Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Whitcoulls owner gets waiver for breaches

Published: TVNZ News - Monday August 30, 2010
Whitcoulls - Source: NZPA

Photo left - Chris Skelton

Redgroup Retail, the owner of the Whitcoulls and Borders book stores, gained a waiver for breaches to its banking covenants and said chairman Rod Walker will step down.
The Pacific Equity Partners-owned book, stationery and entertainment company, based in Melbourne, said it is exploring a range of options to strengthen its balance sheet longer term.

Last month the company forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) of about $25 million for the 12 months ended August 28, against which interest payments of approximately $9 million were due, which would have put it in breach of two out of three banking covenants.

It cited a tough trading environment, particularly in Australia, in the last quarter of its financial year
Full story at TVNZ.
At Bookstore, Even Non-Buyers Regret Its End

By Julie Bosman in The New York Times
Published: August 30, 2010

On Monday afternoon, Jai Cha walked out of the Barnes & Noble at 66th Street and Broadway in Manhattan as he does nearly every week — without a book.

Photo -Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

The 66th Street Barnes & Noble store, by Lincoln Center, has hosted readings and events focused on the performing arts.

“I’m just killing time,” said Mr. Cha, a 30-year-old lawyer, his hands stuffed deep in his pockets. “I’ve been coming here to read Bill Simmons’s ‘Book of Basketball,’ about a chapter at a time.”

He might have to hurry. Barnes & Noble announced on Monday that at the end of January it would close the store, a four-story space across the street from Lincoln Center that has been a neighborhood landmark since it opened nearly 15 years ago.

“We recognize that this store has been an important part of the fabric of the Upper West Side community since we opened our doors on Oct. 20, 1995,” Mary Ellen Keating, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement. “However, the current lease is at its end of term, and the increased rent that would be required to stay in the location makes it economically impossible for us to extend the lease.”

It has been a bumpy year for Barnes & Noble, the country’s largest book chain, with 720 stores. Sales and store traffic have suffered as the book business has shifted online; Amazon has held its early lead in the e-reader war; and early this month, Barnes & Noble put itself up for sale and is now in the midst of a battle for control of the company with Ronald W. Burkle, the billionaire investor.
Full story at NYT.

This is a store The Bookman knows well because of its proximity to the Lincoln Center where I have attended many opera productions over the years. If I arrived early for the opera I always headed across the road to B&N to fill intime and inevitably buy a book or three. A great loss.
FAB - An intimate life of Paul McCartney
Howard Sounes
Harper Collins - RRP: $39.99
Publication date 1 September 2010

This massive tome runs to 634 pages and is going to take me a while to read. I'm not a great reader of biographies but of course I must make an exception for this man whose music seems to have been significantly around all of my adult life.

The publisher's claim for the book reads:
In this authoritative biography, journalist and acclaimed author Howard Sounes builds the most accurate and extensive profile of Sir Paul McCartney, music's greatest living legend. Drawing on countless interviews, legal records and every other possible document, Sounes' meticulous approach and exhaustive research unmask the real man.

I have only read 86 pages so far (and of course perused the photos) but already I think the publishers claim is fair. This book is going to keep a lot of boys quiet for a long time!
Chilean Artists Bomb Berlin with 100,000 Poems
Publishing Perspectives

On Saturday, Chilean artist collective Casagrande along with Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, dropped 100,000 poems over Berlin as a protest against war and a gesture supporting forgiveness. We report from Berlin and offer a video of the 2009 event.
Read the article

Do Publishing Stunts Sell Books?

Tor Books promises fans a sneak-peek at the second volume of the concluding Wheel of Time series. The catch: the preview is encrypted and fans must find secret codes in order to read it. It's wonderful to see creativity being poured into marketing books, but do stunts actually work?

Read the article

Following on from the hugely successful and widely welcomed launch of the first series of the New Zealand Popular Penguins comes  another ten of the very best.
The ten additional titles selected feature more of New Zealand’s finest ever novels – and the authors included reads like a who’s who of the NZ literary world. All are absolute Kiwi classics, with some titles winning the Montana Award.

Just released titles:

Live Bodies – Maurice Gee

Mutuwhenua – Patricia Grace
All Visitors Ashore – C K Stead
Let the River Stand – Vincent O’Sullivan
Sons For the Return Home – Albert Wendt
The Garden Party and Other Stories – Katherine Mansfield
The Scarecrow – Ronald Hugh Morrieson
Hang on a Minute Mate – Barry Crump
Pounamu Pounamu – Witi Ihimaera
The Book of Fame – Lloyd Jones

and the March 2009 titles:

Came A Hot Friday, Ronald Hugh Morrieson

Going West, Maurice Gee
The Grandiflora Tree, Koea Shonagh
Man Alone, Mulgan John
Oracles and Miracles, Stevan Eldred-Grigg
Plumb, Maurice Gee
Potiki, Patricia Grace
The Skinny Louie Book, Fiona Farrell
Smith’s Dream, C. K Stead.
The Whale Rider, Witi Ihimaera

I admire and applaud this Penguin initiatve and hope in a year or so they might issue a further ten from the riches in their backlist. At this price it makes these great titles available to a new generation of readers as well as enabling older readers like me to buy titles missed first time around. Bravo.
Meet UK crime sensation R.J. Ellory on his NZ Tour
Six years. Twenty two rejected novels. More than four hundred ‘thanks, but no thanks’ letters from over a hundred publishers. It would be easy to forgive UK crime author R.J. Ellory if he’d given up on a writing career long before getting to that point, but Ellory, who describes himself as bloody-minded, wasn’t one to let ‘a few’ rejections sway him from his course.
Finally, his persistence paid off when his first published novel, Candlemoth, hit the shelves in 2004. This lead the way for another seven novels, including his bestseller, A Quiet Belief in Angels, which won a number of prestigious prizes.
This tenacity to succeed could be attributed to the turmoil of his childhood. Abandoned by his father at birth, Ellory was sent to boarding school at seven years of age, after the death of his mother left him and his brother orphaned and alone. By seventeen, Ellory was experiencing life on the wrong side of the law, after he was caught poaching chickens.

