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One of my favourite authors, Charles Yu, has a book of short stories called Sorry Please Thank You. In it is a story called Hero Absorbs Major Damage which follows a computer game hero and his band of warriors on their quest through 256 levels of battling orcs, eating chicken and negotiating love triangles. This was already an awesome and funny story, but it has been given +3 Awesome Points with a new re-telling on Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading site (they publish one short story a week online) where one of the characters (an elf named Fjoork) has annotated the text and given his perspective on the events once only narrated by the Hero. You need to click on the highlighted yellow text to get Fjoork’s sardonic commentary. This is a new form of digital storytelling with exciting possibilities. Check out the story with its annotations here. And don’t forget to read the editor’s note for a bit of info about the story and its use of the annotation software.

Yu’s first novel, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe is also available to borrow from our library and I highly recommend it. I wish I could go back in time and read it for the first time again!


Soundbrenner Pulse: Wearable Device For Musicians


Having played various musical instruments from an early age I was fascinated to learn about this wearable metronome that syncs with your phone.  It’s designed for use with any instrument by musicians of all skill levels, from beginners to professionals.  The device can be worn around your arm or leg, depending on your instrument.  To find out more, here is a link to their crowd funding campaign with indiegogo.  I hope they reach their target, as feeling a metronome pulse rather than seeing or hearing it makes so much sense to me.  On another musical note (geddit?) ASAP Science have put together some audio illusions “Can you trust you ears?”  This video explains auditory illusions and phenomena such as the ‘Shepard Tone Illusion’.


In 1999 in Paris UNESCO declared March the 21st as WORLD POETRY DAY. To celebrate I thought I’d share some websites that showcase local poets and some places you could submit your own poetry.

VOICEWORKS is a print and digital quarterly magazine which is published by Express MediaIt features writing and artwork by Australians under the age of twenty five so it’s a great place to start if you want to get your work published. Though it’s not exclusively for poetry, they do have this great page of tips for writing poetry.

MELBOURNE SPOKEN WORD is a site dedicated to… you guessed it – the spoken word scene in Melbourne! This means it’s full of actual videos of poets performing their work – and believe me some of them are great! For example:

CORDITE POETRY REVIEW  is an online journal dedicated to showing off new and established Australian poets to the world. They promote “irreverent and experimental poetics.” This is a bit more of an ‘adult’ site than Voiceworks or but you can still submit to them here.




If you use the American format, today’s date is 3/14/15. This also happens to be the first few numbers in pi (π) , the mathematical constant that represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, ie 3.1415. Folks are using this date to celebrate Pi Day.

People use pi to figure out all sorts of stuff in maths and geometry such as the area of a circle:

A = πr2

Here ‘r’ equals the radius or the distance from the center to the edge of the circle. If you sqare the radius and multiply by pi you get the area of your circle.220px-Circle_Area.svg (1)


Also, the formula to find the volume of a cylinder is  V = πr2h where you calculate the area of the base (the area of the circle as shown above), then multiply that by the height (h) of the cylinder.

Find out more about pi on this Wikipedia page.


Who writes like… Tolkien?

Have you read everything by your favourite author and you’re looking for suggestions?  This is a useful site for reading recommendations.

J  R  R Tolkien

…and here’s an interesting article in which Tolkien snubs a German publisher asking for proof of his Aryan descent (1938).


Check out this amazing digital publishing platform:
“With over 21 million publications, Issuu is the fastest growing digital publishing platform in the world. Millions of avid readers come here every day to read the free publications created by enthusiastic publishers from all over the globe with topics in fashion, lifestyle, art, sports and global affairs to mention a few. And that’s not all. We’ve also got a prominent range of independent publishers utilizing the Issuu network to reach new fans every day.
Created by a bunch of geeks with an undying love for the publishing industry, Issuu has grown to become one of the biggest publishing networks in the industry. It’s an archive, library and newsstand all gathered in one reading experience.”

New Arrivals

As you know we are always getting new books into our library. Here are a few to check out:

A SMALL MADNESS by Dianne Touchell


Rose didn’t tell anyone about it. She wondered if it showed. She looked at herself in the mirror and turned this way and then that way. She stood as close to the mirror as she could, leaning over the bathroom basin, looking into her own eyes until they disappeared behind the fog of her breath. Looking for something. Some evidence that she was different now. Something had shifted inside her, a gear being ratcheted over a clunky cog, gaining torque, starting her up. But it didn’t show. How could all of these feelings not show? She was a woman now but it didn’t show and she couldn’t tell anyone.

