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Quarterly Essay: Enemy Within


ReadQuarterly Essay, vol. 63;  Watson, Don,  16 September 2016  (Australian)

  1. I’m trying to read a back-log of essays…and this one caught my eye!
  2. Enemy Within – American Politics in the Time of Trump  by  Don Watson
  3. This essay was written BEFORE Trump won the US election.



  1. This is one TOP NOTCH  piece of writing!
  2. I am amazed how Don Watson (Australian) has written such
  3. clever an insightful observations about a
  4. complex and chaotic American political landscape.


  1. Strong point: D. Watson is well read.
  2. He uses this information…to support his conclusions.
  3. The Tragedy of American Diplomacy (W. A. Williams, 1988)
  4. America’s War for the Greater Middle East (A. Bacevich, 2016)


  1. Strong point: writing style
  2. Don Watson is cheeky and at times irreverent.
  3. For example calling  John Foster Dulles
  4. …and his brother Allen door-kickers
  5. hitmen for the cause of US world supremacy. (ouch)
  6. Watson  gives us a refreshing look
  7. at the divides in America (Blue-Red sates)
  8. zooms in on the ‘purple state’ of Wisconsin,
  9. the circus  we call the US elections,
  10. the TV news media and the candidates.
  11. …especially the appeal of Bernie Sanders!


  1. Strong point: Best chapter: 6
  2. Watson makes remarkable comparisons between
  3. Trump’s campaign….and fascism
  4. …fanning the flames of rhetoric to win votes.


Last thoughts:

  1. I am very, very impressed with Don Watson’s essay.
  2. He is one of Australia’s foremost writers and intellectuals.
  3. There are so many Australian writers who we must discover!
  4. After reading this thought provoking essay
  5. …I think of a phrase I saw on the internet:
  6. Obama is the America…it thinks it is
  7. Trump is the America….it knows it is.


Here are a few gems:

  1. US:
  2. The United States is a concatenation of sulky tribes provincial
  3. …ignorant and seething with ambition…. [OUCH!]


  1. US TV NEWS:
  2. The pundits are not there to judge the quality of thought or action
  3. An election is a horse race and
  4. …no one cares what horses are thinking. [OUCH!]


  1. TRUMP vs TV NEWS:
  2. Donald Trump understands the news channels
  3. better than they understand themselves.
  4. His “outrageous” tweets push people toward the media
  5. and the media towards him.
  6. He dominates the news.
  7. He wins every day.
  8. Even when he loses, he wins!   [HOW TRUE….]


  2. Americans want a president through whom God can act.
  3. But as well as the right president
  4. …it must be the right god.
  5. Trump understands this too.
  6. [DE TOCQUEVILLE…wonders has TRUMP read my book?]
  7. Personally…I don’t think Democracy in America is on Trump’s TBR.


  2. Sanders never had to worry about an “image problem,
  3. …because he didn’t have an image.
  4. When he appeared on television he did not look like
  5. …a man in search of a camera;
  6. …more like a man  just retired
  7. …who  stumbled in on a talkshow  [LOL]



St. Joan


  • Author: G.B. Shaw
  • Title: St. Joan (1412-1431)
  • Produced : 29 March 1924,  New Theatre London
  • Three-time Tony nominee Condola Rashad will take on the title role.
  • Shaw  wrote the play when he was 70 years old.
  • The title role had been written with Sybille Thorndike specifically in mind.
  • Trivia: Nobles Challenge
  • Trivia: Shaw was awarded the  Nobel Prize for Litrature 1925
  • Trivia: This play helped Shaw  win Nobel Prize for Literature 1925
  • Trivia: St Joan will open on Broadway on the 25th of April 2018.
  • Trivia:  Monthly planning 2018


  1. St. Joan
  2. Robert de Baudricourt  (local squire where Joan lives)
  3. Richard de Beauchamp (Machiavellian English Earl of Warwick)
  4. Peter Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, tried to find Joan a loophole in the Inquisition.
  5. John De Stogumber is Warwick’s chaplain (religious fanatic).
  6. Dauphin, Charles (heir to the throne)
  7. Archbishop of Rheims
  8. Dunois, Commander of the French troops at Orleans
  9. ..and God and France are also major players in this play