Ellory’s story promises to be as compelling as his writing and audiences will have the opportunity to hear him speak at events in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Dunedin next week as part of the New Zealand tour to promote his new book Saints of New York (Orion, $38.99 RRP).

Event details

Wednesday September 8: 6pm, Takapuna Library, Auckland
Thursday September 9: 12pm – 1pm Nelson Library / 5.30pm Marsden Books, Karori, Wellington
Friday September 10: 3.30pm Mosgiel Library, Dunedin / 5.30pm Dunedin City Library, Dunedin

Click here: http://www.hachette.co.nz/wawcs0131017/ln-author-tours.html%20for%20ticketing%20details.

Golden Weather: The Life and Work of Bruce Mason

….a celebration of the life and work of Takapuna’s famous son and a leading force in the development of professional theatre in New Zealand.

Featuring writers Gordon McLauchlan, Christine Cole Catley, Roger Hall, biographer Richard Corballis and theatre director Colin McColl in a discussion about different aspects of Mason's life and work.

 There will be a reading from his seminal work Awatea, by leading actors from the Auckland Theatre Company, including George Henare, Te Kohe Tuhaka and Rima Te Wiata.

This event is organised by the Michael King Writers' Centre as part of the North Shore Heritage Festival, with support from the North Shore City Council's Creative Communities Scheme.

Sunday September 12, 2 pm
The Victoria Theatre, Devonport
Tickets $5. Door sales only
Further information phone 09 445 8451
Leading Silicon Valley innovator takes up Dryden idea
Auckland author Gordon Dryden has a pleased smile on his face this week.

His late 2008 book, Unlimited (“The new learning revolution and the seven keys to unlock it”), co-authored with Jeannette Vos, ended it with a chapter on “How to globalize the digital revolution”.
It included a strong argument to establish a free global curriculum similar to the higher-priced International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Program: co-created by the world’s most innovative teachers and students — just as Wikipedia has been co-created as the world’s biggest encyclopedia by far:
“The International Baccalaureate and many of the other model schools already reported in this book, plus Scott McNealy’s Global Educational and Learning Network, could easily be combined into a best-of-the-best global program for schools.”
Now Silicon Valley pioneer Scott McNeally has announced his plans to do something very similar:

McNealy is the former CEO and one of the founders of SUN Microsystems (SUN from the initials of Stanford University network), which was sold last year to Larry Ellison’s Oracle Corporation for US7.4 billion in cash. Six years ago McNealy founded and funded the Curriki Foundation (from “Curriculum Wiki”): http://www.curriki.org/

Dryden emailed him soon after raise the concept, and then, at McNealy’s invitation, talked with the then-new Foundation CEO. “At that stage they were more interested in expanding their own project, which they have done brilliantly. And my initial idea was to encourage a giant not-for-profit foundation to provide a big annual donation to the International Baccalaureate to make its PYP available free on line to students and schools in poor countries.”
By coincidence, the IB itself will this week open its own online global “collaborative classroom” project in which students at IB-licensed schools can use as an open-forum with students studying the same “inquiry topics”. (Each IB primary-class year is divided into six- or seven-week projects where students collaborate to research a global topics such as “Planets of the universe”, “Endangered species” or “Great explorers and explorations”.
All other “traditional subjects”, such as literacy, numeracy and, are blended into each “inquiry”. In this way

Dryden has also offered any reader of this blog a free pdf of the final chapter of Unlimited, by emailing: gordon@learningweb.co.nz

The book’s opening pages are also available free at :

Last night the details of contributors to Issue 12 of Interlitq were released and I see that six of the contributors to this forthcoming issue, to be published soon, hail from New Zealand--Jane Campion, Siobhan Harvey, Marion Jones, Richard Reeve, Elizabeth Smither and Peter Wells (pic right).


and so in the run-up to the  major NZ feature, to be published next year, Interlitq continues to promote and disseminate NZ literature.
Two stories from GalleyCat this morning:
Steampunk Sarah Palin

This weekend we uncovered that image from Steampunk Palin, a one-shot comic book from Antarctic Press with a script by Fred Perry and art by Ben Dunn. Wikipedia will teach you all about steampunk if you need a refresher course. Here's more from the good folks at Mile High Comics: "Energy catastrophe has struck worldwide! Massive oil spills, nuclear meltdowns... read more>>

6 YA Books to Read After Mockingjay

A week has passed since the midnight release of Mockingjay. Many readers have now finished Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy. With that in mind, Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations posted a list of six titles to dive into post-Mockingjay. The complete list follows below. Counting on our readers' collective knowledge of books, GalleyCat Reviews regularly features curated book lists from... read more>>

And another about Sarah Palin from The Daily Beast:

