Here's a list that gladdens. What Youth and "7 books you will psyche on and should totally read."
I often bemoan the fact that good writing is a dying art. It ain't necessarily true but it sometimes feels that way. The yoof, it always seemed to me, could buy a Canikon for a couple hunge, flood the 'net with images, and call 'emselves artists - easy! But unlike photography there's no shortcut to good writing: no autofocus, no colour correcting software - it's hard fucken work. And the first step toward it is to read lots and lots of great writers. So yeah, glad to see the yoof - What Yoof! - spruiking seven good books. Bit limited in scope and style but a good list nonetheless.
"The recently published Stuff the Accord! Pay Up! tells the little-known story of workers’ resistance to the Prices and Incomes Accord agreed between the ACTU and the Hawke Labor government in 1983."
Consider the lobster tomalley...
Jia Tolentino - Trick Mirror. Bet you didn’t think you’d see that recommendation on a surf website. Read great reviews and have taken it up, about a third of the way through, after daughter then wife read it.
Jordan Peterson, look he has some good ideas, and his 12 rules I have nothing against, anyone under 25 who hasn’t leant these rules and embraced them before them should read it, but for anyone into genuine self understanding will be so far past this by the time they’re 30 it will read like a primer. Steven Covey’s ‘Seven habits of highly effective people’ looks like a book on metaphysics in comparison to this facile contribution to human growth.
Not saying that YOU shouldn’t read it though.
Examine Peterson’s arguing style, it’s a study in discipline, and often he has made otherwise smart people reveal themselves as absolutely uninformed. He is very good in debate, and knows when he has no substance to his argument, and the way he deflects and obfuscates at that point, which comes regularly, is a masterclass.
But generally he is a fuckwit.
"He is very good in debate, and knows when he has no substance to his argument, and the way he deflects and obfuscates at that point, which comes regularly, is a masterclass."
And yet, the pressure in the spotlight (which he sought and loved), and him knowing the substantial chasms in his own purported knowledge base (see article above), and the subsequent scurrying and fear of being caught out (cherry-picking debate opponents, whilst avoiding others), have been significant factors in leading him into his own hell of anti-anxiety benzo addiction.
No amount of cleaning his own bedroom, and lobster considering, helped him there. Maybe he'll come out the other side a wiser, sadder, and more empathetic man. Getting by with a little help from all of our common and communal friends. Y'know, society.
Finally. Acknowledgment of the ALP’s complicity in the construction and maintenance of our current anti-worker environment.
“"The recently published Stuff the Accord! Pay Up! tells the little-known story of workers’ resistance to the Prices and Incomes Accord agreed between the ACTU and the Hawke Labor government in 1983."
"CURRENT anti-worker environment"??
Back to the books, Gloria. The history books.
MacroBollocks doesn't count.
ps Didn't read that article anyway, did ya?
Not sure how you can reconcile your devotion to ALP when you just linked to a summary dismissal of their claim to represent workers.
Goldfish memory hasn't improved in the interim, has it...DUDE?
The beginnings of modern Australia.
One from my shelf (published 1943)
With signed inscription from the great man's wife!
Wow, a real collector's item there facto. Reading the bio made me realise just how many really difficult decisions Curtin got right, and how important they were strategically for Australia. When Menzies etc wanted to just do whatever Britain suggested, Curtin was smart enough to see what was, and what was not, in Australia's best interest.
Breaking News: Sex, Lies and the Murdoch Succession by Paul Barry.
A recent read. And an old review.
The missus grabbed me a copy of The Big Sea by Sean Doherty at a local Op shop.
It’s a bio about Richie Lovett covering his life pre and post cancer. Pretty good read. I like Doherty’s writing and it’s perfect for the subject matter. You can plow through it quickly and not feel bogged down in the minutiae of the subject’s life unlike some bios.
It’s not a new book but it’d be a good summer read if you can grab a copy.
It led me down the Richie Lovett rabbit hole and I did the surf video caterpillar through a few classics featuring RL : Hot Tuna’s Lusurfer Rising , The Oniell flick with Herro on the Webber Banana , How’s your pie and The Mystery Bag .
Richie ripped then and he probably still rips now. Two thumbs up for his staccato turns and searing rail work.
Yesterday I was the 'subcultural authority'...ha ha...on Radio National's The Book Show. The release in question was 'Bluebird' by Malcolm Knox, which is more about urban surf culture than surfing itself.
