Sunday, 10 May 2015

Solanum cinereum

(")Norm(") is a gentleman of great taste. For one, he has made one of the most impressive mix CDs I have ever received, which I am still floundering about trying to respond to over a year later. Sorry, Norm.

A few months ago he started a personal finance blog which I have been observing with interest, as he's very open in outlining all his expenses - and it's been interesting to compare costs. Not just on the macro level (i.e. I don't have to deal with a single snow-related expense) but also on the micro level (i.e. vegetable oil is identically priced in Melbourne and Small City, NY).

While the vegetable oil statistic is comforting, the idea that Norm bought an entire house for US$130,000 is anything but. Excellent work, Norm.

I decided to try to replicate one of his Cost Per Serving posts, where he makes a meal, and then calculates the cost of each serving. Was I desperately interested in how much the figures differed? No. Nor was I that excited about speculating on whether the differences were based on our different countries, or levels of urbanity. I was, as ever, primarily interested in getting things wrong.

So I chose Norm's February 19, 2015 winter treat, Eggplant Dirty Rice, and I used the same recipe from international superconglomerate Time Inc.

I wanted to make sure I could calculate a correct cost-per-serving, so I had to buy products I actually already owned, just so I could work out a cost metric. This meant forgoing our preferred soy sauce (of which there is plenty in the pantry) and buying a cheaper supermarket version which was flavoured sweetly for Chinese cooking. We do a lot more Japanese cooking than Chinese cooking, so the only benefit here was that it will bring the cost-per-serving down by a fraction of a cent. (Three months later - because that's how long it took me to get around to typing this - the new soy sauce is still sitting around.)

Then there was the problem that the recipe and Norm's page gave Imperial measurements, which I translated into metric, but then had to estimate as best I could when measuring the ingredients: e.g. 1.5 cups medium grain white rice is fine if you have cup measures, but oh dear there is no 354.88 millilitre line on my measuring cup.

I also had to have faith that, while I know that what I call a green capsicum is called a green pepper in the US, the general size of said fruit would be roughly the same in the two countries. Actually I had no faith that this was the case, but would continue with my horrendous brew.

So on 24 February I popped down to my local monopoly and bought - well, here you go:

So, a nice round AU$20.15 (US$15.98, that is, taking no account for exchange rate variance between February and May). This isn't the total cost of the meal though, because while I have bought a tiny tin of tomato paste I am clearly only going to use a skerrick of it. Let me try to work out how much it cost to buy the ingredients which were actually used in the recipe (I'll use US$ for all figures to allow easy comparison, with Norm's cost in bold and mine in red):

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil: 0.15 0.14
Celery (3 stalks): 0.36 0.84
Green peppers (1lb): 1.99 1.86
Onion (1): 0.40 0.36
Eggplant (1lb) 1.99 2.51 is what I should have spent had I not bought too small an eggplant
Dried thyme (1tbsp): 0.91 0.26
Garlic (3 cloves): 0.27 0.22
Tomato paste (1tbsp): 0.15 0.30
Soy sauce (1tbsp): 0.07 0.18
Rice (1.5 cups): 0.45 0.77
Broth (2 cubes): 0.14 0.21

Total cost of ingredients in USA 6.88
Total cost of ingredients in AUS 7.65
Total cost per serving in USA 1.37
Total cost per serving in AUS 1.53

The mighty USA wins by a not inconsiderable US$0.16 per serving!

Apart from my terrible kitchencraft, lazy measuring skills and general disinterest in food unless I can convert it into calculator fun, what are the variables here?

Obviously it was the end of winter in February in the Northern Hemisphere but the end of summer here, but I can't see any clear influence that would have had on the cost of fresh food. With a smaller population to pay for the same costs of transportation, it makes sense that fresh food is more expensive in Australia. The cost of rice is probably because I bought a tiny one-kilo package of rice so I could get a precise cost-to-weight ratio, whereas Norm sensibly has decanted his rice into a storage jar, presumably from a forty-pound sack. His soy sauce also doesn't come in the world's dinkiest container, the wobbly design being paid for by muggins here. I don't understand why his thyme is so pricey - though it's clear I will be welcomed as a god if I start distributing cheap thyme across the United States.

And how delicious was it? I'm glad you asked! It was fucking awful. I only had a shallow casserole dish, the rice didn't soften, which meant I had to add a new step to the recipe involving five hours in the slow cooker. The next morning it was nice and soft, but the salt from the stock which would otherwise have steamed away had all been retained under the cooker lid. It was eventually made edible with the addition of a lot more rice.

Tune in to my cooking blog next week when I set my hair on fire while making cornflakes.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Eucalyptus melliodora

For my fifth post in five years, I'm going back to this blog's early concerns with books and how they - as physical objects - crop up in the various wanderings of human lives. I have two stories for you today: a straight-line story, and a very, very, very-very big circle of a story. That's a straight line and a circle, which in binary equals the numbers of stories I am about to tell.

Story 1:

My battered and tea-stained UK first edition
I'm not a collector of first editions, but if I come across one at a very low price, I will certainly be pleased with the find. This copy of Patrick White's The Solid Mandala comes with a torn but complete dustcover (a rarity for 1966) and cost me the grand total of £1 in 2011. After work I would sometimes wander to Charing Cross Road and spend an hour in the basement of Any Amount of Books. I bought this intending to read it straightaway but didn't get around to it until I'd returned to Australia.

There's an inscription on the flyleaf page showing that it was a gift to Sylvia when brand new - but I can't work out who gift-giving-Eric is, and whether he is from, or in, or called, Hove, or a House, or perhaps a Hovel.

The day after the Beatles' final concert, and a week after the premiere of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
More interesting is the address scribbled on the dust jacket flap:

Nashleigh, Nashly Farm, Chesham, Bucks 
For a long time I assumed this to be the possibly grand home where Sylvia and this book dwelt, and I was pleased recently to find that Nashleigh Farm is a very grand country house which is currently up for sale, so you can click your way through its rooms, gardens and awful collection of miniature bottles at this link, or just admire it in the picture below. Nashleigh Farm itself is a few fields away from Chesham Prep School, where Stephen Fry broke his nose two or three years before Sylvia cracked the spine of The Solid Mandala.

I don't have £1,895,000, but as a Melburnian I am flabbergasted that this comparative pocket change buys a 10-acre, 6-bedroom, 6-reception room farm four minutes drive from a Tube station.
However, if you were going to write your address in your own book, you wouldn't take two stabs at spelling it, and you wouldn't scribble it on the dust jacket. You might do the above if you heard the address on the radio or telephone - so I doubt this particular first edition ever made its way to Nashleigh Farm. I will never know the story behind this book's first 47 years, but I'm hanging on to it now.

