Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. Dragged the children to the MoMA exhibition this week. I didn’t take pics of my favourite pieces (too busy enjoying) – a Le Corbusier scale model of Villa Sayoye and a small Matisse canvas that was amazingly vibrant.

I watched the airport departures board included in the exhibition for ages – you don’t realise what you miss until you see it again… the soft whir of the board clicking over was deeply nostalgic. Continue reading

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Beloved by Toni Morrison

As a reader, I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain with Toni Morrison’s Beloved.

My reading waxed and waned – distracted and unfocused. I feel bad because there is no question that Beloved is an important book, and one that needs careful and close reading. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. Woohoo! Can’t wait to start trying recipes from Hetty McKinnon’s new book, Family (her first book, Community, is one of my most-used cookbooks and her roasted beetroot, turnip, edamame, radish and wasabi mayonnaise salad is life-changing). Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. The picture above is of Gardiner’s Creek. The creek adjoins an oval where my kids play lacrosse (in fact I took this pic last Saturday as they were warming up before their game). The local council is planning to rip up the grass and replace it with an artificial soccer pitch (with a 1.8m fence and extensive car-parking). I can’t tell you how angry it has made me, for all sorts of reasons (environmental, hydrological, community access to open space, light pollution, provision of multi-use facilities, and I could go on). Needless to say, I’m protesting the development. Hard. Continue reading

Written on the Skin by Liz Porter

I’ve never been particularly interested in crime novels, mysteries, or courtroom dramas, and until I listened to the Serial podcast, true crime was also on the ‘not particularly interested’ list. But there was something about the meticulously produced Serial that sucked me in (and it wasn’t just Sarah Koenig’s dulcet tones). Since that time, I’ve listened to other true crime podcasts and read a few books.

Liz Porter’s book, Written on the Skin – An Australian Forensic Casebook grabbed my attention because of the chapters on the use of DNA testing in forensic science – genes are always interesting! Continue reading

My Bruce Springsteen project

Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, is a big book (528 pages). Sure, I wanted to read it, but when I spotted the audio version, read by Bruce, I knew I wanted to listen to it more. Nineteen hours of his sexy distinctive voice, reminiscing about New Jersey, guitars and recording studios was bound to be absolutely fucking glorious.

And then I took it to the next level. I interspersed listening to the audiobook with listening to every album in its entirety, as he discussed them in the book. I listened to the songs in the order they were published (because as Bruce says, ‘…an album with its A and B sides has a ‘collective’ story…’, something that millennial-playlisters who cherry-pick songs will never quite understand). It was another 15 hours and 38 minutes of Bruce-listening-pleasure.

I’m not going to write a review of the book – fans will read it and love it to bits (everyone else will think “528 pages? Pass.”). But I have picked a favourite song from each album. Continue reading

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides

Curtis Sittenfeld’s You Think It, I’ll Say It is a tough act to follow on the short-story front but nonetheless, I figured Jeffrey Eugenides’s first collection, Fresh Complaint, would be a reasonable bet.

The collection opens with Complainers, a gentle story about the decades-long friendship between two women, and how their relationship changes when one is diagnosed with dementia. I feel like I’m reading about dementia at every turn at the moment, but Eugenides’s take on it from the perspective of a friend was refreshingly different.

Dementia isn’t a nice word. It sounds violent, invasive, like having a demon scooping out pieces of your brain which in fact is just what it is. Continue reading

A Family Romance by Anita Brookner

Five things I thought while listening to A Family Romance by Anita Brookner:

01. I can rely on Brookner for the sort of consistency that I love in Yates or Taylor.

02. So, so glad that there’s a bunch of Brookner on my library’s BorrowBox list and that it’s narrated by Fiona Shaw (whose voice has just enough plum to provide deeply satisfying listening). Continue reading