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Your new online book community

We are very proud to introduce you to Bookmarked – the first Australian book forum run by an Australian bookstore. It's a novel place, and we wanted to give our Booklovers their very own online home to come and talk about the books they’re loving and the books they’re itching to read. Bookmarked is a Booklover’s hub that never sleeps, so come join the conversation today. 

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Before the War came to far-off Gloucestershire......

In 1913, a small eclectic band of  emerging poets gathered in  rural Gloucestershire, in the hamlet of red brick farmhouses with thatched roofs, called Dymock. The group consisted of Rupert Brooke, Edward Thomas, John Drinkwater, Robert Frost, Wilfrid Gibson, Lascelles Abercrombie, the occasional visitors Eleanor Farjeon, Edward Marsh( who surrounded himself with brilliant, gorgeous,  young men in his Gray's Inn apartment at breakfast times), Ivor Gurney, W.H. Davies (with his peg-leg), patron and  solicitor John Haines( who got the poets out of many a situation) and others. They became the Georgian Poets we have come to know today( Marsh coined this name for the group as well as publishing their poems). Edward Thomas began his prodigious output here in Gloucestershire before dying in the War. War came here , too, in 1914 and took away the best of youth including  some of the poets such as Brooke and Thomas . The poets had but a brief interlude in this idyll. A year. But what a year!  Frost left for America, Brooke died, followed by Thomas, most of the brilliant young things had wandered  off to the battlefields of France where they were to produce their best work, some to die, Abercrombie became depressed about the war and couldn't write, Frost kept writing in America far from Dymock. They came and went like the seasons. Sean Street has written a small volume of 168 pages chock full of information and anecdotes from meticulous  research in his " The Dymock Poets" ( published 1994 by Seren Publishers, Bridgend, Wales). After finishing this book  I was left with the wanderlust to go and seek out this Gloucesterhire of the Georgian poets for myself ( being the incurable romantic) but I know in 100 years it too has changed somewhat. For anyone interested in the Great War poets, this book is a must for their library as it fills an important gap not really found elsewhere. The amount of detail given to these poets and their families and relationships with each other is incredible. Every so often a book such as this appears and is greatly appreciated for its content and diligence to detail.  Seren Publishers  have recently printed " Robert Graves War Poems"( with a Patchwork Flag) ed. by Charles Mundye. They are worth looking up . The catalogue of books is small but very impressive, concentrating on Welsh poetry and history.

RE:Before the War came to far-off Gloucestershire......

War is a state of armed conflict between societies Online Essay Help  It is generally characterized by extreme aggression, destruction, and mortality  using regular or irregular military forces. An absence of war is usually called peace Warfare refers to the common activities and characteristics of types of war, or of wars in general. Total war is warfare that is not restricted to purely legitimate military targets, and can result in massive civilian or other non-combatant suffering and casualties.

Just a short walk to The Poetry Bookshop @ No 35 Devonshire Street..

.....and there you might have found Isaac Rosenberg, Wilfred Owen and other eclectic brilliant young men( some in khaki)with Harold Munro holding sway over the proceedings, reading poetry, looking for new poets, some on leave from the front, others recuperating from battle fatigue and wounds. Aside from all this, three new books to add to my growing collection of rare volumes of First World War poetry/poets/literature/ criticism... " Harold Monro and the Poetry Bookshop" by Joy Grant( 1st edition 1967), a clean tight unblemished copy; " Wilfred Owen: Anthem for a Doomed Youth" by Kenneth Simcox(1st edition 1987) also unblemished, and finally, "Journey to The Trenches: The Life of Isaac Rosenberg 1890-1918" by Joseph Cohen (1st edition  1975). All good, tight ,clean hardcovers. No foxing, no marks. Nice dustjackets, too. Not very expensive fo these gems either! Am I impressed by my purchases!! It is a joy when one opens a parcel from overseas(mainly) and the sweet musty old-book smell wafts out  from the bubblewrap...when it hits fresh air it is an indescribable thing(if you have been around books for a few decades you'll know what I mean), it is like walking into a hole-in-the -wall secondhand bookshop just when it is open on a Monday morning and the mustiness mingles with  the air from a door just swung open after being locked up for a few hours... These volumes are what books are all about. Treasures. Harold Monro was a man people didn't write much about apart from odd bits in other's memoirs or biographies  until Joy Grant's illuminating book. The indomitable Dominic Hibberd also wrote a biography of Monro later than Grant's(much harder to obtain and at a hefty price tag if one can get a copy). Grant's book is a step in the right direction in exposing  Harold Monro, his poems and his work to promote young Georgian poets, and establishing The Poetry Bookshop, to the wider literary community in the heady days leading into the Great War. Sir Edward Marsh, private secretary to Winston Churchill, also played a key role in supporting young poets of the day and artists, even entertaining them at breakfasts before he trotted off to work in the morning. These "patrons" should not be forgotten, for without them,the world would have been worse than it was in that hazy summer of 1914 and before. Christopher Hassall's magisterial and mammoth biography of Edward Marsh is a must- read for those with a more passing interest in the period and its poets.

