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Book Chat - Issue #18: Siblings, wolves and blueberry hotcakes

Book Chat
Hello reading friends,
How are you going? I’m genuinely interested, so send me an email and let me know how you are travelling and if there’s anything you’d like me to write about in this newsletter.
Things are opening up where I live, but everyone seems a bit unsettled and the holiday season seems to be even more hyped that usual. Do we really need more stuff? Maybe not, unless it’s books, of course.

What I've been reading
In the last issue I talked about Louise Penny’s book, The Madness of Crowds, so I was interested to see this article pop up on the Quebec Writers Federation blog.
In the post, Louise talks about coming to terms with the death of her beloved husband Michael, and how she felt she couldn’t write any more books featuring Chief Inspector Gamache because his character was so closely based on her husband.
But like many authors, she found that writing was a way to work through her grief and celebrate the love and companionship she had shared with her husband during their marriage. It’s a lovely piece.
Writing Through Grief—By Louise Penny
Last week I read a ‘proper’ book. By that I mean a novel that booksellers would describe as literary fiction, rather than commercial (or genre fiction), which sells more copies. I’m never embarrassed by my reading choices, but I love stories that linger in my thoughts after I’ve finished reading them.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett is such a book. It’s the tale of two siblings who are happy enough until their father remarries and their stepmother does everything she can to displace them from their home. It’s a book about the complex relationships between families and I enjoyed it very much. Highly recommended.
Ann Patchett Spins a Modern Fairy Tale in Her Luminous New Novel
I also read Once there were Wolves, by Charlotte McConaghy. Set in Scotland, it tells the story of Inti, a young biologist who travels to the Scottish Highlands to help re-introduce wolves back into the countryside as part of a re-wilding program. Part love story, part thriller; it also focuses on Inti’s relationship with her twin sister Aggie. It’s fierce and brilliant, I couldn’t put it down.
CHARLOTTE McCONAGHY Once There Were Wolves. The Newtown Review of Books
Summer is for salads (and blueberry hotcakes)
The weather is finally warming up here in Australia, so it’s time to bring out my favourite salad recipes. My usual approach is to use a combination of salad leaves, something crunchy like radishes or celery, some protein (cheese, eggs, fish or chicken) and some nuts. I often add avocado and some blueberries for fun.
This got me thinking about other ways to use blueberries (they’re cheap at the moment) and I found this recipe for blueberry and lemon hotcakes. Don’t they look delicious?
Blueberry hotcakes - recipe from Dish Magazine
Blueberry hotcakes - recipe from Dish Magazine
That's all for now
Keep well and look after yourself
Warm wishes
Marg xxx
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Margaret Moon
Margaret Moon

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Central Coast, Australia