Saturday, December 18, 2010

i have been on a bit of a hiatus lately. i recognise this.
i don't actually have much to say about my absence (brought to you by some sulking, performance anxiety and mostly, sheer laziness...) other than that i read....

the keepers- lian tanner
oh broo.
i do love you.
thoroughly enjoyed it.

3 quarters of before i fall- lauren oliver
i was extremely overtired when i read this. i didn't mean to read it, just picked it up to get a sense of it, and then ooooops i read most of it. then i had to stop cos i felt a bout of hysterical, unstoppable crying coming on. and also i knew what was going to happen (although then when i skimmed a bit before the end to double check, i realised i didn't know exactly hooow it was going to happen, and props for the curly jigsaw twist, although it had nothin' on when you reach me-rebecca stead) and didn't really want to hear it. it was pretty good, but there is only so much of this type (depressing, heartwrenching, depressing, depressing) of book that i can read.

also i read the tall man- chloe hooper
oh god. i don't really want to talk about. tears. fury. more tears.

what else?

the last dragonslayer
- jasper fforde.
i thoroughly enjoy the crustacean references. i quite enjoyed the book also. i then read the eyre affair and enjoyed that too. (although i did sometimes stop and think (very quietly) to myself; douglas adams does it better)(although just what it is adams does better i'm not entirely sure of... i suspect i just prefer douglas adams in general for when i want that sort of mad, clever, skewed reality type book, but what fforde does is also rawther excellent and so to you, brain, i say, 'do not compare! just read!' and to that my brain says 'silence wench! don't you speak to me until you stop using brackets so stupidly!begone!')
and to you, brain i say ((((((**** you!!!)))))((((())))) bahbahahaha.

sorry. that was uncalled for.

mostly, though, there has been lots of enjoyment, all around!

and i am also perusing the latest lonely planet tasmania guide. yes, that's right. dugong lady may soon be cycling around tasmania. on a bicycle. cycling. and looking at tasmanian things. hurrah!

and now i think we can all be glad that this is my last post for the year, and that this is the end of it.

ps. the post date is wrong. it is currently the LAST DAY OF 2010. i hope everyone has a truly delaightful next year.

Monday, November 22, 2010

another review: gosh, i'm on a roll

the body finder
kimberly derting

so our heroine, violet ambrose, has this creepy ability to sense the echoes of the dead. well, the murdered, if we are going to get specific.

she found her first dead (human) body when she was eight; this dead girls particular echo began as a vibration, and as violet got closer, it opened into a voice, calling out. (violet then began to dig in the earth, found the dead girl, and had nightmares for a while afterwards-violet, i hear ya)

when violet hears, smells or sees these echoes she is compelled to answer them, and these echoes can come from anything that died in a brutal or unnatural way. so the tiny woodland creatures that were victims of surprise attacks from bigger woodland creatures leave echoes. the bigger woodland creatures themselves carry offensive imprints (as does violet's cat, carl), and as do police officers (occupational hazard), some nurses, and of course, serial killers like the one terrorising violet's neighbourhood.

this was creepy! i finished it late at night (stupid, stupid dugong lady) and then sat up in bed wondering if there was a serial killer in the backyard.
i even messaged my long suffering boyfriend for some reassurance that the serial killer i had decided was in my backyard wasn't going to attack me. reassurance came in the form of a reminder; my dog was in the backyard (oh no! what if the serial killer killed my dog?!) my teddy would protect me, and, it was JUST A BOOK.
i thought that was fairly dodgy reassurance (particularly cos as far as i know teddy has had no form of combat training), but i went to sleep anyway (and then was rudely awoken by some very stupid plasterers, but that's another story*).

errr. so anyway. again, it was creepy! great concept. the writing was a bit stilted at times, and the way violet and jay's (the token hottie) love interest played out was pretty generic. having said this though, i read it in a day, and it got under my skin enough for me to imagine serial killers in the backyard. sort of an odd mix of a law and order episode and a young adult romance novel. i reckon it will appeal to the fans of supernatural YA, but also to people that like more realism with their escapism.
apparently it is going to be a series, and the second body finder novel desires of the dead will be published at some point.

blogger is refusing to upload a cover photo, so you will just have to imagine it (or ask monsieur googleeee).

*the rest of the story goes like this: the plasterers woke me up at 6.30am (bastards!!!). i glared at them, got ma and went and sulked in bed cos my sleep was ruined. ma reckons that the plaster wasn't ours (apparently it was enough for about five, very large, houses), that they had already woken up next door to ask if it was theirs, and they then proceded to doorknock their way down the street. plaster, anyone? grrrrr.

Friday, November 19, 2010

a review! hurrah!

fruitloops and dipsticks
ulf stark- gecko press

things start going wrong for 12 year old simone when her mother decides they are to sell their apartment, and move to the country with the 'hat-idiot' aka ingvar, mother's boyfriend with a receding hairline and a complex about such hairline.

things get worse when, after the farewell party (practical because it meant you could get rid of a whole lot of things you didn't want to take with you), they move to the new house and discover they forgot the dog.

things get even worse after that. on the hunt for kilroy (the dog), mother finds kilroy and viciously harangues the nasty man that stole him. a battle ensues, and it is on their hasty (but victorious) exit to the car that simone (now out of earshot of the nasty dog stealer) must point out to mother that it the dog isn't infact kilroy, and another hasty getaway is necessary.

apparently mother is not much good at recognizing dogs. or people either, for that matter.

then things begin to go totally and completely avocado shaped when the new teacher leaves the 'e' off simone, and simone becomes a boy, simon (of course, it would be far to embarrassing to clear up, straight away, the gender mishap).

simon then gets into a bunch of mad adventures involving ducks, late night lake swimming, scalped beehives and carefully arranged cotton wool.

i really, really loved this book. i particularly loved grandpa, who rocks up at the new house wearing long johns, purloined high heels, hospital nightshirt flapping stylishly, snorting happily through the strands of hair in his nostrils.

actually, all the characters are really great, mostly eccentric (fruitloops), but even the non eccentric ones (dipsticks) are beautifully created, with curious little details that bring them to life very vividly.

it'll make you laugh, make you cry. it'll change your life! *

it really did make me laugh. and i cried, but it was the good type of crying.

i loved it. hurrah!
*say it in a drunk, irish accent. or just go watch black books. bernard! bahahah.

Monday, November 15, 2010

lizzie mcguire, you disappoint me

i was really excited when this arrived today. yeah, i know that she is getting published because she is famous*, a (reasonably) good singer (ok, i admit i love her music and know nearly all the words to her songs (well, first two albums anyway)) and cos she has really pretty hair.

but i was more than willing to overlook that fact, and was looking foward to reading about Clea, the photojournalist with famous parents who hides behind her camera lens to escape the spotlight.

this excitement lasted until i opened the book and saw the title page. quite an aesthetically pleasing title page, it has the title (as you would expect), black and white versions of the cover flower, and then the author: hilary duff (this bit is fine) WITH elise allen (this bit is the bit that pisses me off).

ok hil, you want to write a book. fine. i don't have a problem with that. i also dont have a problem with the fact that you got published solely on your fame. i do have a problem with you putting your name on a pretty cover in big letters, doing all the signings, making all the money and generally getting people like me who have adored you since the beginning of time (or the beginning of lizzie mcguire) all excited, only to CRUSH OUR HOPES WITH YOUR SHITTY**, BASICALLY GHOST WRITTEN BOOK.

there is nothing left between us now. it's over***.

*hil, i say this because any chance at getting published on your own writing merit is gone when you need someone to help you write your book.

***although at least you credited elise allen for the work she did. i guess you aren't totally heartless (erhmm. cough cough. james frey you are a wanker.) ill probably always love you.

