January 2020

Young Adult

The God Game by Danny Tobey

Reviewed by Rod McLary The God Game presents an interesting spin on the thriller genre – it is called a science-fiction thriller where the ‘enemy’ is a VR [virtual reality] computer game which has distilled ‘every religious text known to man’ to create GOD. Enticed by Peter – ‘smart, handsome, charming … both rich and

Read More »
General Fiction

Buckley’s Chance by Garry Linnell

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders What a tale this is. William Buckley was a towering giant of a man. After being wounded in the Napoleonic wars, he fell on hard times and was transported to Australia for petty theft. Sailing into Port Phillip in 1803 as a convict dragged into the British government’s half-hearted attempt to

Read More »
Non-Fiction

The Economists’ Hour by Binyamin Appelbaum

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders The Great Recession of 2007 – the one that Australians call the GFC – was a boon to economists. Book sales boomed as the very economists who had failed to predict the crash, tried to convince us that they knew why it occurred.   If only those same economists could have predicted

Read More »
General Fiction

Magnus and the Crossroads Brotherhood by Robert Fabbri

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Heroes in literature, flawed though their personalities might be, usually follow a personal honour code. They are most often the main character of a literary work who, eschewing or disregarding injury or death, combat adversity through feats of human courage or the application of intellectual reasoning. These are sufficient to bring

Read More »
Non-Fiction

Remembering Bob edited by Sue Pieters-Hawke

Reviewed by E. B. Heath ‘Hawke was a vivid fellow; and entertaining by his very nature’. Tom Keneally Remembering Bob, edited by his eldest daughter, Sue Pieters-Hawke, is a compilation of one hundred and thirty-eight eulogies of praise for Australia’s 23rd Prime Minister.  Reading it was akin to attending a long memorial service, while wondering,

Read More »
Fantasy/Science Fiction

QualityLand by Marc-Uwe Kling

Reviewed by Rod McLary QualityLand was a best seller when it was first published in Germany in 2016.  It has now been translated from the German to English and is to be published around the world.  The story is set sometime in the near future in a world which is largely run by robots and

Read More »
General Fiction

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This is the second historical fiction novel by Martha Hall Kelly inspired by the life of World War heroines. Her earlier book, Lilac Girls, published in April 2016, became an international bestseller. It introduced readers to the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday, from the famous Woolsey family of New York City who were

Read More »
Non-Fiction

More by Matt Preston

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend At its simplest, the act of cooking is an act of love; an act of indulging those you love with something delicious. The above is a quote from the introduction of Matt Preston’s latest cookbook – More, which is all about vegetables, nuts and grains.  He promotes vegetarianism without the finger

Read More »
General Fiction

Springtime: A Ghost Story by Michelle de Kretser

Reviewed by E.B. Heath The title implies life and death, so unsurprisingly, Springtime: A Ghost Story, does not have the usual elements of the ghost narrative.  No creepy houses, or deathly apparitions menacing from the shadows.  Michelle de Kretser’s novella places the reader in the dazzling light of Sydney in the spring, teeming with energy,

Read More »
Crime/Mystery

Agent Running in the Field by John Le Carré

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve After so many years writing thrillers set in the Cold War era, in his 25th novel, Agent Running in the Field, the master has not lost his touch. From the beginning, this book is tense and gripping. His command of the language of spies, the protocols of MI6, is formidable and

Read More »
Non-Fiction

Vigée Le Brun by Katharine Baetjer, Joseph Baillio and Paul Lang

Reviewed by Ian Lipke I had not heard of this artist until I attended an art history class at the University of the Third Age in Brisbane a couple of years ago. While weeks of studying the old masters had sharpened my analytic skills and broadened my knowledge of those things that make an artist

Read More »