Archive for July, 2010

Happy Birthday, Penguin – You’re Looking Well For 75!

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Penguin Publishers – you’ve gotta give them props. As they reach their 75th anniversary this week, they’re still the movers and shakers of the publishing world, with a vigour we don’t see in many publishers half their age! Their Aussie contingent flies the flag well – I’ve grown up on Penguin books, and it’s nice […]

Kids’ reading — Boots, Rufus the Numbat, and a Fairy Empire

Friday, July 30th, 2010

As a proud parent, I find it endlessly interesting to watch my kids’ literary tastes developing. So I’m now going to make an enormous leap of (perhaps faulty) logic and assume that all you people out there will find it just as interesting. And thus I shall blog about the books that my daughters have […]


Friday, July 30th, 2010

TOPPLING Like many of Sally Murphy’s stories, Toppling started with a character. John is a boy with the slightly nerdy hobby of domino toppling. He has a very stable, happy home life, and a good strong friendship group at school. But Sally started to wonder what would happen if something went wrong in John’s life. […]

SURVEY: Who is your favourite (or most unfavourite) villain in a book?

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Our Tuesday Survey on 20 July 2010 posed the following question: Who is your favourite (or most unfavourite) villain in a book? Some of the responses that we received via Facebook and Twitter were: Voldemort, Big Brother, Nurse Ratched, Hannibel Lecter – and many more… What do you think?  Add your suggestions to the comments […]

How The Booker Was Won

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Imagine me, swaggering out of the saloon doors into the dusty cross-section of town, whisky firing my gut. The unwelcome sun beats and blinds me for a moment – then I see in the middle of the dirt-lined street, a little way down the road: a gunslinger stands at ease, fingers playing invisible piano keys […]

Tweet Writer: The Cardboard Box For Adults

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

The best entertainment often comes from the simplest, most unlikely sources—just ask parents whose children derive hours of play from the empty cardboard box rather than the expensive toy that came in it. For me, today’s surprise fun came courtesy of the Melbourne Writers Festival’s Tweet Writer website, which my sister phoned me all the […]

Man Booker Prize 2010 Longlist announced

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

The judges for the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction today, Tuesday 27 July, announce the longlist for the prize, the leading literary award in the English speaking world. A total of 138 books, 14 of which were called in by the judges, were considered for the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ longlist of 13 books. The […]

Get Reading! 2010 is coming!

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Only four more weeks until the nation-wide Get Reading! 2010 promotion kicks into gear. Formerly known as ‘Books Alive’, Get Reading! is the book industry’s own annual promotion of books and reading – the largest in Australia. You can get involved in Get Reading! without even leaving your desktop. Since we’re a participating retailer, if you buy one of […]

The Man Who Stares At Goats And Them

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Some weeks ago I asked about the merit or otherwise of re-reading books, but have since realised that I’ve forgotten one key reason for re-reading: excellent authors who have released few books. It starts with a book recommendation or a simple stumbling across a writer whose fabulousness you can scarcely believe and whose writing you […]

Christine Bongers on HENRY HOEY HOBSON

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Christine Bongers, a former radio and TV journalist, is celebrating the release of her new novel, the riotously funny, fast-paced Henry Hoey Hobson, a novel aimed at upper-primary readers. For those unfamiliar with Christine’s work, her Dust was released to critical acclaim in 2009, and went on to be selected as a CBCA Notable Book […]


Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Pit of Shame by Anthony Stokes Reviewed by GavelBasher [Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers] You may or may not have thought of a gaol – even a famous one—as anything worth writing a book about, but fortunately and perhaps predictably, the author, Anthony Stokes does not agree with this view. […]

Does Your Local Library Deserve to Survive?

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Come on a hypothetical journey with me. Imagine a future where ebooks are the dominant format of books. It’s a world many people don’t think will ever exist. Boomerang’s own Aimee Burton is one of them (I’ve challenged her to a blargument, but until she picks up the gauntlet I threw down this will just […]

Tripods Rule!

