book review

Review: musings on lesbianism & Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

content warning: internalised homophobia, d slur mention “Perhaps one day she’d get used to the way it made her feel: dislocated and dazed, never quite certain if the other half of her would stay offstage as directed. But tonight she felt as if she were constantly on the edge of saying or doing something wrong, […]

2 March 2021
Review: The Book of Angst by Gwendoline Smith

Gwendoline Smith: The Book of Angst Allen & Unwin, 2021 ISBN: 9781988547695, $22.99, 312pp   content warning: discussions of mental illness  When faced with this book (subtitled “Understand & Manage Anxiety”), I braced myself to read a drawn-out version of those pamphlets in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. I don’t have a diagnosed […]

21 February 2021
Review: The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think

Jennifer Ackerman: The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think Scribe Publications, 2020 ISBN (13):9781925713763, pp. 368, $35.00 As an amateur birder who dislikes reading highly technical books about birds, The Bird Way seemed like an entertaining way to learn more about the birds I see every day […]

17 January 2021
Review: The Animals in That Country

  Laura Jean McKay: The Animals in That Country Scribe Publications, 2020. ISBN, 9781925849530, $29.99, pp. 288.   “Dingoes wear their fur like feelings: all sleek and shiny when they’re relaxed, a thick bank of heckle when they get wound up. Sue is wound up” (7). Laura Jean McKay’s The Animals in That Country is […]

12 January 2021
Review: Honeybee: A world apart from its predecessor

Craig Silvey: Honeybee Allen & Unwin, 2020 ISBN, 9781760877224, $32.99, pp. 432 Within minutes of starting this book, I realised this was not the Craig Silvey I remembered from Jasper Jones. While some of the themes overlap—innocence, identity, confusion—this book isn’t quite like Jasper. Yet in some ways, Honeybee will be defined by its predecessor, a […]

10 November 2020
Review: LOWITJA

Stuart Rintoul: LOWITJA Allen & Unwin, 2020. ISBN, 9781760875602, $45, pp. 392.   Powerful words for a powerful woman. The authorised biography of Lowitja O’Donoghue explores the price she paid as a self empowered woman in a country that was not yet ready for her strength. I have to admit that before reading this book I was […]

21 October 2020
Review: Loner

Georgina Young: Loner Text Publishing, 2020. ISBN, 9781922330130, pp. 256, $24.99   Text Publishing choosing Georgina Young’s Loner as its internal Text Prize winner all the way back in May of last year feels vaguely . Not that Loner deals with disease or isolation (at least not in the way that we have become familiar […]

7 October 2020
Review: Meanwhile in Dopamine City

DBC Pierre: Meanwhile in Dopamine City Allen and Unwin, 2020. ISBN, 9780571228942, $39.99 It’s disappointing to say that there is very little to remark positively upon in DBC Pierre’s new novel Meanwhile in Dopamine City. Disappointing because a satire focussed on the pitfalls of technological obsession seems deeply needed in a time where it feels like […]

Review: Ellis Island

Malgorzata Szejnert: Ellis Island Scribe Publications, 2020 ISBN, 9781950354054, pp. 400, $49.99   To be honest, I didn’t go into Małgorzata Szejnert’s Ellis Island: A People’s History with the highest of expectations. Its title implied a generic (if slightly dull) history of America’s busiest immigration inspection station, through which over 12 million immigrants passed into New […]

Review: The Woman Who Cracked the Anxiety Code

Judith Hoare: The Woman Who Cracked the Anxiety Code: The Extraordinary Life of Dr Claire Weekes Scribe Publications, 2020. ISBN, 9781922310439, pp. 416, $29.99   Face, accept, float, let time pass. This was the six-word mantra that gave hundreds of thousands of people control over their anxiety. Australian journalist Judith Hoare chronicles the fascinating life of […]

7 September 2020