Tag Archives: the wheeler centre

Screen Time ABC, Season 1, Episode 2: #ABCScreenTime

Screen Time ABC, Season 1, Episode 2: #ABCScreenTime

Panelists Sophie Black and Sami Shah

It’s time for episode two of Screen Time. The crowd is applauding, montages are flying, gorgeous 70s images and half-naked people can be seen. This isn’t just a convivial discussion of movies, it’s gritty and real. Nothing says that like nudity. Deal with it! 

Chris Taylor appears and is speaking but I cannot hear a word he says for there is an angel at his side. It is the one, the only, Judith Lucy. The crowd goes wild, and by the crowd, I mean myself and my amaretto sour. I cannot even begin to express how excited I am right now. Chris introduces the other panelists, Sami Shah is back, as is Sophie Black, along with first timers, JUDITH LUCY, and Michael Williams. I know that I have a nickname for him from my Book Club ABC recaps but for the life of me cannot remember what it is, so for now, it’ll just be Michael.

Small House Keeping Matter: I’m dyslexic. If you hate reading anything written by dyslexic writers you should probably just leave now. (The changing font sizes have nothing to do with my dyslexia and everything to do with my ineptitude. On my draft everything is uniform, I hit publish, CHAOS. Just treat it as a metaphor for existence.)

Chris tells us that we are getting straight to business. He’s pulling no punches and is going to the most pressing Hollywood news at the moment, Weinstei…. Oh, wait. My mistake. Got to eager. Chris plays a clip saying that Sex and the City 3 has been benched FOREVER.

Nobody seems too cut up about it.
Now they really are talking Weinstein. Harvey or Bob, take your pick. Chris asks the panelists if Hollywood should have seen this scandal coming. Judith gives a great big nope. Nope, they shouldn’t have seen it coming because they had been doing it for so long and nobody cared. Sophie agrees that the surprising and refreshing thing is that people finally care. Sophie says that it was an open secret. Wait, was that just a sneaky reference to the documentary that attempted to expose the rampant pedophilia in Hollywood? I think it was. Good work.

Chris points out the Meryl Streep was one of the first celebrities to condemn it but said many didn’t know of what was going on. On the other hand Anthony LaPaglia says, pigs arse. Okay, he didn’t literally say that, but he is Australian so I’d like to think that those were the words he thought. He says people have known about it for decades and done nothing. Michael says that the very least people can do is refuse to work with people that are, ‘criminal, depraved and monstrous.’ It’s a pretty low bar and everyone needs to step up to it.

Sami points out that he has worked in advertising, which means he understands all things depravity related, and that those behaviours are common there. But they are also common in the Australian media (I am waiting with baited breath to read Tracey Spicer’s article where she will name well known abusers), in accounting, and down at the corner shop. He says that society needs to step up, society is complicit, not just individuals.

Judith says that everyone needs to stand up. Quintin Tarantino has now spoken about it, but where was he before. Why wasn’t he demanding it stopped earlier? (Just quietly same with Kevin Smith? But maybe because men who didn’t come from fancy backgrounds were merely clinging on also. Maybe the dyslexic director who had trouble getting films made to begin with  felt like he couldn’t rock the boat, nor the dude who maxed out his credit cards to make his first movie….)

Sophie calls bullshit on all those men coming out saying that because they have a daughter they now understand. She says they shouldn’t care because they have a woman that belongs to them, but because women are people and deserving of respect. The fact that they only think of women’s rights in terms of if one has been formed from their sperm or not is a big part of the effing problem!!!!

Anyway, let’s get to discussing movies before I pass out in rage.
They’re discussing Good Time. Chris says that it is a heist film with Robert Pattinson playing the lead character who robs a bank along with his brother who has a generalised neurodevelopment disorder. Everything seems to be going too easily, they get the money without too much issue, but when they open up the bags to check for money…… BOOM, burning red paint everywhere. Kids at home, crime does not pay. Pattinson is then forced to get increasingly bad hair styles in order to free his brother.

