Monthly Archives: August 2012

Reading around

Look, don’t tell Dickens, but I’ve been reading around. It has been a short fling with Sweet Tooth; it started on Sunday and it will have run its course tonight. I’ve tried to prolong the pleasure, but the impulse to rush ahead is insistent, urgent. Ian McEwan knows what he is doing (what a pensman*), and it’s hard to resist

Read more

Sex, money, and book cover snap

Book cover snap strikes again! Publishers pressure designers to pump out covers quickly and the stock image libraries don’t tell designers who has already bought the same image. The stock libraries get a lot of mileage out of some images, don’t they? Here’s the cover of a new release by Chloe Hooper, The Engagement, published by Penguin Australia on 22

Read more

The reader as a super villain

When you find your way into the world of reading via the right books for you, it’s like pulling off the ultimate heist. There are millions of books out there and thousands of years’ worth of entertainment and knowledge to plunder. The only sad thing is that you won’t live long enough to read them all. Sometimes you’ll read what

Read more

Zuleika Dobson

or, An Oxford Love Story “Oxford, that lotus-land, saps the will-power, the power of action.  But, in doing so, it clarifies the mind, makes larger the vision, gives, above all, that playful and caressing suavity of manner which comes of a conviction that nothing matters, except ideas, and that not even ideas are worth dying for, inasmuch as the ghosts

Read more

The bookseller’s song

(or In praise of ISBNs) I’ve written this in honour of booksellers for Australia’s National Bookshop Day (this Saturday 11 August). It’s to be sung to the tune of The Cure’s Catch, with apologies to my secular god, Robert Smith. (Please don’t sue.) If you don’t know the song, you can watch The Cure’s video for Catch on YouTube. Ahem. *Clears throat.*

Read more

The writer as a reader

Reading: it’s a feast that never ends, a desire that cannot be sated. And the best advocate for reading, the person most likely to whet your appetite for more books, is a writer who relishes a hearty serving of books. I want to read Ian McEwan’s new novel, Sweet Tooth, and Kate Summerscale’s Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace, and a book of

Read more