Monday, July 26th, 2010

The Earth has been invaded — conquered by aliens in huge walking, metal tripods. For generations the people of Earth have been kept under control by caps — metal mesh, implanted into the flesh of a person’s head when they turn 14 years of age. Once capped, people loose their curiosity and creativity, become docile […]


Monday, July 26th, 2010

Author Sally Murphy grew up writing stories and planning that she would one day be a published children’s book author.  She says that when she grew up she found it a little harder than she imagined to get published. But I didn’t give up on that dream. I kept writing and submitting and learning the […]

Mark My Words: The E-Book Will Never Be Victorious!

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

It seems like everyone is talking about Amazon’s recent emission that e-books have surpassed the sale of hardcover books. Our fellow blogger, Joel Blacklock, has been writing some fabulous articles on the whole phenomenon. Til now I have attempted to stay out of this debate, but I feel that the time – to step forward […]

Festival Of The Book

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Highlighters and pens ready? Check. Reading positions selected? Check. Sleep caught up? Er, who needs sleep? The launch today of the Brisbane Writers Festival program, coupled with the fact that the Byron Bay and Melbourne Writers Festivals’ programs are already out, means that we are officially entering the festivals of the book, writer, and reader. […]

Tastes Better, Sits Better.

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

As someone who’s infamous for going through phases of eating only one food at a time and then never being able to eat them again—ah sushi, how I miss you—and as someone who finds constant, blatant, viewer-assaulting advertising masquerading as entertainment—ala Masterchef—equally as difficult to stomach, I’m afraid the fascination with the celebrity chef and […]

Paul Cornell talks about writing

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Today, we welcome back British writer Paul Cornell. Last post we chatted about his Doctor Who writing. This time around we’re focusing on his other writing… and man, has he done a lot of other writing! Scripts, novels, novellas, short stories, comics… you name it, he’s done it. The Interview — Part Two You’ve written […]

The Value of Edtiors

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

The advent of ebooks and online writing often brings to light an old argument about the value of editorial. The cost of printing and distributing a book, while hardly insignificant, is generally not as large as many people think. Nonetheless, ebook prices are set far lower than print books (compare the $AU14.99 average on the […]

This Is Why We’re Fat – The Book Version (Part 1)

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Aside from the obsession with literary blogs, lifestyle blogs and design blogs, I also adore a good many food blogs. A popular website This Is Why You’re Fat, has the public sending in photo evidence of the fattiest, sugariest treats humans could ever dream of consuming. If gluttony was a crime as well as a […]

A Life in Words – Seanan McGuire on Aussiecon, the Campbell award and the end of the world

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Campbell award nominee Seanan McGuire is a busy woman. The author of the Toby Daye fairytale noir series, of which novels Rosemary and Rue and A Local Habitation have been released, she is currently hard at work editing and writing the next three. When not writing she composes and performs science-fiction, fantasy, and horror-related songs, with […]


Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

I’m currently reading Fiona Capp’s My Blood’s Country, and loving every word of it, so I thought I’d invite Fiona onto the blog to share some of her words with us, an invitation she has kindly accepted. For those that don’t know My Blood’s Country, it’s a memoir of sorts, as Fiona takes us on […]

VIDEO POST: Chanel Sweethearts by Cate Kendall

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

The latest book trailer from Random House – Chanel Sweethearts by Cate Kendall


Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Bernadette Kelly is currently best known for her pony tales (stories about horses), but she’s about venture into YA fiction and if early drafts of her manuscript are anything to go by, it’s going to be a fantastic read. Today though, we are going to be talking about Bernadette’s Horsy adventures. Bernadette started writing in […]

Kindle Sales Outstrip Dead Tree Books: Nobody Makes Money

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Amazon announced this week that for the first time sales of Kindle ebooks have outstripped the sales of hardcover books. Is this a surprise? Not particularly. Amazon have been flogging their ebooks to death since the release of the Kindle, they’ve done a fantastic job getting publishers on board, and have the biggest range of […]

Paul Cornell and Doctor Who

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Being a long-time Doctor Who fan, I am very excited to be interviewing British writer Paul Cornell for Literary Clutter. Paul is well known for his Doctor Who writing, but he’s also written a heap of other stuff, including radio and television scripts, short stories, novels and comics, and has had four Hugo Award nomination. […]


Monday, July 19th, 2010

Congratulations to Kathryn Apel whose gorgeous picture book This Is the Mud! is making it’s television debut this week. This Is the Mud ! will be read this Wednesday 21st July at Play School on ABC 1 (around 9.30am) So we thought it would be a great time to talk to Kathryn about her tale […]

