October, 2011

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20 Classics #8: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

, Oct 19, 2011

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I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books. I aimed to read them all in 2011, but that’s beginning to look unlikely. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? I had vague ideas about Gulliver’s Travels. I remembered Ted Danson being tied up by some little people in a film version I […]
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Reading fiction is addictive and unhealthy, says Corn Flakes guy

, Sep 30, 2011

I just came across this astonishing passage, quoted by John Fiske in Understanding Popular Culture. It’s from the Ladies Guide in Health and Disease by John Harvey Kellogg (yes, of Corn Flakes fame), published in 1882. There are also chapters on ‘marriage’, ‘personal beauty’, ‘diet’, clothing’, and, ah, ‘criminal abortion’. He says: ‘The reading of […]
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Guest review: Lisa Down on Making News by Tony Wilson

, Feb 03, 2011

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Murdoch Books July 2010 9781741969238 (Aus) reviewed by Lisa Down Remember the old saying, ‘Write what you know’? It’s an adage former AFL player, author and columnist Tony Wilson must have taken to heart. His latest offering, Making News, revolves around, well… a retired soccer player, an aspiring young columnist and an author, who make […]

The LiteraryMinded Couch, Episode One: Uhh, Fail Vlog

, Nov 14, 2010

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I’ve been meaning to add video content to LiteraryMinded for yonks! I’ve interviewed authors on stage, I’ve read my own work aloud, I can write about books – but speaking alone into a camera is an entirely different kettle of fish…
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Guest review: Raili Simojoki on Benjamin Law’s The Family Law

, May 26, 2010

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The Family Law Benjamin Law Black Inc. 9781863954785 June 2010 (Aus, US) Reviewed by Raili Simojoki. Benjamin Law’s first book, The Family Law, is a collection of themed essays about his eccentric yet endearing family. His shorter pieces offer quirky insights into eclectic topics such as green burial, sleep deprivation, homosexuality healing workshops, and 90s […]
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‘Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave digger puts on the forceps.’ (Yesterday, today, tomorrow.)

, May 07, 2010

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Next day. Same time. Same place. Saw Sean Mathias’ production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot last night. Woke up sad that it was yesterday and it’s over. It (so knowingly) passed the time. I really enjoyed the production, particularly the physicality of it – the gestures, the slapstick. When they said ‘calm yourself’, they would […]
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Collected Stories – Richard Yates

, Jan 18, 2010

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Vintage 9780099518549 (Aus, US) When a man is fired from his job in the story ‘A Glutton for Punishment’, he realises he has enjoyed the failures in his life. The character in this – like many of the other characters in Richard Yates’ Collected Stories – runs over a conversation in his head, with his […]
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Response to A.S. Patric’s ‘Questionnaire’

, Dec 17, 2009

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I was thinking about A.S. Patric’s recent post on the Overland blog all of yesterday afternoon. I thought I’d have a go at responding to his piece, just off-the-cuff. Note: the words in bold are Alec’s. Are we more disconnected? I know how late my crush goes to bed. Are we more superficial? Skin is a surface. Does […]

Adventures of the badge with the face of Albert Camus #1

, Sep 29, 2009

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Shop assistant: Who’s that? Me: Albert Camus. SA: Who? Me: He’s a philosopher. SA: What? Me: A philosopher. *shop assistant stares blankly* Me: He’s a writer. SA: Oh. Does he write poetry? Me: No. SA: What does he write? Me: Philosophy, fiction. *very long pause* SA: Ha,ha, I’m such an airhead!
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Sexy romance + serious issues: Toni Jordan on Addition

, May 20, 2009

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Addition (Text, Aus/Polebridge, US) is a sexy, smart, funny and totally refreshing read. It’s the story of numerical-obsessive Grace, and her unique navigation of life. When Grace meets Seamus, her lifestyle comes into question – the counting, the obsession with dead mathematician Nicola Tesla, the careful structures of her daily life. Can she fall messily […]