Stuff On Sunday: Celebrating Penguin Books 80th Birthday!


To celebrate the 80th birthday of Penguin Books, Penguin will be publishing 80 Little Black Classics, putting the spotlight on publishing’s most famous series, Penguin Classics. At 64 pages and $1.99 each, the Little Black Classics are beautifully designed, complete mini-books to be collected, shared and enjoyed.

little black classics 76 copy
Showcasing the enormous range and diversity of the world-renowned Penguin Classics list, these are texts that reach out across continents, eras and genres, ranging from the streets of Victorian London in Henry Mayhew’s Of Street Piemen, to 13th-century Japanese blossom gardens in Kenko’s A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees. Here are unfamiliar works from very familiar authors such as The Beautifull Cassandra by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens’s The Great Winglebury Duel, alongside texts from more surprising writers such as My Dearest Father by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
By publishing the greatest works in Persian, Chinese, Greek, Russian, Arabic and more, the series celebrates the generations of translators whose works allow the reader to visit everywhere from Tang Dynasty China to Renaissance Florence, and enjoy authors as peculiar and charming as Shen Fu, Nashe, Hebel or Leskov.

With a chic, iconic design that plays on Penguin’s heritage, the Little Black Classics celebrate some of the best world literature and the rich, varied authors published by Penguin Classics. So slip on a Little Black Classic and enjoy the celebrations – for only $1.99 a book!

It’s the end of the year as we know it….

Looking back at 2014

SNAG-0211SNAG-0212 SNAG-0213 SNAG-0214 SNAG-0215 SNAG-0216 SNAG-0217 SNAG-0218 SNAG-0219SNAG-0221

Total Books Read: 271 (approx 90405 pages)

Fiction: 240

Non:Fiction: 31

Female Authors: 222

Male Authors: 49

Total number of reviews posted: 258

Challenge Results:

* Goodreads Challenge: 271/252

* Eclectic Reader Challenge 2014: 12/12

* Aussie Author Challenge 2014: 12/12

* Australian Women Writers Challenge:  103/50

* Around the World in 12 Books Challenge: 12/12

Total number of posts published in 2014 at Book’d Out: 374

Total (averaged) number of  Book’d Out visitors for 2014: 102,479

Total number of Book’d Out followers as of 31/12/14: 3,773

Most viewed post in 2014:  Eclectic Reader Challenge 2014

Most viewed review during 2014: The Light Between Oceans by ML Steadman

Most commented on post: Book’d Out celebrates 4 years.


Wishing you a joyous 2015!


Stuff on Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

It’s that time of the month or near enough,  so here is what I have added to my shelves recently.

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review (print)


For Review (electronic)


Stuff on Sunday: My Christmas Wishlist


Despite the myriad of books, in one form or another, that make it into my home which I am yet to read, there are still a dozen or so books that have been released during 2014 that I’d love to find under the tree this Christmas (in no particular order):

Mr Mercedes & Revival by Stephen King

The Martian by Andy Weir

What I Remember Most by Cathy Lamb

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doeer

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison

Into the Night Sky by Caroline Finnerty

Fatal Impact by Kathryn Fox


What’s on your holiday wishlist?

Sign Up for the Eclectic Reader Challenge 2015

In it’s fourth year, the aim of The Eclectic Reader Challenge is to push you outside your comfort zone by reading up to 12 books during the year from 12 different categories.

Join in:

The challenge will run from January 1st to December 31st 2015. Participants may join at any time up until December 1st 2015

  • Create a blog post committing to your participation in this challenge.

* If you don’t have a blog you are still welcome to sign up. You can create a shelf for the challenge at Goodreads or LibraryThing or a similar site Just include your name and a link to your shelf.

  • Select, read and review a book from each category listed below during the year for a total of 12 books. A book may be in print, electronic or audio format.

* You can choose your books as you go or create a list in advance. You may combine this challenge with others if you wish.

* Where a book is identified by more than one genre eg historical romance, it may only count for either the historical fiction or romantic fiction genres – not both.

* You can read your chosen titles in any order, at any pace, just complete the challenge by December 31st 2015 to be eligible for the prize drawing.


  1. Retellings (of fairytale, legends or myth)
  2. A book set in a country starting with the letter S (eg. Sweden, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Slovakia)
  3. PI Crime (fiction featuring a private investigator)
  4. A novel published before you were born
  5. Contemporary romance
  6. Fiction for foodies (fiction featuring food/food related business)
  7. Microhistory (Non Fiction)
  8. Science Fiction set in space
  9. Sports (Fiction or Non fiction)
  10. Featuring diversity
  11. Epistolary Fiction (fiction written in the format of letters/emails/diary entries)
  12. Middle Grade/YA Adventure

If you need some ideas for what to read in the above categories I suggest you search Library Booklists or Listopia at Goodreads

Each time you read and review a book as part of this challenge, make sure you identify it by adding either a direct statement and /or the challenge image badge to the post. If you tweet use the tag #eclecticreader or @bookdout
Share your review with other challenge participants by posting your name/blog name and title of the book with a direct link to your review in the Linky.

