What Am I Reading?

Warlight – Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje is a master craftsman of words and from the very opening pages of his latest novel Warlight (Penguin Random House 2018) we feel confident we are in competent hands. It is difficult to review this book without giving away the story, which is complex...

Everything I’ve Never Said – Samantha Wheeler

Every so often, a book comes along that touches your heart in places so tender it hurts. A book that makes you cry because of the frustration and sadness in the world, but also makes you laugh out loud with joy because of small kindnesses and the many sources of...

The Book of Ordinary People – Claire Varley

Claire Varley’s second novel The Book of Ordinary People (Pan Macmillan 2018) is a work of fiction informed by her experience with refugee and asylum seeker communities. In a clever and engaging structure, Varley tells the stories of five ‘ordinary’ people in a series...

Wintering – Krissy Kneen

If Krissy Kneen is not already known as The Literary Chameleon, then she should be. Once again, she has flexed her writing muscle and proven her literary adaptability and diversity with her most recent novel Wintering (Text Publishing 2018). As we have come to expect...

The Killing of Louisa – Janet Lee

The Killing of Louisa (UQP 2018), a reimagined retelling of the true crime case of Louisa Collins, the last woman hanged in New South Wales in 1889, won the Emerging Author category in the 2017 Queensland Literary Awards for writer Janet Lee. This is a highly readable...

The Apology – Ross Watkins

The Apology (UQP 2018), the debut novel by Ross Watkins, is a mesmerising psychological suspense family drama that explores memory – what we choose to remember, what we choose to forget and what we decide to reframe – and navigates the difficult territory of childhood...

Too Much Lip – Melissa Lucashenko

Wow. I finished reading Too Much Lip (UQP 2018) by Goorie author Melissa Lucashenko, and have spent yesterday and today fiddling around with this review, adding bits here and there, trying to get it right and not feeling very successful. This is a hard review to...

A Necessary Murder – MJ Tjia

What do you get if you cross a female Sherlock Holmes with Hercule Poirot, and add a dash of Erast Fandorin? Intrepid sleuth and high-class courtesan Heloise Chancey returns to her adventures in A Necessary Murder (Pantera Press 2018), the second novel in this mystery...

We’ll Show the World Expo 88 – Jackie Ryan

It is so rare to find a non-fiction book that delivers everything you want in terms of information, whilst also having an engaging narrative. Debut author Jackie Ryan has given us such a book in We’ll Show the World Expo 88 (UQP 2018). With a subtitle of ‘Brisbane’s...

What Will Be Worn – Melissa Fagan

Memoir is a slippery beast, necessarily reliant on the perspective of the one telling the story, and forged by memories and recollections that are individual and personal, and therefore by their very nature destined to be only one person’s account of a collective...

The Lace Weaver – Lauren Chater

The Lace Weaver (Simon & Schuster 2018), the debut novel by Lauren Chater, begins: ‘They say Estonia has five seasons. Bitter winter. Pale spring. Autumn, when the forests are carpeted with mushrooms. Summer, with its blue cloudless skies and rich harvest of fruit....

Sweet Adversity – Sheryl Gwyther

In Sweet Adversity (HarperCollins 2018) by Sheryl Gwyther - Children's Author, we meet 12-year-old Adversity McAllister, a plucky heroine with a melodious voice and a feisty personality. Abandoned at an orphanage during the Depression years after her parents were...