I read this many years ago when I didn't read as many books. I just remember how frustrating the main character was, Thomas Neville, very hard to likeI read this many years ago when I didn't read as many books. I just remember how frustrating the main character was, Thomas Neville, very hard to like. I started the second book in the series 'The Wounded Hawk', but he was just as intolerable at the start so I couldn't go on! Maybe not a good way to judge a book but back then I guess I wanted to identify with the main character....more
Garry Linnell has portrayed Gary Ablett as someone who rose to fame with his extraordinary talent, but fell back to Earth when his football career hadGarry Linnell has portrayed Gary Ablett as someone who rose to fame with his extraordinary talent, but fell back to Earth when his football career had ended. Gary Ablett did not like to work, only held jobs for short periods of time and it wasn't uncommon for him to miss training. But when there was any sort of competition, whether AFL football or other sports, that's when Gary was interested and showed his talent.
The book was divided in two parts. The first was more about the time before he became an AFL footballer with Geelong, and the second was his life during and after AFL football.
Sometimes, especially earlier on I had some trouble getting motivated to read it and found there were accounts of people I did not know about, being before my time. Other times I found myself becoming more interested. Finding out about Paul Couch's prank, and Gary Ablett's shortcut to signatures for his Ironbark book are examples.
The book is written well and contains commentary on the state of sport and the rise of the media in sport. It was interesting finding out about the human qualities of the man dubbed God....more
I really enjoyed reading this book. It had such a fascinating insight into the life of Oren, her father Bruce, and her other family. It documents herI really enjoyed reading this book. It had such a fascinating insight into the life of Oren, her father Bruce, and her other family. It documents her life as a child, and later as an adult on her journey to find answers. The book is based on a documentary of the same name “Bruce & Me”, but I have not seen this.
Initially at the start of the book when I read that Bruce was a criminal, and read the mother's comments, I thought perhaps the least time Oren spent with Bruce the better. But I eventually got engrossed in the account, and eventually felt somewhat sympathetic to Bruce and Oren, having all that travel as a child, and her adventurous life....more
Lara Meredith Richie has lost her Mum Cheryl to cancer, and her father Larry who Lara has not seen since she was three, takes her to live with his famLara Meredith Richie has lost her Mum Cheryl to cancer, and her father Larry who Lara has not seen since she was three, takes her to live with his family. With his wife Gladwyn, daughters Pearl (12), Garnet (6), Opal (5), and son Jasper (20 months). Lara struggles to find acceptance in her new family, being bullied at her new School, while dealing with the death of her mother. But she finds a friend in a dingo dog that hangs around near the Willy Nilly Farm where Lara is living. She believes Thunderwith must have been sent specially for her and keeps her meetings with her magic dog secret. There is some sadness in the story, but it's very much worth reading. Other notable characters in the book are the Aboriginal story teller Neil Symon who inspires Lara with his stories and understanding manner. And the bully Gowd Gadrey who acts as the pleasant and reasonable student in front of teachers and most students, but to Lara he is a cruel bully....more
The Night Country is a short story about a boys experience living in South Africa. Reading about the trial performed by the Monkey Man was fascinatingThe Night Country is a short story about a boys experience living in South Africa. Reading about the trial performed by the Monkey Man was fascinating, but the subsequent brutality disconcerting. Very good short story....more
There are twelve short stories in this book. "The Last Explorer" was probably my favourite. But "Baby Oil" was good and "The View from the Sandhills"There are twelve short stories in this book. "The Last Explorer" was probably my favourite. But "Baby Oil" was good and "The View from the Sandhills" was different but interesting, with the man using ocker language. I guess you could call him an unsavoury Aussie ocker. I enjoyed reading these short stories....more
Beside the Lake is an account of Mary Steele's life as a child, mainly focused on her life in Ballarat, but occasionally about other places she visiteBeside the Lake is an account of Mary Steele's life as a child, mainly focused on her life in Ballarat, but occasionally about other places she visited, such as Creswick, Portland, and Newcastle, where she was born.
