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So when should you book that flight? The truth on airline prices

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yuriy-gorodnichenko-144556">Yuriy Gorodnichenko</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-california-berkeley-754">University of California, Berkeley</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/volodymyr-bilotkach-145437">Volodymyr Bilotkach</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/newcastle-university-906"><em>Newcastle University</em></a></em></p> <p>How airlines price tickets is a source of many <a href="http://airtravel.about.com/od/travelindustrynews/a/mythticket.htm">myths</a> and urban legends. These include tips about the best day of the week to buy a ticket, last-minute discounts offered by the airlines, and the conspiracy theories suggesting that the carriers use cookies to increase prices for their passengers. None of these three statements is entirely true.</p> <p>Studies have suggested that prices can be higher or lower on a given day of the week – yet, there is no clear consensus on which day that is. Offered prices can in fact drop at any time before the flight, yet they are much more likely to increase than decrease over the last several weeks before the flight’s departure. Further, the airlines prefer to wait for the last-minute business traveler who’s likely to pay full fare rather than sell the seat prematurely to a price conscious traveler. And no, the airlines do not use cookies to manipulate fare quotes – adjusting their inventory for specific customers appears to be beyond their technical capabilities.</p> <p>What is true about pricing in the airline industry is that carriers use complex and sophisticated pricing systems. The airline’s per passenger cost is the lowest when the flight is full, so carriers have incentive to sell as many seats as possible. This is a race against time for an airline and, of course, no company wants to discount its product more than it has to. Hence, the airlines face two somewhat contradictory goals: to maximize revenue by flying full planes and to sell as many full-fare seats as possible. This a process known in the industry as yield or revenue management.</p> <h2>Airlines and their bucket lists</h2> <p>Here is how <a href="http://commons.erau.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1522&amp;context=jaaer">yield management</a> works. For each flight or route (if we are talking about multi-segment itineraries), the airline has a set of available price levels – from the most expensive fully refundable fare to the cheapest deeply discounted non-refundable price. The industry jargon for these prices is “buckets.” Then, seats can be interpreted as balls that are allocated among these buckets.</p> <p>Initial allocation of seats between the price buckets is determined by historical data indicating how well a certain flight sells. For example, fewer deeply discounted seats will be offered on a flight on Thanksgiving week than on the same flight during the third week of February. As the seats on a flight sell, yield managers monitor and adjust the seat allocation. If, for instance, the sales are slower than expected, some of the seats might be moved to lower-priced buckets – this shows up as a price drop. As noted above, such price drops can occur at any time before the flight. However, the general trend of price quotes is upward starting from about two to three weeks before the flight departure date.</p> <p>Of course, an average traveler wants to know when he or she should buy the tickets for the next trip. Another important question is where to buy this ticket. Airlines distribute their inventory on their own websites and on several computer distribution systems, meaning that prices can sometimes differ depending on where one looks. We are not entirely sure what precipitates this phenomenon – likely explanations include differences in contracts between the airlines and the distribution systems/travel agents, implying that different travel agents may not have access to the airline’s entire inventory of available prices.</p> <h2>When to book</h2> <p>The airlines’ yield managers start looking at flight bookings about two months before the departure date. This implies that it generally does not pay to book more than two months in advance: studies show that initially the airlines leave the cheapest price buckets empty, and yield managers may move some seats into those buckets if a couple of months before the departure date the flight is emptier than expected. Between two months and about two to three weeks before the flight date, the fare quotes remain mostly flat, with a slight upward trend. However, and perhaps paradoxically, there is a good chance of a price drop during this period. We tend to monitor prices for several days – sometimes up to a week – hoping for a potentially lower quote. It does not always pay off, but sometimes we do manage to save a considerable amount of money.</p> <p>Two to three weeks before the flight date, the price quotes start increasing. This is the time when business travelers start booking. While price drops are still possible, a chance of a price increase is much higher if you wait to book within this time period. This is also the time when one can find significant differences between price quotes, depending on where one looks and what contract they have with the airlines.</p> <p>Thus, if we book a trip earlier than three weeks before the flight date, we tend not to delay the purchase. At the same time, we check quotes from multiple travel agents, or go directly to a site that allows for a quick comparison of prices (such as <a href="https://www.kayak.com">kayak.com</a> or <a href="http://www.skyscanner.net">skyscanner.net</a>). Or check the airline itself.</p> <p>As for answering the original question we posed, here are some simple tips. First, if you have to travel during a peak period, such as Thanksgiving week, it is generally best not to delay buying that ticket. Otherwise, it might pay to monitor the offered prices for some time before committing. The best strategy for booking within the last couple of weeks before the flight, however, is not to delay the purchase, but to try getting quotes from several agents, which is easy to do in the internet age.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/34033/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yuriy-gorodnichenko-144556"><em>Yuriy Gorodnichenko</em></a><em>, Associate Professor of Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-california-berkeley-754">University of California, Berkeley</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/volodymyr-bilotkach-145437">Volodymyr Bilotkach</a>, Senior Lecturer in Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/newcastle-university-906">Newcastle University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/so-when-should-you-book-that-flight-the-truth-on-airline-prices-34033">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Tips

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Bindi Irwin to release children's book

<p>Bindi Irwin is releasing her debut children's book - and it involves her adorable three-year-old daughter, Grace Warrior. </p> <p>The wildlife warrior took to Instagram to share the news, saying: "Today is one of the very best days of my entire life."</p> <p>"I officially get to share with you my new children's book, <em>You Are a Wildlife Warrior!</em> Woohoo! Crikey"</p> <p>According to Bindi, the book will take readers on an "amazing journey" with her "wonderful daughter" Grace. </p> <p>"You'll explore our home, Australia Zoo and the conservation work we do all over the world," she shared.</p> <p>"I hope this book will inspire the next generation to love, respect and protect our natural world... it means the world to share our journey with you!" she added. </p> <p>The book will feature illustrations from Ramona Kaulitzki and take readers on an adventure with the mother-daughter duo. </p> <p><em>You Are a Wildlife Warrior!</em> will be available in the US and Australia on February 4, 2025.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C8sdavsSBof/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C8sdavsSBof/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Bindi's mum, Terri, couldn't hide how proud she was, commenting: "I am tremendously proud of you, @bindisueirwin. You are a wonderful mama and a true Wildlife Warrior! Your book is beautiful and brilliant. A fantastic, fun story for everyone!"</p> <p>Fans were quick to follow, congratulating the wildlife warrior on her latest project. </p> <p>"Well that's every child's birthday present ever sorted... congratulations Bindi, what a fantastic project!" one wrote. </p> <p>"Congratulations!!! I'm so happy I get to share a part of your world at Australia Zoo with my daughter!!" another added. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Books

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Travel agent arrested after allegedly selling fraudulent bookings

<p>A Sydney travel agent accused of taking the money of dozens of customers has been arrested by police. </p> <p>Footage obtained by A Current Affair showed the moment police finally caught Zahra Rachid, who is accused of ripping of customers and leaving them hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket. </p> <p>Officers in Sydney's south established Strike Force Bail to investigate reports of a travel agent that had allegedly failed to honour customer bookings. </p> <p>Rachid, who ran Travel World Sydney, allegedly cancelled bookings made by customers without their knowledge, and did not issue any refunds, pocketing the money for herself. </p> <p>NSW Fair Trading received complaints about Travel World Sydney totalling more than $230,000.</p> <p>Nicole Vris, claims she used Rachid as a travel agent to book a trip to Greece for herself and 34 family members. </p> <p>She thought that her dream family holiday was booked, but when she checked her flights with the airline, they had no record of her booking. </p> <p>"It's very hard to round everyone up to go on a holiday at the same time, it's so hard," Vris told <em>A Current Affair</em>. </p> <p>"Zahra has ruined that dream for many people."</p> <p>Her family has allegedly been left about $160,000 out of pocket.</p> <p>She has since paid for new flights to Greece, going with only a handful of family members who are able to afford to pay for the trip twice. </p> <p>"Your face value matters in life ... and she's definitely lost that," Vris said.</p> <p>"This was going to happen and she needs to be held accountable for her actions."</p> <p>Rachid is facing 16 fraud charges and is due in court in July. </p> <p>"I think everybody having their funds returned to them would be great and I think by Zahra being put away it might just shake her foundations a little bit," Vris said.</p> <p><em>Images: A Current Affair</em></p>

Legal

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Man books 58 flights for free

