June 2022

History

Three Sheets to the Wind by Adam Courtenay

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Delving into Adam Courtenay’s latest book, which explores aspects of the life in the fledgling colony at Sydney Cove, poses a fascinating question. How did a society that at almost all levels was “three sheets to the wind” form the foundation to the thriving nation of today, which seriously takes part

Read More »
Non-Fiction

For the Good of the World by A. C. Grayling

Reviewed by E.B. Heath The linguistic agility of some writers has the effect of organising the mind – much like a librarian applying the Dewey Decimal system to a pile of dusty books – Professor Grayling is one such writer. He makes light work for the reader despite the dense subject matter concerning significant threats

Read More »
General Fiction

Things We Bury by Matthew Ryan Davies

Reviewed by Rod McLary It is a common trope in stories about families that the matriarch or patriarch is on his/her death bed and the family gathers around and all the unresolved tensions and undisclosed secrets are exposed for good or bad.  Think of Patrick White’s The Eye of the Storm and what flows from

Read More »
Crime/Mystery

The 6:20 Man by David Baldacci

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Travis Devine is identified in David Baldacci’s latest thriller as The 6:20 Man for the simple reason that each morning he catches the 6:20 train to work. The service is a popular one, not least for men who are treated each morning to the sight of a beautiful young woman in

Read More »

Miles Franklin Literary Award 2022

Miles Franklin Literary Award Today, the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, alongside award trustee Perpetual, announced the 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist featuring five exceptional titles.  The announcement was broadcast nationally. The 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist is:  The Other Half of You by Michael Mohammed Ahmad (Hachette Australia) Scary Monsters by Michelle de Kretser (Allen & Unwin)  Bodies of

Read More »
Historical Fiction

Painting the Light by Ned Manning

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Ned Manning is a writer, actor and teacher. He is well known for his teaching memoir, Playground Duty which has become required reading for anyone interested in the real world of teaching. He has written over twenty plays many of which have been performed in schools around Australia. Painting the Light

Read More »
History

Up from the Depths by Aaron Sachs

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This is a most unusual book. It investigates the lives of two influential American writers, Herman Melville and Lewis Mumford, within a specific context. In effect, it purports to become a double portrait of two of America’s most influential writers that reveals the surprising connections between them—and their uncanny relevance to

Read More »
General Fiction

The Little Wartime Library by Kate Thompson

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Books about war tend to focus on battles and those who were in the thick of fighting them. Kate Thompson’s novel The Little Wartime Library is therefore refreshing because it focuses on those who are left at home trying to live their lives as best they can. In this case, it

Read More »
Memoir/Biography

The Fourth Man by Robert Baer

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Comparisons drawn between John le Carre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Fourth Man are to be expected but have little substance. The books belong to different genres and were written for two very different audiences. However, this rarely stops exciting comparisons being made, because here in real life is the

Read More »
General Fiction

The Lessons by John Purcell

Reviewed by Gail McDonald The Lessons is the second novel by John Purcell with his debut novel The Girl on the Page being acclaimed as a best seller. John Purcell is an Australian author whose novels also include The Secret Lives of Emma. He is also the Director of Books at Booktopia and Angus &

Read More »
Crime/Mystery

The Bay by Allie Reynolds

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve “Wild places attract wild people” – a mantra which sits perfectly with the six characters of The Bay. Zenna, who learned to love surfing in Cornwall, flies out to Sydney to be with her friend, Mikki, who is due to marry easy-going Australian, Jack. He meets her and drives her to

Read More »
Academic

The Complete Works of W. H. Auden edited by Edward Mendelson

Reviewed by Ian Lipke I have been privileged to receive a copy of Edward Mendelson, The Complete Works of W.H. Auden (Princeton University Press, 2022), upon which this review is built. The two-volume set is a magnificent work that captures more than adequately the oeuvre of a major twentieth century poet, playwright and musician. Its

Read More »
Crime/Mystery

The Murders at Fleat House by Lucinda Riley

Reviewed by Gail McDonald The author, Lucinda Riley, authored this book in 2006 but it was not published until after her death in 2021, by her son Harry Whittaker. Lucinda wrote the successful series of books called the Seven Sisters based on the story of adopted sisters inspired by the mythology of famous star clusters.

Read More »

Dublin Literary Award – Winner 2022

The Dublin Literary Award – 2022 – Winner Celebrating 27 years, 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. If the book has been translated the author receives €75,000 and the translator receives €25,000. The 2022 Award winner was chosen

Read More »
Historical Fiction

The Winter Dress by Lauren Chater

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke In 2018, author Lauren Chater received a research grant to travel to the Netherlands for her latest book, The Winter Dress. This book was inspired by a 17th century gown retrieved, in reasonably good condition, from a wreck off the Dutch coast near the island of Texel in 2014. Lauren Chater

Read More »