#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On July 10

Hello my lovely booklovers,

how are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I have done a lot of reading for university this past week. I’m slowly but surely making my way through all my text books, which is limiting the time I have to read fiction and write reviews. But with a new month comes a new resolution, and I will aim to write at least 3 reviews per week to catch up on my massive pile of read books.

If we were having coffee today I’d apologise for not having coffee with you last week. I’ve been crazy busy, and my laptop is on its way out, it’s been playing up like crazy.

If we were having coffee today, it’d be quite hectic here and I’d ask you to help me in the kitchen. I’m busy making Raffaello cream and an Earl Grey Panna Cotta Tart for my birthday tomorrow. I really hope these recipes work… the Panna Cotta especially, as I had to improvise the crust and I just hope the panna cotta will set overnight in the fridge. Fingers crossed!

If we were having coffee today I’d tell you that I have been drinking much more tea lately. I mean I’ve always had a cuppa or two, but I’m making an effort to drink more. So if you’d like Twinnings Afternoon, Yorkshire Tea or Earl Grey instead of the coffee, let me know and I’ll happily make you one.

Patrick Jane

And this is unrelated to the tea-drinking, but did I mention that I do have a thing for Aussie surfers-turned-actors who look dashing in a three-piece suit? I didn’t? Well, now you know 😉

I will be reaching out to two Australian authors next week – Tim Winton and Jackie French – for interviews regarding my M.A. thesis. As I am writing about authors’ cultural backgrounds, it would help to ask them directly. And sort of tying in with the thesis, but as a side-project, I am also reaching out to interview Simon Baker (see above). Yes, he is an actor, but he just directed his first movie and wrote his first screenplay based on Tim Winton’s Breath, and I’m really interested in finding out what attracted him to the story. I do think it’s telling that an Australian living in the US would still choose an Australian novel to adapt as his first film. Keep your fingers crossed for me?

Anyway, if we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that my computer is playing up too much to continue posting. It’s closed this site twice, keeps zooming in and my touchpad stopped working. I think that’s a sign to sit back, grab another cuppa of Earl Grey and watch some The Mentalist until I turn another year older. You’re welcome to stay, but I’m sure the other Weekend Coffee Sharers would love to see you too.

Thank you for having coffee with me!

Same time, next week?




#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On June 4

Hello book lovers,

How are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

I am sorry I missed last week’s update. There was a delay with my assignments due to my professor not responding and telling me that his students in the US were basically more important than me… Long story short, I handed in late as I was waiting on a resource and clarification and he still has not responded.

But: I have officially finished all university assignments. All that’s now between me and graduation is my research proposal and Master thesis!! Mind you, I will have loads to read in the upcoming days:

Thesis Reading AusLit

This is my entire pile of physical books for my thesis and includes textbooks, Australian novels, and a few study guides. ©Literati Girl


Continue reading

Voss by Patrick White #AtoZ #60Books

This post is part of the 2016 April A to Z Challenge. Also part of my 60 Books Challenge: Based on a true story.

Based on a true story of exploration in the Australian Outback, Voss, by Nobel Prize for Literature winner Patrick White,  epitomises nineteenth-century Australian society and explorer mentality.

Johann Ulrich Voss is a German explorer who is set on being the first to cross Australia, based on Ludwig Leichhardt, who famously got lost in the Australian Outback.

It’s as much a story about passion as it is about exploration. Voss meets a young woman called Laura, who is new to New South Wales and who is the – slightly naive – niece of Voss’ expedition sponsor. Laura and Voss connect on a deep level and share an almost spiritual bond as he leaves on his ill-fated expedition into Australia’s red centre.

Why a character like Voss, who although being enigmatic is also quite arrogant and introverted, would choose to lead an expedition is a bit of a mystery. His sponsors insist on him taking a whole entourage of characters with him, even though it is obvious that Voss would prefer to travel solo. Keeping in contact with Laura as far as possible as many letters do get lost, they come to see each other as husband and wife, even though most of their relationship exists and progresses only in their dreams and imaginations.

