pat's reviews
35 reviews

National Anthem, by Mohamed Hassan

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challenging emotional reflective fast-paced

4.5

The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, by Becky Chambers

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emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0

Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke

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adventurous dark mysterious fast-paced

4.5

As per my usual style, I didn’t even read the blurb of this book before diving in, so I had no idea what to expect. My only presumption was it would be set in a time of myths and gods, based on the cover. That was a fair way off the mark.

But it was wonderfully, intriguingly odd. I might not be entirely satisfied with the ending, but that might be because I want to hear more of what happens next. However, I suspect it also finishes at the right point.

Also: I’d love to see a TV adaption of this - perhaps an episode per chapter.

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Kissa by Kissa: How to walk Japan (Book One), by Craig Mod

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informative lighthearted reflective relaxing fast-paced

5.0

Even having previously read the essay which was the seed for this book, it was still a delight - every carefully crafted page, every striking photo, every wonderful anecdote.
On Connection, by Kae Tempest

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challenging emotional inspiring reflective

5.0

I was not prepared for the amount of self-reflection this book has prompted. And maybe it's just caught me at the right time, on an unexpectedly quiet day, but damn, it's so great.

I suspect it'll be something I need to reread regularly - as a prompt for further thinking, but also to help ground myself.
Dune, by Frank Herbert

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adventurous mysterious medium-paced

4.25

While the gender roles are so very outdated for our current times, let alone the far future, I was still hooked on the story, the characters, and the world-building.
Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, by Jia Tolentino

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challenging informative reflective medium-paced

4.5

I’m in awe (and jealous) of Jia Tolentino’s writing and thinking. Plenty to mull over.
The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin

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challenging dark mysterious

4.5

I was warned this was intense, and those warnings were accurate. When I finished it, I found myself both wanting some time to let it settle, but also immediately ready to dive into the next in the series.

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How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi

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challenging informative reflective medium-paced

3.5

The End of Certainty: Scott Morrison and Pandemic Politics (Quarterly Essay, #79), by Katherine Murphy

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informative reflective medium-paced

4.25

Various reflections from reading through this…

  • I really do enjoy the long-form essay approach of Quarterly Essays, and have been neglecting reading them, even though I have a subscription. I'm glad I've halted that neglect for at least a moment.
  • One aspect of this essay is rumination on how Australia and the world has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic - which, look, we don't lack for, but it's thoughtful and thought-provoking.
  • The other aspect is an analysis of Scott Morrison as both a Prime Minister and a person. I do not agree with a lot of his politics, and that remains the case, but I guess I'm open to the fact that he's at least somewhat trying to lead well.
  • And with all the politics and character analysis, it had me thinking: if I was in power, what would I do differently? How would I manage people's expectations and hope? How would I structure policy, seek consensus, communicate and bring people together? I still entertain a faint idea of going into politics, and part of me would love to take all these thoughts and turn them into something practical. I remain impatient with the system though, which is a big part of why I've not walked down this path yet.

All in all, I found this essay a great overview of the past ten months of Australia - both politically and broadly.