Bookmark the Eclectic Reader Challenge Page for future reference



Guest Post: Beautiful book posters for bookish people

A Guest Post From:

 Everybody who comes to my home can easily say two things about me:
1. I am a neat-freak.

I read mostly on my Kindle so my favorite literary pieces are all digital. How do I show my love for reading then? Well, my walls are covered with the very elegant looking book posters from Postertext. Postertext designs art prints for book lovers which are made entirely out of text from your favorite book! From afar, you can enjoy the illustration in elegant silhouette form. From up close, you can read your favorite lines from the book!

And they look absolutely gorgeous! Not only do they show my love for books, they also make perfect gifts for my bookworm friends . There are also so many titles to choose from, and if they don’t have a title you want you can submit a book request for it! They release a new art print every other week so it is only a matter of time your favorite book will appear in their collection!
Jorge Luis Borges once said, “I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books.” I would ask him,”Would book posters do, Mr. Borges?”


You can check out Postertext at Don’t be shy in sharing these art prints with your friends or family if you want to be gifted these beautiful literary posters this holiday season!

  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Worldwide delivery
  • Sign up for Postertext’s newsletter and receive a $5 discount when they release a new title

Store | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

Stuff on Sundays: Bookshelf Bounty

It’s that time of the month or near enough,  so here is what I have added to my shelves recently.

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review (print)


For Review (electronic)


Book’d Out celebrates 4 years!


Today marks four years since I launched Book’d Out.

In that time I have:

* Published a total of 1, 680 posts

* Of which 1, 254 are book reviews

* Had 324,645 visitors

* From whom I have received 14, 915 comments

* And gained  3, 653 awesome followers

Thank you!

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate each and every person who stops by, reads a post, leaves a comment or decides to subscribe to my blog.

Your support has been integral to my daily happiness.

I wish I could reward each and every one of you, alas I can only offer you the chance to win one of four prizes.

The first lucky winner drawn will win

A $25US gift voucher from Gone Reading *


Gone Reading offers a unique collection of merchandise and gifts for readers, pledging 100% of after-tax profits to reading-related charities. They ship to a number of international destinations and you can choose from a range of delightful products like these:

Mark-Twain-Glass-Candle-300x300 My-Bibliofile-300x300 Book-Shaped-Saucer-Stackable-Cup-300x300

Three more lucky winners can each choose either

A gift voucher to the value of $10 from Amazon (US or AU) *



A book to the value of $10AUD from*


*where shipping/delivery is available


To Enter

Please leave a comment on this post and then


Entries close September 7th, 2014

Winners will be randomly selected via


Feel free to download this badge!

Last chance to vote in the People’s Choice Best Designed Book of 2014!



Bookworld is supporting the 62nd Australian Book Design Awards (ABDA) by inviting fans to vote in the People’s Choice Award for Best Designed Book of the Year on the Bookworld website. The ABDA is the longest running Australian graphics design award, with the aim to support and recognise outstanding Australian book designers.

Winners of the 62nd Australian Book Design Awards are selected by a panel of eight highly regarded judges, including five designers, a bookseller and two professionals from the broader publishing community. The winners will be announced on 22 August 2014 at the ABDA Awards Party held in Melbourne.

Bookworld is proud to host the People’s Choice Award for Best Designed Book of the Year, placing the power in the hands of the public to determine their favourite design out of 65 entries.

To vote, visit the ABDA People’s Choice Award page on Bookworld’s website and choose from a gallery of book designs by August 19th.

The winner of the People’s Choice Award will be announced at the Awards Party.

I’m torn between The End – because it instantly got my attention and made me curious to find out more,  and Girt – because it makes me smile.

Who are you voting for?

A Day at the Random House Penguin National Book Blogger Forum 2014



I was thrilled by the invitation to attend the inaugural Random House Penguin National Book Bloggers Forum held earlier this week at the offices of Random House in Sydney. I was one of around 40 book bloggers to attend the event who made their way from all over Australia.

The day was launched by a warm welcome speech from Director of Marketing & Publicity, Brett Osmond  that showed his passion for publishing. He was especially encouraging of book bloggers, and readers, imploring us to connect with each other and Random House online. “When you connect books with readers magical things will happen.”, he said, and this is what drives him in the face of a changing industry.

