Archive for May, 2011

If it Looks Like a Publisher and Smells Like a Publisher – is it a Publisher?

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Apple, the world’s biggest technology company, have often claimed that they are at the metaphorical crossroads of technology and liberal arts. Amazon, it could be said, are positioning themselves at a different crossroads: the place where technology and consumerism meet. And Amazon are scarily good at what they do. They’re adept at predicting and exploiting […]

Pet Shop Pop

Monday, May 30th, 2011

My last post compared authors to pop musicians. This time I’m just writing about pop music — specifically, a particular pop duo. A duo that formed in the early 1980s, continued their popularity into the 1990s and progressed into the 21st Century, where they are quite happily creating more music. They are a pop duo […]

Apply Within: Stories Of Career Sabotage

Monday, May 30th, 2011

I finally got around to reading Michaela McGuire’s Apply Within: Stories of Career Sabotage today, in part because it was just returned by a friend, and in part because I was struggling to find the enthusiasm to finish a Book That Should Be Read. I’m not sure why ‘worthy’ books are often watching-paint-dry dull, and […]

This Isn’t A Blog About Books

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

This isn’t a blog about books. It’s a blog about ideas. A festival of ideas, to be specific. I spent two days last week at Brisbane’s Ideas Festival and, frankly, my mind is still reeling from all I saw and heard there. It reminded me that I in some ways can’t wait to be a […]

Delightfully Haiku

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Delightfully Haiku by Donna Smith is a 60 page pocket-sized book full of simple poems that celebrate life’s pleasures. According to the author, The book is inspired by family and the natural beauty that surrounds people every day. As the author states in the front of the book, “Haiku Poetry is very much like a […]

News Round-up: The Consolation Prize Edition

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

So this week brought not one, not two, but three updates to major e-reader devices from (arguably) three of the biggest players in the market. None of the three are groundbreaking updates, but three in one week? That’s … well, actually that’s pretty common. There are so many e-readers out there now that they’re bound […]

Pop Star Authors

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Authors are a bit like pop musicians. No, really… they are more alike than you might first think. Both tread that fine line between art and making money. Good books and good music are often never released because they are not commercial enough. Just as authors are often at the mercy of large publishers, musicians […]


Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

I’ll admit that Mole Hunt, Paul Collin’s action packed new sci fi adventure isn’t the sort of book I normally read. It’s set in a world I have no experience of, with rules and customs quite foreign to the way I live. Needless to say, I couldn’t put Mole Hunt down. Maximus Black and his […]

Do you know where your towel is?

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

One of the nice things about being in Australia is living in the future, and getting to celebrate occasions before everyone else. My friends in Ireland are currently 9 hours behind, and people I know in the States are up to seventeen hours behind me. This means that they all have to wait for May […]

What We Talk About When We Talk About Books

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Another Sydney Writers’ Festival comes to a close, and yet another talk about the ‘future of the book’, this time by acclaimed science writer James Gleick in the closing address of the festival tonight. Gleick’s talk drew heavily from his new book, Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood. Talks of this nature have become […]

The Devil Reads Vogue?

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

I’ve never understood the obsession with and reverence to Vogue. Frankly, I’ve always found there to be too many ads and not enough coherently-strung-together words. That and the ‘fashion’ contained within the pages is so preposterous, expensive, and un-wearable I’ve never been convinced that they’re not taking the p&%s. I did, however, surprisingly enjoy both […]

Go the F**k to Sleep – teenager sing-along edition

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

On Friday I posted about the expletive-laden bedtime book that became a smash hit after being leaked as a PDF and sold more than 100,000 copies in pre-orders, “Go the F**k to Sleep“.  The brainchild of  novelist and toddler parent, Adam Mansbach, this book contrasts sweet nursery rhymes about animals and heart-warming illustrations by Ricardo […]

Sundays are for Fairytales

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

I reserve Sundays for fairytale reading. Whether it’s a traditional Grimms’, or a new adaptation of a known tale, there’s nothing better than curling up with a hot chocolate and a cupcake in your favourite chair, and following that breadcrumbed path through the woods, and out into another world. And I figure – since I […]

