Reviews

Non-Fiction

Grounded by James Canton

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Have you ever visited a place where, on arrival, you feel completely at home? If so, then you could be said to have become grounded. The idea of finding a place or places where the busyness of everyday life can be put to one side in favour of some quiet solitude

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Crime/Mystery

The Rescue by Andy McNab

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders There is something gripping about a true story that is hard to match in fiction. Knowing that the events took place and that real people experienced them, brings an edge to the narrative. The more so for The Rescue because it is recent history and many of the central figures are

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Crime/Mystery

Past Lying by Val McDermid

Reviewed by Rod McLary After two books in a new series featuring journalist Allie Burns [1979 and 1989 ], Val McDermid has returned to a favourite protagonist Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie head of the Historical Cases Unit of Police Scotland.  DCI Pirie has been the primary character in six previous books.  The author has

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Memoir/Biography

My Grandfather’s Clock by Graeme Davison

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The much admired historian, Emeritus Professor of History at Monash University, Graeme Davison, when bequeathed a 200 year old grandfather clock from his great-aunt Cissie, was inspired to research his family. The warmth with which he pursued his mission is obvious and his delving into Scottish, Industrial English and early  Australian

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Non-Fiction

Nazaré by Matt Majendie

Reviewed by Clare Brook When it comes to extreme sports there are those who dare, and willing to die daring, such is their addiction to adrenalin, and those of us who are mesmerised by such audacious deeds.  Of all the extreme sports there is none more spectacular than big-wave surfing. Witnessing someone ride down an

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General Fiction

Lola in the Mirror by Trent Dalton

Reviewed by Rod McLary Trent Dalton is one of Australia’s favourite authors.  His first novel Boy Swallows Universe was a huge success; and was followed by All Our Shimmering Skies.  Both novels contain more than a touch of magic realism but are grounded by aggression and violence both implicit and explicit.  No reader could easily

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Crime/Mystery

The Seven by Chris Hammer

Reviewed by Rod McLary Chris Hammer is one of Australia’s finest crime writers.  His first novel Scrublands won the prestigious UK Crime Writers Association John Creasy Award for a debut novel in 2019; and was shortlisted for other awards in Australia and the United States.  This book The Seven is the third in a series

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History

Australia’s Most Infamous Criminals by Graham Seal

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders Any country whose first colonists were predominantly criminals should be an excellent breeding place for crime stories.   Graham Seal’s latest compilation in his “Great” series is proof positive that Australia has sired generations of inventive felons for whom nothing is sacrosanct. The book commences with a chapter on crimes of the

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Non-Fiction

Abortion Care is Health Care by Barbara Baird

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders Barbara Baird has published extensively on the history of abortion, and this book came about because:  “..while I knew a lot about the law, the politics and how we think about the issue, I knew very little about the provision of abortion services” [p1]. She seems to be posing a question

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Young Adult

Borderland by Graham Akhurst

Reviewed by Rod McLary This new novel by Aboriginal writer and academic from the Kokomini of northern Queensland Graham Akhurst is a genre-bending tour-de-force which is certain to fully engage the demographic [older teenagers] for whom it is written and many others as well. The central protagonist is Jonathan Lane [usually called Jono] who is

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Crime/Mystery

Payback in Death by J.D. Robb

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Nora Robert’s fans, especially those who follow her In Death series under the name of J. D. Robb will enjoy her latest story, Payback in Death. In this story, the well-known characters play their usual role in bringing the perpetrator to account. However, the characters who maintain the focus in this

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General Fiction

Miss Kim Knows by Cho Nam-Joo

Reviewed by Clare Brook Miss Kim Knows, a collection of eight short stories by Cho Nam-Joo, could be likened to a literary jig-saw.  Each story offers a different perspective of female lived experience in South Korea, so in its entirety readers are given an impression of South Korean cultural life, at least for one gender. 

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Memoir/Biography

I’d Rather Not by Robert Skinner

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend The cover of Robert Skinner’s memoir depicts a Siamang Gibbon with a face more human than ape and giving the impression he had recently evolved from a Praying Mantis.  This might account for the somewhat bemused expression – there was probably an identity crisis in progress. Together with the title, I’d

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Non-Fiction

Nuts and Bolts by Roma Agrawal

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Have you ever wondered, as you do your current DIY project, about how nails were made? The same question could be asked about screws and string that we often use but don’t think about how they came to be part of our arsenal to make things or do running repairs. Award

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Non-Fiction

Jack Gibson’s Fur Coat by Glen Humphries

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Rugby League legend, the late Jack Gibson, possessed a large overcoat made of kangaroo fur. He wore it to many a football match and then it mysteriously disappeared, its whereabouts unknown. For the purposes of this book Glen Humphries has used the legend of the missing coat as a starter to

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