What Am I Reading?

Julius Winsome – Gerard Donovan

Julius Winsome – Gerard Donovan

Recently I was fortunate enough to participate in a workshop at Avid Reader by author Krissy Kneen all about how to read like a writer and write like a reader. One of the texts Krissy set for us to examine was the novella Julius Winsome (Faber and Faber 2007) by...

The Van Apfel Girls are Gone – Felicity McLean

The Van Apfel Girls are Gone – Felicity McLean

The debut novel by Felicity McLean, The Van Apfel Girls are Gone (Harper Collins 2019), is a page-turning mystery written with enough wistfulness and lyricism to satisfy the literary reader and enough suspense and tense plotting to entertain the reader looking for an...

Gravity is the Thing – Jaclyn Moriarty

Gravity is the Thing – Jaclyn Moriarty

Jaclyn Moriarty is best known for her YA fiction but in her latest adult contemporary fiction novel, the wonderfully light-hearted Gravity is the Thing (Pan MacMillan 2019), she gives us an entertaining and whimsical modern adventure that is written with wit,...

Pain and Prejudice – Gabrielle Jackson

Pain and Prejudice – Gabrielle Jackson

Journalist Gabrielle Jackson was first diagnosed with endometriosis in 2001 and after writing about her experiences in The Guardian in 2015, and subsequently being overwhelmed with emails from other women who had suffered similar experiences, she focussed her interest...

Meet Me at Lennon’s – Melanie Myers

Meet Me at Lennon’s – Melanie Myers

Meet Me at Lennon’s (UQP 2019) is the debut novel by author and academic Melanie Myers, the recipient of the 2018 Glendower Award for an Emerging Author (for an unpublished manuscript) at the Queensland Literary Awards. I was fortunate enough to read this manuscript...

Transcription – Kate Atkinson

Transcription – Kate Atkinson

Author Kate Atkinson is a highly skilled craftsperson of words, plot and especially character. In her novel Transcription (a stand-alone by Doubleday 2018), she inserts us into 1940 when 18-year-old Juliet Armstrong is recruited – almost by accident, and certainly...

The Hollow Bones – Leah Kaminsky

The Hollow Bones – Leah Kaminsky

Leah Kaminsky’s novel The Hollow Bones (Vintage Penguin Random House 2019) is a reimagined historical fiction of the (real) life of Ernst Schafer, an ambitious young German zoologist, hunter and collector who spent his life in the pursuit of knowledge about many...

Room for a Stranger – Melanie Cheng

Room for a Stranger – Melanie Cheng

Room for a Stranger (Text Publishing 2019), by Melanie Cheng, is a heart-warming story about friendship, aging and the kindness of strangers. Meg Hughes, aged 75, is living alone in the house in which she was raised; the house where she spent so many years caring for...

Lanny – Max Porter

Lanny – Max Porter

I’ve never met Max Porter but from his two books, his debut, Grief is the Thing with Feathers, and his latest Lanny (Faber and Faber 2019), I imagine him to be some kind of whimsical word wizard, able to take fistfuls of phrases and throw them into the air, only to...

Loyalties – Delphine de Vigan

Loyalties – Delphine de Vigan

Loyalties (Bloomsbury Publishing 2019; translated from the French by George Miller) is a slim literary novel by author Delphine de Vigan. The narrative is a simple story in short sections in succinct chapters, told from the perspectives of four characters. Theo and...

Dark Emu – Bruce Pascoe

Dark Emu – Bruce Pascoe

When I grew up at school in the 70’s and early 80’s, we were taught the history of Australia with gospel-like ardour. The intrepid explorers who discovered this great virgin land and their introduction of development and civilisation to the ‘simple’ (and this word was...

The Children’s House – Alice Nelson

The Children’s House – Alice Nelson

The Children’s House (Penguin Random House 2018) by Alice Nelson is an extraordinary rendering of family, place, the dynamics of relationships and most of all, the complex and intricate ties between parents and children – not only their own, but also the children of...