May 2023

General Fiction

Kookaburra Cottage by Maya Linnell

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Kookaburra Cottage is the fifth novel by Australian writer Maya Linnell, a former country journalist and radio host. Maya also blogs for Romance Writers Australia, loves baking up a storm, tending to her rambling garden and raising her three children. These aspects of her life are clearly reflected in her novels.

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History

The Shortest History of the Crown by Stephen Bates

Reviewed by Clare Brook For those readers who grew up having a parade of incomprehensible English Kings marched into their brains, they might shy away from Stephen Bates’ The Shortest History of The Crown believing no good could come from attempting to master this royal pageant.  But be assured Bates has provided a most interesting

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Memoir/Biography

How I Stopped Being a Jew by Shlomo Sand

Reviewed by Richard Tutin This book by Shlomo Sand was first published in 2013 and translated into English in 2014. It has now been republished in 2023. Unfortunately, there has been no real explanation as to why this has happened. Even so, Sand touches on a very important topic that affects not only him but

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Historical Fiction

Sparrow by James Hynes

Reviewed by Ian Lipke James Hynes begins his story in a manner as creative as the story itself. Readers are in no doubt as to Sparrow’s ancestry, but yet are they? The story later reveals a very different origin. This is the story of a man whose name may well be Jacob, a man who

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ABIA Award Winners 2023

ABIA Award Winners 2023 The winners of the 2023 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) have been announced.  Nagi Maehashi’s RecipeTin Eats: Dinner (Macmillan) took out illustrated book of the year and the overall book of the year prizes.   The ABIA winners in selected categories chosen from shortlists for the book awards are:  ABIA book of the year  RecipeTin

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History

Courting India by Nandini Das

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve This impressive volume, possessing meticulously researched facts often resulting from primary sources, is bound to appeal to any scholar interested in the beginnings of the Indian/English connections and the establishment of what was to become the vast British Empire. The English, long regarded as a nation of shopkeepers, at this stage

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Crime/Mystery

Death of a Bookseller by Alice Slater

Reviewed by Ian Lipke I read Death of a Bookseller in a state of apathy, mildly amazed that such vulgar writing could be sold as “deliciously dark, unsettling, and utterly addictive”. The book is said to be a thriller; I found not even the vestiges of a thrill. Maybe I’m a worn-out curmudgeon who has

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General Fiction

Identity by Nora Roberts

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Identity is by well-known American writer Nora Roberts. I have read many of her 225 romance novels, those set in a world of magic, as well as her ‘In Death Series’ written under the name J. D. Robb and enjoyed them.  She has also written under the pseudonyms Jill March and

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Crime/Mystery

Small Mercies by Dennis Lehane

Reviewed by Gerard Healy This is a first-class crime novel by American writer Dennis Lehane, with a plot that builds steadily towards a tense show-down. But it’s the characters that make the story stand apart from the everyday: the more moral ones have foibles, while the wicked seem ordinary. It is set mainly in a

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General Fiction

The Therapist by Hugh Mackay

Reviewed by Gail McDonald Hugh Mackay is an Australian psychologist, social researcher, and author of 21 books. He was a weekly newspaper columnist for 25 years and a regular commentator on radio and television. He has made a lifelong study of the attitudes and behaviour of Australians. The Therapist is the story of Martha Elliott,

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History

Behind Closed Doors by Seth Alexander Thévoz

Reviewed by Richard Tutin What goes on behind the closed doors of a Private Members’ Club in London? Seth Alexander Thévoz throws them open to give us both a look and a history lesson. The history lesson shows how the establishment of members’ clubs in London in the late eighteenth century paved the way for

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General Fiction

Faded Yellow by the Winter by Scott Pearce

Reviewed by Rod McLary Faded Yellow by the Winter is the first novel by Melbourne writer Scott Pearce.  It is the story of Vic Whelan a farmer living in Henrithvale in northern Victoria with his wife Jane and their two young children.  The family lives on the farm once owned by Vic’s father and before

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Children

The Truth Detective by Tim Harford

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend Search Your Feelings Darth Vader Children get all the best books and now recently published: Tim Harford’s The Truth Detective: How to Make Sense of a World That Doesn’t Add Up.  This is a fun, fact filled, brilliantly explained book, enhanced by Ollie Mann’s illustrations in splashes of colour. The introduction

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General Fiction

Time After Time by Karly Lane

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Time After Time is the twenty-first novel by Karly Lane to be published by Allen & Unwin. Her novels range from romantic suspense to family saga, and she is passionate about writing stories that embrace rural Australia and the vast communities within it. Most of her stories are a blending of

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ABIA Awards 2023 – Tim Winton

ABIA 2023 – Lloyd O’Neil Award Tim Winton will receive the Lloyd O’Neil Award, which honours outstanding service to the Australian book industry by a member from within its ranks. Winton has published 29 books for adults and younger readers over his 40-year literary career, with his work translated into 28 different languages. He has

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