  1. We all know the plot:  (1 act with 7 scenes)
  2. Joan of Arc, claiming to have been told directly by God to
  3. flush the English out of northern France.
  4. She was granted control of the French army in 1429.
  5. She went on to break the siege of Orléans, only to be captured by the English.
  6. In the end she was tried for heresy and burnt at the stake.
  7. Timeline: 
  8. scenes  1-5 (February – July 1429);
  9. scene  6 (May 1431, trial and burning at the stake)
  10. scene 7 (25 years later…1456) epilogue



  1. This is a tragedy …with comic moments.
  2. Shaw’s  melancholy attitude in part the result of his reaction to WWI.
  3. It took the Church of Rome nearly 500 years
  4. ….to decide whether she was a heretic or a saint.
  5. It took the Church of Rome only 30 minutes to burn her!
  6. Shaw wrote the play 3 years after St. Joan’s canonization.
  7. The play contains some of the playwright’s most acerbic writing.
  8. Strong point: Girl power
  9. the role of Saint Joan is …considered the actress’s equivalent of Hamlet
  10. It is not an easy role.
  11. Joan gushes sentimentality and melodrama yet she must…
  12. make Joan believable with her passion for both soldiering and religion.
  13. Strong point: epilogue
  14. This is THE most powerful part of the play….magnificent!
  15. #MustReadClassic …once in your lifetime!
  16. I read the play  (free online)
  17. and listened to an audio version.
  18. I highly recommend St. Joan with Siobhan McKenna.
  19. It is available at


Last thoughts:

  1. I was surprised to learn that Shaw made specific notes about the play.
  2. He did NOT want it to be preformed in a medieval setting!
  3. On opening night…..faced with medieval stage decor, Shaw said:
  4. “They’ve killed my play.”
  5. National Theatre London broadcast on 16th February 2017 
  6. St. Joan with Gemma Arterton  live from the Donmar Warehouse.
  7. Here is a short trailer just to give you an impression.
  8. I hope this performance will be available on DVD soon.







Les Misérables ch 10 – 14


Update: 10.01.2018 –       ch 10   …very long reading today!

  1. I was glad I read the notes before I started this chapter.
  2. Two characters have a long conversation.
  3. One is L’évêque de Digne and the other is
  4. le conventional G.  (luminère inconnue)
  5. It seems Hugo has put much of himself,  his own thoughts
  6. and feelings about his exile into the mouth of
  7. le conventional G.  (luminère inconnue).

After a debate with ‘vieux scélerat de G.  Climax: Myriel’s political conversion. Irony: Myriel came to give a blessing but he receives one from G redoubling tenderness for ‘les souffrants’  Moral: Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. ch X


Update:  11.01.2018      ch 11 …flashback  1809-1815

This was a difficult chapter to follow in French.

Metaphors:  Hugo uses the metaphors between light and dark. M. Myriel had his bitter moments (heure d’amertume),  his clouded thoughts (son nuage). But he never lost sight of  the three pure lights: truth, justice and charity.

Napoléon:  was a surrogate father chosen by Hugo to replace his Royalist general father. Although Hugo’s father was loyal to Napoleon I, his mother sided with the Catholic Royalists. His father deserted the family for a mistress.

In this chapter the great writer in exile (Hugo) lets M. Myriel  give a touching analysis of the great fallen emperor Napoléon.


Symbol:   Imperial Legion of Honor medal created by Napoléon 1802 was changed by the Louis XVIII. The images of Napoleon and his eagle were removed and replaced by the image of King Henry IV.

Hugo relates the anecdote of a porter of the town hall.  He refused to wear the medal adorned with 3 fleur-de-lys (les trois crapauds = toads).

I tried to figure out why the comparison with toad?  I think this picture will explain!  You see the curved petal of the flower resembles the legs of the amphibian!


Late Empire Légionnaire insignia: the front feature Napoleons profile and the rear side of the medal , the imperial Eagle. An imperial crown joins the cross and the ribbon.

Louis XVIII era (1814) Knight insignia: the front features Henry IVs profile and the rear side of the medal  the arms of the French Kingdom (three fleurs de lis). A royal crown joins the cross and the ribbon.



Update:  12.01.208        ch 12 ….this was a puzzle!