**it may in fact be fantastic, i haven't read it yet cos i am feeling so traumatised and let down. although, really, what did i expect? shame on me and my optimism.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

an outdoor chandelier

hello! i'm back.

here is a review:

oh fuck. i think i just have a reviewing block. so here is a picture of some renovation madness:

oh dear

so i know that when i got my (shiny) laptop, i made a big hullabaloo about how i was now going to be a blogging dynamo.
i'm sorry, i lied.

it's just that i have all these fab ideas (well, i think they are fab) and want to share them, but then when i'm sitting in front of the computer they never seem to come at me, they always come while i am on my way to the dentist, or in the middle of the park watching my chien chase birds and roll in dead things (bad, smelly dog!) or whenever i am anywhere but in front of my computer.

consequently i end up with scraps of paper everywhere which i then instantly loose, or pink moleskines filled with vague notes on books i always plan to review RIGHT AWAY but then forget about, or when i do finally sit down to do to them, i get discouraged. i suspect that i get discouraged because even though i tell myself to just spit it out, i then get wrapped up thinking about all the hours and years that the author took to write the book, and i begin to feel guilty for not spending as much time on my review. so then i generally just don't review at all because i think to myself, well, how could i do justice to all that time and work with a few (often hastily constructed) thoughts and sentences? and then i start thinking, well, is this even what i think at all? and i get all confused and stop.

a vicious cycle indeed.

so today i have decided
fuck it

i will just spit it all out and not think about it and if i regret it later, oh well at least i didn't sleep with the neighbours cat
(this is not something i, or anyone i know, has done, but i imagine whoever did it would certainly regret it. at least, i hope they would)
(not that anyone did sleep with the neighbours cat. they don't even have a cat, a lady in a yellow car ran over it) (actually that's not true, it didn't die and it didn't belong to the neighbour either. i think) (it is true a lady in a yellow car ran over it though. i witnessed it and it was extremely traumatic) (for me, not the cat as the cat jumped up and ran away) (possibly to die) (this is entirely ridiculous) (i will stop now)

and now, see, i have written such a long and stupid post i no longer have the energy to review a book. oh dear.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


today as i walked towards the school gates there were cries of

'hey, it's the library girl'
'hi library girl!'
'hey, i know you!'
'hey, i saw you! on the weekend, at the bookshop!'
'hey, look everybody! it's the girl from the library!'

and one of the grade six kids i won over last time (tough crowd, but any mention of Glee and you should be fine...) greeted me with a

'dugong lady*! how are you!? where were you on monday?! what are you doing now?! ok, i'll see you at lunchtime!'

i felt a bit chuffed, and happy to be surrounded by such exuberance. this is so definitely, no questions, absolutely, my career of choice. at least until i take up travelling around the world with my violin and border collie. but then i will come back and be the library girl again! lovely.

*insert real name here

Monday, November 1, 2010

monthly monday milf meeeem

MMM is a meeeem created by The Dugong Lady and kate.o.d in celebration of those who lurk handsomely in the background. We want you between our pages.

and the winner of round two is... ding ding ding!


aha! i can imagine you all now. vernon dursley, you say? really? i always knew this dugong lady was indeed some kind of a fruitloop...

but you are WRONG. i speak not of vernon dursley, that beef-necked twerp.
no, i speak of another vernon.
i speak of THE vernon.
the vernon that made the name, once synonymous with aforementioned beef-necked twerp, sexy again.
the vernon that comes not from harry potter by ye olde castle dwelling rowl-monster, but from i have a bed made of buttermilk pancakes by jaclyn moriarty.

the vernon that is buff from lifting boxes of bananas.
the vernon that is musical, with maple syrup eyes.
the vernon that takes his little sister and girlfriend on midnight swims with a spot of trespassing. (oh, i do love a rebel!)
the vernon that saves dessert for said girlfriend by hiding it under a chair, even though she is late and he is at her family dinner.

he is gorgeous, and lovely, and, according to marbie (the girlfriend) he is an incredible lover also. what more could you want in a man?!
flesh and blood, perhaps.
aside from that, though...

Friday, October 29, 2010

snippetty snippretty

okay, i was wrong. the finished cover for immortal beloved is in fact quite pretty. a little, i dunno, predictable maybe? but pretty. and reasonably enticing. reminds me a bit of american beauty the movie.
so i retract my rather rude comment to the marketing people (it probably isn't the marketing people that are responsible for the covers anyway, they surely have a design section or somesuch). bit harsh, sorry guys.

i got super excited when it arrived in the shop, and yes, i may have yelped. it was like greeting a slightly unpredictable, not to be trusted with your darkest secrets but fun to party with, old friend.

except, obviously, a book.

a book that i just discovered shares the name with...

a film about beethoven (ludwig, not the st. bernard)

the name in some love letters beethoven addressed to an unknown woman (i assume this is explained in the movie. i watched in ages ago but mostly i just remember beety chasing some girl around the table, giggling and groping.. creepy)

a hair salon in the 14th st neighbourhood that caters to the 'stylistas' of washington life.

now wasn't this just unexpectedly informative?

Monday, October 25, 2010

rambly book talk

Ruined by Paula Morris
soooooo.... i found this book lurking in a drawer (it wasn't my drawer, but before you go accusing me of thievery, it was a draw i am allowed to take books from) and debated whether or not to read it. it was a debate because i have a fascination with the deep south (this book is set in new orleans) and really want to go there and love reading about it. but because the pages of my found copy were that really crappy, cheap thin paper that probably isn't even partially recycled (bastards) and makes the spine feel awkward and sort of like it is ashamed of being a spine, i didn't want to read it.

but i did. and it was good. it wasn't brilliant, but i did enjoy it, and i absolutely loved the detail about new orleans. oh it sounds so amazing! i want to go! after, of course, i go to bhutan (gross national happiness people!), nepal, new york, the daintree, alaska, the moon... fuck me, i may as well give up now- no! i must remain optimistic, i will get there one day... assuming i don't get distracted and add another sixty thousand places to my visiting list.

err, this has turned into a 'i want to go here and here and here' travel rant, so i shall stop now.

actually, i just want to say that it really was quite a good book. there where times when i wanted to smack the main character, but mostly i was grumpy with the baddies, not the goodies. which is a pleasing characteristic in a novel of this kind, with lots of intrigue and family mysteries. now that i think about it, the plot was like something from 'passions' (and yet again i find myself referencing this ridiculous 90s soap opera), with ghosts and crazy class rivalry, but the way Morris managed it was excellent, and honestly, it is worth reading just for an insight into the gorgeous, multilayered mystery that is new orleans.

au revoir!

oh! wait! i forgot to tell you, i read another Eva Ibbotson (lordy, she is fab) story- Journey to the River Sea- about Maia, an orphan sent from england to live with distant relations in the amazon jungle. it was brilliant! utterly brilliant. i felt excited, scared, angry and ridiculously happy all in the right places, and it left me with the same aftertaste that the Piper's Son did. and now i want to go to see the amazon jungle! well, more specifically Manaus, the capital city of the state of Amazonas, a city hidden in the jungle!
oh, dreams.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

in the Kingdom of Disgruntledom

in the Kingdom of Disgruntledom i am queen.


i think i would rather be in the Kingdom of Silk.

however, something that has been making me less disgruntled today is...

the bindup i borrowed from the library of my work placement that contains 2 fabulously mad stories from Eva Ibbotson, creator of Which Witch, one of my most favouritefavouritest childrens books ever!

sadly most of her stuff including Which Witch is now out of print, out of stock or indented, however if you can get your hands on it, it is well worth it (don't even think about it, your grubby paws will be going nowhere near my copy-mostly because it is hiding in a box out of easy reach due to wet paint and bits of missing wall in my room-and also cos i love it too much to release it into the World of Borrowing, from whence it most likely will never return... err, not that i don't trust you...)

anyway, i just finished the first story in the bindup- Not Just a Witch- and it really did make me very pleased to be alive, so much so that i almost evacuated the Kingdom of Disgruntledom. almost, because a minute later i was severly irritated by a moronic waiter. still, it is an example of the healing powers of books.

Heckie is a Good Witch. so is Dora. when Heckie and Dora have a fight at their witch graduation (they are both wearing the same snake hat and each witch is convinced the other did it to spite them) 10 years of friendship ends in a squabble, and their plans for Doing Good together are finished.
so, miserable yet determined, Heckie sets out on her own to band together a group of witches, wizards and three children, and forms the Wellbridge Wickedness Hunters. what follows is very, very entertaining, and involves a sad russian wizard who makes air balloons fly by using the hot air talked by politicians, another wizard who spends his time teaching cheese to walk, and a death-dealing cauliflower, not to mention the extremely villainous villain Mr Knacksap (what a delightfully stupid name). there is also a rather pace quickening finale comprising of 300 snow leopards, a gas canister and two very displeased (yet reunited) witches.
i can't wait to curl up with Dial A Ghost, the next story. hurrah for the Eva Ibbotson! i might try reading some of her YA stuff next, but then again I might not as they don't look as silly. and i like silly.

