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Apr 18,2014

This week, thanks to Homecooked Comics Festival, I bring you not just one, but TWO fantastic graphic novels. And the best part is, you can enter to win your very own copy!

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3 reasons to read Sensitive Creatures by Mandy Ord: 

1. It features Mandy's love of dogs.

2. Learn how to make replicas of your fingers using ice magic chocolate sauce.

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Apr 16,2014


I have no words, only tears.

File 20600For maximum feels, I do, do, do recommend reading the book (by Gayle Forman) before the movie hits the big screens.

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Apr 15,2014

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It's here! It's here! The (Australian) cover for Clariel!  What do you think?

The story of Clariel takes place before Sabriel, but it won't be in bookstores until October this year. To help bear the burden of waiting, Garth Nix kindly shared a sneak preview of Clariel's prologue and first chapter with me last year.

The other books in the Old Kingdom series will also be re-released with matching covers (of course!):

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Apr 14,2014

'How To' books are things of fascination for me. I have never actively sought out one of these books but when I stumble across one that strikes my fancy, good luck getting me away from the cash register! Funnily enough, I’ve never really followed any of the advice that they impart... something I shall experiment with in due time... but for now: this blog post!

Of course, none of my 'How To' books are for anything actually practical (why would I waste my money on that?), but they ARE terribly fun and I’m mad enough to think they might just work. In a world of chaos and uncertainty, it’s interesting to see concrete steps defining human behaviour and interaction.

This girl is living my fantasy. Essentially, she used a 1950s 'How To' guide to dictate her own social experiment about climbing her school’s social ladder - an experiment that was successfully published, then picked up by DreamWorks. Why didn’t I think of that before?!!

The original guide:                                                The modern experiment:
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There’s something that feels almost magical about these books, as if the universe had somehow imparted with you a secret spell book to success, and you feel somehow responsible to use this power wisely. Ah, the power of tone! It captures the reader with its immediacy, involving the reader as a “character” - you, the Jedi apprentice, they... the Yoda. (A sassy, latte-drinking Yoda if you read the guides that I do.)

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Apr 09,2014

Tomorrow Divergent makes its way to the cinemas! Yay! Hurrah! Yippee!  However, there is one very important question: will it be a YA adaptation like The Hunger Games, or like Eragorn?

Fingers crossed (oh so very tightly) it sides with Katniss and her crew!

Here's a snippet of Tris' very important initiation jump after she decides which faction she will join.  

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Apr 07,2014

It is my great pleasure to introduce Margaret, who'll be blogging bookish delights throughout April as this month's 'Voice'!

Margaret is a 6 year old and a 90 year old rolled into one. A fierce keeper of bottomless To Do lists, her days are filled with rehearsals, Doctor Who, and indulging her wonder for words. Theatre is her true love but literature will always be her best friend 5eva.

You can read more about her adventures at her site:  -Inky


In a Relationship... With Books

It’s the age-old adage of girl meets book. In the mad, dazzling, sometimes frustrating, jungles of paper lie the (mad, dazzling, sometimes frustrating) unspoken love stories between a reader and their book.

This romance is familiar to anyone remotely bibliophilic. You may have fallen in love at first book cover, only to later be disappointed by first impressions. Maybe you needed to read several lines over and over, trying hard to focus, until you reach that point where your eyes - and imagination - can glide effortlessly across the page*. I suppose it can be like falling asleep... 'slowly and then all at once' (wink wink).

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File 20472 'I love books' by James

With books that I love, or at least like-like, the reading experience is a highly interactive 'best friend-ship'.

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Apr 04,2014

1. I'm reading: Stung by Bethany Wiggins.File 20391
Done The Hunger Games? Devoured Divergent? Here's a fresh dystopian to help whet your appetite. It's set in a world without bees, a world made up of mutant monsters, the people who hunt them, and the people who fear them.

2. I'm watching: Vikings has returned! [rated M / MA15+]
Ragnar Lodbrok is a Nordic legend and in this show he's revolutionising the Viking art of raiding. (Imagine if Khal Drogo was blonde, and was into ships instead of horses.)

Vikings recently returned to air with season two and if, like me, you missed this news (Why did no-one tell me?!), you can currently catch up at SBS on Demand.

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Apr 02,2014

Guess what's out at Australian cinemas this week! Besides, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, that is...

It's The LEGO Movie!!!

I have been *ridiculously* excited for this film ever since seeing the trailer, and y'know why?

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Mar 31,2014

How To Use Words

Twenty-six letters in the alphabet. Think about it: letters have the power to make words and words have the power to make sentences and sentences have the power to make a difference.

Okay, I admit, the difference can be small. I could say 'poop' and make 5 year olds giggle. BOOM, I just made a difference to that one second in their life. But the difference can be big, too. What do you think Martin Luther King Jr. would’ve done if he couldn’t use his words? He’d have a dream, alright. But that’s it. 

He’d just be saying, 'IIIIIII have a dreaaaaaaammmmm' and everyone would be like, 'Yeah, me too, last night.' and nothing cool would have happened.

Yeah, so we want to avoid that.

STEP 1: Recognise that you have a gift.

We speak everyday. We read everyday. We write everyday.
Has anyone realised the gift we all possess? To read, to speak, to write — has anyone ever really thought about how lucky we are?

Honestly, if Mr. Alphabet didn’t invent words and communication and Latin or whatever, the only moving forward we’d be doing would be finding a better patch of mud to lie on.

The next time you sit down to write and say, 'But I’ll never write anything good… I’m not gifted.'
Shut up.
You exist? Yes?
You’ve got a gift.

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Mar 28,2014

3 reasons to read The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: 

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1. The story revolves around Cassie and 'a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases'. Think murder and mayhem, or Criminal Minds with teens.

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