October 2018

Wundersmith: the Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Nevermoor author Jessica Townsend moves into JK Rowling territory was the title of an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, September 2017. This came just after the release of her first book Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow.  This was the first of a planned three books in a magical series

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Henry VIII and the Men who Made Him by Tracy Borman

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Tracey Borman’s thesis makes very clear that she is interested in a book that gives her readers “the king’s character and tastes, the motives for his decisions and the impact of his actions, the creation and evolution of his image from Renaissance prince to tyrant, and the legacy that he bequeathed

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Melodrome by Marcelo Cohen

Reviewed by Rod McLary Melodrome is the third title in the Giramondo’s Southern Latitude series.  The purpose of the series is to bring to the attention of Australian readers books authored by writers from elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere.  One such writer is Marcelo Cohen who is an award-winning Argentinian writer.  Melodrome is his 14th

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Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci

Reviewed by Ian Lipke In this current volume David Baldacci introduces a new character in the form of Atlee Pine, an FBI agent responsible for a geographic area that includes the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Pine’s twin sister Mercy disappeared on the night that a monstrous human being snatched her from her bed. She was

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The 104-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths (illus. Terry Denton)

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend This zany book is so much fun, I was smiling from the beginning and laughing out loud from the middle, as were my little companion reviewers.   The text is written by Andy and illustrated by Terry’s hilarious cartoon drawings.  On the bottom of every page is a joke.  This was a

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Scrublands by Chris Hammer

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke The ideas for this novel were born when the author, Chris Hammer, was doing research for the non-fiction book, The River, during the height of the millennium drought in Australia in 2008-09. The author’s working life was that of a journalist covering Australian federal politics and international affairs, reporting from more

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Pastels in the Musee du Louvre by Xavier Salmon

Reviewed by Ian Lipke It is not often that the Louvre Museum in Paris publishes a collection of their holdings in book form. We need to go back to 1972 when Genevieve Monnier compiled a catalogue of pastel works to thus make it possible to assess the diversity and importance of the Collection. Her catalogue

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Making Dogs Happy by Melissa Starling and Paul McGreevy

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend There might be a case for thinking dogs are blessed with an emotional intelligence that exceeds their beloved humans.  At the very least they are a great source of comfort to those who share their lives.  So it behoves the human race to spend some effort in understanding their devoted companions. 

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The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester

Reviewed by Clare Brook If ever there was a book that was fated to be an award winning film Natasha Lester’s The Paris Seamstress is it.  Set in Paris and New York it has romance, mystery and intrigue.  The protagonists are struggling to claim their place in the glamorous fashion industry of the time, but

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A Long Way from No Go by Tjanera Goreng Goreng (with Julie Szego)

Reviewed by Ian Lipke A reviewer’s task is to ascertain the author’s purpose in writing a book and to make an informed decision about the extent to which the writer has been successful. This is particularly important in the case of Tjanera Goreng Goreng’s memoir A Long Way from Go Go. The author holds a

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Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Nicholas Sparks is a wonderful story teller and the presentation of the words on the page makes his stories even more readable. Breaking the text up into readable paragraphs and the extensive use of dialogue to provide the reader with much needed information about the protagonists makes the reading a pleasurable

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Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer

Reviewed by Pauline Seath Two sisters. One baby. An impossible choice. This is a story of the consequences of drug addiction, and unconditional sibling love. Although this book opens with a desperate phone call to her older sister, this story is about the younger sister Annie and what has brought her to the situation she

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