Maggie Mackellar opens her heart to the reader and lays bare her thoughts and feelings as she shifts into a new phase of life. This time with a new paMaggie Mackellar opens her heart to the reader and lays bare her thoughts and feelings as she shifts into a new phase of life. This time with a new partner, far from central NSW, in deepest darkest Tasmania. She flits from straightforward narrative, to strea m of consciousness forays into her psyche, intermingled with snippets of convict history. The mishmash reflects her confused state of mind. Fundamentally, she needs to let go and allow herself to be happy, not abandoning her previous life, but building on to its strong foundation. She finds this more difficult than she had imagined and there's a fair bit of repetitve interior daialogue, have I done the right thing, am I happy, should I be happy etc etc. occasionally this reader wanted to say, enough! Get stuck in and make it work. All the ingredients are there, you can make this work if you try. The passage that sticks in my mind is the description of the kitchen renovation, peeling back the layers to uncover the stark beauty of the original stone and wood underneath. I could have read more about the history of the area and parallels between her life and that of the female convicts. I felt there was more to mine from that source. All in all a good summer read, but only 3 stars....more
Fascinating and insightful but too brief. I wanted to delve more deeply into what makes Gillard tick. God knows, it must have been tough to be the firFascinating and insightful but too brief. I wanted to delve more deeply into what makes Gillard tick. God knows, it must have been tough to be the first female PM, let alone governing with a hung parliament and with her predecessor and successor, Rudd, dividing and destabilising the party. She has my admiration. What struck me reading this book was how much she achieved despite the difficulties of her position and I wonder why leaders with her practical, productive approach are not admired as much as the glory boys who love to hog the headlines. She and Rudd were so different in styles that they could have been the dream team, instead both their political careers appear to be over. What does it say about democracy that we value sound bites and media splashes more than good honest, hard work and an ability to work with others to get things done?...more
This is a fascinating book where a woman shares stories of the loves of her life. No they are not all men. They are not all women. They include butterThis is a fascinating book where a woman shares stories of the loves of her life. No they are not all men. They are not all women. They include buttery croissants and a gorgeous summer dress. Thie writing is beautiful, infused with nostalgia. A very special book....more
I wasn't sure at the outset, but this book grabbed me about half way through. It was little Harry, desperately seeking love that hooked me. A hauntingI wasn't sure at the outset, but this book grabbed me about half way through. It was little Harry, desperately seeking love that hooked me. A haunting tale from Tassie. Well worth a read....more
An interesting account of the relationship between King George VI and his speech therapist, Lionel Logue. It provides a very personal view of the KingAn interesting account of the relationship between King George VI and his speech therapist, Lionel Logue. It provides a very personal view of the King and life in the monarchy in the first half of the 20th century.
I enjoyed it as a quietly informative read....more
Edna Walling was a rather eccentric gardener of the old school; Australian, but with an English sensibility from her country of birth. This collectionEdna Walling was a rather eccentric gardener of the old school; Australian, but with an English sensibility from her country of birth. This collection of her articles and photographs for an Australian women's journal is fascinating, educational and I found it a delight to read. A word of caution, the reader must also be a gardener, for Edna does not dumb down her observations and snippets of advice. We are expected to know and use the correct nomenclature of the plants we grow.
There were some real gems in here and I have no doubt I will pick it up and browse regularly when looking for landscape design inspiration. She tends towards designs that are inspired by nature, often uses Australian natives, but not to the exclusion of exotics. A planting of trees in a straight line would be an anathema to her. And do not even consider bordering your garden beds with a row of stones. Weathered stones must be placed individually to create the appearance of a natural formation. Formality and structure are created by the structural elements of the garden. Plants must work within this to create a more organic, natural effect.
Read this book. If you are an Australian and you live outside of the CBD, you are at risk of bushfire. This book pulls no punches and describes what iRead this book. If you are an Australian and you live outside of the CBD, you are at risk of bushfire. This book pulls no punches and describes what it was like to be in Kinglake, Victoria, on Black Saturday Feb 2009. It will stay with you forever.
This is non-fiction that reads like fiction. Really powerful writing. A timely reminder that we are part of nature and cannot opt out of it by drawing the curtains, putting on the air con and watching TV. ...more
Just imagine what could happen if we continue to allow the huge bio tech corporations free rein to sell their wares and genetically modified organismsJust imagine what could happen if we continue to allow the huge bio tech corporations free rein to sell their wares and genetically modified organisms contaminate our food supply. One day it may become difficult to find food that does not contain a genetic modification. One day we may find that it is too late, that there is no way back to truly natural food and that GMOs have fatal side effects on the human body and the DNA we pass to our children.
