The official website of West Australian writer, Emily Paull. Emily writes short stories and historical fiction, and is the author of Well-Behaved Women (Margaret River Press, 2019.)
A blog about creative writing, reading and general book-nerdery of the highest order.
Welcome to my Bookshelves, with Guest Poster Tracy Farr!
The first Bookshelf Tour for 2014 is exciting stuff, and I am proud to welcome Tracy Farr to the blog to show us her books. Tracy's debut novel, The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt came out in 2013 and has since been a local hit (at least in MY bookshop!). You can read my review here.
Like most things in my life, my
bookshelves are a mixture of compulsive order and flagrant disorder. We have
dysfunctional shelves in the junk room upstairs, with too many books crammed
and jammed in, double- and triple-shelved; it’s impossible to find any one book
without unpacking almost all the others. Hopeless. But the wall of shelves in
our living room is reasonably functional, and rather beautiful.
Picture Credit: Liane McGee
On these shelves there’s a rough divide into fiction and
non-fiction, although they overlap and intermix. The non-fiction books are a
mixed bag. There are plenty about science —Antarctica
interest and career), seaweed (my interest —what used to be my career), oceans,
maths and physics. Others are about music, film and theatre, writing, design.
Some —like The Pursuit
of Oblivion[http://www.theguardian.com/books/2002/may/18/nicholaslezard] and Heritage of Pines[http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2597193 ] —I’ve used as background reading or research
or just inspiration for my writing.
On the fiction shelves, writers from
Australia, New Zealand and Canada —the
three countries I’ve lived
in —predominate. There are runs of books
by the same author —Peter Carey, Helen
Garner, Fiona Kidman, Charlotte Grimshaw, Joan London, Damien Wilkins,
Elizabeth Jolley, Tim Winton —but then a too-tall
edition will break the run, end up on the tall shelf. Or I’ll just get lazy and file a book on
the nearest shelf when I’m
done with it.
There are gaps in the shelves in our
house, from many many years when —particularly as a
broke uni student —I bought very few
books, and did all my reading from libraries. I’m still a great library user. Moving
countries twice culled the books a little, too. There are the books that have
been long lost, lent to friends —you must read this—but not returned. Sometimes you have
to let books go.
Some books are inscribed. I was a
gibbering slavering fan-girl when I faced Peter Carey over the signing table
after a reading he did in Vancouver in October 1995. I don’t keep my inscribed books separately;
they’re in amongst the others, little
surprises when I open them.
There’s a shelf with literary mags, another
of knitting, crochet, making and craft books; and there’s a shelf that holds copies of my
printed works (vertically), next to some of my favourite books of poetry
(horizontally, held down by Godzilla).
In our bedroom there’s a bookshelf that’s made from our old kitchen
cupboards. It houses most of our crime and thriller novels, as well as
just-read or to-be-shelved overflow. And by the bed are books still to be read,
and —usually —the book I’m currently reading. That’s “book”, singular; I’m strictly a one-book-at-a-time
plodder. I rarely don’t finish
a book, once I’ve
At the base of this pile is Kirsty
Gunn’s The Big Music, which I read
at a gallop in two days over Christmas 2013 —what a brilliant, rewarding,
Thanks Tracy! What a wonderful collection you have.
If you want to know more, Tracy will be a guest at the 2014 Perth Writers Festival!