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
01. You know when the reading of one book prompts the reading of another? There was a passing reference to Florence Broadhurst in the book I just finished (Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover), which made me pull one of the most beautiful books I own off the shelf – Helen O’Neill’s biography, Florence Broadhurst: Her Secret & Extraordinary Lives. Continue reading
Listening: Podcasts – Teacher’s Pet (gripping, as good as Serial); MDWAP (S4 is heaven on a hat stand); and Slow Burn (a new perspective on the Clinton/ Lewinsky/ Tripp situation) Continue reading
01. Mrs Roth, with her dextrous but controversial Continental knitting style scares the hell out of me.
“…prepare their needles for combat…”
“…something on her needles all the time, from ladies dresses to men’s cardigans…”
“You can tell the temperament of the woman by just how she’s knitting.”
What I want to know – WHO WON?! Continue reading
01. I went to a couple of MEL NYC dinners last week. The winner was the Starward Distillery’s whiskey cocktails and ‘street food’ event. Cocktails were spectacular, food delicious and the venue was superb. Continue reading
I’m always astounded by the television program, Border Security. I’m not interested in the immigration issues or drug busts – it’s the people bringing fruit, vegetables, live seafood and meat into Australia that is fascinating. Invariably, they’re in the ‘nothing to declare’ line when airport officials open their suitcases to find kilos of unidentifiable meat, plants and seeds, and they feign surprise. For my overseas readers, you basically can’t bring ANYTHING into Australia – we have the world’s strictest quarantine and biosecurity laws (remember Johnny Depp’s dogs?).
So it was with a mixture of interest and amazement that I read Gerald Durrell’s memoir, A Zoo in My Luggage. It’s an account of Durrell’s trip to what was then the British Cameroons in West Africa (now part of northern Nigeria and Cameroon), during which he and his wife captured animals to start their own zoo. The book concludes with their return to England, and how he managed his menagerie while he found a permanent home for them (they lived in his back yard and then later in the basement of a department store). Continue reading
Three thoughts on Undue Influence by Anita Brookner:
01. Never have I wanted to shake a character hard and say “Get a grip” as much as I have wanted to with Claire Pitt. Continue reading
Anticipating: the Marimekko exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery. Continue reading
I loved The Ice Storm by Rick Moody. It’s a brutal, sad story.
There’s not much to like about the characters but there’s lots to like in Moody’s words. This book was extremely visual for me – perhaps because I saw And Lee’s insanely good movie version of the story years ago, or perhaps it’s because Moody has created a distinct sense of place and time. Either way, writing a review wasn’t working so I’ve gone with an audio approach.
I Write the Songs / Barry Manilow
Once his dreams had been songs. He’d been a balladeer of promise and opportunity. Continue reading
I feel like Elizabeth Taylor gets overlooked.
I don’t mean this Taylor: