Penguin Australia

The Vaster Wilds

Book Review: Lauren Groff’s The Vaster Wilds is an all encapsulating novel

October 3, 2023

The Vaster Wilds by Lauren Groff is a historical fiction novel set in the early days of North America’s colonisation. This third person narrative explores a servant girl’s escape from a settlement, her battle for survival, the discovery of a new alien environment, and her belief in God. At the beginning of the book, readers […]

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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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Bryce Courtenay

Book Review: Bryce Courtenay Storyteller honours one of this country’s most popular writers

April 20, 2023

Christine Courtenay was married to literary legend, Bryce Courtenay. On the tenth anniversary of his death, she has lovingly written and published a memoir of his extraordinary life. The book looks behind the veil to examine the formative experiences that shaped the famous novelist and raconteur. Bryce famously wrote The Power of One, which was […]

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Paul Newman

Book Review: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man is an unvarnished glimpse at the private life of a Hollywood icon

February 15, 2023

The recent memoir from Paul Newman really ought to have been titled ‘self-critical man’, with the late actor casting a critical and analytical eye over his career and life.  The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man is the result of a project started decades ago by Newman and his friend, screenwriter Stewart Stern. The pair got […]

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Best Books 2022

The Best Books of the Year: 2022

December 19, 2022

2022 has been a great year for settling in with a good book and escaping the world outside. We’ve reached that part of the year where we all start agonising over our ‘lists’  –best albums, best films, and of course best books.  We in the Books team have looked back over the year’s releases and […]

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Interview: “The oven is a great bit of kit that I feel we can use so much more.” Nadiya Hussain talks about her new cookbook Nadiya’s Everyday Baking

November 29, 2022

One of Britain’s most beloved bakers — and someone who lights up our screens regularly here in Australia — Nadiya Hussain, has another cookbook coming out, Nadiya’s Everyday Baking. The 2015 Great British Bake Off winner infuses her new cookbook with the usual trademark shortcuts while encouraging home bakers to use their oven every day […]

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nigel marsh

Book Review: Nigel Marsh’s Smart, Stupid & Sixty is like a frank chat with a friend

October 27, 2022

It was twenty years ago that many of us first saw author Nigel Marsh at play. Back then Marsh was the self-proclaimed “Fat, Forty & Fired” corporate type whose career had derailed. Many people could relate, so he followed up his debut with Fit, 50 & Fired Up. Another decade on, and he comes to […]

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Terry Pratchett

Book Review: Rob Wilkins’ Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes is an entertaining in-depth biography of the late, great author

October 14, 2022

Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes is the long awaited biography of the heralded fantasy author Terry Pratchett, written by his PA and close friend of several decades, Rob Wilkins. It is a captivating and in-depth account of Pratchett’s early life, family, (often reluctant) schooling, career before books, career during books, and many achievements over […]

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Stone Town

Book Review: Big city problems and small town politics collide in Margaret Hickey’s Stone Town

July 19, 2022

Stone Town is an Australian rural crime novel set in rural South Australia. It’s the second Detective Sergeant Mark Ariti crime novel from Margaret Hickey. Ariti has moved back to his home town near the historic gold rush-era Stone Town and is working as the local police officer. Three teenagers have just discovered the body […]

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Most Anticipated Books

The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2022: Apr – Jun

April 7, 2022

Somehow it’s April already, with Easter coming up just next week. And in our opinion nothing pairs better with a chocolate egg and a long weekend like a good book.  To help you decide what to read next, we at the AU Books Team are here to pick out some choice cuts from the many […]

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Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone

Book Review: Benjamin Stevenson’s Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone lives up to the whodunit hype

April 6, 2022

Benjamin Stevenson’s third novel, Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, has been described as “Agatha Christie meets Knives Out“; which is a tall order for the whodunit genre and its legion of dedicated followers. But, I am deeply pleased to report that it is, indeed, a very apt description. Narrated by our protagonist, Ernest Cunningham, […]