Monday, October 11, 2010

summer lovin

oh, summer!

i can smell it in the jasmine on the back fence, and in the sea breeze that wafts determinedly around my ears and under my nose as i traipse along the back beach with the mad chien. these delicious smells promise other summery things like blowsy sweet peas, night picnics and floaty dresses, all of them entirely delightful.

another entirely delightful thing is the newest phryne fisher
dead man's chest by kerry greenwood.

phryne needs no introduction, suffice to say that she is back, more stylish than ever and off to queenscliff for a summer holiday. she promises her faithful companion dot, her adoptive daughters jane and ruth, and molly le chien a lovely holiday by the sea with absolutely No mysteries.

not likely, a mystery appears as soon as the holiday bunch arrive at their lodgings- the house is empty of both people and possessions, and the beloved dog of the missing people is found half starved and roaming with a dead rat in its mouth. the holiday doesn't look to be as peaceful as everyone had hoped. (although not-so-secretly i am very glad cos it means there was another mystery full of luxuriously conjured surroundings and morsel like historical details for me to enjoy)

Monday, October 4, 2010

monthly monday milf meeeeem

MMM is a meeeem created by kate.o.d and The Dugong Lady in celebration of those who lurk handsomely in the background. we want you between our pages.

and the first minor character i am admitting i'd like to do the nasty with is....

rambo aka robert black
from the spud series by john van de ruit, published by penguin

'robert black has the hugest willy'


actually the real reason is that he is big and strong with dark hair and eyes and an air of clever rebellion. with a vibe that says 'if you ever actually needed me to not be a dickhead, i would do it for you'.

he is the self proclaimed king of the dormitory and rambo is the nickname he gave himself. while at times he can be a bit of a bully, or at least very persuasive with his low, menacing tones, i think he has confidence issues.

and he has this underlying nice side.
afterall, when mad dog gets lifted up, carried downstairs on his mattress and laid out in the snow still snoring, it is rambo who gets blankets and carefully tucks him in. yes, it happens an hour later, and only because gecko voices concern about frostbite, hypothermia and piles. and yes, it was rambo's idea in the first place...
but i think it's all a tough guy front.

i suppose then there is still the whole side issue of him sleeping with the drama teacher... and numerous other girls. he is definitely a bit of hussy. but he does have some class, cos it takes him ages to admit that the teacher/student affair rumours are true, and even then only under threat of serious mutilation.

i think it's because he has the james dean factor.
and i think that he is a bit of alright.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

a new leaf

hellooooo my pretties!
i have been a crap blogger lately. i don't apologise, but i do say...

i got a laptop!

so now i can be a blogging dynamo, churning out witty, fabulous missives to my minions* and furthering my career as a dugong lady.

also, the laptop is shiny.

and the * is to explain that i do not consider you, my dear reader, to be a minion. i just really like the word and thought it sounded nice with missives.
i have been reading a little bit in amongst the frenzy of not blogging, but you can leave that bit to your imagination and instead hear about the picture book i bought today because i had been eyeing it off for weeks and could resist no longer.

the vegetable ark by kim kane and sue degennaro
allen and unwin
it is so so so lovely. and funny. and i love neil- he reminds of neil from the young ones except more productive.

Friday, September 17, 2010

i went to the european masters exhibition yesterday and found.... diagon alley! look here . hagrid is the one in the middle.

Friday, September 10, 2010

people find me when they ask for...

silverfish pee- i didn't even know they could pee, silly i know, but while i didn't give it that much thought, i just sort of imagined them letting it out in the form of a steam that evaporated upon hitting the atmosphere.

collier the bottom billion positive review- who is collier the bottom and why does he need a positive review?

silverfish in laptop- who let them in there? that was silly.


impossible challenges to do with food

impossible food things

things that are impossible with food

why do so many people want to do impossible things with food?

steph bowe, fiona wood and mr magnolia are also popular.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

the ins and outs of what this particular dugong lady is reading right now...

freedom by jonathan franzen: by golly. this guy writes sexy sentences. by this i meant he has these hugely long and detailed pieces of story covered in commas and semi colons in between full stops and capital letters, and it still all flows beautifully and is generally just fantastically detailed, subtle yet punchy writing. as someone that frequently gets overexcited with commas and splashes them into her writing on a whim, or cos she thinks they look pretty, this kind of classy comma usage really appeals to me. also the actual book is pretty darn good too. and how pretty is the cover?! i'm going to have to go back and read the corrections too.

the ethics of what we eat by peter singer: recently i have been making an effort to be more aware of the world around me and to live on top of my rock instead of under it. i no longer eat any meat unless it i know it is organic, and am yet to do more research on the organic meat industry. if i don't like what i find i will stop eating it all together. i have also stopped eating fish except if it is sustainably caught (and i've been finding this hard to find out a lot of the time, so i have only eaten some wild salmon once in the past month), and in general i eat organic where possible. i am finding this book quite helpful and enjoyably, it isn't a tedious read.

more adventures of the great brain by john d. fitzgerald: written in the 1890's, this book continues the adventures of T.D.,conniving hero of the great brain, and, from the inside of the front jacket, 'proves that boys in Mormon Utah in the 1890s are the same as boys today- full of limitless energy and fun yet with a capacity for sensitivty and sadness'. so far T.D. seems to me to be a bit of a little shit, but i'll continue reading and give an update later.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


i went to the melbourne writer's festival this week and saw...

steph bowe. she was very funny, an excellent speaker and made me a wee bit jealous for two reasons: she is more mature than i will ever be, and she can walk in heels. really high heels. this might seem like a weird, unliterary (ha, who am i kidding, me, literary?) type thing to notice but coordination really impresses me as it is something i struggle with, even on a basic level.

steven herrick. the john marsden of poetry, he was a delight to listen to. funny, honest and great with the school kids, i dare anyone to challenge his awesomeness.

shirley marr. what fantastic sparkly dorothy shoes she was wearing! and she was also a good speaker. and nice. and funny.

argh, i irritate myself with my constant positivity, but i really don't have anything to criticise. although at one point i did feel as though i was standing in the middle of a swamp full of high schoolers. but i guess that's what you get for going to the schools program.
the only bad thing was that i didn't get to see jaclyn moriarty. but the delaightful kate did, and said she was lovely, so that will have to be good enough for me.

also, i got to get coffee from the waffle man. and i spoke french with him. well, i said 'merci' when he gave me my coffee. and he asked me where in queensland i was from, which is a bit insulting really, i guess i must just speak like a bit of a bogan, cos it certainly wouldn't be my bronzed skin that made him think that (i am so pale i make milk look tanned).
au bientot!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Born to Run- Christopher McDougall

I ventured out of my young adult nest of reading material and found...

'"So where the fuck did they get it?" Lieberman asks, with all the gusto of a man who's not squeamish about hacking into goats with a rock. "The bow and arrow is twenty thousand years old. The spearhead is two hundred thousand years old. But Homo erectus is around two million years old. That means that for most of our existence-for nearly two million years!-hominids were getting meat with their bare hands. "'

Taken from page 226 of Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.

Raising some phenomenally interesting questions about our bodies, our diets and our evolutionary processes, Born to Run is something I recommend that everyone reads. With a focus on everything from the elusive Tarahumara, the benefits of going barefoot, ultra marathons and the drug cartels of the Sierra Mountains, this will make you go 'oh shit. really? nah, no way. but, hold on... way!' (or your own less overexaggerated-trashy-excited-bogan version). And it is very well written. What more could you ask for in non-fiction?

I'ma waitin for you, September!

exciting september releases i am teeteringon my tenterhooks over:

the hunger games: mockingjay by suzanne collins
can i just say ohmygod ohmygod i have been waiting soooo loooong for this it better be fucking fantastic! although i am sure it will be as it is the third in the incredible, gripping, throat grabbing series involving Katniss, Peeta, Gale and the eeeeevil Capitol. argh!

immortal beloved by cate tiernan
you can read my review here. now go read the book. it is unbelievably fantastic. i shall say no more. please don't be put off by the really dodgy cover. marketing people, you are moronic to say the least.
now, seriously, go read it.

skulduggery pleasant: mortal coil by derek landy
the fifth in this entirely excellent eventually to be nine part series. people who have read the first four will need no introduction. people who haven't read the first four had better get on this shit, quick smart. you are missing out. also, derek landy came into the shop months ago and was super lovely and funny and a huge HUGE dog slobbered all over him (outside the shop, sadly we don't have a bookshop dog) yet in the true form of an delightful human bean he cuddled the dog back cos it was a beautiful dog, and he missed his puppy in ireland. and did i mention that he was funny?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Seal Lullaby

Oh! hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us, 
And black are the waters that sparkled so green. 

The moon, o'er the combers, looks downward to find us

At rest in the hollows that rustle between.

Where billow meets billow, there soft be thy pillow;

Ah weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!

The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,

Asleep in the arms of the slow-swinging seas.

Seal Lullaby by Rudyard Kipling. Isn't this beautiful!? My favourite line is the one about the 'weary wee flipperling'. Those words just sound so fantastic together! and a flipperling! Kipling is a clever, clever klipperling!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Curse of the Wolf Girl by Martin Millar

curse of the wolf girl continues the engrossing and addictive antics of the MacRinnalch clan of werewolves (introduced in lonely werewolf girl as well as the assorted fire elementals, fairies and human beans that get caught with them.

i think this should be a tv show. i have never thought that about a book before. usually i get very depressed when tv shows do the inevitable mangling of books when making them into a series. although true blood is an exception to this rule, what with the show being way better than the books. and possibly round the twist cos that was adapted from awesome Jenning's stories into an awesome tv series.

this could be a fabulous show, a sort of cross between buffy, six feet under and gossip girl (gossip girl being another good adaptation of the original book series) having said that, i still reckon this is awesome in book form, it just has the potential to be an awesome tv show too. it is very possible i don't actually have a point and am just rambling. so, back to the science lab...

Kalix is a scottish teen with a drug habit and a tendency towards trying to bite or kill what she doesn't like.

'Auntie Malvie' and her dismal neice Agrivex are Hiyasta fire elementals. Malveria has returned more elegant and insane than ever, and Vex is my favourite character due to her obsession with enormous boots and an overly optimistic attitude that borders on delusional.

Daniel and Moonglow are still the long suffering flatmates of Kalix and Vex, and while Daniel is still trying to woo her, Moonglow is doing her best to encourage both teens to go to college, pass, and not reveal their true natures by bursting into flames (Vex) or mauling fellow students (Kalix).

Thrix is still designing fabulous garments, and Dominil is killing werewolf hunters for money. Markus is still breaking hearts as Thane, and the Douglas MacPhees are up to no good once again.
so it is totally a soap opera but i really like it. i have become strangely affectionate towards both books, and they will never be shucked from my bookshelf in an attempt to downsize (lili st crow, you may not be so lucky...)
however i am also a huge passions fan (anyone remember that show? with timmy the creepy doll character, and tabitha the witch. awesome tv right there) so it's very possible i have weird and dubious taste. but curse of the wolf girl is just so intriguing and the characters are all so well conceived that once you meet them you can't stop wondering what they will do next. the plot didn't give me a headache as i am more familiar with the characters, and cos i read lonely wolf girl first this time i knew what i was in for. in conclusion if you like epic fantasy stories with a mix of popular culture, fashion, violence and complete madness then you will adore this book. i want the third book please.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

an ode to the cows of the sea

as we all know i like dugongs. a lot. so the first thing i did when i picked up a copy of Altruistic Armadillos, Zenlike Zebras:understanding the world's most intriguing animals by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson was to check if my darlings had made the cut. and they had!
just after lobsters and before meerkats, dugongs (they were listed under 'manatees and dugongs'. i know they are very similar- this book says that they really only differ in the shape of skull and tail- and i guess it doesn't really matter but i would have preferred if they were under 'dugongs and manatees' instead) got a whole page and a half. and what a page! i know i sound flippant again but there were just so many exciting snippets of information. there were also some very tragic snippets. did you know that dugongs (and manatees) have almost no predators apart from us? they are so big they can bop any other animal that tries anything shifty (except maybe killer whales and really big sharks), but if we come at them trying to eat them what can they do? it makes me very sad. dugongs are listed as vulnerable now, and manatees are one of the most endangered aquatic animals in the world. the florida manatees (which are still being eaten. crazy floridians) are protected by u.s law, but move so slowly they often have fatal encounters with outboard motors on boats. i want to get really rich, buy some sea and then make a dugong/manatee sanctuary.
i also learnt that...
this is a very interesting book.
a newborn kangaroo is the size of a small bean.
people do really horrible, awful awful things to coyotes.
i don't like people as much as i like animals.

Monday, August 9, 2010

well. i am very glad i started my copy of Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley AFTER the launch yesterday. i started it today instead and while i knew that it was going to be fab, i didn't really comprehend how mindblowingly excellent it would be. which is good, cos it means i saved myself the embarassment that would have been caused by the screaming, leaping, and excitedly but unintelligibly yabbering creature that i would have otherwise become upon sighting Cath. i am not exaggerating. i did it once when Jen Storer came into work and i had just read Tensy Farlow and the home for mislaid children. i was hideous, like one of those crazed fans you see at concerts. i nearly threw my undies at her.

so, thankfully for all of us involved, i am only just now learning how utterly fabbitty fab fab fabaroo it is (thankyou georgia nicolson you have invaded my head yet again). see, i knew that it would be great. it's cath crowley! not only is she an awesome writer, she is like the NICEST person in the world (ok, so i have only met her twice-ish but she was just so lovely) but for those of you non believers out there here are some of the reasons it is so fab:

#lucy. she is a glass blower! how fucking cool is that?

#ed and leo. they are sheddies/graffers just like my ex but unlike my ex they are completely adorable in a roguish way, they paint things that have some meaning as opposed to scribbling tags on a wall, and i don't feel like screaming RUN AWAY everytime they arrive on the page.

#it is just so real. i love it. i imagine the legal graffiti bit that shadow and poet go to in the second chapter as the one that is in degraves street in the city. and the way lucy and jazz talk about shadow and leo is just like how the despicable ex and i used to ponder about bonez and stan. their names are all over the city and word on the street was that stan was dead and bonez was overseas. or in jail. or it was the otherway round? anyway i hope you see my point, which is that Cath has captured so crystal clear this world of streets and teenagerness i just want to kiss her.

my gosh. it's... FAB. and i am only up to page 57. i may or may not write more when i finish. but just in case i dont, Cath, thankyou.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

the queen of procrastination

this is not good. for the last hour i have been sitting on the couch at home staring vaguely at the laptop and looking at everything i can possibly look at to avoid actually doing anything i should be doing. like:

going to school for my afternoon class... i slept through the morning class already, and chances of me getting off the couch are super slim. this wouldn't be a problem except that this happens ALL THE TIME. monday mornings, school and dugong ladies go together like water and oil.

getting in the shower so i am all shiny clean... meh. i am happy in my nest of slept-in clothes, cups of tea and the books that i should be reviewing so that at least if i am not going to school i will have achieved SOMETHING today

hanging the washing out... i don't want to.

i am going to stop listing things now as it is making me depressed. here is a photo of the beautiful chien instead

Friday, August 6, 2010

a confession...

it was not i that named this blog. it was the very clever and very lovely sharon, a teacher librarian that frequently pops in to my work to hand pick books for her lucky students. apparently her husband calls her writing food for silverfish. she gave me permission to use this phrase as my moniker, and i am very grateful as it makes me seem much wittier than i actually am. i am not witty at all. and i am not even a connoisseur of wittiness. my favourite joke is the one about...

why did the fly fall off the wall? cos he had a fridge tied to his legs!

ahahahahaha i think that is great, don't you?
anyway thank you sharon.


why did the boy fall off his bicycle? cos his auntie threw a grand piano at him!

why did the girl fall of the swing? cos she had no arms!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

mr magnolia has only one shoe...

but i have two shoes!

and i am currently reading a book about bonobos. i didn't know what they were until i started this book (pathetic ignorance on my part- geez there is a lot of stuff to learn about in this funny old world of ours) but now they are almost my new favourite animal. almost, cos i still love dugongs the best (they are soooooo beautiful. look up dugongs on youtube. if watching them swim about doesn't make you smile and get all excited about one day swimming with them then you are a cold, heartless WENCH. or perhaps just someone not overly fond of funny lookin sea cows. either way, look them up cos they might just surprise you...)
the book is called bonobo handshake by vanessa woods and i love reading about the bonobos, they are so clever and funny and strange. and they are also very sexual critters.
i don't really like reading about anything else woods talks about. she gives me the irrits actually. upon arriving at a bonobo sanctuary she promptly asks some of the mamas (surrogate mums to the orphaned bonobos) if they were around during the war. when the mamas look at her strangely and basically ignore her, she hops off to ask another relative stranger about his traumatising experiences, all so that she can get some understanding into why her vietnam vet daddy was a bit of an asshole. far out, can't she just see a shrink like everyone else?
she also explains the situations in the war torn areas of africa with a tone that oftentimes quite frankly pisses me off. i can't even entirely put my finger on why she pisses me off, but it's like she is being flippant? (and yes i do realise this statement is coming from the queen of flippancy) or deliberately sensationalistic? is that even a word? either way i don't like it.