<p dir="ltr">A Jetstar passenger has become locked in a legal battle with the Aussie airline after exploiting a promotion to get 58 flights for free. </p> <p dir="ltr">Lawyer Tyrone Barugh was one of many travellers who made use of Jetstar’s promotion that offered people a free return fare.</p> <p dir="ltr">Barugh booked a flight from Auckland to Sydney for $260 and received the free return, although he soon cancelled the outbound flight and was given credit with the airline. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, he did not cancel the return trip. </p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Barugh then used the credit to book another flight, before doing the same thing a further 57 times.</p> <p dir="ltr">The would-be passenger told <em>n</em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/travel/man-locked-in-tribunal-battle-with-jetstar-after-booking-58-free-flights/news-story/1e3f67324c952ce232f3a583575d7ddc"><em>ews.com.au</em></a> that he had not planned to board any of the flights, and has taken Jetstar to the Disputes Tribunal of New Zealand, claiming he is entitled to approximately $4,500 in taxes owed on the flights.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They’re [Jetstar] not out here with the most saintly of intentions,” he said. </p> <p dir="ltr">“They have terms and conditions that are designed to potentially avoid having to do the right thing by a lot of their customers and limit their liability to their customers, and they’re pretty happy to pull those out when it suits them.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He claims he is owed the money as he has paid the Passenger Movement Charge,  which is a $60 fee the Australian Government collects when a person leaves the country. </p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Barugh says he would accept a settlement of a “small flight credit and a toy plane”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There is a spirit of larrikinism,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">A spokesman for Jetstar declined to comment on the case, saying, “As this is a matter before the Tribunal, we won’t be making any comment.” </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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10 questions you must ask before booking a tour

<p>A tour can be a memorable experience, for the right and wrong reasons. Here are 10 questions you must ask yourself before booking one on your next holiday.</p> <p><strong>1. Are there minimum or maximum group sizes?</strong></p> <p>This applies for two reasons. Firstly, you need to decide how many people you’d like to travel with. Small group tours will have no more than a dozen or so while larger tours could be up to 50. The size will drastically impact your tour experience, affecting everything from the mode of transport to the type of meals. Secondly, you need to know if there’s a minimum group size needed for the tour to run. If you’re the only one who books you may find it cancelled.</p> <p><strong>2. What is your cancellation/refund policy?</strong></p> <p>As a rule of thumb, you should ask this question about any kind of travel you book before you hand over your cash. With a tour, make sure you find out their policies around inclement weather, too few passengers or if you need to cancel. And as always, travel insurance is your best friend.</p> <p><strong>3. Are you available for support throughout?</strong></p> <p>One of the good things about travelling with a tour is that you’ll have the services of at least one guide. It’s also good to know if the tour office itself is available for assistance when you’re on the road. This comes in handy if you have to make changes, get sick or are unhappy with the experience.</p> <p><strong>4. Do you have any reviews I can read?</strong></p> <p>If you can’t find the tour company on TripAdvisor or a similar review site, ask the company if they have any testimonials from previous customers. Before you make your final decision, it’s nice to know what other people have said about the tour and its style.</p> <p><strong>5. What experience/qualifications do the guides have?</strong></p> <p>Many tour companies now pride themselves on using locals or people who have lived in a country for many years to guide tours. You don’t want to be stuck with someone who just reads from a guidebook – you can do that yourself for half the price. Find out what they know before you go.</p> <p><strong>6. How active is it?</strong></p> <p>There is a huge spectrum when it comes to tours, ranging from coach journeys with very little walking to active treks where you cover hard ground every day. Make sure you find out exactly what will be involved and if that suits your abilities and fitness level. And be realistic – you and the tour group will suffer otherwise.</p> <p><strong>7. What is the demographic?</strong></p> <p>You don’t want to get stuck on a tour with a bunch of 25 year olds who are just looking for the pub. Most people prefer to travel with people around their own age and in similar demographics (such as solo travellers, seniors, families etc), so make sure you find out who is likely to be in your group before you book.</p> <p><strong>8. Is everything included or will I have to pay for extras?</strong></p> <p>You should be able to get a detailed break down of exactly what is – and what isn’t – included in the price. What looked like a good deal can quickly become very expensive if you have to pay for day excursions, admission fees, alcohol or other surprises.</p> <p><strong>9. How much time do you spend in each place?</strong></p> <p>Are you looking to tick many famous sites off your list or do you want to have the time to immerse yourself in a destination? When you’re looking at an itinerary, ask questions about how long you will actually be spending at each place to ensure that you get enough time to really enjoy it.</p> <p><strong>10. Will I get any free time on my own?</strong></p> <p>After many days as part of a group, it’s nice to have some time on your own. You can explore sites that aren’t on your itinerary, try a new restaurant or just have a well deserved nap. Find out how rigid the schedules are and if there will be some time to do your own thing.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Tips

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Rebel Wilson exposes A-lister who "threatened" her over book release

<p>Rebel Wilson has slammed a Hollywood A-lister for allegedly threatening her over the release of her new memoir. </p> <p>The Aussie actress is set to release her autobiography <em>Rebel Rising</em> on April 2nd, which details her rise to stardom from Australia to the US. </p> <p>In the book, she has dedicated a chapter to one particular actor who she had an unfortunate experience with on the set of a movie in 2014. </p> <p>Now, Rebel claims Sacha Baron-Cohen, husband of Aussie actress Isla Fisher, has "threatened" her about the release of such information in the upcoming book. </p> <p>Taking to her Instagram, Rebel named and shamed the actor, writing, “I will not be bullied or silenced with high priced lawyer or PR crisis managers. The ‘a**hole’ that I am talking about in ONE CHAPTER of my book is Sacha Baron Cohen.”</p> <p>"Now the a**hole is trying to threaten me. He’s trying to stop press coming out about my new book. But the book WILL come out and you will all know the truth.”</p> <p>Sacha Baron-Cohen was quick to release a statement in response to the allegations, with his representative sharing the statement with <a href="https://www.tmz.com/2024/03/25/rebel-wilson-calls-out-sacha-baron-cohen-book-memoir/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>TMZ</em></a>. </p> <p>“While we appreciate the importance of speaking out, these demonstrably false claims are directly contradicted by extensive detailed evidence, including contemporaneous documents, film footage, and eyewitness accounts from those present before, during and after the production of The Brothers Grimsby,” the statement said. </p> <p>Wilson and Baron-Cohen worked on the comedy film <em>The Brothers Grimsby</em> in 2014, where Rebel alleges that Baron-Cohen acted sexually inappropriate towards her for the duration of the shoot. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

Legal

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Readers Respond: What's a book you love that most people have never heard of?

<p>Looking for a new book to kickstart your year?  Look no further we've got you covered. </p> <p>Here are a few of our reader's book recommendations that you may not have heard of. </p> <p><strong>Ruth Fontaine</strong> - I’m reading <em>We of the Never Never </em>atm. Not sure if it’s still well known. I’ve read it before but awhile back and love it. I love reading how they lived nearly 120 years ago. </p> <p><strong>Elaine Rosenberg</strong> - <em>The Abbey Girls Series</em> by Elsie J Oxenham.</p> <p><strong>Maryika Welter</strong> - <em>The courage to be disliked.</em> ... Furmitake Kogan, Ichiro Kishimi.</p> <p><strong>Janice Stewart</strong> - <em>A Fortunate Life</em> by Albert Facey</p> <p><strong>Suzanne Midson</strong> - <em>On Our Selection</em> by Steele Rudd. Read it when I was about 10/12. Best laugh ever. Australian humour at its best.</p> <p><strong>Julie Anderson</strong> - <em>Episode of Sparrows</em> by Rumor Goddin </p> <p><strong>Nancie Golsby</strong> - <em>The Half Burned Tree</em> by Dympna Cusack</p> <p><strong>June Maynard</strong> - Sahara, by Paula Constant. Preceded by Slow Journey South. A thrilling, actual account of her adventure.</p> <p><strong>Peter Rayner </strong>- <em>Enforcer</em> by Caesar Campbell</p> <p><strong>Meg Milton</strong> - <em>I Heard the Owl Call My Name</em> by Margaret Craven</p> <p><strong>Edie Dore</strong> - <em>The Curious Incident of the Dog </em>in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.</p> <p><strong>Christine Cornforth</strong> - <em>A Grief Observed</em> by CS Lewis. </p> <p><strong>Wendy Oliver</strong> - <em>The Good Earth</em> by Pearl Buck</p> <p>Do you have any other recommendations that we might have missed?</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Books

