The Poppy

by - April 14th, 2014


The Poppy is a new book from author/illustrator Andrew Plant. It’s difficult to describe. It’s not a standard picture book, but it’s not quite a graphic novel either. It’s set in the present, but deals with the past. It recounts actual events, but is presented in a ‘storybook’ context. Having said all that, what it […]

Amazing books for ANZAC Day – Picturebook reviews

by - April 14th, 2014

Along the Road to Gundagai

Occasionally a thing that you witness, a song that you hear or a line that your read manifests itself indelibly within you, seemingly forever. Sometimes, not always, you remember the exact time and place and occasion that these erasable impressions mark your memory for the first time. Often this phenomenon occurs when you are still […]

Player Profile: Rjurik Davidson, author of Unwrapped Sky

by - April 11th, 2014


Rjurik Davidson, author of Unwrapped Sky Tell us about your latest creation:  Unwrapped Sky sits somewhere between fantasy and science fiction, in a little subgenre sometimes called the New Weird. It’s set in the fantastic city of Caeli-Amur, which is something like an industrial version of Ancient Rome. Steam trams chug along the streets. A ruined […]

Review – Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting by Kevin Power

by - April 11th, 2014


When I received a copy of Kevin Powers’ collection of poetry I was quite apprehensive. I definitely wanted to read the collection as The Yellow Birds was beyond amazing. It still resonates very strongly with me everytime I think about it and Powers’ poetry background really comes through in his writing. But I wasn’t sure whether or […]

Player Profile: Anna Jaquiery, author of The Lying Down Room

by - April 10th, 2014


Anna Jaquiery, author of The Lying Down Room Tell us about your latest creation: It’s a crime novel set in France and the first in a series. The main character is a senior French detective at the Criminal Brigade in Paris. This book opens with an investigation into the murder of an elderly woman. Others […]

Review – The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

by - April 9th, 2014


This book draws immediate comparisons to Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life. But where Life After Life was about a character who kept reliving their life over and over without knowing they were doing so, this is about a character who keeps reliving their life over and over and remembers everything. And this difference changes everything. I loved Life After Life and […]

Review – Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto

by - April 8th, 2014


I have been completely and utterly addicted to (and obsessed by) True Detective so when I found out the show’s creator and writer had written a crime novel I had to read it. And what a cracking book it is. Using some of the same elements as his television show Pizzolatto has constructed a highly atmospheric, slow […]

Here Comes Peter Cottontail – Easter Reviews

by - April 7th, 2014

We're going on an Egg Hunt

Is your freezer full of hot cross buns? Are you feeling bilious after over-eroding the stash of chocolate eggs you’ve had hidden for weeks from the kids? If so, you may already be over Easter. But wait. There’s more! While you won’t find a great deal of religious meaning in the following titles, they do […]

Gone Girl

by - April 4th, 2014

Gone Girl

I’m probably the last person in the universe to getting around to reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, so let me preface this blog with: I finally got round to reading it after (and despite) being subjected to its enormous hype. I’m also an aspiring book writer, so commercially and critically successful books invoke in me […]

Rooftop Beekeeping

by - April 1st, 2014

The average age of a beekeeper is circa 60 years old. So, as a Gen Y female, I don’t exactly fit the beekeeper mould. It also explains—forgive me for insulting just about every beekeeper out there—why I’ve had trouble finding beekeeping books tailored to my tastes and needs. Much of the beekeeping knowledge is, it […]

Review – The Duck and the Darklings

by - April 1st, 2014

The Duck and the Darklings

From beneath a mountain of brightly coloured picture books all screaming for review, I spied the oddly unassuming cover of The Duck and the Darklings. Odd because apart from Peterboy’s candle-hat, this was one sombre looking picture book. Even the title sounded desolate, quirky. Surely though something fantastical had to be dwelling between those black […]

Review – Redeployment by Phil Klay

by - April 1st, 2014


What an amazing book! This is a firm candidate for my book of the year already and it is beyond doubt the best collection of short stories I have ever read. I literally could not put this book down but at the same time wanted each story to last as long as possible. I went […]

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

by - March 28th, 2014


This was of the funnest books I can remember reading in a long time. Gripping, funny and told in a totally original and authentic voice you can’t help but be hooked in by this part-Apollo 13, part-Castaway survival story. Mark Watney is an astronaut, part of the third manned mission to Mars. Six days after […]

Review – My Nanna is a Ninja

by - March 24th, 2014

My Nanna is a Ninja

With its incongruous title, brazen bright yellow cover and be-speckled bun-toting nanna leaping straight at you, this picture book is hard to ignore. I was suitably intrigued and barely aware of the smile creeping across my face as I picked it up. I don’t know many ninja nannas you understand. Actually, I don’t know any, […]

