Book Review: Interior design becomes erotic in Kyoichi Tsuzuki’s Love Hotels

Flipping through this unassuming pocket book, you become privy to a kaleidoscope of exotic rooms. One has seedy fluorescent lighting and a gritty VCR playing an unknown pink film, another is done up like a convenience store, another looks like a child’s playroom, and yet another has steel doors, brick walls and a dentist’s chair….

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The Fires Next Time

Book Review: The Fires Next Time is Peter Christoff’s urgent call to action

Australia’s summer of 2019/20 was one of the most catastrophic bushfire seasons ever recorded. Dubbed ‘Black Summer’, the fires killed 33 people, burned more than 24 million hectares of land, and saw three billion animals killed, injured, or displaced. Few will forget the smoke-shrouded season, the ramifications of which are still being felt today and…

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Book Review: Emily Gale and Nova Weetman deliver a thrilling Aussie adventure in Outlaw Girls

Outlaw Girls is the second teen novel by Emily Gale and Nova Weetman. Their debut as a team was 2001’s Elsewhere Girls, a teen novel exploring the lives of two Australian girls living in different times. The new release, Outlaw Girls follows the same idea: a time-slip adventure, told from two perspectives at once. The novel…

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An American Dreamer

Book Review: David Finkel’s An American Dreamer is a gripping report on a fractured America

David Finkel is an award winning American journalist known for his bestselling book The Good Soldiers (2009), a recounting the USA-Iraq war, which secured the title ‘New York Times Best Book of the Year’. The Washington Post editor and writer won a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 along with other awards throughout his career reporting across…

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The Lost Supper

Book Review: Taras Grescoe’s The Lost Supper celebrates ancient food, glorious food!

Journalist Taras Grescoe is like the Willy Wonka expert of ancient foods. In his eighth book, The Lost Supper he invites readers along on a journey of pre-imagination to rediscover the lost flavours that our ancestors enjoyed. These flavours looked like they would be extinct…until now. Grescoe fuses together a tome that is part travelogue…

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Book Review: Raimond Gaita’s Justice And Hope is a thought provoking collection of writings and ideas

Raimond Gaita, a German-born Australian philosopher and award-winning writer, released Justice And Hope: Essays, Lectures and Other Writings in November 2023. Published through Melbourne University Press, the collection appears at a time when war and terror seem to roam our world more than ever and many questions are raised on the topics of morality, human…

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Book Review: See how the Imperium was born in The Art And Soul Of Dune Part Two

Dune Part Two is so successful in blurring the line between reality and science fiction that you might not want to break the illusion and know how this magic trick of a film was pulled off. But reading The Art And Soul Of Dune Part Two gives such specific and incisive insight into the design…

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Your Utopia

Book Review: Snapshots of strange worlds in Bora Chung’s Your Utopia

Filled with tales of robots and cannibals, aliens and immortals, Bora Chung’s latest book Your Utopia is a fascinating exploration of the worlds just beyond our own. Highly original, passionate and weird in the best way, it makes for an enthralling read, even if there are some hiccups along the way. Following in the tradition…

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My Brilliant Sister

Book Review: Amy Brown’s debut explores who gets to be creative through the lens of an Australian classic

The legacy of Australian writer Miles Franklin lives on in the two literary prizes named for her. But, how much do we really know about the woman herself? For instance, many readers would not have been aware that Stella (Miles) Franklin had a sister named Linda; a sister who took the expected path for women…

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Book review: Never Ever Forever is a showcase of the best romantic comedy tropes and we are here for it

There’s just something about a romantic comedy. They’re comfortingly predictable, often laugh out loud funny, and there’s that deeply satisfying feeling of being able to race through a book in a single day because you’re so absorbed in what you’re reading. Enter Karina May’s second novel, Never Ever Forever, the follow up to her debut Duck…

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The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2024: April – June

We’re already a quarter of the way through the year and the AU Books Team are getting excited for the next round of upcoming releases. Here are some of the upcoming releases that have caught our attention. April No Church in the Wild – Murray Middleton Pan Macmillan Australia | Pub Date: 26th March | Order…

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Birds of a Feather Cover

Book Review: Rhianna King’s Birds of a Feather is a delightfully sweet debut

Coming from new author Rhianna King, Birds of a Feather is an utterly charming – and very Aussie – debut novel. A little funny, a little poignant, it makes for a wonderfully relaxing read. Beth, our protagonist and the first of our two viewpoint characters, is a very practical and unsentimental young woman. This puts…

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Indie Book Awards 2024

David Marr and Melissa Lucashenko amongst the winners at the Indie Book Awards 2024

The winners of the Indie Book Awards 2024 have been announced this evening. The awards, which are picked by indie booksellers, celebrate the best Australian books from the last year across six categories, including fiction, non-fiction and young adult. An overall “Book of the Year” is then selected from the six category winners. This year…

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The Woman In Me

Book Review: Britney Spears’ bombshell memoir The Woman In Me is here to make waves

The Woman In Me is the highly anticipated and heavily gossiped about memoir from Britney Spears. The late 90s- early 2000s icon doesn’t need any introductions. Britney is a household name, a pop singer known for her numerous hits and impressive performance career spanning over two decades. She is also, more recently known for her…

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Come and Get It

Book Review: Kiley Reid serves up her hotly awaited sophomore novel, Come and Get It

Come and Get It is the highly anticipated follow up novel from Kiley Reid, whose debut Such a Fun Age was a smash hit upon its release in 2019. Like her first novel, Reid’s sophomore foray into fiction looks at issues of race and class in contemporary America; this time through the eyes of three…

