September 27, 2009

The Rabbit Problem

The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett

Every Bunny Counts!

In 1175 there lived an Italian mathematician named Fibonacci who, during his life set himself a mathematical challenge. If a pair of baby rabbits are put into a field, how many will there be; a) At the end of each month? b) At the end of each year? This book puts this challenge to the test, and the answer may just surprise you.

Lonely Rabbit sits in a field waiting for a friend. She is the first rabbit to arrive at Fibonacci's Field until Chalk Rabbit arrives. But does one plus one really equal two? Not where rabbits are concerned. This is what happens when you put two baby rabbits in a field for one year. This is more then just a mathematical problem, it a Rabbit Problem.

Lonely Rabbit and Chalk Rabbit are about to learn a lesson in multiplication as well as survival as they face the ups and downs of living a year in Fibonacci's field. It is not just the extreme conditions of snow and heat, but also famine and obesity, a plague of crows, and overpopulation that will test this pair throughout the year.

The Rabbit Problem is a thought provoking and highly contagious book that will delight adults and children alike. The attention to detail is stunning and the spectacular ending alone is enough to recommend this book. With its many fun activities, from knitting patterns and recipes, to its beautiful and vibrant illustrations, this book will be a valuable addition to any bookcase.
On sale: 01 October 2009
Price (AU): $29.99
ISBN: 9780230704237
Recommended age: 3+
In a word: Rabbits
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: to children
Star rating: five out of five

September 24, 2009

Sookie Stackhouse #8

From Dead To Worse by Charlaine Harris

Everything Has Changed, But Nothing Is Different!

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the disaster of the Vampire Summit, Sookie Stackhouse had hoped things might finally return to normal; as normal as things can be for a telepath. But many lives, and dead lives, had been lost with many others left wounded. There was a lot to recover from; uncertainty and danger surrounded Sookie as the vampires struggled to protect a weakened Queen, and the werewolves drew ever closer to taking out their own pack.

Sookie, however, has other things on her mind. There was the double wedding to start with, not to mention the total disappearance of her boyfriend Quinn, at least she thinks he is still her boyfriend, but she's not heard from him in so long she and can't be certain of his feelings. Also, someone is gong out of their way to make life difficult for Sookie and those close to her.

Sookie is in for a lot of surprises, a few are even family related and Hadley also manages to deliver a bombshell from the beyond. Eric has a revelation of his own and even Sam has a few tricks up his sleeves, or at least under his clothing. Sookie finds out that even a telepath can be surprised as everyone seems to have something their keeping from her, but the biggest betrayal will come from someone she loves.

This book is chockfull of excitement, events and surprises, right up until the very last page. An enjoyable read to pass the time and a great story in the continuing adventures of Sookie Stackhouse.
On sale: 01 April 2009
Price (US): $7.99
ISBN: 9780441017010
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Families
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: to those reading the series
Star rating: four out of five

September 21, 2009

Madame Pamplemousse And Her Incredible Edibles

Madame Pamplemousse
And Her Incredible Edibles
by Rupert Kingfisher

Food For Thought!

Madeleine, neglected by her parents, was sent each summer to work for her uncle, Monsieur Lard. Monsieur Lard ran a restaurant in the centre of Paris called The Squealing Pig. Madeleine would have loved working at The Squealing Pig if she had been allowed to cook. She loved to cook for others, sharing her passion for food.

Unfortunately for Madeleine, at The Squealing Pig, her role was more that of a Cinderella then a Top Chef. She spent her days at the kitchen sink, large stacks of dishes and pots were heaped about her, all covered in filthy grease. If she was very lucky she was allowed to clean out the fridges and empty the bins. On very rare occasions she was allowed to leave to restaurant to collect supplies.

On one such occasion when Madeleine was out in search of a particular pate that was a favourite of Monsieur Lard's, Madeleine was distracted by a cat, and soon found herself in a tiny little shop tucked away in a back alley. There was something very different about this shop, something strange and unusual.

The shelves were all lined with exotic and unbelievable foods, and when Madeleine produced a pate that was something quite special, from this little shop, Monsieur Lard decided to steal it for himself. Is Madeleine able to escape Monsieur Lard's evil plans and discover what is most important?

A charmingly written story, with the traditional 'happily every after' ending. Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles is a colourful and magical fairytale that mixes the strangest of ingredients from your most wild imaginings, such as Tyrannosaurus Rex Tongues, Crocodile Kidneys and Cobra Brains, with a delightfully simple story of courage and hope.
On sale: 01 November 2009
Price (AU): $19.95
ISBN: 9780747592310
Recommended age: 9-12
In a word: Food
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: to children
Star rating: three out of five

September 20, 2009


Spells by Emily Gravett

Be Careful What You Wish For!

A small green frog has bright big dreams. He imagines himself as all sorts of things; a pirate sailing in a boat out on the seven seas, a prince with a beautiful princess living in a grand castle. But no matter how much he imagines, he is still a small green frog.

