May 30, 2011

Star picks

I don't know if it was the convergent timing of Reading Matters, the Emerging Writers' Festival and BEA, but I seem to have starred more posts in my google reader feed over the past seven days than I have in the last month! I'll save the RM ones for a separate post, but here's a selection of other stuff that I read when I should have been writing particularly enjoyed:
  • Kate Constable very kindly shared how she's taken her 250 word trick to a new, advanced level. I'm going to give it a go!
  • The New York Times report that ebooks were the buzz of BEA made me think, yet again, that it's something Australian publishers and authors really need to get our heads around.*
  • Jennifer Hubbard performed manuscript surgery.
  • I learned how to spot a psychopath, courtesy of an extract from Jon Ronson's new book.** Like Malcolm Gladwell, Ronson has a tremendous talent for narrative non-fiction; I read this article with the same kind of fascination-slash-revulsion that I felt when Jane Burke showed her pig-gutting Pig Boy research photos at Reading Matters.
  • Write4Kids's YA blogger reflected on the overabundance of 'perfect' characters in YA, and why they don't make for interesting reading.
  • Mental Floss told me way more than I ever wanted to know about Hello Kitty (except I kind of  did want to know it all). (And if I ever get sick in Korea I am going to demand to be treated in the Hello Kitty hospital!)
  • And I leave you with...an otter who knows how to appeal to its audience:
* After chatting with a number of people - particularly librarians - about ebooks at Reading Matters, I've realised that I have some pretty strong opinions on this topic!
** And I challenge you to read the checklist of psychopathic 'symptoms' and not find yourself thinking of at least one person you know!

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