Books

Chasing the McCubbin

Book Review: Rummage in search of treasure in Sandi Scaunich’s debut Chasing The McCubbin

April 20, 2021

Chasing the McCubbin, the debut novel by Melbourne academic and writer Sandi Scaunich, delves into what may be unfamiliar territory for most readers – a world of second hand dealers with nicknames like Blue Merc, Fritz the German and The Builder and His Missus. Beginning in the early ’90s during a financial recession, it is the story […]

Read More
Judith Lucy

Book Review: Turns Out, I’m Fine sees Judith Lucy at her sardonic self-deprecating best

April 16, 2021

Turns Out, I’m Fine sees comedian Judith Lucy making peace with different things in her life. The former star of The Late Show toured her comedy show, Judith Lucy versus Men across Australia in 2019. A number of the jokes and stories she told there form the basis of her latest book. Fans of her debut biography, […]

Read More
Driving Stevie Fracasso

Book Review: Barry Divola’s Driving Stevie Fracasso is a novel that you’ll want to put on repeat

April 15, 2021

The back cover of Barry Divola‘s debut novel Driving Stevie Fracasso makes some lofty claims. It promises High Fidelity meets The Big Lebowski meets The Darjeeling Limited; it promises Nick Hornby, David Nicholls and Jonathan Tropper vibes. Picking it up, I thought to myself that this one novel could not possibly live up to all that. But here’s the thing, […]

Read More
Dangerous Women

Book Review: History and mystery are sewn together in Hope Adams’ Dangerous Women

April 14, 2021

Dangerous Women may be the first novel published under the name Hope Adams, but it’s not in actual fact the author’s first book. Rather, Hope Adams is a pseudonym adopted by the well-established author (and mother of bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah), Adele Geras. Geras has made no secret of her true identity, unlike like other well-known authors who have written […]

Read More
Pushing Back

Book Review: John Kinsella’s Pushing Back offers evocative stories of people, places and the environment

April 13, 2021

Author, John Kinsella, pushes many boundaries in his latest collection of short stories: Pushing Back. The collection is made up of thirty-five astute stories about love and loss, as well as stories about nature, birds and the Australia outback. You’ll learn about Goozi’s, Red Wattle birds and the thoughts of children and men. You’ll also read […]

Read More

ABIA announce 2021 shortlist, with Cate Blanchett to present Book of the Year at star-studded April awards night

April 12, 2021

The Australian Book Industry Awards have just released their 2021 shortlist, with the final winners to be announced at a star-studded event on April 28th at Sydney’s Carriageworks. In an ABIA first, a limited number of tickets to the awards night will be available to the general public. And for anyone who can’t make it […]

Read More
Women of a Certain Rage

Book Review: Exploring a world of anger in Women of a Certain Rage

April 8, 2021

The Australian Psychological Society writes that anger is triggered when a person believes “their wellbeing and social status are either not being respected or are under threat”. It seems timely then to be reading this book amongst the current climate of Australian politics. Women of a Certain Rage is a collection of short stories and […]

Read More
The Paris Affair

Book Review: Pip Drysdale’s latest thriller The Paris Affair explores the deadly side to the city of love

April 6, 2021

The protagonist of Pip Drysdale’s third novel, The Paris Affair, would be a difficult woman to get along with in real life. By her own admission, she only keeps one friend close, claiming that all other people are “fake and they try to make her ‘fake’ too.” Yet for someone who supposedly hates phonies as much as […]

Read More
Tussaud

Book Review: Belinda Lyons-Lee’s Tussaud is a delightfully devious gothic mystery

April 1, 2021

It should have been Marie Tussaud’s greatest success. An automaton, rendered lifelike through her waxworking skills. It would stand, walk, elegantly wave a fan. Even sweeter that it should be Marie Antoinette; the French Revolution had cost both queen and artist plenty. But when her business partner, a magician named Philidor, ignores her instructions, the […]

Read More
The Emporium of imagination

Book Review: Tabitha Bird’s The Emporium of Imagination is a tale of magic, love, family and self-discovery

