Vanguard of Debut Children’s Authors

by - August 14th, 2014

Tiger Stone

A surge of debut novels by talented Australians for children and young adults may be on the way. Deryn Mansell’s Tiger Stone  (Black Dog Books), an original, intricate mystery set in fourteenth century Java for upper primary and junior secondary readers and Caro Was Here by Elizabeth Farrelly (Walker Books) are some forerunners. Caro Was […]

Review – Banjo and Ruby Red by Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood

by - August 13th, 2014


Banjo and Ruby Red has been shortlisted for the 2014 Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Early Childhood Book of the Year Award, and rightfully so. It is an emotive story that tugs on the heart strings, created by the dynamic duo, Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood, who also collaborated on award-winning Amy and Louis, Half […]

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory What The

by - August 12th, 2014

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Book covers are something of an obsession for writers, editors, and booksellers. A good cover sells itself, achieving the almost elusive combination of intrigue and aesthetic that makes you itch to pluck the book from the shelf to read its contents. Creating such a cover is, of course, part design skill, part muse-inspired, and part […]

Review – Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

by - August 11th, 2014


This book needs to come with a warning that if you don’t have time to read it the rest of the day don’t start it! Lauren Beukes takes her writing and her dark imagination to another level following the utterly amazing The Shining Girls. Beukes has chosen Detroit for the setting of this novel, the perfect place […]

Double Dipping – Comic Strip Comedies

by - August 11th, 2014

Derek Danger Dale Secret Agent

Junior book series – do they sell? Often it is a question of semantics. Do kids love them? That answer is a no-brainer and when they are as first-rate as these are, it’s no wonder why. Hot on the heels of the sensationally popular Eric Vale series by Michael Gerard Bauer is Secret Agent Derek […]

Review – The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

by - August 10th, 2014


My obsession with David Mitchell continues and is getting more intense. There are books you devour. There are books you savour and never want to end. And then there are David Mitchell books which are both. I went with The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet because there was a reference and crossover with The Bone Clocks. It is […]

Competition Winner Is Announced

by - August 8th, 2014

Giveaway prize

The competition to WIN a copy of Betrothed and Allegiance by Wanda Wiltshire as well as a handmade bookmark made by the author recently closed.  Fans and would be fans of the Betrothed series had some moving entries and pledges to very worthy causes. Wanda and I discussed each of the entries before declaring Ashlee […]

The Call of the Wild

by - August 7th, 2014

The Call of the Wild

Some things demand to be written about. For me, it’s orangutans. I first encountered them twenty years ago. I was holidaying on the island of Borneo and came across a sanctuary where young orphaned orangutans were being returned to the wild. The Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre is now a well-organised stop on the tourist trail, but at the […]

Player Profile: K.T. Medina, author of White Crocodile

by - August 7th, 2014


Katie Medina, author of White Crocodile Tell us about your latest creation: The name of this novel, my debut, is White Crocodile.White Crocodile is a thriller set in the land mine fields of northern Cambodia.  Teenaged mothers are disappearing from villages around the minefields, while others are being found mutilated and murdered, their babies abandoned.  And there are whispers about […]

A writer’s journey

by - August 6th, 2014

On Writing

Writers have a tendency to gather in groups, large and small (I wonder what the collective noun would be? A scribble?). They conglomerate at festivals, frequent bookstores and go to each other’s book launches. So, as an author, I know lots of other established authors. I also know lots of aspiring and emerging authors. People […]

Silver Shadows

by - August 5th, 2014

Silver Shadows

You know you’re excited about a book’s impending release when you’ve literally instigated a countdown. And you’re emailing a friend and co-fan who happens to be in Europe for four months, telling her if she’s in doubt about returning to Australia, rest assured: the book will help smooth her potentially bumpy I’m-not-in-Europe-anymore arrival. Silver Shadows, […]

August – celebrating children’s books

by - August 4th, 2014

Pig the Pug

August is an important month for Australian children’s books because the CBCA Book of the Year is announced on 15th and National Literacy and Numeracy Week is held from 25-31 August. The aim of NLNW website, as stated on their website is: National Literacy and Numeracy Week represents a collaborative approach by the Australian Government […]

Review – Vanilla Icecream

by - August 4th, 2014

Vanilla Icecream 2

You might as well know my weakness. It’s ice cream. Any flavour, most kinds, regardless of country of origin. I am extremely ice cream tolerant and I wonder if Bob Graham had similar thoughts when he penned his latest picture book masterpiece, Vanilla Icecream. Vanilla Icecream is an eloquently articulated tale about a young curious […]

The Boy in the Book

by - July 31st, 2014


Choose Your Own Adventure. Remember those books? Interactive novels written in the second person, where you get to make choices that take the story in different directions. They were enormously successful in the 1980s and there have been many other books in a similar interactive vein (including my own series, You Choose). Writer/performer Nathan Penlington […]

