23 April 2012

When the Obamas Met Amos

In a recent post about Awesome [Buffy] Reading we may have said: That is all.

Well, dear readers, we have an apology to make. We were wrong. That was not all. THERE IS MORE!

In further Awesome People Reading [Our Books] News* may we bring your attention to this item that pleases us very much indeed.**

The scene: The White House South Lawn.***

The book: A Sick Day for Amos McGee Philip C Stead.

The awesome people reading: Sasha and Malia Obama****

That may not be all.

* Actually not just Awesome People Reading, but also Awesome First Dog Listening.
** Thanks so much to KW for bringing this genius item to our attention.
*** Cue W.G. Snuffy Walden theme music.
**** And also President Obama, reading Where the Wild Things Are. Who else loves to read, Mr President? We do! We do!

20 April 2012

Well, we promise we didn't spend all Friday on it

But we did come up with one more...
That one got quite dark, didn't it? Must be the autumn melancholy again. 
Maybe we should just do one more with LOLs. 
Or maybe we should just down tools and have a glass of wine instead...

Friday Stuff and Items

1) Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown

Just... yes.

2) Inspired by this Brain Pickings post, the good people of @Mostly_Books in South Australia have an excellent competition running: A free copy of Erebos  or The Ink Bridge  for the best book-spine poetry. Raid your book shelves, summon your inner poet, get your hashtag on: #bookspinepoetry.

We had a go. It's addictive. Maybe we'll just do this for the rest of Friday ...

3) The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Get on it. Herewith an interview with Creators and Executive Producers Hank Green and Bernie Su.

4) Autumn in Melbourne is so beautiful: clear, still, sunny days; crisp nights; the start of the footy season. But autumn's always a bit melancholy too. And today it's raining.  The Go-Betweens might have been writing about Brisbane, but this song resonates with the autumnal Melbourne soul.

16 April 2012


Having spent the whole day gazing adoringly at Lenny Kravitz in a bookshop, we thought we'd take a recreational turn around a few book blogs, when something VERY EXCITING OCCURED.

The specific blog: Awesome People Reading 

The specific awesome person reading: Sarah Michelle Gellar

And the specific book? 

What is the specific book?

The specific book is Where is Baby? by Sally Rippin!

Buffy is reading our book! Buffy is! BUFFY. IS. READING. OUR. BOOK.*

That is all.

* Sally - I'm pretty sure this means you and SMG are, like, total best friends now.


For fans of the Hunger Games...

For fans of books...
For those who were impressionable youths in the nineties...
For appreciators of beauty...
We present:
Via his twitter feed @LennyKravitz

13 April 2012

Just about the nicest thing anyone's ever said about us

Sometimes someone gives you a compliment that chirks you up for the whole day.
It makes the autumn sun warmer and the blue sky bluer.
It makes collating corrections go faster and gives the coffee more of a kick.
It gives a rosy tint to the mirror and lends sparkle to your wit.

Well... Jesse Andrews, author of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, called us...

Deeply. Ass-kicking. So proud. We should definitely put that in our side bar, just like a book blurb.

"Deeply ass-kicking" Jesse Andrews

It will sit nicely alongside:

"Annoyingly obsessive" Friends and Family


"Almighty $%&wits"  Rejected Author 

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is one of those rare books that makes you cry and snort food out your nose with laughter* at basically the same time. With all the snot and tears and partially masticated food, reading Me and Earl is truly a disgusting experience. A disgusting, uplifting, remarkable experience.
Greg and Earl and Rachel - you will take them to your heart. Even though at times it will be awkward, and maybe gross, and certainly piss-funny, it will be worth it to be part of The Worst Film Ever Made. 

