Showing all posts tagged: books
28 September 2023
Book cover of Incredible Doom Vol 1, created by Matthew Bogart and Jesse Holden.
Incredible Doom is a serialised comic strip about two American teenage proto-bloggers, Dougie and Anna, in 1999, by Matthew Bogart and Jesse Holden. If you were on the web in 1999, as I was, this could be awesome.
And while I don’t know about crowdsourcing blog ideas at a drive through, Dougie and Anna could’ve made worse choices. Maybe if I write a novel about my early days online, I’ll tell the story. Otherwise Incredible Doom strikes me as being a gritty depiction of blogging in the late nineteen-nineties.
The book cover above, for Incredible Doom Vol. 1, by the way, is not directly related to the comic strip/graphic novel. This is a different story, featuring other characters. But it still sounds intriguing:
Allison is drowning under the weight of her manipulative stage magician father. When he brings home the family’s first computer, she escapes into a thrilling new world where she meetings Samir, a like-minded new online friend who has just agreed to run away from home with her.
After moving to a new town and leaving all of his friends behind, Richard receives a mysterious note in his locker with instructions on how to connect to “Evol BBS,” a dial-in bulletin board system, and meets a fierce punk named Tina who comes into his life and shakes his entire worldview loose.
A dial-in bulletin board system called Evol BBS? You can’t get any better than that.
27 September 2023
The shortlists for the 2023 ARA Historical Novel Prize were announced earlier today. The award is presented in two categories, Adult, and Children and Young Adult. The three finalists in each category are as follows:
Children and Young Adult
- Running with Ivan by Suzanne Leal
- The Bookseller’s Apprentice by Amelia Mellor
- Waiting for the Storks by Katrina Nannestad
Presented in association with the ARA Group, the ARA Historical Novel Prize, which is awarded annually, recognises excellence in historical fiction writing by Australian and New Zealand authors. The winners of both award categories will be named on Thursday 19 October 2023.
This year’s shortlist also marks the second year in a row that Katrina Nannestad has featured on the shortlists. Nannestad went on to win the Children and Young Adult category in 2022 with her book Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief. Will it be two a row for her this year?
26 September 2023
Stefanie Koens has been named winner of the 2023 Banjo Prize for unpublished Australian fiction, with her manuscript titled Islands of Secrets, a work of historic fiction that spans several decades:
Shortly before Christmas in 2018, schoolteacher Tess McCarthy flies to Western Australia’s remote Abrolhos Islands in search of answers — both to the infamous Batavia shipwreck and her personal family crises. In 1628, Saskia, a young Dutchwoman, boards Batavia with her family, bound for a new life in the East Indies — only for her world to first collide with Aris Jansz, the ship’s reluctant under surgeon. Tess, Saskia and Aris carry the baggage of past losses and the uncertainty of their futures. And, in the most unlikely circumstances, they find qualities that span centuries: faith, acceptance, and love.
As part of the prize, Koens will be awarded a publishing contract from HarperCollins Publishers for Islands of Secrets.
25 September 2023
Book cover of Amy Winehouse: In Her Words.
Much has been said about Amy Winehouse since her tragic death aged just 27. But who was the real Amy? Amy Winehouse: In Her Words shines a spotlight on her incredible writing talent, her wit, her charm and lust for life. Bringing together Amy’s own never-before-seen journals, handwritten lyrics and family photographs together for the first time, this intimate tribute traces her creative evolution from growing up in North London to global superstardom, and provides a rare insight into the girl who became a legend.
19 September 2023
Adelaide based Australian actor Tilda Cobham-Hervey will take the lead role of Esme, in the stage adaptation of The Dictionary of Lost Words, based on the 2020 novel of the same name, written by Australian author Pip Williams.
Set at the beginning of the twentieth century in the British city of Oxford, The Dictionary of Lost Words is a fictionalised recounting of the story behind the publication of the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Spanning several decades, the story is narrated by Esme, the daughter of one of the dictionary’s lexicographers.
Last November, the State Theatre Company of South Australia announced they were working with Jessica Arthur to bring Williams’ novel to the stage, which opens on Friday 22 September 2023, in the South Australian capital. After a three week season, the show moves to Sydney, for a season of about seven weeks at Sydney Opera House, from Thursday 26 October 2023.
