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China Diner – Tanya Vavilova

My sister moved to Bondi earlier this year, which gave us all an excuse to sample food east of Sydney’s CBD. Our latest discovery is China Diner on Hall Street, which serves up a mix of fun and sassy fare from South East Asia and China. Like always, we ordered a colossal amount of food.…

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On Giving up Books – Hannah Parkes

It’s been a long time between blog posts but I have an excuse: I’ve gone cold turkey. Six weeks ago I made the conscious decision to stop reading books and considering this is a book-lovers blog, I have understandably, been without anything much to write about. You heard me: I quit books. Which is weird right?…

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My Long Weekend in Books – Tanya Vavilova

THE USUAL BLISS conjured by the phrase ‘long weekend’ no longer moves me; I am unemployed. Those once sweet words roll off me, water off a duck’s back. Each day stretches lazily into the next, obliterating culturally-imposed distinctions between gloomy weekdays and happy weekends. I am the envy of everyone I know. This weekend I…

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I want to be an astronaut – Tanya Vavilova

When your 3-year old nephew announces that he wants to be an astronaut when he grows up, you naturally smile and tell him that’s great. He’s only a boy after all and you’re not a Dream Crusher. There will be future disappointments, sure. He will eventually realise that Australia does not have a space program.…

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The World According to Garp – Tanya Vavilova

I absolutely loved The World According to Garp and couldn’t believe that this was the first and only John Irving book I’d read. I found myself unashamedly laughing in public – at fast-food restaurants, on long bus rides across Turkey, and thinking about some of Irving’s wise and provocative observations long after bedtime. For those…

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The Master and Margarita – Tanya Vavilova

My parents, patriotic readers, have been telling me for years that I should read the Russian classic, The Master and Margarita. I finally cracked on a recent holiday in Moscow, inspired by an afternoon at Patriarch’s Ponds, the opening setting of Bulgakov’s superb work. Satan, disguised as a foreign professor of ‘black magic’, pays a…

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Haruki Murakami – Bethia Thomas

After leaving the sunny streets of Sydney and waving goodbye to our Beautiful and Necessary community, I found myself in London and having to start life all over again. With a new job, new housemates and a somewhat colder way of life, it was initially difficult to find my feet in the Big Smoke. A…

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Drinking Tea in Istanbul – Tanya Vavilova

I recently spent a happy week in Istanbul. I was staying in a family-run hostel in Beyoğlu close to the main pedestrian drag, Istiklal Street. I visited mosques, palaces and bazaars, the names of which will be familiar to anyone who has visited Istanbul. I rode a ferry along the Bosphorus and lolled on the…

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