It also contains some history about Ballarat. It was interesting to compare what life was like then to now, and find out some things I didn't know, such as white swans being on the lake. At least I don't remember seeing any white swans. I just know there are black swans, including one that took exception to me taking a photo of her. She charged at me, not tolerating such rudeness, and I ran the other way, I wasn't going to mess with her.
There was also descriptions of the large houses and yards she lived in, and her school life, and the war.
It made me reminisce about water in the lake, waves lapping at the edges. The novelty of having a dry lake you can walk across has gone, and now that there is some water in the lake, hopefully it will continue to fill and be lapping at the edges again, with rowing events.
It was a good read. I liked finding out what Ballarat was like in the past, and finding out about Mary's life as a child....more
The title makes it sound like a self help, inspirational genre book, but it's really a short book with Kevin Sheedy's views on AFL football. IncludingThe title makes it sound like a self help, inspirational genre book, but it's really a short book with Kevin Sheedy's views on AFL football. Including player trading, Aboriginal players, expansion of the game interstate and one day overseas, whether 10 Victorian clubs is too many, and suggested improvements to the Brownlow medal voting. (which haven't been put in place)
This was published more than 10 years ago in 2001. Since then a lot has changed, there are two new teams including one which Kevin Sheedy now coaches Greater Western Sydney. And Essendon's recent premiership form has dropped, Sheedy proudly stated they had won 4 premierships in 21 years, now it's 4 premierships in 32 years (since 1980).
Other changes to the game since the book was published (but the need was not mentioned in this book) include, the video referral system for goals, the modified interchange, free kicks for purposely putting the ball through the posts to get possession, and various other changes such as being more strict with 50 metre penalties, if a player who marks it is touched after marking it.
Something that I always find absurd in the game since one of the new rules came in is whenever a player puts the ball through the posts to get possession, the commentators seem to always say "Ahh it's under pressure so there shouldn't be a free kick." If it's not under pressure they would NEVER put it through the post and concede a point. And there would be no point in having the rule! Whether that's the commentators not thinking through what they are saying, or the rule committee I don't know?
Anyway I don't know of any coach who has coached the one club continuously for so long (1981-2007) (only one other has according to wikipedia, but I don't know who?) and this is an interesting short read with Kevin Sheedy's views on some off the ground areas of the game....more
This is a short 32 page book that gives a brief account of the main events of World War II, with an emphasis on what events Australia was involved in.This is a short 32 page book that gives a brief account of the main events of World War II, with an emphasis on what events Australia was involved in. It has photographs throughout of pictures from the war which would make it more attractive especially to secondary students who the book is targeted at....more
This is a short book about John Newton, the writer of Amazing Grace, and his transformation from 'sinner' into a believer. In ten short chapters it exThis is a short book about John Newton, the writer of Amazing Grace, and his transformation from 'sinner' into a believer. In ten short chapters it explains the history of how his God devoted mother died before his seventh birthday, with his new stepmother being distant he turns into a vulgar character with a miserable lifestyle. His conversion to Christianity was slow, becoming a slave trader after his conversion, it was only later that he called for the abolition of slavery. This was an ok book, the last chapter was a bit preachy especially right at the end where it suggests if you don't acknowledge you're a sinner and that Jesus died and rose for your sins, then you'll spend eternity never needing a heater! Not using those exact words of course. It's more suited to someone who already has some faith, rather than someone interested in history as it's a short book focusing on John Newton's faith journey and God's 'Amazing Grace' rather than an extensive history book.
