Most mentioned in the Australian media this week : Lisa Lang’s Utopian Ma

Set in 1880s Melbourne, before the Depression of the 1890s, it features eccentric entrepreneur Edward William Cole owner of the Cole’s Book Arcade. Cole advertises for a bride in the paper and swiftly marries the girl who meets his criteria. As the Depression hits and other tragedies come his way, Cole fights to keep his singular vision alive.

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Fiction activities for Stone Soup

Activities for Stone Soup

    Make Your Own Stone Soup

    Stone Soup: A Puppet Show
    Simple props and script for Stone Soup.

    Stone Soup Activities

    Making Stone Soup
    A lesson plan for grade 2 mathematics, English language arts, and computer technology skills.

    Stone Soup

    Ideas for teaching Stone Soup.

    Students will create a recipe and a shopping list.

The Future of the Book

Meet Nelson, Coupland, and Alice — the faces of tomorrow’s book. Watch global design and innovation consultancy IDEO’s vision for the future of the book. What new experiences might be created by linking diverse discussions, what additional value could be created by connected readers to one another, and what innovative ways we might use to tell our favorite stories and build community around books?

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.

The latest in the Hunger Games trilogy

Mockingjay (Hunger Games Trilogy) (Paperback)

By Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge…This thrilling final instalment of this ground-breaking trilogy promises to be one of the most talked-about books of the year.

Watch the trailer …

You can buy the book here=>

Books in a digital age

This is a brilliant trailer, and concept!

If you would like to pre-order this book for someone special (yourself maybe?), you can do it at

For your Book Club – Fishing for Stars

Fishing for Stars has, at its heart, two passionate, unforgettable – but very different – women. One is exotic, damaged, and shrewd; the other beautiful, determined and zealous. Both are bitter rivals for the love of the same man.
The story is set in Australia, the Pacific Islands, Japan and Indonesia during the latter half of the twentieth century. Nick Duncan is an ingenuous male with a great deal more female on his hands than he can possibly hope to understand.
It is a story of ambition, destruction, love, tears and laughter, with a soupçon of hope thrown in.

Download the Book Club notes here =>

There’s a new Rascal from Paul Jennings

Rascal and the Bad Smell
Author: Paul Jennings
Illustrator: Bob Lea
Real books for beginners

Someone made a bad smell. But who?

Like a bloodhound on a case, Rascal puts his nose to the task of finding the culprit.

Read a Rascal story to your children and before long they’ll read it to you.

You can buy the book here =>

What’s new — The Fry Chronicles

The Fry Chronicles: A Memoir (Hardback)
By Stephen Fry

Thirteen years ago, “Moab is my Washpot”, Stephen Fry’s autobiography of his early years, was published to rave reviews and was a huge bestseller. In those thirteen years since, Stephen Fry has moved into a completely new stratosphere, both as a public figure, and a private man. Now he is not just a multi-award-winning comedian and actor, but also an author, director and presenter. In January 2010, he was awarded the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards. Much loved by the public and his peers, Stephen Fry is one of the most influential cultural forces in the country. This dazzling memoir promises to be a courageously frank, honest and poignant read. It will detail some of the most turbulent and least well known years of his life with writing that will excite you, make you laugh uproariously, move you, inform you and, above all, surprise you.

How Books and Reading make a Difference in Our Lives

Some people like to read about history, biographies of famous people, science and other non-fiction books or publications. On the other hand, others like to read fiction that takes them to a faraway place and time simply for the pleasure of it. Whether you’re reading a book on quantum physics or the latest Paolo Coelho bestseller you bought from the Book of the Month Club, you probably know that reading is food for the soul. It makes our existence rich not only with new information that we gain but more importantly with the emotions that good books elicit in us and the ways that these emotions make us discover ourselves deeper than thought we could. In other words, reading is always a personal experience, whether or not the reasons were personal when we decided to pick up a book and read it.

Of course, this personal encounter we have with books is the first thing we’ll yearn for unknowingly when we start reading. But did you know there are more practical uses to the activity? Reading is, in fact, very helpful in our daily lives in ways that we probably never knew before. For example, when we read a lot, our vocabulary naturally increases. When we encounter a word for the first time, we would naturally want to understand what that word is or else, we wouldn’t understand completely whatever we’re reading. Thus, we look up the meaning of those new words in the dictionary. Each time we do that, we widen our vocabulary.

Another thing we’ll always love about reading is the way it improves our spelling. Sometimes, we pronounce words very well without even knowing how they’re spelled. When you read a lot, you will see all those commonly misspelled words finally spelled correctly and you’re going to learn from that so that next time you have to write those words yourself, you can do it error-free.

When you talk about the benefits of reading, you cannot skip the part where the brain is enhanced by the habit. Yes, reading regularly keeps your brain on its toes and keeps it sharp. In fact, studies show people who read as a routine activity are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or any brain-related disease. You can

Lastly, reading is relaxing, therefore, anyone who reads regularly can enjoy rare moments of peace and being one with oneself – a feeling that is possible only when you have a good book that you feel like skipping work over. If you’re going to join a book club, you might have a harder time closing that book and getting ready for work each morning. Just the same, you can carry the book around. Just don’t let it get in the way of your important tasks.

Author: May Thorne

The Mystery Guild book club and Literary Guild book club are two popular groups where people who love to read come together online, share ideas, and even become friends even if they’re situated on opposite sides of the country.

Ten Misheard Expressions To Avoid In Your Writing

Anyone can make a typo or a spelling mistake, and fixing those is pretty easy in the spellcheck era. If you want your writing totally error-free, you also need to avoid using expressions which you think you’re using correctly but which you’ve actually misheard. Here are ten examples to watch out for.

Having studied linguistics as my main subject at university many years ago, I do recognise that language usage changes over time, and that time period can be quite short. Prescriptive rules eventually give way if the majority of speakers of a language adopt a different approach (the switch from using “he” to “they” to refer to an unspecified individual is one obvious recent example).

However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t rules that continue to apply in particular contexts, or expressions that are, for all standard purposes, flat-out incorrect. For some reason there are few things that irk me more than writers using a phrase such as “different tact” and being blissfully unaware that they’ve got it quite wrong.

This is a list of some of the most common errors in that field. They’re mistakes which you won’t necessarily notice during conversations, but which should stick out like a sore thumb (not a saw thumb) in written work. Many spell-checking systems won’t pick these errors up, though Word did flag about half of them while I was writing this piece. (Confession: I’ve gathered quite a few of these examples from my Lifehacker US colleagues.)

Some of these mistakes attract their own false etymologies. People construct a pseudo-logical explanation for the version they’re using, and over time these can become quite widely believed. Leaving aside the fact that language is not always based in obvious logic anyway (see “beyond the pale” below), the existence of an apparently plausible explanation doesn’t make those expressions correct. It just makes it a little less likely that you’ll realise you’re wrong.

Read on =>