Children’s Corner: Not Quite Narwhal

Unicorns, narwhals, rainbows and ice cream, Jessie Sima’s new book ‘Not quite Narwhal’ is the best Friday afternoon find we’ve had in awhile!
Check out the trailer below!

 

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Jessie Sima grew up unaware that she was an author-illustrator. Once she figured it out, she told her family and friends. They took it quite well. Not Quite Narwhal is her very first book.

Hygge. It’s a Danish thing.

Hygge. It’s one of those words that seems completely made-up—or at least radically misspelt, however you will soon discover, most likely on one of those lists of ‘untranslatable foreign words we should all know’, that it is in fact real.

The Danish practise of hygge finds its closest English equivalent in the concept of cosiness. Pronounced ‘Hue-gah’, a small clue serendipitously resides in its phonetic similarity to the word ‘hug’. While our idea of cosiness often conjures up images of the warm yellow glow of candles and an abundance of woollen blankets and socks, the traditional idea of hygge is more expansive.

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You can make friends with salad.

BBQ’s are a staple in the scorching Australian summer however there is nothing quite like a fresh and filling salad on a sweltering day. We are lucky here at Paperchain where there is no shortage of inspiration in our cooking section, and we get to peek at the most delicious recipes before we head off to our next potluck. Here are a few titles that we think you should look out for next time you are visiting us.

  1. For a series of hilarious expletive-ridden recipes check out Thug Kitchen: The official cookbook. They deride you for giving up on good food and are here to implore you to step up your ‘veggie game’.
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Little Brown Books, Hachette Book Group, 2014

2. According to our staff the food in Community and Neighborhood by Hetty MacKinnon is “tasty AF!” The dishes keep really well over time and they are excellent for batch cooking and unsurprisingly there is a staff cult forming around these titles.

3. The Forest Feast For Kids by Erin Gleeson is an eye-catching vegetarian cookbook adorned with bright watercolour illustrations and equally vibrant photographs which are just perfect for attracting children’s attention. Simple recipes with only a few steps means there is only a small amount of attention needed for making each of these delicious meals.

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Abrams books for Young Readers, New York, 2016

Savour the delightful and varied flavours of each recipe and remember that they are best served with company.

 

Curiosity House and other stories

It is a beautiful moment indeed when, browsing along the bookshelves, I come across an unfamiliar novel, when an intriguing cover draws me in and I find within a story that matches it perfectly. Though we are all aware of the proverb ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, it is an inevitably unconscious act for many people and often as good a basis as any for selecting which book, out of millions, is going to be the next world that we enter.

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Children’s Corner: Powerful Princesses

Princesses in children’s literature are a fraught topic. There has been a strong backlash against the glittery, pink-washed stories of passive princesses who wait in towers — objects to be won by daring knights. Yet many children are drawn to princess stories, and who wants to stop children from reading anything they are excited about?

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Most of us were raised on stories about princesses. From the darkness of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson fairytales, to the gentler Disney versions, these stories are an inescapable part of our culture. Fortunately, there are now many fantastic picture books that challenge the conventional roles of princesses in stories, creating characters that are like us and that inspire us to dare and dream. Listed below are some of my favourites. They are sure to appeal to princess-loving children and their princessed-out parents alike! Continue reading

Book Review: Talking to My Country

Book review: Talking to My Country, by Stan Grant, published in 2016 by HarperCollins AU

81Nk2rbKvkLI first encountered Stan Grant earlier this year when his speech from the IQ2 debate on the Australian dream, presented by the Ethics Centre, came into the spotlight. Grant’s speech focussed on the deep roots of racism in Australia and its detrimental impact on the potential to achieve the Australian dream. ‘The Australian dream’ has come to stand for the chance to achieve prosperity, to be given a ‘fair go’ and to become part of the broader cultural and social life of the country. However Grant showed how this dream has always been — and remains — out of reach for Aboriginal Australians. Grant challenged some of Australia’s national myths, contrasting them with historical perspectives from Indigenous peoples and contemporary experiences of racism, reminding us of those historical events that Australia wishes to forget.

Grant’s book Talking to my country is an extension of this discussion, a call to account and a demand for understanding and recognition.

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Literary love: The Happy Reader

When I’m not reading books, or selling them, I’m most likely talking about books, to everyone and anyone who will listen. One of the many joys of working at Paperchain is being surrounded by book lovers who will happily share their latest reading adventures with me. So I was thrilled to discover The Happy Reader, a new voice in this lively literary discussion.

The Happy Reader is a quarterly publication brought out by Penguin UK in conjunction with the British magazine Fantastic Man. Each issue is divided into two sections: the first part features a rambling, conversational interview with an interesting subject about their reading life; the second part is a dossier of articles based around a Penguin Classic.

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The first issue came out in 2014, with Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame) appearing on the cover. In the interview, Stevens talks about reading books that were published between 1912 and 1918 — the period in which Downton Abbey is set — to gain a deeper knowledge of the times, as well as his experience of judging the Booker Prize in 2012. Subsequent issues have featured actor Alan Cumming, musicians Kim Gordon and Grimes, and comedian Aziz Ansari. Continue reading

Cooking the Books: Rarebits with blue cheese and pear

Cooking the books is a recurring column where we test recipes from some of the cookbooks we sell, and share our experiences with you. Is this all simply an elaborate excuse to cook and eat some delicious food? Maybe. Are we looking forward to doing just that? You bet! In this edition of Cooking the books, Rebecca and Freya are cooking (and eating) rarebits with blue cheese and pear, from Yvette van Boven’s Home Made Winter.

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With the weather in Canberra talking a turn for the autumnal, we find ourselves drawn to comfort food. The best comfort food is hearty but simple, and these blue cheese and pear toasties certainly fit the bill. So we rolled up the sleeves of our seasonally-appropriate tartan shirts and got to work. Continue reading

Book Review: Gotham by Nick Earls

Gotham_FCGotham is the brief but compelling story of Jeff Foster, an Australian freelance Rolling Stone music reporter, and his all-nighter gambit with up-and-coming rap icon Na$ti Boi in the streets of New York. Beginning with the meet-cute at an after-hours Bloomingdales, Jeff witnesses the many layers of the rapper, whose outward self-confidence, displayed in his profound lyrical profanity, belies his fear and insecurity, glimpsed as he rifles through four pairs of Alexander Wang cargo pants. Standing stoically alongside Na$ty Boi is Smokey, his golden-grilled manager whose wife is in labour with their second child. Between controlled and placating exchanges with his charge Na$ti Boi, Smokey and Jeff bond over their experiences of the joys and trials of parenthood — a sharp contrast to the crack-sniffing Na$ti Boi who demands a visit to his semi-regular lady, an Ivy League pornstar, followed by a beef Wellington for dinner.

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