Books

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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Indie Book Awards announce 2022 shortlist

January 19, 2022

The Indie Book Awards have today announced a 24-strong shortlist, celebrating the very best in Australian literature, as chosen by the booksellers who have made a year of lockdowns and isolation a little more bearable for many. Established back in 2008, the Indie Book Awards recognises the contributions made by Aussie booksellers, and the impact […]

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Puff Piece

Book Review: Puff Piece sees John Safran asking & answering tobacco’s burning questions

January 19, 2022

John Safran is no stranger to stirring the pot. In his third book, Puff Piece, he asks and answers some of the burning questions aimed at Big Tobacco. The result is an enjoyable read that’s full of his trademark humour and is a clever examination on some ethical grey matters. Many readers will perhaps be […]

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The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2022: Jan – Mar

January 6, 2022

We’re a week in 2022 and it’s already looking like it’s going to be a year for escapism. Case numbers and rising, people are finding themselves in iso. So why not ride it out with a good book? Once again, the AU Books Team are looking ahead and picking out some choice cuts of the […]

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Interview: Nat’s What I Reckon talks rock ‘n’ roll, trivia and his latest book Death to Jar Sauce

December 23, 2021

Since exploding over the internet with his isolation cooking videos in early 2020, Sydney comedian, musician, YouTuber and now award-winning, bestselling author Nat’s What I Reckon has been riding the wave of success with style. The swearing tattooed rocker has been creating content for almost a decade, uploading tongue-in-cheek criticisms of cultural norms and societal […]

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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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Best Books 2021

The Best Books of The Year: 2021

December 16, 2021

2021. We had high hopes. But it’s been another year of uncertainty and upheaval – albeit perhaps not as bad as last year. It has been another strong year for books and publishing, with some big names returning with new books: Colson Whitehead, Taylor Jenkins Reid and Sally Rooney to name just three.  It’s also […]

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Ten Low

Book Review: Revel in Stark Holborn’s genre bending space western Ten Low

December 16, 2021

Seeking penance for past crimes, ex-medic Ten Low trudges the unforgiving deserts of Factus, healing those in need and trying desperately to keep a low profile. But, when she comes across a crashed Accord spaceship and its only survivor, staying under the radar becomes that much harder. Because Gabriella Ortiz is no ordinary soldier; she’s […]

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Funkytown

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

December 15, 2021

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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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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Drew Barrymore

Recipe: Cook Harissa Spaghetti from Drew Barrymore’s new cookbook Rebel Homemaker

December 14, 2021

Actress Drew Barrymore is joining the ranks of lifestyle authors, with her debut lifestyle guide and cookbook Rebel Homemaker.  In Rebel Homemaker, Barrymore takes you inside her kitchen and her life, as she shares stories, recipes and personal photos. Alongside thirty-six recipes, she will also be sharing personal essays and stories about topics such as […]

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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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Quolls

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

December 2, 2021

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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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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Interview: TV Personality and Expert Foodie, Matt Preston, Discusses His New Cookbook Matt Preston’s World of Flavour

November 18, 2021

Australia’s king of cravats and statement suits, Matt Preston, doesn’t just spend his time as a charismatic television personality and food journalist, he has also written a string of bestselling cookbooks – and we spoke to him about the release of his latest: Matt Preston’s World of Flavour. Have you ever felt bitter that New […]

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Book Review: Colm Tóibín’sThe Magician offers an often interesting portrait of a complicated writer

November 11, 2021

The Magician, the new novel from Irish author Colm Tóibín, explores the live of the acclaimed German author Thomas Mann. It’s a novel that spans decades, continents and two World Wars – all in fewer pages than you would expect.  It is an interesting novel. Whilst it’s clearly incredibly well researched, and it has prompted […]

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World's Best Biscuit

Recipe: The World’s Best Biscuit from Matt Preston’s World of Flavour

November 5, 2021

Award-winning food journalist, radio presenter, TV personality and bestselling cookbook author Matt Preston is back with a new cookbook: Matt Preston’s World of Flavour. The premise of this new cookbook is very much in the title. In this colourful new release, Preston brings together our favourite, flavourful dishes from around the world. Some of the […]

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Damon Galgut takes home Booker Prize for The Promise

November 4, 2021

It was a case of third time lucky for author Damon Galgut, winner of the 2021 Booker Prize. Nominated in 2003 for The Good Doctor and again in 2010 for In a Strange Room, it was multi-generational saga The Promise that saw the South African writer finally score one of the most prestigious awards in […]

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Book Review: Jessica Walton and Aśka’s Stars in Their Eyes – Nerdy easter eggs and queer, disabled representation are just the beginning

November 4, 2021

A refreshingly fun and hopeful take on the coming of age story, Jessica Walton and Aśka’s Stars in Their Eyes is a graphic novel that celebrates nerdiness and reinforces the value of representation, all while exploring first love, self-care and identity. The story follows Maisie as her Mum takes her to her first Fancon. Maisie […]

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Jerked Chicken

Recipe: Matt Preston’s Jerked Chicken from his new cookbook World of Flavour

November 2, 2021

Award-winning food journalist, radio presenter, TV personality and bestselling cookbook author Matt Preston is back with a new cookbook: Matt Preston’s World of Flavour.  The premise of this new cookbook is very much in the title. In this colourful new release, Preston brings together our favourite, flavourful dishes from around the world. Some of the […]

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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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Terrify your TBR with the Book Team’s favourite spooky reads!

October 27, 2021

The AU Review film buffs have had their say, now it’s time for the Books Team to have theirs! If you’re considering spending Halloween buried in a book with the lights firmly on (no judgement here!), allow us to recommend a few spooky season reads! From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz On […]

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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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CSI Told You Lies

Book Review: Meshel Laurie’s CSI Told You Lies puts the truth back into True Crime

October 13, 2021

They call it the CSI effect. The TV show has become so popular that individuals on juries are questioning the experts because the evidence doesn’t resemble TV. Comedian and podcaster, Meshel Laurie’s latest book, CSI Told You Lies is an intriguing look behind the scenes at the professionals working in homicide and victim identification. Laurie […]

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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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After Story

Book Review: Larissa Behrendt dissects complex family relationships in her entrancing new book After Story

October 7, 2021

Larissa Behrendt doesn’t pull any punches in this poignant but difficult examination of family relationships, racism, and the justice system. After Story is a captivating tale about a mother and daughter trying to reconnect after years of tragedy, trauma and secrets have created rifts between them. Bookworm Jasmine is a lawyer and the first of […]

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The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2021: Oct – Dec

October 5, 2021

2021 is coming into the final stretch, the final quarter, and with that comes more books – all vying for the Christmas market. It’s 81days to go, if you were curious.  So we’re back for our final instalment of our AU’s Most Anticipated Reads feature for this year. Though we’ll be back just before Christmas […]

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