January 2022

General Fiction

The Furies by Mandy Beaumont

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Deeply unsettling in its powerful themes, with opening pages that relate brutish male behaviour and allude to unspeakable trauma, The Furies is not an easy read. Cynthia, a sixteen-year-old girl, is living alone when not long ago, she had a father and mother and a little sister, Mallory, forming her family

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Literature

The Furphy Anthology 2021

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Writing a short story is an exacting art. Words cannot be wasted but the story needs to begin, progress and come to some form of conclusion. From time to time the thought arises that this form of literature is dying and before too long will be consigned to the heavens. However,

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Non-Fiction

The Mutant Project: Inside the Global Race to Genetically Modify Humans by Eben Kirksey

Reviewed by E.B. Heath It is clear the race to genetically modify humans is relentless as an incoming tide.  Anthropologists, ethicists, and activists, at pains to slow the surge, are having as much success as King Canute’s futile attempts to control the sea.  Furthermore, genetic experiments are not just happening in well-regulated laboratories! In The

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General Fiction

The Prodigal Sister by Darry Fraser

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Darry Fraser is an author new to me although she seems to be a prolific writer. Her publications include Daughter of the Murray, The Widow of Ballarat, Elsa Goody, Bushranger and several others. Now appears The Prodigal Sister. Fraser seems to be one of the sisterhood who feel that women writers

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Memoir/Biography

The Boys by Ron Howard and Clint Howard

Reviewed by Gerard Healy A very interesting look inside the world of 1960s and 70s TV shows and later Hollywood movies, by brothers Ron Howard and Clint Howard. Ron is the better known of the two with his childhood appearances in The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days and his later successful directing career. He

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Historical Fiction

The Last Checkmate by Gabriella Saab

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The Last Checkmate is an inspirational book. On the surface it is a standard anti-Nazi work in which the heroine leads the way in defeating evil. However, Gabriella Saab has written undercurrents in this book of greater moment than a simple tale of opposing evil. Maria Florkowska, the lead character, and

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Memoir/Biography

Twelve Summers by Adam Zwar

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Sport has a special place in the hearts and minds of many Australians. While some just enjoy watching their favourite sports heroes in action, others, like Adam Zwar, take it to a different level. Zwar recounts memorable moments from his life while tying them to the cricket season that played out

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Historical Fiction

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Innumerable titles devoted to World War Two have been published; many scholarly histories as well as inspirational accounts of the awe-inspiring ordeals, bravery and incredible endurance of those who lived during those years. As the title suggests, The Kitchen Front is not in the above category. It is a story of

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2022 Indie Book Awards – Shortlist

Australian independent booksellers are thrilled to announce their Shortlist for the Indie Book Awards 2022, their favourite Australian books published in 2021! Established in 2008, the Indie Book Awards recognize and celebrate this country’s incredible literary talent and who better to nominate and judge the best-of-the-best than indie booksellers – the ultimate champions of great

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sociology

The Storm is Upon Us by Mike Rothschild

Reviewed by E.B. Heath Like so many aspects of QAnon, what once was a bridge too far is now a collapsing structure that we’re all stuck on.  (p.219)  Many readers might believe that investing time to comprehend the logic of QAnon would be as productive as chasing a feather in a raging nor’easter.  Surely, the leaders

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History

The Vanishing by Janine di Giovanni

Reviewed by Richard Tutin It was either fortuitous or a coincidence that, when Janine di Giovanni’s book The Vanishing -The Twilight of Christianity in the Middle East arrived on my desk, a statement from the Patriarchs and Heads of Local Churches of Jerusalem was published concerning the current threat to the Christian presence in the

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General Fiction

Anthem by Noah Hawley

Reviewed by Rod McLary Essentially, Anthem is a tale of a quest undertaken by the fourteen-year-old protagonist Simon Oliver.  Quests exist in the folklore of all cultures and ethnic groups – and usually require great exertion by the hero as s/he confronts many moral and physical obstacles through the journey.  In fact, one section of

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Non-Fiction

Mortals by Rachel E. Menzies and Ross G. Menzies

Reviewed by Clare Brook Only a life that faces the truth of the finality of death allows an individual to live without existential anxiety, freeing them to pursue a passionate, authentic existence in the limited time that they have.  Menzies & Menzies. We’re all going to die!  Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but at some point

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Children

A Mouse Called Miika by Matt Haig

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Matt Haig, well known for his bestselling children’s books, (A Mouse Called Miika is his twelfth) is also a much-admired author for adults, his most recent success being The Midnight Library. Miika, a Finnish mouse, has fun adventures which involve special powers, (drimwicked) which enable him to overcome a snow owl’s

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