Monthly Archives: June 2016

ABC Book Club S10 E6 #bookclubABC

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In tonight’s episode of ABC’s The Book Club JByrne has discarded regular panelist Marieke Hardy and Jason Stegersaurussex like old school wedding confetti and replaced them with the bubbly Geoff Cousins, Amelia Lester, Zoe Norton Lodge, and Christos Tsiolkas. The theme of this evenings episode is Books that Divide a Dinner Party.

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Perhaps the regular panelists have been put aside because JByrne doesn’t want to fight with them yet again or because they’ve staged a rebellion over reading 3 novels a week. I feel you, I didn’t always love reading between 2 and 4 novels a week when I did my English degree.

Before the guests give away their choices I’d like to predict what they will say. Kerri Sackville recently wrote an article on psychics and I’d like to see if I have the gift.

Geoff Cousins… hmmm, what will the businessman, advertiser extraordinaire, turned novelist and environmentalist find controversial at one of his dinner parties? Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. Advertising, propaganda, that’s kind of similar, right?

Amelia Lester the Havard graduate and editor of Good Weekend would obviously choose Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s got lots of big words in it, not necessarily used correctly but they’re in there. I’m sure it’s wildly popular with the Havard alumni.

Zoe Norton Lodge is published by the fabulous small Australian press- Giramondo, a regular on The Checkout  and a friend of The Chaser, so will no doubt go hard or go home. She’ll crack out the big guns, The Bible / The Quran / The Sutras / The Vedas / The Tulmud. It is going to blow our mind and leave our jaws dropped for the next six weeks.

Now Christos Tsiolkas is a very talented writer who has a habbit of writing novels that get turned into movies. Most recently The Slap got made into a mini series in both Australia and the US. It was pretty controversial around to smack or not smack not just your own child but another person’s. So in order to really put another firecracker up the buttocks of parents I think he’ll go with Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall.

Does JByrne get a choice? If so, The Awakening by Kate Chopin. I don’t really know why, just the vibe of the thing.

Oh and of course the usual disclaimer, I’m dyslexic so grammar nazis should run while the still can.

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Okay, first cab off the rank is Zoe. Dear Zoe has gone with Road to Ruin by Niki Savva. I feel so stupid. Of course she’d go political with the up coming election. The Bible, what the fuck was I thinking. Ugh, I hate myself. It’s a great choice because the book is about Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin and it’s just so salacious and weird that you want it to be true but you know parts of it must be made up. It has Credlin feeding Abbott and snuggling up on his shoulder at Part dinners, and all sorts of crazy shit. It’s so gross and entertaining but also sadly hard to believe.

Zoe describes it as juicy. She talks about how Niki breaks all the journalistic codes of conduct but she bloody loved it. Geoff mentions he’s worked in politics and the events aren’t like anything he ever experienced. Christos states it reads like a work of fiction but Abbott’s character motivation is never revealed which is problematic for a story. Amelia points out how Credlin has been put under more scrutiny than any other chief of staff. JByrne says no journalist has been able to get any proof of an affair. And Savva has very cleverly made everyone think that Abbott and Credlin are having an affair without explicitly stating it.

Christos has gone with Submission by Michael Hourllebecq. Nothing like my prediction at all but it certainly is controversial. Even more timely with Brexit going through. It centers around Muslim people winning the election in France in 2022.

Amelia thought she’d hate it because she thought it wouldn’t be her cup of tea. But she did like it because it isn’t so much a book about Islam as a book about how the West need to step up. Geoff likes how materialism is the enemy. Zoe wasn’t a fan of the older academic being paired with a young hottie with no panties but the rest she liked. JByrne and Zoe agree that the trope of the older male academic with the young hottie is tired. Geoff likes the mention of food throughout. JByrne thinks that’s satyr, I think that’s classic French literature. Regardless, panelists are not divided as promised and all liked it. False advertising!

