two lovely reviews, petty theft & chicken soup books

August 4th, 2010 | Category: rereading, reviews

Here are two reviews of Six Impossible Things – at ‘bean there, read that’ here, and at ‘Food for Silverfish’ right here.

This is a new, strange and wonderful experience – sending a book out into the world and finding… readers there. I know, seems obvious, yes, must have been in my mind when I wrote the book. Of course you hope your manuscript will be published, and that it will be read. And yet the feeling that someone has read what you wrote and connected with it is amazing.

Silverfish mentions beautiful Anne with an ‘e’, and it reminded me that when I was in year 12, I borrowed the school library’s fossilised copy of ‘Anne of the Island’ And Never Returned It!
I was only the other day telling some people that I wasn’t a kid who ever stole stuff. Conveniently forgetting about this shameful incident. Okay – worse – I didn’t even feel ashamed. It was falling to bits; it had to be on the deaccession list, didn’t it? Surely I was ‘rescuing’ it? No one ever sent me an overdue notice… And the reason I kept it is that it was such a comfort read.

Yes, even when I was a terribly mature year 12 person reading weighty texts and enjoying them – this was a snuggle book. It’s the one (spoiler alert) in which Anne and Gilbert finally get together. Rereading it in year 12 was the equivalent of chicken soup. Healing, soothing, yummy. I haven’t looked at it for years, but this afternoon I opened it at a random point about three quarters of the way through, and I was howling within a page. Very satisfying. (nb have edited this post – had reference to ‘sex’ re Anne and Gilbert, and it felt so wrong, like talking about ‘lifestyle’ in relation to Jane Austen…)

What are your favourite comfort books? Your sooky rereads?

8 responses to “two lovely reviews, petty theft & chicken soup books”

  1. Cath Crowley says:

    I absolutely agree with these reviews! They are brilliant, which is to be expected because the book is brilliant. Congratulations Fiona!

  2. Diem says:

    The reviews are very,very good. My comfort and sooky rereads will be your book because your book is freakin’ fabulous and reading it more than once is going to be such pleasure and comfort and fun. You’ve noticed I’ve written ‘will’ right? That is because I’ve only read it once because my copy of the book is being read somewhere with a very satisfied reader. Also, Lou is in the next book! AHHHHHHHH! Exciting! It’s like a series except not a series! Are your books going to be all somehow connected?

    • fiona says:

      Thanks Diem, that’s a huge compliment. Lou is the only character in the next book, although Fred is also mentioned. I do like the idea of characters who migrate from book to book from time to time…so there will be little links.

  3. DoctorDi says:

    Wonderful reviews, Fiona – I am not supposed to be purchasing a single new book until I’ve demolished my leaning TBR pile, but… I don’t think supporting your debut is the really the same thing at all – it’s not buying any old book, after all, it’s buying *yours*!!

    Oh, ‘Anne of the Island,’ it has been such a long time! I don’t tend to reread, not since childhood and then thesis that is, because I’m always fretting about all the unread books, so any current book is a good sooky book as far as I’m concerned! But thinking about it now, I can imagine the YA books of my childhood would make wonderfully comforting rereads now… aside from Anne and others, ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ sticks in the mind.

    • fiona says:

      Thanks Di. Actually, you would probably like the Anne Fadiman (ed) ‘Rereadings’ I just recommended to Jane. It might lure you back to a few old titles. Although it can backfire sometimes. I was telling a friend recently that I reread Mary Grant Bruce’s Billabong books, looking for a comfort reread in my twenties, and was shocked by the jingoism, racism, sexism etc. (Mind you – I’m very ‘back off’ on this changing/’updating’ of Enid Blyton. Surely the books have the right to stand as works of their time. Who’s looking after EB’s moral rights?) I haven’t read ‘Bridge to Terabithia’.

      • DoctorDi says:

        I’ll have a look for it, Fiona, thanks. Yes, I can imagine some of it is pretty shocking on closer adult inspection – but like you, I am dead against the so-called Updating of Enid – it’s a total travesty! Imagine if someone suggested subjecting Shakespeare to the same indignity – it’s just not cricket, not cricket at all.

  4. Jane says:

    I haven’t read your book yet, Fiona, but I plan to ask the bookshops in Nowra to get copies, so I can read it as soon as possible.

    My comfort and sooky reads are four Georgette Heyer books – These Old Shades, The Grand Sophy, Sylvester and Venetia. My mum introduced me and my sisters to her when we were barely teenagers and reading These Old Shades, her favourite, was the only thing I could cope with when she died. I’ve recently found an audiobook version and listening to it turns out to be as much fun as reading it.

    Any chance Six Impossible Things may become an audiobook?

    • fiona says:

      Thanks for dropping in, Jane. No idea about audiobook. I agree with you about those GH titles – solid gold. That is such a lovely rereading link with your mother. I think you’d really enjoy ‘Rereadings’ edited by Anne Fadiman – esp the ‘Pride and Prejudice’ essay.

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