and that is enough out of me. goodnight mon amis.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Six Impossible Things

i just finished Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood. i am head over heels in love with this book.

dan is our 14year old geekboy protagonist. his life isnt going so well right now. the family business has gone down the drain. dan's dad has just come out of the closet and flown the family nest. dan's great aunt adelaide has just died and left her house to the historic homes trust with the stipulation that dan's mum can live it until she dies too. so it is this artifact infested, cat pee odoured victorian gothic terrace that dan and his mum move into as an alternative to a cardboard box on the street (although the cardboard box may have smelled better). and it is the local public high school that dan is enrolled in, friendless, muscleless, and with a coolness level of zero.

however, the catpee terrace is also the house next door to the beautiful estelle and the high school is also the learning institute attended to by the beautiful estelle. the beautiful estelle that nibbles the insides of her school jumper cuffs, learns the cello and sends cherry ripes to her friend in new york cos you can't get them there. the beautiful estelle dan hasn't actually met yet...

this book has everything i have ever wanted in a YA novel! it has mothers with Thom Yorke obsessions, possible serial killers in converted stables, hilarious and bullshit-free bestfriends, elderly dogs that dispense excellent life advice, late night tree descending escapades, fantastic cafes and store owners with an obsession with polar fleece. and a refreshingly mad yet sensible, slightly whingey yet self aware, and utterly, utterly, allover gorgeous main character.

thankyou Fiona Wood, cos through Six Impossible Things the lovely yet bonkers Dan Cereill has inserted himself quite firmly into my group of book people friends (i think Dan and Anne Shirley will get on famously) and i am super grateful to you for introducing us.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

librarians do lady gaga

click here

my favourite is 'boolean limits pare things down to just what fits'

can use my can use my yeah you can use my catalogue (but dont forget the databases)

Friday, July 23, 2010

oh saturdays. how i... er actually i don't really know how i feel about saturdays. i quite like thursdays. but saturdays? they can go either way. today is shaping up to be a a sort of medium sized saturday. nothing super exciting, but nothing horrible either. although i do still feel a little seedy. turns out four and a half beers and some mi goreng leads to this particular dugong lady vomiting spectacularly into the toilet in the early hours of the morn. still not sure if it was the beer, the mi goreng, or a combination of both, but i suspect the mi goreng...


i am nearly finished tim pegler's new one, five parts dead. i likes it! it's a sort of spooky historical/modern day flippy thing. by flippy thing i mean that it has the past trying to creep into the present, and our protagonist dan has to work out what the ghosties are trying to tell him while also getting his own life back on track. so far it is nicely eerie and very enjoyable. and there are no 'ghosties' in it as such, i'm just being a bit flippant again. sorry. i recommend it though.

in other news, i am super excited cos the author of the FANTASTIC billionaire's curse trilogy has signed the first two books for me. excellent. i missed him cos i had to go to the dreaded educational institution instead, and couldn't skip cos the mad hatters that arrange my classes had clearly been doing WAY to much mercury (the first class was on friday and the next one is in mid october). fools. anwaaaay thankyou mr newsome! and you have nice handwriting. and i like the archer family stamp!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

immortal beloved-cate tiernan *sept 2010*

as an immortal pulling in at around four hundred and fifty years old, nastasya has seen a lot. since just a tiny bit of it was good, and most of it was very bad and traumatising, she has spent the last couple of hundred years dressing up in pretty clothes, changing identities when it suits, and partying more than a partying creature who parties a lot. as nasty says in the opening chapter we'd found that six wasted immortals were all the back of a London cab could hold, and that was only if no one puked.
on a night out clubbing, incy (short for innocencio) breaks a taxi driver's back in a seedy london alley. as it is done seemingly just because, and using magick nastasya has never seen him use in the century or so they have been best friends, it seems like a rethink of her lifestyle is in order. so fleeing london for america, nasty hunts down river, an immortal she met very briefly in the 1920's. river runs what is basically rehab for immortals, a farm aptly named river's edge, and it is here nastasya begins (very slowly and with a wee bit of an attitude) to thaw out.
my gosh i loved this! it was super fab. the plot is complex and intriguing, the characters are a fabulous mixture of evil and good, sexy and demented. yes it was possibly a tiny bit trashy, but in a lovely way, like glittery nail polish. it had enough substance to carry itself proudly for over four hundred pages, and i loved every second of it. if the show buffy took a bunch of acid and had sex with the betty ford clinic, the love child would still be nothing like immortal beloved. it is the ultimate in young adult fantasy and i'm super excited cos word on the street is that it is the first in a trilogy.
so i know that this one isn't even published yet (in australia anyway)... but come on ms tiernan, bring on the second one!

Friday, July 16, 2010

a snippet in the life of a dugong lady

bonsoir mes enfants! i hope your weekends are all going swimmingly...
now, FIRST OFF i would like to say please EVERYBODY GO READ the lovely kate.o.d from as she is COMPLETELY FABULOUS and also very good at EVERYTHING to do with BOOKS and COFFEE and LIFE IN GENERAL and i ADORE her and her writing. she introduced me to steven herrick. my life was empty before him. i know i sound flippant and suppose i am, but i also mean it, he is just so FANTASTIC and i'm eternally grateful to this delightful creature for bringing him to my attention. omg and also john green. my life was completely greenless till i met kate.o.d-although i did still recycle. in conclusion, she is awesome and her b-log is well worth having a gander at.
AND NOW, as there is no reason for it (i think i am just overexcited) i will stop SHOUTING.
so... this week quite a few things have happened:
i have a pair of glasses! the kind for seeing better out of, not the stay away glarey sun kind, so now i don't get headaches when i spend all day reading (although i do feel like it's only a matter of time before i trip over my feet cos im not used to the view).
i have a new skirt that i spent a ridiculous amount of money on but it's super pretty and i will look sooooo naice (or like a prat in a pretty skirt).
and i went out for dinner with my ever so slightly mad but lovely family for bastille day and dropped my phone down the toilet in between the mussels au gratin and my quiche avec goats fromage and eggplant. in my defense it was the first phone i have ever sent to a looey death, unlike my dear sister who has killed five (FIVE!) phones this way.

in terms of les livres, i have just finished immortal beloved by cate tiernan (ill put my review up soon, but i will say right now that i was surprised by how much i liked it), finally started the knife of never letting go by patrick ness (my gosh im jealous manchee can talk, i so wish my bonkers but beautiful border collie could too. oh, and it's pretty darn good so far). also i have been sent a couple of books to play with by the lovely magpies magazine. hurrah for life!

Monday, July 12, 2010

the uninvited- tim wynne jones

mimi needs to get out of new york. fast. so her mostly absent artist father makes himself useful for once and gives her directions to his old workshop/cottage in the middle of the canadian nowhere. when mimi arrives and finds jay, 22 year old musician, composing in her dad's old loungeroom she is, understandably, a little unnerved. and she gets more unnerved when jay asks if it was her leaving little gifts- a dead bird, a snake skin, some cricket sounds in jay's latest recording...
with first one unexpected occupant, and now another one lurking in the shadows and leaving creepy presents, mimi begins to wonder if staying on at the fairytale cottage on the snye is going to less peaceful retreat and more sinister mindfuck.

i thought this was excellent. similar sort of eerie suspense to helen grant's the glass demon but with curly family mysteries and Miss Havisham-type mad women with automatic weapons. the plot was textured, the writing believable, and mimi was a heroine i would like to be friends with.
invite the uninvited into your to-read list!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Radleys- Matt Haig

The Radleys are an ordinary family quietly going about their business in a small and ordinary village in country England. But wait! They are not ordinary. They are... Vampires! It's really not as lame as it sounds. Cracks are starting to appear in the elaborately created facade, and while the Radley teens Clara and Rowan don't know that they are vampires, it would appear Clara's recent decision to go vegan has disagreed with her severely. When she then dismembers a school mate parents Helen and Peter are forced to bring into the open a part of themselves they have been denying for nearly 20 years.
This was intelligently written with well fleshed out characters, and there was nothing insipid about the abstaining vampires, rather it was an absorbing look into the life of a likeably dysfunctional family with a dark (and bloody) secret. I really liked it!

