Category Archives: personal

Clunes Booktown Festival

This year I finally made it across to Clunes for one of their annual Booktown festivals.

Clunes is a small town in country Victoria with a lot of bookshops, and is the first Booktown in the Southern Hemisphere to be recognised by the International Organisation of Booktowns. Instead of explaining the origins of the Booktown phenomena, I’m going to pop a few links below for interested parties. For everyone else, what you need to know is that in addition to the six or so permanent bookshops in the town on the festival weekend they close off a few streets in Clunes and booksellers from around the country set up stalls and take residence in the town hall hall, bank, garage and other assorted areas to sell their wares. There are  book signings, author talks, performances, discussion panels, and of course plenty of plenty of books to be seen all around. Continue reading


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The eReader equation.

I’ve had my eReader for about 2 years now, and I still have mixed feelings about it.

During the closure of Borders stores in Australia, I was left with $150 of vouchers I had gotten for Christmas the previous year and hadn’t spent because I was waiting for books which were due to be released later in the year. Big mistake.

I’m not going to go over my frustrations with the way the administrators handled the voucher use again, but to make a long story short, to use those vouchers I needed to spend $300 in store. So I bought a Kobo eReader (which was the only sort they had left in stock) among other things.

It’s a really easy device to use and I really enjoy it, but there are just some issues which bug me about it, which I will outline below in a pro and con list. Continue reading

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My Christmas Book List

Christmas is almost over, and I didn’t recieve any books this year. With the lack of conveniently placed bookstores and my fussy reading habits to take into account this didn’t really come as a surprise, but I’d like to share a few few books which are on my to-read/to-buy list for this festive season.

Mastiff (Beka Cooper, book 3) – Tamora Pierce

This was on the list of present ideas I gave to my brother, and while it did not arrive nicely wrapped, the library has come through again and I am currently reading the novel. This is a Tortall series aimed towards an older or more sophisticated audience than I remember the others being (though it has been a LOOONG time) and I really enjoy the narrative voice, so I’d been keeping an eye out for this last installment in the trilogy.

The Extinction Gambit (The Extraordinaires, book 1) – Michael Pryor

Having massively enjoyed Pryor’s Laws of Magic series, I was keeping an eye out for his next project, and reading the first paragraph in the bookstore sealed the deal. Have since borrowed the book from the library and it is next on my to-read pile.

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

Recommendations for this book kept popping up everywhere I looked; on my goodreads account, on the blogs I follow, on random review sites. After reading the blurb and extract on amazon, it’s definitely something I want to read. Given that the physical version of the book is so pretty, and the copy at the library is large print I may just buy this – though I do have it on reserve at the library in case I change my mind.

1Q84 – Haruki Murakami

Another book that kept being mentioned online, I read the sample pages on Amazon. While not enough to convince me I wanted to buy this book – it has certainly made me want to give it a go, and thus I am the 8th reservation of the English translation at my library. This may take a while, folks.

Empire State – Adam Christopher

Due to be released in 2012, one of my friends read and reviewed an ARC of this book and could not stop telling me I had to read it. At his urging I will be attempting to sign up to get an ARC of my own, but suspect my blog may not be established enough yet to be accepted. Either way, I will be keeping an eye out for this book.

I’m starting to realise my to-read list could go on forever, so I’ll leave it there.

Soon I’ll post up my reading list of 2011, and my top ten books for the year.


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Firebreathing Monsters: The hatching of a new blog.

Blog introducion posts are rarely interesting, and as I can’t think of a way to do this properly I’m going to keep it short and sweet.

Why a new blog?

I’ve been meaning to get back into blogging for a while now, and since I’m on ‘holidays’ I thought now was as good a time as any.

Why ‘Firebreathing Monsters’?

There are several reasons for the title of my blog, the simplest of which being that it was hard to find another name which hadn’t already been taken, and there was an ad on the TV which had the words as part of a song.

I had also just finished reading ‘Inheritance’ when I decided to set up my blog, and Paolini’s dragon-filled work is fairly typical of the type of genre-based book I tend to read.

Finally, I may get a little fired-up myself if I come across something I really don’t like.

What is the blog about?

As opposed to some friends of mine who have separate blogs for everything, this blog is going to cover a range of things: reading lists, book reviews, writing news, film reviews, cooking successes and failures, library news (as I am studying to be a library person), and the occassional meme, funny post or personal reflection.


Well, that’s it from me, next time there’ll be a proper post. Promise.

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