Up in lights at Mum’s Lounge

A very quick post today, because my work is being done for me by someone else today! Today, I’m thrilled to be featured on the brand new website of Mum’s Lounge.

Mum’s Lounge is a super site that specialises in bargains, helpful information and opportunities for Mums to socialise with each other. Well worth a look if you’re after a bargain, or a chat with some like minded cyber-mums.

Most excitingly, they’ve got a really interesting section known as the Billboard where you can find lots of wonderful blogs, including some of my very favourites. I’m there too, happily.

So as I said, I’m being featured on their site today, so pop on over to see one of my favourite posts from the archives Way back When? I hope you enjoy the article.

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Mythbusting at the MWF

On a good day I learn something new. On a really good day, I might get a few ah-ha moments. An excellent day is full of new facts…and that was my Sunday.

The issue of gender, as it relates to identity, equity and ability is an emotive one. I certainly know it’s a topic quick to raise my ire. It’s a passionate topic, but still, it is one best treated with intelligence and reason. The two sessions that I attended on Sunday did just that.

Dissecting Gender presented neurological, biological and psychological perspectives on what it means to be male or female, and explored whether or not we are in fact hardwired to be fundamentally different from each other. The resounding answer of the panelists; Jane McCredie, Rob Brooks and Cordelia Fine was clear – no, we are not.

Any such science that suggests that all males and all females are and must perform and behave in a particular way is at best mistaken, and at worst fraudulent.

McCredie, Brooks and Fine are, without doubt, committed to their work in this in field, each having published works seeking to dispel the many myths surrounding what it is to be a man or a woman. Interestingly, McCredie is even more inclusive in her study, investigating what it is to be “outside the binary” of gender, considering situations of ambiguity in gender allocation and idenfication.

Reassuringly, Fine assured us that although women have on average, a smaller, lighter brain than men this doesn’t in fact act as a determinant of success or intelligence in any field: “Claims about gender differences are based on incorrect, and at times fabricated data,” states Fine. Brooks argued well to dismiss the outdated notion that we are slaves to either our nature or our nuture, assuring that many options remain open to us all. And McCredie was decided: “Science should apply to us all, and not just to those that fit neatly within the accepted stereotypes…stereotypes seem not to apply to many people.” Further, she asked the question, how do any of us come to understand who we are, and what it is to be male or female. Science, in all it’s certainties and averages has not yet been able to explain many of the complexities that create differences between us all, let alone between males and females.

I left this session feeling encouraged…my little brain was not necessarily less powerful, and any stereotypical strengths and weaknesses would seem to be more likely about self-fulfilling prophesy or stereotype threat than about an overarching biological or neurological predisposition.

In this mood, I took my seat in the BMW Edge to listen to Sophie Cunningham. I had heard very good things, and was excited about being at this session. The crowd seemed to be feeling the same way, and I got the sense that the audience was eagerly awaiting inspiration, and perhaps a bit of illumination.

Many things were made much clearer to me by Sophie’s presentation A Long, Long Way to Go: Why We Still Need Feminism, not the least of which was the scale of the issue of women’s invisibility. Sophie provided a set of most incredible and infuriating statistics relating to women’s place in literature, business, fine arts and law. Example after example illustrated the extent to which women have disappeared, and the degree to which we’ve simply gotten used to it. Frightening stuff.

Cunningham laid blame for this in both the political and cultural sphere, and made several suggestions as to how this imbalance might be addressed. One of these solutions was featured in The Age today, namely the Stella prize, a women’s only literary prize. I will be watching this with great interest. Her conviction was strong, and she disputed the belief that women need simply to be more assertive: “You can be as assertive as you like, you’re still starting from a lower base,” citing examples of starting wages of male and female graduate lawyers and the distinct difference therein. It would seem that equality will take more than a loud voice and a forthright personality.

I was personally quite moved by her views of women’s self perception, our habitual self-loathing, which damages our chances and holds us back by diminishing our self-confidence in contexts such as work, earning and education. In Sophie’s opinion: “This self-doubt is political, it’s like tinnitus and we have to learn to ignore it, we must learn to block it out.”

I was moved by the presentation, and buoyed by the rousing reception that Sophie received. I trust that this is a sign that, should it be needed, the forth wave which Cunningham referred to would be fervently supported by a new generation of woman.

Did you attend any Sunday sessions? What were the highlights for you?

