Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Big (and yes it is quite large) Design Market

This week a colleague and I had the chance to go to the Big Design Market, held in the stunning Exhibition Building, It's on now until 5pm Sunday i.e. today! Check out the website here


First things first: WORKSHOPS!! They are free and awesome but super competitive in terms of signing up because there are usually only around twelve places. Twelve places!! That's right people. So basically if you are interested, then you have to register your name at the Workshop booth. It actually opens exactly two hours before the event but I'd highly recommend being their waiting before that time as people sit waiting for registration to open up to half an hour before! It is a little tense because everyone is sitting there ready to go, ready to race up the desk. But they are pretty worth it! Whether you may care, I will share what we managed to get!

1. Tasting/talk with LuxBite creator and chef Bernard Chu
It was a really interesting session where he showed us how to make the fabulous dessert 'Be My Love'. It was extremely delicious and we even got to try putting on the finishing touches on a variation of the dessert with macrons, fresh and freeze dried raspberries! Yum! But of course we couldn't really make the whole thing because no one really has that kind of dexterity. 

Obviously ours didn't look like this but it was pretty darn delicious anyway! It was quite interesting having such a close group chat with him and realising the work that goes into just one single cake. We also received a recipe which is available in the glorious book 'Flavours of Urban Melbourne' of which I am a little in love with. 



Anyway, workshop number two was less of a workshop and more of a pampering session where we had our nails painted by Trophy Wife using Kester Black nail polish which is apparently vegan. It was really lovely - especially as I rarely paint my nails myself. And as we don't forget we're in a bookshop we sell cool nail art books too. Yay. Go check it out!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

What is up with that Caterpillar?

To be honest I could never understand why the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle was so popular. I suppose it may be because I have never read it before in its entirety. So we shall delve into a blow by blow account of what has been called 'The Greatest Children's Book of All Time'* 


Let's begin. (SPOILER ALERT)

Cover: Hmm, looks promising, it is quite an iconic cover and I enjoy the contrast of green and red
Pg. 1 Aww, for his sister Christa, how sweet. Do those dots look like gumballs to anyone else?
Pg.2 In the space of three pages I have been informed of the book's title twice. 
Pg. 3 The alliteration is lovely! Although I am slightly dissapointed that it doesn't rhyme. 
Pg.4 I have noticed a smiling face in the moon which I quite enjoy.
Pg. 5 It seems somewhat unrealistic for the caterpillar to 'pop!' out of the egg, but it does somewhat reinforce the thing about the gumballs before.  
Pg.6 The sun is quite a relaxed figure. Little do they know it's 5,600 Celsius on the surface and 15,000,000 Celsius at its center, probably making it hard to chill out. 
Pg. 7 I also enjoy that the caterpillar can walk on its back hind legs.
Pg. 8 CRISIS! in that this is where the pages become the half page things (I'll count them as one page even though they are double sided) and also I am feeling an affinity to the caterpillar because I am getting quite hungry myself. Monday is an apple. Good choice,good choice
Pg. 9 Perhaps he wouldn't be so hungry if her ate the entire pear instead of only through two 
Pg. 10 I must say that I do like the collage effect of the illustrations, it pleasantly reminds me of my kindergarten days
Pg. 11 The strawberries are adorable (I didn't even know that you could have adorable fruit). His hunger is becoming a real problem.
Pg. 12 From a logical point of view, eating through oranges would be really painful and acidic. Did you know that your stomach has enough acid in it to burn a hole in a rug. I don't know if that's true because it came from a questionable education video made in the 90s. 
Pg. 13 Now he has changed from fruit which is bound to be a bad idea and I have an urge to flip to the end. BUT I CAN'T RUIN THE STORY!! I like how he eats a pickle, it's just very random - especially for a kids books. And salami! WWtWHOS (What would the World Health Organisation say?
Pg. 14 Also, it has resumed normal pages. OH MY GOODNESS THE CATERPILLAR HAS A STOMACHACHE. It looks so sad. :(
Pg. 15 It's nice how there's holes in the book. Adds a bit of texture and excitement. 
Pg.16 Good work, eat some leaves like you're supposed to. 

Pg. 17 He is very fat now. His legs are strangely distributed. 

