Review: Police at the Station and they Don’t Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty


by - January 18th, 2017

9781781256923

Book 6 in the Sean Duffy “trilogy” is an absolute cracker. Each book in this series has gotten better and better and when you consider at what level he kicked the series off with The Cold, Cold Ground that is saying something. It is 1989 and Sean Duffy must tackle his most complex case yet. A drug […]



That’s the Spirit – Aussie books that inform and thrill


by - January 16th, 2017

the-dreaming-tree

With only a week to go before you sling a few more lamb chops onto the barbie, here is swag of ‘must read’ Aussie kids’ titles to put on your reading list, (not the barbie). There’s a Magpie in my Soup Sean Farrar & Pat Kan It’s that time of year when raucous baby magpies […]



Review: A List of Cages by Robin Roe


by - January 14th, 2017

9781484763803

A List of Cages by Robin Roe is an incredibly heartfelt and raw story. The writing was beautiful and emotional, and the characters just sneaked off the page until they became incredibly real and relatable people. I was so invested! I’m also endlessly impressed at how this is a debut book! This author is already on my auto-buy […]



Mick Herron’s ‘Slough House’ Series: A review of books 1 – 3


by - January 13th, 2017

9781473641105

1. Slow Horses Banished to Jackson Lamb’s personal fiefdom, Slough House, from the higher echelons at Regent’s Park for a variety of shortcomings and vices, the ‘Slow Horses’ are a unit of MI5 misfits, desperate to atone for their past mistakes in order to escape purgatory, not entirely convinced Slough House isn’t an inescapable hell; that whatever they […]



Review: Normal by Warren Ellis


by - January 11th, 2017

9780374534974

“He was a futurist. They were all futurists. Everyone here gazed into the abyss for a living. Do it long enough, and the abyss would gaze back into you.” So writes Warren Ellis in his novella  — originally published as a digital short — Normal, a concise but immensely satisfying psychological thriller. When futurist Adam Dearden […]



There’s no place like home – Aussie flavoured picture books


by - January 10th, 2017

gus-dog-goes-to-work

During my short sabbatical from all things digital over the festive season, I visited some exotic, mesmerising places, supped on mouth-watering local fare, and immersed myself in numerous colourful cultural experiences. It was invigorating and fun but like always after a hard stint abroad, it is great to be home, because for me, there is […]



Review: Spark by Rachael Craw


by - January 8th, 2017

9781922179623

Spark by Rachael Craw is an amazing superpowers origin story that focuses on friendship and punching things. Two fantastic things to read about honestly. Sure it fell into a few typical superpower themed cliches, but it still managed to be exciting and engaging! It featured a simple magnificent plot twist that is guaranteed to blow your mind […]



Review: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton


by - January 2nd, 2017

9780062342393

Tiny Pretty Things by Charaipotra and Clayton was an amazingly and addictive story set in a cutthroat ballet school. There’s nothing like a school of backstabbing ballerinas to make me very grateful I’m an un-athletic potato. I was absolutely glued to the page, however, desperately wondering who was going to survive to the end while my nerves shattered. The […]



Words and Pictures


by - December 31st, 2016

9780143780687

Words and pictures can be so much more powerful together than apart. Comics, graphic novels, picture books, illustrated novels. So many possibilities. As a writer, I love art. I love handing over my words to see what an illustrator will do with them. I had my first picture book published in October this year – […]



Media Tie-in Books


by - December 29th, 2016

9781772752045

I’m a bit of a pop culture junkie. So I tend to read a fair few books that are tied in to other media – film, television, games. Mostly Doctor Who, as this is my particular area of obsession. This year I’ve read less than I normally would. But here are a few that I’ve […]



List of YA Alice in Wonderland Retellings


by - December 28th, 2016

9781925479478

If there’s one thing I absolutely adore it’s: fairy tale retellings. And what could be better than an entire list of Alice in Wonderland retellings?! Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland is such a classic and it’s inspired so many writers to work madly at their own versions, from prequels to sequels to reinventions of the original tale completely. […]



The Best Aussie YA of 2016


by - December 22nd, 2016

9780702253942

2016 has been an excellent year for books! A few weeks ago, I cheered about the best YA fantasy that has graced our shelves, but now it’s time to talk about a very important topic: Aussie YA! Our homegrown authors have been hard at work giving us delicious books to devour at dawn (or at any […]



Review: Slow Horses by Mick Herron


by - December 21st, 2016

9781473641105

Banished to Jackson Lamb’s personal fiefdom, Slough House, from the higher echelons at Regent’s Park for a variety of shortcomings and vices, the ‘Slow Horses’ are a unit of MI5 misfits, desperate to atone for their past mistakes in order to escape purgatory, not entirely convinced Slough House isn’t an inescapable hell; that whatever they accomplish won’t be […]



Under the Christmas Tree Part 6 – Tis better to give than receive


by - December 19th, 2016

It’s almost time to step away from the desk and wrap up the year. What a year it’s been, brimful of incredible stories and pictures, all of which have been a delight to share with you. It is, as they say; better to give than receive, so here are some final last minute helpful hints […]