Sami says that this movie is designed for arty types who wear clothes from the 1800s, have waxed moustaches, and laugh too loudly at bad jokes just to prove that they got them. He felt it could have benefited from adding some robots or spaceships. What film couldn’t be improved with just a smackle of sci fi? Sami, we have so much to discuss.

Michael disagrees. He says he liked Good Times and it had good stuff in it. Take that Sami, it had good stuff in it. A lot of good stuff. He speaks of cinematography and lighting. Excuse me whilst I pause the TV to see if there are any traces of a waxed moustache having been glued to Michael’s face recently…. Hmmmm, I can’t decide.

Judith says it was a nightmare. Sophie adds that the soundtrack was nightmare inducing.
Chris asks if this film will finally give Pattinson cred and drop him from the team idol list. Chris really liked Pattinson’s performance in this. Said he has never been so good. The other panelists answer, maybe. Judith says Orlando Bloom never lost his teen idol status, but it was because he didn’t make brave movie choices. I’m sure that swimming in an ocean of money earned from Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean has helped him come to terms with his choices. I quite enjoyed him in Ned Kelly.
So it looks like Good Times has been rated two nightmares, a good stuff, and a pickled moustache.

And now it is time for the middle of the show segment. Please be Sophie Monk again, pleasebesophiemonkpleasebesophiemonk. It is Not On My Watch.  Essentially Chris will tell us about a show he doesn’t like. Tonight’s pick is Cosmetic Coffee and it is on 7. Oh my goodness, it is hideous. Basically a cosmetic surgeon meets with patients in cafes, then goes back to his office making me wonder why he didn’t just start there, and then draws on them and lets them know what he finds gross about them, then he operates on them. So it is essentially advertising for his business. Chris finishes off the segment by saying advertorial dressed up as a medical show, not on my watch.
Whose watch did that happen on? Seriously! Who greenlit that?  I’ve got a show about a minotaur, a plucky journalist and hot cop uncovering the supernatural sex slave industry just waiting to be made. Call me. CALL MEEEEE! If you can make that shit, why not mine? Not that mine is shit. Mine is awesome and the best….

TV time!  Chris is introducing The Deuce currently playing on Foxtel. It is David Simon’s latest masterpiece. The montage is playing and it is high quality with a star studded cast. People such as James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal are in it. Chris says that Franco plays twins. And I’m laughing. I cannot stop laughing. Does anyone remember that Jean Claude Van Damme movie Double Impact?

It was so hilariously badgood. That’s all that I can think of right now. Hollywood, you know that you do actually have actors that are identical twins? You can stop doing the bad copying and disjointed back and forth. Just hire some of them. But enough about me, let’s see what the panel think.

Michael says he loves it. The cast is massive so rewards patience as it is revealed at a slow pace. Judith also loves David Simon and loved the show except for one tiny thing, James Franco. She also didn’t like James Franco as his twin, or as Judith puts it, the same person just wearing a hat. With or without a hat, she’s not interested.

Chris points out that Franco fans will get double their joy and then shows a clip. I’m guessing it is the worst example of his twin acting because I am rolling. Rolling. And yes, I am going to go there, as a mother of identical twin boys (I never thought I’d get to work an as a mother into a recap) this is hilarious. It’s the same guy. It’s the same guy with a different wig. It is not twins. Twins are not the same person. Identical twins are not the same person. If the great Jean Claude Van Damme, renowned across the land for his versatile acting skills could not pull this off…. Actually, now that I think about it I felt that Sam Underwood did a brilliant job plating identical twins in The Following. Such a hypocrite. I also loved the film Big Business which had two sets of twins. Bette Middler and Lily Tomlin were spectacular and I watched it seven billion times.

Michael of course loves it, because he has loved everything. What happened to Michael? He was the snarky one on The Book Club ABC, now he’s the lover? Showing his versatility, his softer side? I should appreciate it.

