Where to find Me, Mawson, on Mastodon

Mawson Bear (@mawsonbear@mastodon.au) Soul searching Writer-Bear. Little books with lots of heart for all ages. Published by Odyssey Books. Home is #Perth Australia. #plushies #joy #picturebooks #kindness #slowdown https://mastodon.au/@mawsonbear

Our publisher is Odyssey Books. Look also at Bookshop Org (supporting local bookshops), at BookDepository (free shipping), at Amazon everywhere, at Amazon Australia (where Mawson naps), at Barnes and Noble, at Dymocks, at Booktopia, at Walmart, at AbeBooks, Mighty Ape (New Zealand), Google Books, at Booklubben and more. 

Short List Excitement

From The Waste Land: three Waste Land stories make the Aurealis cut This week, the savvy judges of the Aurealis Awards (Australia’s premier speculative fiction awards) announced their short lists in the various categories for 2022 publications: https://aurealisawards.org/2023/03/09/2022-aurealis-awards-shortlist-announcement/ And I’m deeply THRILLED to see that THREE stories from the anthology From the Waste Land: speculative […]

Short List Excitement

A Duo of Julia Stebbin Children’s Books

My apologies to Julia Stebbing for keeping her waiting so long for reviews of two of her children’s books whilst life has been quite challenging, and my enormous thanks to Julia for sending me When Moggie and Froggie Met Doggie illustrated by Stephen Stone and Rainbow Cat and the Big Tidy illustrated by Nivya Kuriakose […]

A Duo of Julia Stebbin Children’s Books

Rebecca: Misrepresented Romance

During last month’s obsession with Bluebeard, I discovered Bronte’s Jane Eyre and du Maurier’s Rebecca are considered ‘romanticised’ Bluebeard tales. I love Bluebeard (particularly Anglea Carter’s retelling, the Bloody Chamber) because it calls out violence (both within and external to us) as a warning to check behind locked doors and develop our intuitive insight. I […]

Rebecca: Misrepresented Romance

Marked down on Amazon UK: Bright World and She Ran Away

She Ran Away From Love, Mawson’s second book, features his nervous little friend Frilly who sets off on a quest to find herself. Read more about Frilly and her quiet, determined quest here. It’s marked down to only three pounds on Amazon UK. A grand bargain for British friends to look at. Also on Kindle

‘A magical little grand tour into the meaning of happiness’. Review on Amazon by Sharrie Williams, author of The Maybelline Story.

‘I fell in love with this book the instant I started reading it’. Review on Amazon by K. Blade.

It‘s a Bright World to Feel Lost In , Mawson’s first book, is about that inexpressibly baffling feeling of being Lost and left behind. The Big Question here is: Can you go on being you when you no longer know who to be you for? Read more about it here.

This is also crazily Marked Down, to about one pound. ONE POUND for a little book to hold in your paws. Get lots for your friends too! Its also on Kindle

‘Reading this book is like receiving a great big hug of reassurance and a huge hot chocolate with fluffy marshmallows.’ Lady Bracknell on Amazon.

‘This little story made me well up. A lovely, poignant story with delightful illustrations.’ Jackie Law, Amazon Top 500 reviewer.

Where to get your paws on Mawson’s books.

Our publisher is Odyssey Books. Look also at Bookshop Org (supporting local bookshops), at BookDepository (free shipping), at Amazon everywhere, at Amazon Australia (where Mawson naps), at Barnes and Noble, at Dymocks, at Booktopia, at Walmart, at AbeBooks, Mighty Ape (New Zealand), Google Books, at Booklubben and more. 

KINDLE: She Ran Away From Love is also on Kindle Unlimited. for only around $US3 or 3 Pounds in UK. All the books are in soft cover copies that you can look at whenever your world seems to become a bit too baffling. Or give them as random gifts of kindness to your friends.

FOLLOW US on Amazon UK and on Amazon USA and on GoodReads. The latest prices will show up there. And of course, do plonk a paw down on the ‘FOLLOW’ buttons on this Web Site page. WE are also on Instagram, Tiktok, Anchor and Mastodon (link is @mawsonbear@mastodon.au. )

You are at Mark’s blog called Baffled Bear Books. Mark is a dark coffee tragic, bibliophile and Guardian of Mawson Bear, a Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears.

The Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries, by Debbie Young: Best Murder In Show

When the least-liked woman in Wendlebury Barrow collapses inside a headless Anne Boleyn costume while tied to the rail of a float in the village show, newcomer Sophie Sayers, like all the other villagers, accepts the verdict of death by natural causes.

What had begun as a simple proposition – to live in a rent-free cottage, in a pleasant stable community while pursuing the writing ambitions that I’d held since childhood – now seemed fraught with traps, difficulties and dangers”.

Best Murder in Show by Debbie Young. Publisher Hawkesbury Press, April 2017. 
ISBN 10 1911223135 and ISBN13 9781911223139

By Chapter Four, I was intrigued by a heroine who shops for “just the essentials”, those being – shortbread, cake, chocolate, wine – at Carols’ alphabetical shop. You know, the kind of shop where you find the postcards by the plums and The Times by the turnips.

