Friday, 24 March 2017

Friday Funnies: I am not Buying Any More Books ...


Gulp. I am so guilty of this.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Review: My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella's latest novel offers a fun--and frivolous--take on the difficulties that many women in their early twenties face when trying to start out in the corporate world. Katie Brenner feels a bit insecure about the way her life has worked out. Sure, she's living in London and has a job at a prestigious marketing firm, but the commute to work is hell every day and she makes very little money for the hard work that she puts in. Worse still, her boss, Demeter, is a total nightmare. Demeter is cool, selfish and rarely recognises anyone else's efforts. Katie is eventually sacked (through no fault of her own,) and finds herself returning to her family home in the UK, where her father and stepmother have turned the old family farm into a successful camping business. And when Demeter arrives at the farm as a guest and does not even recognise her former employee, Katie seizes the opportunity to get revenge. But not everything is as it seems ...

This one was a fun read, though it did not stack up to the high standard set by some of Kinsella's previous works (The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic, Finding Audrey.) The romance with Alex felt a little tacked on in a number of ways. The best part of the novel in my opinion was the authors portrayal of Demeter--slowly, we readers get to learn that yes she is someone with a heart, and a lot of depth, someone who makes mistakes and who perhaps does not speak up when she should. And Demeter certainly faces her own challenges in the workplace. Katie's revenge and eventual growth as a character was fun to read.

A fun read for fans of Sophie Kinsella.

PS Big shout out to my friend Kylie for gifting me with a copy of My Not So Perfect Life!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Friday Funnies: Clarabelle Cow Memes


I am sharing this one for to express my complete and udder, sorry, utter amazement that anyone would create a meme that features Clarabelle Cow. As far as Disney characters go, Clarabelle Cow is a fairly minor character. She was created by Walt Disney in 1928 and is friends with Mickey and Minnie, and is the occasional love interest of Horace Horsecollar, and less often the love interest of Goofy, thus proving that interspecies dating is not a big deal in the Disney universe. Clarabelle appeared as a minor character in a number of animated shorts during the 1930s, and these days appears as Goofy's love interest in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse series. Surprisingly, Clarabelle is an extremely popular character in parts of Europe and appears regularly in the Italian Disney comics. 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Review: South of Forgiveness by Thordis Elva and Tom Stranger


When I sat down to watch Q&A one evening recently, I found myself utterly bewildered by the choice of one of the panellists. The thought that immediately ran through my mind was, she's written a book about, WHAT? This was followed by other thoughts such as: Is this woman anywhere near as empowered as she thinks? What man put her up to this? Is this a sick joke? Is it even for real? After all, there is something that is immediately confronting about the idea of a survivor of sexual violence collaborating on a book about forgiveness with the perpetrator of that very crime.

I turned my thoughts off and listened Thordis Elva told her story--I believe that all stories of sexual violence should be listened to without judgement. Two days later, I was in the audience when Thordis and Tom spoke about their book at Adelaide Writers' Week. There was still much that I wanted to understand, so I did what I felt was the most honest thing that I could do--I walked to the bookshop tent, and I purchased a copy of South of Forgiveness. 


South of Forgiveness, I discovered, was not a misery memoir, a real life crime novel or an instruction manuel for survivors and/or perpetrators of sexual violence. It was the story of two human beings whose lives were changed by a cruel and violent act and who, some years later, reconcile with themselves and each other about what happened that night, and who should have the burden of responsibility. It opens a discourse on sexual violence and responsibility, as does the TED talk that the authors did in November 2016. 

That a perpetrator of sexual violence has the right to speak about his actions is something that, personally, I found quite troubling. In one sense, I understood the logic of speaking out--its a dramatic demonstration that seemingly ordinary people are capable of committing disgusting acts and that, perhaps, if we have those conversations it might pave a way forward to helping others make different choices. Tom's name appears in much smaller lettering on the front, and the FAQ page of the South of Forgiveness website notes that his share of the profits will go to a Women's shelter in Reykjavic.

This book was confronting for me to read, and I was left with a number of questions, most of which are not appropriate to share in this post. 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Literary Quotes



"I see that a man cannot give himself up to drinking without being miserable one-half his days and mad the other."

Friday, 10 March 2017

Friday Funnies


Here's to that one friend ...

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Phrases: Sold Down the River


Sold Down the River: 
To be Cheated or Betrayed


Sold down the River is a phrase that means to be cheated, and/or betrayed. Many people know and use the phrase on a regular basis, however lesser known is the sad history behind the phrase. It originated in the United States during the days of the slave trade. To be sold down the river meant that a slave was sold from one of the northern slave states to a cotton plantation anywhere along the Mississippi River, where conditions were particularly brutal. Being sold down the river was akin to a death sentence.