Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. It makes me very happy to think that most of these kids (approximately 30,000 at the Melbourne Climate Change protest) will be voting within five years (pic above taken by my 16yo son. Pic below via Twitter).

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The Bridge by Enza Gandolfo

There would be few Melbournians who cross the West Gate Bridge without a slightly heavy heart – the 1970 bridge collapse and the horrific tragedy of Darcey Freeman in 2009 weighs on us collectively. It is perhaps why Enza Gandolfo’s novel, The Bridge, resonates so deeply.

There are two stories in this book, linked by the Bridge. The first tells of 22-year-old Italian migrant Antonello, newly married and working as a rigger on the West Gate Bridge in 1970. When the Bridge collapses one October morning, killing 35 of his workmates, Antonello’s world crashes down on him.

Another jolt; the span was almost vertical now. A stiff-legged derrick loosed from its mooring catapulted toward the river, its long metal arms flaying violently, a giant possessed. And now the men: the men were falling, falling off, falling through the air and into the river below. They were screaming, but their cries were muffled by the bridge’s own deathly groans. Continue reading

Jeffreys Books, Malvern

Jeffreys Books on Glenferrie Road, Malvern is certainly not new to me. In fact, it’s an old favourite and although I don’t get to visit often, I pop in if I’m in the area. Today, as I was driving down Glenferrie Road, there was a carpark right out the front – the book-buying gods were telling me something. And I had a shopping mission – Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin. Continue reading

Show-off holiday post: Germany Part 2 (the Berlin bit)

Picking up from where I left off

After a few nights in Prague, we took the train to Berlin, where we were staying for Christmas.

I visited Berlin in 2014, loved it, and had my heart set on returning as soon as I could (achievement unlocked). I was looking forward to showing my family this fascinating city and although we did many of the things I’d done in 2014, our stay was longer than my first, so we managed a few new-to-me sights. The highlights: Continue reading

Small Wrongs by Kate Rossmanith

When an author gets the balance between memoir and journalism* just right, it makes for brilliant reading. Kate Rossmanith has done it with Small Wrongs, a book that explores how we say ‘sorry’.

Rossmanith looks at what constitutes remorse from many angles – the ‘theatre’ of courtroom appearances; how judges make their decisions; prison, parole and rehabilitation and how these systems create opportunities for offenders to show remorse; and retribution for victims of crime.

In the justice system…the act of forgiveness was unrelated to the duty of punishment; it was not the role of the courts to forgive a person…only the victims can forgive. Continue reading

Sample Saturday – a dog, a scandal, and motherhood

Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye.

This week, all three books are ones I’m seeing everywhere – thought I’d try a sample rather than simply succumbing to the hype. Continue reading

Bluebottle by Belinda Castles

At a glance, Bluebottle by Belinda Castles seems straightforward – a novel about family relationships – and yet Castles has layered every element of this story with vivid detail. The result is a mesmerizing and immersive read and one that, like the title suggests, looks pretty but has a sting.

The story follows the Bright family – charismatic and temperamental Charlie; his wife, Tricia, the nervy peacemaker; and their three children, Lou, Jack and Phoebe.

There were eruptions, sometimes squalls, Charlie’s mood building and breaking and building again over several days like summer weather. Continue reading