59 Percent: Palin Can't Be President

Sarah Palin may be on a hot streak with her congressional endorsements, but this ought to take some of the wind out of her sails: 59 percent of Americans think Sarah Palin is not fit to be president of the United States, according to a new 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll. Meanwhile, 26 percent say they think she would be an effective commander-in-chief. The poll also shows Republicans splitting 47-40 on the question of whether Palin can lead the country. Those numbers should be comforting to liberals, but another question is upsetting: 76 percent of respondents said Mel Gibson's recent misogynistic and racist tirade won't affect whether or not they'll see his movies.
Read it at Vanity Fair
Tuesday Poem and the moonmen

Tuesday Poem is awash with moonmen (Anna Livesey), men who don't exist while existing (Emma Barnes), women with red hair who write (Janet Frame, Jeanette Winterson, Claire Beynon), men who dream and write and dream some more (Coleridge, Eugenio Montale), writers as giants stilled (Alicia Ponder), a lover at the airport as Orpheus (Kathleen Jones), a daughter of death (Mary McCallum). No simple poems of daily life built upon small epiphanies these but poems that push and stretch in that space between ordinary life and vision extraordinary. Trains detonate in Madrid and echo in the streets of Wellington (Harvey McQueen), mothers with babies steal fruit and watch the blades of windmills chop the air (Helen Lehndorf), a woman is rendered stone (Kiri Piahana-Wong), birds are not beautiful but the 'inside of hunger' (Lana Faulks).

Poems are going up on the Tuesday Poem blog roll all day - especially as the northern hemisphere poets start posting. Who knows what turn they will take next. Click on the link, take a risk.
Common touch
By Nicky Pellegrino, Herald on Sunday Aug 29, 2010

Two friends who lead very different lives but have a great deal in common talk to Nicky Pellegrino about their latest book.

Every Saturday morning South Island farmer's wife Virginia Pawsey switches on the radio and, with Kim Hill chatting in the background, she kneads a mountain of dough for the week's bread.
At shearing or crutching time there can be 10 extra mouths to feed at the Pawsey farm, which lies in the North Canterbury hills beyond Hawarden, and there's no shop nearby if she needs fresh loaves.

Meanwhile, in her little cottage in inner-city Wellington, children's book author Janice Marriott might be clearing up after sociable Friday night drinks or planning an outing to a cafe for lunch.

The two old school-friends lead starkly different lives these days, but they bridge the gulf between their rural and urban worlds by regularly writing each other letters.

Their first collection, about a year in their gardens, was published as a popular book, Common Ground, and now they've followed it with Common Table (HarperCollins, $36.99), written around friendship and food.

"If anyone had told us when we were in the seventh form that we were going to write books about gardening and cooking, Janice and I would have fallen about laughing," says Pawsey, a former occupational therapist.

"Even when I started writing the letters I had no idea they'd be published. Janice might have considered it but I was just enjoying the writing."

Several years ago, the two women rekindled their girlhood friendship after a school reunion.
The letters they've exchanged since reflect the ups and downs of their everyday lives.

None of the recipes in Common Table have been carefully planned. They're simply the things Pawsey and Marriott were cooking for dinners and picnics at the time they wrote the letters. "I did wonder in hindsight if we should have thought more carefully about the recipes we wanted to include," Marriott says. "It's serendipity what happens to be there."

To read Nicky Pellegrino's excellent full story and to check Janice's pumpkin & coconut cream soup recipe link here to the Herald on Sunday.

About the authors:

Janice Marriott is an audio producer of children’s songs and voice recordings and an award-winning children’s writer. Thor’s Tale won the Junior Fiction category of the 2007 New Zealand Post Book Awards; Soldier in the Yellow Socks: Charles Upham, our finest fighting soldier was a finalist in the Non Fiction category of the 2007 New Zealand Post Book Awards; and Crossroads won the 1996 Aim Supreme Award and Senior Fiction Award.

Virginia Pawsey trained as an occupational therapist in Auckland, worked with intellectually handicapped children at Templeton in Christchurch, then travelled overseas and worked at Harrod’s in London, and then with the British army, winter warfare training in Norway. Virginia returned to Christchurch to work as an orthopaedic occupational therapist, and now lives and works on Double Tops, her family's farm, in the windswept North Canterbury hills beyond Hawarden, where they still use horses to muster.

One reviewer when writing of Common Ground wrote - 'These two clever, articulate interesting women offer us a grand tour of their respective gardens and little glimpses of their private lives ... It’s a wonderful read.’

Well The Bookman reckons that these " two clever, articulate and interesting women" have done it again. Common Table, like its predecessor, is utterly charming - warm, funny and entertaining.
And most usefully the 40 odd recipes that are scattered throughout have been indexed at the back of the book.
Kim Terakes - Penguin Books - $45
This is a book (a new edition of the original 2007 title) for blokes especially those who want to graduate beyond cooking sausages on their barbie. It provides the opportunity for a bloke to present food that tastes great, makes him look good and doesn't take hours to prepare or require numerous trips to the supermarket. These recipes are uncomplicated and unfussy.
The Bookman tried one and sure enough it went down well and looked great too.
Grilled tuna with niçoise salad

The purists find it hard to agree what really should go into a classic nicoise (it certainly has canned tuna). Sidestep the issue by re-inventing the nicoise for the BBQ, using fresh grilled tuna and adding some capers to sharpen up the dressing.
8 small new potatoes
4 eggs
24 fresh green beans
4 × 150–200 g tuna fillets
olive oil, for brushing
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 very ripe medium-sized tomatoes, cut into six or eight pieces
about 12 cos lettuce leaves, cut across in 4 cm-wide strips
about 20 small black olives
about 8 basil leaves, torn
8 anchovy fillets in oil, drained

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 heaped teaspoon very finely chopped red shallot
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 heaped teaspoon capers, rinsed and finely chopped

Steam or boil the potatoes until just cooked, then cut in half and reserve. Hardboil the eggs and allow to cool, then peel and cut into quarters. Steam or boil the green beans and refresh in cold (preferably iced) water to maintain their colour and stop them cooking further.

