What Am I Reading?

Found, Wanting – Natasha Scholl

Found, Wanting – Natasha Scholl

I inhaled this memoir in one breathless sitting, astonished at the energy, rawness and honesty of Natasha Sholl’s Found, Wanting (Ultimo Press 2022). This is a story about grief, loss and death but it is also an interrogation of the narrator’s feelings and beliefs...

Whenever You’re Ready – Trish Bolton

Whenever You’re Ready – Trish Bolton

Novels that feature ‘more mature women’ (read those in their 60’s and 70’s and above) are rare (often because that demographic is ‘invisible’ in real life), so it’s lovely to read a story with the key protagonists at this stage in their lives, all experiencing...

Jar of Hearts – Jennifer Hillier

Jar of Hearts – Jennifer Hillier

As psychological crime thrillers go, Jar of Hearts (Allen and Unwin Books 2018) by Jennifer Hillier is the epitome of high stakes, page-turning, suspenseful, taut, complex and satisfying writing. A knotted and twisty plot that goes backwards and forwards in time is...

Beatrix and Fred – Emily Spurr

Beatrix and Fred – Emily Spurr

I’m not sure what I expected from Emily Spurr’s second novel, Beatrix and Fred (Text Publishing 2023), but what I got was completely outside even the imagination of my expectations. This beautifully written novel is strangely compelling and weirdly fascinating. It is...

Strange Sally Diamond – Liz Nugent

Strange Sally Diamond – Liz Nugent

Compelling, dark, twisty, weird, funny, heartbreaking, tender and suspenseful, Strange Sally Diamond (Penguin Random House 2023) by Liz Nugent is an absolute must read for anyone who enjoys an intense psychological thriller with an unforgettable protagonist. With the...

The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware

The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware

Great psychological thrillers have the reader second-guessing themselves at every turn, wondering whether or not the novel has a reliable narrator, choosing which characters to align with, deciding who is villain and who is victim. Ruth Ware executes this extremely...

The Bee Sting – Paul Murray

The Bee Sting – Paul Murray

Irish author Paul Murray has given us an astonishing and compelling story in The Bee Sting (Penguin Random House 2023), shortlisted for last year’s Booker Prize. This is a master storyteller at his finest: an enormous saga that entices you in bit by bit with the...

When One Of Us Hurts – Monica Vuu

When One Of Us Hurts – Monica Vuu

Another great debut rural crime novel in an Australian setting, When One Of Us Hurts (Pan Macmillan 2023) by Monica Vuu is a story of an isolated coastal town, Port Brighton, where Outsiders are not welcome and Insiders are expected to behave a certain way. But when...

A Million Things – Emily Spurr

A Million Things – Emily Spurr

Emily Spurr’s debut A Million Things (Text Publishing 2021) is a joy to read, crafted with the skill of a much more assured and experienced writer and delivering a story that is full of love, grief, friendship, resilience and humour. This novel will break your heart...

The Last House on Needless Street – Catriona Ward

The Last House on Needless Street – Catriona Ward

Suspenseful, creepy and dark, The Last House on Needless Street (Viper Books Allen and Unwin 2021) by Catriona Ward is not only the ultimate novel highlighting unreliable narrators, but unreliable characters too. A nail-biting psychological thriller, this captivating...

Days of Innocence and Wonder – Lucy Treloar

Days of Innocence and Wonder – Lucy Treloar

Lucy Treloar is one of Australia’s finest current writers and her third novel, Days of Innocence and Wonder (Picador 2023) demonstrates her ability to experiment with different genres. Her first novel was historical fiction, her second dystopian fiction, and this...

The Midnight Library – Matt Haig

The Midnight Library – Matt Haig

Over two million readers can’t be wrong. My daughter Kiara suggested The Midnight Library (Canongate 2020) by Matt Haig and it is the perfect holiday, new year read. Filled with magical realism, whimsy, poignant warmth, tenderness and optimism, this novel will leave...