Friday, July 9, 2010

there are some books that make you burst out with wild, unexpected cackling, snorty laughter and a case of the giggles that can last the next couple of minutes. never read these books on a train- some people will look at you like you are merely a cheerful lunatic, others will look at you with the mingled pity and disgust usually reserved for the very smelly, very drunk or obviously high. i have received both of these looks (for cackling, and possibly for being very smelly). luckily for the people i catch trains with there are not a lot of books that can bring on these mad attacks of hilarity.
The Spud (by John van de Ruit) series is one of them. Oh Vern. And The Gov.
also some others i cant think of right now as i am preoccupied with the genius that is...
Loooouise Rennisonnnnn!!! creator of the fabulous Georgia Nicholson series, her latest is Withering Tights-the misadventures of Tallulah Casey.
Tallulah is Georgia's younger cousin, and she is off to performing arts college in the charming town of Heckmondwhite (remember when Georgia went off to och-aye land for a week in the first book? or was it the second... and she hung out with JockMcWatshisface and enjoyed the scottish wildlife? well think Yorkshire folk, lots of sheep, and a fascination with pudding basin haircuts). im up to page 39 and i have been cackling madly and snorting enough to wake the soundly sleeping deaf man next door (i am using artistic license here, i wouldn't have a clue who lives next door, particularly as i am at the boyfriends and don't really know the neighbourhood from a bar of unfamiliar soap).
i will say no more.
except that if you like a bit of madness in your laughter you can go no further ye olde Withering Tights.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Week after week I went back there, just to watch.
Then one week she wasn't there any more.
There was nothing I could do but stare and stare at the whelks.
Whelks are strange and comforting.
They have no notion of community life and they breed very quietly.
But they have a strong sense of personal dignity.
Even lying face down in a tray of vinegar, there is something noble about a whelk.
Which cannot be said for everybody.

From Oranges are not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson. This is the best whelk related writing I have ever read. It beats even Louise Rennison's Whelk Boy (Peter the kissing instructor from Angus Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging).

Whelk power!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Cardturner- Louis Sachar

Uncle Lester has always been Alton's favourite uncle. Alton's mother would thrust the phone at him.

'Tell him you love him'.
'I love you, Uncle Lester'.
'Tell him he's your favourite uncle'.
'You're my favourite uncle'.

So when he is designated cardturner for the blind, elderly and very wealthy bridge playing relation, his mother gives him some words of advice:
'Don't screw it up, Alton'.

The Cardturners is not just about inheritance obsessed mothers and strangely named teenagers though. It is fundamentally a novel about the card game Bridge. It also contains family secrets, lunatic asylums in the 60's, girls, and a snippet of Nixon.

As you get to know Alton a bit better, and he gets to know Lester as more than just the old guy he has always been forced to have stilted phone conversations with, they begin to form an eccentric bond. The family secrets begin to unravel, slowly and full of suspense. Bridge terms become less of a foreign language and part of an exciting and frankly, bloody difficult, card game that eventually seduces Alton into playing himself. It also began to seduce me until I remembered I have the attention span of newt, and therefore not much chance of learning all the rules.

Sachar has created another funny, well written, utterly believable and very intriguing novel that is definately just as good as, if not better, than Holes. Just with a few less deadly lizards and more old people.
Highly recommended, I loved it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


ohwow! ohwowowow!
super excited.


apparently it features photojournalist Clea Raymond. and it sounds very interesting. okay, mostly it's interesting cos it's lizzie mcguire writing a book. and lizzie is my fave hollywood child star. but... YAY!

snug as a bug in a very warm and book infested rug

mmmm i love winter. yes it took a lot of effort to haul my warm and tired self out of bed, specially with my gently snoring bearman snoozing adorably next to me, but now that i'm at work i have the heater pumping, coffee, a packet of turkish apricots and a reading list for the day that includes:
Captivate, trashy glittery pixie romance that is the sequel to Need, by Carrie Jones (read the first one and while it's not brill, it's nice escapism for a wintery Melbourne day).
re reading The Glass Demon, Helen Grant, cos it finally got released, is sitting on the table looking seductive with its sparkly cover, and i already know that it is freaking fantastic.
Happyface, Stephen Edmond- another new release and i'm intrigued by this one. on quick inspection it looks like a sort of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but more cynical and for older readers.

and of course the obligation to help customers find the perfect book. have already sold one copy of Princess Smartypants to a pensive looking minchkin who took the bag with eager fingers. Yay! cos every little girl needs to read this.

Friday, June 4, 2010

the lying pyjamas

so last night i bought some pyjamas at coles with a dear friend of mine (flannel, purple and with bicycles on). they were $10 and when we got home we put them on and jumped about in our matching jim jams feeling like we were on school camp. only without the shampoo bottles full of vodka (i never actually brought these, the cool kids did, but i like to pretend) and better food.
ANYWAY half an hour later, after we had stopped jumping and settled down to watch One Tree Hill (shuttup) my dear friend discovered (it wasn't me that discovered this as i am notoriously unobservant) that the pjs were bedecked not only with bicycles, but cats. skanky looking cats riding bicycles, wearing hats and high heels, and walking poodles. a cat in heels and a hat riding a bicycle or walking a poodle. a poodle! what kind of self respecting poodle would let a cat put it on a leash and then prance about prattishly? no poodle.

well, maybe a really stupid poodle with no self respect.
but what kind of cat would ride a bicycle? no cat. therefore, the pyjamas lied. and i don't like them nearly as much cos i am a hardcore fan of honest pyjamas. no deceitful nocturnal sleepwear for me thankyou!
AND NOW, for some more poodles, lauren child's book Who Wants to be a Poodle, I don't! about a poodle that says Pah to it's fancy owner, and returns to its roots as a puddlehound (german for poodle) is pretty ace.
as a rule i'm not a huge fan of LC, i think the Goldilocks she did with the photos as pictures was insanely creepy. Goldilocks looks like she is going to leap up out of the elaborately created scenes and stab me ninteen times with her porridge spoon.
but her poodle book i like. i haven't read it in a while. possibly i should not speak about it till i do reread it. but Meh. i like the pictures inside, and the lady in her big furry coat with her small furry poodle on the back cover is ver ver cool. and any poodle that reconnects with it's puddle hopping roots is ok by me. and that's enough for now, i think i have rather outdone myself in the pointless ranting stakes. au revoir!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

with lovely straw hats... for GOATS

right. so i'm the first to admit that overall i'm rather crap at this whole blogging thing. i'm not in the least bit dedicated, even though sometimes i pretend to be (april was a big month for me, a whole six posts). i see everyone elses beautifully designed and executed blogs, with well thought out and intelligently written posts (with a few exceptions that i will not mention cos i don't want to cause a storm in the blog world, not that anyone reads this anyway). and i think, shit, i sound like a mad bogan pretending to talk about books. HOWEVER. i have decided fuck it, that i will no longer try and censor myself and attempt to veil my general idiocy. instead, i will embrace it. ima proud of it y'all!

and now here is a snippet of quentin blake:
Angelica Sprocket's Pockets
Angelica Sprocket has lots of pockets. What's inside them? well. there is a pocket for mice, and a pocket for cheese (hahahahah imagine a pocket of cheese. quite daliesque really, melting clocks, melting cheese... perhaps this not censoring myself is a bad idea...) and a pocket with lovely straw hats.... for GOATS.
hilarity ensues. he is brilliant. not only at creating lively if a wee bit insane stories, but also at illustrating them with such expression and scrawliness that they leap off the page and dance about madly in front of your eyes, infecting your world with the whimsical genius that is Quentin Blake.
love it. not as mindblowingly exquisite as Mrs Armitage (although probably just because i'm biased with Mrs A cos she was a childhood book character), but still a darn good romp of a picture book. Angelica Sprocket herself is another delightfully humorous and eccentric character, and her coat is reminiscent of Mary Poppin's carpet bag in that is able to neatly bypass the tiny matter of physics to carry some alligators and even the kitchen sink.

Monday, May 10, 2010


went for a wee drink on saturday night, and when i got to my third cranberry vodka, found out that a girl i used to go to school with ACTUALLY SLEPT WITH HER TEACHER. well, thats the word on the street. and it comes from a believable street. hence, gospel.

so! she was in year twelve and seduced her business teacher. apparently they flirted alot and then she emailed him asking for private tutoring and he replied and was all 'yes lets have sex' or something similar. his wife and children don't know the reason for the up and coming divorce, just that it's up and coming (ooh err).


it was ok on never been kissed cos drew barrymore was actually a journalist and like thirty years old. but i dont think its ok when she is seventeen, he is mid forties, married, and her first.
apparently she has a rather severe older guy complex. well, good. go watch a george clooney movie. dont fuck your teacher.

any thoughts anyone?

