Book reviews, new books, publishing news, book giveaways, and author interviews

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Why today’s underrated books are tomorrow’s cult classics

Why today’s underrated books are tomorrow’s cult classics

If you're new here, why not subscribe to our email updates or follow us on Facebook? You can also add us to your Google Reader. Thanks for visiting! The Most Underrated Book Award 2013, which I helped judge, was announced on Friday at the close of the SPN Independent Publishing Conference. The winner was the wonderful Fish-Hair Woman by Merlinda Bobis (Spinifex...

Christmas Press heralds a return to traditional picture book publishing in Australia

Christmas Press heralds a return to traditional picture book publishing in Australia

“There’s not a lot of traditional material for kids being produced in Australia,” says Sophie Masson, one of the co-founders of Christmas Press, a new boutique picture book publisher with a focus on folktales and traditional stories. Many mainstream publishers are looking to “quirky” and nontraditional titles as a point of market differentiation,...

Cover designs inspired by art: Wally Lamb’s We Are Water and Rhein II by Andreas Gursky

Cover designs inspired by art: Wally Lamb’s We Are Water and Rhein II by Andreas Gursky

  When browsing through my many bookish newsletters today I came across an ad for Wally Lamb’s latest release We Are Water, and was struck by the cover design, which I found fiercely reminiscent of Rhein II, the photograph by Andreas Gursky that famously sold for a record $4.3m in 2011. I’m not sure whether the composition is a deliberate...

Giveaway: Tampa by Alissa Nutting

Giveaway: Tampa by Alissa Nutting

    If I were to peg a book as 2013′s most controversial release, Alissa Nutting’s Tampa, would probably be it. I’ll be reviewing the book shortly, but in the meantime the generous people at Allen & Unwin have offered copies of the book to give away to five of my Australian readers. To enter, simply fill in the Rafflecopter...

An Ode to Book Snobs

An Ode to Book Snobs

Some months ago, during my efforts to seek climate-controlled asylum from Melbourne’s oppressive summer days, I found myself in an independent bookshop known for its having both superior air conditioning and superior floor stock. Not to mention a superiority complex. Aware that my literary credibility was being assessed by the twin forces of the fauxhawked...

Ideological silos, blocking people on Twitter, and Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South

Ideological silos, blocking people on Twitter, and Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South

A week or so ago, I read with distinct amusement the commentary of two Twitter friends who were attending the Malcolm Gladwell lecture at Book Expo America. Each was live tweeting the event, and in verbose, manic style, their tweets filling my feed to the exclusion of pretty much everything else. But what made things so fascinating was that their tweets were...

Interview: Pierre Proske on the Unfinished Phrase iPhone App

Interview: Pierre Proske on the Unfinished Phrase iPhone App

  If you were to ask me to name one of the more unusual collocations in the English language, “exquisite corpse” would have to be one of them. Fortunately for those of us of squeamish constitution, it refers not to some sort of questionable forensic titillation, but rather to a type of collaborative story-telling whereby participants would turn by turn...

Daniel Dalton on Creatavist and multimodal story-telling

Daniel Dalton on Creatavist and multimodal story-telling

Late last year I attended a lecture with David Shields, author of Reality Hunger and ardent and vociferous proclaimer of the death of the novel. In Shields’ view, authors wishing to create new and relevant work work need to turn away from what he sees as the outmoded and irrelevant nineteenth century approach to the novel, and instead look at breaking...

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