What Am I Reading?

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Like so many others, I was captivated by the recent SBS drama adaptation of the Margaret Atwood novel The Handmaid’s Tale (Vintage Penguin Random House 1986). The colour and light, and the artistic cinematography, present a vivid and memorable story. Yet I had never...

The Life to Come – Michelle de Kretser

The Life to Come (Allen & Unwin Books 2017) is the latest novel by Australian author Michelle de Kretser, and as we have come to expect from this writer, it is another complex and intricate story with many intriguing layers and a cast of finely-drawn characters. I was...

Dancing Home – Paul Collis

Paul Collis, the author of Dancing Home (UQP 2017), won the 2016 David Unaipon Award for an outstanding unpublished manuscript by an Indigenous writer. This award has paved the way for Aboriginal voices to be heard; for our country’s first storytellers to tell their...

She Be Damned – M.J. Tjia

She Be Damned: A Heloise Chancey Mystery (Pantera Press 2017) is the debut novel for writer M.J. Tjia (also known as Mirandi Stanton Riwoe, author of the award-winning novella The Fish Girl). This novel is a complete departure from her literary novella. It is a crime...

My Friend is Deaf – James Kerwin

When I was a teenager, I had a friend called James, who was deaf. I remember James as smart and funny and very talented. Recently, we reconnected and he sent me a review copy of his book, My Friend is Deaf (James Kerwin 2015), a storybook and Auslan DVD set aimed at...

The Choke – Sofie Laguna

Sofie Laguna was awarded the 2015 Miles Franklin for her novel The Eye of the Sheep, and in this next book The Choke (Allen & Unwin Books 2017), she has once again written to her strength of speaking in the voice of a child, and telling the story from the perspective...

Burning Down – Venero Armanno

Burning Down (UQP 2017), the new novel by acclaimed author Venero Armanno, is a raw and gritty depiction of life in the ‘70’s in Brisbane’s seedy inner heart. Charlie Smoke was once a famous boxer but now he is a bricklayer, building other people’s dreams and fixing...

The Dark Lake – Sarah Bailey

The Dark Lake (Allen & Unwin Books 2017) is another great debut crime novel by an Aussie woman. Sarah Bailey has written a page-turning psychological thriller / mystery full of conflicting facts and leads, and plenty of suspects with a range of motivations. Rosalind...

Force of Nature – Jane Harper

Force of Nature (Pan Macmillan Australia 2017) is the follow-up crime novel to Jane Harper’s much acclaimed debut, The Dry. The detective, Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk (financial crimes division), is still recovering from his physical and mental injuries after the...

The Past – Tessa Hadley

If you loved Tracy Farr’s The Hope Fault or Lisa Gorton’s The Life of Houses, then you will enjoy The Past (Vintage Books Penguin Random House 2015) by Tessa Hadley. Everything about this book is meditative and slow-moving, while still managing to be immersive and...