Set in the fictional town of Bluebird Beach - a fairly recognisable version of Freshwater - which is quickly gentrifying, pricing out the surfers who grew up thinking the town, the beach, and the lifestyle, was their birthright. A small coterie hang on by their toenails amongst the newcomers with their modern occupations and multi-million dollar real estate. A tumbledown house on the southern headland called The Lodge, a symbol of 'old Bluebird', becomes the unoffical clubhouse when Gordon Grimes - middle-aged, recently separated, unemployed - moves in.
Hilarious in parts, but infuriating too.
The radio show goes live midday Friday.
Infuriating how ?
Infuriating because it’s close to the bone when discussing gentrification of beach towns ?
Impressed by the way you’ve just casually shunted in the fact that you’re now a Multi Media celebrity.
Ooh Err !
PS I flicked through Bluebird at a bookshop and was left thinking it was more about clubbies than surfers . Correct ? Does it matter ?
Infuriating in that things happen in the novel and they're not fully explained, or they dont make complete sense.
My own explanation is that this is a deliberate stylistic tic. The main antagonist, Gordon Grimes, is detached from the world, unengaged, he barely has any agency in his own life leave alone the wider world, so having events arise and dissipate without explanation appears to be a way of walking in his shoes, except as a reader it didn't work for me.
It's about surfers more than it's about clubbies, but it's not really about surfing, it's about nostalgia for a time and place. I guess you could say Knox holds nostalgia up to the light to see what was real and what's been mythologised.
So do you rate it ?
Just started a book called Bad Karma by Paul Wilson.
Only a few pages in and it seems to be a true account of a surfer doing naughty things to fund the lifestyle. Sounds like his definition of naughty might go a bit beyond pretending to be gainfully seeking employment at Carnarvon CES .
Only problem is it is Full Seppo.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Didn't happen but if it did I'm on Bill's side.
It mustn’t have been this thread but thanks freeride for your reference to William Finnegans Barbarian Days
Just finished it and sure it will last as one of my all time favourite reads
I’m sure this is well known but throughly recommend Into the wild by Krakauer
Was Burroughs for the Oxford comma, or against it, Stu?
I was never troubled by it, either way, for much of my life, but from my 50s onwards I’m a full Oxford comma guy.
Hey facto, that book with Curtin’s wife’s signature, freaking hell!
Yeah, Curtin, a genuine wartime political hero. It killed him. Great man at the right time.
Agree with your comments about Petersen.
An interesting hidden/forgotten history book, as reported from the 'bottom-up'.
I heard me and some cohorts got a guernsey, and I knew some other mates were definitely featured.
But I had no idea that the old man was featured!
If you are still hunting for a great surfing book, I recommend Barbarian Days by William Finnegan. He captures the actual vibe of being in the water better than anything else I have read. There are some interesting surf travel adventures along the way.
Strong rumours that Steve Buscemi will be playing Finnegan.
TSOLs front man. An idiosyncratic and interesting character.
Strange band, TSOL. Understand the descent occurred after Grisham's exit when his bro in law took over vocals, but Jack really shoulda forced a name change cos the Sunset Strip hair rock cast a pall over his own reputation.
Anyway, few books down since last update, the best of being 'The Rock' by Aaron Smith about working as an editor on the last independent regional newspaper, 'The Torres News' up in the Torres Strait, and the curious locals in permanent limbo, not quite Australian, not quite Papuan, but descendents of a distinctive lineage, who live on the porous edge of each nation.
Lotta loose fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants journalism, not unlike HST's chronicles from abroad, plus some well-warranted pollie-bashing in regards to coast guards, people smuggling, border controls etc. with Thursday Island being the scene of many a cynical FIFO photo op.
Currently reading 'Waves and Beaches' and it's as far removed from 'The Rock' as is possible. An updated version of Willard Bascom's 1964 breakthrough study on nearshore physics. God it's dry. Gotta get my head around the emotional vacuum.
Met a "valley girl" type, at an infamous Central American surf spot in the mid-90's, who claimed to have been kidnapped and held hostage by a member of TSOL
The Salt Path - Raynor Winn
The healing power of the sea and the natural environment among other things, not written from a surfing perspective but hits the spot.