Though it is not the main character who is the most interesting figure in this story. Voss’ team consists of a handful of men, all distinct and all misfits, even in their own small group of misfits. Their interactions are what moves the plot along, and they are fascinating to observe. Once the group of explorers encounters aboriginal folk in the Outback, the story becomes infused with their spiritualism as well. Aboriginal people come across as completely “other” and strange, compared to the colonial explorers, and their interactions with Voss’ band of people are rife with communication problems and cultural misunderstandings which are nevertheless crucial to the story.

Patrick White’s writing is simultaneously strange and beautiful. He creates characters and paints landscapes the descriptions of which will stay with readers.White’s story is littered with observations and psychology, and sentences are sometimes designed to be tripping people up while reading.

A story of love, loss, and the dangers of the Outback. Voss truly is the quintessential, modernist Australian novel.

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Title: Voss
Author: Patrick White
Publisher: Vintage Classics
Release Date: 1994 (originally published in 1957)
Pages: 464
ISBN:  978-0099324713

#MailboxMonday: New Reads Vol. 2

This past week, I’ve received more books for my M.A. thesis. I’m looking at how cultural aspects are portrayed in Australian Literature, so I need novels and I need textbooks about anything to do with cultural representation, Literature, Australia and everything else I can get my hands on.

Australian Literature and text books @Literati Girl

Australian Literature and text books @Literati Girl

#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On April 17

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat.

If we were having coffee today, we’d sit outside in the sunshine to enjoy our drinks and we’d talk about all things books-related.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that the first few books for my M.A. thesis arrived. I’ll be writing about cultural concepts in Australian Literature and because I study Cross-Cultural Communication by distance learning I do not have access to a university library. I need a total of 12~14 novels to look at, three to four each for aboriginal authors, settlers/convicts, visiting authors and “born Australians” for lack of a better term at the moment.

For indigenous authors, I’ll be looking at Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko, My Place by Sally Morgan, Carpentaria by Alexis Wright and Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington.  For literature by and about early settlers and convicts, I’ve got For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke, Letters from an Exile at Botany Bay by Thomas Watling, While the Billy boils by Henry Lawson and the poem A Convict’s Tour to Hell by Francis McNamara. As for visiting authors, I’ll be looking at Down Under / In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson, The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin and Kangaroo by D.H. Lawrence.

Just contemporary authors are hard to narrow down. I have not decided yet, as all of these sound good and should give me a good variety of stories that deal with how characters and authors view and use the land. So if you know any of these books and could recommend it, I’d love to hear it! Eucalyptus by Murray Bail, That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott, True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey, The Tree of Man by Patrick White, Voss by Patrick White, We of the Never Never by Mrs. Aeneas Gunn, Happy Valley by Patrick White, Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan, Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, Journey to the Stone Country by Alex Miller, It’s Raining in Mango by Thea Astley, The Shiralee by D’Arcy Niland, Capricornia by Xavier Herbert, The Lucky Country by Donald Horne, The Sundowners by Jon Cleary, and  So Far From Skye by Judith O’Neill.

I get the funny feeling I should at least have Patrick White in there, as he is a Nobel Prize for Literature winner and the only author on the list I have read before. What do you think?

But I also got quite a few text books as well. Some I ordered second hand from Amazon, some I found as eBooks and in online libraries as downloads. But there were some I just could not find, or when I did they cost €80 used and I don’t have that money lying around. My sister is a student too (on an actual, local campus), and from a list of 13 books she’s been able to get me 7 from her library! Result! So now I’m going through them and start to write my bibliography, so that I’ve got all the details and later just need to sort out the books I didn’t end up using.

If we were having coffee today, we’d talk about the A to Z Challenge. Unfortunately, some personal issues and overtime at work have reduced my writing time this week. I am, however, still participating and trying to catch up.

That’s pretty much it from me for this week. Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers as well! Thank you for having coffee with me! Same time, next week?