Author: Lyn Harder

Briohny Doyle

Book Review: Briohny Doyle’s Why We Are Here teaches that when life knocks you down have faith in Dog

Miles Franklin Award nominated author Briohny Doyle earlier this year released, Why We Are Here, a touching new novel about love, loss, dogs and golf courses. Frankly any book that starts with discussions of dogs’ scrotums and golf course mishaps has succeeded in piquing my interest. The novel follows the story of a girl –…

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Rachel Louise Snyder

Book Review: Rachel Louise Snyder’s Women We Buried, Women We Burned is a moving tale of perseverance and tolerance

Rachel Louise Snyder’s most recent memoir – Woman We Buried, Woman We Burned – is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed book No Visible Bruises. The book is an account of Synder’s journey from teenage runaway to award-winning journalist. The often heartbreaking account begins with the death of the author’s mother, when Snyder was eight years…

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Crows Nest

Book Review: Nikki Mottram’s Crows Nest is an intense, suspenseful thriller set in country Queensland

Crows Nest is the debut novel from author Nikki Mottram. Mottram, has used her extensive experience in child protection and psychology to great effect, crafting a thriller that is intense and grounded in reality. The novel is set in the late 90s in Toowoomba, Queensland. It’s a novel that delves into the often secretive world…

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Paul Newman

Book Review: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man is an unvarnished glimpse at the private life of a Hollywood icon

The recent memoir from Paul Newman really ought to have been titled ‘self-critical man’, with the late actor casting a critical and analytical eye over his career and life.  The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man is the result of a project started decades ago by Newman and his friend, screenwriter Stewart Stern. The pair got…

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We Come With This Place

Book Review: Debra Dank’s We Come With This Place is an unforgettable read

Debra Dank’s We Come With This Place is an outstanding and remarkable book. It’s an unforgettable read, packed with rich detail regarding Dank’s own family history; but also the broader story of Country and people.  It is a vivid and profound story that is told with great honesty and depth. I have never before felt…

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The Guncle

Book Review: Steven Rowley’s The Guncle is an enjoyable read that’s full of heart

Steven Rowley’s The Guncle is a great read – funny, and with loads of quirky moments. Hollywood star, Patrick or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP) escapes from the rat race from Hollywood, instead hiding away in Palm Springs to help get over a big loss in his love life.  Patrick doesn’t have much time to wallow…

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Australia's Great Depression

Book Review: Joan Beaumont’s Australia’s Great Depression is a comprehensive look at a major part of Australian history

In her latest book, author Joan Beaumont brings us fresh insight into a major part of Australian history.  Australia’s Great Depression offers a comprehensive history of a fledgling nation, shattered by the Great War, and how it survived the worst economic crisis of its history. In telling this story Beaumont uncovers the sources of resilience…

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What Goes Unsaid

Book Review: What Goes Unsaid by Emiliano Garcia explores a family’s unspoken past

In his memoir What Goes Unsaid, critically acclaimed Mexican author Emiliano Monge has turned his attention to his own family tree and decided that it’s time to write about his grandfather’s deceit, and the affect it had on his family. In March 1958, Carlos Monge McKay drives to a quarry and fakes his own death. Four…

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Book Review: Runaways is an evocative and emotive story of female friendship across cultures

Runaways is the true story of two powerful modern day woman who escape the confines of culture and history. In this memoir, co-authors Shelley Davidow (from South Africa) and Shaimaa Khalil (from North Africa) delve into their pasts and recall how their friendship has shaped them as individuals. Over two decades their loving friendship has…

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The Shadow House

Book Review: Anna Downes’ The Shadow House is gripping tale of escaping ones past

The Shadow House is the latest thriller from author Anna Downes. The novel follows single mother Alex, as she escapes an abusive relationship. Along with her teenage son and baby girl, she bunkers down in a rural eco-village. The off the grid lifestyle and remote location seem perfect for their new beginnings. Here they hope to…

