What’s on tele?

I’m a bit fickle when it comes to tele. I go through stages when I get sucked into a series and then other times, I hardly watch a thing. The last two months have been so busy and disrupted that I’ve gone days without turning on the television (actually, there was a two-week stretch of no tele in there…). But I’m feeling like some binge-watching, some new shows to hook me. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. So it really has been ages since I did a Bookish post… Over the last two months I’ve had a terrific holiday in Hong Kong; had a tense wait for results after having three more moles removed (all clear. Get your skin checked everyone); wrote eleventy-billion words for uni; and moved house. Our new house has a superb Crepe Myrtle in the backyard. I can’t wait to see it flower. Continue reading

Two books about the Holocaust

Fairly sure I said something about not reading much about the Holocaust in the last decade or so because I overdid it in the eighties and nineties… Anyway, seems that went out the window when I read The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman and The Toy Maker by Liam Pieper, one after the other.

The books are similar in many ways – both tell the story of an Australian man living in the present alongside the story of a Holocaust survivor; both are set in the ‘Canada’ barracks at Auschwitz–Birkenau and examine the role of the Sonderkommando; both have themes of good versus evil, penance, and the measure of crime; both show that there are lessons in history.

“History can provide comfort in difficult or even turbulent and traumatic times. It shows us what our species has been through before and that we survived. It can help to know we’ve made it through more than one dark age. And history is vitally important because perhaps as much as, if not more than biology, the past owns us and however much we think we can, we cannot escape it. If you only knew how close you are to people who seem so far from you… it would astonish you.” (Perlman)

Continue reading

Show-off Holiday Post: Hong Kong

I’ve had a mad, mad few weeks – a stupid amount of work for uni, a house move, and a trip to Hong Kong. I won’t bore you with details about essays, word counts, packing boxes and utilities but I will bore you with dumplings, temples and spectacular city views.

We spent a week in Hong Kong, staying in Kowloon. Last time I was in Hong Kong the planes were landing between the buildings, so needless to say things had changed considerably. Continue reading

Lost for words…

I haven’t been around these parts much lately so was absolutely shocked and devastated by the belated news of Heather Croxon’s sudden and tragic death. Heather blogged at Bits and Books.

I’ll miss Heather’s wonderful and thoughtful book reviews (I’ll always think of her when I think of The Museum of Modern Love). I’ll miss seeing her pics of Sydney skies popping up in my Cloudstream. I’ll miss her pithy tweets.

Since hearing the news, I have been struggling to reconcile the seemingly superficial and fleeting world of online connections with the fact that real and meaningful bonds are formed. Heather and I never ‘met’ but I counted her as a friend. My thoughts and love are with her family and her ‘in real life’ friends.

xx

These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper

Stories about people in apartment buildings are a bit like stories about groups of school mates for me – you invariably have a mixed bunch of characters who are tied together because they have one (physical) thing in a common – a building. I generally quite like these stories, which is why I picked up Fran Cooper’s These Dividing Walls (the very pretty cover also swayed me).

These Dividing Walls is about a particular apartment building in Paris. It’s described beautifully, just as I imagine the quintessential apartment building in Paris to be – a courtyard, heavy wooden doors, flower boxes, winding staircases, a garret room at the top and, the pièce de résistance, a bookshop at the bottom. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from The Slap to Me and You

It’s time for #6Degrees and truly, it’s easy to play (no rules, just bookish fun) – join in!

This month we begin with The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. What can I say about this book except that if you want to start a heated debate at a dinner party, mention it! Continue reading