  1. One of the shortest chapters….but one of the most confusing chapters.
  2. This chapter adds nothing to the narrative.
  3. It was  inserted  after the original publication date in 1862.
  4. Les Misérables  was expensive book  and
  5. …not accessible to the general reading public.
  6. The critiques were the first ones to print their reactions.
  7. Harsh criticism came from  Alexandre Dumas.
  8. Trivia: In 1833 Hugo  supported the accusations of plagerism against
  9. Dumas and his book The Three Muskateers.
  10. At that point friends became rivals.
  11. Dumas was quick to seek revenge.
  12. He described reading Les Misérables  “like wading through mud
  13. In ch XII Hugo alludes to Dumas
  14. “ils appellent Beauté la figure de Mousqueton…”
  15. But the last sentence ( in my opinion) is a direct jab at Dumas!
  16. He confuses the chasm, the  abyss of constellations and stars
  17. where Hugo lets his thoughts as a poet  and novelist roam
  18. …with the imprints left in the mud by ‘canards
  19. ….simple animals that plod along (Dumas).
  20. Dumas  was a  feuilletoniste who wrote
  21. …serials because he was pressed for cash.
  22. Hugo thought Dumas  wasted his talent.
  23. Hugo was haunted by shadows but the
  24. …darkness of the cosmos was his source of inspiration.


Update: 13.01.2108  ch 13 and 14     …end vol 1 book 1 – end of week 2!

  1. I read these chapters and  they were probably inserted to
  2. guide the narrative away from a contemplative ‘saint’.
  3. George Sand  deplored the use of a bishop of Digne to open a book
  4. …concerned about socialist issues.
  5. Hugo closes volume 1,  book 1 and we are ready for the real action!



Les Misérables ch 8 – ch 9


Ch 8: 

  1. This was the most difficult chapter to read…so far)
  2. M. Myriel and the senator discuss their philosophy.


M. Myriel   ‘twists’ wise sayings to make his point! For example: “You’ ve made your bed now lie in it”. Now M. Myriel says to the senator:  You’ ve made your philosophy now lie in it”. Color:Vous êtes sur le lit pourpre”  = symbol of riches and upper class


Play on words:

The senator tells  l’évêque that he has all the philosophers ( books) with gilded edges [dorés sur tranche]. M. Myriel responds… subtly “Comme vous-même..” (as yourself = rich and superior in quality) 1. Having gilded edges, as the pages of a book. 2. Very wealthy


The senator poses many philosophical ideas in his conversation with M. Myriel. Researching these ideas would take many hours. I have chosen a few that caught my eye:

The senator boasts of having books by renowned thinkers in his library. Here Victor Hugo has some fun with a list of  philosophers that are so different.  What will the  senator’s philosophy look like if he combines these wise men?

  1. Marquis d’Argens – famous for his pornographic novel Thérèse Philosophe!
  2. Pyrrhon – founder of scepticism…true wisdom and happiness lie in suspension of judgment
  3. Hobbes – political theorist the only way to secure civil society is through universal submission to the absolute authority of a sovereign.
  4. M. NaigeonFrench materialist philosopher and atheist.


  1. Levé la jupe d’Isis [dress] – It took me a long time to find something I could understand about the myth of Isis. It seems the expression is ” levé la voile d’Isis” [veil]  and Hugo has used some editorial license and tweaked the words to accomdate his writing.
  2. The metaphor of Isis’ veil continued to circulate through the 19th century. By lifting the veil (or dress) of Isis it would reveal spiritual truths about nature that science could not.
  1. M. Myriel congratulates the senator because he has a philosophy that is truly his own!
  2. M. Myriel is happy that the belief in God is the philosophy of the people.
  3. pour les grands seigneurs:  oie aux marrons ( goose stuffed with chestnuts)
  4. pour le peuple:    dinde aux truffes du pauvre  (turkey stuffed with the poor)


Update: 09.01.20218

Fitness training has been cancelled today….so I  have 3 extra hours to read! Cats are snoozing and coffee is brewing, outside is spectre grey….as I start another day.

ch 9

  1. This chapter was easy reading in comparison to yesterday!
  2. Hugo uses a letter written by M. Myriel’s sister to
  3. help us understand how to view his character.
  4. Mme Baptistine tells us her brother is good….but has his quirky habits.
  5. Her greatest fear is still the unlocked doors...
  6. “Il s’expose à tous les dangers.”
  7. …but she is used to it [..le pil est pris]
  8. Foreshadowing: Hugo give a clear indication  in his sister’s letter
  9. …that something will happen soon:
  10. “The devil would enter the house, as one would let him do it”
  11. Le diable enterait dans la maison, qu’on le laisserait faire’


The New Yorker 01 January 2018


  1. I’m trying to keep up with my subscription of the New Yorker.
  2. Abandoned the hope of reading it in the week it arrives…
  3. I’ve settled for ….reading it in the month it arrives!


