Tag: Love in the Years of Lunacy

Monthly Review – June 2012

Posted June 30, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Monthly Reading / 0 Comments

What a great month we have had; with the reading of The Picture of Dorian Gray via the bookclub. There was some interesting discussions taken place about first impressions, the criticism, the idea of Prose vs. Plot? and Style vs. Substance? as well as people’s final thoughts of the book. If you haven’t read The Picture of Dorian Gray yet, when you do get around to it, please feel free to join in on the discussions. Remember next month we will be having a look at unusual settings in Literature and reading Life of Pi.

As for this blog, we have had some exciting conversations and with Armchair BEA being hosted earlier this year we have been pleased to welcome all the new readers and commenters here. It has been such a wonderful experience and I’m so pleased to be involved. My Google reader is now full of awesome blogs to read and comment on.

My personal reading this month has been wonderful; I’ve discovered some wonderful books, but also had a bit of a rage about one book in particular. Highlights from the twelve books I’ve managed to read this month include The Last Kind Words, a book of crime and family with shades of an Noir narrative this book blends mystery with literary elements. Empire State is a fun read set in an alternative world, the book blends Science Fiction with Superhero and Pulp elements; also the publisher has some interesting ideas on expanding this world. Gone Girl was the biggest highlight of the month (review will be up next month) a novel that kept me on the edge of the sit and occupied all my free time.

June’s Books


Love in the Years of Lunacy by Mandy Sayer

Posted June 22, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Historical Fiction, Romance / 0 Comments

Love in the Years of Lunacy by Mandy SayerTitle: Love in the Years of Lunacy (Goodreads)
Author: Mandy Sayer
Published: Atria Books, 2011
Pages: 320
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
My Copy: Library Book

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I admit historical romance is not something you’d expect me to read but I’m all for literary exploration, so I thought I would give this Australian novel a go. Love in the Years of Lunacy is a typical story of forbidden love, set in war time Sydney. Eighteen year old Pearl is an alto sax player in an all girl jazz band that one day meets African American and jazz legend James Washington and quickly fall in love. While Australia didn’t have any laws to prevent them from falling in love or marrying, like America did, their love was taboo. While there is a lot more that I could probably say to summarise this book, you get the picture and probably can predict what happens. What I want to do is vent all my frustrations about this book (potential spoilers from here on out).

1. Historically Inaccurate
I’d probably enjoy this book a lot more if it wasn’t for the huge inaccuracy that happens in the book. The scene happens while the two love birds are at Luna Park, air raids sound and Sydney is under attack; but wait, there were no bombing in Sydney during World War 2, there was the submarine attack but this book made it sound like Sydney was getting bombed. Why? Most likely wanting to use this as an excuse for the two characters to have sex.

2. Misdiagnosis
So when the two are inevitably separated, Pearl tries to commit suicide; she says she doesn’t want live in a world without him. The Master of Lunacy (this title is government appointed to act as the authority in civil commitment proceedings) diagnoses her of having a fear of dying but when he talked to her and asked her, she told him that she was afraid of dying.

3. Faking it
You know the typical ‘fake that you’ve gotten better’ to stop having to be constantly under supervision? Pearl does this to stop herself from being bored but she did it so well that I think even the writer forgot about her depression after that paragraph ended.

4.  The Marriage Proposal
Pearl fakes her recovery so well, she ends up dating the Master of Lunacy; what? Does this not seem like an issue, an irresponsible doctor/patient relationship? Let alone the fact that Pearl was faking being over her depression and over James, so much so she falls in love with the doctor.

5. Cross Dressing Soldier
I get that a woman can fake being a man but faking being a solder in a war zone seems like a huge stretch. Especially when the writer likes to remind the reader just how beautiful Pearl is through the book. But tuck your hair under a hat and bandage her breasts up to make herself look flatter; that would work. How about when she got her period and the blood stained her pants? No one noticed that?

There is so much more I can think of that didn’t sit write with me in this book. I think there was a point I only found out Pearl was a blonde when she showed off her pubic hair to prove she wasn’t a male soldier. I did like the way this book was told in a way that a fictional Indigenous crime writer was listening to the tape recordings of his mother (who he thought was his aunt and also thought he was indigenous at the same time). But apart from that, I have too much I disliked about the book to really enjoy the story. I’ve had my rage about this book now; I can finally get it out of my mind.


ArmchairBEA 2012: Introduction

Posted June 4, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in ArmchairBEA / 0 Comments

Most book bloggers or book lovers in America would know about the BEA that will be happening over the next week. BEA is the Book Expo of America, held in New York, and a Book Blogger Convention is run alongside it as a way to get book bloggers to meet as well. While us poor Australian book bloggers don’t have this kind of opportunity we can still participate with Armchair BEA. This is a virtual conference for people that can’t make it to BEA. Over the next few days I will be joining in with this event and their daily blog post topic suggestions.

  • Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

My name is Michael, I’m a new bibliophile and new to book blogging; but not new to blogging. In 2009 I started reading and I’ve never stopped, I started my cultural blog as a way to blog about topics that interest me and what I’ve learned about those topics. I generally blog about Art, Culture, Literature and Philosophy over at Knowledge Lost. I started Literary Exploration as a way to share everything I want to share about books without flooding my other blog.

  • What are you currently reading, or what is your favourite book you have read so far in 2012?

Currently I’m reading All That I Am by Anna Funder, Railsea by China Miéville and Love in the Years of Lunacy by Mandy Sayer which is a bit of a cross section of genres; Literary Fiction, YA and Romance. The best book I’ve read in 2012 would have to be Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway; it was just a thrilling read and a nice example of Genre and Literary styles working well together to make a book that is the best of both worlds.

  • Where do you see your blog in five years?

In five years I’m hoping to still be blogging about books. I hope the readership continues to grow and I want to continue producing great and fresh content. I’m enjoying the momentum I’ve currently got for this blog and I hope I will still have it in five years. Also I hope to have a better theme.

  • Which is your favourite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?

My favourite post would have to be my Confessions of a Reader post, in which I reveal all my bookish sins to the world. I think it was a great idea for a post and hope everyone reads it.

  • Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

I think my tastes will continue to evolve. I try to explore all types of genres and literary styles (as the blog name suggests) and I hope to continue to do so. I have noticed I’ve been picking up books that I would have never considered reading and have been trying to read new release books as well. I like the idea of exploring old and new books and I hope my readers enjoy it also.

ArmchairBEA is a virtual convention for book blogger who can’t attend Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention. Banner by Nina of Nina Reads and button by Sarah of Puss Reboots