Last week we were very pleased to have a visit from the fabulous Andy Griffiths. He kindly signed (and even drew pictures in!) lots of his books, which you could be lucky enough to become the new owner of if you’re quick! A great chance to get a signed copy to add to your collection, or give to someone as a special gift.
We’ve been lucky in recent years that so many publishers have taken the trouble to produce gorgeous looking collections of classics at great prices. Of course there have always been the good old Penguin Black Classics, but a couple of years ago Penguin added a beautiful clothbound selection of both adults and childrens classics that retail for only $19.95 each. The children’s selection is even available in a lovely boxed set of eight titles for $120 – perfect for a very special gift. And recently they’ve added a delightful selection of clothbound Australian classics. They’ve also released Popular Penguins, a broad collection of older and modern classics in small format traditional orange striped paperbacks for only $9.95 each – bargain!
Around about the same time, Vintage released it’s classics collection, with stunning covers and distinctive red spines – and only $12.95 each. Vintage also added a children’s classics selection with equally thoughtful covers for $9.95 each. At the moment, if you buy any two Vintage classics (either adults or kids) you can have a sweet Book Journal to record everything you read. We also still have some cute activity book and pencils to give away with any kids Vintage classic purchase.
Australia’s own Text Publishing was next off the block with their highly visible yellow Text Classics collection – and all by Australian writers, so ably filling gaps left by Penguin and Vintage. They’ve also gone to lengths to include books that had sadly gone out of print, thereby ensuring these fabulous books won’t be forgotten. And they’re adding new titles to the collection all the time. You can rediscover these titles for only $12.95.
Earlier this year Angus and Robertson released their own collection of Australian classics for $15 each. If you buy two of these great titles, we are giving away a very useful cloth carry bag – we don’t have many left, so be quick!
And finally, something to look forward to – Penguin will be producing a collection of Crime Classics in August this year. They’ll look similar to the Popular Penguin series, but with green stripes instead of orange. And best of all they’ll be only $9.95 each.
So if you’re looking for a failsafe gift, want to fill the gaps in your home library or just want to finally read that book that you never got around to reading, you can’t go past a classic!
After various author visits and events we have some books signed by the authors:
Kylie Ladd has signed copies of her latest book, Into My Arms as well as her previous books, After the Fall, Last Summer & Naked
Graeme Simsion has signed copies of The Rosie Project and they will go fast so don’t wait too long to buy that one.
Jen Storer has signed copies of Truly Tan, Truly Tan Jinxed, Tensy Farlow & Accidental Princess
Michael Pryor has signed copies of The Extraordinaires books 1 & 2. Michael will be here on Saturday 18th May at 11-12.30 so he could sign books personally for you as a gift.
We are very lucky so have so many authors who give up their time to come and visit us. Take advantage of their efforts. Signed books make terrific gifts, or just spoil yourself.
The QI Elves must be some of the most annoying people to play Trivial Pursuit with, ever. It’s impossible to watch an episode of the show without filing away some surprising/obscure/useless fact that comes in handy many moons later at a pub trivia night and makes you look like a genius. And now there’s a fact book! With no less than 1,227 facts, you’ll never stop annoying people with your useless knowledge of who played the first international sports fixture in 1844, (USA vs Canada) and what sport they played. In a brief canvassing of opinion, no one guesses correctly, which is fun (it’s cricket). You’ll learn that a pocketful of Brazil nuts is so radioactive it’ll set off the alarm in a nuclear power station, forty is the only English number spelt in alphabetical order and Venus rotates so slowly on its own axis that its day is longer than its year. I could go on, but I won’t because you should read it. The QI Factbook is hardback, $20.
Weird things customers say in bookshops
by Jen Campbell, HB $15.00
CUSTOMER: I read a book in the sixties. I don’t remember the author, or the title. But it was green, and it made me laugh. Do you know which book I mean?
This is an absolutely hilarious gift book choc full of memorable customer/bookseller conversations.
Anyone who has been involved in the book industry will both love and sigh at this quirky collection.
CUSTOMER: What kind of bookshop is this?
BOOKSELLER: We’re an antiquarian bookshop.
CUSTOMER: Oh, so you sell books about fish.
Beci Orpin is a well renowned designer with background in textiles and graphics, and a creative spirit through and through. This book is more than just a book of craft projects, it is also a look into the life and mind of a truly creative person. You might think her designs ring familiar if you have visited the Taco Truck that roams the streets of the inner north, because she did all the graphics for them.