Pg. 18 I feel like a lot of action has happened on this page. Built a house AND stayed inside AND nibbled a way out
Pg. 19 I am actually taken aback by his transformation. He is very colour and skinny, lost a lot of weight too. So does the fat become his wings or not??
Back Page THERE IS NO BLURB WHAT IS THIS?!


I'm sorry if I've ruined the story for you.
Happy Reading!

* I couldn't actually find a source for this quote but I'm sure someone has said it. 

Saturday, 14 November 2015

This is Extremely Anti Bookshop

To tie in with the James Bond theme (whoops spoiler, that's next Facebook post but it hasn't been posted yet. Hahah. Anyway), we'll be examining in depth (I lie) watching the film before reading the book. A travesty I know! But I will admit that I have not read any James Bond but will be doing it soon. 

JAMES BOND by IAN FLEMMING 

I mean what can we say? Spectre has just come out - I've seen it! (and yes I had to close my eyes/put my cardigan on my head for some of it. I am kind of squeamish), the fourth Daniel Craig installment and does not dissapoint. Even though it's more than two hours it passes quite quickly - not to mention pokes a little bit of fun at itself in a few scenes. 

 
It spans across...a few continents and I also managed to decide on my new haircut.


Anyway!  Back to the books, Casino Royale, the first of the series was released in 1953 and very quickly rose to popularity with a number of others including Dr No, For Your Eyes Only and Gold Finger. I absolutely adore the covers of the Vintage series because of that kind of nod to days gone by (we have them here by the way).


I guess I can't really talk about the books when I haven't read them yet... which makes this post slightly defeated in purpose. 

For the really hardcore fans, I have found an interesting article about the impacts on pop culture that Bond has had since its release. Check it out here.

Look, why don't I get back to you about these. Wishful thinking perhaps but let's hope that they are not terribly sexist and the like 

Sometimes you do need to watch the film before reading, I can't believe that I just admitted that, because it grabs your attention at a superficial level and when you enjoy it enough you can pick up the nuances of the backstory so often present in the books.

Give us a call if you want to start your collection!  

** Edit
Okay, I have since read two James Bond books - although not in order. They were Dr No and Thunderball. I will admit that I am a little torn. While I enjoy the spy/action stories and they are easy reads (I find, to get through in a day or two) it's annoying how blatantly racist and sexist he is! Yeah yeah it was of that era, I get that but now I suppose it's just how much do you want to read it versus how much can you take of his annoyingness. I'm glad that the movies are a lot more subtle and regular in this effect. Yes he is quite a 'ladies man' (ahem ahem) but at least in the films it's because he actually likes them - or believes he does. In the books they really come across as objects/naive and childlike so you can kind of take advantage of them but happen to be the 'perfect' balance of the experienced femme fatale and innocent girl. Argh. He also seems to just do it for the sake of sleeping with a new girl in each new book, I suppose that the films don't differ too much there but again - slightly more substance? But in terms of the stories, it's interesting to see them on paper in all their original glory. The books also reveal a lot more of his insecurities and fears. Many times has he thought he was going to die or that he'd 'had it!' (obviously not because there's another five books after that particular one) so it's interesting to see the person he is underneath. Kinda. Anyway, I suppose everyone has to read one at least once so give it a go! You can decide your own verdict.

Next series?? Sherlock Holmes! Yeah I know I haven't read it either...  
‘Name: Bond, James. Height: 183cm, weight: 76 kilograms; slim build; eyes: blue; hair: black; scar down right cheek and on left shoulder; signs of plastic surgery on back of right hand; all-round athlete; expert pistol shot, boxer, knife-thrower; does not use disguises. Languages: French and German. Smokes heavily (NB: special cigarettes with three gold bands); vices: drink, but not to excess, and women. Not thought to accept bribes.’
Ian Fleming, From Russia With Love
- See more at: http://www.ianfleming.com/james-bond-2/#sthash.bnqkydJt.dpuf
‘Name: Bond, James. Height: 183cm, weight: 76 kilograms; slim build; eyes: blue; hair: black; scar down right cheek and on left shoulder; signs of plastic surgery on back of right hand; all-round athlete; expert pistol shot, boxer, knife-thrower; does not use disguises. Languages: French and German. Smokes heavily (NB: special cigarettes with three gold bands); vices: drink, but not to excess, and women. Not thought to accept bribes.’
Ian Fleming, From Russia With Love
- See more at: http://www.ianfleming.com/james-bond-2/#sthash.bnqkydJt.dpuf
‘Name: Bond, James. Height: 183cm, weight: 76 kilograms; slim build; eyes: blue; hair: black; scar down right cheek and on left shoulder; signs of plastic surgery on back of right hand; all-round athlete; expert pistol shot, boxer, knife-thrower; does not use disguises. Languages: French and German. Smokes heavily (NB: special cigarettes with three gold bands); vices: drink, but not to excess, and women. Not thought to accept bribes.’
Ian Fleming, From Russia With Love
- See more at: http://www.ianfleming.com/james-bond-2/#sthash.bnqkydJt.dpuf