Don’t wink at me, Franco.

Sophie says she loves the show and she loves Simon because he is an angry patriot. He can give such loving yet searing critique of his country and society. Which is the perfect segue into talking about David Simon’s other work. Gotta hand it to Sophie, she’s profesh.
All the panelists agree that The Wire was fantastic. Sami ads that it is a take on Greek myths, where Gods play cruelly with the life of mortals. In The Wire corporations and powerful people are the Gods.

Chris asks why Simon’s other show, Treme, not take off. Sami says it is for two reasons. Firstly, too soon. It could never live up to the hype of The Wire because nothing could. Secondly, the focus was narrow. It was about jazz, and food, and what people perceived as things not pertinent to them, but he personally loved it.
The verdict is in, The Deuce is an absolute cracker and I want to watch it.

Time for Screen Time’s  Top Five. What will they be looking at this week? TWINS. Top five awfully portrayed identical twin kind of things.

Is nothing sacred?

Speaking of teen idols

This was bad

The king is dead

Knight Rider doing his thing

The list was good, but where the fuck was Double Impact???

And last but not least, the panelists get to recommend something for us to watch.
Michael: Sunshine

Sami: Patton Oswalt’s Annihilation

Sophie: Get Krack!n

Judith: I Love Dick

Robin: Screen Time (Okay, I’m not a panelist, but watch the show.)

And because we’ve all been so good, they’re going to show us a clip of David Hasselhoff fighting David Hasselhoff to end on. Because even David Hasselhoff wants to punch David Hasselhoff in the face.

Catch up on previous episodes on iView

Find Screen Time here

See last week’s recap here

Check out Chris here

Feast on Michael William’s glorious Ropinpedia entry here

Tweet with Sophie here

Buy Sami’s books here

Get tickets to Judith Lucy’s show here. Sydney based people can feel free to buy me a ticket too while you’re at it, I am delightful company.

Learn more about me here

Grab Tracey Spicer’s book here

Read Lauren Ingram’s piece on the issue with Weinstein and facing your abuser here

Read what Australian director Sophie Mathisen has to say about Weinstein and the Australian industry here


ABC Book Club Season 11, Episode 3: #bookclubABC 


House keeping matters before we waft away into the sensuous feast that is The Book Club ABC.

  1. JByrne = Jennifer Byrne
  2. Ace = Jason Steger formerly Stegersaurussex
  3. Marieke Hardy = an utter delight
  4. I’m dyslexic, there will be errors. No rewards given for spotting them, I’d go broke.
  5. I’m neither sponsored nor paid for this, I do it for love. But if you want to bribe me I like wine, notebooks, and money. Money is my favourite.

The credits play. Books are dancing across the scene in a colour coordinated disregard for segregation via genre and or alphabetisation. I’ll allow it. JByrne appears. She’s clearly pissed off the wardrobe department, they’ve tried to mask her radiance with beige and muted toned. It hasn’t worked. The make-up department have her back and have lovingly added an extra layer of gloss to her lips to combat this clear case of sabotage.

Marieke is there, clearly on excellent terms with the wardrobe department. She looks like a model for Kitten D’Amour. Next to her sits Michael Williams, director of The Wheeler Centre, the main man, the big dude, the guy who can make or break an author with a snap of his fingers, so I better keep things above board and completely respectful. He really could do with an extra button undone on that shirt. What is going on with his ankle region? Am I just seeing what I want to see? Is he wearing smarties on his socks. #sockwatch Doesn’t he look delicious? I just want to nibble on those ankles. Nom, nom, nom…. In a most respectful and revered fashion, obvi.

Opposite, sits John Safran. If you don’t know who he is, have you been living under a rock? And ooolala, what is Ace wearing tonight? An electric blue jumper to match his electric personal magnetism. Perfection.


