Monthly Archives: December 2005

Minette Walters: Disordered Minds – Reviews

This is an intriguing novel.

It wasn’t much of a park, barely half an acre of wilted grass off Colliton Way where local people walked their dogs in the mornings and evenings. During the day it was hardly frequented at all, except by truants who hung around the trees that lined the fences. The police rarely visited it and, anyway, there was a hundred yards of open space between the only entrance and the offenders. In the time it took two overweight coppers to lumber across, the teens were long gone, vaulting the low fences into the gardens that formed the rear perimeter. As complaints came in thick and fast from homeowners whenever this happened, the police, preferring an easy life, tended to leave the youngsters alone.

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Posted by on December 30, 2005 in book reviews, British, Crime and/or crime fiction, current affairs, Iraq, terrorism, Top read, writers


Book Reviews by Danny Yee (fiction nonfiction)

dy.jpgThis Australian site is well worth visiting. Who is Danny Yee?

In February 1992 I was an unmotivated computer science postgrad, spending way too much time playing computer games (netrek and xbattle). I can’t remember what prompted me, but I started writing short descriptions of the books I was reading and mailing them to twenty or so friends. My goals were to keep in touch with my friends, to make myself think more carefully about what I read, and to start discussions about books…

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Posted by on December 29, 2005 in Australia and Australian, blogging, book reviews, Chinese and China, OzLit, web stuff


NSW Department of Education and Training Home Page

I find I have some bureaucratic hoops to go through before I am officially retired. I was in fact misinformed about this at The Mine because my employment has been a touch odd: I resigned in fact in the early 1980s and have been “casual” and lately (in part) “temporary teacher ESL”. I now find I must fill in a “separation form” — the above is my search for that. Guess what? They do not have the form online! You can only get them in schools. So I must report to The Mine on day one next year to get the form.

Actually I was going in anyway to tidy up a few things…

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Posted by on December 29, 2005 in personal, Salt Mine


Lines from a Floating Life: RUMFITT Jeremy, First Strike, Cambridge, Vanguard Press 2004

I wrote the above entry back in November 2005, and now the author has struck back 😉

Hi there – enjoyed your comments on my book. Didn’t know First Strike had reached Down Under. How did you hear about the book? Did you get it from your local Library?

All the best.

Jeremy Rumfitt

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Posted by on December 28, 2005 in blogging, book reviews, British, personal, Surry Hills, Thriller, writers


Revised postcolonial musings

On my Angelfire site I have just had fun revising an item from my 2004 diary on Robinson Crusoe and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (London, Faber & Faber 1999)– the latter I really enjoyed, by the way. [They are now here on WordPress.]

Oh, and there are pics. Some of you might like them.

Related to which, one of my borrowings today from Surry Hills Library is Colonialism and Homosexuality by Robert Aldrich (a University of Sydney historian), London and New York: Routledge, 2003. One of the good things in History in recent years has been history from the margins, or “subaltern” history, which often throws new light on familiar people and events and/or unearths what has been buried. The flat earthists, John Howard for example, don’t like this. This book seems eminently readable and very interesting.

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Posted by on December 28, 2005 in book reviews, Crime and/or crime fiction, Fiction, History, immigration, literary theory/criticism, Postcolonial, Surry Hills


Saving Fish From Drowning – Book Reviews – Books – Entertainment –

tan.gifLook again at what Amy Tan has to say about writing in The Opposite of Fate (2003). There are many wonderful essays in that collection. My Hong Kong Australian coachees very much enjoyed “Arrival Banquet”, which I shared with them as a possible supplementary text for the HSC “Journeys” unit. Ben said it was SO Chinese! And Tan is indeed a great mediator between cultures, with a humorous but empathic eye.

She also has a sharp pen when needed. Irony is implicit in the quasi-magical narrative method of Saving Fish from Dying (2005) with its multifaceted examination of cultural (mis)understandings and questioning of tourism — among other things. “Writing with stinging irony about oppression, genocide, culture clashes, religion, media spin, and corruption, [Tan] slyly considers the unintended consequences of everything from a thwarted seduction to a war based on lies.” (Donna Seaman in Booklist 1 Sep 2005.)

A couple of quotes:
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Posted by on December 26, 2005 in America, Asian, Chinese and China, Fiction, immigration, Multicultural, Thriller, Top read, writers


Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan: Reviews

This is what I am reading at the moment. The reviews on the above site — seventeen of them — show only one really unfavourable, with three saying it is outstanding. I am enjoying it so far, unusual as it is to have a dead narrator…

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