‘Kill or Cure? A Taste of Medicine’ Exhibition

This new exhibition at the State Library of New South Wales looks great.

Kill or Cure Exhibition State Library of NSW

“From the influence of the stars and the phases of the moon, to healing chants and prayers, to the knife-wielding barber-surgeon and game-changing scientific experiments, Kill or Cure? takes you behind the curtain of western medicine’s macabre history.

Explore our many treatment rooms with instruments that will make your skin crawl. Hear quack doctors spruiking dangerous cures from behind the interactive walls. Meet the bloodletting man and learn why veins were opened to restore health.

The Library’s extensive rare books collection reveals some of the powerful and enduring ideas from western medicine that have since been debunked, and those we take for granted today.”

Lots of fascinating, gory exhibits about bloodletting, leeches, plague and scurvy! It’s free and will be at the State Library’s Exhibition Galleries in Shakespeare Place, Sydney until January 2023.

And after you’ve visited the exhibition, if you want to learn even more about the weird and wonderful history of medicine, why not read (or re-read) Dr Huxley’s Bequest: A History of Medicine in Thirteen Objects?

Dr Huxley's Bequest paperbacks

Local Authors at Glebe Summer Streets Festival This Saturday

As part of the Sydney Summer Streets Festival organised by the City of Sydney, Gleebooks will be hosting local authors and their books outside the famous Glebe Point Road bookshop.

Author Ken Saunders explains, “Over twenty titles from twelve different authors give but a glimpse of the wide-ranging interests of your very own neighbourhood writers. We have a fictional Pyrmont GP solving crimes, an absurdist comedy of an alleged ‘autobiography’ written by a computer program, reflections on Secular Buddhism, significant historical and sociological works, Young Adult literature of a family caught in the tensions leading up to World War Two, historical fiction, a beautifully photographed children’s book of Australian birds, local history and art, the biography of the great Glebian Sadie King and the travel adventures of some locals who drove two vintage cars on an epic journey along the old Silk Road.”

Glebe Summer Streets Local Authors 2022

Authors at the Summer Streets stall include Ken Saunders, Emily Booker, Winton Higgins, John McCombe, Michelle Cooper, Janice Challinor, Heather Goodall, Gaiti Rabbani, L M Ardor, Trish Curotta and Anne Wark.

Gleebooks
Local Authors’ Table
Saturday 12 February 10:00am – 2:00pm
49 Glebe Point Road
Glebe

#AuthorsForFireys

Australia is currently in the middle of a bushfire catastrophe, with horrific destruction of human lives, property and wildlife. Like many Australians, I’ve been watching the news, seeing familiar places being burned to the ground, and feeling very sad, worried and helpless. For those of us not directly involved in rescue and emergency services, the most useful thing we can do right now is to donate money to appropriate organisations.

Emily Gale, Nova Weetman and other Australian authors are running a Twitter-based online auction this week, starting Monday 6th Jan 2020 and ending at 11pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday 11th Jan 2020. All proceeds will go directly to CFA (Country Fire Authority), a volunteer, community-based fire and emergency organisation that’s been fighting bushfires and helping fire-affected residents in Victoria. (International bidders can choose to donate via the Victorian Bushfire Disaster Appeal.)

As part of #AuthorsForFireys, I’m auctioning a signed set of all the books I’ve written – The Rage of Sheep, Dr Huxley’s Bequest and the three Montmaray novels, A Brief History of Montmaray, The FitzOsbornes in Exile and The FitzOsbornes at War. (The photo below shows the Vintage paperback edition of the first Montmaray book and the US hardcovers of the other Montmaray books, but the winning bidder can choose any edition of the Montmaray books they’d like.) I’ll sign each book with a personalised message and include a handwritten thank you letter.

Books for #AuthorsForFireys auction

How does the #AuthorsForFireys auction work? If you’re on Twitter (or you can borrow someone else’s Twitter account), simply reply to my tweet with the amount you’re willing to donate. On Saturday 11th January, I’ll directly message the person who posted the highest bid. The winning bidder will donate that amount directly to CFA and send me proof of the donation. Then I’ll post my package of books to them. I am happy to post to anywhere in the world and the auction allows international bidders.

Here’s a list of Australian Children’s and YA authors taking part in the auction, with links to each author’s Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/groups/the.knack/permalink/499228104059061/. (You don’t need a Facebook account to read it – just click on ‘Comments’ to see the list.)

If you don’t want to be part of the auction, but are looking for some way to help those affected by the Australian bushfires, here are some links to organisations accepting donations:

Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Appeal

NSW Rural Fire Service

WIRES Wildlife Rescue

RSPCA Bushfire Appeal

Thank you!

‘Dr Huxley’s Bequest’ Shortlisted for Young People’s History Prize

Dr Huxley’s Bequest has been shortlisted for the Young People’s History Prize in the 2018 NSW Premier’s History Awards. The other shortlisted books are The Fighting Stingrays by Simon Mitchell and Marvellous Miss May: Queen of the Circus by Stephanie Owen Reeder, both of which look fascinating.

'The Fighting Stingrays' by Simon Mitchell

'Marvellous Miss May' by Stephanie Owen Reeder

Dr Huxley’s Bequest has also been added to the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge list for Years 7-9. There’s a good list of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) book recommendations for students in Years 3-9 here.

Plus, National Science Week starts tomorrow and Children’s Book Week is the week after that and then it’s History Week. SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!

‘Dr Huxley’s Bequest’ Miscellanea

'Dr Huxley's Bequest' by Michelle Cooper

For those who don’t follow me on Twitter (that is, the entire population of the universe, minus about 48 people), here are some bits and pieces about my latest book, Dr Huxley’s Bequest:

The Great Raven recently published a guest post from me, in which I explain why I turned to self-publishing for my fifth book.

– The Children’s Book Council of Australia published a nice review at Reading Time, saying, “This thoroughly researched chronology of medicinal inventions, discoveries and disasters is presented in an interesting and engaging manner. Dr Huxley’s Bequest is a fascinating look at the role science, pseudo-science, and convenient accidents have had on the well-being of humanity … perfect for readers aged 12 and up.”

Magpies Magazine also reviewed it, saying, “Cooper approaches the history of medicine with the same eclectic verve, pace and off-beat imagination as she demonstrates in her historically-based novels … the reader is positively bombarded with fascinating information.”

– Telani Croft at The Book Nut enjoyed the book and her thoughtful review concluded “… strong characters and a believable purpose combine with a deft writerly touch to produce an interesting and engaging narrative that educates and, as I mentioned, provides a positive perspective on research and the quest for knowledge, and this cannot be undervalued. I can see this being picked up by young readers for pleasure, but I would also commend it to teachers to consider as a class text, due to its quality and relevance to learning.”

Read Plus said, “The mystery technique is a fantastic way to tell the story of medicine from ancient Egyptian times to current genetic testing.”

– And Kate Constable wrote on her blog that she “learned something new on every page, but … it never feels too educational! It’s just like a very clever, funny person telling you loads of really interesting stories about medicine.” Thank you, Kate!