July 2023

Children

That’s Not My Rocket by Fiona Watt

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Usborne’s publishing for children is in highest regard internationally as their sales continue to  exceed the millions. Fiona Watt’s series of That’s Not My…. alone has totalled over 6,000,000 so it is not surprising that this latest addition to the collection of touchy-feely books for little readers is a winner. As

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Historical Fiction

The Paris Agent by Kelly Rimmer

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Kelly Rimmer has oftentimes set out to write a thriller that is simple of structure but more complex than the reader might expect. The current novel The Paris Agent tells the tale of two otherwise ordinary women who become spies in World War 2 France. There are thousands of books telling

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General Fiction

The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies by Alison Goodman

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve In the colourful bustling London of the first decade of the nineteenth century, Augusta and her twin Julia are constrained by the society’s strict rules as to the marriage eligibility of ladies aged forty- two.  Julia is unfortunately a widow. Her husband, Robert, died in a hunting accident. She is in

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Young Adult

The Prince and the Apocalypse by Kara McDowell

Reviewed by Rod McLary Who doesn’t enjoy a romance – especially when it involves a brash American girl and an heir to the English throne?  Sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it?  But in this story, there is a further element – an impending apocalypse. Narrated in the first person by Wren Wheeler – eighteen years

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Memoir/Biography

The House with all the Lights On by Jessica Kirkness

Reviewed by E.B. Heath. Hearing … is a specialised form of touch. Although classified as Memoir, The House with all the Lights On, is so much more, a literary Tardis. In two-hundred-and forty-pages Jessica Kirkness’ writes: a personal memoir, a brief biography of her deaf grandparents, social and political experiences of the Deaf Community, well-researched

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General Fiction

The Willow Tree Wharf by Léonie Kelsall

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Léonie Kelsall is becoming known for her rural romance novels all set around a small country town in South Australia known as Settlers Bridge. Although the books she has written so far in this setting are not a series, the author says that several of the characters do pop up in

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Children

The Lucky Shack by Apsara Baldovino

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend Well, I do not care that Harper Collins classifies this large beautiful book as ‘Juvenile: Age 3+’.  It will be gracing my coffee table for some time to come.  That said, note to parents, this is a must for the Christmas Stocking.  A lovely present for children, aunties and uncles, alike,

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General Fiction

Lowbridge by Lucy Campbell

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Inside the novel Lowbridge, by Australian writer Lucy Campbell, I found a four-page A4 copy of a Mounthaven Chronicle which features articles about missing local schoolgirl Tess Dawes. Dated Wednesday February 11, 1987, it also included the report on an interview with the author of this book, Lucy Campbell. As part

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General Fiction

The Berlin Traitor by A. W. Hammond

Reviewed by Rod McLary Set across two specific time periods [November 1936 and July-August 1945] in Paris and Berlin, this tight and tense thriller chronicles the efforts of Auguste Duchene to locate a Gestapo war criminal SS-Oberführer Volker Sprenger.  Duchene is persuaded, by veiled threats of harm to his wife Sabine, into undertaking the search

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Historical Fiction

Witnesses by Valerie Volk

Reviewed by Richard Tutin  For Christians and members of the Jewish faith, biblical stories are indispensable in understanding how we interact with God in everyday life. The books of the Bible are a treasure trove of stories, songs and teachings that assist believers through reflection and discussion. It’s always good then when an author offers

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General Fiction

Eta Draconis by Brendan Ritchie

Reviewed by Rod McLary Eta Draconis was the winner of the 2022 Dorothy Hewitt Award for an Unpublished Manuscript – an excellent reason to read this rather dystopian novel set in south-west Western Australia.  It is indeed a fine read. As well as being the book’s intriguing title, Eta Draconis is a star in the

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Non-Fiction

Powering Up by Alan Finkel

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders Energy is a hot topic and the world is moving so fast that most of us can’t keep up. Our news feeds are crammed with battery technology, electric vehicle sales graphs, fuel cells and even different colours of  hydrogen, but how do we know which ones will rule the future? We

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