Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bookie things I'm loving right now...

1.   This piece from the New Zealand Herald full of uber awesome quotes from the extremely successful Auckland Writers and Reader's Festival held last weekend. Gems include:

"I have to remind myself that I survived Virginia Andrews; they'll survive Twilight." - New Zealand writer Emily Perkins on the importance of encouraging children to read widely, recalling her own teenage fascination with Flowers in the Attic.

- in case you are wondering though Virginia Andrews is long dead, there are still new books coming out under her name including two released this year. And don't even try to pretend you didn't read them when you were a teenager- it's practically a right-of-passage :P

"I have three little brothers and they gave me all the inspiration I needed [for the monsters in Artemis Fowl]. It was very therapeutic because I get to kill them in every book." - Eoin Colfer

- Ah, sibling angst, it's universal (and great writing fodder!)

2.  Speaking of the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival I am so delighted that it saw record ticket sales this year - in fact a 10% increase on last year! I think that shows the awesome organisation in creating the event and more importantly, the incredibly high calibre of authors - both from here and abroad - who spoke.  And (finally!) the pride Kiwis are taking in our book industry. Naturally I am kicking myself that I didn't go and unless the Mayans are right, I will most definitely be there in 2013. 

3.  It's not fact yet but internet giant Amazon are apparently about to announce a new Kindle.  While it will still use e-Ink technology, it will have an inbuilt front light so you can read in the dark without having to use a light/lamp/candle.  Chances are pretty slim my 10 year old nephew will read this so I will say that this is the model my manic book reader Jakey (takes after his Auntie) will be getting for his next birthday and I've chosen it especially so he can read clandestinely after his mum says "lights out." The modern day equivalent of hiding under the blankets with a torch I guess.

4.  Back to the #AWRF again.  I've been incredibly vocal in my disappointment in Witi Ihimaera's 2009 plagiarism scandal in The Trowenna Sea.  Plagiarism is a dirty, lazy excuse for writing and has no place in literature, as it has no place in academia - things Mr Ihimaera would know well as a former Professor, and Distinguished Creative Fellow in Māori Literature at the University of Auckland and this country's most prominent Maori writer.  So I was really pleased to read Bookman Beattie's account of Witi Ihimaera's session in conversation with Dame Fiona Kidman at #AWRF where he talked in depth about the plagiarised excerpts, apologised profusely and even said the long promised corrected edition was being worked on with his publishers.  I think when you make a mistake (and this was a fairly hefty one!) it's important to own up as soon as possible and then correct it as soon as possible which is why the latter point is so important to me.  Maybe I'm being overly harsh but his and publisher Penguin's apologies seem more than a bit disingenuous until they (finally) put their money where their mouth is and print a corrected edition.  My dear friend BookieMonster summed up the situation much better than I can in this awesomely grumpypants post from 2010.  Hopefully with Witi's full and frank discussion about it at the fest and the new edition there will be some healing in the bookie community, I know I am.  *climbs down off soapbox*

5.  And lastly, let's end on a cheery note - this totally made me lol today :)

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