For the Inspired Reader
Blarney Books Newsletters


This week, well-known Jan Jac artist JENNY LAIDLAW brings her stunning works to Blarney Books & Art. This book-themed exhibition, called PAGES, PEN & PAINT, is guaranteed to melt your heart!  There’s no opening launch, but her exhibition will be open from this Friday, 11 April and runs until the end of May.

"Protect" by Jenny Laidlaw

Protect by Jenny Laidlaw

Jenny is hosting an ARTIST TALK on the ANZAC day long weekend, at 5pm on Saturday, 26 April.  Come and have a glass of wine and hear some stories about Jenny’s works and where they’ve come from!


The Biblio-Art competition has attracted an enormous number of entrants this year, and we’re thrilled to be able to host it for the sixth year running!  Artists still have until the end of April to enter and submit an image of their work, so if you work well under pressure, feel free to drop in and pick up a book!  The announcement revealing our Guest Judges for 2014 will be made in our May newsletter!

Life Drawing is not going to be held in April.  It’s a busy time with Easter and holidays.  We’ll resume in May.


Open for Entries until end of April 2014. Artists are invited to select a book from the list below.  Once we have sent you the book of your choice, you then create an artwork inspired by and using the book (or a portion of) of their choice. Open to all artists in all states of Australia and New Zealand, all mediums, all ages (juniors are encouraged) and all ideas! Each year we invite a special guest judge to work with another local artist to select a Grand Prize Winner. Judging and culminating exhibition opens on the 7 June 2014. The grand prize is $1500 (non-acquisitive, but so far we’ve been able to buy each of the past five winners which are all on display in our shop), and there are five smaller prizes of $250 each.  Books currently available for purchase and entry into the comp are listed below. Please email us with your choice/s. 


The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie
Interrupted Melody, an Autobiography by Marjorie Lawrence
The Nonne Prestes Tale by Chaucer
The Faerie Queene by Spenser
The Fireside Book of David Hope
A Century of Australian Short Stories
Cyclone by Hector Holthouse
Vaughan Williams by Percy M Young
Louisiana Trilogie by Gwen Bristow (German)
The Recollections of Geoffry Hamlyn by Henry Kingsley
John Halifax Gentleman by Dinah Maria Mulock (Mrs Craik)
The Story of General Gordon (The Children’s Heroes)
All the Loyal People by David Stone
Triumph in the West by Arthur Bryant


We hope you all had a happy Folky weekend!  It was a real treat for us to meet so many cheerful visitors and performers over the weekend.

Madeline Honan-Hoey’s exhibition, Go Figure, was launched on the 15th of March, to a fantastic crowd! It was the biggest gathering for a solo exhibition launch yet, and I’m sure our young artist was thrilled with her evening!  Maddy presents a wonderful mix of paintings, linocuts and sculpture. This exhibition runs through until 6 April.

Our March life-drawing group was a bit different – we had Gareth Colliton, a local professional artist, here to give tips and advice, and this appeared to be very successful. We’ll be keen to do this again! Our life drawing group is open to anyone – amateurs to experts. We have a lovely mix of people, it’s very informal and comfortable. Normally $20 for the model & refreshments.  $30 if we have a guest artist.

The 2014 Biblio-Art is gathering a lot of entrants, and there’s still plenty of time to get yourself signed up and take the challenge!  Artists have until the end of April to submit a photograph of their work, so really, that’s oodles of time!  Our 2014 guest judges will be named at the end of April, and we’re looking forward to making that announcement!

We’ve added more space to our shop lately by removing some more bookshelves.  This doesn’t mean we’ve cut the volume of books, just done some serious weeding and refiguring!  We’ve added plenty of new stock lately as well.  Please note that we’re not buying books at the moment – we’re still trying to empty the back room! – we’ll let you know again when we need more books!

February News

Lots of new books on our shelves now, replenished from the summer season! We really enjoy the summer holiday vibe at Blarney Books. There are the happy faces, the returning happy-campers who stop by and say hello each year and there are always new friends to make! Each year we’re asked by numerous visitors if we’ll do coffee, and each year we say we’re still thinking about it. Each year we are asked if the online sales and/or Kindle readers are having an impact, and we have to say that yes, there is an impact but we don’t feel it’s detrimental to our business. One visitor even asked if we do weddings! (Why didn’t we think of getting married in a bookshop?) Now, this we would consider…


Dress designed by Rhyana Cremasco

Our Biblio-Art competition seems to have reached new heights this year. We have artists from all over Australia entering, and the enthusiasm is apparently contagious. Our guest judge has been lined up (and we’ll reveal this down the track), and we’re feeling very lucky to have her on board! We love seeing the entering artists take up the challenge with real gusto. It’s not an easy job to create an artwork inspired by some of these vintage books, but – well – that’s pretty much the idea! We’re throwing down the gauntlet!

Our current exhibition by Sam McCaw, ‘Between Narrative and Knowing’ ends at the finish of the March long weekend, which is also Port Fairy’s Folk Festival weekend. So be sure, if you’re here for the Folky, to drop in and see this! This exhibition is a response to the book, The Letter Killers Club by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky. The novel is a complex exploration of the idea of the book as restrictive container, and the Letter Killers Club seek to liberate conceptions. With Sam’s work, you can count on the unexpected. Toads, prams, landscapes, dreamscapes, a projection and some up-ended furniture all feature in this exhibition. On until March 10.


The next exhibition, “Go Figure!”, is in response to the book, The Last Word by Ben McIntyre, by local artist Madeline Honan-Hoey. This exhibition will be launching on Saturday, 15 March, at 6pm. Everyone is invited to come along and support this young artist with her first solo exhibition.  ”Go Figure!” continues until 6 April.




Cyclone by Hector Holthouse
An Introduction to the Theory of Mechanics by K E Bullen
Riding Logic by Wilhelm Museler
The White Cliffs by Alice Duer Miller
Vaughan Williams by Percy M Young
Louisiana Trilogie by Gwen Bristow (German)
The Instruments of Music by Robert Donington (PB)
Sing ‘n’ Celebrate (PB)
The Colourful British Isles by AN Court
The Romance of Gold in Australia
Three Great Sea Stories
The Recollections of Geoffry Hamlyn by Henry Kingsley
Tim on the Trail by Norman Mackintosh
John Halifax Gentleman by Dinah Maria Mulock (Mrs Craik)
The Story of General Gordon (The Children’s Heroes)
All the Loyal People by David Stone
Triumph in the West by Arthur Bryant
Dimsie Among the Prefects