Book Bizzo #22 Winners, conferences and missing links

Dying For Mercy by Mary Jane Clark

Dying For Mercy winner

Thanks to everyone who entered our Dying For Mercy giveaway. The winners are Katherine Ryan and Michelle Magill. Congratulations, Katherine and Michelle! I’ve sent you an email with instructions on how to claim your prize, but in case you don’t get it, please email me ASAP.

We’re hosting another giveaway in a couple of days, so watch this space. In the meantime, here here are the winning entries. Katherine’s non-romance recommendation was Bill Bryson:

My favourite non-romantic author is by far Bill Bryson.  He takes a genre I previously thought of as boring or mostly irrelevant to me, travel writing, and takes it to a whole new level with his wit and warmth.  I started by reading Notes from a Small Island (about his arriving in England, meeting his wife and starting a life there) and was very lucky one Christmas to receive almost all of his published works from my lovely partner.

Notes from a Small Island by Bill BrysonA Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonHe also brought interest to the genre of science writing with his book A Short History of Nearly Everything – an easy-to-understand, yet not condescending overview of almost all aspects of popular science.  Even with the dryest material, which normally would be incomprehensible to me, he manages humourous, engaging prose.  I have read and re-read all of his books many times and couldn’t recommend them more highly.

Michelle recommended Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind:

Perfume: The Story of a MurdererI can’t believe I’m using the word ‘delight’ to describe a book about a murderer but I have to. Patrick Suskind has written a really unusual book and takes us on a journey that is full of … well… smells.Perfume is based in 18th century France and focuses on Jean-Baptiste Grenouille’s education in the alchemy of perfume making. He is a very unique character and is distinctly set apart from the society which worships the magic of perfume. Grenouille is blessed or cursed with an extraordinary sense of smell and his obsession with obtaining the most powerful scent in existence, costs him his sanity and morality. Nothing is more important than the ‘scent’ and he will do anything to obtain it including murder.

I found myself so immersed in this character that I easily accepted his behaviour as reasonable. The magic of perfume making is so engaging or intoxicating that I hardly remember there was murder. I loved this book so much and would recommend it to anyone for the unique experience is offers but it possibly requires a strong stomach.

IASPR 2009 Conference Day 2 Afternoon

International Association for the Study of Popular RomanceYou may have noticed that the post for Day 2 Afternoon of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance conference has disappeared. This is because there were no tweets for the afternoon sessions. Which is a shame because I was looking forward to snippets from the final panel.

All the archived sessions from the IASPR conference can be found in these posts:

The event got a mention on ABC News. The segment shows lots of old Aussie Mills & Boon covers, which make me want to hunt down a book about the Flying Doctors! It’s a relatively positive piece, which is great after the way ABC News Online mangled its interview with an academic studying Twilight.

RWA 2009 Conference

2009 RWA ConferenceWe’re also archiving the tweets from the Romance Writers of Australia’s conference. You can follow along via Twitter, and we’ll post the archives here at Book Thingo as each day’s activities finish. The RWA website has more information on the conference.

Watch this space for yesterday’s tweets. In the meantime, you can see them via ScribbleLive.

Good luck to all the R*BY Award finalists!

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