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Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017

Now that the Christmas tree is taken down and chopped up, it’s time to admit that yes, Christmas is over, and turn my mind to 2017. I’ll be participating in the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017 again and once again … Continue reading ?

Movie: Nocturnal Animals

This movie was nothing like I thought it would be.  I knew that it was about a woman who was forwarded the draft of a book written by her ex-husband and dedicated to her. On reading it, she came to … Continue reading ?

Movie: I, Daniel Blake

At a time when our government is sending out computer-generated demands for repayments of debts that may or may not be owed by Newstart clients, every member of Parliament should be made to sit down and watch this film. “Just … Continue reading ?

Redmond Barry’s house in East Melbourne

There’s a couple of derelict mansions in Clarendon Street. When I first read about the neglect of Valetta, I thought that it was the increasingly ramshackle mansion down near Alexandra Pde that I had assumed that belonged to the Pullman … Continue reading ?

Movie: Hell or High Water

I’ve seen this described as a ‘Neo-Western’ which is what it is, I suppose, with lots of shoot-em-up and Texan drawls that are almost incomprehensible to my little Aussie ears. But it’s more than this. Set in a dry, featureless … Continue reading ?

This Week in Port Phillip 8-15 January 1842

Twelfth Night Well, it was the week after New Year and some people celebrated Twelfth Night (which I gather is more significant in England than it is here in Australia). Twelfth Cakes were available from Mr Burgin the pastrycook in … Continue reading ?

‘Looking Through You: Rare and Unseen Photographs from the Beatles Book Archive’ by Leslie Bryce

192 p. 2016 As part of my nostalgic after-glow from seeing Eight Days a Week, I snapped up this book at my library when I saw it on the New Non Fiction shelves.  It features beautifully clear photographs that were … Continue reading...

‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed’ by Jon Ronson

2015,  269 P. One of the problems with a media-savvy author who travels the world promoting his book is that by the time you get round to reading it, you feel as if you’ve already done so. This was the … Continue reading ?

This Week in Port Phillip 1842: January 1-7

In 1842, there wasn’t the extended January break that we now enjoy. Instead, things returned pretty much to normal after New Year.  But let’s just laze around a bit longer for this first week of the year 1842.  I did … Continue reading ?

‘H is for Hawk’ by Helen Macdonald

283 p & notes, 2014 I’m not quite sure how Helen Macdonald managed to interweave a detailed and rather technical book about training a goshawk with a clear-eyed description of a profound grief that almost tipped into madness. But manage … Continue reading ?

This Week in Port Phillip 1841: 24 -31 December 1841

Of course, Port Phillip celebrated Christmas on 25 December, along with the rest of the British Empire.  In 1841, 25 December was a Saturday, thus providing a two-day holiday. It’s a sobering reminder of the rarity of holidays in the … Continue reading ?

‘La Mala Hora’ (In Evil Hour) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

(1962, 183 P) I read this as part of the Coursera course that I’ve been following on Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I read the book in English (of course!) but the online course that analyses the books is in Spanish. There’s … Continue reading ?

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016 Completed

These are the books that I read for the 2016 Australian Women Writers Challenge.  I had great intentions of reading more history books written by female historians but I only read five.  I seem to have read more memoirs than … Continue reading ?

‘The Noise of Time’ by Julian Barnes

2016, 180p. I must confess that it took me some time to work out that the subject of this small novella is Dimitri Shostavkovich. In the first part of the book, Shostakovich is an unnamed ‘he’, waiting by the lift … Continue reading...

‘The Light Between Oceans’ by M. L. Stedman

2012, 345 p. As it happened, I read this book with my bookgroup (AKA The Ladies Who Say Oooh) just as the movie was released.  No doubt I’ll see the movie about two minutes before it closes, when it’s down … Continue reading ?

‘Wicked but Virtuous: My Life’ by Mirka Mora

302 pages & abundant illustrations and photographs, 2000. The artist and matriarch of a clutch of artistic Mora sons, Mirka Mora is a Melbourne institution.  Earthy, twinkly and eccentric, she often pops up on documentaries to provide a bit of … Continue reading ?

The City That Knows How to Eat

Makes me proud to be a Melburnian.  Although strictly speaking it’s ‘smashed avo’, not avocado toast.

This Week in Port Phillip 1841: 15-23 December

The Tasmanians, ‘the Van Diemen’s Land Blacks’, ‘Robinson’s Blacks’ The newspapers during this week were dominated by the trial of Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheener which was heard before Judge Willis on 15 December 1841.  The women were acquited, leaving just the … Continue reading ?

‘The Good People’ by Hannah Kent

2016, 380 p. Literary debuts don’t come much bigger than Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites, the story of the last woman hanged in Iceland in 1829.  An international best-seller, recipient of multiple awards,  the first of a million dollar two-book contract … Continue reading ?

This Week in Port Phillip 1841: 8-15 December

A night at the Debating Society The December meeting of the Debating Society turned its attention to the rivetting question “Whether the conduct of Elizabeth was justifiable towards Mary Queen of Scots”( which strikes me as a particularly irrelevant question … Continue reading ?

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