Books

The Vanishing Half

Book Review: Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half is every bit as good as promised

July 9, 2020

The release of Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half early last month was met with great excitement, with the book quickly becoming a bestseller. Bennett’s sophomore novel is the story of the Vignes twins, Stella and Desiree, who grow up in an American town called Mallard during the 1960s. There are two things to know about Mallard […]

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The Safe Place

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

July 2, 2020

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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Necessary People

Book Review: Necessary People is an underwhelming portrait of ambition and jealousy in the world of TV news

June 18, 2020

Anna Pitoniak’s new novel Necessary People has a blurb quote from Stephen King on its front cover, and one from Lee Child on its back. In fact, the first couple of pages of the book are devoted to quotes from publications like Refinery29 and Marie Claire, exclaiming how much their reviewers loved this book. Yet Pitoniak’s second […]

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Miles Franklin

The 2020 Miles Franklin Award shortlist unveiled

June 18, 2020

The shortlist for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award was announced yesterday evening. As has become the new norm during the COVID-19 pandemic the announcement was made online via a live YouTube presentation.  The award, established in 1954, celebrates the best of Australian character and creativity whilst recognising “the novel of the highest literary merit […]

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Conjure Women

Book Review: Afia Atakora delivers a cautionary tale about the narratives of history in Conjure Women

June 11, 2020

Set in the years immediately preceding and immediately after the American Civil War, Afia Atakora‘s debut novel Conjure Women is an exploration of both what it meant to be a woman and what it meant to be a slave in the Antebellum South. Conjure Women is the story of Rue, a ‘conjure woman’ in a small community made up […]

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Older But Better

Book Review: Older But Better, But Older is a handsome, devilish book about growing up

June 2, 2020

There is no actual school of life. So what does one do if they want to learn to be an adult? Luckily, the fine ladies who wrote the  bestselling book, How to Be Parisian have you covered. They’ve put together a playful, new volume that is chock-full of observations and advice about growing up. It […]

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Melting Moments

Book Review: One woman’s life tracks gently alongside the pull of history in Anna Goldsworthy’s Melting Moments

May 26, 2020

It is hard to believe that Melting Moments is a debut novel. Not only is the name Anna Goldsworthy a familiar one in the Australian literary scene, but the writing inside this novel is so accomplished that it feels effortless to read. Melting Moments is the story of Ruby, following her from her days as a young woman, […]

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Mammoth

Book Review: Chris Flynn’s Mammoth is a novel of great wit, imagination and science

May 25, 2020

Mammoth, the new novel from author Chris Flynn, is a witty and compelling mash-up of historical and science fiction, with gags and subtle ecological (and more) messaging nestled side by side.  On the face of it, Mammoth, sounds bold, audacious and something that shouldn’t really work. A sentient Mammoth fossil tells his life (and after […]

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Australian Book Industry Awards

Bluey: The Beach makes history at the 2020 Australian Book Industry Awards

May 13, 2020

This afternoon, the 2020 ABIAs (Australian Book Industry Awards) were live streamed into the homes of book lovers across Australia. Winners were toasted, writers celebrated, and history was made, in more ways than one. Thanks to COVID-19 2020 saw the Award’s Gala held virtually for the first time in the event’s history. 2020 also marks the […]

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The Rich Man's House

Book Review: Man and nature collide in Andrew McGahan’s final work, The Rich Man’s House

May 12, 2020

South of Tasmania sits The Wheel. It is the largest mountain in the world, almost triple the height of Everest. Accompanied by a small island, complete with its own formidable peak, The Wheel has been conquered by only one man – American billionaire climber Walter Richman. It’s been more than fifty years since Richman stood […]

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Fauna

Book Review: Donna Mazza makes a spectacular return with Fauna

May 1, 2020

It’s been thirteen years since WA writer, Donna Mazza, won the prestigious City of Fremantle T.A.G. Hungerford award for her novel, The Albanian. But her second book, Fauna, out earlier this year through Allen and Unwin was certainly worth the wait. Set in 2037, in an Australia which shows only subtle differences from our own, […]

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ABIAs

2020 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) shortlist announced

April 28, 2020

The shortlist for the 2020 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) has been unveiled today. The awards are a key fixture in the Australian literary scene, and are designed to celebrate the very best in homegrown literature and publishing. Usually a red carpet affair, this year the awards gala will be heading online, with the winners […]

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Women's Prize

Shortlist for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction announced

April 22, 2020

The shortlist for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction has been announced overnight during a special online event (Covid-19 strikes again!).  Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the prize was previously known as the Orange Prize for Fiction and until recently was the Bailey’s Prize for Fiction. It is awarded annually to the best work of […]

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K. M. Kruimink takes home The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award

April 21, 2020

Tasmanian writer K. M. Kruimink has been awarded this year’s The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award. Set in the 1800s, A Treacherous Country follows newly arrived migrant Gabriel Fox. Intent on finding a woman named Maryanne Maginn, Kruimink’s manscript sends Fox through the Tasmanian wilderness, accompanied by a guide who is not all he seems. The award […]

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Jess Hill’s See What You Made Me Do takes home Stella Prize

April 15, 2020

“The world is in crisis but our artists are expressing themselves as powerfully and eloquently as ever…” That’s the message from the judging panel tasked with the unenviable duty of selecting the winner of the 2020 Stella Prize. This year, journalist Jess Hill took home the $50,000 prize for See What You Made Me Do, […]

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Yarra Valley Writers Festival announces digital line-up for May event

