Archive for April, 2010

War—What Is It Good For?

Friday, April 30th, 2010

While I’m rarely able to pick a ‘favourite’ book, nor even do more than draw a blank when I’m asked to recommend something, one of my hands-down favourites and one that I regularly buy as a gift for friends or thrust upon them as a loaner is Emergency Sex (and Other Desperate Measures). Written by […]

REVIEW: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Honestly, Patrick Ness couldn’t have ended the Chaos Walking trilogy in a more perfect way. The first two books in the series, The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer, stand out for their inventiveness, their fierce pace, and their vivid characters. Monsters of Men meets the standard, then ups the […]

Why I have not read Twilight

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

I have not read Twilight! I do not intend to read Twilight! I am content with this decision and I am sure that I will go on to have a happy and fulfilling life without it. But how did I come to this decision? I had heard a lot about Twilight — both good and […]

Potplants, red in tooth and claw

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Yesterday I had to catch the train home from work with a Venus Fly Trap plant in my handbag. I’m blaming Sir David Attenborough. His voice may be soft, but his enthusiasm is contagious, and after watching the epic documentary Earth recently and re-reading my copy of the Life of Mammals, I was filled with […]

For the Love of the Chunkster

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Dear Readers: I have a confession to make. It is a confession that is so monstrous, so remarkably horrid, that your view of me will forever be marred. *Takes deep breath* I have never read The Lord of the Rings trilogy. [I know what you’re thinking: “and here she is, this imposter, purporting to be […]

Books: Just ‘Fodder For Digital Chatter’?

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

It seems reasonable to assume that the future of book reading is at least going to involve more social networking. The newest ebook readers make connectivity a selling point – the built-in ability to share your views or quotes from a book on Twitter or Facebook is the next logical step, if it hasn’t happened […]

DIGGING UP DINOSAURS with Sheryl Gwyther

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

As part of our Dinosaur Week, we’re talking today to author Sheryl Gwyther about how she became a writer, and how she went to an actual dinosaur dig to research her book, Secrets of Eromanga. Let’s start with your author’s journey, Sheryl. I’d been crazy about reading books and writing bits and pieces since I […]

Literary Feuds – Popular Authors at Dawn (or Twilight)

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

It is a truth universally acknowledged that any book in possession of popularity must be in want of literary merit. If it sells well, it must be lowbrow. And, when other popular writers are the ones to say this, it causes no end of fuss. Last year Stephen King, the king of high-selling horror, took […]

Kate Forsyth talks inspiration

Monday, April 26th, 2010

I have a soft spot for Kate Forsyth. She was the first author I interviewed when I became a Boomerang Books blogger (click here). And now, it’s a new year, this is a new blog, and Kate has a new book, so it’s only fair I invite her around for a new feature (although, it looks […]

Value Added: Is Traditional Publishing Obsolete?

Monday, April 26th, 2010

A staggering 764,448 titles were produced in 2009 by self-publishers and micro-niche publishers, according to statistics released this morning by R.R. Bowker. The number of “nontraditional” titles dwarfed that of traditional books whose output slipped to 288,355 last year from 289,729 in 2008. Taken together, total book output rose 87% last year, to over 1 […]

Authors with bite

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Vampires! Post number two in a series of three about the pointy-toothed blood-suckers we all love to read about. This time around I have enlisted the help of two authors who have written vamp fic. I’ve asked each of them to share with us their favourite vampire book. First cab off the rank is Narrelle […]

Dinosaur Week at Kids’ Book Capers – DINOSAUR IN THE DARK AGES with Michael Bauer

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Hope you enjoy our Dinosaur Week this week at Kids’ Book Capers. We’ll be talking with authors Michael Bauer and Sheryl Gwyther about their action packed adventure dinosaur books for kids. TODAY – DINOSAUR IN THE DARK AGES In Michael Bauer’s 2010 CBCA Notable book, Dinosaur Knights, a dinosaur ends up in the Dark Ages […]

The Myth of the Children’s Book (Part 2)

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

“Some day, you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” -C.S. Lewis. You might (or might not) be surprised to learn that the beloved fairy tale was originally meant for adults as well as kidlets. Storytellers such as Perrault had Rapunzel pregnant by her hair-climbing paramore; the story of Snow White is […]