Geoff has gone with The Tree of Man by Patrick White. A novel that tries to give the sense of grand mystique and history to Australia that Europe has so I’m going to pretend I’m close with my prediction and say it is advertisery / propagandary.

Geoff and Christos talk about how great the book is and how much they agree with each other. Where’s the controversy! For God’s sake Christos, give him the slap. We all want to see the slap. Zoe likes it too. Not even complaints about hotties and panties. Geoff randomly starts ragging on Jane Austen? Zoe says Austen is like porn, sexy for women… Geoff finds that crass and has a little dig at Zoe. You back off Geoff, Zoe is the only one bringing pizazz to this panel. You talk about porn all you like Zoe. This is supposed to be controversial. Austen is porn seems pretty controversial to me. Thank you!

Amelia is lucky last and she has chosen Lean In by Nell Scovell and Sheryl Sandberg… which is kind of exactly like Fifty Shades if you think about it… Alright, I accept I got it wrong. I can see why it would be controversial. White women from affluent backgrounds with husbands would relate to Lean In. However, even Sandberg has come out since the tragic death of her husband and said leaning in isn’t quite so easy for single mothers. Imagine how hard it would be for women from disadvantaged backgrounds. I imagine I’m going to hear the term “white privilege” in any discussion about Lean in.

JByrne suggests lean in means behave more like men. Amelia denies Sandberg would agree with that. Zoe points out how Sandberg’s husband uprooted a whole company in order to accommodate their family and help with childcare… which caused a whole shit load of problems for other family forced to move. Amelia liked it as a memoir but not as a manifesto of how others should live. Christos would like to have learned more about her family of origin and her guilt. He felt there was a better to story to tell. JByrne says she likes that Sandberg promotes trying to make good money. Women should be allowed to want to make a shit load of cash.

Great choices by the panelists. I’m clearly not psychic but it was a fun episode. Not as controversial as last week or episode 1, but still good. More Zoe PLEASE!

And ohmygodohmygodohmygod my two favourite panelists are on next week, Virginia Gay and Michael Williams.

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And I’ve got tickets to the screening. I think I’m going to pass out…

Catch up on last week’s recap here.

Catch up on viewing previous episodes on ABC iView.

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Let Me Love You!

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Recently Lisa Fleetwood, author of Destination Dachshund, wrote a blog entry about letting authors know you love them. In the entry she says that little old me inspired her to write it because I have been posting tweets about loving people in our industry.

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I have to say that I was delighted to be the inspiration behind a blog post. It seriously gave me the tingles. So I felt that it was only fair to let people know who inspired me to write countless tweets shouting out Australian authors. It was none other than the ever charismatic Walter Mason.

Walter Mason is an institution in the Sydney writer scene. He not only wrote Destination Saigon and Destination Cambodia but also runs the Universal Heart Book Club and provides inspirational workshops and talks regularly all across Sydney. I was fortunate to meet Walter through another writing mentoring legend, Jan Cornall.

I undertook my first ever writing course with Jan Cornall. It was called Write Your Novel on the Weekends and it was run through WEA. It was fantastic. I learned so much about writing a book as opposed to writing a story for creative writing that I still refer back to my notes regularly. In that two day workshop Jan said to me that she felt that Walter Mason would be a good person for me to chat with. It seemed like an odd choice on the surface as I was writing children’s sci-fi and he had published a travel memoir but I endeavored to follow her guidance because she had been so spot on with everything else.

So a few months later when I saw Walter speaking on a panel at a Emerging Writers Festival Roadshow I timidly went up to introduce myself. I have social anxiety that I generally mask pretty well but introducing myself to an author I had never met was so intimidating that I must confess that I was literally shaking. He immediately made me feel at ease and has been so generous with his time and advice ever since this first meeting that I have become one of his biggest fans, not just of his writing, which is wonderful, and not just of his workshops, which I would recommend to anyone because they never fail to inspire, but of him the person.

