Sunday, January 31, 2010
the article was supported by the east brunswick project's coffee gurus - they approve!
you can read more about OTTO and even order it, here.
ok. bring on tomorrow and some COFFEE. delish.
Friday, January 29, 2010
what a nice morning to get up and then get to know one of the funniest writers of the decade - thank you to the rejectionist for this interview.
i loved the series of unfortunate events A LOT because of their fast-paced and hilariously funny stories. i will have to admit to reading number 13 standing by the bookshelf in a glasgow waterstones, my umbrella dripping a puddle onto the floor because i was too cheap to buy a copy even though i really wanted to know what happened to the baudelaire trio and who the heck was the real VFD.
the composer is dead is another classic snicket - you can read my review here. i particularly love the opening:
'the composer is dead.
"composer" is a word which here means "a person who sits in a room, muttering and humming and figuring out what notes the orchestra is going to play." this is called composing. but last night, the composer was not muttering. he was not humming, he was not moving, or even breathing.
this is called decomposing.'
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
and it has a new cover - a very excellent cover - well done UQP!
so, in after january the main character - alex delaney - mentions that he wrote a short story about the girl he acted in the school play with:
"We did the play, we kissed in the school play and it all lingers in my mind like a relationship...All I have left is the fifteen episodes of our 'relationship', thirteen rehearsals and two performances, and the story I wrote two days later when she was all I could think about."
and now, in this new edition of the book nick has included this short story. i didn't know this, but apparently in 1995 he wrote 'juliet' for a short story anthology for a small publishing company jam roll press. it is the story of the play, of the kisses.
and so i bought the book and even though i have already had my annual read...i think i'll have to read it again. bliss.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
poppy and india do not get along. poppy is skeptical and cynical about india's tarot-reading, fortune-telling skills, while india thinks poppy is too negative and blocked. when the pair are forced to spend a saturday in detention together they come across a bunch of letters "dear swoosie/love swoosie" and they realise their mothers had been best friends at the same high school - until a terrible betrayal tore them apart. the girls decide that they need to put aside their differences to ensure their parents' happiness as well as their own.
honestly. i just want to know whether it was all a stunt to create buzz about this title or whether bloomsbury have stupidly made the same racist decision again. i sort of hope it was neither.
here's to proper representation of everybody in books! hourra!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
"these are the seeds
even though the illustrations are in wonderful colours - the plants and birds etc, we all here at the shop are troubled (and some of us a little frightened) by the weird children in the book:
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
then today i have read about a new book magic under glass by jaclyn dolamore and it's the same thing: white girl on front, black girl inside. many bloggers have already been vocal about this, the rejectionist (one of my favourite blogs to read) has links to many, including this open letter to bloomsbury.
i don't know if it is really that publishers believe that having black people on their books' covers affects sales. i hope they will change their mindsets asap stat because this racism does not wash with me!
(and there is also a little cynical part of me that wonders if they are banking on the outrage to boost sales on this particular title. i hope not.)
Sunday, January 17, 2010
i have been waiting for a new jasper fforde for so long. loved the thursday next series, as well as the nursery crime books. this is a new venture and the two or three chapters i've read are brilliant. classic fforde! this new world is one in which people's class status and ranking correspond to what colours they are able to see. the greys are the lower class, they perform the menial tasks and have fewer opportunities in life. the purples are rather special. edward russett is a red, a sort of middling colour and he has just become smitten with a rather fiesty grey.
- the betrayal of bindy mackenzie, jaclyn moriarty
i can't remember if i read this when it came out, but since reading dreaming of amelia i'm making a quick revisit of all moriarty's others.
- the old man and the sea and for whom the bell tolls, ernest hemingway
i found a cheap copy of these classics...while i liked a farewell to arms, i'm not sure if i'm a hemingway fan. this is an experiment to find out.
- the museum of innocence, orhan pamuk
i have had our shop's reading copy of this book, set in turkey in the 1970s, for so long that i must read it soon so everyone else can have a read.
- will grayson, will grayson, john green and david levithan
ye gads! a new john green! a new david levithan! i am too excited to breathe.
and i seriously, literally, don't know which one to open first. err...if i'm honest, i've started them all and it's becoming silly. i'm about halfway through bindy, three chapters into fforde, two into will grayson...maybe alphabetically is the answer?
Saturday, January 16, 2010
today i came across a review in the guardian by patrick ness. and essentially he said everything i wanted to say, but better. and so i have resolved to be braver, and trust my own judgement. i might even start drafting my reviews so they sound more eloquent.
also - very excited about patrick ness visiting australia this year, and for the release of chaos walking 3: monsters of men in may. very excited.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
...the rest of you can read the deliciousness, the joy, the bittersweetness of joanne horniman's latest novel, about a girl. the idea is this: that anna is living on her own in a town she moved to because the bookshop there hired her. she sits in the storeroom and reads novels on her break (and sometimes when she is meant to be working!). sometimes she goes out to see a band. one night she sees flynn singing and anna is instantly smitten. because this is a book, and because this is the way it should go, the two girls soon see more of each other and soon become lovers. while their relationship progresses - often blissfully and with great affection, anna is often wracked with fear, or worry, that flynn won't come knocking next time. we learn about anna's life before flynn, we come to realise that maybe flynn too is keeping something of herself hidden.
this is a remarkable love story, passionate and mature, and smacks of beautiful young things. there's literary references and music, you yearn to be clever, and to be friends with anna.
i'm not 100% sold on the cover though - it makes it seem to be a younger book than it is. however, i do like the idea of illustrated YA book covers, as i don't love books with photographs of people's faces, as a rule (mostly because i like to imagine what the characters look like for myself, and also because it can sometimes be tacky).
p.s. i meant to thank allen&unwin for sending this reading copy to the shop. you guys are rad.
Monday, January 11, 2010
yesterday, after a civilised 8.30am swim, i stretched out on the faux lawn at the brunswick baths (i love it! it looks great - let's face it, any real grass would be brown and probably dirt by now) and finished paul auster's invisible.
i really liked the way it was written: from different perspectives, sometimes in first person, sometimes in third and sometimes bits of the story missing. the narration somewhat unreliable, but more that it dealt with memories and individual perspectives and ideas. this is the first auster that i've read, but people assure me that this is classic auster, a return to form. one review i read this morning - though glowing - ran through a list of auster's techniques and literary devices almost like a checklist, which i thought was odd.
adam walker is the handsome and enigmatic and smart student living in new york, the events that unfold after he meets the commandeering rudolph born and his enticing girlfriend margot. i felt a bit uncomfortable in some parts, and i'm not too sure about the ending, but i thought it was excellent, moving, gripping, fast-paced...though did tend to spend a few pages ruminating on writing style and author intent. Auster question the role of the author, the role of truth and ... by gee i liked it. the book travels from new york to paris and to little craggy islands in the caribbean and we meet a great cast of intriguing characters.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
here are some of the places i've found the best coffee during 2009:
a minor place, albion st, brunswick: consistently great and strong and served with loveliness
the east brunswick project, lygon st, brunswick: smells awesome in there, quick and awesome
mixed business, queens pde, clifton hill: great coffee plus the best mushroom breakfast = tops
worst coffee wooden spoon goes to: whatever that terrible cafe/cafeteria was called down in launceston on the waterfront. couldn't drink their coffee, couldn't eat their soup. two thumbs down.