Posted by: Lisa Hill | August 10, 2013

New on the TBR – and 2013 National Bookshop Day!

Elliot Perlman_sml It was National Bookshop Day today and even though I had been there just last week and spent an inordinate amount of money, I didn’t need any persuasion to head on down again to Benn’s Bookshop in Bentleigh because Elliot *swoon* Perlman was there!

I have loved every one of Perlman’s books, starting with Three Dollars, then Seven Types of Ambiguity (my favourite) and his most recent The Street Sweeper (see my review).   We had a little chat, and (because I am impertinently impatient for his next book) I asked him what was coming next.  He is currently working on ‘something for television’ but is also mulling over two books, so there will be more to come from this most talented author, some day in due course. (You can read more about him at Meet an Aussie Author).

Explore ReptilesNaturally, I discovered some books that *smacks forehead* I had neglected to buy last week.  Benn’s had ordered in a copy of Volume 2 of the Gamers’ Trilogy, Gamers ‘ Challenge for my school library (see my review of Book 3 at LisaHillSchoolStuff)  so I picked that up.  Book 1 has gone down a treat with a very reluctant reader from Year 6 so now I have the complete set.  But I also found (on their bargain table!) a copy of Explore Reptiles by Maurice Pledger, which has lift-up flaps, and graphics with textures and holograms.   My students love pop-up and lift-the-flap books and they take great care of them because they’re only allowed to borrow them if they have a good borrowing record – no lost or damaged books.  It gives me great pleasure to see children treating these books so tenderly.   I also could not resist The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce.  This is the book that inspired the Academy Award winning short film.  If you haven’t seen it, do follow this link to You Tube and watch it right through to the end, it is beautiful.

What did I buy for me?

Gotland by Fiona Capp, I’ve seen reviews for this somewhere and it looks interesting. It’s a fable for our times: the plot follows Australia’s First Lady to Gotland, in order to escape the unrelenting media spotlight.
The Gardener from Ochakov by Andrey Kurkov, (Author of Death and the Penguin). Translated from the Russian by Amanda Love Darragh, so this is one that will please Stu from Winston’s Dad, because he’s the one who introduced me to Kurkov with his review of Death and the Penguin.
A World of Other People by Steven Carroll. I like the look of this one because T S Eliot and his poem ‘Four Quartets’ make an appearance. I was fascinated by this poem when I was at university and will aim to re-read it before tackling Carroll’s book.
James Halliday’s  Australian Wine Companion 2014 , a somewhat reluctant purchase because I was a bit put off Halliday when he used his book launch of a previous edition to promote his risible ideas about climate change.  IMO Mr Halliday should leave it to the scientists, who know what they’re talking about, because we’re interested in his expert opinion about wine, not his daft ideas about an area he clearly doesn’t understand.  (Why would he?  He has a law degree, not a science degree.)  But there is no doubt that his Wine Companions are the very best resource for wine buyers who cellar as we do.  We take the Companion with us on our wine buying trips, and have never been disappointed by his advice about what to buy and how long to cellar it for.  I have every Companion since 2002, and I love looking up a wine we’ve kept for years and years, to see what Halliday wrote about it back when it was young.

By buying a book (or two) I was eligible for Benn’s book giveaway and I chose Sarah Murgatroyd’s The Dig Tree (Text Classics). I had read a library copy of this before and absolutely loved it, a superb account of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition, so it is really nice to have my own copy, especially in this new edition with an introduction by Geoffrey Blainey.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Availability of Elliot Perlman’s books:



  1. I went over my budget today, oops! by about 50% ha ha ha


    • But of all the consumer goods we spent money on, Tien, nothing is as long-lasting or as pleasurable as a book. We can keep them to re-read, we can pass them on to friends, we can recycle them at an Op Shop. They go on giving and giving, so it is always money well spent.


  2. Sounds like you did your bit for Bookshop Day today Lisa … well done. I’m afraid all I did was write a post (which will be published later tonights). After two weekends of conference attendance I badly needed a weekend at home … and what a glorious day it was here today. Hope it was there too.


    • Well, writing a blog post that encourages people to go and buy books is pretty good too!
      It was a gorgeous day here, fine and mild and very nice after a week of pretty miserable weather:)


  3. Nice post, Lisa! I want to read Elliot Perlman’s ‘Seven Types of Ambiguity’ now – that is such a beautiful title! Enjoyed reading your thoughts on Halliday and his commentary on wine and your own wine collecting experiences. I never thought I would see Geoffrey Blainey’s name somewhere :) I read his book ‘A Short History of the World’ many years back and liked it very much for its novel perspective. Nice to know that he wrote the foreword to ‘The Dig Tree’. Enjoy your new books! Happy reading!


    • Hi Vishy, I’d love to see a review of Seven Types of Ambiguity on your blog, I read it too long ago to have reviewed it on mine, alas.
      BTW you know I am reading Train to Pakistan at the moment, what is a ‘budmash’? Some kind of criminal?


      • I just checked and ‘Seven Types of Ambiguity’ is available here :) I will try to get it soon. ‘Three Dollars’ also sounds fascinating. Have you read that? How is it?

        ‘Budmash’ means ‘naughty’ or ‘bad’. It is frequently used in a fun way by parents while calling their young children or by friends when they are playfully referring to each other. Occasionally, it is used seriously and at that time, it actually means a bad person. Frequently, it is spelt ‘badmash’ in English. Hope you are enjoying ‘Train to Pakistan’. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it. Happy reading!


        • Thanks, Vishy, I will re-read that passage to see whether it is being used playfully, I think there was a bit of flirting going on so maybe it has a double meaning?
          Three Dollars was excellent. It is the story of a middle class man who loses his job and his circumstances spiral out of control as he becomes a victim of economic rationalism. It was made into a film too.


          • If some flirting was going on, I think it was probably used playfully.

            Thanks for telling me about ‘Three Dollars’, Lisa. I will look forward to reading it. Which one would you recommend that I read first – ‘Three Dollars’ or ‘Seven Types of Ambiguity’?


            • Oh my, I just finished reading Train to Pakistan last night, what a powerful story!
              I would start with Three Dollars: it’s his first novel so it’s not as complex as his later work but it shows his social concerns.


              • Glad to know that you liked ‘Train to Pakistan’, Lisa. I liked your review of the book very much.

                Thanks for the recommendation. I will first start with ‘Three Dollars’. Can’t wait to read my first Elliot Perlman book :)


  4. How cool that you bought The Dig Tree – it is one of my favourite non-fiction books – so well researched and so well written. I wish Sarah Murgatroyd had had the opportunity to research and write more.


Please share your thoughts and join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: