May 2019

Advancing Australia Edited by Amanda Dunn & John Watson

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Advancing Australia Ideas for a better Australia is a 130mm x 196mm, 145 page booklet containing articles from many expert thinkers and edited by Amanda Dunn and John Watson. The Foreword to the book is written by Michelle Grattan AO, Professorial Fellow of the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at

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Matilda Empress Queen Warrior by Catherine Hanley

Reviewed by Rod McLary Matilda – as implied by the subtitle to this new biography – was a remarkable woman whose story is not often found in the history books.  There are a few reasons for this.  First, there is a paucity of contemporary material on her; second, there is almost nothing of her personal

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THE SHELLY BAY LADIES SWIMMING CIRCLE by Sophie Green

Reviewed by Angela Marie   “Elaine’s tennis ladies had their own idea of a class system …Humans strive to sort themselves into strata wherever they find themselves – even, or perhaps especially, in a former penal colony.  The only group where she hasn’t found that is in her little swimming circle…They’re all equals in the

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The People vs the Banks by Michael Roddan

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders The People vs The Banks is a compelling tale of the events leading to Australia’s royal commission on misconduct in financial services – the first in eighty years.  The action takes place in recent years, with emphasis on the commission’s activities from December 2017 to February 2019. Michael Roddan demonstrates how

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How the Classics Made Shakespeare by Jonathan Bate

  Reviewed by Ian Lipke I plead guilty to more than a little disquiet when Jonathan Bate’s latest book crosses my desk. However, I know Bate’s work very well and I admit that he is not the person to waste his time on something that is unoriginal. He has never simply re-worded some other scholar’s

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Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Reviewed by Rod McLary Washington Black – the third novel by award-winning Canadian writer Esi Edugyan – is a bildungsroman; that is, a novel which focusses on the moral and psychological growth of a young protagonist from child to adult.  Washington Black, the eponymous protagonist, or ‘Wash’ as he is known to his acquaintances, is

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Slugger by Martin Holmen

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Readers of up-and-coming author Martin Holmen will be interested in the writing style that has a dynamic  immediacy of impact in the book Slugger. How to paint a character so that he or she is immediately recognised, how to present insights into the lives of the people around the central character,

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Run Away by Harlan Coben

Reviewed by Rod McLary Simon Greene is a successful and rich wealth management consultant; his wife Ingrid is an ex-model of Scandinavian origin but is now a respected paediatrician in a private hospital.  They live with two of their three children – Anya [the youngest] who is a student at an exclusive private school and

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The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camilleri

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This novel is the twenty-third book in the Montalbano detective series written by Italy’s most famous contemporary writer, ninety-four year old, Andrea Camilleri. His books have been written in Italian and translated into English by Stephen Sartarelli, who includes in each Montalbano novel translation a set of illuminating footnotes that explain

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