Books

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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Diana Reid, Anita Heiss, and Hannah Kent get nods as ABIA announces 2022 shortlist

May 25, 2022

The Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) have today announced their 2022 shortlist, with a star-studded awards ceremony set to take place in Sydney on June 9th. The gala event will take place at ICC Sydney, hosted by actor, singer, and musical theatre star Alinta Chidzey, and with Wendy Whiteley, The Wiggles, Michelle Law, Peter Fitzsimons, […]

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We Who Hunt the Hollow

Book Review: Kate Murray’s We Who Hunt the Hollow is a wholesome dystopian fantasy

May 20, 2022

Kate Murray’s debut novel We Who Hunt the Hollow is a wholesome, angsty YA dystopian urban fantasy about who we are and who we want to be. Perfectly drawing on the awkwardness and fear of the late teenage years, Murray uses the anxiety and anticipation of becoming an adult to address issues of identity, family, […]

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Speaking in Thumbs

Book Review: Mimi Winsberg’s Speaking in Thumbs proves modern love is confusing

May 18, 2022

As a psychology graduate and serial online dater the premise of Speaking in Thumbs was appealing. A psychiatrist – herself a fellow dater – dons the best friend cap to decipher text messages and uncover what is REALLY being said. It’s a great idea, but I found it difficult to relate to this, as some […]

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Sea of Tranquility

Book Review: The past, present and future are more alike than you think in Emily St. John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility

April 28, 2022

The new novel from award-winning author Emily St. John Mandel traverses time and space to tell a multifaceted story of love, endurance, human nature and reality. Sea of Tranquility is set within the same universe as her previous novels Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel offering fans of her earlier works plenty of ‘a-ha’ moments. […]

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Book Review: A rough coming of age is made bearable with tall tales in Diane Connell’s The Improbable Life of Ricky Bird

April 26, 2022

Diane Connell’s The Improbable Life of Ricky Bird is about twelve-year-old Ricky Bird, whose life is slowly but surely falling apart during the summer that she becomes a teenager. Her parents have separated and her mother is moving Ricky and her six-year-old brother Ollie from Brixton to Camden to be closer to their mum’s boyfriend, […]

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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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Fancy Meeting You Here

Book Review: Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus’ Fancy Meeting You Here is a quirky and ‘poppy’ rom-com

April 19, 2022

Many readers will be familiar with Melbourne authors Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus thanks to their wonderful debut novel, The Book Ninja. The clever pair have now written their third book, another contemporary rom-com with a fun twist. Fancy Meeting You Here has some of the intriguing elements from their stellar debut; however, its execution […]

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Most Anticipated Books

The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2022: Apr – Jun

April 7, 2022

Somehow it’s April already, with Easter coming up just next week. And in our opinion nothing pairs better with a chocolate egg and a long weekend like a good book.  To help you decide what to read next, we at the AU Books Team are here to pick out some choice cuts from the many […]

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Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone

Book Review: Benjamin Stevenson’s Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone lives up to the whodunit hype

April 6, 2022

Benjamin Stevenson’s third novel, Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, has been described as “Agatha Christie meets Knives Out“; which is a tall order for the whodunit genre and its legion of dedicated followers. But, I am deeply pleased to report that it is, indeed, a very apt description. Narrated by our protagonist, Ernest Cunningham, […]

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Betoota

Book Review: Beetoota-isms offers up a funny look at some true blue ‘Straylian sayings

April 1, 2022

The Beetoota Advocate is as proudly Australian as a Southern Cross tattoo. They are full of national pride and lay claim to Australia’s oldest newspaper accolade. Those playful minds behind a publication that has fooled actual news outlets have released a new book called Beetoota-isms. It is a kind of companion piece to their previous […]

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Unlimited Futures

Book Review: Rafeif Ismail and Ellen van Neervan reflect on the past to imagine the future in Unlimited Futures

