Appeasing Hitler: Chamberlain, Churchill and The Road to War by Tim Bouverie Bodley Head, 2019, ISBN 978 1 847 92440 7, 497pp Above: Chamberlain (left) and Hitler leave the Bad Godesberg meeting, 23 September 1938 (source: Wikipedia). This last week has seen the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 1944. D-Day marked the beginning of the end of the war and although Stalin had been pushing for an invasion of mainland Europe in 1943, there was no way that the Allie
It seems ages since I wrote about The Egging Of Scott Morrison. Time goes slower when you’re bored, they say, and the election campaign hasn’t really got any more interesting than that in the days since the egging.
We had a rather lacklustre debate between Morrison and Shorten last Wednesday. Both leaders were clearly buggered and Morrison the more so because he is carrying the can for the Coalition as a whole. That would be hard enough if the Coalition had any policy other
Scott Morrison has been egged. At least so read the headline in the Guardian just now (1300, 7 May 2019). Now, an hour later, the headline says that Bill Shorten has condemned the egging of Scott Morrison.
He is right to condemn it. Throwing anything at anyone, whether or not in an election campaign, betrays signs of weakness in any case the thrower may have been attempting to make. On the other hand, I learn that the egg that was thrown did not break. Quelle surprise!
“Old people arrive early,” I am fond of saying to my wife as she persists in the view that it takes at least 20 minutes longer to get anywhere than Google Maps says. As I approach my eighth decade on this planet, I am determined that I should not be taken to be an old person and therefore do my best to arrive to things on time. I was challenged, therefore, when my illustrious editor cautioned me to arrive at the Meet the Candidates Forum at 1830 for a 1900 start. “What am I g
I was up this morning with the sun and was soon pounding the pavements of Tuross for a gentle 12.5km trot. There are several benefits to running apart from those relating to health. The runner’s high is not to be missed and, for the time one is running, the events of the rest of the world are as far away as you want. Which means a long way away … I returned to find that the silliness continues. Or at least the silliness is threatening to continue.
Two great events of signif
I was pleased and proud on New Year’s Day this year to become a grandfather for the first time. I reckon that Rosie will live into the twenty second century. I wonder what kind of world we will leave her.
For my wife and I, at least, this was why we turned up to support Moruya’s school students on their protest against the woeful inaction by successive Governments, of both the major parties, to do the right thing on the climate.
The fact is that the climate is changing, y
Milkman Anna Burns, Faber & Faber, 2018, ISBN 978-0-571-33874-0, 348pp I have not read either of Anna Burns’ previous two novels. This one, Milkman, however, won the Man Booker Prize just recently and that, at £50,000 is a serious matter. As Burns herself says “It’s nice to feel I’m solvent.” She wrote this book in circumstances that sound eerily similar to J K Rowling when she wrote the Harry Potter novels. Struggling, no money, all that stuff. It might sound romantic, you k
The Labyrinth of the Spirits Carlos Ruiz Zafón, 2016 (English translation 2017), The Text Publishing Company,
ISBN 9-781925-603927, 805pp “And what do I do with this, aside from using it to practice (sic) shooting poodles? Make sure nobody practises on you.” In 800 pages this quote contains the only fault that I can find with this book. In Australian (and British) English the verb is “to practise”.
It is the Americans who use “practice” for both noun and verb. Let us suppos
The Lost Man Jane Harper, McMillan, 2018, ISBN 978-1-74354-910-0, 362pp Jane Harper’s reputation is growing with each novel she publishes.
If you have read The Dry and Force of Nature, you will know that this repetitional growth is deserved. She tells a mean tale and tells it in a way that is engaging and thrilling.
I bought this latest novel, The Lost Man, immediately on entering Janice’s emporium and it lived up to expectations. If you have read the previous novels then
Any Ordinary Day Leigh Sales, Hamish Hamilton, 2018, ISBN 978-0-14-378996-3, 264pp The author of this book is indeed the Leigh Sales who is the anchor of ABC’s 730 program. On that program she is a measured, thoughtful and objective presenter. There is much more, however, behind the ABC’s required façade. She does a podcast called Chats 10 Looks 3 with Annabelle Crabbe. I generally get this title the wrong way around and refer to it as Looks 10 Chats 3 which may mean that I s
Here are the Fibonacci links in the pdfs pages above:: 1 The fascinating article by Helen G. Grundman and Pamela E. Harris called Sequences of Consecutive Happy Numbers in Negative Bases can be found at fq.math.ca/56-3.html ... at least the synopsis can 2 Information about the breeding habits of rabbits at livestocklibrary.com.au/bitstream/handle/1234/5410/ab01012.pdf?sequence=1 3 Estimates of rabbit population at thoughtco.com/feral-rabbits-in-australia-1434350 #Tre
Theory of Bastards Audrey Schulman, Europa, 2018, ISBN 978-1-60945-437-1, 413pp Audrey Schulman is a Canadian-American writer with four previous novels to her name. Hers was not a name that I knew and, indeed, she is unusual enough not to have an entry in Wikipedia though I imagine that is by design rather than due to a lack of, or desire for a lack of, notoriety because she has a website.
