Books

Book Review: Anton Du Beke’s debonair debut One Enchanted Evening might just sweep you off your feet

February 13, 2019

The year is 1936 and inside the Buckingham Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, the party is in full swing. But it’s more than dancing partners and waiters armed with fresh champagne doing the rounds here. With Britain keeping one eye firmly on the rising European fascists, the business of buying and selling secrets is booming – and […]

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8 events not to miss at Perth Festival Writers Week

February 13, 2019

It’s the event that kicks off the writers’ festival circuit every year, and Perth Festival’s faithful will tell you it’s one of the best in Australia. Under the stewardship of new program curator, William Yeoman, the Perth Writers Festival has seen some changes in the last two years- most notably a change of name to […]

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Book Review: Debra Adelaide’s Zebra and other stories showcases the author’s astonishing range

February 11, 2019

Eccentric, heartbreaking and hilarious- this is how Debra Adelaide‘s latest book of short stories is described on the cover by her Picador stable-mate, Jennifer Mills. The book is Zebra and Other Stories, a collection comprised of fourteen stories, divided into three sections: First, Second and Third. These sections refer to the point of view taken in the stories. Adelaide covers a […]

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Jenny Ackland, Bri Lee, and Melissa Lucashenko head up 2019 Stella Prize longlist

February 7, 2019

The $50,000 Stella Prize celebrates literature penned by Australian women. First awarded in 2013, the Stella Prize is named for My Brilliant Career author Stella Maria Sarah ‘Miles’ Franklin, and has become a landmark prize in the Australian literary scene. This year, some 170 entries were narrowed down to just twelve, with every longlisted author […]

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Book Review: Alison Evans’ Highway Bodies brings the zombie apocalypse to Victoria

February 7, 2019

No one is really sure how it started. Random attacks. Censored news reports. Curfews and evacuations. The internet stopping. And then there’s Rhea and Jojo’s mother going missing. Band members Dee, Poppy, Zufan, and Jack’s creative retreat cut short by power outages. And an unnamed teen facing down her own family, who are literally about […]

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Book Review: Forty Years on, Joy Williams’ The Changeling is finding a new audience

February 6, 2019

Changelings, or babies swapped with supernatural beings in their infancy, permeate the mythology of a number of cultures throughout Europe. Often, it was believed that fairies had taken the child and left one of their own behind- a sign of bad luck for the family. The idea of a changeling may have been used to […]

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Book Review: Markus Zusak’s Bridge of Clay is an extended musing on family, grief and brotherhood

February 5, 2019

The entire time that I was reading Markus Zusak’s new novel, Bridge of Clay, I had Josh Pyke’s song “Feet of Clay” going around and around in my head. Perhaps, this has only strengthened my belief that the entire novel is really some sort of extended metaphor, although for what exactly I couldn’t say. One […]

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Book Review: David Malouf’s An Open Book is a well crafted and emotive collection from one of Australia’s finest

January 23, 2019

An Open Book, published late last year, is the eleventh collection of poetry from David Malouf, and his third in the last ten years. Prior to this collection I only really knew of Malouf in his capacity as a writer of prose and short stories. As it turns out he is equally adept in many […]

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Book Review: Robert Ian Bonnick’s Soul Survivor is an inspiring rags-to-riches tale

January 16, 2019

Robert Ian Bonnick is a warrior. This successful man has had a career that most people could only dream of. But, what some of us may not know is that he had to overcome extreme adversity and challenges in order to get there. In his debut book, Soul Survivor, he describes his own personal rags-to-riches […]

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Indie Book Awards announce 2019 shortlist

January 16, 2019

Established in 2008, the Indie Book Awards recognise and celebrate both best in Australian writing as well as the country’s most passionate independent booksellers. This year’s nominations include Markus Zusak‘s Bridge of Clay, his first novel since global phenomenon The Book Thief was published in 2005 and Jessica Townsend‘s Wundersmith, the sequel to last year’s Nevermoor, which […]

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Book Review: Laura Elizabeth Woollett’s new novel Beautiful Revolutionary is Jonestown, but not as we know it.