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Forget Tiffany's and Harry Winston's - Chronicle and Taschen!

You know you're a bit of a book geek when you have favourite publishers. That';s right, publishers - not authors. It's just that some of them are so darn pretty that it's impossible not to love them. 

Now the reason why I love them is probably because they publish the most amazing art and design books so what's not to love? So if you're looking for sport books I can't really help you there. Here is my list of top four publishers.

1. Lawrence King
I swear I'm not just skimming through my own library but I recently discovered that I a lot of my favourite literary gems were by Lawrence King. Including the 'This is___' series that I've previously mentioned but I won't again because it probably seems like I work for them. Anyway, I actually don't really have anything to say on these houses you basically just have to search them up and I dare you to not find anything you like.
This is Graphic Design Visionaries and as you'd expect, about graphic design visionaries. Lovely! And interesting of course


2. Chronicle Books
Chronicle for me always seems more technical - although I feel like this is probably slightly unfounded and just a general statement. Anyway! If the two publishing houses below are written in cursive script then Chronicle is stamped rough and ready, by no means less aesthetically pleasing. I enjoy just how specific books can get. Take for example 'Editorial Design' that looks at how layouts are designed and how they've had to change over the development of the internet. Riveting I know but this actually holds a fun place in my personal library...

 
  
3. Taschen
A German based company, they are responsible for a lot of the massive coffee table bad boys you see around our shelves- especially in the art section (of course).  These guys are the real (and literal heavy weights) proving that you can have brains and beauty all in one. Sigh. 



4. Phaidon
Phaidon is also excellent for cookbooks! I believe last weeks post were Phaidon books as well just proving that they are everywhere. They have some lovely design ones too of course. Also beginning in Europe - Vienna to be precise, these nations must have something in their water that forces them to turn out such beautiful books

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Making (hopefully not breaking) Things


 Sorry for the big gap in blog posts - think of it like a musical hiatus due to that pesky thing called study and exams. I'll try and be more vaguely regular from now!

Even though I work in a bookshop and have been obsessed since always with them, I never fail to be surprised by what kind of things you learn from books! They cover virtually every single topic you can think of and I don't know if it's just me that finds it cool that you can legitimately learn new things from reading a piece of paper. But then again I'm still impressed at what you can do with computers and I am a supposed 'digital native'. Maybe I'm a time traveler. Or just an old person inside. Anyway! Enough weirdness. Here are a couple of my choice pics that I found mindlessly (although not mindlessly because how can you be in a bookstore?) wandering around. 

DO IT YOURSELF and THE SUSTAINABLE DESIGN BOOK help you to convert pieces of literal rubbish LITERAL RUBBISH into cool things/pieces of furniture/art. I mean, what's not to love. Personally I love making things and I have since been made to feel bad about throwing things away, fine I may be a semi hoarder. And it always seems like a good idea as well - making things I mean and not being a hoarder, because it's virtually guaranteed that no one else will have/wear/look like you! And it's not because you accidentally wore odd socks this morning. But what I like about them is that they're not your average oh, here let's turn this gross old sock into finger less gloves but interesting projects that are pretty freaking cool.


Exhibit A, this Floating Forest (pictures from the Phaidon site). LOOK HOW COOL IT IS!!
And I swear it's not because I secretly work for Phaidon, although that would be extremely cool, but just for people who think that all books are must, outdated and old. I mean, you can never get the feeling of a real book from a tablet can you? Nope didn't think so.


