Books Update

Today I finished ‘The Music of Dunes’ by Mike Williams (Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2006). It was hard to put down and overall a total pleasure to read. I have to say though, everything I’ve read so far by Western Australian authors I’ve loved. I’m so impressed – our writers are producing some damn tasty fiction. But this book in particular, it really nourished the soul. It’s also one of the few books I’ve read lately that has had a happy ending.

If I wrote a book I’d want it to be like this. Well crafted, effortless to read. Full of beautiful imagery, emotion, a bit of philosophy, good humor, good music, good food. It gives value to the simplest but the best things in life. It was nice to read a story about characters who value the same stuff in life that I do. I also loved all the references to familiar music, musicians, and artworks. The adventures of Queen Anne (the protagonist’s cat) were hilarious.

So to update:

So far (in this challenge) I’ve read…

1. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
2. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Phillip K. Dick
3. Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
4. Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
5. In the Skin of a Lion – Michael Ondaatje
6. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
7. Paradise – Abdulrazak Gurnah
8. Gilgamesh – Joan London
9. Careless – Deborah Robertson
10. Milk and Honey – Elizabeth Jolley
11. The Music of Dunes – Mike Williams

Now I’ll finish reading:

The Well – Elizabeth Jolley

…Then I’ll return all my books to the library on Monday (oops – they’re overdue a few days) and hire some more.

I hope to hire ‘Old Jazz’ by Mike Williams, which apparently precedes ‘The Music of Dunes’ and is linked to it.. or at least the protagonist is the same guy. I really enjoyed reading Ondaatje’s ‘In the Skin of a Lion’ and then ‘The English Patient’, so I was excited to find out that there was another part to ‘The Music of Dunes’. If I can find a copy of ‘Old Jazz’ at the library I’ll be reading them back to front, but oh well. I’ll probably read them more than once anyway.

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2 thoughts on “Books Update

  1. Glad you enjoyed The Music of Dunes. Writing a novel is a long love/hate relationship, as you might well imagine. I certainly appreciate your comments, and it’s moments like these that make it all worthwhile for any writer. Thank you. A wealth of books to read out there, isn’t there … daunting.
    Regards
    MW

  2. Hi Mike,

    Thank you so much for your comment. I’m completely blown away that you found and read my humble review. I would have run a spell-check over it if I’d known! 🙂

    Yes, so many books to read, and so little time! But, as you’ve said, novels take a long time to write. So I take my time to read them.

    I really enjoyed your book; I strongly identified with the protagonist which was a bit of a first. I guess there aren’t many books about people who actually enjoy living simply, and whose lives aren’t ruled by a 9-5 job. If they aren’t ruled by a 9-5, they’re doing something dangerous or exotic. There aren’t many books I’ve read about people who like to just chill. Well there probably are actually, and I’ve probably read some of them, but I found your book believable. My way of life is so similar to his, and my tastes, ideals and outlook. My friends and family give me similar criticism for it. But his patience is what really grabbed me. I think most people could benefit from being a bit more Zen, and I’ve felt inspired since reading it to be more content with how I live my life.

    I look forward to reading Old Jazz.

    Thanks again,
    Ash

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