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Book Review: Paul Kennedy’s Funkytown is a vivid true story of Australian adolescence

Funkytown – aka the suburb Frankston in Melbourne’s south – is the new memoir from the acclaimed ABC journalist Paul Kennedy. Covering the span of just one year, Funkytown is an evocative and entertaining coming of age story. Funkytown had it all in 1993: A Myer, two surf shops, double storey McDonalds, popcorn cinema, Brashs music store…

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Book Review: Harry Saddler’s Questions Raised by Quolls is a thought-provoking and caring read

Questions Raised by Quolls, written by Harry Saddler, is aimed at educating us all about the plight of the quolls and the environmental situation in Australia. It is a book which raises important questions, and asks us all to reflect on the situation in this country. For example, did you know that Australia has the…

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Book Review: Amanda Hampson’s Lovebirds offers a tumultuous journey where not all marriages end in happily ever after

Lovebirds Elizabeth and Ray fight so hard to have a life they want; a life they both deserve. Elizabeth comes from a selfish family so when she meets Ray, her whole world changes. They fall in love and when fate intervenes, it changes the course of their marriage forever. Their love moved them to different…

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Tell Me Why

Book Review: Archie Roach’s Tell Me Why successfully translates his inspirational life story for a younger audience

Singer-songwriter, campaigner, and national treasure Archie Roach has re-packaged his acclaimed memoir Tell Me Why for a young adult readership. Whilst it’s an abridged version, it’s no less inspirational, and contained not only his voice and story, but the stories and voices of many other Elders, as well as young people. Roach was taken away from his family…

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Pushing Back

Book Review: John Kinsella’s Pushing Back offers evocative stories of people, places and the environment

Author, John Kinsella, pushes many boundaries in his latest collection of short stories: Pushing Back. The collection is made up of thirty-five astute stories about love and loss, as well as stories about nature, birds and the Australia outback. You’ll learn about Goozi’s, Red Wattle birds and the thoughts of children and men. You’ll also read…

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The Emporium of imagination

Book Review: Tabitha Bird’s The Emporium of Imagination is a tale of magic, love, family and self-discovery

Tabitha Bird’s The Emporium of Imagination is a magical story set in Boonah, a small Australian town. One day a plot of land between shops is empty; and then the next day The Emporium of Imagination is there.  None of the townspeople see any tradespeople, and are left scratching their heads at how the store…

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Theatre Review: Filled with chamber music, The Gang of Five is a bittersweet comedy for theatre lovers at La Mama Mobile

Theatre was briefly back in Melbourne before another five day lockdown saw shows rescheduled. Before the enforced hiatus, I was fortunate enough to catch a performance of The Gang of Five at La Mama Mobile Theatre. The Gang of Five opened to a full house, based at Creative Spaces’ Studio 1. Repurposing a dance studio…

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The Moroccan Daughter

Book Review: Explore family secrets and Moroccan culture in Deborah Rodriguez’s The Moroccan Daughter

The Moroccan Daughter, the new novel from bestselling author Deborah Rodriguez, will take you on a journey through the streets of Morocco. Introducing you to the sights, smells and tastes of the culture, and the traditions and dynamics of family and country. Amina Bennis returns to Morocco and her childhood home for her sister’s wedding….

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Shore Leave

Book Review: David Whish-Wilson’s Shore Leave is a well-paced edgy thriller full of local flare

Shore Leave centres around an American Naval vessel that docks in Fremantle in 1989. The drama that surrounds that vessel and the sailors onboard will be etched in the minds of many locals for years to come.  Readers are introduced to a range of characters, a criminal with six months left on their prison sentence;…

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Death Leaves The Station

Book Review: Alexander Thorpe brings intrigue and crime to the Goldfields in Death Leaves The Station

Alexander Thorpe’s debut novel, Death Leaves The Station introduces a standard Australian farmhouse in Western Australia’s wheatbelt to a world of crime, homophobia and racism.  Set on Halfwell Station, Mullewa, in 1927 Death Leaves The Station is also a coming-of-age novel. Ana, a young woman, starts encountering the world outside the seclusion of the family…

