Flat White

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Robin and Eric

Having been in a loving relationship for two months, Robin and Eric were hot to trot and tied the knot…

9 Dec 2017

Ben Canaider

As readers may be aware, December began in sunny Melbourne with a deluge of biblical proportions – or so Melburnians…

9 Dec 2017

The unacceptable cost of renewables

Parts of Europe may be tearing themselves apart politically over the vast costs of adopting renewable energy, but Australian voters…

9 Dec 2017

Flash in the pan

Last week an unlikely event took place: something interesting happened at the Arias. The Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards…

9 Dec 2017

Bopping with Bippera

In 2012, as James Morrison was collecting his trumpet from the baggage carousel at Cairns airport, a fan approached to…

Red meds

In November’s Lancet, editor Dr Richard Horton has liberated his esteemed medical journal from the shackles of science by inviting…

9 Dec 2017

Business/Robbery etc

We now know why so many listed public company directors are more concerned with social and environmental virtue-signalling than focussing…

2 Dec 2017

Survival or expediency?

The federal parliamentary party is divided, disordered, dystopian. The Prime Minister’s leadership lacks clear purpose and vision. Budget repair isn’t…

2 Dec 2017

Xu Zhen Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana

When state governments put money into cultural events they like them to be large and ‘exclusive’. Well, the Victorian Government…

9 Dec 2017

Bronwyn Oliver in her studio 1995

Her life may have ended eleven years ago at the age of only 47, but sculptor Bronwyn Oliver remains a…

2 Dec 2017

Elizabeth Harrower returning to Sydney in 1959

It is a wonderful story in itself. After a self-imposed ‘exile’ of four decades, Elizabeth Harrower became an internationally acclaimed…

25 Nov 2017

Helen Sherman

This year sees the 450th anniversary of the birth of Claudio Monteverdi, a pioneer of opera and a crucial transitional…

18 Nov 2017

This time last year I was radiating optimism; what a difference a year makes

As the song almost says, what a difference a year makes: 2017 is not over yet, but it’s been a…

9 Dec 2017

How a human body burns

I took a dab of antiseptic gel and rubbed my hands together. ‘Alone tonight, sir?’ said the charming head waiter.…

9 Dec 2017

My horse is a cross between Hannibal Lecter and Reggie Kray

While the vet was checking Gracie, I asked him to take a look at Tara, the old chestnut hunter. Just…

9 Dec 2017

The dark side of horse racing

Spotting Mark Grant’s name on an Ascot racecard, I remembered a dashing young mop-haired rider I first encountered some years…

9 Dec 2017

How cool is your fridge?

Mrs Thatcher once explained that she adored cleaning the fridge because, in a complicated life, it was one of the…

9 Dec 2017

Christmas quiz books galore

There can be few challenges more daunting for the assiduous reviewer than a pile of Christmas ‘gift’ books sitting on…

9 Dec 2017

The short, reckless life of Andrea Dunbar

In her debut novel, Adelle Stripe recounts the brief, defiant life of the playwright Andrea Dunbar. Dunbar was raised on…

9 Dec 2017

Midwinter murders: the best Christmas thrillers

It’s difficult to keep a crime series going after 11 books but Boris Akunin manages it well in All the…

9 Dec 2017

What will Katie Hopkins do next?

In her memoir Rude, the former Mail Online columnist Katie Hopkins reveals her true self. She does this by accident,…

9 Dec 2017

Bob Dylan is a modern-day Odysseus

‘There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.’…

Love and letters in a Bloomsbury triangle

Dora Carrington (1893–1932) was at the heart of the Bloomsbury story. As an art student, she encountered the love of…

9 Dec 2017

Jesmyn Ward sees dead people

The events of this book take place where the world of the living and the world of the dead rub…

Edward Garnett and his diligent blue pencil

Edward Garnett, radical, pacifist, freethinker, Russophile man of letters, was from the 1890s onwards for many years the pre-eminent fixer…

Reading Norman Davies’s global history is like wading through porridge

For many of us, life has become global. Areas which were previously tranquil backwaters are now hives of international activity.…

2 Dec 2017

Mary Wesley’s passionate lifelong love affair

The novelist Mary Wesley never forgot the night of 26 October 1944. She was then 32, locked in a loveless…

A survey of this year’s children’s books sets the cat among the pigeons

Back in 1990, Roald Dahl wrote a book called The Minpins, which was illustrated by Patrick Benson, a very good…

2 Dec 2017