I bought the book simply because I liked the title. The word “theory” suggested some
Paris Echo Sebastian Faulks, Penguin, 2018, ISBN 978-1-78-633022, 298pp I could push the boat out and claim that Sebastian Faulks is the greatest living English author. I could, but I won’t. But he is certainly up there among the best.
Anyone who has read Birdsong (1993) cannot have but been completely stunned, and even changed by it. On Green Dolphin Street (2001) contains some of the most beautiful prose by a modern author. His writing is not restricted to novels: The Fat
Lauren Jackson, women and sport - an interview with Lauren Jackson
I have just read Lauren Jackson’s recently published memoir Lauren Jackson: A life in basketball and beyond and you can find a review of the book below. But I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak to Lauren about some of the topics that she talks about in the book. I started by asking her why she wrote it. She thought that it was important to share her story particularly because she wanted to im
Melmoth Sarah Perry, Profile Books Ltd, 2018, ISBN 9-781-788-16066-7, 288pp It was because I had reviewed Sarah Perry’s last book The Essex Serpent (The Essex Serpent - a review) that Julie in Moruya Books pressed upon me Perry’s latest offering, Melmoth.
“It’s even more Gothic than her last one,” she said as I took the book from her.
My recollection of The Essex Serpent was more Victorian steampunk than Gothic though there was a touch of the gothic about it. In the end I
Fear: Trump in the White House Bob Woodward, Simon & Schuster, 2018, ISBN978-1-4711-8129-0, 420pp As soon as I saw that Woodward was about to publish a book about the Trump presidency I knew that I would be among its first readers. I was in Sydney a day after its publication and I was braying at the door of the Potts Point Bookshop in Macleay Street immediately after breakfast. Within moments I was back at my son’s apartment and had read several chapters. I suppose that this
Follow the leader: Democracy and the rise of the strongman Laura Tingle, Quarterly Essay, No 71, 2018 Laura Tingle is becoming increasingly familiar to us as she appears, it seems nightly, as ABC 730’s chief political correspondent. This is the third essay that she has written for Quarterly Essay. The first was Great Expectations (which I did not read) and the second was Political Amnesia (which I did read).
This third essay is interesting because it is timely. It comes aga
Exactly: How Precision Engineers Changed the World Simon Winchester, William Collins, 2018, ISBN 978-0-00-824177-3 The Order of Time Carlo Rovelli, Penguin, 2018, ISBN978-0-241-29252-5, 213pp The late, great and much-lamented Tom Petty sang “you're flirting with time baby, flirting with time, but maybe time baby, is catching up with you” (on 2006’s magnificent Highway Companion). Tom Petty was right; time is indeed catching up with us. But Carolo Rovelli’s wonderful little tr
The Butcher’s Daughter
Duckworth Overlook, 2018,
ISBN 978-0-7156-5291-6, 327pp The events of the reign of Henry VIII still fascinate us today. He was a larger than life figure both in stature and in terms of his influence on British history and, by extension, our own. Perhaps his greatest contribution was that he sired Elizabeth I whose reign marked the change from medievalism to something that more approached the modern age.
At the very least we ca
Nearly 300 keen and eager people turned up at Riverside Park this morning for this year’s Moruya Surf Club Town to Surf Fun Run. I am not a journalistic sleuth, so I know little about this event and its origins. But I did discover that the event apparently started in the 1970s, I imagine when running (or jogging as people are wont to call it) first became fashionable.
The Visit Wollongong website told me that the run “was a regular event on the calendar in the 1970s and 80s
I had committed to our Editor, who is away in some other place, that I would attend this morning’s Council meeting. I was ready for it to be another two hours of my life that I would not get back but in the event, it was a meeting as full of thrills and spills as any Council meeting could be.
As with the last Council meeting there were high points and low points and the low points were particularly low. I arrived to find people pouring into the Council chamber. Most were th
Akshay Venkatesh: Australian wins Fields Medal I am delighted to see that an Australian, Akshay Venkatesh, is one of the four winners of this year’s Fields Medal. It is hard to underestimate the significance of this award to an Australian and the way in which one hopes it will reflect on Australian mathematics. The Fields Medal is the Nobel Prize of mathematics. I do not know why a discipline as fundamental to the good of humanity as mathematics does not have a Nobel Prize.
Scrublands Chris Hammer, Allen & Unwin, 2018, ISBN 978-1-76063-298-4, 486pp Now, here’s a book that, if you enjoy a good thriller, you will want to read. I am usually sceptical and reserved in my use of the phrase “page turner” but this book is indeed a page turner. Its page turning quotient is up there with the best.
Chris Hammer was a journalist for thirty years and has clearly homed his writing skills over that period. He was a foreign correspondent for SBS TV's current
I had looked at the agenda for today’s (July 31st 2018) meeting of the Eurobodalla Council and had thought that it would be only marginally interesting. Nonetheless, I had committed to my illustrious editor that I would attend although that commitment was based on his offer to stand me coffee afterwards.
Sitting through the two hours or so of the meeting was perhaps the highest price I have paid for a cup of coffee. This is not to say that the meeting was not without its hi