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Book Chat - Issue #17: Two books and a crumble recipe

Book Chat
Hello reading friends,
I’m definitely a mood reader, are you? This means I spend a lot of time thinking about what I want to read next and frequently give up on books that aren’t grabbing my attention.
Every couple of weeks I get a great stack of books from the library, but I usually only read half of them. I try to give every book a decent chance (around fifty pages) but I never worry if books are not for me, even if everyone else loves them. I figure they are waiting for me at the library if I want to read them another time.
Sometimes I feel despondent because I can’t find anything that exactly matches my mood, so I trawl back through my notebooks and TBRs for titles I’ve jotted down. A good browse around the library can also help you find just the book you need.

What I've been reading
I’ve just finished reading The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny. I enjoyed it, although I thought it was a bit drawn out near the end. If she had wrapped things up more quickly, it would have been a more satisfying read.
Written at the end of the pandemic (in Canada), it centres on a statistician who is using numbers to promote the idea that society cannot afford to support people who are old, weak or disabled. A frightening thought, but there are some crazy people around, so it was quite believable.
This is Penny’s 17th whodunit featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. She’s an excellent writer and has many devoted fans. I would recommend starting with one of her earlier books so you know who all the people are, but the stories are all standalone, so you don’t need to read them in order.
I also sped through The Stoning, which my son kindly lent me. This is outback noir and features Sydney Detective George Manolis, who goes to investigate a murder in his hometown. It’s an impressive first novel by Peter Papathanasiou and deals with issues of racism and identity, along with the familiar theme of people struggling to survive in a dying country town.
Lastly, here’s a brilliant blog post on never giving up on your dreams.
Debuting at the Age of 66 | Jane Friedman
What I've been writing
The Booker has changed its name a few times over the years and I wondered why. It surprised me to find that the Booker has quite a murky past involving slavery and exploitation. If you missed it, here’s a link.
And the winner is...
Some cooking inspiration
I’m really enjoying all the Thanksgiving recipes in the US based cookery newsletters I subscribe to. I have no intention of baking sweet potatoes with marshmallows on the top or a green bean casserole, but I love looking at pictures of beautiful pies.
But making pies is fiddly and not always successful. I usually opt for something less elegant, like a good old-fashioned fruit crumble.
I like the idea of this pear crumble with ginger topping. If only we could buy fresh cranberries in Australia. I wonder if frozen ones would work? What do you think?
That's all for now
If you know someone who enjoys reading and cooking, why not share this newsletter?
Warm wishes
Marg xxx
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Margaret Moon
Margaret Moon

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Central Coast, Australia