Who is the cartoonist George Booth?

  1. Cartoonist George Booth has spent four decades at the
  2. New Yorker constructing a distinct universe.
  3. In Booth’s world a bare lightbulb dangles precariously . . .
  4. a frayed carpet barely covers the living room floor…
  5.  flies buzz . . .
  6. a man looks up from behind his newspaper.
  7. And somewhere, in the foreground or off to the side,
  8. crazed dog  twitches involuntarily and there is an
  9. …unruly profusion of cats.
  10. Here is one of my favorites:

Update: 01.01.2018

  1. Today  I took time to learn more about the cartoonist (94 years) George Booth.
  2. Finally after all these years of laughing at Booth’s cat’s and dogs.
  3. …I now know the man behind the cartoons!
  4. George Booth (born June 28, 1926) is a New Yorker cartoonist.
  5. Over time, his cartoons have become an iconic feature of the magazine.
  6. In a doodler’s style, they feature everymen beset by
  7. modern complexity, goofballs perplexing their
  8. …spouses, cats, and very often a fat dog


Teens trapped between a gang and the law – J. Blitzer  [shocking…]

  1. I am left speechless about the situation in Long Island, NY
  2. ….that you never hear about.
  3. Gang violence is seeping over the border
  4. ….and terrorizing innocent young immigrant Hispanics.
  5. There are roughly 400 MS-13 gang members on Suffolk County Long Island.
  6. MS-13 has more than 50.000 members in Central America and 10.000 in the U.S.
  7. Unsurprisingly, MS-13 has become an obsession of Donald Trump.
  8. He talks incessantly about the gang,
  9. …portraying it as representative of a wave of immigrant crime.
  10. After reading this article….I’m not surprised Trump was elected.
  11. People are terrified and fed up with this situation!

A Tech Pioneer’s Final, Unexpected Act    by J.B. Stewart  [heartwrenching…]

  1. Upon receiving a diagnosis of brain cancer
  2. …Eric Sun set out to achieve some lifelong musical goals.
  3. After reading this article….I was  very quiet for a few moments.
  4. My worries, complaints all vanished before my eyes…
  5. It was this that hit me the  hardest:
  6. “ is hard to accept that modern medicine isn’t able to fix me.”
  7. At the same time, he wrote, “Every day I wake up not-dead is a gift.”
  8. I couldn’t read anymore….I had to go to bed and have a long hard think.


The Dark Bounty of Texas Oil by  Lawrence Wright  [Ho…hum…yawn]

  1. Yates Oil Field in the Permian Basin of West Texas. Yates
  2. …which has produced more than one billion barrels of oil, is
  3. …one of the most productive oil fields in the world.
  4. Situated in west Texas, eight miles south of Midland,
  5. …the 26,000-acre Yates field still holds the largest oil reserves in  US
  6.  outside of Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay.
  7. If  TEXAS were an independent country
  8. …its economy would settle in around 10th
  9.    larger than Canada and Australia. California!
  10. 50% of this article recaps the history of 3 important oil fields in Texas.
  11. The rest tells us that fracking gave Texas an economical boost...
  12. …that Hurricane Harvey had little impact on the oil fields.
  13. Nice to know…but not that interesting.





Wild Kingdom

Twitter: @burns_nancy

  • Author: S. Moss
  • Title: Wild Kingdom
  • Published: 2016
  • Trivia: Short list The Wainwright Prize 2017
  • Trivia: pg 280 S. Moss cites that the Netherlands (my country!)
  • …as a prime example of creating a habitat of 22 sq miles
  • to bring back lost wildlife !!
  • “Oostvaardersplassen” near Lelystad, the Netherlands.
  • Ecologist Frans Vera wants the 56 square kilometres of
  • nature reserve to be made a Unesco world heritage site.



  1. Stephen Moss travels the length and breadth of the UK.
  2. He wants to  witness at first-hand how our wild creatures are faring and
  3. …ask how we can bring back Britain’s wildlife.



Moss writes about the house sparrows….and I just look outside my window and see some familiar friends. I started in September to feed the birds. Well, those sparrows  as Moss said  are social but also fussy!