Review – The Final Silence by Stuart Neville

by - July 31st, 2014


Jack Lennon returns in Stuart Neville’s relentless new thriller. It has been a while between drinks for Jack Lennon. We last caught up him in Stolen Souls and we left him a lot worse for wear. The intervening period though has not been kind. Suspended from the police pending multiple reviews of his health and performance Jack […]

Get a book gift wrapped in August and we will donate the money to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation

by - July 31st, 2014


Father’s Day is fast approaching and we have heaps of books to choose from for your Dad. We also have a fantastic gift wrapping service to take all the hassle out of buying a gift for Fathers Day. We can even ship it directly to your Dad wherever he is in Australia or the world. […]

Review: The Magician King by Lev Grossman

by - July 30th, 2014


I think I loved this even more than The Magicians (which if you haven’t read beware spoilers ahead). The first half of The Magicians was like an adult Harry Potter and full of the wonder of discovering magic was real. The second half was an exploration of what happens to people who discover a new power. It was much […]

The Stupid Country

by - July 30th, 2014

The Stupid Country

I was fortunate enough to attend a literacy forum yesterday at which Jane Caro was the keynote speaker. I’ve long admired her from afar (mostly through my TV as she appeared on The Gruen Transfer and through the recently released Destroy the Joint: Why Women have to Change the World book she steered to great […]

Review – Life Or Death by Michael Robotham

by - July 29th, 2014


The advanced reading copy bills this as “the best novel yet from Michael Robotham” which is a big call considering his previous nine novels. While I’m not a fan of the Joe O’Loughlin novels that has nothing to do with Robotham’s writing just the fact I don’t like psychological thrillers. But what all Robotham’s books […]

All the Birds, Singing

by - July 29th, 2014

All the birds singing

Evie’s Wyld’s brooding novel, All the Birds, Singing is hard to let go of. A damp menace clings to the story from the very first line and draws the reader in as the main character Jake Whyte attempts to discover who or what is mutilating her sheep. At the same time we are sucked backwards […]

What Were Girls Like?

by - July 28th, 2014

I am Juliet

Three recent YA historical fiction novels by Australian women (all published by HarperCollins/ABC Books) inhabit times when girls had to bend to the influence of men and were comparatively powerless. The Raven’s Wing is Frances Watts’s first novel for teens. It is set in Ancient Rome where fifteen year-old Claudia is strategically offered in marriage […]

Player Profile: Michael Robotham, author of Life Or Death

by - July 28th, 2014


Michael Robotham, author of Life Or Death Tell us about your latest creation:  LIFE OR DEATH is a love story and a thriller and a story of redemption. It’s a standalone novel that introduces Audie Palmer, a man who has spent a decade in prison for armed robbery, but escapes the day before he’s due to be released. For ten […]

Doodles and Drafts – Roses are Blue Blog Tour with Sally Murphy

by - July 28th, 2014

I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. Well, maybe a few tears towards the end might be acceptable, but of course, I was dealing with another verse novel by Sally Murphy, so dry eyes were definitely no guarantee. It’s not just the subject matter of Roses are Blue that tugs at ones heartstrings. Murphy is simply […]

The Book Brief: The Very Best New Release Books in August

by - July 28th, 2014


Each month we bring you the best new release books in our Book Brief   Fiction Books Life or Death by Michael Robotham Audie Palmer has spent the last ten years in prison for an armed robbery that netted 7 million dollars. Money that has never been recovered. Everybody wants to know where the money […]

Aussie New Releases To Look Forward To

by - July 25th, 2014

Matthew Reilly book cover The Great Zoo of China

There are several books by Australian authors being published in the last six months of the year that I’m really looking forward to, so I thought I’d share them with you. The first is already out, and it’s Kate Forsyth‘s Dancing With Knives.  Set on a farm outside Narooma in NSW, Dancing With Knives is a rural murder mystery […]

I Shall Not Hate

by - July 24th, 2014

I Shall Not Hate

It’s admittedly sh%tty that it takes a horrific and ongoing event in a region to make me finally pick up a book about it. But the ever-escalating Israel–Palestine conflict finally made me move Izzeldin Abuelaish’s I Shall Not Hate from the black hole that is the to-be-read-at-some-stage list to the I-need-to-read-this-right-now one. Like Desert Flower, […]

Player Profile: Alafair Burke, author of All Day And A Night

by - July 24th, 2014

author photo center

Alafair Burke, author of All Day And A Night Tell us about your latest creation: ALL DAY AND A NIGHTA murder case with ties to a convicted serial killer leads a young defense lawyer and an NYPD homicide detective into parallel investigations with explosive and deadly results in this superb mystery from “one of the finest young crime writers […]

