Reviews

Crime/Mystery

The Island by Adrian McKinty

Reviewed by Rod McLary A common trope in thrillers and horror stories is the characters embroiled in a situation beyond their imagining and beyond their initial ability to protect themselves.  One need only consider Deliverance by James Dickey where four city men on a canoe trip in the Georgian wilderness are set upon by two

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The Suitcase of Belonging

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve In the very competitive educational resource field, the exciting news is that the English-based ‘Twinkl’ has arrived in Australia offering materials for primary school children. The initial impression is that it is an excellent tool for teachers. The fact that the first book in the programme is called The Suitcase of

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Memoir/Biography

My Tongue is My Own by Ann-Marie Priest

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The title of Ann-Marie Priest’s biography of the gifted Australian poet Gwen Harwood is a fine metonymic description. This poet is renowned for the brilliance, the intellectual toughness of her verse, while being as well known for her sense of the ridiculous and her capacity for hard physical labour. By the

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Historical Fiction

The Last Summer by Karen Swan

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Karen Swan has become a prolific writer since her early years in fashion journalism. Each year she produces two books, one for the summer period in the northern hemisphere and the other in time for Christmas. With over twenty books to her credit, she has developed an extensive following. Her latest

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General Fiction

Red by Felicity McLean

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Felicity McLean must have had a lot of fun, reviving the story of the Kelly Gang and applying it loosely to the story of Red McCoy. Take a girl whom we meet as a preadolescent but who, over the course of the story, reaches the age of fifteen. This is Red

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Memoir/Biography

The Red Witch by Nathan Hobby

Reviewed by Ian Lipke A biography of the Australian novelist, short story writer, and poet Katharine Susannah Prichard has been written by Nathan Hobby and released by Melbourne University Press. Long regarded as a notorious woman on the fringes marked by her literary powers and her left-wing politics, Prichard’s tortuous life has not been untangled

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History

Mary Ann and Captain Piper by Jessica North

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Colonial Australia contains many stories. Some are dominant and so are often seen as the only stories of the colony’s founding years while others have bubbled below the surface waiting for an opportunity to speak and be heard. Jessica North’s biography of Mary Ann Sheers who became the lover and later

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Historical Fiction

Elizabeth of York: The Last White Rose by Alison Weir

Reviewed by Margaret Elizabeth What is it possible to do when you are born a royal woman in a time of misogyny and war? Alison Weir explores this question in Elizabeth of York: The Last White Rose. The reader follows three-year-old Elizabeth, daughter of Edward lV, niece of Richard lll, from her dramatic flight to

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Non-Fiction

The Joy of Science by Jim Al-Khalili

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke An attempt to understand a concept such as science releases passion and inspiration and too often frustration, as the subject’s vastness and its predisposition to cognitive challenge leave its practitioners overwhelmed. Iraqi-British theoretical physicist and chair of public engagement in science at the University of Surrey, Jim Al-Khalili, spends half his

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General Fiction

Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Sutanto

Reviewed by Clare Brook Jesse Sutanto’s debut novel Dial A for Aunties was such a hilarious success that its sequel – Four Aunties and a Wedding – has been keenly anticipated.  Aside from the riotous comedy Sutanto provides the reader with interesting cross culture experiences in both novels. In Dial A for Aunties, Sutanto explores

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Fantasy/Science Fiction

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Sea of Tranquility is the first work of Canadian novelist and essayist, Emily St. John Mandel, that I have read, and I found it to be quite an unusual experience. The book is set out with a Table of Contents showing eight segments indicating that their contents cover events or storylines

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Memoir/Biography

Scrubbed by Dr Nikki Stamp

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Dr Nikki Stamp has written a memoir, a non-fiction form of writing that is like a biography but differs markedly from it. A memoir may be described as a record composed from personal observation and experience. Closely related to, and often confused with, autobiography, a memoir usually differs chiefly in the

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Crime/Mystery

The Curfew by T. M. Logan

Reviewed by Rod McLary This is a new author for me even though he has written six books now and each one has been successful.  It is always a positive to find someone new and one whom you can enjoyably read through his/her back catalogue. The genre of crime/thriller is perhaps one of the most

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History

Persians by Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Western understanding of the ancient Persian kings has always been skewed by histories written by Greek scholars such as Herodotus whose understanding has been incorporated as our own. Llewellyn-Jones sets out to correct this mindset by supplying an authentic Eastern vision. I’m not convinced that he has been successful. No doubt

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General Fiction

A Stone’s Throw Away by Karly Lane

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Karly Lane‘s latest book, A Stone’s Throw Away, according to the cover, is poignant, heart-warming and suspenseful – a compelling story of never giving up on your dreams. I cannot argue with this. The title does not reveal what the storyline is all about, unlike her original title – Bones in

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