  1. I moved the birdseed silo…and only saw 10 ‘angry birds’ sitting on my hedge.
  2. I bought some blueberries ($$) especially for the sparrows… they did not eat them
  3. I bought a bird feeding table…would not go near it.
  4. I finally wedged the little table into the hedge….then they were satisfied.
  5. There is no pleasing sparrows!
  6. But anyone who has watched the behavior of birds
  7. like me from my front room window knows
  8. …that doing so is good for the soul.

Strong point:  the descriptions of the wildlife, hares sprinting, roes popping their heads up, bumblebees floating  over the hedgerow. I just let my mind wander throughout the English countryside with S. Moss.

Strong point: the book made me curious and ask questions what the state of wildlife is here in The Netherlands? I just never took the time to investigate our situation.

Strong point: Moss does mention the silence in the fields. Now, I used to set the clock when the  blackbirds started chirping late in the afternoon. What is more relaxing than the chirping of birds? But now I only hear silence.

The Usutu virus has recently been detected for the first time in the Netherlands. The virus has been detected in captive great grey owls (Strix nebulosa) as well as in wild, dead and living, common blackbirds (Turdus merula)

Now I have to listen to blackbirds (Turdus merula) via You Tube….how sad is that?  Just listen….

Strong point: The only way to really enjoy this book is reading it and regularly looking at the the birds and other animals with Google images! This foto of a dragonfly took my breath away…just look at that delicate latice work in the wings!

Their four gossamer wings move independently of one another, giving them the ability to fly forward, backward, and sideways, or to just hover in place. Bead-like eyes provide 360–degree stereovision, allowing them the ability to spot insects in any direction without turning or moving their heads. (In fact, dragonflies have the biggest eyes in the insect world.)

The colors of the king-fisher are breathtaking!


Last thoughts:

  1. I really enjoyed this book because it made me aware of the
  2. wildlife…..that is disappearing.
  3. wildlife…..that I don’t take the time to appreciate!
  4. Walking along the fields I stop and stare at a hare hopping along or
  5. …watch a coot family with their chicks in our canals.
  6. If you like birds and treeslook up
  7. …if you like plants and insectslook down!
  8. But whatever you like…
  9. relax, meditate and #TakeAWalk  in the countryside!



The Hidden Life of Trees

Twitter: @burns_nancy


#List of Challenges 2018

Genre:   non-fiction (natural history)
Rating: B+

Usually when I walk to the train station I keep my eyes glued to the pavement. Today while listening to The Hidden Life of Trees I just kept looking up!
When I heard that trees can communicate sending warnings for danger to other trees, feed other trees via a root system if one is needing support and can even ‘murmurer’….every time I let out an audible “Oh!”

But really made me laugh was my uncontrollable urge to touch the bark of the trees on the way home. People must have thought I was crazy.
Natural history is a genre that I often forget about…but this year I am going to try to read many more books about the wonders of the world …right under my eyes.

I listened to the audio book 7,5 hours….and it was so interesting that I would listen to it again!
#MustListen #MustRead



Australian Women Writers Challenge 2018

Twitter: @burns_nancy


  1. I discovered this challenge in 2016 and have reviewed 22 books. (n@ncy)
  2. Looking back I see my tastes veer towards non-ficton, biography and classic fiction.
  3. One of my goals is to read all the Thea Astley books.
  4. I love her crackling satire!
  5. I ventured into speculative fiction last year reading The Grief Hole by K. Warren.
  6. I hope to add some new genres and authors to my to reading list.
  7. Here are a few books I hope to read
  8. ….but the list will probably be adjusted
  9. …during the course of the year!
  10. Level:    Franklin: read 10 – if reviewing, review at least 6
  11. Hashtag: #aww2018:
  12. Twitter: @auswomenwriters
  13. Facebook groupLove Reading Books by Aussie Women
  14. Sign up HERE.


