April 2020

General Fiction

Seven Lies by Elizabeth Kay

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke With the words Seven Lies emblazoned across a fan folded red backdrop, one gets the impression that this book will not be a relaxing ‘feel good’ read. This feeling is further increased when learning that it has gained much attention in the literary world and garnered a flurry of 18 international

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Crime/Mystery

The Shifting Landscape by Katherine Kovacic

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke The latest fictional account of her hero private detective, Alex Clayton, appears in Katherine Kovacic’s The Shifting Landscape. The story of a bickering family, located on a sheep station in western Victoria, is interesting enough. It would not carry the Kovacic stamp if it were not heavily laden with reference after

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General Fiction

Night Lessons in Little Jerusalem by Rick Held

Reviewed by Rod McLary Set in Austria in the middle years of World War II, this is a story of two families – Berthold [or Tholdi as he is generally known] and his parents Nathan and Lina, and Alex and his parents Jacob and Mira and his sister Peppa.  Tholdi, Alex and Peppa are best

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General Fiction

The Wedding Dress by Danielle Steel

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Danielle Steel is an extremely prolific writer with six new novels published during 2019 and five more planned for 2020. The Numbers Game was published in March 2020 and her latest presentation, The Wedding Dress, is due for publication in late April. Although she has a very strong following world-wide, and

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Non-Fiction

Gotta Get Theroux This by Louis Theroux

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Educated at Tower House Prep School, Westminster Public School and Oxford, Louis Theroux emerged as the sad, wistful, quietly daring interviewer whom we know has brought documentaries to television that deal with subjects others in the field would never touch, let alone investigate. His degree in philosophy and sociology somehow inspired

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2020 ABIA shortlist

AUSTRALIAN BOOK INDUSTRY AWARDS (ABIA) 2020 AWARDS SHORTLIST The 2020 shortlist includes some of the biggest names in the Australian book industry (which publishes over 7,000 new books annually) and this year’s list is a top-shelf showcase of high profile authors and amazing new talent. The shortlist finalises the titles, publishers and authors in the

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General Fiction

Mammoth by Chris Flynn

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Mammoth is written by Chris Flynn, Australian editor and critic as well as author of two previous novels, The Glass Kingdom and A Tiger in Eden. It is one of the most unusual books I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Tom Keneally’s succinct comment on the back cover tells

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General Fiction

There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett

Reviewed by E.B.Heath Historical facts and figures are mainly concerned with the machinations of political actors, only presenting shadow images of an era.  It takes a skilled author to colour the lived experience of citizens for any depth of understanding to occur.  In her latest novel, There Was Still Love, Favel Parrett gives readers a

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Crime/Mystery

The Safety Net by Andrea Camilleri

Reviewed by Gerard Healy There are arguably only a handful of top-ranked crime writers who can bring a lighter, humorous touch to the grim business of investigating death. The late, great Italian writer, Andrea Camilleri was one such. In his Inspector Montalbano series, set mainly on the island of Sicily, he gives us a cast

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Non-Fiction

Lost but Found by Peter Sharp

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve eBook is available but photographs in hardcopy determine choice. Peter Sharp specialises in pet photography and he is a master of the art of capturing domestic animals on film. His ‘portraits’ have a heart-warming charm, and he has the knack of displaying the animal’s personality. The photographs in this book are

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Non-Fiction

Vegetarian Meals in 30 Minutes by Anita Bean

Reviewed by Clare Brook Anita Bean studied for a degree in Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Surrey, England.  She is the author of twenty-eight books on nutrition and fitness including the best-selling The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition, first published in 1993, currently in its eighth edition.  Bean’s publishing success can be attributed

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Non-Fiction

A Little History of Poetry by John Carey

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve All those who delight in the beauty of language, expressed in its most refined form, poetry, will embrace this history. John Carey is an eminent academic, currently Emeritus Professor at Oxford. He has written several books. It is an indicator of his standing in the field of literature when his stature

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Crime/Mystery

The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel

Reviewed by Rod McLary The epigraph to this novel is the first lines of a poem by Emily Dickinson: We grow accustomed to the Dark – When Light is put away – Dickinson is writing about the loss of a loved one and how she must now live her life in darkness.  This quote is

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General Fiction

The Octopus and I by Erin Hortle

Reviewed by Rod McLary This is a stunning debut novel by an Australian author.  From the first sentence of the book: ‘My body is brimming is pulsing is purring is ready’ [3], the narrative engages the reader and never lets go.  The quoted sentence is voiced – although that may not be exactly the right

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