Time to get down to business. There’s books to be discussed. Paula Hawkins has released her second novel, does it live up to the hype of The Girl on the Train… well Michael indicates that The Girl on the Train didn’t live up to its own hype so why would the second one? Saucer of milk for Michael’s table. JByrne says it had 11 different narrators and so she found it a bit difficult to follow. She suggests she might not be clever enough for it. Jason says he didn’t find it difficult at all. Oh reeeaaaallllyyyy.

Tonight’s classic is chosen by Ace and is therefore sexy and British, just like him. Has he had a haircut? There’s something extra about him this evening. It could just be that jumper, but it might also be the hair. We’ll get to the book later on when they do. As for the new book….

JByrne is practically bursting out of her skin with excitement that she has managed to lure the esteemed John Safran onto the show.  She says she did it by choosing his favourite author’s new book, Moonglow. Safran kinda shrugs nonchalantly and says, yeah he likes Michael Chabon, in a deadpan voice. I snort some Gossip Moscato out of my nose trying to suppress a giggle. JByrne looks a tad heartbroken at his lackluster response. Marieke suggests that his appearance on the show does coincide with his own book coming out yesterday and that maybe, just maybe, JByrne’s ability to lure him wasn’t that miraculous. Cynic.

The dramatic recreation is played. Holy crap, I love the music they’re using for it. Gold star for music choice.

John takes things away by saying that he likes the book and it was better than Chabon’s last one. It’s said so deadpan that JByrne has to check that he’s saying that it is even better than the book he previously told her was his favourite book of all time. He nods his agreement that this is the case. John indicates that there could have been a smidge less sex in there.

Marieke thanks John for addressing the ‘grandpa’s penis in the room’ as she felt that this book had more grandfather penis in it than she had ever encountered before in her life in a book. John agrees that he would possibly have enjoyed the book even more if there was less grandpa penis. Jason indicates he is totally fine with the quanity of grandpa penis. You’ll have to read it yourself to find out if there is too nuch or just the right amount of grandpa penis.

JByrne breaks free of the grandpa’s penis and talks about how Moonglow is a book set right at the darkest point in history. It’s about the attempted eradication of the Jewish population.

Michael said that he could have marked every single page for examples of beautiful writing. He reads a quote about the smell of a postage stamp. Apparently Michael really loves postage stamps.

Marieke said she enjoyed it until it became too complex and obviously not true. This bothered her because she felt tricked. She liked the book but just felt lied to and overwhelmed with grandpa penis.

Jason says that the trick is to read it all as fiction. And why does it matter if it’s true or not? Marieke points out that it matters to her and Oprah! She asks why does he sometimes refer to it as a memoir if it’s not? JByrne says, ‘Because it’s fun.’ Marieke lets JByrne know that lies aren’t fun and maybe she should think about her priorities in life.

They start talking about a skinless horse. It’s apparently important. It’s where fact or fiction is decided. I have a history minor and must confess I don’t really know anything about some symbolic skinless horse. I don’t know what’s happening. Hold me. Has Nuckelavee made an appearance? Let’s move on.

It’s time for By the Bed. Woot.

Michael is reading All My Friends Are Superheroes.

Marieke is reading Anything is Possible.

JByrne is reading Death of a She Devil.

John is reading Pop 1280

Ace is reading Reunion

And now it’s time for Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. It is noted that Ace brought it as a by the bed in 2013. He says it’s a Cinderella story about a nightclub singer with three blokes on the go and a pervy old lady watching on. He says it’s like a glass of champagne that never goes flat. This is coincidentally exactly how I feel about Ace.

Marieke says it’s farce, it’s frolicksome and a whole bunch more f words. It made her laugh out loud. It was hot and sexy and she loved it. She said it was also a very kind book. It didn’t use mean humour.

Michael suggests that it’s kind with a hint of racism. JByrne says not only racist but sexist. She challenges the other panelists as to why it can be considered kind and funny given that it’s deeply antisemitic. John says it’s okay because it’s old.

