Archive for November, 2010

The New Twilight Or Just Hype?

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

I’d heard a bunch of things about The Passage, not least that there was a bidding war over it and that it’s ‘the new Twilight’. Having struggled lately to find something that caused me to drop off the face of the earth in obsessive, devouring-it-record-short-time reading in the same way that Harry Potter and Twilight […]

The Magicians’ Guild

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

A few posts ago I mentioned that I was reading The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi Canavan. I finished the book. I loved the book. I intend to read the second book in the series (The Black Magician Trilogy) very soon. This is significant for a couple of reasons… Firstly, I don’t normally read what I […]

Throwing the book at ebooks

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

My friend swears she will never convert to e-books. It’s not that she’s anti-technology or she prefers the feel or smell of books. It’s because of the lack of violence. “The main problem with reading books on a Kindle or ebook reader,” my friend explains, “is that you can’t throw the Kindle at the wall […]

TEACHING KIDS TO READ

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Teaching Kids to Read isn’t strictly a book for children, but it could have an enormous impact on their ability to read and consequently, their future. I am a big supporter of literacy and as a long time parent helper in classrooms, I have seen the anguish and frustration experienced by children who struggle to […]

The Leak That Launched a Thousand Political Memoirs

Monday, November 29th, 2010

News surfaced today of a cache of over a quarter million confidential US diplomatic cables between embassies and consulates and the US State Department. The leak has been released to news organisations and has been made available to the public via the website WikiLeaks, a not-for-profit organisation devoted to releasing confidential documents that may have […]

LAST DAYS: Most Popular Aussie Novel Survey – Your final chance to win $500 of books

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Hurry!  This is the last chance for you to complete our Most Popular Aussie Novels survey – the survey closes at 5pm AEST Tuesday 30 November 2010. We want to know which of the 150+ Aussie novels on our list you have read in their entirety – your responses will help us to compile a […]

Thoughts on: Blossoms and Shadows, by Lian Hearn

Monday, November 29th, 2010

This novel has been much anticipated by Yours Truly. I was absolutely mesmerised by Lian Hearn’s Otori series, and was somehow able to love it that little bit more, when I discovered that Lian Hearn was not only Australian, but female, too. Blossoms and Shadows is a major departure from the Otori series, and to […]

REVIEW: A Postcard to Sylvia Plath by Patricia Jones

Monday, November 29th, 2010

TITLE:  A Postcard to Sylvia Plath (Poetry) AUTHOR: Patricia Jones PUBLISHER: Ginninderra Press (P.O. Box 3461, Port Adelaide, SA 5015, Australia) (November 2010) ISBN: 97811740276498 Reviewed by Ann Skea ([email protected]) “Trawling out my memories – elusive as tiny silvered fish my heart flapping – a torn sail in the wind”. In her Introduction to this book of […]

REVIEW: The English Ghost: Spectres Through Time by Peter Ackroyd

Monday, November 29th, 2010

TITLE:  The English Ghost: Spectres through time AUTHOR: Peter Ackroyd PUBLISHER:      Random House (December 2010) Reviewed by Ann Skea ([email protected]). Full of ghosts as this book is, it is disappointingly unspooky. Ackroyd is not telling ghost stories to scare you. Instead, he describes and reports, raises questions, notes trickery, and generally covers all […]

EVERYONE LOVES A PRINCESS

Monday, November 29th, 2010

With the impending wedding of Prince William and his long time girlfriend, Kate Middleton on the horizon, princesses are very much on some people’s minds at the moment. As a small child I remember playing prince and princesses with my siblings. I was always Princess Anne and my older sister got to be the Queen, […]

Phar Lap

Friday, November 26th, 2010

It would probably have been more appropriate for me to have organised this guest post around Melbourne Cup time… but I didn’t. Oh well. Here it is now. Please welcome Jackie Kerin to Literary Clutter, as she tells us a little about the genesis of her book Phar Lap the wonder horse. Writing Phar Lap […]

USER REVIEW WINNER: The Debacle by Emile Zola

Friday, November 26th, 2010

The Debacle by Emile Zola Reviewed by LawrenceW Tolstoy wrote War and Peace over five years between 1863 to 1868 and Zola had The Debacle published in 1892. Together, they have produced definitive war narratives interwoven with intimately and finely drawn affected lives that live on forever in the reader’s eye and mind. One can’t […]