It was at another Emerging Writers Festival Roadshow that Walter gave me the inspiration to give Australian authors a shout out, loudly and often. He said to the audience, “bring the spirit of fandom to Australian literature.” This resonated with me powerful. I’m a massive geek, I even run a page on Facebook called GEEK so I know fandom and fandomania. This was something that I knew I could do and it fit in with my personality well.

You see, I’m the kind of person who loves to rave about things that I love. If I love a show, or a movie, or a book I want to tell people about it. I even do this with my reviewing style. I only do reviews of 3 stars and over. If I didn’t like a book I don’t really feel like talking about it. If I like a book I want to tell EVERYONE about it. So bringing the spirit of fandom to Australian literature was something I could do. So I’ve written blog entries, I regularly give shout outs on twitter and I’ve even made pictures all because Walter Mason inspired me.

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So I’d like to pass on the challenge to everyone else reading this, bring the spirit of fandom to Australian literature. Write a review, recommend an author to a friend, buy a book, follow an author on twitter, make some fan art. Just do something.

What will you do today to bring the spirit of fandom to Australian literature today?

Edit: I’ve started using #auslitlove on my tweets that are about loving Australian authors so that I can keep track of who I’m loving and make sure I spread the love around far and wide.

The Book Club ABC S10 E5: #bookclubABC

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JByrne appears on our screens like a little ray of sunshine. We clap, we cheer, we ovate. And yet again, by we I mean my wine and I. Yes, moscato again. Book Club is enough excitement for the evening without changing up my wine.

JByrne annouces the first book to be discussed, The Midnight Watch by David Dyer. It’s about the Titanic but offering a different perspective, that of a family in third class on the Titanic and those on the SS Californian which was the ship closest to the Titanic when it went under but did not assist in any way…

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JByrne then introduces her first guest Rosie Waterland who rather timidly introduces her choice for the classic/favourite text, A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. My jaw drops and nearly hits the ground on hearing that “memoir” being announced. I thought it was controversial when in  episode 3 of this season BLaw chose a graphic novel, this leaves that choice for dead. I manage to pick up my jaw and mutter, “should be called A Million Little Lies.” But I’m sure I’ll get a chance to whinge about that when they discuss it so I’ll move on with my life… for now.

The second guest is Omar Musa. I am in heaven. He nearly killed regular panelist, Jason Steger, last time he was on by calling a book that Jason adored cliché. I love Jason, I could eat him up on a bit of toast with a drizzle of honey, and I don’t want him to really die, but I do so love to see him shocked.

Regulars Marieke Hardy and Jason Stegersaurussex are there also. Which is always nice.

A dramatic recreation of The Midnight Watch is played… I don’t like it. I noticed they played one last week, I didn’t like that recreation either. I haven’t noticed them previously so maybe they’re usually more enjoyable or I should cut back on the wine… but then I’d have nobody to watch Book Club with. No, the wine must stay. Hopefully they jazz up next week’s a little by making the panelists act it out.

Marieke starts in on the book, she quite liked it. She got tricked into learning something new, not that the Titanic sunk, although Jason insists revealing this information is a spoiler, but other things. She liked it so much that she went on to research further into the Titanic once she finishedthe novel. That’s a pretty strong recommendation.

Next comes Rosie. She just about burst with excitement.

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She’s apparently a Titanirac. I have never heard this term before so there is a very real chance that it is spelled incorrectly for reasons that have nothing to do with my dyslexia. Looks like Marieke isn’t the only one who has been tricked into learning today, I too have learned a new word. A Titanirac refers to a person that is obsessed with the Titanic… Twitter tells me it’s Titanorak and I’m an idiot..  Rosie mentions how the SS Californian being the closest ship is well known amongst Titanoraks but others don’t know it… I smugly look at my wine and tell it how I knew and I’m not a Titaniac. My wine smiles knowingly back at me and tells me that I’m both smart and sexy.

