Review – The Last Anzac by Gordon Winch and Harriet Bailey


by - April 18th, 2015

The Last Anzac, Gordon Winch (author), Harriet Bailey (Illus.), New Frontier Publishing, March 2015. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. For this significant Anzac Centenary, a myriad of children’s books have been released to teach our young ones about the physical, emotional and historical impact of war, and to celebrate our […]



List of books with the word ‘boy’ in the title


by - April 16th, 2015

Boy Roald Dahl

I enjoyed writing the blog post Books with the word ‘Girl’ in the title so much, I thought I’d do one for books that have ‘boy’ in the title. At first glance, I thought this one might be easier, but let’s see how I go. The first book that comes to mind for me is […]



Review – ‘Imagine’ by Emma Mactaggart and Ester De Boer


by - April 16th, 2015

Imagine, Emma Mctaggart (author), Ester De Boer (illus.), Boogie Books, 2015.   What would you do in your most fantastical of daydreams? Totally let your imagination run free…where would you go? In Emma Mactaggart and Ester De Boer’s explosive ‘Imagine’, we are taken on a zoo adventure wilder than you could ever devise!   Utterly […]



Cracker 2015 CBCA Short List


by - April 15th, 2015

Protected

This year’s Children’s Book Council of Australia short list is a cracker. Older Readers I’ve reviewed most of the Older Reader titles for the Weekend Australian, which means that I think they’re excellent. It’s a superlative list this year. Incidentally, most of these authors are relatively or brand-new published YA writers; and are women, representing […]



Ann-Marie Finn’s Sweet New Release; Gus the Asparagus


by - April 14th, 2015

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There are moments in life that make us stop and adjust our perspectives on the world. Even encourage us to see the world from another’s point of view. Author Kaylene Hobson and illustrator Ann-Marie Finn from Dragon Tales Publishing have achieved just that by introducing us to their new, loveable character, Gus. ‘Gus, the Asparagus’ […]



Standout Literary Fiction


by - April 14th, 2015

These are the Names

My standout literary fiction of the year so far is Dutch author Tommy Wieringa’s These Are the Names (Scribe) and Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant (Faber & Faber). Both these writers have  been awarded for previous works and should have similar success with these books. The novels are masterfully written, with myth-like, nebulous settings and a […]



PS Mum, this is for you – Mother’s Day picture book reviews


by - April 13th, 2015

Hooray It's a New Royal Baby

Unconditional love, tolerance and understanding; all qualities most mothers possess in spades. They warrant gratitude every single day, not just on Mother’s Day. So this year, before you load up mum with a bed full of toast crumbs and good intentions snuggle up to her with one of your favourite ‘I love you’ reads. Here […]



Review – Nobody Is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey


by - April 13th, 2015

9781783780877

I grabbed this book solely on the back of a tweet from Joss Whedon but it then languished in my TBR pile for months. With the book finally being released in Australia I thought it was time to pick it up and was immediately sucked in. Catherine Lacey’s writing style is electrifying. She skillfully balances […]



Win a Mother’s Day Hamper of Books


by - April 13th, 2015

moday-banner

Looking for great  gifts to buy for your Mum? Books make fantastic gifts for Mother‘s Day! And to make your job easier, we’ve released our 2015 Mother‘s Day Catalogue. If you order from our Mother‘s Day Catalogue before midnight on Sunday 3 May, you’ll get FREE shipping on your order when you use the promotional code code 4mum at […]



Stories Behind the Stories; Interview with Acclaimed Author Libby Gleeson


by - April 7th, 2015

Libby Gleeson Photo

A true master of her craft is one that writes to elicit a multi-sensory experience from the very sight and sound of her words. She makes you feel, she makes you ponder, she creates suspense, excitement, and sorrow. All aimed to tug at your heartstrings, and all equally gratifying. The acclaimed multi award-winning author that […]



Bees in the City Book Review


by - April 6th, 2015

Bees in the City

Bees in the City: The urban beekeeper’s handbook sold me on both cover design and title. The cover, with its watermarky aesthetics, hints at a modern, professionally designed book that marries content with form (something that’s often missing from beekeeping books, which look like they’ve been run off on a photocopier and patched together in […]



Double Dipping – Bedtime dramas abound


by - April 6th, 2015

Onsie Mumsie

Putting the kids to bed is a rite of passage that not every parent survives in tact. Bedtime can be fraught with misadventure and procrastination. A five-minute goodnight kiss can draw out into a production of Oscar winning proportions. If you have kids under seven-years-old, chances are you’ve experienced a night or two like this. […]



The Modern Magazine


by - April 4th, 2015

The Modern Magazine

Print magazines are—contrary to the kind the-sky-is-falling-in predictions that always accompany the arrival of new media—not dead. They’re not even dying. They’re actually undergoing a bit of a vinyl-like renaissance. Jeremy Leslie has picked up on this phenomenon and penned a solid, gorgeous print book to discuss the magazine industry context and its plays. Entitled […]



