Category Archives: NEWSBOLT!

Tournament of Books <3 Sunflower Bookshop

You guys! YOU GUYS! Tournament of Books gave *ahem* “the well-read staff at Sunflower Bookshop in suburban Melbourne, Australia”  a shout out in the official commentary!

They like us! They found us! How did they find us? They think Steven and I are well-read! THIS IS SO EXCITING!

So check back in tomorrow to catch up on all the ToB news at their officially* favourite ever Australian bookshop. We are going to have to print up new business cards.


*I have no idea if we’re officially anything except awesome at bookselling

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Goodbye, Sweet Sunflower!

Hello internet amigos!

As some of you may know, today I am off on an exciting adventure! I’m (reluctantly) leaving Sunflower to travel through Europe for six months! I will be in Italy, France, Spain, UK, Croatia, Turkey and who knows where else. All being well I will return to Sunflower in September but until then you will be in the capable hands of the usual crew. Although I fear slightly for the welfare of our blogging community once Steven gets free reign….

I will be trying to keep in touch for some occassional Chatz (probably not on Sat[urday]) and to post some thoughts on the Tournament of Books. But I may not be able to adequately defend The Marriage Plot so this is a call to all Eugenides fans – back me up in comments, I need you! I’m also hoping to go to some literary events in Europe and would love to keep you updated.

If you miss me too much you can follow me on my regular blog where I am slowly working my way through the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list. While I’m away I’ll be reading books linked to my locations to provide witty and relevant commentary on both the novels themselves and my personal experiences. I hope. More likely it will be the usual vague and uninsightful ramblings. But you might miss that!

If you have any country related suggestions (for books or for visitng!) or wish to tell me how much you’ll miss me, feel free to email me at

So farewell for now! I will miss you muchly!

Love Fay


Tournament of Books beginning and Steven’s picks

ImageYou guys it’s started!  Are you excited?  YOU SHOULD BE.  So we’ll chat about the first two days tomorrow don’t fear, but go here to see today’s results.  Yay for The Sense of an Ending (buy it in store!)!  It was the better book (to be discussed tomorrow, complete with THE TALE OF THE VILLAINOUS BRAM ‘AWFUL PERSON’ PRESSER).  And totes in accordance with my as yet only-in-my-brain predictions, to be published… now.

The Sense of an Ending (in store!) will (did) beat The Devil All the Time

Tomorrow Salvage the Bones (in store!) will beat Lightning Rods

1Q84 (in store!) will beat The Last Brother (also in store!)

State of Wonder (possibly in store! If not we’ll totes order it!) will (sadly, not to say that the former isn’t very good) beat The Sisters Brothers (in store!)

Swamplandia! will beat The Cat’s Table (in store!)

I want the Marriage Plot (in store!) to lose the next round so much I CAN TASTE IT but it will probably beat Green Girl

And it will be a tough call, but I’m going to say SURPRISE UPSET that Open City will beat The Art of Fielding (in store!)

And there ya have it folks

I’ll see YOU… on the blog

In other words I won’t see you.


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Jewish Book Week

Hi all!

I SO wish I was in London this week to hear all the amazing speakers at Jewish Book Week. The Lineup is seriously amazing! To join me in being jealous, check it out here:

In honour of the 60th anniversary of Jewish Book Week those guys over there have put together a list of 60 great Jewish Books over the last 60 years. I’ll copy down the list below (or you can check it out on their site

