Bookmarks

Stalking the talk
Shanghai night field

Kerry-Anne Walsh’s account of events leading up to the overthrow of Julia Gillard, The Stalking of Julia Gillard, attracted such a lot of interest before publication – newspaper serialisation does help in that regard – that even before Allen & Unwin publishing director Sue Hines received copies of the first print run on Tuesday of last week, she ordered a second. At first, 9500 copies were intended for the shops, but that second run and a further two since has increased the copies available to more than 15,000. There was one significant change. The subtitle originally read: How the Media and Team Rudd Contrived to Bring Down the Prime Minister. In the subsequent print run, the tense was changed to ”brought down”. Not surprisingly, perhaps, Hines has approached Gillard about giving her own account of events. ”We haven’t heard back,” she tells Bookmarks. ”I don’t imagine writing a book is uppermost in her mind.”

Political process

Melbourne University Press boss Louise Adler has made a point recently of publishing memoirs and analyses by politicians. She has new Treasurer Chris Bowen, reinstated cabinet member Kim Carr and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on her list. And she has two books set to appear after the election: Radio National broadcaster Jonathan Green’s The Year My Politics Broke, a personal view of politics and a consideration of whether it can still deal with big issues and the concerns of ordinary voters, and one by consultant Bruce Hawker, now the political director for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, about campaigning for him. MUP was due to publish Patrick Weller’s Kevin Rudd: The Making of a Prime Minister last year, but it was put on hold. The Griffith University professor is adding to the book, which Adler says is a ”serious assessment of the Rudd government[s]”. And what about a Rudd book? They haven’t discussed it, apparently. ”It was probably because he had unfinished business that we have never had a serious conversation about it.” Nor has she contacted Gillard. HarperCollins publishing director Shona Martyn – who is very happy with Aaron Patrick’s Downfall, about the state of the ALP, which is already into its third print run – says she has not been in touch with Gillard, as did Penguin publishing director Ben Ball. Penguin will publish a ”Penguin Special” by Jacqueline Kent, author of The Making of Julia Gillard, about her subject’s time as PM.

Second-hand lines

The Brotherhood of St Laurence has relaunched its online second-hand bookshop, a rather neat blending of the traditional book and newish technology. It’s at brotherhoodbooks上海夜生活m and offers about 100,000 titles in all categories, with a 10 per cent reduction on fiction until Friday. Categories range from biographies, humour, maths, performing arts, philosophy, Australiana and travel. No surprise to find favourites such as Bryce Courtenay, J.K. Rowling and Stephen King in the site’s top 10. The books are described in one of three conditions: fair (a bit of damage but intact), good (some signs of use but cared for) and great (like new).

Publisher shuffle

British publishing is in a slight state of turmoil after the Penguin Random House merger resulted in the end of Gail Rebuck’s reign as publishing supremo at Random House and the departure of HarperCollins’ British and international boss, Virginia Barnsley. The latter has been replaced in Britain by Charlie Redmayne. He’s not your conventional publisher by any means, and a few eyebrows were raised, apparently, in British publishing circles. Publishing Perspective quoted an agent harrumphing that Redmayne ”has probably never edited a book in his life”. But he has one fan. Bernard Cornwell, author of the Sharpe novels about the Napoleonic wars, likes that Redmayne served in the Irish Guards. They bonded over military matters at the traditional HarperCollins summer party.

Shortlisted biographies

The shortlist for this year’s National Biography Award is: Speechless: A Year in My Father’s Business, James Button; Montebello: A Memoir, Robert Drewe; The Two Frank Thrings, Peter Fitzpatrick; Gough Whitlam: His Time, Jenny Hocking; Reaching One Thousand, Rachel Robertson. The winner, who receives $25,000, will be revealed on August 5.

Bestselling e-books

Last year, both print and e-book bestseller lists in the US were dominated by Fifty Shades of Grey and The Hunger Games, but the lists for the first six months of this year show some divergence, albeit that both are topped by Dan Brown’s Inferno, known to some as ”The Dante Code”. If proof of the power of film were needed, it comes in the form of The Great Gatsby at No.6 on the print list and No.4 on the Kindle list. Here are the top 10s. Print: 1. Inferno, Dan Brown; 2. Proof of Heaven, Eben Alexander; 3. The Third Wheel, Jeff Kinney; 4. Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg; 5. Jesus Calling, Sarah Young; 6. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald; 7. Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, Dr. Seuss; 8. Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James; 9. And the Mountains Echoed, Khaled Hosseini; 10. Happy, Happy, Happy, Phil Robertson. Kindle: 1. Inferno, Dan Brown; 2. Safe Haven, Nicholas Sparks; 3. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn; 4. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald; 5. Hopeless, Colleen Hoover; 6. The Hit, David Baldacci; 7. Wait for Me, Elisabeth Naughton; 8. Alex Cross, Run, James Patterson; 9. Entwined with You, Sylvia Day; 10. Damaged, H.M. Ward. According to US website Publishers Weekly, the books by Hoover, Naughton and Ward are self-published.

Join the collection

The Paradise Antholgy wants submissions for this year’s edition. Organiser Michael Crane is after poems of up to 30 lines, lyrics to songs of 40 lines, and short stories up to 1500 words. Send three poems, songs or two stories to [email protected]上海夜生活m by the end of August. See the conditions at michaelfcrane.wordpress上海夜生活m.

POETRYThe City of Lost Animals   

The harsh wood has retracted its budslike claws. Everything is a bunch of sticks.Lost animals speak to passers byfrom paper images of themselveson wooden telephone posts.The rain is kneading their faces.

Eye-high, they plead domesticity;owners know how unlovelyother people’s mess can seem.They are eloquent through lost eyes;the dog curling like a smile on a leash,the cat with a smile that endsbefore the photograph.

In spring, when birds come backto perch on the chatting wiresthe old cat will be there stillas if an anaesthetic hasn’t worked,mute when new dogs go by.The city gives itself to strangers;it’s what cities do best

Tric O’Heare

Events

TOMORROWDanny Katz and Mitch Vane talk books and drawing. 11am. The Avenue Bookstore, 434 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick. [email protected]上海夜生活m.au; 95236405.

Jim Chalmers in conversation with George Megalogenis. 6.30pm. Readings Hawthorn, 701 Glenferrie Road. Bookings: [email protected]上海夜生活m.au; 98191917.

WEDNESDAYAaron Patrick discusses Downfall: How the Labor Party Ripped Itself Apart. 6.30pm. Readings Carlton, 309 Lygon Street. Bookings: [email protected]上海夜生活m.au; 93476633.

Hanifa Deen details her book on dissident writer Taslima Nasreen. 6.30pm. Readings Hawthorn.

THURSDAYOpening of Rare Book Week. W.H.Chong, Des Cowley and Virginia Murdoch consider what makes a book beautiful. The Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street, city. Info: wheelercentre上海夜生活m.

FRIDAYLeigh Redhead grills Angela Savage, Melanie Casey and Annie Hauxwell about their crime fiction. 8pm. The Rising Sun Hotel, corner Raglan Street and Eastern Road, South Melbourne. Info: sistersincrime上海夜生活.au; 0412 569 356.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.