Author: Emily Paull

Emily Paull is a former bookseller and a future librarian. Her debut book, Well-Behaved Women, was released by Margaret River Press in 2019.
The Riviera House

Book Review: The Riviera House is Natasha Lester’s most sumptuous novel yet

October 14, 2021

Bestselling historical fiction author Natasha Lester is back with her sixth foray into the genre and it’s safe to say that her star is continuing to rise. Once again returning to World War Two-era France, Lester’s latest novel is The Riviera House, a multiple timeline romance and adventure story of art, espionage and war. This new offering […]

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Love Your Bookshop Day 2021: The AU Books Team on some of their favourite local bookstores

October 8, 2021

Tomorrow is Love Your Bookshop Day, inviting booklovers to come together and celebrate all the wonderful things that their favourite bookshops do for local communities. They’re booksellers, yes, but they’re so much more. They can give personalised recommendations for gifts and book clubs, or find you that book with the blue cover that was in […]

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Love & Virtue

Book Review: Diana Reid’s Love and Virtue is a triumph for new kids on the block, Ultimo Press

September 30, 2021

Diana Reid was well on her way to a career in theatre, when COVID-19 saw the cancellation of 1984! The Musical, a production she co-wrote and produced. In lockdown, she decided to turn her hand to writing a book. The result is Love & Virtue, a masterpiece of ‘millennial fiction’ which is already garnering comparisons to Sally […]

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Booker Prize announces 2021 shortlist

September 15, 2021

  This year’s Booker Prize shortlist was released over night, with the prize’s website stating that “as always, the lucky winners will be the readers“. The final six novels, whittled down from a longlist of thirteen, includes previous shortlistees Richard Powers and Damon Galgut, as well as debut novelist Patricia Lockwood and fan favourite Maggie […]

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Small Joys of Real Life

Book Review: Small Joys of Real Life is a deeply moving debut about those moments when life doesn’t go to plan

September 9, 2021

In Small Joys of Real Life, the debut novel by Allee Richards, main character Eva is coming to terms with some big changes in her life. Though she’s moderately successful in her acting career, she’s never felt as passionate about it as she feels perhaps she should. When she confides this information to Pat, a friend of […]

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The Shut Ins

Book Review: Katherine Brabon’s The Shut Ins is a subtle take on a different kind of social isolation

September 1, 2021

The Shut Ins – the second novel from 2016 Vogel Award winner, Katherine Brabon – takes its readers to Japan, pre-pandemic but post tsunami, and is a meditation on the all too timely and relevant themes of loneliness and isolation. Using a frame narrative of an Australian writer travelling Japan and feeling increasingly disconnected from […]

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Book Review: Zoe Deleuil’s The Night Village shows us cousin Rachel, but not as you know her

August 26, 2021

Simone moved to London to become a journalist, but then she met Paul. Now, she’s about to have his child, and nothing is turning out quite like she planned. Having a small human completely dependent on her for survival is terrifying to Simone, whose family are halfway across the world in Perth. Though he’s her […]

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The Eighth Wonder

Book Review: The Eighth Wonder is an engrossing and original work of historical fiction

August 5, 2021

There is something about a book with a circus in it that promises the spectacular. Touted as Suffragette meets The Greatest Showman, Australian author Tania Farrelly‘s debut novel The Eighth Wonder is the story of Rose Kingsbury Smith, a young woman living in the privileged neighbourhood of the Upper East Side in New York at the turn of […]

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She is Haunted

Book Review: Paige Clark’s debut collection She is Haunted might just be one of the best books of the year

July 29, 2021

A mother cuts her daughter’s hair because her own starts falling out. A woman leaves her boyfriend because he reminds her of a corpse; another undergoes brain surgery to try to live more comfortably in higher temperatures. A widow physically transforms into her husband so that she does not have to grieve. This is She […]

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Locust Summer

Book Review: Grief and nostalgia reign in David Allan-Petale’s Locust Summer

July 22, 2021

Locust Summer, the debut novel by WA writer David Allan-Petale, has been a long time coming. Shortlisted for the 2017 Australian/Vogel Literary Award administered by Allen and Unwin, the book was released this July by Fremantle Press in the midst of Perth’s latest lockdown. The postponement of a book launch due to circumstances beyond the […]

