Non-Fiction

Non-Fiction

GriffithReview69 – The European Exchange

Reviewed by Gerard Healy The overall theme of this collection are the many connections between Europe and Australia from cultural, historical and artistic viewpoints. Many of the writers reflect on their families’ immigrant experiences and the perspectives they’ve gained from that. This Griffith Review, like most previous ones, includes essays, memoirs, fiction and poetry as

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History

Hitler’s Northern Utopia by Despina Stratigakos

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Hitler’s Northern Utopia addresses a hitherto unresearched aspect of the already extensive literature on Nazism, and that is architecture in a distant place like Norway. A decided paucity of exposure in the literature is undoubtedly due to a lack of specific knowledge among the relatively small number of mainstream historians whose

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Memoir/Biography

Paul Kelly by Stuart Coupe

Reviewed by Rod McLary I came to this biography of Paul Kelly knowing only a little about his music – as in From Little Things Big Things Grow – and even less about the man.  The subtitle of the biography is ‘The man, the music and the life in between’ but it doesn’t entirely meet

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Memoir/Biography

The Last Navigator by Paul Goodwin

Reviewed by Rod McLary Gordon Goodwin – the last navigator of the title and father to the author – was born in 1918 in Queensland.  His own father Ralph saw his three children ‘as mere chattels to give him the lifestyle he deserved’ [2] and treated them as ‘Indian coolies’ [2] with heavy use of

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Non-Fiction

The Louvre by James Gardner

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The Louvre is silent now, no footprints show that mankind has walked the corridors of time, no eyes feast on the artworks and sculptures that grace this famous shrine. COVID-19 has put a stop to that. How welcome then is James Gardner’s present history of the Louvre. Gardner describes his book

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Memoir/Biography

Enid by Robert Wainwright

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Enid, born in Australia’s Hunter Valley, one of seven children, became one of the most famous hostesses of the early twentieth century.  At her luxurious villa – La Fiorentina – on the French Riviera, an eclectic guest list graced its fabulous grounds.  Architects, movie stars, artists and politicians, aristocrats and businessmen,

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Memoir/Biography

The Insider by Christopher Pyne

Reviewed by Ian Lipke It was with a great deal of anticipation that I sat down to read Christopher Pyne’s book. Here was the consummate politician, the Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives, a man with twenty-five years of experiencing the political realm, the hothouse that is the Lower Chamber. The book

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Cooking/Diet

The Edible Garden Cookbook & Growing Guide by Paul West

Reviewed by Clare Brook Whereas the Covid-19 toilet paper debacle has been well publicized, the rush to buy vegetable seedlings is virtually unknown, perhaps because gardeners are calm and well mannered.  Nevertheless, it is clear that this virus has brought the realization that a little bit of self-sufficiency is prudent, so the publication of Paul

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History

The Decline and Rise of Democracy by David Stasavage

Reviewed by Ian Lipke It seems incongruous that a book on such a timid concept as democracy has become one of the most exciting, serious books I’ve read. When Stasavage asks where democracy originated, he provides answers that are not what readers expect. When he examines the nature of democracy, he delves into a very

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Non-Fiction

The Wisdom of Tea by Noriko Morishita

Reviewed by Gerard Healy This is a challenging read for a gaijin. The traditional conventions of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, as explained by Noriko Morishita, are a world away from most Westerners. Nevertheless, it is an intriguing world of ritual and ancient practices from which Miss Morishita has taken some valuable life lessons. She has

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Non-Fiction

How to Think like Shakespeare by Scott Newstok

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Scott Newstok’s How to Think like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance Education really is a feel good book. A thick lather of the author’s enthusiasm, a comprehensive coverage of his subject matter, and the common sense inherent in his value judgments, work together to whip up a likeminded enthusiasm in his

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Non-Fiction

Gotta Get Theroux This by Louis Theroux

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Educated at Tower House Prep School, Westminster Public School and Oxford, Louis Theroux emerged as the sad, wistful, quietly daring interviewer whom we know has brought documentaries to television that deal with subjects others in the field would never touch, let alone investigate. His degree in philosophy and sociology somehow inspired

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Non-Fiction

Lost but Found by Peter Sharp

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve eBook is available but photographs in hardcopy determine choice. Peter Sharp specialises in pet photography and he is a master of the art of capturing domestic animals on film. His ‘portraits’ have a heart-warming charm, and he has the knack of displaying the animal’s personality. The photographs in this book are

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