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It just keeps getting better at the MWF

I liked Friday’s sessions a lot, but I liked Saturday even more. If my enjoyment of the festival keeps increasing at this rate, my head might well explode by this time next week…

I arrived at Federation Square at dusk, ready for a few of the later sessions on the program. The Square looks really amazing at this time of day, and the feeling you get when you look around is quite special. In one sense it feels as if the space is winding down for the day, with families wandering wearily home after a full day of activity, and in another sense there’s a feeling of anticipation for the night to come, with groups of friends meeting, ready to descend on the restaurants, pubs and clubs of the city centre.

After having a little chat with the lovely Mel Hobbs, I made my way to ACMI Studio 1 for Tasmania’s Call, a panel session featuring Natasha Cica, Sarah Kanowski and Michael Vetch. This session held particular significance for me, having grown up in Tasmania. I have often wondered what path my life might have taken had a stayed there, particularly in regards to my education and my writing. The panelists had some really insightful things to say on how Tasmania sees itself, and the dynamics that are working within this unique State.

The panelists shared their thoughts on the uniqueness of Tasmania, and they all seemed to agree that Tasmania is indeed very different to many other parts of Australia, environmentally and culturally. Michael ventured that it might be “something about being on the absolute edge of the known world.” As such, it produces literature unique to place, it’s environmental rawness and distinct isolation cannot help but influence the thoughts and deeds of those living and creating in this special place.

Not all the panelists agreed that Tasmania is any more unique than anywhere else, with Sarah suggesting that “Tassie needs to find something beyond it uniqueness…” and to identify with more than just being very different.  Despite this, they did all agree that the geography of the State, the effect of being on the very edge of the world created a sense of wildness perhaps not felt in towns like Melbourne or Sydney. Michael believes that “Tasmania prides itself on its isolation” and Natasha recalled how difficult it used to be to leave: “It cost a huge amount to travel to Melbourne, and it was very difficult to get to the mainland.” As a result, many Tasmanian’s choose never to leave, creating a kind of happy introspection.

I’m looking forward to getting hold of a copy of Natasha Cica’s Pedder Dreaming on its release, and I was greatly encouraged to hear that she thought real change in attitude in and about Tasmania was evident. I’ll also have a look into Michael’s new book The Forgotten Islands (2011), a travel memoir about the isolated islands of Bass Strait when it’s released.

I was so pleased to hear from Sarah Kanowski, editor of Islanda literary quarterly that publishes the very best contemporary writing – fiction, essays, memoir and poetry. I picked up a copy of their Winter Edition, and I plan to feature it in a blog post in the near future.

After this session, which made me feel a little bit homesick for Tassie, I attended the John Button Oration – The Fire Within. It was quite a privilege to hear from the most accomplished Honourable Michael Kirby. His progressive and eloquent discussion on a range of issues such as public education, the introduction of a bill of rights, and the current debate regarding same-sex marriage was enlightening and inspiring.

He has an incredible way of teasing out the threads of an issue, making the facts and feelings obvious from each other so as to be able to better understand the true nature of the argument at hand. What an amazing man, and amazing speaker.

The oration was well attended, and very well received. I’m so glad I was able to go. I am now looking forward to reading his forthcoming publication, A Private Life, a collection of essays which he describes as a picture of “his inner life.”

Today I’m looking forward to a little feminist discourse (what better for a Sunday afternoon hey?) as I’m going to see Dissecting Gender and Big Ideas: A Long Long Way to Go – Why we Still Need Feminism.

I’ll report back tomorrow, so stay tuned.

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My first day at the MWF

After much anticipation, my first day at the Melbourne Writers Festival went down a treat. I was so happy to be there…I’ve been wanting to attend this festival for years, and for one reason or another not been able to.

So this year is the year, and I’m going to half live there if I have my way.

I strolled into Federation Square, nice and early, and enjoyed the quiet buzz of anticipation. I’ve decided that I really quite like Fed Square, it’s such a unique space and perfect for this kind of event.

At 10am, I took my seat in the BMW Edge room to listen to Kate Grenville share her thoughts. As I’ve said before, I think Kate is an incredibly wise woman, and amazingly eloquent. She was also really influential in my own learning-to-write process at university, so I was very excited to hear what she had to say.

The main focus of the conversation was her newest novel, Sarah Thornhill (the third in Grenville’s trilogy about early Australia) although this discussion quickly gave rise to serious considerations of Australia’s dark history.

