Six Degrees of Separation – from Pride and Prejudice to Swing Time

It’s time for #6degrees. Join in and thrill us with your clever links!

Given that we’ve recently marked 200 years since Jane Austen’s death, it seemed fitting to begin this month’s chain with the universally loved Pride and  Prejudice. Continue reading

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Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

There’s pride, there’s prejudice, and there’s also text break-ups, reality tv, ‘hate sex’, Bitcoin, jogging, and Ivy League schools in Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld’s fabulous, frothy take on the Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice.

The brilliance in Sittenfeld’s rendering of Pride is that she stayed absolutely true to the story (a ridiculous social-climber plots to marry-off her five daughters to suitable, wealthy men), and yet made it very much her own.

All five  girls had then gone on to private colleges before embarking on what could euphemistically be called non-lucrative careers, though in the case of some sisters, non-lucrative non-careers was a more precise descriptor.

The story is set in Cincinnati (Sittenfeld’s hometown) and we find Liz as a magazine journalist; Jane, a yoga instructor; Mary doing her third online masters degree; and Kitty and Lydia gadding about eating high-protein meals and attending CrossFit. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. The Melbourne Writers Festival 2017 program was launched this week. I’m excited about Heather Rose, Jennifer Down, Christine Kenneally, Tracy Chevalier and Maxine Beneba Clarke. Also: Grenville, Tsiolkas, Laguna, Krien, Joosten. It’s going to be a busy ten days. Continue reading

You make me feel like dancing…(and reading)

Okay, that’s a Leo Sayer song but this post is all about the Gibbs.

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I felt it was time for a Bee Gees literary mix tape (mainly because I’m still sulking about Barry’s cancelled Melbourne tour).

Marvel at the lustrous hair (chest and other) and the magnificent use of solid gold.

01. You Should Be Dancing / Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. Tuesday was the best and worst of days. Best because: a friend saw this post and bought me a copy of The Glorious Heresies for my birthday (YAY! When I published the list, I hadn’t thought about all the hints it would provide…).

02. Also best because same friend and I went to see Love & Friendship and it was hilarious – it’s Austen, but all wit and no romance.

Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

1. Harper Lee. Wow. Just wow.

2. Reading Ireland Month – March, of course. I’ve got at least seven Irish authors in my TBR stack, so I’ll be participating.

3. I love this ‘40 page test‘. Essentially, Michael Bourne decided to look “…at the same line — the first sentence of the fifth paragraph on page 40…” to see whether it would offer a “…window onto the author’s style…”. Try it.

Nylex_Clock

4. The biggest news in Melbourne this week? The Nylex Clock is back on. Most Melburnians understand the significance and if they are/were also rowers, even more so. There was many a time I would look at the time and think “5.30am and 7 degrees… What am I doing?” Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

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Not so many Bookish Thoughts (hosted by Christine) this week, just things I’m loving (because I’m hating exam pressure).

1. An Aussie Man Booker winner. Hoorah Richard Flanagan! (Ashamed to say I haven’t yet read The Narrow Road to the Deep North. The year an Aussie wins and all that…bugger) Continue reading

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren’t Books) That I’d Like To Own

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I was standing in a supermarket queue with my son (who was about three at the time) – he had just put on a big performance over not being allowed anything from the wretched lolly display at the checkout. “But I need some!” he wailed. I calmly replied, “You want some, you don’t need them. Want and need are different things.” A woman standing behind me sniggered and, gesturing to her stack of shopping bags said “I needed all this!”

Yes, we’re grown-ups and we understand the difference between want and need. So we also appreciate that I need all of the following:

10. Perfume. That smells like paper. Perfect. Continue reading