I know how much you all love Neal Stephenson, so I infiltrated this blog to let you all know that he has a new book out called Anathem.

Since childhood, Raz has lived behind the walls of a 3,400-year-old monastery, a sanctuary for scientists, philosophers, and mathematicians. There, he and his cohorts are sealed off from the illiterate, irrational, unpredictable “saecular” world, an endless landscape of casinos and megastores that is plagued by recurring cycles of booms and busts, dark ages and renaissances, world wars and climate change. Until the day that a higher power, driven by fear, decides it is only these cloistered scholars who have the abilities to avert an impending catastrophe. And, one by one, Raz and his friends, mentors, and teachers are summoned forth without warning into the unknown.

Huge thanks to Bianca for bravely firing up the BBQ on a damp Sunday, and to all those who brought the beautiful array of food we enjoyed (yummy bean salad, beautiful marinated chicken, delicious haloumi salad and BBQ’d veggies and sausages to boot). We’ll have to repeat it another time for those who missed out.

We had mixed reviews about Anonymous Lawyer by Jeremy Blachman, but please check out the review below and add your comments.

next discussion book

next discussion book

The next meeting is set for afternoon tea 3.00pm on Sunday 19th October 2008 at my place in Burwood – email me if you need the address and please keep a record of them as we go because obviously we’re not going to publish them online 🙂

As always, the date and time are flexible but we need to confirm it pretty soon – please let us know if it works for you and we’ll set it accordingly.

The next book up for discusion is Addition by Aussie author Toni Jordan, a novel told from the perspective of a woman with OCD. You can check out the SMH review here if you like. It’s available for £5.89 from the Book Depository.


Anonymous Lawyer

Anonymous Lawyer is a book adapted from a highly successful fictional blog by Jeremy Blachman, written from the point of view of a fictitious hiring partner at a major law firm. This was our September 2008 EBTB discussion book – Rosa flat out hated it while Lisa found it ‘uncomfortably enjoyable’. Personally I’m with Lisa. The whorish capitalism and cynicism is a bit much at first, but it’s a quick easy read that provides a humorous insight into the world of corporate law in one of America’s major firms.

The blog entries are interspersed with personal emails, which provide great insight into the character of Anonymous Lawyer – particularly those between him and Anonymous Niece and The Musician. In an attempt to keep his anonymity, he describes those around him in broad strokes, like The Suck Up, The Jerk, The Woman Who Missed Her Kid’s Funeral, The Fat One and The Bombshell. The attempts to identify him (and themselves) by lawyers across the country are hilarious at times.


Some thought the ending was predictable, but personally I didn’t. I really began to sympathise with him and was hoping for a riding-off-into-the-sunset ending where he wakes up, discovers that there’s more to life than becoming The New Chairman and begins spending more time with Anonymous Wife, Daughter and particularly Anonymous Son. Of course, with the ending being what it is, he will undoubtedly have the time to do that. Hope I didn’t wreck it for you.

Please add your thoughts and comments below.


I know we tried Al’s original website back in 2002, then Caesar’s chat forum in 2006/7 and neither of them really took off for us, but here’s hoping we’re a little more technologically able now. Lisa’s website is still coming, but in the meantime, this blog is a great way to keep everyone updated about the last meeting, the upcoming meeting and all the other moving and shaking we do as a group.

April 2020