Category Archives: Distractions

Everything except reading. Miscellaneous and off-topic posts.

March 30

Little Demons by Danny Elfman

In 1991 Danny Elfman wrote a screenplay for a black comedy about three circus orphans who become serial killers. He wasn’t able to develop it beyond demo tracks for most of the songs, but eventually used some of the material for Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. The material has since found its way to the web, […]


It’s a great feeling when you feel proud of where you work.  Late last year the City of Gold Coast Library service launched the LGBT+ collection.  You can find out all about it here. The timing was perfect.  The results of the Australian Marriage Law Survey had been announced a few weeks before; a resounding […]

March 21

Restoration / Rose Tremain

Restoration / Rose Tremain   Sir Robert Merivel is the narrator and leading character in this novel. He is a lustful pleasure seeker who likes to think of himself as a man of his time. The “time” is the Restoration period, the early years of the reign of Charles II – hence the title of the novel. […]

March 19

The mermaid and Mrs. Hancock : a history in three volumes / written by Imogen Hermes Gowar

The mermaid and Mrs. Hancock : a history in three volumes / written by Imogen Hermes Gowar. Review submitted by an Elanora library staff member. For something totally different this book has it all. Historical fiction with a twist.  A tale that involves a mermaid, a merchant, a brothel and courtesans in Georgian London. As I write this it […]

The British Library’s “Harry Potter : A History of Magic” is now available on the web

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the British Library curated an exhibition tying its holdings about magic to plot elements in the book series. Much of that material is now available through Google Art and Culture.  The Gold Coast Libraries have a heap of JK Rowling’s […]

A Cowherd in Paradise: From China to Canada by May Q. Wong

In this remarkable account, May Q. Wong follows the lives of Wong Guey Dang (1902-1983) and Jiang Tew Thloo (1911-2002). Married for over half a century, the couple was forced to live apart for twenty-five years because of Canada’s exclusionary immigration laws. In China, Ah Thloo struggled to survive natural disasters, wars and revolutions; while […]

February 19

Friends and Traitors by John Lawton

  Friends and Traitors by John Lawton While holidaying in Vienna in 1958, Scotland Yard’s Chief Superintendent Frederick Troy is approached by an old friend, Guy Burgess. Burgess is infamous as the notorious British spy turned traitor who fled to Moscow in 1951, when he was outed as a Soviet double agent. Now, seven years after […]

February 18

The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths

Posted by Neen The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths This atmospheric murder mystery is set in the slightly tawdry theatrical world of post-war Brighton, and will appeal to fans of historically accurate British mysteries.  DI Edgar Stephens enlists the help of his friend, Max Mephisto to investigate the death of a beautiful woman, who was previously Max’s stage assistant. Her […]

January 18

Turtles all the way down by John Green

I don’t think I’ve ever read a better description of what it’s like to have obsessive compulsive disorder. Green quotes – I think it was Plath – in noting that language cannot directly explain the experience of pain. Many authors try to get through this using visual imagery, but that leads to problems like in […]

January 17

The Last Six Million Seconds  by John Burdett

The Last Six Million Seconds  by John Burdett Hong Kong, 1997. Six million seconds is the time remaining before the transfer of sovereignty from British rule to the Chinese government, and it’s also the time remaining for Chief of Police ‘Charlie’ Chan Siu-kai to solve a horrific triple murder. Three disembodied heads have been found in […]