At Rocky Springs in November you can be sure of one constant – the jacarandas. Not to matter that the paddocks may be full of laughing, bucking cows in a good season, or lonely and thirsty as they are now, the ring of jacarandas around our house will always burst into glorious colour come November.
The jacarandas have been particularly apt this November as I re-read Gillian Mears’ “Foal’s Bread”, a beautiful, yet aching, Australian story through which the jacarandas are woven as much as the smell and touch of horse.
So Mob, in a break from the usual transmission here are ten of my favourite all time books (in no particular order):
Foal’s Bread – Gillian Mears – 2011 – beware it will bring you to tears and prompt a husband to ask “What are you blubbing about?”
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – 1960 – I only discovered this classic several years ago and as one reviewer said “No one ever forgets this book”.
Jasper Jones – Craig Silvey – 2009 – perhaps the Australian version of To Kill a Mockingbird, and although tragic to the end, there are characters who will make you laugh out loud and quote passages to above mentioned husband, who now thinks you have gone slightly mad.
Irish Lad – J.C Bendrodt – 1966 – a collection of lyrical stories of horses and dogs. Valiant Lady is pure music; get the tissues again for Nine O’Clock.
Tracks – Robyn Davison – 1980 – one woman takes several camels and Diggity the Dog and walks across Australia’s desert heart from Alice Springs to Hamelin Pool on the west coast.
Horse Heaven – Jane Smiley – 2000 – following the journey of six thoroughbreds as they race though a fictional world.
The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway – 1952 – from the master, a tale showing great insight to a simple fisherman and great respect for his quarry.
Rhubard – Craig Silvey – 2004 – an unusual take on grammar and punctuation, peppered with real and honest dialogue, and a laugh-out loud ending makes this a joy to read.
The Byerley Turk – Jeremy James – 2005 – historical fiction about one of the founding sires of the modern thoroughbred (yes, horse again), written with wonderful empathy for the equine.
Dirt Music – Tim Winton – 2001 – actually I could have chosen any of Winton’s books. Succinct, perfectly descriptive; feel, smell and touch the Australia of his stories.
But Mob, I have a problem. I have read all these. What do you recommend I read next? And why?
Looking forward to hearing from you!