ultimo press

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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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: Lucy Campbell’s Lowbridge is a slow-burning rural mystery

Lowbridge, by Lucy Campbell, is a rural mystery set in the fictional New South Wales town of Lowbridge. In the present day, Katherine and her husband Jamie have moved from Sydney to Lowbridge, Jamie’s hometown, to try and heal from a devastating loss. In alternating chapters, also in Lowbridge but back in 1986, the town…

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Sad Girl Novel

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

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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The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2023: Jul – Sep

Somewhat inexplicably we are over half way through the year. This means, for publishers at least, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas, with September often seeing some of the year’s biggest titles drop.  We in the AU Books Team aren’t thinking about Christmas just yet, but we are here to bring you some more…

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Higher Education by Kira McPherson features a salmon pink cover with yellow title text. The illustration is of a cartoon woman dangling her toes into an open book like she's paddling in a pool.

Book Review: Higher Education is a Rooney-esque exploration of Australian universities in the late 2000s

Whilst reading Kira McPherson‘s debut novel Higher Education, I couldn’t help but feel like the interior world of the novel was familiar. It wasn’t until I was a few chapters in that I realised it was set in Perth. Don’t get me wrong – it was not the book’s fault that I didn’t realise. It’s just…

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Dark Mode

Book Review: Ashley Kalagian Blunt’s Dark Mode is a terrifying psychological thriller

Dark Mode is author Ashley Kalagian Blunt‘s first crime novel, and it’s utterly terrifying. When twenty-six-year-old Reagan Carsen stumbles across a dismembered body in an alley in Sydney on a scorching hot day in 2017, her instinct is not to call the police, but to run and hide. The victim looks just like her, and…

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The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2023: Jan – Mar

Happy New Year! 2023 is already in full swing and we in the AU Books Team are back and ready to look ahead at some of this year’s most anticipated books. With so many books published each week, month and year, it’d be impossible to read them all. So this is only the briefest snapshot…

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Book Review: Life & Death Decisions is an action-packed look at modern medicine

Dr Lachlan McIver has had an extraordinary career. An Associate Professor, he has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières and the World Health Organisation, specialising in tropical diseases and rural medicine. Life & Death Decisions takes readers into high-stakes environments: natural disasters and civil war zones where the term ‘life and death decisions’ really counts. This…

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Salt and Skin

Book Review: Eliza Henry-Jones’ Salt and Skin is a perfect mix of witchy vibes and eco-fiction

If it’s seemed this year like Ultimo Press are the ones to watch, then this latest novel by Eliza Henry-Jones is no exception. Pick it up for its gorgeous, moody cover, but stay for the complex and well thought-out plot and its cast of intriguing characters who almost seem to walk off the page. Salt…

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Book Review: My Heart is a Little Wild Thing is a gentle tale of obligation and desire

My Heart is a Little Wild Thing is the sophomore novel from Australian writer, Nigel Featherstone. It is the story of Patrick, the beleaguered youngest son of a family from country New South Wales who has suppressed his own needs and desires for most of his life. Now the only member of his family in…

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Book Review: Runaways is an evocative and emotive story of female friendship across cultures

Runaways is the true story of two powerful modern day woman who escape the confines of culture and history. In this memoir, co-authors Shelley Davidow (from South Africa) and Shaimaa Khalil (from North Africa) delve into their pasts and recall how their friendship has shaped them as individuals. Over two decades their loving friendship has…

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Book Review: Janine Mikosza’s Homesickness is a searing look at displacement and trauma

For many of us, home is where the heart is. A safe environment and the epitome of ‘homely.’ But, for Janine Mikosza it was more complicated than that. In her memoir, Homesickness, she explores the many childhood homes she lived in before turning eighteen. Mikosza has previously published essays and short stories. She brings some…

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Book Review: The Woman in the Library attempts to solve the mysteries of the mystery genre

Best known for her Rowland Sinclair mystery series, Snowy Mountains-based author Sulari Gentill has published her latest standalone mystery. Titled The Woman in the Library, the book uses an unusual format to tell two stories at once. Gentill’s fictional counterpart Hannah Tigone is writing her latest book about four strangers who meet in the Reading Room…

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Book Review: Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens is a compassionate conversation-starter about prejudice

It is easy to imagine Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens, the new novel by Shankari Chandran becoming an amazing television miniseries. On first glance at its beautiful green cover, the reader might be forgiven for thinking that they are in for a sweet, gentle, heartwarming novel about relatively harmless retirees living in a nursing home. Instead,…

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Cold Coast

Book Review: Walk in Wolstadt’s footsteps in Robyn Mundy’s Cold Coast

It was a blissful relief to be reading Robyn Mundy‘s latest novel, Cold Coast, over a humid Perth week. The novel is set on Svalbard in 1932, and follows a year in the life of Wanny Wolstadt (pronounced Vanny Voldstadt), who was Norway’s first female trapper. Wolstadt, a young widow, is already unconventional for a woman of…

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Love & Virtue

Book Review: Diana Reid’s Love and Virtue is a triumph for new kids on the block, Ultimo Press

Diana Reid was well on her way to a career in theatre, when COVID-19 saw the cancellation of 1984! The Musical, a production she co-wrote and produced. In lockdown, she decided to turn her hand to writing a book. The result is Love & Virtue, a masterpiece of ‘millennial fiction’ which is already garnering comparisons to Sally…

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