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Joseph Camilleri – Bolinda Publishing

Joseph Camilleri – Bolinda Publishing

Episode 35 – Publisher’s Choice

Joseph Camilleri – Bolinda

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Today I am joined by Joseph Camilleri from Bolinda Publishing.

Bolinda is the largest online audio bookstore in the Southern Hemisphere and also has offices in the UK and the US. They also have one of my favourite apps, BorrowBox, for downloading eaudio and ebooks through your local library. 

Joseph joined Bolinda in 2016 as Warehouse and Manufacturing Coordinator and is currently the Client Relationship Manager which means he works very closely with libraries around Australia for all our audio and large print needs!

We chat a bit about his journey from tennis coach to audiobook publishing, how many different aspects of the industry is represented at Bolinda and of course, pair some delicious things with some fabulous books … with a little Christmas flair too!

The pairings:

The Survivors by Jane Harper

Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home. Kieran’s parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn. When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away…

Joseph recommends this Aussie outback thriller as an after (Christmas) dinner read with a large glass of red wine in hand … but be careful, you may be swept away (pun intended) by the narrator and end up finishing the bottle!

 

Lucky’s by Andrew Pippos

Lucky’s is a story of family.

It is also about a man called Lucky.
His restaurant chain.
A fire that changed everything.
A New Yorker article which might save a career.
The mystery of a missing father.
An impostor who got the girl.
An unthinkable tragedy.
A roll of the dice.
And a story of love, lost, sought and won again, (at last).

Joseph recommended this book to anyone who loves a good story and because the cover reminds him of an ice cream shop he suggests reading this with a classic vanilla ice cream in a waffle cone … just don’t drip it on the book!

 

The Book Of Delights by Ross Gay

A genre-defying book of essays—some as short as a paragraph; some as long as five pages—that record the small joys that occurred in one year, from birthday to birthday, and that we often overlook in our busy lives. This is a meditation on delight that takes a clear-eyed view of the complexities, even the terrors, in the authors life, including living in America as a black man; the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture; the loss of those he loves. The delights are everyday, ordinary and beautiful. 

Sweet, tart, savoury and more-ish, Justine recommends this delightful book with her families traditional Christmas day brunch of French toast, mascarpone, fresh blueberries and strawberries drizzled with maple syrup and a glass of sparkling to wash it all down. YUM! 

  

 

This episode of Literary Elixirs was recorded via Zoom, please forgive any minor technical glitches!   

Into/Outro music is Mosquito Mojito by Rachel K. Collier. Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Licence.        

 

Paul Dalgarno

Paul Dalgarno

Episode 34 – Author’s Choice

Paul Dalgarno

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This episode I am joined by debut novelist, Melbourne writer, via Scotland, Paul Dalgarno.
 
Paul was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and immigrated to Australia in 2010. In Scotland, he was a senior features writer, columnist and Deputy Weekend Features Editor with The Herald and Sunday Herald newspapers. In Melbourne, he was a launch editor, Deputy Editor, Arts Editor and Science Editor of The Conversation website. Paul has written for many publications including Guardian Australia, Australian Book Review, Sunday Times Scotland and The Big Issue. His memoir, And You May Find Yourself, was published in 2015. In 2016, he was awarded a Varuna Residential Fellowship to work on his second book.
When not writing, reading or parenting, Paul loves to cycle vast distances. Poly is his debut novel about Chris and Sarah Flood whose near sexless marriage has led them down the path to polyamory … but as tensions grow between family, friends and lovers Chris discovers he may not know someone close to them as well as he thought.
We talk about writing the book you want to read, how difficult it is to write sex scenes, mental health and some fantastic book pairings!
 
The pairings:
Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of bohemian friends who call themselves “the Club.” A child’s death and La Maga’s disappearance put an end to his life of empty pleasures and intellectual acrobatics, and prompt Oliveira to return to Buenos Aires, where he works by turns as a salesman, a keeper of a circus cat which can truly count, and an attendant in an insane asylum.
 