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Second “royal racist” accidentally named in new book

<p>A second member of the royal family has been accused of being "racist", after the bombshell royal exposé implied them in the scandal over baby Archie's skin colour. </p> <p>In Omid Scobie's new book <em>Endgame</em>, he discusses the comments that members of the royal family made to Meghan Markle when she was pregnant with baby Archie. </p> <p>Markle first shared the bombshell allegations in her tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, but she refused to name the royal family member who made the comments, saying, “I think that would be very damaging to them.”</p> <p>On Wednesday, reports emerged that copies of the book were being <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/books/new-royal-book-pulled-from-shelves-over-huge-legal-blunder" target="_blank" rel="noopener">pulled from shelves</a> as the Dutch translation of the book accidentally named the person involved in the scandal.</p> <p>Omid Scobie admitted he does know who made the comments, but UK libel laws prevented him from naming them in the book. </p> <p>Now, as copies of the tell-all book have been flying off shelves, it seems another member of the royal family has been implicated in the book, which is now said to be frantically being pulled from shelves.</p> <p>It comes after Mr Scobie denied responsibility for the Dutch translation of his new book “accidentally naming” a member of the Royal Family.</p> <p>Publishers Xander Uitgevers yesterday said they were seeking to remove Mr Scobie’s work from bookshelves saying there had been an “error”.</p> <p>Speaking to Dutch TV on Wednesday night, Mr Scobie defended his book, saying, “The book is in several languages, and unfortunately I do not speak Dutch”.</p> <p>“But if there are translation errors, I’m sure the publishers will have it under control."</p> <p>“I wrote and edited the English version. There’s never been no version that I’ve produced that has names in it.”</p> <p>In the English version, Mr Scobie writes, “In the pages of these private letters [given to Oprah by Markle], two identities were revealed. UK laws prevent me from reporting who they were”.</p> <p>But the Dutch version reads, “In those private letters, an identity was revealed and confirmed” — before going on to name a senior royal.</p> <p>Dutch royal reporter Rick Evers says he was one of only two journalists to be given a manuscript of <em>Endgame</em> last Wednesday.</p> <p>Mr Evers said, “I was shocked that no one else in the world mentioned the fact that a member of the royals was named in the book as the racist”.</p> <p>“That was the main accusation in the book that I noticed and what I put in my (review) article, which was published with a photo of that royal."</p> <p>“I began to question if it was only my manuscript that had the name in it. I went to get the book from a store and it was exactly the same,” Mr Evers said.</p> <p>“A woman called from the publisher saying there was a legal problem and my article had to be removed.”</p> <p>It is unclear how the error occurred, but Mr Scobie confirmed that the first royal family member named in the book is not the one stated in the letters from Meghan Markle. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Legal

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New royal book pulled from shelves over huge legal blunder

<p>Copies of an explosive new book about the royal family are being pulled from shelves and destroyed after a translation error "accidentally named" the alleged "royal racist". </p> <p>Sales of the new book <em>Endgame</em>, written by Omid Scobie who also wrote <em>Finding Freedom</em> about Harry and Meghan's exit from the royal family, were "temporarily" put on hold just days after its release after what has been labelled an error. </p> <p>According to Xander, the publishers of the Dutch edition of Scobie's book, a translation error led to a member of the royal family being identified as the person who made comments about baby Archie's skin colour. </p> <p>“[We are] temporarily withdrawing the book by Omid Scobie from sale. An error occurred in the Dutch translation and is currently being rectified,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.</p> <p>Meanwhile, <em><a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/royals/24884315/royal-racist-accidentally-named-omid-scobie/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Sun</a></em> claims that thousands of copies of the book are now being destroyed as a result.</p> <p>The "racist royal" scandal dates back to when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a tell-all interview in 2021, when Markle  alleged that while she was pregnant with their first child, Prince Archie, there were “concerns and conversations” from a member of the royal family about how dark his skin might be.</p> <p>The Duchess of Sussex stopped short of naming the person involved, telling Winfrey, “I think that would be very damaging to them.”</p> <p>In the original edition of his book, Scobie also declines to identify the royal, claiming libel laws prevented him from doing so – although he has confirmed he knows who it is.</p> <p>“I do know who made the comments about Archie’s skin colour,” he told UK program <em>Good Morning</em> during his book press tour.</p> <p>“The names were mentioned in letters between Meghan and Charles that were exchanged sometime after the Oprah interview."</p> <p>“We know from sources that Charles was horrified that that’s how Meghan felt. Those conversations were, and that he wanted to, sort of as a representative for the family, have that conversation with her.</p> <p>“And it is why I personally think they have been able to move forward with some kind of line of communication afterwards. Though they may not see eye-to-eye on it.”</p> <p>It’s understood the royal family member accidentally named in the Dutch edition was not the person Meghan had been referring to.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Harper Collins</em></p>

Books

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8 signs you should be booking a group tour

<p>Not sure if you should take a tour or go it alone? These are the times you’re going to want that expert on hand.</p> <p><strong>1. When you’re on a really tight schedule</strong></p> <p>A tour will help you squeeze in as much as possible in a very short time. It will plan out a sensible itinerary with no backtracking or wasted journeys and will give you a realistic idea of how much you can fit in for a day. Plus you won’t have to puzzle out public transport for yourself.</p> <p><strong>2. When you’re feeling nervous</strong></p> <p>Arriving in a new place can be scary sometimes, so having someone to walk you through it will make all the difference. If a city has a reputation for being unsafe or if it’s just your first time in a foreign country, a tour will give you a great worry-free introduction.</p> <p><strong>3. When there’s a big language barrier</strong></p> <p>We’re lucky in that much of the world speaks English, so we can usually muddle our way around. But in some countries you’ll find there’s a significant language barrier, so having a native speaker is going to make all the difference.</p> <p><strong>4. When you want to meet some locals</strong></p> <p>This might sound counterintuitive, but an organised tour can be one of the best ways to meet some locals. First of all, your guide is likely to be local and can introduce you to their hometown. Secondly, it’s daunting to walk into a crowded bar or cool café when you don’t know anyone. A guide can smooth the way and ensure you don’t get stuck in tourist traps.</p> <p><strong>5. When it’s really busy</strong></p> <p>If you don’t fancy joining the huge line outside a popular museum or waiting hours for tickets, a tour could be the way to go. They can often organise private or after hours visits, get special passes to cut the line or take you to areas that are off limits to the general public.</p> <p><strong>6. When it’s the law</strong></p> <p>Want to visit North Korea? You’re going to need to join a tour. Some governments have restrictions in place that mean foreign tourists can only visit when accompanied by a registered tour guide and independent travel is simply not an option.</p> <p><strong>7. When you’re doing something really adventurous</strong></p> <p>Trekking, white water rafting, canyoning or safaris – for safety reasons you’re going to need to join a tour. These kinds of activities can be dangerous, so you don’t want to be risking them on your own. A tour or private guide will show you the best way to get your heart pumping.</p> <p><strong>8. When you’re going right off the grid</strong></p> <p>Places like Antarctica, the Arctic, remote corners of Africa or tricky countries like Russia are best done on a tour. Often the logistics of simply getting there are impossible for the independent traveller or you will need help navigating the complex visa process. In these instances, it’s a relief to put yourself in someone else’s hands and just concentrate on having fun.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Travel Tips