A devastating, compelling novel that will get everyone talking, from the author of Creepy and Maud.

STORM by Tim Minchin

22997383A storm is brewing at a London Dinner party. When Tim meets the mysterious fifth guest at the table, small talk descends into a battle between science and belief.

Audiences around the world have been wowed by the lyrical wonders of Storm in its viral smash-hit animation form. Now fully reimagined with original artwork, this sparkling ode to scepticism by multi-award-winning comedian and musician Tim Minchin is brought to life for the first time in a book. Includes a foreword by Neil Gaiman.


Discover what’s on ZZ Top’s mind, the degrees of separation between Indiana Jones20706944 and Rihanna, the most popular songs chosen for funerals and more!! Infographic Guide to Music presents unique, witty and surprising facts about every music genre, from pop, rock, indie, house, dance, electronic, rap, country and classical. Mixing musical stats with facts on all your favourite leading legends, it features infamous and often ludicrous tales of the music business. More than just a book of words, with graphs, Venn diagrams and charts, this book provides a unique overview of the music world, boasting over 100 original artworks and illustrations and at-a-glance facts to amaze and astound readers.


24709229A novel about love and the things you can and can’t change, from the winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for young adult fiction, Sue Saliba.
‘I want to tell you that he’s coming home. . . and it’s going to be like it was before he went away, before everything broke apart.’
Nella waits for the swallows by the creek each spring. It’s a secret vigil she’s followed ever since her father left.
This year she’s going to take him with her . . . but can we ever return to the way things were?
A novel about love and the things you can and can’t change, from the winner of the Victorian’s Premier’s Literary Award for young adult fiction.

REALITY BOY by A.S. King20454066

In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child television ‘star’ struggling to break free of the oppressive anger he’s felt since he was five years old. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth – which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle – and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts; everyone is just waiting for him to snap. And he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that – until he chooses to create possibilities for himself that he never knew he deserved.

What is Literature for?

Here’s a neat little video from The School of Life about why we need literature in our lives… enjoy! :)

WRITE 4 FUN COMPETITION! Great prizes on offer!!

write4funEntry is now open in the 2014 Schools Writing Competition! Students all over Australia are invited to enter their Short Stories OR Poems, and battle it out for the great cash prizes on offer! This year – there is NO THEME!! Entrants are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild and get their creative juices flowing to write on any topic or style. All year levels welcome! Enter online at: or email to:

Entries close on August 31st! See John Box or Library staff for details. Good Luck!!

CiNECiTY NEWS: The 400 Blows

We’ve been watching this French classic about a misunderstood young boy who turns to a life of crime…

Directed by:François Truffautthe-400-blows-poster

Cast:  Jean-Pierre Léaud

Albert Rémy

Claire Maurier

Written by: François Truffaut

Marcel Moussy

Genre: Crime / Drama

Rating: PG

Duration: 95min

Colour: Black & White

Country/Language: France / French

Year of Release: 1959

Background notes:

  • This is one of the defining films of the Nouvelle Vague (French New Wave) and displays many of the characteristic traits of the movement. Some of these traits include:a documentary style with long tracking shots and handheld camera shots, discontinuous editing such as jump cuts, existential themes, a low budget, improvised dialogue, rapid changes of scene and ambiguous endings. Such forms of expression were previously extremely uncommon in cinema but are used frequently today. The Nouvelle Vague also laid the groundwork for a set of concepts, revolutionary at the time, which the American film critic Andrew Sarris called auteur theory.
  • François Truffaut, along with many other French New Wave directors, began as a critic for the famous film magazine Cahiers du Cinema.
  • Cahiers du Cinema co-founder and theorist André Bazin was a prominent source of influence for the movement and was a father figure for Truffaut. This film is the first of a series of semi-autobiographical films with the lead character Antoine representing the real life Truffaut.

Things to think about:

  • While watching the film try to be aware of some of the traits mentioned above.
  • In the final shot of the film the frame freezes leaving a question about the fate of Antoine? What do you think happens next? What happens to him in the future?