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 http://www.beantherereadthat.blogspot.com/ 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!