The discussion amongst the book clubbers has moved on whilst I chatted with my Moscato and Rosie is revealing that she wasn’t born when the Titanic was lifted in 1985 because she was born in 1986… I’m so fucking old. I take her book The Anti Cool Girl and hurl it at the bin sobbing. I rush over and pick it up and apologise too it profusely.

JByrne mentions that looking at the SS Californian is rather interesting because it has been previously exposed but never explained. It’s certainly a burning question that we want answered, “Why did the ship closest to the Titanic ignore it’s distress signals?” There is a possibility that countless lives could have been saved if the vessel had responded.  And this book promises to explain that mystery. Marieke says The Midnight Watch breaks that promise and doesn’t explain it, and that really pissed her off.

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Omar says it doesn’t explain it but he’s okay with that because the Captain of the SS Californian never explained it and you can’t put words in other people’s mouths. Jason says that it is ruddy well fiction and so you can put words in people’s mouths otherwise what’s the point. BUT, Jason says for him, he felt the question was answered, JByrne agrees. Rosie stares ponderously into the existential chasm that is the quandary of the Titanirac and says mournfully that the question was not answered but she didn’t expect there to be an answer because there never will be one.

The panel move on to say that the book was quite repetitive and could do with a good cut. Seriously authors, get with the program, how many timed do the panelists have to say they like short books? They then say that the female characters were written poorly… interesting. They spoke quite highly of the novel but felt the female characters were crapola and the text repetitive but last week spoke of the beautiful writing in Emily Maguire’s An Isolated Incident but gave it a bit of a lashing because they felt the male characters were portrayed too cruelly. The feminist in me arches an eyebrow, and not in a good way. The real me simply raises both eyebrows because I can neither wink nor raise one eyebrow at a time.

Onto By the Bed. Can’t wait to hear what Jason has by his bed. Something musky and sexy no doubt, he loves the sexy books. I’m waiting for the day he hold up the Karma Sutra but says he only read it for the beauty tips.

Rosie is reading Shrill by Lindy West.

Jason is reading Moonstone by Sjon.

Omar is reading The Blue Fox by the same author. Get out of town, Jason and Omar are now book club besties.

JByrne is reading The Sun, the Moon, and the Rolling Stones by Rich Cohen.

Marieke is reading Dying: A Memoir by Cory Taylor.

And it turns out that I was wrong. Omar is not reading The Blue Fox he’s reading something else. Maybe the wine does need to go. Omar is actually reading From Victims to Suspects: Muslim Women Since 911 by Shakira Hussein. Sorry for the confusion.

And now it’s onto the classic/favourite. Rosie boldly declares that she doesn’t even know if A Million Little Pieces is her fav but she just wanted to throw a book grenade in there.

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It has the desired impact. JByrne annouces that she has “deep and poisonous feelings” towards James Frey over this “memoir.” Mainly because it’s not a bloody memoir at all. It was marketed and sold as a memoir and then outed 3 years later as lies, damn lies. The reason it was released as a memoir? Oh, the author couldn’t get it published as a novel so just decided to say it was a memoir and then a publisher did pick it up. Not exactly a noble reason but a self serving one. I am with JByrne on this, it makes my blood boil!

Jason and Omar say they’re okay with the lying and that memoirs aren’t really true… WTF. Omar didn’t want words put into the Captain’s mouth in historical FICTION but it’s now okay for non fiction. Dear God, Jason has even started pulling quotes out of his pocket to defend his stance that memoirs aren’t real. Yet he said the reason words could be put in the Captain’s mouth was because it was fiction, he’s already acknowledged there’s a difference between fiction and non fiction in this episode. Don’t you pair remember who you were 10 minutes ago???

