Sunday, May 12, 2024

Did We Spot James Bond In Melbourne ?

While driving with my wife yesterday we noticed this vehicle in front of us featuring the following personalised number plate...

Unfortunately we didn't get a good view of the driver so I guess we'll never know !

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Annual Yarragon Book Fair 2024

The annual book fair in Yarragon was held last weekend.  My wife and I made our yearly journey to the small Gippsland town for the event which is organised to raise money for the local fire brigade.

The weather on Saturday was great for the one hour 40 minute drive.

Upon arrival we made our way to the town hall where the book fair is held.  

As usual there were lots of books along with heaps of other visitors.  In the main part of the building were the fiction books separated by size (trade versus standard), hardbacks, science fiction and romance.  The other three rooms contained kids books, travel, non-fiction, autobiographies, vintage as well as several other categories.

My wife and I both scoured the boxes of books for James Bond titles and found several recent continuation novels as shown below.  I purchased the pictured trade edition of Sebastian Faulk's "Devil May Care" despite already having several copies of the same edition.  A copy in such great condition for just $2 could not be passed by, especially as it has no indication of having been previously read.

Only one book for me today however my wife purchased several books for herself.  What amazes me is what great condition all of the books are for sale.

Here's a couple more photos from the day:

The old steam train on display between the town and the main highway

A photo taken by my wife of the sun setting from our car while driving home

And for dessert that night I enjoyed a slice of carrot cake purchased from the Yarragon Bakery for the bargain price of just $12.  A yearly ritual purchase for me, and as usual it was delicious.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

"A Spy Like Me" Uncorrected Proof Arrives

After returning from a work trip to Sydney a couple of weeks ago I found two parcels awaiting me.  They were both online purchases from the U.S..

The first parcel contained an uncorrected proof of the latest novel from Kim Sherwood.  Titled "A Spy Like Me", this is the second in Kim's "Double O" trilogy series set in the James Bond universe, the first of which was "Double Or Nothing".  And while "A Spy Like Me" may not feature Bond himself, it does include other spies with double-O prefixes which in my opinion is a very interesting and original concept for an author to explore.

The cover of this trade size paperback features an image which also adorns the dust jacket of the U.S. hardback, also published by Harper Collins.

The rear cover features a brief synopsis along with marketing details that will accompany this title's release.

"A Spy Like Me" was officially released just a few days ago (April 2024).  I'm trying to track down a signed first edition from the U.K. but so far it's proving difficult.  Sadly James Bond continuation authors rarely have book signings here in Australia.  I think Jeffrey Deaver and Charlie Higson have been the only two.

Once I've scanned this cover I'll be adding it to the rest of the titles on my Proof Copies page of

I wish Kim all the best on this title's release and trust this novel proves to be very successful for her.

And the contents of the other parcel... yep you guessed right, that's the content of my next post.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

A Work Trip To Sydney

Two weeks ago I travelled to Sydney for work.  While there I managed to drop by Kinokuniya Books.  

This is the only bookstore I've visited in Oz where I've seen the entire series of recent Ian Fleming Publications of James Bond novels available for purchase.

Sadly no new books for me but it was great to visit the store again.

And here's some photos of Sydney by night:

On my return to Melbourne I found these parcels had arrived containing some recent online James Bond purchases to add to my paperback collection.  But that's for another post...

Saturday, April 06, 2024

Annual Mornington Lions Club Book Fair

The  Annual Mornington Lions Club Book Fair began today, raising money for charity.  My wife and I always look forward to this event which takes place across the weekend from 9am to 5pm.

This year my wife's parents also joined us as my father-in-law is an avid reader.  As usual the books were of great quality and really well organised by the event volunteers into alphabetic sections.

As you can see from the photos below there were plenty of other readers looking for bargains with the books just $2 each.

After scouring all the crates of books I only found two copies of the same James Bond adventure, "Carte Blanche" by Jeffery Deaver in trade size paperback which I already have in my collection.

No luck for me today but my wife and her Mum and Dad managed to find plenty of books and jigsaw puzzles for themselves.  

The book fair continues again tomorrow and we'll definitely be back next year.

As an addendum, afterwards we travelled to Main Street Mornington for some lunch and I noticed this lovely E-Type Jaguar.  I know it's not a Bentley or Aston Martin but it still conjures up the thought that Bond could have driven this vehicle in literature or on celluloid in the 1960's...

... but sadly I suppose Austin Powers has taken that mantle now.

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Recent Pan Acquisitions

I recently visited a secondhand book store here in Melbourne and uncovered four out of five of these Pan editions from the 1960's.  

Apart from the "From Russia With Love" movie tie-in from 1963 the other covers are part of the Raymond Hawkey series.  Three of the books appear unread which is amazing for their age.  Their spines are immaculate.

The novel purchased online was the "For Your Eyes Only" shown below printed in 1966.  It's a rare 16th printing by Pan that used a much thicker paper stock causing the paperback to be fatter or thicker than normal.

As well as the spine size variation you can also notice the colour of the text on the spine is white which differs from the light blue on the regular copies.

The images on the front and rear covers are identical...

except the thicker version has an area showing pricing in red which is absent on this other copy.

This thicker version is difficult to find without an uncracked spine.  My copy also has some cover damage.  It's certainly not the best copy out there but it was within my budget.

Overall I was rapt with these purchases and can't wait to add images of this thicker version to the Less Common Books And Ephemera page on

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Unexpected 007 Magazine Arrives

My English Aunt recently discovered that her friend knows a gentleman named Graham Rye.  Mr Rye is synonymous for publishing the well known James Bond "007 Magazine".  In fact I, like many other Bond fans, subscribed to "007 Magazine" during the 1980's and 90's.  From memory I was member number 00212, and I still have all the copies I received in my Bond room. 

Long story short my Aunt was able to acquire a magazine for me which arrived late last week.

The envelope contained a 151 page tribute edition to Sean Connery after his passing in 2020.   

I've already spent some time reading the magazine and admiring the amazing photos and I'm really enjoying it.