Saturday, 28 May 2016

Oh Romance Wherefore Art Thou?

It's sort of funny when you think about it that there's sort of a new worry, okay maybe not worry, but consideration shall we say about what on earth will happen to romance in the modern age! And by modern age I mean with technology and social media and whatnot. I mean even e-Harmony seems old now (sorry e-Harmony if you're reading) what with Tinder, Facebook and other sites. Side note - I just read the 'Stories' page on the Tinder website and are these real or what? Do people actually marry from meetings on Tinder?! If you have some time to kill you can read it here. Everyone on that page is really attractive for some reason too. Also in learning the prisoner's dilemma theory in uni our lecturer used Tinder as an example scenario - um, should you swipe right or left to get a better outcome? WHAT IS THE DOMINANT STRATEGY?!?!

But moving on, some people have been thinking so much about this topic that they've decided to write books on it! Romance and love in the modern age. So here goes!

MODERN ROMANCE by Aziz Ansari  

"A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation’s sharpest comedic voices

At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?

Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?”

But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.

For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. They enlisted the world’s leading social scientists, including Andrew Cherlin, Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before.

In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world."

I had the good fortune of reading this one myself and I can say that I did thoroughly enjoy it! It asked some interesting questions and highlighted areas that perhaps are facing a slight battering on some fronts. But it also shares the ways that new romance has been constructed by people with the help of technology and social media. It's not all bad guys! And of course he is hilariously funny too so it's win win really. 

Vanity Fair wrote up an article here.  

And more recently released is:

AVAILABLE by Matteson Perry  

"From a breakout storytelling star at The Moth, a real-life romantic comedy about a guy and a girl—and twenty-nine other girls: a memoir about an unexpected break-up, one self-imposed year of being single, and how a “nice guy” survived dating in the twenty-first century.

Matteson Perry is a Nice Guy. He remembers birthdays, politely averts his eyes on the subway, and enjoys backgammon. A serial monogamist, he’s never asked a stranger out. But when the girl he thought might be The One dumps him, he decides to turn his life around. He comes up with The Plan: 1. Be single for a year. 2. Date a lot of women. 3. Hurt no one’s feelings. He’s not out to get revenge, or to become a pickup artist; he just wants to disrupt his pattern, have some fun, and discover who he is. A quick-witted Everyman, Perry throws himself into the modern world of courtship and digital dating, only to discover that even the best-laid plans won’t necessarily get you laid. Over the course of a year he dated almost thirty different women, including a Swedish tourist, a former high school crush, a born-again virgin, a groupie, an actress, a lesbian, and a biter.

In Available, award-winning storyteller Matteson Perry brings us into the inner sanctum of failed pick-up lines, uncomfortable courtships, awkward texts, and self-discovery, charting the highs and lows of single life and the lessons he learned along the way. Candid, empathetic, and devastatingly funny, Available is the ultimate real-life rom-com about learning to date, finding love, and becoming better at life.

I have not read this book because I only set eyes on it a day or two ago but this definitely looks like something I want to read. And the fact that they used a massive eggplant emoji only makes it more exciting - because I am pretty sure I'm actually a little bit allergic to eggplant. Love, like my allergies, keeps you on your toes. I don't know why because it seems to have only developed relatively recently. But part autobiography, part guide, Available is most likely to have you looking for any available time to read it. Sorry for that.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

When Tim Winton Comes Alive!

The other night (16th of May to be exact), Australian Story on ABC featured former NSW Supreme Court Judge George Palmer. A distinguished judge in his own right, but made even more so as a - okay not really as a judge but as a cool human being - by adapting Tim Winton's classic novel Cloudstreet into an opera. So many hyperlinks. Hyperlinks everywhere.
Click to Watch!

Cloudstreet is not a stranger to adaptation. In 2011 it aired as a tele-drama to great acclaim. But it's an interesting story! A closet composer I suppose who went on for five years working on his baby. It's pretty incredible when you think about it. How do people write entire scores/lyrics/scripts?! The mind boggles. I believe it's currently showing in not Victoria but when it does I am definitely keen to see it. But then, there are so many shows to see...
Click for review in the Australian

'On one level it represents an alarming mismatch with this quintessentially Australian story. Palmer’s music is worlds apart from that of Iain Grandage in his opera The Riders, also based on a Winton novel. That score was strikingly eclectic and contemporary. But Palmer succeeds in providing a musical vehicle for the story and not trying to compete with it. His score is nimble, harmonically inventive and enjoyably melodic.'

Click for review on the ABC

'The glowing reviews come as a relief to Tim Sexton, CEO of the State Opera of South Australia and musical director of Cloudstreet, whose decision to green-light the project was a million-dollar gamble.
"Of all the things I've worked on over the last 38 years, this is the one that I believe has the greatest legs to go on and become something truly fabulous," he said.
Director Gale Edwards, a veteran of Broadway and West End theatre — and a creator of hit musical The Boy from Oz — also thinks Cloudstreet could work in London or New York.'

Tim Winton has been enthralling Australian readers for many years ins tories about ourselves. Pick up one of his books here! Some titles include:
- Breath
- Blueback
- Eyrie

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Traveling Light

Alright I have a confession to make. I have been having a little obsessional time about Ireland. I am adamant to make a trip there in the near future but have currently made absolutely zero plans or bought tickets or anything! People ask me why I want to go and it's because I find the history really very interesting. So varied and distinct! I'm also somewhat intrigued by the language itself - it looks nothing like how it sounds (because it's a different language duh!) and it seems cool to know. So I did borrow a teach yourself book but did not make it paste the pronunciation page. It is definitely challenging.

But I digress, as well as the history the natural landscapes are of course something to behold. AND it also is packed full of the arts and culture with many festivals and literary sights to see. It is pretty darn cool that they have Bloomsday to celebrate James Joyce's novel Ulysses  (yes I have to read that soon). It's just an all round cool place okay! 

But this has led me to start reading all of these travel guides and books which seems a little preemptive but hey, a girl can dream can't she. 

And this has no relation at all to my love of Branson from Downton Abbey... no of course not! Traveling Light is also the name of an Oh Pep! song :)

But why do I say this? Because if you want to be inspired or need a bit of a push to get you started on your next holiday, why not pop in and see where our travel books can take you! 

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Under Construction

And no, I don't mean all the of the construction sites around Ivanhoe right now! In a word of caution, on windy days those sites are hazardous - FLYING DEBRIS FLYING. A piece at uni got stuck in my eye for about four hours and made it impossible to concentrate during my lecture but who can concentrate in accounting anyway? 

But anyway, what I'm really talking about is our website that is under construction! Some of you may remember our old/current one, we apologise for the sheer outdatedness of it so we are working hard to bring you a new functioning, excitingly awesome website! It has served us well but like Andrew's Bookshop itself, we're always changing and trying to find new ways to serve you. :)


You may remember this. Ignore it please! Seriously, more up to date information is on our Facebook site or if you'd like info immediately you can give us a ring on (03) 9497 3995.

So what will our new website be like? Stay tuned!