Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts


1. The Dressmaker film was superb. And the costumes were breathtaking. My friend Kate alerted me to this exhibition. Kate lives in a different state to me but we will find a way of seeing this together (road trip time?!).


2. Much of the soundtrack for The Dressmaker was original but the Flower Duet from Lakmé was included – always one of my favourites. Continue reading

The Son by Michel Rostain


We’ve never had a child, we have them forever. (Marina Tsvetaïeva)

Who can judge a father’s memoir, a story of losing an only child to meningitis? No one. And I’m almost reluctant to write a review of any sort.

Despite the blurb that it is not a a book about death, but that it’s a book about life, Michel Rostain’s story, The Son, is devastatingly sad. The shocking and sudden circumstances in which his 21 year old son, Lion, died – feeling unwell for a few days, a fever, then death – are raw, chaotic and incomprehensible. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – From All the Light We Cannot See to Canada.


It’s six degrees of separation for books. Created by Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith. Check out the rules if you want to play along.

This month’s chain begins with Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See – it has lots of great themes that could be used as a starting point but I’m linking it to Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears. Both were books that I read in the last few weeks of the year (2014 and 2012 respectively) – too late for me to push them on others as ‘my best book of the year’.

Continue reading

Book vs. Film: The Dressmaker



  • It played up the spaghetti-Western element of the book perfectly*.
  • Hemsworth.
  • Costumes. Brilliant.
  • The landscape (but I am partial to the Wimmera** district).
  • Winslet nails the accent.

*Director Jocelyn Moorhouse described the film as “Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven with a sewing machine.”
**Ham’s novel was set in the fictional town of Winyerp, which was based on the Victorian town of Murtoa.

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

1. I’ve finished exams. This blog is a GIF-free zone but given that the subject I had an exam for was really, really, really difficult, I’m breaking out the Sheep of Joy.


2. Last week I went to see Buyer and Cellar. And I laughed and laughed. It’s a play about Barbara Streisand’s personal ‘shopping mall’. The amazing thing is that Babs does have her own mall and you can read about it in the book she published about design – My Passion for Design. After reading some of the reviews on Goodreads, I’ve decided that as much as I love her, she’s nuts.

“I simply must know if everything in Barbra Streisand’s life is that silvery blue color. Her laptop, her toilet paper holders, her Xanax bottle cosy?”

3. Babs and Barry’s Guilty album is one of my favourite albums ever. Continue reading

The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

What the hell did I just read? Yes, I know it was The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips… but… What. The. Actual. Hell? And I mean that in a good way.

“…sign here, 9.00 a.m. Monday, and off she went, employed, regurgitated by the concrete compound out into the receding day.”

This short novel focuses on the newly employed Josephine, whose task it is to enter endless strings of numbers into something known only as the Database. Her oppressive office (room 9997), the faceless bureaucracy and her somewhat strained marriage is set against an eerily cold and impersonal city.

“Every morning the Database awaited her like a living thing, luminous and familiar, alongside stacks of gray files. It was wise to put bureaucrats in windowless offices; had there been a window, September might have taunted her with its high and mighty goldenness.” Continue reading