Even if he hadn't sweet-talked us** and let us publish his terrific book, we'd probably still like Jesse Andrews because he thinks about YA fiction in a way that rings true around here. Here he is over at his US publishers, Abrams books, talking about how Young-adult fiction changed his life

'... this is what I learned, in the process of writing Me and Earl: writing for teens is the perfect antidote to what may seem like a terminal case of pretentiousness. Teens do not suffer pretense. They do not read books that aren't readable. If you are a writer, it is colossally helpful to write with them in mind as an audience, because if the book isn't fun, or engaging, or interesting, they're not going to read it.'

As if all this kindred spirit, synergy business wasn't enough, reading Jesse's post led us to discover another connection with Abrams. Are you ready for this? Because we were quite blown away. Well... you know how we made a cake in a cup?


Okay, so theirs turned out better than ours did, but that just means we have stuff to learn and share.***

And then there is the little matter of the cover.

Usually when we publish a book that was first published in another market we put a new cover on it. A cover that, you know, reflects the needs of our Australian market... and stuff.  But the artwork and design for this cover is just so perfect we let it stand.**** 

How could we not...

So thank you, Jesse. You made our day. We like your book heaps, and we are extremely proud to be publishing it in the antipodes. Come and visit soon.

* Don't eat and read, people. You have been warned.
** "Deeply ass-kicking" Jesse Andrews
*** Sharing cake is very important.You cannot be a friend of Alien Onion if you don't share cake. And learning is very important. For instance, we have learned that should we ever attempt cake-in-a-mug again, we (1) WILL NOT USE olive oil decanted from a separated vinaigrette and (2) WILL USE our Pantone coffee mugs - clearly the mug of choice for publishing houses across all the lands.
**** You can read all about the cover design process in this interview with Jesse and That Cover Girl.

05 April 2012

366 Days of Awesome

The New South Wales Writers' Centre are very helpful in numerous ways. 

They run courses and workshops on writing and publishing; they curate festivals, including the Kids and Young Adult Literature Festival; they offer help and advice on writing and publishing. 

And they make sure we will never forget where their apostrophe goes by making it HUGE. 

This is very helpful as it reminds us that this is a centre for all writers, not just a centre for one writer.

The NSWWC also has an excellent blog , where for 366 Days they will be posting reviews of Australian books. And you can submit your own! 

Oh look! A review of Margo Lanagan's Tender Morsels

Oh look! A review of Brigid Lowry's Guitar Highway Rose

Oh look! A review of Andrew McGahan's The Coming of the Whirlpool.

Oh look! A review of... wait a moment... that's not a review, that's a LOLCAT!  
The NSWWC are posting our What Do Editors Do All Day series, and doesn't it look pretty over there under their nice green masthead!

We do love a bit of collaboration between blogs.

A Coblogeration? Collaborblogtion? Bloglaboration?

Ok, you know what... it's clearly time to have a little Easter holiday. Enjoy the break, everyone. We hope you get in some good reading, some good eating and some good resting.

03 April 2012

CBCA Short List 2012

*jazz hands* 

tappity tapity tappity *shuffle-off-to-buffalo*

tappity tappity tappity *knee slide* 

tappity tappity tappity *big-Gene-Kelly-swing-around-a-lamppost finale* 


*jazz hands* 

That, people, was our Children's Book Council of Australia short list dance. And, let me tell you, it was hot. It was smokin' hot.

It was almost as hot as this lovely lovely list:

Older Readers:

The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky

The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner

Younger Readers:

Crow Country by Kate Constable

Early Childhood:

That's Not a Daffodil! by Elizabeth Honey

Picture Books of the Year:

The Dream of the Thylacine by Margaret Wild & Ron Brooks

Eva Pownall Award for Information Books:

The Little Refugee by Anh Do, Suzanne Do & Bruce Whatley

Playground edited by Nadia Wheatley, illustrated by Ken Searle.

The Crichton Award for New Illlustrators

A Song for Lorkie by Dean Bowen & Jennifer Castles

Grumpy Little King by Michel Streich

Big big huge congratulations to all our clever authors and illustrators, and to everyone on the short lists and on the Notable Books lists for 2012.

We are so pleased and proud.

*jazz hands*