Thinking Allowed - Including musings by Daan Spijer.

Book Reviews

November 1, 2017

The Dry

The Dry
Jane Harper
ISBN: 9781925481372
$17
342 pp
Pan Macmillan 2016

A novel needs strong characters. These are usually human, sometimes animal. They are rarely the condition of the weather or a whole town.

In The Dry, Jane Harper manages to make of both the relentlessly hot drought and the oppressive rural Australian town two palpable characters that potently influence the thoughts and behaviours of the other, human, characters. The weather and the town are both portrayed as malevolent organisms. (more…)

Book Reviews

October 18, 2017

Good Me Bad Me

Good Me Bad Me
Ali Land
ISBN: 9781405923910
$20
340 pp
Penguin 2017

What makes someone a bad person in the eyes of others? Annie has become who she is largely through her mother’s habit of killing children in her home in the west of England and making Annie watch.

In her mid-teens Annie finally ‘escapes’ and goes to the police with her blood-chilling story. She feels that this makes her a good person, though she is conflicted about standing up to her mother. Her mother is arrested and held in custody pending trial, and much of this thriller is set in the time between the arrest and the trial. Annie is to be the main prosecution witness and is sent to live, incognito, with a family in London for her own safety – only a few people know what and where she has come from. (more…)

From the Kitchen

September 10, 2017

From the Kitchen #197

Where do you hope your life will go? Why do you want it to go anywhere?

Humans have the ability to imagine almost without limit, including imagining things and places. It allows me to ‘pretend’ that I am somewhere other than where my physical body is right now; it allows me to hope that I can escape from the place where I am sitting, at this moment in the present. (more…)

From the Kitchen

September 3, 2017

From the Kitchen #196

It is March 2028 and, I think, time to review ten years since marriage equality was voted into law in Australia. One thing that has become clear is that in Australia, unlike in any of the other nations of the world that allowed it, the consequences of marriage equality on its society have been ‘interesting’. This is on top of the fact that Australia lagged behind the other countries. (more…)

From the Kitchen

July 5, 2017

From the Kitchen #195

MO-BE-US (the future does not exist)

The theme of this essay is contained in its centre. There is no time; therefore, there is no future.

MO‑BE‑US?

MO: Modus Operandi – how we operate in the world; how we make sense of it.

BE: Beginning-Ending – our concept of flow; a construct.

US: Unifying Semantics – thoughts communicated through words in an attempt to reach consensus about reality. (more…)

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

193-security_myth-450px

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…)