Do we live in a Brave New World?

It is nearly 100 years since Aldous Huxley envisaged a dystopian world of promiscuity, consumerism and genetic engineering. How much like today is the world he built? Fun fact: Huxley was into psychedelic drugs and Hindu philosophy. Less fun fact: Huxley died on the same day as CS Lewis, the same day John F Kennedy … Continue reading Do we live in a Brave New World?

The Cave of Nick: Grief, Optimism and Creativity

My entry to Nick Cave's music was the Murder Ballads album, specifically the duet with Kylie Minogue, Where the Wild Roses Grow. By its very name, it is clearly an album chocker block with narrative songs. I love a song with a narrative. My first loves were songs like Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the … Continue reading The Cave of Nick: Grief, Optimism and Creativity

Rewriting history: The Commandant

The victors write history. This is why the day we 'celebrate' Australia is the anniversary of the day Captian Philip of the First Fleet planted the British flag at Sydney Cove. The day is also Invasion Day. As a white person of German (and other) heritage, I have to acknowledge my family's role in taking … Continue reading Rewriting history: The Commandant

Once There Were Wolves: The Human Predator

I was hopeful, Charlotte McConaghy's Once There Were Wolves starts with a quote from Angela Carter on wolves. It was not immediately downhill from there but there was a turning point that destroyed the book for me. I literally shouted at a character. At the author. I said no, don't. Please no! I have to … Continue reading Once There Were Wolves: The Human Predator

Flyaway and heart-shaped lemon cake

The Pocket Bookclub is not a fan of 'fantasy' but I keep trying. My favourite Jonathon Strange and Mr Norell fell flat but I had some success with books that err closer to magical realism. The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht was warmly embraced. Flyaway by Kathleen Jennings was a risky choice. Would I like … Continue reading Flyaway and heart-shaped lemon cake

The decade we read a book about Tomorrow When the War Began

Do you remember the books you read to your children? The Cat in the Hat, Slinky Malinki rapscallion cat, and Timid Tim and the Cuggy Theif were part of our end-of-the-day ritual. As a parent, I did not expect the shared reading experiences would continue into adolescence and adulthood. This is why I read the … Continue reading The decade we read a book about Tomorrow When the War Began

The Silence of Water

The Pocket Book club kicked off 2023 with The Silence of Water by Sharron Booth. We like to theme our food with a book's contents but there is not much food in this book. Lots of alcohol. Not much food. The best we could do was marmalade sandwiches (minus the beach sand). The Silence of … Continue reading The Silence of Water

Rebecca: Misrepresented Romance

During last month's obsession with Bluebeard, I discovered Bronte's Jane Eyre and du Maurier's Rebecca are considered 'romanticised' Bluebeard tales. I love Bluebeard (particularly Anglea Carter's retelling, the Bloody Chamber) because it calls out violence (both within and external to us) as a warning to check behind locked doors and develop our intuitive insight. I … Continue reading Rebecca: Misrepresented Romance