Be in it to win it!

Winners warmly announced

I’m pleased to announce the two winners of our Harlequin Books give-away! Anniepinkshoes and Carmel Corry have each won a copy of their choice of the books Fiona McCallum’s Wattle CreekBoomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe or Temptation, by Karen Ann Hopkins.

Thanks everyone for entering, and rest assured there will be a couple of more chances to win over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned! Plus July’s TBYL News: All Things Books... is out on Monday, and there will be a chance to win a great book from Picador. Subscribe here…

Annie and Carmel, just email me your details (postal address) to info@thatbookyoulike.com.au by end Wednesday, 4.07.12 and I’ll make arrangements for a copy to be sent to you! If the prize isn’t claimed, I will redraw on 5.07.12

The TBYL Book Club is warm!

I woke up yesterday morning, proud as punch and happy as Larry.

Wednesday night’s TBYL Book Club Housewarming Party was a hit and lots and lots of fun. By all accounts everyone had a good time, and I think we’ve all had a chance to get to know each other and the club house a little bit better.

The evening flew by, the games were quick and punchy and everyone got into the spirit of the evening! Thanks so much to everyone who contributed, you made the evening a blast and our new home a very warm one.

Because the night went so fast, I thought it might be nice to give a run down on who won what…

The Lucky Door Prize was won by Patricia B. The prize was a copy of the perplexing Fall From Pride, by Karen Harper (Harlequin)

The winner of the Reading Corner Photo Challenge was Karen B. The prize was a copy of Dare Me, by Megan Abbott (Picador) The photos and descriptions that you guys shared where fabulous, thanks!

The winner of the Desert Island Book give-away was Kate B. Kate won a copy of The Beloved, by Annah Faulkner (Picador)

Tamela D. won the Would You Rather game, and she’ll be getting a copy of Summer at Willow Lake, by Susan Wiggs (Harlequin)

The Reading Pile Photo Challenge was won by Anne H. who shared her list of great reads. She’s won a copy of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain (Allen and Unwin)

Next we had a bit of trivia about Books to Movies, and you all proved yourselves very clever. The winner was Megan O., and she’s won a copy of Unholy Night, by Seth Grahame-Smith (Allen and Unwin) PLUS an in-season double pass to see ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ in cinemas in August.

The winner of the Favourite Front Cover Photo Challenge was Leah W. She’s won some bling! A stylish and practical crystal set Handbag Holder from our friends at iBare Giftware.

We had two winners of the Who am I? game, Sherie B. and Bec W. No tricking these guys, and they’ll both be getting a copy of Ish, by Peter H Reynolds, courtesy of The TBYL Store.

I ran two extra give-aways throughout the evening, one for anyone who subscribed to TBYL News: All Things Bookish (winner was Bec W.) and one for anyone who joined one of the June, July or August TBYL Book Club groups (the winner was Jo B.). Bec chose the lovely Mad Hatter Button Bookmark from The TBYL Store as her prize and Jo has chosen the prize of a gorgeous O-check diary from The TBYL Store.

Finally, we wrapped up the evening with a conversation, and you all told me what you were going to be reading once you were all partied out. Jane D. told us What She Was Reading and won! She’s won a copy of The Taliban Cricket Club, by Timeri N Murari (Allen and Unwin)

PLUS!!

I had more prizes than I had time, so keep an eye on TBYL for chances to play and win, I’ve got some fun games up my sleeve still.

And the first game is TODAY!! All you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me what you hope the TBYL Book Club will do next. I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

I’ll draw two winners at random on Thursday 28 June 2012. As usual, you’ll have 4 days to claim your prize or I’ll redraw.

Winners will have a choice of one of these three Harlequin titles; Fiona McCallum’s Wattle Creek, Boomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe or Temptation, by Karen Ann Hopkins.

Thanks so much to everyone for joining us, and of course a HUGE thank-you to our sponsors Allen and UnwinPicadorHarlequiniBare Giftware and The TBYL Store.

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Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…

Subscribe to TBYL News: All Things Bookish… out monthly!

