Weekend Round-Up 2007 #34

The Age

John Button, who, as a long-time Geelong fan must be in seventh heaven this week, reviews two books on the Australian media: The Content Makers: Understanding the Media in Australia by Margaret Simons, and The Media We Deserve: Underachievement in the Fourth Estate by David Salter. Simons's book is a sort of "conducted tour" of the Australia media and "Although [it] is full of information and serious insights, there is nothing dull or stodgy about it. She is a very good descriptive writer, and some of that writing, like her descriptions of a Walkley Award ceremony or her interview with advertising magnate Harold Mitchell, is very funny." Salter's "book is a collection of informative and readable essays about journalism and the environment in which journalists operate." Even though Button is an ex-Labor minister he doesn't seem to approve of the present Communications minister (in the government) or Labor's Opposition spokesman. Maybe the whole Australia media scene is just a giant mess. Button thinks we "could do with more transparency and better public information." I agree. I just don't see it happening any time soon.

Pamela Bone, ex-journalist, is suffering from terminal cancer and has written a memoir in which she examines her own life, Bad Hair Days. Morag Fraser finds "This is a profoundly honest book. No exhortations, no heroics, no depth-diving in her own psychology - although the character revealed, almost inadvertently, is a fascinating and complex exponent of
20th-century feminism, bemused by her own daring, and by her own luck, good and bad."

Continuing the memoir trail, Richard Woolcott, ambassador to Indonesia and the United Nations, career diplomat, has written his in Undiplomatic Activities, which Michelle Grattan reviews. "Dick Woolcott is a very funny raconteur and his varied and distinguished diplomatic career has given him an endless supply of anecdotes. His slim volume is a laugh-out-loud book, enhanced by illustrations from cartoonist David Rowe, and makes a relaxing companion for an evening, especially if accompanied by a glass of good red."

The Australian

Pamela Bone's memoir is also reviewed in this paper this week, which Christopher Bantick considers "a rewarding and uplifting book".

The Sydney Morning Herald

I think most readers in Australia will be familiar with Tom Keneally's Booker Prize winning novel, Schindler's Ark. If not the book then Spielberg's film of the book, Schindler's List. (I would still like to have been in the meeting that changed the title just to hear the silly arguments.) Now Keneally has published Searching for Schindler, his account of how he came by the original story. Andrew Riemer reviews the new book and opines that "I am sure that Tom Keneally is incapable of writing a dull book. This memoir, listed as his 38th publication, is no exception." Though he does find that "He tells his story very well, even though this enjoyable book tends to hop from topic to topic in a
disconcerting way."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 2, 2007 10:00 PM.

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