You’re obviously a very calm person. What’s your secret?

Every person who stops me on the street and tries to convert me to an Eastern Religion uses the same line, and I can see why. It’s an excellent line.

I work in the part of town where the twanging and screeching of buskers rebounds across the streets, adults in bibs holding plastic buckets stand on the corners collecting for the charity of the day, and pigeons bathe in the splash of the fountain.

I try to avoid the street as much as possible because, you know, people, but sometimes I’m hungry, in need of coffee, or I have a meeting down the far end of town, and I’m forced to venture into this madhouse.

When I do, there’s another type of person who often steps into my path and engages me in inescapable conversation.

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Why I don’t write book reviews

Instead of writing book reviews in which I analyse books and lay out the reasons you might like or hate them, I write not-reviews… which don’t. But they are more fun.

You might have noticed I don’t write book reviews, though recently I have been writing a fair few not-reviews in which Sebastian and Rain rant or rave about something I’ve been reading.

I know I’ve talked about why I don’t want to recommend books. Today I’m going to (try and figure out and then) explain my logic for writing not-reviews.

I probably have a number of good reasons. Let’s see if we can work out what they are.

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A happy story about a chicken called Sarah

Sarah the chicken overcomes her emotional wounds and finds happiness eating chook food with her friends near the house.

Sarah the black hen came to live in her new home as a pullet (young hen) with her speckled brown friend, Clementine.

Clementine got a fancy name because the people who sold her to us assured us she would lay blue eggs, though she was too young to lay at the time. Sarah, on the other hand, got a dull name because she was expected to lay white eggs.

As it turned out, both Clementine and Sarah lay slightly bluish eggs, but not blue enough for me to definitively convince myself that they’re not white. Perhaps the two hens split the difference.

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One of those days

A post about nothing at all. Plus a little writing inspiration.

I ran a Twitter poll recently asking if you wanted more or fewer book not-reviews.

The results were:

11% think I post too many not-reviews

19% think I post just enough reviews

11% think I should post more reviews

and 59% want chocolate.

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An impassioned rant about Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

This is not a review of Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. It is an impassioned rant about it. Is it a good rant or a bad rant? I’ll let you decide.

Rain: This is my rant about Leaving Time, and the first thing I want to say is what an uninspiring title for a beatiful book. “Leaving Time”. Two words that are entirely unemotive and suggest nothing about what the book’s about. Okay, sure, you see where the phrase comes from and it does mean something to the characters at a time, but this aspect is so lightly developed that it really doesn’t do it for me. And to someone who hasn’t read the book the words mean nothing. Ugh! I almost didn’t read it because of the title.

Sebastian: Ah, but you did read it.

Rain: Well, yea. Because elephants. The elephants were glorious and beautiful and touching and I want to meet them all now! The book should have been called something about elephants. “The Grief of Elephants” seems appropriate and captures the feeling of the book so much better than “Leaving Time”.

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