Monday, May 3, 2010

slice- juicy moments from my impossible life by steven herrick *june 2010*

darcy is your average 16 year old. he goes to school, he plays chess with his social pariah of a mate noah, and he loves audrey, his beautiful meditating neighbour. unlike most 16 year olds however, he cannot keep his mouth shut. well, he can, but as soon as he thinks anything he says it, promptly and uncensored. this makes even the most mundane, like the receiving of maths exam results or the sex talk from parents, humourous and enjoyable.

this was the first steven herrick i have ever read (what!? complete travesty according to a colleague), and im going to have to hunt him down and read all his stuff. he has a really honest funny voice, without any of the bits where you think, hmmm that didn't actually need to be said, and i wish you didn't say it cos now i don't like you as much. there was none of that! i sense a new favourite author person coming on...

the byron journals- daniel ducrou *28 June 2010*

after leaving highschool, family dramas and hometown adelaide behind, andrew embraces the idea of byron bay and the culture that comes with it whole heartedly. he scores half a bag of outdoor almost straight off the plane, punches on with his mates, gets kicked out of the apartment, and moves in with some buskers he meets at a party all in the first two chapters. what was going to be a week at schoolies becomes an extended stay in the dodgier side of byron, and life in general.

andrew was an intriguing character. i couldn't entirely work him out which certainly kept things interesting. he is a concert pianist (or to his friends, concert penis) and seemed like the good side of the tracks boy playing at being bad. however when he buys the weed he notes that it 'looked a bit light', a sentence that marks him as a regular smoker, or at least someone used to weighing bags of weed, implying he had a bit of street smart, or thought he did. but towards the end of the book, as the drug references get more prolific, and the consequences more serious, he is very relatable as the kid in WAY over his head. he was also a bit of a dickhead to his mate benny, and while it was pretty mean, it was also very relatable (even though i wish it wasn't, i like to think i'm not a dickhead...).

i wasnt a huge fan of heidi, andrew's love interest. i've known people like her, and the term 'fuckin crazy bitch' was the one used most often. i know that the love interest is often a fairly damaged character in a lot of ya books, but heidi also came across as a nasty person, manipulative, judgemental and ignorant (although very good at the drums) and in a huge amount of denial. i liked andrew less due to his shit taste in women.

there was a lot of sex, a lot of drugs, and a lot of well described music scenes. ducrou really captured the wavy uncontrollable feeling of playing music in a group, badly or brilliantly, and these scenes were some of my favourites from the book. i also loved the descriptions of being on the road, with different bits of australia flashing past in the bus windows.

i think ducrou is going to be one to watch in the future. 'the byron journals' felt authentic and gritty, and he managed to avoid cliches for the most part, something not always easily done when it comes to ya novels set in byron bay. recommended, but not to anyone under 14.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

beautiful malice- rebecca james


im not usually one for omg, lol, rofl etc., in fact i make fun of people that say lol in real life. but o.m.g. (said pausing deliberately at each full stop and in a high pitched excited twitty voice) is the only thing that comes immediately to mind after having just read the entire book in a day (at work, in between customers none the less).

so i read the excerpt about a month ago, and i wrote it off (unjustly, i know this now) immediately as another trashy looking vampire/werewolf/crappy 'ting' albeit with a seductive beginning.

but, behold! not a vampire, hairy wolf boy or emo fallen angel, (not that the excerpt ever implied there would be, i just assumed. and made an ass out of u and me...) not even a sniffle, on any page, despite the fact that the cover makes it look like it's being marketed to that kind of audience. and it wasn't shit!

intriguing from the start, katherine is the girl with the murdered sister and the miserable, grief affected existence. alice is the beautiful charismatic one with the promise of secrets beneath that glittery exterior. and oh my god (o.m.g!) she is super crazy and evil. it's fantastic. so, so gripping. the plot is structured around katherine's present, living life cautiously with her little girl sarah, and flashes back into the past gradually uncover the events that lead to life as it is now.

and the best bit was the way it wrapped up so nicely, (no, not in a nice way, but in a complete jigsaw kind of way) and the way the reason alice is such a crazy bitch is a something that makes you go... O.M.G.

Friday, April 23, 2010

dont just bedazzle, vajazzle!

dear god. has anyone else heard about the vajazzling craze that is sweeping across the world? well. its a cool word, fun to say, but the idea of gluing things to my bits seems kind of odd...
apparently it started getting popular in new york, where after letting them rip off strips of pubic hair, some mad folk allowed the staff to cover their vajajays in little bits of sparkly plastic. or if you are particularly rich, you can choose swarovski crystlals (no i am not kidding).
cindy barshop, owner of completely bare spa, does have a few sage words of advice in relation to vajazzling and men- 'They love it! They love it even more especially when it's a surprise'.

hahahahaha i'll be sure to try it, thanks cindy.
AND word on the street is that it penazzling will also soon be available. yay!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

sorry john!

Cannot believe i forgot to put any of John Green's amazing novels in my YA top 10. Cos he is really, really, up there in terms of being a FANTASTIC author. Super fantastic in fact. One of my favourites. Ever.

I read Looking for Alaska (years ago, but i remember it being utterly fab, time for a reread), Paper Towns (Q makes dork chic look chic'er than chic) and An Abundance of Katherines (Colin puts relationships in a graph and still manages to be sexy) and i just finished Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. And it was great!

There is Will Grayson. There is Tiny Cooper. And there is the other Will Grayson. When the three meet up outside a porn shop through a series of mildly unfortunate coincidences (okay maybe extremely unfortunate), enter a totally fabulous high school romance, a musical, some heartbreak, and a particularly beautiful plain glass bowl.

I liked John Green's Will Grayson better, and while this may be just a case of me falling slightly in love with yet another of Green's nerdy-sexy-intelligent-witty-but not too gorgeous-i wish-you-were-mine-not-in-a-book characters, it may also be because i found the o.w.g. (other will grayson) a bit depressing, and while he was depressing in a relatable way, it still got a bit boring. Towards the end i almost felt like i was wading through a type of goo, a very nice type of goo that i was happy to be surrounded by, but that was just a bit slow to get through. I was also bit confused by the ending with the ovation of Graysons. I feel slightly like I missed something, like someone had told a joke i didn't understand, although it very possibly was just be me being a bit thick.
All in all though, it was a brilliantly voiced gay extravaganza, and while to me it smelt more of classic John Green, Levithan's voice gave it a nice edgy feel and the two complemented each other delightfully.
Highly recommended.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

gecko times

i randomly mentioned to my dad the other day that i wouldn't mind a pet gecko. i then forgot about it, came home yesterday and mum was all 'dad caught you a gecko' and it was on the floor sitting under an upturned salad bowl. i was super impressed with dads gecko hunting prowess, and gecko feet are one of the good things in life, all padded and spindly and geckoey. am going to release it back into the trailer out the front of the house so it can go back to being a free and marbled gecko.

Friday, April 9, 2010

the glass demon- helen grant

When Lin finds a dead guy under an apple tree, laid out snow white style with the crisp, barely nibbled fruit lying next to him, it seems like just another bad omen to follow the uprooting of her family. So she almost doesn't notice the glittering pile of glass on the ground.
It is only later on she remembers about Bonschariant, the Glass Demon, said to haunt the Allerheiligen stained glass windows. The windows her father is researching, the windows that dragged her family to the middle of a german forest inhabited by huge surly men with slavering monster dogs, the windows that might destroy them all.
Well written with a tightly constructed plot, this deliciously suspensful novel dangles tantalising between both crime and fantasy. It ended in a very satisfying way and I really, really liked it. Lin, Michel (the cute son of the huge surly man with the toothy canine) and the super creepy Bonschariant were all I could think about for a 48hour period, and damn I hope there is a sequel.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

my top 10 YA books of all time (except for the ones i have forgotten to include)

in no particular order:
feeling sorry for celia- jaclyn moriarty (and all her other books. she is amazing)
the great gatenby- john marsden
my candlelight novel- joanne horniman
hitchhikers guide to the galaxy- douglas adams
on the jellicoe road/saving francesca- melina marchetta (i absolutely cant decide which i like better. i blame my indecisive libra starsign...)
guitar highway rose- brigid lowry. yes it is a bit cliched but i loved it at thirteen and i still love it. the whole book just smells of summer.
spud- john van de ruit. fucking hilarious.
the book of fred- abby bardi
came back to show you i could fly- robin klein
what now, tilda b?- kathryn lomer

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mrs Armitage on Wheels

This jewel of a picture book begins with Mrs Armitage out on her bicycle with Breakspear the dog running alongside. When a hedgehog walks across the road, Tring Tring goes the bell, and Mrs Armitage becomes aware of the need for 'a really loud horn'.
Mrs Armitage purchases three horns of varying tones (all very loud) and off they go, beep-beeping and honk-honking and Paheehahurh-ing all around town, until the chain comes off, hands need to be washed, they both get hungry, Breakspear gets tired, it begins to rain, and some cheerful music is needed. Mrs Armitage has a solution for each, but gets just a wee bit carried away...
This is one of my favourite picture books from when i was a kid. Quentin Blake (of the fabulous Roald Dahl illustrations) has created a wonderfully funny picture book for the two and up crowd, with a storyline that builds up to a Paheehahurh to end all Paheehahurhs.
Blake is one of my favourite illustrators, he was the inspiration for my Year 12 art folio, and the way he gets movement and expression onto the page with a few well placed scrawls is genius. But it is not just the lovely curly scrappy pictures that make this. The whole book is a playful work of art. Love love love it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Serena- Ron Rash

Just finished. It's amazing! It's one of the first adult books i've read in a while, as i usually just stick to chapter and YA, and it makes me want to venture further into the world of adult literature. Who knows, i may even stop neglecting my copy of Crime and Punishment... Unlikely.

