What Am I Reading?

Smokehouse – Melissa Manning

Smokehouse – Melissa Manning

Smokehouse (UQP 2021) by Melissa Manning is a wonderful, evocative collection of interconnected short stories that each stand alone, but that together add up to more than the sum of their parts – a novel-like narrative that focuses on individuals but in the end...

Consolation – Garry Disher

Consolation – Garry Disher

Garry Disher is known as one of the patriarchs of Australian rural crime fiction and his latest novel Consolation (Text 2020) cements this position. His flawed but popular and likeable character, Constable Paul Hirschhausen (or ‘Hirsch’) is a relatable protagonist...

The Breaking – Irma Gold

The Breaking – Irma Gold

Irma Gold’s novel The Breaking (Midnight Sun 2021) is a confronting, heartbreaking, visceral, bold and unforgettable story of the link between animal tourism and horrific cruelty, told through the perspectives of two young women with passion, heart and vision. It was...

The Green Road – Anne Enright

The Green Road – Anne Enright

Another novel that has been on my TBR list for several years is The Green Road (Penguin Random House Vintage 2015) by the amazing writer Anne Enright, author of The Gathering. Enright’s work is an outstanding example of the style of writing done so well by...

The Promise – Ann Weisgarber

The Promise – Ann Weisgarber

I participated in a fantastic Brisbane Writers Festival workshop with historical writer Ann Weisgarber but have only now read her novel The Promise (Pan Macmillan 2014). Set in Dayton, Ohio and Galveston, Texas in 1900, this story is incredibly moving, heartbreaking...

Love Objects – Emily Maguire

Love Objects – Emily Maguire

Love Objects (Allen and Unwin 2021) by author Emily Maguire, is graced with a stunning cover by designer Sandy Cull and artwork by Cecelia Paredes: a gorgeous profusion of flowers with a woman hidden in plain sight in the riot of blooms. You would be right to begin...

The Overstory – Richard Powers

The Overstory – Richard Powers

Writing and reading friends have been asking me for ages whether I’d read The Overstory (Vintage Penguin Random House 2018) by Richard Powers, the winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and my answer was always that it was on my list but I hadn’t gotten around...

We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson

My review of another classic that I have only just got around to reading: WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE (Penguin Classics 2009; first published in 1962) by Shirley Jackson, an author renowned for her darkly funny and shocking writing. This was her last book;...

Dirt Circus League – Maree Kimberley

Dirt Circus League – Maree Kimberley

Strap yourselves in, because DIRT CIRCUS LEAGUE (Text 2021), the debut novel by Maree Kimberley, is quite a ride. This genre-bending story is a violent dystopian fantasy with young adult themes of self-identity and belonging, with an action-packed plot, unusual...

The Philosopher’s Daughters – Alison Booth

The Philosopher’s Daughters – Alison Booth

The Philosopher’s Daughters (Red Door 2020) is an historical romance / drama novel by author Alison Booth. The story follows the lives of sisters Sarah and Harriet, from the Suffragette movement in London to 1890’s outback Australia. It is love that beckons Sarah...

New Animal – Ella Baxter

New Animal – Ella Baxter

Ella Baxter’s debut novel NEW ANIMAL (Allen and Unwin 2021) is primarily about sex, death and grief. Amelia is a cosmetician at her family’s mortuary business and is used to rearranging the dead for funerals, mostly to comfort their loved ones. She enjoys her job but...

The Beautiful Fall – Hugh Breakey

The Beautiful Fall – Hugh Breakey

The Beautiful Fall (Text Publishing 2021), the debut novel by Hugh Breakey, is a will-they or won’t-they romance with a difference – underneath the burgeoning romantic liaison is a nail-biting countdown and a puzzle comprised of secrets. This genre-bending book is not...