if lists won awards…

It’s one of my plots/schemes of the moment to get through as many substantially ‘awarded’ books as possible. This means both books receiving a substantial number of awards, and those that have received awards that themselves are ‘substantial’ in nature. Like the Man Booker, Orange, Pulitzer… NZ Post. Etc. I promise I won’t use the word ‘substantial’ again for a long time.

The latest book on my award-winning list (oh that the list itself won awards – one has to fund one’s way through the trial and tribulations of pre-publication writerhood somehow) is As The Earth Turns Silver by Alison Wong, which won the overall best fiction prize in the NZ Post Book Awards this year. And I could write an in-depth review and talk about the insight into both British Imperial and expat Chinese cultures in turn of the century Wellington, and how much one feels for both Yung and Katherine throughout the book. But really, the book  is under 300 pages, and I read the whole thing in less than a day. So go find yourself a copy and create your own opinion on it. I promise you it’s worth investigation.

(Booker prize winner of 2002, Life of Pi, was last week – like so many books, I’ve taken my time to get around to reading this one, but there’s definitely more Yann Martel in my future, I’m sure of it. A library copy of The Graveyard Book (Hugo/Newbery/Locus/Carnegie medal winning, and therefore definitely appropriate for my reading log of late) by Neil Gaiman is hanging around my bed, so methinks it’s going to be the next on the list. After rereading The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy in preparation for an essay due on Friday. And, oh hey, that one won the 1997 Booker. STILL ON THEME.)

This was conceived as a word-oriented blog (those created by others and by yours truly), but I’m at times a music/literature dual control vehicle of promotion. So, new acquisitions/recent obsessions – Karen Elson’s The Ghost That Walks, Zoe Boekbinder’s Over The Top EP, Tychozorente by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Forest Fiction by Teacups and Gin Wigmore’s 2008 release, Extended Play. All of these, new or old, are all definitely recommended, and all able to be found through the magic that is the internet. If not on iTunes, then BandCamps of the respective artists. Go explore the auditory magic.

And in the meantime, in Briar-Word-Land, I’m having a creation-y, uncover-y romance with a teenage character, peeling away layers to figure her out at the same time as building those layers up myself in word and mechanical pencil sketch form. That’s how I roll. Ruby is her name, and she wants to be a poet. Which is fun, since poetry is the opposite of that which I usually do. She’s going to eventually have her own novel. Exciting times lie ahead. Writers’ block is somewhat present on my other somewhat developed manuscript, the currently titled Singing The Frangipani Blues (favourite title I’ve ever come up with, I think, loitering at the top of sheets of loose leaf paper since I was fifteen), but cracking through will hopefully happen soon. There are too many madcap snow-bound adventures to be had in fictional Quebecois streets.

And that, my friends, is the first installment of the, possibly to be epic, chronicles of the Raw Library. Tune in next time.

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