Today, we speak with Alexandra Hammond, the National Book Buyer for Dymocks Australia about what makes her house a home. In her intelligent, talented and funny persona shines through as she’s shares with us her style inspirations, creature comforts, and love of books which has taken her from a casual sales assistant in a local bookstore to being the buyer for the #1 Australian bookseller, Dymocks, and will soon take her off to follow her dreams in New York. You’ll even get some great tips on what’s trending in the book industry and what to read next!
Can you share with us some of your favourite books, and tell us what you’re currently reading?
That’s rude of you to ask, It’s like asking me to pick between my children (lucky I don't currently have children).
I love anything by Curtis Sittenfeld, she is undoubtedly my favourite writer. Sometimes I worry she is inside my head because she expresses the things I am thinking, but can’t put into words.
I have a bit of a short-term memory & I see so many new books every day that I tend to only remember & thus recommend books I have read fairly recently so ill share some of those with you:
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman- This book surprises you at the turn of every page. I was sceptical that it wasn’t for me but It completely blew me away. I think this is the book everyone will be talking about in a year from now.
- Tin Man by Sarah Winman is another favourite for me. Sarah is the most beautiful writer and while this book is quite sad I just found something about her writing so hopeful & uplifting.
Oh & I can’t shut up about this book I have just finished reading Ill Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, which is the true story of rapist/murderer who terrorized California for over a decade. This isn’t just the story of the murderer though it is also a complex, multilayered look at the authors own obsession with this man’s crimes. McNamara passed away while writing the novel and her husband (Actor Patton Oswalt) ensured it was completed & in the most incredible news ever, after over 20 years of not being captured, the man was arrested just a few weeks ago & a lot of people are saying it is because of the renewed interest in the case that this book stirred up – talk about the power of literature .
What are some of the things in your home or life that bring you joy?
The thing in my home that brings me joy is my kitchen - I absolutely love to cook for family & friends. I'm lucky enough to have a beautiful, open plan, light filled kitchen near the living space so I can be social while I ‘slave away’ (or take breaks to sit on the couch and relax)
Where is your favourite place to read?
My Bed is undoubtedly my favourite place to read, it is comfy and I can see a glimpse of the ocean from it. I love to read before falling asleep and often find myself waking up at 2am with a book on my face & my bed side light on. My best friend thinks it’s totally weird but when I am really engrossed in a book you can find me eating meals in bed while I read – if I lend you a book don’t be surprised to find a bit of vegemite smudged on the page. Is this answer making it totally obvious (and unsurprising) that I’m single?
How would you describe your space and bedroom – what mood do you like to create here?
I would say it is light filled & full of lots books. I tend to be a bit of a messy person so I try to limit the amount of stuff around me (it doesn’t always work) and I tend to avoid too much pattern or really bright colours because they make it really obvious how messy I am. I like a pretty neutral palette & nice, soft cosy materials that I can snuggle into - i'm more about texture than I am colour. On my bed at the moment I actually have the MyHouse Vintage Linen Quilt Cover Set which is 100% linen and super soft – I’ not just saying that because this is a MyHouse article either, I’m obsessed!
What’s next for you, and what do you look forward to?
I just have a teeny- tiny change coming to my life in the next few months - I’m moving to New York. So that’s definitely something I’m looking forward too. I’m imagining my life there will be half way between Eilis Lacey’s in Brooklyn (Novel by Colm Toibin) & Carrie Bradshaw’s in Sex & the City but in reality I’ll probably just sob into my (Silk) pillow each night missing my family & friends back home.