One day this small green frog found a tattered old book. The small green frog had hoped for a story, possibly something about pirates, or boats, or princes, or castles. But it was nothing like that, for this was not a story book at all. It was in fact a book of spells.

At first the small green frog was disappointed, but then he decided to use the book of spells to transform himself in a handsome prince. However the book of spells was badly torn, and in his attempt to transform into a prince he becomes many other muddled and mixed-up animals.

Spells is a beautiful book full of missed-match fun to share with someone special. Emily Gravett delivers a brilliantly illustrated and delightful story. An amusing and entertaining read everyone can enjoy.
On sale: 01 October 2009
Price (AU): $16.99
ISBN: 9780230531369
Recommended age: 3+
In a word: Spells
Re-read it: yes
Recommend: to children
Star rating: five out of five

September 19, 2009

The Thornthwaite Inheritance

The Thornthwaite Inheritance by Gareth P. Jones

You Only Kill The Ones You Love!

Wealthy and noble twins Lorelli and Ovid Thornthwaite have, for as long as either can remember, been attempting to take each others lives. Although neither can say for curtain who struck first, or why, it is of little consequence, as all that matters now is being the first to succeed in killing the other.

On their thirteenth birthday the twins decide on a truce. The truce does not last long however, as attempts are made on the lives of Lorelli and Ovid, although neither will claim responsibility. But are they responsible, or has someone else decided to murder the Thornthwaite twins?

Lorelli and Ovid's isolated and quiet, sombre existence at Thornthwaite Manor is rocked as intruders enter their lives and their home. Everyone, it seems, has a secret to hide and a motive for murder. To Lorelli it is not so much as a who-dun-it? as it is a who-dun what?.

The Thornthwaite Inheritance is a witty, whimsical and murderously clever story, full of lively, colourful and quirky characters. A difficult book to put down. An amusing and entertaining read that from the first page will put a smile on your face, a smile that will linger long after the last line is read.
On sale: 01 September 2009
Price (AU): $15.99
ISBN: 9780747599821
Recommended age: 10-12
In a word: Who-Dun-What?
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: yes
Star rating: four out of five

September 17, 2009

Angel Fish

Angel Fish by Lili Wilkinson

A Journey To Find The Holy Land,
A Journey To Find Yourself!

From the first moment Gabriel laid eyes upon Stephan he knew Stephan was different; special. Gabriel had never been special, had never felt he belonged, and he could never understand the people around him. But when Stephan talks, Gabriel understands. As special as Stephan is in Gabriel's eyes, Gabriel is just as special; he is the alpha fish.

Stephan leads Gabriel across the country, and from every town and village they pass through their numbers swell as hundreds, thousands, join the Children's Army led by Stephan, as they march to the Holy Land. Only the pure and innocent children are able to free the Holy Land from the evils of the Saracen.

As the Children's Army marches they are led by a Holy man, a mad man, who is no man at all but merely a boy. There are many difficulties; the harsh conditions claim many of them, shaken beliefs send many to turn away for home, and deceit will see the remaining betrayed. As beliefs are shaken to their core, Gabriel starts to question, and where once he had thought Stephan an Angel, it is Stephan who now sees Gabriel as an Angel; his Angel Fish.

Angel Fish is a story of hope. This book demonstrates a strength and courage in acting on what you believe, even if it is not what everyone else believes, even if it takes you far from family and home. However, the innocent and naive must beware in blindly following others, for there is also danger, deceit and despair lurking in the depths of this story. Ultimately it is about belief. Find a belief in yourself, and others will believe in you.
On sale: 01 September 2009
Price (AU): $18.99
ISBN: 9781742030463
Recommended age: 13+
In a word: Angel-Fish
Re-read it: possibly
Recommend: yes
Star rating: four out of five

September 15, 2009

The Loblolly Boy

The Loblolly Boy by James Norcliffe

Pigs Can't Fly, But Loblolly Boys Can!

For as long as Michael can remember he has lived within the high walls containing the Great House and its gardens. It would have been a wonderful place, were it not for the teasing from the other children, the berating from the Keepers, and the disgusting food forced upon him; not to mention the vicious dogs.

Just like Peter Pan he appeared all dressed in green with promises of flying and freedom. Michael had thought the Loblolly Boy had come to rescue him, instead he found he had become the Loblolly Boy, and the Loblolly Boy had become him.

Life as a Loblolly Boy was wonderful; you are free, are able to fly and are invisible. A Loblolly Boy can go anywhere, and do anything. Soon, however, Michael discovers why a Loblolly Boy would choose to exchange lives, a Loblolly Boy can not eat, has no home and no one to talk to, and no one to love them.

The Loblolly Boy is a timeless tale; a great story that is fun, warm and full of excitement. Everyone has at some time felt out of place, has longed for a life that's not their own. In The Loblolly Boy we are given that chance of escape from our lives, but at a price. Here there is a lesson to be learnt; that no matter appearances, the grass is not always greener.
On sale: 01 September 2009
Price (AU): $15.99
ISBN: 9781742371160
Recommended age: 10-13
In a word: Loblolly
Re-read it: possibly
Recommend: yes
Star rating: four out of five

September 12, 2009


Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin

A Life Led By Oracles, Existing In Prose!