Player Profile: Kathryn Fox, author of Fatal Impact

by - March 20th, 2014


Kathryn Fox, author of Fatal Impact Tell us about your latest creation:  It’s Anya Crichton’s latest adventure. This time she’s in Tasmania, visiting her increasingly erratic GP mother. Anya becomes involved in the death of a young girl and a fatal outbreak of food poisoning. Evidence of the source points to an organic farm, facing […]

Player Profile: Naomi Wood, author of Mrs Hemingway

by - March 19th, 2014


Naomi Wood, author of Mrs Hemingway Tell us about your latest creation: The latest creation is called Mrs. Hemingway. It’s a historical novel, told from the perspectives of Hemingway’s four wives and mistresses: Hadley, Pauline, Martha and Mary. Set from 1921-61 it all happens in France and America, in places you’d probably like to go on holiday to, and which […]

Review – The Human Division by John Scalzi

by - March 18th, 2014


Firstly, WOW! John Scalzi has already blown my mind with Redshirts and the previous Old Man’s War series but his new book is something else. For any literary snob that still looks down on genre writers I pity you because the way Scalzi has constructed this novel is something to behold. The Human Division was originally released in 13 parts, over 13 […]

Guest Post from Tristan Bancks – Stuck in Head. Forget You Have Body

by - March 17th, 2014


‘All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.’ ― Friedrich Nietzsche A few years ago, on a stopover in Singapore, I had reflexology on the fourth floor of a haphazard shopping mall on Orchard Road. The man charged with the unfortunate task of reviving my crusty, travel-worn hooves asked, ‘What your job?’ I replied, ‘Writer.’ […]

Review – The Free by Willy Vlautin

by - March 17th, 2014


I have always meant to read Willy Vlautin. My old sales rep practically begged me for years to read him (I still have two books in my to read pile). One of my favourite authors, George Pelecanos, ranks him as one of his favourite writers (which should have been enough for me). But what finally […]

Review – The Simple Things

by - March 17th, 2014

The Simple Things

Great Aunt Lola is about to die. At least ten year-old Stephen thinks she could because she’s that old, and grumpy. And Stephen, labouring under a self and parent imposed ‘shy label’, is more than a little scared of her. He simply wants to flee, but is stuck in Aunt Lola’s house for the next […]

Supercharged Food: Eat Yourself Beautiful

by - March 15th, 2014

Eat Yourself Beautiful

Necessity is, as they say, the mother of all invention. Or rather, the reason we begin to investigate and address issues that have become too troubling to ignore. Even though she’s been investigating many more issues and things than most of us for a long time, certified holistic health coach, yoga teacher, wholefoods chef, and […]


by - March 15th, 2014


It’s a peculiar and depressing phenomenon that women—far more than men—who have moved past youthful attraction and procreating age tend to become invisible. So a film featuring a 58-year-old female divorcee is something of an anomaly (you can watch the trailer here). Trend-bucking protagonist Gloria (who lends the film its name) refuses to be typecast. […]

Doodles and Drafts – A Blog Tour with Alison Reynolds

by - March 13th, 2014

A new friend for Marmalade

A couple of years ago a diminutive orange cat sprang into our hearts and homes courtesy of picture book creators, Alison Reynolds and Heath McKenzie. That cat was, Marmalade. He caused quite a sensation around our home, so when we heard he was on tour with Alison Reynolds, purrs of satisfaction reverberated throughout the house […]

Player Profile: Jaclyn Moriarty, author of The Cracks in the Kingdom

by - March 12th, 2014

Jaclyn Moriarty, author of The Cracks in the Kingdom Tell us about your latest creation: The Cracks in the Kingdom is the second book in ‘the Colours of Madeleine’ trilogy.  The Royal Family of the Kingdom of Cello are trapped in our world.  Madeleine, who lives in Cambridge, England has been exchanging letters with Elliot […]

Review – & Sons by David Gilbert

by - March 11th, 2014


I am a sucker for a great American novel, in particular ones set in college and this kind of fits into both those categories but with a twist. This was originally described to me as Wonderboys meets The Art of Fielding which isn’t necessarily true. Instead imagine a novel like Wonderboys or The Art of Fielding and then imagine what happens to the […]

The Neil Gaiman Dilemma

by - March 11th, 2014

The Milk

I’ve been reading Neil Gaiman’s stuff since I discovered The Sandman back in the 1990s, while I was working in a comic book store. Although I haven’t read everything he’s written, I’ve read a lot of it. I was ridiculously excited when it was first announced that he was going to write an episode of […]

Review – The Tenth of December by George Saunders

by - March 11th, 2014


I don’t read a lot of short stories. As whole I find them unsatisfying and would much rather sink my teeth into something longer. All though in saying that I am a massive convert to serial fiction where you get to read 100-200 pages of a continuous story every 3-4 months. There has been a […]

