The Books Of Orange Is The New Black

by - July 19th, 2014

Orange Is The New Black

Fictionalised women’s prison series Orange is the New Black (OTNB) has become a firm favourite for many of us. The first season was a breakout success, with the second, recently released season topping the first and cementing the show as one that simply must be binge-watched on the day of its Netflix release. Which means […]

The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet

by - July 18th, 2014

The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet

Two months ago you’d have drawn a blank look from me if you mentioned a FODMAP. Or rather, the FODMAP acronym. Today, it seems to be integral to my eating life. After some seven years of turning up to various doctors complaining of an assortment of annoying but arguably not life-threatening symptoms, it looks like […]

The Secret Life of Bees

by - July 18th, 2014

The Secret Life of Bees

During my intervals as a bookseller, there were a few books whose covers really stuck in my mind. The books were consistent sellers with memorable covers, but that I for some reason never quite got round to reading. Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees was one such title. Pale yellow—an arguably unusual colour […]

What is the Eve Pownall Award?

by - July 17th, 2014

Meet Capt Cook

The CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) shortlist is Australia’s most important award for children’s and YA literature. These books are celebrated in Book Week. The CBCA shortlist generates most sales of awarded books – for children’s books, although perhaps not for YA books – in Australia. The shortlist is used as a buying guide […]

Hong Kong for beginners

by - July 17th, 2014

Countefeit Love by Julie Fison

From the outside Hong Kong is a shimmering enclave of mirrored high-rise towers, a former British outpost and a gateway to China – the ultimate fusion of East and West. But beyond the swanky shopping malls and five-star hotels, the city is a heady mix of contradictions – of urban cacophony and tranquil country parks, […]

Continuum X post-con report

by - July 15th, 2014


In June this year I excitedly went off to attend Continuum X, the 10th in a series of Melbourne-based science fiction and pop culture conventions. But this year was special. This year, Continuum doubled as the 53rd Australian National Science Fiction Convention. International Guest of Honour was Jim C Hines, author of, amongst other books, […]

Review: The Sun is God by Adrian McKinty

by - July 15th, 2014


This is a seemingly dramatic departure from Adrian McKinty’s usual books but he pulls it off marvelously. Based on a true story McKinty heads to the South Pacific circa 1906 to tell a tale of mad Germans, sun worship and possible murder. Will Prior, is an ex-English lieutenant who finds himself in German New Guinea […]

Backyard Bees: A Guide for the Beginner Beekeeper

by - July 14th, 2014

Backyard Bees

Anyone who follows my social media feeds (or this blog, as I’ve written about it here) would be aware I’ve been learning beekeeping. It’s an admittedly strange thing for a vegan to be doing, but my reasons are not honey-related, but purely environmental—I’m deeply concerned about bees’ and the environment’s health and feel we’re not […]

Desert Flower

by - July 13th, 2014

Desert Flower

There’s a certain fate books face when they make it to your bookshelf rather than immediately being read upon purchase: that of being relegated to the dust-gathering, guilt-inducing, probably-never-going-be-read pile. Waris Dirie’s Desert Flower fell into that category for me. Bought on a whim among a pile of books (as any bibliophile will attest, you […]

What Is It? Genre Part II

by - July 11th, 2014

The Hunter by Julia Leigh is an example of Tasmanian gothic literature

Hopefully you enjoyed What Is It? Genre Part I, it’s now time to delve a little deeper. Let’s take a look at the differences between: biography, autobiography and memoir? Often confusing, are they all the same? A biography is the life story of a person written by someone else. An autobiography is the life story of […]

Meet Suzy Zail, author of Alexander Altmann A10567

by - July 11th, 2014

Alexander Altmann

Thanks for speaking to Boomerang Books, Suzy. Your second novel for young adults, Alexander Altmann A10567 Black Dog Books (Walker Books)  is a candid account of a Hungarian boy’s experience in the concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau. In spite of the horrific events, you have crafted a story of human indomitability and hope. Was this a […]

Review – The Magicians by Lev Grossman

by - July 11th, 2014


I have been meaning to get round to this book for a while (thanks mainly to the Bookrageous podcast) and with the final book in the trilogy due out in August I thought it was about time I got started. My first impression of the book was that this was Harry Potter for adults. Instead of […]

Bancks and Bongers

by - July 10th, 2014

two wolves

Two authors from the creative arc which encompasses northern NSW and SE Qld have had YA novels published recently. Tristan Bancks’ Two Wolves (Random House Australia) and Christine Bongers’ Intruder (Woolshed Press, Random House) both look at teens who have family problems and are struggling because of their parents and yet are able to work […]