Being so committed to the process of research, Kate left no stone unturned in her research for The Secret River (2005), The Lieutenant (2008) and Sarah Thornhill (2011) and as a result discovered disturbing truths about the history of white and indigenous Australia, and about her own family’s involvement in these dark days. I think it’s fair to say that much of Kate’s recent work deals poignantly with the notion of the Australian identity, and all that that entails. She seems also to be fascinated by the notion of an individual having no past: “These first generation Australians found they had no ‘back’ to go to, Australia was their home.” This presented many challenges to her most recent protagonist, Sarah Thornhill, but also new opportunities.

I was enticed by her recount of how her novel, Sarah Thornhill came about, how “the cosmos” made sure that it happened by ensuring she was in the right place at the right time to learn the story of Sarah. I was equally engaged by the promise of treatment of the harshness of the Australian experience, including experiences of love, hard work and dangerous childbirth: “I thought, let’s write about childbirth the same way that men write about the battlefield.” She has certainly presented a tale of a strong, resourceful woman.

I was also really pleased that she was able to share a few pearls of wisdom on the process of research and of writing. A piece of advice that I’ll take to heart and practice:”Go where the energy is…” if you feel like writing, write…if you feel like going to the library, go and read. Words to create by.

After a short break, I wandered back into BMW Edge to hear from Lindsay Tanner, former Finance Minister and author of a new book, Sideshow. Tanner is passionate about the often detrimental effect of media on politics, and is highly critical of the sideshow that political coverage has become. “Politicians are changing without even realising it.” said Tanner “Today requires a challenging balance between entertainment and politics, and having the talent to manage both.”

It was really interesting to hear first hand, the effect that commercialisation, sensationalisation and ‘dumbing down’ can have on willingness and ability to run this country well. Tanner pointed out that “Television demands good pictures,” and went on the explain that this influences (often negatively) where politicians go, what they do, who they meet. Nothing looks as good as “sitting on the floor of a childcare centre” and this in turn can effect decisions that politicians make about where to direct their attention.

After this session, I had a little bit of time to kill so I looked over the shoulders of an eager little crowd to see a real live artist, Matt Bissett-Johnson. Matt is a Melbourne-based  political cartoonist who is regularly featured in a wide range of publications, including The Age and The Melbourne Observer. It was wonderful to see his process, and to have a bit of a giggle at his visual punchlines.

Don’t Feed the Artists sessions are being run from 12 to 3pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays of the festival and will feature Matt Bissett-Johnson, Alex Hallatt, Judy Horacek, Jon Kudelka, Bruce Mutard and Mandy Ord.

I’ll be back in the Square this evening to see a couple of sessions; Tasmania’s Call and Big Ideas: John Button Oration. I’ll be sure to let you know about these two sessions tomorrow.

Have you made it to any sessions? What did you think?

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Nice start…

Really enjoyed the sessions I went to today at the Melbourne Writers Festival (despite the little health-blip later in the afternoon).

Watch out tomorrow for a review of Kate Grenville’s In Conversation session, and of Lindsay Tanner’s views on politics and the media.

Federation Square is such a great venue, and the festival is being run wonderfully. I’m looking forward to getting back to see some more events over the weekend.

Did anyone make it to the Shaun Tan event tonight?

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And let it begin!

And so it begins, two weeks of fun, discussion, reading and writing. I’m at the Melbourne Writers Festival and currently waiting to hear Kate Grenville. There is a real sense of anticipation in the air.

Stay tuned today for a run down on the sessions that I get to today. I hope you’re able to think about getting down here yourself this weekend.

Fun with Anonymums

Sadly, I’m nearing the end of Be My Guest August, and I hope you’ll agree that it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve had a ball!

Today’s very special guest is the most lovely Jess from Whoa, Mamma! whose been kind enough to share her thoughts on a wonderful book by the adventurous, secretive and refreshingly honest Anonymums. Thanks heaps Jess…

ANONYMUMS by the Anonymums
It was with great delight and excitement that I accepted an offer from the wonderful Mandi of ‘That Book You Like’ to contribute a guest post. I love Mandi’s sweet blog, dedicated to celebrating the love of the written word, fabulous cultural events and all things ‘bookish.’

Growing up, I always had my head in a book, and a journal by my bed to scribble away my life’s events. I loved reading and writing and I thought that I would grow up to be a writer myself, one day. Still dreaming.

