Sample Saturday – two boys, a marriage, and Hamlet

Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye. This week I’ve selected three from the last pages of my Kindle (meaning they’ve been there for years!). Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. I was lucky to see a production of my very favourite Shakespearean play last week – Twelfth Night. Frank Woodley was a stellar Sir Andrew (and that’s a large Melbourne Gin Co. gin, tonic and grapefruit next to my program, so obviously it was an ace night). Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Romeo & Juliet to The Last Painting of Sarah De Vos


It’s time for #6Degrees – join in! Link up!

Are you over Shakespearean celebrations yet? Sorry if you are because we begin this month’s #6Degrees chain with one of his most well-known plays, Romeo and Juliet. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

gillian mears

01. There’s already been many wonderful tributes to Gillian Mears. I won’t try to match them but will say that Australian literature has lost a great voice (also: a personal essay from Mears, published in Meanjin; Susan Johnson’s beautiful 2011 piece about Mears; my thoughts on the brilliant Foal’s Bread). Continue reading

The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson

I’ll be frank, I don’t spend much (any) time reading Shakespeare. I’m not filling weekends with sonnets or amusing myself with the Bard’s wittier plays. My Shakespearean experience is largely confined to school days; performances of A Midsummer Nights Dream in Melbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens; and a few months during my childhood when we lived in a small town near Stratford-upon-Avon. So why was I drawn to a modern retelling of The Winter’s Tale? It was all about Jeanette Winterson, whose work I greatly admire.

The Winter’s Tale tells the story of a king whose jealousy results in the banishment of his baby daughter and the death of his beautiful wife. His daughter is found and brought up by a shepherd but through a series of extraordinary events, father and daughter, and eventually mother too, are reunited. In Winterson’s version, The Gap of Time, it’s all gangsters, gaming and pop stars, and against this backdrop, the themes of jealousy, loyalty and redemption are preserved. Continue reading