The novel disappointed me when I first read it - it was only the second White novel I had read, and it didn't excite me nearly as much as Voss had. But then last month I re-read it after having made my way through all White's earlier novels chronologically, and I settled into it completely. It might be the shortest novel he wrote, which could be a positive, as I personally took a long time to adapt to his languid, almost leaden narratives. I now see his novels are packed with incident, but almost all interior. Minds crackle and gleam in White, but everything else rusts and falls over.

Story 0:

Shortly before I left the UK, and directly after a morning of laps in the public pool, I borrowed Adam Mars-Jones's Cedilla from Jubilee Library in Brighton. This was mostly because I like cedillas, and I liked even more the very funny front blurb for the book. In other circumstances I would not have borrowed Cedilla, because it was the second novel of a series of which I had not read the first; and because it was so long I knew I wouldn't finish it before the date printed on our aeroplane tickets. But I threw myself into it anyway, admired the hell out of the portion I managed to read, returned it to the Jubilee Library in Brighton, and then bought the book (remaindered) in Melbourne.

In good time I found the first book in the series, Pilcrow (remaindered again I'm afraid, Mr Mars-Jones) and enjoyed that just as much. I'm waiting for books three and four to be written, and would like to take this opportunity to reassure Faber and Faber that I will pay full price for them. So in retrospect it was a fortuitous day when I walked out of the Prince Regent Swimming Complex with wet hair and damp goggles and straight into the Jubilee Library.

The Prince Regent Swimming Complex and the Jubilee Library are separated by a small and windswept square, featuring a small and windswept Pizza Express. All of these lie on Brighton's shortish Jubilee Street, later the title of a song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The song, to its discredit in my view, mentions neither the Tesco Express nor the Yo! Sushi.

Anyway, I had resigned myself to having a few years' wait before reading any more of Adam Mars-Jones's work - but then I found the earlier book pictured below, a harrowing mid-eighties collection of short stories by AMJ and Edmund White, called The Darker Proof: Stories from a Crisis.

with found object bookmark
These are deeply horrifying stories of loss, mostly set in critical illness wards where the first few men were sent to die of AIDS by a culture that knew little more of AIDS than the fact that nothing was known. It is chastening to be reminded of just what a holocaust AIDS was in the 1980s, now that the passing of time and the mostly-successful management of HIV means that I had largely forgotten about its impact on society when I was a child. These stories were published when I was about eight years old, at which time I was being given nightmares by this famous TV advertisement.

But while the stories themselves humanise and bring to reality the personal toll AIDS must have taken on society - and particularly on gay society, demonised as carriers - again, it is the physical that really forges a connection. My second-hand copy of The Darker Proof was bought for a few dollars from a charity shop. Wedged halfway through was a ticket stub for a 1992 'Dance Party - FOR women BY women' at the Sarah Sands Hotel, just a few minutes walk from the charity shop.

The Sarah Sands is now a Bridie O'Reilly's chain pub. I went there to take a picture.

They haven't gone so far as to chisel the original name off.
I wonder who that predecessor reader was, and if she had a good time at the dance party, and what made her buy this book, and whether she lost someone close to her - and if, 22 years later, it all seems like another world? Or could it never?

I sat here in Melbourne and read the book. In the short story A Small Spade, a couple - Neil and Bernard - have a weekend away from London. They travel to Brighton, which is a nice surprise for this reader as an ex-resident, though given its fame as Britain's most gay-friendly city, not too much of a narrative surprise.

Neil is fired from his job for being "antibody-positive". In 2015 I was foolishly a bit surprised to realise or remember that this might have happened. Particularly so given that Neil is a hairdresser. Wouldn't his hairdressing co-workers rally around in We're Here, We're Queer fashion? In the end they rally amongst themselves in more of a We're Queer And We Don't Want To Catch Anything fashion. On the Sunday, Neil and Bernard decide they need a swim:
It took them a few wrong turns, all the same, to find the swimming pool, but when they got there it was open. It was also called The Prince Regent Swimming Centre. 'Isn't that just as piss-elegant as you'd expect,' said Bernard as they queued for tickets. 'Other people have pools. The Prince Regent has a Swimming Centre.'
'I think it looks stunning. There's a water slide.' 
... Beside the water slide, the swimming centre had a separate diving pool, and a supervised lane for serious swimmers...
It was from this very lane that I had emerged to discover Adam Mars-Jones's writing. But it had taken me around the world to make this discovery. In a way I'd chased one of his stories from the UK to Australia, and then another had chased me back, in a giant tracing of meridians, as a circumference around an unknown.

I think what I've learned is that, over time, the centre always becomes complex.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Thylogale billardierii

I recently found some time to see a couple of shows at the Melbourne Fringe Festival, and because they were so enjoyable (and because a few people I know would have loved to attend) I thought I'd write up a bit of a rundown of what I remember of them.


Shortly after I went to sleep one evening in June 1992, my dad woke me up to watch the last fifteen minutes of the first episode of a new live comedy show on the ABC called "The Late Show". That TV show and the others it spawned turned out to be probably the biggest influence on my teenage life, and principally this was because of one man - Tony Martin.

He looked like an older version of the 13-year-old me, a dag in a pair of round glasses, but he was funny and confident on stage. Like much of the population, we had "The Late Show" on every Saturday night without fail. When it ended in December 1993, some of the cast embarked on a series of stand-up tours across the nation. I was still a few months short of 15, and living in a semi-rural town which for entertainment had an occasional Blue Light Disco - there was to be no live version of Not With The Good Scissors for me. The stand-up stopped well before I was out of high school, but Tony was suddenly more accessible as the presenter of the national radio show "Martin/Molloy", which broadened his appeal to include people who didn't watch the ABC.

It was to be a full twenty-one years before I got to see him live, in (no less true for being a cliché) the intimate venue of The Butterfly Club. I'd never been there before; you go down a city alleyway, climb two flights of stairs, walk through a long bar and a long lounge decorated thusly, then go up another flight of stairs to a miniscule stage with seating in roughly the same layout as a 767. I sat in what would have been aisle seat 2C.

I knew that the show was a retelling of "The Yeti", a piece from Tony's autobiographical collection "Lolly Scramble" - but even though it was going to be largely stuff I was already familiar with I was excited to hear how he would perform the piece. There doesn't seem to be any love in Australia for the audiobook, which is the perfect presentation for his solo material, but I'd heard one piece ("Breakfast in Dubbo") performed before as an audio segment, and I wasn't going to miss this chance to hear a second piece performed live.

