Monday, 7 November 2011

Beaches, Books and Blogs, Oh My!

I had an absolutely brill weekend in fair, sunny Melbourne.

I also picked up some books.

I visited Kill City, a crime centred second hand bookstore in the Melbourne CBD for the first time and came away with three decidedly not crime books.

  • Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing which I have always loved and never owned.
  • Steven Herrick's The Simple Gift (as you can see from the bling it is held in high esteem).
  • Ursula Dubosarsky's (I will never tire of saying her name) The First Book of Samuel.

More troubling was this shelf label in their children's area.
And I understand why.  

Parents walk into a bookstore and say that have a so and so aged, gender specified child that they are looking for reading material for.  

I understand.  

I just don't approve.  

Reading shouldn't be about what you should read but what you want to read.  I think it would be more helpful to ask the kid what kind of stories they like reading (and their reading ability) and enter a store with that in mind than reducing them to a file and rank.

I also finally got myself down to St Kilda (it only took 10 months) where I snoozed on the grass, ate three-colour cheese and listened to the nearby bongo player.
How's that for gorgeous?

And then I bought two more books.
(I would turn it but I haven't figured out how to do that with Instagram yet.)
  • With all the kerfuffle regarding the National Book Awards I made a point of purchasing Lauren Myracle's Shine.
  • I've also been curious about 'Five Flavours of Dumb' since it was released but with the recent blog attention I  searched it out.
I'll be reviewing them once I have had time to read them over at my work blog - Read Alert.  The reviews won't be what you are used to here but hey, at least I am reviewing in some capacity.  I've posted small ones (like I said different) for Vikki Wakefield's All I Ever Wanted (a lovely little Aussie treasure), Lauren Barnholdt's Two Way Street and tomorrow there will be one for Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me.  

My little team and I will be posting reviews through the week and creating different reading lists every Friday that combine international and Australian published lists.  Be sure to swing by if you have time.

Also make sure you go and check out Carla's great initiative the Aussie YA Month over at The Crooked Bookshelf ,  She's got some fantastic discussions, interviews and reviews featuring the talent that we are blessed to have here in Oz.

Thanks for taking in my rambles


Tez Miller said...

Went to a second-hand bookstore earlier this year. TWILIGHT was on the "Horrible Fiction" shelf ;-)

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize you haven't read Dumb! I LOVE that book. I totally would've sent it to you, lady.

Sara said...

Shine is amazing! I hope you love it!

Nomes said...

oh, i love secnod hand book stores. so . much (although someone once said to me i should not go to them as it is not supporting the authors, LOL> (I mean, I get their point, but really?)

Anyways, simple gift is still one of my faves ~ and my sisters all time fave YA novel in the history of the universe.

i saw steven herrick this year, at a theatre performance of 'the simple gift' it was a bit surreal (the theatre, not SH)

Sue Bursztynski said...

I've read the Dubosarsky and the Herrick books, both lovely. Oddly enough, not the Judy Blume, considering my day job is in a school library! :-) And Judy Blume is still around, doing lots. I totally agree with you about labelling books by age group, gender and such. One of the huge mistakes made when they published the very good "Crime Waves" series is that they put "suitable for age..." on them. In my library I know my clients and what they enjoy. I do make recommendations when they ask, and sometimes when a kid I know is reading at a low level borrows something thick and complex, I just ask,"Do you think the English might be a bit hard for you?" but if they say they want it still, I lend it to them and let them decide. In a bookshop it's another matter. You're there to sell stuff and while you can ask such things as, "Is she a good reader?" and "what has she enjoyed in the past?", in the end, parents have only so much time and don't always want to wait around for just the right thing. Mind you, one bookseller said of my book on women scientists, "I sell a lot of these for batmitzvahs." ;-)