Non-Fiction

Non-Fiction

Mother of Invention by Katrine Marçal

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Armed with formidable research, which exposes repetitive examples throughout history where society’s attitude to gender roles has shaped or altered the economy, Katrine Marçal has provided fascinating evidence to support her book’s title. Karl Benz’s wife Bertha was the first to demonstrate the potential of her husband’s horseless-carriage. This was the

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Non-Fiction

Creating God by Robin Derricourt

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Creating God is an attempt to recreate the worlds in which the founders of several major religions lived and laboured. The result is a book rich in detail, consummate in its scholarship, and revelatory in exposing for modern eyes the conditions that allowed religious movements to flourish. Derricourt’s approach is to

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Non-Fiction

On Politics and Stuff by Mark Humphries and Evan Williams

Reviewed by Gerard Healy A quick, smash and grab look at Australian politics by Mark Humphries and Evan Williams. It’s a small, joke-packed volume you can easily read in a few hours, leaving you with a few good chuckles but unlikely to have made a very lasting impression. In food terms, it’s a light entrée

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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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Non-Fiction

Cynical Theories by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay

Reviewed by Clare Brook Cynical Theories by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay provides a comprehensive guide for the layperson through a fraught social/political landscape.  A setting that is populated by an ever-widening abyss between the left’s Postmodern Theories and Social Justice activism, and the reaction of the far right harking back to an untenable past. 

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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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Non-Fiction

On Life’s Lottery by Glyn Davis

Reviewed by Gerard Healy An informed look at intergenerational poverty in Australia by Glyn Davis AC, the former Vice-Chancellor of Melbourne University. It is both an easy read and a hard-to-read text, the former because it is only 70 odd pages long but the latter because it asks us what we are doing to solve

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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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Non-Fiction

The Man of the Crowd by Scott Peeples

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Scott Peeples is a professor of English at Charleston. He has a particular interest in the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. Peeples has published two other books on Poe. His current work is a book that bears an identical name to Poe’s story. To compound the confusion, Peeples includes a chapter

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Non-Fiction

On Money by Rick Morton

Reviewed by Gerard Healy An interesting take, by journalist Rick Morton, on what happens when you grow up WITHOUT money. From his very personal experiences, Rick explains how life treats the poor and the not-so-poor in our society. It’s probably among only a handful of books on finance written from the lack-of-money perspective and it’s

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Non-Fiction

Mantel Pieces by Hilary Mantel

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Mantel Pieces is a selection of twenty essays and reviews which Hilary Mantel has written since her earliest experience with the London Review of Books late last century. The first review focuses on Shere Hite’s “American Marriage”.  The value of Hite’s research into her subject is clouded by the widely held

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Non-Fiction

The Carbon Club by Marian Wilkinson

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Leo A. Notenboom is a commentator on issues relating to information technology, computers, and the internet. With the latter in mind he wrote that believing and spreading lies and misleading implications is akin to spreading manure. He instances confirmation bias as the tendency we all have to believe things that confirm what

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Non-Fiction

The Altar Boys by Suzanne Smith

Reviewed by Rod McLary In 2013, the Federal Government announced the establishment of its Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.  The Commission released its final report in November 2017 after many case studies into specific institutions and numerous interviews with victims/survivors of child sexual abuse and their families.  For the first time

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Non-Fiction

The Road by John Martinkus

Reviewed by Ian Lipke It was a simple road. A winding, twisting road through high country, an engineering marvel in parts. But the road was to pass through West Papua. It was to stir a war between the West Papuan Independence Movement on the one hand, who saw West Papua as part of Papua New

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