Sometimes when you see a person you've known through the media for years, it's a bit weird. You notice that they're shorter than you assumed, or they have grey hair behind their ears, or they're a fucking racist. But when Tony Martin walked onstage, there he was. It was Tony, he nodded briefly in acknowledgement of the applause, and he launched straight into the tale.

The story of "The Yeti" is of a young Tony Martin living in a boarding house in Auckland, run by an eccentric couple who only seem to take on eccentric boarders. From such a humdrum topic is wrought almost an hour of amusement. It wasn't constant laughter, but that wasn't what I was there for. I've no idea if the performance was altered from the published version - if it was, it was minor, and certainly there was nothing that I hadn't read in the book. That sentence might read as a criticism, but this was emphatically not a stand-up show - it was fifty-five minutes or so of character, of escalating bewilderment, of giving voice to the bizarre and exaggerated individuals who peopled the one-man play.

There was no audience interaction. No "you know" or "right?" to acknowledge the presence of others. And this worked. There was a mirror onstage, fixed to the wall stage left. It formed no part of the show. Every five minutes, a small blackout marked a pause.

So, it got to the show's end, which in the book reads
"all I have left is a copy of the article about Boyle's cigarette holder, a handwritten list of over fifty of Gunter's most popular sayings [...] and a single blurry snapshot of the house itself. Only when I look at these fading, fraying items can I be sure I didn't simply dream the whole damn thing."
It ended the same way in the show. But magically, astoundingly, a projection appeared on the white back of the stage, and there were the items concerned.

I'm not overly fussed when comedians exaggerate events, borrow stories, or compress and move things around to make funny things funnier. Stewart Lee, in his book "How I Escaped My Certain Fate", details how he described things his wife saw as things he himself saw, or tellingly changed the inappropriate inflatable alien doll left outside Kensington Palace after Diana's death from the now-forgotten A.L.F. to the more familiar E.T. (and then gets a further joke out of this change). I've heard Tony Martin do it himself on the "Late Show" DVD commentary, stating that there were three websites devoted to stagehand Alf Camilleri by the time the series finished, which is funnier than saying that there would have been if the internet was used for things like that in 1993.

So picture my shock, my glee, my undisguised delight when "Smoking Goes Out the Window" turned out to be a real newspaper clipping, with Boyle himself looking the elaborately-mustachioed prize dick we know him to be; when Gunter's sayings on a frayed bit of foolscap written in the identifiably younger hand of T Martin appeared; when a woman in the audience cooed at the washed-out old picture of a New Zealand house torn from everyone's shared childhood. It was truly astounding and just what I wanted to the show to be.


This was a weird little live art happening that I attended having arrived much too early for the DC3 show. I had read about Confetti in the festival program, which succinctly describes the performance as lasting about two minutes, playing to one person at a time, and being donation only. As it was going to be performed to an audience of just me, I assumed that it would be somewhat personal in nature. Beyond imagining that someone might ask me to blow a feather into a basket in a weird ASMR trip, I didn't think too much about what it might be. I got to the venue, which was the basement of the North Melbourne Town Hall. A gentleman stood by a door. I said I'd come to see Confetti. Silently, he nodded, directed me to a series of instructions written on the door (entry by donation, you may have to wait, etc) and then beckoned me to place some money in a small box. I took out my coin purse and emptied several dollars (and, accidentally, a button that had come off my shirt that week) into it. I was given a balloon to hold and ushered to a seat.

While waiting I noticed that no one else had come on their own (I'd come to North Melbourne for the DC3 show, and my wife judges herself - as a foreigner - too culturally remote from Australian satire). I twiddled my balloon and watched as others went through the door before me. There seemed to be a lot of shrieking involved behind the door. I noticed that there was simultaneously another show in the basement (this one) which looked more like what I had expected of Confetti. It looked calming and fun. Meanwhile a ten-year-old boy was emerging from the Confetti door doing an comic impression of someone who had just seen more than they'd ever expected to.

I was collected. The aforementioned gentleman and his colleague took my bag and coat, stood me in place, directed me to knock on the door, and then pushed me through. The following took about sixty seconds and a lot of the impressions were fleeting:
  • Two women pulled me into an underlit room entirely wallpapered with reflective prismatic stuff.
  • Dancing Queen was playing on a stereo, a glitterball was turning, they were shouting with excitement at my having arrived.
  • They made me dance with them. Made me!
  • In the indoor twilight, under the influence of ABBA, I was invited to down a shot of vodka, port, or something non-alcoholic. (Vodka.)
  • One woman gave me a stick and the other climbed up on a chair, holding out a piñata. I was allowed three tries to burst the piñata. (At this point I had forgotten I was a six-foot tall man in my thirties, and I swung a little bit too hard in my eagerness, slightly unbalancing the momentarily-worried-looking lady on the chair. I suddenly remembered I was not at my own sixth birthday party, and took two very mild pokes at the piñata to no further effect.) My failure was applauded with cheers and confetti.
  • I had to blow out a candle on a cake. There was more dancing. The music had somehow changed to Xanadu. The lights changed and everything was dark, except for weird fluorescent shapes which suddenly appeared on the women's dresses as they shimmied "for you, Xanadu" to me, kissed me on the cheeks and kicked me out the door.
Whereupon the two gentlemen straight-facedly handed my bag and coat back and nodded a curt goodbye.

It was hard to top that; nonetheless, the main attraction of the evening was still to come.


I got into TISM when I was 19. "Whatareya?" had just come out and it was a work of genius. I bought the album "" and it was twelve works of genius. It came not with a hidden track, but literally with a hidden CD. It was an education for me in really delivering to an audience, of playing with expectations. TISM were a band. They were often described as an anti-band, or even "about a band", which gets close to what they were. Being an anti-band, they often attracted anti-fans, which I'm not sure is a concept that translates to people who are fans of regular bands. Because the members of TISM were clearly false personae, they adhered to a made-up, abstruse, and ever-changing philosophy. It was all nonsense, but great fun. Back in 1998, TISM were touring Australia and NZ, and lead singer Humphrey B Flaubert regularly posted wry, amusing updates on the forum on the album's website. This was my first year in uni, so you can imagine what a potent Bachelor of Arts cocktail of influence I was under. I loved the whole idea of TISM, and there was a great satisfaction in getting to know them more than ten years after their career had started. In about nine months, I had hoovered their decade-long oeuvre. But I had never got the message: TISM fans were supposed to hate TISM. It was supposedly a terrible mask-removal for Humphrey to post on the forum as if he was a real person who had dressed up in a balaclava and played a rock show. Certain of the fans criticised the band for failing to criticise the fans. I never paid an ounce of attention to this - Humphrey was my hero in those dying days when I was still young enough to have heroes.

