Author: Emily Paull

Emily Paull is a former bookseller, and now works as a librarian. Her debut book, Well-Behaved Women, was released by Margaret River Press in 2019.
A Solitary Walk on the Moon

Book Review: A Solitary Walk on the Moon explores our failure to connect, but it won’t be for everyone

July 1, 2022

Evelyn owns a laundromat in the Melbourne CBD. She surveys her community, making internal observations about the people she sees; the elderly man in the dapper suit who seems to be getting more forgetful, the young man with the new puppy at the park every morning, the tattooed couple who argue constantly. Evelyn notices everything, […]

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Book Review: The Woman in the Library attempts to solve the mysteries of the mystery genre

June 28, 2022

Best known for her Rowland Sinclair mystery series, Snowy Mountains-based author Sulari Gentill has published her latest standalone mystery. Titled The Woman in the Library, the book uses an unusual format to tell two stories at once. Gentill’s fictional counterpart Hannah Tigone is writing her latest book about four strangers who meet in the Reading Room […]

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Book Review: All’s Well tackles Shakespeare’s ‘problem play’ alongside an exploration of chronic pain

June 3, 2022

Mona Awad‘s latest novel, All’s Well, tackles one of William Shakespeare‘s lesser known works. All’s Well That Ends Well is considered a ‘problem play’, not least because it sees its heroine, Helen, performing what was known as a ‘bed trick’ to consummate her marriage to her estranged husband, Bertram. But, the protagonist of Awad’s All’s Well […]

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The Silence of Water

Book Review: Sharron Booth’s debut The Silence of Water brings convict history of WA to life

May 27, 2022

In 1906, Frances (Fan) Johnson moves from Adelaide to Fremantle with her family so that her mother, Agnes, can take care of her estranged father. Edwin Salt has been thrown out by his wife, Annie, and everyone believes that he does not have much longer to live. Though Agnes is estranged from her mercurial and […]

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Love Marriage

Book Review: Home is where the heart is in Monica Ali’s first novel in a decade, Love Marriage

May 26, 2022

Love Marriage is the fourth novel from Booker Prize shortlisted author, Monica Ali; and her first novel in a decade. It is the story of Yasmin, an English doctor whose family are of Indian Muslim heritage, and her engagement to obstetrician Joe. Race, class, religion and gender all play major parts in the unfolding of […]

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The Winter Dress

Book Review: Lauren Chater’s The Winter Dress brings the Dutch Golden Age to life

April 22, 2022

Shipwrecks, court fashions and the Dutch art trade of the 17th Century take centre stage in Lauren Chater’s third historical novel, The Winter Dress. Chater was inspired by a shipwreck discovered in 2014 off the island of Texel, containing a dress perfectly preserved underwater for four hundred years. The dress was later found to have belonged […]

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Dinner with the Schnabels

Book Review: Toni Jordan’s Dinner With The Schanbels is a charming novel about life post-lockdown

April 21, 2022

If you thought it was too soon for a pandemic novel, you might just be put off by the premise of Toni Jordan’s newest book, Dinner with the Schnabels…don’t be! Known for her versatility across both the contemporary and historical genres, the Melbourne-based novelist has just published her first novel with Hachette. Schnabels follows down-on-his-luck former-architect Simon […]

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Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter

Book Review: High seas rescue in the far North of WA in Lizzie Pook’s Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter

April 20, 2022

Lizzie Pook’s debut novel, Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter, takes us to the fictional pearling town of Bannin Bay in the North of Western Australia. The year is 1896, and those who own fleets of pearling luggers – those such as Eliza Brightwell’s father – rule the town. But when Eliza goes to meet her father […]

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If You're Happy

Book Review: Fiona Robertson’s debut collection If You’re Happy explores lives that are anything but

March 24, 2022

“They are having sex when the wind starts up, whispering and sighing outside.” So opens the first story in Fiona Robertson‘s Glendower Award-winning collection, If You’re Happy. The University of Queensland Press team are no strangers to publishing powerful short fiction that challenges the conventions of the form in this country; counting among their authors […]

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The School Teacher of Saint-Michel

Book Review: The School Teacher of Saint-Michel is an inspiring fictionalisation of real wartime resistance acts

March 18, 2022

Inspired by real acts of resistance in France during the Second World War, Sarah Steele’s latest novel The School Teacher of Saint-Michel is sure to keep you turning pages long past lights out thanks to its twin timelines of two women on a mission, eighty years apart. Hannah Stone is a teacher on the verge […]

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The Paris Bookseller

Book Review: The Paris Bookseller is a delightful addition to a growing sub-genre in historical fiction

March 4, 2022

Kerri Maher’s latest novel, The Paris Bookseller, is bound to appeal to fans of bestselling author, Natasha Lester. Not only does it take as its setting Paris during the 1920s, but it features at its core the little known history behind the setting up of the iconic Shakespeare and Co bookshop. Readers may be interested to […]

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The Gilded Years

Book Review: Karin Tanabe’s The Gilded Years explores the life of the first African American woman to graduate from Vassar

March 2, 2022

Fresh off the news that the novel is to be adapted into a film by Reese Witherspoon and Zendaya, Simon and Schuster have re-released Karin Tanabe‘s historical novel The Gilded Years in February 2022. The Gilded Years is a fictionalisation of the true story of Anita Hemmings, the first African American woman to graduate from […]

