book club

Smooth Book Club: Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Women of Letters

By Stephanie Nuzzo December 21, 2016
Smooth Book Club

Welcome to the first ever Smooth Book Club – your monthly serve of literary inspiration brought to you by a group of self-proclaimed book nerds  

Welcome to our inaugural Smooth Book Club meeting! Once a month, our book-loving Smooth team get together to discuss our thoughts on a selected novel and then share them with you. It’s kind of like Oprah’s Book Club, except, you know, instead of Oprah you get us… 

Smooth Book Club

So let’s begin, shall we?

Our book for December was Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Women of Letters (Penguin) by Michaela McGuire and Marieke Hardy.

smooth book club

A celebration of the beautiful art of letter writing, this is the seventh anthology curated by McGuire and Hardy from the popular Women of Letters live salons. It includes letters by Em Rusciano, the late literary great Bob Ellis, Rosie Batty, Eddie Perfect and his wife Lucy Cochran and many more.

Our thoughts

“I found this book really easy to dive into. It was great for my bus ride into work, because even on mornings where I was feeling half asleep, I could easily get through at least one letter. It was interesting to read a book like this, where you’re shown such a small piece of each author’s world, because although there was a general theme, you really didn’t know what to expect from the next story.

I think the letter that stood out to me most would have to be Em Rusciano’s letter to Madonna. There were a lot of laugh-out-loud moments in that one.”

- Steph

"Reading Women of Letters was like marathoning a TV series! With each different woman penning a different ‘letter’ – some happy, sad, inspiring and silly – I read it in little 10 minute bursts which made committing super-easy!" 

– Cassie 

“I was intrigued to read a book of letters – I’ve read books of short stories and books where letters made up a large amount of the story, but never a book of letters. Particularly letters that held a great deal of meaning to the writer. Some letters I found truly funny, interesting or inspiring, others I forgot as soon as they were finished. It was a completely mixed bag. I couldn’t sit down and read it in one sitting, but if you’re looking for something to read when you’re short on time and want to dip and out, this book won’t disappoint.”

- Amy 

“I really liked the idea of a book made of short letters, but sadly found 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered' somewhat hard to get into. It felt a little difficult to relate to the authors as the letters sometimes didn't explain back stories making many of them a little confusing. 

Having said that, there were two that I enjoyed and that stood out for me. The first was by Gillian Armstrong writing to Australian costume designer, Orry Kelly, describing her journey trying to make a film about his incredible career and life. I also agreed with Steph and enjoyed reading Em Rusciano's letter to her "real mum", Madonna.

While it may be hard to get into, you'll find there are different letters that will speak to a variety people. My recommendation? Don't feel like you need to read them in order, otherwise you may get stuck!”

- Marni

Quotes we bookmarked

This:

Dear Madonna,

Thank you for showing me that it is okay to be both a devoted mother and on a podium drenched in glitter. 

Love, Em Rusciano

And this:

Dear Mum,

My life is so much more fortunate than yours was and I'm sorry if my unplanned arrival was a part of that. 

Love, Anthony Albanese

And of course this:

Dear Leigh Sales,

What kind of psychopath is unmoved by fairy wrens? 

Love, Annabel Crabb

Want to learn more? Read on or purchase Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Women of Letters here.