I went to plenty of TISM gigs in Sydney and Canberra - once even trekking to Melbourne for the DeRigueurmortis launch gig (eight hours in a bus from Canberra, slept at a friend's house, did some record shopping, saw gig, slept in the North Melbourne Youth Hostel, then eight hours in a bus back to Canberra). I once met Humphrey. It was at the Amnesty International signing tent at Homebake. You joined a big queue in hopes that by the time you got to the front, the band you wanted to see would be in the middle of their 15-minute timeslot for signing. I joined the queue and chatted to this girl from my home town who wanted to get John Butler's autograph. When TISM's timeslot arrived I was miles from the front. Crucially, I also noticed the queue had stopped moving. The people at the front were hoping that Paul Dempsey would lay his hands on their stricken brows or something, and they didn't want to give up their spot to talk to TISM. I excused myself from the conversation and jumped the entire queue. I spoke to Tokin, I didn't try to be funny, just told him that I loved the band's music and it was nice to meet him. Then I noticed that Humphrey was free, and I asked to shake his hand. He seemed a bit pleased with this. I told him his music had changed my life. (It had.) He thanked me and asked my name. He then signed a piece of paper with the words "Hi Ryan, Dear Ryan, Do you like the Beta Band? -Humphrey". I then tried to be funny and it didn't work. In retrospect, I'm glad for that little failure; the character of Humphrey glowered at me like he did at so much besides.

I was living in Japan when TISM played their final gigs. I was living in the UK when Humphrey formed his new band Root!, broke up his new band Root!, started using his real name, Damian Cowell, for a solo album, then formed his newer band the DC3. By the time I moved back to Australia he had finished touring the first DC3 album. All up it was ten years between Damian Cowell gigs for me when I saw the DC3 at the Northcote Social Club in 2012. Since then I've seen a bunch. The launch gigs of the second DC3 album early this year were some of the most joyous experiences I've had at a gig. There are plenty of songs that welcome positivity, which in a way is surprising. That's not the schtick. But then the schtick was only ever a veneer, and I love the positive songs just like I enjoyed Humphrey posting back in the day about some sweet moment of connection with a member of the audience that he felt onstage at the Metro in 1998.

Back in August I saw the DC3 at the Workers Club in Fitzroy. Damian was as sick as a dog, he clearly needed to be at home in bed. I found it a bit confronting, because my dad had died a few months earlier and they both had the same shaped head; my dad had wasted away from an aggressive cancer and weirdly this made me worried about the man onstage. It's a wholly inappropriate way to feel about an artist you admire - concerned for their health - because as much as you can be concerned for anyone's health in general, you don't know this person. I've said hello to him once or twice. Every now and then I see him in the street, as his 9-to-5 job must be based fairly near mine. But that I've listened to his art weekly for the last fifteen years does not create a relationship, just a fan. I keep coming back. I hope he keeps putting stuff out.

"Modern Unconsciousness" was something I wasn't sure would be successful. In summary, it's a concept album performed live onstage. As the DC3's lyrics are often very fast and wordplay-heavy, I wasn't sure how well this would play in keeping a narrative going. Of course, this problem had been foreseen - they played in front of a giant PowerPoint projection which included all the lyrics. Like surtitles at the opera. Totally legitimate. The story is that DC, on the tram to Southern Cross station (as I myself am, every morning) experiences an odd form of enlightenment whereby he is granted access to Modern Unconsciousness, which is half exclusive nightclub, and half extended metaphor for the banality of success as posited by reality TV and celebrity. Almost all of the songs were new to me. ("Indistinguishable" made an appearance, along with revamped versions of "The Book of Job" and "Anakie")

Performancewise, Henri and Douglas anchor the stage with a genial determination not to draw attention to themselves too much. Douglas smiles and Henri doesn't. Damian runs around doing his trademark hold-a-pose every so often. The set was deliberately minimal. Not to give away the ending of the show, but there were only three props and two of them were bananas. They will not be winning a Helpmann Award. It was the best show I've seen for a long time.

I imagine that "Modern Unconsciousness" will form part of the next DC3 album - it's certainly full of excellent stuff: the God monologues, the song "The Invisible Gorilla" - it'd be a shame to never get a chance to hear these again. Maybe it could be the first album released as a PowerPoint file.

Did I say I'm too old to have heroes? Well... I take that back, maybe. And next time I see DC in the street you know what I'll do? I'll politely let him get on with his life without interrupting.


I was desperate to see one of these gigs, after falling in love with the single "Men Teach The Boiz (Gurlz Kiss the Boiz)". (Certain bands I like owe debts to the Residents.) It just didn't happen. Next time, C.E.E., next time.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Trichosurus vulpecula

Over the two years since my last post, I haven't pushed myself to read 100 new books and watch 100 new movies each year. This is what I read and watched in 2012 and 2011. Once again, re-reads and re-watches are in italics.

I moved home from the UK to Australia in late 2011, but my jobs in both countries involve copious public transport commutes. I made an effort to read every Peter Carey book in 2012 - I read 17 of 21. I'll knock the remaining four off in the first couple of months of 2013...

