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Women on Oxford and A Pocket Full of Wry

I went along to the launch of the first anthology by Women on Oxford, called A Pocket Full of Wry. It's a book of tales with a twist by a Brisbane writers group that meets every two weeks to talk about life and writing...

Enterprise and creativity are a good combination. Women on Oxford have released an anthology of their stories and poems, A Pocket Full of Wry, using a print on demand service, createspace.com. Women on Oxford is a group of women from various walks of life who meet at the Bulimba Library every fortnight to discuss life and writing. They include an accountant, a former archeologist and creative writing teacher, a singer-songwriter and others. They decided to put out a collection of stories with ironic twists.

Recently I went along to the book launch of their anthology A Pocket Full of Wry at Riverbend Books in Bulimba, Brisbane. I asked the writers in the anthology for some reading suggestions. Using createspace.com, a print-on-demand service, you can order any number of copies of your book to be printed up and sent back to you. Copies of A Pocketful of Wry were printed in the United States and sent back to Brisbane.

Geraldine M. Anderson, who has been an archeologist and creative writing teacher, and has a taste for murder stories, read her story A Sticky Situation. It’s about a woman who decides to poison her philandering husband by creating a toxic sticky date pudding.

As she read, a tropical storm, complete with lightning, complemented her story nicely. She said she liked The Confessor by Daniel Silva. This 2003 book is one of the Gabriel Allon series of thrillers by Silva, about a former assassin for the Israeli secret service. Ms Anderson also liked A Prisoner of Birth, a mystery novel by Jeffrey Archer, who is also fond of short stories with twists.

Bella Scott is an accountant and writer, which isn’t a combination you’d expect, necessarilly. She read from her story Falling Stars, about a woman jumping off the Story Bridge, which crosses the Brisbane River in inner city Brisbane. Again, there’s a nice twist. She didn’t read the ending, but, as she pointed out, someone gave it away earlier in the night.

She liked Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, originally published in Norway in 1991. It’s about a 14 year old living in Norway in 1990, who starts receiving anonymous messages in her mailbox. Some of these messages come from 50 year old Alberto Knox, who starts teaching her, and the reader of the novel, the history of philosophy.

A few other reading tips: Lea Scott said she liked The Road by Cormac McCarthy. This is a page-turner about the journey of a father and son after a nuclear holocaust.

Julie D., as she is known in the anthology, liked the Carol O’Connell books, which is a series of crime books around the character Kathy Mallory, including Judas Child. She also liked The Art of Possibility by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander. Other favorites included Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting by Lynn Grabhorn, and The Game of Life and How to Play It, published 1925, by Florence Scovel Shinn.

Caroline McCarthy is a singer, songwriter, who wrote three stories for the anthology, about moving from London to Brisbane. She liked the Will Self book Great Apes. She also liked Stephen Fry’s The Stars’ Tennis Balls.

Nadine Mathias said she liked The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, and also a biography of Tallulah Bankhead (which may have been Tallulah Bankhead: A scandalous life, by David Bret).