The Goldilocks Guide To Good Reading

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Recommending books is often more miss than hit, so I feel a little nervous when I’m asked to suggest ‘a good book’ to read. After all, one person’s ‘good’ is another person’s ‘awful’. Add into the ‘good’ book request mix an immediate under-pressure terror to recommend something suitable for people who otherwise might not be […]

Books with bite

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Vampires seem to be the in thing at the moment. Almost everyone is going ga-ga over the Twilight books and there is now a glut of teen vamp fic. Hollywood is, of course, cashing in on this, with numerous pointy teeth films and tv shows gracing our screens. For a bit of a laugh, check […]

A Life in Words – Bianca Nogrady on collaborative writing

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

The traditional image of a writer is an eccentric eking out a lone living on a typewriter in the attic (fingerless mittens optional but encouraged). Indeed, for many aspiring artists labouring in office jobs, the lack of constant human contact and interference is a perk of the job. But for some writers, and particularly writers […]

Why Amazon May Not Take Over The World After All

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

The comprehensive article by Ken Auletta over at the New Yorker this week about the Amazon vs Apple vs Google ebook free-for-all has prompted me to consider how close Amazon came to dominating the publishing industry – particularly when it comes to ebooks. Now, I don’t want to point fingers or choose sides here. I […]

Three Wakefield Press books nominated for Le Cordon Bleu World Food media Awards

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

The biennial, international food and wine festival “Tasting Australia”, is coming up here in Adelaide in a few weeks time. It is a week long “foodie-fest” which also involves some industry events, including the awarding of the Le Cordon Bleu World Food media Awards. This year South Australia’s own Wakefield Press has had three of […]

Pet Peeves

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

“I don’t have pet peeves, I have major, psychotic hatreds.” – George Carlin I had expected to be writing Part 2 of ‘The Myth of The Children’s Book’ for this post, but I had a little experience on the weekend that got me thinking about something else. It was my birthday recently, and those who […]


Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

On Monday, we spoke to author Penni Russon about how she became an author. Today she is going to tell us all about the inspiration behind her award winning book, Little Bird. Little Bird tells the story of teenager, Ruby-lee who falls in love with the baby she is looking after. Congratulations Penni on receiving […]

An embarrassing cook-up

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

There were undoubtedly some red faces at Penguin Group Australia yesterday when they announced they were reprinting 7,000 cookbooks over a recipe for pasta.  The “Pasta Bible” recipe for spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto was supposed to call for black pepper but due to a “silly mistake” by a proofreader, it specified a decidedly […]

It’s Time To Go … Dust Covers And Hard Covers.

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Innovate or die is the philosophy underpinning all manner of technology. Buy a new computer or TV and it’s just about obsolete before you take it out of its box. Strangely, though, such innovation rules haven’t applied to books and reading. Sure, audio books and e-books are on the horizon, but they’re the first major […]

Ahem… just saying…

Monday, April 19th, 2010

  Review coming very, very, very soon. Obviously. Am delivering it to our token Ness-phile tonight.

Adele Walsh on movie adaptations

Monday, April 19th, 2010

I’m not the only perpetual adolescent in the world, and the plan is for this blog to feature a range of ‘adolescent’ voices, from young-adult authors, to young-adult readers. Adele Walsh, or as you may know her, Persnickety Snark, is one of the, if not the name in Australian young-adult blogging. Of course, if you said […]

VIDEO POST: Joanne Harris reads from ‘Blue Eyed Boy’

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Blue Eyed Boy by Joanne Harris A gripping psychological thriller played out in cyberspace, from the bestselling author of Chocolat and The Lollipop Shoes. “Once there was a widow with three sons, and their names were Black, Brown and Blue. Black was the eldest; moody and aggressive. Brown was the middle child, timid and dull. […]

VIDEO POST: ‘Let The Dead Lie’ trailer

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Let The Dead Lie by Malla Nunn Cooper is forced to resign when re-classified as mixed-race. Now in the tough coastal town of Durban he mixes labouring with some surveillance for his old boss. One night he stumbles upon the body of a young white boy and when two more bodies are found in his […]

The Star and Felicity Marshall

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Last Tuesday I went along to the launch of Felicity Marshall’s picture book, The Star, which I reviewed a couple of posts back. Port Melbourne Prints and Framing (276-278 Bay Street, Port Melbourne) was a terrific location for the launch, which also doubled as the opening of an exhibition of artwork from the book. In […]

