Australia’s Favourite Authors 2018

Australia’s Favourite Authors of 2018 have been announced as Booktopia’s yearly hunt for Australia’s favourite author has come to an end. After weeks of voting and round after round knocking out some big names in Australian literature, the final results are in. The usual suspects made the cut but there were a few surprises, both who was left out and who was included. Of course, I wasn’t super surprised at who made it to the number one spot, but the rest of the top ten was quite interesting. I was pleased to see John Marsden in the top ten, I was worried he would end up further up the list but that isn’t the case. I also loved seeing some children’s authors in there like Anh Do and Andy Griffiths, give Morrissey, Winton, and Courtney some competition.

As a side note, I love how the results were laid out this year. There is a short author bio and the books of each author are included too. I’ve listed the Top Ten below but the full list of 50 authors can be found on Booktopia’s website.

 

Top Ten Authors

1. Mathew Reilly

2. Liane Moriarty

3. Mem Fox

4. Anh Do

5. Tim Winton

6. Bryce Courtney

7. John Marsden

8. Monica McInerney

9. Andy Griffiths

10. Di Morrissey

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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

You may know Hank Green from his YouTube channel Vlogbrothers which he runs with his brother John Green; or from their podcast Dear Hank and John where they offer up dubious advice. Or you may know Hank from one of the numerous other projects he has created including Project For Awesome, SciShow, or Crash Course. You may not know however, that Hank has written a book.

I have to say, I am so excited for this book. I’m in a very weird “I Don’t Actually Know Hank, But I’m Still Very Proud Of Him” moment. I have been watching the Vlogbrothers videos for years and I have heard Hank mention before that he was working on a book and I am so, so excited that it’s finally here!

The book, entitled An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, was announced in September last year, but preorders have just begun which make it that much more real. It is a story about a girl called April May (which is the best name), an art student from New York City who finds herself at the centre of an international mystery. Hank tweeted about it saying, “It’s about a group of friends who accidentally become the most important people in the world. Or, at least, they would like you to think it was an accident.” It is also about dealing with fame and being an internet celebrity, something Hank knows a lot about. You can preorder from only a few places right now, no doubt some Australian stores will have the chance at preorder as it gets closer to the release date.

What I love about this is it’s an actual fictional novel by a YouTube star, not a memoir or some other book that isn’t all that interesting. Hank is a great reader as well and I always love hearing his recommendations. Many of his YouTube videos have been him discussing books or giving us a tour of his bookshelves. I’ve added Hyperion by Dan Simmons to my TBR list based purely on his enthusiasm in a couple of his videos (where he is so YOUNG !!).

There is no cover design just yet, but hopefully, it’s coming soon. The book is due to be published 25 September 2018.

You can find more information about the book at the following

Hank’s website

Hank’s YouTube video

Wikipedia page

New York Times

LA Times

Vulture

You can preorder An Absolutely Remarkable Thing via the following

Amazon.comBarnes & Noble | iTunes

Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party

Today is Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday and to celebrate I am sharing one of my favourite web series: Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Invite Only Casual Dinner Party/Gala For Friends Potluck or more simply, Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party.

Edgar Allan Poe has invited some of the world’s most renowned authors from Dostoyevsky to Mary Shelley, George Eliot to Ernest Hemingway and gathered them in his home where he and the ghost of Lenore are planning a murder mystery dinner party. Things immediately start to go wrong when actual murder is committed, and now the guests must find who the murderer is or risk being killed themselves.

The series was originally funded through a Kickstarter in 2016, and was created by Sinead and Sean Persaud of Shipwrecked Comedy (and who also play Lenore and Edgar). They bring humour, drama, snark and wit to a dinner party and make murder fun. The writing is wonderful as each character uses their own literary styles and works to make references and adds style and drama to the night, or just general frustrations to other dinner guests.

There is so much I love about this series. Seeing George Eliot try to hide the fact that she’s a woman is wonderful, plus Edgar’s frustrations that his dinner party isn’t going as planned, not to mention the continual sarcastic contributions of Lenore or Oscar Wilde’s entire existence.

It includes actors many actors who were in award-winning The Lizzie Bennet Diaries including Ashley Clements and Mary Kate Wiles who played Lizzie and Lydia respectively. It also features Lauren Lopez who you may recognise as Malfoy from A Very Potter Musical among other things, as well as Blake Silver, Jim O’Heir, Ryan Garcia, and a host of other brilliant actors.

The series is made up of 11 episodes, all around ten minutes each. There are also multiple additional videos including prologues, bloopers, and behind the scene videos which are just as fun to watch. You also get to see the planning stages as they hunt for costumes, practise lines, and set up for filming.

The entire series can be found on the Shipwrecked YouTube channel along with all the bonus features. The Kickstarter page, while ended, also has a lot of great information about the cast as well as some great art. You can watch the trailer here and I hope you will fall in love with it instantly. I love this series so much and I think everyone needs to watch it, if not for me, do it for Mr Poe on his birthday.

Winnie the Pooh Day

While I missed Winnie the Pooh Day last year, I made up for it by devoting October to looking at all the grand things about the silly old bear and celebrate his 90th birthday. I covered everything from the books, Milne himself, Shephard’s illustrations, and a range of other wonderful Pooh related things. If you would like to revisit all of these posts you can do so here.

Though this day has often been a recognition of the bear himself, Winnie the Pooh Day is such because it is author A. A. Milne’s birthday. Last year I made a brief post about Milne, his life is one of surprise when you realise just how small a role Winnie the Pooh really played. He wrote so many other wonderful things it’s sad his other works are not more widely recognised.

One of the things he wrote was his autobiography. Published in 1939 by Methuen, it stayed in print for 8 years. Now, 70 years later, it is being republished. The autobiography is called It’s Too Late Now: The Autobiography of a Writer and was republished in September last year by Bello. It covers numerous stages of his life, from his childhood, growing up, and his numerous careers including his time as a freelancer, a soldier, and an author. This of course also ties into the new film about Milne and his son, Goodbye, Christopher Robin which was recently released.

There is a wonderful article in The Guardian about Milne and his autobiography that may interest you, I would also certainly suggest seeing the film, or better yet reading the book Goodbye, Christopher Robin by Ann Thwaite which tells the true story that inspired the film. Ann Thwaite is also the author of an acclaimed biography of Milne titled, A. A. Milne: His Life where much of the story is drawn from.

The story of the two Milne’s is interesting but often sad, neither father nor son seemed joyous about their success and association with Winnie the Pooh, and it is a sad fact to know because of how much joy it brings me personally and millions of others. Of course, the Bear of the books is not the Bear of the Disney films, but there is still an essence of that original idea from Milne about a boy and his bear that is everlasting. It’s wonderful to be reminded each Winnie the Pooh Day how Milne’s work has not been forgotten, even if it has been altered over time. There is still so much joy to be had from those original stories and many lessons which can be learnt.

If you are up for an adventure, one way to celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day if you are in the East Sussex area is head over to Pooh Corner in Hartfield. You can play a game of Pooh Sticks, see the infamous bridge where Christopher Robin and Pooh play, have tea and snacks in Piglet’s tearoom, or go on a grand adventure as you follow the character’s footsteps through the woods. Or, for those of us who are less adventurous, curl up with a good book, may it be a biography, poetry, or story, and discover the wonder of Milne’s words and wisdom, and rediscover the magic of that silly old bear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moonstruck by Nikki Rae Release Day

I have been a fan of Rae’s work since I was given the chance to review her series Sunshine back in 2014. Since then she has released a number of wonderful books, each as brilliant and captivating as the last. Her new books, Monstruck, brings us back to the Sunshine world with Myles and Sophie and this time we get to see Myles tell the story. I adore Myles, I loved his perspective we were given in Sun Damaged so to get a whole book is excellent and getting the chance to read more of the Sophie/Myles dynamic is a delight.

Synopsis:

Myles Lott left this town ten years ago. He never wanted to come back unless he had to. Now he has to. Sophie Jean, the girl he was supposed to protect from monsters of his world, has finally grown up. She’s familiar with monsters, just not vampires like him. Hers are harder to defeat; they’re in her own mind. Myles has returned to protect her and nothing more, but his feelings for Sophie develop quicker than he ever could have imagined. Torn between their worlds, Myles must fight for the girl he’s loved all along without causing any more damage. Unfortunately, a past enemy has other plans.

 

You can purchase Moonstruck via the following

Amazon | Amazon Aust

 

You can read my reviews of the series here

 

Nikki is offering a giveaway to go along with the release.

Enter to win the entire Nikki Rae e-book library and an Amazon giftcard!

Author Bio:

Nikki Rae is the head editor of Metamorphosis Editing Services and a writer who lives in New Jersey. She is an independent author and has appeared numerously on Amazon Best Seller lists. She is the author of The Sunshine Series and concentrates on making her imaginary characters as real as possible. She writes mainly dark, scary, romantic tales, but she’ll try anything once. When she is not writing, reading, or thinking, you can find her spending time with animals, drawing in a quiet corner, or studying people. Closely.

 

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