Brush both sides of the tuna fillets with a little olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Place on a preheated chargrill, turning just once until cooked to medium–rare. Remove from the grill and set aside to rest,
loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes while you make the dressing.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
Divide the potatoes, eggs, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, olives, basil and anchovies evenly between four plates. Place a tuna fillet on top and then spoon over the dressing before serving.
Serves 4
Extract taken with permission from The Great Bloke’s BBQ Cookbook by Kim Terakes. RRP $45.00, Penguin Books.
Text © Kim Terakes, 2007, Photographs © Rob Palmer, 2007

Writer/editor/gourmand Anne Else writes about a very special bookshop in Melbourne.
Papers Fight Over Whether Third Oxford English Dictionary Will Ever Be Printed
The original story in the Sunday Times this weekend was interesting, and reasonable enough. Oxford University Press ceo Nigel Portwood noted "the print dictionary market is just disappearing, it is falling away by tens of per cent a year." Asked if the company would issue a print version of the third edition of the OED--said to be 28 percent complete, and estimated to be at least 10 years away from being finished and likely longer--Portwood made the mistake of being candid and stating the obvious: "I don't think so."

Thus a wave of the-OED-is-dead stories was unleashed. (The last printed version was issued in 1989, comprising 20 volumes.) Even though the first story contained a statement from an Oxford spokesperson saying that a print version had not been ruled "if there is sufficient demand at the time" a second wave of supposedly-rebuttal stories offers spokesperson Anna Baldwin stating more of the obvious: "No decision has yet been made on the format of the third edition."

The Telegraph
The Star

And at The Daily Beast:

Sad news for bibliophiles: Oxford University Press said on Sunday that the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, its 20-volume, authoritative guide to the English language, could be online-only. This is all a bit hypothetical, as the third edition is still at least a decade away, but the new chief executive of OUP told the Sunday Times, "The print dictionary market is just disappearing. It is falling away by tens of percent a year.” The OED has sold about 30,000 copies since the release of the second edition in 1989; meanwhile, it gets 2 million hits online a month from people who pay $295 for a yearly subscription.
Read it at Associated Press

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Ideavirus: Seth Godin as a Microcosm of Publishing’s Flux
Publishing Perpectives

Last week, Seth Godin said he was leaving traditional publishing behind. Is he really making a radical change, or just a marketing play? We spoke with several industry observers who discuss what this means -- or doesn't -- for the industry.

Read the article

Is Seth Godin a Visionary or an Exception?

Seth Godin: Is he a visionary making bold step into the uncertain future? Or is he an exception, an already bestselling writer and marketing expert for whom forgoing traditional models is merely the evolution of his already largely self-propelled career?

Read the article
Walker Books Congratulates …

Brainjack by Brian Falkner
Winner Best Young Adult Novel -
Sir Julius Vogel Awards, 2010
Te Papa Press Announcement

Te Papa Press is pleased to announce that Chris Baty will be taking on the role Senior Sales and Marketing Manager while Odessa Owens will be acting as Managing Editor for Te Papa Press for the next 12 months. Both can be contacted at Te Papa Press 04 381 7470.
Nice to welcome Chris back to the industry and a temporary farewell to Claire while she gives her full attention to family.
David Grossman: 'I cannot afford the luxury of despair'
The Israeli writer discusses his novel To the End of the Land, a memorial to his son who was killed while serving in the army, and why he remains an opponent of his country's policy towards the Palestinians

Rachel Cooke The Observer, Sunday 29 August 2010

Israeli author David Grossman photographed for the Observer in Jerusalem. Photograph: Ahikam Seri/Panos Pictures

In May 2003, David Grossman, one of Israel's most celebrated novelists, began writing a new book. It was to be about what the Israelis euphemistically call "the Situation", which was a little odd because, for the past decade, he'd carefully avoided writing about politics, in his stories, if not his journalism. It was not just that he'd long felt that almost anything he could say had already been said by one side or the other. There was the danger that such a story, even in his deft hands, would be creaky and polemical. Now, though, he felt suddenly that he couldn't not write about it. Grossman's eldest son, Yonatan, was six months from completing his military service and his younger son, Uri, was 18 months from beginning it. His feelings about this – in Israel, men serve three years – were so acute, it seemed they would push the pen over the paper for him.

The story came quickly. It would be about a middle-aged woman, Ora, whose son, Ofer, only just released from army service, has voluntarily returned to the frontline for an offensive against one of Israel's many enemies. Ora, having moved from celebration to renewed fearfulness in a matter of hours, is in danger of losing her mind. She has no idea how she will get through the next weeks or months. Then, in a fit of magical thinking, it comes to her. She will mount a pre-emptive strike of her own. She will simply go away, absent herself from her home and her life. That way, she reasons, she will not be there when the army "notifiers" come to tell her of her son's death. And if she is not there, perhaps he will not die. After all, how can a person be dead if his mother isn't at home to receive the news of it?

