November 2023

General Fiction

The Fiction Writer by Jillian Cantor

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Olivia, a writer longing to produce a novel that will be more successful than her book Becky, is made a seductive offer to reconstruct the life of the dead grandmother of a famous billionaire Henry Asherwood the Third, known as Ash, famous as being ‘the sexiest man alive’.  He has a

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Non-Fiction

Why We Sing by Julia Hollander

Reviewed by Richard Tutin How many times have we heard people say that they “could not sing for peanuts”? When it comes to using the musical instrument called our voice the outcomes are mixed. Some people can hold a note beautifully while others can’t seem to hit any note let alone the right one. Yet,

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Booker Prize 2023

Prophet Song by Paul Lynch has been named the winner of the Booker Prize 2023.  The author receives £50,000.00 and was presented with his trophy by the 2022 winner. Exhilarating, terrifying, propulsive and confrontational, Prophet Song is a work of breathtaking originality and devastating insight, a novel that can be read as a parable of

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General Fiction

The Broken Wave by Matthew Ryan Davies

Reviewed by Rod McLary It is a common trope in psychological dramas that a serious event occurs affecting the immediate lives of  those directly and indirectly involved.  Such an event also reverberates through the many years following the incident until finally it is acknowledged and resolved.  This allows for a certain tension as the narrative

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General Fiction

never ever forever by Karina May

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This novel is the second in a two-book deal the author has with Pan MacMillan. Her first was the book Duck à l’Orange for Breakfast. As both of these titles might suggest, these stories have their own quirkiness. never ever forever, with no capital letters, is written by Sydney-based Karina May,

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History

Courting by Alecia Simmonds

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders One of the more unusual institutions in Zagreb, Croatia, is the Museum of Broken Relationships. Populated by objects and words that tell heartbreaking, though sometimes comical, stories of those who have loved and lost. Courting is a book about a particular kind of broken relationship – one that ends just as

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General Fiction

The Vulnerables by Sigrid Nunez

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The pandemic made our modern lives even more complicated and the thoughtful amongst us gained a new perspective on the nature of love, friendship, and what truly matters. Sigrid Nunez, in her latest novel The Vulnerables, presents a profoundly gentle scenario where it emerges that virtually everyone has a vulnerability that

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Children

The World’s Worst Monsters by David Walliams

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend It is said that David Walliams’ books for children cross the brick wall built in the sand by the political correctness brigade.  Personally, I didn’t notice, and I have it on good authority that children reading David Walliams think his books are wonderful.  Even children who normally regard reading as ‘work’

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Memoir/Biography

Mab by Thea Gardiner

Reviewed by Rod McLary Social history, which came to prominence in the 1970s as a discipline, sought to document large social changes and reconstruct the experiences of ordinary people through the course of those changes.  There is a subset of Social history which also came to some prominence at the same time – women’s history

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History

A Hall for All by Peter Roennfeldt

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke For all those who obtained degrees through The University of Queensland, Mayne Hall will be familiar to you. Peter Roennfeldt, an alumnus of the University of Queensland and Emeritus Professor at Griffith University, has provided a detailed account of Mayne Hall from its first ideas to the years where it fulfilled

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Non-Fiction

The Immortals of Australian Motorcycle Racing by Darryl Flack

Reviewed by Richard Tutin The word “Immortal” is an interesting one. It is used to describe those who might live forever. They inhabit folk stories and, in modern times, action movies. It is also used to describe those who have excelled in a particular field. Various sports, for example, have honoured those whom they regard

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2023 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards

WINNERS OF THE 2023 PRIME MINISTER’S LITERARY AWARDS Creative Australia announced the winners of the 2023 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards at the National Library of Australia in Canberra today. The Awards are the richest literary prize in the nation, with a tax-free prize pool of $600,000 in recognition of the outstanding literary talents of established

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Travel

Wounded Tigris by Leon McCarron

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Students of Ancient History are introduced to two mighty rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, very early in their studies. After all they are regarded by historians as being the cradle of civilisation. Despite this knowledge, very few westerners have dipped their toes in their waters nor, in some ways, have

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Memoir/Biography

One Curious Doctor by Hilton Koppe

Reviewed by Clare Brook In this memoir Hilton Koppe reflects on his life as a country doctor of forty years. When Hilton received a diagnosis of PTSD from his doctor he was at a loss, how this could be happening to him?  Koppe seemed to think that being a doctor should equate to being invincible. 

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General Fiction

The Girl from London by Olivia Spooner

Reviewed by Gail McDonald This was an easy read but with a great story line of love, loss and resilience, written in an engaging and entertaining style and based on actual historical event. The story has a dual setting, one in London in 1940 during the World War II and the German air raids on

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