Good Reading : February 2007
12 goodreading ı FEBRUARY 2007 book trivia a feast of festivals Book lovers on both sides of this vast continent have a smorgasbord of international and local authors to choose from this month, as the mighty Words and Ideas component of Perth’s International Arts Festival – Australia’s oldest, founded in 1953 – takes place in Western Australia and Writers at Como happens in Melbourne. They share many writers who will be winging their way from one to the other, including Conn Iggulden, Marina Lewycka, Louise Welsh, Garry Disher and Michael White.The Perth Writers’ Week, which runs from 22 February until 28 February, also features Curtis Sittenfeld, Anthony Swofford (see our interview with Anthony on page 10), Tony Hawks, Anna Pavord, Susan Duncan, David Malouf, Christopher Kremmer, Nicholas Rothwell, Susan Mitchell with Margaret Whitlam, James Bradley, Liz Byrski, John Hirst, Jo Dutton, Simone Lazaroo, Les Mur ray, Deborah Robertson and more. Phew! Go to www.perthfestival.com.au for a full line-up of authors and events. Writers at Como, held in the grounds of the beautiful National Trust property Como House in the Melbour ne suburb of South Yar ra, kicks off on 16 February and runs until 18 February. In addition to the five writers going on to Perth, it also features Josephine Flood (see our interview with Josephine Flood on page 38), Inga Clendinnen, Mandaley Perkins, Carmel Bird and Sandy McCutcheon. Go to www.writersatcomo.com for more infor mation. nominative determinism t’s been well documented how someone’s name can eerily echo their chosen profession: Mr Bun the baker, Ms Vine the gardener, Dr D’eath, and so on. But this can happen with authors and their book subjects, too, as hilariously shown n a new publication, Fish Who Answer the Telephone and Other Bizarre Books by Russell Ash and Brian Lake (John Murray, rrp $29.95). In the chapter ‘Authors — Right or Wrong’ they list the following (true) couplings, among many others: Criminal Life: Reminiscences of Forty-Two Years as a Police Officer by Superintendent James Bent (John Heywood, 1891) Motorcycling for Beginners by Geoff Carless (EP Publishing, 1980) Mathematics for Engineers by Raymond W Dull (McGraw-Hill, 1941) Vasectomy: The Male Sterilization Operation by Paul J Gillette (Paperback Library, 1972) Anatomy of the Brain by William W Looney (FA Davis, 1932) Frozen Future: The Arctic, the Antarctic and the Survival of the Planet by Daniel Snowman (Random House Canada, 1993) The Principles of Insect Physiology by Vincent Brian Wigglesworth (Methuen, 1939) Watch out for more instances from the weird and wonderful world of books in future issues of gr! library favourites The most-borrowed Australian books from public libraries in Australia during the years 2003-2006 make an interesting list, dominated by two authors. Here they are: The Other Side of Dawn by John Marsden Possum Magic by Mem Fox Brother Fish by Bryce Courtenay Solomon’s Song by Bryce Courtenay The Night is for Hunting by John Marsden Burning for Revenge by John Marsden Flags and Emblems of Australia by Jill B Bruce The Potato Factory by Bryce Courtenay Dirt Music by Tim Winton Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta While we’re in the library,Valentine’s Day this month will be celebrated by book lovers as National Library Lovers’ Day. This, we are told by the Australian Library and Information Association, will be a day of fun, romance and reading, with competitions and prizes in libraries across the country. The State Library of Victoria will host its third Text Appeal event. So get in touch with your local library and join in the fun! cruelty cases with happy endings The RSPCA has gone into the publishing business, producing a set of six books for children from kindergarten to primary age which aim to teach responsible pet ownership and kindness to animals. Each book tells the true story of animals rescued by RSPCA inspectors, from Dell the Queensland cat, who was thrown down a well, to Cookie the ex-racehorse left to starve yet who after rescue became himself a police rescue horse in Goulburn. The books are primarily intended for classroom use but are on sale to the public, rrp $9.95 each. James Fraser of Pan Macmillan (left) awards author John Marsden a special plaque to celebrate the sale of two million copies of Marsden’s ‘Tomorrow, When the War Began’ series.
December / January 2007