Reviews

Memoir/Biography

Like Father, Like Son by Michael Parkinson

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This book is regarded as more than simply a collection of reminiscences about Michael Parkinson’s father. The author sets out to record his father’s sporting obsessions, his sense of humour and his determination to produce a cricketer worthy of playing for Yorkshire. The book is intended to contain two viewpoints to

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Fantasy/Science Fiction

The Awakening by Nora Roberts

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Ms Roberts’s foray into a new trilogy is to be commended, given the high quality of her earlier works. The Awakening maintains the high standard we have come to expect. In this book, her command as the puppeteer is more evident than usual but in no way diminishes the quality. She

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Fantasy/Science Fiction

Hollow Empire by Sam Hawke

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Sometimes I wonder why authors decide to write sequels to a story that has already won a major award and gained acceptance by the reading public. I suppose some writers cannot help seeking more and more recognition. Others become slaves to their own publicity. (I wonder what drives Nora Roberts). In

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Memoir/Biography

The Puzzle Solver by Tracie White

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Tracie White, award winning journalist and a science writer for Stanford University, has used her skills to present the story of a scientist and his desperate hunt to cure Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) in the hope to save his son. The first four chapters of this book introduce the

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General Fiction

The Shearer’s Wife by Fleur McDonald

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke In her latest novel, The Shearer’s Wife, Fleur McDonald has once again given her readers an insight into life in Australia outside the big cities. First the readers are taken back to the 1980s where Rose and her Irish shearer husband Ian pull up at the Golden Fleece roadhouse in their

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Crime/Mystery

The Frenchman by Jack Beaumont

Reviewed by Ian Lipke To the ordinary reader the world of espionage is a world of mysterious characters, with extreme action and danger at every turn. Reading The Frenchman is an exciting experience that does little to dispel our preconceptions. The book’s structure is simple indeed. It consists of a series of episodes linked together

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General Fiction

The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr

 Reviewed by Rod McLary The Prophets is the debut novel by Robert Jones, Jr – a novel which at the same time explores the joy and the vicissitudes of love, the harsh cruelty of slavery and the significance of the wisdom and folk lore of ancestors. Set in Mississippi on a cotton plantation during the

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Non-Fiction

The Ways of the Bushwalker by Melissa Harper

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders Apparently, over five million Australians go bushwalking, so we must know what a bushwalker is…. well, don’t we? As it turns out, defining a bushwalker – let alone what he or she actually does – is not trivial. For some people, it is a heated topic. Even deciding the distance of

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Historical Fiction

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

Reviewed by Gerard Healy A great story by Paulette Jiles, set in Texas in the 1870s and featuring two captivating main characters. We follow the long, difficult journey back to her surviving relatives of ten-year-old Joanna Leonberger and elderly widower Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd. She has spent four years with the Kiowa tribe, who abducted

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General Fiction

Elizabeth & Elizabeth by Sue Williams

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Two powerful women – one the wife of the Number 1 man in the colony of New South Wales, Governor Lachlan Macquarie; the other married to the greatest landowner of the time, a man wined by Colonial Secretaries and blessed by bishops, John Macarthur. There should be plenty of scope for

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Travel

Brisbane by Matthew Condon

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Annabel Lloyd, Archives Co-ordinator, told Matthew Condon, ‘So many people contact us wanting to know about the real history of Brisbane…But there is hardly anything. It’s hard to know where to point them to’ (46). The book without an index. We know from our school days that John Oxley’s mission was

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General Fiction

The Charleston Scandal by Pamela Hart

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Pamela Hart is the respected author of The Soldier’s Wife, The War Bride, A Letter from Italy, and The Desert Nurse – all stories set in war time and all immensely popular. Fine writing, combined with the sentimental climate that stories about service life attract, produced stories that the public found

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General Fiction

Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory

Reviewed by Ian Lipke A magnificent story that offers a perception of three geographically distinct, but imaginatively connected, localities in the late seventeenth century. Philippa Gregory describes 1670 London, a place that, as all serious historians know, was controlled by the profligate King Charles II. Roman Catholicism had replaced the dour age of Oliver Cromwell

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History

Rome is Burning by Anthony A. Barrett

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The title of this authoritative work suggests that the author’s subject will be the specific fire of 64 C.E. that burned down large portions of Nero’s Rome. This turns out to be the case except it’s a ‘friends with benefits’ situation. We learn a great deal about that specific fire together

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Crime/Mystery

The Valley of Lost Stories by Vanessa McCausland

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke The Valley of Lost Stories written by Vanessa McCausland was inspired by a real place, the beautiful Capertee Valley in NSW. In this area of the Blue Mountains, all that remains of man-made structures are the crumbling buildings of a township set up for the shale oil miners in the 1950s,

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