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Everywhere I Look

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  2,919 ratings  ·  305 reviews
Spanning fifteen years of work, Everywhere I Look is a book full of unexpected moments, sudden shafts of light, piercing intuition, flashes of anger and incidental humour. It takes us from backstage at the ballet to the trial of a woman for the murder of her newborn baby. It moves effortlessly from the significance of moving house to the pleasure of re-reading Pride and Pr ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 29th 2016 by Text Publishing Company
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Robyn Well, not really. My Bookclub did not really like it, compared to Garner's other works which are usually complex explorations of human behavior. This …moreWell, not really. My Bookclub did not really like it, compared to Garner's other works which are usually complex explorations of human behavior. This is a compilation of her short pieces previously published in newspapers or magazines, and some of her general musings on life. Myself , I didn't mind reading it, I found the mix interesting and she spoke of people and books we had done in bookclub before. But there is not much meat for discussion, and many of my club found the pieces boring and frivolous.(less)

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There is something old fashioned about Helen Garner’s essays. We are therefore surprised to see a reference to Amy Winehouse makeup, Obama, or the brutality of Russell Crowe films. It could be her work seems old fashioned because it is so exquisitely shaped: who would have picked out that particular incident or phrase out of all the incidents and phrases one experiences in a lifetime and held it up, gemlike, for us to admire? This restraint, clarity, exactitude is so rare in a world where everyo ...more
A very high 4 stars

I've been meaning to read Helen Garner's Everywhere I Look since it came out and I read an excerpt about the "indignities of old age". While I'm still middle-aged, I was really taken with that story and thought that it was about time we read about women past their reproductive years.

I'm glad that I finally got to delve into this collection. Although I bought the ebook, I listened to Garner herself read her own book, which made it a little bit more special, as it's so personal
“The sheer bloody labour of writing. No one but another writer understands it—the heaving about of great boulders into a stable arrangement so that you can bound up them and plant your little flag at the very top.”

Typical Garner. First she tells us what a difficult job she has, and then she completely pops her own self-important balloon with her little flag of pride. She stands her ground, even more now that she’s decided she’s old enough to get away with it, but I don’t think she’s really sh
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
These essays were a well rounded mix - some about popular culture or news events, others more personal. Garner writes in a congenial manner with a sharp edge. My favorite essays were those about her life, especially those about growing older. I loved, loved her essay "The Insults of Age." ...more
I told myself, "I'll just read one more story before bed, just one" and looked up to see it was 1.46am and I'd greedily stuffed my face with the entire thing in one sitting.

Garner has this to say about the great American journalist and writer, Janet Malcolm, but it very easily describes her own work: "It is a literary voice, composed and dry, articulate and free-striding, drawing on deep learning yet plain in its address, and above all fearless....[t]he whole drive of her work is
Text Publishing
It’s always heartening to know there is a new Garner out there in the world.

Reading Helen Garner’s essay collection Everywhere I Look is like catching up with a long-time friend—the kind of friend you secretly envy for their sheer brilliance.

Garner’s fine-tuned observations and musings on life are masterful. Each page serves to remind us that we are in the presence of one of Australia’s greatest writers.

Read an extract in the Guardian—‘A certain sort of maleness’: Helen Garner on a week spent wa
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Three scorchers in a row…The sky was clouding over and the air was irritable…Suddenly, above the asphalt of the big playground came a mighty rushing, counterclockwise, as if the air were being stirred by a spoon in a huge bowl…The temperature plummeted and a superb, refreshing cool exploded all around. Raindrops struck the asphalt, stopped then began in earnest”

Everywhere I Look is the fifth non-fiction book by award-winning Australian author, Helen Garner. Gathered together in one volume are s
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A collection of Helen's essays, observations & thoughts. Her writing is so masterful I would read her shopping list. ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Journeys through life’

‘Everywhere I Look’ is a collection of essays, diary entries and true stories written by Helen Garner. While thirty of the stories in the collection have previously been published (between 1994 and 2015), the other three pieces (‘Whisper and Hum’, ‘Before Whatever Else Happens’ and ‘Suburbia’) have not.

What an interesting and eclectic collection: the first essay is about one about wanting a ukulele, about learning to play it. But the ukulele is part of a wider story: the c
Book Riot Community
This essay collection by Australian writer Helen Garner is varied, absorbing, and so, so smart. She is an insightful cultural and literary critic — her essay on reading Pride and Prejudice is a delight — and she has also written moving personal pieces on writing, family, aging, and more. She reminds me of a couple other nonfiction writers I love: Jenny Diski and Janet Malcolm. She’s fearless, forthright, beguiling, and I plan on reading more of her work.

–Rebecca Hussey

from The Best Books We Read
Michael Livingston
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A lovely collection, spanning 15 years of Garner's writing, and mercifully free of some of the awkward gender politics that slightly marred some of her bigger books for me. The essay on her mother is just phenomenal, and the diary entries are full of wit, charm and sharp observations. Some of the film reviews felt a bit like filler, but seemingly slight pieces like her brief profile of Tim Winton still somehow managed to pack a punch. ...more
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wonder how Helen feels about the way she is lionised by the next generation of young female Aus writers.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another brilliant collection of Garner's writing. Just love her. ...more
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those "let me get something a bit different (to break out of my comfort zone)" books that really paid off (see also: You're Never Weird on the Internet).