Another Cover to Covet

Friday, November 26th, 2010

What a pleasant surprise to receive this in the mail. Thanks Hachette Publishers! I have long been a fan of Angela Carter, but considering she died in 1992 I really didn’t expect them to squeeze anything else out of her. But I was wrong! Angela Carter’s Book of Wayward Girls and Wicked Women has just […]

“6″ WILL SCORE WELL WITH YA READERS

Friday, November 26th, 2010

It has been a while since I read a book that left me not wanting it to end. You know the kind of book where wake up in the morning looking forward to reading more but then you remember that you finished it the day before. That’s what happened when I read Karen Tayleur’s new […]

The Tyranny of the Digital

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

News surfaced this week of Rupert Murdoch’s plans to launch a newspaper exclusively on tablet devices. It’s the kind of plan that sounds great in a press release. Murdoch knows how to put a newspaper together – The Daily, as it will be called, will be housed in a real office, with real journalists, but it […]

Inkys 2010 winners announced

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

The winners of the 2010 Inkys were announced at a special ceremony at the State Library on Thursday. Lucy Christopher’s Stolen took out the coveted Gold Inky, rewarding an Australian novel, while Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater won the Silver Inky, rewarding a book by an international author. The shortlist was selected by judges Randa Abdel-Fattah, […]

What makes a classic?

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Novels are generally deemed “classic” if it’s a weighty (albeit outdated) tome. There’s fine line to tread between what is defined as cheesy and classic. Cheesy novels are drenched in unfashionable references not yet far enough removed to be yearned for. Yet classics resonate like a ringing of a bell. As a writer, won’t it […]

The I Can’t Cook Cookbook

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

I both agreed and disagreed with a friend recently when they marvelled at the sheer volume of cookbooks available and decreed that the market couldn’t possibly support such numbers. Agreed, because I too wonder how there could possibly be so many incarnations of said books, particularly given how expensive the production costs and subsequent shelf […]

VIDEO POST: The Devil’s Tears by Steven Horne

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

A Question for Voldemort

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

With the Australian release of Part I of the final Harry Potter movie, based on the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I had expected this post to be a true Harry send-off worthy of the little boy with the lightning scar who saved the world. I must confess to never being completely obsessed […]

G-Rated, Family-Friendly Book Porn

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

I should state up front that although this blog post is brought to you by the word ‘porn’, it is in fact completely g-rated and family friendly. The ‘porn’ it contains is related to books. Specifically, beautiful bookcases and book storage captured in photos and posted on a daily blog that’s not unlike the I’d […]

My book covers

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

It’s very easy, as a reader, to pass judgement on a book cover. I do it all the time. “Oh, I like that cover, it’s pretty good. But that one, it’s a piece of crap.” As an author, assessing the covers of your own books, it’s a different kettle of fish. You have a personal […]

A Celebration of Books at the Ford Street Literary Festival

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Last week I attended the Ford Street Literary Festival at Scotch College in Hawthorn and I really wanted to blog about this inspiring example of kids having fun with books and their creators. (Pictured below are Jo Thompson, Meredith Costain and David Miller who got down to the bare bones of writing and illustrating at […]

What Not To Gift Part 2 – Expensive Ink and Pricey Poems

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

It’s that annual Christmas question – what do you buy the person who has everything? How about a copy – in fact, the only copy – of the world’s most expensive book? Tomas Hartmann, a German writer who calls himself “greatest philosopher of all time,” announced in 2008 he would sell his book. As in […]

If You Guys Were Publishers, You’d Publish Books

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

So I watched The Social Network the other day, and there was a particular scene that grabbed my attention. In the scene, Mark Zuckerberg (the inventor of Facebook) tells a group of Harvard grads who are suing him: “If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.” It took me a moment to […]

More Profanity Please – Won’t Someone Please Think Of The Children?

