Reviews

Children

The Big Book of Festivals by Marita Bullock & Joan-Maree Hargreaves

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve In size and appearance, one would wrongly conclude that this is a book for young children. Happily, this is not so. The efforts of the two writers and the illustrator have produced an attractive book that is interesting and informative to us all. The Festivals featured occur all over the world.

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Politics

How Good is Scott Morrison? by Wayne Errington and Peter Van Onselen

Reviewed by Gerard Healy They say a week is a long time in politics, but what about five months? Authors Wayne Errington and Peter Van Onselen finished this account of Prime Minister Scott Morrison towards the end of 2020. At that stage, they had him virtually unbeatable at the next federal election, due mainly to

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General Fiction

The Ripping Tree by Nikki Gemmell

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Nikki Gemmell is the author of fourteen works of fiction and seven non-fiction books, and her novels have been translated into 22 languages. Many will know this writer from her weekly, often controversial, column in The Weekend Australian newspaper. In 2007, the French literary magazine Lire included her in a list

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History

The Light of Days by Judy Batalion

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve In the early 1940’s, when other eighteen-year-olds were enjoying life in London and New York, with movies, clothes and music, an incredibly courageous band of Jewish girls in Poland were fighting their Nazi oppressors. This book is a testament to them, starving, tortured, brave often brazen, they planned their resistance.  Their

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Poetry

On The Line by Joseph Ponthus

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve To read this book is an unforgettable experience. The cover, depicting five blue fish side by side, is eye-catching in its beautiful simplicity, belying the ugly reality within. It initially has an almost laconic air but transforms quickly to anger, protest, near despair at the lack of communication and confusion as

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General Fiction/Poetry

Prose Poetry by Paul Hetherington and Cassandra Atherton

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Prose Poetry: An Introduction is a deep study of what the authors maintain is “a highly significant literary form flourishing in most-English-speaking countries”. The writers intend to “explore prose poetry’s trajectory as a literary form and discuss the emergence of significant key practitioners”, significant because their views have strongly influenced the

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General Fiction

Welcome to Nowhere River by Meg Bignell

Reviewed by Rod McLary The town of Nowhere River is a small town in the Central Highlands of Tasmania not too far from Hobart – it has suffered and continues to suffer from a long drought.  Like many other small country towns across Australia, Nowhere River is slowly dying. This heart-warming and affectionate story centres

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Photography

Kangaroo Island by Alison Higgs [ed.]

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This hard covered book of photographs was edited by Alison Higgs and captures some of the unique beauty and richness of Kangaroo Island. This is Australia’s third-largest island and is situated in the Southern Ocean off South Australia. Did Alison take the photographs? I cannot find an answer to this question.

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General Fiction

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Readers seeking a diverting, laughter-filled few hours will pounce on Second First Impressions. This book is in fairytale territory with its unspectacular heroine, Ruthie, discovered and transformed by a ridiculously nearly perfect man, Teddy (Theodore). Ruthie is temporarily managing Providence, a retirement home for excessively wealthy ladies.  Into her life comes

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Fantasy/Science Fiction

All the Murmuring Bones by A G Slatter

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Angela Slatter, the author of All The Murmuring Bones, specialises in writing about dark fantasy and horror. This is her first novel set in the same world as her mosaic collections Sourdough and Other Stories and The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, as well as the novella Of Sorrow and Such. This story will be followed

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Non-Fiction

Remember by Lisa Genova

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve People of all ages, on occasion, think their memory has failed them.  We know it is the most complex and important section of the brain.  It gives shape, direction, ability and pleasure to our existence. For each, it is unique, and found deep in the brain in a small, sea-horse-like structure,

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Young Adult

The True Colour of a Little White Lie by Gabriel Bergmoser

Reviewed by Rod McLary We were all fourteen-year-old teenagers once, and most of us – even when we don’t particularly want to – can remember what being fourteen was like.  Negotiating the complexities of relationships outside our families, establishing a place in school, let alone addressing the whole new world of sexuality and gender –

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General Fiction

Trick of the Light by Fiona McCallum

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This is the story of a woman named Erica whose mother had recently died and whose husband Stuart had passed away soon after. Erica and her daughters Mackenzie and Issy are trying to put their lives back together. Erica is devastated when her financial advisers inform her that her venture capitalist

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Historical Fiction

Half Life by Jillian Cantor

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Half Life is a well-chosen title for this book, half fact and half fiction. Half life is the chemical term for the time it takes for half the radioactive element to decay. For Radium, it is 1600 years. Half the story is of Marie Curie and the other is an imagined

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General Fiction

Legends of the Lost Lilies by Jackie French

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Apparently, this book is the fifth and last in a series about a group of ‘lovely ladies’ from Europe’s royal and most influential families and their less privileged sisters who played such a pivotal role in both World Wars and whose involvement has been omitted from the annals of history. The

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