Saturday, 26 March 2016

Sah Indie (I Jest)

The Indie Book Awards were released just four days ago! And we are super pleased to share them with you here. Basically, there are four categories and then the ultimate prize of Book of the Year!

Okay, I'm just going to attach the blurbs from the publishers under each title. Keep on scrollin'


Childrens: The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey who brought you Pig the Pug (hilarious by the way)

They sound like the Bad Guys, they look like the Bad Guys . . . and they even smell like the Bad Guys. But Mr Wolf, Mr Piranha, Mr Snake and Mr Shark are about to change all of that! Mr Wolf has a daring plan for the Bad Guys first good mission. The gang are going to break 200 dogs out of the Maximum Security City Dog Pound. Will Operation Dog Pound go smoothly? Will the Bad Guys become the Good Guys? And will Mr Snake please spit out Mr Piranha? 
Mr Wolf. Mr Shark. Mr Snake. Mr Piranha.
They're bad guys, everybody knows that. They're scary and dangerous and well... just BAD.
But these guys want to be HEROES. And they're going to prove it by doing good deeds... whether YOU want them to or not.
Buckle up for the funniest, naughtiest and coolest book you'll ever read - it's time to meet the BAD GUYS.
- See more at:
Young Adult: Cloudwish by Fiona Wood

For Vân Uoc Phan, fantasies fell into two categories: nourishing, or pointless. Daydreaming about Billy Gardiner, for example? Pointless. It always left her feeling sick, as though she'd eaten too much sugar. 

Vân Uoc doesn't believe in fairies, zombies, vampires, Father Christmas - or magic wishes. She believes in keeping a low profile: real life will start when school finishes.
But when she attracts the attention of Billy Gardiner, she finds herself in an unwelcome spotlight.
Not even Jane Eyre can help her now.
Wishes were not a thing.
They were not.
Wishes were a thing.
Wishes that came true were sometimes a thing.
Wishes that came true because of magic were not a thing!

Were they?

Debut Fiction:  Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar

Some things collapse slow, and cannot always be rebuilt, and even if a thing can be remade it will never be as it was.
Salt Creek, 1855, lies at the far reaches of the remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong, in the new province of South Australia. The area, just opened to graziers willing to chance their luck, becomes home to Stanton Finch and his large family, including fifteen-year-old Hester Finch.
Once wealthy political activists, the Finch family has fallen on hard times. Cut adrift from the polite society they were raised to be part of, Hester and her siblings make connections where they can: with the few travellers that pass along the nearby stock route - among them a young artist, Charles - and the Ngarrindjeri people they have dispossessed. Over the years that pass, and Aboriginal boy, Tully, at first a friend, becomes part of the family.
Stanton's attempts to tame the harsh landscape bring ruin to the Ngarrindjeri people's homes and livelihoods, and unleash a chain of events that will tear the family asunder. As Hester witnesses the destruction of the Ngarrindjeri's subtle culture and the ideals that her family once held so close, she begins to wonder what civilization is. Was it for this life and this world that she was educated?

Non Fiction: Reckoning by Magda Szubanski 

Heartbreaking, joyous, traumatic, intimate and revelatory, Reckoning is the book where Magda Szubanski, one of Australia’s most beloved performers, tells her story.
In this extraordinary memoir, Magda describes her journey of self-discovery from a suburban childhood, haunted by the demons of her father’s espionage activities in wartime Poland and by her secret awareness of her sexuality, to the complex dramas of adulthood and her need to find out the truth about herself and her family. With courage and compassion she addresses her own frailties and fears, and asks the big questions about life, about the shadows we inherit and the gifts we pass on.
Honest, poignant, utterly captivating, Reckoning announces the arrival of a fearless writer and natural storyteller. It will touch the lives of its readers.

Book of the Year: The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in an abandoned property in the middle of a desert in a story of two friends, sisterly love and courage - a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted.
She hears her own thick voice deep inside her ears when she says, 'I need to know where I am.' The man stands there, tall and narrow, hand still on the doorknob, surprised. He says, almost in sympathy, 'Oh, sweetie. You need to know what you are.'

Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of nowhere. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a 'nurse'. The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world? Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl's past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue -- but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves.

The Natural Way of Things is a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted. Most of all, it is the story of two friends, their sisterly love and courage.

With extraordinary echoes of The Handmaid's Tale
and Lord of the Flies, The Natural Way of Things is a compulsively readable, scarifying and deeply moving contemporary novel. It confirms Charlotte Wood's position as one of our most thoughtful, provocative and fearless truth-tellers, as she unflinchingly reveals us and our world to ourselves.

