Good Reading : November 2006
reader’s life BUMPER COMBINED DECEMBER-JANUARY ISSUE! Gore Vidal on the long-awaited sequel to Palimpsest Paullina Simons on her new novel Say ‘Hello Darling!’ to the irrepressible Jeannie Little Pop-up books are popping up all over! Meet Selby’s creator Duncan Ball and Greater Glider’s Jill Morris ORDER YOUR COPY NOW! NEXT ISSUE on sale 1 December Our featured reader this month lives on a remote cattle property in outback Queensland. KAREN EMMOTT tells us a bit about what that means on a daily basis. Ilive on a cattle property two hours’ drive southwest of Longreach with my husband and two children. Our landscape is an arid mix of ghost gums and red sandy ridges, spinifex, open plains and channel country. Although our seasons are usually very dry, when it does rain and the river and chan - nels are in full flood we can have 40,000 acres under water and be isolated for up to three months at a time. Because of our geographical isolation, our children have been students of school of the air, which involves me as a home tutor teaching the schoolwork through correspondence papers. This is a very iconic Australian education, but is now coupled with the moder n technology of telephone lessons, instead of HF radio, and the use of internet data conferencing and webcams. Our children must go away to boarding school for their secondary education, which is always hard on a family, though I am beginning to think the parents may find it harder than the students themselves! Our isolation proves to be a bit more of a challenge to keen bookwor ms out here, but ingenuity prevails! For some years, with the support of Victorian CAE, we ran a book group which discussed our monthly books ‘on air’, that is using the HF radio out of school hours to discuss our books. We managed to involve mums, governesses, grandmas and even a couple of dads, and found some real literary treasures. Being involved in this group also gave us access to books and authors we may not have discovered otherwise. We now attempt a face-to-face book group, and try to tie in our discussions with other events such as Flying Doctor days or rodeo meetings, so people are not travelling a hundred kilometres just for book group meetings. Many of our emails and phone calls involve a chat about what we have been reading and how it is going. Rural social events often culminate with a swap of books at the back of the vehicle – sometimes a novel may pass through many hands and thousands of kilometres before it eventually retur ns to you. And isn’t that what reading is all about: the sharing of ideas, no matter where you live? If you would like to be featured in this series, email no more than 400 words about yourself along the lines above plus a photograph of you showing where you live or an aspect of your life to: firstname.lastname@example.org Karen Emmott with husband Angus, son Fergus and daughter Amelia. Photo credit: Anne Goodman Amelia and Fergus in front of the flooded road to town. The Emmotts were cut off for three months; Karen remembers one of the children asking plaintively why the family was running out of everything except schoolwork.
December / January 2007