Reviews

Academic

The New Academic by Simon Clews

Reviewed by Ian Lipke In years gone by, before the osmotic model of learning became fashionable, when senior academic staff actually taught their students, and tutors were engaged merely to assist the teaching staff, such a book as that which Simon Clews has written (but geared to revealing the secrets of efficient academic research), would

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Crime/Mystery

The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird

Reviewed by E B Heath Oh, what a brilliant thought experiment!  Speculative fiction at its best! Readers will be thinking about this premise long after reading the last page. So, so, clever Sweeney-Baird! The above accolades were inspired by Christina Sweeney-Baird’s novel, The End of Men.  The novel takes place in 2025; it features a

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Memoir/Biography

Fury by Kathryn Heyman

Reviewed by Clare Brook We are all familiar with inequality that plagues our society; the grind of everyday life faced by those trapped within a low socio-economic environment.  We are aware of the unequal treatment, and often abuse, that many women suffer.  But there is a big difference between knowing and actually feeling the reality,

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General Fiction

Should We Stay or Should We Go by Lionel Shriver

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Lionel Shriver’s many admirers will eagerly acquire her latest work, Should We Stay or Should We Go.  She has the reputation for courageously and powerfully examining important issues; for instance, the Columbine massacre was the impetus to write We Need to Talk About Kevin and population control in Game Control. Now

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General Fiction

Still by Matt Nable

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Anyone reading and thinking about the image of Darwin presented through the characters in Matt Nable’s book is sure to claim that the author has exaggerated. Here we read of a town awash in drink, where men soak up alcohol as rapidly as they can because the hot sun is guaranteed

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Crime/Mystery

The Bombay Prince by Sujata Massey

Reviewed by Rod McLary In November 1921, Edward Prince of Wales [later to briefly reign as King Edward VIII] visited parts of India including Bombay where this story is set.  Before the visit, in July 1921, the Indian National Congress [INC] decided to boycott the visit as part of the Non-Cooperation Movement.  The INC was

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Crime/Mystery

The Inside Man by James Phelps

Reviewed by Gerard Healy Violent, barbaric but sometimes boring…Sydney’s Long Bay Gaol is no place for the faint-hearted. But it is where we find the main protagonist of James Phelps’ story, 19-year-old ex-soldier Riley Jax. He has been convicted of a murder he has no memory of and is struggling to survive in the concrete

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General Fiction

We Were Not Men by Campbell Mattinson

Reviewed by Rod McLary The author of this new novel – Campbell Mattinson – has said that it is ‘the only story I ever really wanted to write’ and sets out in the Acknowledgements [341] the real-life story which inspired him.  While not autobiographical in intent, the content of We Were Not Men does suggest

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Crime/Mystery

Falling by T. J. Newman

Reviewed by Rod McLary The opening line to this debut novel by T.J. Newman is almost guaranteed to grab the attention of the reader: ‘When the shoe dropped into her lap the foot was still in it’ [1].  Fortunately, as it turns out, the hero of Falling is having a nightmare.  The word ‘hero’ –

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Crime/Mystery

The Heights by Louise Candlish

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve As an avid devotee of crime and thriller novels from Edgar Allan Poe, Conan Doyle to the P.D. James and Ruth Rendells of today, I am astonished to discover a new author writing in the genre who has written more than a dozen novels prior to The Heights. These are acclaimed,

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Memoir/Biography

How Stella Learned to Talk by Christina Hunger

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve If a very young puppy is intelligent and is blessed with patient, time-rich owners, it could acquire communication skills as Stella, now living in San Diego California, has successfully done. Time is essential, but more critical is the dog, itself. Its qualities must include intelligence, attentiveness, persistence, eagerness to please and

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General Fiction

Small Acts of Defiance by Michelle Wright

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This is a beautiful book. Through the magic of Michelle Wright’s mind, I was entranced once again by the beauty of Paris as I first witnessed it a few years ago. So many of the sights that are Paris surface with renewed vigour in my memory when I take up Michelle

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Children

The Book of Australian Trees by Inga Simpson

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This is a beautifully presented hardcovered 24.5 x 32cm book about fifteen Australian trees.  It is presented as a children’s book and I believe is best suited to middle to upper primary school children. Wording on the back cover states – ‘This book is a love song to Australian trees, from

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Memoir/Biography

Flash Jim by Kel Richards

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The life of James Hardy Vaux, convict author, is told by Kel Richards in an entertaining way which compliments nicely the colourful life of his subject. Vaux’s claim to fame lies with his compilation of Australia’s first dictionary. He also wrote an autobiography which, when published in London, sold well.  Vaux

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Non-Fiction

My Forests by Janine Burke

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders The world is full of trees. And the world is full of books about trees. We may be able to live without the books, but not without the trees. The competition for the reader’s attention is tangible and any author has an incentive to present something new and different about the

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