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January, 2011


20 classics in 2011 #1: The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books in 2011. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? After seeing the elegant and moving film A Single Man (and falling for Colin Firth all over again) I learnt it was based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood – a rather famous gay writer who for [...]

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Guest review: Lyndon Riggall on Five Wounds by Jonathan Walker & Dan Hallett

Allen & Unwin, 2010 9781742370132 (Aus, US, UK) To call your novel ‘illuminated’ is a dangerous thing. Five Wounds‘ claim holds with it the expectation that it should be something beyond a typical read. An ‘illuminated novel’ must be more than novel: no minor feat, and no small promise. I am glad to say that [...]

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And the winner of Palo Alto is…

Thanks for all your entries! Using a random number generator, the winner of James Franco’s short story collection Palo Alto, courtesy of Allen & Unwin and the new Australian arm of Faber Academy, is Twitter user @folk_bird. I’ll be getting in touch with you soon for your postal address. Sydneysiders! You’ve still got a few days [...]

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Ink, dust & darkness: Magpie Hall by Rachael King

Vintage (New Zealand, 2010/Kindle) 9781869792886 Rosemary, a vintage-dress-wearing tattooed taxidermist, decides to spend some time in her family’s run-down old manor Magpie Hall –  to work on her gothic literature thesis and simultaneously escape an affair with her supervisor. But there are plenty of distractions at Magpie Hall: memories of her recently deceased grandfather, her [...]

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20 classics in 2011: blog project

I am going to read 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books in 2011. All book-lovers have gaps in their reading – how could you possibly read everything? In recent years I’ve been fairly up-to-speed with newer books and Australian literature, but I’ll often find myself in conversation, saying ‘oh, I haven’t read such-and-such yet’. People often assume I [...]

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Bookish ways to help out the flood victims

The recent floods throughout Queensland and other parts of Australia have had a massive impact on many lives. But there are some literary-minded ways you can help out: 1. Bid for some of the signed or limited edition books and other literary goods like manuscript assessments in the Authors for Queensland auctions. 2. The Writers on Rafts [...]

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Win James Franco’s Palo Alto with Faber Academy

Beginning the blogging year with a giveaway is always a good idea! This week you can win a copy of actor James Franco’s upcoming short story collection Palo Alto, courtesy of Faber Academy and Allen & Unwin. What is Faber Academy? The Academy began in London when Faber offered creative writing courses out of their [...]

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