It’s My Party And I’ll Knit If I Want To

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Some months ago I visited a knitting club—the sassily named Stitch ‘n Bitch—for a story I was working on. To my surprise, I loved the group so much that I upped needles and joined. I’m now the most novice of novice knitters, but am also one of the most proud. Each week I have to […]

Celapene Press

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Small press publishers are an extremely important part of this country’s literary landscape. Over time, I hope to profile a few of them here on Literary Clutter. Today, Kathryn Duncan from Celapene Press has dropped by to tell us a little about her publishing venture. Celapene Press: creating books and supporting the community By Kathryn […]


Friday, July 16th, 2010

Today I wanted to talk about two beautiful new books for younger readers where the main characters go out to explore the world and in the process, discover new things about themselves. Both are baby animals, each with unique physical characteristics and the inquisitiveness and innocence of the very young. Puggle, the echidna from Puggle’s […]

Microsoft Turns Over an Old Leaf

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

News circulated around the web last week that Microsoft has filed a patent application for the visual look of the page turn on touchscreen devices. According to the NY Times: The patent application states that when “one or more pages are displayed on a touch display” a “virtual page turn curls a lifted portion of the […]

To Re-Read Or Not To Re-Read: That Is The Question

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Given ever-increasing work and study loads and ever-diminishing leisure time (not to mention the ever-increasing demands on that leisure time,) it’s getting harder and harder to carve out dedicated, uninterrupted reading time. Stand that fact next to the bucket loads of books published annually around the world, and that there are bucket loads more that […]

The Red Queen, by Philippa Gregory

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

I’ve been fortunate enough to receive an advanced review copy of Philippa Gregory’s The Red Queen, her latest novel and Book 2 of her War of the Roses series. As it is not due out for another two months or so in Australia, I’ve refrained from linking to it, and have posted an image and […]

The Severus Snape Guide to Literature’s Bad Boys (cont.)

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

It must have begun at a young age for me, though I can’t remember my first ‘bad boy’ book character. Was there an evil male character in One Fish, Two Fish? Doubt it. The first memorable one was Colin, from The Secret Garden. Forget Dickon, Colin’s where it’s at, with his petulance and consistent weeping […]

The Severus Snape Guide to Literature’s Bad Boys

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

You know, he may not be much of a looker, but I had a mad crush on Severus Snape throughout the entire Harry Potter series. He was quite possibly the drawcard for me to keep reading all 7 books … it wasn’t that I didn’t like the series, I just didn’t love-them-so-much-I-will-dress-like-a-wizard-at-the-midnight-release-and-name-my-firstborn-Voldemort. But Severus, oh […]


Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Goldie Alexander became a professional writer after 25 years of teaching English and History in secondary schools. She was  commissioned to write 4 YA novels for the ‘Dolly’ imprint, dealing with contemporary issues that were important to teenage girls eg body image, education, acceptance by one’s peers etc etc. I asked Goldie, “What do you […]

Random literary quotes

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Last time it was first sentences. This time, I’m quoting memorable bits from anywhere within a book or short story. These are just the quotes that have come to mind while putting together this post. Given the vagaries of my memory, there are bound to be other bits I should have quoted… but hey… with […]

Adele Walsh on Mary Sues

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Adele Walsh is another, and possibly my favourite, perpetual adolescent. She’s taken another break from her review/commentary website Persnickety Snark (which is really quite awesome and bookmarkable), to grace us with her ever-appreciated presence (and snark… the snark is always appreciated). ADELE WALSH Mary Sue? No, thank you I hate Mary Sues. I loathe them.  I want […]

VIDEO POST: Curtis Stone wants you to win $1000

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

We’ve just received word of a new competition that’s sure to get your inner-chef excited: For your chance to win $1000 to spend at the Curtis Stone shop, simply cook a recipe from Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone and take a picture of you, Curtis’ cookbook and the dish, and send it to along with […]

VIDEO POST: Michael Porta reflects on Sydney-shattering crimes

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Evil In The Suburbs by Cindy Wockner and Michael Porta Sydney will never be the same. In August 2000 a gang of rapists lured 12 victims from train stations and via the internet in a series of planned attacks. One 16-year-old was staked to the ground by a dozen men and raped repeatedly. Another young […]