Ask Agatha posts

Ask Agatha: Is it rude to admit I dislike a book that was a gift?

Our wise bookseller Agatha answers all your tricky questions. I’m half-way through a book I received as a Christmas gift and have just considered throwing it across the room. If the gifter asks me what I thought, is it rude to come clean about how much I hated it? Should I just pretend I enjoyed it?

In this situation, you’re going to need to do some risk assessment: How often do you receive g…

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Ask Agatha: How can I turn my fussy eaters into vegetable-lovers?

Our wise bookseller Agatha answers all your tricky questions. If you have a question for Agatha please email askagatha@readings.com.au. My mother-in-law is always criticising my children for being fussy eaters. How can I transform them into vegetable-lovers by 25 December and prove her wrong? We are having parsnips, carrots, sprouts and peas: please help.

Studies have (probably) shown that ch…

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Ask Agatha: How can I convince my housemate to let me bring a cat home?

Our wise bookseller Agatha answers all your tricky questions. If you have a question for Agatha please email askagatha@readings.com.au. I’m obsessed with the podcast Serial and am so disappointed they’re taking a break this week. But (sigh) I’ve decided to turn this event into a positive and use the time to read something that will complement my listening of it. What would you suggest?

Buzzfe…

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Ask Agatha: What are the best books about writing?

Our wise bookseller Agatha answers all your tricky questions. If you have a question for Agatha please email askagatha@readings.com.au. What do I get my mother-in-law for Christmas? She’s a high school English teacher and loves reading - but she’s usually always read something before me so I find it tricky to get her something new.

I see two options here….

The first would be to choose a book…

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Ask Agatha: What’s a book to scare my brother?

Our wise bookseller Agatha answers all your tricky questions. If you have a question for Agatha please email askagatha@readings.com.au. I want to read a prize winner from this year but don’t know which one! Help?

Well, well, well this question is perfectly timed! We just happen to be announcing the inaugural winner of our New Australian Writing Award this very evening. So, of course, the best…

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Ask Agatha: Can I burn my ex’s books?

Our wise bookseller Agatha answers all your tricky questions. If you have a question for Agatha please email askagatha@readings.com.au. My boyfriend left me because of uncertain reasons. I have some of his books. Is it morally wrong to keep the one I like and burn the rest in a pit?

Don’t punish good books because their owner is terrible. That’s my motto. Give those unwanted books to a second…

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Ask Agatha: What is the best show on TV right now?

Our wise bookseller Agatha answers all your tricky questions. If you have a question for Agatha please email askagatha@readings.com.au. Readings recently suggested The Scarecrow’s Wedding as a cute gift for a couple getting married (see here). I like the idea but think scarecrows are quite creepy. Do you know of any other kids books that would work just as well?

Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliv…

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Ask Agatha: Should I give an author a second chance?

Ask our wise bookseller Agatha all your tricky (book-related) questions. Is the book actually always better than the film? Or is that just a myth invented by book lovers?

Yes. I’m sorry to have to tell you this but the book is always better than the film.

I only read novels, but lately I’ve found myself increasingly bored, stuck in a rut of reading the same thing over and over. I want to d…

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Ask Agatha: early Man Booker predictions and reading fan-fiction

The latest installment of our book advice column where you can ask our wise bookseller Agatha all your tricky (book-related) questions. Based on the longlist, which book do you predict will win the Man Booker Prize this year?

I haven’t read everything on the longlist as yet but I’d argue that Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World is well-placed to win – it’s a superbly intricate novel set in the …

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Ask Agatha: Books to make you seem smarter and the ideal Agatha Christie reader

The latest installment of our book advice column where you can ask our wise bookseller Agatha all your tricky (book-related) questions. Agatha, I have a question about your namesake, Agatha Christie. Where do I start? Are her books an acquired taste or can you jump straight in? Who is the ideal ‘Agatha Christie’ reader?

Well, I daresay it’s lovely to get a question about my namesake. I have l…

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