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Friday, August 27, 2010

August 24th


* Jon Bauer’s “ Rocks In The Belly”, reviewed here two weeks ago, is receiving a lot of publicity. He is a guest at the coming Melbourne Writers’ Festival

*….And all you “Buffy” fans will be rushing to hear Joss Whelan who is the speaker on opening Night of the Melbourne Writers Festival.

* Peter Ryan is a retired academic and former long-time editor of Melbourne University Press. In one of his “Quadrant” columns he heaped praise on LIBRARIANS [as we often do on this program] by means of a quote from the pages that precede the main text of that most wondrous of books “Moby Dick” where Melville wrote that librarians take lifelong pains to please and to serve, but are doomed to stay unthanked forever….but they will be exalted – in Heaven where they will be housed in glory.

* The short list for the annual Ned Kelly Awards , for crime fiction writing in Australia, has been announced. I must say, having read all three, I feel somewhat “underwhelmed”. If “The Black Russian” [ Bartulin], “Bleed For me” [ Robotham] and “ Wyatt’ [Disher] are the best we can muster in a year in this genre, why award the prize? Any comment from fellow readers?

* “Carnival Edge”, is the most recent collection of poems by Katherine Gallagher who will be offering a workshop in Torquay in September. ‘The Blurb’ hopes to speak with Katherine about her work later on.

* Jessica RUDD’s debut novel “Campaign Ruby” is in the shops now.

A wealth of information for writers, journalists and anyone interested in publishing and the book industry. The bestselling guide in its 103rd edition is completely revised and updated. The guide includes articles by top authors and media experts on key subjects for writers and illustrators.
The Writers' and Artists' Yearbooks contain information on a huge range of topics including copyright, finance, submitting a manuscript, e-publishing, prizes and awards. For more information follow the link to the Allen & Unwin website.

We have spoken about e-books before on ‘the blurb’, but here is some further information about them.

Digital technology is transforming the book publishing industry. Since the release of e-books in 2005, hundreds of titles have been made available in this format from retails all around the world.
Not all books are suited to all eBook formats and not all retailers carry all eBook formats, so you may need to check more than one retailer if you’re looking for an eBook edition of a particular book. Prices may vary too, as they are controlled by the retailer.
Most books are released in hardcopy and electronic format at the same time. You do need a reader to be able to buy e-books, you can get them on your iPhone, iPad or iPod or through book retails. Every retailer will have there own version of a readers and the application that allows you to download the e-book to your reader.

Inspired by the ABC TV series. This book by William McInnes shares stories about Australia and its people since World War Two. It might make a great Father’s Day gift, with Father’s Day just around the corner. ‘Making of Modern Australia’ is available now at all good book shops.


“ The Death Of A Bird” by A.D.Hope. Gazing out to sea, have you never wondered about the magnitude of the task all those migrating birds undertake as they wing their way across oceans and continents?

BOOK REVIEW: "Into The Beautiful North, Luis Alberto Urrea

“Into The Beautiful North” by Mexican writer Luis Alberto Urrea is a beautiful story,wonderfully told.
It is present-day Mexico.Tres Camarones is a sadly-typical poverty-stricken village which has little hope of ever becoming anything else. A run-down picture show, a makeshift bar and a church are the only signs of community. Most of the men have fled to “the beautiful North”, hoping to sneak into the United States in search of luck or work or simply escape. A pair of drug-running crooks arrive in the village and size it up as ripe for the pickings. They have not, however, reckoned on the resource funess of the town’s new mayor [Zia Irma, regional ten pin bowling champion] and a handful of ‘cool’ young women who will develop a plan for saving their modest home town.
Their leader is the feisty Nayeli who has a vision the night after she sees “The Magnificent Seven”Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner are still their Hollywood heroes. ‘Why can’t we go North and find a handful of “magnificent” men to deliver their village from its imminent threat?” Equipped with Tia Irma car and money and accompanied by “the only gay in the village’, the flamboyant but generous Tacho, they head for Tijuana. The rest of the book records their adventures with immigration agents, thieves, prostitutes and all sorts of predators, intent upon thwarting their naïve plan. As well as delivering a compact yet complete portrait of the main characters, Urrea introduces us to the dirty, feral, violent but very brave Atomica, lifelong denizen of the Tijuana rubbish dump who becomes an unlikely knight in ragged armour. Later there is even a cross-country [San Diego to Miinneapolis] road trip by Tacho and Nayeli in which the reader shares.
…And all of this in just 338 pages. Nayeli in particular is a memorable and heroic character: selfless, creative and resourceful, she doesn’t even get her man in the end. No matter. The girls find their unlikely “magnificent’ compadres and return home, ready for the fray.

This novel is by turns funny, sad, riveting and instructive. Urrea is close to his characters, having worked for many years alongside the ragpickers of Tijuana. This is another snapshot of the underside of contemporary North America.
I recommend this novel to all readers of any age.
Rating: ****

Luis Alberto Urrea: “Into The Beautiful North”, Little Brown,2010, rrp.$30,pp 338.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Lisa-Reece Lane author of ‘Milk Fever’

‘Milk Fever’ was review on the show 4 weeks ago and this week Robyn had the chance to talk to Lisa-Reece Lane about her book, and what a fantastic interview it was…here is some of what she had to say.

Lisa-Reece Lane on the inspiration behind her characters-
Tom started off as a short story which is the first chapter really, but Julia came to me and I wanted to tell her story too. I see the book a sort of a modern day Madam Bovary.

Lisa-Reece Lane on the idea that everyone has their own song-
It’s true that I am influenced by music. When writing this book I wanted to give my characters a soundtrack to their life. It is important for me in my writing that the sentences I use have the right rhythm, otherwise I won’t use them.

Lisa-Reece Lane on writing about romance-
I am a romance disaster! So I don’t set out to write about it, but it is a powerful force. I think we write about the things we most need to learn about and that was why ‘Milk Fever’ turned out the way it did. The human heart is fascinating to me.

Lisa-Reece Lane on writing and who influences her -
I feel a little more self conscious about my writing. I am very disciplined with it because I feel like someone is watching over me when I write saying “you can’t write that, it doesn’t make any sense”.
I love the writing of Rose Tremain, Melinda Haynes and I am currently reading Marcus Zusak “The Book Thief”.

Lisa-Reece Lane on the world of blogging-
I started my blog because someone at Murdoc suggested it. The best thing I get out of my blog is the people I’ve met and the support they give me.

This wonderful author had some high praises for our show sending us the following e-mail:
Hi Robyn. Hi Bernard.
I just wanted to let you know how much I loved being on your show
yesterday. You both have such a warm friendly manner so I felt like I
was chatting with a couple of friends. Great questions too. I'm still
thinking about what music Milk Fever would have as soundtrack.
Here's wishing you both continued success and lots of fun on The Blurb.
Warmest best wishes,


This week on the show we played tracks from these artists;

- ‘Space They Cannot Touch’ by Kate Miller-Heidke from her album ‘Little Eve’
- ‘Beaches’ by Bridezilla from their debut album ‘The First Dance’

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