What Am I Reading?

The Improbable Life of Ricky Bird – Diane Connell

The Improbable Life of Ricky Bird – Diane Connell

This book is heart-warming, life-affirming, happy and sad. It will make you laugh and cry. The Improbable Life of Ricky Bird (Simon and Schuster 2022) by Diane Connell will appeal to anyone who loved Eleanor Oliphant, or the characters in Ove or The Curious Incident...

Wake – Shelley Burr

Wake – Shelley Burr

I know I keep saying this, but what is it about Australian debut crime writers lately, particularly those setting their novels in the rural outback? Is there something in the water? (Or perhaps in the dry dust…?) Because there seems to be an abundance of excellent...

In Amber’s Wake – Christine Leunens

In Amber’s Wake – Christine Leunens

By the author of the novel that was made into the award-winning film JoJo Rabbit, Christine Leunens’ novel In Amber’s Wake (Bateman’s Books 2022) is a similarly forensic examination of relationship dynamics and motivations, and the aftershock effects of choices. The...

The Burnished Sun – Mirandi Riwoe

The Burnished Sun – Mirandi Riwoe

‘Mislike me not for my complexion, The shadow’d livery of the burnish’d sun.’ This is the quote from William Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice) that opens Mirandi Riwoe’s extraordinary collection of short stories The Burnished Sun (UQP 2022), and it is apt because...

The Truth About Faking It – Cassie Hamer

The Truth About Faking It – Cassie Hamer

Cassie Hamer’s third novel, The Truth About Faking It (Harlequin 2022) again denotes her inimitable style: light-hearted and heart-warming, funny, with snappy and sharp dialogue, relatable contemporary characters and humorous plots and set-ups that allow for plenty of...

Great Circle – Maggie Shipstead

Great Circle – Maggie Shipstead

Great Circle (Penguin Random House 2021) by Maggie Shipstead is a complex, intricate, soaring, all-encompassing puzzle of a book. While I thoroughly enjoyed her previous novel Seating Arrangements, this is in a whole other stratosphere. The writing is fiercely good,...

Loveland – Robert Lukins

Loveland – Robert Lukins

The much-anticipated second novel by Robert Lukins, Loveland (Allen and Unwin 2022) is exactly as wonderful as you would expect from this writer of exceptional talent. Beautiful literary prose, taut dialogue, an evocative and immersive setting, a thrilling and tense...

Cold Enough For Snow – Jessica Au

Cold Enough For Snow – Jessica Au

Cold Enough For Snow (Giramondo 2022) is a slim novella by Jessica Au, an almost stream of consciousness read that is one continuous piece of observational writing, separated only by some spaces between sections. This is a highly literary novel that will resonate with...

The Understudy – Julie Bennett

The Understudy – Julie Bennett

A novel that is full of surprises, that appears to be one thing and morphs into another, a genre-bender, is a delight to read because you are never sure quite where the story will take you next. The prologue of The Understudy (Simon and Schuster 2022) by debut author...

Digging Up Dirt – Pamela Hart

Digging Up Dirt – Pamela Hart

Pamela Hart is a best-seller chameleon writer, able to produce work that satisfies a particular demographic or genre of reader, across several categories. She writes a mystery series and also historical fiction. Under the name Pamela Freeman, she is a well-known...

The Service of Clouds – Delia Falconer

The Service of Clouds – Delia Falconer

Because of my current WIP, so many people asked me whether I’d read Delia Falconer’s The Service of Clouds (Picador Pan MacMillan 1997). I had not, but I’m so glad it was recommended to me. What an absolutely beautiful book. A novel of luminous prose, evocative...

Paradiso – Steve Capelin

Paradiso – Steve Capelin

Paradiso (AndAlso Books 2021) by Steve Capelin is a beautifully written account of a particular historical time and place, exploring the harsh reality of life 150 years ago, the human drive and determination to succeed and flourish and to provide a better life for...