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Booking customers on flights that were cancelled – how could Qantas do that?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/volodymyr-bilotkach-145437">Volodymyr Bilotkach</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/purdue-university-1827">Purdue University</a></em></p> <p>Fining Qantas <a href="https://www.atn.aero/#/article.html?id=87951">A$600 million</a> if it is found to have knowingly sold so-called “ghost flights” would be fair, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.</p> <p>The commission this week <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/accc-takes-court-action-alleging-qantas-advertised-flights-it-had-already-cancelled">launched action</a> in the Federal Court alleging Qantas engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct by selling tickets on flights that had already been cancelled, and not informing passengers of cancellations in a timely manner.</p> <p>The regulator’s charges against the airline, which last month reported a record <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/aug/24/qantas-delivers-record-247bn-profit">$2.47 billion profit</a>, have precipitated the early exit of longtime chief executive Alan Joyce, who quit this week two months ahead of schedule. This court challenge will certainly add to the workload of his successor, Vanessa Hudson.</p> <p>Qantas <a href="https://www.atn.aero/#/article.html?id=87951">has acknowledged</a> that service standards might have slipped as the airline was struggling to recover after the pandemic.</p> <p>The nature of the oversights that led to the airline’s errors will determine the airline’s liability – both to the consumer regulator and to individual claims for compensation.</p> <p>Importantly, the case also points to the need for greater regulatory protection of the airline’s passengers, in line with other jurisdictions.</p> <h2>How did Qantas get in this mess?</h2> <p>The short answer, most likely, is that the carrier did not handle flight cancellations promptly due to the sheer volume of work and labour shortages as it sought to resume operations following the end of pandemic restrictions.</p> <p>The consumer regulator’s allegations relate specifically to May and June 2022. Australia lifted many of its COVID-related travel restrictions in <a href="https://www.voanews.com/a/australia-lifts-covid-restrictions-and-welcomes-travelers-/6451955.html">March</a>, and travellers entering the country <a href="https://www.travelpulse.com/news/destinations/australia-lifts-remaining-covid-19-travel-restrictions">after July 6</a> were not required to show proof of vaccination. The airline was trying to bring its planes back into service and hire or retrain its employees, and generally was struggling to get back to more or less normal operations.</p> <p>In its statement, the competition watchdog noted the carrier cancelled nearly one in four flights scheduled during that period; and for two out of three cancelled flights it either continued selling tickets or failed to inform the passengers –sometimes for extended periods of time – or both.</p> <p>Flight cancellations are a normal part of an airline’s operations. However, the “usual” cancellation rate is <a href="https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/air-travel-consumer-report-march-2023-and-1st-quarter-2023-numbers#:%7E:text=DOT%20remains%20committed%20to%20ensuring,first%20three%20months%20of%202022.">less than 2%</a>, less than a tenth of what Qantas experienced in May and June 2022. What is unusual is that Qantas did not immediately remove cancelled flights from its booking system. This is something I have never heard of.</p> <p>One also suspects the airline has had enough “practice” with schedule adjustment during the pandemic to know better. There are clearly gaps in the carrier’s management. It has lessons to learn from this debacle.</p> <h2>What is Qantas’ liability?</h2> <p>The question of the extent of the airline’s liability is not straightforward. Obviously, a business willingly selling a product or service it has no intention to deliver is at fault, and has to face consequences.</p> <p>At the same time, a business selling a product that has defects it is unaware of, despite doing its best to prevent such defects from occurring, will face certain costs (such as those associated with a product recall) but may be spared sanctions.</p> <p>The onus will be on Qantas to demonstrate it made an honest mistake rather than a lapse of judgement. But considering the scale of the problem, the airline faces a very difficult task here.</p> <h2>Individual claims pending</h2> <p>As well as a potential fine, Qantas should brace for a flood of claims from individual passengers who bought a ticket for an already cancelled flight or were not informed in a timely manner.</p> <p>Timing will be of the essence here. If a passenger incurred expenses assuming the flight was operating when it had already been cancelled, such as making a non-refundable hotel reservation, there is a case to request compensation for such expenses.</p> <p>Otherwise, the standard policy will apply: the airline is not usually responsible for any non-refundable and uninsured expenses a passenger incurs prior to the flight cancellation.</p> <h2>Closing the regulatory gap</h2> <p>The regulator should, however, also take a closer look at the existing air passenger rights in Australia.</p> <p>Currently, <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/specific-products-and-activities/travel-delays-and-cancellations">the consumer is entitled to replacement or refund</a> if an airline does not provide services “in a reasonable time” - that is, in the event of a lengthy delay or a flight cancellation. However, the definition of “reasonable time” and the specifics of the compensation policies are left to the airlines.</p> <p>In other parts of the world, actions have been or are being taken to strengthen customer protection. For instance, in <a href="https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/index_en.htm">the European Union</a>, lengthy delays that are the airlines’ fault lead to the carriers paying out cash compensation as well as the cost of accommodation and meals.</p> <p>Similar regulations <a href="https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/dot-propose-requirements-airlines-cover-expenses-and-compensate-stranded-passengers">were proposed in the United States</a> earlier this year.</p> <p>Perhaps, if stronger consumer protection rules had been in place in Australia in 2022, Qantas would have managed the aftermath of flight cancellations more diligently.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/212793/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/volodymyr-bilotkach-145437">Volodymyr Bilotkach</a>, Associate Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/purdue-university-1827">Purdue University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/booking-customers-on-flights-that-were-cancelled-how-could-qantas-do-that-212793">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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US school teacher sacked after reading Aussie book to class

<p dir="ltr">A US primary school teacher is forced to resign or terminate her contract after reading an Aussie book to her class.</p> <p dir="ltr">Katie Rinderle, from Cobb County, Georgia wanted to teach her fifth graders about inclusion and acceptance through Aussie author Scott Stuart’s book, <em>My Shadow is Purple</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The book itself explores this through the theme of “gender beyond the binary” and the story of a child who neither identifies as a boy or girl.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rinderle discussed the main message behind the book before asking them to reflect and write their own poem, which has been praised by some parents.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, not all of them were happy about Rinderle’s initiative and one parent filed a complaint which led to an investigation.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rinderle was sacked for violating the Divisive Concepts law, which disallows teachers from educating about divisive concepts and was given the notice of termination on June 6.</p> <p dir="ltr">Investigators reportedly deemed the book to be “pornographic” material which included “inappropriate topics”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Stuart, the author of the book, responded to the situation and shared his “disgust” on <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@scott.creates/video/7247741499775995137?lang=en" target="_blank" rel="noopener">TikTok</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“A teacher’s just been fired for reading one of my books,” he said in the video.</p> <p dir="ltr">“(She) had parents reaching out saying that this kind of lesson was something that they wanted in the class. This is a teacher who gets phenomenal feedback from the principal, the students, the parents.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Her teaching is described as transformative and key to the school’s success,” he defended Rinderle.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This whole thing just really goes to show how much more interested the school system in the US is in playing politics than they are in educating kids,” he added</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s gross. It’s disgusting.”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Cobb County School District has responded to the situation in a statement to<em> FOX 5 a</em>nd claimed that any action taken was “appropriate considering the entirety of the teacher’s behaviour and history”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The District remains committed to strictly enforcing all Board policy, and the law,” the statement concluded.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rinderle will face a termination hearing in August.</p> <p style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, Rubik, 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;"><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Books

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How to start your own book club

<p>Starting a book club is easy – all you need is to love reading. Here’s how to get yours off to a flying start.</p> <p><strong>Finding Fellow Readers</strong></p> <p>Ask around your existing personal networks, including neighbours, friends, social media, or a community noticeboard. Once you mention you want to start a club, you’ll be surprised how many people may want to come along. Ask at your local bookshop and library for ideas – many run regular reading groups and can point you in the right direction for good books. Identify what common interests you and your group have and use these to help draw like-minded people. Once you start looking, you’ll find book clubs for men or women, seniors, sci-fi lovers, teenagers or cookery buffs.</p> <p><strong>The Time, the Place</strong></p> <p>Once you have a group, agree on how often you want to meet – typically clubs meet monthly, though the time-poor may want to make it bi-monthly.</p> <p>For many clubs, meeting at home works best as you don’t have to get dressed up, and noisy public venues can make talking hard. If members bring a plate of food or a bottle, it takes the pressure off the host. But try rotating your meeting location as this will help to stimulate fresh thoughts.</p> <p><strong>Idea</strong></p> <p>Tailor your venue according to the book’s subject matter. The Light Between the Oceans by M.L. Stedman was discussed over fish’n’chips by one club, while The Red Tent by Anita Diamant was chewed over at a Middle Eastern restaurant.</p> <p><strong>Size Matters</strong></p> <p>According to Christine Callen, a book club veteran of 15 years, you need a minimum number of people per meeting to make it interesting. “Seven is the magic number – fewer and there’s not enough for healthy debate,” she says. “You can have ten people in the club – not everyone will be able to make it every time – seven provides enough opinions.”</p> <p><strong>Choosing the Books</strong></p> <p>If you’re the club instigator, it’s easier if you pick the first book. Seek out book reviews in good magazines and newspapers and at bookshops. The flavour of the books you choose will be largely dictated by the personalities attending – you might like to have a wide range of genres from sci-fi to romance to travel epics. Or stick to one genre, such as history books. Decide on a strategy and a time frame – say five to 12 books across the year – then review how everything appeals to the majority.</p> <p>Take turns to come up with a list of four or five titles, then circulate the list via email shortly after your last discussion.</p> <p>Members can then vote on their preferred next book and meeting time. The member scheduled to host the next meeting coordinates the responses to decide the title and date most voted for.</p> <p><strong>Starting Discussion</strong></p> <p>Callen recommends beginning by asking all members to briefly give their opinion on the book. “Everyone arrives and has a drink to loosen up,” she explains. “Then we take it in turns to go around the room and each give the book a mark out of ten, saying in a few sentences what we liked or disliked about it. This gives everyone a chance to speak early in the night and stops one person dominating the conversation from the start.”</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong></p> <p>There is no one way to interpret a book. In fact, differing opinions are good.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/home-tips/How-to-Start-Your-Own-Book-Club">Reader’s Digest</a>. </em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Books

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Stan Grant’s new book asks: how do we live with the weight of our history?