Seperated into interesting chapters, Out and About projects might include a graphic skateboard ramp, a kite or perfect picnic snacks. Studio projects will inspire you to use vintage postcards as art, go pom pom crazy and make an inspiration wall out of just about anything. Home projects are more along the lines of dream catchers, mobiles and cake stencils. It’s all good, really. Beautiful photography from Chris Middleton completes this crafters dream of a book; all at once Find and Keep is interesting, inspirational and practical. What more could you want?
My favourite thing about writing this blog is all the awesome projects I’ve found that I want to make, including the things we could do for a window display… My least favourite thing is now I really want to buy it! Hardback, $39.95.
Our cooking section is quite literally overflowing with all these new books we’re receiving. There’s something for everyone here at the moment you can’t go wrong. If you fancy something Asian perhaps pick up Luke Nguyen’s Greater Mekong. There’s lots to suit anyone who feels like Italian; Nigelissima is Nigella Lawson’s new book, already proving popular. For pizza Pete Evans has a new one out and Theo Kalogeracos’ popular book from a few of years ag
o Theo & Co has been revamped in Theo & Co Take 2.
Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals is, we’ve heard, easier to use than the
insanely popular 30 Minute Meals; we’re sure it won’t last long as Christmas draws ever closer. Matt Preston is the last Masterchef judge to bring out a cookbook (perhaps because he’s not actually a chef) and I already want to eat (and make, I suppose) his macaroni cheese recipe. Matt Preston’s 100 Best Recipes is home cooking you can actually do! Yes please.
If desserts are more your style Darren Purchese of Burch & Purchese has Sweet Studio for you accomplished bakers and Gabriel Gate has picked his 100 Best cakes and desserts for his new book.
You need never look at the pantry feeling uninspired again, and I’ve only mentioned a fraction of the books weighing down our shelves at the moment. So many wonderful choices, so little time.
Insulting book titles are a good attention grabber; but it was the subtitle of David McRaney’s You Are Not So Smart that really drew me in. “Why your memory is MOSTLY FICTION, why you have too many FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself.” I studied psychology at university so McRaney is very much in my wheel house here, but this is a book for people with even a passing interest in the way we think and behave. Pop psychology has a bit of a negative stigma that it doesn’t really deserve but McRaney’s blog of the same name is doing its bit to remind everyone that psychology can be cool. It’s interesting to read about the misconceptions that govern the way we think and live but people generally don’t enjoy having every sentence end in (Boredom, 1999), or have access to psychological journals for light reading.
So have you ever wondered more about why you Procrastinate (Chapter 6)? Or the benefits and costs of group work (Social Loafing, Chpt 35)? In the chapter on the Bystander Effect, McRaney will have you shocked and appalled at our tendency to defer responsibility onto others, a tendency that gets worse the more ‘others’ are around. Chapter 13 on Brand Loyalty is a good one:
“The Misconception: You prefer the things you own over the things you don’t because you made rational choices when you bought them.
The Truth: You prefer the things you own because you rationalise your past choices to protect your sense of self.”
Disappointed? Fascinated? Intrigued even? This could be the book for you. As for why you have too many friends on facebook well, you might have to read it to find that out…
With many of the big supermarkets and department stores doing a pretty good job of convincing everyone Christmas is just around the corner, it’s not too surprising that some great gifty Christmas releases are now gracing our shelves. The John Lennon Letters is edited by The Beatles official biographer, Hunter Davies, published with special permission from Yoko Ono. Take in a range of Lennon’s letters, lists, doodles, postcards and notes written to a surprising range or friends, family, newspapers and even the laundry. 250 missives make up this collection found through dealers and collectors along with original recipients, organised in chronological order. Reproductions of many of the notes along with doodles and cartoons mean this is a visual journey as well as a literary one, providing a fascinating window into the mind of such an iconic musician and artist. The John Lennon Letters will make a wonderful, lasting gift this holiday season. Even if its for yourself…Hardback, $45.
Two years ago a huge best seller for Xmas was Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals. This year, he has cut the cooking time down even further and we have 15 minute meals. It’s only just arrived so I haven’t road tested any recipes yet, but it’s sure to get a lot of people boiling their kettles and warming pans in preparation. As you would expect, you do need to have a well stocked pantry, and to follow the recipes carefully. Chapters are arranged by main ingredient, chicken, beef, fish, pasta etc.
So what’s for dinner? $50