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Book Review: Enter the mysterious La Maison de Méduse in Mona Awad’s Rouge

Mirabelle, shortened to the rather more beauty-adjacent ‘Belle’, has left the Montreal snow for the California sun, returning to manage the affairs of her recently deceased mother, Noelle. She’s expecting an emotional reckoning of sorts – her relationship with her mother has always been fraught, after all – but an encounter with a woman in…

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International Women's Day

Five Biographical Fiction Picks for International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (March 8th) is a day to celebrate the achievements of women and raise awareness of the discrimination still faced by many women all over the world. In celebration of IWD, we have put together a list of five recent or forthcoming novels which fictionalise the lives of real-life heroines – women who…

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3 great books to buy if you need some motivation right now

It’s not weak to admit that you lack motivation right now. Yes, sure, social media and toxic positivity have made it so we feel instantly ashamed and overwhelmed when we aren’t operating at our peak. But that’s largely bullshit. Identifying that you need a push, and then seeking that push – even if it takes…

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The Moon Gate

Book Review: Amanda Geard’s The Moon Gate is a refreshing historical delight

You may think that the dual-timeline historical fiction novel has had its moment. But recently there have been a number of novels which have played with the braided, three-narrative structure. While difficult to pull off, these blends of historical fiction and mysteries that span across time are very popular, especially with readers who enjoy the…

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Her Sunburnt Country

Book Review: Her Sunburnt Country offers an in-depth look at the life of an early Australian literary pioneer

Are you curious about Australia’s early modernist literary movement? Then Her Sunburnt Country by Deborah FitzGerald is the perfect introduction. Many Australians should know of Dorothea Mackellar’s poem – “My Country”, with its captivating prose and beautiful description of Australia. Since the poem’s publication in 1908 it has only grown in popularity, quickly became a…

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The Fiction Writer

Book Review: The Fiction Writer pales in comparison to its enduring antecedent

Perhaps as a reader, I have finally had enough of books that are trying to be Rebecca. Or perhaps it is just that the story doesn’t transpose well into a modern setting, but Jillian Cantor‘s latest novel The Fiction Writer didn’t quite work for me. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a compelling read. It’s got a…

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Bright Young Women

Book Review: Jessica Knoll’s Bright Young Women reverses the serial killer narrative

Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll paints a vivid canvas of enthralling storytelling that navigates the complexities of female ambition, societal expectations, and the pursuit of success. Knoll, acclaimed for her previous works, including Luckiest Girl Alive, demonstrates her prowess once again in crafting a compelling narrative that delves into the lives of multifaceted characters….

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In Utero cover

Book Review: Monsters, motherhood, and abandoned malls abound in Chris Gooch’s In Utero

Lonely kid Hailey is dropped off at a holiday camp at – of all places – an abandoned shopping mall. But today, there’s a new girl. Her name is Jen, and together she and Hailey break away from the group and start exploring the mall. Meanwhile, two boys from the camp are also making their…

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Burn cover

Book Review: Melanie Saward’s Burn is a reflection on why good kids do bad things

Burn by Melanie Saward is an emotional read that reflects upon why good kids do bad things through the lens of generational and collective trauma, depictions of decolonised justice systems, the ongoing effects of colonisation, and the harm that can stem from disconnection to Country and culture. Burn is Saward’s debut novel and is developed…

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Book Review: Learning a journalist’s secrets in Leigh Sales’ Storytellers

Seasoned journalist and well-respected ABC anchor Leigh Sales is usually found discussing politics and the latest breaking news; but in her latest book Storytellers she instead turns the discussion inwards, digging deep into the craft of journalism. Interviewing over thirty people from television news programs, websites and print newspapers, in this book she shares tips,…

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Book Review: Hungerford Award winning novel Salt River Road collects another accolade

Molly Schmidt‘s hotly anticipated debut novel, Salt River Road, won the 2022 City of Fremantle TAG Hungerford Award. It has now gone on to be longlisted for this year’s Indie Book Awards Debut Fiction Award, looking to continue Fremantle Press’s tradition of unearthing stand out Western Australian Writers. The story of the Tetley family, and their…

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The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2024: Jan – Mar

It’s a new year and The AU book team are already eyeing up the release charts and penning in their most anticipated releases for the year. The beginning of 2024 brings in a host of exciting books. With everything from mythical sea creatures, 1800’s apothecaries, America as seen through the eyes of its First Peoples,…

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Book Review: In The Girl In The Band Belinda Chapple exposes the ruthless entertainment industry

The Girl In The Band is a tell all memoir from Australian singer, creative director and interior designer Belinda Chapple. Chapple made a name for herself as a singer, dancer and model, starting her performing career at just ten years old. She shot to stardom as a member of the award-winning and platinum-selling band Bardot….

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The Witching Tide by Margaret Meyer is a midnight blue cover with an illustration of a witchfinder's pricking stick hidden in a field of yellow flowers

Book Review: The Witching Tide is historical fiction that should be read by the light of day

In Margaret Meyer’s The Witching Tide, the story of a witch-hunt is seen through the eyes of Martha Hallybread, a mute midwife, who may actually be a witch. Ironically, she is the only woman in her town who seems to be safe from the paranoia and suspicions of a community riddled with bad luck – failed…

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Best Books 2023

The Best Books of the Year: 2023

With Christmas less than a week away, at the AU we’ve got to the task of agonising and arguing over our end of year lists – best albums, best films, best games, and of course best books. The Books team have taken a look over the year’s releases and compiled a list of some of…

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