Gap Filler

Gap Filler has been set up by a small group of enthusiastic people  who have responded in a creative way to the shock and impact of the recent earthquakes on the central city.

They aim to temporarily activate vacant sites within the central city with creative projects, to make for a more interesting, dynamic and vibrant central city.

What a great idea, and plenty of people have been turning out at the site in Colombo Street.  Items to decorate the space have come from donations and it all looks so much better than a pile of dust and bricks.

coverPerhaps ideas from our books and magazines on home and outdoor decorating could also be of use to Gap Filler, (although judging from the site they have done incredibly well on their own!) Or maybe with all this lovely weather you are planning a bit of outdoor living yourself, and realise that the garden area could do with a new lease of life?

Or try our website for plenty of  Gardening ideas.

The Cover Lover

This is a beautiful cover.

I’m coming right out of the PC closet with this one:

I do judge a book by its cover.

And if this makes me a bad, bad person then so be it. Face facts, 2010 has been a mighty disappointing year in so far as quality adult fiction covers is concerned.  From the shortlisted Booker prizewinners (yawn) to the horrors regularly dished up on Large Print fiction, it has been tough for the visually inclined.

Honestly speaking, cover-wise, is it really too much to ask:

  • that a cover match the content of the book and its title
  • that the cover show a little creative flair and
  • that said cover should be devoid of  glittery raised lettering that can be read like braille?
This is a feast of great covers.

It really was better in the past. Look back at some of the mouthwatering covers that we have feasted on over the years in Seven Hundred Penguins – and sigh.

I am not alone in this I know, and who better to give an incisive, bitingly intelligent slant on it than Lionel Shriver. When I interviewed her on her novel So Much For That, she was extremely vexed over the cover choices on offer to authors. And there is nothing better than Shriver vexed and on a roll. You can read her in full swing here. One of her pet peeves is the “pretty in pink” approach to women writers. As only Shriver  can put it:

“trussing up my novels as sweet, girly and soft is like stuffing a rottweiler in a dress.”

And that I think is my literary quote of the year!

What, I wonder, were your quotes and covers of 2010?

Librarians: more than you think…

CoverGood librarians. How quaint…

I bet you’re imagining quiet people dressed in cute floral overcoats (called “smocks” by the way), eating cheese and discussing whether Dewey really got it right…

Don’t be fooled! This is merely a cover, a ruse to make you think that’s all librarians do.

Want to know the truth? Well, I can’t tell you. It would mean your certain death (and no, not from boredom!)

But if you really want to delve into the danger, intrigue and utter ridiculousness of super librarians saving the world, start here…