Who wouldn’t want to jump into the next chapters when they’re titled  “Reader, I Left Him”, “The Cream of the Bookshop”, “Writers Afloat”, or “Beware of the Wardrobe”.

Debbie Young’s Best Murder in Show is the first of seven Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries.  Trick or Murder” and Murder in The Manger are next and available everywhere including Book Depository.  Asking for them at your friendly local (or village) book shop would be most appropriate for a novel in which a very entrepreneurial book shop features prominently.

 You can learn more about these titles and her short story collections, including Marry In Haste, at Debbie Young’s website.

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You are at Baffled Bear Books, the blog of Mark, guardian,chocolate-fetcher and blundering typist for Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears. Mawson is writer bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In.

HALF PRICE for Dreamy Days and Random Naps by Mawson at Amazon UK

You can find Dreamy Days and Random Naps on this link. In Amazon UK marked down by half. Look also for She Ran Away From Love which is less than a Pound in softcover! Here is more about ‘Dreamy Days’:

‘Mawson Bear awakes and ponders on the art of creative napping. Scotland The Brave imagines doing great deeds. Professors Caddy and Bree hold the highest hopes for their visionary inventions. Samantha sees wondrous things all round her. The Seekers journey all the way to the edge of the world, being sure to return, of course, by bedtime.

Flop down and relax awhile with Mawson and his drowsy friends. Refresh the soul in the tranquility of simple joys and innocent dreams.

Dreamy Days and Random Naps celebrates taking time out for yourself, slowing down, enjoying the moment, allowing your daydreams to surface, and of course slipping into a nap for a while, or for even longer. It will delight all who enjoy daydreaming and napping. Could this be you?

I enjoyed Dreamy Days and Random Naps for its ability to show the young and old that it is good to use your imagination. This was another delightful read from Mawson Bear.’ Jolenes Book Corner.

The images in the Mawson Bear books are so charming and endearing you can’t help but smile at them.’ Review by Adele on GoodReads

Where to find Dreamy Days and Random Naps:

Our publisher is Odyssey Books. Or roll off the cushions and flop over to Bookshop Org (supporting local bookshops), BookDepository (free shipping),  Amazon everywhere,  Amazon Australia (where Mawson naps),  Barnes and Noble,  Dymocks,  Booktopia, Walmart, AbeBooks, at Loot (South Africa), Mighty Ape (New Zealand), Google Books, at Booklubben and more. 

Mawson Bears books for cheering up frazzled grownups. Kids like them too!

You can also see all about Mawson on Amazon Page. (This writer-bear is all over the book world.) And be sure to plonk a paw down on the ‘FOLLOW‘ buttons on this page.

And click Here for Mawson on GoodReads.

Your host, Mark, is Mawson Bear’s Guardian, photographer, editor, blundering typist, chocolates fetcher and cushions re-arranger. Baffled Bear Books ABN: 4787910119.

Flush, A Biography, by Virginia Woolf. Who are you afraid of?

‘Then with one bound Flush sprang on to the sofa and laid himself where he was to lie for ever after – on the rug at Miss Barrett’s feet.’

Still afraid of Virginia Woolf? You needn’t be if you are a dog, which it must be admitted, rules out most of us readers. Woolf’s own dog, Pinka, became the model for Flush, a red cocker spaniel, beloved companion of poet Elizabeth Barret Browning (1806-1861).

The title correctly includes the word ‘biography’. This is a ‘life’ of a dog from birth to death, with footnotes and dates, and while we are also given a perspective on the Barrett family and then the Brownings’, Woolf holds true to the sensibility of a dog’s world, what Flush would see, hear, smell, fear and desire, and departs from it only to clarify points beyond Flush’s comprehension.

‘(She) never pretended that Flush could talk or even think like a human being: but he could observe, and Mrs Browning would do the talking for him. The book was poetic. Through Flush’s eyes she retold the story of Elizabeth’s elopement with Robert Browning’. (Nigel Nicholson in his biography of Virginia Woolf*).

Woolf begins with a spoof genealogical quest for Flush’s far distant ancestors, until reaching the known facts: Flush (c1842) was sired by Tray and romped through his first year with Miss Mitford of Reading.

‘The sight of his dear mistress (Miss Mitford) snuffing the fresh air at last, letting it ruffle her white hair and redden the natural freshness of her face, while the lines on her huge brow smooth themselves out, excited him to gambols whose wildness was half sympathy with her own delight’.

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Miss Mitford gave him to her dear friend, the invalid Miss Barrett. Now Flush had to adapt to another life. He was almost as confined as Miss Barrett save for short daily walks with Wilson at the end of a chain and occasional outings when his mistress felt well enough.

