Monday links

The simple act of going into a bookshop and buying an Australian novel is now radical. The slightly more demanding act of reading that novel is political. This is a good in itself. This makes the work good. It stimulates the economy, not to mention your intellect and capacity for empathy. It also provides writers, editors and publishers with the means to continue doing what they do. Most importantly, it stimulates a conversation, creates a context in which other Australian novels can live. That is, it creates a culture.

– Adam Ouston, Daily Review

This stuff is golden, if you don’t mind me saying.

There’s been a lot of discussion around the place recently of civic duty, in the wake of the Budget announcement a couple of weeks ago. How to actively engage and participate with this ol’ society of ours? How to be a part of the bigger conversation? The ‘F**k Tony Abbott’ t-shirts going around at the moment, as satisfying as they may be, do not an engaged discourse make. David Ouston from the Daily Review has a good solution, though, and one that we here at WP can heartily endorse: buy more Aussie books! Read the piece here. Buy the books here (of course).

Next, a short and topical video for your Monday kicks:

Now, if you’re looking for a good old fashioned bricks and mortar bookstore to find your Aussie books in, those lords of lists at Buzzfeed have put together 17 Spectacular Bookshops in Australia to See Before You Die (okay, a bit of a mouthful, and if you ask us there about five hundred more bookshops to be added to this list, but you get the point).

And, last but not least, an extract from Dino Hodge’s astounding Don Dunstan, Intimacy and Liberty, over on InDaily. Read the extract, check out the rad pics, then buy the book here.

Yes yes, the launch was last Thursday, and there will be photos of us all in our Don-inspired get up soon. Too soon.

Happy Monday, kids!

Oh, Don

It started innocently enough. In preparation for our launch of Don Dunstan, Intimacy and Liberty, we’ve been throwing some costume ideas around the office. Seventies, defs. This is the man who made those hot pink shorts so famous (see the book cover for proof). There’s also that mini yukata from his resignation. The paisley blazer at his 70th. Or whatever it is that’s going on here.

How would we ever live up to his sartorial standards?

And then our very own Michael Deves dug out this little gem:

Michael and Jenny, Santorini












The white Levis! The leather bag! The sandals! The setting! What a man!

This was promptly followed by Liz’s adorable schoolgirl photo from around the same time:

Claire, Deb and Liz 1972











If I had that blue dress, I would wear it every day – just by the by. Points for guessing which one’s Liz!

To top it all, Michael Bollen pulled out this doozy:

Michael, mid-seventies













Ain’t nothing can compete with that hair.

And then, just to really get into the mood of the thing, Devesy called our attention to this cultural time capsule:

Someone better come check on us, because WP HQ is timewarping hard right now.

This is but a taste of some of the delights that will be on show at the launch of Don Dunstan, Intimacy and Liberty on the 22 May. Yes, we will be dressing up, and yes, it will be a riot – come join us for the fun!

Don Dunstan launch invite

Wednesday links

Here’s a few good links for your Wednesday morning:

First of all, Wakefield author Derek Pedley has written a ripper of a piece on the impact of SA police not speaking to the media. This is fascinating from a true crime perspective (get on Dead by Friday if you haven’t already, by the by) but also important reading for every SA citizen.

Next, we have this article about hashtags and how they signify meaning (fascinating and highly recommended for all you wordnerds out there). Contains the brilliant NY Times quote:

When Slate‘s Julia Turner profiled the hashtag in 2012—months before it would be named the American Dialect Society’s Word of the Year—she noticed that it allowed “the best writers to operate in multiple registers at once, in a compressed space.”  She concluded, “It’s the Tuvan throat singing of the Internet.”

Next (and on theme), we have some Tuvan throat singing:

Last but not least, there’s the SA Writers Centre‘s editing boot camp program, which has just been released. I guess we all know about SAWC, about how they were the first of their type in Australia, how they continue to serve as a model for writers’ centres around the world, how they manage to do so much for literary culture in SA … (oh we’re bloody lucky over here).

Happy Wednesday guys!

The smell of freshly brewed Wakefield Press

To be honest, the Wakefield offices are pretty damn quirky.

Firstly, there’s the decor, which a recent visitor described as ‘Mad Men-esque’. So true! I’m not quite Peggy Olson, and if you try to smoke inside we’ll bludgeon you with books, but the vibe in here is Mad Men to a tee.

Secondly, there’s the layout, which can be a little confusing to any first-time visitor – especially if you stumble into the warehouse and get lost amongst the stacks!

Finally – and this has always struck me – there’s the faintest perfume in the office. Eau de Wakefield, if you will. It is the smell of freshly brewed books. Faint, sweet, clean: a fresh from the printers smell.

So, of course, that’s the first thing I thought of when Charlotte showed me the ‘Old Books’ scented candle on Lost at E Minor. How cool! My only question is – are any old books harmed in the making of the candle?

Or you could just buy a few WP titles and get the real deal!