What Am I Reading?

A Voice in the Night – Sarah Hawthorn

A Voice in the Night – Sarah Hawthorn

The debut novel by Sarah Hawthorn, A Voice in the Night (Transit Lounge 2021) is a fast-paced, page-turning psychological mystery. With the story revolving around the tragic events of 9/11 but set today – and with mentions of the recent bushfires and the current...

Beyond the Hero’s Journey – Anthony Mullins

Beyond the Hero’s Journey – Anthony Mullins

A couple of years ago, I attended a workshop by screenwriter Anthony Mullins all about how a novelist could incorporate screenwriting tools and structure into the writing of a book. It was a great learning experience. The participants told him that he should write a...

The Rabbits – Sophie Overett

The Rabbits – Sophie Overett

The winner of the 2020 Penguin Literary Prize, The Rabbits (Penguin Random House 2021) by Sophie Overett, is an in-depth exploration of family dynamics, grief and identity, with a touch of magic realism interwoven so seamlessly that it feels more real than magic as...

Still – Matt Nable

Still – Matt Nable

Matt Nable is perhaps best known for his acting career but his fourth novel, Still (Hachette 2021) will add to his reputation as a writer of gritty Australian rural crime noir. With comparisons to The Dry and Scrublands, Still is a page-turning crime thriller with a...

The Imitator – Rebecca Starford

The Imitator – Rebecca Starford

Although The Imitator (Allen and Unwin 2021) is Rebecca Starford’s debut novel, she is not without a writing track record, having published a memoir and also being the publishing director of Kill Your Darlings literary journal. This depth of experience, and no doubt...

Girl, 11 – Amy Suiter Clarke

Girl, 11 – Amy Suiter Clarke

Girl, 11 (Text Publishing 2021) by Amy Suiter Clarke is the kind of psychological thriller murder mystery that you can immediately picture as a TV mini-series. This fast-moving crime novel has a huge cast of characters and a very complicated plot featuring a sinister...

Nancy Business – R.W.R. McDonald

Nancy Business – R.W.R. McDonald

What an absolute delight to plunge back into the life of Tippy Chan, amateur sleuth, in R.W.R. McDonald’s second novel Nancy Business (Allen and Unwin 2021). This is a follow-up to the very popular The Nancys, where we were first introduced to Tippy and her kooky but...

Where the Fruit Falls – Karen Wyld

Where the Fruit Falls – Karen Wyld

The number and quality of writing published by indigenous authors recently is an embarrassment of riches – so many great novels by both emerging and established writers that showcase Aboriginal connection to country and explore the way in which the Dreamtime and...

Two Steps Onward – Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist

Two Steps Onward – Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist

Two Steps Onward (Text Publishing 2021) is the latest collaboration by couple Anne Buist and Graeme Simsion, both independent authors but also the co-writers of this follow-up novel to Two Steps Forward, released in 2017. That first book followed English engineer...

The Rain Heron – Robbie Arnott

The Rain Heron – Robbie Arnott

Robbie Arnott’s novel The Rain Heron (Text 2020) is a brilliant, evocative and imaginative work of fiction that is so strange and unusual it almost defies description. To read this book is to suspend your disbelief and immerse yourself in another world, another time,...

Lucky’s – Andrew Pippos

Lucky’s – Andrew Pippos

Lucky’s – A Magical Saga of Love, Family and Second Chances (Picador 2020) by debut author Andrew Pippos is everything I enjoy in a novel but nothing I expected. This story about migration, family, food, ambition, greed, loyalty, tragedies, connections and...

Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray – Anita Heiss

Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray – Anita Heiss

Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (Simon and Schuster 2021) by Dr Anita Heiss is such a beautiful book to hold in your hands, with embossed artwork, and the English translation of the title – River of Dreams – on the back cover. This genre-bending novel is a tale of heroism...