Monday, 27 November 2006

Sup bitches??

Bookclubbers be proud, Cath and I exchanged books last week and then went to the library on the same day for some more bookclubbing love. Hope you're proud at our nerdiness. Cate's sister was certainly impressed, as you may imagine :P

Okay people, now that you're feeling proud, get off your buts and post something. NOW!!!
As for me, I would like to contribute the pre-discovered fact that Artemis Fowl is awe-SUM (thanks cath for the lend!) and that anyone who hasn't read Gossip Girl is missing out on the best trash ever invented. And trust me I know trash.


Tuesday, 21 November 2006


I thought I would break the rules and post a beatiful poem that I love and you guys will hate, just to make our discussion slightly more heated. I feel that calling this conglomeration of words 'poetry' may inspire some hatemail (especially from a certain someone whos name begins with 'c'), and to tell you the truth i hope that it does!

Chronic Meanings - Bob Perelman
The phone is for someone. The next second it seemed. But did that really mean. Yet Los Angeles is full.
Naturally enough I turn to. Some things are reversible, some. You don't have that choice. I'm going to Jo's for.
Now I've heard everything, he. One time when I used. The amount of dissatisfaction involved. The weather isn't all it's.
You'd think people would have. Or that they would invent. At least if the emotional. The presence of an illusion.
Symbiosis of home and prison. Then, having become superfluous, time. One has to give to. Taste: the first and last.
I remember the look in. It was the first time. Some gorgeous swelling feeling that. Success which owes its fortune.
Come what may it can't. There are a number of. But there is only one. That's why I want to.

Does it make anyone angry that this is a really famous poem? It makes me smile. :)

Monday, 20 November 2006

The Bright House

Okay lovies. Just before I say anything remember that I no longer have a brain so don't expect my reviews to be anything elsa-like. Whilst I do read a lot in my semi employed state, I tend to read junk, so please forgive me.

Aside from The Blind Assassin, which I'm not even going to try and review because you guys will all say smarter things than me, the most recent book I've read was The Bright House, by Lyn Hughes. (I know. I'd never heard of it either). The book is set in South Africa in the "turbulent 1950s", and is basically the story of the Bierman family. But the Biermans are no 'ordinary' white South African family - Hermie (the dad) is a radical left wing lawyer, Anton (the son) is gay and Jessie herself falls in love with a black man. To quote Els, awkward.

Although this might sound like a checklist of everything you wouldn't want to be in 1950s South Africa and the book obviously does deal with inequality, poverty and injustice, Hughes manages to make the story more about the characters than the place and time they are in. This is NOT an expose on 1950s South Africa (society nerds I know you're disappointed) but rather a story of a girl, her family, and those around them. Somehow, this makes the underlying issues all the more touching. Although The Bright House left me with a profound sense of sadness, it was not in a hallmark "oh the poor deprived people it's just not fair" sense, but rather something deeper and closer to reality. I found the characters to be grippingly real, from headstrong Jessie and fiery, righteous Hermie (to tell the truth he reminds me of sal!), to haunted Lennie and lonely Anton...the list goes on. Hughes has created these characters to tell the story of South Africa in their own lives, as an undertone, an everyday presence of injustice and I commend her for it. It is beautifully, if simply, written, easy to read but still thought provoking. If this book is available anywhere but Lindfield Library (sometimes I think the books there are a completely different species whatsoever) I recommend you get your cotton picking hands on it asap.

Sunday, 19 November 2006

That'll be Nigel with the bree...

