Amanda Rayner

Amanda Rayner works as a bookseller at Readings Carlton.

Reviews

The Waiter by Matias Faldbakken

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

Reading The Waiter by Matias Faldbakken reminded me of one of my favourite short stories: ‘The Luncheon’ by W. Somerset Maugham. Set in the Paris restaurant Foyot’s (which sadly no longer exists), th…

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Foe by Iain Reid

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

Living in isolation amid farming land predominantly owned by big industry and the government, Hen and Junior receive a late-night visitor. Terrance is an employee of Outermore; an organisation origin…

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Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

Eleven Novak’s name is her brand; a teacher of enlightenment and spirituality with a powerful online presence. Eleven is beautiful, inspirational and successful and each year takes a group of followe…

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Under Your Wings by Tiffany Tsao

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

I am still reeling from this book at the time of reviewing it and I think it is also partly responsible for the strange dreams I have been having over the past few days. Tiffany Tsao’s novel of siste…

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Waiting for Elijah by Kate Wild

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

Just before 2pm on 2 June 2009, in the NSW country town of Armidale, Senior Constable Andrew Rich fatally shot 24-year-old Elijah Holcombe. Elijah had been experiencing increasing periods of paranoid…

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Book of Colours by Robyn Cadwallader

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

In fourteenth-century England, a book is a rare and treasured item, often a symbol of wealth and status. Book of Colours by The Anchoress author Robyn Cadwallader revolves around one such book: an il…

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The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

The challenge with reviewing The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland is to convey in only a few hundred words the stunning achievement of this debut author. Ringland has written a heartbreak…

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Kedi

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

‘Kedi’ is the Turkish word for cat and an ideal title for this documentary by director Ceyda Torun, which focuses on the cats of Istanbul. Thousands of cats roam the city streets; one of the strength…

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The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

A bestseller in Japan and now internationally, The Travelling Cat Chronicles (translated by Murakami translator Philip Gabriel) takes us on the road with Nana and his owner Satoru. Taken in by Satoru…

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The Growing Season by Helen Sedgwick

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

In The Growing Season, the world is much like it is now, with one major difference. For three generations the FullLife baby pouch has enabled anyone, regardless of age or gender, to affordably and sa…

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he by John Connolly

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

In his author’s note to he, a novel based on the life of Stan Laurel, John Connolly explains his desire to contemplate the underlying emotions behind this half of one of the greatest comedy duos of a…

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The Way Back by Kylie Ladd

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

When 13-year-old Charlie doesn’t return from a late-afternoon horse ride in a Victorian national park, her parents Rachael and Matt are naturally concerned. The local police try to reassure them that…

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

Eleanor Oliphant lives in Glasgow, is about to turn 30 and has worked in the same office for nine years. Everything about her life is structured: from the clothes she wears to the food she eats and t…

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Beyond The Rock by Janelle Mcculloch

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

Just like Janelle McCulloch, the author of Beyond the Rock (about Lady Joan Lindsay and her masterpiece Picnic at Hanging Rock), I too have been captivated by the story of that fateful Valentine’s Da…

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Came Back to Show You I Could Fly by Robin Klein

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

Winner of the CBCA Children’s Book of the Year (older readers) in 1990 and the Human Rights Award for a children’s book in 1989, Came Back to Show You I Could Fly has deservedly been reissued as a Te…

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The Antiques by Kris D'Agostino

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

Antiques store owner George Westfall is dying. He knows it, his wife Ana knows it and so do his three children: Charlie in LA, Josef in New York City and Armie in his parents’ basement. As George pas…

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The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

I pounced on The Museum of Modern Love as soon as I heard about its subject matter: the performance artist Marina Abramovic. Written by Australian author Heather Rose, this blend of fact and fiction …

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Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

Australian writer Liane Moriarty’s success is phenomenal, with six international best-selling novels, translation into 39 languages and an HBO series starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon curr…

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Out of the Ice by Ann Turner

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

Prior to reading Ann Turner’s novel Out of the Ice, I read Helen Garner’s article ‘Regions of Thick-Ribbed Ice’, which gave me a vivid impression of the sense of disorientation (especially in relatio…

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Tom Houghton by Todd Alexander

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

If you’re not familiar with the tragic death of actress Katharine Hepburn’s brother Tom Houghton Hepburn, or can’t visualise her in that amazing Walter Plunkett moth costume from the film Christopher

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The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

I knew The Lost Swimmer had won me over when I was standing in line at the supermarket and all I could think about was what was going to happen next in Ann Turner’s impressive debut novel. This suspe…

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A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

Sisters Vee, Lady and Delph Alter believe their family are as cursed as the Kennedys. They have decided to end it all on 31 December 1999. In order to explain their actions they are writing a lengthy…

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Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

Not My Father’s Son is really a tale of two fathers: Alan Cumming’s own (forester Alex Cumming) and his maternal grandfather (WWII veteran Tommy Darling). In 2010, Alan is given an opportunity – thro…

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