'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 2 June 2020

Look What I'm Reading! Sally Murphy

Sally Murphy is a children’s author, poet, academic and reviewer. She lives and breathes kids’ books, and kids, too (she had six of her own and now has four grandkids). In her downtime she is also an avid beach walker.

Which children’s book are you currently reading?
The Julia Tapes, by Emily Rodda (Puffin Books, 1999)

Can you tell us in two sentences what the book is about?
It is told by a girl who is lying in hospital recovering from the events of her holiday.

She is recording her memories by recording on a tape recorder.

How much did you enjoy/are enjoying this title?
I am loving it! It is part mystery, part drama, with touches of humour.  I am really keen to find out what happened to Julia. I am also really interested in the first person narrative used – because Julia is recording her memories from a hospital bed, absolutely everything is from her viewpoint with limited dialogue, for example. So, it’s kind of like a diary format book, but not.

What made you choose this title? Was it a review, advertising, the cover, the blurb, the author/illustrator, or the subject/genre?
The book was mentioned somewhere in some academic reading I was doing a year or so ago. I love Emily Rodda’s writing, but had never heard of this title, so tracked it down and ordered a copy. But it then sat on my to-be-read mountain until this week.  Funnily, I can no longer remember what the article was about or what it said about this book.

What other titles are on your bedside table /To Read Pile?
All of them! (lol) I am a reviewer and compulsive book buyer, so I have a TBR cupboard and a TBR bookshelf.  I recently bought two Steph Bowe titles (after her untimely death) and so will read her Night Swimming next. I am also dipping in and out of a wonderful poetry collection Fish Song, by WA poet Caitlin Maling after I heard her read at a poetry night earlier this year.

How did you come by these titles: personal choice/request, publisher’s review copy, or other?
These are titles I have bought. I have been reviewing less over the last few years, because of time (I have a full-time day job) and although I miss the constant stream of new releases, I am enjoying discovering books I missed in the years I read almost exclusively review copies.

Do you have a favourite genre? If so, what is it, and why do you prefer it?
The verse novel! I have not yet read a verse novel that I didn’t enjoy. I love the way a verse novel tells a narrative but using the poetic form, meaning the author paints alot with few words.  Beyond verse novels though, I love children’s books – picture books, historical, fantasy, realism…

Do you read from printed books or some other medium? Please expand a little on the why of your choice.
Chiefly hard copy books. I love the tactile experience and the feel of a book I can hold. My second choice is audio books. I spend a lot of time in my car (less at the moment because of Covi-19) and use audiobooks to keep me company. I tend to listen to longer books that I might not otherwise read. Which reminds me, I am currently midway through an adult novel called The Rules of Backyard Cricket on audio, which I am enjoying.

My website is www.sallymurphy.com.au