Daily Archives: May 8th, 2004

Fed Square and its books

I have been looking forward to going to the Fed Square book market on a Saturday ever since I found out about it, a couple of months ago. I was imaging heaps of different booksellers, at least some selling things cut-price… I was a bit disappointed. There were less than ten booksellers. Admittedly a number did have cheap books, but they were mostly second-hand (which is still fine). I did buy four books, but three of those were from the stall set up by Andrew’s Books, which I go to in Lygon St all the time anyway. Sigh.

I got: Unnatural Fire, by Fidelis Morgan (cool name), which I started reading on the tram although I haven’t even finished Genghis Khan yet (thanks to also reading Lantia on the tram home after I bought it); it seems like a Restoration version of I, Claudia, which is just fine with me – female protagonist/detective, etc.
Limbo, by Andy Secombe; not sure whether this will turn out to be a waste of time or not.
The Stone of Heaven (Unearthing the Secret History of Imperial Green Jade), by Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, which looks really cool.
On Histories and Stories, by AS Byatt, because I think I should get into more lit crit and I’ve heard of Byatt and she seems cool.

The Lost Kingdom of Lantia

Picked this up for $5; I knew it was going to be a kids’ book, but that’s partly why I got it – I’m realising I should teen fiction so that I can genuinely recommend books – current ones – to my students. Anyway; it’s by Maggie Hamilton, and I actually thought it was set in Melbourne, until at the end I read she’s based in Sydney so I guess it’s actually set there, although there was no mention of a bridge or Opera House which I thought was odd in a book about kids on holidays.

Overall I guess it was OK; as I read it I thought using the name Lantia was a bit dumb since it was quite obviously about Atlantis (magical kingdom destroyed by volcano) – at the end she does indeed say the book was inspired by her fascination by Atlantis, so I’m relieved the name wasn’t just a really poor way of covering it up. The writing was all right; I found it a bit basic, but I am well out of the target audience. The one thing I found incredibly annoying was her use of rhetorical questions all the time, and in italics. Why did she feel the need to do this? (Ha ha). It really, really got on my nerves.

I think I would recommend it to a kid; one who wasn’t a totally avid reader, but was looking for something fairly engaging and possibly a bit challenging, for younger teens.