Monday, September 13, 2010

Collecting the twentieth century

Adrian Franklin looks at the collectables of last century in the fields of fashion, technology, architecture, design, music, arts and crafts. The book is divided into decades providing descriptions and photographs of items important to each period. Those who watch television programs such as Bargain Hunt and Antiques Roadshow will find this a useful reference for providing additional information on many types of items found in those shows. The book may also provide inspiration for those wanting to start their own collections.

Siizzling sixteen

Another installment in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich with the usual ingredients of cars and buildings destroyed, difficulties in apprehending bail absconders, a cast of crazy characters and, of course, the presence of Morelli and Ranger. In this volume Vinnie has been kidnapped by gangsters and a ransom of more than a million dollars has to be found for his release. Stephanie, Lula and Connie devise a number of plans to rescue Vinnie and save the Company from which Vinnie has been embezzling money. Many of the situations are becoming predictable ( this is the sixteenth book in the series) but there were still a number of occasions when I found myself laughing at the incredible shenanigans portrayed in the book. As usual a fun, relaxing read.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Captain Bligh's other mutiny

Stephen Dando-Collins provides an account of the military coup that occurred in Sydney on 26 January 1808 resulting in the removal of William Bligh from his position as governor of the colony and resulting in two years of rule by the military until Lachlan Macquarie arrived from England in 1810 to take over the role of governor. Although Major Johnston led the coup the power behind the rebellion was that of John Macarthur, a former member of the army corps but now a landowner in the colony, and much of the book investigates the machinations of Macarthur in taking control of the colony.

The interest in this period of Australian history is not just of the rebellion and its aftermath including the enquiries into the event and trial of Macarthur back in England but in the descriptions of life in the colony at this time.

From the family history viewpoint, Simeon Lord was one of the colonists who signed the petition authorising the arrest of Bligh. A number of references are made to Simeon throughout the book. He obviously felt that Supporting Macarthur against Bligh was a strategically good move at the time but later refused to continue support Macarthur as Macarthur sought to increase his power-base. However Simeon was not the only family member to be mentioned. When Bligh sailed to Hobart seeking the support of Colonel Collins, George Guest was one of the colonists who defied the government orders and made available supplies to Bligh and his party on the ship. George was arrested for defying Collins' orders.

This book was published in 2008 - two hundred years after the coup. Another book on this topic is The Rum Rebellion written by H V Evatt and published in 1938.

Book of lost threads

When Moss searches for the father she never knew she unleashes a chain of events that affect the lives of a group of people, all of whom have not come to terms with traumatic events that have affected their subsequent actions and lives.

Her father, Finn, blames himself for the death of a girl who ran in front of his car, Lily Pargetter grieves for the stillborn baby she was never able to hold, Sandy Sandilands regrets never having protected his mother from his abusive father while Tess regrets her attitude towards her mother, Linsey.

Tess Evans' book explores how these damaged people gradually come to terms with their problems and work together to once again positively face life. Thank you Pauline for recommending this book.