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/heidi-norman-859">Heidi Norman</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p>This month, journalist and public intellectual Stan Grant published his fifth book, <a href="https://www.harpercollins.com.au/9781460764022/the-queen-is-dead/">The Queen is Dead</a>. And last week, he abruptly stepped away from his career in the public realm, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-19/stan-grant-media-target-racist-abuse-coronation-coverage-enough/102368652">citing</a> toxic racism enabled by social media, and betrayal on the part of his employer, the ABC.</p> <p>“I was invited to contribute to the ABC’s coverage as part of a discussion about the legacy of the monarchy. I pointed out that the crown represents the invasion and theft of our land,” <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-19/stan-grant-media-target-racist-abuse-coronation-coverage-enough/102368652">he wrote</a> last Friday. “I repeatedly said that these truths are spoken with love for the Australia we have never been.” And yet, “I have seen people in the media lie and distort my words. They have tried to depict me as hate filled”.</p> <p>Grant has worked as a journalist in Australia for more than three decades: first on commercial current affairs – and until this week, as a main anchor at the ABC, where he was an international affairs analyst and the host of the panel discussion show Q+A. The former role reflects his global work, reporting from conflict zones with esteemed international broadcasters such as CNN. His second book, <a href="https://www.harpercollins.com.au/9781460751985/talking-to-my-country/">Talking to my Country</a>, won the Walkley Book Award in 2016.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Review: The Queen is Dead – Stan Grant (HarperCollins)</em></p> <hr /> <p>In this new book, Grant yearns for a way to comprehend the forces, ideas and history that led to this cultural moment we inhabit. The book, which opens with him grappling with the monarchy and its legacy, is revealing in terms of his decision to step back from public life.</p> <p>Released to coincide with <a href="https://theconversation.com/coronation-arrests-how-the-new-public-order-law-disrupted-protesters-once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity-205328">the coronation</a> of the new English monarch, Charles III, The Queen is Dead seethes with rage and loathing – hatred even – at the ideas that have informed the logic and structure of modernity.</p> <p>Grant’s work examines the ideas that explain the West and modernity – and his own place as an Indigenous person of this land, from Wiradjuri, Kamilaroi and Dharawal country. That is: his work explores both who he is in the world and the ideas that tell the story of the modern world. He finds the latter unable to account for him.</p> <p>“This week, I have been reminded what it is to come from the other side of history,” he writes in the book’s opening pages. “History itself that is written as a hymn to whiteness […] written by the victors and often written in blood.”</p> <p>He asks “how do we live with the weight of this history?” And he explains the questions that have dominated his thinking: what is <a href="https://theconversation.com/whiteness-is-an-invented-concept-that-has-been-used-as-a-tool-of-oppression-183387">whiteness</a>, and what is it to live with catastrophe?</p> <h2>The death of the white queen</h2> <p>In his account, his rage is informed by the observation that the weight of this history was largely unexplored on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II’s death last September. The death of the white queen is the touchpoint always returned to in this work – and the release of the book coincides with the apparently seamless transition to her heir, now King Charles III.</p> <figure class="align-right zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/527406/original/file-20230522-29-dcc0ot.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/527406/original/file-20230522-29-dcc0ot.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/527406/original/file-20230522-29-dcc0ot.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=917&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/527406/original/file-20230522-29-dcc0ot.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=917&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/527406/original/file-20230522-29-dcc0ot.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=917&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/527406/original/file-20230522-29-dcc0ot.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1152&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/527406/original/file-20230522-29-dcc0ot.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1152&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/527406/original/file-20230522-29-dcc0ot.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=1152&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /></a><figcaption></figcaption></figure> <p>In the lead-up to the coronation, “long live the king” echoed across the United Kingdom. Its long tentacles reached across the globe where this old empire once ruled, robbing and ruining much that it encountered. The death of the queen and the succession of her heir occurred with ritual and ceremony.</p> <p>Small tweaks acknowledged the changing world – but for the most part, this coronation occurred without revolution or bloodshed, without condemnation – and without contest of the British monarchs’ role in history and the world they continue to dominate, in one way or another.</p> <p>Grant argues the end of the 70-year rule of Queen Elizabeth II should mark a turning point: a global reckoning with the race-based order that undergirds empire and colonialism. Whereas the earlier century confidently pronounced the project of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-power-of-yindyamarra-how-we-can-bring-respect-to-australian-democracy-192164">democracy</a> and liberalism complete, it seems time has marched on.</p> <p>History has not “ended”, as Francis Fukuyama <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-end-of-history-francis-fukuyamas-controversial-idea-explained-193225">declared</a> in 1989 (claiming liberal democracies had been proved the unsurpassable ideal). Instead, history has entered a ferocious era of uncertainty and volatility.</p> <p>Grant reminds us that people of colour now dominate the globe. Race, <a href="https://theconversation.com/racism-is-real-race-is-not-a-philosophers-perspective-82504">as we now know</a>, is a flexible and slippery made-up idea, changing opportunistically to include and exclude groups, to dominate and possess.</p> <p>Grant examines this with great impact as he considers the lived experience of his white grandmother, who was shunned when living with a black man, shared his conditions of poverty with pluck and defiance, then resumed a place in white society without him.</p> <p>And writing of his mother, the other Elizabeth, Grant elaborates the complexity of identity not confined to the colour of skin, but forged from belonging to people and kinship networks, and to place – which condemns the pseudoscience of <a href="https://humanrights.gov.au/about/news/speeches/power-identity-naming-oneself-reclaiming-community-2011">blood quantum</a> that informed the state’s control of Aboriginal lives. This suspect race science has proved enduring.</p> <p>Grant’s account of the death of the monarch is a genuine engagement with the history of ideas to contemplate the reality of our 21st-century present.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/527467/original/file-20230522-27-ts8u8f.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/527467/original/file-20230522-27-ts8u8f.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/527467/original/file-20230522-27-ts8u8f.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/527467/original/file-20230522-27-ts8u8f.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/527467/original/file-20230522-27-ts8u8f.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/527467/original/file-20230522-27-ts8u8f.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=502&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/527467/original/file-20230522-27-ts8u8f.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=502&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/527467/original/file-20230522-27-ts8u8f.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=502&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Grant argues the end of the queen’s 70-year rule should mark ‘a global reckoning with the race-based order that undergirds empire and colonialism’.</span> <span class="attribution">Yui Mok/AP</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Liberalism and democracy = tyranny and terror</h2> <p>In several essays now, Grant has engaged with the ideas of mostly Western philosophers and several conservative thinkers to explain the crisis of liberalism and democracy. Grant argues that, like other -isms, liberalism and democracy have descended into tyranny and terror.</p> <p>The new world order, dominated by <a href="https://theconversation.com/friday-essay-stan-grant-on-how-tyrants-use-the-language-of-germ-warfare-and-covid-has-enabled-them-204183">China</a> and people of colour, is in dramatic contrast to the continued rule of the white queen and her descendants.</p> <p>In this, perhaps more than his other books and essays, Grant moves between big ideas in history – the <a href="https://theconversation.com/criticism-of-western-civilisation-isnt-new-it-was-part-of-the-enlightenment-104567">Enlightenment</a>, modernity and democracy – to consider himself, his identity, and his own lived experience of injustice, where race is an undeniable organising feature.</p> <p>In this story he explains himself, as an Indigenous person, “an outsider, in the middle”; “an exile, living in exile, struggling with belonging”; living with the “very real threat of erasure”.</p> <h2>Love, friendships, family, Country</h2> <p>In the final section of the book, Grant’s focus switches to the theme of “love”, and to friendships, family and Country. He speculates that his focus on these things is perhaps a mark of age.</p> <p>Now, he accounts for the things in life that are truly valuable – and this includes deep affection for the joy that emanates from Aboriginal families. Being home on his Country, paddling the river, he finds quiet and peace.</p> <p>The death of the monarch of the British Empire, who ruled for 70 years, should speak to the history of empire and colonial legacy and all its curses – especially in settler colonial Australia. Yet her passing – which coincides with seismic change in the global economic order with China’s ascendance and the decline of the United States and the UK, the global cultural order and the racial order – has been largely unexamined in public discourse in Australia.</p> <p>The history of colonisation and of ideas that have debated ways to comprehend the past have been a feature of Grant’s intellectual exploration, including on the death of the queen. As he details in his new book, the reaction from some quarters to this conversation has exposed him to unrelenting and racist attack.</p> <p>In this work and in others, exploration of the world of ideas to understand the past and future sits alongside accounts of the everyday; of the always place-based realities of Aboriginal accounts of self.</p> <p>The material deprivations and indignities, the closely held humility that comes with poverty and powerlessness - shared socks, a house carelessly demolished, burials tragically abandoned – are countered by another reality: the intimacy of most Aboriginal lives, characterised by deep love, affection, laughter and belonging. These place-based, “small” stories Grant shares sit alongside the bigger themes of modern history, such as democracy and freedom.</p> <p>In this latest work, Grant details his sense of “betrayal” at the discussion he sought about the monarch’s passing and the discussion that was actually had, the history of ideas and his own place in this.</p> <p>And now, of course, he has announced his intention to exit the public stage. Racism, we are reminded, is an enduring feature of the modern world – a world yet to allow space for an unbowing, Wiradjuri-Kamilaroi-Dharawal public intellectual.<img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/204756/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/heidi-norman-859">Heidi Norman</a>, Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/stan-grants-new-book-asks-how-do-we-live-with-the-weight-of-our-history-204756">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Q+A / ABC</em></p>