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I’m sure I'm not the only one who feels this way. But, I strongly believe if we spend more than $650 a year on our cards, it should roll over to the following year. I'm now finding I have to monitor how much I spend a year and having to waiting to read books because of this. 
Those who have gold card membership are loyal customers to Dymocks.
Anything over $650 should roll over to the next year 


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Author Q&A with Annie Barrows

We recently got a chance to ask Annie Barrows, one half of the hit writing team behind The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and author of the upcoming The Truth According to Us about her favourite books, writing style and more. 

What was your favourite book growing up and why?
This is a vast question, because I did very little but read between the ages of 7 and 14. So I’m going to talk about the book that was my favourite before I knew how to read: The Golden Children’s Bible. I grew up in a stridently non-religious household and never went to church in my life (until I was 17 and horrified my parents by going to mass). I had no religious instruction and there were no bibles in my house. All was good sportsmanship, cleanliness, and rule-following. 

So imagine my shock upon encountering The Golden Children’s Bible at the dentist’s office. As Iwaited for my sister to be drilled, I flipped through it and found—oh my god!—the Ten Plagues! Eight of them were vividly depicted in living color (they omitted the Plague of Sores—too nasty—and the Plague of Lice—too tiny), and my eyes nearly popped out of my head at the sight of the Plague of Frogs. I spent a long time marvelling at those frogs. They were crawling everywhere. The people in the picture seemed remarkably calm about it; they were scooping them up with oars. Only one fellow in the background was yelling. Maybe he had slipped on a frog. Maybe he had some other problem. I was illiterate; I had no answers, but I knew I had found something way more fascinating than One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

By the time I was dragged away to be drilled myself, I was in a complete lather about Samson. The picture was a stumper: Delilah smirked while Samson lay supine, eyes closed, with his head on her lap. But men were chopping off his hair and putting his feet in chains! Knowing as I did that I would wake up if someone put my feet in chains, I was pretty sure he was dead. But then, there he was in the next picture, knocking pillars over! What kind of story could possibly narrate these pictures? It was a mystery that went on for several years, until I could manage the paragraph “Delilah made Samson go to sleep with his head on her knees. Then she called for a man had had him shave off the seven locks of Samson’s hair. By that she humbled him, for his strength went from him.” 

This was far from satisfying. Why seven locks? What made them seven? And why did his strength go from him? And I still didn’t understand how he could sleep through someone putting chains on his feet.
Reading or no reading, it was a mystery and I loved it.

If you could invite three fictional characters to dinner, who would you pick?
This is so difficult. Do I want an introspective, psychologically acute dinner party? Dr. Rivers from the Regeneration trilogy by Pat Barker; Dorothea Brooke from Middlemarch (she can bring Will Ladislaw if she wants); and Violet, the narrator of “Silver Water” by Amy Bloom. We would discuss death. I would serve something vegetarian.
But maybe I’d rather have a more festive event? Mr. Micawber; Boris from The Goldfinch; and Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes. No food, just cocktails (tuna for Hobbes).
Or maybe, because grownups are so touchy, I’d just invite kids: Rosalind Penderwick from The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall; Indigo Casson from the Casson Family series by Hilary McKay; and Chrissie from Beaux by Evan Commager. We’d talk about our siblings. I think they’d like roast chicken and rice, with ice-cream pie for dessert.

What is your favourite opening sentence of a book?
I don’t think you can do much better than “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.” Every book has to tell its reader how to read it, and in this case, the job is done by the end of the first fifteen words.

Is there another author’s book that you wish you’d written? 
Oh for sure—dozens! Hundreds! I wish that I’d written every brilliant book I read, but I REALLY wish it when I read a book with a brilliant idea and a crummy execution (and I would be a real idiot if I gave you an example).

What would you like to tell your 18 year-old self?
Smart ain’t everything.

Who inspires you? (Doesn’t have to be limited to other writers.)
When I was writing The Truth According to Us, I was inspired not so much by other writers as by the assortment of aunts, uncles, cousins, and hangers-on that I was lucky enough to be born into. I’d imagine myself there, listening to them on the porch, in half-light, as they drew in a deep, smoke-filled breath and began: “Well. It’s a sorry story, and I shouldn’t even be telling it. You girls’ll have nightmares all night, and you’d better not wake me up if you do. Well. All right. Here’s what happened—”
They are the treasure I was trying to recover.

You’re stranded on an island with all the living essentials at hand, but what one additional item would you need to survive? 
I really need sunscreen. Is that included in living essentials? If it’s not, that’s going to have to be my additional item. Which is a drag. I don’t want sunscreen, and I might die of boredom if I have to use up my additional item on sunscreen instead of what I really want, which is paper. I know how to manufacture ink out of soot (I have matches, don’t I?), but I’m too old to learn how to make paper. If my additional item is paper, and I make ink, I can write, which means I’ll have something to do, and I’ll have something to read, and I’ll be fine.

To heck with sunscreen. I’ll chance it. Give me paper.

Lots of it, please.

