What Am I Reading?

My Name is Revenge – Ashley Kalagian Blunt

I first became aware of Armenia in 1988. I was working for the Australian Red Cross at the time the massive earthquake decimated the population, killing 25 000 and destroying the homes of half a million people. But even then, I was not really cognizant of Armenian...

Exploded View – Carrie Tiffany

Author Carrie Tiffany was one of the first Australian writers to instil in me a love of writing and an ambition that I could perhaps write myself. Her previous books Mateship with Birds (which won the inaugural Stella Prize) and Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living...

Dying: a memoir – Cory Taylor

Recently I interviewed Kat Mulheran, the owner of Bent Books, a second-hand bookstore in West End, and while wandering around afterwards, I picked up a copy of Cory Taylor’s book Dying: a memoir (Text Publishing 2016). It has been on my TBR list for ages, but the...

Clock Dance – Anne Tyler

Just like a box of chocolates, Anne Tyler’s writing is comforting and moreish, but unlike Gump’s chocolates, you do generally know what you’re going to get: well-developed and engaging characters; tricky family situations or relationships; and great arcing overviews...

My Year of Rest and Relaxation – Ottessa Moshfegh

My Year of Rest and Relaxation (Jonathan Cape Penguin Random House 2018) is by Ottessa Moshfegh, the author of the dark novel Eileen, which I absolutely loved. My Year of Rest and Relaxation is similarly dark – blackly funny, keenly observed and introspective.  A...

The True Story of Maddie Bright – Mary-Rose MacColl

Brisbane Writer Mary-Rose MacColl’s latest novel The True Story of Maddie Bright (Allen & Unwin Books 2019) is an historical mystery that revolves around the royal family and explores the complicated dynamics of power within relationships. With themes of...

The Aunts’ House – Elizabeth Stead

The Aunts’ House (UQP 2019) by Elizabeth Stead is a curious, quirky, strange and wonderful story set in Sydney in 1942 and featuring the feisty and clever eleven-year-old Angel Martin, recently orphaned and sent to live in a boarding house full of eccentric characters...

The Place on Dalhousie – Melina Marchetta

Australian author Melina Marchetta may be best known for her seminal young adult novel Looking for Alibrandi, published in 1992, but she has published nine novels since then. Her most recent, The Place on Dalhousie (Penguin Random House Viking 2019), once again...

Accidental Feminists – Jane Caro

You know that any book by social commentator Jane Caro will be chock full of fascinating facts and statistics that she somehow manages to condense into a highly readable, engaging, poignant or frequently funny book. In her latest work Accidental Feminists (Melbourne...

The Shining Wall – Melissa Ferguson

The blurb of The Shining Wall (Transit Lounge Publishing 2019) tells us that author Melissa Ferguson is ‘a cancer-fighting scientist who loves to explore scientific possibilities through fiction’, and in her debut novel about the dystopian society of a ruined world,...

Terra Nullius – Claire G. Coleman

Rather ashamed to admit that I had not yet read Claire G. Coleman’s award-winning Terra Nullius (Hachette Australia Books 2017), but after meeting Claire at a Griffith Review launch, this book was immediately moved up the TBR pile. And what a clever and...

Man at the Window – Robert Jeffreys

Man at the Window (Echo 2018) is the first novel in a planned crime series featuring Detective Cardilini, by author Robert Jeffreys. The story is set in the 1960’s, in a posh Perth private boarding school for boys, where a boarding master is shot dead. Detective...