What Am I Reading?

A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove (Sceptre Books 2014) by Fredrik Backman is one of those novels that I somehow missed reading at the time it was released despite it achieving international acclaim and then being made into a movie, and the author since writing another two bestsellers....

The Details – Tegan Bennett Daylight

The Details – Tegan Bennett Daylight

The Details (Scribner 2020) is a slim collection of essays on writing that really packs a punch. Written by Tegan Bennett Daylight and subtitled On Love, Death and Reading, this non-fiction writers’ companion is a thoughtful meditation very much in the vein of one of...

The Animals in That Country – Laura Jean McKay

The Animals in That Country – Laura Jean McKay

The Animals in That Country (Scribe 2020) by Laura Jean McKay is certainly one of the most unusual literary novels you’ll ever read. Set in a recognisable world, but at the time of the appearance of an infectious contagion (sound familiar, anyone?), the book describes...

Damascus – Christos Tsiolkas

Damascus – Christos Tsiolkas

Christos Tsiolkas is heralded as one of Australia’s greatest contemporary storytellers. His works are meticulously researched, his characters carefully crafted and his themes are considered and profound. His latest novel Damascus (Allen and Unwin 2019) is on many...

The Rich Man’s House – Andrew McGahan

The Rich Man’s House – Andrew McGahan

Andrew McGahan was one of Australia’s most talented writers and one of Queensland’s favourite sons. His death in 2019 at age 52 was a great loss to the literary community and to his legions of dedicated fans. His work was varied and always changing – from literary to...

The Heart’s Invisible Furies – John Boyne

The Heart’s Invisible Furies – John Boyne

The Heart’s Invisible Furies (Penguin Random House 2017) by John Boyne is an absolutely unputdownable novel: tense storytelling, unforgettable characters, moving and poignant themes and a plot that never lets up, despite spanning seven decades. This tender and...

The Best Kind of Beautiful – Frances Whiting

The Best Kind of Beautiful – Frances Whiting

The Best Kind of Beautiful (Pan Macmillan 2019), the second novel by Frances Whiting, is the best kind of book, especially for these weird times we’re living through, with readers often searching out novels that are light-hearted, funny, warm, poignant and uplifting....

The Nancys – RWR McDonald

The Nancys – RWR McDonald

Who said you can’t judge a book by its cover? The cover of The Nancys (Allen and Unwin 2019) by R.W.R. McDonald is the embodiment of what’s inside: a fluoro-pink explosion of rainbows, glitter and unicorn eyes. Confusing? No matter how I try to explain this book, it...

The Adversary – Ronnie Scott

The Adversary – Ronnie Scott

Ronnie Scott’s debut novel The Adversary (Hamish Hamilton Penguin 2020) is a strangely compelling, esoteric, stream-of-consciousness contemporary story that reminded me in form and language of novels such as Normal People by Sally Rooney. We are introduced to a group...

The Bass Rock – Evie Wyld

The Bass Rock – Evie Wyld

Miles Franklin Award-winning author Evie Wyld (All the Birds, Singing) returns with her novel The Bass Rock (Vintage Penguin Random House 2020), a stunning literary multi-generational narrative about trauma, psychological abuse, and most particularly the violent...

Split – Lee Kofman (editor)

Split – Lee Kofman (editor)

Author Lee Kofman has done a fine job curating and editing the collection of creative non-fiction essays about ‘leaving, loss and new beginnings’ in the anthology Split (Ventura Press 2019). A cornucopia of well-known names features in Split, each contributing a very...

Ghost Species – James Bradley

Ghost Species – James Bradley

James Bradley is a thoughtful, scientific thinker who writes his fears about what is happening in the world around us into careful narratives that are prescient and believable. In his latest novel Ghost Species (Hamish Hamilton Penguin 2020), he presents a subtly...