Ever wondered if you can complete a pilgramage from the sea to the source of the Yarra River? Well, here’s your answer. Part travel memoir, part environmental history and commentary, part spiritual journey, Maya Ward’ The Comfort of Water gives you a little taste of four friends epic walk from river mouth to source. This is first and foremost an Australian Story if there ever was one. If you’ve ever wanted to learn a little more about the country, the land on which you live, from natural to Aboriginal history The Comfort of Water will teach it to you. A fascinating prospect, this book is set out in an intelligent readable way, where prose is instructive without you even realising. Already buzz-worthy, now its actually been published this is a title to watch. Trade paperback, $32.95.
Monthly Archives: May 2011
A beautiful cover, an intriguing concept and a reading copy later, Forgotten is one of the best young adult books I’ve read this year, possibly longer. The kind of young adult novel that can be appreciated by not-so-young adults (my favourite kind!), Forgotten drew me in straight away. London Lane isn’t exactly like you or me. For her, remembering is of tomorrow, yesterday is forgotten once it happens, or more specifically, at 4.33am. Quite apart from remembering what your boyfriend looks like, or who you pissed off last week, imagine going to school on the last day of the year and not know where your classrooms are because you don’t go to school tomorrow. The mind boggles. But reading Forgotten, its not mind-boggling, its just London’s life. Well done, Cat Patrick.
Damaged/unusualy memory concepts aren’t an unheard of idea in fiction; this year there’s S J Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep and previously Still Alice by Lisa Genova and What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty touched on this idea. However, it was the impossible, fantastical concept that made me immediately think of Ann Brashares’ My Name is Memory…in reverse. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end, both books are enjoyable but My Name is Memory has more emphasis on the magical side that Forgotten. Even as someone whose typically not a huge fan of fantasy (except Harry Potter, clearly) I really, really, liked both.
Forgotten is a funny, interesting, occasionally tense story of life in high school with a difference. A seriously strong female lead and the kind of love interest that all girls wish they had in high school/uni/life in general make for a completely engrossing read. From trying to figure out if you can change to future to *gasp*, past memories mixing with future memories, London really has her work cut out for her. Ill be forcing this down your throat if you come in looking for a plane/beach/bed read that keeps you entertained without giving you nightmares or making your eyes glaze over when you’re tired. Loved it. Paperback, $22.95.
Trade Paper $30
A little in the future, the world faces it’s biggest threat. A scientist is experimenting to create a self-aware computer which keeps getting dangerous so he turns it off until one day, the computer has disabled the power switch! And the computer, called Archos, kills the man who created it. This first act of betrayal leads Archos to gain control over the global network of machines and technology that controls everything. In the early months, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans – but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is far too late. Then, in the span of minutes, at a moment known later in history as Zero Hour, every mechanical device in our world rebels, setting off the Robot War that both decimates and – for the first time in history – unites humankind.
The book is written in a series of diary/log entries, describing the early odd behaviour and later carnage, culminating in a thrilling but unlikely alliance between some robots and soldiers who try to reach and destroy Archos!
This is a good, exciting thriller for those that like technology, action and mayhem! But underneath there’s the old, broader issue of machines and robots – could they be dangerous. HAL in 2001 – a Space Odyssey was an earlier renegade but it’s been a popular theme in Sci Fi for decades. This latest episode brings it closer to reality.
Shadow Wave is now available in paperback! The twelfth installment in the popular Cherub series, Shadow Wave is another edge-of -your-seat thriller starring the teenage agent James Adams. For those of you who haven’t yet discovered this exciting series, you have thrilling times ahead! Why not start from the beginning with The Recruit? Perfect for adventurous types aged 11 up. Both books, plus the others in the series are in stock now at $18 each.
Sometimes you just need a bit of information, or to clarify a date, or the just have a broad brush take on an issue of Australian history. So many books are very specific about one area of our country’s past, or have a rather academic tone. This recent publication Australian History for Dummies is part of well known series which over the years have covered most topics you can think of. Written by Alex McDermott who is a Historian and Research scholar at Lat Trobe University in Melbourne, it is an easy reading book anyone will find useful. There is a ‘Contents at a glance’ list, then a more detailed contents list, which enables you to really find the topic you are following up. There is also an index. He addresses the fact that such a lot of Australian history is only looking at modern times, ie since white settlement. He looks at the first Australians and their role in making our country, and then goes right up the present, covering all the major events as you would expect.
