Archive for September, 2011

The return of Edsel Grizzler

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Now here’s a post that I’ve been doing my best to avoid writing. I reviewed Edsel Grizzler Book One: Voyage to Verdada a while back (see Catching up with Edsel Grizzler), and I followed it up by doing a two-part interview with its author James Roy (see Catching up with James Roy and More James […]


Friday, September 30th, 2011

Goldie Alexander’s book, The youngest Cameleer brings to life the exploration to the interior led by William Gosse in 1873. She has based her story on Gosse’s own journal. Goldie has chosen to tell this story from the point of view of 13 year old Ahmed Ackbar, the youngest cameleer who has to cope with […]

Killing me softly – fluffy bunnies and character deaths

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

I’ve always been a softy when it comes to literary characters and, in hindsight, taking both Black Beauty and Watership Down on the holiday may have been a bad move. For books about bunnies and ponies, they both have surprisingly high body-counts. My family had hoped to enjoy a quiet week away with the seven-year-old […]

Infuriating Amazon spurns us again

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

International customers are furious with Amazon this morning, because neither the new Kindle Fire, a $US199 7-inch tablet, nor the e-ink Kindle Touch, a $US99-189 6-inch keyboard-free ereader, will be available outside the US in the foreseeable future. There had been an Apple-like build-up based on rumour and hype in the lead-up to Amazon’s Kindle […]


Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

I’ve always had a fascination for Leonardo da Vinci and camels. Leonardo, I understand – the camels, I can’t explain why. Perhaps it’s because camels are such a good example of nature’s ability to create animals with incredible skills and characteristics that enable them to adapt so well to even the harshest environments. How can […]


Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Anyone who knows me well will know that I have a fascination for camels so this week I couldn’t resist celebrating two great books for kids on just that subject. Today, Rosanne Hawke is visiting Kids’ Book Capers to talk about Taj and the Great Camel Trek. I’ll be reviewing her book later on this […]

Is It Possible To Be In Love With An Inanimate Object?

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

I just celebrated a not-insignificant milestone of a birthday (but I’m not telling which one). My girlfriends and I had decided that this year we were going to chip into a significant present for each other. Say, a piece of jewellery. The non-birthday girls would chip in a nominated amount, and anything above and beyond […]

The Non-Exhaustive List Of Books I’d Recommend

Monday, September 26th, 2011

I tend to draw an embarrassing blank when people ask for book recommendations. I think it’s less a case of not having books to recommend and more one of not knowing where to start. Either way, my brain seizes up and instead of saying, ‘Why yes, I can recommend a bucketload of books that I’ve […]

Everyone’s Reading (The) Room On The Tube…

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Seeking out and reading a book because you’ve heard that everyone’s reading it on the Tube (as in the train system in London) seems an unlikely way to hear about and come at a book. But that’s precisely what I did. I’m glad I did, too, having had a friend (who was stumped to remember […]


Friday, September 23rd, 2011

The Ernie and Maud books are full of humour and heart for newly independent readers. In Ernie and Maud’s latest adventure, Heroes of the Year, kids will relate well to MC, Ernie who has never won at anything…and Marvellous Maud, the ‘greatest sheep in history’. Now Ernie has a chance to win something. As trainee […]

Click here to “like” Social Reading September

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

It’s not just the way we read, write, publish and buy books that’s changing. It’s the way we talk about them, too – today’s announcements from Kobo, GoodReads and Facebook are just the latest in a series of social reading developments. The Federal Government’s annual Get Reading! campaign (which continues till the end of this […]


Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Today, Judy Watson, the charming illustrator of 19 books including the Ernie & Maud series is visiting Kids’ Book Capers to talk about her creative journey. Have you always enjoyed illustrating? Oh yes! Just try to stop me! My Grandma worked that out when I was about 3. She gave me coloured chalks and sent […]

Four Launches and a Funeral

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Over the last couple of months I have been present at four very different launches. They were for a festival program, a literary initiative’s website, a book and a school playground. Let me tell you about them. The first of the launches was for the unveiling of the program for this year’s ‘A Thousand Words Festival’. […]