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Good work, Rosie, you’ve certainly got them all scrambling. Marieke comes out and tells it like it is, she would have picked it as a fake even if she hadn’t known. The writing is utterly adolescent. Some beautiful sentences of course but it’s overrun by the author trying to make himself out as not only the smartest guy ever but the biggest and toughest ever too. It screams of the unreliable narrator. The kind of fictitious work you do from an adolescent’s perspective where they see themselves as so right and so brave that it beggars belief. It doesn’t work for a genuine adult perspective that has supposedly gained wisdom and matured. It’s not exactly the perspective of adulthood but that of full hardy youth. Thank you Marieke for being the ever so crass voice of reason.

Omar and Jason again defend it by saying it doesn’t have to be true it just has to ring true. Rosie, who has actually written a memoir, points out that you write your truth from your perspective, you do not simply make things up. Jason wants to pull more quotes out of his pocket. Keep your hands where we can see them, Jason.

Omar talks about how James Frey went on Oprah and admitted he had lied and says he should be given props for that… Let’s just ignore that Frey only admits to one lie at a time as they’re exposed and denies them all in the lead up? The dude doesn’t just come out and confess. This man told people they didn’t need a 12 step program they just needed self belief, and based his credibility to give tips on how to over come addiction on his “memoir.” Which shows he had never overcome the sneaky, lying,  cheating and deceiving aspect of his addictive personality and therefore was hardly in a place to instruct others. Omar mentions how inspirational James Frey still is and how he still gets letters from addicts saying how he inspires them… says who!!! Oh, that would be James Frey saying it, the dude proven to be unreliable.

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JByrne likens James Frey to Belle Gibson. People say that’s unfair because she pretended she had cancer and never did whereas Frey did have a drug problem. And there is no question that he did, his life story is essentially –  boy takes money from his parents to take drugs, boy takes money from his parents to go to rehab, boy takes money from his parents to write a novel that he then pretends is a memoir. Yet I still think JByrne’s comparison is fair. You and me Byrne, all the way. Frey says he spent years in gaol when he spent hours, he said his special friend died when a girl he never spoke to died. Belle Gibson said she had cancer when in reality she felt a bit sick and saw a naturopath. Seems pretty apt to me.

All the strong opinions come to an abrupt end when JByrne annouces that it is time for a quiz. She pulls out what appears to be a rubber chicken and a rubber pig for the buzzers. Jason’s eyes light up. Marieke inwardly sobs and mutters that this is the worst thing that has ever happened to her.

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It’s to be Jason and Rosie Vs Marieke and Musa. Never has there been such an epic battle since Batman V Superman or Ironman V Captain America… oh, my bad, Jason and Rosie gave Marieke and Musa an absolute trouncing. Jason is given the rubber chicken as his prize, he is delighted. Marieke is still hoping the Hell Mouth will open and swallow her.

JByrne promises us sex, religion and politics next week. The title of the show is Books that Divide a Dinner Party. They must be discussing A Million Little Lies and Wuthering Heights again. They certainly argued over those.

I have to say that this truly was a most excellent episode. I’m not sure which episode has been my favourite this season but it is definitely between this one and the first one. Both were just so firey. Good work on your choice, Rosie. Book Club, you’ll have to get her on again. It’ll be tough to top this next week.

Catch up on last week’s recap here.

View previous episodes through ABC iView.

The Book Club ABC S10 E4 #bookclubABC

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It’s here. The moment that I have been waiting for all week. It’s Maguire day! Tonight Book Club is discussing An Isolated Incident by the angelic Emily Maguire. I am so excited. It is absolutely top notch. If you haven’t read it yet I recommend you do. It isn’t a light and refreshing read like last weeks Mothering Sunday, it is more gripping and fraught… and I will savage any panelist who doesn’t say glowing things about it.

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Full disclosure I’m dyslexic so there are going to be some errors. There will be typos, spellos, grammos and just plain wrongos aplenty. Grammar Nazis, for your own sanity, run for your life.