Cobham-Hervey is both a screen and stage actor. Past film credits include 52 Tuesdays, Hotel Mumbai, and I Am Woman, while previous stage roles include Things I Know to Be True and Vale.
19 September 2023
Book cover of Kinky History, by Esmé Louise James.
Tuesday 3 October 2023 promises to be a red letter day for devotees of kinks, fetishes, and spicy sex, for that is the day Kinky History, by Melbourne based Australian writer Esmé Louise James will be published. For those thinking Kinky History has a familiar ring to it, James’ book takes its title from the well kown series of the same name that she presents on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
Kinky History draws on Esmé Louise James’s phenomenally successful series on TikTok, which explores scandalous stories in the ancient world and the saucy secrets of famous figures. Teaming up with her statistician mother, Dr Susan James, the pair have surveyed the nation for all of your intimate secrets — and the results are in. By placing the past in conversation with the present, we’ll explore five ‘kinks’ that challenge our thinking about sex. How has the idea of sin shaped our sex lives? Why is masturbation so taboo? Where are our hidden queer histories? How do kinks and fetishes play with the idea of sex? And why does pornography have so much power over us?
7 September 2023
The shortlist for the 2023 Banjo Prize, for unpublished Australian fiction, was announced on Tuesday 5 September 2023, and includes the manuscripts of five writers:
- Lou and I, by Anna Fursland
- Islands of Secrets, by Stefanie Koens
- The Shores Between, by A’Mhara McKey
- The Sister Tree, by Natasha Neary
- Katherine Papadakis is Figuring Things Out, by Christina Pontos
The winner of the prize, which is presented annually by HarperCollins Australia, will have the opportunity to see their work published. The winner will be named on Tuesday 26 September 2023.
6 September 2023
Book cover of The Conversion, by Amanda Lohrey.
Tasmanian based Australian author, and winner of the 2021 Miles Franklin Literary Award, Amanda Lohrey, has written a new novel, The Conversion, which will be published by Text Publishing, in October 2023. The story follows a couple, Zoe and Nick, who set about converting a deconsecrated church into a home:
The conversion was Nick’s idea, but it’s Zoe who’s here now, in a valley of old coalmines and new vineyards, working out how to live in a deconsecrated church. What to do with all that vertical space, those oppressive stained-glass windows? Can a church become a home or, even with all its vestiges removed, will it remain forever what it was intended to be?
To date, The Labyrinth, winner of the aforementioned Miles Franklin prize, is the only of Lohrey’s books I’ve read. It was an utterly compelling read though, and I’m looking forward to The Conversion, and possibly even seeing it among nominations for the 2024 Miles Franklin.
5 September 2023
The 2023 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award shortlist was announced yesterday, Monday 4 September 2023, and consists of the following six titles:
- An Intimate History of Evolution: The Story of the Huxley Family, by Alison Bashford
- Anam, by André Dao
- Emperors in Lilliput, by Jim Davidson
- The Age of Seeds, by Fiona McMillian-Webster
- Life So Full of Promise: further biographies of Australia’s lost generation, by Ross McMullin
- Shirley Hazzard: A Writing Life, by Brigitta Olubas
First presented in 2002, and also referred to as the Nib Award, the prize honours excellence in literary research, be they works fiction or non-fiction. Past recipients include Helen Garner and Andrew Tink. The 2023 winner, along with this year’s people choice award, will be announced in just over two months time, on Thursday 9 November 2023.
4 September 2023
Gradually, things started to go off the rails. My to-read list ballooned alarmingly, not from titles I felt drawn to out of genuine desire but ones the algorithm pushed on me. The thrill of discovery, too, felt compromised: every time my feed told me a friend had added a book that I’d found first, I felt a frisson of annoyance. Have some imagination.
Amazon bought the social cataloguing website in 2013, which some book industry pundits saw as an attempt to stifle potential competition, should the then owners have decided to sell books through the site. Goodreads has remained little changed since Amazon took over.
While I have a page there, I don’t used it a whole lot at the moment. In terms of reading recommendations though, I’ve just about always obtained them from other sources, as I think my reading interests fall way outside the purview of the Goodreads’ algorithms.