5 reasons why John Marsden is awesome.

5 reasons why John Marsden is awesome.

1. Because he seems to believe kids – including teenagers – are better people than adults.
2. Because he’s one of Australia’s most popular and successful YA authors and still makes other writers feel hope due to his success, not despair that they may never reach his level.
3. Because he’s had a heart attack and still hiked up a damn hill faster than me. Respect, man.
4. Because he said fuck at our high school talk. He doesn’t pretend teenagers don’t say fuck, or that people shouldn’t.
5. The Tomorrow When the War Began series. Nuff said.

Check his stuff out – in case I didn’t explain well enough, he is awesome. http://www.johnmarsden.com.au




It is difficult – some say impossible – to decipher the difference between poetry and prose. In the following essay I have attempted to analyse then compare and contrast two pieces of writing. I will class them poetry. The first thing I do when analysing poetry or prose is to read through the piece several times then translate it into ‘my’ language. This can prove quite difficult, but even harder is my second step of attempting to derive the underlying subtext Continue reading

Romance versus Realism – Essay

The following is an essay I wrote back in 2007 as a student at Victoria University. It’s semi-literary, so a little unlike my regular posts, but still something I put thought and effort into.

The reason I have posted this particular essay is to point out that I am not what I define as a ‘stuck-up’ reader. I like certain books for certain reasons, and I refuse to judge others based on what they choose to read.

I personally don’t think something has to be a ‘literary great’ to be considered a ‘real’ book. I believe people read for two main reasons; one, for entertainment – and escapism. And two, for education. These two things can overlap, but essentially each individual reads for their own reasons, and no-one should feel they are in a position to judge this. As a librarian, I see how many people borrow Mills and Boon and Western novels, and it is a lot. Some of these borrowers openly admit they know these stories are repetitive and predictable and some feel the need to justify this choice, by saying the balance them by also reading biographies and other more serious books, and calling them ‘easy’ and ‘fluffy’ reads. I always inform them I need no explanations, it is their choice to read what they want, and it is not up to me to make judgements.
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Authors I love…

As is the case with many avid readers, I have a gaggle of fave authors from over the years. Some of them are from my childhood, some very recent, but they all do what I yearn to, which is make a fake world real to the reader. We know how amazing it is to climb inside another life.

Most of these authors are well known, and very successful, which stands to reason I believe. Popularity is simply the most liked, and I think these are considered that for very good reason.

Here’s a quick list of who my classic favourites are, which series of theirs I love in particular (if relevant). I’ll add quick explanations as to why i love them and links to their websites, some of which are simply brilliant. This list isn’t in order.

John Marsden– Tomorrow When The War Began.
This series is the winner in the ‘I couldn’t put it down’ competition. From the first chapter of book one, I was completely taken. As an Australian teen reader, – at the time – I identified with the characters who were real and gritty. This series gave me a great week of life (even if I barely slept, and had a few nightmares when I did!) and these are my tattiest books from being read and carted around so much.

Peter Allison – Whatever you do don’t run & Don’t look behind you – One of my newer faves.  Stories about African animals, from the view of a bumbling but lovable Aussie just trying to do his job as a safari guide on a continent on the opposite side of the world to where he grew up.  Each chapter is a great little anecdote of different animal encounters or dangerous/hilarious pickles Peter gets himself – and sometimes other people – into.  Follow Peter on Twitter @SafariPeter for mini versions of these narratives and great info on conservation in Africa.
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