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I try my best but there will always be things that my eyes see differently than yours and my hands will react differently to brain stimulus than yours

Now that the informalities (yes, you see what I did there) are over, let’s begin recapping and have some fun. JByrne enters. She is of course glorious and we all completely lose our shit at the sheer gloritude that is the Byrneinator

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JByrne introduces her guests Adam Liaw and Michael Robotham. If you’re wondering why Adam Liaw, chef extraordinaire is on a show about books instead of food then just take a look at his twitter profile. He is an absolute scream. Michael Robotham should make sense though because he writes dark psychological thrillers and people have described An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire as a psychological thriller so he seems like a good fit. My only issue is that it is taking a supreme effort for me to remember that his last name is Robotham and not Robottom. The first time I read Michael’s last name my dyslexic brain rushed right on through it and came up with Ro-BOTTOM. I did giggle at length. And so to keep my mind straight I have to keep saying to myself Robo-Tham. Which is making me think of Robocop. I know what a cop is but what is a tham? But that probably doesn’t bother anybody else at all so how about we move on with the rest the recap and our lives.

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Regular panelists Marieke and Jason are there. And we all applaud like crazy. And by we I mean me and my glass of wine. We’re both big fans. Moscato if you must know. Brown Brothers.

Adam kicks off the discussion on Emily Maguire’s An Isolated Incident by saying the first time he read the book it hurt him right in the feels because the men were violent and misogynistic and he’s not like that. Yep, Adam did a #notallmen. Then he reread it and realised it wasn’t all about him. Jason and Michael jumped in also with their complaints about how the men weren’t portrayed nicely… oh how sad. Gosh I can’t think of anything worse… you know, other than always being portrayed as a virgin, mother, or whore. So sad for men to be stereotyped. I switch from my glass of white wine to my mug of men’s tears for the remainder of the episode.

One criticism that was leveled against An Isolated Incident that I actually agreed with was that it wasn’t a classic psychological thriller. As Jason points out it’s about grief, misogyny, representation of women in the media, and violence against women. To me that’s a marketing issue not a novel or author issue, though. It was a damn fine novel that dealt with character,  place and grief beautifully.

For a truly amazing psychological thriller you cannot go past The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. So if it’s the genre that is disturbing you then give it a go. If you haven’t read The Turn of the Screw make sure you do. There’s also a creepy black and white movie of it. The singing still haunts me and I last saw it when I was in Primary School. That’s 30 years of mental scarring from that film. Impressive, no?

The classic has been chosen by Marieke this week. It is the fabulous Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. It’s part of a movement of post WWII literature that looks at displaced young men making their way in the world. The main character is Jim Dixon, a lecturer of medieval history. If you’re expecting an uber sexy lecturer about to bust out and kick some Nazi buttocks like archeology lecturer Indiana Jones then you’re in for disappointment… which is kind of sad because it is a brilliant book. Dark humour is created because Jim doesn’t really enjoy being a lecturer but he also doesn’t want to lose his job. He has also got a manipulative and slightly deranged girlfriend who he’s just not that into but doesn’t want to break up with either. Jim negotiating his lack of enthusiasm for his current path is quite comical and of course it all culminates with him getting truly pissed and drunkenly telling it like it is. It’s cringe worthy comedy.

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Marieke loves Lucky Jim. She likens it to hitting people she doesn’t like with a stick, which appeals to her. Michael said it was full of lols. Jason calls it consistently amusing. Everyone loves it. What a triumph!

JByrne annouces there shall be some Titanic related discussions next week. I do hope everyone dresses in sailor suits.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Catch up on past episodes on ABC iView.

Catch up on last weeks episode recap here.

Reviewing the Classics: Wuthering Heighs by Emily Bronte revisited

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Alphahole! Now that is the perfect term for Heathcliff. Love it.

H L Petrovic

wuthering heights

Hi all,

So I went to a live taping a couple of weeks back of a show called The Book Club. It was a great show – Paul Kelly sang a sonnet, and there was much discussion about a little book you might have heard of called Wuthering Heights. The discussion got heated, especially when it came to Heathcliff. For a full recap of how things went down, I’d definitely recommend stopping by Right or Wrong for a very funny, and entirely scientific analysis of the show here.

