November 2021

Crime/Mystery

Kill Your Brother by Jack Heath

Reviewed by Rod McLary Jack Heath’s first crime novel for adults and the first of three featuring Timothy Blake – Hangman – was published in 2018.  Timothy was engaged as a consultant for the FBI in Texas.  He has acute skills for ‘reading’ a crime scene and observing what other investigators had missed or overlooked. 

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An Interview with Jack Heath – author of Kill Your Brother

Jack Heath is the award-winning author of more than thirty thrillers for children and adults. He was born in Sydney in 1986 and has lived in Canberra since 1996. He wrote his first novel in high school and sold it to a publisher at age 18. In 2018 his first crime novel for adults, Hangman, was

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General Fiction

Great Australian Mysteries by Graham Seal

Review by Richard Tutin As I was reading this offering by Graham Seal, I was reminded of the old Disneyland television programme. During the introduction to the various lands, Frontierland was mentioned with the line about featuring “tall tales and true from the legendary past”. Great Australian Mysteries certainly gives us the tall tales and

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General Fiction

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve In this novel, rich in the language employed by one of the U.S.’s finest writers, two words are key. One is ‘haunting’ and the other is ‘sentence’. Characters are haunted by place, the now infamous city of Minneapolis where injustice often determines outcomes for all non-white people, and the police are

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General Fiction

The Fatal Dance by Berndt Sellheim

Reviewed by E. B. Heath The Fatal Dance engages with a range of subjects subtly woven into a funny and poignant family drama. Although the descriptions of place and people are vivid and detailed, much is implied, allowing the text to move at a fast pace as each member illustrates different aspects of modern life:

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General Fiction

Never by Ken Follett

Reviewed by Ian Lipke When I contemplate Ken Follett’s massive novel, I wonder how any writer of extended texts can hope to maintain the interest of today’s readers. Yet my own involvement grew as I made my way through the multilayered issues Follett addresses. Sub-plots can be as simple as the story of the young

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Crime/Mystery

The Becoming by Nora Roberts

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Nora Roberts prefers to tell a tale these days in trilogy form. We observed this in The Chronicles of the One (Year One, Of Blood and Bone and The Rise of Magicks), a series that traced the developing life of a young girl into a warrior of considerable skill. To achieve

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The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Three thought-provoking panel discussions explore power, representation and diversity in publishing in Australia and the UK, hosted by the Wheeler Centre, Spread the Word and the Melbourne City of Literature Office Like television, film and other media, the publishing industry is a window into our society at any given time. The choice of books published inform us about our world and, collectively, shape our cultural environment. So, who gets published? What forces and

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History

Girt Nation by David Hunt

Reviewed by Ian Lipke David Hunt, author of Girt, True Girt, and now Girt Nation, has been flying beneath the flag of public notice for far too long. First of his books in this series to appear was the very funny, 2013 award-winning Girt which was shortlisted for the 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA), the

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Non-Fiction

Flight of the Budgerigar by Penny Olsen

Review by Richard Tutin There are some Australians who are better known overseas than they are here in their own country. The budgerigar suffered from this fate for many years. As Penny Olsen explains in Flight of the Budgerigar, this small gregarious bird was, for many years, sought after by people outside of Australia but

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Memoir/Biography

Margaret Flockton – A Fragrant Memory by Louise Wilson

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve To celebrate the 200th birthday of the Sydney Botanic Gardens, Wakefield Press has produced a book that is a delight on many levels. It is a detailed tribute to Margaret Flockton’s work, her life, and her position in Australia’s art scene – and her courageous journey from England to forge her

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Memoir/Biography

A Funny Life by Michael McIntyre

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend I laughed, I cried laughing … I cried! I could leave it there, but for the sake of this not being the shortest review in the history of reviews, I will give a brief explanation. I laughed to the point of tears because Michael McIntyre is clearly one of the funniest

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Melbourne Prize for Literature 2021

  Photo credit: John Tsiavis WINNER — Melbourne Prize for Literature 2021 CHRISTOS TSIOLKAS The Prize is for a Victorian published author whose body of published work has made an outstanding contribution to Australian literature and to cultural and intellectual life. Christos Tsiolkas is the author of seven novels, with his work being adapted for

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Memoir/Biography

Take Risks by John Marsden

Reviewed by Gerard Healy What a fascinating, controversial and notable memoir/political manifesto by John Marsden, the well-known Australian author of the Tomorrow When the War Began series. In this book he looks back over his own schooling, his long teaching and writing careers and his establishment of two independent schools in country Victoria. Quite a

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General Fiction

The Selfless Act of Breathing by JJ Bola

Reviewed by Rod McLary Donald M Murray – an American journalist and professor of English – once wrote that ‘all writing is autobiography’ believing that writers draw on their own well of experience whatever they may write – including fiction. JJ Bola seems to have done that in his second novel – his first, evocatively

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