Books

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2023 Australian Book Industry Awards winners announced

<p>The winners of the 2023 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) have been revealed, while a whole host of titles taking home their well-deserved accolades from an impressive shortlist of 70. </p> <p>Categories included Book of the Year for Social Impact, International Book, Literary Fiction, New Writer, General Non-Fiction, Biography, Children’s Picture Book, and more - to the delight of booklovers all across the nation. </p> <p>There was an ‘overall’ winner from the big night, too, with Nagi Maehashi’s <em>RecipeTin Eats: Dinner </em>taking home the Book of the Year award. </p> <p>Nagi took to social media to celebrate her win, in the wake of her self-proclaimed “worst acceptance speech of the year”, to thank everyone and express her enthusiastic gratitude for all of the support for her work. And, of course, to thank her four-legged best friend and ‘co-author’, Dozer the dog. </p> <p>She wasn’t the only one with a smile on her face on the big night, however, with her fellow given plenty of reason to rejoice right along with her. </p> <p>And so, in no particular order, here are all the winners from the 2023 ABIAs! </p> <p><strong>ABIA Book of the Year &amp; Illustrated Book of the Year:</strong> <em>RecipeTin Eats: Dinner</em>, Nagi Maehashi</p> <p>“150 dinner recipes. Fail-proof. Delicious. Addictive. The food you want to cook, eat and share, night after night.</p> <p>"Through her phenomenally popular online food site, RecipeTin Eats, Nagi Maehashi talks to millions of people a year who tell her about the food they love.</p> <p>"Now, in her first cookbook, Nagi brings us the ultimate curation of new and favourite RecipeTin Eats recipes - from comfort food (yes, cheese galore), to fast and easy food for weeknights, Mexican favourites, hearty dinner salads, Asian soups and noodles, and special treats for festive occasions.”</p> <p><strong>General Fiction Book of the Year: </strong><em>Dirt Town</em>, Hayley Scrivenor</p> <p>“On a sweltering Friday afternoon in Durton, best friends Ronnie and Esther leave school together. Esther never makes it home.</p> <p>“Ronnie's going to find her, she has a plan. Lewis will help. Their friend can't be gone, Ronnie won't believe it.</p> <p>“Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels can believe it. She has seen what people are capable of. She knows more than anyone how, in a moment of weakness, a person can be driven to do something they never thought possible.</p> <p>“Lewis can believe it too. But he can't reveal what he saw that afternoon at the creek without exposing his own secret.</p> <p>“Five days later, Esther's buried body is discovered.”</p> <p><strong>Literary Fiction Book of the Year:</strong> <em>Horse</em>, Geraldine Brooks</p> <p>“A discarded painting in a roadside clean-up, forgotten bones in a research archive, and Lexington, the greatest racehorse in US history. From these strands of fact, Geraldine Brooks weaves a sweeping story of spirit, obsession and injustice across American history …</p> <p>“With the moral complexity of March and a multi-stranded narrative reminiscent of People of the Book, this enthralling novel is a gripping reckoning with the legacy of enslavement and racism in America. <em>Horse</em> is the latest masterpiece from a writer with a prodigious talent for bringing the past to life.”</p> <p><strong>General Non-fiction Book of the Year: </strong><em>Bulldozed</em>, Niki Savva</p> <p>“Between 2013 and 2022, Tony Abbott begat Malcolm Turnbull, who begat Scott Morrison. For nine long years, Australia was governed by a succession of Coalition governments rocked by instability and bloodletting, and consumed with prosecuting climate and culture wars while neglecting policy.</p> <p>“By the end, among his detractors — and there were plenty — Morrison was seen as the worst prime minister since Billy McMahon …</p> <p>“Niki Savva, Australia’s renowned political commentator, author, and columnist, was there for all of it … Now she lays out the final unravelling of the Coalition at the hands of a resurgent Labor and the so-called teal independents that culminated in the historic 2022 election. With her typical access to key players, and her riveting accounts of what went on behind the scenes, <em>Bulldozed</em> is the unique final volume of an unputdownable and impeccably sourced political trilogy.”</p> <p><strong>Biography Book of the Year: </strong><em>My Dream Time</em>, Ash Barty </p> <p>“<em>My Dream Time</em> is about finding the path to being the best I could be, not just as an athlete but as a person, and to consider the way those identities overlap and compete. We all have a professional and a personal self. How do you conquer nerves and anxiety? How do you deal with defeat, or pain? What drives you to succeed – and what happens when you do? The answers tell me so much, about bitter disappointments and also dreams realised – from injuries and obscurity and self-doubt to winning Wimbledon and ranking number 1 in the world.</p> <p>“My story is about the power and joy of doing that thing you love and seeing where it can take you, about the importance of purpose – and perspective – in our lives.”</p> <p><strong>Social impact Book of the Year: </strong><em>The Boy from Boomerang Crescent</em>, Eddie Betts</p> <p>“How does a self-described ‘skinny Aboriginal kid’ overcome a legacy of family tragedy to become an AFL legend? One thing’s for sure: it’s not easy. But then, there’s always been something special about Eddie Betts …</p> <p>“Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic and always honest – often laceratingly so – <em>The Boy from Boomerang Crescent</em> is the inspirational life story of a champion, in his own words. Whether he’s narrating one of his trademark gravity-defying goals from the pocket, the discrimination he’s faced as an Aboriginal person or the birth of his first child, Betts’s voice – intelligent, soulful, unpretentious – rings through on every page.</p> <p>“The very human story behind the plaudits is one that will surprise, move and inspire.”</p> <p><strong>Book of the Year for Older Children (ages 13+): </strong><em>Blood Traitor</em>, Lynette Noni</p> <p>“Kiva thought she knew what she wanted - revenge. But feelings change, people change … everything has changed.</p> <p>“After what happened at the palace, Kiva is desperate to know if her friends and family are safe, and whether those she wronged can ever forgive her. But with the kingdoms closer to the brink of war than they’ve ever been, and Kiva far away from the conflict, more is at stake than her own broken heart.</p> <p>“A fresh start will mean a perilous quest, forcing mortal enemies and uneasy allies together in a race against the clock to save not just Evalon, but all of Wenderall. With her loyalties now set, Kiva can no longer just survive - she must fight for what she believes in. For who she believes in. But with danger coming from every side, and the lives of everyone she loves at risk, does she have what it takes to stand, or will she fall?”</p> <p><strong>Book of the Year for Younger Children (ages 7–12): </strong><em>Runt</em>, Craig Silvey (illustrated by Sara Acton)</p> <p>“Annie Shearer lives in the country town of Upson Downs with her best friend, an adopted stray dog called Runt. The two share a very special bond.</p> <p>“After years evading capture, Runt is remarkably fast and agile, perfect for herding runaway sheep. But when a greedy local landowner puts her family's home at risk, Annie directs Runt's extraordinary talents towards a different pursuit - winning the Agility Course Grand Championship at the lucrative Krumpets Dog Show in London.</p> <p>“However, there is a curious catch: Runt will only obey Annie's commands if nobody else is watching.</p> <p>“With all eyes on them, Annie and Runt must beat the odds and the fastest dogs in the world to save her farm.</p> <p>“<em>Runt</em> is a heart-warming and hilarious tale of kindness, friendship, hurdles, hoops, tunnels, see-saws, being yourself and bringing out the best in others.”</p> <p><strong>Children’s Picture Book of the Year (ages 0–6): </strong><em>What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say</em>, Davina Bell &amp; Hilary Jean Tapper</p> <p>“A warm and whimsical guide to negotiating life's little moments and big emotions with empathy, kindness and words from the heart.”</p> <p><strong>International Book of the Year: </strong><em>Lessons in Chemistry</em>, Bonnie Garmus</p> <p>“Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.</p> <p>“But it's the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Forced to resign, she reluctantly signs on as the host of a cooking show, Supper at Six. But her revolutionary approach to cooking, fuelled by scientific and rational commentary, grabs the attention of a nation.</p> <p>“Soon, a legion of overlooked housewives find themselves daring to change the status quo. One molecule at a time.”</p> <p><strong>Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year: </strong><em>The Dreaming Path</em>, Paul Callaghan</p> <p>“The Dreaming Path has always been there, but in the modern-day world, it can be hard to find. There are so many demands on us – family, health, bills, a mortgage, a career – that it can be hard to remember what’s most important: you.</p> <p>“It’s time to reconnect with your story.</p> <p>“Through conversations, exercises, Dreamtime stories and key messages, Paul Callaghan and Uncle Paul Gordon will sit you around the fire and share knowledge that reveals the power of Aboriginal spirituality as a profound source of contentment and wellbeing for anyone willing to listen.</p> <p>"This ancient wisdom is just as relevant today as it ever was.”</p> <p><strong>Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year:</strong> <em>Off to the Market</em>, Alice Oehr</p> <p>“Sunday is market day. We are looking for pumpkin, apples, eggs, and bread. What else will we find? Where did it come from? And what will we make with it?</p> <p>“Learn all about produce in this delightful child’s tour of a food market, full of fun facts, delicious new discoveries, and charming characters.</p> <p>“A loving ode to the people who bring food to our table and connection to our community, from acclaimed artist Alice Oehr.”</p> <p><strong>Audiobook of the Year: </strong><em>The Whitewash</em> (Siang Lu, Wavesound) </p> <p>“Siang Lu's searing debut is a black comedy about the whitewashing of the Asian film industry, told in the form of an oral documentary. It sounded like a good idea at the time - a Hollywood spy thriller, starring, for the first time in history, an Asian male lead. With an estimated $350 million production budget and up-and-coming Hong Kong actor JK Jr, who, let's be honest, is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but probably the hottest, Brood Empire was basically a sure thing. Until it wasn't …</p> <p>“<em>The Whitewash</em> is the definitive oral history of the whole sordid mess. Unofficial. Unasked for. Only intermittently fact-checked, and featuring a fool's gallery of actors, producers, directors, film historians and scummy click-bait journalists, to answer the question of how it all went so horribly, horribly wrong.”</p> <p><strong>The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year: </strong><em>WAKE</em>, Shelley Burr</p> <p>“Evelyn simply vanished …Mina McCreery's life has been defined by the intense and ongoing public interest in her sister's case. Now a reclusive adult, Mina lives alone on her family's sunbaked, destocked sheep farm. The million-dollar reward her mother established to solve the disappearance has never been paid out.</p> <p>“Enter Lane Holland, a private investigator who dropped out of the police academy to earn a living cracking cold cases. Lane has his eye on the unclaimed money, but he also has darker motivations.</p> <p>“<em>WAKE</em> is a powerful, unsparing story of how trauma ripples outward when people's private tragedies become public property, and how it's never too late for the truth to set things right.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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Iconic Aussie author caught up in bizarre book ban

