Sydney Writers’ Festival 2023 looks to the future & tackles the hard questions

March 19, 2023

The Sydney Writers’ Festival is one of the top five literary festivals in the world. In its 26th year, the Festival aims to appeal to many different audiences, with topics ranging from AI and climate change to politics and food. We cannot escape the sense that our country, if not the world, is in a […]

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Higher Education by Kira McPherson features a salmon pink cover with yellow title text. The illustration is of a cartoon woman dangling her toes into an open book like she's paddling in a pool.

Book Review: Higher Education is a Rooney-esque exploration of Australian universities in the late 2000s

March 10, 2023

Whilst reading Kira McPherson‘s debut novel Higher Education, I couldn’t help but feel like the interior world of the novel was familiar. It wasn’t until I was a few chapters in that I realised it was set in Perth. Don’t get me wrong – it was not the book’s fault that I didn’t realise. It’s just […]

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Blood & Steel

Book Review: Defy prophecy and fate in Helen Scheuerer’s new fantasy romance Blood & Steel

March 8, 2023

Thea Zoltaire wants to be a Warsword, a legendary warrior of Thezmarr. There’s just two problems. One, thanks to a prophecy, women are forbidden to wield blades. And two, Thea only has a few years left to live. Her time is running out. After years of training in secret, she finally has an opportunity to […]

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Dark Mode

Book Review: Ashley Kalagian Blunt’s Dark Mode is a terrifying psychological thriller

March 2, 2023

Dark Mode is author Ashley Kalagian Blunt‘s first crime novel, and it’s utterly terrifying. When twenty-six-year-old Reagan Carsen stumbles across a dismembered body in an alley in Sydney on a scorching hot day in 2017, her instinct is not to call the police, but to run and hide. The victim looks just like her, and […]

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Tuesday Evenings with the Copeton Craft Resistance

Book Review: Colourful threads come together in Kate Solly’s debut novel

February 23, 2023

If you’ve ever seen a knitting or crochet group get together at your local library or community centre, you’ll know that craft groups are a hive of big personalities. The Copeton Crochet Circle, AKA the Copeton Craft Resistance, are no different. These ladies (and gentleman) are the cast of Kate Solly‘s charming debut novel, Tuesday Evenings with […]

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Kevin Wilson

Book Review: Street art goes under the microscope in Kevin Wilson’s latest

February 22, 2023

Quirky American author, Kevin Wilson‘s latest fictional offering was released in late 2022 to much anticipation. Called Now is Not the Time to Panic, the novel once again explores the line between art and chaos as it follows sixteen-year-old Frances ‘Frankie’ Budge through the summer of 1996. A loner and an aspiring writer, Frankie is a […]

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The Grief Nurse

Book Review: Sorrow, jealousy, and the pursuit of power come to a head in Angie Spoto’s speculative fiction debut The Grief Nurse

February 20, 2023

Only the wealthiest and most influential families can boast of having their own Grief Nurse. Shunned, feared, and revered in equal measure, Grief Nurses ensure their families are free of negative emotions, freeing them from sadness, anxiety, and heartache. Lynx is the Asters’ Grief Nurse, removing their Sorrow and replacing it with Bright. Taken as […]

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Philip Fracassi

Book Review: Creativity comes at a heavy, horrific cost in Philip Fracassi’s Gothic

February 17, 2023

On his 59th birthday, Tyson Parks, a famous but fading horror writer, receives a desk from his partner. It’s hoped that the piece will get his creative juices flowing again, and rekindle his passion for his work. And it seems to be working. His agent is more excited than Tyson has seen him in years, […]

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A Pocketful of Happiness

Book Review: Richard E. Grant’s A Pocketful of Happiness is a love letter to Joan Washington

February 16, 2023

A book about staring down the barrel of a stage four cancer diagnosis could have made for grim reading. But beloved actor, Richard E. Grant brings his likeable nature and positive personality to the unsurprisingly-named, A Pocketful of Happiness. This memoir is a love letter to his darling wife, Joan Washington, and a reminder of […]

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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

February 15, 2023

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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Tom Ballard

Book Review: I, Millennial sees Tom Ballard rage against the machine

February 9, 2023

Comedian Tom Ballard is known for the biting social commentary in his jokes. The podcaster, former Triple J presenter and TV host has never been backward in coming forward with his political views. His new book, I, Millennial is cut from much the same cloth, as he grapples with various important issues and considers the […]

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Suburban True Crime

Book Review: Suburban True Crime examines shocking crimes from Australia’s quietest streets

February 8, 2023

When it comes to true crime Emily Webb is something of an expert. The Melbourne-based journalist is the host of the Australian True Crime podcast along with co-host and fellow author, Meshel Laurie. Webb has also published three books on the subject matter; her latest, Suburban True Crime draws together some of the same cases […]

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Dublin Literary Award 2023

Aussie books garner international attention at the 2023 Dublin Literary Awards

February 1, 2023

Five Australian authors have had their work recognised in the 2023 Dublin Literary Award Longlist; an award that saw 84 libraries across 31 countries nominate worthy recipients. With a prize of €100,000 for the winner, the award is the world’s most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English. The last time […]

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The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2023: Jan – Mar

January 18, 2023

Happy New Year! 2023 is already in full swing and we in the AU Books Team are back and ready to look ahead at some of this year’s most anticipated books. With so many books published each week, month and year, it’d be impossible to read them all. So this is only the briefest snapshot […]