January 15, 2019

In the summer of 1968, Evelyn Lynden and her husband Lenny move to Evergreen Valley, California so that Lenny can work as an orderly in an asylum- part of the agreement he has made as a conscientious objector, so that he does not have to go over and fight in the Vietnam War. Their arrival […]

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Book review: Freeman’s latest anthology brings power to the people

January 14, 2019

Power is a fundamental thing. A lack of it can render someone a wretched husk, and too much of it can make people go drunk and blind. Writer and editor, John Freeman knows all this, because he chose it as the topic for the latest instalment of Freeman’s Best New Writing; the anthology that includes exciting […]

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Book Review: Jacqueline Raposo’s The Me, Without is a self-help guide that subtracts the negative from the positive

January 4, 2019

In 2005 Nigel Marsh wrote Fat, Forty & Fired about his year embracing life away from the office. In some ways, Jacqueline Raposo’s The Me, Without: My Year on an Elimination Diet of Modern Conveniences is cut from the same cloth. Raposo’s book is both memoir and a case study into her failed life at […]

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Book Review: Katie Little’s Catch A Falling Star shares the story of growing up with the much loved Jeanne Little

December 20, 2018

Jeanne Little entered the world of Television with for her fabulous outfits and wigs, boisterous laughter, make up, false eye lashes and her trademark saying: “Hello, darrrrlliiinnggs”! Jeanne’s story is a classic one. Tired of boring maternity dresses, she made her own, which caught the attention of the local newspaper. An assistant producer saw the […]

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The 16 Best Books of 2018

December 19, 2018

We’ve come to that point of the year where things begin to wind down for the year, and where those of us in the business of reviewing and writing about art, music, books and films stop and begin to agonise over our “Top 10” or “Best of” lists.  2018 has been another great year in […]

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Book Review: Mads Peder Nordbo’s The Girl Without Skin marks the start of an impressive new crime series

December 19, 2018

When what appears to be the corpse of a mummified Viking is found, journalist Matthew Cave is first on the scene. But by the next day, the body is gone, and in its place lies the flayed corpse of the policeman left to keep watch. Silenced by the local constabulary as they investigate the crime, […]

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Book Review: Island Story: Tasmania in Object and Text is a tribute to everything visitors and locals alike love about Tasmania

December 18, 2018

Tasmania lies just below mainland Australia like a hidden jewel, with its rainforests still standing, cooler temperatures, a treasure for the foodies and art and culture are found on nearly every corner. Island Story: Tasmania in Object and Text provides a juxtaposition of text and images, allowing both elements of shine, but neither to dominate. […]

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Book Review: Olga Tokarczuk’s Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is a murder mystery, but not as you know it

December 17, 2018

Janina Duszejko (though never call her Janina) lives just outside an isolated village. She spends her days tending to the empty holiday homes nearby, teaching at the local school, and mourning the disappearance of her two beloved dogs. But when prominent members of the local hunting club are found dead, Duszejko is on the case. […]

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Book Review: Peter Spearritt’s Where History Happened is like the great Australian bite…of facts & history

December 6, 2018

He loves a sunburnt country; a land of sweeping plains. Okay, that was actually Dorothea Mackellar. But the same also applies to Peter Spearritt. This historian, emeritus professor and author shows a real enthusiasm for the wonderful land of Oz in Where History Happened: The Hidden Past of Australia’s Towns & Places. This is one personal, colourful and […]

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Book Review: Andrew Miller’s Now We Shall Be Entirely Free is a well-researched piece of literary historical fiction that, sadly, just misses the mark

November 30, 2018

On a stormy night in 1809, Captain John Lacroix returns home from a disastrous campaign on the Continent. Shaken by the events he witnessed in a little Spanish village while his army retreated, he cannot bring himself to report back to his regiment when the call comes. Instead, he deserts, making his way to the […]

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