<p>Australian author Mem Fox, best known for her iconic <em>Possum Magic </em>book, has become the latest writer caught up in Florida’s wave of book bans. </p> <p>Her 1988 release <em>Guess What?</em> is the target, facing the ban in schools throughout Duval County over allegations of “pornography” in its depictions of nudity.</p> <p>The 2022 Florida law, part of the parental rights in conservative governor Ron DeSanti’s education bill, prohibits adults from distributing on school premises any content “of a person or portion of the human body which depicts nudity or sexual conduct, sexual excitement, sexual battery, bestiality, or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors".</p> <p>Punishment for not complying includes a third-degree felony, which can mean a prison sentence of up to five years for any individual caught. </p> <p>The book asks children to guess the identity of character Daisy O’Grady with a series of questions - all yes or no - before finally revealing that she’s actually a witch. </p> <p>Illustrations through <em>Guess What?</em> - created by illustrator Vivienne Goodman - see Daisy going about her day-to-day routine, including one key ‘problem’ activity: taking a bath. </p> <p>It’s this scene that caused the trouble for Fox, with some dubbing it “pornographic”. </p> <p>However, it isn’t the first time that<em> Guess What? </em>has come into question for its depictions - past reviews took issue with its images of dead fish in underwear as well. </p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/05/GuessWhat_Embed.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p>Fox doesn’t seem too concerned about the ban though, with her agent even telling <em>The Guardian </em>that “Duval County is a county of 997,000 people in Florida. It is not important."</p> <p>As Fox herself said on <em>ABC Radio</em>, “it's pitiful, isn't it? It's like, the Americans keep killing each other with guns and then they do things like this as well.</p> <p>"You just feel sorry for them, you just think, 'people, you're so unsophisticated, you're so pitiful'.”</p> <p>She went on to note that Americans had treated her well in the past, in her 100-plus visits to the country over the course of her career. </p> <p>"They were so kind to me, they were so, so good, so generous, so warm-hearted, so affirming,” she said. “I just grieve for them.”</p> <p>And when it came to the bath time scene, she was firm in her stance that it is “completely appropriate. </p> <p>"She's washing herself, she's sort of sitting in this sink, you can't see any of her private parts at all.</p> <p>"The whole book is about guessing who this person is, it turns out to be a witch in the end."</p> <p><em>Images: Getty, Facebook</em></p>

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5 authors who hated the film adaptation of their book

<p>Most movies these days are adapted from something – whether it’s a book, a musical, a news story or even another film. However, commercial and critical success doesn’t necessarily guarantee everyone will be happy. Surprisingly, the authors of these 5 movies didn’t think much of the film adaptations of their books.</p> <p><strong>1. <em>Mary Poppins</em></strong></p> <p>Author of <em>Mary Poppins</em> P. L. Travers initially had no problem with her book being turned into a film, until she discovered that Disney had disregarded almost all of her edits. When it was released in 1964, then-65-year-old Travers voiced her disapproval at the animated scenes and the downplaying of Poppins’ stricter side. She reportedly spent most of the film premiere crying, and vowed never to let Disney near another of her books.</p> <p><strong>2. <em>The Shining</em></strong></p> <p>With such a prolific author like Stephen King, there are bound to be a few hits and misses when it comes to film adaptations. After King put his faith in acclaimed director Stanley Kubrick, whom he greatly admired, he found himself extremely disappointed in the final product, which went on to become a horror classic. “Kubrick just couldn't grasp the sheer inhuman evil of The Overlook Hotel,” the author explained. “So he looked, instead, for evil in the characters and made the film into a domestic tragedy with only vaguely supernatural overtones.”</p> <p><strong>3. <em>Forrest Gump</em></strong></p> <p>The 1995 Best Picture winner was a hit with everyone – except author Winston Groom, that is. Angry at the filmmakers for toning down the language and sexual references as well as omitting certain important plot points, Groom got back at Hollywood in the first few lines of the book’s sequel: “Don't never let nobody make a movie of your life's story,” he writes "Whether they get it right or wrong, it don't matter.” Groom sued the producers after failing to receive his promised 3% cut of the profits, and wasn’t mentioned in any of the six Oscar acceptance speeches by the cast and crew.</p> <p><strong>4. <em>A Clockwork Orange</em></strong></p> <p>It’s one thing to hate the film adaptation of your book, but to end up hating the book itself? It seems strange, but that’s exactly what happened to Anthony Burgess. Years after the release of the book and the film, Burgess claimed he regretted writing the book, which he wrote in three weeks and only because he was desperate for money, so was unhappy when it was turned into a film that “seemed to glorify sex and violence.” He adds, “The film made it easy for readers of the book to misunderstand what it was about, and the misunderstanding will pursue me till I die.”</p> <p><strong>5. <em>Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory</em></strong></p> <p>One of the most beloved films of all time, the adaptation of <em>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory</em> certainly wasn’t beloved by Roald Dahl. He thought the 1971 film was “crummy” and that Gene Wilder’s portrayal of Willy Wonka was “pretentious” and “bouncy”, claiming director Mel Stuart had “no talent or flair”. For this reason, as long as the rights to his work is in the hands of his family, you’ll never see the book’s sequel, <em>Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator</em>, grace the silver screen.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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“A lesson learned”: Uni student lands herself in an overdue book nightmare

