Reality bites!

17 May 2010 by

Seeing as this month we are focusing on reality, I thought it was a good opportunity to talk about one of the most popular reality TV shows on at the moment – Masterchef Australia! Amid the many tears, anxious moments, challenges and some disasters that are inevitable in any reality TV show, I must admit, the contestants on Masterchef seem to be able to pull off some pretty impressive dishes. Remember the croquembouche from last year, and more recently that imposing Black Forest Cake? Certainly a bit out of my league! Anyway, for those of you who are looking to be the next Masterchef, you might want to check out the library’s huge range of cooking books to help you on your road to stardom. Try Julie Goodwin’s Our Family Table, Gary Mehigan’s Comfort Food or Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Kitchen for starters. Hopefully, you too will be able to impress all your friends and family with your amazing cooking talents and maybe you could even try that tower of profiteroles (go on, I dare you!).

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What the?

14 May 2010 by

What is it and, more importantly, where is it? (Clue: it’s somewhere on the Gold Coast)

If you think you know, tell all.

Quirky REALITY

11 May 2010 by

This month blurb it has been thinking about reality.
Things like….

Augmented Reality: The future of shopping from Cisco Borderless Networks on YouTube, shows their idea of what shopping for clothes will be like in the future, using an augmented reality mirror. Have a look at the clip if you haven’t already seen it – earlier this month they won an award for Best Viral Video – it’s now been viewed more than 1.8 million times.

You know when everything is good and it looks like your whole life is planned out. Then one thing goes wrong and it’s time for a Reality Check. Thriller writer, Peter Abrahams, has made this smart, twisty mystery a fantastic page turner. It’s about 16 year old Cody and his girlfriend Clea. She gets moved to another school and a knee injury makes him realise that the only thing about school that he’s good at is playing football. Then Clea disappears and Cody realises the last letter she sent him is the only clue to finding her….

Reality TV – Watch it, audition for it or read about it. The Real Real by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus (best-selling authors of The Nanny Diaries) is about Jesse O’Rourke a funny, smart, average teenager, who isn’t one of the popular kids, until she’s cast in a reality show that focuses on her high school. And, really really, does she want to be? Or try Loathing Lola, written by Australian teenager, William Kostakis. Read the interview with William and make a comment to go in the running to win a free copy of Loathing Lola.

Young writers get writing

10 May 2010 by

If you’re young (aged 18-25) and local (to Queensland) and you write, then get writing NOW!!
The SLQ (State Library of Queensland) Young Writers Awards for 2010 is taking submissions from the 21st of May to the 16th of July. You could win $2000 and career launching opportunities.

WIN Loathing Lola

7 May 2010 by

YOU CAN WIN a copy of Loathing Lola – if you live on the Gold Coast, just check out the blurb it interview with William Kostakis, leave a comment or question for William to answer before the 6th of June 2010, and you will go in the draw to win a copy of William’s book, Loathing Lola.

Seeing Green? How about reading John Green?

7 May 2010 by

I’m feeling the love for green this month!

My backyard is looking good and I just bought my very first indoor plants! Let’s see how long I can keep them alive!

I have affectionately named my plants Brommie and Cane, because I bought a Bromeliad and Golden Cane Palm. I’m hoping if I name my plants I will be more attached to them and therefore look after them better ha ha 🙂

Anyway back to the reference to John Green. Have you read any of his books yet? If not, why not? He’s awesome! He writes books that are relevant to us teens, and are funny, insightful and exciting. The characters in his books are always realistic, they say things we would say and they do things we would do!

I just finished his latest book Will Grayson, Will Grayson which he wrote with David Levithan and whilst the book covered some confronting and relevant themes it was written with such humour and honesty that I couldn’t help finishing it.

Basically it’s a book about a teen called Will Grayson whose best friend Tiny is in love with a different person every single day of the week. Tiny tries to set Will up with his friend Jane but Will is shy and is not too sure about liking girls who are “available”. Then Will Grayson randomly meets another teen called Will Grayson and then all matter of chaos and emotions break loose!

Sounds confusing? Trust me, it isn’t. This is the second John Green book I’ve read in a year and I have to keep spacing them out because I don’t think John Green’s writing can catch up to how quickly I read his books. So far he’s written Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Paper Towns, An abundance of Katherines, and Looking for Alaska.

