Post Script: Gun Control – Peter Corris

A gritty, tough no nonsense crime thriller – a great read!

Cover Gun Control

Peter Corris

Gun Control

Cliff Hardy #40

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781760112066

rrp A$29.99



Is Sydney gun city? It certainly seems so when Cliff Hardy is hired by entrepreneur and one-time pistol-shooting champion Timothy Greenhall to investigate the violent death of his troubled son. Soon Hardy is pitched into a world of crooked cops – former members of the Gun Control Unit – outlaw bikies and honest police trying to quietly clean the stables.


Two more murders raise the stakes and relationships are stretched to breaking point. Hardy hooks up with a determined policewoman and forms an unlikely alliance with a charismatic bikie chief.


Uncovering the tangled conspiracy behind the murders takes Hardy to the Blue Mountains and Camden, to plush legal chambers and a confrontation in an inner-west park – all against the roar of 750cc engines.


My View:

A gritty, tough no nonsense crime thriller – a great read!


I have only read a couple of books from this series but I want to read them all! Can you imagine the delight of discovering an author you love who has published forty book in a series and you haven’t read more than one or two of them – forty books you will be able to consume one after the other? Fantastic! I cannot imagine I more enjoyable way to spend some time.


Back to this book – contemporary issues, a straight talking PI and a secondary character (Paul) who is intriguing and whom I think we will see more of in future books – I hope. A great read. Start a new good habit today – pick up a book in the Cliff Hardy series. Enjoy.




Post Script: The Mistake I Made – Paula Daly

Perfect! I loved every minute the book!

cover The Mistake I Made

The Mistake I Made

Paula Daly

Random House UK, Transworld Publishers

Bantam Press

ISBN: 9780593074497



We all think we know who we are.

What we’re capable of.



Roz is a single mother, a physiotherapist, a sister, a friend. She’s also desperate.


Her business has gone under, she’s crippled by debt and she’s just had to explain to her son why someone’s taken all their furniture away.


But now a stranger has made her an offer. For one night with her, he’ll pay enough to bring her back from the edge.


Roz has a choice to make.



My View:

Perfect! I loved every minute the book!


This book draws you in gently; first we get the poignant history of the life of our protagonist Roz. Her life is busy, exhausting, frustrating and full of financial difficulties (racked up by her irresponsible ex-husband and compounded when her small business fails). Life as a single parent supporting her child and servicing the debts she has have pushed her to the brink of sanity – her story is credible and I do not doubt there are many women in this real life situation right now. To be consumed by financial difficulties sucks the life out of …life.


Full engaged in this story of despair and frustration I was shocked when this narrative took a huge turn and suddenly I was in the midst of a fascinating psychological drama! And what a great dram it is – at each turn of the page I was advising the protagonist to back off, keep away, don’t meet up with him – I could see the obsessive controlling nature of this narcissistic beast so clearly – Roz did not seem to notice nor did she hear me.


A great narrative, credible characters…I really loved this book! And the conclusion was very satisfying.


PS I loved the details re Roz’s work as a physiotherapist – this added such depth to her characterisation and situation.



Spinach In Sesame Dressing – Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School – Adam Liaw

Adam Liaw's Asian Cookery SchoolRecipe from Adam Liaw’s  Asian Cookery School  by Adam Liaw with photography by Steve Brown-  published by Hachette Australia rrp$49.99


Spinach Step 1

Spinach Step 1


Spinach Step 2

Spinach Step 2


Spinach Step 3

Spinach Step 3


Spinach Step 4

Spinach Step 4



Horenso no gomae


This Japanese side dish is one of the most popular accompaniments to a home-style

meal and it’s also a great way to get started using a mortar and pestle. You can grind

the sesame as coarsely or as finely as you like.



3 tbsp sesame seeds

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp sake

1 tsp soy sauce, plus extra for drizzling

1 bunch (about 250g) spinach



1 Toast the sesame seeds in a dry saucepan over

medium heat and transfer to a large mortar and pestle

with the sugar. Grind to a rough paste then add the sake

and soy sauce and continue to grind until quite smooth.

2 Wash the spinach well, keeping the roots intact. Bring

a saucepan of water to a rolling boil. Place the spinach

in the pot roots first and hold the roots and stems in the

liquid for about 10 seconds, then lower the leaves into

the water and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the spinach

from the pot, drop it into a bowl of cold water to stop the

cooking, then squeeze out as much liquid as possible (use

a sushi mat if you like, or your hands).

3 Place the spinach on a large plate and drizzle with a

little soy sauce, then cut it into 5cm lengths and discard

the roots. Transfer to the mortar. Mix with the sesame

dressing but do not pound the spinach. Remove from

the mortar and serve at room temperature.



