In This Issue (May 2005)
Table of contents
Letters to the editor
Could you do with a good laugh? I could, and I suspect a lot of other people need some light relief. Apart from question time in parliament, what is there to bring tears to our eyes? gr might see its way clear to devote an issue or one section of one issue to humour, inclusive of slapstick, parody, farce and even satire. By all means include a few of the favourites, such as PG Wodehouse and Monty Python, and bring in some jokers from the fringe.
According to 'A National Survey of Reading, Buying and Borrowing Books' conducted by AC Nielsen in September 2001, crime and mystery are the most popular genres in fiction while biography tops the list for non-fiction. Humour is a long way down the food chain. Goodness me, if you want violence and brutality, you don't need to buy books or wait for the latest offering from Hollywood - just watch the evening news or a game of football, or drive on our roads at peak time.
Look at the long faces on public transport every day as people make their way to another day of uncertainty and conflict. They might revel in a murder mystery, mentally substituting their bosses for the victims, but wouldn't it be more pleasant for everybody if the carriage rocked with laughter all the way to the city? Generally speaking, when people are laughing, they are not doing something horrible!
Fellow readers may enjoy this tip. I highlight books that sound like a good read and use the internet booking system at my local library to reserve a copy. I also do this for my two boys and husband, who is a sci fi fan. This saves heaps on the cost of books and we always have plenty to read. The only downside is that some books are so good you want a copy for your own collection - and it seems such a waste of money to buy one you have already read!
Last week was my annual check-up at the doctor. I wasn't looking forward to it as it's usually a two-hour wait.
While sitting there I had my usual rummage through the magazines. What a nice surprise to come across gr . I sat for two hours and read front to back. I was so inspired that I went straight out to buy my own copy, which I have re-read many times since the doctor's visit.
You don't know how long I have been trying to get into a reading group, without much success. I found three groups in your magazine that I can join.
I thank you for a great magazine and will look forward to the next issue.
St Clair, NSW
Letter from the editorI always find it amusing when publishers announce an author's new book as 'his/her new bestseller'. I can't help thinking it's marketing hype, particularly when those words are on the cover of a book that has only just been put on the bookstore shelves. However, there are a handful of authors where such a claim would be genuine - John Grisham would be one, James Patterson another, and I would think that we all could confidently predict that Dan Brown's new book, when it comes, will be a bestseller. Successful as these authors are, they pale into insignificance when compared to the track record of Wilbur Smith. He's been writing bestsellers since 1964, 29 of them in fact and that figure will soon change to 30 with the release this month of his latest book. It's an incredible achievement - he's obviously never suffered from writer's block or fear of failure (which apparently is troubling Dan Brown). But while writing is Wilbur Smith's passion and he works hard at it, doing extensive research, there's no getting away from the fact that at the heart of his books lies a born storyteller and that more than anything explains his bestseller status. Meet the remarkable Mr Smith on page 16.
I don't know about you but I always thought Marmee in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women was too good to be true, a bit like the Mother Teresa of New England. So it was somewhat refreshing to read Geraldine Brooks' new book March and meet a completely different woman, one much more flawed - and much more likeable as a result. Though the novel is primarily Mr March's story, it moves back and forth in time, and in the process fills in the background to Little Women : Mr and Mrs March take centre stage as does the war that separated Mr March from his family. It's a beautiful read, Geraldine Brooks has taken the bare bones of one classic to create a new one. And just to whet your appetite, it's our Book Bite this month.
If your letter is published, you will receive a MightyBright XtraFlex 2 LED Booklight vakued at $26.95! The wonderfully useful and stylish booklight has 2 LED lights on one head on a flexible arm.
The manufaturer Arnott's of Australia (who's tagline is 'Not the biscuit co'), says the globes will never need replacing.
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