As the daughter of a King, and an only child, it is Lavinia's duty to marry. Although presented with many suitors, there seems to be only one choice; Turnus, a neighbouring King who is both youthful and handsome. However an oracle foretells a different choice of husband for Lavinia; a choice that leads to war.

When Lavinia is eighteen she travels to Albunea, a sacred place, to seek guidance. There she meets a man who will change her life. He offers her guidance, prophecy and hope. He is a man responsible for giving her life, a name, but no voice. He is a shadow, once a poet, but now a dying man, who has yet to be born.

Lavinia is but a background character, a bit part in a greater story of the exploits of men and gods. She existed only as a daughter, wife and mother of great men, of Kings. But now she speaks, giving herself a voice, a life filled with myth, history, war and love.

This is a book you will either love or hate. The only thing missing from Lavinia is Chapters, but how do you divide a life, section memories? Lavinia is unique, beautifully written and highly creative. A story that stays with you long after the last word is read.

Latium - map
On sale: 01 July 2009
Price (AU): $32.99
ISBN: 9780575084599
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Life
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: yes
Star rating: five out of five

September 8, 2009

Long Time No Post...

It's September, and in my corner of the world that means Spring. Unfortunately for me it's not been such a good start to this lovely season.

Last week brought with it a lot of stress, anxiety and melancholy. This week brought with it a terrible sickness. I have no idea how I caught this cold but my throat, nose and head have been suffering. Not fun at all.

Basically I have been too dejected or too faint to do much reading over the past week.

But I have been reading! Although only a little, I have been reading!

It is a stunning story that is both demanding and enjoyable. I have loved spending every minute with it, and shall be disappointed to see it end. It is written with such creative beauty that it is experienced more as a life through words then a story written for entertainment. So far it has proven to be a beautiful book, I can't wait to tell you about it.

I hope to finish it and have a review up in the next few days.

September 4, 2009

Sookie Stackhouse - Lucky

Lucky by Charlaine Harris

Lucky Rabbits My Foot!

Lucky is a short story in the Sookie Stackhouse universe that has been published in the book Unusual Suspects. A book of short stories about paranormal detectives and supernatural criminals from a number of different authors.

Sookie Stackhouse and her house mate Amelia Broadway were just in the middle of a very important operation when they were interrupted by the door bell. Greg Aubert, Sookie's local insurance agent, has just arrived in time to watch the paint dry on Sookie and Amelia's toenails. But without the need for any claims, Sookie is at a loss as to the why the full time insurance agent, part time witch, has arrived on her door step.

Greg has come to Sookie to beg a favour, with a few threats thrown in for good measure. Someone has broken into his office, someone has rifled through his files, but worst of all someone may have discovered Greg's magical secret. Somehow, Sookie and Amelia have been roped into finding out who is behind it, and why?

As Sookie and Amelia delve deeper into the mystery they find more suspects then they bargained for, and some very surprising culprits. Not to mention some twisted magic, a stray vampire, and more danger then thought possible for a little investigation such as this.

An interesting little story that tells of balance in all things, even magic, and that life is every bit as complicated as people are. Even the mystery of Terry's dogs is revealed during Sookie and Amelia's inquiries. This story takes place after All Together Dead, the seventh story in the Sookie Stackhouse series.
On sale: 01 December 2008
ISBN: 9780441016372
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Lucky
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: to those reading the series
Star rating: three out of five

September 2, 2009

The Penelopiad

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

Can You Be Innocent With Blood On Your Hands!

There are many tales of Odysseus, ruler of Ithaca, who left his home to fight in the Trojan War, and than proceed to wander the seas a further ten or more years before returning home. We all know the stories of monsters fought, goddess bedded and treasures won, but what of his family at home. What of his young wife and newly born son?

This is the story of Penelope, Princes of Sparta, Queen of Ithaca and young woman, forced to take on the responsibilities of a man, without the respect and title.

Penelope was a virtuous wife, and also a cunning woman, but everyone makes mistakes. Although she was able to save herself from the greedy and selfish suitors come to take her husbands place, she was unable to save those she loved and the innocent blood spilt still stains her conscience.

Twelve young maids were hung, strung up by their necks, there little feet dancing in the air. They were Penelope's most beloved maid, she raised them herself and they shared her strictest confidence. They trusted Penelope; she was their mistress, their friend. But Penelope failed them; they were raped by her suitors and killed by her husband. How could Penelope have let this happen?

Any lover of myths or anyone who has ever taken in interest in mythology, or history, or tales of heroes and war should read this book; as should any woman. This is a hunting and absorbing story that shines new light on an old tale. The Penelopiad is a book that cannot be left unread.
On sale: 26 November 2007
Price (AU): $23.95
ISBN: 9781921351198
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Mythic
Re-read it: probably
Recommend: yes
Star rating: four out of five