Good Reading : February 2006
FEBRUARY 2006 ı goodreading 7 me my shelf i ● What are you reading now? Judy Cassab: A Portrait by Brenda Niall; Tomorrow’s Islam by Geraldine Doogue and Peter Kirkwood; Natural Health with Humour by Leonie McMahon; and Loner by Ber nard Lagan (about Mark Latham). ● Who are your favourite authors? Helen Garner, Ruth Park, HE Bates, Graham Greene, W Somerset Maugham, Colm Tóibín, Shirley Hazzard, May Sarton, Bruce Chatwin, Barbara Pym, Char mian Clift, EM Forster, Anita Brookner, Drusilla Modjeska, Hugh Lunn, Morris West and dozens of others. ● Which books have had the most influence on your lifestyle or philosophy? The Bible; Live the Life You Love by Barbara Sher; One Man’s War by Stan Arneil; Common Prayer Collection by Michael Leunig; The Natural Health Book by Dorothy Hall. ● Which author/s would you most like to meet, and why? May Sarton. As introverts we would probably understand each other, without too much talk – and I would love to see her garden. Barbara Pym, to say thank you for the dry observation of her novels of life in North Oxford; and to see what she was wearing. Tweed suit and stout shoes? ● Which book/s did you love best as a child, and why? Little Ragged Blossom and everything else by May Gibbs. She brought the bush to imaginative life. Coles Funny Picture Book. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. All these and many more, because they were given to me by my mother and father and started a lifelong love of reading. ● Is there a book you’ve been meaning to read but have never got round to? A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. ● Do you have a favourite film of a book, and why? Three: 1) A Horseman Riding By (TV film series) by RF Delderfield. Because it is set in the south of England where some of my ancestors lived and it seems very familiar. 2) The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim. A group of characters escape from a dreary English winter to a Mediter ranean villa in war m, fragrant Italy and their lives are transfor med. A reminder of the need for beauty, leisure and spiritual refreshment. 3) The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Skilful evocation of the tension between duty and personal happiness. ● Do you have a favourite fictional hero/heroine? Ma Larkin in The Darling Buds of May by HE Bates, for her generous, spontaneous exuberance of life. And wouldn’t any woman want Pa Larkin for a husband? ● Which books do you reread? Les Murray by Peter F Alexander; the Bible; The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen; The Garden at Sissinghurst; The Aboriginal Children’s History of Australia; poems by Les Murray, John Betjeman, Dylan Thomas, Kenneth Slessor, Noel Rowe; Whatever the Gods Do and The Last One Who Remembers by Patti Miller; A Grief Observed by CS Lewis; The Darling Buds of May by HE Bates; Blooming by Giselle Cooke; At My Own Pace by Ian Pendlebury; Fortress of My Youth by Jana Renée Friesová; Visible Panty Line by Gretel Killeen. ● What is your all-time favourite book, and why? The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. I love to return to it because it’s about the value and the nature of loyal friend- ship – and I understand Mole’s homesickness completely. ● Where are most of the books in your home? On bookshelves in three rooms. Also waiting enticingly by the bed or reading chair. ● Is there a category that dominates your shelves? Novels and biographies. ● What’s your favourite place to read? In a big pink ar mchair. Heaven! ● Do you have a favourite bookshop? I enjoy any bookshop. I am grateful to all bookshops for selling my books. My local favourites are Moir’s at Lane Cove and the Constant Reader at Crows Nest, NSW. caroline jones One of Australia’s best-loved broadcasters and communicators, Caroline Jones AO has been a writer, producer, director and reporter for more than four decades. In 1972 she was awarded a Logie, and in 1997 she was voted one of Australia’s 100 National Living Treasures. Caroline is currently a specialist contributor to ‘Australian Story’ on ABC TV.
December January 2006