AN AUTHOR’S JOURNEY – Penni Russon Shares Her Story

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Penni Russon has written seven books including Little Bird for which she has received a 2010 CBCA Notable award. We’re going to feature Little Bird on Kids’ Writing Capers on Wednesday, but today we’re going to talk about Penni, the author. Penni grew up in Tasmania and says she still considers herself to be a […]

Why The Customer Isn’t Always Right

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Reading the open letter posted up on Teleread this week made me realise something. When it comes to new technology, the customer isn’t always right. This open letter, addressed to ‘publishers’, covered ebook issues as varied as sales tax and ebook pricing, formatting of books and ebook reader firmware. Why Joanne, the author, believed she […]

Time tripping with Kate Forsyth

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

George’s little intro Last time around, I waffled on a bit about a few time travel books that I’ve read. For today’s post, author Kate Forsyth has stopped by to tell us about her favourite time travel books. Kate is the author of The Puzzle Ring (an excellent time travel fantasy for kids and teens) […]

That sinking feeling

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

This day 99 years ago the Titanic sank into the Atlantic Ocean, taking 1,517 lives with it. I grew up ten miles from the Titanic’s last port of call – Cobh in County Cork, Ireland – and the sad tale of the ship was familiar to me from a young age. My Dad told me […]

The Myth of the Children’s Book (Part 1)

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

If you read up on these kinds of things, you’ll already have been aware that the Hugo Award nominees for 2010 have been announced. Among them the name ‘Shaun Tan’ sits merrily, in the category of ‘Best Professional Artist’ . And if you’ve been hiding under a different rock from the one Shaun Tan’s been […]

Wild About Tea Cosies

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

‘Wild’ and ‘tea cosies’ aren’t exactly terms one would instinctively pair together, but not only does this irreverent pairing work, the book pairing them has been a runaway success. So successful, in fact, that Loani (pronounced Low-arni) Prior has just released her second book about knitted tea cosies. Its title? Really Wild Tea Cosies, of […]

Multimedia Does Not A Book Make

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

The release today of the stunning Alice for iPad video on YouTube (above) has made me wonder, yet again, whether these ‘enhanced’ ebooks that are beginning to pop up (mostly on the iPhone’s App Store) are anything other than a gimmick. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, an enhanced ebook is […]


Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Hazels Edwards‘ new picture book, Plato the Platypus Plumber (Part-time) is the story of a platypus who is also a part time plumber. Plato is the imaginary friend of a young boy called Zanzibar who has all sorts of things that need fixing around his home. On call, Plato fixes watery problems like leaking taps, […]

VIDEO POST: James Bradfield-Moody talks ‘Sixth Wave’

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

James Bradfield-Moody chats with Random House about his new book, The Sixth Wave, written with Bianca Nogrady, out now. The Sixth Wave by James Bradfield Moody and Bianca Nogrady Five waves of innovation, beginning with the Industrial Revolution, have each transformed society, economies and industry. The fifth wave was dominated by information and communications technology but its […]

VIDEO POST: Masterchef Julie Goodwin on her new cookbook

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Julie Goodwin, Masterchef 2009 winner, chats to Random House about her brand new cookbook. Our Family Table by Julie Goodwin Since taking out the coveted title of Australia’s first MasterChef, Julie Goodwin has been cooking, testing and writing away like mad, preparing to publish her first cookbook. Full of lovely stories and recipes and feasts, […]

VIDEO POST: ‘Return of the Prophet’ Trailer

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Return of the Prophet by Greig Beck When a massive amount of gamma radiation is detected somewhere beneath the desert of Iran, the world begins watching. Is it a nuclear weapon, or something much much worse? Alex Hunter and his highly trained incursion team are dropped into the ruins of Persepolis but find nothing. No […]

The Stars, up close and personal

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Clash of the Titans may be the latest 3D must-see movie, but I haven’t gone yet, and I am not sure I want to. I’m bizarrely attached to the old version from the 1980’s, complete with Harry Hamlin hamming, stop-motion monsters and a jerky Pegasus, and I’m not sure I want to see the new […]

A note on seven-legged spiders

Monday, April 12th, 2010

I was conflicted as to where to put this post. On the one hand, this is not a young adult book, and surely doesn’t belong on the young adult blog. On the other, if there’s one thing you feel when you read The Internet is a Playground by David Thorne, it’s young. This is exactly the sort […]