October 2021

Music

Long Players by Tom Gatti [editor]

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Like many people, I enjoy listening to favourite pieces of music. The memories they invoke take me back to the time when I first listened to them. They are reminders of times past, good and not so good. Tom Gatti has brought together fifty authors who have had similar experiences through

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History

The Incredible Life of Hubert Wilkins by Peter FitzSimons

Reviewed by Ian Lipke There is a slight chance that someone has come across Peter FitzSimons’ writing for the first time with the publication of his latest book The Incredible Life of Hubert Wilkins. This is part of the book’s title, the remainder “Australia’s Greatest Explorer” I find an unconscionable thing to write. FitzSimons is

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Children

Book of Curious Birds by Jennifer Cossins

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke The Book of Curious Birds is a 24x29cm hard covered beautifully presented book by Tasmanian author and artist, Jennifer Cossins. Promoted as being a book for children who have an enquiring mind and a thirst for knowledge, there is much to admire in the illustrations and information provided that would interest

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Children

Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief by Katrina Nannestad

Reviewed by Clare Brook Sasha is the hero of Katrina Nannestad’s latest novel – Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief.  Sasha is a six-year-old Russian boy caught up in World War II.  The German army burns his village to the ground and he runs like a rabbit into the forest.  Sasha would have died of starvation or

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Robert Wainwright and ‘Nellie’

Robert Wainwright has been a journalist for 25 years, rising from the grassroots of country journalism in Western Australia to a senior writer with The Sydney Morning Herald. His career has ranged from politics to crime, always focussing on the people behind the major news of the day. He is the author of Rose: The unauthorised biography

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Memoir/Biography

Nellie by Robert Wainwright

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Robert Wainwright is a veteran journalist who has now written fourteen books. As has been his custom, he focusses on the people behind the major news of the day. In this case, it is a time over 140 years ago. There has been much written about the career of ‘the nightingale’,

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Memoir/Biography

Borges and Me by Jay Parini

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend “How on earth had I landed in bed with an elderly, loquacious blind man in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands?” A famous blind Argentinean writer, an American student, driving an old Morris Minor, touring the Scottish Highlands. Interesting plot.  But this narrative is more biography than fiction. The student

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Reader Events

For those readers who like to meet – or at least see on Zoom – their favourite authors, there are a number of events coming up in the next few days and weeks. Please see the list below: Michelle de Kretser – Scary Monsters Tuesday 26 October 2021 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM ZOOM Online

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Memoir/Biography

A Historian Against the Current by Don Longo

Reviewed by E. B. Heath ‘… all history is contemporary history … all serious study of the past is informed by the problems of the historian’s own time.’ Benedetto Croce On reading the prologue in Don Longo’s biography of Austin Gough, it occurred that Longo was being dramatic in an effort to incite readers’ curiosity.

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Memoir/Biography

A Bloody Good Rant by Thomas Keneally

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Tom Keneally – a man whose sallies have launched a thousand laughs, whose writing is read by multitudes with fascinated absorption, whose satire has seared the dignities of politicians uncounted – has written another book. Its name? A Bloody Good Rant! The eighty-five-year-old rooster is no Spring chicken, but his crowing

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History

Twelve Caesars by Mary Beard

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Everybody knows what Julius Caesar, Caligula and Nero, to name just a few Roman emperors, looked like. We’ve all seen sculptures of them, some created by well-known artists. They’ve all been on television. Of course, we know what they look like.  Mary Beard, variously a leading classicist and cultural commentator, a

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Crime/Mystery

The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Chris Hadfield has pursued a career that comes the way of few men. A seasoned and accomplished astronaut, a test pilot and experienced fighter pilot in the US air force and navy, he has seen action intercepting Soviet bombers over United States air space. A veteran of space flight, a director

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Children

There’s a Ghost in this House by Oliver Jeffers

Reviewed by Patrica Simms-Reeve For generations, children have been thrilled by the stories from classics such as those by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. Some of these classics are macabre, cruel, and bloodthirsty. Mostly, they are dark tales that don’t conclude with the clichéd ‘happy ending’.  Oliver Jeffers’s latest book, designed for the

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General Fiction

The Curlew’s Eye by Karen Manton

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke As soon as I began reading this book, I became enchanted by the imagery of the landscape. The author Karen Manton made it come alive and, for me, this became a major focus throughout the book. It did not take away from the main story, but in fact enhanced it, adding

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Business/Finance

How Do You Fight a Horse-Sized Duck by William Poundstone

Reviewed by Gerard Healy A very interesting look at the array of puzzles, odd-ball questions and games thought up by HR departments to help select the best applicants for top-flight jobs. The author is William Poundstone, an American, and while his focus is mainly on the US, many of the job-selection processes he describes would

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