Secrets – a hundred years old

Author: Sebastian Barry

Title: The secret scripture

The renowned Irish author Sebastian Barry certainly didn’t disappoint his readers with his new fiction novel; ‘The secret scripture’. It is one of those books that you can’t put down. 

Set in Rescommon Mental Hospital, the protagonist: Roseanne McNulty is a one hundred year old who is secretively writing her personal journal. Starting at the beginning of the twentieth century when Roseanne was 12, she remembers her father, a graveyard keeper and a rat catcher later, who looked after the dead first and caught rats later. Roseanne’s journey runs parallel with that of her doctor: psychiatrist Dr Grene, who started his investigation into why Roseanne was locked up in the asylum more than half a century ago. His professional journal, that he kept during this investigation is interwoven with Roseanne’s memories of her past and creates an interesting dichotomy in the narrative and poses several questions about the truth of the recollections.

Is Roseanne’s memory accurate or has it been clouded with the passing of time? What really had happened to Roseanne during all those years?  As Dr Grene’s interaction with Roseanne during his investigation he is gradually drawn closer to her and the tenderness and comfort that he finds in Roseanne is undeniable. As Roseanne’s life slowly unfolds, readers discover the shocking secrets that lead to her circumstance. A life affected by the Catholic Church and their hostility towards Protestant in a land, the political turmoil of the time, wars and revolution, all of which made young and beautiful Roseanne’s existence so miserable and unbearable. Many secrets that take Roseanne so long to unveil and still I wonder what secrets remain that are kept in dark somewhere, especially things involving the church? The story is very well written with its narrative beautifully crafted. I loved this book although I didn’t like its ending, because it was too dramatic. However, I think maybe the author just needed something to lift an otherwise a sad and heavy book. The book won 2008 Costa books award and was shortlisted for Man Booker Prize. Well worth the read. 

Posted in All

Down Under – discussion from the Last Thursday Reading Group

The Last Thursday Reading Group met on 24th September. The book their read and discussed was "Down under‘ by Bill Bryson.

Bill Bryson is an American author and travels around world often. He wrote ‘Down under’ when he went around in Australia, a place down under in the world map. Here are some notes from the gread group.

Some members didn’t like the book and gave up. Some didn’t get in at the beginning and thought the author was critical and sarcastic. But the more into it, more liked it. At the end, it was so enjoyable  and felt the book was very well written and humorous.

Some felt it was great to have an outsider to see Australia but not the thing we usually see by our own. Certain things we didn’t see or realise but from an outsider we know ourselves better.

Some members enjoyed the reading and thought the book tell the harsh of outback, the historical facts.  Some thought the book was very descriptive and informative. The book provides some very interesting points about Australia, such as the story of a disappearing prime minister Harold Holt in 1966.

A member Rose, wrote a poem about the book

Bill Bryson’s ‘Down under’ is a book

Taht deserves a long look

Full of historical facts about our amazing land

Other countries can’t begin to understand

Where unusual animals live

The outback, harsh at times: with so much to give

It tells of his adventurous journeys through

Seeing magnificent vies

From the time when Captain James Cook came

Discovery being his aim

Aborigines met him on the shore

The landing party, from a distant place

‘The Endeavour’ bore

A surprising country with diversity;

A certain caring spirit, everywhere

A great travel experience to enjoy and share 

Posted in All

2009 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards Shortlists

The 2009 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards fiction and non fiction shortlists have been announced.

Non Fiction Shortlist

Van Diemen’s land by James Boyce

Doing life: a biography of Elizabeth Jolley by Brian Dibble

Gough Whitlam by Jenny Hocking

The tall man by Chloe Hooper

House of exile: the life and times of Heinrich Mann and Nelly Kroeger-Mann by Evelyn Juers

Drawing the global colour line by Marilyn Lake & Henry Reynolds

The Henson case by David Marr

American Journeys by Don Watson

Fiction Shortlist

The pages by Murray Bail

People of the book by Geraldine Brooks

Wanting by Richard Flanagan

Everything I knew by Peter Goldsworthy

One foot wrong by Sofie Laguna

The boat by Nam Le

The good parents by Joan London

Posted in All

Books into movies 2009

People like reading and people like watching movies as well, especially those movies that are adopted from books.

This year these movies has got our attention, so all those books get popular as well.

Movie and book titles                                    Author

Angels and demons                                        Dan Brown

Confessions of a shopaholic                           Sophie Kinsella

Harry Potter and the half-blood prince              J. K. Rowling

Hotel for dogs                                               Lois Duncan

The informant                                               Kurt Eichenwald

The informers                                               Bret Easton Ellis

Inkheart                                                       Cornelia Funke

Killshot                                                         Elmore Leonard

My sister’s keeper                                          Jodi Piccoult

Escape to witch mountain                                 Alexander key

The taking of Pelham 1 2 3                             John Godey

The time traveler’s wife                                   Audrey Niffenegger

Watchmen                                                    Dave Gibbons

Posted in All

The winners of Australian/Vogel Literary Award

2009 Australian/Vogel Literary Award has announced its winners

Utopian man by Lisa Lang – the book tell the story of Edward William Cole in Melbourne, in 1880s. Lisa Lang is a Melbourne based writer.

Night street by Kristel Thornell – the book tells story of Clarice Beckett (1887-1935), in Melbourne. The author is Sydney based.

Posted in All