Friday, 14 December 2018

Friday Funnies

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

When American Rachel Chu is invited to go to Singapore with her boyfriend for a wedding, the last thing she expects to discover is that Nicholas is not just wealthy, but crazy rich. In fact, he is from one of the wealthiest families in Asia. Nor does she expect the surprising antics of the idle rich, or the extreme backstabbing that she is subject to. What follows is a crazy, Austen-like comedy set in the world of Singapore's richest families.

This was an entertaining and humourous read that never takes itself or its characters too seriously. Nick and Rachel are a hardworking professional couple. Rachel is completely out of her depth amongst the world of the idle rich--people who think of nothing of flying to Australia in a private jet so that they may enjoy a perfect flat white, or spending millions on a lavish wedding. Very few characters are portrayed as having a strong moral compass and those who do tend to suffer. Still it was kind of amusing to see actress Kitty Pong get brought down a peg or two in spectacular style. It's difficult to talk at length about this one, as much of the enjoyment came from not know what was going to happen next, or who was going to get up to what.

Highly recommended.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Friday, 7 December 2018

Friday Funnies: Coffee

It may be summer in Australia, but that isn't stopping me from posting this.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Review: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

This is a book with a huge legacy. Written by one of the finest authors of gothic horror of her generation, adapted for the big screen twice and now a hugely successful Netflix series, endorsed by Stephen King, and reprinted as a Penguin Modern Classic, there are very few people who would not have heard of The Haunting of Hill House. 

And it is not difficult to see why.

At a mere 246 pages this is a quietly intriguing tale of a group who are invited to stay for the summer at Hill House by Dr Montague, a man with a keen interest in paranormal activity and its (possible) effect on the human mind. Joining him are Luke, the caddish nephew of the owner of Hill House, Theodora, an artist who likes to live life to the fullest and Eleanor a painfully shy and oppressed woman who has spent most of her adult life caring for her sick mother. Over the course of the next week, the guests begin to experience strange happenings at the house, all of which implicate Eleanor in some way. Is the strangely designed Hill House truly haunted (as the locals and the formidable housekeeper seems to think,) or is Eleanor an attention seeker with a telekinetic ability?

While it would be easy to dismiss this one as just another ghost story, its genius lies in the writing. Jackson carefully offers the reader the evidence and then allows them to make up their own mind--and all whilst making Eleanor the lead character. 

Brilliantly done, this one is sure to appeal to fans of gothic horror from across the globe. 

Highly recommended.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Review: Boys Will Be Boys by Clementine Ford

Toxic masculinity is hurting men. How do we raise boys to be respectful to women and treat them like equals when they have a distorted view of masculinity constantly thrown at them?

That's the problem that feminist and writer Clementine Ford addresses in her latest work, Boys Will Be Boys in her trademark style. Now the mother of a young son, Ford is using this novel to break down the stereotypes that men and boys have to behave in a certain way, and how that behaviour can be just as harmful to themselves as it is to others.

This was an unflinching look at the toxic culture that tells men and boys that they must behave a certain way in order to fit in and be considered a man. I read this one in the course of about a day and a half and found myself nodding with agreement at various places. Ford's real talent, however, is taking feminist theory and contemporary issues and presenting them in a way that is engaging and accessible to readers from all walks of life, a rare thing.