Bruce’s Lucky Dip: On Location at The Lifeline Bookfest…

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Good morning all! Today’s Lucky Dip is a little bit out of the ordinary, because instead of using the Book Depository’s search engine for my lucky dipping, I decided to send Mad Martha out into the real world to do some dipping at the Lifeline Bookfest!

For those not familiar with the Lucky Dip, it usually involves delving into the BD’s search engine to find the funniest or weirdest titles on a particular search term.  For those unfamiliar with the Lifeline Bookfest, this is a semiannual second-hand book sale put on by the charity Lifeline.  It’s been running for many, many years now, and although I haven’t bothered attending for at least the last six or seven years, I was inspired by a post by Jeann from Happy Indulgence back in January to send Mad Martha out into the world to do some real-life dipping into a large, conveniently located pile of books.  Here’s a picture of her using the public transportation system to arrive safely at her goal:

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How happy she looks to be out amongst the fleshlings! Without further ado, please enjoy the spoils of her toil in our first non-virtual Lucky Dip!

 For those who have become bored with the Where’s Wally? concept and wish to test their observational skills in a real life context:

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Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Where’s Kevin?

Although one could just as easily ask the question, where is Macauley Culkin now?

For those who wish to get their kids onto the neverending cycle of fad diets and unattainable body image early, we have The Wizard, The Ugly and the Book of Shame:

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At least, I assume that this book is aimed at dissatisfied women in their 30s.  It certainly sounds like the sort of magazines they read.

For the youngster with a date with the juvenile justice system:

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In case you can’t read that, it’s called Susie and the Wise Hedgehog go to Court. Yep.

If I had the choice between a trained lawyer and a cute little woodland creature I’d probably pick the hedgehog too.

Next is that book on every kid’s TBR pile:

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It’s How Will I Behave Today and the Rest of My Life?

How indeed?! If Susie had read this book early on, maybe she wouldn’t have ended up going to court with a hedgehog, however wise said hedgehog might be.

Now for my favourite book filed in the Children’s section:

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An Australian Murder Almanac: 130 Years of Chilling Crime

I admit, I nearly bought this one.  After all, who could go past a book that labels a collection of murders such as those committed by “The Baby Killers” as a set of “gripping yarns”?

Panic not though, for although this book was obviously placed in the wrong section, I later came across this one:

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A Child’s Book of True Crime

I’m not sure why the cover features a nice collection of Australian wildlife (unless that’s an artist’s impression of the dingo from the Chamberlain case with a hitherto unacknowledged Kookaburra accomplice) but it’s nice to know that kids get their very own tome related to the more base aspects of human nature.

So they were the best that Mad Martha could unearth in the short time that she spent rifling through the books on offer.  She did, however, come across this serendipitous and inspired mash-up of book categories:

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Honestly, you couldn’t script that, could you? Wonder how the New Agers felt about that pairing…

And finally, after coming across piles and piles of these:

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We decided that Stephanie Meyers has a LOT to answer for.  And the same goes for you, Collins:

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There was an absolute abundance of these two sets of books.  Mad Martha didn’t bother looking in the adult fiction but I’m sure there would have been more than a few stacks of Fifty Shades, unable to be sold yet unable to be burned to keep the homeless warm.  A travesty.

So really, that was about it.  Mad Martha mentioned that stepping into the children’s section in the $1 category was like taking a time-bending trip back to a primary school library of the 1980s.  Bliss! She managed to pick up a long sought-after copy of Finders Keepers by Emily Rodda (in our favourite cover too!) and a slightly dog-eared RL Stine book that we recently searched for online but were dismayed to find was now out of print – this will be the focus of an upcoming Tomes of the Olden Times feature!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this unusual Lucky Dip – we’d love to hear if any Brisbanites managed to get down to the Bookfest this time around and whether you picked up any gems.  Or indeed, if anyone has come across some untapped veins of gold in a second hand bookstore in their own wanderings!

Until next time,

Bruce (and Martha)

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Bruce’s Lucky Dip: My first book (of titles one wouldn’t expect in a My First book)…

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Morning all! Today I will be presenting a lucky dip, which involves typing a term into the Book Depository’s search engine and carefully mining, processing, polishing and presenting to you all the diamonds in the rough that you perhaps wouldn’t normally encounter in your day-to-day book searchery.

This time around, I thought I’d search for that perrenial favourite of children’s literature – the “my first” book.  You know the type. My First Book of Colours, My First Book of Horses and Ponies…..how odd, I hear you ask, could this search really get?  Well sit back my friends and enjoy My First Lucky Dip of My First Books for Odd Children and Others…

For the budding politician, thespian or other precocious child: 

My First Monologue Book: 100 Monologues for Young Children (Kirsten Dabrowski)….Initially I read that title as one thousand monologues.  Still, at 100 there’s probably about 95 too many here.  I can imagine this kid being a right old hit at dinner parties later in life, can’t you?

my first monologue

For the budding philosopher or pint-sized lover of classical literature:

