'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 11 December 2019

Look What I'm Reading! Angela Crocombe

My name is Angela Crocombe and I have been a Children’s Book Buyer at Readings in Melbourne since 2010. In 2016, we opened a specialist children’s store in Carlton next door to our flagship shop, Readings Kids, and I have been the manager there for the past three years.

I’ve been in the book industry for 25 years and have worked in a number of publishing houses. I love the variety of roles that being a bookseller gives you, from interacting with customers, to buying books and making the store look beautiful. It’s an ideal job for a book lover!

Which children’s book are you currently reading?
I just finished Kid Got Shot by Simon Mason.

Can you tell us in two sentences what the book is about?
It is YA crime fiction with a great sense of humour and a main character who is a brilliant logical thinker, whilst also being a complete slacker. He is constantly disappointing his mother, getting himself and others in trouble and failing all his exams.

How much did you enjoy/are enjoying this title?

I greatly enjoyed the characterisation, the convoluted plot with its many twists and turns, and the British council estate setting. It’s great to have another good YA crime series to recommend. There’s still not enough of it!

What made you choose this title? Was it a review, advertising, the cover, the blurb, the author/illustrator, or the subject/genre?
I picked up this book at the library because it is a series I have had on my bookshelves at work for a number of years but have never read. Book 3 is coming out before Christmas and I really wanted to read one book in the series so that I could know more about it and hand-sell the series to customers over Christmas.

What other titles are on your bedside table /To Read Pile?
I’ve just finished Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, and I’ve just started Will KostakisThe Monuments. Also at the top of my pile is the new Philip Pullman, which I hope to tackle very soon.

How did you come by these titles: personal choice/request, publisher’s review copy, or other?
The Will Kostakis and Philip Pullman are publisher’s ARCs, Kid Got Shot I borrowed from the library and The Testaments I bought. I will also purchase the Philip Pullman for my own, ever-expanding collection.

Do you have a favourite genre? If so, what is it, and why do you prefer it?
I don’t really have a favourite genre; I just favour good writing. I tend to avoid excessive romance in a book, or a very complicated alternate world, so I don’t read much high fantasy. My favourite age group to read would probably be middle fiction because there is still a lovely innocence about the characters, whilst they also have a lot of agency and no pesky romance to hold them back. But I will read any genre or for any age group if it’s engaging and well written.

Do you read from printed books or some other medium? Please expand a little on the why of your choice.
I definitely prefer a printed book that I can take on the tram to work, to bed and to anywhere else I go. I hate staring at a screen any more than I absolutely have to!