Gaiman and the Doctor

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Last night, here in Melbourne, Australia, the ABC treated us to one of the most awesome Doctor Who episodes ever — “The Doctor’s Wife”. What made it so awesome? Well… Excellent characterisation. Subtlety. Witty dialogue. Great acting and excellent direction. And most importantly — A BRILLIANT SCRIPT In a nutshell, it is the story of […]

The Whale Warrior

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

The name ‘Pete Bethune’ might not ring a bell, but the incidents he was involved in most certainly will. The first was when the Japanese rammed his boat, the Ady Gill, during the recent whaling season in Antarctica. The second was when Bethune boarded their ship to make a citizen’s arrest of the captain for […]

The book they had to write

Friday, May 20th, 2011

It started as a joke and it’s not even out yet but Adam Mansbach’s expletive laden children’s’ bedtime tale is already at the top of charts, selling more than 100,000 copies in pre-orders since it surfaced as a pirated pdf less than a month ago. This tongue-in-cheek bedtime book for parents was the sleep-deprived brainchild […]


Friday, May 20th, 2011

You know that Camp Croc is going to be full of action from the title and the graphic picture of a giant hungry looking crocodile on the front cover. I was also drawn to the main character, Daks. Who could not love a kid with a name like that? And of course, Mr Longbottom is […]

News Round-up: The Go the F**k to Sleep Edition

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Lots happening around the ebook traps this week and last. You’d have to be living in a ditch not to have at least heard someone mention Go the Fuck to Sleep, a humorous children’s book that has gone viral on the internet. What’s interesting about this particular development is that the full colour, full text […]


Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Today, we welcome Queensland author, Trudie Trewin to Kids’ Book Capers. She’s here to talk about her writing adventures and her hilarious new children’s book for readers aged 9-13, Camp Croc. Writing is something that Trudie says she always thought she’d have a go at “one day”. But I had imagined I would write for […]

The Trudi Canavan Project

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Photo by Paul Ewins I have a rather special post today. Some practice video interviews with bestselling fantasy author Trudi Canavan. Let me explain… At Aussiecon 4 last year, I videoed a few authors talking about their favourite books and then posted them on Literary Clutter. Trudi was one of those authors. Knowing that I […]

To smut or not to smut?

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

I was really enjoying Ken Follett‘s Pillars of the Earth. Right up until the moment where the hairdresser started reading it over my shoulder. Pillars of the Earth is an epic book covering many topics; about religion, philosophy, politics and architecture. It explores treachery, pride, revenge, love, and grief.  It includes mammoth descriptions of life […]

Past The Shallows

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Favel Parrett is receiving positive reviews all round for her first novel, Past the Shallows. I caught up with her to find out about how important a mentorship is for emerging writers, what it’s like to have your own writing room, and why she could possibly need an edible hat… Let’s get this one out […]


Monday, May 16th, 2011

Boomerang Books has a new Schools Program designed to benefit students, parents and teachers. Schools that register with the program will be given a promotional code that provides 15% book discounts for library, teachers, parents and students. Schools will also be entitled to a 5% credit on orders and a 3% donation to their chosen […]

Cue Full-Blown Adult Tanty

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

One of my deepest, darkest secret shames has to be that I am completely, utterly, and embarrassingly bad at Scrabble. So bad, in fact, that it actually makes me angry. Sure, Scrabble’s a board game and is (apparently) fun. But the latent, almost physical frustration I feel at not being able to mentally manoeuvre single […]

Body-snatching with Doug MacLeod

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Last post I reviewed Doug MacLeod’s YA novel The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher. Today, I’m very pleased to welcome Doug to Literary Clutter for a little chat about his book. Hi, Doug. Thanks for dropping by. My pleasure. A very cosy corner of cyberspace you have here. Thank you. You’re much too kind. So […]

Winter Warmers and writing festivals

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Baby, it’s cold outside. The skies might still be blue but, with the temperature dropping to the chilly depths of the low teens, winter has arrived in Sydney. Walking to work this morning, everyone I passed was bundled up in hats, wool coats and scarves, except for one confused looking group of Irish backpackers I […]


Friday, May 13th, 2011

When I picked up Our Gags, by Catriona Hoy, I thought this is going to be a book full of jokes, but it wasn’t. Our Gags in this instance are not pranks or puns – Our Gags is ‘our grandmother’ and even though this book isn’t full of jokes, it’s still hilarious. Our Gags is […]

The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Ever wondered what it would be like to dig up a fresh grave and snatch the body? Well… even if you haven’t, I can still highly recommend Doug MacLeod’s The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher. I picked up a copy of this YA book for two reasons. I really liked the cover. Yes, a rather […]

We Need To Talk About Kevin. We Also Need To Talk About Where My Book Is.