Sample the Flavours of Melbourne

Today’s review is very timely, for a few reasons…

(1) I’m laid-up, and need to live vicariously through others;
(2) Hubby and I really need to go on a date soon, it’s been far too long;
(3) In my opinion, winter is the perfect time to explore Melbourne, and there’s no denying that winter has arrived…

So, as I’ve been spending a ridiculous amount of time lying on the couch, I’ve been flicking through the pages of Flavours of Melbourne, by Jonette George (Designed by Daniele Wilton, and published by Smudge Publishing) and I’ve been making mental lists of sophisticated outings and laneway explorations.

Flavours of Melbourne is a gorgeous coffee table book that beautifully highlights the very favourite restaurants and bars in Melbourne’s laneways and rooftops. It includes fantastic write-ups on Melbourne; its history, and its highlights and makes it abundantly clear why Melbourne is considered to be so very ‘liveable’.

Some favourite inclusions for me would have to be Cookie and Pelligrini’s in Bourke Street. Now on the list of ‘things to do’ is Madame Brussels and The Croft Institute, and although I’m painfully aware of the fact that to check out every spot that caught my eye in the book would take more weekends than I’ve got at my disposal, I’m loving having such a wonderfully long list of ideas.

It should be said that George and Winton’s book is more than just a restaurant guide, of which there are many. There are a couple of things that set it apart… firstly, they’ve included a very special range of recipes, provided by some of the top chefs working in Melbourne. For those weekends where you can’t secure a babysitter, you’ll not miss out, you can recreate the Melbourne experience in your own home. A Calamari with Chickpeas and Radicchio entree from Guy Grossi and Matteo Tine, perhaps followed by a main of Braised Pork Belly, Drunken Potatoes, Steamed Baby Bok Choy and Star Anise Caramal from Seamstress chef Anthony Humphries and then finish off your stay-in evening with a devine dessert from Nikki Smith from Punch Lane, a Rhubarb and Custard Tart with Ginger Ice Cream.

The second thing that makes this book special is the photography – it’s bold, large and original. It paints our city’s nooks and crannies in an incredibly flattering light. I particularly loved the inclusion of lots of colourful and edgy Melbourne Street Art, from front-cover and throughout. This inclusion, wonderfully presents our urban gallery in all it’s glory.

Flavours of Melbourne will be a book that sits on my coffee table for a long time yet. It’ll take me time to work through, and it’ll provide me inspiration when I get out and about again, one day very soon. I marvel at the fact that every time I pick up the book and have a flick through, I find something I’d missed before. Quite a bit like Melbourne itself really.

***

I’m thrilled to be able to offer TWO readers a copy of Smudge Publishing’s Flavours of Melbourne!

All you need to do is:

1. Leave a comment on this post, or

2. Visit our Facebook page and leave a comment,

…and tell us about your favourite restaurant or bar, or your favourite recipe. I can’t wait to hear your recommendations!

I’ll draw two winners at random on Thursday 7 June 2012. As usual, you’ll have 4 days to claim your prize or I’ll redraw.

If you’d like to find out more about Jonette and Daniele’s book and their other great titles, you can visit Smudge Publishing here.

***

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Subscribe to TBYL News: All Things Bookish… out monthly!

Enjoy some undead adventures

I’m pleased to announce, that Tam J  is the winner of That Book You Like’s The Immortal Rules give-away. Thanks for your entry Tam!

Thanks everyone for entering, it’s great to hear that there are so many vampire-lit fans out there! If you’d like to hear more about Julie Kagawa and her writing, she’ll be our very special guest in the June TBYL News: All Things Books... out next Monday. Subscribe here…

Tam, just email me your details (postal address) to info@thatbookyoulike.com.au by end Saturday, 2.06.12 and I’ll make arrangements for a copy to be sent to you! If the prize isn’t claimed, I will redraw on 3.06.12

And don’t despair, if you’ve missed out on this give-away, I’ve got another one for you tomorrow! Stay tuned for details…

A vampire for all ages: The Immortal Rules

I love the fact that there seems to be a vampire story for all age groups.

