Six Degrees of Separation – from Shopgirl to The Birdman’s Wife

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

This month we begin with Steve Martin’s Shopgirl (thanks to AnnaBookBel for the suggestion). I haven’t read Shopgirl and was wondering where to begin when Sue suggested starting with The Women in Black by Madeleine St John – both books are about women who work in department stores – perfect! 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

2014 Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop

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I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.

I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

These words never date as far as I’m concerned (for non-Aussies, it’s an extract from Dorothea Mackellar’s poem, My Country). I particularly love the bits about jewel-seas and far horizons (to prove it, see my last post). And of course, my professional life has been dominated by ‘droughts and flooding rains’ (I worked in catchment management and hydrology for more than a decade).

So when it came to putting together this post for the 2014 Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop, hosted by Shelleyrae at Book’d Out, my immediate thoughts turned to books that really told a story about the Australian landscape. Here are my five favourites: Continue reading

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013 Wrap-up

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Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, oi, oi! I enjoy the Australian Women Writers Challenge – it goes a little way to addressing the gender bias in literary review pages, plus I try to buy my AWW titles from an independent book shop (doing my bit for the Australian publishing industry and independent booksellers).

I signed up for the Miles challenge (read 6 books, review at least 4) but managed to complete the Franklin level (read 10 books, review at least 6). Continue reading

‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ by Joan Lindsay

Last week I went to the ‘concert-of-a-lifetime’ – Bruce Springsteen. What does this have to do with Picnic at Hanging Rock, a story about a group of Australian schoolgirls written by Joan Lindsay in 1967?

Hanging Rock is the common element. The stage at the Springsteen concert (first image from here and the other I snapped on my phone) was set against the backdrop of the spectacular Hanging Rock. Given that it is also Australian Literature Month (hosted by Reading Matters), I thought it fitting to revisit one of my favourite stories.

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It’s been more than a decade since I last read Picnic at Hanging Rock. The story is simple – on Valentine’s Day in 1900, a party of schoolgirls from Appleyard College for Young Ladies went on a picnic to Hanging Rock. After their lunch, a group of girls decided to climb the Rock. Some of them never returned. Continue reading

Top Ten Australian Books

We have an ace tv show in Australia called the First Tuesday Book Club. It’s essentially a televised book group. I like it because it’s not always agreeable (just like book group).

To celebrate the National Year of Reading, First Tuesday Book Club has compiled a list – the Ten Aussie Books You Must Read Before You Die. Everyone had a chance to put in their two-cents during the year and the results are now in. Continue reading