December 2019

Crime/Mystery

In the Clearing by J.P. Pomare

Reviewed by Rod McLary The epigraph to this new book by JP Pomare is a quote from the infamous Anne Hamilton-Byrne: I love children.  Hamilton-Byrne was the leader of the notorious cult called ‘The Family’ which existed in the 1970s and 1980s in Australia.  She ‘acquired’ children whom she later adopted and to whom she

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Non-Fiction

The Sydney Hobart Yacht Race by Rob Mundle

  Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve As the author states, ocean racing involves multiple skills: like combining football, flying and surfing. Add to this the luck of the draw that comes with playing poker and the skill of a chess player who plans a forward strategy, and you have the formula! His book pays homage to

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Yellow – the History of a Color by Michel Pastoureau

Reviewed by Wendy and Ian Lipke Yellow – the History of a Color is the work of Michel Pastoureau, a renowned authority on colour, and forms part of a series involving the colours blue, black, green and red. His latest work, Yellow – the History of a Color, is a square, black, hard-covered book with

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Richard III – The Self Made King by Michael Hicks

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Distinguished by his abominable acts, Richard III lives on as the king men and women love to hate. His crimes are many, some unproven, yet considered guilty anyway. Almost every critic, armchair or academic, has focused on those terrible two years prior to the killing of this king by his Tudor

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Take Heart, Take Action by Beci Orpin

Reviewed by Angela Marie “Gratitude means being thankful for the good things you have in your life and truly appreciating them. It could be a person or an event or a delicious treat. Can you think of three things you are grateful for?” Our talented Australian designer and illustrator, Beci Orpin, has created a beautiful

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Elbow Grease vs. Motozilla by John Cena

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend A positive life message just blasts off each page in John Cena’s Elbow Grease vs. Motozilla. No point being subtle with the truth, when the truth is a vital piece of information that all young children need to know: persistence equals improvement, a well thought out plan and teamwork brings success,

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Running with the Horses by Alison Lester

Reviewed by Clare Brook Running with the Horses, written and illustrated by Alison Lester, is a charming piece of historical fiction suitable for early readers. The story is concentrated on a single plot line, allowing young readers to stay focused.  Although simply told, the narrative captures the emotion of this dramatic story.  Lester’s delightful illustrations

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The Boy Who Felt Too Much by Lorenz Wagner

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve This is a scientific work which is far from being burdened by complicated data and convoluted explanation. It tells the story of a remarkable family whose son Kai is autistic which was formally diagnosed when he was five. His family is extraordinary. Not only are his parents exceptionally devoted and patient,

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The Indie Book Awards 2020

Established in 2008, what makes the Indie Book Awards unique is that it’s the Australian independent booksellers themselves who nominate their best titles for the year; select the Longlist; judge the Shortlist and vote for the Category and Book of the Year winners – the entire process is based on the selection and involvement of

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maybe the horse will talk by Elliot Perlman

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Elliot Perlman’s latest novel is a social chronicle for our time. It shines a light on issues that affect us all – jobs, relationships, men and their attitude to women, children, and marriage. The centrepiece is sexual harassment, which Perlman discovered in his research, had occurred in the workplace, long before

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Darkness for Light by Emma Viskic

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve By the second page, the reader is gripped. Its clipped style creates a fast-paced engrossing narrative.  Laconic Caleb, profoundly deaf due to childhood meningitis, is able to navigate the shady world of Melbourne and its surrounds with admirable ease and, at times, humour.  His world is dangerous, with ruthless criminals hovering

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