Aussie Author Challenge 2012 – Guest Blogger – April

Aussie Author Challenge 2012

As part of the Aussie Author Challenge 2012, each month I will be inviting an active challenge participant to guest post here at Booklover Book Reviews.

Last month Jayne from The Australian Bookshelf joined us and now in April I welcome guest blogger Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader. Marg is a prolific blogger, a supporter of the Aussie Author Challenge from its inception, and a real organiser amongst the Aussie book blogging crowd. Marg initiated the Australian Book Blogger Directory and is one of the driving forces behind Aussie Author Month.

Tell us a bit about yourself Marg and the types of books you feature on your blog, The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader:

I am an avid reader who started blogging because most of the people around me don’t read anywhere near as much as I do and I NEEDED to talk to others who shared my passion! Since that time more than 6 years ago, blogging has become another of my passions and I really can’t imagine a time when I won’t be blogging about books! I read across quite a few different genres including historical fiction, romance, fantasy, young adult and a bit of crime and lit fic! Maybe it would be easier to say what I don’t read! What I can say is that blogging has really changed the way I read. Many years ago I would not have called myself a fantasy reader at all, and most definitely didn’t read short stories but that has changed!

What are the last 5 books by Australian authors you have read/reviewed?

As a result of participating in both the Aussie Author Challenge and the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012, the number of books I have read by Australian authors rises every year which is a good thing!

The last Aussie books that I read and/or reviewed are:

Thief of Lives by Lucy Sussex (a short story collection)

MoVida: Spanish Culinary Adventures by Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Earthly Delights by Kerry Greenwood

Showtime by Narrelle Harris (another short story collection)

Putting Alice Back Together by Carol Marinelli

I am currently reading Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth which so far is really good! Historical fiction and a fairy tale retelling sounded exactly like something I would love!

Earthly Delights by Kerry GreenwoodShowtime by Narrelle HarrisPutting Alice Back Together by Carol MarinelliBitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

 

Which Australian author do you think deserves broader recognition and why?

Such a tough question as I am sure that there are a lot of them that do!

I am going to choose Margo Lanagan. I do think that Margo has a fairly high profile within the speculative fiction community, but I am not sure how well she is known outside of that genre. In some ways Margo is something of an odd choice because I have only actually read some of her short stories so far, but I am definitely planning to read her novels during this year.

You may be wondering then why I would choose an author when I have only part of her work. If I go back in time to the beginning of last year, I would not have called myself a short story reader at all, but that has changed thanks to authors like Margo Lanagan. In the space of just a few pages, Lanagan has made me laugh, made me cry, made me think and so much more – sometimes all within the same story. I swear she sees the world very differently to the way the rest of us mere mortals do!

If you are looking for a place to start then I highly recommend Singing My Sister Down and Sweet Pippit from Black Juice, The Point of Roses and Night of the Firstlings from the Yellowcake collection and The Boy Who Didn’t Yearn from the White Time collection. (Note to self….you still need to read Red Spikes!)

Black Juice by Margo LanaganYellowcake by Margo LanaganWhite Time by Margo Lanagan

Even if  you aren’t a normally a short story reader, I would strongly encourage you to try Margo Lanagan. As for me, I am about ready to try her novels and I have high hopes that I am going to love them!

The Aussie Author Challenge Soapbox is at your disposal…

I remember when I read Tony and Jayne’s previous soapboxes – yes! yes! yes! Such good topics to choose and they are perfect for a soapbox, but it makes it difficult to come up with another topic! I have decided to go with an issue that drives me a little batty at times! Or a lot batty as the case might be.

Why, oh why, do publisher release the same book with different titles in different countries?

At the moment I am reading a book by an author called Natasha Solomons. Her first book was called Mr Rosenblum’s List and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When that same book was published in the US it was called Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English, which isn’t that bad because at least there is some clue that both books are about a Mr Rosenblum.

The Novel in Viola by Natasha SolomonsThe current book I am reading is The Novel in the Viola which isn’t a bad title really. The US title is The House at Tyneford. Again, that isn’t such a bad title albeit a bit obvious, but in this case you would either have to know that there were two different titles or read both blurbs closely to find out that it is the same book.

Some authors get afflicted with this issue more than others. One of my favourite medieval mystery authors was Ariana Franklin. Before she died, there were four books in her series about a young woman who is called upon by King Henry II of England to investigate mysteries. The first book was called The Mistress of the Art of Death everywhere but the next three books had the following titles:

The Serpent’s Tale or The Death MazeRelics of the Dead or Grave GoodsA Murderous Procession or The Assassin’s Prayer

I do understand that there might be times when a cultural reference might be different in one country which will necessitate a change of title, but a lot of the time it is just confusing for everyone! It becomes confusing when you have that yay! moment in the bookstore when you think that one of your favourites has a new book out, or when you are checking the library catalogue, and it is frustrating when you unknowingly buy a book you already own or start reading the book and realise you have already read it! It is especially true because often the covers look completely different in different markets too!

Once upon a time, I am sure that it wouldn’t have made much difference given that we wouldn’t have necessarily known that there was a different title in another country, but these days the world is a very small place thanks to the web. With real time interaction with our favourite authors around the world in all sorts of venues like Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and more, we are no longer afflicted by the tyranny of distance in the way we would once have been! So publishers, please…. if there isn’t really a major reason for changing titles, could we please have the same title everywhere!

Thanks to Jo for inviting me to guest post as part of the Aussie Author Challenge!

An absolute pleasure Marg – thank for joining us today and sharing your latest Australian reads and your pet peeve (I hear you).

I am reading Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens right now also and enjoying it immensely.

More broadly, I’d just like to take the opportunity to thank you for the significant contribution you make to the Aussie book blogging scene.

When looking for your next Aussie read, take the time to check out The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader.

Comments

  1. says

    This was a great post, and reminds me that I need to find an opportunity to read Black Juice in the near future. I also think it’s kind of nuts that publishers change the titles of books when they are released in other locations. It’s not only you, Marg!

  2. says

    Love Marg’s blog! I had no idea The House at Tyneford was the same at The Novel in the Viola. All the different titles for the same book drive me batty!

  3. says

    I totally agree about not changing the book titles! Elizabeth Chadwick and Jean Plaidy immediately came to mind for authors who have books with confusing title changes. I hate getting the same book twice because the title is different and I didn’t notice.

  4. says

    Holly, I had forgotten that Elizabeth Chadwick’s book titles changed, mainly because I read the new ones as soon as they come out! Such good books!

  5. says

    I hear ya Marg, I think the most annoying thing like you say is when you think you have found some unknown book by a favourite author, only to find out it’s a book you’ve already read with a different title.
    Will have to check out Margo’s short story titles… i’m not much of a short story reader myself but sounds like you’ve been converted so maybe I can be too!

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