My First Kafka: Runaways, Rodents and Giant Bugs (Matthue Roth/Rohan Daniel Eason) … actually, I wouldn’t mind this one myself. I’m quite happy to have classic literature dumbed down for me so I can look intelligent at parties without having to actually read the original.

my first kafka

For the budding sociopath:

Hack/Slash: My First Maniac (Tim Seeley)…admittedly, I don’t think this one’s for kids…

my first maniac

For the budding granny, grandad, craft or fashion enthusiast:

My First Cardigan Workbook: Knit Your Way to Success with 8 Top-Down Cardigans (Georgia Druen)….notice that the title indicates that success will come with the cardigans.  Who’d have thought – all this time people have been chasing success through money, hard work, cheating…when all they had to do was foster a love for the twin set.

my first cardigan

For the budding geneticist or evil cloning genius:

My First Book About DNA (Katie Woodard)..I can just picture a whole generation of small girls using this book as the first step in cloning a whole army of Dollies…

my first dna

And finally, for the slightly impressionable young Harry Potter fan:

My First Little Workbook of Wicca (Violet Rieth)…nope, I didn’t see that one coming either!

wicca book

If you know of any unexpected (yet welcome!) My First titles, please do share them in the comments!

Until next time,

Bruce

If you love books, set them free…..

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Welcome one and all, and let me be the first (from this shelf) to wish you all a happy International Book Giving Day!

Book giving posterWhat, you didn’t know it was International Book Giving Day? Well what did you think today was? The Worldwide Day of Overspending on Chocolates and Flowers? Well, it could be that too. But we prefer to promote book giving day around here, because it might result in someone giving us a book (because, you know, we of the shelf are fairly deficient in that area).  Or maybe not.

A group of people who are somewhat restricted in their access to brand new books however, are those who do not have a fixed place to call home.  Which is why this year, to celebrate IBGD, I will be supporting the Footpath Library!

For those of you who are unaware of the Footpath Library and its mission (as indeed was I up until a few months ago), this fantastic charitable organisation aims to get new books into the hands of those living on the streets, in shelters or hostels, in their cars, on other people’s couches and basically anywhere that isn’t somewhere that any of us would really like to call “home”.  When you think about it, this is a brilliant idea, and one that I would never have considered.  If I paused for a moment to imagine what would happen to we shelf denizens if we were ever to become shelf-less, the one thing we wouldn’t lose would be our love of reading – however it might suddenly become a lot harder to get our collective paws on reading material.  Disaster!

The generous poppets at the Footpath Library are aiming to overcome this problem and well done them, I say.  People can help the Footpath Library by donating books, donating money, donating bookcases or donating knitted items.  For more information about the Footpath Library and how you can get involved, check out their website here, or click on their logo:

footpath library

As the Footpath Library does have a few guidelines as to the condition and content of donated books (which you can also find out about at their website), I have decided to support them by “Shouting for a Cause” – so I have shouted them the cost of a book and a coffee.  I may even make this a regular thing, it’s so easy to do – just click on the Shout for Good link on their webpage and off you go!

So in the flurry of romanticism that always erupts at this time of year, don’t forget to consider passing on the lovingest gift of all to someone you know or someone you don’t – a book!

Until next time,

Bruce

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favourite Character Names…

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TTT3WTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme over at The Broke and The Bookish.  Today I have elected to participate and share my list of favourite character names from literature.  I have chosen these because they are (a) rhyming and therefore funny, (b) alliterative and therefore funny or (c) generally ridiculous and therefore funny. Unfortunately I only have five, because of short preparation time, but you can find some of my other favourites here. In no particular order, they are:

* Soren Lorenson *

(Lauren Child / Slightly Invisible (Charlie and Lola series))

slightly invisible

* Shaun the Faun *

( Jon Skovron / Man Made Boy)

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* Slartibartfast *

(Douglas Adams / The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

hitchhikers guide

* Tim Somebody *

(Alexander McCall Smith / Corduroy Mansions)

corduroy mansions

* Horatio Hornblower *

(C. S. Forrester / Mr Midshipman Hornblower)

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So who’s on your list?

Bruce

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Bruce Gargoyle's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Reminders and Teasers: A Smorgasboard of Bookish *Stuff*…

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Good afternoon shelf-buddies!  I bring to you today a veritable picnic basket overflowing with tempting and exciting reading-related delicacies! Hopefully by the end of this post you will find yourself filled to elegant sufficiency, slightly drowsy from the richness of your bookish repast and with any luck, not covered with crumbs or being stalked by the inevitable trail of ravenous ants.

First up, REMINDERS:

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Kid Lit Blog Hop #22

In case you missed my last post (and related fancy hat), I am currently tickled pink to be co-hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop, home of all things child and literacy related. Click the button to join in the fun!

Fiction in 50 Challenge: August

fiction in 50It’s on again! For those who love to write but can never get past the first few sentences of your epic novel, this is the challenge for you! Create a piece of fiction in 50 words or less, and post it on your page in the last week of August.

This month’s prompt is: FAMOUS LAST WORDS

Click on the button for more info, and for upcoming prompts!

Second up, a TEASER!