Fast forward to Marriage and Motherhood, 3 daughters later. The last book that I had read that was over 10 pages long was a ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ pregnancy-type book.  I longed to read books again, but being a mum, it was so hard to find a block of time where I wouldn’t/couldn’t be interrupted.

When Mandi offered me an opportunity to contribute to ‘That Book You Like’ I jumped at the chance. What a fabulous opportunity to get back to my love of books. What to read, what to read? I began with the intention to review a novel but in all honesty, with so many mummy-interruptions it was getting hard to immerse myself in the story.

Then I had an ‘A-ha!’ moment and rubbed my hands with glee. I knew exactly what I wanted to read and review for you all. So last weekend I joyously ventured out to the bookshops once again, eagerly seeking a book that had long been on my wish list; Anonymums, by the Anonymums.

Anonymums (Harper Collins, 2011) is a fabulous and hilarious ‘real life’ account of  the Motherhood Experience as shared by three ‘anonymous’ mothers (hence the title), Mum A, Mum B and Mum C. All we know about the ‘Anonymums’ is that they are three married, Aussie mothers who write Blogs.

This immediately appealed to me, as I myself had just started blogging, joining a community of hundreds, if not thousands, of Mothers That Blog.

I popped a DVD on for the kids, told them Mummy needs “mummy-time”, made myself a pot of coffee, stroked the glossy cover, inhaled the scent of the lovely papery pages, smiled with bliss, and began…. 

The premise of the book is this. Mum A, reflecting on what her life has become and, in all honesty, slightly bored with it, devises an experiment to re-evaluate and re-invigorate her life, to reconnect with the woman she was BC (Before Children).

“…the bottom line was I wasn’t happy with me. The truth was, I could barely remember who ‘me’ was, anyway.

I had to do something to reclaim my identity. And fast.

It was time to spice things up a bit. To reconnect with whatever was left of me before it was too late” – Mum A

She enlists two worthy and very eager accomplices in Mum B and Mum C who are sworn to secrecy. Mums B and C are also ready to make big changes to their lives.  They correspond via secret emails and assume their Secret Identities as the ‘Anonymums’.

“I sometimes feel that a walking-talking MumATron has taken up residence in the girl I used to be and stuffed her in a small hole deep inside my body. Every once in a while I hear her screaming to be let out, but there’s just no room for her in the scheduled chaos that is my current life”- Mum B 

Over an agreed period of 3 months, they begin their covert operation to spice up each other’s lives.  All three mothers undertake cheeky ‘Truth’ and  ‘Dare’ challenges set by the other mothers, then once the tasks have been completed, each mother has to undertake her own Big Dare. After each task, each mum evaluates and shares how the experience has changed, affected or enhanced her life.

The results are hilarious and poignant. The Dares (involving Fire-engine Red Lipstick, Santa’s lap, and a whole lot of wax strips, youch!) force the Anonymums out of their comfort zones, giving them unexpected thrills and re-invigorating their lives and their outlook on Motherhood and Womanhood. The Truth Challenges lead to self-reflection, self-evaluation and even an epiphany or two.

I loved this book and could not put it down. I read it while stirring the Bolognese, I read it in between bathing the children. I was laughing out loud,  yelling out ‘Hallelujah!’ and ‘Amen!’. I may even have turned my back on my husband in bed and said ‘Not tonight, darling, I’m reading’.

There is a Freedom in Anonymity that brings with it the courage to tell the truth without fear of being judged.  Anonymity gives one the courage to talk about real feelings, and not have to keep up the pretence that Motherhood is always wonderful. Many women, if not most women, feel pressured to be the ‘perfect’ wife and mother.  Anonymums is everything that you wanted to know about Motherhood but were afraid to ask, and everything that you really feel about Motherhood, but were afraid to say out loud lest you be judged.

Anonymums was like holding up a mirror to my face. My life and my inner-most thoughts were reflected amongst the pages. This book was not just about the ‘Anonymums’, it is about  Every Mum.

The ‘Anonymums’ lives changed over the course of 3 months. My life changed over the course of one book.

Hilarious, inspiring  and life-enhancing. If you’re stuck in a Mummy Rut, you need Anonymums. If you have a friend who’s a mum, she needs Anonymums. After reading this book, you’ll not only feel like you’ve made a new friend, but 3 new friends. Thank you, ‘Anonymums’! I’m off to buy some red lippie.