Libby Gleeson’s Books in Review


by - March 31st, 2015

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With a multitude of Australian and international literary and service awards, and over 30 books written for children and young adults, Libby Gleeson AM has proven her commitment, talent and prestige in the children’s literature industry. Here we explore a few of her latest books for young readers; the most recent is the quintessential, ‘Mum […]



Review – A Curry for Murray


by - March 30th, 2015

A Curry for Murray

It is no secret; I am a glutton for a great plate of nosh. I love looking at it. I love preparing it. I love sharing it. And, I love reading about it. This is why I could gobble up A Curry for Murray by sensational new picture book team, Kate Hunter and Lucia Masciullo […]



The Book Brief: The Very Best New Release Books in April


by - March 30th, 2015

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Each month we bring you the best new release books in our Book Brief. Get FREE shipping when you use the promo code bookbrief at checkout Fiction Books A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale I have already read this book twice! An English Gentleman who has never worked a day in his life is exiled […]



Book Diets (Not Diet Books)


by - March 26th, 2015

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There has been a lot of controversy recently about different diet books out on the market and while eating healthy is very important we also mustn’t forget to feed out minds. So I’ve come up with a few Book Diets based on popular fad diet books: The Fast Diet (aka The 5:2 Diet) Now you can do […]



Indie Book Awards 2015


by - March 26th, 2015

Bush

  Last night I was fortunate to attend the Indie Book Awards. It was a great evening, hosted by Hachette Australia in Sydney. These awards are organised by Leading Edge Books, who support independent bookshops (see more about them in last weekend’s AFR and in this interview with Galina Marinov). The shortlists and winners are […]



Katrina Germein Dances Up A Thunderstorm


by - March 25th, 2015

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Katrina Germein is a well-loved children’s best selling author and early childhood teacher. She has received Highly Commended and Notable Book Commendation awards in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and from the Children’s Book Council of Australia. Three of her books have also featured on the popular children’s programme, Play School.  Some of her titles […]



Review – One Step at a Time by Jane Jolly and Sally Heinrich


by - March 24th, 2015

9780987380951

Inspired by a true story, One Step at a Time exposes the unfortunate reality of the global landmine crisis through the prism of a friendship between a young boy and an elephant. Writer Jane Jolly and artist Sally Heinrich handle this subject with such deftness and clarity to ensure young readers grasp the predicament facing […]



A hunting we will go – Easter basket fillers


by - March 23rd, 2015

Where's the Easter Bunny

It wouldn’t be Easter without a bit of a hunt. Whatever your predilection, chocolate eggs, fairies, time spent with loved ones; this small but sweet selection of Easter inspired treasures are perfect to pop into your Easter baskets this year. For the very young bunnies:  Little Barry Bilby by Colin Buchanan and Roland Harvey, including […]



Adam Wallace Is ‘Accidentally Awesome!’


by - March 18th, 2015

accidentally+awesome

You may remember my ‘Awesome Author Interview with Adam Wallace’ from last year (if not, click the link!). Adam Wallace has had heaps of books published over the last 10 years, including the totally gross chapter book series ‘Better Out Than In’ and ‘Better Out Than In Number Twos’, the frightening ‘Pete McGee’ trilogy, the […]



The Stella Prize


by - March 16th, 2015

A few days late and a few books read short, I’m getting round to getting my head around the Stella Prize shortlist. There are six books on the list, none of which I’ve read and only three authors I’ve heard of (Maxine Beneba Clarke, Christine Kenneally, and Ellen van Neervan): Foreign Soil The Strays The […]



Review – James Munkers Super Freak


by - March 16th, 2015

James Munkers

Author, Lindsey Little likes looking at things from great heights. Me too. It is how I choose my rugs, for one. Allowing yourself a chance to gain a different view of a situation or object can afford you a very different perspective of it. And having a different perspective can be very rewarding indeed. As […]



Shaun the Sheep Film Review


by - March 15th, 2015

9781406359664

I’m a long-time fan of Aardman studios. I owned Wallace & Gromit DVDs, and Chicken Run: Hatching The Movie, an aesthetically rich behind-the-scenes Chicken Run coffee table book detailing the making of the film, remains one of my most treasured possessions. Suffice to say, I was signing up to preview Shaun the Sheep film just […]



High School Reading List Wish List


by - March 14th, 2015

I Am Malala

I recently had a fairly robust mutual rant with a friend about how school reading lists desperately need an overhaul. As writers and editors, we’re huge readers. But most of our love for reading was formulated outside, and in spite, of the books we were forced to read at school. Sure, there were some classics […]



Footballers’ Favourite Books


by - March 14th, 2015

Aguero biography

There’s this bizarre disconnect in my life where my work spans multiple, discrete fields, but the people who know me in a work sense tend to only know me in one field. For I write about social and environmental issues, football (soccer), and the arts and, for reasons both obvious and not, these worlds don’t […]



