Mother's Day 2017
If your mother is an avid reader, here are some gift ideas for Mother's Day.
Hippy Days Arabian Nights
By Katherine Boland
Published by Wild Dingo Press
This memoir by artist Katherine Boland is a rollicking good read.
Katherine follows her heart and her dreams with gusto, not stopping to consider the "could haves" or the "should haves."
She arrived in Australia as a child with her family on the 10-pound Pom scheme.
She describes a rather idyllic childhood, living near the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, where her stylish mum swam at Ninety Mile Beach in summer, in her emerald swimsuit "one milky-white arm breast stroking wavelessly through the sun-dappled water, her free hand holding a smouldering cigarette aloft."
Later, while studying art at the RMIT, she lives in St Kilda.
Before long, she and her boyfriend drop out of their studies to live the hippy lifestyle on the far south coast of New South Wales.
After the end of her marriage, she returns to Melbourne and launches her art career with great success.
Overseas scholarships and residences beckon and she travels to Egypt where she meets and falls in love with Gamal, who is 27 years younger.
Their long distance romance survives six years of age and cultural differences, family hostility and political instability.
Hippy Days, Arabian Nights is entertaining read, although there are chapters detailing some domestic violence and drug abuse, which Katherine doesn't skim over.
Her love affair with Gamal is honestly told, with all its sensuality and joy, as well as its frustrations.
This is her first literary project.
Who I Am
By Charlotte Rampling with Christophe Bataille
Published by Allen and Unwin
I've always admired Charlotte Rampling for her film roles, her beauty and character.
Having avoided biographies and autobiographies (too persona, she explained), she has now written Who I Am, a self-portrait, liberally laced with reminiscences.
Written with novelist and publisher Christophe Bataille, she tells the story of her origins and early life and there are many photos of her family in the book.
She was very close to her older sister Sarah and Sarah's death was a tragedy that affected the whole family.
Her writing is lyrical and elegant.
"Sometimes I wish that all of life could be contained in my gaze.
"What cannot be said must be dreamed. When you dream you cherish your secret."
The Moth 2: All these Wonders
Edited by Catherine Burns
Published by Allen and Unwin
The Moth is an acclaimed not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling.
This year marks its 20th year and since its launch The Moth has presented thoussands of stories, told live and without notes to crowds worldwide.
What started as friends swapping tales on a small-town Georgia porch has gained a cult following in the United States, Australia, Britain and Ireland.
All these Wonders are stories of courage and facing the unknown and include contributions from Australians Magda Szubanski, Dan Ilic, Omar Musa, Melissa Lucashenko and Tony Wheeler of Lonely Planet fame.
Happy Mother's Day and happy reading!