Welcome to Triple Choice Tuesday. This is where I ask some of my favourite bloggers and other bookish bods to share the names of three books that mean a lot to them. The idea is that it might raise the profile of certain books and introduce you to new titles and new bloggers.
Today’s guest is Lisa Hill from ANZ LitLovers LitBlog, my favourite source of reviews and commentary on a wide range of Australian and New Zealand literary fiction.
I only discovered ANZ LitLovers last year, but it has promptly become my favourite book blog, and I do hold Lisa largely responsible for contributing to my ever-growing TBR and wishlist!
Lisa lives in Melbourne, Victoria (my old stomping ground), where she works as a primary school librarian.
Here’s Lisa’s Triple Choice Tuesday selections:
I don’t often re-read books, but I’ve read The Great Fire twice and listened to it as an audio book twice, too. I’ve enjoyed all of Shirley Hazzard’s novels, but this one is really special. It won the American National Book Award in 2003 and the Miles Franklin in Australia the following year; it was also shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the IMPAC and long-listed for the Booker.
Every time I read (or listen to) it I am lured into sharing Hazzard’s belief in the redemptive power of love, in destiny, and – despite human aggression and folly – in the idea of transformation in nations and cultures. I also like Hazzard’s courage in rejecting cynicism and suspicion to assert that there can be innocence in a love between a man of 32 and a girl of 17.
She has used the blighted landscape of post-war Japan to visit contemporary themes such as post-colonialism, casual racism, and the fate of women. It’s a complex book, but I enjoy Hazzard’s nuanced turns of phrase, her tasteful irony, and the power of her imagery.
I think women all over the world had their lives changed by this book. Greer completely subverted the way I looked at my role as a wife, mother, and daughter, and I love her for it.
I have had a wonderfully rewarding life and career, in relationships that treat me with respect, because Germaine Greer wrote this exciting book in a way that made both men and women see the world differently.
I’m cheating here because I’m choosing two. Life in Seven Mistakes is a delicious black comedy, woven around the phenomenon inflicted on all of us whose parents have retired to warmer climes: the Dreaded Family Christmas.
With wonderfully original characterisation and a sly dissection of modern family life, it explores one of my favourite themes, how to manage the demands of the creative impulse in the real world of competing career-and-family needs. Susan was based in London the last I heard, but she is a real Aussie writer all the same.
The Bath Fugues is a more challenging book, but it is well worth the effort. Like the novels of Patrick White, Brian Castro’s books gradually reveal hidden treasures, with the enticing possibility that each re-reading will reveal yet more. The book is cleverly structured to mirror the musical form of the fugue, and is an intriguing story of relationships, identity and authenticity, playing with the way people drift in and out of each other’s lives like musical motifs. This book really deserves an international audience.
International buyers can get copies of these two from Readings.
Thanks, Lisa, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!
I’m delighted to see Susan Johnson’s Life in Seven Mistakes here, as I read it a year or so ago, and really enjoyed it. Indeed, Susan occasionally comments on this blog. I haven’t read The Female Eunuch, but I did read the sequel, The Whole Woman, about a decade ago and found it quite illuminating. And I’ve really got to read Shirley Hazzard at some point… (see what I mean about Lisa influencing my TBR!)
What do you think of Lisa’s choices? Have you read any of these books?