April 2020

Blog Archive - May 2020

1 May 2020

International Booker Prize delayed

For some reason I looked up the Booker Prize page this morning and discovered that the link for the International Booker no longer had an announcement date. Curious, I clicked and discovered that the announcement for the International Booker Prize has been postponed to late Summer (Northern Hemisphere – late Winter for us in Australia).

The rationale is that many people haven’t had an opportunity to read the books and it will be difficult for publishers to promote their books on the short list, or even a winner, with the current situation with COVID-19. Their hoping they will be in a better position to promote the prize and make copies of the winner and shortlist available to the public later in the year. Hopefully that strategy works.

For me, I still have plenty of books to complete for our Booker Prize Project. I’m happy to wait.


4 May 2020

Are you David?

I’ve had no internet over the weekend and have been relying on my phone to do the basics. This morning I was able to check the website properly again and found a note from ‘David’, a software engineer from Las Vegas, who is interested in providing notes for a reading project on this site based on Seneca’s moral essays, in the same vein as our Federalist Papers Project.

Without the internet this weekend it’s been a couple of days since David posted his note before I was able to approve it. He didn’t leave any contact information, so I’ve replied to David via our Guestbook. If you are David and you thought your message went into the ether, contact me via our website email so we can discuss your idea further! Thanks.


13 May 2020

I’m about to write a review this morning for Cho Nam-Joo’s Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 and it occurred to me that this will be our first book reviewed on this website by a South Korean author. As in previous blog posts about the ratio of male to female authors we review on this site (Nam-Joo’s book, by the way, is about misogyny and the lack of opportunities afforded to women in South Korean society) I also wondered how diverse our representation of nationalities is on this website, so I pulled some information from a spreadsheet I keep and produced this graphic:

Clearly English, American and Australian authors dominate (we live in Australia) but we do have a small range from other countries. The chart and the list below do not represent different authors, but the number of books reviewed from each country, so one author might represent multiple books from a single country. The list below gives a fairly exact breakdown of the information:

English 124
American 91
Australian 37
Scottish 11
Canadian 10
Japanese 6
New Zealand 5
Chinese 4
French 4
Swedish 3
British Indian 2
Indian 2
Nigerian 2
South African 2
Chilean 1
Danish 1
Dutch 1
Finnish 1
Greek 1
Iraqi 1
Irish 1
Norwegian 1
Omani 1
Pakistani 1
Polish 1
Sri Lankan 1
Welsh 1


15 May 2020

I thought I’d put a post up here while I was editing the front page of the website, since this is the last time I may get to post anything during the next week. Yesterday our internet provider disconnected all the remaining ADSL connections in our area without any prior warning (they admitted it too). A National Broadband Network delivered by cable has been coming for some time, but the whole thing has been plagued with problems. It was originally going to be fibre to the house, then the government made it fibre to the node. In the later roll-outs, which includes us, they’ve made it fibre to the curb. But the whole thing has been so poor we decided we’d wait until the bugs were ironed out.

No such luck. Now our connection has been cut with many others, and we’re being forced onto a third rate NBN. And this is in the middle of a period when people are still being encouraged to work from home or do university from home like my son. Even better (that’s sarcasm), it’s going to take at least a week to get the new connection. No internet for a week. This update has been done from a friend’s house. I’ve chosen a longer book to read so I won’t need to do a review in the meantime.


18 May 2020

We have internet back!

We'd been told our ADSL connection had been summarily cut. It turns out that that wasn't true. A technician turned up this morning from Telstra, the company responsible for phone lines here, and fixed a fault at the exchange which gave us back our internet. It turns out that our ISP either didn't know what was going on or took an opportunity to lock us into the new cable network which we had been avoiding. The changeover happens Wednesday, so I'm hoping things go smoothly with that, otherwise ... aargh!


19 May 2020

I was cleaning out a filing cabinet this morning and came across an old review I did for Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career when I was at university. That’s 30 years ago! I thought I’d save it from oblivion rather than throw it out with the rest of my things, so I typed it up to be used as a review for this site. It needed a few extra bits added for it to be usable, though, since it was written as a response to a task and never written for wide dissemination. So, my review for My Brilliant Career now appears on this site, although I’ve given it a different look to our usual review style and I haven’t rated the book.

27 May 2020

Our internet saga finally ended yesterday. After twelve days the promised modem arrived and all technical difficulties were resolved. I've been updating with a hotspot from my phone during that time. Now to finish the book I've been reading. Hopefully there will be a new review tomorrow.

June 2020