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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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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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Book Review: Murder, secrets and a thriller within a thriller on Paula Hawkins’ return

September 2, 2021

Acclaimed author Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train, Into the Water) returns with yet another nail-biting thriller. A Slow Fire Burning follows a cast of characters living along the Regent’s Canal in Shoreditch; each of them inextricably linked through events of the last few decades. The murder of Daniel Sutherland inside his canal boat […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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The Moroccan Daughter

Book Review: Explore family secrets and Moroccan culture in Deborah Rodriguez’s The Moroccan Daughter

February 10, 2021

The Moroccan Daughter, the new novel from bestselling author Deborah Rodriguez, will take you on a journey through the streets of Morocco. Introducing you to the sights, smells and tastes of the culture, and the traditions and dynamics of family and country. Amina Bennis returns to Morocco and her childhood home for her sister’s wedding. […]

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Book Review: Jacqueline Kent’s Vida spotlights a determined woman’s campaigns for social justice

January 12, 2021

Vida Goldstein’s surname might have been used to denote a federal electorate, but she’s hardly a household name. This trailblazing woman was a steadfast women’s rights advocate who toiled away in Australia and abroad in the early 20th century. Jacqueline Kent‘s new biography chronicles this inspiring lady’s work in the social justice and political spheres. Kent […]

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Un-Cook Yourself

Interview: Nat’s What I Reckon on Un-cook Yourself: A Ratbag’s Rules For Life, stand up comedy and his bucket list

December 14, 2020

Nat’s What I Reckon has had a massive year, even by his own reckoning, “2020 is a hard year to beat.” He wowed the world with his frank take on bottled pasta sauce, toured his sold-out stand up show, spoke at BIGSOUND and hosted Rage on the ABC. And, now he’s adding author to his […]

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Best Books of 2020

The 14 Best Books of 2020

December 11, 2020

By now it goes without saying that 2020 has been a rough year. From wildfires to a global pandemic there has disruption and upheaval on a scale rarely, if ever, seen in “peacetime”. Pretty much every sector of society has taken a hit this year. And the publishing world, as with much of the Arts […]

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The Spill

Book Review: Imbi Neeme’s The Spill explores the ins and outs of family ties

August 27, 2020

Imbi Neeme‘s debut novel The Spill was released in June, in the midst of a pandemic. Rather than despairing at the changed world of publishing that her first novel was born into, Neeme embraced the challenges and opportunities that this brought. She has since launched a campaign to support those Victorian Writers who, like herself, were […]

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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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Interview: Melina Marchetta holds up a magnifying glass to beautiful & ordinary aspects of suburban life

March 29, 2019

Melina Marchetta’s novels are often about the boy or girl who lives next door. Her book, Looking for Alibrandi, was a perfect example of this and continues to find new audiences, some thirty years after it was released. Marchetta’s latest novel, The Place on Dalhousie, takes a leaf out of her previous works by reprising […]

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Book Review: Zoë Foster Blake’s Love! gives us a fresh and modern perspective on matters of the heart

March 25, 2019

Relationship advisor Zoë Foster Blake takes us on an enthusiastic journey through matters of the heart and offers a fresh perspective in her new reference guide: Love! The book offers hints, solutions and ideas on how to deal with many of the issues us women experience when dating, whilst also giving some insight into why we […]

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The 16 Best Books of 2018

December 19, 2018

We’ve come to that point of the year where things begin to wind down for the year, and where those of us in the business of reviewing and writing about art, music, books and films stop and begin to agonise over our “Top 10” or “Best of” lists.  2018 has been another great year in […]

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Book Review: Zoë Foster Blake’s Break-Up Boss is like a sassy big sister for the broken-hearted

May 16, 2018

Beloved Australian author, Zoë Foster Blake has become an authority on dating and relationships. The former Cosmopolitan columnist wrote Textbook Romance with Hamish Blake, the man who would one day become her husband. Now she delivers us Break-up Boss, a rather joyous but realistic pocket guide to break-ups and its companion piece, an eponymous app. […]

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