a new passion, well several “passions”, its seems the more you have (like love) the more you can be passionate about. I have my family. I have our rescue dog Maggie, almost a year to her “gottcha day” and I have my art.

Maggie

My art – when I first started blogging, I met with a local wine maker who shared his “passion“. At the time I appreciated but never understood how that passion felt. Now I do.

If you have a few minutes please check out my brand sparkly new website ( work being uploaded every day – I have about eighty more pieces to upload – PASSION 🙂 ) It might take me a while to upload it all, and everyday I paint more… Follow my journey ( sign up if you like, I promise not to bombard you) or just pop in and check out now and then and of course share with your networks. https://carolseeley.com/

Free postage in Australia, 10% off for the next 24 hours – yes more birthday gifts, works to outside of Australia, I will need to check out postage and get back to you….I have never sent out of the country before ** works on paper will be easy and no extra cost **

Thanks.

carolseeley.com

“Echoes of the Past”

#FridayFreebie: Criminals – James O’Loghlin

Criminals

James O’Loghlin

Bonnier Echo

ISBN: 9781760687465

Description:

What makes a criminal? One May 2019 morning, two masked gunmen rob Blacktown Leagues Club. What happens next will change the lives of three people. Twenty-three-year-old Dean Acton is a heroin addict trying to get off the break and enter treadmill by pulling one big job. Sarah Hamilton, also twenty-three, is a police officer on stress leave, working behind the bar, trying to forget the mistake she made that caused the death of her fiancée. Mary Wallace, a forty-five-year-old ex-schoolteacher who lives and drinks alone, feels that her life is already over, and has made plans to formalise that arrangement.

When Sarah realises there is something familiar about one of the gunmen, she is drawn back to the thrill of investigating, and can identify Dean. Dean is overjoyed at his $12,000 haul, but before he can decide whether to spend it on a new start in Queensland or a few months’ worth of heroin, he’s arrested, and in Long Bay jail everyone wants to find out where he’s stashed the cash.

Mary is inspired by the robbery. Pottery and French classes haven’t jolted her out of her depression, but perhaps embarking on a life of crime will. She starts small, and then ups the ante. When she, too, is arrested and her lawyer tries to discover why a respectable middle-class woman would steal constipation medication, will she be able to reveal what caused her to give up on teaching and everything else?
Dean learns that the only person who identified him at the robbery was Sarah and is tempted by a plan that will ensure she won’t ever be able to give evidence against him. But is he prepared to go that far? And if he does, will he ever come back?

As Dean’s trial approaches, Mary, Dean and Sarah must work out why they have become who they are, and whether they have the courage to change

The Book:

I am currently reading this one, what I love about this one is that it continues to surprise me. It is a book about a crime but it is more than that – it is about people; the façades we present to the world, the complicated route we take to end up in a particular place in life, a destination we can move on from – or not, the choices we make.

Each time I think I know where this book is going, it changes, little revelations here and there make for an engaging read.

If you want an opportunity to read this book I have one copy to give away thanks to the lovely people at Dmcprmedia and Echo Bonnier. It’s easy – in the comments let me know what other work James O’Loghlin is known for? Look closely I am sure many of you will recognise him 🙂 Giveaway open to Australian residents only and winner drawn on the 22nd of July 2022

James O’Loghlin

#FridayFreebie# Missing Presumed Dead – Mark Tedeschi QC

Missing Presumed Dead

Mark Tedeschi QC

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781761104459

Description:

It was the double murder case that gripped Australia, and former Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC is finally able to share all the shocking details.

Dorothy Davis and Kerry Whelan were both happy, healthy, affluent, middle-class women from conservative, loving families.
Such women are hardly ever among the ranks of the missing. They were not hitchhikers, or associates of drug dealers, or unhappy with their family relationships, or suffering from mental health issues. Dorothy Davis and Kerry Whelan came from different parts of Sydney, mixed in quite different circles, and led completely different lives. They had never met each other, and if they had, they would have had little in common. In fact, Dorothy Davis and Kerry Whelan had one thing in common – they both knew Bruce Allan Burrell.

The disappearance without trace of these two women caused massive police investigations and resulted in sensational trials that gripped the nation of Australia. This book explores the intricacies of those investigations and delves into the twisted, tortuous processes of the legal proceedings, while exploring the dark recesses of the mind of Bruce Burrell.

Meet the Author:

As a Barrister and a Crown Prosecutor for thirty five years, Mark Tedeschi QC has appeared in some of the most significant criminal cases in Australia. He has been the Senior Crown Prosecutor in New South Wales for fifteen years and is the President of the Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors. He has had many articles published on the law and is the author of a legal text book and the critically acclaimed biography Eugenia. He has published many articles on history, genealogy, photography, and horticulture. Kidnapped is his second work of creative non-fiction. 

Giveaway:

Thanks to Simon & Schuster, the author and Dmcprmedia I have one copy of this Australian true crime expose to give away. ** Australian residents only** In the comments let me know of another true crime written by this author.

#FridayFreebie: Forgiveness Is the Hardest Thing – An Anthology

Forgiveness is the Hardest Thing – An Anthology

Leschenault Press

ISBN: 9781922670373

RRP $34.95

Description:

Forgive (verb): 1. Stop feeling angry or resentful towards a person who has done something hurtful or wrong. 2. excuse an offence or mistake.

Forgiveness (noun): the action of forgiving.

(OED, Oxford University Press 2009)

The path to forgiveness requires acceptance, introspection, admission of guilt, and the ability to see the situation through another's eyes.  

During the prolonged Covid-19 lockdowns, twenty-one women were invited to write about their experiences of forgiveness through the medium of poetry or prose, fiction or non-fiction. The result is an anthology that lays bare the shared need to forgive or to be forgiven.

It captures deeply personal stories of domestic violence, family disruptions, the disintegration of friendships, and the impact of taking an individual's power. But it also brings gifts of insight, stories of healing, techniques to help with physical and mental well-being, and a discourse about the spiritual side of forgiveness from a unique perspective.

Featuring the writing of multiple-award winning authors from across North America, the UK, Ireland, NZ and Australia, Forgiveness is the Hardest Thing is an inspiring collection to draw from when you too are wondering, how can I forgive?

**Thanks to Leschenault Press I have one copy of this evocative anthology to give away. Simply hop over the publishers website https://bookreality.com/project/for-authors/ and list one  of the contributors to the anthology. Open to residents of Ireland, USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.  Winner randomly selected on 5/2/022.**  

More on My Art Journey

This year is a year of building my art profile to reach a bigger audience. If you have a minute ( in the next 24 hours before the event closes) could you click on the link and vote for my piece? Your support is greatly appreciated.

https://gallery.artgeo.com.au/product/picking-up-the-pieces/?fbclid=IwAR15DHjej46t_qYQv1qvfVBuRuoBgLn0G25JWdyeVM4srsN6neyQGwz67vI

Time for a Little Holiday

We are so lucky in Western Australia, our relative isolation to the rest of the country (and good management skills by State Government) has meant the harshness of Covid19 has been softened and travel within our state is relatively free and easy. I am grateful.

And we are taking a little break to recharge after a busy few months.