The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, by Becky Chambers book cover
Book covers

The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, by Becky Chambers

There are bad places to make stopovers, and then are bad places to make stopovers. A planet devoid of air, water, and no native life, may not rate among best of holiday layovers, but that’s where three travellers, all hailing from different planets, find themselves after a breakdown in transport services leaves them stranded there …

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Like Life, by Lorrie Moore book cover
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Like Life, by Lorrie Moore

Here’s a question, where were you in 1990? If you recall the beginning of the final decade of the last century, and millennium, (yes I know, some people might say that was actually 1991), do you also recall the publication of Like Life (published by Vintage/Penguin Random House, 1990), a collection of eight stories by …

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Love in Lockdown, by Chloe James book cover
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Love in Lockdown, by Chloe James

We’ll always have Facetime. So near yet so far. Here are some of the ideas that are apparent on the book cover of Love in Lockdown (published by Avon Books, 2021), the second novel by British author Chloe James, though her first book, The Jane Austen Dating Agency, was published under her actual name, Fiona …

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From Where I Fell, by Susan Johnson book cover
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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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Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead book cover
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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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Once There Were Wolves book cover
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Once There Were Wolves, by Charlotte McConaghy

Once There Were Wolves (published by Penguin Books Australia, 2021) is the second novel of Sydney based Australian writer Charlotte McConaghy. Twin sisters Inti and Aggie travel from Alaska to Scotland to assist biologists reintroduce gray wolves into areas of the Highlands. Locals however are not happy to see them, fearing the wolves will be …

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Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson, book cover
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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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The Tolstoy Estate by Steven Conte book cover
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The Tolstoy Estate, by Steven Conte

The Tolstoy Estate (published by HarperCollins/4th Estate AU, 2020), by Steven Conte, a writer based in Warrnambool, in the Australian state of Victoria, is another of the six shortlisted finalists in the born-again The Age Book of the Year award. A work of historical fiction, The Tolstoy Estate re-lives the failed Nazi invasion of the …

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We Want What We Want, Alix Ohlin, book cover by
Book covers

We Want What We Want, by Alix Ohlin

I don’t read books anymore, I just look at their covers. Seriously though, if there’s a book you want me to take notice of, design a cover with lashings of yellow on it. The Shut Ins by Katherine Brabon, is one example, or We Want What We Want (published by Penguin Random House, 2021), the …

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Rhinos in Nebraska book cover
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Rhinos in Nebraska by Alison Pearce Stevens

A century ago people hiking through what is now Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park, in the U.S. state Nebraska, reported finding animal bone fragments. In 1953 Donald Peterson, a teenage farm worker, found part of rhinoceros skill in the area. Though he didn’t know it then, Peterson had stumbled upon a paleontological treasure trove. …

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