Book Review: Perfect-ish is the perfect read for your weekend switch-off

September 21, 2023

It seems that the Australian publishing industry’s hunger for anti-rom-coms (or as I like to call them, Sad Girl Lit) is showing no signs of abating. The perfect successor to the Cecelia Ahern and Marian Keyes heyday of the last decade, today’s heroine is stressed out and has major FOMO. Prue, the heroine of Jessica […]

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Rachel Louise Snyder

Book Review: Rachel Louise Snyder’s Women We Buried, Women We Burned is a moving tale of perseverance and tolerance

September 20, 2023

Rachel Louise Snyder’s most recent memoir – Woman We Buried, Woman We Burned – is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed book No Visible Bruises. The book is an account of Synder’s journey from teenage runaway to award-winning journalist. The often heartbreaking account begins with the death of the author’s mother, when Snyder was eight years […]

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Laurie Steed

Book Review: Laurie Steed’s Love, Dad is more than a parenting memoir

September 19, 2023

Laurie Steed‘s second book, Love, Dad, came out just in time for Father’s Day. It was not, as you might expect, a treatise on how to be a good father. Instead it’s a memoir of one man’s experience of fatherhood, along with a collection of musings on how to be a good father, a good man, and […]

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Blackwater Jacqueline Ross

Book Review: Jacqueline Ross’ Blackwater is a uniquely Australian Gothic horror

September 14, 2023

Grace, recently married and heavily pregnant, heads to Tasmania to visit her new husband’s terminally ill father. King has spoken little about his family, and wants nothing more than to say goodbye and leave. But once they reach Blackwater, King’s crumbling childhood home, things are far from right. There’s a darkness here that Grace can’t […]

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Eta Draconis

Book Review: An apocalyptic road trip brings two sisters together in Brendan Ritchie’s Eta Draconis

September 13, 2023

Brendan Ritchie’s Eta Draconis is a grounded and heartfelt exploration of searching for a future in a world that feels like it has none. Elora has just finished high school in her hometown of Esperance, Western Australia. Her older sister Vivienne, already attending university in the city, has been home for the summer holidays and […]

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Never A Hero

Book Review: Vanessa Len’s Never a Hero is an exhilirating, fun and satisfying sequel

September 7, 2023

The highly anticipated sequel to Vanessa Len’s hit debut Only a Monster, Never a Hero is another wild ride through time and morality as Joan is forced to face the consequences of her actions and take on a new and powerful foe. Joan is still reeling from her decision to unmake the hero. Riddled with […]

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But The Girl

Book Review: But the Girl by Jessica Zhan Mei Yu is a vividly realised and compelling novel

September 6, 2023

Author and University of Melbourne lecturer Jessica Zhan Mei Yu is a writer of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Holding a PhD in Creative Writing, But The Girl, is her first novel. A deeply introspective and at times heavy read, the story transports us to the vibrant streets of London. Here, we encounter an Australian narrator […]

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Sir Hereward

Book Review: Garth Nix’s Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz is the gritty, deadpan bite-sized fantasy you’ve been waiting for

September 5, 2023

Deadpan humour meets swashbuckling swords-and-sorcery in this collection of short stories from fantasy heavyweight Garth Nix. A series of adventurous tales about friendship and duty, Sir Herward and Mister Fitz: Stories of the Witch King and the Puppet Sorcerer pulls together eight previously separately published stories, plus one new story of the dynamic god-slaying duo. […]

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Sit, Stay, Love

Book Review: Amy Hutton’s Sit, Stay, Love. is a sweet, fun, and easy read

August 29, 2023

Sit, Stay, Love is the story of Sera Madden, an awkward thirty-something with a deep passion for saving animals and a love for writing. Running the always struggling animal rescue Rose’s Rescue (named after her late grandmother), Sera is comfortable with her life, which she mostly shares with her dreamy best friend, vet Toby. The […]

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Pink Slime

Book Review: Disease, loneliness and beautiful prose abound in Fernanda Trías’ Pink Slime

August 29, 2023

Exploring motherhood and care-giving in the midst of a terrifying algae-borne disease, Fernanda Trías’ latest book Pink Slime is an atmospheric and unforgettable read. The story follows an unnamed woman, living on the coast close to the danger the algae and disease presents. As the area gradually worsens and the people abandon the town, she […]

