Saturday, 30 May 2015

Glasses are pieces of plastic/wood/metal with glass in them

If this was a revelation to you, it may be time to leave your house and get your eyes tested. The reason I'm bringing this up is because people often seem to think that glasses make you look studious and therefore equaling books. THIS IS NOT THE CASE PEOPLE, some people with glasses are actually very silly. Joking (but not really). And while I'm in a ranting mood, I can never understand people who wear glasses as fashion accessories! I mean I guess it just bothers me because they can take them off when they want to stop wearing them! I can't however and therefore must have to deal with doors swinging in my face. Either that or learn how to judge the circumference of a door. 

 If you really want to look intellectual, pick up a book instead!

Here's one of my favorite glasses wearers  - Lee Lin Chin of course. 

Saturday, 23 May 2015

"How long is forever? Sometimes, just one second."

As you may be aware, 2015 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll's wildly popular book 'Alice in Wonderland'! It seems odd to think that it is so old already when it keeps popping up in pop culture everywhere - films and whatnot! 

Now I will be completely honest with you here and admit that I have not read the book...shocking I know and I feel a little bit ashamed. It seems like such a weird, wacky and frankly odd book but one day I will, one day! According to the website, there are celebrations happening all over the world (although none of them seem to be in Melbourne so I guess not really autour du monde). But there's nothing to stop you from celebrating yourself maybe with  dress up or tea party. I whole heatedly support a dramatic reading out loud with your friends - maybe I'll read it then. I swear! It's on my long (long long) list.

We're celebrating in store with approximately  a billion different editions of your favourite classic! Look there's some by the front door...

Oh hang on, there's more! Right by the children's picture book section are a few more! Each with their own lovely illustrations

Wait I take that back, there is a kind of event on around Alice in Wonderland on at the moment - at Scienceworks, they'll take you through the magical world of optical illusions. Check it out here.

Just doing a quick search on the cool thing they call the internet, brings back hundreds of sites that are filled with goodies of knowledge. There's 10 Things You Didn't Know About Alice in Wonderland including that 'Lewis Carroll’s real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson'. Something about the real Lewis Carroll as well suggesting that perhaps he wasn't all that he seemed. Never the less, his book will be something that endures i am sure. 
But how can we have a post about Alice in Wonderland without covering some of the Alices of the past.

Short silent film from 1903 condensed into 8 minutes. So either things were cut or people walked really quickly...

Of course the 1951 Disney film where Alice's hair is strangely extraordinarily yellow. You can learn a lot of things with the flowers! The two Alices have a thing about their hands in their hair.

The 1999 version left the blue dress in the dust, but not to worry, none of the fun.

And of course the obviously weird 2010 version with Mia Wasikowska as Alice. Beautiful but creepy creepy.

Well, enjoy your Alice year and see you in another 50 for the bicentennial celebrations!

“If you don't know where you are going any road can take you there”

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Take Me On a Trip I'd like To Go Someday

It's getting to that time in the year when you wish that a private jet would whisk you away to somewhere warmer. Believe me, I could do with a little sun myself. Well instead of just wishing (and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin', plannin' and dreamin'), why not start some research on where you'd like to go - if not it's nice just looking at the pretty pictures anyway. 

So here's a few places that may have slipped under your radar to consider! I will randomly flick open a travel guide and give you 3 places to go.

TIBET (Lonely Planet):
1. Lamaling Temple (Buddhist) is a 'rare example of the Zantok Pelri style of building' 
2. The White Palace in Lhasa served as the private quaters for the 13th and 14th Dalai Lamas 
3. Garden of Dreams in Kathmandu is a beautiful enclave that's sure to clear your mind

CRACOW (Krakow) (DK Eyewitness)
1. Wawel Royal Castle constructed in the first half of the 16th century. Beautiful! 

2. The Dominican Church was originally built in 1250but due to fire was reconstructed almost totally in 1872. Come to see the Chapel
3. Museum of Polish Air Force and holds more that 200 air-crafts! 

