Exploring: My bookcase (Part 3)

It's been a little while between drinks but here's the latest installment of exploring my bookcase. (Ta daaaa)

Talking about drinks, Last Drinks is a cracker of a read from one of Oz's most interesting authors of recent years, Andrew McGahan. He kicked off with Praise, the epitome of northern slackerdom, in 1992 which was made into a beautifully bleak film in 2000 with a soundtrack by Dirty 3. Moved on to an equally impressive followup in 1995 with the book 1988, a tale of two lads manning an isolated weather station in the Top End.

He's also written a historical saga type thing set on a crumbling Queensland farm (White Earth) and a crackingly funny and biting action satire of Australia in The War Against Terror in Underground. (Download a sample chapter here - it's well worth it)

Last Drinks is in another category again - much more the old-school crime/detective type novel. This is the cover blurb

It's a decade since the infamous Inquiry into corruption tore the state of Queensland apart. But for George Verney, disgraced journalist and bit-player in the great scandals of his day, the Inquiry has never quite finished. After ten years of self-imposed exile, drawn by the terrible death of a man who was his friend, he reluctantly returns to Brisbane, the city of his downfall. In a town he no longer recognises and through an underworld that has forgotten him, George must seek out the other hidden survivors of his times, to confront the truth about their common past, and to find a way to let the dead rest in peace.

There's not really much to say about this book - I really enjoyed it - I enjoyed it's use of language, the vibe it set, learning more about the sleazier parts of Brisbane and just generally getting drawn in to a cracking story.

The next two books, I have to admit, I haven't gotten around to reading yet. I'm not even 100% sure where they came from - probably borrowed though I have a recollection of gathering up a few books from a pile left on a nature strip in one of the "nice" suburbs of Sydney which is where I think the Kate Grenville might have come from.

I haven't read anything by these authors either, though I did see a half-decent stalker/relationship movie based on an Ian McEwan book (Enduring Love) which was interesting enough.

The next four books are parts 3-6 of the Harry Potter series (septilogy?). You may have heard of these books, I'm not sure - they're about a boy wizard, his wand and his relationship with his gay headmaster. :)

On top of these books is the manual for my Samsung Z140 mobile phone - a very generous gift from my friend Buj - who preferred to keep her current phone when she changed plans and they threw in a freeby upgrade.

I like a good manual when I get a new toy - uh, device. I'll go through it cover to cover and play with every feature and function and then promptly forget about 90% of them.

To the right of this is the travel scrabble - I love a good word game, particularly one with tiny tiny pieces that stick together magnetically

Finally, we have the badminton shuttlecocks. Badminton is a great game (generally a bit crap outside if there's more than a skerrick of wind) - it's fast, requires a certain finesse and involves things flying about.

It's just a little unfortunate that the equipment has such an odd name (which appeals to my slightly juvenile side). Wikipedia (I suspect I came across it in between better edits) doesn't really help here -
The name shuttlecock is frequently shortened to shuttle. The abbreviation cock is rarely used except in a jocular sense, due to its vulgar connotations. The "shuttle" part of the name was probably derived from its back-and-forth motion during the game, resembling the shuttle of a loom; the "cock" part of the name was probably derived from the resemblance of the feathers to a bird's cock.