 Here is an introduction... and then how to make it...

Okay and secondly, there is this cool website called Spoon flower in which you can get fabrics printed with whatever you want on them! Yes I know what you're thinking, I can finally have that guy who never notices me on the train as my curtain! Check out the site here. Need I tell you that this is one of the greatest things ever?





Anyway, this book (along with Print Make Wear) has heaps of awesome ideas to try. If only I knew how to use a sewing machine. Damn.  But in the meantime at least I can marvel at the examples in the book. It even talks about formating for the technically challenged. What more could a girl - or boy, want? A holiday to Japan that's what. But anyway as the Rolling Stones said 'you can't always get what you want'.



Look! Handmade plaid! I'm amused.





Saturday, 26 September 2015

Heide, and We Don't Just Mean by Johanna Spryi's novel Heidi (just fyi)

It's amazing to think that so close to Ivanhoe - in Bulleen Templestowe in fact, lying nestled between a gas station and a random road (I feel like a small casino) is one of the loveliest art galleries in Melbourne - Heide. It's simply beautiful and you know that feeling when you're driving around the country and you stumble upon a  small independent gallery that has amazing views of the surround? Yeah, well that's Heide but you'd never expect it tucked away in suburbia. 


Comprising of three buildings (Heide I, II and III (so original but they were probably putting their creative energies elsewhere)), each has a distinct style and almost seems to reflect the art inside. One of them (I think II) looks decidedly 70's but it's a bonus not a weakness if anything. The gardens as well, goodness gracious are something to behold as well! I had a picnic there a few years ago for a fathers' day celebration and it was simply sublime and divine. Don't worry this isn't some kind of conspicuous advertising I think it's just good to appreciate what you have! The collection is most often of Australian artists such as the vibrant Emily Floyd.

Read an article about its architecture here 

Actually, Heide began as the family home for John and Sunday Reed (yes their FAMILY HOME!) in 1934 and was a place for living and creation. Sunday is such a great name. But anyway, a lot has been said about their lives and the impact that they made on the face of Australian art. Most recently released 'Modern Love - the Lives of John and Sunday Reed' has been released in conjunction with the gallery and the State Library of Victoria. 

 It's a beautiful and at times sad insight into their lives. It is definitely on my list to read! That list grows longer everyday. 

If you're interested in finding out more about Heide then look no further (here)

Enjoy the spring weather! 
 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Where's My Happy Ending?

If you're wondering why a prince/or princess hasn't swept you off your feet yet it may be time to read a different novel or watch another sort of film. Not to say that happy/yay/romance things never happen but it's been interesting to see a resurgence of books for younger girls that focus on different qualities and adventure! My two favourite picks are, of course Dragon Keeper by Carole Wilkinson but otherwise newer releases: 

THE ANTI PRINCESS CLUB by Samantha Turnbull


Finally! An engaging fiction series for girls that shows them there is more to life than wearing a tiara.’ – Mia Freedman
The Anti-Princess Club is a four-book series for kids (recommended age group 7-10).
The series follows the lives of 10-year-old best friends: Emily Martin, Bella Singh, Grace Bennett and Chloe Karalis.
The girls thumb their noses at helpless fairytale princesses who wait all their lives to be rescued by a prince.
Sick of being treated like damsels in distress, the girls form The Anti-Princess Club with the motto: ‘we don’t need rescuing.’

Check out the website here

and THE RAVENOUS GOWN by Steffani Raff



In a day when princesses have been boiled down to beautiful ball gowns comes a new kind of fairy tale.

Fall under the spell of a “Once upon a time…” where beauty is bigger than a reflection, where wisdom makes girls extraordinary, and where curses are broken through the strength and character of unlikely heroines.

A magnificent collection of short stories written in fairy tale prose The Ravenous Gown captures the essence of a stronger, smarter princess—the kind that actually lives happily ever after.

-goodreads

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Go Set A Whatman?

Yes, it is official, I have finally finished reading the second book by Harper Lee, Go Set A Watchman that came out earlier this year among a media frenzy! I know I work in a bookshop but hey, there are a lot of books! Is this the appropriate time to mention that I've never read the entire Harry Potter series let alone touched Twilight or Lord of the Rings? Sorry for putting them in the same sentence (no offense). 

Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – ‘Scout' – returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill A Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past – a journey that can be guided only by one's own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humour and effortless precision – a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill A Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to a classic. - See more at: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/harper-lee/go-set-a-watchman-9781785150289.aspx#sthash.iCP6pBRp.dpuf
A historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.
Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.
Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.
Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee's enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right. 
 - Harper (haha what are the chances?) Collins
Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – ‘Scout' – returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill A Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past – a journey that can be guided only by one's own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humour and effortless precision – a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill A Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to a classic. - See more at: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/harper-lee/go-set-a-watchman-9781785150289.aspx#sthash.iCP6pBRp.dpuf
Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – ‘Scout' – returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill A Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past – a journey that can be guided only by one's own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humour and effortless precision – a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill A Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to a classic. - See more at: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/harper-lee/go-set-a-watchman-9781785150289.aspx#sthash.iCP6pBRp.dpuf
Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – ‘Scout' – returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill A Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past – a journey that can be guided only by one's own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humour and effortless precision – a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill A Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to a classic. - See more at: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/harper-lee/go-set-a-watchman-9781785150289.aspx#sthash.iCP6pBRp.dpuf

aycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – ‘Scout' – returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill A Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past – a journey that can be guided only by one's own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humour and effortless precision – a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill A Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to a classic. - See more at: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/harper-lee/go-set-a-watchman-9781785150289.aspx#sthash.9GlrKZjf.dpuf
aycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – ‘Scout' – returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill A Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past – a journey that can be guided only by one's own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humour and effortless precision – a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill A Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to a classic. - See more at: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/harper-lee/go-set-a-watchman-9781785150289.aspx#sthash.9GlrKZjf.dpuf

Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – ‘Scout' – returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill A Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past – a journey that can be guided only by one's own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humour and effortless precision – a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill A Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to a classic. - See more at: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/harper-lee/go-set-a-watchman-9781785150289.aspx#sthash.iCP6pBRp.dpuf
First things first, yes we've all heard that Atticus is now a racist and so reading it it wasn't that much of a shock. What kind of freaked me out was the really seemingly 'rational' and calm argument he put forth as to why he had turned out so. Doesn't really make it any better but I suppose that the character evolved in this way so we have to accept it. As much as we wish we did, they don't belong to us! Although, I worry that there are whole generations of people named after Atticus from To Kill A Mockingbird and now it's discovered he's actually a racist. That would really suck to say the least. 

Second issue: it's not as good as the first. Well of course! How could it ever be? So highly acclaimed was the former, including winner of the Pulitzer Prize and beloved by many, not to mention has had 55 years just to stew in its greatness. The story and writing is actually okay and I never felt that I had to force myself to finish reading it but I think it's totally unrealistic to expect it to be as good as TKAM. What can compete with nostalgia and elevation to a pedestal? Nothing, unless it had been something more than 'perfection'. I feel like it's a bit sad in a way because you can't erase this part of the story now and it's just there. Maybe in a few years people will stop comparing and see past the hype to enjoy it for what it is.

I quite enjoyed the focus on Scout (maybe we can name children after her??) and I felt she was quite relate able as a character. Positively modern day in her vernacular and relation ship with Hank/Henry. She's strong and confident and isn't afraid to say no. Coming back to her hometown after all those years and seeing what has changed - has she? It's quite interesting I guess to see how your favourite characters have changed. Although JEM! Read and see.  

I would recommend this book just to see the growth of character but of course if you really can't stomach the thought of Atticus, perhaps refrain. 

 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Melbourne Writers' Festival 2015!!

Oh my goodness, I realise that I am a little late but you can still catch the very last tail end of the Writers' Festival for this year! (Until Aug 30...)

Even if you didn't manage to catch any events, it's still worth a look on the website to see what was on and interviews as well on the blog.

Look here 

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Kids These Days

I can confidently say that I was born last millennium. Just. But even so, there are a billion songs that I love. And just because, share them here now!

1. We must say vale to the lovely Cilla Black who passed away at the start of this month but not without forgetting her hit 'Anyone Who Had a Heart'. This one is a ripper that should be sung in a place where sound volume is really no issue. 