2012 BOOKS

B01. Australian Short Stories No 54
B01a. The Great McGonagall Scrapbook, Spike Milligan & Jack Hobbs
B02. Australian Short Stories No 46
B03. Australian Short Stories No 44
B03a. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
B04. Branded, Alissa Quart
B04a. The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
B05. C, Tom McCarthy
B06. The University of Melbourne: A Centenary Portrait, Norman Olver and Geoffrey Blainey
B07. Enough Rope with Andrew Denton 2, Andrew Denton et al
B08. Man Bites Murdoch, Bruce Guthrie
B09. A Nest of Occasionals, Tony Martin
B10. So Many Selves, Gabrielle Carey
B11. Voiceworks Issue 84: Pulp
B12. McSweeney's Issue 26
B13. Spoken Cat and Relevant Factors in Worldview, Alexandra Sellers
B14. Mingering Mike: The Amazing Career of an Imaginary Soul Superstar, Dori Hadar
B15. The Paradise Motel, Eric McCormack
B16. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Thomas de Quincey
B17. The Chemistry of Tears, Peter Carey
B18. Voiceworks Issue 85: Other
B19. Jim of the Hills, C. J. Dennis
B19a. Jack Maggs, Peter Carey
B20. Voiceworks Issue 73: Carnivale
B21. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
B22. The Fat Man in History, Peter Carey [international version]
B23. Voiceworks Issue 81: Birthmark
B24. Voiceworks Issue 86: V
B25. Voiceworks Issue 82: Hunger
B26. Voiceworks Issue 83: Technicolour
B26a. The Big Bazoohley, Peter Carey
B26b. His Illegal Self, Peter Carey
B27. Unpolished Gem, Alice Pung
B28. Voiceworks Issue 80: Missionary
B29. War Crimes, Peter Carey
B30. Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement without Giving in, Roger Fisher & William Ury
B31. Jizz, John Hart
B32. A Bit of a Postscript, Sue-Ann Post
B33. Travels in Atomic Sunshine, Robin Gerster
B34. In My Father's House, Gabrielle Carey
B35. Preincarnate, Shaun Micallef
B36. The Complete Talking Heads, Alan Bennett
B37. What She Said, Hariklia Heristanidis
B38. Family Wanted: Adoption Stories, ed. Sara Holloway
B39. Although of Course You End up Becoming Yourself, David Lipsky
B40. Funny Business: The Rise and Fall of Steve Vizard, Leonie Wood
B41. Smithereens, Shaun Micallef [2011 edition]
B42. The Pale King, David Foster Wallace
B43. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, David Foster Wallace
B44. Don't Get Too Comfortable, David Rakoff
B44a. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
B45. Belching out the Devil, Mark Thomas
B45a. Parrot and Olivier in America, Peter Carey
B45b. Bliss, Peter Carey
B46. Flying Visits, Clive James
B47. May Week was in June, Clive James
B48. Paradoxical Undressing, Kristin Hersh
B48a. Theft, Peter Carey
B49. You'll See, Egon Larsen
B50. Don't You Know who I Used to be?, Julia Morris
B50a: Tintin: Herge and his Creation, Harry Thompson
B51. How to Make Trouble and Influence People, Iain McIntyre
B52. Just my Type, Simon Garfield
B53. The Slow Guide: Melbourne, Martin Hughes et al
B53a. Oscar and Lucinda, Peter Carey
B53b. Tintin and the Secret of Literature, Tom McCarthy
B53c. The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith, Peter Carey
B53d. Animations of Mortality, Terry Gilliam
B54. Daggshead Revisited, Fred Dagg [John Clarke]
B55. Oscar and Lucinda: The Screenplay, Laura Jones
B56. Carlyle's House and Other Stories, Virginia Woolf
B56a. Peter Carey: The Genesis of Fame, Karen Lamb
B57. Monday or Tuesday, Virgina Woolf
B58. "53 Days", Georges Perec
B59. Lightning Rods, Helen DeWitt
B60. Riddley Walker, Russell Hoban
B61. The Hanging Garden, Patrick White
B61a. The Fahrenheit Twins, Michel Faber
B61b. Collected Stories, Peter Carey
B61c. My Life as a Fake, Peter Carey
B62. Start and Run Your Own Record Label, Dayelle Deanna Schwartz
B63. I, Partridge: We Need to Talk about Alan, Alan Partridge [Rob Gibbons et al]
B64. How Music Works, David Byrne
B65. Flaws in the Glass: a Self-portrait, Patrick White
B66. The Ballad of Erinungarah, David Foster
B67. Penguin Plays: Three Australian Plays, Alan Seymour, Douglas Stewart, Hal Porter
B67a. How I Escaped my Certain Fate, Stewart Lee
B68. The "If You Prefer a Milder Comedian, Please Ask for One" EP, Stewart Lee
B68a. Back to the Future, George Gipe
B69. Brazil, Michael Palin
B70. Bearbrass: Imagining Early Melbourne, Robyn Annear
B71. Quarterly Essay 22: Voting for Jesus: Christian and Politics in Australia, Amanda Lohrey
B72. Drink, Smoke, Pass Out: an Unlikely Spiritual Journey, Judith Lucy
B73. Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East, Benjamin Law
B74. NW, Zadie Smith
B75. Meanjin 4/1984
B76. The Solid Mandala, Patrick White
B77. Granta 89: the Factory
B77a. Wrong about Japan, Peter Carey


M01. We Need to Talk About Kevin, 2011
M02. Melancholia, 2011
M02a. A Zed & Two Noughts, 1985
M02b. Tideland, 2005
M02c. Being John Malkovich, 1999
M03. Death in Brunswick, 1991
M04. This Must be the Place, 2011
M05. A Dangerous Method, 2011
M06. Blood Diamond, 2006
M07. Dead Man's Shoes, 2004
M08. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, 2005
M09. Syriana, 2005
M10. Frost/Nixon, 2008
M11. Magicians, 2007
M12. A Queen is Crowned, 1953
M13. Iron Sky, 2012
M14. Fifty Dead Men Walking, 2008
M15. Traffic, 2000
M16. Eagle vs Shark, 2006
M17. Shanghai Surprise, 1986
M18. The Eye of the Storm, 2011
M19. Prometheus, 2012
M19a. Babel, 2006
M20. Nuit et brouillard, 1955 ["Night and Fog"]
M21. 空気人形, 2009 ["Air Doll"]
M22. (500) Days of Summer, 2009
M22a. Mauvais sang, 1986 ["Bad Blood"]
M23. 愛のむきだし, 2008 ["Love Exposure"]
M24. ヒミズ, 2011 ["Himizu"]
M24a. Somewhere: Pet Shop Boys in Concert, 1997
M25. Moonrise Kingdom, 2012
M25a. Caravaggio, 1986
M26. The Flipside of Dominick Hide, 1980
M27. The Day After, 1983
M28. Another Flip for Dominick, 1982
M29. T.I.S.M.: Incontinent in Ten Continents, 1991 [screen: T.I.S.M. Live at the Old Greek Theatre]
M30. Wuthering Heights, 2010
M31: Stewart Lee: Stand-up Comedian, 2005
M31a. Demolition Man, 1993
M32. The Master, 2012
M32a. Nightwatching, 2007
M33. テルマエロマエ, 2012 ["Thermae Romae"]
M34. Rembrandt's J'Accuse, 2008
M35. ヘルタースケルター, 2012 ["Helter Skelter"]
M36. Contagion, 2011
M37. Land of Plenty, 2004
M38. Tintin et les oranges bleues, 1964 ["Tintin and the Blue Oranges"]
M39. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 2012