In the spirit of the debate, and since I haven’t read Wuthering Heights since I skimmed it in second-year university (nearly 20 years ago) I gave it a slightly less skimmed re-read, and what follows is my review:

This classic tale, set on the northern moors of England, has long been acclaimed as a both a torrid tale…

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Honker Honker #scrub

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To the gentleman who so sweetly honked at me and screamed, “nice arse,” as I walked to the shops today,

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Firstly I’d like to say thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to compliment me. You no doubt were in a rush to chug some VB cans followed by crushing them on your forehead so did not have time to stop and speak to me in a more lengthy manner. I am just sure from the brief insight I got into your vocab that we would be the firmest of friends. I am of course flattered that you did look upon my visage and find it both pleasing and provocative. I do have a fantastic rump and it is always lovely to have a compliment applied directly to my rear. I certainly had gone to the extra effort of pulling my unbrushed hair up into a mum-bun, so it was nice that it didn’t go unnoticed. And right back at you, your shaved head with a rats tail is a visual treat that I don’t oft get since I moved to the city. It did make me sick for my childhood home in the country. Ah memories, thanks so much for that.

Secondly, it would be a lie if I said I didn’t feel that deep personal connection, that drove you to honk at me, too. Gosh, before I even turned to hear your dulcet tone float from your mouth unto my happy ears I could feel your presence. The thrumm of your engine filled myself, and no doubt the whole street, with excitement. Why my flesh was covered with goose bumps and the hairs on the back of my neck did  stand on attention before you even honked. I felt it too. There is a bond between you and I. My panties nearly ran screaming from my body with your first toot, and then on your second, well I’m surprised they didn’t simply errupt into flames.

Thirdly, I hope you don’t think me rude for not responding to your compliment. You unfortunately drove off so quickly, and with such a loud screech of burning rubber, that I could not respond at the time.

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You were to quick for my frail girly brain to respond. I must admit that the loud screech did scatter my silly brain because my fragile lady nerves were in tatters. Afterwards I did of course consider giving chase to your vehicle so I could tell you about all the feelings burning inside me, but it would not become a lady to chase men on the streets, despite this being true love and all. Plus, I had to buy tampons.

Which leads me to fourthly. Alas, our love is not to be. Unfortunately I’m married with three kids. Hush, don’t apologise. How were you to know that your soul mate had already taken another lover and bore his children? I had left hastily after washing up bottles and had thoughtlessly left my wedding ring on the kitchen bench. There is no way you could have known another man had already stamped his ownership upon me. And obviously it’s my own damned impatient fault for not waiting for you to drive into my life. Damn me and my wandering eye. I should have waited. But again, my silly girl brain could think of nothing else but having babies after I turned thirty. So please, forgive me, but we can never be. If I were but single I’m ardently sure that it would be on like Donkey Kong, but alas, I am not. We must resist our urges and maintain a distance. Don’t honk me again because I do not know if I could resist your seductive charms a second time. My children need me, please don’t tear my family apart.

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Farewell forever

Your soul mate

Robin

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I Think I Met Nouha Taouk Today.

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I think I met Nouha Taouk, writer of Whispers from a Lebanese Kitchen, today. I might be crazy but I swear I met her… okay, I am crazy but not the delusional kind. So weird to meet someone who wrote a cookbook that you own!

I’ve met authors of books I’ve read before but because I was at a workshop they were teaching, or I was attending a festival that they were speaking at, or had offered to be their slave (Kerri Sackville, that offer is still wide open), but I’d never seen one just sipping coffee out in the wild. The wild being at a shopping centre… I have three kids under Primary School age, that’s as wild as I get. She even noted that my two boys seemed quite cheeky, so I can testify that she is an excellent judge of character.

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It was quite exhilarating so now I have to go have a lie down. What exciting things have you done today?