Shuggie Bain - Douglas Stewart
Irvine Welsh ish. 2020 Booker prize winner, about half way through and its quality writing. The description of young Shuggie working the deli counter made me chuckle
"The way they looked down on him flushed the back of his neck scarlet. On particularly low days he folded all types of his bodily discharge into the taramasalata. He sold an uncanny amount of that bourgeois shite".
Errr... Sansasur, isn't that a copy and paste of something I wrote a few years back?
Anyway, it is a funny book as are many of his others,
Great to come across a thread about books and some really great reads mentioned here. One of my favourites has to be Barbarian Days, also BobMcTavish's book, cant remember what its called. Anyway, if anyone's interested to get a free review copy of my new book, Chasing The Stoke, happy to send you one. It's about the journey from wannabee to pro surfer and the relationship fallout that happens along the way. Be great to have some surfers feedback on it when it drops on Amazon in a few weeks. Just email [email protected] I'll send you one
Errr... Sansasur, isn't that a copy and paste of something I wrote a few years back?
Anyway, it is a funny book as are many of his others,
Well spotted Zen - that's a spammer that snuck through our system. They first do a 'normal' looking comment (by auto copying a previous comment), and then later on they'll do another comment with a spam link.
Good pick up.
On that score, I can vouch for the post above from Billy The Kid as being legit.
Cheers guys- seemed suss.
"that romance is appealing because humans are at their most interesting in intimate situations."
Couldn't disagree more. I think humans are at their most interesting when challenged or out of their comfort zone or at the very least, outside of their routine. How can the writer of the article quote that author seriously when intimacy is such a narrow abstract?
As for Amazon, rightly or wrongly just another corporate pile on imo. Amazon has brought millions of pieces of literature to the masses. Stuff that never would have been available in the past, or very difficult to get hold of at the very least and for the most part, free. What it does sell is dictated to by the what the market wants, some genres will always outsell others. Always has and always will.
Finally, yes Amazon has provided an avenue to self-publish and I reckon quite a few who purport to be writers may be a little bent out of shape seeing that they aren't read, but on the same token, some have found success with this formula. I think if someone really is a truly talented writer, even in this day and age, they can still enjoy success through traditional channels. I believe that the cream will always rise to the surface. I guess crap floats too but that's self evident.
If you wanna blame anything for peoples short attention span- blame the internet.
Cheers for the link though CBG.
Fark, Dan Brown and Bryce Courtenay too for that matter. Two over-hyped books imo, Da Vinci code and the Power of One. Can't believe I got to the end of either of them.
Nope, don't agree with Sally Rooney but I can see where she's coming from.
Admittedly, flew through the article so didn't take enough time to digest but I did want to respond.
Forgot to add- haven't read 50 shades of grey and I can pretty much guarantee I wouldn't.
I didn't even know who E.L. James is.
what if they are not completely human?
If the internet could write romance...
Just started "The Dawn of Everything" by Davod Graeber and David Wengrow. There has been a real buzz about this book which takes a very different view of the long history of humans on the planet based on the accumulated research of the last few decades. Not so much a critique of western civilisation as a demolition of its intellectual roots.
Looking forward to reading that one Constance.
I think it may be in my Christmas stocking already.
Spencer with the Nothing has been known to blow my mind.
I just finished The Dawn Of Everything, so a few comments. First, it is a good read for anyone with an interest in prehistory or pre-european American cultures. It summarises decades of research that provide a more detailed and nuanced view than previously available to non-specialists. Second, it is not an unbiased interpretation of this material. As an activist for anarchist causes Graeber is clearly looking for evidence to support the view that humans, even in large numbers, do not need top down governance to live well.
The book starts with the claim that we are trapped in rigid top down states which depend on violence to maintain their authority. This violence is both internal through the police and judiciary and external through involvement in war. The point it then tries to make is that this was not inevitable and that we are capable of other kinds of arrangements. You can judge for yourself how successful these arguments are.
One of the book’s strongest points for me, is that it undermines the idea that humans were driven into agriculture by necessity. The research they quote demonstrates that the principles of agriculture and the knowledge necessary to implement it on a broad scale existed for thousands of years during which it was a supplement to foraging and hunting. Huge densely populated cities were built during this time. A further strong point is the wealth of cultural detail they include. The degree of human creativity revealed by this is inspirational and if it does not lead to anarchism, it should at least encourage deep thought about why the world is currently dominated by such powerful destructive cultures. It was not always so.
The premise was a dead give away of a bullshit book. I can’t believe you paid that grifter to promote his divisive hate speech rubbish.