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Palace of the Drowned

Book Review: Palace of the Drowned wrestles with second novel syndrome in more ways than one

July 14, 2021

It feels strange to be writing a review of a novel in which the catalyst is a negative book review. In Palace of the Drowned, Christine Mangan (Tangerine) returns to the literary thriller genre with a story of writers block and obsession. It follows Frankie Croy, a career author whose first book was one of those […]

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Reading Australian Writer

Book Review: Reading Like an Australian Writer updates the syllabus for Australian literary studies

July 8, 2021

How do we define an Australian writer? What is Australian literature? New South Books’ latest collection of essays, Reading Like An Australian Writer doesn’t seek to answer these questions definitively. Instead, using as its source material a line-up of well-known Australian literary figures and their books, it offers up a round table of discussions on […]

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Malibu Rising

Book Review: Malibu Rising is a dreamy new addition to the Taylor Jenkins Reid universe

June 17, 2021

One of this year’s most highly anticipated releases, Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid hit stores this month. Loosely linked to both of TJR’s previous smash hits, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and the Six, Malibu Rising continues her theme of exploring the inner lives of the rich and famous; showing us what is really going […]

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Macneal

Book Review: Elizabeth Macneal dissects the Greatest Show on Earth in her spellbinding sophomore novel

May 27, 2021

Elizabeth Macneal is back with a follow up to her 2019 novel The Doll Factory. Though not a sequel, Circus of Wonders treads familiar ground in weaving another Victorian era tale of entertainment, exploitation and obsession. While The Doll Factory used as its setting the Great Exhibition, Circus of Wonders, as its title suggests, uses the travelling circus. […]

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Madam

Book Review: Phoebe Wynne’s Madam is a modern day Gothic for Hanging Rock fans

May 25, 2021

Imagine reading Picnic at Hanging Rock at the same time as The Handmaid’s Tale, and you’ll get somewhere close to understanding the experience of Phoebe Wynne‘s debut novel, Madam. This is the story of Rose, a twenty-six year old classics teacher who is plucked from obscurity (or, from teaching at public schools) and made the head of the […]

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As Beautiful As Any Other

Book Review: Kaya Wilson’s As Beautiful as Any Other deep dives into the inheritance of trauma

May 20, 2021

“This is a trans story. But it is also my story.” So says this powerful quote from Kaya Wilson’s memoir: As Beautiful as Any Other. Written as a personal record of his own experiences with both the medical profession and the world, beginning the day Kaya began to question his gender, As Beautiful as Any Other is a powerful […]

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Smokehouse

Book Review: Melissa Manning’s Smokehouse is a warm debut that’s hard to pin down

May 12, 2021

Melissa Manning may be based in Melbourne now, but her connection to Tasmania resounds strongly throughout the stories in her debut collection, Smokehouse. Told in the form of nine interlinked tales, the book follows the lives of a number of residents of a small Tasmanian coastal town. At the centre (and also bookending the collection) is […]

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Heartsick

Book Review: Heartsick offers hope to the heartbroken but not much in the way of healing

May 11, 2021

In Heartsick, journalist and assistant head of content at Mammamia, Jessie Stephens goes undercover in search of the truth about heartbreak. Inspired by her own relationship breakdown and a search for a “book that [she was] fairly certain [didn’t] exist” which could “put into words how [she was] feeling”, this debut work of narrative non fiction looks […]

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The French Gift

Book Review: The strength of female friendship is celebrated in Kirsty Manning’s The French Gift

May 5, 2021

Kirsty Manning‘s historical fiction always features two things: an intriguing mystery in the past that must be uncovered by characters in the present day, and sumptuous descriptions of food and drink. Her latest novel, The French Gift is no exception. And no wonder, as Kirsty Manning is the co-owner of the Bellota Wine Bar and the […]

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Winners of the 2021 ABIA Awards announced

April 28, 2021

The winners of this year’s ABIAs (Australian Book Industry Awards) were announced at Carriageworks in Sydney as part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival this evening in a hybrid online and in-person event. Julia Baird took out the top award for Book of the Year for her non-fiction release Phosphorescence, described by guest presenter Cate Blanchett […]