Grossman started writing and as he did, he, too, indulged in a little magical thinking. He had the feeling – or perhaps it was just a fervent hope – that the novel would keep Uri safe. Every time Uri came home on leave, they would discuss the story, what was new in the characters' lives. "What did you do to them this week?" Uri used to ask. He also fed his father useful military details. This went on for a long time and it seemed for a while as if the charm was working. But on 12 July 2006, following Hezbollah attacks on Israeli soldiers on patrol near the Lebanese border, war broke out. Over the course of the next 34 days, 165 Israelis (121 of them soldiers), an estimated 500 Hezbollah fighters and 1,191 Lebanese civilians were killed.

Grossman was terrified for his son, a tank commander, but he was not, at first, opposed to the war. Though a determined lefty as far as Palestine goes – he is against the occupation of Palestinian territories – he believed that Israel had a right to defend itself against Hezbollah which, unlike the majority of Palestinians, is committed solely to destroying Israel. As the weeks went on, however, he began to think that Israel should show more restraint. At the beginning of August, together with two other great Israeli writers, Amos Oz and AB Yehoshua, Grossman appeared at a press conference in Tel Aviv, demanding that the government negotiate a ceasefire. "We had a right to go to war," he said. "But things got complicated... I believe that there is more than one course of action available." He did not mention that his own son was on the frontline. It was not relevant. He would have felt exactly the same had Uri been safely at home.

Read the rest of this most moving, thoughtful piece at The Observer.
Textbook Buyer

A Challenging and Rewarding Role in a Book Lovers’s Paradise

University Bookshop is New Zealand’s largest campus bookshop and we are looking for a highly motivated, customer focussed buyer for the University of Auckland city campus store. The position combines a buying role with retail sales and you will be responsible for maintaining the textbook requirements for approximately half of the universities courses. This is an integral part of our business and requires a good mix of passion and discipline.

The key attributes we seek are:

* Sound organisational and time management skills with a keen attention to detail.

* Excellent communicator across all mediums.

* Exceptional relationship management skills.

*  Strong research capabilities and computer literacy.

We are looking for someone who:

* Can work independently and as part of a team.

* Is proactive and willing to put in the extra effort to succeed.

* Thrive on the responsibilities of a varied role in a busy environment.

Candidates should have retail experience ideally within the book trade and exposure to buying and/or category management is preferred. An interest in books and an understanding of working in a high volume, multi supplier environment is advantageous as is exposure to an academic environment.

Please email Amber Luxton at amber.luxton@ubsbooks.co.nz

Fathers feature in Duffy schools this week

Caring dads who get involved with their children’s reading are being rewarded this week with a great Kiwi read of their own to enjoy.

The 547 schools involved in the Duffy Books in Homes programme are holding special Scholastic Caught Being a Good Dad assemblies to recognise that dads have a huge influence on the reading habits of their kids.

This year, schools will pick one special dad or father figure and honour them with a certificate and book presented at a school assembly.

This year’s award, sponsored by Scholastic New Zealand, is Richie McCaw: A Tribute to a Modern-Day Rugby Great by John Matheson.

Duffy Books in Homes General Manager, Linda Vagana, says “I think a lot of people don’t realise that dads are often the first and greatest role models that children have. We think this is something worth recognising.”

Schools choose their dad in many different ways. Some hold story writing competitions while others might put it to a school-wide vote.

Since the official launch in 1995 with 80 schools, 16,000 students and 14 sponsors, the Duffy Books in Homes programme has grown to encompass 547 schools, around 100,000 students and 198 sponsors in 2010. More than seven million books have been distributed to children in low-decile schools since the programme’s inception and August 24th marked the 15th anniversary of its launch.
Nielsen Book Data New Zealand Booksellers’ Choice Award 2010 - Winner announced

The winner of the annual Nielsen BookData NZ Bookseller’s Choice Award 2010 was announced during the Conference Dinner in Auckland on the 29th of August.

This award is unique in that it recognises the crucial role booksellers play in promoting books, and they were asked to vote for the book they most enjoyed selling this year.

The winner is: The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith and Katz Cowley, published by Scholastic NZ
This year’s winning title is one that has astonished many people and broken many records.

• Since publication in September 2009 it has been the top selling title overall (adults and children’s books) for three weeks.

• It has been the top selling children’s title for 16 weeks

• It has been in the Top Ten bestselling children’s titles for the last 47 weeks, basically since publication.

The launch of the Nielsen BookScan service in December 2008 has meant that bestsellers charts based on actual sales of books are now available. What Nielsen BookScan charts show is that there is no doubt we like to read about ourselves. Even faced with an enormous choice from overseas, we buy a lot of New Zealand published titles.
For example during the week ending on the 21th of August an astonishing 84 New Zealand published titles were in the top 300 bestsellers.

The Wonky Donkey was up against:

• As the Earth Turns Silver by Alison Wong, published by Penguin Books NZ

• Dick Frizzell – The Painter by Dick Frizzell, published by Random House NZ

• Encircled Lands: Te Urewera 1820-1921 by Judith Binney, published by Bridget Williams Books

• Go Fish by Al Brown by Random House NZ

Martine Poiree, Nielsen BookData New Zealand Manager, presented the award and a cheque for $2,500.00 to Craig Smith and Katz Cowley at the annual Booksellers Conference Dinner and Industry Awards, and Craig Smith delighted the audience by giving a great rendition of “The Wonky Donkey song”.