Historical Fiction with Goldie Alexander

by - July 8th, 2014


Writing historical fiction requires more than just authorly talent and an interest in the past. It requires a love of research and, even more importantly, the ability to turn that research into a story that will be relevant to current readers. It’s not an easy task, but there are writers out there who do it […]

A Journey into Graphic Novels

by - July 8th, 2014


I consider myself a big nerd and comics seem to go hand in hand with the social status. I never really got into comics (or graphic novels) and when I did attempt I never knew where to start. There are millions of reboots and story arcs for the thousands of different superheroes out there but […]

Player Profile: Stav Sherez, author of Eleven Days

by - July 8th, 2014


Stav Sherez, author of Eleven Days Tell us about your latest creation: Eleven Days - 11 Days before Christmas and a small convent in West London is burning. When the detectives get there they find ten dead nuns and one unexplained body. The case stretches back to South American and the upsurge of Liberation Theology in the 1970s. I always wanted to […]

A Snapshot of Australian YA and Fiction in the USA

by - July 7th, 2014

The Book Thief

I’ve just returned from visiting some major cities in the USA. It was illuminating to see which Australian literature is stocked in their (mostly) indie bookstores. This is anecdotal but shows which Australian books browsers are seeing, raising the profile of our literature. Marcus Zusak’s The Book Thief was the most prominent Australian book. I […]

Player Profile: Alan Baxter, author of Bound

by - July 4th, 2014


Alan Baxter, author of Bound Tell us about your latest creation: Bound (The Alex Caine Series, Book 1)Alex Caine, a fighter by trade, is drawn into a world he never knew existed— a world he wishes he’d never found.Alex Caine is a martial artist fighting in illegal cage matches. His powerful secret weapon is an unnatural vision […]

Doodles and Drafts – On a Quest with Rosanne Hawke

by - July 2nd, 2014

Rosanne Hawke

Tales of aid working in disaster-ravaged lands may not be the first thing young readers reach for. However, Rosanne Hawke’s junior novel, Kelsey and the Quest of the Porcelain Doll is a captivating mixture of enchantment and adventure with the added bonus of being rich in cultural awareness and humanity, attributes Hawke is well known […]

Player Profile: Nicholas J. Johnson, author of Chasing the Ace

by - July 2nd, 2014


Nicholas J. Johnson, author of Chasing the Ace Tell us about your latest creation: Joel Fitch has watched every twist-happy movie there is about con men, and he thinks he knows it all. He thinks he is going to be a master con artist.Richard Mordecai is a real-life swindler. But, at the end of a long career of lies […]

What Is It? Genre, Part I

by - July 1st, 2014


In this What Is It? article we’re going to take a look at genre.  Identifying a genre of books you love can be exciting and rewarding, but readers can become lost in the terminology; so let’s look at the very basics of genre. Fiction & Non Fiction All books can be separated into either fiction […]

Review – Silence Once Begun by Jesse Bell

by - July 1st, 2014


This is one of those great novels that blends up truth and imagination so well that the lines between fact and fiction are so blurred you don’t even know where to begin trying to unravel it. It also doubles the intrigue especially the way Jesse Ball structures the story to unfurl piece by piece, layer […]

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

by - June 30th, 2014


Each month we bring you the best new release books in our Book Brief Fiction Books The Lie by Kestin Hesh A complex political thriller full of suspense, set within the Israel security organisation. A rescue operation that will have you on the edge of your seats. So many lies, so many rationalisations for twisting […]

Stuart Neville 3-for-2 offer

by - June 30th, 2014


  The Twelve I almost missed reading this book. Published in 2009 it has only just been releases here. I was reluctant to pick it up because “debut thriller of the year” gets thrown around a far bit and I am very skeptical. However in the case of THE TWELVE it is not marketing or […]

Review – The Damned Utd by David Peace

by - June 28th, 2014


I have tried and failed at reading David Peace before. I’ve have always wanted to get into his books in particular The Red Riding Quartet (which I cheated and watched the films instead, which were superb). For some reason I have never been able to get into the rhythm of his writing and with a writer like […]

Double Dipping – Living with Dodos and Alice – Picture book reviews

by - June 27th, 2014

Edward and the Great Discovery

In a world of dwindling attention spans and narrowing fields of vision, it may be argued that the gaps between past and present are so expansive there is no reason to traverse them anymore let alone acknowledge past discoveries or other people’s situations. New Frontier Publishing ignores this argument, offering two new courageous storylines within […]

“My Writing Process” blog hop

by - June 27th, 2014


Every now and then, chain post interviews (sometimes called blog hops) seem to circulate around the blogging community of writers. They’re a bit like chain letters, in that you do your bit and then pass it on in an ever expanding ripple, until people lose interest — you do your blog post (in which you […]