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Where the Line Breaks

Book Review: Where the Line Breaks is a thoughtful analysis of the ANZAC legend and those who create it

April 23, 2021

Shortlisted for the inaugural Fogarty Literary Award, Where the Line Breaks, the debut novel by West Australian writer Michael Burrows is stylistically a little out of the ordinary for Fremantle Press. For a start, a large part of the story is told in the form of a fictional PhD thesis. Writing the thesis is Matthew Denton, a “starry-eyed […]

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Chasing the McCubbin

Book Review: Rummage in search of treasure in Sandi Scaunich’s debut Chasing The McCubbin

April 20, 2021

Chasing the McCubbin, the debut novel by Melbourne academic and writer Sandi Scaunich, delves into what may be unfamiliar territory for most readers – a world of second hand dealers with nicknames like Blue Merc, Fritz the German and The Builder and His Missus. Beginning in the early ’90s during a financial recession, it is the story […]

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Driving Stevie Fracasso

Book Review: Barry Divola’s Driving Stevie Fracasso is a novel that you’ll want to put on repeat

April 15, 2021

The back cover of Barry Divola‘s debut novel Driving Stevie Fracasso makes some lofty claims. It promises High Fidelity meets The Big Lebowski meets The Darjeeling Limited; it promises Nick Hornby, David Nicholls and Jonathan Tropper vibes. Picking it up, I thought to myself that this one novel could not possibly live up to all that. But here’s the thing, […]

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Dangerous Women

Book Review: History and mystery are sewn together in Hope Adams’ Dangerous Women

April 14, 2021

Dangerous Women may be the first novel published under the name Hope Adams, but it’s not in actual fact the author’s first book. Rather, Hope Adams is a pseudonym adopted by the well-established author (and mother of bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah), Adele Geras. Geras has made no secret of her true identity, unlike like other well-known authors who have written […]

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The Paris Affair

Book Review: Pip Drysdale’s latest thriller The Paris Affair explores the deadly side to the city of love

April 6, 2021

The protagonist of Pip Drysdale’s third novel, The Paris Affair, would be a difficult woman to get along with in real life. By her own admission, she only keeps one friend close, claiming that all other people are “fake and they try to make her ‘fake’ too.” Yet for someone who supposedly hates phonies as much as […]

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The Paris Library

Book Review: Reading is a rebellious act in Janet Skeslien Charles’s The Paris Library

March 19, 2021

In 1939, Odile Souchet applies for a job at the American Library in Paris, having just completed her library studies degree. An avid reader, Odile is so well-suited for a job as a librarian she even thinks in Dewey Decimal subject headings sometimes. Odile is drawn to the ALP because it is the place where […]

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Hold Your Fire

Book Review: Chloe Wilson pulls no punches in their debut Hold Your Fire

March 18, 2021

Hold Your Fire is the highly anticipated short story collection by Australian writer, Chloe Wilson. Containing work which has been previously published in Granta, The Iowa Review, The Big Issue and the Australian Book Review online, the publication of this book marks the arrival of a new powerhouse in Australian short fiction. Each of the seventeen […]

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How To Be An Author

Book Review: How To Be An Author is far from an ordinary how to write manual

March 16, 2021

Fremantle Press have been running workshops on the business of being a writer in Australia for years. Now, after coming across the same questions again and again, publisher Georgia Richter and creative writing lecturer Deborah Hunn have decided that it was time to write a book that answered them. More than ‘just another how to write […]

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The Last Bookshop

Book Review: Emma Young’s The Last Bookshop is a love song to bookshops and small businesses to warm your heart

March 10, 2021

Cait Copper loves books. As the owner of Hay Street independent bookshop, Book Fiend, she doesn’t have time for any other kind of love in her life; unless you count the weekly deliveries she makes to her housebound clients. She goes to work, deals with the gamut of questions about why her stock is so […]

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Tour

Book Review: Andrew Mackie’s The Tour is marketed as a treat for fans of The Crown, but does it measure up?

March 2, 2021

In 1954, the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II undertook a royal tour of the colonies to meet her new subjects. She was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, and the usual bevy of ladies in waiting and staff. The Tour, the debut novel by Transmission Films producer and film distributor Andrew Mackie fictionalises this journey […]

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