I’m a little ashamed to admit that we shelf-dwellers have all been having a little trouble with skulkreigning in overblown egos in the last week or two.  The reason behind our sudden inflatedness of head is that we were recently approved to review our first ever ARC – for SKULK, by Rosie Best and published by Strange Chemistry!

Check out that cover – doesn’t it just suck you in? Skulk introduces us to Meg, an ordinary young lass who witnesses the death of a fox…who shapeshifts into a man.  Meg then discovers that she has inherited this power….and things go downhill for her from there!  Skulk is a great example of young adult urban fantasy, but I won’t say too much here because…..

…..In preparation for Skulk’s release on the 1st  (US/Canada/ebook) and the 3rd (UK) of September, I will be reviewing Skulk next week and then on the 2nd of September, the shelf will be honoured with a post from the author herself – Rosie Best!!

And finally, a bit of RETAIL THERAPY!

winterowls fox toy

In order that you are fully prepared when you rush out and order your copy of Skulk, I also have a little bit of foxy goodness from my crafty mate WinterOwls.

This darling little fox friend is available at her etsy shop here:

http://www.etsy.com/au/listing/155720293/handmade-fox-toy-fox-plush-upcycled-fox

It would make a great cuddle buddy to accompany the scarier bits of Skulk!

So there you have it – plenty to ponder over a lazy weekend.

Until next time,

Bruce

 

 

 

 

Litera-tees: Tees for Readers (#3)…

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Afternoon all – I present you with a lazy, consumerist post for a lazy Tuesday afternoon….here are some more tees for the literary-minded, plus some very convenient information on who designed them and where you can spend your hard-earned cash purchasing them. You’re welcome, shoppers!

First up, some Harry-related loveliness:

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—we have Master of Death by Catch A Brick, available at RedBubble….

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…and Just As Sane As I Am by the unnecessarily talented Megan Lara, also available at RedBubble…and if you like Megan Lara’s nouveau art, she has produced a whole range of tees in this style with various characters – Hermione and many of the recent Doctor Who companions to name a few.

For the Tolkien fans, apparently it is possible to simply walk into Mordor, if this tee is anything to go by:

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It’s titled Simply Walk, is designed by Tom Kurzanski and is available at RedBubble

For those who like to express their opinions on the classics:

moby dicky…we have Moby Dicky by Budi Satria Kwan available at threadless

For those who like a bit of film with their bookery:

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…here’s Vader Read A Book available at WeLoveFine shop…

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…and Movies: Ruining the Book since 1920 by Jayson Dougherty, available at threadless

And finally, just because I love it and want someone to buy it for me (Att: Santa Claws!):

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It’s the Grim Readers’ Book Club by WinterArtwork, available at Shirt.Woot

Layby now for Christmas!

Until next time,

Bruce

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Bruce’s Lucky Dip: Paper Dolls You Never Played With as a Kid…

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It’s lucky dip time again, and have I got some ripping (pun intended) offerings for you today! For those who don’t know, my lucky dip feature involves typing a carefully selected term into the Book Depository’s search box and presenting you with the delightfully weird results.

So, paper dolls. Those favoured playthings of fleshlings fond of fun in two-dimensions. Who would’ve thought that scratching the surface of such an innocuous activity would  uncover a veritable treasure chest of oddity? Well, after the utter strangeness encompassed by the range of colouring books on offer, one probably shouldn’t really be surprised.  But one will be.

For your perusing pleasure, I present to you some of the real gems of paper-related play – click on the covers if your appetite for origami-esque shenanigans is whetted!

For the Buddhist who wants to add “right-dressing” to their list of rules for living:

dalai lama paper dolls

 

In a similarly religious vein, for the paper-doll enthusiast with a penchant for swift, undetectable revenge:

voodoo paper dolls

For the book enthusiast who really wants to get inside their favourite author’s head…and wardrobe:

literary greats paper dollsI’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I’m only certain of Shakespeare out of that lot…can anyone enlighten me as to who the rest are? Is that Sylvia Plath in the straight jacket? Virginia Woolf? And the bloke on the right looks like a close relation of Colonel Sanders the KFC man, but I’m guessing is somebody more literary minded….

For the pet-lover whose real-life animal friend is averse to wearing cute little outfits:

lucky cats paper dollsFor the man in your life who always liked to play with his sister’s dolls as a little boy:

naughty girls paper dolls

And my personal favourite….***DRUM ROLL PLEASE****…..

For the political enthusiast who wants to recreate famous scandals in their own home:

richard nixon paper dolls

Now before you start scratching your head at the utter surreal-ness of the book immediately above, the BD has a whole range of paper doll books featuring American presidents and their families.  So whatever your political persuasion, there is a paper doll out there for you, voter!

If paper dolls are not your thing, I have also recently discovered two more fantastically different colouring books that I just had to share with you:

For the littlest scholar of feminist philosophy:

girls are not chicks colouring

And for the colouring enthusiast who can’t resist using one of those fancy rainbow pencils:

sometimes the spoon colouring book

 

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and flex your creative muscle! And be sure to chime in with any other exciting paper-doll or colouring related titles that we need to know about.

Until next time,

Bruce