Archive for December, 2010

Goodbye 2010

Friday, December 31st, 2010

2010 is almost over. For me personally, it was a bit of a mixed bag — some good stuff; some not-so-good stuff. As for writing and reading, it was a pretty damn good year. So, let me sum it up for you. Yes, that’s right — if Literary Clutter were a tv show, then this […]

HOLIDAY READING – JUST a DOG

Friday, December 31st, 2010

I know that saving the best till last is a cliche, but I have saved one of my favourite children’s books for 2010 to be my final Kid’s Book Capers review for the year. Just a Dog is the new junior novel from award-winning author, Michael Gerard Bauer. It’s a moving story about family, but […]

VIDEO POST: Madigan Mine by Kirstyn McDermott

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

HOLIDAY READING – ANIMAL TALES

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

The Staring Owl The Staring Owl, written and illustrated by Luke Edwards is a book that could be enjoyed by both kids and adults. It’s an unusual, quirky story with a humour that children will engage with. And what adults won’t understand the dilemma of someone setting out to find the perfect career for their […]

Typing About Comic Sans Criminals

Monday, December 27th, 2010

One of the most-important and most-used skills I’ve had to develop as a writer who works as an editor is steering clients away from their mystifying obsession with using the most heinous of all fonts every created: Comic Sans. It’s the kind of noxious weed of a typeface that I have to cover my eyes, […]

HOLIDAY READING – TWO MORE GREAT MATES

Monday, December 27th, 2010

The Omnibus Mates series has proved popular with independent readers who enjoy great Australian settings and plenty of humour. Today we’re reviewing two more great Mates. CRIKEY Crikey is written by Jane and Zannah Carroll, and illustrated by Chris Edser The kids from Yabby Creek all have an animal to bring to school except Joe. […]

Sleepwalk With Me And Other Painfully True Stories

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Christmas Eve brought with it the arrival of a book I’d ordered months ago. As with almost everything, it was already available in the US, and I wasn’t entirely sure when the Australian release date was. So, it was something of a pleasant and perfectly timed surprise to find this book on my doorstep. I […]

2011 Book Resolutions

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

I’m sitting here stuffed as a turkey with all the Christmas trimmings, and then some. I had a surprisingly wonderful Christmas day yesterday: filled less with uncomfortable chit-chat with barely-seen extended rellies, and more of deep and/or funny convos with those I hold most dear. The unexpectedly warm weather allowed a swim in the afternoon […]

Washington Post Word Play

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Following on from yesterday’s blog about my family’s Christmas Day traditions and the reading-derived brainpower they entail, it’s quite fitting that the below word plays turned up in my inbox this morning. They’re from the Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational*. You know, the Washington Post newspaper and Mensa, as in a reference to the organisation for […]

Not-So-Trivial Christmas Pursuits

Friday, December 24th, 2010

It’s something of a Christmas Day tradition in my family to do three things: 1.      Play backyard cricket And I allow this, for although I normally loathe and despise what I officially term ‘stupid cricket’, with modified rules that you must swing at everything and it’s tips and run, it’s bearable. If I manage to […]

The COMPLETE LIST of survey results for the Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Here is the full list of results for the survey of the Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time. We’d love to hear your comments about the final listing: What do you think of the order? Any surprises? Any novels that you think missed the final listing? Are some of these books ‘novels’ or not?? […]

No. 1 – Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time

Friday, December 24th, 2010

We surveyed our customers to discover the Most Popular Aussie Novels of all time – we’re counted down the Top 24 Novels between 1 December 2010 and Christmas Eve… At #1 – The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs 47.2% of all respondents have read this book Synopsis for The Complete Adventures […]

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24th, 2010

‘Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Well, actually… No! There is stirring happening. I’ve just been making the egg nog, so definitely lots of stirring. And more to come, as I make the last lot of fudge. And as for mice — […]

Seasons Greetings From Kid’s Book Capers

Friday, December 24th, 2010

HOLIDAY READING – TWO TALES FROM NEW FRONTIER

Friday, December 24th, 2010

LAST TREE IN THE CITY Last Tree in the City is Peter Carnavas at his best. It’s a poignant tale about a boy finding beauty in his overcrowded and colourless city environment. Every day, Edward rides to the end of his street to visit the last tree left in the city. Here he sits and […]

No. 2 – Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

We surveyed our customers to discover the Most Popular Aussie Novels of all time – we’re counting down the Top 24 Novels between now and Christmas Eve… At #2 – The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay 46.5% of all respondents have read this book Synopsis for The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay The […]

VIDEO POST: Kiss of Death by P.D.Martin

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Spoiler Alert

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

I’m spoiler-proof. I can reread books and rewatch movies and still get caught up in the drama all over again. This is a good thing as I am also incurably nosey. I google movie endings, peek at my presents and occasionally flick ahead in books. To me, this is no big deal but to many […]

The Novels that were LEAST POPULAR in our Most Popular Aussie Novels Survey

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

We’ve only got a few novels to go in our Top 24 Most Popular Aussie Novels survey…. We thought we’d publish a list of the novels that came in last 20 places on the survey – these were the least  popular novels on our original list of 124 books. And here they are: 105 – […]

No. 3 – Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

We surveyed our customers to discover the Most Popular Aussie Novels of all time – we’re counting down the Top 24 Novels between now and Christmas Eve… At #3 – Storm Boy by Colin Thiele 45.2% of all respondents have read this book Synopsis for Storm Boy by Colin Thiele Storm Boy is a 1964 […]