Some years ago (2008) I was in my local bookstore and there was Peter Rahme at a table selling his book, so I bought a copy and got it signed, and because it was obviously Christian I had it made out to my mum, and gave it to Mum as a late birthday present. Now years later I've finally read it....more
Our roof leaks. Drip! Drip! Drip! These are the opening words of the book. This was probably my favourite picture book as a child. It's about a hippopoOur roof leaks. Drip! Drip! Drip! These are the opening words of the book. This was probably my favourite picture book as a child. It's about a hippopotamus on our roof eating cake. It has a lot of sentimental value as well. Santa from Kindergarten gave it to me in 1987. This is a special, classic book that is a favourite from my childhood....more
This book has two essays. Australian Story: Kevin Rudd and the Lucky Country by Mungo MacCallum, I will review first. It is an analysis of Kevin MichaThis book has two essays. Australian Story: Kevin Rudd and the Lucky Country by Mungo MacCallum, I will review first. It is an analysis of Kevin Michael Rudd which is largely positive. He believes that after the first two years of being elected, Kevin Rudd has shown himself to be overwhelmingly a success and that he has integrity. He notes that the opinion polls are consistently high and argues against commentators who believe this is just because people are being duped by Rudd’s spin. He looks at the financial crash, the circumstances leading up to it, and Rudd’s stimulus packages that MacCallum believes saved jobs. MacCallum looks at Australian history and compares it with today’s attitudes and Rudd’s position.
One of the more contentious beliefs of MacCallum would be when he was describing the fifth and final pillar of the Australian settlement which is the idea of a benevolent role for the state. He believes that Australia has become a “welfare state” and accused John Howard of ”Electoral bribery in the form of middle-class welfare”. He notes that the unemployment rate is about 6 per cent, but 40 years ago it reached 1.5 per cent and was considered a national disgrace. And claims Rudd has indicated that some of the Howard handouts will be reviewed.
An interesting observation was: Australians are not great flag-wavers and generally find the hand-on-heart style of patriotism exhibited by Americans rather embarrassing. I found myself agreeing with this comment. I think for quite a few Australians the National anthem seems to be the annoying delayer they have to sit through before watching their game of sport, and the players are more likely to be chewing gum than singing the anthem.
Throughout the essay it is obvious that Mungo MacCallum is a strong supporter of Kevin Rudd and the Labor party. It is also obvious that he is strongly anti John Howard and anti anything to do with the Liberal party. At the beginning of the essay he gives a minor compliment to John Howard mentioning his reliability, but then it seems like he spends the rest of the essay cleansing himself of this comment that is so repulsive to his nature, by littering the rest of the essay with Howard or Liberal Party criticisms. With comments or language such as “Howard boasted”, “the smug oppressiveness of the Howard years” “John Howard’s petulance” the “dogma of the Liberal Party”, “political contortionism”, “the fundamentalist zealots of the New South Wales Liberal Party”. The criticisms were sometimes contrasted with how Rudd is so much better “the proud history of his Labor predecessors”, or “Unlike John Howard, who preferred bilateral meetings, and not too many of those – unless, of course, they were with George W. Bush – Rudd is a strong believer…”
In order to argue that Kevin Rudd is more conservative than John Howard was, Mungo MacCallum contradicts himself. He writes about Rudd: “the only substantial parts of the Howard legacy he has sought to reverse are WorkChoices and the Pacific Solution, and even there he has retained elements of both in his own policies.” This seems to be contradictory to his argument that Kevin Rudd has been a big success. It almost seems that the title “The Lucky Country” of this essay was made because MacCallum believes Australia is lucky to have a Prime Minister like Kevin Rudd. But then stating that Rudd is just going along with the Howard legacy seems to weaken the force of MacCallum’s opinion throughout the essay.
The second essay is Is Neo-Liberalism Finished?: 2009 Quarterly Essay Lecture by Robert Manne. This is a shorter essay on Neo-Liberalism and the economic crisis. It focuses on the impact of neo-liberalism in the United States. It gives unsettling statistics on the rich getting much richer, and the greed of the super rich paying themselves many millions. Robert Manne describes how the use of derivatives caused the financial collapse. He believes the Neo-Liberalism with their faith in a free market is drawing to a close, who he believes do not have the capacity to tackle climate change.
The Correspondence to Radical Hope was on the last issue of Quarterly Essay where Noel Pearson talked about Education with regard to Aboriginals, although I have not read that essay. But the comments seem to be quite interesting, and the comment about Tony Abbott at the end seemed to be quite a coincidence, seeing as I think it would have been unlikely to have been known when the book was written....more