A Japanese mortar (suribachi) has ridges inside the bowl and is used for

grinding rather than pounding, but any mortar and pestle will work fi ne.

I prefer toasting sesame seeds in a small saucepan rather than a frypan

because it allows you to swirl the seeds rather than trying to toss them in

a frypan. The swirling motion will toast the seeds more evenly.

Toasting sesame seeds brings out a strong nutty flavour, but also makes

them more brittle. The seeds will grind more easily when well toasted.” pps6-7










Lemon Grass Beef – Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School – Adam Liaw

Adam Liaw's Asian Cookery School

Recipe from Adam Liaw’s  Asian Cookery School  by Adam Liaw with photography by  Steve Brown-  published by Hachette Australia rrp$49.99

 Lemongrass Beef

Lemongrass Beef



Thit bo xao sa ot


Frying meat in a wok is easy, provided you follow three simple rules – cut the meat thinly,

brown it well and, of course, the cardinal rule, never overcrowd the wok. This is one of my

favourite Vietnamese dishes and because there are no vegetables to worry about, you

can just focus on getting the flavour of the wok-cooked meat just right.



¼ cup peanut oil

500g rump steak, sirloin or flank, very

thinly sliced

1 small brown onion, peeled and sliced

2 stalks lemongrass, tender white part

only, minced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 large red chilli, sliced diagonally

2 tbsp fish sauce

1½ tsp sugar

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper


1 Heat a wok over very high heat until smoking, add half

the oil and fry the beef in batches until well browned all

over then remove from the wok.

2 Add the remaining oil to the wok and fry the onion,

lemongrass, garlic and chilli until the onions are softened

and the ingredients are fragrant and starting to brown.

Return the beef to the wok and toss with the fi sh sauce,

sugar and black pepper for about 2 minutes. Remove from

the wok and allow to rest for a minute before serving.


If you use the woody parts of the lemongrass or don’t cut it into small

enough pieces, the dish will have a gritty texture. If the lemongrass is

especially woody, whizz it in a food processor instead of chopping it.

Fry the beef with the lemongrass mixture for a minute before adding the

fish sauce. This will help brown the meat and caramelise the lemongrass

for good wok hei.

Taste any wok-fried dish before you finish cooking so you can adjust

seasoning to suit your tastes.” p.85



Cooked by Carol:

This meal was delicious, easy to make and I think I loved the spinach in sesame dressing the best – I will make this again.

Lemongraaa Beef, Spinach in Sesame Dressing Brocolli and rice

Lemongrass Beef, Spinach in Sesame Dressing, Broccoli and rice




Post Script – Faber and Faber Poetry Diary 2016 – Faber and Faber

Cover Faber and Faber Poetry Diary

Faber & Faber Poetry Diary 2016: Dark Blue


Allen & Unwin AU

rrp A$24.99


The Faber Poetry Diary for 2016 is a week-to-view diary offering poetry lovers a different poem or illustration to enjoy for each week of the year.

The Faber poetry list, originally founded in the 1920s, was shaped by the taste of T. S. Eliot who was its guiding light for nearly forty years. Since the sixties, each passing decade has seen the list grow with the addition of poets who were arguably the finest of their generation. In recent years the creation of the Poet to Poet series has further broadened the scope of Faber poetry by including the work of great poets from the past selected and introduced by the contemporary poets they have inspired.

Simon Armitage * W.H. Auden * John Berryman * John Betjeman * Thomas Campion * John Clare * Wendy Cope * Hart Crane * Daljit Nagra * Emily Dickinson * Lawrence Durrell * Dylan Thomas * T.S. Eliot * Mark Ford * Matthew Francis * Lavinia Greenlaw * David Harsent * Seamus Heaney * Robert Herrick * Ted Hughes * John Donne * Emma Jones * John Keats * Nick Laird * Philip Larkin * Dorothy Molloy * Andrew Motion * Edwin Muir * Paul Muldoon * Alice Oswald * Don Paterson * Sylvia Plath * Ezra Pound * Christopher Reid * Jo Shapcott * Percy Bysshe Shelley * Stevie Smith * Edward Thomas * Derek Walcott * W.B. Yeats *



My View:

This is the perfect gift for the poet, writer or reader in your life!


There is more to this diary then the very useful and practical hardcover diary, seven days to a page, aspect of this book – it is a beautiful compilation of poetry from the past and present. It is a joy to hold and to read. My personal favourites (and there are many) but I have tried to limit them to five for the purpose of this review:


Because I Liked You – A E Houseman


Modern Love – Douglas Dunn


The Flower That Smiles Today – Percy Bysshe Shelley


The Naming Of Cats – T S Eliot


Changes – Michael Hofmann


A perfect gift – though I am having second thoughts about  actually giving this one away :)






Post Script: The Life Of I – Anne Manne

Cover The Life Of I

The Life of I (Updated Edition)

The New Culture of Narcissism

Anne Manne

Melbourne University Publishing


ISBN: 9780522868975



Far from being the work of a madman, Anders Breivik’s murderous rampage in Norway was the action of an extreme narcissist. As the dead lay around him, he held up a finger asking for a Band-Aid.