Pic below left, Craig Smith, and right, Katz Cowley
End is near for print Oxford Dictionary

AP 30/08/2010 - Dominion Post

It's been in print for over a century, but in future the Oxford English Dictionary - the authoritative guide to the English language - may only be available online.

Oxford University Press, the publisher, said on Sunday that burgeoning demand for the dictionary's online version has far outpaced demand for the printed versions.

By the time the lexicographers behind the dictionary finish revising and updating the latest edition - a gargantuan task that will take many more years - publishers are doubtful there will still be a market for the printed form.
The online Oxford English Dictionary now gets 2 million hits a month from subscribers. The current printed edition - a hefty, expensive 20-volume set published in 1989 - has sold about 30,000 sets in total.

"At present we are experiencing increasing demand for the online product," a statement from the publisher said. "However, a print version will certainly be considered if there is sufficient demand at the time of publication."

Nigel Portwood, chief executive of Oxford University Press, told The Sunday Times in an interview he didn't think the newest edition will be printed. "The print dictionary market is just disappearing. It is falling away by tens of percent a year," he said.
His comment related primarily to the full-length dictionary, but Portwood said the convenience of the electronic format also is affecting demand for its shorter dictionaries.
The full story at stuff.co.nz
Out There South:
A 4WD Adventure in New Zealand’s South Island.
Chris Morton & Tony Bridge
Craig Potton Publishing - $49.99

This book is the story of a four-wheel-drive adventure, undertaken by photographers Chris Morton and Tony Bridge, through some of the most spectacular country to be found in New Zealand’s South Island.

Their objective was to portray something of the magic to be found off-road in the South Island back country. Over a period of two weeks they journeyed up huge braided river valleys in South Canterbury, through high-country stations in the Mackenzie Country and historic gold trails in Central Otago, and drove deep into Fiordland and northern Southland, before tackling some of the wildest and wet forest tracks on the West Coast.

This book truly captures the character and appeal of four-wheel-drive adventuring in New Zealand, where there are myriad options for getting off the highway and closer to the wild parts of this country. Out There South is a must-have book for anyone who owns a four-wheel-drive and wants to be inspired by the adventures and landscapes these vehicles open up.

As one has come to expect with photographic books published by Craig Potton Publishing , and especially photography featuring New Zealand's magnificent landscape, this book is an absolute knockout, and any father lucky enough to be given it for Fathers Day will be a delighted dad indeed.

About the author/photgraphers
Chris Morton has been passionate about the outdoors all of his life, which for many years was satisfied by sailing, both racing and cruising, in New Zealand, the Pacific and many other places around the world. In the early 2000s he began alpine climbing and tramping, and it was the beauty of the landscapes he encountered in these environments that sparked his interest in photography. Since then he has pursued a range of photographic projects including a major involvement in the Our Palace World Heritage Project, which has taken him all over the world photographing World Heritage sites.
He shares his time between running a property business in Auckland and his photographic career http://www.chrismortonphotography.co.nz/

Tony Bridge, FPSNZ, ACPP 9dist) is a professional photographer, fine artist and writer, who has taught photography for more than 20 years. He has been a teacher and curriculum developer, and is a published author. He has taught and exhibited both nationally and internationally, in New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. He is a fellow of the New Zealand Photographic Society and a member of its Honours Board, a qualified member of the NZIPP, as well as holding a BA in foreign languages and a Diploma in Professional Photography with Distinction. He has been a Kodak Professional Mentor and also works as a beta tester in imaging software development.
He lives in Hanmer. http://www.thistonybridge.com/


by Graham Hutchins
Hodder Moa - $29.99

From kiwifruit and Chesdale cheese to jandals and Swanndris; bungy jumping and marching girls to the Farmers Trading Company and the A&P show, Strictly Kiwi looks at our favourite things. One person’s trash, another person’s treasure. There was a time when New Zealand Railway cups were strewn about the landscape, smashed and forsaken. These days railway cups have become valuable members of the Kiwiana family.

Kiwiana has come of age in the last 30 years. Today there is a distinct
body of iconic Kiwiana items that speak to New Zealanders of home.
Inanimate objects like the railways cup, the Buzzy Bee and paua shells
have an important place in the Kiwiana lexicon, but other aspects of the Kiwi lifestyle have become Kiwiana-ised: Where we live and lurk (villas and bungalows, the bloke’s shed), what we eat (Tip Top ice cream, Marmite) what we drink (Lemon & Paeroa, tea), what we wear (Swanndri and gumboots), and what we sing (‘Ten Guitars’ and ‘Poi E’).

‘As Kiwi as corrugated iron’ is a common term yet it could just as easily be applied to many of the 50-odd Kiwiana items featured in Strictly Kiwi. Trash becomes treasure. Things we take for granted become objects of affection and national recognition.

Strictly Kiwi features iconic and never seen before photographs!
Among the contents of Strictly Kiwi:

Kiwi Bird
Silver Fern

Growing up
Buzzy Bee
Dental Nurses
School Milk

Food & Drink
Chesdale Cheese
Tip Top Ice Cream
Lemon & Paeroa

Sport and entertainment
A&P Show

House and garden
Quarter acre section
Villas and bungalows
Masport Mower
Crown Lynn
Edmonds Cookery Book
Yates Garden Guide
Garden Ornaments
Rinso, Handy Andy and Janola

Fred Dagg
Corrugated iron
Footrot Flats

Farmers Trading Company
Four Square
Corner Dairy
Pie Cart

Blue Smoke
Now is the Hour
Poi E
Pokarekare Ana
Ten Guitars

And that is just some of the kiwi icons, there is much more. Truly the book is great fun and an obvious contender for Fathers Day.