Paul suggested the caffeine-rich, herbal drink from South America called Maté, drunk out of a gourd with friends.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding unnecessary human contact, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen, the three rescue one another from the lives of isolation that they had been living. Ultimately, it is Raymond’s big heart that will help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. If she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.
 
In honour of the scene where Eleanor winds up eating with Raymond and his mother, Paul suggests a Scotch broth would pair perfectly with this wonderful story – salty and warm and Scottish.
Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. Nora Seed finds herself faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realising her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.
 
Justine recommends a warming cup of hot chocolate and – if you’re up late – a splash of rum to warm you through and through, just like this book will.

  

 

This episode of Literary Elixirs was recorded via Zoom, please forgive any minor technical glitches!   

Into/Outro music is Mosquito Mojito by Rachel K. Collier. Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Licence.        

 

Catherynne M Valente

Catherynne M Valente

Episode 33 – Author’s Choice

Catherynne M Valente

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Joining me for this episode’s online chat is one of my favourite authors of weird and wonderful fiction, Catherynne M Valente.

Catherynne is the New York Times bestselling author of forty works of speculative fiction and poetry, including Space Opera, The Refrigerator Monologues, Palimpsest, the Orphan’s Tales series, Deathless, Radiance, and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Own Making (and the four books that followed it).

She is the winner of the Andre Norton, Tiptree, Sturgeon, Prix Imaginales, Eugie Foster Memorial, Mythopoeic, Rhysling, Lambda, Locus, Romantic Times’ Critics Choice and Hugo awards. She has been a finalist for the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. She lives on an island off the coast of Maine with a small but growing menagerie of beasts, some of which are human.

We talk about her many fabulous books, how she came to write and then crowdfund the first book in The Fairyland series which went on to win the Nebula Award, planting Easter eggs in Space Opera, writing complicated books, the weather and her latest short story which just so happens to be a Star Wars story!

It’s a longer chat than normal, but so much fun 🙂

The pairings:

Little, Big by John Crowley

The epic story of Smoky Barnable, an anonymous young man who travels by foot from the City to a place called Edgewood—not found on any map—to marry Daily Alice Drinkwater, as was prophesied. It is the story of four generations of a singular family, living in a house that is many houses on the magical border of an otherworld. It is a story of fantastic love and heartrending loss; of impossible things and unshakable destinies; and of the great Tale that envelops us all. It is a wonder.

Catherynne chose a classic cocktail from 1688 – Milk Punch – to pair with this eerie and complex story.

Possession by A.S. Byatt

An exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire—from spiritualist séances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany—what emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passions and ideas.

Man Booker Prize Winner (1990)

Catherynne suggested a 1920s cocktail called The Last Word to pair perfectly with this passionate literary thriller!

 

Smart Ovens For Lonely People by Elizabeth Tan

A collection of offbeat, mind-bending short stories that are a joy to dip in and out of.

A cat-shaped oven tells a depressed woman she doesn’t have to be sorry anymore. A Yourtopia Bespoke Terraria employee becomes paranoid about the mounting coincidences in her life. Four girls gather to celebrate their underwear in ‘Happy Smiling Underwear Girls Party’ and so many more. These are funny, sharp, witty and surreal stories that are somewhat disturbing at heart as they give us a glimpse of a potential future world and what might be…

I was thinking that i’d love something fresh and sharp to drink whilst reading these stories and the wine that comes to mind is an Argentinian wine called Torrontes – it’s nickname is The Liar as it smells sweet but is actually very dry and has an almost salty and lean taste and texture in your mouth. I think it would pair perfectly with this book of inventive and biting stories!

  

 

This episode of Literary Elixirs was recorded via Zoom, please forgive any minor technical glitches!   

Into/Outro music is Mosquito Mojito by Rachel K. Collier. Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Licence.        

