Bronte Coates

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Bronte Coates is the Online & Readings Monthly Assistant. She is a co-founder and managing editor of Stilts.

Reviews

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Here, Meg Wolitzer has given us a delicious, utterly absorbing novel of epic scope, concerning six characters who meet as teenagers in 1974 at an exclusive summer arts camp. They ironically refer to …

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Bark by Lorrie Moore

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Lorrie Moore fans rejoice. Her first new collection of stories in 15 years is here and reading it will remind you of why you fell in love with her corrosive wit in the first place. Darker and more ov…

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Stories We Tell by Sarah Polley

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Canadian writer and director Sarah Polley has created a tender and unforgettable love letter to her parents with this documentary, a pastiche of dramatised retellings and ‘home videos’, genuine archi…

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Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Shot over just twelve days at Joss Whedon’s own home, Shakespeare’s classic comedy of sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick (and sappy lovers Claudio and Hero) is given a modern twist in this film th…

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Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes by Per Petterson

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Norwegian novelist Per Petterson writes beautifully – his prose slicing across the page in swift, clean strokes – and now English readers can take pleasure in his literary debut. First published in 1…

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This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

In 2011 I saw Ann Patchett speak at the Brisbane Writers Festival. The Orange Prize-winning author was tremendous on stage: funny and smart, teeming with confidence, she seemed to have a natural grac…

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The Electric Lady by Janelle Monáe

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

I’m crushing so hard on this album at the moment. Janelle Monáe’s music is fun and inventive and even though I know it’s too early to say this - I have a sneaking suspicion The Electric Lady is going…

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The Hunt by Thomas Vinterberg

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

While I cry easily in films, I can attest to the fact that there are few which can somehow persuade me to curl up into the fetal position while in a cinema and let loose loud, wracking sobs that caus…

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Warm Bodies by Jonathan Levine

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Unapologetically sincere with a slightly gooey centre, Warm Bodies is currently my pick for feel-good film of the year - charming with solid performances and just a whole heck of fun.

Billed as a zo…

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MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Ten years after the release of Oryx and Crake, the final instalment of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian trilogy is here, a slow-burning and wholly immersive, chilling delight. Once again we’re thrown into…

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My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

I was recommended Elena Ferrante by a friend, along with cautionary advice that Ferrante was ‘close to the bone’, a phrase somewhat akin to James Wood’s description of her writing as ‘intensely, viol…

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My Beautiful Enemy by Cory Taylor

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Earlier this year I read Me and Mr Booker, regional winner of the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize, and immediately fell in love with Cory Taylor’s writing. Sixteen-year-old Martha’s voice is fresh, wry …

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All That Is by James Salter

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

On the page, James Salter is, quite simply, stunning. His crisp, exquisitely crafted sentences have a transient quality; his words seem to flood you with feeling and then melt away.

In All That Is, …

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High Sobriety by Jill Stark

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Some Melbournians might remember The Age article back in 2011 that sparked this book. Health reporter Jill Stark shared her experiences of giving up alcohol for three months as part of the Hello Sund…

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Voiceless edited by J.M. Coetzee et al

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Earlier this year, Voiceless announced a new project: a literary prize for Australian writing that explores the relationships between animals and humans. The shortlisted writing is gathered together …

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Train Dreams by Denis Johnson

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

The history of this book is just a little bit amazing.

Originally published in The Paris Review in 2002 and also included in the renowned O. Henry Prize Stories collection in 2003, it earned a small…

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Building Stories by Chris Ware

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Building Stories is the imaginative, inventive and kind-of-intimidating new release from Chris Ware, the author of the widely-acclaimed Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth.

I’m hesitant to cal…

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Let The Old Dreams Die by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist knows how to do creepy just right. His vampire tale Let the Right One In was a sensation as both a novel and a film, earning him a massive following.

Now his sho…

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Questions Of Travel by Michelle de Kretser

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Questions of Travel is a big, sweeping narrative for lovers of Literature with a capital L that follows the lives of two characters.

Laura is the daughter of a wealthy doctor. Described as unattract…

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This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Junot Díaz’s writing is arresting, his prose style deeply affecting and his characters are fallible and memorable – am I gushing too much already?

Díaz is a bit of a rock star for his fans (obviousl…

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Fishing for Tigers by Emily Maguire

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Mischa is a 35-year-old woman who left her abusive marriage six years ago to settle in Vietnam. When she meets Cal, a passionate and attractive 18-year-old, they begin an affair. Cue steamy sex scene…

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News

What books would Hermione Granger read as an adult?

by Bronte Coates

She’d indulge in literary snobbery.

For the most part, I see Hermione’s taste as being rather high-brow and - dare I say - she’d probably be a huge snob when it came to her bookshelves. She’d read all the big awards - which in recent times includes Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries (winner of the 2013 Man Booker) and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch (winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize) - as well as the …

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A beginner’s guide to reading graphic novels

by Bronte Coates

If you’re interested in reading a graphic novel but not sure where to start, here are some recommendations depending on what kind of books you usually gravitate towards.

If you like short-story collections:

Lisa Hanawalt’s comics in her debut collection My Dirty Dumb Eyes are bizarre and colourful, and most importantly – very, very funny.

In Heads Or Tails, Lilli Carre gives us a collectio…

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Attempting handmade loafs with Dan Lepard

by Bronte Coates

I first learnt how to make a very basic bread a few years ago while living in a rickety Queenslander where if you kneaded the dough with too much vigour the floorboards would shake. Since then, bread has become one my favourite things to make in a kitchen, though I can’t say I’ve ever progressed past novice stage. My ‘bread’ still frequently suffers from an alarming similarity to cakes, though I …

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On being a Lord of the Rings fangirl

by Bronte Coates

Inspired by her recent visit to the cinemas to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Bronte Coates reminisces about her youthful obsession with The Lord of the Rings.

I’d already read, and fallen in love with, the books so by the time I saw the first trailer for The Lord of the Rings in a dark cinema as a naive and impressionable youth – so I was pretty much primed for a life-altering cinem…

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How to have a vegetarian Christmas

by Bronte Coates

Bronte Coates shares some of her favourite recipes for non-meat eaters this Christmas.

Last week my housemates and I hosted a pre-Christmas dinner so we could celebrate together before we all disappeared into our own families and holidays. As we’re mostly vegetarians we decided to make the menu meat-free and, as I tend to get a little nostalgic this time of year, as traditional as we could get…

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Five books that unsettled me in 2013

by Bronte Coates

Elena Ferrante is my favourite literary discovery of 2013 and the first book of hers I read, The Days of Abandonment, has permanently lodged itself under my skin. Even though I also love Ferrante’s other books (you can read my review of My Brilliant Friend here), this title wins ‘most distressing book I read this year’ hands down.

Narrated by Olga, a woman whose husband unexpectedly leaves h…

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