Michael says the book is just like Jason. Racey, English, and very silly. So if you like Ace, give it a read. I shall be pressing it to my eyeballs shortly.

JByrne finishes the discussion by staring into Ace’s eyes and murmuring, ‘Are you happy, Sweetheart.’ She then plays a montage of Jason and his love of books with British biddies. 

What a time to be alive. A show where panelists love both a book about the horrors inflicted upon Jewish people in the 1940s AND a book that was published in 1938 that is antisemitic. In totally unrelated news, who likes playing connect the dots? 

Next week they’re discussing Lincoln in the Bardo and The Handmaid’s Tale. See you next week.

Read last week’s episode recap here.

Read Michael Williams’ Robinpedia entry here.

Watch past episodes of The Book Club ABC on iView here.

Read about the positives I’ve found in being a dyslexic writer here.

Find the film version of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day here.


Michael Williams: #Robinpedia


Michael Williams ready for a spot of grocery shopping.

Michael Williams…. Michael Williams…. MM CC McWilliams…. the big M. The Mster. Master Williams. What can be said about a man who simply describes himself as Elena Ferrante. A man whose mother thinks he’s cool. A man who has been mistaken for a dead, English actor and lived to tell the tale. A man with a beard. But wait, there’s more.

Michael Williams is either best known as the director of the Wheeler Centre or popular radio host on Radio National. He is both a regular guest on The Book Club with Jennifer Byrne, and a top tier writers’ festival speaker. In short, he excels at everything he does, and he does quite a bit.

The Wheeler Centre is possibly Australia’s preeminent hub for literature and creative conversations. It’s in Melbourne and I’m from Sydney so I may get excommunicated from my state for saying that. Since 2010 The Wheeler Centre has hosted more than 1600 events with more than 2200 speakers. Their goal for 2020 is to be nationally and internationally renowned as a centre for innovative conversation…. job done early. Michael stands firmly at the healm of this proud institution. Unsurprisingly he’s quite the inspiring speaker himself.

You can listen to his dulcet tone at 9am Saturdays on Radio Nation on his show Blueprint for Living.  He talks about food, travel, architecture, and everything you need to live a good life. Apparently he even covers fashion. Is there nothing he does not know? If you miss it on Saturdays it is replayed 6am on Sundays, and you can listen to the podcast anytime.

Prior to this Michael was the Head of Programming at the Wheeler Cente, worked at Text Publishing and Triple R. As such he’s a prominent figure in the Australian book industry.

Find Michael Williams on Radio National here.

Find Michael Williams at the Wheeler Centre here.

Find Michael Williams on Twitter here.

Find me drinking gin and crying into my armpit because Michael Williams and I are the same age and I haven’t even organised myself to brush my teeth today.
If you have information you’d like to add to this entry please leave it in the comment section.

If you’d like to learn more about Robinpedia go here.

[For first time visitors to this blog, read the about section, I do in fact already know that I am dyslexic.]

My Date With Jennifer Byrne #bookclubABC


Okay, I confess, I used a click bait heading. I did not have a date with Jennifer Byrne BUT I did get to meet her. And long story short, she was every bit the divine, glowing, Goddess of radiance that we see on our screen. But what kind of blog entry would this be if I went with the short version, so let’s do the long story long.

It was a chilly July morning, I woke to the gentle thump of my daughter’s warm rump landing on my chest, and the caress of her hands against my face as her tiny fingers tried to softly pry my eyes open. “Wake up, Mummy,” the words floated from her lips like dandelion threads on the breeze. #blessed. I murmured back to the angelic creature perched upon me, “Wha?” And shortly thereafter got out of bed and let the two year old twin terrors out of their cots, before they started getting their own ideas of getting out of bed and learned that they are more than capable of escaping.

It was an ordinary day, just like any other Thursday. My daughter refused to wear any clothes that were weather appropriate. The twins used a couple of dinosaurs as light sabers and attempted to kill each other. My husband spent a long time on the toilet. I drank tea. I had to try out some mixed martial arts moves in order to subdue my boys for nappy changes and my daughter eventually settled for dressing like a fairy on crack. My husband got out of the bathroom and went to work, and better yet, he actually took the kids to preschool with him. Not every day is a preschool day, but that fateful day was.

As the glitter of childhood laughter and dreams settled I sat and drank coffee in my pyjamas. I tweeted about how excited I was to go watch a live recording of The Book Club ABC. I tweeted about how much I desired to see one Benjamin Law’s ankle region. Last time he had been on the show he had done it utterly sockless. I dared but dream that he would do the same again. As you can see, I was awfully excited. The Book Club is my not so secret addiction. I write recaps, I watch it religiously, and I probably tweet about it every day.

After I finished my coffee I realized that I should probably do some vacuuming. So I did. I then cleaned the toilet. These events were no doubt symbolic of great things to come. I even had a shower. I didn’t want to take my pyjamas off because it was so cold, but The Book Club was worth it. I was going to shower. Warm water trickled down my face and onto my shoulders. Water gently beaded against my alabaster skin. I reached hesitantly towards the razor to shave my hairy pits, but at the last minute rethought it. It’s fucking freezing, I’ll need the extra warmth of my furry covering. It was all happening. After the gratuitous shower scene where I was completely naked and wet I layered myself up with a pair of thick black gym tights and green cargo pants over the top. I then put on a grey long sleeved top, a pink ¾ length top, a black t-shirt AND a yellow jacket. It was very cold. Don’t get too excited, I was not sans underpants. I was wearing bra, undies, and rainbow toe socks as well. This is a celebrity meeting, not erotica.

It was now time for me to make my entrance into my new life. A life of fun and whimsy. The world of Book Club. I entered the ABC studio. It wasn’t as easy as you might imagine. It has a giant automatic revolving door that you must negotiate to enter. Timing is everything and half of the entrance was partitioned off so the window of opportunity was even narrower. But I took a deep breath and launched. Yes, success. I made it through the door without falling over and being pushed around repeatedly by the revolving door like a crumpled piece of garbage. I enter the lobby. A TARDIS to my left immediately caught my eye. I moved towards it, like a Rose to a Timelord. I thought about trying to open the door but in the end didn’t. I didn’t want to be responsible for breaking it.

I saw a crowd of people waiting behind a thinly roped off area. I went to them and asked, are they the clubbers. They were. So I joined them and sat and waited. I waited and tweeted about the fact that I was waiting. If a tree falls in the forest but doesn’t tweet about it, has it really fallen? Yes, but who cares about it? If that tree wants someone to care about its death then it should ruddy well take a selfie of itself whilst doing so and then slap on some sort of trending hashtag, #FreeTheNipple. Finally the tweeting about waiting was ended by us being called into the studio. We were checked for contraband before entering. I had none. I was allowed in.

On entering the studio the floor manager tells us exactly where to sit. A few brave souls decide to defy her and tell her they don’t like the view from where they are. She tells them that they’ll ruin her shot if they don’t sit where they’re told and to just sit we’re they’re darn well told. This continues on for quite some time. People wanting to rebel against the control of creating an audience shot and the floor manager wondering why they’re Book Club fans if they’re so sassy. Shouldn’t book nerds be easier to manage? I simply sit where I am told. The spirit of rebellion does not burn inside me. We’re told to turn our phones off, I do so. Again, no complaints. No last minute selfies. I just turn it off.

And then BAM JByrne appears before us like some kind of bioluminescent angel. I start clapping. I manage to catch myself before leaping from my seat and throwing myself around her ankles and screaming, “I love you.” If we can’t sit wherever we like, then I’m pretty sure that actually touching the Byrne is right out. So I sit and simply watch. The guests are introduced and Benjamin Law and his naked ankles are there again. They’re so different and out there in comparison to the covered ankles of his colleagues. Warmth starts to rise from my own thoroughly layered ankles, up my legs, past my hips, into my heart and penetrates my brain. A fire is lit. That fire of rebellion. I will speak to JByrne this very day. I shall make it happen!