March 30, 2021

Tabitha Bird’s The Emporium of Imagination is a magical story set in Boonah, a small Australian town. One day a plot of land between shops is empty; and then the next day The Emporium of Imagination is there.  None of the townspeople see any tradespeople, and are left scratching their heads at how the store […]

Read More
Anticipated Books 2021

The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2021: Apr – Jun

March 29, 2021

Somehow we’re three months into the year and Easter is just around the corner. So it’s time for another look into our most anticipated books of 2021. This time we’ve taken a deep dive into the books set to be published April through to June.  With so many books published each week and month, this […]

Read More
Night Rooms

Book Review: Gina Nutt’s Night Rooms is a fascinating blend of horror tropes, poetic prose, and personal reflection

March 25, 2021

Shopping mall beauty pageants and wedding anniversaries meet true crime and Victorian taxidermy in Night Rooms, a stunning personal essay collection from Gina Nutt. There’s likely an expectation that, given that she’s writing about it, Nutt’s life is packed with adventure or trauma or something generally monumental. It isn’t. But Night Rooms is no less […]

Read More

The 2021 Stella Prize Shortlist unveiled

March 25, 2021

This morning the Stella Prize have announced their 2021 shortlist live on ABC Radio National’s Breakfast program.  The 2021 shortlist spans fiction and non-fiction and showcases the extraordinary talent and ingenuity on display across the Australian literary landscape. The 2021 prize saw the judges receive over 160 entries from Australian women and non-binary writers.  Earlier […]

Read More
Pip Williams

Pip Williams and The Dictionary of Lost Words are the big winners at the Indie Book Awards 2021

March 22, 2021

For the second year the Indie Book Awards have been announced online, with The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams announced as Australian independent booksellers’ favourite book of the year. On winning the award, Pip Williams hailed the work of Australia’s independent booksellers as they adapted to working in a pandemic lockdown: “The Dictionary […]

Read More
The Paris Library

Book Review: Reading is a rebellious act in Janet Skeslien Charles’s The Paris Library

March 19, 2021

In 1939, Odile Souchet applies for a job at the American Library in Paris, having just completed her library studies degree. An avid reader, Odile is so well-suited for a job as a librarian she even thinks in Dewey Decimal subject headings sometimes. Odile is drawn to the ALP because it is the place where […]

Read More
Hold Your Fire

Book Review: Chloe Wilson pulls no punches in their debut Hold Your Fire

March 18, 2021

Hold Your Fire is the highly anticipated short story collection by Australian writer, Chloe Wilson. Containing work which has been previously published in Granta, The Iowa Review, The Big Issue and the Australian Book Review online, the publication of this book marks the arrival of a new powerhouse in Australian short fiction. Each of the seventeen […]

Read More

Scribd has entered the Aussie ebook arena

March 17, 2021

US ebook and audiobook subscription service Scribd has officially thrown its hat into the Australian ring – and it’s got Amazon and Audible firmly in its sights. For $13.99 month, Scribd users will get unlimited access to a vast library of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, podcasts, and sheet music. And to sweeten the deal, the Scribd […]

Read More
Brother Sister Mother Explorer

Book Review: Jamie Figueroa captivates with debut novel Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer

March 17, 2021

In the tiny tourist town of Ciudad de Tres Hermanas, brother and sister Rafa and Rufina are slowly unravelling in the aftermath of their mother’s death. But, although Rosalinda has passed away, she is yet to pass on, making her presence known by banging pots and pans and kicking the walls. Rufina sees and hears […]

Read More
How To Be An Author

Book Review: How To Be An Author is far from an ordinary how to write manual

March 16, 2021

Fremantle Press have been running workshops on the business of being a writer in Australia for years. Now, after coming across the same questions again and again, publisher Georgia Richter and creative writing lecturer Deborah Hunn have decided that it was time to write a book that answered them. More than ‘just another how to write […]

Read More
Sydney Writers Festival

Sydney Writers Festival comes back strong for 2021

March 12, 2021

After having to cancel last year’s festival due to COVID, Sydney Writers Festival is coming back stronger and bolder in 2021.  According to Artistic Director Michael Williams, who joined the Festival last year, the theme for the 2021 Festival is “Within Reach”, and will highlight the writers who are shaping Australian literature right now.  “It […]