As I write this, my four-year old is watching a bizarre little show called Mona the Vampire on the ABC, yesterday I ogled over that (decidedly adult) True Blood magazine cover, and today I finished a fantastic young adult novel, an enticing, blood-sucking adventure The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (Harlequin Teen).

Aimed squarely at plucky teenage girls, Julie’s novel is a wonderfully entertaining tale of vampires, rabids, ferals and ‘bloodbags’ all battling darkly, hopelessly against extinction, striving towards an increasingly unlikely survival.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked – and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

It’s been said before, but there is undoubtedly a lack of strong female protagonists in literature, but Julie has kindly helped to redress the balance. Allie is tough and resourceful. Both before and after her turning, she shows true grit and determination, and the delightful ability to skilfully wield a katana. She paints herself as detached, but through her relationships with Stick, Zeke and even Kanin, she shows herself to be ultimately caring and subtly gallant.

There’s plenty of action, blood and gore:

“Something hit me from behind, hard, and warmth spread over my neck and back, though there was no pain. The blow knocked me forward, and I stumbled, falling to my knees. A weight landed on me, screeching, tearing at me, and bright strips of fire began to spread across my shoulders. I screamed and flipped over, using my legs to shove it away, but another pale creature filled my vision, and all I could see was its face and teeth and blank, dead eyes, lunging forward .”

And plenty of the usual vampire mythology, imagery and romance:

“I lunged, sinking my fangs into his neck, driving them deep. Stifling a cry, Zeke stiffened and gripped my arms, arching his back. His blood coursed hot and sweet into my mouth, spreading through me, a slow-moving fire. It tasted of earth and smoke, of heat and passion and strength, of all things Zeke. He breathed my name, a sigh of benediction and longing, and I couldn’t get close enough, never close enough.”

It’s little wonder really that the vampiric tale is so often revisited…

The novel itself brought to mind many favourites; True Blood, Underworld, even I am Legend, but the author’s creation of darkly decrepit vampire cities, vampiric hierachy and the threat of ‘rabids’ on the doorstep has kept her novel fresh and original. The search for Eden, and for an illusive, perhaps impossible cure drives the story ever forward.

I’m no YA expert but I’d say that if you liked Hunger Games and Twilight you’ll no doubt enjoy The Immortal Rules equally. This is the first in a promised triology ‘Blood of Eden’ and I for one am already looking forward to the next installment.

***

I’m pleased to be able to offer one reader a copy of Julie’s The Immortal Rules this month.

All you need to do is:

1. Leave a comment on this post, or

2. Visit our Facebook page and leave a comment,

…and tell us where about your favourite vampire tale.

I’ll draw one winner at random on Monday 28 May 2012. As usual, you’ll have 4 days to claim your prize or I’ll redraw.

If you’d like to find out more about Julie’s book, you should visit her website.

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Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…

Subscribe to TBYL News: All Things Bookish… out monthly!

For right or wrong: The Light Between Oceans

I thought I’d better hurry up and write my review of this novel, before everything that can be said, has been said. It would seem that everyone is talking about The Light Between Oceans – it’s swept through blogs, book clubs and TV shows, as some books are wont to do.

M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans, with a moral conundrum such as it has at its heart, was always going to be popular.

“1926. Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife, Isabel, live a quiet life, cocooned from the rest of the world.

Then one  April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant – and the path of the couple’s lives hits an unthinkable crossroads.

Only years later do they discover the devastating consequences of the decision they made that day – as the baby’s real story unfolds…”

In short, this novel is full of many types of heartbreak, all of the particular brand that are felt sharply by those readers who are partners and parents. The thought of the loss of a child sends shivers down my spine, a shared worst-nightmare for many of us, and as such, parts of this novel were very unsettling.

Perhaps fortunately, The Light Between Oceans has more to offer than just the central moral dilemma. It paints a haunting picture of lighthouse life, the tyrannies and attractions of isolation and an affecting sense of the ocean expanse surrounding our main characters, Tom, Isabel and Lucy.