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Best Books 2022

The Best Books of the Year: 2022

December 19, 2022

2022 has been a great year for settling in with a good book and escaping the world outside. We’ve reached that part of the year where we all start agonising over our ‘lists’  –best albums, best films, and of course best books.  We in the Books team have looked back over the year’s releases and […]

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Book Review: Alice Nelson translates familiar territory in Faithless

December 19, 2022

In Faithless, Alice Nelson’s third novel, we follow Cressida as she writes a letter to her former lover, Max, dissecting the psychology of their relationship. Born the daughter of Lord Farley and his mistress, Cressida and her brother Lucian are part of a second, unacknowledged family. They share an idyllic childhood in India, growing up on […]

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Good Arguments

Book Review: Good Arguments is an educational look into the art of debating well

December 18, 2022

If anyone knows how to argue with finesse it is Bo Seo. The journalist and author is a two-time winner of the Debating World Championships and a former debate coach. In his debut book, Good Arguments, he distills many of the lessons he learnt over the years so that we may know how to debate with […]

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Book Review: North turns her pen to weaving tales from Greek Mythology in Ithaca

December 15, 2022

It’s no secret that Greek Mythology retellings are having something of a moment. Madeline Miller‘s The Song of Achilles – published in 2011 – was one of the most talked about books on TikTok this year; and in the last couple of years, we’ve had novels which focus on the forgotten women’s perspectives within these […]

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The Prime Minister's Literary Awards

The 2022 Winners of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards are here!

December 14, 2022

Six categories, six winners. The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards have announced the six books that represent outstanding literary talent in Australia and have made a valuable contribution to Australian cultural and intellectual life. Let’s learn more about the winners… Fiction: Red Heaven by Nicolas Rothwell Beginning in the late 1960s in Switzerland, a boy’s ideas about […]

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Audiobook-lovers rejoice! Spotify just launched over 300,000 audiobooks on their catalogue

December 6, 2022

Spotify has just launched its Audiobook services to Australia, the UK, Ireland and New Zealand with a catalogue of more than 300,000 books. With the promise of a slew of Aussie titles as well as worldwide bestsellers, we took a look through and pulled out some highlights… The Dry by Jane Harper 9 hr 37 min […]

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Eleanor Jackson wins the Small Press Network Book of the Year for 2022

December 2, 2022

Picked from a shortlist packed with incredible stories, the Small Press Network has announced its Book of the Year. The SPN Book of the Year Award recognises the literary greatness of books published by small publishers in Australia each year. The winner this year was Gravidity and Parity by Eleanor Jackson, a poignant and intricate collection of […]

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And the 2022 Dymocks Book of the Year is…

December 2, 2022

If you’ve been looking for a book that has the booksellers raving then its time to check out the Dymocks Book of the Year winners. On Monday 28 November, the Dymock’s team announced the 2022 Book of the Year and Young Readers Book of the Year as voted for by Dymocks staff across the company. […]

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Joanna Morrison

Book Review: The Ghost of Gracie Flynn is a literary ghost story with a bittersweet twist

December 2, 2022

There are echoes of The Lovely Bones in Joanna Morrison’s debut novel, The Ghost of Gracie Flynn. Narrated by Gracie, the story is told as if her ghost is talking directly to the infant daughter of one of Gracie’s university friends, Sam. Gracie, Sam, Robyn and Cohen were a tight knit foursome, once upon a time, but […]

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Book Review: There’s something about Anja in Adriane Howell’s Hydra

December 1, 2022

The protagonist of Adriane Howell’s debut novel, Hydra, has a very distinctive voice. An antiquarian with dreams of becoming a specialist at the auction house where she works; Anja has developed her own taxonomy of classifying objects based on the way they make a person feel rather than on where they are from, who made them […]

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Interview: “The oven is a great bit of kit that I feel we can use so much more.” Nadiya Hussain talks about her new cookbook Nadiya’s Everyday Baking

November 29, 2022

One of Britain’s most beloved bakers — and someone who lights up our screens regularly here in Australia — Nadiya Hussain, has another cookbook coming out, Nadiya’s Everyday Baking. The 2015 Great British Bake Off winner infuses her new cookbook with the usual trademark shortcuts while encouraging home bakers to use their oven every day […]

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Book Review: Life & Death Decisions is an action-packed look at modern medicine

November 25, 2022

Dr Lachlan McIver has had an extraordinary career. An Associate Professor, he has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières and the World Health Organisation, specialising in tropical diseases and rural medicine. Life & Death Decisions takes readers into high-stakes environments: natural disasters and civil war zones where the term ‘life and death decisions’ really counts. This […]

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The Glass House

Book Review: Brooke Dunnell’s debut is a compelling domestic noir steeped in nostalgia

November 24, 2022

In Brooke Dunnell‘s Fogarty Award-winning debut novel, The Glass House, Julia Lambett returns to her childhood home in Perth to move her father into care. The timing, as is usually the case in such novels, couldn’t be worse. Julia and her husband Rowan have taken to sleeping in separate beds; with some sort of unspoken issue […]

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We Come With This Place

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

November 23, 2022

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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Growing up Wiradjuri

Win one of nine copies of non-fiction anthology Growing Up Wiradjuri

November 22, 2022

Growing Up Wiradjuri, published earlier this year, is a new junior non-fiction anthology from Magabala Books. Edited by the prolific and acclaimed Wiradjuri writer and activist Dr. Anita Heiss, the anthology collects the personal stories of eight elders.  Each of the eight included writers are Uncles and Aunties who came of age in New South […]

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The Guncle

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

November 17, 2022

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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