Non-Fiction

Non-Fiction

How to be Perfect by Michael Schur

Reviewed by Richard Tutin There is a song that came out some years ago where the singer complains about how hard it is to be humble when they are perfect in every way. While this smacks of self-centred boasting, the desire to be perfect has been ingrained into the human psyche since the beginning of

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Non-Fiction

Telling Tennant’s Story by Dean Ashenden

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Have you ever returned to a town where you grew up as a lad? Have you been struck by how much your memory fails to tally with the town in its grown-up state? Dean Ashenden visits Tennant Creek, fifty years after his last sojourn there. While the town has been transformed,

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Non-Fiction

Cars We Used to Drive by Don Loffler

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Picking up this book was like receiving an invitation to relive the past. Don Loffler’s pictorial assembly of cars owned and driven between 1946 and 1966 brought back many memories. The vehicles that are highlighted were on the go during my childhood and teenage years. I found myself looking to see

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Non-Fiction

The Mutant Project: Inside the Global Race to Genetically Modify Humans by Eben Kirksey

Reviewed by E.B. Heath It is clear the race to genetically modify humans is relentless as an incoming tide.  Anthropologists, ethicists, and activists, at pains to slow the surge, are having as much success as King Canute’s futile attempts to control the sea.  Furthermore, genetic experiments are not just happening in well-regulated laboratories! In The

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Non-Fiction

Mortals by Rachel E. Menzies and Ross G. Menzies

Reviewed by Clare Brook Only a life that faces the truth of the finality of death allows an individual to live without existential anxiety, freeing them to pursue a passionate, authentic existence in the limited time that they have.  Menzies & Menzies. We’re all going to die!  Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but at some point

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Non-Fiction

Flight of the Budgerigar by Penny Olsen

Review by Richard Tutin There are some Australians who are better known overseas than they are here in their own country. The budgerigar suffered from this fate for many years. As Penny Olsen explains in Flight of the Budgerigar, this small gregarious bird was, for many years, sought after by people outside of Australia but

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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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