 

Adele Walsh

Adele Walsh

Episode 12 – Librarian’s choice

Adele Walsh

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This episode I am joined by blogger, podcaster and youth literature advocate Adele Walsh!

Adele began blogging as Persnickety Snark in 2008 focussing on championing youth literature and its intended teen audience. She has been Program Coordinator for the State Library of Victoria’s Centre for Youth Literature, founding co-host of the literary podcast, Unladylike and co-host of the podcast What Would Danbury Do? about the Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn.

Adele is currently Senior Coordinator, Community Outreach & Engagement at La Trobe University Our conversation ranged all over from what exactly is snarkiness to creating podcasts around things we love and starting book blogs and getting reading hangovers … and of course, to the books and just what would we pair them with!

The pairings:

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs—the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor’s only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother—who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

This is Adele’s favourite Young Adult book of all time, it feels like home to her and she would pair it with a bowl of Mac N Cheese and/or a glass of the dry, delightful and refreshing Steels Gate Rose.

The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn

Hugh Prentice has never had patience for dramatic females, and if Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has ever been acquainted with the words shy or retiring, she’s long since tossed them out the window. Besides, a reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.
Sarah has never forgiven Hugh for the duel he fought that nearly destroyed her family. But even if she could find a way to forgive him, it wouldn’t matter. She doesn’t care that his leg is less than perfect, it’s his personality she can’t abide. But forced to spend a week in close company they discover that first impressions are not always reliable. And when one kiss leads to two, three, and four, the mathematician may lose count, and the lady may, for the first time, find herself speechless.

Adele suggested a Gin & Tonic would be the perfect pairing for this tart, dry and effervescent romance!

I Capture The Castle by Dodi Smith 

Through six turbulent months of 1934, 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain keeps a journal, filling three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries about her home, a ruined Suffolk castle, and her eccentric and penniless family. Cassandra’s father was once a famous writer, but now he mainly reads detective novels while his family slide into genteel poverty. Her sister Rose is bored and beautiful, and desperate to marry riche. Their step-mother Topaz has a habit of striding through the countryside wearing only her wellington boots. But all their lives will be soon be transformed by the arrival of rich new neighbours from America, and Cassandra finds herself falling in love.

This is a lovely, gentle read with a great voice in Cassandra. It is a book which feels quite nostalgic, with a longing for a happier past, yet it is hopeful for the future.

I would want to have something wholesome and calming whilst reading this book, perhaps a delicious chicken soup or a chamomile tea for the perfect rainy day comfort read!

   

This episode of Literary Elixirs was recorded via Zoom, please forgive any minor technical glitches! 

Into/Outro music is Mosquito Mojito by Rachel K. Collier. Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Licence.   

 

 

Jodi McAlister

Jodi McAlister

Episode 10 – Author’s choice

Jodi McAlister

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Joining me virtually for this episode is academic and Young Adult romance author Jodi McAlister!

Jodi is the author of the Valentine series, a young adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy series about smart girls, small towns, and scary fairies. There are three books in the series so far: Valentine, Ironheart, and Misrule , all published by Penguin Teen Australia. 

Jodi is also currently a lecturer in Writing and Literature at Deakin University in Melbourne. Her academic work focuses on the history of love, sex, women and girls, popular culture and fiction.

The pairings:

Pretty Face (London Celebrities #2) by Lucy Parker

It’s not actress Lily Lamprey’s fault that she’s all curves and has the kind of voice that can fog up a camera lens. She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that’s not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn’t so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy.


Luc Savage has respect, integrity and experience. He also has it bad for Lily. He’d be willing to dismiss it as a midlife crisis, but this exasperating, irresistible woman is actually a very talented actress. Unfortunately, their romance is not only raising questions about Lily’s suddenly rising career, it’s threatening Luc’s professional reputation. The course of true love never did run smooth. But if they’re not careful, it could bring down the curtain on both their careers…

Jodi suggested two wines, one to pair with each main character:

For Lily Lamprey Jodi recommends the Clem Blanc field blend from Sinapius winery in the Tamar Valley as it is dry, light, floral and refreshing!

