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.