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A Real Piece of Work

Book Review: A Real Piece of Work is a collection of short essays that explores queer and marginalised experiences

August 25, 2023

A Real Piece of Work, the new memoir from Erin Riley, brings light to disadvantaged and marginalised communities. Riley works with marginalised and disadvantaged people as a social worker in Sydney. In their memoir, a collection of twenty essays, Riley shares their personal experiences of social boundaries. Discussions of justice, family, love, intimacy, power structures, and […]

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Good Bad Girl

Book Review: Alice Feeney’s Good Bad Girl is a cleverly-plotted mystery about mother and daughter relationships

August 24, 2023

Alice Feeney’s Good Bad Girl is a story about mothers and daughters, wrapped up in the mystery of a baby that went missing twenty years ago, an eighteen-year-old who has gone missing in the present, and the murder of someone who isn’t really missed at all. Feeney’s sixth novel is told from the points of […]

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Book Review: Jennifer Ackerman’s What an Owl Knows shares the feathery love

August 23, 2023

Owls are a bird that have fascinated humans for a very long time, appearing all over the world and finding significance almost everywhere. It’s the question of why we love them so much that Jennifer Ackerman explores in her new book What an Owl Knows. Ackerman’s book serves as something of a comprehensive overview of […]

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The Heart is a Star

Book Review: Megan Rogers gets to the heart of a family secret in her much-lauded debut

August 17, 2023

In The Heart is a Star, debut novelist Megan Rogers explores one woman’s struggles to balance the demands of her career and family against her own needs as a person. As the book opens, we meet Layla Byrnes, an anaesthetist who is just ending a period of enforced leave when she receives a disturbing phone […]

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Book Review: Elliot Page’s Pageboy is an honest and generous memoir

August 16, 2023

Pageboy is the recent memoir from Elliot Page, an actor known for his starring roles in Juno, Whip It!, and most recently The Umbrella Academy series. Pageboy is different from many other celebrity memoirs in that the subject wrote it entirely himself, and not through using a ghost writer. This has the effect of the […]

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Southern Aurora

Book Review: Mark Brandi’s moving coming of age novel Southern Aurora explores unforgiving small-town life

August 15, 2023

Southern Aurora is Mark Brandi’s fourth novel, and follows on the heels of the bestseller Wimmera (2017), The Rip (2019) and The Others (2021). Wimmera secured Brandi the coveted British Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger and was also named Best Debut at the 2018 Australian Indie Book Awards. It was also shortlisted for the Australian […]

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The Magpie's Sister

Book Review: All the fun of the circus and then some in Kerri Turner’s The Magpie’s Sister

August 14, 2023

There’s an old trick that writers who participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) know, and that’s when in doubt, add a circus. It works. Circuses are fun. They have glitz and glamour, and underdogs, and sometimes literal dogs and other animals. Everyone loves a circus story. In recent years, the darker side to circuses […]

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Fractal Noise

Book Review: Delve into the existential dread of sci-fi horror in Christopher Paolini’s Fractal Noise

August 4, 2023

Best known for his fantasy series The Inheritance Cycle, author Christopher Paolini first delved into science fiction with his award-winning 2020 novel To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. This new novel, Fractal Noise, serves as a prequel and shows the horrifying events behind the scenes. When a team of scientists and astronauts scouting out […]

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Book Review: Take a rock-and-rollercoaster ride through 1970s New York with Rachel Coad’s NEW YORK CITY Glow

August 3, 2023

It’s 1977, and Strawberry the glowing octopus (Stauroteuthis syrtensis) is finally out of jail. Hitching a ride with Ray, an insurance sales-snake searching for meaning in his life, she heads for New York City, where she eventually finds work at a little bar called CBGB. Centered around the New York City Blackout of 1977 and […]

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Sad Girl Novel

Book Review: Pip Finkemeyer’s Sad Girl Novel takes on a publishing-world trend from the inside

August 2, 2023

The sad girl novel is a relatively new concept in the book world, but it’s one that has fascinated readers since its invention. Hallmarked by novels such as Meg Mason‘s Sorrow and Bliss and often distinguished by cover images of women lying or leaning face-down, this new kind of book takes the classic ‘chick lit’ à la […]

