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Locust Girl by Merlinda Bobis wins Christina Stead prize for fiction

23 Jan

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/the-locust-girl-by-merlinda-bobis-wins-christina-stead-prize-for-fiction-20160516-gowcra.html

Susan Wyndham

” . . . .

Philippines-born Bobis, who lives in Canberra, came to Australia as a student 25 years ago, taught creative writing at Wollongong University for 20 years, and is the author of novels, stories, poetry and radio dramas in English, Filipino and her native language, Bikol.

Locust Girl grew out of her concern for the people and nature in both her countries, which has led her to work with the International Water Project, leading a community in the Philippines to tell stories about the dying river that supplies their water.

“We think there is a border between us and the non-human world,” she says. “We think of water only as a resource, but we’re looking at how to teach people to care for water, and how to help students reimagine water.”

Thinking about climate change, poverty, terrorism, globalisation, she says, “I wondered how I could write about all this and make a big issue come alive in a small story, so that even a child could understand.”

. . . . .

The State Library of New South Wales is a large reference and research library open to the public. It is the oldest library in Australia, being the first library established in New South Wales.

Following is a write-up by the State Library about the Christina Stead Prize:

http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/about-library-awards-nsw-premiers-literary-awards/christina-stead-prize-fiction

 

LIANE MORIARTY

10 Jan

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/nicole-kidman-wins-golden-globe-for-role-in-big-little-lies

http://lianemoriarty.com.au/Book/big-little-lies-us/

I love to read books by Australian Author Liane Moriarty.

“Liane Moriarty is the author of seven international best-selling novels, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and the number one bestsellers, The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies and Truly Madly Guilty”

http://lianemoriarty.com.au/about-liane/

 

 

Birthday Celebrations two Weeks before Christmas 2017

11 Dec

On Saturday, the 9th, it was Caroline’s, our youngest daughter’s, birthday. She and her partner gave us a special treat when they came to visit. They presented very fresh Steak Tartar. Everybody liked this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steak_tartare

For Sunday, Peter had baked a hazelnut cake. It had been our daughter Monika’s birthday a few days earlier. So she and some of her family came to see us on Sunday afternoon for coffee and cake.

Two of our great-grandsons, Lucas and Alexander, were among the guests. The boys are three and five now. It was a pleasure to have them around, and I think they liked to spend a few hours at our place. Even though they had not been to visit for a while they could still remember a lot of things, for instance boxes with games and some children’s books. I think their favourite book right now is PUMUCKL, who is a ‘naughty’ goblin (kobold). They went through every page of the book to see where  PUMUCKL was and what he was up to.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumuckl

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobold

They also went with their Dad and later with their Mum into our backyard, where they looked at a lot of the plants and also did some running around from one end to the other. I had great fun watching them! I showed them some ripe black berries which they were allowed to pick.There were many, many green tomatoes in all different sizes. One very nice firm tomato had already turned a lovely red and could be harvested.

In two weeks on Sunday the whole extended family is going to come to our place for some Christmas Eve celebrations. We are all looking forward to this.

“Don’t Worry, Life Is Easy” by Agnès Martin-Lugand. Also my Opinion on Gay Marriages

18 Nov

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/dont-worry-life-is-easy/id1159625953?mt=11

 

“Description

Now in Paperback: The much-anticipated, bestselling sequel to the international phenomenon Happy People Read and Drink Coffee.

Diane needs to start over again. After returning from Ireland and turning the page on her stormy relationship with Edward, the brooding Irish photographer, she is determined to rebuild her life in Paris with help from her best friend Félix. She focuses solely on getting her literary café back on track-until she meets Olivier.

He is kind and thoughtful, and she may have a future with him…until she stumbles across her former love at a photography exhibit. What is Edward doing in Paris? Why didn’t he reach out? Faced with a hail of questions, her old flame remains cold and unresponsive. Apparently, he, too, has moved on.

In order to put the past behind her, Diane must go back over her tracks. Ireland saved her before. Can she get answers there and find peace again?”

 

I got the above book from the local library and enjoyed reading it very much. When I can find  “Happy People Read and Drink Coffee” I am going to read this too. However I find it is all right too to just read   “Don’t Worry, Life Is Easy”  without having read “Happy People Read and Drink Coffee” .

Above I copied the

iTunes Preview of  “Don’t Worry, Life Is Easy” 

Several people are mentioned: Diane,  Félix , Oliver and Edward. It says:

“In order to put the past behind her, Diane must go back over her tracks. Ireland saved her before. Can she get answers there and find peace again?”

So Diane does go back over her tracks, namely to Mulranny where she spent quite a bit of time not so long ago and did get to know and love quite a few people who helped her in a personal crisis after having lost her husband and young daughter in a car accident.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulranny

Diane loves Félix like a brother and treats him very respectfully as her partner in that business she owns, namely her literary café.  Félix is gay and a very good friend to Diane. He loves her and always looks out for her. With the postal survey about same sex marriage, that we just had in Australia, the issue of ssm is a lot on peoples’ mind these days. In this fictional story that I have just read, this guy  Félix is a very happy and friendly Parisian bloke who loves to go out a lot and meet his friends. Towards the end of the book the issue comes up that someone would like to have Félix  as a permanent partner because he loves him. It is left open whether they really get together. But if it should happen that they want to stay together, why should they not be allowed to marry? What harm would a marriage like that do to anyone?

Heterosexual couples usually get very excited about marrying, even if they have already lived together for some time. Once a marriage proposal has been accepted, there is joyful excitement all the way which usually extends to friends and family as well. Why should not gay people have the option to go for marriage? I do not know the statistics about the duration of such marriages, however I am inclined to believe gay or lesbian marriages probably last at least for as long as heterosexual marriages, on average that is.

Going back to the above book, I would like to copy here a few sentences from page 15 of the book. Here is what Diane says about the bookstore:

“I had wanted the bookstore to become a warm, welcoming place, open to everyone, somewhere that all types of literature would find a home.  . . .  “

Gunter Gebauer: Warum wir Fußball lieben

24 Aug

https://www.bookdepository.com/author/Gunter-Gebauer

Gunter Gebauer was today a guest in the DW (Deutsche Welle). I found out from the above link, that he is a prolific author of philosophical books. He wrote also philosophical books about football:

Books by Australian Author Liane Moriarty

18 Jun

I just copied a review of a book by Liane Moriarty and published it here:

https://auntyuta.com/2017/06/18/what-alice-forgot-by-liane-moriarty/

In the review it was said that the novel “What Alice Forgot” is going to be made into a movie to be released in 2017. I have already read this novel and I do hope that I soon may be able to see this movie, when it comes out this year.

Apparently there are also some other books by Liane Moriarty that might be made into movies:

https://www.popsugar.com.au/celebrity/What-Other-Liane-Moriarty-Books-Being-Made-Movies-43410408#photo-43410406

So far the only other book by Liane Moriarty that I’ve read is:

Truly Madly Guilty

The following is taken from a review about Truly Madly Guilty:

“IF ONLY THEY’D SAID NO…

Clementine is haunted by regret. It was just a barbeque. They didn’t even know their hosts that well, they were friends of friends. They could so easily have said no.

But she and her husband Sam said yes, and now they can never change what they did and didn’t do that Sunday afternoon.

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One playful dog. It’s an ordinary weekend in the suburbs. What could possibly go wrong?

Marriage, sex, parenthood and friendship: Liane Moriarty takes these elements of our lives and shows us how guilt can expose the fault lines in any relationship, and it is not until we appreciate the fragility of life that we can truly value what we have.”

You find the review here:

https://www.qbd.com.au/truly-madly-guilty/liane-moriarty/9781925481396/

In both books by Liane Moriarty that I have read so far, Liane depicts people that live in contemporary Sydney. What she writes about the characters’ Australian lifestyle seems very true to me. It makes me think about the way we live and what our priorities are. I am quite a bit older now than most of Liane’s characters. And I am a migrant to Australia who settled here nearly sixty years ago. As migrants my family had overall somewhat different lifestyle experiences from Liane’s characters on the North shore of Sydney. Still, a lot of the problems she describes in her books, problems that families may come up with, seem to be universal. I think the author herself is a young married woman with two young children. She would know first hand how demanding but also joyful marriage and the raising of young children usually is.  Often in a young marriage there is a lack of time to do the things together that bind together. And all too often the stresses of modern life may lead to divorce and great upheaval for the children.

 

 

Books I read in June 2017

4 Jun

Fletcher, John, 1934- Dust of the land

March, Mia The Meryl Streep movie club

Coelho, Paulo Adultery

The library sent me an email to remind me that I have to return the above three books by Thursday, the 8th of June 2017.

They say:

” Please return them, by the due date, or renew at: . . . . ”

And there is the URL of the Wollongong Library as well as their phone number. That means it is possible to renew by email or phone.  I can renew the books if I have not finished reading them by next Thursday.

It is a reminder only as follows:

“04 Jun 2017

Dear borrower,
Reminder Only:Your items are due soon”

 

The reminder was sent off 4 days early, which is quite helpful in case I want to renew.

To me these emails are a good record to see what sort of books I have been borrowing. All the above books happen to be large print books. I find large print is so much easier for me to read. When I read something on the computer,  I usually enlarge the print. To read small print, tends to tire my eyes.

The novel “Dust of the Land” by John Fletcher I did borrow for a second time, since I  very much liked reading it when I borrowed it the first time. I was happy to read it once more! It is an epic novel set in Australia. I am always on the lookout for good Australian novels.

I find Paulo Coelho is a very good author. I like his style of writing very much. The main character in the novel “Adultery” is a married woman,  who is going through a major depression. This is psychologically very interesting and written in a very sensitive way.

Mia March’es novel shows me something about contemporary life in America. For instance how a certain family deals with a tragic car accident,  cancer treatment, single motherhood and adultery. It is all there. And some interesting discussions about Meryl Streep movies!

 

And of course I recently read “The Dry” by Jane Harper as mentioned in this post:

https://auntyuta.com/2017/05/30/utas-may-2017-diary-2/