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What was it like?

From international best sellers to literary classics and quirky book store finds, take a look at our latest book reviews.

Book review: A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

I listened to A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler on audiobook and it I think I enjoyed it more in that format than I would have in hard…

Book review: When Life Gives You Lemons by Fiona Gibson

The optimistic title of When Life Gives You Lemons sums up Fiona Gibson's book - it is sweet and positive and heart warming. I picked up this book when I…

Book review: Kokomo by Victoria Hannan

I have to admit that the first page got my attention, describing in vivid detail a full-frontal performance by the protagonist’s workmate. Victoria Hannan’s debut novel, Kokomo, is certainly easy…

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld

I really don’t know what to make of this one. The Booker Prize winner for 2020, The Discomfort of Evening is set on a cattle farm, capturing the story of…

Book review: The Confession by Jessie Burton

Jessie Burton’s The Confession is a book split into the past and the present – one set n the 1980s when a glamorous woman falls under the spell of successful…

Book review: Luster by Raven Leilani

Who could resist the pull of the red lips on the cover of Luster? And true to first impressions, the story intimate, pushing boundaries in love. But unfortunately, the boundaries…

Book review: The Girl on the Page by John Purcell

If there’s one thing I like even better than books, it’s books about … books. John Purcell’s The Girl on the Page is delightfully obsessed with books – the different…

Book review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

It might be that I really, really want Harry to have someone watching over him like a parent might, but I think this is my favourite book of the Harry…

Book review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

The adorable Dobby is more than slightly frustrating in the second instalment of JK Rowling's Harry Potter series. At the beginning of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, he…

Book review: The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta

I hadn’t read a book by Melina Marchetta since the gorgeous Looking for Alibrandi as a teenager, so I was curious to see what The Place on Dalhousie was like.…

Book review: Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks’ Caleb’s Crossing tells the story of Caleb Cheeshateaumauk, the first native American to graduate from Harvard College in 1665 through the eyes of his friend Bethia, the daughter…

Book review: A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

As Jodi Picoult’s modus operandi, A Spark of Light provides a fictional and engaging way of discussion a controversial topic. This time, it she tackles abortion by setting the story…

Book review: Beauty by Bri Lee 

Bri Lee has followed up her brilliant Eggshell Skull with an eassy titled Beauty. While the two books are quite different, they are linked as they draw heavily on Lee’s experiences.  Eggshell…

Book review: Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

Despite her failings, there is something solid and reliable about Olive. I read the second of Elizabeth Strout's Olive books during one of Melbourne's lockdowns and it was comforting to…

Book Review: Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko

Too Much Lip has been on of my books of the year. From the first page, I was pulled into the life of wise-cracking Kerry, as she encounters a magpie…

Book review: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Gosh, I had a great time listening to City of Girls on audiobook. Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel follows the story of Vivian Morris as she discovers a glittering, exciting post-World War…

Book review: Crudo by Olivia Laing

I had been looking forward to Olivia Laing’s Crudo after hearing a lot of hype around it in the past year or two. I finally bought it during a visit…

Book review: Lanny by Max Porter

I didn’t really know what to expect when I loaded Lanny onto my Kindle before a recent holiday. I’d read extremely enthusiastic reports about Max Porter’s novel, but didn’t know…

Junior review: Jacob’s Toys – The Big Backyard Adventure! By Claudia Woods

Review by Sam, 8 What was the story about? The story was about toys that Jacob was going to get rid of, but then they blew off the clothes line…

Book review: The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion

I read The Rosie Result at the same time as I was reading Toni Morrison’s Beloved – Simsion’s book was on my bedside table and I read Morrison’s classic during…

Book review: The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna

It is with trepidation that I start reading an author of a book that I adored, and so it was with The Eye of the Sheep. I read The Choke…

Book review: Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

I read this book under pressure, after borrowing it from the library on a one-week loan that cannot be renewed. So, I read it while wrangling my children on a…

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

There is no shortage of books about the Holocaust, or other horrors of war, but in The Tattooist of Auschwitz focuses on an intriguing story of one character. The tattooist,…

Extinctions by Josephine Wilson

Some books are painfully clever. They are dense with ideas, and their dialogue is so witty as to be almost undecipherable – even the characters are cleverer than the average…

The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser

Some books come with such glowing reviews that it is difficult for them to live up to the hype. Perhaps that is what happened when I read de Kretser’s The…

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham

It is not hard to see why W.Somerset Maugham wrote The Painted Veil after he was inspired by a fascinating story he read while on vacation as a student. According…

 My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Childhood never seems as close by as when you read it in a book. That is particularly true of reading My Brilliant Friend. Despite being set in a working class…

Review: The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Some books are so unlike any others that it takes a while to understand what is happening when you start reading them. Their characters are unfamiliar and the situations unrecognisable,…

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