What Am I Reading?

Shuggie Bain – Douglas Stuart

Shuggie Bain – Douglas Stuart

For me, the Booker Prize winner is sometimes controversial – some years I find the winner’s work to be dense and impenetrable and other years extremely accessible. Sometimes I like the shortlisted books better than the winner. But this year, the winner of the 2020...

State Highway One – Sam Coley

State Highway One – Sam Coley

State Highway One (Hachette 2020), by writer Sam Coley, won the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers in 2017 and from the opening pages you can immediately see why. The entire book is basically a road trip (both literal and emotional) for protagonist Alex and his twin...

New Australian Fiction – Rebecca Starford (editor)

New Australian Fiction – Rebecca Starford (editor)

Editor Rebecca Starford once again has given us a delightful taste of the latest and greatest Aussie fiction with New Australian Fiction 2020 (Kill Your Darlings 2020). These regular publications never disappoint. Some stories will appeal more to particular readers...

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth – Matson Taylor

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth – Matson Taylor

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth (Scribner 2020) by Matson Taylor is a gloriously amusing, light-hearted and feel-good novel about coming of age, finding (and accepting) your family, friendship across the ages and following your dreams. Set on an English farm in 1962,...

The Survivors – Jane Harper

The Survivors – Jane Harper

The release of author Jane Harper’s latest crime novel The Survivors (Pan Macmillan 2020) coincides with the imminent release of the film adaptation of her first novel, The Dry, starring Eric Bana. With two books in between (Forces of Nature and The Lost Man), Harper...

Griffith Review 70 Generosities of Spirit – Ashley Hay (editor)

Griffith Review 70 Generosities of Spirit – Ashley Hay (editor)

Just look at this beautiful cover – I think this might be one of my favourite GR covers: so many gorgeous pastel colours, so much potential in those bottles. And it turns out that you CAN judge a book by its cover because this edition of Griffith Review 70...

Lighthouse: An Anthology – edited by Bianca Millroy (various authors)

Lighthouse: An Anthology – edited by Bianca Millroy (various authors)

How many writers does it take to screw in a huge lighthouse lamp? Apparently, it’s 15. After meeting randomly at a writers’ conference dress-up dinner, these 15 authors chatted about a vision of creating an anthology of writing with the common theme of lighthouses....

Overland Issue 239 – edited by Evelyn Araluen and Johnathan Dunk

Overland Issue 239 – edited by Evelyn Araluen and Johnathan Dunk

Overland describes itself as ‘progressive culture since 1954’ and every issue is a strong mix of thought-provoking, sometimes controversial or confronting, ‘pushing the boundaries’ writing. Overland Issue 239 (2020), edited by Evelyn Araluen and Johnathan Dunk,...

Late Sonata – Bryan Walpert

Late Sonata – Bryan Walpert

Late Sonata (Brio Books 2020) is the winner of the 2020 Seizure Viva La Novella Prize, by author Bryan Walpert. While Walpert has published short stories, scholarly works, science writing and poetry, this is his first novel-length (or novella-length) work. Late Sonata...

Poly – Paul Dalgarno

Poly – Paul Dalgarno

Well, hold onto your hats because Poly (Ventura 2020) by Paul Dalgarno is certainly not for the faint-hearted. This is a book that really pushes the boundaries of what is considered ‘acceptable’ or ‘normal’ and is confronting in the way that the behaviour and...

Everything in its Right Place – Tobias McCorkell

Everything in its Right Place – Tobias McCorkell

Everything in its Right Place (Transit Lounge 2020) by Tobias McCorkell is a coming of age story that is witty, light-hearted and easy to read and yet transverses some difficult and confronting issues. The main character, Ford McCullen, is growing up in Coburg in...

Ex Libris – Simon Groth

Ex Libris – Simon Groth

This is one of the strangest book reviews I’ve ever written, because you will never read the book I’m about to describe to you. Don’t get me wrong – you can certainly BUY the wonder that is Ex Libris (Ghost Owl Press 2020) by trailblazer and digital publisher...