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

I was eleven when I read my first adult scene. And the only reason I was reading it was because I wasn’t meant to. Judy Blume’s Forever is a story about negotiating family stress and pressures, what happens when your parents divorce,  bereavement and teenage relationships and contains a scene with – in the words […]

Dubious honour: Tsiolkas nominated for Bad Sex award

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Frequent readers of the Boomerang Blog will know that Aussie author Christos Tsiolkas’ The Slap has been up for every literary award imaginable. Now, a more dubious honour to add to the list: the Literary Review‘s Bad Sex in Literature Award, which (dis)honours the most embarrassing passage of sexual description in a novel. “It’s very […]

Tokyo’s Vices

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

I’ve written previously about how it’s often the surprise finds of writers’ festivals who turn out to be the best. I don’t want to write like a broken record…but that’s again been proved true with Jake Adelstein, who I inadvertently heard speak while I was sussing out China’s literary wild child Mian Mian, with whom […]

Little Piggies

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

‘Tis funny the things you learn from books. The quirky, the apparently useless but interesting trivia that stays with you long past the time you’ve finished reading them. Equally odd are the books that you wouldn’t have realised there was a market for, but that find yourself completely suckered into buying as soon as you […]

VIDEO POST: Gone by Mo Hayder

Friday, November 19th, 2010

NON-FICTION CHRISTMAS BOOKS FOR BOYS

Friday, November 19th, 2010

I have two boys who love  gadgets and technology but they are also avid readers. So I always enjoy buying them books for Christmas. A lot of boys seem to be like mine, and they like to collect hundreds and hundreds of facts about all sorts of things from world’s biggest and world’s oldest to […]

Interview with Author Tony Park Pt 2

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Tony Park is an author, adventurer and reader of digital books, so I thought I’d interview him to get his unique point of view on the experience. Tony’s currently hooning around somewhere in Africa in his Land Rover, writing his next book and doing the occasional safari, but he was kind enough to take some time […]

Series book covers

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

I’m still on the topic of book covers. This time, I thought I’d look at some covers for books that are part of a series. With a series, it’s really important for covers to be recognisably part of a set, and yet still have enough individuality to not be mistaken for another of the books […]

2011 Sydney Writers’ Festival Program School Days

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

The Sydney Writers’ Festival has just announced the 2011 School Days Program. For the second year in a row, the program features five primary school days held across Sydney, Parramatta and Penrith, with a day offered for free to NSW priority schools at Sydney Town Hall. The line-up for the primary school days features Deborah Abela, Morris […]

Love to say I told you so

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

In August, we featured Bill Condon on the blog to talk about his book Confessions of a Liar, Thief and Failed Sex God (click here to catch up). It really stood out for me when I read all the YA releases of last year – it was charming, funny, and as I’ve said a thousand times, […]

What Not to Gift – Part 1, the Kris Kringle

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Christmas is coming, and your co-workers want their pressies. Much like your credit limit and your waistline, office relationships can be stretched to breaking point by Christmas’s excesses. Gifting books in the anonymous Kris Kringle may seem like a great way to solve who-to-buy-a-present issues, but you can still get it wrong. Make sure, first […]

Some book covers

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

You can’t judge a book by its cover. A very true statement. Many good books have crap covers and many crap books have good covers. But people do often judge books by their covers… or, at least, they make their reading choices based on covers. Unfair? Yes! But a fact of marketing. A book’s cover […]

Interview with Author Tony Park Pt 1

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Tony Park is an author, adventurer and reader of digital books, so I thought I’d interview him to get his unique point of view on the experience. Tony’s currently hooning around somewhere in Africa in his Land Rover, writing his next book and doing the occasional safari, but he was kind enough to take some […]

HEDGEBURNERS: an A-Z PI mystery

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Goldie Alexander’s Hedgeburners: An A-Z PI Mystery was inspired by Enid Blyton’s ‘Famous Five’ and she decided to write a contemporary version. The book is loosely based on a series of actual crimes committed in the recent past where a series of old hedges was burned down by a gang. The story is told from […]

Final Thoughts on Gone with the Wind [cont.]

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Gone with the Wind , despite any historical inaccuracies (it is fiction, peoples!), paints a fascinating portrait of the Deep South in a time of social and economic upheaval. The novel details the economical depression the rich Neo- Europeans experienced following the war; Europeans who brought their gallantries and notions of class distinction to the […]