But those five years of restrictions in Wimpole Street were not safe. Flush was dognapped! The poor that crowded slums directly behind Wimple Street made a business out of taking dogs for ransoms. They were ruthless when not paid, killing the dogs. Miss Barrett was abandoned by her father, her brothers, even by Robert Browning. All the men were ready to sacrifice Flush ‘on principle’ rather than pay up. It is a great moment to read about when Miss Barrett, alone with her frightened but resolute maid Wilson, bravely hauled herself out of the house and to the slums to rescue her pet. In a note to the biography, Woolf acknowledged that she compressed three actual thefts of Flush into one. In all Miss Barrett paid twenty pounds to the gangs to retrieve him.

But Flush had more to endure. Mr Browning kept visiting. Miss Barrett turned her former unwavering attention away from Flush. Mr Browning, usurped him. Flush did mutiny at this injustice but it came to naught.

A curious day came when boxes were discreetly packed and Miss Barrett with Wilson, slipped out of the house on Wimpole Street. A cab waited outside. ‘Flush sat on her knee very still. Not for anything in the whole world would he have broken that tremendous silence’.

Elizabeth was eloping to Italy with ‘Robert‘, ‘My husband’. The invalid Miss Barrett now changes into the reinvigorated Mrs Browning. ‘Instead of driving in a landau to Regent’s Park she pulled on her thick boots and scrambled over rocks.’ As the eventful months passed, Flush changed too, losing his old fetters.

‘The moment of liberation came one day in the Cascine. As he raced over the grass with pheasants all alive and flying, Flush suddenly bethought him of Regents Park and its proclamation: Dogs must be lead on chains. Where was ‘must’ now? Where were chains now? Gone, with the dog-stealers …. He ran, he raced; his coat flashed, his eyes blazed. He had no need of a chain in this new world; he had no need of protection’.

And that, I cannot doubt, is Woolf describing Mrs Browning’s sense of liberation too.

Woolf’s own assessment of the book: ‘She was not pleased with it. She had “started it to let her brain cool” after The Waves. It was ”easy, indolent writing”. .. Nevertheless, it was a great success, The Book Society choice in England and America.’ (Nicolson.)

There is much here to absorb: the restriction of freedoms for women on many levels, an attack on wealth existing side by side with poverty, a mockery of class prejudice by using the canine example of the rigid rules of supposed dog perfection maintained by dog clubs, and examples of Woofs famous stream of consciousness techniques. Passage after passage is a delight to read. For instance, after solemnly reminding us that we cannot understand the world of smell as does a dog, Woolf then gives us a tour de force description of Florence by smell and texture. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and determined to read more of Woolf’s work. There is nothing to be afraid of here. Except tyrant fathers. And dog nappers.

Flush, A Biography, by Virginia Woolf was originally published by the Woolf’s now famous Hogarth Press in 1933. Now you can find it on Amazon and Bookdepository.

*Virginia Woolf, by Nigel Nicholson, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London 2000.

You are at Baffled Bear Books, the blog of Mark, guardian and blundering typist for Mawson Bear, one of this bright world’s few published bears. 

Our publisher is Odyssey Books. Look also at Bookshop Org (supporting local bookshops), at BookDepository (free shipping), at Amazon everywhere, at Amazon Australia (where Mawson naps), at Barnes and Noble, at Dymocks, at Booktopia, at Walmart, at AbeBooks, Mighty Ape (New Zealand), Google Books, at Booklubben and more. 

Do Quokkas Go Out in the Rain?

Come with me on a train ride. We’ll travel 4,352 kilometres across Australia from east to west, spending four days and three nights on a train 731 metres long. We’ll start in Sydney and stay in Perth at the end and along the way we’ll traverse deserts, stop in a ghost town and cross the […]

Do Quokkas Go Out in the Rain?

Hope you like this reblog by a visitor to a magic little island off Perth. Mawsons Guardian lives in Perth.

MakeShift Galaxy, by Tash Turgoose

Slipping love between the floorboards,
Catching stars as if they’re snow…

This book brings poetry to each page, including to the pages with no words. Perhaps by the twentieth read-through I may be able to summon words of my own sufficient to convey its lingering power. But I’m still looking at the story and illustrations together as presented. Then at the illustrations alone. Then the story alone.

In a world where their love is illegal, a young couple find a way to stay together — but one small moment could tear it all apart.

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The haunting monochrome illustrations of this beautifully presented hardcover book could each stand framed on a wall. The style Makeshift Galaxy most brings to my mind is that of Shaun Tan. Like him, Turgoose uses both images with words, sometimes dispensing with words. What has happened? What does it all mean?  That is left for each reader to mull over in their own way.

It has the look of a coffee table book,and be warned: when you return with the steaming cuppa you may find your guest with book open, oblivious of you and staring far away. Into another galaxy, perhaps.

‘The silence screamed with stories left untold.’

Makeshift Galaxy an illustrated story about love, sacrifice and survival, is published by Odyssey Books.  It is stocked at major online retailers, including  Book Depository, and Amazon. Its free to see on Kindle Unlimited but this is a book you will want for real, on your bookshelf.

The creator tells more about herself at TashTurgoose.com.

You are in the blog of Mark, guardian and photographer for Mawson Bear, one of this bright world’s very few Writer-Bears. Mawson wrote It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In.