Check it out here


2. Okay, do not judge me, I blame it on Smooth FM (the best radio station, no I'm not paid to say that) but Sade's Smooth Operator, is seriously one of the smoothest tunes, that's probably why it's called Smooth Operator. Actually no.  She is absolutely gorgeous in this. 

Check it out here





3. And in a similar vein, The Jackal by Ronny Jordan. I will be honest and say that the West Wing *brought me here*. CJ is the best character. This track makes you feel like you need to down a martini quick! And I don't even drink.  

Check it out here!





 Sorry I had to.

And to tie this back to books...we have a stack of music biographies and fun facts filling our shelves! Don't forget that we can order something in for you as well! 

Saturday, 8 August 2015

ANDY GRIFFITHS HAS DONE IT AGAIN!! No seriously

Released on the 12 August, the 65 STOREY TREEHOUSE is the latest installment in his bestselling series! Sure to be full of laughs and just all round rollicking good time! And! The cover is green coincidentally the same colour as Andrew's Bookshop.


How exciting! 

And a side note, why has the new edition of the Day My Bum Went Psycho now been called the Day My BUTT Went Psycho? Sigh.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

What An Excellent Time To Be Alive

Guess what?? Next Saturday (the 8th of August) is the day I know you have all been waiting for...

NATIONAL BOOKSHOP DAY!!!



I know, I'm pretty excited too. We'll have live music in store from some of our talented staff members. That's right, they can play music AND read AND help you find a book. Unbelievable :) So if you like your books with a bit of melody on the side then make sure you come in next Saturday! There will be balloons as well if you weren't otherwise convinced. 


If you're lucky, we may have some children's book readings as well. Either way, it's sure to be an excellent day! 

Don't forget to tag us in any posts or pictures! #nationalbookshopday #andrewsbookshop

And just because, here's a picture of me:


 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Rosie!

As you may be aware, Graeme Simsion's bestselling book 'the Rosie Project' is going to be made into a film later this year! How exciting! especially when Jeniffer Lawrence was announced as the leading lady! Read about it here. Hopefully Melbourne will make a feature? Well fingers crossed. The film Any Questions For Ben? is an example of our darling city in motion. 

Anyway, to celebrate, we will be announcing a competition next week so keep your eyes peeled for entry!

 
Here are some songs about 'Rosie'

Rosie by The Kooks
Rosie by Tom Waits
Rosie by Joan Armatrading

Am I sensing a theme here?? Enjoy!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Ai am Andy

I am so so so soooooooooooooo suprememly excited for the upcoming exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) at the end of the year. It is (if you haven't already heard) drumroll....

ANDY WARHOL | AI WEIWEI !!!!


It will be a beautiful thought provoking, awesome and highly cool exhibition with assistance of Ai Weiwei and in conjunction with the The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. Argh I can't even begin to explain how exciting this is!

So here's a quick run down if you are unfamiliar with either of these excellent artists! 

ANDY WARHOL,
1928 -1987

Andy Warhol is arguably one of the most iconic and recognizable artists from the twentieth century. Contemporary art including his well versed skills in developing pop-art, was his style of choice. Basically, he was a very cool guy.

"More than twenty years after his death, Andy Warhol remains one of the most influential figures in contemporary art and culture. Warhol’s life and work inspires creative thinkers worldwide thanks to his enduring imagery, his artfully cultivated celebrity, and the ongoing research of dedicated scholars. His impact as an artist is far deeper and greater than his one prescient observation that “everyone will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” His omnivorous curiosity resulted in an enormous body of work that spanned every available medium and most importantly contributed to the collapse of boundaries between high and low culture. "
(source: The Andy Warhol Foundation website)

Find out more here or check out our books Andy Warhol: The Complete Commissioned Record Covers and This is Warhol (a member of the This is ____ series by Catherine Ingram)






AI WEIWEI
1957-

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese contemporary artist. Internationally acclaimed, his work is often frowned upon by the Chinese authorities due to his mainly dissident works concerning the current political regime. He hasn't been able to leave China in four years but has JUST GOTTEN IS PASSPORT BACK!! Which hopefully means that he'll be in Melbourne for his exhibition at the end of the year. Cross your fingers and toes. 