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Stella Prize announces 2022 longlist, with poetry collections making the cut for the first time

February 28, 2022

“What is original, what is excellent, what is engaging?” These were the guiding principles for this year’s panel of Stella Prize judges, who were tasked with choosing a longlist of just 12 from more than 200 entries across fiction, non fiction, graphic novels and poetry. The prize, now in its ninth year, was founded in […]

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Secrets of Bridgewater Bay

Book Review: A one hundred year old tangle of secrets is unravelled in The Secrets of Bridgewater Bay

February 17, 2022

“Two women set sail for a new life in Australia, bound by a secret that will change everything.” In Julie Brooks‘ debut work of historical fiction, The Secrets of Bridgewater Bay, amateur historian Molly is gifted an historical mystery by her late grandmother, Queenie. Amongst Queenie’s possessions, Molly finds a photograph of two young women […]

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Beautiful Little Fools

Book Review: Heroines of a Jazz Age classic speak up in Jillian Cantor’s Beautiful Little Fools

February 10, 2022

“I hope she’ll be a fool– that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” So says Daisy Buchanan, the glamorous but fickle love interest in F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s classic novel The Great Gatsby. She’s talking about her young daughter, Pamela, who rarely appears on the page in the original […]

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The Kitchen Front

Book Review: Jennifer Ryan’s The Kitchen Front is sweet and cosy, if predictable fare

January 28, 2022

Jennifer Ryan‘s latest cosy novel, The Kitchen Front, has been described as “The Great British Bake Off set in World War Two”. Taking its title from a daily BBC radio show established in 1940 in cooperation with the Ministry of Food, the novel looks at life on the home front for four very different women, all through […]

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Book Review: Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens is a compassionate conversation-starter about prejudice

January 20, 2022

It is easy to imagine Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens, the new novel by Shankari Chandran becoming an amazing television miniseries. On first glance at its beautiful green cover, the reader might be forgiven for thinking that they are in for a sweet, gentle, heartwarming novel about relatively harmless retirees living in a nursing home. Instead, […]

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Cold Coast

Book Review: Walk in Wolstadt’s footsteps in Robyn Mundy’s Cold Coast

December 20, 2021

It was a blissful relief to be reading Robyn Mundy‘s latest novel, Cold Coast, over a humid Perth week. The novel is set on Svalbard in 1932, and follows a year in the life of Wanny Wolstadt (pronounced Vanny Voldstadt), who was Norway’s first female trapper. Wolstadt, a young widow, is already unconventional for a woman of […]

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Alan Carter

Book Review: Alan Carter’s Crocodile Tears is a thriller with some teeth

December 14, 2021

Cato Kwong fans will be sad to learn that Crocodile Tears will be Alan Carter‘s final adventure for the Perth-based detective. In his last outing, Cato is set to investigate the murders of two retirees whose bodies have been mutilated to send some sort of message. Meanwhile, Rory Driscoll, multilingual spook, is tasked with babysitting a bunch of […]

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The Rome Zoo

Book Review: The Rome Zoo showcases all the fun of the fair, but you might need a map

December 9, 2021

While reading The Rome Zoo by Pascal Janovjak, translated by Stephanie Smee, I was often struck by the sense that I didn’t really know what was going on; but that I was having a lovely time. The novel is a slightly meandering account of the various iterations of the Rome Zoo (now known as the Bioparco […]

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The Paper Palace

Book Review: Miranda Cowley Heller’s The Paper Palace is an absorbing, if traumatic, read

November 25, 2021

Like many of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club picks, The Paper Palace by former head of drama series at HBO, Miranda Cowley Heller quickly became the book of the moment when it was released back in July. The novel follows a woman named Elle, who has finally given into her desire for her childhood friend Jonas after […]

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Maria Papas

Book Review: Maria Papas’ Skimming Stones takes a heartfelt look at the lingering after-effects of childhood cancer on families

November 18, 2021

“What made you want to become a nurse?” This is the question at the heart of Maria Papas‘ TAG Hungerford Award Winning novel, Skimming Stones. Following two timelines, one in the present and one in memory, the novel follows protagonist Grace as the events of her workday force her to remember a particularly tumultuous time in […]

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The Countess from Kirribilli

Book Review: The Countess From Kirribilli delves deep into the life of a complicated woman

October 28, 2021

Former arts editor turned biographer Joyce Morgan turns her pen to one of Australia’s most famous literary ex-patriots in her latest biography. The Countess from Kirribilli is an in depth look at the life and career of Mary Annette Beauchamp- a.k.a. Elizabeth von Arnim, the beloved author of classic novels like The Enchanted April and Elizabeth and her […]

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The River Mouth

Book Review: Long held secrets will be revealed in The River Mouth

October 21, 2021

When Karen Herbert was made redundant from her corporate job, she did what most people only dream of. She sat down, and she began to write a book. A mere eighteen months later, she had two books contracted to Western Australian powerhouse, Fremantle Press. The first of these to be released is The River Mouth, […]

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The Fair Botanists

Book Review: Sara Sheridan’s The Fair Botanists is a contemplative take on Scottish history

October 20, 2021

The story of how Sara Sheridan’s latest book The Fair Botanists came to be is a fascinating one. Or one to envy if you are trying to get a book published yourself. In an author’s note at the back of the novel, Sara tells of how she was eating at a restaurant when she got a text […]

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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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