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Wanting

by Richard Franklin

Vintage; 2009; 256 pp.

This is a beautiful book replete with poetry and history, evocative imagery and haunting human sadness.  It is an amazing experience to be so moved by the machinations of people it is mostly very difficult to like.

Richard Franklin introduces us to Lady Jane Franklin first lady of Van Diemen’s Land, the great explorer and governor Sir Richard Franklin and George Augustus Robinson the Protector of Aborigines all of them linked by their roles in the life of Mathinna the young indigenous girl ‘adopted’ and then betrayed by them all.  As well, we meet Charles Dickens the man – and what a troubled person he is – almost manic we would say today – who also knew Lady Franklin and assisted her in memorialising her husband – lost forever in the Arctic.

We meet them all, and Mathinna apart, I found it beyond me to care about their respective wantings.  In an important Author’s Note at the end of the book, Franklin tells us that this book is about desire not history; about human desires set within respective cultures and religions.  Mostly what it demonstrates for me is that those cultures and religions were and are largely bereft of humanity, of insight, of empathy, and are crammed chock a block with ignorance and arrogance.

Still, Wanting is essential reading for its awful beauty and for its demonstration of the damage we all do by imposing our own ‘values’ on anyone else.

Debora Campbell

A young Aboriginal girl, Mathinna, runs through the wet wallaby grass

I was looking for some books on a subject that I forget but in my quest to find the particular book I came across this book Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry on the net so next thing I have ordered it from a dealer.

Now all I have to do is wait, it arrived soon enough & I started to read it, what a goldmine of information about book collecting mainly U.S.A.  But really its an excellent book for those of us that like to pursue old books or rare books, paperbacks, hardcovers & pamphlets. Who would ever want to go to Woodstock & get muddy, smashed and stoned when you could go back in time and see all of the the shops he mentions and discover a treasure or two.

I know that I will be reading this again for the information that is on every page. From the people he worked with and for the characters he met, the towns & shops he visited.

He runs a bookshop Booked up inc in Archer City Texas  it reportedly has some four hundred thousand books thats a lot books Larry.

Do you know any books like this that you think I might like? I’m always looking for interesting stories on book collectors any country.

The Title says it all Rude Food. You don’t find these dishes at Macca’s. But who wants to I always wanted to be a chef perhaps this book would have done it for me, its nice to eat at home, some tasty treats indeed.  If you know anymore recipes please let me know.

Rude Food by David Thorpe


Lake Macks used book blog

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