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Georgiana McCrae

During this week, Bill of the Australian Legend blog is running Australian Women Writers Gen 1 Week.  He defines Gen 1 as “those writers who came before the 1890s and the Sydney Bulletin ‘Bush Realism’ school, although many of them … Continue reading ?

‘East West Street’ by Phillipe Sands

2016, 389 p & notes. You’ve always wanted to read a book about the philosophical differences between the crimes of ‘genocide’ and ‘crimes against humanity’, haven’t you? No? Ah- but you should and you should read this book in particular. … Continue reading ?

‘In the Shadow of Gallipoli’ by Robert Bollard

2013, 224 p. I know that historians often get railroaded into a title for their book by marketing-oriented publishers, and I can’t help thinking that the title of this 2013 book was chosen with one eye on the then-upcoming centenary … Continue reading ?

‘Neither Power Nor Glory’ by Paul Strangio

2012, 392 p. I was too young to vote at the 1972 Federal election that brought Gough Whitlam to power. Until Gough came along, it seemed to me that politicians were always grey men in hats, exemplified for me by … Continue reading ?

‘Tales from a Broad: An Unreliable Memoir’ by Fran Lebowitz BUT BEWARE!

2004, 346 p. Well, that’s five hours wasted, never to come my way again. I read an interview conducted with with Fran Lebowitz in the Age. Apparently she’s coming out to Australia, and I liked the sound of her sardonic … Continue reading ?

‘Australian Churches at War: Attitudes and Activities of the Major Churches 1914-1918’ by Michael McKernan

Churches tend to sprout exhortations of “Peace!” especially at Christmas time, and it’s quite a jolt to read of the bellicose and jingoistic approach taken by the major Christian (and especially Protestant) churches during the First World War.  Michael McKernan’s … Continue reading ?

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017: Roundup

Well, it’s close enough to the end of the year to do my Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017 Round-up. Looking through my reviews, I’m surprised how little Australian fiction I read this year. I’m acting as the Rounder-Upper-er for the … Continue reading ?

‘Adela Pankhurst: The Wayward Suffragette’ by Verna Coleman

1996, 176 p. As I might have mentioned once or twice, I’ve been involved in a street opera project called Serenading Adela. This event commemorates the centenary of the march of about 300 women to Pentridge Prison on 7 January … Continue reading ?

‘This Must Be the Place’ by Maggie O’Farrell

2016, 483 p. I’ve long had a rather ambivalent relationship with Maggie O’Farrell’s books.  I looked back in my reading journal to the first O’Farrell I read, After You’d Gone (2000).  I scored  a 10/10 (so I obviously liked it … Continue reading ?

Listening to the pollies

One of the funniest clips I’ve seen this year was Bob Katter talking about marriage equality and crocodiles. In the same sentence. Quite apart from the absurdity of what Katter is saying, I was struck by the broadness of his … Continue reading ?

‘The Conscription Conflict and the Great War’ ed. Robin Archer, Joy Damousi, Murray Goot and Sean Scalmer

2016, 210 p. Today is 20th December, the centenary of the second referendum held in Australia over the question of conscripting men to serve overseas in World War I.   So it is “meet and right” (to quote the Book of … Continue readi...

‘Hillbilly Elegy: a Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis’ by J. D. Vance

2016,  257 p. I  put a hold on this book at the library months and months ago when there were about 60 people in line ahead of me, and finally it arrived.  It’s worth the wait. J. D. Vance grew … Continue reading ?

‘A Fuhrer for a Father’ by Jim Davidson

2017, 256 p. After reading a string memoirs written by women that seemed to excoriate their mothers, I decided not to read any more. I probably should have stuck to my decision when I picked up historian and Meanjin editor … Continue reading ?

Somewhat missing in action….

There’s been very little going on in this blog recently because I’ve been busy working away polishing up my presentation for Heidelberg Historical Society tomorrow night (Tuesday 12th). On the 20th December it will be the 100th anniversary of the … Continue reading ?

The LaTrobe Journal No. 96 Sept. 2015

Ah…Number 96.  The September 2015 (No. 96) edition of the State Library of Victoria’s La Trobe Journal was a special edition focusing on Victoria and the Great War.  It is edited by John Lack and Judith Smart, both noted scholars … Continue reading ?

‘History of Wolves’ by Emily Fridlund

2017, 275 p. This book was short-listed for the 2017 Man Booker Prize but I really can’t work out why. It does well enough as a first novel – and perhaps that is its appeal – but it doesn’t have … Continue reading ?

‘That Dangerous and Persuasive Woman: Vida Goldstein’ by Janette M. Bomford

1993, 226 p & notes. Vida Goldstein is remembered as a suffragist, social reformer and pacifist. The picture on the front Bomford’s biography encapsulates what we tend to think of as the quintessential first-wave feminist, in her Edwardian clothing and … Continue reading ?

‘Australian Lives: An Intimate History’ by Anisa Puri and Alistair Thomson

2017, 425 p. It’s hard to know how to review this book and, indeed, it was hard to know quite how to read it, too. It is the print-based outcome of the Australian Generations Oral History Project, a collaboration between … Continue reading ?

‘La Mujer sins Lagrimas’ by Mayra A. Diaz

88 pages, alternating Spanish and English Well, I’d been frustrated by Easy Spanish retellings of longer, classic stories that moved too quickly in a stripped-down fashion (for example, the Easy Spanish versions of  Alice in Wonderland and Don Quixote) but … Continue reading ?

‘Living the 1960s’ by Noeline Brown

2017, 177 p. NLA Publishing In choosing Noeline Brown to write this book, the NLA was obviously going for popular culture and a dry sense of humour- and they got it. I can remember Noeline Brown in the Mavis Bramston … Continue reading ?

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