Review: Ascendance by John Birmingham


by - April 28th, 2015

9781742614069 (1)

The final instalment in the Dave Hooper trilogy brings events to an epic crescendo. Not for the first time John Birmingham lays waste to the streets of New York. The Dave, who has been struggling to come to terms with his recently acquired hero status, has learnt he may not be the special and unique snowflake […]



Chatting with Toni Jordan


by - April 28th, 2015

Toni Jordan

As much-loved Australian novelist Toni Jordan sees it, some writers have ideas banked up like circling planes waiting for their turn to land, but her creative mind is more like a desert, occasionally crossed by tumbleweed. Well, that’s some impressive tumbleweed that’s rolling along on the breeze! In her debut novel, Addition, Toni Jordan introduces […]



Review: Pleasantville by Attica Locke


by - April 27th, 2015

9781781254097

I used to love legal thrillers. They were the first crime books I got into when I was a teenager. There was a mystery but there was also an argument to made and refuted. Unlike other crime stories the legal thriller must get down to the bones of right and wrong, innocence and guilt. The […]



Last Minute Must Have for Mum – Picture book review


by - April 27th, 2015

Dear Mum I love You #2

This is a Mother’s Day book that shouts Mother’s Day and possibly one of the best picture book tributes to mums I’ve read since becoming one. It will melt your heart and make you want to scoop up someone small and hug them tight. From the failsafe team of Ed Allen and Simon Williams, Dear […]



The Book Brief: The Very Best New Release Books in May


by - April 27th, 2015

book-brief-low

Each month we bring you the best new release books in our Book Brief. Get FREE shipping when you use the promo code bookbrief at checkout Fiction Books A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson Kate Atkinson has written an extraordinary companion novel to Life After Life returning us to the world of the Todd […]



Review: The Whites by Harry Brandt


by - April 25th, 2015

9781408864586

It has been seven years since Richard Price last published a novel and it has been worth the wait. Writing under the transparent pseudonym Harry Brandt, Richard Price again demonstrates he truly is a master when it comes to crime and American life. Price delivers a multi-layered, slow-burning portrayal of friendship, justice and revenge and […]



Picture Books to Celebrate the ANZAC Centenary


by - April 23rd, 2015

9781921720628

In just a couple of days we commemorate the legacy of the brave soldiers and the tragic events of World War 1 that occurred one hundred years ago. A beautiful selection of ANZAC books for children have been reviewed by Dimity here, but here’s a few more that certainly captured my heart with their touching […]



Review: Hush Hush by Laura Lippman


by - April 23rd, 2015

hush-hush

I am not a fan of long running crime series. While a recurring character can be like a familiar friend sometimes the longevity of a series means it falls into the realm of incredulity. Tess Monaghan was a character I fell in love with but was also quite happy when she was put on the […]



Player Profile: Georgia Madden, author of Confessions of a Once Fashionable Mum


by - April 22nd, 2015

0a74b18

Georgia Madden, author of Confessions of a Once Fashionable Mum Tell us about your latest creation: Confessions of a Once Fashionable Mum follows Ally Bloom, first-time mum and fashionista extraordinaire, as she struggles to find her feet on the suburban SAHM circuit. Where are you from / where do you call home?: I live with my husband […]



These Are The Names


by - April 21st, 2015

These Are The Names

It never ceases to amaze me that every so often you come across a cultural product (in this case, a writer) you’ve never heard of, but that’s (who’s) immensely popular and bestselling in another country. Tommy Wieringa is an award-winning Dutch writer. He’s published many books to critical and award claim, and the book most […]



Film Review: Samba


by - April 20th, 2015

sambaa4poster

The benefit of reviewing a film later than usual (I could not for the life of me make it to any of the Samba media screenings, so Think Tank Communications provided me with a double pass to see it once the film was out) is that you get to hear what other reviewers think about […]



Lest we forget – ANZAC children’s book reviews


by - April 20th, 2015

ANZAC Ted Hero Plain as Day

A couple of months ago I revisited an iconic song by Eric Bogle, finding new breath in Bruce Whatley’s picture book, And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda. Bogle found the words and Whatley the images that profoundly capture all the raw emotion, loss and resilience that epitomises the Great War of 100 years ago. This […]



Review – The Last Anzac by Gordon Winch and Harriet Bailey


by - April 18th, 2015

The Last Anzac, Gordon Winch (author), Harriet Bailey (Illus.), New Frontier Publishing, March 2015. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. For this significant Anzac Centenary, a myriad of children’s books have been released to teach our young ones about the physical, emotional and historical impact of war, and to celebrate our […]



List of books with the word ‘boy’ in the title


by - April 16th, 2015

Boy Roald Dahl

I enjoyed writing the blog post Books with the word ‘Girl’ in the title so much, I thought I’d do one for books that have ‘boy’ in the title. At first glance, I thought this one might be easier, but let’s see how I go. The first book that comes to mind for me is […]



Review – ‘Imagine’ by Emma Mactaggart and Ester De Boer


by - April 16th, 2015

Imagine, Emma Mctaggart (author), Ester De Boer (illus.), Boogie Books, 2015.   What would you do in your most fantastical of daydreams? Totally let your imagination run free…where would you go? In Emma Mactaggart and Ester De Boer’s explosive ‘Imagine’, we are taken on a zoo adventure wilder than you could ever devise!   Utterly […]



Cracker 2015 CBCA Short List


by - April 15th, 2015

Protected

This year’s Children’s Book Council of Australia short list is a cracker. Older Readers I’ve reviewed most of the Older Reader titles for the Weekend Australian, which means that I think they’re excellent. It’s a superlative list this year. Incidentally, most of these authors are relatively or brand-new published YA writers; and are women, representing […]



Ann-Marie Finn’s Sweet New Release; Gus the Asparagus


by - April 14th, 2015

IMG_8433

There are moments in life that make us stop and adjust our perspectives on the world. Even encourage us to see the world from another’s point of view. Author Kaylene Hobson and illustrator Ann-Marie Finn from Dragon Tales Publishing have achieved just that by introducing us to their new, loveable character, Gus. ‘Gus, the Asparagus’ […]



Standout Literary Fiction


by - April 14th, 2015

These are the Names

My standout literary fiction of the year so far is Dutch author Tommy Wieringa’s These Are the Names (Scribe) and Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant (Faber & Faber). Both these writers have  been awarded for previous works and should have similar success with these books. The novels are masterfully written, with myth-like, nebulous settings and a […]



PS Mum, this is for you – Mother’s Day picture book reviews


by - April 13th, 2015

Hooray It's a New Royal Baby

Unconditional love, tolerance and understanding; all qualities most mothers possess in spades. They warrant gratitude every single day, not just on Mother’s Day. So this year, before you load up mum with a bed full of toast crumbs and good intentions snuggle up to her with one of your favourite ‘I love you’ reads. Here […]



Review – Nobody Is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey


by - April 13th, 2015

9781783780877

I grabbed this book solely on the back of a tweet from Joss Whedon but it then languished in my TBR pile for months. With the book finally being released in Australia I thought it was time to pick it up and was immediately sucked in. Catherine Lacey’s writing style is electrifying. She skillfully balances […]



Win a Mother’s Day Hamper of Books


by - April 13th, 2015

moday-banner

Looking for great  gifts to buy for your Mum? Books make fantastic gifts for Mother‘s Day! And to make your job easier, we’ve released our 2015 Mother‘s Day Catalogue. If you order from our Mother‘s Day Catalogue before midnight on Sunday 3 May, you’ll get FREE shipping on your order when you use the promotional code code 4mum at […]



Stories Behind the Stories; Interview with Acclaimed Author Libby Gleeson


by - April 7th, 2015

Libby Gleeson Photo

A true master of her craft is one that writes to elicit a multi-sensory experience from the very sight and sound of her words. She makes you feel, she makes you ponder, she creates suspense, excitement, and sorrow. All aimed to tug at your heartstrings, and all equally gratifying. The acclaimed multi award-winning author that […]



Bees in the City Book Review


by - April 6th, 2015

Bees in the City

Bees in the City: The urban beekeeper’s handbook sold me on both cover design and title. The cover, with its watermarky aesthetics, hints at a modern, professionally designed book that marries content with form (something that’s often missing from beekeeping books, which look like they’ve been run off on a photocopier and patched together in […]



Double Dipping – Bedtime dramas abound


by - April 6th, 2015

Onsie Mumsie

Putting the kids to bed is a rite of passage that not every parent survives in tact. Bedtime can be fraught with misadventure and procrastination. A five-minute goodnight kiss can draw out into a production of Oscar winning proportions. If you have kids under seven-years-old, chances are you’ve experienced a night or two like this. […]



The Modern Magazine


by - April 4th, 2015

The Modern Magazine

Print magazines are—contrary to the kind the-sky-is-falling-in predictions that always accompany the arrival of new media—not dead. They’re not even dying. They’re actually undergoing a bit of a vinyl-like renaissance. Jeremy Leslie has picked up on this phenomenon and penned a solid, gorgeous print book to discuss the magazine industry context and its plays. Entitled […]



Libby Gleeson’s Books in Review


by - March 31st, 2015

mum-goes-to-work

With a multitude of Australian and international literary and service awards, and over 30 books written for children and young adults, Libby Gleeson AM has proven her commitment, talent and prestige in the children’s literature industry. Here we explore a few of her latest books for young readers; the most recent is the quintessential, ‘Mum […]