hello chums! (who was i discussing my annoying deja vu over this expression with? george perhaps? remembered it's caro from divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood!)
thought it was about time i contributed to this awesome little club we've got going on..elsa you are my hero for setting it up - immaculate work! and your peter carey wikipedia link to this thing is hilarious - let's spread the word/love!
my most recent read has been 'fictions' by jorge luis borges...was part of my 'great books of the twentieth century' uni course - apparently borges is really famous and quite seminal although i'd never heard of him before! he's often called a fore-runner of pomo lit e.g. with his destabilisation of truth, history etc..although you would contest this truth and relativism thing about postmodernism sal? (will have to discuss with you again later!) basically he writes these short stories, many of which begin in a really dry, essayistic style e.g. seeming like a boring book review or something...which then segue into these fantastic (meaning fantasy) totally bizarre stories - which are still written in an objective style as if they are fact not fiction..e.g. a man attempting to dream a son into existence, and then realising he is only someone else's dream (bit like chuang tzu and his butterfly dream!)...most of the stories reflect idealistic philosophy and if anyone is familiar with this i would love to discuss this and its flaws/lack thereof which annoy me no end and have done my head in! anyway they're a good read although quite odd and hard to explain! i have 'fictions' at home if anyone wants to borrow it..some wacky ideas in there but thought-provoking and gets a tick of approval from me overall..
also if you're after a light, yet really well written book definitely go the '44 Scotland Street' series by alexander mccall smith...about these quirky residents of an apartment building in edinburgh..very witty and charming and if you read it let me know so we can obsess about bertie and wanting to live in edinburgh and being an anthropologist like domenica and studyng pirates in equitorial guinea or somewhere! i have so much love for these books!

Thursday, 16 November 2006

The Hours of My Life Peter Carey Stole from Me

Apparently it's a proven fact that women's bodies physically forget the pains of childbirth, or else they'd make damn sure they never got pregnant again. Personally i believe this theory, based on my own ability to forget certain things despite how much i know they pain me. For instance why do insist on wearing socks to bed when my feet are cold when i know i'll wake up and rip them off later? And why do i continue to read books by Peter Carey when i know how annoyed i get by them?

I read The True History of the Kelly Gang and My Life as a Fake a couple of years ago, and after not being too impressed with either of them (i'm being pretty harsh here) i would have needed a good reason to read another. The combined circumstances of finding Oscar and Lucinda in a gutter (also meaning i could carry it around with me without the fear of blemishing it's already tatty cover), having recently heard it mentioned as brilliant, and the picture of the Crystal Palace on the cover, led me to naturally assume it was destiny that i should read it.

And it was good. It took a while to get into, some of the characters were so irritating (i just wanted to shout "tell him before he goes on a massive trip in which he will probably die!") but there were some passages so beautifully written i had almost changed my opinion of Carey. Untill i got to the end. I know not every story has a fairytale ending. But this is just so annoying! Gah! (A bit like the ending of Boytown for anyone as cool as Cath or i whose seen it.) But i'll move on...

So as you would assume, i did not have any great plans to read the rest of his works. And my life would have continued on Carey free except for the single most frequent reason i read a book: A BOY. (Probably not statistically true, but it seems like it.) Just so i don't sound like the crush slut that i am, let me clarify that he read a book i said i liked (i didn't even say "you should read this") so when he recommened i should read Theft i thought i'd return the gesture.

And i must say it's the best book by him i've ever read. Firstly it was funny and i didn't want to scream at all the characters. It's written from the perspective of an artist Butcher Bones, who just got screwed over from his divorce and lost his son and his paintings (Carey’s ex-wife had a whinge that the book was too autobiographical as it was published shortly after their divorce, portraying her as the evil woman and he as the wronged artist) and is forced to live in the country and care for his mentally disabled brother, Hugh. The parts written from the brother’s perspective are the most interesting. Basically it's about art, fraud and love. To use my favourite highschool line: it questions the nature of “what is art?”. But to be fair it does raise some insightful questions into who should own art and who determines it's value. And for us cognoscenti there are some cute art jokes in the way Hugh perceives the art world – such as the “Bower House” – without becoming tacky or condescending. The book is well-written and tackles the use of the various perspectives without being pretentious. Despite the fact Carey continues his obsession with certain themes from his previous novels in Theft (his characters always seem to get themselves dragged into obvious situations where they can’t see what’s going on) and that it received much less literary acclaim (he’s won the Booker Prize twice previously), i found it much more satisfying. Probably its just my lack of taste, but for anyone interested in the art world, i definitely recommend it as a pleasurable and worthwhile read.