KENYA (Rough Guides)
1. The Arboretum is a lovely destination to go for a wander
2. the Donkey Sanctuary protects the well being and rights of working animals 
3. Chyulu Hills National Park will give you the opportunity to see some truly majestic animals 

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Talking to... Kirsty Murray

I had the good fortune a very weeks ago of chatting to local children and teenage author Kirsty Murray!

Some of her most notable books include Children of the Wind series, India Dark, The Four Seasons of Lucy McKenzie, The Year It All Ended and most recently, the collaborative anthology Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean. 

I believe I was running late to our appointment and so was feeling quite warm when we finally sat down for coffee and a hot chocolate (can you guess which was who's?). We discussed getting into writing (which included being in a new country) and writing opportunities for budding writers! It's lovely to talk to the people behind the books because so often you forget that someone is writing all of your favourite stories!

So here's a bit of a snapshot from our time...
What is the most influential book that you have read on your life?

There isn't one book that I could name without it being a lie, or a title I picked at random from the thousands of books that I've loved. As a voracious reader from when I was very small, I have been shaped and influenced by new books in every year of my life.  
Is there a book that has almost creepily related to your life?
Tove Jansson's 'Sculptor's Daughter' - her 1968 memoir of her childhood. My father was a sculptor too and though Jansson's and my worlds were completely different I related to her imaginative inner life. 
What was the best film adaptation of a book that you've watched?
The Wizard of Oz (the famous 1939 version). I love Baum's version but the film was an improvement on the original book  in many ways, especially in terms of structure.
And if you can think of one, what is the weirdest book title that you've seen
Insects Are Just Like You And Me Except Some Of Them Have Wings by Kuzhali Manickavel. Maybe it's not the weirdest title I've come across but but Manickavel definitely has a wild imagination and is one of the most startling writers I've come across in years. Her latest book, which I read last year and absolutely loved, is called Things We Found During the Autopsy. 

Thank you Kirsty for your time!  

Saturday, 9 May 2015

You Have a Penchant for...socks

It's quite strange really, you can tell a lot about a person by observing what books they buy. Don't worry, we aren't judging you, just musing about a little bit about what kind of things you may like! Of course it's not always so clear cut - you could be buying a gift for someone else, but more often than not, books can be a good indicator of what you may be like.

Myself for example, have a penchant for aesthetically pleasing and clever children's books, beautiful books on design and craft, gender writing (am currently making my way through Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay), as well as realistic fiction and travel books. I realise that that almost covers all areas of the bookshop but hey! I like books.

I guess that it can be similar with music as well, you listen to what makes you feel something. Or on the other hand, you listen to something completely different to express that other part  of you. Maybe it doesn't really tell you much at all! Or maybe it does. I guess we'll never really know will we?

Let's play a game. I'll give you some books and you tell us the story of their owners. There are no wrong answer! Only stupid ones. (Only joking)

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Books and... Stuff

When I was younger I  remember that when buying a book, I would receive only a book. Now it seems that (children's books especially), that this is no longer enough and instead there are a multitude of items that come with a new purchase. I'm not complaining here, just wondering when the story stopped being enough. 
I suppose that it's another way to increase interest in the book and perhaps expand on the success. On the other hand, it is just fun sometimes to get something bonus. So I will now shed some light on the bonus items with some of the books in store!

Tea Towel with Mr Wilkinson's Simply Dressed Salads cookbook 

Hugless Douglas, The Skunk with no Funk and Chooky-Doodle-Doo, Little Wings (which coincidentally are signed!) soft toys

Hey Jack 'The Star of the Week' badges
A Murder Unmentioned fridge magnet sets

And if you manage to wrangle a few copies of Billie B Brown or Rainbow Magic books, we have a tote bags and t-shirts respectively!

So don't forget to ask us about these cute toys next time you're having a peruse!