While I think of it did you see the quote in this week's Listener (sept 4) - "Small boy's definition of Fathers Day: It's just like Mothers Day only you don't spend so much".
Well I suggest Strictly Kiwi will be a great gift for the old man if you are spending 30 bucks on him. He'll love it.

About the Author
Graham Hutchins has written many books on non-fiction subjects ranging from rugby, cricket and rock music to railways, travel trivia and New Zealand social history. He has also written works of fiction, including two novels with musical themes that were subsequently adapted for National Radio. Strictly Kiwi is his 32nd book.
My two favourite quotes from this issue are:

The concluding paragraph an excellent four page story by David Larsen on best-selling British fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's:

My idea of a good death would be for my wife or my PA to find me slumped over the computer. And I've instructed them that before they do anything else they should save the work in progress.

And from the  Quips & Quotes column:

Small boy's definition of Father's Day:" It's just like Mother's Day only you don't spend so much."

Also on the book scene in this issue there are reviews of Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa by Tina Makereti (Huia $30) and Gunshot Road by Adrian Hyland (Text $39)

7 secrets of making money on the sharemarket
Martin Hawes
Revised and updated edition
Penguin Books - $40

New Zealand’s most successful personal finance writer explains the 7 secrets of making money on the sharemarket.

Martin Hawes believes that there are great investment opportunities for New Zealanders both at home and overseas. Shares: 7 Secrets of Making Money on the Sharemarket is full of practical advice and useful information on how to beat the market and make investment opportunities work for you.

This revised and updated edition of Martin Hawes’ bestselling book on shares has been written to help both novice and experienced investors. Anyone can make money from the sharemarket and Martin shows us how by starting with first principles and then explaining the 7 secrets to becoming a successful investor. Recent upheavals in the investment landscape mean that it is now more important than ever to understand the sharemarket and to include shares as part of a balanced investment portfolio.

About the author:
Martin Hawes is New Zealand’s most successful financial writer. A popular speaker at seminars and conferences, he also serves on the boards of several companies and has had a financial slot on television. After a brief period teaching, Martin set up an importing and manufacturing company, which he ran for ten years. Martin has contributed to many publications and been a columnist with Herald on Sunday, Canvas, North and South and the Accountants Journal. Along with his partner, Joan Baker, Martin offers wealth coaching to clients who are seeking financial freedom.

Author of the definitive best-seller, Family Trusts, Martin’s other books include 5 Ways to Save More Money on Your Mortgage, 8 Secrets of Investment Success, Successful Super and Letters to Aston.
Martin lives in Queenstown.

Recently I have carried two stories on the blog about this author, one about him being the highest paid writer in the world, and the other about his recent book, PRIVATE. which he co-authored with Maxine Paetro and which I had
just read.

Now two more new titles have turned up - DON'T BLINK which he has written with Howard Roughan, and THE POSTCARD KILLERS which he has written with Liza Marklund. He has co-authored a stand-alone thriller with Roughan previously, SAIL, previously but as far as I can make out this is his first with Marklund.

DON'T BLINK is set in NYC, it opens in Lombardo's Steak House on the Upper East Side and features reporter Nick Daniels, while THE POSTCARD KILLERS features NYPD detective Jacob Kanon who is touring European cities - Rome, Madrid, Salzburg, Amsterdam, Berlin, Athens and Paris where young couples have been found murdered.

Both books are big reads, around 400 pages so fans of James Patterson are going to be kept busy in the next little while. And Patterson's annual income, in excess of US$45 million will continue to grow.

Both titles are published in London by Century and have a NZ rrp of $38.99.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Languid affair as Rendell tires of red herrings
Graeme Blundell From: The Australian August 28, 2010

Left - Author Ruth Rendell. Picture: Nathan Edwards Source: The Australian

Tigerlily's Orchids
By Ruth Rendell
Hutchinson, 280pp, A$32.95

Death has never been absent for long in Ruth Rendell's distinguished career.
She was even sacked from her first job as a reporter on a local British newspaper for writing up the tennis club's annual dinner without mentioning that the chairman dropped dead while making his speech.
Countless deaths have followed in more than 50 books, the best known being, of course, the procedural mysteries featuring Detective Chief Inspector Wexford, the first of which, From Doon with Death, appeared in 1964. Most have been bestsellers, with worldwide sales of more than 20 million; the most accomplished, it must be said, appearing in the 1970s.

Tigerlily's Orchids is 80-year-old Rendell's latest, though it's a rather languid crime affair. Her novels are increasingly nostalgic, written with an almost Victorian leisureliness. Her famous sense of studied decorum makes her a rare figure in contemporary crime fiction and this is the perfect read for lovers of the so-called English cosy.

Instead of Agatha Christie's country pile, we have a block of flats called Lichfield House in a dreary outer London suburb, surrounded by neighbours who always seem to be at their windows observing. But there are the same detailed descriptions of interiors, a ritual gathering of suspects (a party thrown by the central character) and an acerbic appreciation of the truth that human beings have a deadly passion for concealment and revelation.

Sure there are some contemporary references, from television programs such as Strictly Come Dancing (the English version of Dancing with the Stars), to the Tom Hanks movie Saving Private Ryan, to a cassoulet recipe from Nigella Lawson. But you are far likelier to encounter phrases from Shakespeare or from Milton, as some of Rendell's characters are fond of opening Paradise Lost at random for an idle spot of bibliomancy.

