Chris Gordon

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Christine Gordon is the Events Manager for Readings. She writes on the topics of gardening and cooking for Readings and has a weekly blog where she discusses living and gardening in small urban spaces. Find out more at Open Source Outside.

Reviews

Music and Freedom by Zoë Morrison

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

‘Perhaps’, says Alice as the narrator in the opening pages, ‘I could blame Romantic music for what happened. It is, she says, the triumph of fantasy over reality.’ Music and Freedom, however, is not …

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Error Australis by Ben Pobjie

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Ben Pobjie told me recently that he wrote Error Australis simply to make people laugh. However, don’t mistake this very funny book about our quite dismal, ludicrous history for a simple collection of…

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Our Tiny, Useless Hearts by Toni Jordan

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Toni Jordan’s latest novel, Our Tiny, Useless Hearts, is a romp through the contemporary complexities of living well. Very quickly, Jordan introduces us to a cast of wonderfully flawed characters all…

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Georgiana Molloy by Bernice Barry

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Can you imagine arriving in the early 1800s to the remote Western Australian coast, leaving friends and family behind and starting a new life in a foreign landscape with only your husband for company…

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The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

It’s been said before that the three most written about subjects in the English language are God, war and the Titanic. When I met the author of The Midnight Watch, David Dyer, I asked him why we cont…

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My Life On The Road by Gloria Steinem

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

We know about Gloria, we women. We know that she has been supporting us, urging us and demanding us to speak up for decades now. She has travelled the world to bring our stories to a global platform.…

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Mietta’s Italian Family Recipes by Mietta O’Donnell

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Welcome to Melbourne, where we pride ourselves on having the very best café and food landscape in Australia. We have this landscape because there are certain families and undeniable creative identiti…

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Six Square Metres by Margaret Simons

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Margaret Simons is an award-winning freelance journalist and author. She is also the director of the Centre for Advancing Journalism and coordinator of the Masters in Journalism at the University of …

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Wendy Whiteley and the Secret Garden by Janet Hawley

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

I met Wendy Whiteley once at a book launch. We sat on the steps of an art gallery and talked about the weird root systems of Morton Bay fig trees. When I next visited Sydney, I dragged myself up high…

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The Landing by Susan Johnson

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Susan Johnson is a funny woman. Anyone who has read her previous work will already value her ability to see the absurdity of everyday monotonous routines. The Landing is full of such observations, al…

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Prick with a Fork by Larissa Dubecki

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

I’ve been a fan of Larissa Dubecki’s writing for a long time. I really like that she is not a poser. I enjoy her restaurant reviews; she is astute and droll. Prick with a Fork is a lot like her resta…

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Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

If you reckon all of us, here in the Great Indulgent Western World, are turning into complete tossers about food then this debut novel is for you. Already receiving huge enthusiasm in the United Stat…

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A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Life After Life is one of my favourite books of all time, so it was with some trepidation that I approached A God in Ruins. I was rewarded with feelings of foolishness: after all, with Atkinson you a…

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Goodbye Sweetheart by Marion Halligan

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

This melancholic tale questions notions of security and knowledge in relationships. The protagonist, a successful lawyer, dies suddenly leaving behind his wife, his past wives, his lover, his kids an…

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One Life: My Mother’s Story by Kate Grenville

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

We already know that Grenville is one of Australia’s most-loved story tellers. We already know that each of her stories reflects upon Australia’s history and consciousness. One Life is no exception. …

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Epilogue by Will Boast

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

This  autobiography could have easily, and forgivably, been filled with indulgent analyses of grief, loss and growing up. It opens with Boast’s father dying, quietly and in isolation. Having already …

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The American Lover by Rose Tremain

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Tremain has won many prestigious writing awards over the years, including the Orange Prize for her novel The Road Home, so we already know we are in the hands of an artist. This wonderful collection …

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Lost & Found by Brooke Davis

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Expressions like ‘heartwarming’ or ‘finding meaning’ are thrown around fairly liberally in book reviews or publisher blurbs. But what to do when the story really is as heartwarming as this one? If y…

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The Claimant by Janette Turner Hospital

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

In her terrific new novel, with what feels to be great delight, Janet Turner Hospital plays with personal histories and notions of identity to create a work based around the trial of the Vanderbilt f…

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Difficult Pleasures by Anjum Hasan

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Anjum Hasan’s Difficult Pleasures has been picked up by the excellent Brass Monkeys Books, an Australian-owned publishing house that has built a terrific reputation for bringing Indian-focused titles…

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Kat Jumps the Shark by Melinda Houston

