Thursday, 19 December 2013

Notes from Eve Abbey ~ December #2 2013

What very good news to hear that Canadian short story writer Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Especially nice to have a winner that most of us have heard of! There was a big rush to reprint her backlist. They are wonderful, delicate stories. Don’t over-indulge. And great news to hear that Eleanor Catton, from New Zealand, won the Man Booker Prize for her big historical novel, The Luminaries. You can read the first chapter online if you like via the Google symbol on the book page on our website. Reliable Rose Tremain wrote a book some years ago with a similar setting – the Goldfields of Otago, New Zealand. It was called The Colour and I enjoyed it a lot.

There’s a new Shaun Tan book out this Christmas that has been selling strongly. His books are for both young and old. I have a small collection myself. In this one, called Rules of Summer, the illustrator/storyteller describes the adventures of two small boys on holiday. No idyllic country scenes here – it is more back lanes and empty industrial sites peopled by surreal things, not quite human, but certainly quite real. The most important rule is “always know the way home” – good advice! It is a large, slender hardback. Add it to your collection. Maybe you have a copy of my favourite, The Lost Thing.

Shaun Tan won an award for an animated film made from The Lost Thing, a strange and beguiling story about a boy who found a large, unusual object at the beach and eventually had to find a home for it. He also won the very prestigious and very rich Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2011. This is a special prize set up by the Swedish Government for contribution to children’s literature, to honour the author of those Pippi Longstocking books. Abbey’s of course has a selection of these, as we always try to stock backlist titles of great authors. Perhaps easiest to choose: The Best of Pippi Longstocking.

Language Book Centre upstairs has some DVDs in German for Region 2: Weihnachten mit Astrid Lindgren or Pippi Langstrumpf TV Collection. The shortlist for next year’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award has been announced and three Australians are in there – Melina Marchetta, Morris Gleitzman and Ursula Dubosarsky. I hope one of them is the lucky winner, but there is serious competition from Eric Carle in England. Who has not had a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar?

The first time I heard of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was when celebrated Australian author Sonya Hartnett won the prize in 2008. She has written many books for young adults, children and adults and is a complete professional. My favourite is The Silver Donkey, which is soon to be reissued in a special edition, and she had two good titles in the Popular Penguin series – Of a Boy and Surrender. There is also a small memoir called Life in Ten Houses, also in the Popular Penguin series, which describes the various houses in Melbourne where she has lived. Talk to Lindy, who oversees our Children’s book department, for further assistance.

Local author Lenny Bartulin has written three excellent crime novels set in Sydney in which the hero runs a secondhand bookshop in York Street, just near Abbey’s. They are De Luxe: A Jack Susko Mystery, The Black Russian and A Deadly Business. He has now come up with a swashbuckling yarn set in early Tasmania, and what a nice surprise it is! Despite its violence and abundance of rum and blood, there is a nice light touch, romance, heroism and excellent historical detail. All in all, Infamy is a great read.

Remember, just click on any book title above (in bold) for details of price and availability.

Enjoy. Eve

Buy these books at Abbey's (131 York Street Sydney) ~ An Aladdin's cave for readers

Abbey's ~ An Aladdin's cave for readers

No comments: