The Cockroach, by Ian McEwan book cover
Book reviews

The Cockroach, by Ian McEwan

Since when might a vacuum cleaner, and a cat, be enough to scare a world leader? British Prime Minister Jim Sams is terrified of both. Honestly, you think he would have bigger fish to fry. Steering his country through the then exit process from the European Union would surely be more frightening than the sight …

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From Where I Fell, by Susan Johnson book cover
Book covers

From Where I Fell, by Susan Johnson

I came for the book cover, was hooked by the premise. That’s From Where I Fell (published by Allen & Unwin, March 2021), by Susan Johnson, an Australian writer currently based in the Greek Islands. But first the artwork, designed by Sandy Cull. A smorgasbord of colour. Tell me how anyone could miss seeing a …

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Bluebottle, by Belinda Castles book cover
Book reviews

Bluebottle, by Belinda Castles

What’s the average half-life of the run-of-the-mill family secret? Couple of hours? A few weeks? Until the family reunion at the next long weekend? After all, how long do secrets remain secret? But how about something a little darker, more sinister perhaps, than “average”? How long might something like that remain under wraps, before being …

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Bookmarks 16 August 2021
Book Marks

Bookmarks: Monday 16 August, 2021

Here’s hoping you’re all well this week, especially if you’re in a lockdown region at the moment. Keep calm and read on seems to be the way to go at the moment. Currently reading On the side table at the moment is Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro. Forty books recommended by Elena Ferrante …

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The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti book cover
Book reviews

The Eight Mountains, by Paolo Cognetti

Italian author Paolo Cognetti, a mathematics student, turned filmmaker, writes with such warmth about the Dolomites, a mountain range located in north-eastern Italy, they almost feel like a person, in his novel The Eight Mountains (published by Simon & Schuster, 2016). At the centre of the story, is Pietro, who first comes to the Alps …

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Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead book cover
Book covers

Harlem Shuffle, by Colson Whitehead

The splash of colour on the cover of Harlem Shuffle (published by Double Day/Penguin Random House, 2021), the latest novel by New York based American writer Colson Whitehead, sets a nostalgic feel for a story which takes place in the 1960s New York suburb of Harlem. Central to proceedings is Ray Carney, who owns a …

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Consent/Read Me book cover
Book reviews

Consent, by Leo Benedictus

What would you do, were you in the following situation? You’ve recently inherited a large sum of money. Your future is financially secure. You no longer need to work. What then will you do with your new found free time? Travel the world? Read every book at the library? Heaven knows, do something that might …

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Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson, book cover
Book covers

Song of the Crocodile, by Nardi Simpson

Song of the Crocodile (published by Hachette Australia, 2020) is another shortlisted title in this year’s The Age Book of the Year award. The debut novel of Sydney based Nardi Simpson, a musician and performer before she turned to writing, Song of the Crocodile is set in Yuwaalaraay country, in north-western New South Wales. The …

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