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.
Guest Post: Welcome to my Bookshelves with Emma Chapman
A Tour of My Bookshelves
I was recently
offered a wonderful piece of advice, originally spoken by the film director and
comedian John Waters.
John Waters used slightly different language (unsuitable for this blog)
first thing I do when I visit someone’s home is to look at their
bookshelves. I love to see what other
people read: it gives a great insight into their personalities. It’s like looking at what artwork they choose
to have on the walls: a very good indicator of another person’s tastes. It can
also act as a great conversation starter.
you Emily, for inviting me to share my bookshelves. It won’t take long: I have a limited ration
of books in my apartment in Indonesia as most of them are in storage in the
UK. You’ll be pleased I’m not taking you
through all of those: there are hundreds of them. I have a horrible medical condition that
prevents me from ever throwing a book away.
I got it from my father.
overseas forces me to be careful. I only
brought a few books with me: the rest are ones I have bought or been sent as
gifts. I’m constantly promising not to
buy any more books. I lived in Perth for
4 years, and when we left, the majority of what we sent home (20 huge packing
boxes) was books. I haven’t read them
all. That’s the problem. I know I will: one day. Either that or I’ll start a bookshop, where I
will refuse to sell any of the books to customers.
let the shelves speak for themselves, but here are a few interesting facts
about my choices:
bought Big Brother by Lionel Shriver at Ubud Writers’
Festival last year, where I saw her talk about the book. I was totally star struck.
spot a lot of books about photography, the Vietnam war and foreign
correspondents: research for my new novel, about a war photographer
have been meaning to read the Bible (and other famous religious texts) for a
long time. I’m not religious, but I feel
it’s something so intrinsic to so many cultures that they need to be read.
studied the poems of Keats and Wilfred Owen at school. I keep them around as reminders of
not read almost half of these books (and I need to stop buying new ones)
books I would most recommend would be Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Mrs
Hemingway by Naomi Wood
History of Exploration is my husband’s and shows our utterly different
interests: he’s a geologist
been learning Bahasa Indonesian for six months and it still gives me a small
thrill when I understand something
big yellow ornament just visible on the top shelf is a model of a giant Durian
fruit. It’s the emblem of Jakarta, which
people call The Big Durian due to the fact that people either love it or hate
also be able to make out my inspiration frame, filled with quotes to keep me
going. Here’s a close up view of it. I also have a pin board filled with
pictures of setting, time and place of the current chapter of my
you for taking the tour with me! I hope it made you feel better about your own
book hoarding habits. Have you read any
Emma Chapman's first novel, How to be a Good Wife was published in early 2013, to critical acclaim. The paperback is available now at all good bookstores!
You can visit Emma at her blog, which is www.emmajchapman.com or send her a tweet using her handle, which is @emmajchapman