What We're Reading for The Australian Reading Hour
Today is The Australian Reading Hour and to celebrate, the Hinkler team has decided to share what they'll be reading!
The aim of The Australian Reading Hour is to encourage Australians to either rediscover or introduce themselves to the benefits of reading, by reading for one hour on Thursday 14th September 2017.
Reading has many benefits:
- “In children, it has been shown to help with identity formation, setting them up for success in the future.”1
- “In adults, it has been shown to reduce stress by 68% more than listening to music, going for a walk, or having a cup of tea.”1
- It has also been linked to creating better communication skills in children. When you spend time reading to young children, it’s believe that it greatly increases their chances of being about to express themselves well and communicate with others in a healthy way. The link between the qualities of expressiveness and empathy with reading has long been established; by reading about characters in book, how they are feeling and how they interact with each other, children are more likely to express themselves clearly and be sensitive to other people’s thoughts and feelings.2
- Numerous studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can inhibit or possibly even prevent the development of Alzheimer's and Dementia, since keeping your brain active and engaged in such a focused activity as reading prevents it from losing power.3
What we're reading for The Australian Reading Hour
I am reading The Barefoot Investor 2017 Update and finding it incredibly helpful. Finance can be a complicated subject but Scott Pape breaks it down into easy-to-understand terms and gives you step-by-step instructions on how to get your finances in order. Can’t recommend it enough.
Leanne, Executive Assistant
I am reading Truth or Die by James Patterson. This book lives the adage that the truth can set you free… if it doesn’t kill you first. Its plot centres around New York attorney Trevor Mann, as he tries to come to grips with the devastating death of his girlfriend, whom is reported to have been shot dead in a random mugging. But something just doesn’t seem right. Claire was a New York Times journalist, and Trever becomes convinced that she must have been on to a story so shocking that she was murdered to stop it going public. We follow Trevor as he heroically chases Claire’s leads to unravel the mystery, despite the danger of him becoming a mysterious crime statistic too…
I also am listening to an audio book in the car which is another mystery: Behold, Here’s Poison by Georgette Heyer. It's a gripping murder mystery around the death of patriarchal head of the Matthews family, who is found dead in his bed. His death is pronounced to be a sad case of high-blood pressure but the autopsy reveals quite a different story… When every member of the quarrelsome Matthews family has a motive but none has an alibi, will the quick-witted Inspector Hannasyde catch the murderer before they select their next victim?
It can get confusing reading two books at a time but I do it all the time and it doesn’t take long to get back into the right book.
I’m currently reading Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. This poignant memoir covers the psychiatrist’s years within Auschwutz and other Nazi concentration camps. Frankl imparts his lessons for spiritual survival, even within the most extreme circumstances and how these lessons can be used as a basis for finding meaning and purpose within our own lives. A 1991 reader survey from the Library of Congress found that Man’s Search for Meaning to be among the top ten influential books in America.
I am currently reading Everywhere I Look, by Australian author, Helen Garner. It is a collection of essays, diary entries and true stories that span 15 years of her life. She writes about the joys of re-reading Pride and Prejudice, learning the ukulele and becoming a grandmother. Her writing is full of wisdom and wit, and this collection is a deeply moving portrait of life.
I have a major case of tsundoku – continually buying books but never reading them, letting them pile up on my bookshelves, tabletops, and floors. My problem is that I buy books faster than I can finish them. Haruki Murikami’s Kafka on the Shore has been on my to-read list for over a decade. I’ve owned the book for five years and it’s still unread. Until now. Murakami is masterful at building fantastic worlds within our own, weaving intriguing and layered stories. I’m only a quarter of the way through Kafka on the Shore, following three plotlines as they carefully unfold – a runaway teenager, a man who can speak to cats, and a WWII mystery – but I’m already anticipating the moment when it all comes to a head and the tales connect and intertwine.
I am reading A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. I find it fascinating that the greatest minds of human history have studied the same subject all from different angles – how thing work and why things work. The author cleverly manages to explain quite complex theories in the simplest way possible, and I can happily say that I am able to understand a least 75 per cent of what he is talking about. A particular highlight is when he referred to a sphere and added afterwards "(a three-dimensional circle)".
I'm reading Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie. I’m not sure how I stumbled upon Joe Abercrombie as I do not read fantasy fiction at all (I couldn’t even finish a Harry Potter book), but I can’t get enough of this guy! It’s like combining George R. R. Martin (who I couldn’t read, but I do watch Game of Thrones) with the humour of Blackadder. It’s gruesome, gory, and action-packed, but always with some sarcastic black humour thrown into the mix. Rarely do I burst out laughing when reading a book, especially if someone just had their arm lopped off, but with this writing you can’t help it! All his novels feature very strong and charismatic female leads, which is refreshing, and Sharp Ends is no different. This is his latest book, it’s a collection of short stories featuring some familiar characters as well as some new ones – which I’m praying means he’ll write some new novels featuring these brilliant personalities ASAP! If you’ve never read Abercrombie then this is a perfect taste of his writing. If you like this book, then you’ll devour all his previous novels, and you need to start where it all began – The First Law trilogy.
I'm currently reading two books, The Break by Marion Keyes and Theft by Finding by David Sedaris.
The Break is so good, I have read 370 of 400 pages over 3 nights, staying up until the small hours of the morning as I can’t put it down. Pure escapism, unashamedly chick lit. I am a huge Marion fan.
David Sedaris is brilliant wherever I find him: live on stage, on podcast in magazines or in my very favourite form of a book. Theft by Finding is the first volume of his diaries, which he has kept every single day since 1977 to 2016. Very, very funny, I don’t recommend reading it on public transport as there will be tears from laughing and the occasional snort. Great to dip in and out of if you are reading another book at the same time!
Alva, age 8
I'm reading Mr. Stink by David Walliams. I love Mr. Stink because he is very kind to Chloe who is being picked on by mean girls at school. It is very funny and I like the drawings. My mum and Dad take turns reading a chapter each night I read a page and they read a page.
Edie, age 10
I'm reading Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, I love this book so much. Lots of the stories start with once upon a time but there are no princesses or girls who need a prince riding on a horse to save them. My favourite so far is Nancy Wake as she was a spy and Joan Jett as I love playing the drums. At the back of the book is write your own story, it starts with Once upon a time I don’t know what I will write yet but it will be like these girls who are strong and brave.