First Noosa Book Club

From the Noosa long Weekend Arts and Literary festival June 2012

Wouldn’t it be great to have Jennifer Byrne, presenters and guests up here every month, for now we have to settle with them appearing on ABC TV.

As part of the Noosa Long Weekend they spent an hour and a half of chat about a new release book, ‘The Lifeboat’ by Charlotte Rogan, and a classic ‘Cold Comfort Farm’ by Stella Gibbon.

The different tastes in reading and writing styles of the panel made an interesting morning; conflicting views were vigorously discussed, with well-meant digging and laughter.

Two main discussion points that stood out for me were-

  1.  the likeability of a book versus believability; you don’t have to like the main character, they can be cold- hearted, ruthless and nasty, but they have to be believable.


  1. the ‘blurbs’ on a book- the little sentence on the front cover, the endorsement from a more recognisable author (who may or may not have read the book, and sometimes it may have been written for them but with their final signature on it) from the same publishing house, brought into to help the ‘newbie’ out.  


The ‘blurb’ on the back of the book, which I have often found to be confusing, where does this fit into the book- is it an outline, or a prologue, it isn’t always the same with every book. After asking the panellists (which I found very nerve wrecking, it takes a lot of courage to speak into a microphone for everyone to hear), Jennifer Byrne (who has worked in advertising/publishing) confirmed it’s meant to be an advert for the book, an outline of the story.

I don’t like reading from an unlikeable characters point of view but I do understand the believability theory, you can’t read something that couldn’t be true, and that goes for the ‘Fantasy’ genre too.

And the ‘blurbs’? – if the author hasn’t read the book then they shouldn’t allow a comment to be left on their behalf, it doesn’t seem right, does it? What do you think?

I do think they blurbs would contribute to the sale of a book. Its a way of saying this book is in the same kind of style as the endorsing author, but I don’t think its completely ethical and I wouldn’t believe them knowing it may not have been a comment directly from the endorser.

What do you think about these two issues?- I’d love to hear what you think! Post a comment below

Thanks for reading 🙂


About juliehyndman

Writing, poetry, art and life in general
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7 Responses to First Noosa Book Club

  1. EllaDee says:

    I recently read a couple of (book club) novels where I couldn’t get close to the main characters who were believable: Veron Godlittle – DBC Pierre & American Dervish – Ayad Akhtar, and another book recommended by a book club member where I hated the main (believeable but annoying) character: How I Became a Famous Novelist – Steve Hely. I would never had read or finished these books except for book club. Conversely, I read The Flower Bowl Spell – & The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern which were great stories with non-believable characters. For a good mix of believable & story: The Messenger – Markus Zusak 🙂

    • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

      Wow, interesting isnt it? that you can read a believable story about unlikable characters.
      Being part of a Book Club is a great way to ‘make’ you read a particular book, great idea!! Whats next??

      • EllaDee says:

        I’m never without a book so the list is endless 🙂

      • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

        What are in at the moment?

      • EllaDee says:

        Next book club book is The Light of Amsterdam by David Park.
        “Tender and humane and elevates the ordinary to something timeless and important.  The Light of Amsterdam is a novel of compassion and rare dignity”.
        Currently I’m reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd reviewed by a WP blogger, and loving it. I see you are on Goodreads, which is great for seeing what people are reading 🙂

      • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

        I havent got into Good Reads properly yet, but need to. The Secret Life of Bees Ive heard to very good- you’re probably finished it now and into The Light of Amsterdam. I’m still finding it hard (time wise and brain capacity) to get into a book at the moment. I was reading some of Leonard Cohens poetry to Justin last night (the ‘G’ rated stuff of course) and he loved it. Actually I should blog that too, you don’t have to wait til they are older for them to appreciate the good stuff- his brain works that way too though, Christopher would quite get the deeper meaning, being a teenager doesn’t help. Do you have a favourite poet?

      • EllaDee says:

        I responded to your post re the L.C. poetry – I enjoyed it. For me, reading and WordPress keep me sane as I can fit them into the bits & pieces of time I have 🙂

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