What Am I Reading?

Elephants with Headlights – Bem Le Hunte

Elephants with Headlights – Bem Le Hunte

I love books set in India, and Bem Le Hunte’s Elephants with Headlights (Transit Lounge Publishing 2020) is a wonderful explosion of east meets west, tradition versus modernity, familial and societal customs crashing against individual autonomy. In a narrative that...

Real Differences – S.L. Lim

Real Differences – S.L. Lim

Real Differences (Transit Lounge 2019) by S.L. Lim dives deep into the existential angst of millennials and explores questions about disaffection, familial expectation, ambition, friendship, religious fervour, privilege, race, morality and radicalism. It is a novel...

Shirl – Wayne Marshall

Shirl – Wayne Marshall

Shirl (Affirm Press 2020), the debut collection of short stories by Wayne Marshall, is a quirky, courageous, imaginative and outrageous book, undercut by a seam of tenderness and humility and an ever-present sense of humanity and mortality. Fans of Julie Koh, Jane...

Ten Rogues – Peter Grose

Ten Rogues – Peter Grose

Ten Rogues: The Unlikely Story of Convict Schemers, a Stolen Brig and an Escape from Van Diemen’s Land to Chile (Allen and Unwin 2020) is a swashbuckling, rollicking historical tale from Peter Grose, who is a former journalist, a literary agent (he set up Curtis Brown...

Amnesia Findings – Anna Jacobson

Amnesia Findings – Anna Jacobson

The winner of the 2018 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize was Anna Jacobson with her collection Amnesia Findings (UQP 2019). This slim book – complete with the author’s hand-drawn line sketches – centres on mental illness, health and recovery, Jewish traditions, family and...

Spinoza’s Overcoat: Travels with Writers and Poets – Subhash Jaireth

Spinoza’s Overcoat: Travels with Writers and Poets – Subhash Jaireth

Spinoza’s Overcoat: Travels with Writers and Poets (Transit Lounge 2020) is a startling and original collection of essays by poet and translator Subhash Jaireth. He has published poetry in Hindi, English and Russian, published English translations of Russian, Japanese...

Persian Letters (A Memoir) – Mehrdad Rafiee

Persian Letters (A Memoir) – Mehrdad Rafiee

Persian Letters: A Farewell to the Islamic Revolution in Iran (Mehri Publications 2018) is a memoir by Mehrdad Rafiee, with proceeds donated to Médecins Sans Frontieres and Child Foundation. Despite the fact that the book is a quite detailed and well-researched (and...

Griffith Review 67 Matters of Trust – edited by Ashley Hay

Griffith Review 67 Matters of Trust – edited by Ashley Hay

This month has brought the delivery of the latest issue of Griffith Review – Issue 67 Matters of Trust (Text Publishing 2019). As usual, it is a cornucopia of sharp, intellectual and insightful reading, with this edition considering the issue of trust – on a personal...

Sundowner of the Skies – Mary Garden

Sundowner of the Skies – Mary Garden

Sundowner of the Skies: The Story of Oscar Garden, The Forgotten Aviator (New Holland Publishers 2019) is author Mary Garden’s biographical account of the early life of her father, Oscar Garden, interspersed with her own personal memoir and memories of him in his...

The Serpent Rising – Mary Garden

The Serpent Rising – Mary Garden

The Serpent Rising: A Journey of Spiritual Seduction (Sid Harta Publishers 2003) is a memoir by Mary Garden about her time as a young woman in the 1970’s when she spent years living in India searching for her personal guru and looking for spiritual enlightenment....

Ghost Bird – Lisa Fuller

Ghost Bird – Lisa Fuller

Author Lisa Fuller has won many awards and fellowships, including the 2017 David Unaipon Award for an Unpublished Indigenous Writer for her Young Adult novel Ghost Bird (UQP 2019). Ghost Bird depicts pragmatic and authentic modern life, featuring indigenous...

Into the Fire – Sonia Orchard

Into the Fire – Sonia Orchard

Into the Fire (Affirm Press 2019) by author Sonia Orchard is an engaging and thought-provoking exploration of friendship, motherhood, ambition, jealousy, gender equality issues, mental health and the choices we make along life’s path. In a fluid back and forth...