Macquarie Dictionary – adjective /doʊp/ (say dohp) 9. (Colloquial) excellent: a dope book; so dope!

Words are the tits, really. Australian English especially so, as the folks at Macquarie Dictionary will tell you. And now their editor Susan Butler’s got a blog, and it is awesome. Ever wanted to know the difference between a taboo and a derogatory word? Suze has you covered, with colourful examples. Wanna know the history of Aus usage of youse? Ms Butler has the answers.

Not only that, but you also get to vote for the Word of the Year 2013, which I am disproportionately excited about. The ‘Colloquial’ category is amazeballs (–adjective 2.  very astonishing: an amazeballs day out).

Doesn’t get better than that.

Fear (no more) the heat o’ the sun

Urgh. Day Five of the great 2014 heatwave rolls on. The horror, the horror.

Time to pull out the big guns.

Four part series. Available immediately online. Got your attention yet?

First read this summary of book one. Then go here. Purchase.

Now start reading. By the time you look up, I promise, all this horrible weather will be over.

Don’t worry, you can thank me later.


Dead by Friday extract

Dead by FridayDerek Pedley’s a man with a taste for the darker side of life. His award-winning true crime books are gripping, mesmerising – and occasionally terrifying, when he reminds us what even the most ordinary of folk are capable of.

Dead by Friday recounts a tale of murder and adultery that gripped Adelaide over ten years ago. Shortlisted for the Ned Kelly True Crime Award (the nation’s highest true crime honour), Dead by Friday tells the full story of what happened in the Carolyn Matthews murder case of 2001. With a cast of unbelievable characters – including the hitman who ate his contract in a sandwich! – Pedley skillfully and entertainingly manoeuvres his readers through the details of the case.

It’s an amazing book, but if you’d rather try before you buy: a long extract can be found here.

Tricks to survive a heatwave …

The holidays are most definitely over. And we’re into Day Two of the great 2014 heatwave (fingers crossed this is the only one!). We all need a good book to get us through.

Thank goodness for Iola Mathews, then! Chequered Lives is the hottest off-est the press at the minute, and it’s already flying out the door. Telling the story of John Barton Hack and Stephen Hack, and the early days of South Australia, it’s fascinating, incredibly well researched and incredibly well written, too!

Or, if you need a book with a cool name, there’s always Sea Change, our incredibly popular (and beautiful) history of the City of Holdfast Bay. Recently reprinted to keep up with demand, this book is perfect for a slow read on a hot afternoon.

You can almost feel the sea breeze on your face …

And if that doesn’t appeal, we’ve only got one more suggestion.

Can’t go wrong!