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Nothing invokes excitement and then indignation like finding out one of your favourite books that you think would make an interesting movie is, indeed, being made into a movie and that said favourite book is, in fact, missing from your bookshelf. The book in question is Lionel Shriver’s award-winning and eminently controversial We Need To […]

Booku features in Weekly Book Newsletter

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

    From the Weekly Book Newsletter, 11 May 2011: BOOKU REPORTS STRONG SALES IN FIRST TWO MONTHS; SELLS 11 EBOOKS PER 100 PBOOKS Australian ebook retailer Booku has reported strong sales in its first two months, with close to 2000 ebooks sold since its launch in March. Booku managing director Clayton Wehner said in a statement […]

Trailer: The Spook’s Destiny

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

The Spook’s Destiny by Joseph Delaney is going to be the eighth book in The Wardstone Chronicles (The Last Apprentice in America), due to be released in June 2011. The eighth book will feature the Spook and Tom confronting the Morrigan, the Old God of Ireland. Grimalkin is supposed to have a major role in […]

Teen Book Video Awards

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Random House currently running the “Teen Book Video Awards”, a competition which challenges student filmmakers to create 90-second video trailers based on 16 children’s and young adult novels published by Random House Australia. There is a total cash prize of $1,000 for the winning entry and also $1,000 worth of books for the winner’s nominated […]


Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Catriona Hoy is the author of many much loved picture books including My Granddad Marches on Anzac Day, George and Ghost and Puggle. Her latest book, Our Gags is her first venture into longer works and it’s published by Walker Books. Catriona has kindly allowed her main character, Caitlyn to visit Kids’ Book Capers today […]

Why Nobody Blames Authors (And Why You Should)

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Whether it’s geo-restrictions, digital rights management (DRM), ebook pricing or ebook quality, it’s rare to hear a reader blame an author for the state of an ebook (unless it’s self-published, of course). And I can see why. Authors are the public face of what readers love about books. They are the creative geniuses behind all […]

Subjective Honour

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Literary awards are funny things. I mean, how can you measure literary merit? Literature is an art form and as such, its appreciation is subjective. Therefore a literary award is a subjective honour. That’s not to say that having a literary award bestowed upon you is worthless. It most certainly is not. It’s a recognition […]

Breaking up is hard to do (get the books before you go).

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

My first relationship cost me something very precious; about half of my Terry Pratchett collection. We shared a love of the same authors but all the book-swapping in the world was not enough to keep us together. As the faster reader, I normally loaned him my books when I had finished them, meaning that a […]

Women Of Letters

Monday, May 9th, 2011

For the most part, my reading and writing time is spent in silence, which is precisely the way I like it. In fact, my favourite after-lunch (or any-time) activity in primary school was what was called USSR, a play on the initialism for the former country that for us stood for Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading. […]

Book Trailer: My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up by Tristan Bancks

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Have you ever been kissed by a dog? Ever had to eat Vegemite off your sister’s big toe? Have you had a job delivering teeth? Has a bloodthirsty magpie ever been out to get you? Ever woken up to discover that everything hovers? And have you eaten 67 hot dogs in ten minutes? I have. […]


Sunday, May 8th, 2011

It’s competition time folks! If you’re into vampires (or fighting vampires), if you think secret government organisations are cool or if you just like a fun, thrilling read… then this is the competition for you. It’s a chance to win a copy of Will Hill’s debut novel, Department 19! Department 6 is the army. Department […]

Dystopian Depression

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

I’m reading Oryx and Crake at the moment. Margaret Atwood is quite possibly in my top 5 favourite authors of all time (I count The Blind Assassin as my most cherished of her works so far, though I have the highest admiration for The Handmaid’s Tale and will be reading The Robber Bride next), but […]