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Book Review: Reprehensible by Mikey Robins is a hilarious look at historical bad behaviours

Reprehensible, from comedian and broadcaster Mikey Robins, is an informative and rollicking guide through the shameful behaviour of humanity’s most celebrated figures.  As Robin notes, “We are under bombardment from all of our screens, all of the time, reminding us with just one click what a dreadful time we are living through. But, here is…

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Book Review: Leave yourself rattled with The Hollow Ones the first in a new series from Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Reading The Hollow Ones you will be drawn into a crime spree, and find yourself sharing time with a killer who can’t be seen and a killer who has defied the ages. The perfect read for Halloween; reading this will leave you rattled and looking at your friends and colleagues with an extra hint of…

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Language of Butterflies

Book Review: Wendy Williams’ The Language of Butterflies is a profound love letter to a vanishing species

Wendy Williams’ new book The Language of Butterflies is an enchanting look at one of the world’s most beautiful and resilient animals and the role they play in our ecosystem. It’s a trove of facts and treasure and all things butterfly and moth. From evolution, survival, nature and existence, it’s all covered here in great…

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The Safe Place

Book Review: With The Safe Place Anna Downes delivers a tense and compelling debut

The Safe Place, the debut novel from actor and author Anna Downes, takes lead protagonist Emily Proudman on a thrilling ride. She loses her apartment, her agent and her job; all in the space of one day. Before she has time to take it all in, her successful and handsome former boss comes to the…

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Film Review: Assume the position and get ready for a wild ride with Butt Boy

Don’t be put off by the title! Butt Boy tells the story of Chip Gutchel (Tyler Cornack, also performing double duty in the director’s chair), a bored IT engineer, who has a reawakening after a routine prostrate exam. Some harmless anal pleasure grows into a dangerous addiction, as he becomes responsible for a missing child….

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Album Review: The Dandy Warhol’s Tafelmuzik Means More When You’re Alone is a four-hour oddity

Indie icons, The Dandy Warhol’s have released an unprecedented four-hour album titled Tafelmuzik Means More When You’re Alone, paying homage to the type of soundtrack that would typically score a mid-16th century banquet. On it, the stalwart band experiments with all kinds of instruments, presenting one of their most ambitious – and strangest – concept…

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Album Review: Trivium present their ninth studio album What the Dead Men Say

  In historical measures Trivium means an introductory course at a medieval university involving the study of grammar, rhetoric and logic. In today’s age Trivium is an American heavy metal band that formed in 1999 and since then the band has released nine studio albums with over twenty singles. What the Dead Men Say is…

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Interview: Max Lawrence introduces us to his new single “Gasoline” and talks about isolation during these bizarre times

Melbourne musician Max Lawrence has a new single called “Gasoline” which is out now via online streaming. His music embodies passionate vocals infused with a smidge of electronic and dance music, but still maintaining those chamber pop credentials we’ve grown to love. I’m curious to watch and hear Max Lawrence’s music progression. I hope he…

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Live Review: Julia Jacklin thrills a sold out Melbourne Zoo Twilights crowd

The Melbourne Zoo Twilights happen every summer in the outdoor surrounds in the Royal Melbourne Zoo. Tonight is a sold-out show featuring Julia Jacklin with support from Weyes Blood. There are all ages here tonight although mainly younger guys and gals in their vintage threads. Hipsters, parents, lovers, friends and babies combine together to soak…

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What to expect from Jim Steinman’s Bat out of Hell: The Rock Musical

The year was 1977. The legend Jim Steinman wrote (along with Todd Rundgren) what would become the biggest debut album of all time. That album is called Bat Out Of Hell. Singer of Bat out of Hell, Meatloaf, became a sensation with his range of powerhouse vocals often coupled with female singers with such pizzazz…

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