January 2017

The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau

Reviewed by Julie Kearney The World Without Us, Mireille Juchau’s third novel, takes place in an unidentified part of northern New South Wales, in and around a country town whose residents include ex-members of The Hive, a hippy commune which was destroyed by a mysterious fire. The setting suggests a fictive Nimbin. Decades after the

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Kitchen Garden Companion: Growing by Stephanie Alexander

Reviewed by Jill Stephanie Alexander’s passion for kitchen gardens is possibly best known through her programme in Australian primary schools.  That’s fifteen years of inspiring young gardeners to plan, cultivate, harvest, and enjoy.  Kitchen Garden Companion : Growing shows parents how they can capitalise on those school garden skills, or initiate a similar programme in

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Wyeth: Andrew & Jamie in the Studio by Timothy J Standring

Reviewed by Jill Timothy Standring’s Wyeth : Andrew & Jamie in the studio is the superb catalogue which accompanied the Denver Art Museum’s 2015-2016 exhibition of the same name.  Through interviews with Jamie, with Wyeth models, and visits to the places significant to generations of the Wyeth family, particularly Andrews and son Jamie, we are

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Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell

Reviewed by Ian Lipke In the Romance writer’s lexicon, a story of delicious intrigue is code for a story that strains the bounds of credibility. But that’s all right. It’s meant to be that the good guys and the worthy girls sort themselves out and everybody lives happily after that. I get it. Well, I

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Spook Street by Mick Herron

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Many of us look back with affection to the days when Smiley and his group of undercover operatives guaranteed we could sleep soundly in unconscious acceptance that the Cold War villains were no longer a threat. The KGB and the Stasi were the epitome of evil, answerable to their governments, but

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Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin

Reviewed by Mike Clarke It is an interesting concept to bring back a character that you have previously retired, but as many of us know, retirement often opens a new perspective on life.  Even dogs in the wild is the latest in Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus series.  Rankin is a Scot from Edinburgh with a

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Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner

Reviewed by Jill ‘What follows here is a rambling autobiography …’ (xxiii).  And indeed it is, but what a ramble! If you only know Gardner from his Mathematical Games column in Scientific American, then Undiluted Hocus-Pocus  will surprise indeed.  Gardner portrays both the mathematical side of magic, and the magical side of Mathematics.  It is

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Modern Snipers by Leigh Neville

Reviewed by Donald Lawie The term “sniper” is usually misapplied in the popular press by using it to describe any person who fires at his victim from concealment. Modern Snipers by Leigh Neville sets the record straight with his detailed account of snipers in today’s world. Neville describes a modern sniper’s training, weapons and methods,

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