It's 1929, the Pembertons are out in the mountains of North Carolina, contentedly hacking away at the forests to further their wealth and ensure that there are enough mahogany dining tables to go around. But some meddling fools have decided that a National Park is a needed to preserve the wilderness for the future. The Pembertons are doing everything they can to stop this, and I mean everything.

Serena is the beautiful, calculated and utterly evil female half of the Pemberton Lumber Company. Pemberton himself is good looking, intelligent enough, but WAY out of his league. This expansive tale of life in the mountains hurtles along like one of the trains carrying logs around the hills, and is given a fantastic sense of depth through the often caustic and always entertainng musings of one particular logging crew on their tea breaks.


just found out i got the okay to do work placement at my old primary school. super excited about this, as it is the type of library i would like to work in when im qualified, i get to hang with the chidlets, and i get to peruse the shelves of my youth! also the librarian has been there since i was a little tacker, and is a total champ so it should be great fun.

also, hopefully the now out of print copy of 'camphor laurel' by sarah walker is still there, and hopefully i get to do some weeding...

mucho excitemondo

Monday, February 22, 2010

shiny silver bicycle

i recently came into a shiny silver bicycle, a pink and silver helmet and a black metal basket with the mesh holes small enough that my keys and assorted other things can't fall out while i fly gracefully over potholes.
i haven't had a bicycle for years, my last one got stolen on christmas eve one year i was working at coles. i had chained it to the bike rack outside the library, just behind the coles carpark. when i came out at the end of my shift, my bike was gone. i think the grinch stole it.
anyway, i should have replaced it ages ago. bicycles are fantastic! i have been zooming around most days since i got it, and i think im nearly ready to tackle the ride to work from home, about four suburbs away (not that far, i know, but still, im takin it slow..) and have decided to combat helmet hair with an excellent scarf from an op shop that has strange and colourful skiers on it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

lips touch: three times- laini taylor

I keep referring to this book in my mind (and to other people) as the pretty goblin stories, even though only the first story has goblins in it, and the artwork inside the book before each story is very classy and pretty, if the cover is a little trashy looking.
Three short stories about wanting, really really wanting something more than anything else at all.
Its got kitten eating monsters, otherworldly queens that keep children as pets, and fruit so delicious you would die for it. It is phenomenally beautiful writing, compelling and so evocative.
These stories need to be savoured, one by one, like a some kind of tiny, exquisitely created chocolate.

In the first of these delights, Goblin Fruit, Kizzy wants. She wants to be one of those girls with the swinging hips in the artfully faded denim, one of the pretty, flower scented girls that everyone else wants. But the goblins don't like them popular, and follow the scent of wanting that wafts like a perfume from girls like Kizzy, hungry.
Unlike the other kids at school, Kizzy is well aware of the existence of such creatures, she 'liked the ghosts but not the strangers, because her father made her give up her room for them, and they always left it smelling like feet'. But when the new and very beautiful boy at school shows an interest, all the warnings and tales her grandmother drilled into her fly out the window...

In Spicy Little Curses Such As These a curse is placed on a young girl in India that prevents her from making a sound, for fear of killing those that hear her. This curse was placed on her by a demon in return for the lives of many children countries away.

My favourite story was the last, Hatchling. Truly, truly amazing. I don't think I'm going to try and explain it because I tend to get a bit to excited and muddled trying to choose which bit to talk about first. So I'll just go with intricate, mind blowing, and utterly gorgeous.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New Melina Marchetta!

So i just finished the new Melina Marchetta, 'The Piper's Son', and before i even started it i got that excited happy feeling of anticipation you only get when you know that there is an excellent read hiding quietly in your bag. The feeling that goes away when the book is finished, leaving only the afterglow, and the knowledge that those books don't come round everyday and it may be a while till that delicious anticipation comes back. I wish i had read it more slowly, savoured it more, but it was just a bit too unputdownable.

The companion novel to Saving Francesca, it is five years later and Thomas Mackee has lost the plot. His uncle Joe was blown up on his way to work and his dad has fallen off the wagon, hard. He screwed things up irreversibly with 'that psycho Finke' and so occupies his time by getting wasted and falling off stages at gigs, craving oblivion. That is until his feral flat mates kick him out, his pregnant aunt Georgie finds him on her verandah with ten stitches in his head and lets him move in, and he starts working at the local pub washing dishes with Francesca and Justine, whom he hasn't spoken to properly since Joe's death. Cleverly written and honestly voiced, Marchetta has created yet another classic laugh/cry/grow story for YA. About family, grief, and love, and what happens when grief is threatening to swallow everything else.

I first read Saving Francesca in yr 10 or 11 and have read it a couple times since. The characters from Saving Francesca have embedded themselves firmly in my mind, and alongside Moriarty's Em, Cass and Lyd, Anne Shirley and Georgia Nicholson, are firm book people friends. While I absolutely loved Looking for Alibrandi, i think that as a teenager i really identified with the SF characters, and still do. I don't know why that is, and could probably try and analyse it but cant be bothered right now... byeeee

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chessnuts- Julia Lawrinson

Jackson and Anna are very different. Both are in their last year of primary school, and while Jackson is sporty and on the swimming and athletics teams, Anna is the nerdy kid who hates sport and is number one player on the chess team. But when Jackson joins the chess team, things change, not just for Anna but for everyone at school, even the nasty Flash Buckley- is he really that nasty? A fab story for 7+ about friendships, school cliques, sport and chess, complete with some handy chess diagrams and quotes from the Grandmasters.

Scatterheart-Lili Wilkinson

Hannah is a girl of 'quality' aka she wears pretty dresses in her nice house and always has enough to eat. Until she is abandoned by her father and unjustly accused of stealing, and therefore thrown onto a ship full of convicts headed to Australia for some hard time. Scatterheart is a beautiful but selfish and flighty fairytale girl who is sold by her father to a big white bear. Their stories run parallel throughout the book, and it is just SO SO good. There are heaps of great historical tidbits, interesting ones they didn't teach you in school, like the mermaid dance and the black pit. There is also a bit of romance, a rather large amount of murder, and a wee bit of scurvy. Wilkinson writes so vividly I felt like I was the one stuck in the hull of the Derby Ram while rats nibbled my freezing shoeless toes. It's bloody fantastic.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

lonely werewolf girl- martin miller

About the size of a large flat brick, it took me until about half way through this book until i could work out whether it was really really good, or really very bad. When i finally finished it i decided that while it wasnt really really good, it was still strangely charming, and very funny in parts though a bit to long and involved to not create a small headache trying to remember where the miriad of characters fitted in.

Beginning and ending with Kalix MacRinnalch, an anorexic and scottish emo teenage werewolf, outcast from a clan of insanely violent yet democratic werewolves, this tome follows the clans politically intense and bloody process of electing a new Thane.
A bunch of other mad characters get involved with the MacRinnalch family including the fabulous fire queen Malveria, who is totally deranged and utterly wonderful with her all encompassing passion for fashion and her warrior princess type battle skills, as well as her almost adopted neice Agrivex, a volcano destined sacrifice until rescued on a whim.

Long and involved, sometimes clunkily written yet fun and exciting and at times quite dark, what with the laudanum addicted, cross dressing and nympho werewolves, it also has Bold and the Beautiful style drama. Ill probably read the sequel.