Category Archives: Jottings

Rules Of The Book World (A Far from Definitive List)

  1. There is no such thing as too many books.
  2. If you are given a cookbook as a present you MUST cook at least one thing from it for the person who gave it to you.
  3. If you don’t have a bookmark, you are free to use a receipt, envelope or, in a pinch, another, thinner book as a bookmark.
  4. You CAN turn the pages down if none of the above are to hand, but EXPECT TO BE JUDGED HARSHLY.
  5. If you lend someone a book, you should never expect to see it again. Let it go with a free heart, and come and buy a replacement copy from us at Fairfield Books 🙂

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Emily’s back-of-the-envelope poems

envelope-poems-layoutThese odd shapes look like finds from an archaeological dig, which I guess they are: in her later years, Emily Dickinson wrote much of her poetry on scraps and the backs of envelopes – then hid it all away. These were never meant to be made public, but well, her sister-in-law published anyway. What could a dead poet do to her?

So, the interesting thing about these snippets dickinson-gorgeous-nothings-5-e1403725439367now is that New  Directions has published two facsimile books of them, the aptly named Gorgeous Nothings (HB, $63.95) which came out a couple of years back, and this newer sampling, called Envelope Poems (HB, $22.95). Each poem is presented with both a high-resolution image and a transcription in the original shape (like this transcription).

The envelope poems make an interesting read, and puzzling them out is the only way through. I wish my Dickinson had included the printed editions of her poems so I could have read them more fluently, but as it was you clearly saw how she used her ‘page’ to help create the poem. There’s an interesting article which talks about symbols Emily used that were never translated into print, like the plus sign.

The little hardback edition makes a lovely gift (thanks, Steph, for my Christmas present). It’s great for those arty types in your life, poets, designers, writing buffs. One customer was inspired by Gorgeous Nothings and showed me her photographs afterwards, so do share your Emily-inspired art with us!



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Reading makes you live longer…

… and it’s finally been proven!–ZJgpbzix4Pb

From your local longevity specialists,


old lady reading

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Still Alice by Lisa Genova

We were lucky enough to see a preview of the movie Still Alice which stars Julianne Moore in her Golden Globe winning role. It is based on the book of the same name, written by Lisa Genova which came our a few years ago. The movie is terrific, and is faithful to the book in the most important ways. I loved the book when I read it back then and Julianne Moore gives a terrific performance of Alice who at 50 years of age is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. It is all the poignant for Alice to be struck down by something that robs her of language, and she is a professor in linguistics, and communication has been her field of expertise. Lisa Genova is herself a neuroscientist who has worked in the field of Alzheimer’s and autism. Lisa’s second book, Left Neglected is about a woman who after a car accident suffers from Left Neglect, where she no longer recognizes anything about the left side of her body. She has a new book coming in April this year which is about a family dealing with Huntingdon’s disease. I’m looking forward to that very much.

So see the movie, and read the book!

still alice

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National Bookshop Day, Saturday August 9th

If you have seen our window this week you will know that we have a big day planned for National Bookshop Day on Saturday. The following authors will be there and they will be talking to customers about books, writing and anything else that takes their fancy.
They are:
10-11am Archie Fusillo, author of The Dons and The Dead Dog in the Middle of the Night.
10-30-11.30am Jen Storer, author of Tensy Farlow, The Accidental Princess, Truly Tan and The Crystal Bay Girls.
11-12 Fran Cusworth, author of The Sisters of Spicefield and an essay in Best Australian Essays 2013
11-12 Kylie Ladd, author of Last Summer, After the Fall and Into My Arms
11.30-12.30 Anna Branford author of Violet Mackerel and Lilli Pilli’s Sister
12.30-1.30-Carole Wilkinson, author of the Dragonkeeper and Ramose series
1-2pm Michael Pryor, author of The Laws of Magic and The Extraordinaires, 10 Futures and Machine Wars.
1-2pm Corinne Fenton author of Queenie, Hey, baby and Hey Dad, You’re Great
2-3 Zana Fraillon author of Monstrum House and No Stars to Wish On

As well as all of these authors we have the illustrator of Snap! And My Abuela’s Table, Daniella Germein here from 11am. She will be demonstrating her skills.

As in past years, we will be decorating our front window. This year you can write the name of your favourite book on the window.
Last month, The Australian Bookseller’s Association gave people the opportunity to vote for their favourite children’s book. The titles have been compiled into a flyer which we will be handing out.

Our Storytime session will be at 10.30 and will become a regular Saturday feature.

And of course, we will have mini cupcakes and muffins to hand out, the number depending on how late I stay up on Friday night!!

Come on down and find us on the footpath in front of the shop.

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Reservoir Dad by Clint Greagen

Clint Greagen is the father of four young boys for whom he is main care giver. His blog Reservoir Dad has a big following and now he has written a book about his experiences. You can meet Clint and hear about his adventures and the ups and downs of the stay-at-home dad at Reservoir Library on Thursday 17th July at 7pm. You can book online on the library website.  We will be there selling books and I’m sure Clint will be very happy to sign them for you.  See you there.


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The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

rosie effectWe were very excited to get the news that there would be a sequel to the best selling The Rosie Project coming out later this Year. The Rosie Effect will be published in October, and we have just had confirmation that we will have Graeme Simsion for an event on Monday 27th October. I know it’s ages away, and we haven’t decided exactly what we are going to do on the evening, but you could mark it in your diaries NOW.

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June 10, 2014 · 11:23 am