Reading goals and challenges


by - December 19th, 2016

2017-aussie-author-challenge

Do you set reading goals or participate in reading challenges? Participating in a reading challenge can encourage you to read books you wouldn’t ordinarily come across. I also love the sense of achievement when I can tick off my goals as I accomplish them. With my reading year close to wrapping up (see what I did there?), I’m taking stock […]



Review: Whisper To Me by Nick Lake


by - December 18th, 2016

Whisper to Me by Nick Lake is an incredibly story about mental health, love and family. I CONFESS: I went into it with very low expectations because the cover didn’t grab me and I was left rather befuddled by the author’s previous book There Will Be Lies. But Whisper To Me was amazing and it’s totally underrated! I […]



Renee Price Sings with Digby and the Yodelayhee… Who?


by - December 16th, 2016

image

I just love sequels that cleverly, though subtly, intertwine with small connections but take you on a whole new, unique adventure. Renee Price, author, educator and entertainer extraordinaire has done just that with her second book in the Digby series – an enthusiastic, lively and inquisitive romp jam-packed with mystery, melody and rhythm. Not to […]



Hope Farm, A Guide to Berlin, Between a Wolf and a Dog and other awarded lit fiction


by - December 15th, 2016

hope-farm

Award long and short lists continue to showcase our excellent Australian contemporary literature, much of which is written by female authors. Peggy Frew’s superlative Hope Farm (Scribe) has just been longlisted for the 2017 International Dublin Literary award and this year has already been longlisted for the Indie Book award and shortlisted for the Miles […]



Anthologies for Christmas


by - December 15th, 2016

9780143780991

I love anthologies – books collecting together short stories from numerous authors. I love them as a reader. And I love them as a writer. Anthologies have a lot of things going for them… Anthologies make great tasters. They are a wonderful way of trying out a whole batch of authors without having to commit […]



5 Reasons You Should Read Nevernight


by - December 14th, 2016

9780008179991

As a rather rabid fan of epic fantasy, I was very keen to try Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. It’s an adult fantasy that features teen characters and it promised to be dark, gritty, and sassy. It absolutely was. It was brilliant! And not only that, it’s by an Australian author, so obviously it has my pledge of […]



Review – Sage Cookson’s Ring of Truth by Sally Murphy


by - December 13th, 2016

image

Sometimes, you just need some good food, good spirit, or a good book to make your day, or week, or holiday season. Well, how about all three rolled into one? Sally Murphy’s Sage Cookson early reader series certainly satisfies. Here’s the latest book, ‘Ring of Truth’. A bright, eager to please young Sage is the luckiest […]



Under the Christmas Tree Part 5 – Festive boredom busters


by - December 12th, 2016

the-anti-boredom-christmas-book

For most of us, it is now officially school holiday time, the season of fraught mothers, constant interruptions, drained purses, and frazzled tempers. Or, if you’re clever, blissful moments spent with your darlings in between extended periods of boredom busting activity. Festive harmony is easy to achieve, you just need the right materials.  Here are […]



The Best YA Fantasy of 2016


by - December 9th, 2016

9781407136646

If I could only choose one genre to devour forever, it would definitely be fantasy. I adore the possibilities! And the action, adventure, magic, and probability of talking dragons. So today I’m going to list my favourite 2016 fantastical Young Adult releases. Since it’s nearly Christmas time, you can gift one or two or all […]



Mini-reviews


by - December 7th, 2016

9781742758558

As the end of the year approaches and I desperately attempt to catch up on telling you about what I’ve been reading, may I present another bunch of mini-reviews… Grimsdon (2010) and New City (2014) by Deborah Abila     Is it possible for a book to be both a dystopian sci-fi and a charming […]



Under the Christmas Tree Part 4


by - December 6th, 2016

all-i-want-for-christmas-is-rain

It’s time for some fun fiction for kids. This little cluster of Christmas inspired picture books is sure to generate a smile or two and plenty of sage head nodding, perfect for slipping under the Christmas tree. Christmas at Home by Claire Saxby and Janine Dawson I adore the homegrown simplicity juxtaposed with the bustling […]



YA Books Christmas Books To Get You into the Festive Spirit


by - December 4th, 2016

9781509840762

As December sneaks into view, many of us start thinking about Christmas. And what better way to get you int the Christmas spirit than to read some books with delightful scenes of holly jolly festivities?! Well an alternative way to get into the Christmas spirit would be to eat lots of festive food and sit […]



Review: The Mothers by Brit Bennett


by - December 1st, 2016

mothers-brit

The Mothers is an outstanding debut novel: an engaging, poignant, and thought-provoking read about the importance of motherhood, and the hardships faced by girls who don’t have a female figure in their lives to help guide them. Bennett’s novel explores friendship, the impact of secrets, and the consequences of disloyalty, as three teenagers grow into young adults. Most […]



