Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I’m really enjoying my Book Group book for this month: Affection by Ian Townsend. It’s a real pleasure to read, and I didn’t even understand that phrase (surely reading is always a pleasure?) until I had waded through the last five or six bland book group books before this one. No offence to the people at CAE Bookgroups, but why did you send us such bland books? (Thoroughly Decent People, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Mansfield Park and I can’t remember any of the others). And then why did you bang every skerrick of fun out of them with those humourless question-and-answer group discussion booklets?

Affection is set in Townsville in 1900, during a plague scare. Partially it’s fun just reading a book set where you live (I loved the Tasmanian Babes Fiasco for the same reason. In the climax scene, the ‘heroes’ tore down the street where I was living in Paddington, past our front room so to speak, in hot pursuit and with Ride of the Valkyries blasting from speakers mounted on the roof of their milk truck. That was cool.) In this book, the protagonists are constantly dashing from the hospital (which is just down the road from us, and at this moment being converted into art deco ocean-view apartments) out to the beachside suburb of Pallarenda, where they quarantined the plague victims back in the day. I never understood before this, why Pallarenda was so far out of town on its own.

I recommend this book if you want to know what life was like in Townsville in 1900. If you’re wondering what Townsville is like these days, just substitute those galloping horses and carts for hotted-up holdens and fords.


tunabake said...

sounds like a great book. i do want to read more about those early days of australia. i read an interesting book called 'the great stink' by claire clark set in london and around victoria where i work and seeing the roads and walking down the streets where it was set definitely gave it a different dimension. i will 'bookmark' AFFECTION. claire XX

drue said...

I read a lot of books about London while I was living there. It made the place seem a lot more romatic, particulary because I was reading 18th Century texts becasue that's all I could afford to purchase. It is a far far better thing to read than not to read at all. I'm reading Robert Fisks 'The War for Civilisation' at the moment. It's a very very big book that's non-fiction about a britich journalists experiences covering the Middle-east from the 80's until today. It's very well written, very informative about the regions politics and is subjective without being political. Very good.. now all I need to find is a fiction book about the region.

drue said...

BTW: how did you get the picture on your title? i need to add more bells and whistels to keep Joe Average interested

Naomi said...

I wish I had read more about historical London when I was there. It would probably have made present-day London seem much more interesting - and much cleaner by comparision.

Drue, if you want to put a picture in your header, all you have to do is 1) save the picture on your blog somewhere (I usually backdate it so that it doesn't show up on the front page) and then 2) trawl through the template html til you find the link to the current picture in your header and 3) replace that header link with the link to your prefered picture.

hope that makes sense