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tears will be shed

It’s that time again, when I bemoan the inadequacies of the CBCA Book of The Year for Older Readers Shortlist and Notables.

This year’s Shortlist is full of death and grief and general tragedy. I’ve read 5 of 6 titles, including my fav Frankie. If she doesn’t win I might have to find my copy of Macbeth and break a dickhead’s nose with it. (Her words, not mine.)

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words in deep blue

“The past is with me; the present is here. The future is unmapped and changeable. Ours for the imagining: spreading out before us. Sunlight filled, deep blue, and the darkness.”

Cath Crowley’s Words in Deep Blue is a love letter to books and reading, the counterpoint to Graffiti Moon, a love letter to Art. Who wouldn’t love a story set in a second hand bookstore, starring a library of love letters secreted within the pages of beloved books.

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bloghop: why I love Oz YA

#LoveOzYA bloghop hosted by:

Sharing favourite Aussie YA reads and finding more books to add to your TBR!

Aussie YA Blog Hop

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the boy on the lake

When I was 12 I read The Boy on the Lake by Judith Clarke (UQP, 1989) and fell in love with these horror filled tales of the supernatural.

I’m doing the May #AusYAChallenge on instagram and today the theme is “a book that changed you.” I had no idea what to post. Every book changes me, until I start the next and it happens all over again. My first thought was some of the books I’ve already posted because they are favs.

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predicting the future with monsters

I like to pick holes in the CBCA Book of The Year for Older Readers. When I worked in libraries, every year I seethed against the judge’s “poor” choices but I’ve slacked off the last couple of years. Now’s the time to get back into my mid year apoplexies.

As an erratic reader who rarely reads all the titles on the Shortlist, let alone the Notables, I have no right to opinionate, but that never stops me.

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reminiscing on blog origins

Years ago when writing my thesis my favourite procrastination tool was blogging. I always thought I couldn’t write book reviews, but after reading Shannon Hale and John Green’s thoughts on reviewing books, I gave it a go.

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I’m lost somewhere

The moon is slipping away, slice by silver slice. If I could find her pieces as they fell, I would gather them and make her whole again.

My friend Jill Midolo died last Sunday. She was doing better the Friday before and I took this as meaning she would be fine. After three good and happy days she fell asleep between the pages of an enchanted novel. I’ve been reading Kelly Link and those are her words. MJ and I both read fantasy, although I’m not sure if MJ ever read Kelly Link and she doesn’t really write fantasy, she writes weirdness, the best kind of story. A book MJ and I both loved was Liar by Justine Larbalestier. I borrowed MJ’s copy last year and because I got the cover dirty (trashing books being a talent of mine) I bought her another copy. I now own a book with “Jill 2009” written on the inside cover. I will cherish it more than any signed book I ever own.

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Governments do listen

Wow, I didn’t think they did, but the Australian Society of Authors told me yesterday that Federal Minister for Competition Policy Craig Emerson announced,

The Government has decided not to change the Australian regulatory regime for books introduced by the previous Labor government…read the rest

This means parallel importation restrictions on books detailed in Australia’s Copyright Act will remain unchanged. The ASA, Australian publishers, authors, illustrators and others campaigned all year to bring about this decision and they’ve succeeded.

ASA Executive Director Dr Jeremy Fisher acknowledged the Australian publishing industry was facing significant pressures.

Minister Emerson correctly highlights the fact that e-books and digital technology are having an impact on the Australian publishing industry. The ASA welcomes change. We constantly seek new means to increase authors’ incomes. We are currently in discussions relating to fair contracts for authors with regard to e-books and products such as Kindle. We have also taken an active role in the US-based Google Book Settlement, which will see authors being able to pursue income streams for out-of-print works. The ASA will always seek improved income streams for its members in both print and digital forms.

Of course the whole world, and one little rabbit, knew this before me, but I only have a few more paragraphs of thesis, then I might be able to join the living again.

Inky Goodness

Matata the reading Bengal cat by Justin Atkins on Flickr The longlist for the 2009 Inkys has been out for a while, but I’m experiencing some thesis induced insanity at the moment and the Inkys just remind me of all that YA reading I have to catch up on. You may notice Matata the reading cat has a predilection for classics, but she’s not averse to YA in between. I think she could out-read Inky the dog any day of the week.

When I first saw the list I thought the best book of recent times, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, outranked everything else, even the books I hadn’t read :P

Skim by Mariko & Jillian Tamaki But then I read Skim by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki which utterly captivated me and The Hunger Games moved down my list. I hadn’t noticed Skim was on the Inkys list at first, but how could such a masterpiece of word and image (my two fav things) not be. I didn’t think its graphic novel-ness was the deciding factor in my opinion. But perhaps it was because it’s the combination of the words and pictures which I love so much, especially the full and double page spreads of illustration, with Skim’s diary creeping across the scene. My favourite is Skim and Lisa trying to summon the dead boy’s spirit in the woods, and missing him because they’re facing the wrong way (right). Its partial repetition on the end papers makes for a beautiful book design.

My favourite words in Skim are repeated in the blurb. The Inkys page also has them, but they missed the most important line (you can’t trust a dog with ink on his paws)

I had a dream
I put my hands
inside my chest
and held my heart

to try to keep it still

The unusual angles, tantalizingly crossed out words of Skim’s diary and obscuring of Skim’s face so much of the time, until she finds herself and an unexpected friend, combine to make a work of art on a very different level to The Hunger Games. And I much preferred the UK/Aust cover to the Canadian.

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