Destination: Sydney

Seeing Australia Through Australian Crime Novels

B. R. Myers looks Down Under through the eyes of an American reading Aussie crime fiction. From the Atlantic

It is a rare crime novel that doesn’t seem better in the first part, when we are still trying to find our bearings. Perhaps we want to feel the way we did as children, when the genre was so much more thrilling for being slightly over our heads. This is the good thing about Australian crime fiction: as an American, you are never completely at home in it. True, the suburban backdrops appear very familiar, and on the printed page the Australian variant of English is almost identical to our own. But the characters in these novels behave much more differently from Americans than do the Swedes in those Stieg Larsson books, and this never stops feeling odd. Among male friends an intensity of joshing camaraderie is in evidence that even our frat boys would find stifling.

Previously, we noted Reggie Nadelson’s essay on the importance of place in crime novels, and Sarah Weinman’s piece on “international crime novels based in places as unlikely as Laos, Gaza and North Korea.”

Jan Morris Reveals her Favorite Cities

She fields this question in the Guardian: What is her favorite of them all?

Dear God, what a question! To my mind cities are distillations of human life itself, in all its nuances, with all its contradictions and anomalies, changing from one year to another, changing with the weather, changing with history, changing with the state of the world, changing above all in one’s own personal responses. How can I have a favourite? Sometimes I prefer one city, sometimes another. Inconstancy governs my responses to cities—fidelity in personal matters, promiscuity in civic affairs.

Morris does have a ready answer, though, when asked about her least favorite city: Indianapolis. (Via @ben_coop)

Photo You Must See: Dust Storm at the Opera House

Photo You Must See: Dust Storm at the Opera House REUTERS/Tim Winborne
REUTERS/Tim Winborne

A dust storm obscures the Sydney Opera House at sunrise this morning.

Flags of the World—Made From Food

These ads for the Sydney International Food Festival are stunning. Right now, this one is my favorite:

(Via Coudal)

Moon-Gazing Around the Globe

Full moon over London Photos by cybea via Flickr (Creative Commons)

From Puebla to Paris, 12 photos by moonstruck world travelers

See the full photo slideshow »

Australia’s Prime Minister: ‘Hotter Than Obama’

Australia’s Prime Minister: ‘Hotter Than Obama’ Publicity still via IGN
Publicity still via IGN

That was the verdict from Bruno, comedian Sasha Baron Cohen’s gay Austrian alter ego, during a visit to Sydney for his movie‘s Australian premiere. Said the ostensible fashion TV reporter after meeting Prime Minister Kevin Rudd: “That guy is like, uber-cute. I thought Obama was like the hottest guy in the world until I met Kevin.”

Ooh. Them’s fighting words, Bruno. President Obama, care to respond?

What’s Become of the World’s Red-Light Districts?

red-light district Photo by FaceMePLS, via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by FaceMePLS, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

A Wallpaper slideshow looks at how red-light districts in Amsterdam, Singapore, Sydney and seven other major world cities have been cleaned up. Or, as the story’s intro describes the transformation of Times Square in New York City, how they’ve reacted after after being given an “urban colonic.”

The Great Guidebook Retail Showdown

The Great Guidebook Retail Showdown Photo by fotologic via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by fotologic via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Who knew the world of guidebooks-in-bookstores could be so fraught with conflict?

Last week came the news that WH Smith—a large British bookstore chain found in most of the country’s airports and major train stations—had reached an exclusive deal to sell only Penguin-published guidebooks (namely DK Eyewitness and Rough Guides) from its shops. According to the Guardian, the chain reasoned that travelers “are often pressed for time and want to have a straightforward range of travel guides to choose from.” Michael Palin and Margaret Drabble are among the big names opposing the move. Arthur Frommer also has a predictably furious response, calling the deal “an unthinkable act of literary censorship and corporate greed.”

Read More »

Cheap Airfares! Buy Now!

Photo by egmb757lover, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

There is an amazing multitude of low fares for air travel out there right now. Want to fly cheaply to Australia? Shanghai? Las Vegas? I’ve rounded up some great travel deals below.

Read More »

Sydney Harbor Bridge, Australia

Sydney Harbor Bridge, Australia REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

A photographer captures an evening rainbow as it sets above the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

See the full photo »

North Curl Curl Beach, Australia

little penguin REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

North, a Little Penguin, looks back as it is pushed into the sea by veterinarian Amy Twentyman of the Taronga Zoo at North Curl Curl beach in Sydney. The zoo released back into the ocean two adult Little Penguins after they had rested and been cared for at Taronga's Wildlife hospital.

See the full photo »

Morning Links: Sex and Romance in Rio, Chaos in Bangkok and More

sydney opera house Photo of Sydney Opera House by Corey Leopold, via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo of Sydney Opera House by Corey Leopold, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Got a suggestion? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) your link.

No. 10: “In A Sunburned Country” by Bill Bryson

To mark our five-year anniversary, we’re counting down the top 30 travel books of all time, adding a new title each day this month.
Published: 2000
Territory covered: Australia
Bill Bryson, like many of the best travel writers, fuels his books with a keen eye for detail and an historian’s ability to research. In In a Sunburned Country, for instance, he cites a whopping 66 books in his bibliography. But what sets Bryson apart is his ability to process everything he’s learned and experienced with the voice of a seasoned comedian. “Sunburned” is laugh-out-loud funny. “This is a country that…is so vast and empty that a band of amateur enthusiasts could conceivably set off the world’s first non-governmental atomic bomb on its mainland and almost four years would pass before anyone noticed,” he writes. “Clearly this is a place worth getting to know.” Bryson travels from Sydney to Perth and throughout the continent’s Martian-like desert middle, and his affection for Australia’s people and its varied landscapes is obvious. In fact, it’s infectious. If an armchair trip through Australia in the company of Bryson doesn’t make you want to go there, it’s doubtful any book will.

Read More »

  • « Prev Page
  • Next Page »