<p dir="ltr">A university graduate student received the shock of her academic career when an email arrived in her inbox to inform her she owed her school’s library a whopping $11,900 in overdue book fines. </p> <p dir="ltr">Hannah took to TikTok to share her story, posting a snippet of the horror email, and the news that her library account had amassed a debt of “$11,9000 owed for 119 lost books”. The books had been declared lost, though Hannah was quick to note that she was “still using” each of them, and had every intention of returning them once she was finished with her studies. </p> <p dir="ltr">To drive home the fact that the books were not missing, and instead safely in her scholarly possession, Hannah panned around the various piles of tomes stacked around her home, with a caption reading “the books aren’t lost, I’m just hoarding them until I finish my dissertation.” </p> <p dir="ltr">The email itself explained the books were marked as lost in the library’s system if they exceeded 30 days overdue, and that there was a flat rate of $100 per book in such instances. And according to the library, it was up to each patron to renew their books, and that Hannah “received overdue notices on the following dates prompting you to renew your library books before they are declared lost.”</p> <p dir="ltr">As she explained to <em>The Daily Dot</em>, she had checked out her collection three years prior while she’d been preparing for exams, and confirmed that she had received four reminders to either renew or return the books, but she’d put it off each time. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Then I got the automatic email,” she added, “saying all of the books were marked as lost and my account was charged $100 per book.” </p> <p dir="ltr">Hannah’s woe drew a mixed response from her audience, with some surprised that her library had even let her withdraw that many books in the first place, others unable to wrap their heads around the fact she could have let her situation get so bad, and many quick to defend the librarian, who they declared had only been doing her job. </p> <p dir="ltr">“My library only lets me check out 5 books at a time,” one wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That’s why keeping library books past their due date is considered stealing,” another said, to which Hannah responded to promise her lesson had been learned. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Only 30 days over due??? Damn give a lil more time,” said one, with Hannah informing them that she’d had the books for years by that point. </p> <p dir="ltr">It wasn’t all bad for the budding scholar though, with Hannah explaining in another comment that “it was hunky dory”, as the library had waived her fees as soon as she’d responded to them, and that she’d been allowed to keep all 119 for an additional year. </p> <p dir="ltr">And, as she told another follower, “I’ve never replied to an email faster.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

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Murder charge levelled at children's book author

<p>Author Kouri Richins wrote a children’s book on grief following the death of her husband in 2022. She is now being charged with his murder.</p> <p>Richins was arrested on May 7 in Utah and is accused of charging documents of poisoning her husband with a lethal dose of fentanyl at their home in Kamas, a small mountain town near Park City.</p> <p>Prosecutors allege Richins called authorities in the middle of the night in March 2022 to report that her husband, Eric Richins, was “cold to the touch”.</p> <p>The mum-of-three told authorities she had made her husband a mixed vodka drink to celebrate him selling a home and then went to soothe one of their children in their bedroom. She later returned and found her husband unresponsive, which prompted her to call 911.</p> <p>A medical examiner later found five times the lethal dosage of fentanyl in his system.</p> <p>Additionally, Richins is facing charges involving the alleged possession of GHB - a narcolepsy drug typically used in recreational settings, including at dance clubs.</p> <p>The charges, which are based on officers’ interactions with Richins that evening and the account of an “unnamed acquaintance” who claimed to have sold her the fentanyl, come two months after Richins appeared on local television to promote Are You With Me, a picture book she wrote to help children cope with the death of a loved one.</p> <p>For a segment called Good Things Utah, Richins referred to her husband’s death as unexpected and explained how it sent her and her three boys spiralling. In terms of children, she said, grieving was about “making sure that their spirit is always alive in your home”.</p> <p>“It’s ... explaining to my kid just because he’s not present here with us physically, doesn’t mean his presence isn’t here with us,” she told the reporters, who commended her for being an amazing mother.</p> <p>Richins’ lawyer, Sky Lazaro, declined to comment on the charges.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Instagram</em></p>

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Artist keeps craft alive with beautifully bound books

<p>In a world taken over by digitised forms of just about everything, book artist Liz Constable says her beautifully bound bohemian journals, handmade envelopes and painstakingly stitched self-help books still inspire the biggest shrieks of delight from total strangers.</p> <p>Journaling in cafés, Constable often feels eyes shrouding over her diary. "They say, oh that looks like a very old book," Constable says. "Oh yes, it's two weeks old," she laughs. </p> <p>Type 'book art' into online creative depository, Pinterest, and it will come up with 636 ways of turning old, clunky books into works of art. Likewise, Google images paints a pretty picture of the ways you can up-cycle unwanted novels.</p> <p>But unlike the art we relegate to a shelf or a picture hook, Constable's creations are usable. They're designed to be drawn on, hauled around in a tote and pulled out to illustrate ideas, and are made with any material she can get her hands on.  </p> <p>"It's that old worldy style," she says. "Everyone wants things to look old. You see people with laptops in bags that look like they're carrying old typewriters."</p> <p>What started off as a hobby 16 years ago turned into a full time business called Book Art Studios in 2007, when Constable, then a careers counsellor, says she counselled herself out of her former job and into where her heart truly lay- making books.</p> <p>It began with dying her journal papers with tea and coffee, then a friend introduced her to coloured dye. Now the "scavenger by nature" says her books are made with paper taken from the likes of old shipping maps, cloth and other recycled materials, before being stitched and bound in her own West Auckland studio.</p> <p>The UK migrant makes books for the likes of happy couples who need something special to keep track of wedding guests, to soda giant Coca Cola who commissioned Constable to make books for staff training, and Fonterra, whose Constable-made creations went all the way to a conference in China. </p> <p>Constable believes it's the nostalgia that inspires such gushing responses from people who frequently request to hug her when they see her creations. Not so long ago she hand delivered a job application written in a handmade book, nestled in a mail art envelope.</p> <p>She despairs walking into bookstores and seeing the rows and rows of identical book spines, prompting ever more thoughts about how she can make her work stand out.</p> <p>It's a thought at the forefront of her mind as Constable prepares to undertake something she's never done- producing her first book series en masse by enlisting the help of potential publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.  After years of ensuring each of her works is unique, Constable said the decision to take hand made to mass made came after reading a theory that it takes 10,000 hours to perfect a skill.</p> <p>Constable realised she'd clocked up more than enough over time, and enjoyed 'the simple life' long enough to begin relishing the fruits of her labour.</p> <p>She wants to produce a series of semi-autobiographical self-help books, whose roots can be traced back to the death of Constable's aunt many years ago. "Oh, I see a door," were her finals words on her death bed, prompting Constable to wonder just what exactly was behind that door. </p> <p>"I was so curious," Constable says. The words kept coming and before she knew it, nine books were conceived. The Martha series, she calls it. Stories for adults grappling with bigger issues.</p> <p>In March she published and began selling another self-help book, One Small Drop, in order to help fundraise for Frankfurt. Unlike the text heavy self help books of yester-year, you can hold One Small Drop in one hand. The pages are laser cut with small drops that turn into hearts with every page turn, the colours gradually turning from dark to light.</p> <p>More than 7,000 authors and book makers at the book fair will be vying for the attention of publishers who scout the exhibits for "innovate business models".</p> <p>After attending the fair some years ago Constable walked around searching for fellow book artists, disheartened to find they were "miles away from anywhere." Her exhibit, she promises, will be like walking into one of her storybooks. </p> <p>"I came back and I said I'm not going to stand in a queue trying to get someone to read it. I said I don't care how it happens, I'm going to get someone to pick up the Martha series."</p> <p><em>Written by Kelly Dennett. First appeared on <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>. </em></p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

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