Written with the pace of a psychological thriller, The Life of I is a compelling account of the rise of narcissism in individuals and society. Manne examines the Lance Armstrong doping scandal and the alarming rise of sexual assaults in sport and the military, as well as the vengeful killings of Elliot Rodger in California. She looks at narcissism in the pursuit of fame and our obsession with ‘making it’. She goes beyond the usual suspects of social media and celebrity culture to the deeper root of the issue: how a new narcissistic character-type is being fuelled by a cult of the self and the pursuit of wealth in a hypercompetitive consumer society.

The Life of I also offers insights from the latest work in psychology, looking at how narcissism develops. But Manne also shows that there is an alternative: how to transcend narcissism, to be fully alive to the presence of others; how to create a world where love and care are no longer turned inward.


Anne Manne is a Melbourne writer. She has been a regular columnist for the Australian and the Age. More recently her essays on contemporary culture such as child abuse, pornography, gendercide and disability have all appeared in The Monthly magazine. Her essay ‘Ebony: The Girl in the Room’, was included in The Best Australian Essays: A Ten-Year Collection. He book, Motherhood: How Should We Care for Our Children?, was a finalist in the Walkley Award for Best Non-Fiction Book of 2006. She has written a Quarterly Essay, ‘Love and Money; the Family and the Free Market’, and a memoir, So This Is Life: Scenes from a Country Childhood.



My View:

This is a very interesting and easy to read and absorbing discussion on narcissism and the narcissistic personality that involves contemporary high profile examples to demonstrate the actual ways (and potential for) narcissists to interact with the world and society.

I am sure we have all come across some of the behaviours on the lower end of the scale – the bully at work (yes I have met a few), cases of domestic violence (there are plenty of examples here), the precocious, the self-centred, those with imagined slights ; angry and vengeful. Are there more of these type personalities about or in this age of social media conscious, are we just more aware?


I was fascinated by the examples in this book – Anders Breivik, Lance Armstrong…and then as I was reading another high school shooting massacre in the USA appears on my news feed, such sadness fills my heart.


This is a book we should all be reading.


My View:






Post Script: The Waiting Room – Leah Kaminsky

Compelling, moving and societally relevant.

 Cover The Waiting Room

The Waiting Room

Leah Kaminsky

Random House Australia Pty Ltd

Vintage Australia

ISBN: 9780857986221



Compelling, moving and memorable. Graeme Simsion. The Waiting Room captures the sights, sounds, accents and animosities of a country overflowing with stories. Dina is a family doctor living in the melting-pot city of Haifa, Israel. Born in Australia in a Jewish enclave of Melbourne to Holocaust survivors, Dina left behind a childhood marred by misery and the tragedies of the past to build a new life for herself in the Promised Land. After starting a family of her own, she finds her life falling apart beneath the demands of her eccentric patients, a marriage starting to fray, the ever-present threat of terrorist attack and the ghost of her mother, haunting her with memories that Dina would prefer to leave on the other side of the world. Leah Kaminsky plumbs the depths of her characters’ memories, both the sweet and the heart-wrenching, reaching back in a single climactic day through six decades and across three continents to uncover a truth that could save Dina’s sanity – and her life.


My View:

Compelling, moving and societally relevant.

Dina wasn’t there to see the ashes when the war ended, but she was born into a smoky after haze. She had never known war, but its tendrils gripped her from a young age, as she tried to make up for everyone her mother had lost. She had to be a good girl: fill her mother’s sadness with love.” In this instance Leah Kaminsky is specifically discussing the legacy of the Holocaust and the effects on the Jewish survivors, and in particular Survivors Guilt; she could however be talking about any people living in crisis, living with conflict, living in refugee camps, living with war or the survivors of war, in any region of our modern world. The effects of war and conflict are far reaching and disturbing, and time does little to ease the pain and burden of such actions.


Beautifully written, poignant, lyrical; “‘the dead were the lucky ones, you know.’ Her mother smoothes a few strands of hair back from her forehead. ‘After we were liberated, there was silence for a while.’ Dina imagines a soft sighing seeping up from the earth, melting into windless air. The murmuring of the dead. Their voices becoming a steady whisper that followed her mother everywhere.” Such sadness is articulately conveyed.


This narrative is intelligently written, haunting, evocative, explosive …unforgettable. There are lessons for us all to learn, for our politicians to hear and to note.