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Photo: Roman Anastasios

Have a go at naming the four books that changed your life. A Sisyphean task, believe me.

“Who was Sisyphus?” you ask. If you didn’t, too bad. Here’s your etymological snippet for the day. Sisyphus was an Ancient Greek who ended up on the wrong side of the gods – which given how petty and vindictive they were, was quite easy to do. His punishment? To push a boulder up a steep slope on one of Hades’ many hillocks (there are a few, apparently). Once he got to the top, it tumbled back down again. Rinse, and repeat.

For examples of the possible application of the term, all the following could be considered Sisyphean tasks: convincing your teenaged son that the best place for his dirty clothes is not on his bedroom floor; helping McDonalds understand that TV ads featuring hipster-bearded baristas is not going to convince us that they know how to make good coffee; and proving to Masterchef contestants that not every dish needs a foam, a dust, a crumb or a gel.

But I digress. Not an unusual state of affairs, I can assure you. The reason for posting today is as follows. Although the process of shortlisting from the ridiculously long list of candidates did my head in, I did finally zero in on four books that were enormously important to me, and also have a tie-in to The Honourable Thief, and the column outlining same appeared in Fairfax’s various publications yesterday. You can have a look at it here: The Books That Changed Me: Meaghan Wilson Anastasios. It’s also available via SMH, WA Today, and the Brisbane Times.

And the photograph that accompanies the online article and reproduced at the top of this post? It was taken by my wonderful son, Roman, who’s a budding – and very accomplished – photographer. So I generally cut him a bit of slack with the whole dirty clothes on the bedroom floor thing.

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