At first I had a bit of trouble with the author's accent, but soon grew used it; as a matter of fact, when I read more of her in print I'll miss it. A fair amount of the entries are memoir: her parents' relationship, the day her dad died, encounters with her grandchildren, etc. I never felt " I guess you had to be there" which h
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a lovely collection. Reading it felt like catching up with a witty and slightly caustic friend. Helen's writing is familiar (all of these essays save three were published elsewhere) and precise and perfect. Helen is a regular at the bookstore and I love talking books with her - this collection felt like a more intimate extension of those chats. She's much more revealing in her writing which I completely understand. She's a national treasure. ...more
Cassie Robinson
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Let me preface this review by saying I love Helen Garner, so it is completely biased. I've seen Helen speak a number of times, and she has completely won me over. I find her such an intriguing person, and in so many ways she is nothing like what you would expect. So when I discovered that she narrates the audio edition of Everywhere I Look I knew I had to listen to it – and it did not disappoint. The short personal essays in Everywhere I Look are funny, self deprecating, moving and insightful. I ...more
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I never wanted that to end.
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
The first Helen Garner I've read (of only 3 total) that I have liked without reservation. A great collection of short observations on life & art, people and relationships. ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Memoir/essay style on a variety of topics from a kitchen table, to the craft of Jane Austen to feeling too old in a bar. I love her dry style and ability capture/reflect on seemingly mundane events/items with sadness, sarcasm joy or razor wit. My favourite line is "a woman on her own can easily get into the habit of standing at the fridge door and dining on a cold boiled potato". Garner makes me want to jot down daily observations as she shows the weighty ideas/emotions that they can carry. ...more
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I came late to reading Helen Garner and it was only through a friend gifting me Joe Cinque's Consolation which I found to be a gripping read. I have since read a couple of her books and I am hooked.
‘Everywhere I Look’ spans the last 15 years of Garner’s writing career with a collection of essays and observations. The collection is really like sitting down with a friend and having a chat that starts over morning coffee and ends somewhere near tea with cocktails.
As a reader I like to sit down wi
Giselle A Nguyen
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm a recent Garner convert, having only read my first of her works late last year, but I wonder what took me so long and wish I'd come around sooner. This is such a beautiful collection from a thoughtful, witty and observant writer. I love the way she sees the world, and the tiny details she brings to life through her words. Some of these essays made me cry.

I probably could've done without some of the more arts criticism-type inclusions towards the end, but this really was such a pleasure to re
Kali Napier
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2020
My first non-fiction Helen Garner and I am a convert. I will be seeking out more of her NF work, especially the diaries. This collection contains essays on creatives, observations of neighbourhoods, and evocations of artefacts, among a multitude of other descriptions and musings. My favourite parts were in the section titled 'Dreams of Her Real Self', which includes snippets of what appear her early diary entries. Sometimes only a line or two long, others are vignettes. There is little attempt t ...more
Rosemary Atwell
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love Helen Garner. She is forthright and fierce and frequently admits to 'messing up' her life. Perhaps that is why she is such a great writer. Once again, this assorted collection of short pieces, reviews and carefully edited diary entries confirms the shrewdness of her observations and the ability to sift and isolate what really matters in the minutiae and celebration of the everyday. 'Everywhere I Look' is a powerful draught - savour and relish. ...more
Apr 28, 2016 rated it liked it
This collection of essays is like a mixed bag of lollies. Though not every one will be to your taste, there's a special kind of delight that comes with selecting your favourite.

As for my picks? 'The Insults of Age' and 'My First Baby' carry a perfect sort of precision, but it's Garner's diary entries that I treasured most, with their sense of esprit and whimsy.
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reviews
Helen Garner's latest essay collection is written with all the perception, power and forthrightness one has come to expect from one of Australia's finest writers.

To read my review in full please visit my blog.
D.M. Cameron
Devoured this almost in one sitting. Garner's forensic eye, which she often turns on her self, her courage and honesty never fails to impress. Her short story in this collection titled Dear Mrs Dunkley reduced me to sobbing tears. If you are a writer - you will appreciate this book! ...more
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved dipping in and out of this book over the course of a few months. Garner is a masterful writer.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Garner’s modest but sharply insightful vignettes on life. As I listened to this audio book it felt like I was sharing a martini and conversation with a close friend.
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this collection of essays. There were many standouts but my absolute favourite was a potted take on Pride and Prejudice. Anyone who produces the line, "Lydia Bennett, at sixteen, is a piece of trash", deserves to be read. I can't wait to get my hands on more of her stuff. ...more
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anz16
This is a collection of pieces Helen Garner has written over the past 15 years. I have read almost all of Helen Garner's work. She is the same age as me and although she has led a very different life, I relate to so much of what she writes.

These pieces reflect a woman who is comfortable with growing old (except if anyone dares patronise her) but who acknowledges failures of the past, particularly in her relationships with her parents. These writings give value to homes and families (especially
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Helen Garner was born in Geelong in 1942. She has published many works of fiction including Monkey Grip, Cosmo Cosmolino and The Children's Bach. Her fiction has won numerous awards. She is also one of Australia's most respected non-fiction writers, and received a Walkley Award for journalism in 1993.

Her most recent books are The First Stone, True Stories, My Hard Heart, The Feel of Stone and Joe

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“When, in the street, I see a mother walking with her grown-up daughter, I can hardly bear to witness the mother’s pride, the softening of her face, her incredulous joy at being granted her daughter’s company; and the iron discipline she imposes on herself, to muffle and conceal this joy.” 11 likes
“Sometimes it seems to me that, in the end, the only thing people have got going for them is imagination. At times of great darkness, everything around us becomes symbolic, poetic, archetypal. Perhaps this is what dreaming, and art, are for.” 4 likes
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