Weekly Roundup - 14 April, 2021
Welcome friends, customers, book lovers, and accidental readers to our first Weekly Roundup blog post. I'll be belting out one of these every Wednesday to keep you all up to date with what's going on at the Verse & Prose store.
I started Verse & Prose in June, 2020, selling solely on eBay. By October I'd had enough of their absurdly high fees, ridiculous seller restrictions, and shitty customer service. It was a whole lot of effort for very little satisfaction. So I shut shop and rebuilt on Shopify and started trading in late November.
So far it's been a great experience, and a giant learning curve (who knew SEO was a thing?). I've met some wonderful readers and writers through our social media accounts, and discovered new authors, poets, and their works. The warmth and support of the reading community on social media has been such a lovely surprise, and I really hope that we can build that same sense of community here on our site. So please feel free to comment on our posts, all suggestions and/or recommendations are welcome.
We're always learning, discovering, and changing things up in order to bring you guys the best service and products at the best possible prices, and here, on our blog, is where I'll inform you of those changes. I'll also discuss news, events, people and places that I think may be of interest to you, my fellow readers and book lovers. And, Ill riff a bit on what I've been reading through the week.
What's New In Store:
Let's start with what's new in store. We've added a great selection of secondhand books to our store this week. Some exciting fiction books, including the Pulitzer Prize winning, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which is a personal favourite of mine. We have a copy of Confessions of a Lapdancer, if you're looking for something smart and sexy. The hilarious and slightly insane Skippy Dies, which was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2010. We have some great Australian stories, including the award-winning The Lost Man by Jane Harper, and the Australian classic I for Isobel by Amy Witting. Other classic and modern classic titles we've added include Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot, Five Plays by Anton Chekhov, and Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome. We've added a few first editions also, including, The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon, Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball, I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, which was of course made into the blockbuster film of the same name, and The Long Rain by Peter Gadol.
We've also added some exciting non-fiction titles this week. My personal pick of the lot would have to be Plots and Prayers by the incredible Niki Savva, which deals with the taking down of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull; plenty of backstabbing and political intrigue in those pages. We've also added some interesting biography and memoirs, such as 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, which is considered to be one of the most important accounts of slavery in the U.S, and which has also been made into an award-winning film. We also have a copy of Dreams From My Father, President Obama's memoir. Seriously... I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres (that title hasn't aged well), and Boyhood Island by Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard, which is Book 3 of his award-winning series, My Struggle.
Those are some of the titles we've added this week, but there's much more in store, including a bunch of titles we added to the Bargain Bin, so please do have a proper browse.
What I've Been Reading:
I actually finished this book a few weeks ago but loved it so much that I wanted to say a few words about it here. Honey Blood is a memoir of childhood cancer by Australian writer Kirsty Everett. Kirsty was diagnosed with Leukaemia when she was just nine years old. She fought and was in remission until the cancer returned again when she was sixteen.
I didn't really know what to expect with Honey Blood, because I'd never really read a book like it. There are, of course, heavy moments in the book. Kirsty endured intense chemotherapy treatments which wreaked havoc on her body and immune system. She lost friends to cancer, and had to face and deal with things that no one, let alone a child, should have to deal with. But the pain, heartache, and adversity is only one part of Kirsty's story.
What I didn't expect was for Honey Blood to be so uplifting. There is so much joy and humour and hope in Kirsty's story. It's the story of a quintessentially Australian childhood, and so much of it reminded me of my own childhood; the long summers, trips to the beach, the local pools, school crushes, first kisses, school formals, house parties.
At the heart of Honey Blood, and the reason I think it's such a beautiful and unforgettable story, is its protagonist, Kirsty. I've been lucky enough to get to know Kirsty a little through social media. She's such a kind and generous soul, and her essence really shines through in this book. I don't know many people who could go through what she's been through with such strength, resilience and grace. I know I couldn't.
I highly recommend Honey Blood! I'm so grateful I got to read it, and I'm certain that you'll feel the same. Unfortunately we don't have any copies in stock as we deal in secondhand books, mostly, but you can get yourself a copy at any decent bookstore. And please, always try to buy from independent Australian bookstores.
Well, that's it for this week. I'll be back with another post next week, and I hope that you'll also be back to read it. Until then...