Here's an article from the Smithsonian Museum about him or you can check out his Instagram too.

As for books, Ai Weiwei Speaks (with Hans Ulrich Obrist) and Ai Weiwei's Blog cataloguing as you would expect, his blog.

 


















So I implore you all, at the end of the year to check out this exhibition! It'll be a as interesting as it is mind bending for sure.



'I had a lot of dates but I decided to stay home and dye my eyebrows.'
- Andy Warhol


'Never retreat, re-tweet!'
- Ai Weiwei

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Spoilers Exist Everywhere

I hate to bring up Downton Abbey again (although I'm really not) but starting to watch Downton Abbey has opened my eyes to the world of plot line spoilers everywhere. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE! I tried to Google a character, found out who ends up with who, read the blurb - for goodness sake the DVD of a later season and find out who dies, talk to my sibling and find out more  about the circumstances in which they died. Even this may be a spoiler. Sorry. Basically, the moral of the story is keep your eyes peeled - or half closed whichever you prefer and get ready to run away whenever you hear someone even begin to talk about your favourite show. Or alternatively, people could just write/say/signal SPOILER ALERT and we'll all be fine. This is even applicable to football scores. Just turn that radio off.


Sunday, 5 July 2015

Learn Singaporean Slang Here!

China Rich Girlfriend is the extremely funny sequel to Kevin Kwan's first novel Crazy Rich Asians. I realised that I read them in the wrong order (because the book wasn't very clear that it was a sequel) but that's okay! It flows very well regardless. After watching a few videos of author interviews I realised that the title's actually supposed to be about Asians who are crazy rich rather than Asians who are crazy and rich. Do you see the distinction? About the ultra rich in Asia it provides a humourous and shocking view into the lives of the rich and famous we can only imagine. Of course, it is clearly not to be taken seriously in every word so read it for what it is rather than isn't. It is refreshing though to have a chicklit(ish) novel based on people of an Asian background and written by a male none the less. And why shouldn't it be? He does a terrific (spiffingly) good job. It's always nice as well when you can sort of relate to a book and its jokes - for those who may be slightly less acquainted with Singapore slang, there are many helpful footnotes providing explanations.

It was the kind of book through that made me wonder, is it racist to laugh about them if they're making fun of or joking about at least, another culture that isn't your own? I suppose it depends on what sort of mindset you're reading it with because that could apply to a whole host of books. In the very least, just read it!




Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Down Town in Downton

I have a new revelation and that is Downton Abbey! I am a little slow, I know but we accidentally watched four episodes in a row in one night... is it just me or is Mary an exceedingly annoying character? Hopefully she gets better. Anyway, why I  mention this is because I realised that the Downton Abbey books that we stock at Andrew's finally interest me! I did make the mistake however, or not realising that there'd be spoilers so I feel a little as if I have shot myself in the foot. Never mind, I had guessed as much anyway. Not that the show is predictable, I can just guess what will happen in the following 15 minutes. So maybe a little predictable. I'm told it's because I read so much, so read at your own peril of movie enjoyment! But what I'm struck by is the complete dedication to the setting and period(ness) of the series. It's really stunning. It is a little infuriating that a man/woman who works - even in a perfectly respectable possessions such as doctor is seen as not respectable as they actually have to do work. I honestly don't know how people filled their time. And if they drunk so much tea then why do you never see them going to the toilet. I don't mean actually the toilet but no one ever says, I must excuse myself to relive myself do they?
OH! Also, I realised that the guy who plays Mr Pamuk in season one is ACTUALLY THEO JAMES of Divergent fame. He is extremely good looking (and I'm sure has a great personality). 


Everyone in Downton Abbey looks like someone else. It is really weird. Take for example, the character Gwen is actually EMMA STONE.She's not but seems so similar. Especially when she played Gwen Stacy. You know, this post is just going to be me finding doppelgangers so you're welcome.


And then Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham) and Victor Garber...



 Brendan Coyle (Bates) and Alec Baldwin... 


 Allan Leech (Branson) and.... Niall Horan. Don't pretend you can't see it.




I could go on all day apparently.

In other exciting TV news! If you follow Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries, well I won't give it away but what we've been waiting for has finally happened! This is good TV! (And not just for old people)