Nothing Says Procrastination Like The True Blood Omnibus…

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Nothing says procrastination like the True Blood omnibus. I mean, you promise yourself you’ll get back to work just as soon as you’ve finished this page…this chapter…this book. Except that this book is actually three books neatly packaged into one giant doorstop of a pageturner. Ah, the pleasure and pain of not only having a […]


Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Today, Frances Watts visits Kids’ Book Capers to talk about her journey and Heroes of the Year, the latest book in the popular Ernie & Maud series. How did you become a writer? The first step to becoming a writer was by becoming a reader, and falling in love with books and stories. That certainly […]

Imma let you finish – the Top 100 books of all time

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Booklovers, trivia gatherers and spreadsheet aficionados, rejoice, it’s that time of year again. The Guardian has released its annual report on the Top 100 books of all time and spreadsheets of all the glorious data that went into the making of that list. The data comes from Nielsen Bookscan who are the world’s largest book […]

The great digital newsprint struggle

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

The book industry has handled the transition to digital with greater intelligence, foresight and strategy than the newspaper business. In the space of two years (given the Kindle arrived in this market in late 2009 and the iPad and Kobo in May 2010), all major book publishers and many smaller operators have begun to publish […]

The Happiest Refugee

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

I like Anh Do. I’ve been impressed with how likable, affable, down-to-earth, and funny he’s been each time I’ve seen him on TV. So I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t want to read his book. Or maybe I do, although I’ll admit my reasons are entirely superficial and arbitrary. Even though I’m a massive […]


Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Jon Klassen is the author and illustrator of the delightful new picture book, I Want My Hat Back. Today he’s visiting Kids’ Book Capers to talk about his journey and creating this book. 1. Can you tell us briefly about how you became an author/ illustrator? I went to school for animation, but the part […]


Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Few people look forward to returning from overseas trips and I’m no exception. For once, though, I was prepared to tackle the back-to-reality jetlag head on: Richelle Mead’s latest Vampire Academy installation had been released while I’d been gone. I’m starting to wonder just how many entries of this here blog I’ve dedicated to Vampire […]

Thursday Next

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Once upon a time… a friend of mine thrust a book by some guy with an odd name into my hands saying “Read this. You’ll love it!” The author was Jasper Fforde, and book was The Eyre Affair. As it happens, I didn’t love the book. But I did like it enough to read the […]

Here an iPad, there an iPad, everywhere an iPad

Friday, September 16th, 2011

The iPad featured heavily in my Facebook feed this morning, and one of the posts was a timely reminder (for me) that we’re all at different stages of embracing digital reading – and that Apple’s ubergadget is taking over our lives. The first message came from a former editor of Australian homemaker and women’s magazines […]

BEN & DUCK by Sara Acton

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Ben & Duck is a beautiful story about a boy who befriends a curious and fun loving duck. Written and illustrated by Sara Acton for readers aged 3 and over, Ben & Duck is the story of a boy who goes to the park and meets a duck who becomes his special friend. Duck isn’t […]

Review – Granta 115: The F Word by John Freeman

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

TITLE: GRANTA 115: The F Word EDITOR: John Freeman PUBLISHER: Granta (12 Addison Ave.London, W11 4QR, U.K.) (1 June 2011) ISBN: 978 1 905881 34 5         272 pages. Reviewed by Ann Skea ( Buy Granta 115: The F Word by John Freeman here… GRANTA, if you have not met it before, is […]

Mandy Magro shares inspiration behind debut book Rosalee Station

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Today Mandy Magro explains the inspiration behind her debut novel, Rosalee Station. Next week, we will be giving away two signed copies of Rosalee Station, courtesy of the author. Be sure to visit us again next week to enter the giveaway! G’day, I’m Mandy Magro. It’s lovely to be here and a big thank you […]

My daughter’s picture books

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

A few weeks ago my eight-year-old daughter, Nykita, came home from school gushing about a book she had read. She absolutely loved it and wanted to know if I could “please, please, please” get her a copy. So I hopped online and ordered it from Boomerang Books (‘cause they’re the lovely people who host this […]


Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

The Hazard River series, by J.E. Fison continues with two new action-packed stories, Toads’ Revenge and Blood Money. Julie started the series after a family holiday on the Noosa River, but she looked to another waterway, a little further south for inspiration for one of her latest adventures. Author, J E Fison says, Kids, adventure […]


Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

TOADS’ REVENGE Toads’ Revenge features all your favourite Hazard River characters in a new world, literally. They’ve climbed aboard a time machine and travelled ten years into the future only to discover that their beloved Hazard River has been turned into a wasteland by an environmental disaster ten years earlier. Can they get back to the […]

Book Giveaway!