2011 BOOKS

B01. Incredibly Strange Music Volume 1
B02. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: The Shooting Script
B03. Street Gang, Michael Davis
B04. Chaucer's Knight, Terry Jones
B04a. Wish You Were Here, Nick Webb
B05. Hawksmoor, Peter Ackroyd
B06. Watchmen, Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
B07. Dot Dot Dot 13
B08. Loops Issue 01
B08a. Disgusting Bliss: the Brass Eye of Chris Morris, Lucian Randall
B09. Cabinet Issue 35: Dust
B10. Qompendium Volume 1
B11. The Worst Date Ever, Jane Bussmann
B11a. Print is Dead: Books in Our Digital Age, Jeff GomezI
B12. With Nails, Richard E Grant
B13. The Tales of Beedle the Bard, J. K. Rowling
B14. Quidditch through the Ages, Kennilworthy Whisp [J. K. Rowling]
B15. Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander [J. K. Rowling]
B16. Where have all the Good Times Gone?: the Rise and Fall of the Record Industry, Louis Barfe
B17. Trouble on the Heath, Terry Jones
B18. Terra Incognita, Vladimir Nabokov
B18a. Theft: A Love Story, Peter Carey
B19. McSweeney's Issue 36
B19a. 45, Bill Drummond
B20. Arete Issue 18
B21. Breakfast in Brighton, Nigel Richardson
B22. Sean & David's Long Drive, Sean Condon
B23. The Lady in the Van, Alan Bennett
B24. My Name is Red, Orhan Pamuk
B24a. The Last Samurai, Helen DeWitt
B25. Penguin Modern Classics: the Complete List
B26. Instructions for American Servicemen in Australia 1942
B27. McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales
B28. The Colour out of Space, H. P. Lovecraft
B29. Rich in Russia, John Updike
B30. Rebel without a Crew, Robert Rodriguez
B31. The Man Who Walks, Alan Warner
B32. A Field Guide to the British, Sarah Lyall
B33. The Earthsea Quartet, Ursula le Guin
B33a. The Greedy Bastard Diary, Eric Idle
B34. Some of Us had been Threatening our Friend Colby, Donald Barthelme
B35. The Crime Wave at Blandings, P. G. Wodehouse
B36. Tales from Earthsea, Ursula le Guin
B37. The Ern Malley Affair, Michael Heyward
B37a. Gilliam on Gilliam, ed. Ian Christie
B38: Parky: My Autobiography, Michael Parkinson
B39: TVGoHome: TV Listings the Way they Should be, Charlie Brooker et al
B39a. The Secret Policeman's Third Ball
B40. The Last Chronicle of Barset, Anthony Trollope
B41. The Other Wind, Ursula le Guin
B42. House Music: the Oona King Diaries, Oona King
B43. The Better of McSweeney's Volume One
B44. About Alphabets, Hermann Zapf
B44a. The Magic Pudding, Norman Lindsay
B45. Penguin Science Fiction, ed. Brian Aldiss
B46. The Stars in the Bright Sky, Alan Warner
B47. Cabinet Issue 41: Infrastructure
B47a. Eleven, David Llewellyn
B47b. Very Naughty Boys, Robert Sellers
B47c. Lolly Scramble, Tony Martin
B48. A Chime of Windbells, Harold Stewart
B49. The Book of Revelation, Rupert Thomson
B50. The American Presidency 1945-2000, G. H. Bennett
B51. Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee
B52. An Artist of the Floating World, Kazuo Ishiguro
B53. Chinaman, Shehan Karunatilaka
B54. How I Escaped my Certain Fate, Stewart Lee
B55. Beyond Yellow English, eds. Angela Reyes and Adrienne Lo
B56. Selected Modern Short Stories
B57. Cold Beer and Crocodiles, Roff Smith
B58. Holden's Performance, Murray Bail
B58a. Spike: An Intimate Memoir, Norma Farnes
B59. +rosebud no. 3: Blindtext, Ralf Herms et al
B60. Stalin Ate my Homework, Alexei Sayle
B61. Dear Fatty, Dawn French
B61a. Griffin and Sabine, Nick Bantock
B62. It Ain't Necessarily So... Bro', Dr Karl Kruszelnicki
B62a. The Best of Men Behaving Badly, Simon Nye
B62b. Why do People Hate America? Ziauddin Sardar & Merryl Wyn Davies
B63. What If? Australian History as it might have been, eds. Stuart Macintyre & Sean Scalmer
B64. Diary, Chuck Palahniuk
B65. A Long Way Home, Charles Granquist
B65a. Penguin Soup for the Soul, Tom Tomorrow
B66. Meeting Dr Johnson, James Boswell
B66a. How to be a Complete Bastard, Adrian Edmondson
B66b. Forrest Gump, Winston Groom
B67. Revelation [intro. Will Self]
B67a. The D-Generation Bumper Book of Aussie Heroes, John Alsop et al
B67b. The Complete Bastard's Book of the Worst, Adrian Edmondson
B67c. Nothing... Except my Genius, Oscar Wilde [intro. Stephen Fry]
B68. Australian Short Stories No 47
B69. Beating about the Bush, Len Beadell
B69a. More Laughter in the Air, Colin Burgess
B69b. Raising Archie, Richard Morecroft
B69c. Masquerade, Kit Williams
B69d. Thatcha! The Real Maggie Memoirs, Spitting Image [Mark Burton et al]
B70. Still in the Bush, Len Beadell
B70a. Incredibly Strange Music Volume II
B70b. (The Appallingly Disrespectful) Spitting Image (Book), John Lloyd et al
B71. Australian Short Stories No 33


M01. 武士の家計簿, 2010 ["Abacus and Sword"]
M02. ノルウェイの森, 2010 ["Norwegian Wood"]
M03. Animal Kingdom, 2009
M04. 踊る大捜査線 THE MOVIE3 ヤツらを解放せよ!, 2010 ["Bayside Shakedown 3"]
M05. The Social Network, 2010
M06. Brighton Rock, 2010
M07. Silk, 2007
M08. Permanent Vacation, 1980
M08a. Stranger Than Paradise, 1984
M08b. Whoops Apocalypse, 1986
M08c. The Darjeeling Limited, 2007
M09. Pina 3D, 2011
M09a. Hot Fuzz, 2007
M10. Wall-E, 2008
M11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, 2011
M12. Das Leben der Anderen, 2006 ["The Lives of Others"]
M13. Elle s'appelait Sarah, 2010 ["Sarah's Key"]
M14. Bed Peace, 1969
M15. La Piel que Habito, 2011 ["The Skin I Live in"]
M15a. ノルウェイの森, 2010 ["Norwegian Wood"]
M16. Avatar, 2009
M17. The Duchess, 2008
M18. Chicken Run, 2000
M19. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, 1988
M20. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, 2011
M20a. The Draughtsman's Contract, 1982
M20b. Drop Dead Gorgeous, 1999
M21. Paul, 2011
M22. サルベージマイス, 2011 ["Salvage Mice"]
M23. ステキな金縛り, 2011 ["Once in a Blue Moon", since retitled "A Ghost of a Chance"]
M24. American: the Bill Hicks story, 2010
M25. The Iron Lady, 2011

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Potorous gilbertii

In January 2010 I realised that I was about to get a lot of time to read books. I was starting a new job that would involve almost four hours of commuting to London and back every weekday, and as I had accumulated a lot of books (largely of the late eighties sketch comedy tie-in sort), I decided to read them all.

