May 2022

Environment

Penguins by Tui De Roy, Mark Jones, Julie Cornthwaite

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve From the comical antics of the Rock Hopper penguin to the stately Emperor, penguins almost universally enthrall. They are probably the most loved of all birds. This affection manifests itself in the hugely successful movie, “Happy Feet”, the mountains of merchandise featuring their signature black and white, and the publishing empire

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Crime/Mystery

Black River by Matthew Spencer

Reviewed by Gerard Healy This is a great crime novel by Matthew Spencer set in contemporary Sydney. While already investigating two separate brutal murders of young women around the Gladesville area, police are informed that another young woman’s body has been found in the grounds of an elite private boarding school. While there are some

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Crime/Mystery

The Murders at Fleat House by Lucinda Riley

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Having read so many detective stories that had their origin in the USA, I was not keen to comment on this one. What gained my interest was the report of the author’s tragic ending and the gumption her children had displayed in seeing the book through to publication. The fact that

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Crime/Mystery

Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This is a debut novel that shows much promise. Not only do the characters help the story develop but they make a further contribution in their adding to the setting, while at the same time the setting is enriching them. The story maintains interest if it does not exactly leap into

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Historical Fiction

The Coast by Eleanor Limprecht

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Eleanor Limprecht is an author and creative writing lecturer who has had many short fiction, book reviews, feature articles and essays published and is on the board of directors at Writing NSW. The Coast is her fourth novel published following What Was Left in 2013, Long Bay in 2015 and The

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Queensland Poetry Festival

Emerge – Queensland Poetry Festival 2022 After a couple of years hiatus, the Queensland Poetry Festival is back in 2022. The theme for 2022’s festival – ‘Emerge’ – speaks not only to the sense of ‘coming through’ the significant challenges of the last few years, but also to the way poetry emerges into the world,

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The Australian/Vogel Literary Award 2022

The Australian/Vogel Literary Award A Place Near Eden by Melbourne writer Nell Pierce has won this year’s $20,000 Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award, for an unpublished manuscript by an author under the age of 35. Described by the publisher Allen & Unwin as ‘part absorbing mystery, part riveting family drama’, A Place Near Eden explores themes of truth and memory.

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History

Australia’s Great Depression by Joan Beaumont

Reviewed by Richard Tutin I heard a lot about the Depression Years of the 1930s as I was growing up. Stories about having to make do with very little in the way of food and clothing as well as memories of the great lines of people looking for both food and work abounded during my

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General Fiction

Trust by Hernán Diaz

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Trust, the second novel by celebrated Hernán Diaz, is a dazzling example of a writer who is brilliantly in control of a complicated narrative which portrays the life of an immensely wealthy and successful magnate, introduced as Benjamin Rash in a novel by Harold Vanner, called ‘Bonds’. The book needs its

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Children

The Suitcase of Belonging – Twinkl Originals

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve In the very competitive educational resource field, the exciting news is that the English-based ‘Twinkl’ has arrived in Australia offering materials that are Australian Curriculum-aligned. The initial impression is that it is an excellent tool for teachers. The fact that one of the first books in the Twinkl Originals collection is

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Miles Franklin Literary Award 2022

Miles Franklin Literary Award 2022 The longlist for the 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award, worth $60,000, has been announced. The twelve longlisted novels are: The Other Half of You (Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Hachette) After Story (Larissa Behrendt, UQP) Scary Monsters (Michelle de Kretser, A&U) Bodies of Light (Jennifer Down, Text) Echolalia (Briohny Doyle, Vintage) The Magpie Wing (Max Easton, Giramondo) The

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ABIA 2022 Shortlists

The shortlists for the 2022 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) have been announced. The shortlisted books in two of the categories are: General fiction book of the year When Things Are Alive They Hum (Hannah Bent, Ultimo) Before You Knew My Name (Jacqueline Bublitz, A&U) Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (Anita Heiss, S&S) The Younger Wife (Sally Hepworth, Macmillan) Apples Never Fall (Liane

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Crime/Mystery

The Island by Adrian McKinty

Reviewed by Rod McLary A common trope in thrillers and horror stories is the characters embroiled in a situation beyond their imagining and beyond their initial ability to protect themselves.  One need only consider Deliverance by James Dickey where four city men on a canoe trip in the Georgian wilderness are set upon by two

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Memoir/Biography

My Tongue is My Own by Ann-Marie Priest

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The title of Ann-Marie Priest’s biography of the gifted Australian poet Gwen Harwood is a fine metonymic description. This poet is renowned for the brilliance, the intellectual toughness of her verse, while being as well known for her sense of the ridiculous and her capacity for hard physical labour. By the

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Historical Fiction

The Last Summer by Karen Swan

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Karen Swan has become a prolific writer since her early years in fashion journalism. Each year she produces two books, one for the summer period in the northern hemisphere and the other in time for Christmas. With over twenty books to her credit, she has developed an extensive following. Her latest

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