January 2023

Travel

Himālaya by John Keay

Reviewd by Norrie Sanders When a titanic chunk of land the size of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh ploughs into the planet’s largest continent, something has to give.  The result is a crash site that rises 8km above the earth’s surface. The word Himālaya conjures images of improbably high peaks, huge glaciated valleys and deep river

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Historical Fiction

Dawnlands by Philippa Gregory

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The year 1685 is not a happy time in England. Disputes within families vie with enmities likely to lead to civil war. Sir James Avery tolerates the almost sisterly relationship that exists between his wife and the queen. However, he trusts neither of them. There is palace intrigue, political upheaval, and

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History

Papyrus by Irene Vallejo

Reviewed by Richard Tutin The lure of owning and reading books is still alive and well despite the growth of eBooks and their accompanying readers and apps. The desire to hold and physically look through a volume, no matter the size, is as strong as it has ever been if the number of book shops,

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Crime/Mystery

The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This book is the first to be published by Ana Reyes and has developed from the thesis for her M.F.A. program at Louisiana State University. The book became Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club January 2023 choice. An industry review says that this book is ‘powerfully eerie and atmospheric. A compelling mix of

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Children

Found in Sydney by Joanne O’Callaghan

Reviewed by Gail McDonald What a great counting book this is. There are many aspects of the book which are really fresh and educational for young children starting with the Acknowledgement of Country at the front of the book written in Dharug language with the English meaning below. This introduces young people to the fact

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Shortlists for Indie Book Awards 2023

Established in 2008, the Indie Book Awards celebrate the best Australian writing; and who better to nominate and judge the best-of-the-best than indie booksellers! What makes indie booksellers uniquely placed to judge and recommend the best Aussie books of the past year, is their incredible passion and knowledge, their contribution to the cultural diversity of

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Memoir/Biography

Kennan by Frank Costigliola

Reviewed by Ian Lipke To write a biography of any person is a major undertaking; to write a biography of such an important figure as George Kennan who led much of the thinking about the Cold War and played a major role in containing the influence of the Soviet Union and its allies after World

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Crime/Mystery

Red Dirt Road by S. R. White

Reviewed by Rod McLary Australia seems to have a fine collection of crime writers – Jane Harper, Chris Hammer, Emma Viskic just to name a few – and we can now add S.R. White.  One of the common features of these writers, apart from their talent, is that their novels are firmly immersed in the

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Business/Finance

Rigged by Cameron K Murray and Paul Frijters

Reviewed by Richard Tutin  The ethos that Australian society is one of the most equal in the world has been long ingrained into our collective psyche. Cameron K Murray and Paul Frijters’ assertion that this is no longer the case therefore grabbed my attention. This inequality forms the basis of their thesis that ordinary Australians

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An Interview with Jack Heath – author of Headcase

An Interview with Jack Heath.  QRC: My previous Q&A with you was not long after the publication of Kill Your Brother.  I asked you then about Timothy Blake, the protagonist of the Hangman series, and you said his next book may be the final one.  Now that Headcase is out, have we really seen the

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General Fiction

Stella Maris by Cormac McCarthy

Reviewed by Rod McLary Cormac McCarthy is best known as one of America’s finest writers – he is the author of The Road, No Country for Old Men ­and what some critics believe to be his greatest novel Blood Meridian published in 1985.  Perhaps lesser known is that McCarthy works with the Santa Fe Institute

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History

The Mighty 747 by Jim Eames

Reviewed by Richard Tutin  Australians have always been inveterate travellers. Business, the needs of Government, leisure and those who have felt the need to get away to prove themselves have all contributed to the great exodus that has left our shores. The majority of course have returned while some have remained away having settled in

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