Review: October

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China Miéville’s October is a timely reminder of the revolutions in Russia in 1917. Miéville does not hide his sympathy for either Lenin’s Bolsheviks or the broader idea of the revolutionary struggle of workers to overthrow capitalism. Indeed his partisan perspective, encapsulated in the title of his work, is crucial to the book’s focus and direction. Though the revolutionary year began in February, it is October that proved decisive. Nonetheless, his account is no mere hagiography glorifying either the inevitability or perfection of the realised power of the Bolsheviks. October is as much the story of the confusion and dead ends of this revolutionary contestation, as much as its stunning initial successes.

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Review: A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars

It was a cold winter afternoon when Yaba Badoe’s novel was placed in my eagerly waiting hands. “At last!” I thought, “something entirely different.” A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars tells the story of Sante, a baby orphan castaway, who is washed ashore and brought into the life of Mama Rose. Raised in Mama Rose’s tribe of lost children, Sante and her adopted family are a traveling performance troupe, each with strange talents — though Sante’s is the most mysterious of all. Though Sante is always on the move from one town to the next, her mysterious past begins to catch up with her and it’s not long before a bamboo flute, jeweled dagger and her faithful bird begin to change the course of her life.

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National Bookshop Day 2017

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Get excited! In a little over a month we’ll be celebrating how amazing and magical bookstores are and would love to see all you book lovers here at Paperchain for Love Your Bookshop Day on Saturday the 12th of August.
We’ll have a few cheeky extras for you to enjoy in addition to our regular fabulous range and legendary staff so don’t miss out!

Come for a cup of tea and try some toothsome* literary treats that we’ll be whipping up and if you are looking for literary love you’re in luck!

We’ll be hosting ‘Blind dates with a book’ for you to have a shot at finding that perfect read, and we’re also breaking out our favourite vinyls for a variable soundtrack throughout the day, so bring along a favourite album, we’d love to hear what you’ve got!

And to further enable all our book-loving tragics, we’ll be posting a code on social media for you to use at the time of purchase for a cheeky little discount on the day.

See you all on August 12th, come and show us some love!

 

*It sounds made up however ‘toothsome’ is in fact real.

 

Stories for Winter

“He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.”

-J RR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

As the nights turn cooler and the day’s light fades quicker than before, we turn inward to the worlds that lie between the covers of our books.

There is something wonderfully atmospheric at this time of year, as the leaves yellow and fall away from their branches and the skeletal arms of the tree become stark.

As nature changes we often search for books that compliment transformation of season, and while there are many to choose from, today we are going to share a few of our favourite cosy reads with you.

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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