Thomas Keneally on why he is such a delight

Thomas Keneally claims not the mantle of ‘delight’ yet his words proclaim him (in my mind) to be so:) He seems to carry a certain zest, as if he has looked into the abyss – and chuckled at the vibrant foolishness within. He writes stirringly of the darkness in humanity – but also the light that counters that darkness. Of you have never read any of his books, do so – the ubiquitous Schindler’s List is acclaimed for more than the movie interpretation. The words matter. He does not create a saint out of an all too flawed man, rather he recognizes the dual capacities within us all, that we must choose from when life places us in sudden history made current.


Thomas Keneally: this much I know | Life and style | The Observer.

As Clive James faces death, I face losing one of the most formative heroes of my life

Clive James is dying. my heart is full of sorrow.

this man is such a formative influence on me. his books (i adore his poetry), his writing, and his broadcasting (my ‘gateway’ to his work) are a huge part of my life. i listen to his reading of his own (audio based) books (again, the poetry rocks), and read his essays, collected criticisms, stories and poems literally weekly. i just got his collected postcards dvd set. magic. I’ve been hunting out of print books second hand on amazon, just obtaining what i think is an under rated mater work – fame in the 20th century. i wish i could find the dvd.

i – WE – owe thanks to a fellow Aussie, a world citizen, and a master of communication in so many forms of media. what he did was bring a different culture to many of us when it was thought culture belonged to other people. he instilled (long with Dorothy  L Sayers) my longing to go to university – and stay there. and here i am, teaching at my beloved Flinders University.

(yes, my sentences aren’t capitalised. i am incredibly lazy on here, as i have to be so careful at work. mea maxima culpa. and this is about Clive, so stop it.)


Clive James wistfully faces death, admitting he may not see Sydney again | Culture | The Guardian.

Goodreads review

I have started using Goodreads. I have acres of books to add, but little time, so slowly slowly:)

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a LifetimeGame Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A lot fof hype surrounds this book, with a soon to be released movie. I think it is far more sympathetic to the Palins than I expected, and harder on the other candidates than reported. In other words, the balance is spot on. It is an incredibly gripping read. I grabbed it to read on my iPad while flying overseas – it was hard to put down when I had to board the plane – so I ws glad it was a long haul flight, I finished, well, devoured it thereafter.

View all my reviews

Enhanced by Zemanta

You wonder whether you have raised a child right…

SOmetimes, if you are lucky, they let you know that you have done at least SOMETHING right. Sent to me by my beloved first born, a young woman i could not be prouder of…and this is just one of uncountable reasons why. That she would send me something like this, to state this, this is something she agrees with fundamentally, that she groks…well, of course i am proud!

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve“.

via DATE A GIRL WHO READS by Rosemarie Urquico  (In… – The Healthy Warrior.

Anne McCaffrey, Gone Between.

Anne McCaffrey.

Image via Wikipedia

Anne McCaffrey was a woman who gave my imagination wings, with the first fantasy I ever read – The White Dragon.
She had no idea what a gift I had been given. So much so, my bio (you know, the ones for social etc websites and networks) includes the phrase ‘the rest is subject to change without notice’, – and that is shamelessly borrowed from her.

Thank you, Anne. I rode Pegasus, and sang amongst the stars, talked to dragons, and stretched out to other minds with my own. Thank you.

Anne McCaffrey wasnt just the inventor of Pern, the world where a whole society is based on dragon-riding. She was also an incredibly influential author who helped transform the way science fiction and fantasy authors wrote about women, and the way all of us thought about bodies and selfhood. She was the first woman to win a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award, as well as a Grand Master of science fiction.

via R.I.P. Anne McCaffrey, Creator of Pern and The Ship Who Sang.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Early present for me…

NeilGaiman the Cat enjoying a  fellow authors work

NeilGaiman the cat enjoying a fellow author's work - Image by LilithSativa via Flickr

Neil Gaiman interviewing Terry Pratchett about his latest Discworld novel – but it isn’t Xmas yet! Hey, i will take the gift of video goodness anyway – yay!

Terry Pratchett on Snuff – Boing Boing.

Enhanced by Zemanta

A 7-year-old girl responds to DC Comics’ sexed-up reboot of Starfire

I’ll tell you what I think. The comic authors may have no real women friends. Or they think their readers don’t. And they have little respect for women – even if they have convinced themselves otherwise. Why? Read the article. I agree with a wise kid:)

Fantasy author Michele Lee has the most eloquent response so far to DC Comics’ “sexed up” version of Starfire, the voluptuous alien member of the Teen Titans. Instead of ranting about the changes herself, Lee asked her seven-year-old daughter what she thought. The results are thought-provoking.

via A 7-year-old girl responds to DC Comics’ sexed-up reboot of Starfire.



V.F. Portrait: Joan Didion

Christopher Hitchens on the amazing books of Joan Didion – one on the death of her husband, and one on the death of their daughter, following sol closely after. Lyrical grief.

Like the experience of warfare, the endurance of grave or terminal illness involves long periods of tedium and anxiety, punctuated by briefer interludes of stark terror and pain. This endurance need not necessarily be one’s own: indeed, the experience of watching over a sibling or mate in extremis can be even more acute. But nothing, according to the experts, compares to the clutching, choking nightmare that engulfs the one who is slowly bereft of a child.

It is horrible to see oneself die without children. Napoléon Bonaparte said that.

What greater grief can there be for mortals than to see their children dead. Euripides said that.

When we talk about mortality we are talking about our children.

I said that.

via V.F. Portrait: Joan Didion | Culture | Vanity Fair.