I set myself a target of 100 new books (new to me, not newly published). This figure was chosen because (a) it didn't seem too hard, and (b) because I had heard Tony Martin give an interview on RRR in which he said he had done the same thing. (He had to read a few slim comics on December 31st, but had hit the target.) As Tony is a relatively busy man, I though that with a dedicated four hours per day I could hit one hundred with no problem.

Eager for punishment, I then decided to watch 100 new films as well (again, new to me, not newly released). This works out at two entire books and two entire movies per week, every week. It was exhausting.

It didn't help that at first I just read whatever I wanted, including re-reading old favourites (which were ineligible for the count). It didn't help that I crammed in both Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. It didn't help that by November I was reduced to watching abysmal movies on Youtube for which the copyright had slipped through the cracks (Wake Me When the War is Over is one that will never leave my film- and caffeine-addled psyche). However, it did help that my wife is into movies and suffered through a lot of these with me. It also helped that she works as a freelance from home, so I would often stagger in after work to see her in the middle of a particularly intense piece of concentration, and know it would be better for all concerned if I scurried into the corner with a book.

Assessing what was a movie and what was a book was sometimes surprisingly difficult. The Cremaster series: are they all movies? One of them's three hours long, so surely it's a movie. But one's forty minutes long, is that a movie? And if it is, does that mean a 45 minute episode of Doctor Who is a movie? McSweeney's: is that a book? Is a collection of short stories a book? What if the same collection is published in magazine format? The Earthsea novels, are they all separate books if I read them in one volume? (This particular question went unanswered, as I couldn't be bothered finishing even the first book of the series.)

The most interesting discovery was that 100 books and 100 movies is just too much to take in, if one aims to live a happy life. This made me realise that I have a demonstrably finite number of books and movies left to watch in my entire life (I am 31). At 50 books and movies per year, assuming my eyes remain serviceable for another forty years, I'll get to read another 2000 books. This sounds like a lot. But it is probably the number of books we own. I could spend my time from now to the grave just re-reading everything I've deemed worthy of keeping. As for movies, there's just too much crap. My favourite film of the year was probably The Magic Christian, which most likely only shows how skewed one's critical sense becomes when forcing all this cinematic meat through the wringer. I also got confused in April and again in November so ended up watching 102 movies anyway. Of these, 35 were from Britain, 28 from the United States, 9 from Australia, 9 from France, 8 from Japan, and 13 from 'Other'.

Was it a massive waste of time? Yes. Was it a lot of fun? Yes. Will I be reading another Tim Winton book? No.

The list in full (italicised are those I had read/watched before but earned a second look):



1. Floating Weeds, 1959

2. The Road, 2009

3. Precious (Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire), 2009

4. The Millionairess, 1960

5. The End of Summer, 1961

6. A Prophet, 2009

7. Ugetsu Monogatari, 1953


1. Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules, David Sedaris (ed)

2. The Clumsiest People in Europe, Mrs Favell Lee Mortimer



8. The Proposition, 2005

9. Burma VJ, 2008

10. The Trial of Tony Blair, 2007

11. Fine, Totally Fine, 2008

12. Seven Samurai, 1954

13. UHF, 1989

14. A Single Man, 2009

15. Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1954

16. Capitalism: A Love Story, 2009


3. Life in a Scotch Sitting Room, Vol 2, Ivor Cutler

4. Japanese for Travellers, Katie Kitamura

5. On Love and Barley: Haiku of Basho

6. Islomania, Thurston Clarke

6a. Barcelona Plates, Alexei Sayle

7. The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel

8. A Companion to James Joyce's Ulysses, Margot Norris (ed)

9. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami

10. Brit-Think, Ameri-Think: A Transatlantic Survival Guide, Jane Walmsley

11. How to Read Joyce, Derek Attridge

12. Codebreaker, Stephen Pincock

MARCH 2010:


17. Micmacs, 2009

18. The Colour of Pomegranates, 1968

19. Sodom and Gomorrah, 1963

20. The Night We Called it a Day, 2003.


13. Show Me the Magic: Travels Round Benin by Taxi, Annie Caulfield

14. James Joyce's Ulysses: A Student Guide, Vincent Sherry

15. Parrot and Olivier in America, Peter Carey

16. Amazonia: Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot-Com Juggernaut, James Marcus

17. That Was the Week That Was, David Frost & Ned Sherrin (eds)

18. Mouse or Rat?: Translation as Negotiation, Umberto Eco

18a. Introducing Joyce, David Norris & Carl Flint

19. Fat Chance, Simon Gray

20. The Bed-Sitting Room, Spike Milligan & John Antrobus

APRIL 2010:


21. The Juniper Tree, 1990

22. Alice in Wonderland, 2010

23. Goshu the Cellist, 1982

24. Cremaster 1, 1995

25. Cremaster 2, 1999

26. I Am Love, 2009

26. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, 2009

27. Cremaster 3, 2002

28. Cremaster 4, 1995

29. Cremaster 5, 1997


21. Language and the Internet, David Crystal

22. Seven Words You Can't Say on Television, Steven Pinker

23. Attacks of Opinion, Terry Jones

23a. Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years, Michael Palin

23b. Ulysses, James Joyce

23c. Black Swan Green, David Mitchell

MAY 2010:


30. The Tulse Luper Suitcases 1: The Moab Story, 2003

31. Cathy Come Home, 1966

32. Four Lions, 2010

33. Ben Elton Live: the Get a Grip Tour, 2007

34. The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, 1974


24. Halfway to Hollywood: Diaries 1980-1988, Michael Palin

25. By Hook of by Crook: A Journey in Search of English, David Crystal

26. Disgusting Bliss: The Brass Eye of Chris Morris, Lucian Randall

27. Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas: (Not) The Screenplay, Terry Gilliam & Tony Grisoni

28. Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties, Ian MacDonald

29. The Art of Coarse Acting, Michael Green

29a. Time Bandits: A Screenplay, Michael Palin & Terry Gilliam

30. The Brain-Dead Megaphone, George Saunders

31. Le Grand Meaulnes, Alain-Fournier

32. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, David Mitchell

33. Extreme Europe, Stephen Barber

34. Eunoia, Christian Bok

35. The Best American Non-Required Reading 2002, Dave Eggers (ed)

36. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003, Dave Eggers (ed)

JUNE 2010:


35. Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance, 2009

36. Serenity, 2005


37. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004, Dave Eggers (ed)