I found it a fascinating capture of the mind of a returned soldier:

“The cruellest joke was on the fellows everyone called ‘lucky’ because they got to come back at all: back to the kids spruced up for the welcome home, to the dog with a ribbon tied to his collar so he could join in the fun. The dog was usually the first to spot that something was up. Not just that the bloke was missing an eye or a leg; more that he was missing generally – still missing in action, though his body had never been lost sight of….Something missing.”

Tom’s ‘burden of guilt’ was ever present; why had he survived service while so many others did not? How could he have let his family fall apart, his mother disappear? How could he take Isabel into his Janus Rock isolation? And of course, there was Lucy…

Interestingly, at the same time as wishing that Tom would stop being so hard on himself, I found myself staggered by Isabel’s apparent lack of guilt. She was so able to reconcile her ‘decision’ with her own logic, her own version of events, that it was almost horrible.  Throughout the novel, her grief sadly clearly leads to her undoing.

This is Stedman’s first novel, and for that she should be congratulated. Critic’s views of her writing have been a little mixed, but to me she’s guilty of nothing much more than a few clunky pieces of dialogues from time to time. Apart from this, her storytelling is compelling and her picture of 1920s Western Australia is endearing.

I feel a little like I’ve read around Australia this last twelve months, and I’m pleased to have added this to my literary travels.

Highly recommended.

Buy your own copy of The Light Between Oceans at the TBYL Store!


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Winner, Alice coming your way

I’m pleased to announce, that  Anne-marie Baggstrom  is the winner of That Book You Like’s Putting Alice Back Together give-away. Thanks for your entry Anne-marie!


Anne-marie, I’m sure you’ll find this novel very entertaining, and quite moving as well.

Just email me your details (postal address) to info@thatbookyoulike.com.au by end Sunday, 15.04.12 and I’ll make arrangements for a copy to be sent to you! If the prize isn’t claimed, I will redraw on 16.04.12

Thanks to everyone for entering.

A royal gift…

I’m pleased to announce, that  Grace is the winner of That Book You Like’s Makeda give-away. Thanks for your entry Grace!

Grace, I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading this fantastic novel.

Just email me your details (postal address) to info@thatbookyoulike.com.au by end Wednesday, 11.04.12 and arrangements will be made! If the prize isn’t claimed, I will redraw on 12.04.12

Thanks to everyone for entering. Remember, if you’d like to buy a copy of Prue Sober’s Makeda, it’s on the TBYL Bookshelfyou’ll find it in store here.

While I’m here, don’t forget we’ve another great give-away running at the moment as well…we’re giving a copy of Putting Alice Back Together, by Carol Marinelli to one lucky reader. Full details on how to enter are here.

Finally, stay tuned tomorrow for my review of The Forgotten Land by Keith Mcardle, my thoughts on this wild time-travelly ride.

Give-away: Putting Alice Back Together

Last week I reviewed the very interesting, surprisingly gritty Putting Alice Back Together, and was lucky to be able to quiz the author Carol Marinelli. You’ll find my review here…

In addition, I’m really pleased to be able to offer one lucky reader a copy of this entertaining novel.

To go into the running to win a copy of Putting Alice Back Together, all you need to do is:

1. Leave a comment on this post, or

2. Visit our Facebook page and leave a comment,

…and tell us what you do to make a crappy day brighter.

I’ll draw one winner at random on Wednesday 11 April 2012. As usual, you’ll have 4 days to claim your prize or I’ll redraw.

You can find out more about the book, the author, and about how to get hold of a copy here…

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Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…

Win a copy of Makeda

To see out the month, I’m pleased to be able to offer one reader a copy of Prue Sober’s Makeda. I reviewed this luxurious book a couple of days ago, and you can read the review here.

To go into the running to win a copy of Makeda, all you need to do is:

1. Leave a comment on this post, or

2. Visit our Facebook page and leave a comment,

…and tell us where you’d most like to travel to, regardless of time or place.

I’ll draw one winner at random on Wednesday 4 April 2012. As usual, you’ll have 4 days to claim your prize or I’ll redraw.

If you’d like to find out more about Prue’s work, you should visit her at www.pruesobers.com


Buy your own copy of Makeda, at the TBYL Store!

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Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…