This was a perfect book to spend time with while staying in bed with a nasty head cold: entertaining, fast-paced, insanely readable, deftly mixing froth and humour with heavier subjects like bullying, domestic abuse and single parenthood. My view of the novel is inevitably coloured by the excellent HBO mini-series, which I watched first, so I can’t help but compare. “The book is better” is a very routine remark about onscreen adaptations, but in this case I thought that both versions had their particular strengths and weaknesses.
I read this remarkable landmark sci-fi novel all over again immediately after I finished it, which is exceedingly rare for me. I simply wasn’t satisfied with my first reading, which happened in short bursts separated by long periods of time; this is a kind of richly detailed and imaginative book that’s best appreciated by immersing yourself into it for a while.
Science fiction is a perfect medium for exploring “what if” scenarios, and the thought experiment in The Left Hand of Darkness goes like this: what would a human society look like if people had no fixed gender, and male/female dualism didn’t exist?
I ended up going to this concert by a fluke, randomly deciding to scroll through the Melbourne Recital Centre program on a whim one evening two weeks ago. Hooray for random flukes.
I had expected this sports documentary about the backstage world of Russian rhythmic gymnastics to be a hard watch, and sure enough it was.
Intoxicating genre-hopping pop by a Colombian-American singer; live album from an experimental folk band that delves deep into the Nordic past; vintage sound and a genuinely great voice.
I thought this French pop star would be good to see live after catching her excellent performance on The Graham Norton Show a while ago, but holy guacamole I had no idea she would be that good. This funky, joyful, sensual show was easily one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to.
I’m in a mood for foreign-language cinema, so I’ve watched this charming Spanish film (and Oscar winner in 1993 for Best Foreign Language Film) with very young Penélope Cruz.