Read More
The Lamplighters

Book Review: A real world disappearance and fictional secrets combine in Emma Stonex’s The Lamplighters

March 11, 2021

Cornwall, December 1972. Three lighthouse keepers vanish from a remote offshore lighthouse. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. And, the Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a mighty storm that never happened. This is the set-up for Emma Stonex’s The Lamplighters. The Lamplighters is inspired by real events, despite its […]

Read More

The longlist for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction has arrived

March 11, 2021

Early this morning the longlist for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced. This year’s sixteen strong longlist honours and celebrates a selection of both new and well-established writers. The list also draws from across a range of genres, and the sixteen novels explore a variety of themes, from family and motherhood, to themes […]

Read More
The Last Bookshop

Book Review: Emma Young’s The Last Bookshop is a love song to bookshops and small businesses to warm your heart

March 10, 2021

Cait Copper loves books. As the owner of Hay Street independent bookshop, Book Fiend, she doesn’t have time for any other kind of love in her life; unless you count the weekly deliveries she makes to her housebound clients. She goes to work, deals with the gamut of questions about why her stock is so […]

Read More
Dropbear

Book Review: Past, present, and Australiana come under the microscope in Evelyn Araluen’s Dropbear

March 9, 2021

Poetry and prose, critique and compassion all come together in Dropbear, the debut collection from award-winning writer, poet and editor Evelyn Araluen. It’s a remarkable collection; smart, thoughtful and articulate. To put it frankly, it comes as a surprise that this is Araluen’s debut book. Dropbear explores the imagery and mythology surrounding popular ideas of […]

Read More

Stella Prize announces 2021 longlist

March 5, 2021

Now in its eighth year, The Stella Prize is the latest award to announce its 2021 longlist. Named for celebrated author Miles Franklin, prize’s goal is to address gender imbalances in Australian literary awards, and to celebrate the work of the country’s finest female and non-binary writers. Over 160 entries were whittled down to just […]

Read More
To Sleep In A Sea of Stars

Book Review: Dive deep into Christopher Paolini’s epic space opera To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

March 4, 2021

Kira Navárez is a xenobiologist working as part of a team of scientists who survey planets before they are colonised. All her life she’s dreamed of first contact with an alien race but when, on a routine survey mission, Kira makes the discovery of a lifetime, things don’t turn out at all the way she […]

Read More
Tour

Book Review: Andrew Mackie’s The Tour is marketed as a treat for fans of The Crown, but does it measure up?

March 2, 2021

In 1954, the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II undertook a royal tour of the colonies to meet her new subjects. She was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, and the usual bevy of ladies in waiting and staff. The Tour, the debut novel by Transmission Films producer and film distributor Andrew Mackie fictionalises this journey […]

Read More
Black Sunday

Book Review: Dive in Tola Rotimi Abraham’s stellar debut, Black Sunday

February 25, 2021

Twin sisters Bibike and Ariyike and their younger brothers Peter and Andrew live a comfortable life in 1990s Lagos. But when their mother loses her job and abandons them, and their father gambles away their home and disappears shortly after, it is the twins who slowly take control of the newly orphaned family’s destiny. Switching […]

Read More
Everyday Madness

Book Review: Take a closer look at the everyday madness of modern life in Susan Midalia’s new novel

February 23, 2021

Detective-novel loving vacuum salesman, Bernard, barely listens to his wife anymore. They live in the same house, but that’s about the extent of things. Gloria talks a lot. Like, a lot a lot. So when she suddenly stops talking to him, the silence comes as a bit of a shock. But, after weeks of suffering […]

Read More

ABIA longlist announced ahead of April awards show

February 22, 2021

Well, it’s that time of the year again, book fans! The Australian Book Industry Awards have just revealed the contenders for the 2021 prizes! Here’s all the nominees – get ready to grow your bookish wishlist! Biography Book of the Year A Bigger Picture – Malcolm Turnbull (Hardie Grant Publishing, Hardie Grant Books) A Repurposed […]

Read More