38. Things the Grandchildren Should Know, Mark Oliver Everett

39. Spike & Co, Graham McCann

40. Granta 108, Special Issue: Chicago, John Freeman (ed)

41. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005, Dave Eggers (ed)

41a. 253, Geoff Ryman

42. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Film Tie-in Edition, Douglas Adams

42a. In the Skin of a Lion, Michael Ondaatje

43. Rouse Up, O Young Men of the New Age!, Kenzaburo Oe

44. A Quiet Life, Kenzaburo Oe

JULY 2010:


37. Lennon Naked, 2010

38. The Kentucky Fried Movie, 1977

38a. The Fisher King, 1991

39. Stiff, 2004

40. Toy Story 3, 2010

41. XXY, 2007

42. Inception, 2010

43. Gran Torino, 2008


45. The Wild Highway, Bill Drummond & Mark Manning

46. English Passengers, Matthew Kneale

46a. Appendix Appendix, Ryan Gander & Stuart Bailey

47. Eucalyptus, Murray Bail

48. San Sombrero, Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner & Rob Sitch

49. Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

AUGUST 2010:


44. The Cove, 2009

45. Gainsbourg, 2009

45a. Ed Wood, 1994

46. Sherlock: A Study in Pink, 2010

47. Sherlock: The Blind Banker, 2010

48. Sherlock: The Great Game, 2010

48a. Pleasure at Her Majesty's, 1976

48b. The Mermaid Frolics, 1977

49. The Secret Policeman's Ball, 1979

50. The Illusionist, 2010

51. Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1984

52. The Secret Policeman's Other Ball, 1982

53. The Nugget, 2002

53a. Paprika, 2006


50. McSweeney's Quarterly Concern 13, Chris Ware (ed)

51. Islam for Beginners, N. I. Matar

52. Introducing Hinduism, Vinay Lal & Borin Van Loon

53. A Fortune-Teller Told Me, Tiziano Terzani

54. I'm Coming to Take You to Lunch, Simon Napier-Bell

55. Da Capo Best Music Writing 2001, N Hornby & B Schafer (eds)

56. The House of Packer: The Making of a Media Empire, Bridget Griffen-Foley

57. Who Killed Channel 9?, Gerald Stone



53b. Four Lions, 2010

53c. Porco Rosso, 1992

54. The Snow Queen, 1957

55. Hancock & Joan, 2008

56. The King and the Mockingbird, 1980

57. Candy, 1968

58. The Secret Policeman's Third Ball, 1987

58a. The Secret Policeman's Biggest Ball, 1989

58b. Amnesty International's Big 30, 1991

59. Remember the Secret Policeman's Ball?..., 2004


58. Da Capo Best Music Writing 2003, M Groening & P Bresnick (eds)

58a. The Underground Man, Mick Jackson

58b. Five Boys, Mick Jackson

59. Sahara, Michael Palin

60. A Pale View of Hills, Kazuo Ishiguro

61. Heavier Then Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain, Charles R Cross

62. Schoolgirl Milky Crisis: Adventures in the Anime and Manga Trade, Jonathan Clements

63. And Another Thing..., Eoin Colfer

63a. The Weeping Women Hotel, Alexei Sayle

64. That Eye, the Sky, Tim Winton

65. The Death of Bunny Munro, Nick Cave

66. Minimum of Two, Tim Winton

67. Absolutely - The Words, P Baikie, M Banks, J Docherty, M Hunter, G Kennedy, J Sparkes

68. The Beekeeper, Maxence Fermine

69. Eleven, David Llewellyn

70. The Fire Gospel, Michel Faber

71. Malvinas Requiem, Rodolfo Fogwill

72. The Ventriloquist's Tale, Pauline Melville



60. Finisterre, 2003

61. Kokoda, 2006

62. I Now Pronounce You Vince and Ralph, 2004

63. The Brush-Off, 2004

64. Away From Her, 2006

65. Don't Look Now, 1973

66. Crying with Laughter, 2009

67. The Madness of King George, 1994

68. On the Beat, 1962

69. Mona Lisa, 1986

70. High Hopes, 1988

71. Steve Coogan: The Man Who Thinks He's It, 1998

72. Extraordinary Rendition, 2007

73. Enter the Void, 2010

74. Dawn of the Dead, 1978


73. Flight of Black Swans, Laura Fish

74. Strange Music, Laura Fish

75. The Land where Stories End, David Foster

76. Travel Writing, Peter Ferry

77. Nerd Do Well, Simon Pegg

78. The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club, Peter Hook

79. The Clay Dreaming, Ed Hillyer



75. Whale Rider, 2002

76. Down Among the Z Men, 1952

77. The Magic Christian, 1969

78. Glengarry Glen Ross, 1992

79. Kenny, 2006

80. Junkers Come Here, 1995

80a. The Tulse Luper Suitcases 1: The Moab Story, 2003

81. The Tulse Luper Suitcases 2: Vaux to the Sea, 2004

82. Night Tide, 1961

83. The Brother from Another Planet, 1984

84. Never Let Me Go, 2010

85. Wake Me When the War is Over, 1969

86. Irina Palm, 2006

87. Youth Without Youth, 2007


80. Screen Burn, Charlie Brooker

81. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2006, D Eggers & M Groening (eds)

82. The 47 Ronin Story, John Allyn

83. Finnegans Wake, James Joyce

84. Gasping, Ben Elton

85. What the Censor Saw, John Trevelyan

86. Mutants, Armand Marie Leroi

87. [manuscript of novel due for publication June 2011]

88. McSweeney's 19, Dave Eggers (ed)

89. Waltzing Materialism, Jonathan King

90. I, an Actor, Nicholas Craig (aka Nigel Planer)

91. My Life as Me: A Memoir, Barry Humphries

92. Miracles of Life, JG Ballard



87. OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies, 2006

88. The Edge of Heaven, 2007

89. The Tulse Luper Suitcases 3: From Sark to Finish, 2004

90. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, 2007

91. Primeval, 2007

91a. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, 2007

92. Submarine, 2010

93. Frozen River, 2008

94. The Manxman, 1929

95. Steal This Movie!, 2000

96. Maybe Baby, 1999

97. The Music Room, 1958

98. Blame it on Fidel, 2006

99. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, 2008

100. The Tree, 2010


93. Oblivion: Stories, David Foster Wallace

94. Understanding Jihad, David Cook

95. Old Flames & A Month in the Country, Simon Gray

96. The Irrational Knot, George Bernard Shaw

97. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007, D Eggers & S Stevens (eds)

98. The Third Policeman, Flann O'Brien

99. The Eye, Vladimir Nabokov

100. Cloudstreet, Tim Winton