  Australian Women Writers  – 0/10

  1. Dying in the First Person – Nike Sulway
  2. The Redemption of Galen Pike – Carys Davies
  3. The Long Goodbye – P.J. Parker
  4. Floundering – Romy Ash
  5. Soon – Lois Murphy
  6. The Neighbor – Julie Proudfoot
  7. The Eye of the Sheep – Sofie Laguna
  8. Panthers and the Museum of Fire – Jen Craig
  9. The End of Seeing – Christy Collins
  10. That Devil’s Madness – Dominque Wilson
  11. Seeing the Elephant – Portland Jones
  12. Music and Freedom – Zoe Morrison
  13. A Force of Nature – Jane Harper


#TheaAstley –  0/5   “My own….Classics Challenge”

  1. Girl with a Monkey (1958) – READ
  2. A Descant for Gossips (1960) – READ
  3. The Well Dressed Explorer (1962) – READ
  4. The Slow Natives (1965) – READ
  5. A Boat Load of Home Folk (1968) – READ
  6. The Acolyte (1972)
  7. A Kindness Cup (1974)
  8. An Item from the Late News (1982)
  9. Beachmasters (1985)
  10. It’s Raining in Mango (1987)
  11. Reaching Tin River (1990)
  12. Vanishing Points (1992)
  13. Coda (1994)
  14. The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow (1996)
  15. Drylands (1999)

Les Misérables Chapter-a-Day Read-along

Twitter: @burns_nancy

01-07 January:   weekly summation of my thoughts.


  1. Nick Senger @  is hosting a year long
  2. …read-along of Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.
  3. I have been reading French for the past  5 years
  4. I started  with the 20 book by Emile Zola
  5. …the Les Rougon-Marquart series.
  6. That took me two years to finish.
  7. Often I try to find a really good  book French Book
  8. …  but even Goncourt Prize winners are lacking.
  9. Now I have decided to return to the classic Victor Hugo.
  10. I have never read anything about this novel, not seen movie or musical.
  11. This is a read-along with a writer I expect will not disappoint!
  12. I will follow the  informative posts that Nick will publish
  13. downloaded the reading schedule and
  14. …hope to finish this book by the end of the year!
  15. I will be reading it in French….nothing lost in translation, 🙂
  16. #LesMisReadalong





Twitter: @burns_nancy

Challenges 2017: ( here are the links to all the books read)

  • Time to say goodbye to 2017 and look at the results:


Most looking forward to 2018 – #DealMeIn2018

  1. Jay host a refreshing challenge each year.
  2. It give me the opportunity to read short stories
  3. …and essays!
  4. I will be joining his challenge for sure!
  5. I will be making my  ‘to read list’ soon!


My favorite of the year – #AusReadingMonth @Bronabooks

  1. …here is the reason why:  ‘Wrap-up AusReadingMonth’


Most difficult: #HLOTRreadalong2107

  1. Read-a-long @Brona’s books
  2. I decided to leave my comfort zone and read all 4 of Tolkien’s books.
  3. Brona had to nudge me along at times…but I did finish the books!


Most funThe New Yorker Magazine

  1. I tried reading the New Yorker Magazine the week it arrived!
  2. I failed miserably (read only 5 issues since June 2017).
  3. But is was the most fun….because I never knew what I would read!


Most intoxicatingCocktails and Literature

  1. I stumbled upon National Daquiri Day this summer.
  2. After some investigation I found more links between
  3. …cocktails and writers and even WWI  weapons!


Most disappointingModern Library’s Best 100 Novels List

  1. I had high hopes for this challenge.
  2. Some of the choices
  3. …I doubted if they were worthy to be on the list!
  4. I read 20 books and enjoyed only…4    (20%)


Most surprising – Read Ireland challenge

  1. Again, I stumbled  into this challenge via
  2. …the History Book Club group on Goodreads.
  3. I throughly enjoyed Irish plays, non-ficton, fiction!
  4. No one can tell a story like an Irishman!


Most work – Nobel Reading Challenge

  1. I started this challenge 3 years ago.
  2. Every chance I had I searched for a new book for this list.
  3. Now, sadly, I just cannot find the enthusiasm I once felt.
  4. I ‘m afraid this challenge will be dropped in 2018.
  5. There are too many other genres ( poetry) I want to discover!


Here are my top 5 in 3 catagories:


  1. Cloudstreet – T. Winton
  2. The African Queen – C. S. Forester
  3. The Slow Natives  – T. Astley
  4. The Dry – J. Harper
  5. Bleak House – C. Dickens


  1. Milligan, L. – Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell
  2. Franklin, R. – Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
  3. Lamb, K. – Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather
  4. White, R.C. – American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant
  5. Meade, M. – Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This


  1. Le pouvoir au féminin – Badinter, E.
  2. Passagère du Silence – Verdier, F.
  3. Ça ira (1), Fin de Louis – J. Pommerat (play)
  4. Dans la tête de Marine Le Pen – M. Eltchaninoff
  5. Le diable est dan les détails – L. Slimani