***

Jess is one of my favourite mummy-bloggers, and her blog Whoa, Mamma! is fun, stylish and insightful. I’ll admit, it was her Grinderman coffee cup that first caught my eye. Her blog is full of great pics and wonderful observations. Please pop by and visit, you’ll have fun, I promise!

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The Midnight Zoo, war-torn magic…

A little while back, I read and reviewed Sonya Hartnett’s Of a Boy. At the time, this novel surprised me with its impact, its subtle realism and its quiet sadness.

I was also fascinated by the fact that Sonya is one of those rare authors who very successfully writes for both adults and children, and this fascination lead me to push the award-winning, The Midnight Zoo to the top of my reading pile.

One of Hartnett’s most recent publications, The Midnight Zoo is the haunting story of three gypsy children Andrej, Tomas and little Wilma:

Under cover of darkness, two brothers cross a war-ravaged countryside carrying a secret bundle. One night they stumble across a deserted town reduced to smouldering ruins. But at the end of a blackened street they find a small green miracle: a zoo filled with animals in need of hope.

We are immediately endeared to Andrej and his siblings, worrying for them, as they pick their way through a war-torn landscape. The town is nameless and now devoid of life…or so they think.

Magic and myth are present from the outset, but it is not until the children come across the Zoologicka Zahrada, the Zoological Garden – that the real magic of this story begins. After yet another air-raid, seemingly waged to ensure not a single thing is left standing in this cursed little town, Andrej and Tomas awaken to voices. Voices in the lifeless town come as a shock, as does the fact that it is the lioness, the bear, the monkey that are sharing their concern, their resentment and their life-stories with the children.

This novel is magic realism used to full effect. The fairytale narrative makes this a compelling read for older children, and a surreal experience for adult readers, requiring a refreshing suspension of disbelief for the duration of the story.

And, like many traditional fairytales, this story has a very dark side. The contrast between these dream-like conversations, and the memories of Andrej – horrible recollections of the day that the gadje war impacted his gypsy clan, and stole his parents – is stark and confronting.

Reading The Midnight Zoo reminded me a lot of some of the more serious books that I read as a child, and most particularly of  I am David, by Anne Holm. The impact of I am David has stayed with me for decades, and I’m fairly certain that this story would make a similiarly lasting impression on a young reader.

It is beautifully written, perfectly paced, and Hartnett skillfully balances the multiple stories and character-developments throughout.

The resolution to this novel is open-ended, and bittersweet. It felt very much to me like when you wake from a very vivid dream, just before it finishes…

Sonya Hartnett was this week awarded the ‘Older Readers Book of the Year 2011’ by The Children’s Book Council of Australia for this wonderful novel. In my humble opinion, I think it is a most deserving winner.

I’m a bit hooked on Harnett now, and am keen to read some more of her work…I’m thinking Thursday’s Child  might be next on the list. I’ll also put The Midnight Zoo on the pile for Evan to read in a year or so (I think he might be just a little bit too young now) and I’ll be very keen to hear what he thinks of it.

***

Excitingly, Stories Unbound, the Melbourne Writers Festival starts tomorrow. Don’t forget to check out their website for details of all their wonderful events!

Buy your own copy of The Midnight Zoo at the TBYL Store!

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Shopping for books in Perth, a delight

Today’s Be My Guest is the lovely Karyn from A Penguin a Week, sharing her love for a good book sale. Her wonderful post and pics made me feel warm and toasty reading over it…the fab Perth setting made such a wonderful change from the grey old Melbourne backdrop my pieces normally have. Thanks so much Karyn for letting us know what’s going on over in WA…

This weekend, two of the best things about Perth in winter coincided. On days of the most pleasant winter weather, in which the sky was the most brilliant blue, and the temperature stayed in the low 20s, the charity Save the Children held its giant secondhand book sale in the Undercroft of Winthrop Hall, at the University of Western Australia. It’s a picturesque setting, with its location beside the Swan River and its beautiful old limestone buildings, extensive lawns and groves of trees.

The opening evening is so popular that you have to arrive early and queue to get in; by the time the doors opened, the queue snaked around the building, and was about 250 metres long, revealing an eclectic mix of booklovers: older couples, young students, businessmen and families.

Once a certain number have passed through the door, new people can only enter as others leave, and so the wait can be frustratingly long.  But I cannot think of a more pleasant place to be forced to queue in.