Pakistan for Children – Kelsey and the Quest of the Porcelain Doll

by - June 22nd, 2014


  It is rare to find an exceptional novel for children with the current emphasis on YA literature rather than on children’s books. Kelsey and the Porcelain Doll by Rosanne Hawke (UQP) is an exceptional Australian book for younger readers. With her background of living in Pakistan as an aid worker, Hawke has incorporated cultural and […]

Player Profile: Chris Ewan, author of Dead Line

by - June 21st, 2014


Chris Ewan, author of Dead Line Tell us about your latest creation: My latest book is Dead Line. It’s a noir kidnap thriller set in Marseilles, with a twist — the hostage negotiator at the heart of the story is concealing a dark secret of his own.Daniel Trent’s fiancée, Aimee, has gone missing without a trace, and Trent does […]

Player Profile: John Gordon Sinclair, author of Blood Whispers

by - June 17th, 2014

JGS hi res clean

John Gordon Sinclair, author of Blood Whispers Tell us about your latest creation: The title of my latest novel Blood Whispers was inspired by a quote from Hermann Hesse: “I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question the stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teachings my blood whispers to […]

Player Profile: Chris Pavone, author of The Accident

by - June 16th, 2014


Chris Pavone, author of The Accident Tell us about your latest creation: THE ACCIDENT is an international thriller about ambition and corruption; the story takes place over one long, perilous day in the life of a literary agent who receives an anonymous, dangerous manuscript about a powerful man’s secret past. Where are you from / where do you call […]

Review – Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

by - June 12th, 2014


Where has David Mitchell been all my reading life? People have raved to me about David Mitchell many times and after seeing the excitement over proof copies of his new novel, The Bone Clocks, (due out in September) I finally decided to find out what all the fuss was about. Cloud Atlas was universally declared […]

What Is It? Haiku

by - June 11th, 2014

Writing and Enjoying Haiku Jane Reichhold book cover

Launch of new series: What Is It? I’d like to introduce a new series of posts I’m going to be writing called: What Is It?  I’ll be exploring topics related to the world of books and reading as well as taking suggestions from you. What Is It? Haiku To kick things off, I’ve decided the first […]

Review – The Croc and the Platypus

by - June 10th, 2014

The Croc and the Platypus

I commented recently on the Further Adventures of the The Owl and the Pussy Cat by Julia Donaldson and Charlotte Voake. Donaldson’s ineffable lyrical style does indeed take Edward Lear’s nonsense tale one step further and is a jolly expedition for the reader to navigate through. As you’d expect, it’s a very good picture book. […]

Orange is the New Black

by - June 5th, 2014

Orange Is The New Black

Piper Kerman’s Orange is the New Black (ONB) story popped up on my radar first via podcast, then about a year later via a TV series. Finally, as is increasingly happening for me, I’m just now getting around to reading the book—a complete reversal of my usual philosophy. The podcast was storytelling show The Moth, […]

Tara Moss, The Fictional Woman and Feminism

by - June 5th, 2014

The Fictional Woman

I had the great fortune to attend an author event for Tara Moss who was promoting her new book The Fictional Woman. For those who don’t know, Moss is a Canadian-Australian author that started out as a model at 14 years old. She claimed she was a tall nerdy girl at the time but kept […]

How Nietzsche Turned me into a Reader

by - June 2nd, 2014


I’m not really interested in giving people a quick introduction; I tend to mix my personal life, humour, sarcasm and knowledge into my book reviews and blog posts. However I do want to kick off talking about the book that turned me into a reader.  It wasn’t until 2009 that I discovered the joys of […]

Review – Sand by Hugh Howey

by - June 2nd, 2014


Hugh Howey hooks you once again in another brilliantly imagined world. This time in a world of sand. Sand covers everything. It has buried cities, it has buried people and it has buried secrets. People carve out an existence literally by hand. Everything is scarce, especially hope. One of the booming trades though is diving. […]

Aussie Appeal – Picture Book Reviews

by - June 2nd, 2014

The Bush Book Club

Worrisome wombats, bouncing bilbies and even talking gumnuts may not be your de rigueur when it comes to picture book characters. Yet their antics make up a substantial percentage of picture book storylines and provide vital introductions and links between Aussie kids and our rich, endemic Australian flora and fauna. Look around and you’ll find […]

Review: The Last Kind Words Saloon by Larry McMurtry

by - June 1st, 2014


Following on from Elmore Leonard’s Complete Western Stories I decided to give Larry McMurtry a go. Lonesome Dove is one of my Dad’s all time favourite books but I thought I would start with his latest novel which takes on the story of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday no less. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday are household names thanks […]