Thinking Allowed - Including musings by Daan Spijer.

Book Reviews

November 28, 2016

Hearts set free

captive_prince_cover-200pxCaptive Prince Trilogy – Prince’s Gambit, Kings Rising
C S Pacat
Penguin Viking 2013-16
ISBN: 9780143799597 / 9780143799603 / 9780143799610
$19.99 each
262/376/341 pp

This trilogy is, at heart, a complex love story. We see it develop through the three books, heartrendingly and carnally. It is no ordinary romance, but one beset by intrigue, power, false starts and danger. (more…)

From the Kitchen

November 24, 2016

From the Kitchen #194

194-scrolling_credits-450pxThere is a story, hopefully not true, about a man offering to register the birth of his un‑partnered sister’s girl-and-boy twins. He names the girl Denise and the boy Denephew. (more…)

From the Kitchen

November 6, 2016

From the Kitchen #193

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Security Myth

How secure are you? What does this question even mean? We think about security in relation to our finances, our work, our family, our abode, our country and our health – basically in relation to our entire lives. (more…)

From the Kitchen

October 31, 2016

From the Kitchen #192

192-disenfranchised-450px

Disenfranchised

For most of recorded human history leaders of humans have ruled without a ‘by your leave’. Most have been men and most leaders have inherited their power or have taken it by force. There have been exceptions, both in paths to rulership and that a few of the rulers were women; and some rulers were benevolent. (more…)

Book Reviews

October 19, 2016

Don’t Play with DNA

rat_city_cover-200pxRat City
Ree Kimberley
ISBN: 9780995387003
$3.99 (e-book)
Published by Maree Kimberley, 2016

Teens and adults inhabit different realities, ‘created’ from within – they see the world differently and react to it accordingly. These worlds often don’t meet, which makes it hard for adults to understand their teen children and vice versa. When these worlds intersect, there is some possibility of communication but that possibility is often hindered by walls of expectations and preconceptions. The adults have a longer lifetime of experience than the teens and use this to make themselves right. Sometimes it takes an ‘outside’ adult to help parents understand that what their teen child is telling them s/he is experiencing is a valid take on the world. (more…)

From the Kitchen

September 28, 2016

From the Kitchen #191

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The Loss of Nuance

What has happened to subtlety? Where has the ability gone to see anything other than black and white? They seem to have disappeared, along with humour. Maybe they’ve all gone on a cruise and will return, refreshed and reinvigorated. (more…)

Book Reviews

September 23, 2016

That Sinking Feeling of Imminent Doom

the_island_will_sink-200pxThe Island Will Sink
Briohny Doyle
ISBN: 9780994606808
$29.99
299 pp
The Lifted Brow 2016

This book is a disaster and it had me from the beginning to the end. Actually, it is a collection of intertwined disasters: environmental, societal and personal; even a disastrous sinking into banality of the language portrayed, a sinking that we already see happening today in banal public utterances. (more…)

From the Kitchen

September 18, 2016

From the Kitchen #190

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Is reality real?

Why are we concerned with what is real and what is not? Reality is what we experience n the world, arguably with our five ‘ordinary’ senses. What about those things we experience outside those senses? Are they real? (more…)

Book Reviews

September 14, 2016

Shining a Light on a Life

skylarking_cover_200pxSkylarking
Kate Mildenhall
ISBN: 9781863958301
$24.99
278 pp
Black Inc Books 2016

As writers, we are told to craft our stories with a clear narrative arc, which usually looks like a statistical normal distribution curve. We are also told that in every story something needs to change or the reader needs to be left changed by the story. As a consequence, readers usually expect these elements in the stories they consume. (more…)

From the Kitchen

September 2, 2016

From the Kitchen #189

189-unlucky_planet

Unlucky Planet?

There is a planet at the centre of the known universe and, according to the god of at least three of the major religions on that planet, man was given dominion over all the animals and plants. It is a shame that this was not given to woman, to nurture and care for, because man has cared little. (more…)