August 2021

Crime/Mystery

Sweet Jimmy by Bryan Brown

Reviewed by Ian Lipke One of the best-known film stars that Australia has produced is Bryan Brown. Star of Breaker Morant and A Town Like Alice in the 1980s and involvement in a string of hits since then, Brown is a very experienced performer, having appeared in over eighty films and worked in something like

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Crime/Mystery

The Final Cut by Robert Jeffreys

Reviewed by Rod McLary There are persistent tropes in the crime genre – a grizzled and sometimes cynical older detective with a tense relationship with his superiors, a young enthusiastic new detective, fractured family relationships due to the hours and the nature of police work, and a crime which defies regular detective work – and

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Awards Update

Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction 2021  The winner of the 2021 Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction is Consolation by Garry Disher (Text). The Ned Kelly Awards 2021 shortlist for this category was: Consolation (Garry Disher, Text) Gathering Dark (Candice Fox, Penguin) A Testament of Character (Sulari Gentill, Pantera) The Survivors (Jane Harper, Pan) * The Good

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History

I Alone Can Fix It by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker

Reviewed by Ian Lipke I Alone Can Fix It is a monumental work that heralds the final year in the presidency of Donald J. Trump. It is a descriptive, but also clinical, probe into a president that nobody can really understand even today after millions of words have been spoken or written. This is a

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General Fiction

Barcelona Dreaming by Rupert Thomson

Reviewed by Rod McLary Rupert Thomson’s love for the titular city illuminates Barcelona Dreaming. It was the city in which the author lived for six years, where “the ordinary things were magical, a source of pleasure,” but where, at the same time, “sophisticated urbanization faded into run-down concrete apartment blocks and burnt-out cars, areas of weed-choked

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Academic

Cyclone Country by Chrystopher J Spicer

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders Most of us will never have to live through the full force of a cyclone. The jetspeed winds, the locomotive noise, the raging waters and the ravaged landscapes are familiar media icons, but how can we understand the experience without being at ground zero? Kalbarri in WA recently experienced a cyclone

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Reference

Macquarie Atlas of Indigenous Australia by Bill Arthur & Frances Morphy [eds]

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This work is the second edition of an Atlas of Indigenous Australia. The first edition was published in 2005. The basic structure of the book has not changed. There are still three major sections of focus: the socio-cultural space, the socio-economic space and the socio-political space. Some chapters have new titles,

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Crime/Mystery

The Devil’s Advocate by Steve Cavanagh

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Steve Cavanagh writes with the assurance of an author fully comfortable in the crime-courtroom genre. His style is relaxed and the tone consistent with a man simply going about his business. His characters commit the most appalling of crimes under the protective umbrella of the criminal justice system. The District Attorney

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Latest Award News

2021 National Biography Award The State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW) has announced the shortlist for the 2021 National Biography Award. The shortlisted works are: The Lotus Eaters (Emily Clements, Hardie Grant) One Bright Moon (Andrew Kwong, HarperCollins) Max (Alex Miller, A&U) * Truganini: Journey through the apocalypse (Cassandra Pybus, A&U) * Tell Me Why (Archie Roach, S&S) Penny

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General Fiction

Small Joys of Real Life by Allee Richards

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Although I was not born in the past thirty years, the daily lives of the three young women whose lives are so graphically depicted in Small Joys of Real Life were truly absorbing. The novel tracks the progress of Eva’s pregnancy right up to when she is some days overdue. The

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Crime/Mystery

Cave Diver by Jake Avila

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve In today’s world, opportunities for adventure are few.  Travel restrictions prevent any experience beyond the routine. The hero in Jake Avila’s book, Cave Diver, however, lives on thrills and adrenaline that grip to the very last (over 400!) page.  The weeks in which the action occurs are crammed with incidents that

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Memoir/Biography

The Brilliant Boy by Gideon Haigh

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve As is the case with many brilliant men, Herbert Vere Evatt (1894-1965) was a multi-faceted character. Scholastically brilliant, he was awarded J.D. (Juris Doctor) at a young age and, at 35, was a judge of the High Court, and henceforth known as ‘Doc’ Evatt. He was erudite and widely read which

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History

The Address Book by Deirdre Mask

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Have you ever wondered about the origin of your address? How did your street, road, lane or crescent receive its name and designation? Though I have lived at several different addresses over the years, I hadn’t given it much thought – until now. Deirdre Mask is responsible for this interest and

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Crime/Mystery

1979 by Val McDermid

Reviewed by Rod McLary Val McDermid is arguably one of the giants in the crime genre.  Any doubters of that claim need only to consider her many awards – most notably the CWA Gold Dagger, the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger and the Grand Prix des Romans D’Aventure.  Perhaps best known for the Wire in the

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General Fiction

The Rome Zoo by Pascal Janovjak

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve A title such as The Rome Zoo merely hints at, but does not reflect, the range and compelling nature of this wonderful novel.  The history of modern Italy, the relevance of the zoo, the concept of caging animals, all are touched upon in a clever, sometimes ironic, and brilliant manner. There

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