For Luc Savage Jodi recommends the mature, dry and juicy (but not heavy) Julius Shiraz from Z Winery in the Barossa Valley.

Bittersweet (#1 True North) by Sarina Bowen

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago. At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some

Jodi suggests that only a cider will do for this funky, sweet and delicious read, specifically Willie Smith’s Wild Apple Cider as it is spicy, savoury and a little bit different!

Devils Bride by Stephanie Laurens

When Devil, the most infamous member of the Cynster family, is caught in a compromising position with plucky governess Honoria Wetherby, he astonishes the entire town by offering his hand in marriage. No one dreamed this scandalous rake would ever take a bride. But Honoria wasn′t about to bend to society′s demands and marry a man “just” because they′d been found together virtually unchaperoned. No, she craved adventure, and while solving the murder of a young Cynster cousin fit the bill for a while, she decided that once the crime was solved she′d go off to see the world. 

Justine would read this book sipping slowly at a sweet and delicious De Bortoli Noble One Semillon – apricot-y, marmalade-y, honey-like mead – this is a smooth and not sickly sweet drink!

This episode of Literary Elixirs was recorded via Zoom, please forgive any minor technical glitches! 

Into/Outro music is Mosquito Mojito by Rachel K. Collier. Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Licence.   

 

Samantha Marshall

Samantha Marshall

Episode 9 – Author’s choice

Samantha Marshall

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Joining me for this episode via online chat is the lovely speculative fiction author Samantha Marshall!

Samantha has written three books across two series, Aislinn’s Shadow and Tobias’ Spark in The Kin Chronicles and Sorcery and Stardust is the first in The Weaver’s War series.
If you love action packed, shape-shifting, strong characters in an Australian (and space in The Weaver’s War) setting then do yourself a favour and check out Samantha’s books!

Samantha chatted with me about writing believable characters, our mutual love of hard SF and also chose two of her favourite books to pair with delicious elixirs!

The pairings:

Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh (#13 in the Psy-Changeling series)

Vasic is an assassin and a soldier. His soul is drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Vasic. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for Vasic who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…

Samantha says this is a meaty plot, layered, with a lovely romantic storyline, a good comfort read which would go well with a hot chocolate with a dash of caramel syrup and a chocolate mud cake as it is warm and snuggly.

The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #24)

They say that diplomacy is a gentle art. That its finest practitioners are subtle, sophisticated individuals for whom nuance and subtext are meat and drink. And that mastering it is a lifetime’s work. But you do need a certain inclination in that direction. It’s not something you can just pick up on the job. Sam Vimes is a man on the run. Yesterday he was a Duke, a Chief of Police and the Ambassador to the mysterious, fat-rich county of Uberwald.  Now he has nothing but his native wit and the gloomy trousers of Uncle Vanya (don’t ask). It’s snowing. It’s freezing. And if he can’t make it through the forest to civilisation there’s going to be a terrible war. But there are monsters on his trail. They’re bright. They’re fast. They’re werewolves – and they’re catching up. 

Samantha would pair this fun, dry, layered and salty read with a sweet moscato and antipasto platter to cut through the bitey-ness!

 

I suggested one of my favourite comfort reads:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is an enchanting story about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a buried treasure he dreamed about finding. Along the way he meets many people who point him in the direction of his quest which turns out to be about more than just worldly goods but about the treasure found within.

It is a simple story with such wonderful warmth and a golden heart, slightly sweet and very soothing so i’d pair it with a delicious turmeric latte made with coconut milk.

 

This episode of Literary Elixirs was recorded via Zoom, please forgive any minor technical glitches!

Into/Outro music is Mosquito Mojito by Rachel K. Collier. Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Licence.