February 2023

History

Sub-Imperial Power by Clinton Fernandes

Reviewed by Richard Tutin  We like to think that the days of Empire and Imperial might are over. Much has been written about the exploitation exercised by the British Empire during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries on countries such as India and Africa. The effects of this still live on to the present day. After

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Memoir/Biography

You Made Me This Way by Shannon Molloy

Reviewed by Rod McLary The final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was handed down in December 2017.  For many people, it was perhaps the first time that the extent of child sexual abuse in trusted and respected organisations was exposed.  The Royal Commission conducted 57 case studies and

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History

Winston Churchill by Tariq Ali

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Tariq Ali does not like Winston Churchill. He dislikes the war-time leader of Great Britain with a passion. Everything Churchill stood for such as his love of the British Empire, desire to defeat the Axis powers during World War II and his aim to remove Adolf Hitler from the Chancellorship of

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Memoir/Biography

Whatever Next by Anne Glenconner

Reviewed by Clare Brook Whatever Next? Lessons from an Unexpected Life is a memoir of a privileged life by Anne Glenconner.   Born Lady Anne Coke, the eldest daughter of the 5th Earl of Leicester in 1932, she grew up at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, England.  This is her second memoir, the first published in 2019,

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Historical Fiction

The Death of John Lacey by Ben Hobson

Reviewed by Rod McLary Australia in the nineteenth century was largely uncivilised and violent.  Much of the violence was directed at the Indigenous peoples as the spreading European settlements encroached more and more on the Indigenous lands.  In retaliating, the Indigenous peoples were essentially protecting the lands they saw as being taken away from them

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Crime/Mystery

How to Kill a Client by Joanna Jenkins

Reviewed by Patricia Simms Reeve This is a first novel by Joanna Jenkins, herself a partner in an international law firm before deciding to write full-time. Her experience has given this thriller a marked ring of authenticity as she recounts the stresses and demands of a large, successful firm that is driven to acquire lucrative

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Australian Reading Hour

GET INVOLVED Australian Reading Hour has a short and sweet message: read, share, and enjoy books! #AustralianReadingHour #ARH23 #ReadShareEnjoy We’re asking all Australians across the nation to spend an hour on the day reading and sharing the stories they love with others. It’s a whole day, where the whole country talks about books together. Choose

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Young Adult

The Lorikeet Tree by Paul Jennings

Reviewed by Gerard Healy This is a Young Adult novel with dollops of darkness mixed in with some light. The story centres on fifteen-year-old Emily and her twin brother Alex, who live with their ailing father on a rural property outside Warrnambool, Victoria. Now the author of this fine little book is Paul Jennings and

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Author Events

For those readers who enjoy meeting and listening to authors of the book they read, here are two new events coming up. Dinuka McKenzie – author of Taken Dinuka McKenzie is an Australian writer and book addict. Her debut crime fiction novel, The Torrent, won the HarperCollins Australia 2020 Banjo Prize and was published in February

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Crime/Mystery

Crows Nest by Nikki Mottram

Reviewed by Gail McDonald The author of Crows Nest, Nikki Mottram, studied psychology at the University of Queensland and worked in London and Australia in positions protecting and promoting the welfare of children at risk of harm. In this, her debut novel, she draws on her knowledge and experience in child protection to promote a

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Thriller

The Marriage Act by John Marrs

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve This thrillingly plausible novel offers a scenario set in the near future which presents a frightening portrayal of life in Britain. It gives a chillingly convincing description of a government intruding in citizens’ lives, a shocking impact of social media, and is made more gripping by a psychopath’s steady progress, who,

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Thriller

Cold People by Tom Rob Smith

Reviewed by Gerard Healy This unusual but interesting story is set in Antarctica, with most of the main events happening many years from now. There are elements of science-fiction (alien invasion & extreme genetic engineering) mixed with a love story or two. Tom Rob Smith, the book’s author, is probably best known for Child 44,

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General Fiction

Sweeney and the Bicycles by Philip Salom

Reviewed by E. B. Heath The world lives in small rooms. Salom p.365 More than once during the first seventy odd pages I wondered if I cared enough to continue. But then … characters gained traction, subject matter became both real and interesting, the narrative and dialogue authentic, empathy was building and I started to

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Literature

What Writers Read edited by Pandora Sykes

Reviewed by Clare Brook Anyone who loves reading, or writing, will really appreciate this little book of essays from a selection of authors discussing their most memorable book. It provides a double pleasure: readers get an inner glimpse into the minds and lives of successful authors, why they loved a book so much, how it

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Historical Fiction

A Man of Honour by Simon Smith

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Simon Smith’s interest lies in human beings and what causes them to carry out actions that, at first sight, seem bizarre. Why would a well-setup Irishman determine to attack the British Royal family at a time when his victims were  perceived to be worthy and respectable citizens? One might well ask

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