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Book Review: Viola Di Grado’s Blue Hunger explores the uneasy intersection of grief, sensuality, and obsession

August 1, 2023

A young woman, grieving the loss of her twin brother, leaves Italy and heads to the one place he’d always wanted to go – Shanghai. By day, she teaches Italian. By night, she seeks an end to the grief that consumes her. And then she meets Xu. Blue Hunger, the fifth novel from Italian author […]

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Threads That Bind

Book Review: Kika Hatzopoulou’s Threads That Bind is a rich, immersive romantasy noir mystery

July 21, 2023

Threads That Bind, the debut YA novel from Kika Hatzopoulou, follows Io Ora. Io is a descendant of the Greek Fates,  the youngest of three sisters, with the ability to cut the threads of fate that connect people to the things they love and to life itself. Io scrapes a living in the poorest part […]

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John McPhee's Tabula Rasa

Book Review: Anecdotes, accidents and antecedents fill the page in Tabula Rasa

July 14, 2023

If you’re not familiar with John McPhee, he’s considered “a pioneer of creative nonfiction” and won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1999 book Annals of the Former World. That book is the complete collection of two decades worth of road trips he took with eminent geologists, through which he tells the history of North America’s […]

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Orphia and Eurydicius

Book Review: Orphia and Eurydicius is a modern feminist retelling of ancient Greek mythology

July 13, 2023

Orphia and Eurydicius by Elyse John is a beautiful and poetic new retelling of the original Greek myth, Orpheus and Eurydice. In the original myth, Orpheus is known to be a dominating male lead, with Eurydice as his submissive lover. In John’s retelling,  the gender roles of the two characters are switched, making Orphia a […]

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The Midnight News

Book Review: The Midnight News is a rare new take on the Blitz novel

July 7, 2023

Jo Baker doesn’t just write historical fiction; she plays with it in the way only a writer at the top of their craft can. She is a writer whose work takes the reader’s expectations of the genre and twists them into something marvellously unexpected. Her latest novel, The Midnight News, is no different. To start, […]

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The Silk Merchant's Son Cover

Book Review: Misguided missionaries make for fascinating history in The Silk Merchant’s Son

July 5, 2023

The Silk Merchant’s Son isn’t Peter Burke‘s first foray into writing historical fiction based on the stories West Aussies think they know. His first novel, The Drowning Dream, was shortlisted for the Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award in 1996, and was a mystery set against the backdrop of the Broome pearling industry circa the 1920s. His second novel, Wettening […]

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Book Review: The Price of Magic draws to close with Bonnie Wynne’s The Last Sorceress

June 16, 2023

Gwyn has emerged victorious over the risen dead. But at what cost? Aranor has fallen and Ailbhe Ahriddin sits on the Tintarel throne. The survivors of the Demon War flock to her banner. Alcide is by her side, caught in a dark plot that Gwyn can’t quite figure out. And somewhere out there, the last […]

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Where Light Meets Water

Book Review: Where Light Meets Water is a moving look at life, love, art, and the high seas

June 15, 2023

Beginning in London in 1847, Susan Paterson’s debut novel Where Light Meets Water is a subtle, delightful work of historical fiction. Its protagonist is Tom Rutherford, a young man who has never known any life other than on the sea. From the time of his father’s death, Tom has been apprenticed on ships, working his way […]

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Book Review: Mat Osman’s The Ghost Theatre is a vivid imagining of Elizabethan England

June 14, 2023

Shay is an outsider. Part of a fringe religion known as the Aviscultans, she has never quite lived up to the legacy of her mother, who divined great messages from the murmurations of starlings. Regularly escaping to London, she works as a messenger, skipping nimbly across the city skyline, and, occasionally, staging rescues of birds […]

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Crows Nest

Book Review: Nikki Mottram’s Crows Nest is an intense, suspenseful thriller set in country Queensland

June 7, 2023

Crows Nest is the debut novel from author Nikki Mottram. Mottram, has used her extensive experience in child protection and psychology to great effect, crafting a thriller that is intense and grounded in reality. The novel is set in the late 90s in Toowoomba, Queensland. It’s a novel that delves into the often secretive world […]

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