February 2022

General Fiction

A Great Hope by Jessica Stanley

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Anyone interested in Australian politics would find this book interesting as it encompasses the time in Australia when a long entrenched political party was defeated. What followed was a time of musical chairs as the leadership of political parties changed quite frequently. The book reveals some of the workings of the

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Politics

The Shortest History of Democracy by John Keane

Reviewed by Richard Tutin It is salutary writing a review on a book about democracy while Russia is invading the Ukraine. After all, John Keane’s subject matter is the antithesis of the Russian President whose aims and objects have little to do with the goals of a form of governance that is ostensibly by the

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Memoir/Biography

I Am a Killer by Danny Tipping and Ned Parker

Reviewed by Clare Brook The general public has a fascination with sensational details surrounding murder.  There have been many documentaries made to satisfy that curiosity, usually detailing the immediate evidence surrounding the physicality of the crime.   I Am a Killer is based on the successful Netflix series of the same name.  The aim of this

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Crime/Mystery

Verity by Colleen Hoover

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Those of you old enough to remember Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca will welcome Colleen Hoover’s latest book, the impeccable and intoxicating Verity. While Rebecca was scary, Verity goes beyond what human nerves were meant to bear. The premise is simple enough. A cash-strapped author is offered the opportunity to complete the

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Young Adult

Only a Monster by Vanessa Len

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend A female protagonist who is half-English half-Chinese and half-monster half-human, a hoard of full-blood monsters, the protagonist’s human, monster-slaying love interest, and time travel!   Such are the elements of Vanessa Len’s debut Young Adult novel, Only A Monster.  Ambitious, to say the least! Vanessa Len writes that she was interested in

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Business/Finance

The Ethical Investor by Nicole Haddow

Reviewed by Gerard Healy This is a very interesting look at how to manage your money, in an as ethical a way as you can, by Nicole Haddow, a journalist. She admits she is not a financial expert, so takes the approach of let’s find out together how areas such as superannuation and the share-market

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History

Australian Architecture by Davina Jackson

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Wherever we go in the world, we are surrounded and often entranced by the buildings that make up cities and communities. We marvel at their construction whether it is the pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China or the houses and public buildings of Paris, Rome or New York City.

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Young Adult

Golden Boys by Phil Stamper

Reviewed by Rod McLary The ‘golden boys’ are four queer [the term used by the author] sixteen-year-old boys living in a small town in rural Ohio – and who are best friends.  Gabriel, Reese, Sal and Heath are at the end of their penultimate school year and about to begin their spring break.  But instead

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General Fiction

A Previous Life by Edmund White

Reviewed by Rod McLary Edmund White is an American novelist and essayist perhaps best known for his three auto-fiction volumes A Boy’s Own Story, The Beautiful Room is Empty and The Farewell Symphony.  Each describes a period in the author’s life as he traverses the stages of being gay from boyhood to middle-age.  White said

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General Fiction

The Very Last List of Vivian Walker by Megan Albany

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend Death and hilarity are two nouns that do not normally appear in the same sentence.  Well … unless discussing Megan Albany’s debut novel, The Very Last List of Vivian Walker.  Megan has delivered a comedy of the mundane. The stuff of daily life piles up relentlessly, even in the face of

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Young Adult

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Reviewed by E. B. Heath Ruta Sepetys is a celebrated writer of historical fiction and a world-class ambassador for human dignity.  Her books are written with the intent of giving voice to populations who suffered through cruel totalitarian regimes but are under-represented in historical records.  She is categorized as a ‘crossover’ novelist, valued by both

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Crime/Mystery

Abandoned in Death by J. D. Robb

Reviewed by Ian Lipke My library holds a total of fifty-four books written by J.D. Robb, a pseudonym of Nora Roberts, and seventy-six under her real name. I know that I do not hold her complete oeuvre. Her books appear at an average rate of one each six months. Writing for this author approaches disease

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History

The Betrayal of Anne Frank by Rosemary Sullivan

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Few people of my generation will fail to recognize the name Anne Frank. Anne was a thirteen-year-old Dutch girl whose family took steps to hide in an annex to Otto Frank’s business premises when Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands in the early 1940s. The Franks were Jews and therefore certain to

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2022 Dublin Literary Award

2022 Dublin Literary Award Seventy-nine books have been nominated by libraries around the world for the 2022 DUBLIN Literary Award, which is sponsored by Dublin City Council. Now in its 27th year, this award is the world’s most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English, worth €100,000 to the winner.

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Non-Fiction

Cars We Used to Drive by Don Loffler

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Picking up this book was like receiving an invitation to relive the past. Don Loffler’s pictorial assembly of cars owned and driven between 1946 and 1966 brought back many memories. The vehicles that are highlighted were on the go during my childhood and teenage years. I found myself looking to see

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