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Blogging is to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud. ~ Andrew Sullivan

Share your writing on Tall And True, an online showcase and forum for writers, readers and publishers.

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton - Omen or Inspiration?

In May 1992, the local literary news was full of the success of Tim Winton and Cloudstreet. I thought it an omen. Winton was thirty-one-years-old, and I was thirty. He'd grown up in W.A., and so had I. He'd just won his second Miles Franklin Award, and I was having a second crack at being a writer!

The Gorilla Hunters by R.M. Ballantyne

The Gorilla Hunters

There were old tea chests in a spare room at my grandparents' house, from which my younger brother and I unearthed 78 RPM records, 1940s Film Fun Annuals and Biggles books that had belonged to my father and uncle as boys. But the greatest treasure for this boy was a mint copy of The Gorilla Hunters.

The Books You Read At School - Animal Farm by George Orwell

Books You Read At School

Ask anyone who, like me, was a kid in Australia the 1970s, "What books did you read at school?" and we're likely to recall at least three novels. For me, these three are the classics, the ones I had to read, analyse and write essays on in English. And I still have copies of them in my bookcase!

Anne Frank's Diary

The Diary of Anne Frank

Like many, I learnt about Anne Frank's story as a school kid. But it wasn't until my early thirties that I appreciated the full grace and horror of her diaries. A theatre-production of The Diary of Anne Frank was soon followed by reading The Diary, and a visit to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

Last Orders by Graham Swift

English Pubs and Last Orders

I lived in England from 1987 to 1995, and as well as loving the countryside, the quaint villages and towns, and the people, I loved the English pubs. The pubs I frequented were social meeting places, for men and women, and not just somewhere for blokes to get plastered and start fights.

Their Finest: Large Print Edition

Large Print Editions

Having watched the movie versions of Their Finest and The Zookeeper's Wife, I was pleased to track down the books in my local library. The librarian, however, quizzed me with an arched eyebrow, "They are large print editions, is that okay?" It felt like she was telling me the books were in simple-English.

Songlines: The NMA Exhibition & Classic Bruce Chatwin Book

The Songlines

Over many years and many moves, I've cultivated and culled my book collection. Now have a manageable medium-sized library, books I haven't got around to reading and those I plan to read again ... one day! Somewhere along the way, I misplaced a favourite from the 1980s, The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin.

Tall And True Favourite Library

My Favourite Libraries

The futuristically designed library in Tianjin, China, aptly nicknamed, The Eye, is lined from floor to cathedral high ceilings with bookshelves that follow the curved contours of the building. It set me thinking about the libraries I've visited over the years and fondly recalling my favourites.

Tall And True microfiction on Twitter

We Need to Talk (Microfiction)

To celebrate the introduction of 280-character Tweets by Twitter, Meanjin Quarterly ran a microfiction competition. The rules were simple: tweet a 280-character story and include the hashtag #meanjin280. The top ten stories were published on the Meanjin Blog and the authors paid one dollar a word. 

Their Finest by Lissa Evans

Their Finest by Lissa Evans

It was a warm, lazy afternoon last Sunday and I took advantage of the day to sprawl and finish Their Finest by Lissa Evans. I'd started reading the book after seeing the film version, a British period comedy-drama about the making of a propaganda film and life on the home front during The Blitz.

Ben Elton - Stark

Signed Stark by Ben Elton

I recently attended a special screening of Three Summers. After the film, there was a Q&A session with the writer/director, Ben Elton. I have loved his writing since reading Stark in 1989. So it was a great privilege to meet Ben in person after the Q&A and for him to sign my yellowed copy of Stark!

Nevil Shute - On The Beach

Nevil Shute by Richard Thorn

I commented on Facebook recently that with all the bleak news on North Korea and brinksmanship by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, I thought I'd dust off and re-read my old second-hand bookshop copy of Nevil Shute's On the Beach ... to prepare for the worst, just in case! 

Red Mailbox

Days of Gentle Rejections

In these days of instant gratification, it's hard to believe once upon a time wanna-be writers would type and print their manuscripts, post them to publishers with a reply-paid, self-addressed-envelope. And then wait and wait and wait, for an offer to publish or, more likely, a rejection letter.

Books reading in September

What Books Are You Reading?

The Writer’s Circle recently posed a question for book lovers on Facebook: What book are you currently reading? In my case, the answer is not singular, but plural. I’m currently reading three books — along with a few more on my bedside table I’ll probably need to take with me to my grave to finish!

Sooty's Annual 1963

My First Book

Penguin Books Australia a good question on Facebook to celebrate International Literacy Day: What is the first book you remember reading?  I don’t remember my first book, but it must have been a Sooty or Joe 90 Annual - I still have the former, but sadly the latter has long since gone missing.

Their Finest (The Film)

Their Finest (The Film)

The other night I watched Their Finest, based on the 2009 novel Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lissa Evans, a British period comedy-drama about the making of a propaganda film and life on the home front during The Blitz. But it also had a modern take on the role of women in society and the war effort.

Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl

Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl

A pleasant memory from 2013 popped up in my Facebook timeline the other day. It was a comment I’d made in response to a post by the Sydney Writers' Festival on a “fantastic find” in Sappho Books, Glebe, a treasured secondhand copy of Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox.

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