HOLIDAY READING – A SCHOLASTIC PICTURE BOOK SELECTION

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

It’s school holidays here in Australia and a great time for readers of all ages to explore the wonderful world of books during the break. In today’s post I’m looking at three quite different books from Scholastic that are all standouts in their own right. The Farmer’s Hat The Farmer’s Hat is a uniquely Australian […]

No. 4 – Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

We surveyed our customers to discover the Most Popular Aussie Novels of all time – we’re counting down the Top 24 Novels between now and Christmas Eve… At #4 – Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay 38.5% of all respondents have read this book Synopsis for Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay Picnic […]

Christmas shopping can get wrapped

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

I finished the hard bit of my Christmas shopping two weeks ago. Or so I thought. This is down to two things –  a lucky location and books. First, as an Irishwoman, most of my family and friends live in Europe. If you want to send a package from Australia you need to allow for […]

For Those Who Find Being Clubbed Over the Head ‘Romantic’

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

There is something so strange about the fact that we were once “primitive” beings; without internet, without known written word. I put the word “primitive” in inverted commas because of course they were no such thing: the more we dig up about our ancestors the more we begin to realise how similar we are. And […]

The Wisdom of Crowds

Monday, December 20th, 2010

The inimitable Cory Doctorow‘s latest project, With a Little Help, is a self-conscious attempt at creating a book that not only bends the traditional rules of publishing and distribution, but of editing, marketing, sales and just about every other aspect of book publishing you can think of. Like a few of Doctorow’s other books, With a […]

The Rosie Black Chronicles

Monday, December 20th, 2010

A little while ago a book with an extremely stylish cover landed on my desk — Genesis, Book 1 in the Rosie Black Chronicles, by Lara Morgan (author of The Twins of Saranthium books — Awakening and Betrayal). It’s a YA, somewhat dystopian spec fic epic that will soon be continued in Equinox. It is […]

No. 5 – Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time

Monday, December 20th, 2010

We surveyed our customers to discover the Most Popular Aussie Novels of all time – we’re counting down the Top 24 Novels between now and Christmas Eve… At #5 – The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough 36.2% of all respondents have read this book Synopsis for The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough The Thorn Birds is […]

No. 6 – Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

We surveyed our customers to discover the Most Popular Aussie Novels of all time – we’re counting down the Top 24 Novels between now and Christmas Eve… At #6 – Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta 35.9% of all respondents have read this book Synopsis for Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta Josephine Alibrandi is […]

Wookiee Cookies

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Finding the perfect present can be an arduous and pot-luck task, but the thrill when you do stumble upon the thing that’s just right is unrivalled. I did an H&R Block-like fist pump when I found a present that was perfect not just for my Secret Santa, but a whole raft of current and future […]

The Book That Broke The Book-Loaning Camel’s Back

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Christmas is all about giving. Or rather, it should be, but tends to get swamped by rampant commercialism that inspires people to think less about others and more about me, me, me. The problem I’m finding, though, is that although I’m far from being sidetracked by the commercialism of Christmas, I’ve also lost my giving […]

No. 7 – Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

We surveyed our customers to discover the Most Popular Aussie Novels of all time – we’re counting down the Top 24 Novels between now and Christmas Eve… At #7 – Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden 34.5% of all respondents have read this book Synopsis for Tomorrow, When the War Began by John […]

Pigeons

Friday, December 17th, 2010

When I hear the word ‘pigeons’, I immediately visualise dozen of birds flying around, crapping on the heads of famous statues. But there’s more to that word. ‘Pigeons’ also happens to be the name of a non-profit organisation dedicated to running literacy programs in Melbourne. Their latest project, Pigeon Letters, which saw primary school students […]

No. 8 – Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time

Friday, December 17th, 2010

We surveyed our customers to discover the Most Popular Aussie Novels of all time – we’re counting down the Top 24 Novels between now and Christmas Eve… At #8 – I Can Jump Puddles by Alan Marshall 33.2% of all respondents have read this book About Alan Marshall and I Can Jump Puddles Alan Marshall […]

DOG GONE – BY CAROLE POUSTIE

Friday, December 17th, 2010

The main character in Carol Poustie’s Dog Gone is the feisty Ish. With the death of his grandfather and the break up of his parent’s marriage, he’s had a lot to deal with lately. His dog and best friend, Lucky is the one who has helped him through. Ish and his sister Molly have been […]

How To: Edit on an iPad

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

The iPad has been hailed as a boon to readers of books, newspapers and the web since its release at the beginning of the year. And it’s a great device for passive consumption of multimedia content and for sharing – but what about working? Well, having tried to use it for writing, I’d say its […]

An enduring complaint – on new publishing methods

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

While many people are quick to applaud recent changes in publishing, we should remember that not all change is good. The advent of new technologies has, it’s true, made books cheaper and more widely available. But at what cost to books and the people who read them? New mass-publishing technologies simply encourage too much writing […]

The Novels that MISSED OUT of the Top 24 Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Now that we’re well on our way through the Top 24 Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time – only 8 more to name – we thought we’d publish a list of the novels that came in places 25-34.  Tell us what you think about the list so far! And here they are: 25 – […]

No. 9 – Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

We surveyed our customers to discover the Most Popular Aussie Novels of all time – we’re counting down the Top 24 Novels between now and Christmas Eve… At #9 – Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park 31.8% of all respondents have read this book Synopsis for Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park Playing Beatie Bow […]

VIDEO POST: The Killing Hands by P.D.Martin

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

No. 10 – Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

We surveyed our customers to discover the Most Popular Aussie Novels of all time – we’re counting down the Top 24 Novels between now and Christmas Eve… At #10 – A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute 29.3% of all respondents have read this book Synopsis for A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute A […]