Red Dust
by Ma Jian
Red Dust by Ma Jian

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Posted by Tam


Some people are of the opinion that books choose us, and not the other way around. After reading this book I’m starting to wonder whether there is something more to that, if certain books make an appearance at a specific stage of your life. One thing is for sure, after reading through this epic love story you will feel emotionally purged. You will be reminded of the power of reading and appreciate that a book like this doesn’t come along every day.

The characterisation of four friends (JB, Malcolm, Willem and Jude) is done beautifully and each of them stands out as an individual early on. While all four characters are detailed in the book, A Little Life follows the story of Jude St. Francis who hasn’t had an easy life by any means. His life has been riddled by so much hardship and strife that you are only given glimpses at a time in order for it to be more palatable. While you are taking in stories of abuse, violence and neglect that happened during his younger years, the glimmer of hope and main source of happiness is the lasting relationships that are created later on. The bonds that are forged early on are put to the test as life gets in the way, and as time goes by your friendships and other important relationships based on love, bravery and sacrifice have a way of defining you.

This was an emotional read that led to a lot of introspection. Even before finishing it, there was a need to take a step back to gather my thoughts and feelings which were so complicated at times that it felt as though this book was actually getting across the true nature of humanity. A bit of a cliche, but this was an emotional roller coaster which tested your range for feelings from empathy, frustration, sympathy, and anger to the happier, more positive side of the spectrum. Jude is so damaged that even though later in life he is shown so much love, kindness and compassion he can cannot accept that his life is worthwhile.

There is nothing little about A Little Life, it’s an achingly beautiful tale of epic proportions which forces you find meaning in life and appreciate the people in it.

This review has been featured on Women24.

Categories: Books
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Posted by Tam

A few weeks ago a friend remarked on how few books I actually enjoy. It made me think that maybe it’s time that I stop looking for new things – be it authors or genres, and stick to what I know I like so that I can make better choices and ultimately read more books that I’m more likely to enjoy. That being said, even though I enjoyed this book I didn’t find it life changing or life affirming, nor do I ever see myself reading it again.


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Categories: Books
Posted by Tam


A little while ago we saw the latest Pixar movie, Inside Out and unsurprisingly it was an emotional roller coaster and for days (and now even weeks later) I find myself looking up interviews with the writers and still images of the movie. While I was in the wormhole I came across The Pixar Theory by Jon Negroni which explains how all the Pixar movies are connected in the same universe.

This theory includes all the movies the studio has created: Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Brave and Monsters University. It’s too recent to be included in the video below, so here’s an article explaining how Inside Out fits into this theory. Some of these are very easy to believe, while others are definitely more of a stretch of the imagination. Either way, it’s just a bit of fun that even the Pixar staff enjoy.

Categories: Film/TV
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Posted by Tam

This is an annual update, mostly for myself, where the list of worthwhile shows are whittled down and only the good ones are left standing. It makes is easier when keeping track of what to keep an eye out for when the next season comes around.



I’ve always tried to read more books than watch tv, but the truth is that when it’s colder I just don’t want to let my arms outside the blanket to hold a book. It would be a complete lie if I said there wasn’t comfort in lying wrapped in front of the box being fed a story – the only problem is sifting through the many available options to find the ones that appeal to you most. We all have different tastes, and like music preferences it’s essentially a personal choice. Continue reading »

Categories: Film/TV
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Posted by Tam


Greg Climer is a fashion designer and faculty member at Parsons School of Design in New York who is knitting a watchable scarf. The proof of concept is the video below which shows that as incredible as it sounds, a scarf can actually be used as a film reel. The film reel, or test scarf took a year and half to make, and is as long as a New York City block (which I’m told is pretty long…). Continue reading »

Categories: Film/TV, Handmade
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