April 9, 2020

It was announced late last month that the inaugural Yarra Valley Writers Festival would be an online-only event. Today, organisers have revealed a jam-packed livestream line-up for the May 9th celebration. Programmed by playwright Hannie Rayson, the festival will extend its reach beyond a single Saturday, with book clubs and author chats running into late […]

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Dawn of Mist

Book Review: Return to Ellest with Helen Scheuerer’s Dawn of Mist

April 9, 2020

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since Helen Scheuerer wrapped up The Oremere Chronicles with the action-packed War of Mist. But Scheuerer isn’t about to let fans struggle through isolation without the company of Bleak, Henri, and the gang. Hitting bookshelves on April 16th, Dawn of Mist takes place before the events […]

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Yarra Valley Writers Festival to switch to livestream event

March 27, 2020

The Yarra Valley Writers Festival isn’t letting a pandemic get in the way of its inaugural celebrations! Instead, the team have today announced a switch to a digital format, with a series of events streaming live on Saturday 9th May. Festival programmer and playwright Hannie Rayson (Hotel Sorento, Inheritance) said: ‘’The way audiences experience art, […]

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Byron Writers Fest is the latest victim of COVID-19 cancellations

March 27, 2020

Event organisers have confirmed the cancellation of the 2020 Byron Writers Festival. Due to take place in August, tickets had not yet gone on sale. In a statement released today, the festival said: “Regrettably and with a heavy heart we have made the decision to cancel Byron Writers Festival 2020, which was scheduled to run […]

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Interview: Author Helen Scheuerer gives us the lowdown on forthcoming prequel collection Dawn of Mist

March 26, 2020

Soon readers will once more be able to explore the realm of Ellest, in Helen Scheuerer’s prequel collection Dawn of Mist. The anthology reveals more about key characters in The Oremere Chronicles, bringing together sixteen short stories in one volume. Ahead of the book’s release on April 16th, we caught up with Helen to chat […]

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O'Beirne

Book Review: A Couple of Things Before the End is an astonishing debut collection from Sean O’Beirne

March 24, 2020

In the 1950s, a young woman meets Barry Humphries on a ship. Two women text about their difficult, isolated mother. A newly elected hard right politician unleashes upon the press. And as the world burns, a wife from the “better suburbs” begs for a place in an exclusive gated community. These are just a few […]

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Indie Book Awards

2020 Indie Book Award winners announced

March 23, 2020

With Covid-19 causing mass disruption to everyday lives, including the cancellation of the Leading Edge Books Conference, the winners of 2020 Indie Book Awards have been announced online. This is the first time the Indie book Awards have been announced online.  The big winner for 2020 was Favel Parrett, who takes home The Indie Awards […]

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Book Review: Laura Purcell presents another fine Gothic horror with Bone China

March 23, 2020

Hester Why has her share of secrets. Travelling under a false name, on the run from something that – for the time being – remains a mystery, she’s on her way to Morvoren House, an isolated manor on the Cornish coast. Tasked with nursing Morvoren’s aging owner, Miss Louise Pinecroft, Hester joins a household in […]

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2020 ABIAs cancel red carpet event in favour of huge livestream celebration

March 20, 2020

A key fixture of Australia’s literary scene, the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) celebrates the very best in homegrown literature and publishing. This year, as we collectively navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the ABIAs team have made the decision to forego their usual awards ceremony. Instead, they’ll be livestreaming the event, turning it from a 500 guest […]

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The Witcher

Book Review: Delve deeper into the world of The Witcher with Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Last Wish

March 20, 2020

Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher. He makes his living travelling from town to town, hunting down the monsters that stalk the land. After a particularly nasty encounter with a striga, he recovers in a secluded temple. While there, he reflects on past assignments and an uncertain future. First published in the early 90s and […]

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Armistead Maupin

Author and LGBT+ Activist Armistead Maupin to tour Australia in July

March 4, 2020

The bestselling and much beloved author and LGBT activist, Armistead Maupin is returning to Australia in July. Tales Of The City with Armistead Maupin will see the author recount his favourite stories from the past five decades, and offer his observations on contemporary society.  Armistead Maupin has been a part of US popular culture since […]

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The Women’s Prize for Fiction announces 2020 longlist

March 3, 2020

The longlist for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced at midnight GMT on March 3rd, with many avid UK booklovers staying up in anticipation of the announcement. Now in its 25th year, the prize was previously known as the Orange Prize for Fiction and until recently was the Bailey’s Prize for Fiction. It […]

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Wild Fearless Chests

Book Review: Mandy Beaumont’s Wild Fearless Chests is a visceral tour de force

March 1, 2020

The line between short stories and poetry is thin in Mandy Beaumont’s debut collection, Wild Fearless Chests, which was published earlier in the year by Hachette, off the back of a shortlisting in both the Richell Prize and the Dorothy Hewett Award run by UWA Publishing. The collection readers were promised was a catalogue of […]

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Book Review: Luke Arnold’s The Last Smile in Sunder City is a rollicking introduction to the world of Fetch Phillips

February 17, 2020

Fetch Phillips’ world is just like ours. Well except for the magic, and all that comes with that: chimera, wizards, elves, vampires and more. But, the magic has gone out, leaving the world irrevocably changed. And, our erstwhile “hero” Fetch might have more to do with it than we imagine. The Last Smile in Sunder […]

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Book Review: The Secrets We Kept is a thrilling account of the Zhivago affair

February 12, 2020

According to the end matter in her debut novel, The Secrets We Kept, author Lara Prescott was named for the heroine of Boris Pasternak‘s Nobel Prize winning novel, Doctor Zhivago. It was not until the CIA declassified 99 documents pertaining to the real story behind the publication of the Russian classic, however, that her interest […]

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