Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas

Hello book lovers,
Well, we did "shoot" another "film" at the Sleepers Xmas drinks but it was late and dark and people had had one too many cranberry juice so it was a little hard to make out. Various people talked about their favourite book of the year, and we realised we haven't discussed Junot Diaz yet. Plenty of time for that in the new year, of course. In the meantime, have a lovely and relaxing Xmas break and here's to a big and exciting new decade: what will the book become?
Let us know any recommendations you have for holiday reading in the meantime, too – there's still time for some last-minute shopping.
Love, and lots of it. xxx

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Centre of All Things

Hello! Would you like to join us on a virtual tour of Melbourne's brand spanking new Wheeler Centre for Books Writing and Ideas? Excellent, cause that's what's in store this episode. Apologies in advance for the shoddy camera work, but it adds real authenticity, we think. Especially if you happen to be mildly soused when you get a tour of the centre in real life one day. And one more thing, at the beginning of this episode Zoe absentmindedly says that the public launch for the centre is next week. This is completely not true. It's next year, which is what she meant to say. What a difference a word makes, eh.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Episode 14 - Steven Amsterdam's Fowl Language

Steven Amsterdam is the author of the 2009 Age Book of the Year, Things We Didn't See Coming. But what else does he do with his time? Maybe he has other things on his mind other than the next award winning book. Here, we delve deep, and find out what's going down in the coop.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Episode 13 - Generation Doug

When Douglas Coupland burst onto the scene with Generation X in 1991, he wasn't necessarily counting on defining a generation. But we can count on this: we're X-ers, and we love Coupland. Here we make small talk of his latest novel Generation A.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Episode Twelve - On a Boat

As promised, this week's episode comes to you from a boat, sans Lou, avec special guest Nick. Due to the location of the shoot, we're talking about stories of survival and adventure. They're so good to read - but what does it take to write one? We barely touched the surface really, suffice to say that you're taking your life in your hands every time you call Telstra...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Episode 11 - So good, it's criminal

This episode we talk about a bit of crime writing, with specific mention, and hats off to, Peter Temple and his latest book Truth. Also, we finally crack the code on what it takes to write a winning crime novel. You might think it all comes down to things like character, style and, like having a crime of some kind. Well if that's what you think, um, yep, that's what we think too.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Episode Ten - New Ozzie Fiction

We've been reading a lot of new Australian fiction this week, and ahead of our Big Special Sleepers Salon this Thursday Oct 15th, we're talking about Patrick Cullen, Emily Maguire (both of whom will be appearing at our Melbourne Salon) and Karen Hitchcock. Karen and Patrick are Sleepers Almanacs regulars (sort of, irregularly) so we're wrapped that their books are doing so well. Also, what books do you wish you'd never read just so you could read them for the first time? Do you know what I mean? That whole "we'll always have Paris" feeling you get when a book blows your socks off?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Episode Nine - Of Good Character

Characters - we've all got em. Unmistakable traits and quirks, virtues and undesirable habits. These attributes form the way we live our lives, they contribute significantly to directing the plot. In writing, it's no different. If you can get the character dead right, then maybe the plot will follow? Or is it a chicken and an egg thing? Let us know what you think.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Episode 8

Cate Kennedy's first novel The World Beneath has got us rabbiting on over time, but believe me, we could have gone on for a lot longer. What a wonderful debut novel from a seriously pro short story writer. This novel's gotta be one of the most impressive releases this year. We also have a little look at YA novel Liar, and a kid's classic, Diary of a Wombat. Yep, just like sand after a day at the beach, we're a little all over the place.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Episode Seven - Must-Reads or Might-Reads

Has anyone ever said to you, 'Oh, you simply must read (insert title of must-read classic or equivalent here)'? Is it annoying? Has it informed your taste in literature immeasurably and you've since gone on to insist others read it? What does it say about the way you read? Nothing? Everything? Do you say, 'Tolstoy-Shmolstoy? Or 'Marquez - da Bez!' Do you even know what I'm talking about? This week, Lou and Zoe go some way, but by no means all the way, to explore the concept of 'must-reads'. Have a look, then join the discussion.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Episode Six

Our silliest episode yet. You rate it. For silliness only. For some reason we just couldn't quit giggling, and yet, we manage to discuss bookish type things for up to 10 minutes! Formidable! (Said with French accent, or it doesn't work). Affirm Press, Father's Day reading, the Melbourne Writers' Festival, and extra cheese...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The 21st Century Bookshow Episode 5

Hi folks. Well, we missed an episode last week on account of the excitement at the Melbourne Writers Festival currently going on but we've returned. Here we revisit a few bits and pieces from a couple of weeks back and have a little chat about the festival and our prize winning author Steven Amsterdam (and his book Things We Didn't See Coming, which just won the Age Book of the Year!). Also, at some point, it sounds as though Zoe is saying "of course all the lovely authors don't go to the festivals..." This is supposed to be the opposite, something more like, "all the unlovely authors don't go to the festivals", but something happened to those crucial two letters of the alphabet and they didn't show up for work at that exact moment. So hopefully you get what on earth she's talking about. It certainly explains why Lou is looking at Zoe a little nonplussed, which Zoe is used to by now, and she can understand why. Perhaps all their conversations should be recorded.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The 21st Century Bookshow Episode 4

Episode Four of the Twenty-First Century Bookshow sees Lou and Zoe settling into the general idea of being in front of a camera and talking about books. Also, we said we'd provide a link to Readings - so here it is: Tell them we sent you, they'll look after you (or they'll look at you blankly, wondering what on earth you're talking about - but rest assured they'll look after you anyway).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

21st Century Bookshow Episode Three 4.8.09

Incredibly, some 62 people - and possibly even more - checked out our little web-vision show last week, and that classifies as encouragement to us. So here we are, back for another week of mumbling and totally unscripted book babble. This week we discuss three excellent additions to the Australian literary landscape: Andrea Goldsmith's Reunion, Ashleigh Sievwright's The Shallow End, and Jeff Sparrow's Killing.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The 21st Century Bookshow Episode Two 28.7.09

This is the second episode of our little show, following a totally successful (!) and completely untested pilot. If you'd like to see the pilot, we'll get it up soon. And rest assured, it stands to reason that with the way these sorts of things evolve over time, this little program will get better, not worse (um, Zo, can we really be sure of this? - L). So if you're a little ho-hum about this episode, you'll be distinctly less unimpressed next time! (we hope!)

Welcome to the 21st Century Bookshow

Hi there. Zoe Dattner and Louise Swinn from Sleepers Publishing here. Thanks for swinging by. Regularly we will be uploading our new mini show, the Twenty-First Century Bookshow, for your computer or iPhone or whatever electronic device you've chosen to get your fix of reviews, news, updates and more - everything to do with anything to do with books. Please let us know what you think. It's pretty low-fi, but really, we're just interested in getting more bookish discussions out there.

We hope you like our little program, and if you're so inclined, do make sure you return here regularly. In fact, you can become a follower by clicking on the wee link on the left.

For more info about our publishing company, Sleepers, visit

Thanks folks, and we'll see you soon.
Zoe & Lou.