Review – Once a Creepy Crocodile

by - July 24th, 2014

Once a Creepy Crocodile

Picture books featuring native Australian flora and fauna aren’t new. Picture books including natty little extras like accompanying CDs aren’t exactly ground breaking either. However, picture books told with the kind of original verve and swagger like Once a Creepy Crocodile is will have you and the kids laughing and applauding with fresh wild abandon. […]

What will win YA Book of the Year?

by - July 23rd, 2014

Sky so Heavy

  The CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) winning and honour books will be announced on Friday 15th August. One of the most eagerly awaited categories (especially for bloggers) is the Book of the Year: Older Readers.  A surprise outcome in the OR category of this year’s shortlist is the appearance of FOUR debut […]

Author Interview with Wanda Wiltshire and giveaway of Betrothed and Allegiance

by - July 23rd, 2014

Wanda Wiltshire holding her latest release Allegiance.

Please welcome Australian author Wanda Wiltshire to Boomerang Books. Thanks so much for joining us Wanda. Congratulations on the launch of your YA novel Allegiance, the second in the Betrothed series. For those who haven’t read Betrothed, can you tell us a little bit about this fantasy series? Thanks Tracey, it’s a pretty exciting time! […]

Review – Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre

by - July 22nd, 2014

9781408854457 (1)

A remarkable piece of fiction following proudly in the footsteps of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, The Yellow Birds and Redeployment. Wars never truly end for everyone involved and this is the territory Michael Pitre explores in his impressive debut novel. On the eve on the Arab Spring in Tunisia three men are grappling with their futures now that […]

Review: The Fever by Megan Abbott

by - July 19th, 2014


I have been meaning to ready Megan Abbott for ages. I’ve only heard good things, in particular her latest books, so thought I’d begin with her brand new novel. Abbott’s last few novels have all been set in the world of teenage girls, a world she has been exploring because ‘Noir suits a 13-year-old girl’s […]

The Books Of Orange Is The New Black

by - July 19th, 2014

Orange Is The New Black

Fictionalised women’s prison series Orange is the New Black (OTNB) has become a firm favourite for many of us. The first season was a breakout success, with the second, recently released season topping the first and cementing the show as one that simply must be binge-watched on the day of its Netflix release. Which means […]

The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet

by - July 18th, 2014

The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet

Two months ago you’d have drawn a blank look from me if you mentioned a FODMAP. Or rather, the FODMAP acronym. Today, it seems to be integral to my eating life. After some seven years of turning up to various doctors complaining of an assortment of annoying but arguably not life-threatening symptoms, it looks like […]

The Secret Life of Bees

by - July 18th, 2014

The Secret Life of Bees

During my intervals as a bookseller, there were a few books whose covers really stuck in my mind. The books were consistent sellers with memorable covers, but that I for some reason never quite got round to reading. Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees was one such title. Pale yellow—an arguably unusual colour […]

What is the Eve Pownall Award?

by - July 17th, 2014

Meet Capt Cook

The CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) shortlist is Australia’s most important award for children’s and YA literature. These books are celebrated in Book Week. The CBCA shortlist generates most sales of awarded books – for children’s books, although perhaps not for YA books – in Australia. The shortlist is used as a buying guide […]

Hong Kong for beginners

by - July 17th, 2014

Countefeit Love by Julie Fison

From the outside Hong Kong is a shimmering enclave of mirrored high-rise towers, a former British outpost and a gateway to China – the ultimate fusion of East and West. But beyond the swanky shopping malls and five-star hotels, the city is a heady mix of contradictions – of urban cacophony and tranquil country parks, […]

Continuum X post-con report

by - July 15th, 2014


In June this year I excitedly went off to attend Continuum X, the 10th in a series of Melbourne-based science fiction and pop culture conventions. But this year was special. This year, Continuum doubled as the 53rd Australian National Science Fiction Convention. International Guest of Honour was Jim C Hines, author of, amongst other books, […]

Review: The Sun is God by Adrian McKinty

by - July 15th, 2014


This is a seemingly dramatic departure from Adrian McKinty’s usual books but he pulls it off marvelously. Based on a true story McKinty heads to the South Pacific circa 1906 to tell a tale of mad Germans, sun worship and possible murder. Will Prior, is an ex-English lieutenant who finds himself in German New Guinea […]

Backyard Bees: A Guide for the Beginner Beekeeper

by - July 14th, 2014

Backyard Bees

Anyone who follows my social media feeds (or this blog, as I’ve written about it here) would be aware I’ve been learning beekeeping. It’s an admittedly strange thing for a vegan to be doing, but my reasons are not honey-related, but purely environmental—I’m deeply concerned about bees’ and the environment’s health and feel we’re not […]