Beckie reads The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton

Why did you read this book?: Because of The Luminaries, and I read that it also had an intriguing structure.

Has Jeremy read it?: Yes. It took me a while to finish this one because every time I took a break, I wasn’t that motivated to pick it up again.

42 word review: An impressive first novel about the roles people play in everyday life. The ambitious structure and perspectives couldn’t entirely carry the weaker characters and story. I enjoyed it while reading, but ultimately, I didn’t care enough to work out what everything meant.

Rating: 3 saxophones (out of 5)

Bingo Lingo

We have been playing Bingo at this bar on Mondays. Two rounds a night. I won 3 times the first two nights we played (well, technically twice, since one was a tie and I refused to do a dance-off since I clearly said Bingo first).

The guy who calls the numbers says a phrase for each number, and it’s usually the same phrase each time. Our favorite: “22… two little ducks… 22”. The most unsettling is probably “58… masturbate… 58.” (Among other things, we do not know why it is always 58 and never 48 or 68.)

Notably, the guy uses various American references for his numbers. To wit:

21 gets a shout out to the legal drinking age in the US. (It’s 18 here.)
23 gets a shout out for Michael Jordan
51 gets a shout out for Area 51
54 gets a shout out for Studio 54
87 gets a shout out for how the police code for killing someone (everywhere in the US? just LA?) is 187.

There may be more. Meanwhile, there are zero Australian cultural references an American wouldn’t understand.

Vernacular Spectacular #1: “cotton candy” vs. “fairy floss”

In this as-yet-unnamed feature (Word War? Phrase Fracas?), we will be pitting an American way of saying something versus an Australian way. Perhaps Beckie can join in which she prefers, although there’s no suspense since she always prefers the Australian way.

Up first we have “cotton candy” versus “fairy floss”. The big advantage of “cotton candy” is that the carnival treat in question really does look like cotton. Whereas I’m not sure if the idea behind the name “fairy floss” is that this is supposed to be what fairies use to clean their teeth with. If so, considering how much sugar is involved, no wonder Tinkerbell prefers the closed-mouth smile. On the other side, “Fairy floss is alliterative, and both words are fun, whereas “candy” is just meh.

Jeremy’s winner: Continue reading


We have let you down, hypothetical reader. Yesterday we posted a teaser saying that in only six hours we would decide where we were going to go on our big December trip, but then we never updated to tell you where. You have been waiting all this time. We have behaved as if, since you do not exist, you have nothing better to do. This was wrong: just because you are nobody doesn’t mean we should treat you like nobody. We will endeavor to do better.

Bright side: we did decide on our trip, and it will be to New Zealand.

Jeremy reads The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Why did you read this book?: It’s Donna Tartt. She wrote The Secret History. We pre-ordered this months ago.

Has Beckie read it?: Yes, just before I did. We’ll see which of us posts our review first, since we are playing with WordPress post queueing technology. (Update: she posted first.)

42 word review: I’d have enjoyed it twice as much had it been half as long. Everything was there: great (if overdrawn) characters; intricate and careful plot; strongly developed themes; beautifully-crafted dialogue. Just too much in-between and too slow. Skimmed large portions, including the end.

Rating: 3 numbats (out of 5). Also, may knock a half-numbat off my recollection of The Secret History, because it reminded me of how she overdid a couple of the main characters in that.

Beckie and Jeremy will decide where to go on a trip

In the next six hours. Not that we will go on the trip in the next six hours, but we will commit to what the trip will be. Because we’re antsy and itching to go somewhere. Not tonight, I mean; tonight we’re good, we’re going to see the Hunger Games sequel. But tonight we decide where to go, and then we mobilizing on actually going there.

Sure, we know we do not have any readers yet and that we have not even told anyone about this blog. Nevertheless, Dear Reader, do not use your non-existence as an excuse not to stay tuned.