david astle

My Picks: MWF 2014

It’s that time of year again, when I buy my one newspaper for the year, and carefully extract and peruse the Melbourne Writers Festival program for 2014. I booked my leave from work and bought my Paperback Pass.

I spent the better part of an afternoon working my way through the program, with an incredibly diverse range of writers, readers and thinkers to choose from, I didn’t want to rush it. There are over 400 events to pick from, on almost as many different topics.

After much consideration these are my selections…

GeraldineGeraldine Doogue: Women of Influence
“Geraldine Doogue and Louise Adler discuss The Climb: Conversations with Australian women in power, Doogue’s inquiry into how the beliefs and values of Australian women are changing, informed by candid and personal conversations with 14 of Australia’s most powerful women.”

I don’t know who the fourteen women are, but I can’t wait to find out. I’m fairly sure I’ll be inspired but the end of this session.

Sonya Hartnett: In Conversation
“Sonya Hartnett is an outstanding and versatile author who can probe psychological states with uncanny accuracy and depth. A writer who has always pushed the boundaries of literature for both adults and young people, Hartnett returns to adult fiction with Golden Boys, a dark suburban tale. In conversation with Jo Case”

Probably no surprise to anyone that I booked a ticket for this one, quick-smart. I’m a big fan of Sonya’s writing, particularly her books Of a Boy, and The Midnight Zoo. As an special treat, this is a free session, being held mid-week at the Wheeler Centre.

mwf2014fullPhilip Hensher: Handwriting
“When English writer Philip Hensher realised he didn’t know what a close friend’s handwriting looked like, he felt that something essential was missing. Hensher explores the lost art of handwriting, how it made us who we are, and why it still matters. In conversation with David Astle.”

I love handwriting, and am always buoyed when I hear of someone else who does too. Plus, I’m looking forward to hearing from David Astle, I’ve been part-way through reading his book Cluetopia for months.

Media Makers: Media Darlings
“Simon Crerar (Buzzfeed), Emily Wilson (The Guardian) and Barrie Barton (The Thousands) will take part in a broad-ranging and diverse discussion about media in Australia and how a new spate of international online mastheads are changing our media landscape. In conversation with Gay Alcorn.”

In today’s life and times, this topic is not only interesting, but incredibly important. Diversity is key.

Limits of Fiction
“Australian Mark Henshaw and British writer Philip Hensher discuss the interplay of voice, form and structure in their writing and how novelists can exploit other forms of writing, such as thrillers and memoir, to create something new. In conversation with James Ley.”

With this session, I continue my quest to pin down exactly what makes a good novel tick. What makes some writing work and some not, how can an author drag you in to their tale and not let go until the final page (and them some)??

john safranTrue Crime
“John Safran (Murder in Mississippi) and Julie Szego (The Tainted Trial of Farah Jama) have each turned their hand to writing true crime after stumbling across their Truman Capote moment. They discuss their immersion into the complex worlds of crime and justice. In conversation with Damien Carrick.”

Having read Murder in Mississippi earlier this year, I’m keen to hear from John and Julie. I’m hoping they might be able to shed some light on what it is about True Crime that fascinates readers so much, despite (or because of) all its horror.

There are also a handful of free sessions I’ll try and get along to as well. As you can see, I’ve been able to pick a really interesting range of sessions – different topics, people, opinions. Now to just wait until August!

The festival will be held, at venues around Victoria, from 21 – 31 August 2014, and you can find out more about MWF 2014 at their website. You can check out this year’s program here…

Are you going to be at MWF 2014? I’d love to hear about what you’re going to see…

Eight (yes, eight) chances to win!!

Here’s a couple of numbers for you…

Did you know that you’ve got four more days to win one of eight copies of four different titles from Allen and Unwin.

Get it?

Put more simply, if you missed out last edition of TBYL News: All Things Bookish… here’s the run down on which books are up for grabs and how you can go into the running to win!

For each title, there are two copies to win. Entries close midnight 10 January 2014 after which I’ll draw winners at random. I’ll post an article here announcing the winners, who’ll also be notified by email. Please note, you’ll need to have an Australian postal address to enter.

Here they are…

chocolate for breakfastTwo lucky readers will win a copy of Chocolate Cake for Breakfast by Danielle Hawkins, courtesy of Allen and Unwin.

A wry, entertaining story about falling in love with a man whose shirtless picture adorns every second lunchroom wall and then doing your best when the relationship takes an unexpected turn…

Find out more about the book here…

To enter, email info@thatbookyoulike.com.au with the subject line ‘CHOCOLATE’ and tell us what you would have for breakfast, if you could have anything at all! Include your name and postal details.


the recipe boxWouldn’t you love to win a copy of The Recipe Box by Sandra Lee?Accessible, hugely entertaining, and featuring a cast of unforgettable characters, The Recipe Box is a novel that celebrates mothers, daughters, and friendships and features Sandra Lee’s deliciously original recipes – a book that will nourish readers’ appetites on many levels…

Find out more about the book here…

To enter, email info@thatbookyoulike.com.au subject line ‘RECIPE’ and include a photo of your favourite dish, your name and postal details.

puzzles and words 2Do you love quizzes? This is the book for you! Two lucky readers will win a copy of Puzzles and Words 2 by David Astle.

There are over 175 original puzzles from anagrams to riddles and quizzes for all ages and all levels. Accompanying these are some 250 of David’s entertaining word stories-What does zemblanity mean? How does cosmic link to cosmetic? Where does a seahorse sleep each night with an almond?

Puzzles and Words 2 will keep your brain active and entertained for hours.

Find out more about the book here…

To enter, email info@thatbookyoulike.com.au with the subject line ‘PUZZLES’ and tell me what your favourite kind of puzzles are! Include your name and postal details.

And last but not least…

horse storiesI’ve two copies of Great Australian Horse Stories by Anne Crawford.

Great Australian Horse Stories brings to life the exploits – funny, poignant and sometimes dramatic – of horses from all over the nation. Outback legends, loyal carthorses, spectacular high jumpers and trusty stock horses. Among them animals that have defied the odds to win – or simply to live.

Find out more about the book here…

To enter, email info@thatbookyoulike.com.au with the subject line ‘HORSES’ and tell me where you’d most like to go for a horse-ride! Include your name and postal details.

Something for everyone, wouldn’t you agree? A hugh thank-you to Allen and Unwin for making this give-away happen!

Good luck everyone, get your entries in!