The book sale runs for six days, from 5pm on the Friday afternoon, until 4pm the following Wednesday, and they have many thousands of books for sale, with the stock regularly replenished: as books are sold, new boxes appear and the tables are re-filled. It means there is no best time to go, and repeat visits are essential.

The excitement comes from not knowing what you will find, but knowing whatever it is, it will be a bargain. My search is for old Penguins to complete my collection, and they were priced between $2 and $3 per copy, prices I rarely find anywhere else these days. But they also had beautiful hardback art books for less than $10, and old and collectible hardback books for around the same price. And they have tables devoted to many other categories: children’s titles, foreign language, religion, cookery, travel, crime, Australiana, textbooks and many more, as well as vinyl records, CDs, maps, and sheet music. On Tuesday remaining books are sold at half-price, and on Wednesday you can fill a box for $15.

I was there when the doors opened on Friday afternoon, and again when they opened Saturday morning. And this year I was very lucky: I found 69 numbered pre-1970s Penguins to add to the collection, and 19 other early Penguins from ancillary series like the Classics and Pelicans. And for my young daughter, who has also caught the collecting bug, 12 Enid Blyton titles and a few early Puffins.

I was particularly excited to find 3 new Michael Innes’ titles, including his first mystery novel Death at the President’s Lodging, which I have heard is one of his best. It was a review of this book by Jane at the blog Fleur Fisher in her world which first enticed me to read Michael Innes, and he has gone on to be one of my favourite authors. I have been searching for a copy ever since. I plan to start reading it tonight.

It’s not unusual these days to see reports of the demise of the book, the suggestion that it is a redundant technology, soon to be replaced by the enthusiastic embrace of digital downloads and e-books. And though I can see the practicality of e-book readers, I think these grim predictions ignore the emotional attachment people feel for physical books. The enjoyment of a book can be multifaceted, not just related to the reading, but also to the searching, finding, collecting, owning and displaying. The Guardian flickr group devoted to bookshelves shows how much people love their books, and the crowds at the book sale this weekend only confirmed it.

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Karyn keenly collects numbered Penguin paperbacks from before 1970. I am smitten by her bookshelf (you can see it here) and her blog, A Penguin a Week which shares her journey as she reads her way through her collection. A fascinating concept, and wonderfully constructed set of reviews. Thanks so much Karyn for documenting your love of Penguin paperbacks, it’s one I share.

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Midweek festival gems

By the end of my Top Ten MWF events post last week, I realised that I’d mostly picked sessions that were being held on the weekend. So, today I went back to the crazy-great festival program and had more of a look at the week-day sessions. Wow, what a wonderful selection, both for adults and for kids.

Here are my picks for the working week, starting on Monday, 29.08.11…

Monday: Adventures in Science
Presented by the always entertaining and highly informative  Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki, I’d think this session would be a real hit with kids and grown-ups alike. Plenty of opportunities to ask Dr. Karl your most burning scientific questions.

Tuesday: What Body Part is That?
Featuring a book that deals with some straight forward no-fuss education as only Andy Griffith can present. Learn all there is to know about the body, jargon-free and giggle-filled.

Wednesday: Sporting Heroes
If you’re kid’s are anything like mine, they’re just a little bit sports mad. Let’s face it, it’s hard to avoid in footy-mad Melbourne. This session features Michael Panckridge, whose been able to combine a love of sport with a love of reading, to great success.

Thursday: Q & A with Emily Rodda
There seems to be no better way to capture the imagination of a child than through fantasy and the long-term character development (and endearment) that comes with delivering a series of books. Emily Rodda is a much-loved author, and this’d be your opportunity to ask her all about her books and her process. Not to be missed for Rodda fans.

Friday: The Long and Short of It
I really love short fiction, and would be rapted to hear more about the process of short story writing. Three accomplished short story writers Maile Meloy (Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It), Tim Richards (Thought Crimes) and Wayne Macauley (Other Stories) talk to Chris Flynn about the strength of the form, and what its future might be.

I hope this gives you a few ideas, and gives you a nudge to pop into Fed Square while the kids are at school or on your lunch break. Might see you there!

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A random re-draw of our August give-away has been completed today, due to the first winner not having claiming the prize by the deadline. I’m please to announce the winner of the double pass is Tatiana S.  Please contact me at info@thatbookyoulike.com.au, as soon as possible, with your details so that ticketing arrangements can be made. Congrates!

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