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Phone 52225947 between 3 and 4pm on Tuesdays to speak to us live on air. Email: Post: 68-70 Little Ryrie Street, Geelong VIC 3220.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tuesday, December 22nd 2009

Today's show...

Robyn gave The Big Issue a plug - available from your nearest seller - (I bought mine from out front of Westfield). She also shared her thoughts on Alex Miller's Lovesong which has also won the title of Bernard's book of the year! No surprises, she too enjoyed his sensory writing style.

Bernard made mention of a couple of books:

"The Riddle of Father William Hackett" by Brenda Niall
"Nine lives: In search of the sacred in modern India" by William Dalrymple


John Banville: "The Infinities"

William Trevor: "Love And Summer"

Barbara Kingsolver: "The Lacuna"

Bernard shared ideas on how to do a book review:

An Idea or two for reviewing a book...By NO means meant to be prescriptive. Above all, remember your audience...people just like you.

1. What is it all about? A brief summary of the story (maybe 50-60 words).
2. Elaboration:
- setting (time, place...if especially important)
- characters: well-drawn? interesting? familiar? ...(authentic? = do they come across as credible human beings?)
- DIALOGUE: often (for me) the makings of a BETTER book: do the characters SOUND like they should? Writing effective dialogue is one of the hardest jobs in fiction writing.
3. MEANING: does the book have anything to say to me in 2010? No, it should never preach....but a better book will take the reader somewhere new.
4. PLOT: it may be old-fashiooned, but I believe that EVERY book should have a dramatic beginning, middle and end.
5. FORM/GENRE (probably out of order!)- we need to know whether this text is a biography? history? historical romance? historical fiction? autobiography? etc.
6. "STYLE" - That Special Way Of Writing Which Separates THIS Book From Others in its Genre.
7. MY opinion....which may be or not the result of the above.

We welcome all reviews - PHONED IN LIVE TO AIR, WRITTEN.....ANY form of communication. Please help us. We are drowning in review copies of books!

Bernard's TOP HITS OF 2009.
This is a PERSONAL list; not all books were published this year. ALL are in the bookshops/library.

Top Three:

1. James McPherson: "Battle Cry of Freedom" (1988. Recently re-released history of American Civil War).
2. Dennis Lehane: "The Given Day" (by the author of Mystic River - recently filmed).
3. Tim Winton: "Breath"

TEN Honourable Mentions: not in order
Andrew Ward: Our Bones Are Scattered [....Indian Mutiny 1857]
Kate Grenville: The River
Tom Keneally: Australians [ volume 1]
Paul Kelly: March Of The Patriots [re. Howard and Keating.]
David Finkel: The Good Soldiers [ with US soldiers during 2007 " Surge" in Iraq]
John Kennedy Toole: Confederacy Of Dunces [ 1980 novel...available in Penguin's " cheap" range.]
Truman Capote: In Cold Blood [ 1965...diito above.]
William Trevor: Love and Summer.
Alex Miller: Love Song.
Simon Scharma: American Future


Cecil Woodham-Smith: The Great Hunger [ THE history of the Irish famine of mid-19th century; out of print....I've seen it in local s/h bookshop.]
Paul Ham: Vietnam- the Australian War

I know there have been a lot of other books published this year: I read a fair bit....This is a very personal selection. Please get back to us with your choices.

"Gifts" Bruce Dawe
"The Journey of the Magi" T.S. Eliot

Mary Chapin Carpenter "Come Darkness, come light"
"7 O'Clock News/Silent night" Simon & Garfunkel
"We Three Kings" UK Gospel Choir

Contacting us:
Ph 52225947 between 3 and 4pm on Tuesdays to speak to us live on air.
68-70 Little Ryrie Street

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