The show begins, I can’t give any spoilers away for it is yet to screen, just keep an eye on my blog on Tuesday night and all shall be revealed in one of my breathtaking recaps… or you could watch the show at 10pm on ABC Tuesday nights… and then read my recap.

The show ends. The audience files out. I start to edge towards the stage. The floor manager sees me. She is frowning. But those bare ankles have given me courage so I press on.

“Jennifer,” I call out. My voice breaks with nerves. The nude ankles have evidently given me some courage but no grace.

“Who are you trying to speak to?” The floor manager is approaching me from the side. I can see her hand twitching at the ready to call down the gods of security to subdue me and drag me out whilst I scream and thrash.

“Jennifer,” I say timidly. Then I remember those ankles and some steel sets into my bones and I call out loudly and firmly, “Hi Jennifer, I write recaps of your show and I just wanted to say I love you.”

JByrne swings around and I am hit with the full force of her twinkling eyes. They are glorious. They’re actually more dazzling in real life than they are on the screen.

“You,” she says enthusiastically, “you’re the one who writes those recaps? They’re so funny.”

I melt onto the ground and start crying in pure ecstasy. The floor manager moves away. I’m clearly crazy but as long as it isn’t bothering the talent then she’ll accept it. JByrne actually stays and speaks with me for over five minutes. I am blown away. She asks me what my intentions are towards her Michael Williams? Is it true love or is it just lust. I tell her it’s true writerly love. He’s my age and the director of the Wheeler Centre, how can I not admire him. The guy is a complete genius. It’s the purest of all love and there is not pants action in it. I promise that he won’t find me in his cupboard rifling through his underpants. She accepts this and doesn’t take an AVO out on me for now. I tell her that my Uncle Paul is OBSESSED with her. We talk about Ben’s bare ankles and how wild they have driven me. She calls my recaps funny and clever a few times and I respond with words but all the while I’m thinking, “Someone who I think is funny and clever thinks that my stuff is funny and clever, this is so overwhelming I need to go have a lie down.” The floor manager finally says enough is enough and JByrne needs to be able to go have a life. We part ways and I feel so excited that I can’t even remember the next half hour of my life. I know that I called my Aunty Donna and shrieked about how much I loved JByrne and how I got to speak to her. She’s excited for me. She knows how much I admire Jennifer Byrne.

So there it is. My “date” with Jennifer Byrne. I got to speak to her, she is so lovely, I got really excited and she managed not to call security on me to drag me away, which I found quite touching, and she said nice things to me about my recaps. Funny and clever! Who doesn’t want to be complimented like that? And who gets to be complimented like that by one of their heroes? I have been walking around on cloud nine ever since. It’s three days later and I am still excited. I dare say I’ll still be excited next week. Happy!


Me losing my shit because I am meeting the one and only JByrne.

ABC Book Club Season 10 Episode 8 #bookclubABC


First things first, last week was the best episode ever so this week has a lot to live up to. Secondly, I’m dyslexic, grammar nazis you have been warned, flee now if this shall be too much for you to tolerate.

Jennifer Byrne appears. I clap, I cheer, I woot, but very quietly because I don’t want to wake the kids. I can see that regulars Marieke Hardy and Jason Stegersaurussex are there, which is always lovely. Jennifer introduces her guests, Rosie Waterland, who lobbed a book grenade the last time she came resulting in literary carnage, so I’m quite excited to see what she’ll do tonight. And be still my beating loins, Michael Williams is back.


He is 36 and beautiful, not in that other worldly Kryptonian way, but in a more knock-around Fitzroy way. He is brunette and brunette at the roots. He is sitting, but only with the help of a chair. He is from Melbourne, in order for you to understand him you have to understand what that means. Melbourne is like Sydney 50 years ago, if Sydney was 50 years into the future 50 years ago. It’s cold and frosty, a real snowback city, which is why you go there, for the snowback people. In other words, it’s just like Sydney but a bit colder, with better food but weirder shoes. When everyone here is awake… everyone there is also awake, because we’re in the same time zone and the same country.

