Bloody Fairy Tales: Bluebeard

When I mention fairy tales, most people’s eyes glaze over, and I imagine they are thinking ‘Disney Princess’ and Happily Ever After.  Perhaps if people knew Bluebeard they would not jump to the fairy tale = Disney conclusion. Disney will never be able to Disneyfy Bluebeard. The most well-known version was written by Charles Perrault … Continue reading Bloody Fairy Tales: Bluebeard

This book could break you

Adjectives that come to mind when I think of Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart: devastating, heartbreaking, ruthless, brutal, distressing. And yet, in the last sentence of the book, I glimpsed hope. The last sentence made me cry, the only time I shed tears despite all the shocking events of the previous 430 pages. All those … Continue reading This book could break you

Nature Girl meets Courtroom Drama

"Where the Crawdads Sing" is a North Carolina way of saying "Beyond the Blackstump" which would probably also be a good name for a book if it is not already taken. Everything you need to know about the main character in "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens is contained within her deer analogy. “Kya … Continue reading Nature Girl meets Courtroom Drama

Fiction & non-fiction in harmony

When Pocket book-club read The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman I knew how it would end and I knew which book I had to re-read next. A few years ago I read Zealot: The Life an Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan. Aslan describes himself as having come from a family of lukewarm Muslims … Continue reading Fiction & non-fiction in harmony

Where’s the Rakija?

The Pocket Bookclub set a dangerous precedent when we emulated Eleanor Oliphant's favourite dinner of vodka and pizza. It seemed that on every other page the characters in Téa Obreht's The Tiger's Wife are drinking Rakija or Rakia. This is essentially fruit brandy from the Balkans which you cannot buy (easily) in Australia. We know … Continue reading Where’s the Rakija?

The Power of Stories

Humans tell stories. We are all natural storytellers even if we never write a book or call ourselves writers or directors. We even see patterns and create stories even when none exists. Watch this film. https://youtu.be/VTNmLt7QX8E Do you see a story? This film was used in the 1944 experiment of "Apparent Behavior" by Fritz Heider … Continue reading The Power of Stories