Review – A Curry for Murray


by - March 30th, 2015

A Curry for Murray

It is no secret; I am a glutton for a great plate of nosh. I love looking at it. I love preparing it. I love sharing it. And, I love reading about it. This is why I could gobble up A Curry for Murray by sensational new picture book team, Kate Hunter and Lucia Masciullo […]



The Book Brief: The Very Best New Release Books in April


by - March 30th, 2015

book-brief-low

Each month we bring you the best new release books in our Book Brief. Get FREE shipping when you use the promo code bookbrief at checkout Fiction Books A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale I have already read this book twice! An English Gentleman who has never worked a day in his life is exiled […]



Book Diets (Not Diet Books)


by - March 26th, 2015

2832-popular_diet_books

There has been a lot of controversy recently about different diet books out on the market and while eating healthy is very important we also mustn’t forget to feed out minds. So I’ve come up with a few Book Diets based on popular fad diet books: The Fast Diet (aka The 5:2 Diet) Now you can do […]



Indie Book Awards 2015


by - March 26th, 2015

Bush

  Last night I was fortunate to attend the Indie Book Awards. It was a great evening, hosted by Hachette Australia in Sydney. These awards are organised by Leading Edge Books, who support independent bookshops (see more about them in last weekend’s AFR and in this interview with Galina Marinov). The shortlists and winners are […]



Katrina Germein Dances Up A Thunderstorm


by - March 25th, 2015

thunderstorm-dancing-cover-lores-1

Katrina Germein is a well-loved children’s best selling author and early childhood teacher. She has received Highly Commended and Notable Book Commendation awards in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and from the Children’s Book Council of Australia. Three of her books have also featured on the popular children’s programme, Play School.  Some of her titles […]



Review – One Step at a Time by Jane Jolly and Sally Heinrich


by - March 24th, 2015

9780987380951

Inspired by a true story, One Step at a Time exposes the unfortunate reality of the global landmine crisis through the prism of a friendship between a young boy and an elephant. Writer Jane Jolly and artist Sally Heinrich handle this subject with such deftness and clarity to ensure young readers grasp the predicament facing […]



A hunting we will go – Easter basket fillers


by - March 23rd, 2015

Where's the Easter Bunny

It wouldn’t be Easter without a bit of a hunt. Whatever your predilection, chocolate eggs, fairies, time spent with loved ones; this small but sweet selection of Easter inspired treasures are perfect to pop into your Easter baskets this year. For the very young bunnies:  Little Barry Bilby by Colin Buchanan and Roland Harvey, including […]



Adam Wallace Is ‘Accidentally Awesome!’


by - March 18th, 2015

accidentally+awesome

You may remember my ‘Awesome Author Interview with Adam Wallace’ from last year (if not, click the link!). Adam Wallace has had heaps of books published over the last 10 years, including the totally gross chapter book series ‘Better Out Than In’ and ‘Better Out Than In Number Twos’, the frightening ‘Pete McGee’ trilogy, the […]



The Stella Prize


by - March 16th, 2015

A few days late and a few books read short, I’m getting round to getting my head around the Stella Prize shortlist. There are six books on the list, none of which I’ve read and only three authors I’ve heard of (Maxine Beneba Clarke, Christine Kenneally, and Ellen van Neervan): Foreign Soil The Strays The […]



Review – James Munkers Super Freak


by - March 16th, 2015

James Munkers

Author, Lindsey Little likes looking at things from great heights. Me too. It is how I choose my rugs, for one. Allowing yourself a chance to gain a different view of a situation or object can afford you a very different perspective of it. And having a different perspective can be very rewarding indeed. As […]



Shaun the Sheep Film Review


by - March 15th, 2015

9781406359664

I’m a long-time fan of Aardman studios. I owned Wallace & Gromit DVDs, and Chicken Run: Hatching The Movie, an aesthetically rich behind-the-scenes Chicken Run coffee table book detailing the making of the film, remains one of my most treasured possessions. Suffice to say, I was signing up to preview Shaun the Sheep film just […]



High School Reading List Wish List


by - March 14th, 2015

I Am Malala

I recently had a fairly robust mutual rant with a friend about how school reading lists desperately need an overhaul. As writers and editors, we’re huge readers. But most of our love for reading was formulated outside, and in spite, of the books we were forced to read at school. Sure, there were some classics […]



Footballers’ Favourite Books


by - March 14th, 2015

Aguero biography

There’s this bizarre disconnect in my life where my work spans multiple, discrete fields, but the people who know me in a work sense tend to only know me in one field. For I write about social and environmental issues, football (soccer), and the arts and, for reasons both obvious and not, these worlds don’t […]



Celebrating Mal Peet


by - March 14th, 2015

Life an Exploded Diagram

Mal Peet was a delight to read and meet. I can’t describe him as a YA author because he would loathe that description, refusing to see his writing pigeonholed into age categories. But clearly both young adults and adults appreciated his novels, and children his picture books. He has left a legacy of memorable books […]