Aharon Appelfeld Badenheim 1939
Saul Bellow Mr Sammler’s Planet
Linda Grant  When I Lived in Modern Times
Vasily Grossman Life and Fate
David Grossman See Under: Love
Joseph Heller Good As Gold
Howard Jacobson The Mighty Walzer
Thomas Keneally Schindler’s Ark
Imre Kertesz Fatelessness
Jerzy Kosinski The Painted Bird
Nicole Krauss The History of Love
Bernard Malamud The Fixer
Albert Memmi The Pillar of Salt
Anne Michaels Fugitive Pieces
Amos Oz A Tale of Love and Darkness
Cynthia Ozick The Shawl
Chaim Potok The Chosen
Philip Roth American Pastoral
Bernice Rubens The Elected Member
Jonathan Safran Foer Everything is Illuminated
Andre Schwartz-Bart The Last of the Just
Isaac Bashevis Singer Enemies – A Love Story
Art Spiegelman Maus
Tony Kushner Angels in America
Arthur Miller The Price
Harold Pinter The Birthday Party
Neil Simon The Odd Couple
Arnold Wesker Roots
Yehuda Amichai Poems of Jerusalem
Leonard Cohen Lyrics
Allen Ginsberg Kaddish
Paul Celan Poems
Dannie Abse Ash on a Young Man’s Sleeve 
Hannah Arendt Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil
Isaiah Berlin Two Concepts of Liberty
Bruno Bettelheim Children of the Dream
Avraham Burg The Holocaust is Over, We Must Rise from its Ashes
Anne Frank The Diary of Anne Frank
Martin Gilbert The Holocaust  
John Gross A Double Thread
Abraham Joshua Heschel God in Search of Man
Eric Hobsbawm The Age of Extremes
Eva Hoffman Lost in Translation
Louis Jacobs We Have Reason to Believe
Yeshayahu Leibowitz Judaism, Human Values and the Jewish State
Primo Levi If This Is a Man
Nadezhda Mandelstam Hope Against Hope
Benny Morris The Birth of the Palestinian Problem
Claudia Roden The Book of Jewish Food
Leo Rosten The Joys of Yiddish
Jonathan Sacks The Dignity of Difference
Roman Vishniac A Vanished World
Edmund de Waal The Hare with Amber Eyes
Leon Wieseltier Kaddish  
George Steiner Language and Silence
Adin Steinsaltz The Talmud
Elie Wiesel Night
Judith Kerr When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
Shel Silverstein The Giving Tree
Maurice Sendak Where the Wild Things Are

What do you think? I have (embarassingly) read only a very small number of them… Another list for me to get reading! But they’re calling on feedback viw their site or Facebook page and we at Sunflower would love to hear your thoughts too. What should stay? What sohuld go? What needs to be added? Bombard me with comments like you guys are wont to do!

Love Fay

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Indie Awards!

Look you guys, we all know there’s not a lot of material to mine from announcing some book prize shortlist.  You get it, I get it, let’s just get to it.  So!  Here is the shortlist for the 2012 indie awards!


  • Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
  • The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman
  • Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears
  • Five Bells by Gail Jones


  • Worse Things Happen at Sea by William McInnes and Sarah Watt
  • Notebooks by Betty Churcher
  • After Words: Post-Prime Ministerial Speeches by Paul Keating
  • A Private Life by Michael Kirby

 Debut Fiction

  • Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett
  • All That I Am by Anna Funder
  • The Roving Party by Rohan Wilson
  • Watercolours by Adrienne Ferreira

 Children’s Books

  • The Jewel Fish of Karnak by Graeme Base
  • The Little Refugee by Anh and Suzanne Do (illustrated by Bruce Whatley)
  • The Coming of the Whirlpool: Ship Kings Book One by Andrew McGahan
  • The 13-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

Are you guys excited?   The best thing about it is that our lovely boss Margaret gets a vote!  So, not to put too fine a point on it but, I’m pretty open to bribes if any nominated authors are reading this.

Love you guys xoxo


The Tournament of Books!

Disciples!  What’s up?  Enough about you let me hit you with a NEWSBOLT!  The shortlist for my favourite book competition, the Morning News Tournament of Books, is here!  The Tournament of Books is the best: acknowledging the inherent subjectivity and arbitrariness involved in any book competition and then just DIVING STRAIGHT INTO THAT the Tournament coincides and is modelled on March Madness, with two books facing off against each other TO THE DEATH.  Zombie round notwithstanding.  You know what, I’ll just let them explain it.  Go here!

It’s the best!  And I’ll be following it all March right here on this blog so it looks like I know stuff about books and can keep my job here without actually having to read any.  What have you guys read?  So far I’ve only read the Marriage Plot, which was like, a 3 out of 5, and that combined with Fay’s unreasonable love of it makes me hope it gets DESTROYED in the first round.  Anyway.  Follow the Tournament and follow the Sunflower blog for witty, incisive and faintly arousing commentary.

Love you guys!

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