'As a man, to read it is as unsettling as receiving one piece of bad news after another. It is confronting. Yet anyone who reads it, man or woman, is going to be left with a sense that a long-hidden truth has been revealed to them. The Natural Way of Things is a brave, brilliant book. I would defy anyone to read it and not come out a changed person.' Malcolm Knox, author of The Wonder Lover

'This is a stunning exploration of ambiguities - of power, of morality, of judgment. With a fearless clarity, Wood's elegantly spare and brutal prose dissects humanity, hatreds, our ambivalent capacities for friendship and betrayal, and the powerful appearance - always - of moments of grace and great beauty. The book's ending undid me through the shape of the world it reveals as much as its revisions of escape and survival. It will not leave you easily; it took my breath away.' Ashley Hay, author of The Railwayman's Wife

Saturday, 19 March 2016

When You Try Really Hard Not To Recommend Wildly Inapproriate Books

One really hard yet cool thing of working in a bookshop is recommending books. It's nice to think that what you suggest could perhaps reignite a love of reading of kick start that journey for a child! But on the other hand you also don't want them to hate it and then never read again. What you read and your books say a lot about you according to an article in the Australian Financial Review a few days ago - perhaps even more so than art (and a lot cheaper too!). But we take the effort to get to know the books so that we can help you find the perfect gift or book for yourself. That being said, sometimes clues as to what people are looking for are extremely specific (a book about a girl called Caroline who has an older brother for a five year old girl) or vague (there was something about a carrot on the front cover). Nevertheless, we love a challenge (and are friends with Google) so it usually all works out in the end. 

As I'm generally around the kids/teen/picture book area it makes sense that I usually recommend those. Sorry I know nothing about adult fiction, I try and palm them off (in the nicest way possible) to another staff member. But the main challenge I feel about kids teen books is when they're at the age between kids and teens. Often it's that the reading level is high but the maturity is not. And by material I mean adult themes which is strange when you think about it because we're still in the teenage section but that's another story. After all, you don't want to recommend a book to a fourteen year old that has rampant sex for the first time unwittingly. When in doubt I look at the font size...

Sometimes I feel that it's also up to the publishers to choose book covers that are age appropriate as well. I hate it when it looks really childish or perhaps just for a younger audience and then it's actually about an 18 year old who has run away from an abusive home. I mean designers should read the books first! Sometimes I think I should be a book designer. Oh and also, what do you recommend for the person who literally has every single book?! 

Here are some titles from this site that I weren't sure were real or not and then discovered we actually used to stock one...


Saturday, 12 March 2016

Take your Tablets!

Finally, after a year in the works, we now have a fully functioning tablet in store to help make connecting with Andrew's Bookshop as easy as possible! 

On it you'll be able to view and like (of course) our Facebook Page as well as sign up to our book club loyalty program. By making this change we hope to reduce our paper use - which is naturally quite a challenge given that we sell paper and what not. The loyalty program is an excellent way for us to say thank you for supporting local businesses. We've all faced the dilemma of deciding whether we should buy from a bricks and mortar shop or online or chain for less. Not to toot our own horn but I guess one thing we have up on online bookshops is our ability to provide service, to help you find that perfect book when you have absolutely no idea what you're looking for or all you know about the book is that the title contains onomatopoeia...

Here is Exhibit A of our new newfangled technology! Who says that bookshops are outdated?? Oh and we also sell the Monthly! But do not have Nick Xenophon working with us... 

Saturday, 5 March 2016

The Hard Choice

Have you ever wondered why books are first released in hardcover and then only a little later can you buy the lighter (cheaper) paperback version. It's an annoying fact of life but perhaps somewhat necessary? Actually who knows.

Luckily Google has the answers! When does it not? 

The Economist has an interesting article on the economic (as you would expect) reasons for this production method.

"Hardbacks' durability means they are also popular with libraries. And they hold a certain snob value, too: literary editors traditionally don’t review paperbacks. Once hardback sales have slowed, a paperback edition is released. Printed at a higher volume than the hardback, it usually sells in greater numbers, but at lower margins. Some publishers time their hardback editions to come out just before Christmas, eyeing the gift market, before publishing the paperback edition in time for the summer holidays."

Sorry for not doing any hard hitting journalism (just saw Spotlight. It's good go see it), basically just digging up some articles for all you lovely readers. This can just be called research. 

Meanwhile this other guy (nice photo though) sheds more light saying that the 'four main customers for hard cover books.'
1. Book Clubs.
2. Libraries.
3. Critics & Book Reviewers.
4. Remainder Distributors.

Provide clues as to why this occurs. Actually the more you read the reasons why the more sense it makes. I definitely prefer either hardcover or paperback over e-books and not just because I work in a bookshop! Personally I prefer hardcover for my non fiction books - beautiful books on art, design or photography and occasionally cookery books while paperback is sufficient for me for my fiction. It feels like it should be read while hardcover seems too serious and ornamental.
If you're really having trouble deciding which one to pick, luckily Wikihow has created a page on How to Choose Between Paperback and Hardback Books for you.