Review – Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett

by - March 10th, 2014


After reading Ann Patchett’s This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage I had to go back and read this book. Firstly because I learnt Ann writes non fiction just as beautifully as she does her fiction and secondly she talks in the book about a controversy surrounding Truth & Beauty. In 2006, Clemson University assigned Truth & Beauty to […]

5Q Interview with Pip Harry, author of I’ll Tell You Mine

by - March 7th, 2014


Pip Harry is a freelance journalist who has worked on magazines for many years, including chasing celebrities as Entertainment Editor for NW and Deputy Editor for TV Week before turning herself into a yoga-loving frequent flyer as Health & Travel Editor for Woman’s Day. She’s the co-founder of relationships website, and has had short […]

Player Profile: Anita Heiss, author of Tiddas

by - March 6th, 2014

Photo Credit: Amanda James

Anita Heiss, author of Tiddas Tell us about your latest creation: My new novel is called TIDDAS. Tiddas, for those who don’t know, is a generic Aboriginal term for your close female friends, those who are like sisters to you. And the tiddas in my novel comprise five women (three Koori, two non-Indigenous) who were born, […]

5Q Interview with Tristan Bancks, author of Two Wolves

by - March 5th, 2014

bancks, tristan

Tristan Bancks is a writer and filmmaker. He has a background as an actor and television presenter in Australia and the UK. His short films have won a number of awards and have screened widely in festivals and on TV. Tristan has written a number of books for kids and teens, including the Mac Slater, […]

A Few Corpses Short of an Artery

by - March 5th, 2014

Vampire Academy

Live fast, die young Bad girls do it well Live fast, die young Bad girls do it well I’ll not deny I felt a fist pump-inducing thrill when MIA’s lyrics opened Vampire Academy’s film adaptation’s opening moments. It’s exactly the song that metes out the sass and sexiness we’ve come to know and love in […]

5Q Interview with Marion von Adlerstein

by - March 4th, 2014


Marion von Adlerstein worked as an advertising copywriter in Melbourne, London and New York in the fifties and sixties. Between 1976 and 1998 she held several posts with Vogue Australia publications, including Travel Director. During those years Marion wrote about many subjects, including fashion, beauty and interiors. She is the author of The Passionate Shopper, […]

Review – Wildwood Imperium by Colin Meloy

by - March 3rd, 2014


The third and final volume in the Wildwood Chronicles. The future of of Wildwood was balanced on a knife edge at the end of Under Wildwood. Prue was given, by the Council Tree, a seemingly impossible task and had to find two machinists who had both been exiled by the former Queen of Wildwood, The […]

Doodles and Drafts – Dreaming and scheming with Andrew King

by - March 3rd, 2014


A week or so ago I rubbed shoulders with some of Kids’ Lit most illuminating talents at the Book Links’ QLD (The Centre for Children’s Literature) third Romancing the Stars event. The objective of these evenings is to meet and listen to as many authors and illustrators wax lyrical about their latest publication as possible […]

Player Profile: Sarah Wilson, author of I Quit Sugar For Life

by - March 3rd, 2014


Sarah Wilson, author of I Quit Sugar For Life Tell us about your latest creation: I see this as a follow-up book to help make cooking, eating and our health more elegant and joyous. A framework for simple, no-brainer health that supports sugar-free living. Which is what we’re after, no? Where are you from / […]

Player Profile: Joy Dettman, author of The Tying of Threads

by - February 28th, 2014


Joy Dettman, author of The Tying of Threads Tell us about your latest creation: My latest creation is the end result of a six year commitment to the Woody Creek series, 160,000 words to add to the 800,000 plus of the previous five. Readers who have followed Jenny from her birth in 1923, will, in […]

Player Profile: Jennifer Smart, author of The Wardrobe Girl

by - February 27th, 2014

smart, jennifer (1)

Jennifer Smart, author of The Wardrobe Girl Tell us about your latest creation: The Wardrobe Girl follows the story of Tess Appleby, the new standby assistant on long-running Australian soap – Pretty Beach Rescue. It’s not quite the BBC, where until recently Tess has  been working, but it should be an uncomplicated return to Sydney life after 8 years […]

Operation Honey Bee

by - February 27th, 2014

There’s a second, complementary element to Operation Chooken, which I blogged about yesterday. Entitled Operation Honey Bee (are you sensing a theme?), I’m about to learn beekeeping. For environmental reasons. Bees are in trouble worldwide. Pesticides and mites are wiping them out at frightening rates, and what few humans seem to truly grasp that if […]

Review – After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman

by - February 26th, 2014


Laura Lippman delivers another absorbing thriller that sucks you in with vivid characters and great plotting. Inspired by a true story of a Baltimore mobster who went missing in the 1970s while under house arrest, Lippman does what she does best, sees a side to the story more interesting than the headline, the people left […]