Next to speak were Eva and Ellie, two of the Random House digital publicists. Their presentations focused on building a digital media presence with the help of  Google Analytics in particular, and  across social media in general. I learnt I probably don’t take my blog seriously enough, and that there are a myriad of ways to improve and increase my digital reach including studying my stats (which I usually ignore) to learn more about my audience, make better use of keywords and links, directly engage the community with ‘calls to action’ and implementing content planning. These are all things I am going to be looking at in the near future.

Sneh Roy was the first guest author to address us. A food blogger who has met with great success with the  Cook Republic and recently published her first cook book with Random House, Tasty Express, she spoke to us about her experience as a blogger of 10 years, emphasising the importance of finding your voice, having strong content and developing community and relationships.  She also spoilt us with a lovely morning tea which included this tasty Burnt Butter Caramel Slice.


Photo Courtesy Erin Patel @ezpatel



Morning tea, and lots of chatter, was followed by the publicists of Random House previewing some of the new releases we can expect from Australian authors. These included titles such as David Malouf‘s The Writing Life, Julia Gillard’s autobiography, My Story, A Fatal Tide by debut author Steve Sailah and Hooked: The Secrets of A Sydney Call Girl by by Samantha X. You can also expect Seven Letters from Paris by Samantha Verant, He Who Must be Obeid by Kate McClymont and Linton Besser  and Australia’s Hardest Prison: Inside Long Bay by James Phelps. I am especially looking forward to the release of Eden, which is a sequel to the fabulous Hades by Candice Fox.  are you seeing me

Young adult readers can look forward to the third book in the Chasing the Valley series, Skyfire by Skye Melki-Wegner, Intruder by Christine Bongers and Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth and Felicity from PenguinTeen introduced Masquerade by debut Australian author Kylie Fornasier before showing off Richelle Mead’s latest, Silver Shadows and Afterworlds from Scott Westerfield.


Lunch gave us all a chance to chat over sandwiches and treats. I was so pleased to finally be able to meet face to face with the women I have worked with on the Australian Women Writers challenge for the past three years! I also had a chance to talk with some other lovely people, check out the full list of attendees at Random House or in this twitter list

L-R: Elizabeth (Devoted Eclectic); Michelle (Book to the Future), Me, Paula ( Wordsville) and Yvonne (Stumbling Through the Past)

L-R: Elizabeth (Devoted Eclectic); Michelle (Book to the Future), Me, Paula ( Wordsville) and Yvonne (Stumbling Through the Past)

We were all suitably impressed by the identity of the surprise guest author who joined us after lunch. Judy Nunn, popular Australian actress and author of 12 books, spoke about her work, her writing and graciously fielded questions from an awed audience. I really enjoyed her talk and  to top it off we were given signed copies of her latest book, Elianne, which I am now dying to read.

photo 1

Judy was followed by Bruce McCabe with an interesting story about his journey to publication. He self published his book, Skinjob, which by rather circuitous means made it into the hands of a well respected agent and is now being published by Random House in June. I was fascinated by the inspiration for his novel and his belief in himself and his story.

photo 3

Following Bruce we heard from Brandon Van Over, the Managing Editor of Random House, with advice for the aspiring writers in the audience. I think I was the only one there not currently writing the next Australian publishing sensation! Brandon particularly addressed the blog to book phenomena and let us know that publishers are reading blogs looking for potential authors.



Next up was a preview of what we can expect from international authors over the next few months. This included Courting Trouble by Kathy Lette; Time and Time Again by Ben Elton, and both Lee Child and Kathy Reichs will be adding to their series oeuvre. We were treated to a wonderful book trailer for John Cleese‘s memoir and Russell Brand’s The Messiah Complex. Murukami fans can expect Colorless Tsukura Tazaki and his years in pilgrimage, and you can also look forward to  Perfidia by James Ellroy, The Children Act by Ian McEwan.

The YA representatives fangirled over news of Magesterium, a collaboration by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare and the movie tie in of If I Stay by Gayle Forman.


With the day nearly over, we were given the opportunity to talk amongst ourselves but unsurprisingly the audience mainly wanted to ask questions of the publishers and so it became a Q&A session fielded by Kirsty Notfke, the wonderful Random House publicist and organiser of the Forum, and Felicity V from Penguin Teen. Honestly, the eight hour day flew by in what felt like minutes and everyone was reluctant to leave at the close of the forum, even without the draw of champagne, cake and a generous swag bag!



The events of the day were eagerly tweeted, facebook’d and instagrammed by all those in attendance. You can check out the #NBBF14 Twitter feed for more details. Everyone felt the forum was a huge success and we are all hoping Random House will host the event again next year. Look out for an announcement in 2015!

I would like to personally extend my thanks to Kirsty and the Random House team for all their hard work, generosity and passion for books, and book bloggers!

You can connect with Random House at their website, blog, Facebook and Twitter


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