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Want a free book? Well, here’s your chance. The lovely people at Boomerang Books have copies of my novels, Gamers’ Challenge and Gamers’ Quest, up for grabs. Follow the link and fill in the form for your chance to WIN WIN WIN! This giveaway is in celebration of the recent release of Gamers’ Challenge. Remember […]

Going postal at Australia Post – D&D style

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

While I love the convenience of browsing through and ordering my books online I’m not always delighted that it places my books in the fickle hands of the Australian postal system. Australia Post and I have this love-hate relationship; they love to make me hate them. Previously they had just engaged in low-level irritant stuff. […]

Smut by Alan Bennett

Monday, September 12th, 2011

TITLE: Smut AUTHOR: Alan Bennett PUBLISHER:      Faber  (30 May 2011) ISBN: 978 1 84668 525 5         EBOOK ISBN: 978 1 84765 765 7          180 pages. Reviewed by Ann Skea ( Buy Smut by Alan Bennett here… I was bribed to write about this book. My review copy came with an extra package in which I […]

Machiavelli’s Lawn by Mark Crick

Monday, September 12th, 2011

TITLE: Machiavelli’s Lawn AUTHOR: Mark Crick PUBLISHER:  Granta  (1 April 2011) ISBN: 978 1 84708 134 6       111 pages. Reviewed by Ann Skea ( Buy Machiavelli’s Lawn by Mark Crick here… I am not sure whether Mark Cricks’ skill is ventriloquism or parody. Whatever it is, this small book purports to be full of […]

Douglas Adams, the Rocket and me

Monday, September 12th, 2011

When US book industry blogger Kassia Kroszer told me she’d been writing about digital publishing since 1998, I got to thinking about when I’d first contemplated, and written about, the ebook concept. Reading the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy as a teenager no doubt helped my thinking on the subject along. What a tragedy that […]

Changing Yesterday

Friday, September 9th, 2011

A couple of months ago, author Sean McMullen wrote a guest blog for Literary Clutter about his new YA novel, Changing Yesterday (see Sean McMullen Changes Yesterday). At that stage I hadn’t read the book. Now that I have, I thought it was time to put in my two cents worth… Changing Yesterday is a […]

Always the reader, never the author?

Friday, September 9th, 2011

If you are one of the many bibliophiles who has penned your own manuscript but despaired of ever seeing it in print, there’s no time like the present to try! Writing Australia, the new national body committed to promoting writing and literature around the country, have announced the launch of their Unpublished Manuscript Award which […]

Interview With Maggie Stiefvater

Friday, September 9th, 2011

The opportunity to interview young-adult-fiction writer Maggie Stiefvater was an opportunity too good to pass up. I’ve recently been introduced to her books by my friend and fellow writer Kate Armstrong. I figured who better then to help me interview Stiefvater (read: come up with intelligent questions) than her? I’ve popped Kate’s questions and Stiefvater’s […]

We Have A Winner!

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

I have to say that I’m a little surprised and chuffed at the number of entries we received for the voucher competition about how far you’d go for books—I tend to think that the only person who reads my blog is my mum. The number and quality of the submitted entries also made choosing a […]

Man Booker Prize Shortlist for 2011 announced

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2011 shortlist was announced on Tuesday 6th September 2011.


Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Today, Riley, the star of Tania McCartney’s beautiful new book, Riley and the Grumpy Wombat is visiting Kids’ Book Capers to talk about his latest adventure. He’s touring with Tania to celebrate the release of his latest adventure and you can find out more about where he’s going if you click here. Riley has discovered […]


Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Riley has discovered a wombat in his nanny’s garden. But why is this furry creature so grumpy? Riley sets off to investigate why the wombat is so unhappy. Riley and the Grumpy Wombat is the fourth book in the popular Riley series written by Tania McCartney and illustrated by Kieron Pratt. Riley’s latest adventure takes […]