This book will make a useful addition to any home library. $39.95
PS. There are Dummies books on lots of subjects. We find the language titles and Mac computer titles in particular are very popular.
Jo Nesbo is well known as a writer of ‘Scandi crime’ with his latest book The Leopard out earlier this year. But he is also a writer of children’s books and his Dr Proctor books press a number of buttons which are bound to appeal to lots of children. They are silly and this particular books involves lots of , yes, farting. Nilly is a very small boy, and is used to being made fun of. He doesn’t like the attention much, but has his coping strategies and has other things on his mind. Such as playing the trumpet and helping to test Dr Proctor’s fart powder. The tests to perfect the powder involve lots of dramatic explosions and Nilly’s new friend Lisa goes along for the ride.
If you have a child who has enjoyed Captain Underpants, Wimpy Kid or Nate the Great these books could be next off the rank. $15
It’s 1943, World War II is raging, and American sailor Stead is on shore leave in Sydney. He decides to look up Marina, a girl with whom he had a fleeting romance five years earlier. Though their time together was short they had a strong connection, and Stead hasn’t been able to forget her. When he reaches her home, he learns from Marina’s mother that she has not been heard from since she boarded a boat to London shortly after her time with Stead. Thus begins Stead’s quest to find his lost love, a journey that will take him around the world.
Interwoven through Stead’s narrative Marina’s story is told. Marina is a talented pianist and was on her way to take up a coveted scholarship at an esteemed London music school when fate intervened. We learn the reason she had to put aside her ambitions and disappear, and the way her life has led her in directions and to places she never could have imagined. And through it all she never forgets the young sailor she met all those years ago.
The Voyagers is a beautifully written love story. It is unashamedly romantic without falling into cliche, and is told with intelligence and warmth. A truly satisfying read! Trade Paperback $29.95
The Book of Gabrielle Series by Michael Panackridge
PB, $14.95 each
Volume 1 : The Boy Who Wasn’t There
Volume 2: The Boy Without A Soul
Both boys and girls will absolutely love this new action packed, thrilling series from Australian author Michael Panckridge.
Gabrielle wakes up in hospital with no memory of her past but a strange Voice in her head is telling her that she is not like all the other kids. At her new foster home strange, creepy things start to happen and the mystery behind Gabrielle’s past starts to be revealed.
Panckridge writes in a gripping manner and there are plenty of twists and turns to satisfy any reader. The story moves quickly and you can tell it’s going to be a great series!!!
One of my bookselling colleagues referred to Eoin Colfer’s new book as ‘farce noir’ and very apt that is. It is a complete departure from his Artemis Fowl books for children so don’t mistake it for another book for the young folk! This is an absolute hoot of a book about Lincoln McEvoy who finds himself working as a bouncer in a third rate casino in New Jersey. Just as he decides he is going to get serious with his occasional girl friend, she and some other seedy acquaintances start getting themselves killed. He of course, can’t let it go, and the caper begins. It is great fun and I enjoyed it immensely. In store now
Beautifully simple but infinitely entertaining, French illustrator Herve Tullet has created hours of fun for children of many ages. With the variety of titles Tullet has created there is the perfect gift for very young to older kids, but these are the kind of books that a parent will love too. With eye catching use of colour and pictures these books are great exercise for the imagination with just the right amount of whimsy.
Interactive books that will keep kids (and possibly adults) occupied for hours, Tullet is onto a winner.
The Game of Mix and Match is a flip the flap style book where you get to mix and match your own odd objects out of the provided images. $9.95. Also look out for The Game of Mix-up Art.
The Game of Patterns is a spot the difference style game, but with no answers included its just whoever gets the most differences wins! $9.95.
The Book With A Hole is just that; a book with a hole. But what’s in the hole? One of my favourites. $22.95, Paperback (large).
So have a play today with Herve Tullet, fun for all ages in store now.