Celebrating Mal Peet


by - March 14th, 2015

Life an Exploded Diagram

Mal Peet was a delight to read and meet. I can’t describe him as a YA author because he would loathe that description, refusing to see his writing pigeonholed into age categories. But clearly both young adults and adults appreciated his novels, and children his picture books. He has left a legacy of memorable books […]



Helene Magisson’s Labour of Love: The Velveteen Rabbit


by - March 12th, 2015

896-20150213142152-Cover_The-Velveteen-Rabbit_LR-1

In a gorgeously remastered classic tale, just in time for Easter, is a story about the magic of love; The Velveteen Rabbit. With the original story (first published in 1922) by Margery Williams Bianco being untouched, this current version has an exquisite sense of charm about it thanks to its’ talented illustrator, Helene Magisson.   […]



Review – How Long is a Piece of String? by Madeleine Meyer


by - March 10th, 2015

how-long-is-a-piece-of-string

Where do dogs wander to in the dark of night? How tall is a ladder to an exotic land? Will unusual creatures help guide you to your destination? How long is a piece of string? Don’t know the answers? Well, it’s all up to your imagination!   In similarity to those that leave the stories […]



Review: Soil by Jamie Kornegay


by - March 10th, 2015

9781444782936

There is something about stories set in the American south, particularly those in and around the Mississippi. Whether they are classic American Southern Gothic, contemporary fiction, crime mystery or a combination the confluence of history, atmosphere and long-held beliefs makes for rich, dark, fertile storytelling. Jamie Kornegay digs into this tapestry with a debut about […]



Review – This is Captain Cook


by - March 9th, 2015

This is Captain Cook

History can be a hard pill to swallow. It’s easy to choke on a diet of dried up, dusty old facts about dried up, dusty old people. Trouble is, what those folk did in our not so distant pasts was often fascinating and ground-breaking and well worth exploring. So how do you find the right […]



Review: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro


by - March 4th, 2015

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This is only my second Kazuo Ishiguro book following on from Never Let Me Go. For me, coming off a novel about cloning, I had no expectations about where he would go next. Much has been made about this novel being a “departure” for Ishiguro but I would argue that he has gone back to something […]



Alternate Aurealis Worlds


by - March 3rd, 2015

Afterworld

Congratulations to those shortlisted for this year’s Aurealis speculative fiction awards. As a judge of the YA novels and short stories, I feel bereft for those whose fascinating works couldn’t be included. Hopefully some of these will appear on other shortlists. Our best short story selections veer towards the upper end of the YA age […]



Doodles and Drafts – Under the magnifying glass with R. A. Spratt


by - March 2nd, 2015

rachel spratt

R. A. Spratt and I share a dubious childhood secret. We were both mad for Trixie Belden. I’m busting another secret; there’s a new super-youth-sleuth in town and she goes by the name of Friday Barnes. And now, I’m going a bit mad for her. Spratt’s latest series of detective stories exploded onto the shelves […]



The Book Brief: The Very Best New Release Books in March


by - March 2nd, 2015

book-brief-low

Each month we bring you the best new release books in our Book Brief. Get FREE shipping when you use the promo code bookbrief at checkout Fiction Books Touch by Claire North The premise alone of this book is enough to give you goosebumps. The main character, who we become to know as Kepler, is […]



Review: Canary by Duane Swierczynski


by - February 28th, 2015

9781444754186

It’s been awhile between drinks for a Duane Swierczynski novel but as always it has been worth the wait. Straight away its like jumping on a runaway train with that instant pleasure of having no idea where Duane Swierczynski is going to take you this time. After the brilliant insanity of the Charlie Hardie series […]



Player Profile: Nigel Bartlett, author of King of the Road


by - February 27th, 2015

Pic of me edited

Nigel Bartlett, author of King of the Road Tell us about your latest creation: My debut novel, King of the Road, was published by Vintage (Random House) in February 2015. It’s a fast-paced crime thriller that follows David Kingsgrove’s descent into hell after his 11-year-old nephew, Andrew, disappears from under his nose. The novel is based in Sydney and New […]



The Unforgettable Book of Strange New Things


by - February 26th, 2015

Book of Strange New Things

  Author Michel Faber is tinged with enigma and exotica. His name sounds both European and British, with its allusion – probably fictictious – to the famous publishing house, Faber & Faber. The 54 year-old was born in the Netherlands but educated in Australia – and so could be regarded as one of our own, […]



Review: Touch by Claire North


by - February 24th, 2015

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The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August announced the arrival of a very special talent. Claire North maybe the pseudonym for Catherine Webb (and Kate Griffin), who has already published a number of books, but Harry August was something else entirely. It was bold, intelligent, gripping and mind-blowing. Before the real identity of the pseudonym […]