What Am I Reading?

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...

The Morbids – Ewa Ramsey

The Morbids – Ewa Ramsey

The Morbids (Allen and Unwin 2020) by Ewa Ramsey is, on a superficial level, a story about two female friends, love and romance, a typical 20-something tale of getting by and finding your place in the world. But anyone who reads this book will gradually realise that...

Jack – Marilynne Robinson

Jack – Marilynne Robinson

Jack (Virago Press 2020) is author Marilynne Robinson’s final book in her series of contemporary fiction that includes Gilead, Home and Lila. Set just after World War Two, Jack is the story of John Ames Boughton, or Jack as he is known, the prodigal son of the family,...

If Beale Street Could Talk – James Baldwin

If Beale Street Could Talk – James Baldwin

Set in Harlem in the 1970’s, If Beale Street Could Talk (this edition produced as a Penguin Classic 2019) was originally published in 1974, with author James Baldwin gifting us a novella richly depicting the black soul of New York City. A compelling love story, the...

How Much of These Hills is Gold

How Much of These Hills is Gold

Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe – the story of our own Chinese people in the Australian Gold Rush – is kicking goals and winning awards all over the place at the moment and if you enjoyed that book, then you will also love the American debut novel How Much of...

Rivers: The Lifeblood of Australia – Ian Hoskins

Rivers: The Lifeblood of Australia – Ian Hoskins

Just in time for Christmas ideas for the nature lovers in your life is this stunning, hardcover book Rivers – The Lifeblood of Australia (National Library of Australia 2020), by award-winning author Ian Hoskins. Filled with gorgeous photographs, maps, old black and...

Flyaway – Kathleen Jennings

Flyaway – Kathleen Jennings

Oh, what a strange and wonderful gothic novella is Flyaway (Picador 2020) by debut author Kathleen Jennings. The prose in this magical story is beautiful, evocative, and endlessly fascinating. It reads like a fairy tale or a fable, a myth or a legend. Set in outback...

Trust – Chris Hammer

Trust – Chris Hammer

Mention Australian crime noir and the name Chris Hammer comes to the fore. His best-seller debut novel Scrublands and the sequel Silver have sold more than 285 000 copies internationally. Fans have been waiting patiently for the third book in the series, Trust (Allen...

Wherever You Go – Monique Mulligan

Wherever You Go – Monique Mulligan

Wherever You Go (Pilyara Press 2020), Monique Mulligan’s debut novel, is a story of romance and friendship, heartbreak and hope, guilt and grief. A light and easy to read book featuring food at its heart, it also traverses deeper themes as two people attempt to save...