Most people living in Australia will no doubt have heard of Richard Glover – radio presenter, journalist and author.
For something a little different we aren’t looking at his media career, and we won’t examine just one of his books but instead take a meandering journey through three of them.
We will go from nostalgia to the depth of love for a dog and finally to a book so full of observational comedy it will make you laugh out loud.
In The Land Before Avocado, Glover takes a journey to an almost unrecognisable Australia.
It’s a vivid portrait of a quite peculiar land; a place that is scary and weird, dangerous and incomprehensible and, now and then, surprisingly appealing – it is the Australia of the late 1960s and early 70s.
This book is largely a brutal attack on the past, challenging us to overcome our nostalgia and instead be optimistic about how the world has changed for the better and how it might continue to improve.
All of his observations are backed-up by research, anecdotal evidence, valid comparisons and, of course, memory.
It’s sociology at its best – accessible rather than academic, entertaining and substantive; some things made me laugh, many made me cringe and a few brought a tear.
Glover aims by the end to demonstrate that Australia has come a very long way in a short amount of time.
I believe that it’s a timely read and gives hope to Australians who might be feeling despair at where our country is headed.
Another of Glover’s books which is totally unexpected but delightfully received – Love, Clancy – is an hilarious series of letters by the clever Kelpie to his parents in the bush, and reviewed by his new owner, Man.
The letters are full of musings and oddities as Kelpie grows from puppy to full-grown dog – in reality it is Clancy asking for more attention to be paid to a dog’s view of the world.
Glover turns the torch on the reader in a subtle and very clever way, leaving us asking how we deal with and respect animals.
He also reminds us of Lord Byron’s quote: “Dogs represent all the virtues of man without the vices”.
This is as funny as Avocados, filled with Glover’s usual charm and comedy but with a much deeper purpose.
Glover’s latest foray into authorship, Best Wishes, expresses 365 wishes for making the world a better place.
Do you think the world would be a better place if people got back their sense of humour?
Here’s proof you are not alone.
Heartfelt and hilarious, serious but sly, Best Wishes is the encyclopedia of ‘can do better’.
It’s a plea for a better world – one wish at a time.
This is why I absolutely cannot wait to see Richard Glover in person on the Central Coast on the November 24.
Central Coast readers can meet the author at a special event – An Evening with Richard Glover – to be held from 6-9pm on Friday, November 24 at the Everglades Country Club, Woy Woy.
Tickets are available at The Bookshop Umina or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
They can also be obtained online at www.thebookshop.info or https://RichardGloverWoyWoy.eventbrite.com