To be fair, Rendell does add several deviant twists: a clumsy cleaner obsessed with indecent images of children, a young married woman with a libidinousness verging on the pathological and a rather alarming suburban cannabis-cultivation operation. But the plot is a slight affair, with little of the subtle horror of Rendell's best work. Handsome Stuart Font, who just can't pass a mirror without looking into it, throws a house-warming party in his new flat, inviting all the people in his new building. He is unable to invite his new girlfriend, Claudia, the sexy fashion journalist fond of leaving him lascivious phone messages, because he would also have to welcome her husband, the dreadful Freddie Livorno.

Full review at The Australian.
Bloomsbury to relaunch Harry Potter series

Friday, 27 August 2010

Bloomsbury publishing said the relaunch of the Harry Potter series to tie in with the keenly awaited movie of the final book would help drive a stronger second half after interim profits fell 48 per cent.
Pre-tax profits fell to £949,000 from £1.8m a year earlier, although the group said its underlying earnings rose 8 per cent.

Its second half is traditionally stronger and Bloomsbury said a number of releases were in the pipeline, as well as a deal to publish Churchill's papers in electronic form.
As the reborn Kindle proves, looks don't count for everything.
It's not as attractive as the iPad, but Amazon's formerly derided e-reader is cheap and, most important, efficient

John Naughton The Observer, Sunday 29 August 2010

The latest Kindle e-reader. Photograph: Reuters

The newest version of the Kindle e-reader is out. And guess what? "Due to strong customer demand," says the Amazon website, "Kindle is temporarily sold out. Order now to reserve your place in the queue... orders placed today are expected to dispatch on or before 17 September."

This is interesting, is it not? It's not all that long ago, in the fevered run-up to the launch of the Apple iPad, that conventional wisdom held that the Kindle was a dead duck – roadkill for the iTunes/iBooks steamroller on the highway to the future. I mean to say, the Kindle was sooo clunky: you had to press buttons just to turn the page and how 1980s is that? With the iPad, you just swooshed your finger and – hey presto! – the page turned. Cool.

Then there was the impact of the iPad on publishers, who saw the Apple iBook store as a way of breaking Amazon's stranglehold on sales – and, more important, the pricing – of ebooks. And so it came to pass that the Kindle was consigned to the role of brave but outdated pioneer. Amazon might have triggered the ebook revolution, but it would be Apple that would wind up running the show.

The problem with this kind of thinking is that it is based on an elementary schoolboy mistake, namely the assumption that, in a networked world, it is the hardware that matters most. According to this view, because the iPad, viewed purely as a device, was seen as incomparably superior to the Kindle, it followed that Apple would triumph in the ebooks market.

Let's deal with the hardware issue first. The iPad is indeed a much more powerful and versatile device than even the latest Kindle. But as an e-reader, it has some major deficiencies. First, at 730g, it's pretty heavy, so any extended reading session requires support from a lap or table. Second, its reflective screen makes it difficult to read in bright light. And it's damned expensive.

On these three factors, the new Kindle wins hands down. At 247g, it's much lighter; the screen is readable even in bright sunlight; and it's much, much cheaper — £149 for the model which comes with Wi-Fi and free 3G connectivity. You can begin to see why Amazon might have trouble meeting consumer demand for its new baby.
Full story at The Observer.


Warm welcome on arrival.
Glamour factor as befitting the  book industry's premier annual event.
Spectacular location - The Long Room, Langham Hotel, Auckland.
Convenient pocket-size booklet featuring shortlisted titles provided at the time the appealingly designed tickets were mailed out.
Beautifully designed and useful notebook, (in several different designs), each one personalised with the guest's name printed thereon.
The MC - Jennifer Ward-Lealand did a superb job.
The judges - appropriate and succinct remarks.
The humility of fiction-award winner Alison Wong.
The audio visuals.
The overall organisation.

The $130 ticket price - were those of us who paid subsidising many who didn't?
Buffet meal rather than table service. Inexcusable for such a major black tie event, and especially at the price.
Two authors who hijacked the show by taking 15+ minutes to express their thanks instead of the expected and customary two minute maximum.
The standard of dress of some guests. Don't they know what Formal-Black Tie means?


While I am delighted for Judith Binney, only recently recovered from an awful traffic accident, and her feisty, small independent publisher Bridget Williams, I think it is fair to say that this will probably be the smallest-ever seller  of the winner of the overall book year of the award title.
Because of the limited interest in the subject matter and the density of the writing, it is essentially an academic thesis by an outstanding academic NZ historian, one cannot imagine the public lining up to buy the book on Monday morning. I acknowledge that it is a superb piece of publishing, an important, wonderfully designed book, with a stunning cover too, but most punters will find it impenetrable and I am sure booksellers will be disappointed if they are expecting extra sales as a result of this win. Normally with the winners of this Award there are immediate and significant new sales.
Oh well, extra sales aren't everything............

The full list of 2010 New Zealand Post Book Awards winners:

New Zealand Post Book of the Year and General Non-fiction Award winner:
Encircled Lands: Te Urewera, 1820-1921 by Judith Binney (Bridget Williams Books)

Fiction Award winner: As the Earth Turns Silver by Alison Wong (Penguin Group (NZ))

Poetry Award winner: Just This by Brian Turner (Victoria University Press)

Illustrated Non-fiction Award and People’s Choice Award winner: Go Fish: Recipes and stories from the New Zealand Coast by Al Brown (Random House NZ)