What Am I Reading?

Heart of the Grass Tree – Molly Murn

Heart of the Grass Tree – Molly Murn

Heart of the Grass Tree (Vintage Penguin Random House 2019), by Molly Murn, is a novel that combines the historical reimagining of early Australian history on Kangaroo Island in South Australia with a contemporary family saga. Written in beautiful prose that...

The Sea and Us – Catherine de Saint Phalle

The Sea and Us – Catherine de Saint Phalle

Stella shortlisted author Catherine De Saint Phalle’s latest novel The Sea and Us (Transit Lounge 2019) is a slim, beautifully produced hardback, written in spare and literary prose that mesmerises with its simplicity and directness, and the evocative ambivalence of...

Invisible Boys – Holden Sheppard

Invisible Boys – Holden Sheppard

Invisible Boys (Fremantle Press 2019), the debut novel by Holden Sheppard, had already won three awards before it was even published. And from the opening pages, I understood why. This intensely personal work of fiction features four boys, or young men, who could not...

Hearing Maud – Jessica White

Hearing Maud – Jessica White

Author and academic Jessica White has two published novels but her latest book Hearing Maud (UWA Publishing 2019) is a departure from her previous work, and I believe this will be the book that will elevate her notoriety as a writer to another level. Hearing Maud is a...

World Heritage Sites of Australia – Peter Valentine

World Heritage Sites of Australia – Peter Valentine

World Heritage Sites of Australia (National Library of Australia 2019) is a stunning, non-fiction hardcover book by academic and environmentalist Peter Valentine. The most immediate attraction of this book is the photography – beautiful shots of Australia’s World...

Reasons She Goes to the Woods – Deborah Kay Davies

Reasons She Goes to the Woods – Deborah Kay Davies

Reasons She Goes to the Woods (Oneworld 2014) by Deborah Kay Davies is a poetic and literary marvel, a jigsaw of vignettes in the life of one girl, Pearl, that fit together to form a strange, unsettling and haunting portrait of Pearl’s childhood as she attempts to...

The Breeding Season – Amanda Niehaus

The Breeding Season – Amanda Niehaus

Amanda Niehaus’ debut novel The Breeding Season (Allen and Unwin 2019) is a well-crafted, beautifully rendered meditation on grief, loss, sex and death. Niehaus has used her background as a scientist to build complex scaffolding around the interrogation of ideas such...

The Chain – Adrian McKinty

The Chain – Adrian McKinty

Adrian McKinty has a long list of novels and awards to his name, but The Chain (Hachette 2019) has touched a particularly sensitive nerve with crime readers and brought him to international attention. This is a fast-paced, tense, page-turning story with short, sharp...

The Year of the Beast – Steven Carroll

The Year of the Beast – Steven Carroll

The Year of the Beast (Harper Collins 2019) is the concluding episode of author Steven Carroll’s epic Glenroy series; the series as a whole covers the decades from 1917 to 1977, and The Year of the Beast – although published last – is actually the beginning of the...

The Immortalists – Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists – Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists (Tinder Press 2018) by Chloe Benjamin has been on my TBR pile for a while and I’m so glad I finally got to it. What a unique premise; what an astounding book. Featuring the changing dynamics of relationships, a literary thrill, a family saga spanning...

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...