Christmas Crackers – Picture Book Reviews


by - December 1st, 2016

image

As we mark the first day of December, the Christmas countdown has officially begun. A time for snuggles, a time for giggles, a time for togetherness, a time for giving, a time for remembering and making new memories. Here are a few glorious picture books that have all the joy, laughter and magic of Christmas […]



Glorious Gift Books


by - November 29th, 2016

odd

Exceptional children’s gift books for Christmas this year include Annual, edited by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris (Gecko Press). It’s a treasure book in the vein of an old-style yearly annual, here packaged in the highest quality hardback form as a sumptuous possible Christmas present and absorbing holiday read. The editors have excelled in […]



The Best Books of 2016


by - November 29th, 2016

best-books-4

The 18 books you need to read this year, as selected by the well-read staff at Boomerang Books (and our 11 year-old reviewer!) BEST FICTION COMMONWEALTH BY ANN PATCHETT Ann Patchett is fast becoming one of my all-time favourite authors, and Commonwealth takes her talent to a new level, totally engrossing you in the lives of two families who […]



Dinosaurs and Cheeky Animals in Australia


by - November 29th, 2016

dinosaurs

Imagine if dinosaurs lived today in Australia. As we know, dinosaurs did live in Australia, some on the Kimberley coast of northwest Australia, and their footprints are still visible there. In Return of the Dinosaurs (Magabala Books) Nyiyaparli and Yindijibarndi descendant Bronwyn Houston wonders what it would be like if dinosaurs roamed around Broome today. […]



Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis


by - November 28th, 2016

9780062320896

I had no idea what to expect with The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis…but it was absolutely amazing. Although I’m a teeny tiny bit ruined afterwards. But that’s totally okay because everyone likes to finish a book and feel like their feels just got wrung and battered. That aside…this book was all kinds of excellent! […]



Review: Kill the Next One by Federico Axat


by - November 28th, 2016

9781925355871

With more twists than a double helix, Kill the Next One is a relentlessly-paced, unputdownable psychological thriller. It zigs one way, then zags another, providing the kind of stomach-clenching, unsettling suspense readers associate with Lauren Beukes and Stephen King. Nothing should be taken at face value, but rest assured, Federico Axat is a brilliant guide. Just like Blake Crouch’s Wayward […]



Under the Christmas Tree Part 3 – Self-help for kids


by - November 28th, 2016

the-fabulous-friend-machine

Self-help titles are normally in high demand following the glut of Christmas overindulgence we adults tend to experience at this time of year. Children, thankfully do not time their greed or any other dilemmas for that matter so predictably. Therefore, it’s comforting to know there is an ever-available selection of fantastic kids’ books allowing little […]



5 Reasons You Should Listen To Audiobooks


by - November 23rd, 2016

9781101916629

I am a huge fan of audiobooks. What could be better than absorbing an epic story and not having to do the eyeball work of reading it yourself? So much brilliance. So much win. Today I’ve compiled a list of reasons why you should definitely considering filling your life with audiobooks. Or filling your ears with audiobooks, […]



A Monster Calls


by - November 22nd, 2016

monster

A Monster Calls (Walker Books) is a contemporary classic, a work of art. It has had a poignant, yet illustrious history. Written by Patrick Ness from an idea by Siobhan Dowd and illustrated by Jim Kay, it is now available in a beautiful ‘Special Collector’s Edition’ with additional interviews about the upcoming movie by actors […]



Doodles and Drafts – All of Us Together with Bill Condon


by - November 22nd, 2016

 Bill Condon is a man of modest expectations that do not match his considerable abilities. He writes with charm, wit, sincerity and affection. His novels for young people, of which there are many resonate a genuineness that fascinates newcomers and for many older readers, transports them back to the idle days of their childhood, warts […]



Under the Christmas Tree – Part 2


by - November 21st, 2016

a-miscellany-of-magical-beasts

It’s important to keep the little ones pleased and preoccupied at Christmas time. Getting this mix right, ultimately frees up more ‘adult time’. In keeping with our non-fiction gift ideas theme, here are a few more picture books to soothe those savage beasts…ironically, all about savage beasts! Gigantosaurus by Jonny Duddle Gigantosaurus is more of […]



Who are The Good People?


by - November 21st, 2016

good-people

Hannah Kent is a master of atmosphere and of extracting her characters’ souls. Her new novel The Good People (Picador, Pan Macmillan Australia) is set in 1825, in a dark and dank Irish valley where, “Mushrooms scalloped out from rotting wood in the undergrowth. The smell of damp soil was everywhere”. The community has a […]



Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner


by - November 19th, 2016

9781783443819

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner is equal parts beautiful, emotionally damaging, and incredible. I absolutely adored it. Because who doesn’t like a book that will nearly make you cry?? Obviously everyone loves that kind of thing. For sure. This story is gut-wrenching and precious and inspiring and hopeful and balances darkness and hope using some of the best […]