Michael is permitted by the Supreme Being, JByrne, to say he has chosen Love in a Cold Climate for the classic before the clubbers move onto discussing the modern text. We’ll all be unshocked when Jason likes it because it’s very British with sex in it.

The first novel to be discussed is Before the Fall by Noah Hawley. It’s a tale of the rich, the famous, and the soon to be dead. A dramatic recreation is shown…


Trust me, my version was just as good. Theirs had more moody music and mysterious questions, but mine cuts to the chase. Enough with the recreation, we all just want to know one thing, how did Titanorak Rosie feel about it? We know she loves ship crashes, are boat crashes close enough? Is the crash in and of itself enough or must there be a gigantic ship involved?

Rosie could not put it down. Question answered. She loves a good crash in the water, plane, train, or automobile, not just Titanics. Rosie points out how beautifully it’s structured to mimic a television show. Jason wanted more quirks. Michael appreciated it but felt there were too many episodic cliffhangers.

Marieke is a bit meh on Before the Fall. She calls it good but not great. And that it needed a good cut. Jason agrees that there are too many red herrings, and a few of those bad boys could have been cut. Marieke said cut the body building stuff. JByrne shrieks no. When Marieke asks why. JByrne’s blushes and I can’t hear her “reason” over the sound of her thumping heart.

Rosie liked the ending of this mystery, Jason did not. Michael said it was a “swift trick” and he found it satisfactory. JByrne thought it was a clever ending. She recommends reading it on the beach smothered in oil. Slip, slop, slap, JByrne! Marieke said there are better books to smother in oil on a beach.


Now for a little By the Bed:

Marieke is reading Patience. A graphic novel.
Michael is reading The Hate Race. Out in August.
Rosie is reading Live From New York. Marieke loves it too.
JByrne is reading The Horse. It’s for people who like horses… oookay.
Jason is reading Up the Junction. It has lots of sex. Colour me shocked.

Now for Love in a Cold Climate.


Michael says it isn’t exactly plot driven but he loves it any way. Marieke adored it and describes it as sexy and cheeky and funny. I bet she wanted to oil it up. Jason unsurprisingly loves it. It’s sexy and British,  just like him…

… Rosie hated it. She says it was so bad she could barely finish it and it was, “not to my taste.” Rosie says she was expecting Jane Austen and she did not get it. Oh goodness, now I have to think mathematically. I’m not good at maths, but wasn’t Jane Austen dead a century before Love in a Cold Climate came out?


I’m not going to push it because remembering dates isn’t my thing so I’m probably wrong. Jason admits that the first chapter was a bit rubbish but the rest was fab.

Michael loves the fact that in the novel a gay character is celebrated by other characters. The character is endearing enough that Rosie admits that she even liked him. Marieke says that the women are punchy and vibrant. And that she found it fresh, sexy and funny as hell… I now want to read Love in a Cold Climate!!!

JByrne talks about the new trend of adult colour in books of a very adult only nature. Jason suggests getting lots of pink crayons. It’s a vagina joke people. Jason Stegersaurussex made a vagina reference. Take a drink. Michael says he can’t be contained with his adult colouring in and rarely stays within the lines. I pour my chilled wine directly into my lap to tame my heated loins.

Ooo la la, BLaw and Robo-Tham are on next week. Last time BLaw came with completely naked ankles and a vulva in his pocket. I did clutch at my pearls. Robo-Tham did not reveal any cyborg tendencies on his last visit so I am hoping there is a big reveal next week.

Check out Rosie’s last appearance here.

Check out Michael’s last appearance, in THE BEST EPISODE OF ALL TIME, here.

To view past episodes check out ABC iView.