Archive for 2008
Sunday, December 28th, 2008
Happy New Year everyone… or as the Jewish folk say: ‘May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year’. Except they had their New Year in October. In fact, if you’re into the whole New Year’s Eve thing, you could—if you had the inclination and the liver for it—legitimately celebrate it all year. You’d have just enough time to get over your hangover from one New Year’s celebration before you moved on to the next one (and if you broke your New Year’s resolution you’d only have to wait a few weeks before you got a chance to make a new one!). Before people had a calendar they depended on all sorts of ways to mark the ‘New Year’, from the changing of the seasons to even the flight of wild geese. Ancient Egyptians celebrated the New Year at the time of the overflowing Nile…
Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008
I have the perfect Christmas gift idea. How about one of my books? Your aunty/dad/uncle/mum/brother/sister/husband/ wife/lover/secretary/gardener will love it – either that or take it back and exchange it for the new John Grisham novel. I do love getting books for Christmas (although I do have a few that have been on my book shelf for years that I haven’t read yet). If all your relatives have my entire collection already maybe try one of these from my top ten favourite travel books of all time… (read more)
Tuesday, December 16th, 2008
As part of the Melbourne Couch Surfing Summer Fest I will be launching my new book ‘Sleeping Around’. The date is Thursday the 29th of January at a venue to be announced (I’m trying to find a good bar in Melbourne that’s full of couches!). I’ll be supplying beer and wine (until the bar tab runs out) and I’ll do a reading… then you all buy my books! The Melbourne CS Summer Fest is… I’ll just let them describe it:
CouchSurfers of Melbourne are hosting a week long CouchSurfing Festival and are inviting people from all over the world to join them. Come along and be a part of it!… (read more)
Sunday, December 7th, 2008
I got the first copy from the printer of ‘Sleeping Around’ in the post today. It’s always such a great buzz to actually hold the finished product in your hands after putting in all that hard work travelling (okay, that’s not really hard work) and writing. I reckon there are three occasions that give you a big buzz when you get a book published. Number one is holding the actual printed book. Number two is seeing your book on a shelf in a book shop. I still get quite a buzz when I see my books on a shelf (and, like many authors, I can’t help myself and move them around to a better position). When my first book ‘Rule No.5: No sex on the bus’ came out I even put a stack in the No.1 position in… (read more)
Saturday, November 29th, 2008
It was ten years ago this week that I began writing my first book ‘Rule No.5: No sex on the bus’. The original title I had for the book was actually ‘Buses, Booze and Bonking’ and I’m so happy that I changed it. I think I probably got half my book sales just from the title alone! A great title can certainly help sell a book (or at least make it stand out in the crowd). My friend Peter Moore also had a great title for his first book: ‘No shitting in the toilet’. I did a bit of a search on the net and found a bunch of other book titles that I quite like…
Even God Is Single, So Stop Giving Me A Hard Time.
English as a Second F*cking Language.
If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?!
When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? (read more)
Saturday, November 22nd, 2008
On Thursday night I launched George Dunford’s ‘The Big Trip’. It was a fun night and I drank quite a bit of free beer. It’s a great book, but it’s handy that it’s something you read BEFORE you go away. It weighs a ton. One of the very useful bits in the book is a list of ‘10 ways to use your guidebook’, which includes ‘To prevent snoring’ (slip the book into the pillowcase to give your head extra elevation); ‘To escape with your life’ (when confronted by a punk with a knife slam the book into his face); ‘To block a mouse hole’ (so your girlfriend won’t lay awake all night – and you get can get some sleep); ‘As insulation’ (if you didn’t bring enough warm clothes you can layer pages inside your clothes) and: ‘To get girls’ (by using a guidebook as a prop… (read more)
Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
I’ve just finished reading Ghost Train to the Eastern Star by the famously grumpy Paul Theroux. In this book he retraces the trip he did for his 1975 book The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s somewhat similar to the premise of my new book – although he is following the journey he took himself. And like my trip his journey takes place 34 years after the original. I’m a big fan of Theroux and, yes he can get a bit grumpy and comes across rather misanthropic at times, but I agree with the Daily Mail when they called him: ‘The world’s most perceptive travel writer’. It was very interesting reading this book comparing it to my journey…
Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
There was a story about my latest trip in the newspapers around the country on the weekend, which was great – it gave me an excuse to don my safari suit and pith helmet again! Here’s an edited extract…
It’s a novel way to chart the evolution of what for many young Australians has been a rite of passage for decades. Travel writer Brian Thacker is retracing the 1974 journey through South-East Asia of Lonely Planet founders Maureen and Tony Wheeler using their original guidebook — based on information they collected during their adventure a third of a century ago — as his only reference…
Sunday, November 9th, 2008
It’s amazing what folk out there in the big wide web world put into a search engine and then end up at my site. I’ve found quite a few rather interesting ones that come up on my blog stats page. How ‘naked karaoke’ leads to my site I’m not sure. I did a search on ‘naked karaoke (purely for research purposes I might add) and I went through 15 pages and still didn’t come across any link to my site. How many pages did this person go through about naked Karaoke? Other interesting search engine terms that took people to my site include ‘what do prostitutes get paid’, ’sleeping short couch’, ‘why is the pen blue’ and ‘life and what it’s made of’… (read more)
Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
I’m launching the new Lonely Planet book ‘Big Trip’ by George Dunford and everyone is invited along (It’s George’s shout – well, at least until the bar tab runs out). I even made a contribution to the book (all of 137 words!). The launch is on Thursday the 20th of November at White Rabbit Bar – 176 Bellair Street, Kensington starting at 6.30.
Here’s the spiel for the book:
School’s out and the world’s calling. You want to get out there and burn an international trail – but where do you start? Right here, with the ultimate guide to gap years and overseas adventures… (read more)