Keep them coming John!  Check out his books next time you’re in the library, that’s if they’re even on the shelf – I may have them, so place a hold!

Good assignment? Find out

5 May 2010 by

Two options:
1. You’ve written your assignment and need to know if it’s any good = you need PaperRater
2. Your essay is a big blank page and a jumble of ideas = you need the PaperRater blog.

PaperRater is a free online tool that checks your spelling and grammar and rates your paper for originality and expression. It detects plagiarised text (which is heaps better than your teacher finding it) and tells you how readable your essay is. Just paste in your text and off you go.

Nothing to cut and paste yet? Have a read of the PaperRater blog for hints on dealing with writer’s block. They’ve got some great ideas… and a good sense of humour….

It’s WolfWerty!

4 May 2010 by

This month’s blurb it star is WolfWerty.

WolfWerty says: “I like playing my DS and computer games, when I’m not reading or bouncing on my trampoline. Did you know that “the Black Death” wasn’t called that while lots of people were dying from it? That name was made up later. And did you also know that not only can bats use echolocation, they can also navigate by sensing the Earth’s magnetic field.”

William Kostakis

4 May 2010 by

This month’s blurb it guest is William Kostakis, which is appropriate because our theme is reality and William’s book, Loathing Lola, is all about Courtney Marlow – an ordinary 15 year old girl who decides to be part of a reality TV show called Real Teens, only to discover that reality TV is really about faking it.

YOU CAN WIN a copy of Loathing Lola – just respond to this post with a comment or question for William to answer, and you could be one of the 10 lucky winners.

Now it’s over to William to answer blurb it’s questions:

What are some of the different jobs you’ve had?
I’ve worked in a TV newsroom (boring), as a sales attendant in a first aid kit stall (just as boring), a waiter in a stadium’s private suites (I met Pamela Anderson, I walked past her holding two jugs of milk over my chest – I had to bite my tongue really hard not to make the joke), but most notably, I worked at Maccas for four years. I spent my time bingeing on chicken nuggets, being a smart-arse to customers, and starting sauce fights with other staff (Fun Fact: Big Mac and McChicken sauces are kept in guns, you literally put the sauce cartridge in like ammo and shoot – so we’d run around the kitchen firing at each other)… and I didn’t get fired. I got promoted. I got promoted a lot.

If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
Probably a teacher. It’s like being a comedian, only, if the kids don’t laugh at your jokes, you fail them.

If you could be any character in a book for a day, who would you choose to be?
Edward Cullen. I’ve always wondered, if you’re a main character in a bad book – do you see all the typos?

What is your opinion on the use of swearing in YA books?
F***ing love it. I mean, I always loved to use colourful language as a teen in real life, so why should books for teens be written any differently?

If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?
Blue?

How do you feel about plagarism in blogs?
How I feel about plagiarism in everything: if they’re not your words, don’t say they are.

Do you have any secret talents?
I have a special knack for falling down stairs – does that count? Seriously, give me a flight of stairs, and the odds are, I’ll fall down them at least once.

What is your favourite dessert?
Warmed up chocolate cake with ice cream. The best. Ever.

Should books written for a YA audience have a happy ending?
No, YA audiences aren’t precious. If they can handle the F-word, they can handle an unhappy ending. So long as the ending is the best possible ending for the story, whether it’s happy or sad doesn’t matter.

What was the last book you read?
This is going to sound really self-absorbed, but my own… I’m teaching a class on it tomorrow, and I’ve… kinda forgotten it.

You wouldn’t be caught dead, where?
At a Justin Bieber concert.

That’s all from William – if you’ve got another question for him, just comment below and you’ll be in the running to win a copy of Loathing Lola.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief: Book VS Film

3 May 2010 by

I’ve read the book and seen the movie and, I have to say, the movie was not good. The acting was really poor despite some well known actors in the film. Also, the book was quite an action packed adventure but the film didn’t use that potential, instead it left out major plot points and changed some parts of the story in a way that would have left many readers frustrated with the film.

So if you’ve read the book I wouldn’t recommend the movie.