of ceiling wax

reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between

because internet

“Like the decentralized network of websites and machines that make up the internet itself, language is a network, a web. Language is the ultimate participatory democracy. To put it in technological terms, language is humanity’s most spectacular open source project.”

Because Internet

Last year I read Because Internet: Understanding how Language is Changing by Gretchen McCulloch (Vintage, 2019). An impecably researched history of the internet and our internet communication. I thought Linguistics was more about speech, but we do more writing than speaking online. (And reading a couple of linguistics books recently, historical speech is often only recorded in writing.) I had quite the nostalgia trip remembering my life online from 1997 til the end of time. That makes me a Full Internet Person – I’m enmeshed and can never escape.

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when monsters refuse to die

“It would not be an absolute disaster until the tea ran out.”

Cats and tea, what more could I want from a book (I thought…)

Terciel and Elinor by Garth Nix (Allen and Unwin, 2021) is on the Shortlist for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year – Older Readers award. I don’t think it deserves shortlistdom, but the judges and I don’t get along (even when they change every year). My reading quest for the book shows why I rarely like high fantasy. I’m about to fall asleep from the middle boredom of it. I’ll finish as audio book, but have to wait until July for a library copy. That doesn’t bother me at all, since I need a break from Abhorsen incompetence. At this stage (p.298) Elinor should ditch the rest of them and slay the monsters herself.

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on the road on fire

“Being out there on the road made me realise that people are always playing with your story, inventing you, changing who you are to suit them.”

I love Girls in Boy’s Cars by Felicity Castagna (Pan Macmillan, 2021). It’s heartbreaking and clever and full of the teen angst of growing up female. There’s a road trip, make-overs, a drowned town and more crimes than should be able to fit in one book. It’s on the Shortlist for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year – Older Readers award. I wrote this for the CBCA WA Shortlist talk this week, but I caught covid (of course I did) and handed in my words for someone else to say.

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scary movies 101

“The game isn’t over until everyone’s played.”

The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky (Henry Holt, 2021) is clever and by turns comedic and horrifying. I was as terrified as Rachel most of the way through. Also, incredulous that The Club could do these things to their friends.

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nobody knows

“Give people a few convincing threads and they’ll spin the rest themselves. This story has been woven for us, more tightly than I could have done. I couldn’t untangle the knots now if I tried.”

I really liked Nobody Knows But You by Anica Mrose Rissi (Quill Tree Books, 2020). A welcome change from the mystery/thrillers I’ve read lately.

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how not to write diversity

If you liked A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson (Electric Monkey, 2019) you might not like the following rant.

Finishing this trainwreck of a book was excruciating. It has a 4.3 average rating on Goodreads, when most books average 3-4. I have no idea how that happened. A theme of the book is racial profiling by police and how media coverage differs between people of colour and white victims and murderers. Pippa the student PI acts like an entitled white girl trying to save the brown boy. Additionally, Pippa gives a speech about racism at the end. If all the diversity boxes are ticked, does that make it ok?

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love through time

“If it wasn’t some Epic Love Story, then it was just a tragedy.”

I’ve been waiting three years to read Waking Romeo by Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin, 2021). And it did not disappoint. Although, as usual, time travel and I do not get on. I love the concept, but the details do my head in.

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peta lyre’s rating

Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal by Anna Whateley (Allen & Unwin, 2020) is shortlisted for the CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2021. Providing a compelling story while giving insight into navigating highschool while neurodiverse.

“I love how he can always find a way to laugh, no matter how crap everything gets.”

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you’re burning my life

The Book of Chance by Sue Whiting (Walker Books, 2020) has mystery, mayhem, a dog or two. What more could I ask for? No murder, sadly, but something kind of just as bad. All of it 10-12 years old friendly. Also, shortlisted for the CBCA Book of The Year Younger Readers 2021.

“I needed a dog that knew how to forge ahead and not look back.”

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