Sunday, 30 December 2018

Literary Quotes

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Friday, 21 December 2018

Friday Funnies

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Review: The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M Danforth

Cameron Post is a girl who is struggling with a lot. The sudden death of her parents, the departure of her best friend and her sexuality. As she grows and matures, the latter, coupled with a misplaced sense of guilt, complicates her life more and more until her Christian fundamentalist aunt sends her away to God's Promise, a camp that offers gay conversion for teens like Cameron. Now the race is on for Cameron to be true to herself, but she is not exactly sure who that person is ...

Although a little longer than most YA novels, this one was an entertaining and thought provoking read about a young woman who is struggling with her sense of self. The setting--the early 1990s--brings a sense of nostalgia in some ways, while simultaneously reminding us of how far we have come in that time terms of inclusiveness, respect and understanding. One of the most interesting parts of the novel is the way that the author portrays characters like Aunt Ruth and Lydia from the conversion camp. Instead of demonising them, or creating a character akin to Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Danforth portrays them as women who genuinely believe that they are doing the right thing, and who want to help Cameron. Their efforts may be misguided, but they don't know that, and nor do they know any better. 

Overall, this one is fairly lengthy and a little sad in places, but worth it in the end. 


Sunday, 16 December 2018

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.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Sunday, 2 December 2018