March 31, 2022

“I think it’s really important to show that, for us, the past, present and future, are happening simultaneously.” These are the words of editor Rafeif Ismail in the introductory conversation with fellow editor Ellen van Neervan for Unlimited Futures, a collection of speculative fiction from First Nations and Afro-Black writers. They perfectly encapsulate the unifying […]

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The Reindeer Hunters

Book Review: Lars Mytting blends myth and history beautifully in The Reindeer Hunters

March 30, 2022

Norwegian author Lars Mytting and his English translator Deborah Dawkin transport readers back to the modest village of Butangen in The Reindeer Hunters, the second book in Mytting’s Sister Bells Trilogy.  If you haven’t read the first book in the trilogy, The Bell in the Lake, I heartily recommend you do so before starting on […]

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The Way Spring Arrives

Book Review: Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang showcase the creativity and passion of Chinese women and nonbinary SFF voices in The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories

March 29, 2022

The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories is a beautiful, intelligent and poignant collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories and essays by Chinese women and non-binary creators, edited by Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang. The stories range from the fantastic to fable-like, with writing voices and styles that at times feel more […]

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The Leviathan

Book Review: Encounter an ancient evil in Rosie Andrews’ The Leviathan

March 25, 2022

As civil war tears 17th century England apart, Thomas Treadwater returns home, summoned by his young sister. Esther, concerned by the growing closeness between their father and a new servant, has spun quite the tale. And Thomas, though glad of a reason to escape the battlefield, thinks little of it. But when he arrives to […]

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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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League of Liars

Book Review: Astrid Scholte’s League of Liars asks the hard questions about justice

March 17, 2022

Astrid Scholte’s League of Liars is a YA fantasy thriller full of twists and turns; in which no one can be trusted to tell the truth and everyone’s motives are questionable. It’s a suspenseful page-turner with an interesting cast, told in alternating points of view. But despite its young protagonists, the book doesn’t shy away […]

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Bosh! On A Budget

Cookbook Review: BOSH! on a Budget makes cooking delicious vegan dishes achievable and affordable

March 15, 2022

In the past, my cookbook shelf has been guilty of the ultimate home cooking sin: being purely inspirational and decorative. I find many cookbooks have insanely long ingredient lists packed with obscure and expensive items, so I often stick to my old favourites or Google specific ideas. But BOSH! on a Budget is different. The […]

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Ciao Bella

Book Review: Ciao Bella! sees Kate Langbroek and family celebrating la dolce vita

March 9, 2022

Many people have living abroad on their bucket list. Australian media personality, Kate Langbroek is one of the few people that can say that she and her family have done it. In Ciao Bella! Six Take Italy she offers a travel diary about the two years her family (husband, Peter and their four children: Lewis, […]

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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 Sorrow Stone

Book Review: Kári Gíslason’s The Sorrow Stone is a compelling re-imagining of a violent Icelandic saga

March 3, 2022

After a vicious act of revenge, Disa and her son are on the run. Desperately seeking safe passage to the home of her brother’s wife, Aud, Disa looks back at her life, and to the litany of passions, tragedies, and betrayals that have led her here. At once brutal and elegant, The Sorrow Stone is […]

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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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Sheilas

Book Review: Meet the badly behaved women making history in Eliza Reilly’s Sheilas: Badass Women of Australian History

February 25, 2022

The old adage that “well behaved women rarely make history” has never been truer than here in Eliza Reilly’s Sheilas: Badass Women of Australian History. Gathering together a batch of bonafide badasses in bonnets from across Australian history, Sheilas is a witty and engaging introduction to some of the country’s most interesting – and occasionally […]

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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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Book Review: Vanessa Len’s Only a Monster is YA at its very best

February 14, 2022

Melbourne’s Vanessa Len takes all the tropes you know and love and manages to make them feel new and exciting in her debut novel Only a Monster. This urban fantasy adventure features enemies-to-lovers romance, a hidden magical underworld, time travel, hot monster boys, and a mysterious monster king surrounded by a frightening monster court. The […]

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