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!