Reviews

General Fiction

A Home Like Ours by Fiona Lowe

Reviewed by Ian Lipke At nearly six hundred pages, this book takes some deft manoeuvring among coffee cups and desk detritus. This would not matter if the writing were more interesting. Allegedly a novel exploring prejudice and privilege, the book does indeed contain a tale based on these ideas, but the theme changes character and

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History

Return to Uluru by Mark McKenna

Reviewed by Ian Lipke It is such a pleasure to read a book that is beautifully presented while, at the same time, reaches the grand heights of scholarship. Written in the tradition of the Black is Beautiful movement (though not as crass and uncouth as the coverage on television), this book supplies an accurate portrayal

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General Fiction

Nick by Michael Farris Smith

Reviewed by Rod McLary Nick Carraway – the eponymous protagonist of Nick – is also the narrator of F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.  The latter novel is said by some to be a contender for ‘the great American novel’ and by others more simply as a literary masterwork.  Of his third reading of The

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General Fiction

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve ‘What kind of reader are you?’ The reply can reveal much of a personality. So maintained Odile, this book’s heroine, whose favourite dead author is Dostoevsky and the living one is the much-loved Zola Neale Hurston, author of Their Eyes Were Watching God published in 1937 and still on library shelves.

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History

Truth-Telling by Henry Reynolds

Reviewed by Ian Lipke A recent call for indigenous Australians to promote a monstrous plan to soak the Union Jack in the blood of the oppressed is a clear sign of out-of-control frustration. As the twenty-first century rolls by, one realizes that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are becoming increasingly vocal. However, without

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General Fiction

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Reviewed by Rod McLary Klara is a robot although, in this new book by Nobel Prize winning author Kazuo Ishiguro, she is more properly called an Artificial Friend – an AF.  The word ‘robot’ is used only once through the entire book and then pejoratively.  AFs are bought from stores to provide friendship to children

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Children

What Do You Call Your Grandma by Ashleigh Barton

Reviewed by Gerard Healy Another delightful winner from the same team of writer Ashleigh Barton and illustrator Martina Heiduczek, that brought us last year’s What Do You Call Your Grandpa?  Following a similar format, we get a look at different cultures around the world and this time, their beloved grandmothers. A clever feature of the

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Art/Architecture

Becoming a Bird by Stephanie Radok

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Lovers of fiction often argue that that form gives insight into characters and can portray the depth and complexity of a person.  Biographies, on the other hand, may be restricted to archival and primary sources that sometimes do not reveal the essence and particularity of the subject. Becoming a Bird is

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Memoir/Biography

A Star on Her Door by Richard Davis

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Younger lovers of today’s classical or semi-classical music may not be familiar with the name June Bronhill. I know her well. I remember sitting with my ear glued to a not very good wireless in the 1950s as June and others of that period transported me from rubber boots and sloppy

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Politics

Greetings from Trumpland by Zoe Daniel and Roscoe Whalan

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The television viewing public has seen so much of the US President who held office from 2016 – 2020 that the thought of a book on Donald Trump fills potential readers with dismay. I would have thought of him as ‘forget-worthy’ once he had moved into his apartment in Florida. Yet

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Health/Wellbeing

The Midlife Method by Sam Rice

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend People are motivated to change their behaviour  when they understand the problems it causes.  The above is a quote from the Introduction to The Midlife Method by Sam Rice.   And never was a truer word written.  If only some of us had somehow traveled to the future and experienced living as

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General Fiction

O by Steven Carroll

Reviewed by Ian Lipke From the pen of highly acclaimed writer Steven Carroll comes the enigmatic story of O. Who or what is O? That is the question that haunts readers of the second half of the novel. Carroll’s tale is slight. Therein lies his genius – he can write a story that is light

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General Fiction

Space Hopper by Helen Fisher

Reviewed by E B Heath The past is never dead.   It’s not even the past.  William Faulkner I can only think of good things to say about Helen Fisher’s debut novel Space Hopper. This is a novel about faith, in whatever form it takes.  How faith interacts with human life – love, grief and hope.  How

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General Fiction

The Codebreakers by Alli Sinclair

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The Codebreakers is a novel that seems to offer something for everyone. A female lead who is strong in character, thus satisfying the feminists; gender inequality, thus angering the feminists; a well-told story that involves its readers; and the intrigue of working in government circles where everything is very hush hush,

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Memoir/Biography

Of Gold and Dust by Samantha Wills

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This book is written by a talented young woman who founded her own global self-titled jewellery company and is a must read for all business students especially those who may aspire to start their own companies. It is a memoir of her own creative life to date, and as such, talks

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