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

I suspect if you lived in Melbourne’s inner-north, one of the chief delights of Melinda Houston’s wry novel would be recognising each place she is writing about. There is a particular joy in having y…

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Tim Winton’s The Turning

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Settle in ladies and gentlemen, settle in; this could take some time. So much time, in fact, that when this film was screened in local cinemas, an interval was programmed. There is certainly a lot of…

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I’d Eat That!: Simple Ways to be a Better Cook by Callum Hann

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Callum Hann is that 20-year old sweetheart who came second in the second series of Masterchef and I’d Eat That! is his second cookbook, which he was motivated to write after watching his friends' ap…

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Eating Heaven: Spirituality at the Table by Simon Carey Holt

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

As we move towards our Christmas Day preparations for the ‘Meal to End All Meals’, with expectations heightened by all around you, let’s remember why we do this every single year, even if we are not …

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The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

A confession first: shamefully I’ve not read any of Jhumpa Lahiri’s work before, but after reading The Lowland, I’ll be seeking out her Pulitzer Prize winning short-story collection, Interpreter of M

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Letter to George Clooney by Debra Adelaide

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Debra Adelaide’s new collection of short stories, Letter to George Clooney, is wonderfully dark and humorous, making wicked fun at the familiar typecasts of poets, internet dating, government warning…

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The List of My Desires by Gregoire Delacourt

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

This sweet and sad novel has been one of the top ten bestselling books in France since its publication in February 2012, and really, this makes perfect sense, for here is a confidently told story abo…

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Wildlife by Zucchini-Clan

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

What happens if you put three like-minded musicians with a zany knack of dressing together?

Why, you get the Zucchini-Clan - a wonderful musical troupe with a message to share with both young and ol…

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Women & Power edited by Julianne Schultz

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Silencing and a disregard for the work women do is hardly a new topic. Women, after all, have been writing about this discrimination seemingly for decades. However, the importance of doing so cannot …

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Toscano’s Family Table by Jo Toscano

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

I would like to let you know that my garden provides enough fruit and vegetables for my family all year round, but sadly that would be a huge lie. I would also like to tell you that I never shop at s…

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News

Q&A with Ben Pobjie

by Chris Gordon

When I read Error Australis I thought… This is a history book but not as we know it. This is a book that could be used in schools, but it’s not like the textbooks we had in the 1980s. This is a book that shows irony is not lost on us as Australians. And I wondered, what was your intention in writing the book? Was it to help readers learn more about history, or was it to make people laugh at how l…

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Delicious new cookbooks in May

by Chris Gordon

Seasons to Share by Jacqueline Alwill

Not everyone is embracing the term ‘wholefood’. If you fall into that category and are tired of having quinoa and kale pushed onto you then step away now, my friends, step away. But do so and risk missing out on some pretty tasty treats that could actually become staples in your family. Nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill has a talent for creating food that bri…

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Delicious new cookbooks out this month

by Chris Gordon

Real Food Projects by Kate Walsh

I am not overwhelmed by this delightful book, rather, I am encouraged. I am not filled with guilt as I turn the pages, but rather inspiration. Yes, I say to myself, I could make that. I will make sauerkraut, or preserved garlic (so stupidly easy) and a quick cucumber pickle. I will be the talk of my friends with gorgeous gifts, the school fete committee will be…

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Highlights from our April event program

by Chris Gordon

Events Manager Chris Gordon shares some of her top six picks from our April event calendar. Inga Simpson in conversation with Favel Parrett

Join us for an intimate evening with two award-winning authors: Inga Simpson and Favel Parrett. The two will talk about Simpson’s new novel, Where the Trees Were, a story about the innocence of childhood and the scars that stay with you for life.

When? 6…

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On food and fiction

by Chris Gordon

From an early age, books would whet my appetite. I would read glorious descriptions of food and immediately start dreaming of it.

I imagined myself high on a cliff above the seas with the sky a glorious blue and a Famous Five-inspired feast before me: hard boiled eggs, pickled ham sandwiches, slabs of cake, and lashings of ginger beer. I also thought frequently of the food in Enid Blyton’s The M

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The books that I keep bringing up at dinner parties

by Chris Gordon

Here are my top five books of this year. They are the ones I come back to, the ones I bring up at dinner parties, the ones I give as presents, and, the ones I keep talking about with my partner, my mum, my kids… Mietta’s Italian Family Recipes by Mietta O'Donnell

This divine book not only supplies the story of Mietta’s own family and friends, but also wonderful recipes for practical Italian…

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