As you can probably tell i’m procrastinating, hence the fact this review is so epic! Get back to work elsa!

You're in trouble, girlies

sorry els if i am breaking the new post comments not entries rule, feel free to punish me by rubbing mango all over my sunburnt skin....<3
i just wanted to say
i have just started reading and am in love. are you with me?


Just a few things:

Firstly if anyone has any name suggestions or objections raise them... this current name is possibly a bit year 12 hsc for my liking.

Secondly if you want to invite other people to contribute tell me and i'll invite them (i think only my account can do this). Also you can go back and edit your own posts, and sometimes it's better to make a comment on someone else's post (eg if you read a book they reviewed) rather than start another post. And when i figure it out/ have time i'll change the layout so its original and awesome.

Wednesday, 15 November 2006


I am so excited about this. (Immaculate work Elsa.)

Bear I am very impressed.

arrrrghhh....end of an era!

Well, you did it - all u internet-savvy ppl with too much spare time on your hands managed to coerce me into the world of blog - noooooo i want my life back already! haha dont u love melodrama. i think to be an accepted member of young society i am going to have to sacrifice my bias sooner or later anyway. damn. well, here it is, and so it was, my first blogging experience ever. cherish it. it won't happen often. (p.s. hi everyone)

I have a dick on my face dont I

When I say "crouching towards Bethlehem" I actually mean "slouching towards Bethlehem"

My bad.

Believe me, It is a more memorable book than you may now assume :)

Crouching Towards Bethlehem

So I'm not quite sure how this online bookclub doo is supposed to operate (awesome idea btw), so i shall use me creativity (or perhaps complete lackthereof) and post a review of a book. I assume that is how these things go.

Joan Didion - Crouching Towards Bethlehem. (anthology of short stories).

Read it people. I'll admit it, technically the aforementioned (crouching towards bethlehem) is 'postmodern' which may initially turn off a few people (or all but me, seeing as some people actually have a taste in literature). But i must say, this is one postmodern book that isnt. It actually makes some attempt at a storyline (though, not not much of one, but there are actual characters that have semi-defined personalities, which is very rare in the world of the PM); its language is not just stream of conciousness (beleive it or not, there is actual dialogue, and lots of it); and it is one of the most impacting books I have ever read. The actual genre of the book is officially 'creative non-fiction journalism', which is where the author tells completely true events that she witnessed and does not alter any fact or occurence in any way, but of course can (and does) add hyperbolic authorial opinion through the positioning of facts (rather than through self-conciousness or other devices that people would think of as typically postmodern).

The anthology is about the protagonists trip throughout the USA in the 1970s', as she witnesses the drug and sex revolution that hit most of the first world around this time. Perhaps the most impacting scene is where she writes of a five year old on acid. There is no sensationalism, no overly flowery bullshitting - only the postioning of a culmination of really sad scenarios to make for an overwhelmingly depressing, yet simultaneosuly page-turning book.

As was the common 1970's attitude, just do it: read to your hearts content :)
sup biaches?
can i just say i think elsa is an immaculate, epic, ccCool hero for establishing this. Bringing this nonexistent book club into the twenty first century deserves an award!
Also, I am a semi employed bum now so i tend to read a lot....if everyone could post or comment a couple of their favourite books ever (minus harry potter, lotr and tamora pierce!) it will make my day! looking forward to skidaddling off to the library and letting you know what i think :D
peace out my book loving bruvvers
ps. soph what was that book you told me yesterday that i've forgotten about already?

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

woohoo i started a blog... you may be thinking what a ridiculous time wasting idea (especially if you're bear)... but i believe it can be most triumphant. if you want to join up that's great, the basic idea is that its a book club. no different to the original book club attempted idea except for the actual meeting up... because we can testify to how well that turned out. so if you'd like to contribute you can write articles / comment on other peoples articles / whatever really. since this is a really shitty introduction i'll delete it later, just wanted to get the general idea across and see who wanted to contribute. so join!
jump on the bandwagon and this will be immaculate babes!