About Jamie Ashbird

Jamie Ashbird was born from an egg on a mountain top. At least that's what she keeps telling people. In fact she was born, quite boringly, from a uterus and was raised in Melbourne. It is here, in her native habitat, that she roams about watching the world go by and quietly judging people. She is also a writer... ahem, apologies, typo... she is almost a writer but wastes too much of her time watching other people play video games on YouTube.

Of Vicuña And Buttons

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THE COAT ROUTE: Craft, Luxury & Obsession on the Trail of a $50,000 Coat

Meg Lukens Noonan
First published July 2013

A few Christmases ago, my cousin-in-law regaled me, as she always does, about a book she’d recently read. What she described to me with such enthusiasm made me want to forgo the table piled high with desserts and head straight home for a bit of binge reading. Quite maturely I reigned in that urge and carried on socialising like a normal human being. That very night however, I summoned the e-book from the cloud and it wriggled its kilobytes into my e-reader. Not long after, I was compelled to purchase a solid copy as it was crystal clear that this one was a keeper.

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I Am A Holmes Fan. There, I’ve Said It.

sherlock_holmes_watsonTHE DAY THEY MET
by Wendy C. Fries
MX Publishing, January 2015

I am a Holmes fan. There, I’ve said it.

Actually, perhaps I should confess that as a child I was far more immersed in the natural wonder of Conan Doyle’s The Lost World and deeply scarred, to this day, by The Poison Belt. But the Sherlock Holmes stories made me happy too. Sure, there were no dinosaurs but we can’t have everything.

I still have my cheap plastic magnifying glass that accompanied me on many an adventure.* Unlike Holmes however, I investigated ant colonies far more frequently than crime scenes.

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I Hate Coriander

THE HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT OF THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED Book Cover THE HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT OF THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED
Jonas Jonasson, translated by Rod Bradbury
Hesperus Press
First Published 2012

Are you ready for a segue? I love them, you do too, here it comes.

I hate coriander, or perhaps you call it cilantro. Its name is irrelevant to me. It is the demon herb from hell. By all means eat it, enjoy it if you will, but keep its foul smelling, putrid tasting, hideous sorcery away from me. And don’t talk to me about how much you love it – I don’t care. You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion on the matter but I don’t care to hear it. My reasons are: a. I don’t care, b. you’re wrong, c. I don’t care. Continue reading

Seven Centuries Ago…

Clariel Book Cover Clariel
Garth Nix
Allen & Unwin
October 2014

 

You know those things that you anticipate with the sort of energy that should be expended on something far more important? You know the ones – the next George R R Martin book* or the next gods-bedamned series of Sherlock. Clariel by Garth Nix was not one of those things for me, simply because I had no idea it was happening. If I had known, perhaps I would have fangirled a little more while awaiting its arrival. Instead I heard of its existence mere weeks before its release condensing all the excitement into that short period.

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A Shadow Language Of English

the_wakeTHE WAKE

Paul Kingsnorth (Unbound) ISBN: 9781908717863

The first time I heard about The Wake, I promptly forgot about it. It sparked an interest that was quickly supplanted by the next thing on my to-do list that day. The next time I heard about it, it was on the Man Booker Prize long list – an unlikely crowd-source funded contender that exceeded all expectations. Continue reading

A Strange Tale Indeed

beautiful_darknessBEAUTIFUL DARKNESS

Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët      ISBN: 9781770461291

A cast of cute little characters show us the horrors of humanity via the childish conceits of pettiness, jealousy, greed and two-facedness. Sound familiar? If yes, you’ve obviously watched shows like The Apprentice or, y’know, just met… people. And all this is set throughout the turning of four seasons in a forest next to, around and on the corpse of a little girl. Continue reading

WAR!: And Being Hungry In The Rain

the_third_horsemanTHE THIRD HORSEMAN: CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE GREAT FAMINE OF THE 14th CENTURY

William Rosen ISBN: 0670025895

Before I begin, let’s get one thing straight. I love me a bit of Black Death. Plague? Bring it on*. I also love meteorology and all that Earth Science business. Needless to say, when the author of Justinian’s Flea comes up with another evocatively titled tome hinting at that crazy little climate anomaly a few decades prior to the Black Death, my heart does a little hop, skip and jump… then promptly falls into a vat of lukewarm melted chocolate. Continue reading

Tinder: Awarded 9 (For Context Please Read On…)

tinderTINDER

Sally Gardner ISBN-10: 1780621493

Many years ago, a strange thing occurred. I was browsing the fiction shelves of a well known, and now defunct, multinational bookstore whilst discussing the reasons books for adults were no longer illustrated (with another person, I’m not entirely mad). One argument was that it was too much trouble for publishers to illustrate books. Another, that adults in order to feel like adults must not read books with pictures in. No luscious illustrations or flowery words for grown-ups. Goodness, no.

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The Fault in Our Stars

the_fault_in_our_stars

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

John Green (2010) ISBN-10 0143567594, ISBN-13 9780143567592

John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars is now a film set for release in Australia on June 5th 2014.  And there, dear reader, is your deadline to read the book.

TFIOS (as we Nerdfighters call it) had been sitting on my list of to-be-reads for a while. Not as long as some others, but, eh,  a while. While I quickly devoured all his other novels, I left this one sit a little longer. I mean, why hurry the emotional seasick-making ferry ride of a book dealing with teenagers and cancer? Continue reading

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      DESTINY Coen, Ethan (in “Gates of Eden”; Harper Perennial; Reprint edition, 2008, ISBN 9780061684883) Ethan Coen’s Destiny makes a glorious spectacle of the modern male. It holds him up, with all his incertitude and humanity, against the older notion of manful men who have stood in battle, consume bourbon with their … Continue reading