July 2018

July’s book is The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose. Winner of the 2017 StellaPrize, the 2017 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and the 2017 Margaret Scott Prize and the People’s Choice Award in the Tasmanian Premier’sLiterary Prizes, it is set during the performance by artist Marina Abramovic of The Artist is Present at MOMA New York in 2010. Around this factual event, the novel introduces the reader to a cast of fictional characters, visitors to the performance, each of whom is grappling with their own life circumstances and challenges.
With growing curiosity and attraction to Abramovic’s performance, these personalities react to the art and each other.
The Stella prize judges felt “It is rare to encounter a novel with such powerful characterisation, such deep understanding of the consequences of personal and national history, … and such dazzling and subtle explorations of the important of art in everyday life”. The theme of human connection is predominant both in the performance and the novel which is “a meditation on the social, spiritual and artistic importance of seeing and being seen”.
Many of us agreed with the judges. We enjoyed the narrative style, found the pace compelling and the characters interestingly drawn. We were very impressed with Rose’s technical skill at representing a number of different artistic media of work
within the book – performance art, musical composition and architecture and the way she explored different perspectives of creativity. Others of us were less engaged especially by the characters, found the writing plodding and uninspiring and the resolution weak.

Heather Rose was born (1964) and raised in Tasmania and has written 4 novels and 3 books for older children over her 20 year writing career. Each novel in format and genre is a radical departure from its predecessor. I very much enjoyed The Butterfly
Man (2005), winner of the Davitt Award for best crime fiction novel by an Australian woman in 2006. The River Wife (2009) is another complete breakaway – a modern adult fairytale. Each work though shares themes, preoccupations and techniques and
shows a confidence and willingness to take risks. I look forward to whatever direction her next work will take.

Ratings: Claudia 2.5, Gail 4, Janet 3, Judith 3.5, Kim 3, Margie 3, Michael 3.5,  Nicola 4 and Viv 3.5.

Next month we will meet on the 14/8 at 6:30PM at Preece House, 50 Nerang St Bischof Pioneer Park, Nerang (next to 54 Nerang St. shops) to continue with this years’ list of Australian books. The book to be discussed will be The Cardboard Crown by Martin Boyd, winner of the 2017 Stella Prize for women’s writing.

Hope to see you all there and happy reading!

 

About Us

We are a group that gets together once a month to discuss good books. Each of us gets to choose a book on a rotational basis, preferably one outside our personal comfort zone – we try to keep the trash to ourselves. After the discussion, we comment on other books we read that month. Most of the time we remain friends after the meeting.

Preece HouseWe meet at the 1948 heritage Preece House, 50 Nerang St Bischof Pioneer Park, Nerang (next to 54 Nerang St. shops) on the second Monday of every month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. excluding Public Holidays. A small contribution is required towards the rent of the room, but not if you are a first timer. The amount depends on the number of people attending.
One book title is chosen each month and we all read that book. There is a ‘host’ who introduces and co-ordinates the discussion. The role of host is rotated around the group so that each member has the opportunity to nominate their book (it could also be an author, theme or genre). The host also acts as chairperson for that meeting.
Although we are not a social club (we are readers), we occasionally attend literary events, relevant movies or plays here at the Gold Coast, Brisbane or Byron Bay. We conform to basic meeting practices and everyone has an equal opportunity to express their opinion. Everyone’s interpretation is valid, as long as it’s expressed respectfully.
We welcome any new members who share our aims and are happy to contribute to our group. Newcomers are not required to have read the book to attend the first meeting and no contribution is required from them.
Feel free to have a look at our Booklist for 2018 and Newsletters in the sidebar. If you are reading this blog in a mobile device, switch to desktop view.

CONTACT DETAILS

We meet from 6:30 to 8:30 PM on the 2nd Monday of every month at the heritage listed Preece House located at Bischoff Park, Nerang Street (next corner White St), Nerang next door to shops at 54 Nerang Street. Please contact us for info on meetings that fall on Public Holidays.
For more information use the contact form.

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