With apparently 70% of processed food in the US already containing GMOs and with conflicting views on the effects of consuming these foods, LA Larkin has chosen an interesting and timely topic for this "eco-thriller".
The Genesis Flaw imagines a world where health problems caused by GMOs are denied and reports of alarming results from food trials are suppressed. In this world, Gene-Asis is a hugely powerful multinational corporate that holds sway over governments, countries, banks and has become so arrogant it believes it can continue to sell flawed products, provided it can, like a software company, fix any defects in future upgrades.
This is a fast paced thriller and it is an exciting ride as we follow Serena, our heroine, on her chase to unmask the horrors of a new set of products that are about to be launched. Along the way we learn about the high security technology corporates use to protect their intellectual property and the tricks hackers use to defy it.
I really enjoyed this as a fast exciting read with some interesting new ideas thrown in. Bukowski was an excellent "bad guy" that one could easily "boo and hiss" at while cheering for our brave heroine. What a truly nasty, amoral piece of work he was! Serena was a spunky, rather naive young lady who was stubbornly determined to get revenge for her father's death.
Yes, you do need to suspend disbelief at some of the antics, but this would make a great Hollywood movie - and it's based in Sydney!
It was odd, that feeling of deja vu that kept coming to me as I flicked through the pages of this thriller. It was only near the end, when the Doll deIt was odd, that feeling of deja vu that kept coming to me as I flicked through the pages of this thriller. It was only near the end, when the Doll decides how she will bring it to an end, that it dawned on me... Katharina Blum!! Richard Flanagan acknowledges his debt to that excellent novel by Heinrich Boll in a postscript so I'm not suggesting plagiarism. As Flanagan says the story lives on and will be retold in many ways, again and again and again.
This is a real page turner and grips the reader from the very start. An attempted terrorist attack in Sydney unleashes a media frenzy as a shadowy figure of a woman is caught on camera with the prime suspect. Flanagan describes a dirty, sordid side of Sydney, a city most associate with sun, fun and that beautiful harbour. He depicts the modern life as devoid of real meaning, with people seeking solace in materialism, drugs and sex for sale. Our heroine, the Doll, is a lonely, sad figure, denying the truth of her empty existence by burying herself in the materialist dream. There are no attractive characters in this book. Although we sympathise with the Doll, we cannot bring ourselves to like her.
All the issues of a post 911 world are here. How acceptable is it to suspend individual human rights in the war against terror? How can the individual defend themselves when they become "other", a non-citizen? Flanagan explores these themes and leaves us with no misunderstanding of his views.
This is a well written book with a compelling plot, but I felt a little dirty after reading it. Like the TV journalist I wanted to rush away and wash my hands in case I became infected....
The idea of Permaculture appeals to me. Applying good design concepts to your garden makes such good sense, but few of us actually do it. I have readThe idea of Permaculture appeals to me. Applying good design concepts to your garden makes such good sense, but few of us actually do it. I have read a few books on Permaculture, but none as beautiful and inspiring as this. The photography is excellent, drawing the readers attention to the beauty to be found in nature, in one's own garden.
Jenny Allen writes about her own gardening experiences and throws in some education on Permaculture and techniques for making good compost tea. It was the perfect book to read, sat on my deck, looking out on to my own garden in the Easter sunshine. Who knows, I may even apply some of the ideas.
It is always good to read an Australian book suited to our own region. While Jenny is based in Queensland, she did call out which plants would survive all the way down in South in Melbourne or even Hobart. So much better than reading a UK or US based book and trying to work out a translation of heat zones / cold zones.
If you enjoy gardening and good photography, this is the book for you. If you want a serious introduction to Permaculture other books may have more depth, but this one is more fun!...more
This tells the story of Edith, Leopold, Aram and Jim. The action moves from London at the end of the Great War to early settler life in Western AustraThis tells the story of Edith, Leopold, Aram and Jim. The action moves from London at the end of the Great War to early settler life in Western Australia through to Armenia in the Second World War. A fascinating tale of travel, how it changes the traveller and how it redefines the meaning of home. The book also demonstrates the importance of myth in helping us make sense of our world.
The myth of Gilgamesh was new to me. It is used as a thread throughout the book. It talks of travel, friendship, home and the finding of wisdom through disappointment and adversity. I'd like to find out more.
The book was a delight to read. The blurb on the cover of the book describes London's "spare prose". "Spare" is right, but she says all that needs to be said. I was engrossed, caught up in Edith's world. I particularly loved the way "Armenia" came to describe Edith's ideal, her nirvana. I remember when "Australia" meant the same to me!