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Book Chat - Issue #7

Book Chat
Hello reading friends!
I received two lovely emails from new subscribers this week. Both readers said they enjoyed the content and the format and I confessed that I’m always a little anxious when I hit the send button in case I’ve made some giant error or said something silly.
I sometimes worry that my writing is too simple, even though I spent my entire career trying to convince people that simple writing is good writing, so it’s great to get positive feedback.
Here’s a blog post I wrote a while back about how to write more simply.

One thing you can do to improve your writing
What I've been reading
This week I’ve been staying at home as per the NSW health orders and subsequently I’ve been doing a fair bit of reading. I’ve just finished Other People’s Houses by Australian author Kelli Hawkins. My friend Catherine lent it to me and it was terrific. Full of twists and a real page turner. I loved the descriptions of houses in the Wahroonga/Pymble area (a wealthy part of Sydney) and found the main character very sympathetic, despite her self-destructive behaviours. Or maybe because of them!
When I was tootling around the web, I discovered there was another book with the same title by the legendary publisher Hilary McPhee. She famously founded the publishing company McPhee Gribble in 1975. Her book is a memoir and looks interesting. I’ll let you know what it’s like if I get around to reading it.
It case you are wondering, it’s not possible to copyright book titles, mainly because they are too short. If a book becomes really famous (like Harry Potter) it can be treated as a brand and the title, cover, and all the IP (intellectual property) can be trademarked.
Other People's Houses
Other People's Houses
What I've been watching
My daughter introduced me to the TV series Younger a few years ago. I wanted something entertaining to watch on a long flight and she suggested this show, which stars Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff and some gorgeous men. Foster plays a 40-year-old who pretends to be 26 so she can get a job in the publishing industry after a long career break. I watched the first series on the plane but haven’t watched it since. When I saw they’d released the final series (Series 7) I went back to the beginning and now I’m hooked.
The episodes are only 22 minutes long so you can watch a quick episode (or two) before bed. It’s light and fluffy, but also very soothing. It’s on Stan.
What I've been listening to
I’m always keen to discover new podcasts about books and this one is worth a listen. One presenter is Australian and the other American, which intrigued me. The combination works well. Have a listen and let me know what you think.
Ep. 111 | Golden Girls — reading women
What I've been cooking
I’ve been baking a fair bit since we were told to stay at home. I made some nice wholemeal bread and some apple crumble. I opened a tin of pie apples by mistake (I thought it was a tin of beetroot!) so I had to think of something to do with it. Once that was in the oven I thought some ice cream would be nice, so I whipped up a can of evaporated milk with some vanilla and sugar. It was pretty good, actually. Here’s a recipe. Note that powdered sugar is called icing sugar in Australia.
Wholemeal bread and apple crumble
Wholemeal bread and apple crumble
One last thing
Thanks for reading. If you have any friends who would like this newsletter, please share. In the meantime, stay safe and stay at home if you’ve been told to.
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Margaret Moon
Margaret Moon

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Central Coast, Australia