What’s the best book you’ve read in the past 12 months?
I read War & Peace, which is the best book in the world, but I’d read it before, so maybe that doesn’t count. If not: The Chateau by William Maxwell. Also Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. Also The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, which I can’t believe I didn’t read years ago.  

What is your number one tip for would-be writers?
Talent means almost nothing. Work means almost everything.

How would you summarise your latest book in 25 words or less?
I thought of taking all the spaces out of the flap copy so that it was just one word, but then I got a better idea. I wrote a haiku.

Truth will set you free!
No it won’t. Does it matter?
Yes. But maybe not.

That was fun. But if you want a real summary in 25 words: A debutante exiled in the small town of Macedonia, West Virginia, learns that the past is never over when she meets the eccentric Romeyn family.

I like the haiku better.


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Anna and the Swallow Man

A beautifully written book, the language is superb. The imagery is so strong that I felt cold when reading the scenes in the snow. As a story of a 7 year old girl escaping and avoiding the opposing forces in Eastern Europe during WWII, it offers a different perspective but adds nothing to what most already know of the conflict. There are mysterious characters, particularly the Swallow Man, but little resolution. The ending is sudden, somewhat implausible and unsatisfying. The author stops short of ending with 'and they all lived happily ever after', but only just.

Anna and the Swallow Man is not in the same league as The Book Thief or The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, but it does try so hard to be.

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Stuart wrote: A beautifully written book, the language is superb. The imagery is so strong that I felt cold when reading the scenes in the snow. As a story of a 7 year old girl escaping and avoiding the opposing forces in Eastern Europe during WWII, it offers a different perspective but adds nothing to what most already know of the conflict. There are mysterious characters, particularly the Swallow Man, but little resolution. The ending is sudden, somewhat implausible and unsatisfying. Need help finding no deposit bonus slots? The author stops short of ending with 'and they all lived happily ever after', but only just.

Anna and the Swallow Man is not in the same league as The Book Thief or The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, but it does try so hard to be.

Great story :)

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The King of all the bloodsucking Vampires

Just bought my local  Dymocks ordered leatherbound Dracula home. Oh sooo nice an edition. Rich sanguine cover with black lettering. Am I going to savour( pun intended) this!!!

RE:The King of all the bloodsucking Vampires

I remember the first time I read it, I had already been exposed to hundreds of other vampires in popular culture, so I was kind of bored by it - how was this old guy meant to stack up against Spike from Buffy?

Re-reading it a few years later, I enjoyed it a lot more. Was the edition you bought this one?

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If so, there are a few good books in that range - lots of classics and they look great on the shelf. 

RE:The King of all the bloodsucking Vampires

That's the one! Nice, huh? When I took off the shrink-wrap, it smelled sooo nice!!! My book person at Dymocks showed me some she had in store and printed out the brochure from the publisher . I have a lot of books on order right now and aim to get other titles in this edition!!!  Later..Buffy!? A bit long in the tooth Good in its time. Didn't like Spike. Buffy is my type of girl

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Many years ago I went to a fancy dress party as Spike, white hair and all. It was when the show was still huge, and I had my photo taken with a lot of wanna-be Buffies that night. Good times.

There was a series of books I read YEARS ago about vampires in a major US city. One of them was either a doctor or was dating one, and they had a collection of blood in a separate blood bank, if I remember correctly. There were also angels mixed in there somewhere.

Can't remember the titles, but I think the author was Simon someone? I'll have to track them down again one day, if I can remember more. 

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So far I've read "Zoellas" book. 

Anyone read any youtubers books or know of any decent ones?

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Down, down to the bottom of the ocean....(that sinking feeling)

Readers have never had it so good with nautical themed books:  Hard- living Pirates,  Russian Ghost Submarines, Giant Squid, Ahab chasing his Leviathan and sinking  to a watery grave, Davy Jones' Locker, Sunken Treasure, and  more books on the Titanic than you can count grains of sand on a Bali beach. "The Midnight Watch" by David Dyer joins these sometimes confusing myriad of books on the ill-fated liner that sank on her maiden voyage and all the intrigue,  onboard dirty-doings and scrambling for a place on a lifeboat. Stand aside! I'm more important than you! I'm richer too!  Hum. is an easy read. I really wouldn't have given this one to my granny to read. It passes the time. Like all the tomes being published for the First World War Centenary, I guess it was going to happen that on the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic, someone was going to make a few bucks with another novelisation . Isn't it curious that we humans as a species, supposedly the dominant  species, are always looking back at disasters on any scale, and holding ceremonies and dedications, and it seems the bigger the catastrophe, the more money is poured into it to spend commemorate it? I really think we can do better and evolve...If you want to a quiet day with a book, go and pick this up. Nothing too exciting here! But don't go by the seaside..there are Mega Sharks out there too!  As a self-confessed land-lubber, I visualise Moby coming up from the bottom of the sea and gobbling up all the copies of this book....Hum. Stay inside and read it..safer.....that is unless you see a scary cat in a shark suit sitting on a Roomba...Arrrgh ! I want to get off this boat!!

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