I went for my usual walk this morning - I normally start with 8 kilometres each day - with the intention of taking some more photos to show Springwood on our website. Instead I got into a long phone conversation. Both Toriaz and I have encountered delays in reading our books over the weekend and we talked about what we were reading, among other things. Meanwhile, WaywardWoman is planning to start another book soon.
Jasper Fforde's new novel, Early Riser has just been released and I bought my copy today. I've promised myself that I would buy fewer books for a while, now, but having read all Fforde's other books, this one was a must. And as a bonus, the book comes with its own canvas bag. We're a bit behind banning plastic disposable supermarket bags here in Australia - its only happened here in New South Wales in the last month as a voluntary gesture by the supermarkets - so canvas bags have now become a thing. I took my new bag to shop for dinner this evening. This is as exciting as my life gets!
We travelled to Glen Davis this weekend to look at the ruins of the shale oil refinery works from early last century. Not much to do with reading, I know, but while we were there we managed to take a few shots for the slide show that appears at the bottom of our main page. The slideshow is intended to highlight a few spots for our non-Australian readers, always with the theme of reading tied in.
With all the political turmoil in America right now some people outside Australia may not realise we have had our fair share in the last ten years. Today our Prime Minister, Malcom Turnbull, was removed in a party room vote. An earlier Labor Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, was ousted by Julia Gillard in 2010, only for him to oust her in 2013. Labor lost the 2013 election and our Liberal party came to power promising a more stable government. That lasted until 2015 when Malcom Turnbull overthrew Tony Abbott as Prime Minister. Abbott has plotted against him ever since and has led a conservative faction of the party against him this week with a challenge by Peter Dutton, who represented the conservatives. However, he was defeated in the party vote by Turnbull’s loyal Treasurer, Scott Morrison, who will be sworn in as our thirtieth Prime Minister tonight.
Peter Kelly’s book, Triumph and Demise, tells a detailed analytical story of the turmoil of the Rudd and Gillard years for the Labor party. I read it with fascination a number of years before we started this website. I would recommend this book as one of the best on the subject to anyone interested in our politics. Hopefully, there will be an equally good account of Abbott and Turnbull’s Prime Ministerships in time. In the meantime, what we lack in Australia is the wealth of fiction based on our political clashes to match the fiction inspired by Donald Trump’s presidency. Some of those books, like Howard Jacobson’s Pussy and Stanley Johnson’s Kompromat, are reviewed on this site.
I found a cheap copy of Michael Ondaatje's Warlight in a department store this morning. I had planned to wait until the winner of the Man Booker Prize was announced this year and buy that book only, since I have such an enormous backlog of books I want to read.
But the human spirit is never so weak as when confronted by cheap books. Besides, Ondaatje must be a favourite to win the prize again this year, so maybe my purchase was prescient. Who knows when I will get to it! I've started reading the Man Bookers in order, but given that this one is new, I may make an exception and read it some time later this year.