Amanda Rayner

Amanda Rayner works as a bookseller at Readings Carlton.

Reviews

The Winter Road: A Story of Legacy, Land and a Killing at Croppa Creek by Kate Holden

There is a type of true crime book that surpasses others in the genre due to its literary merit and unique approach to the subject. Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garde

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Emotional Female by Yumiko Kadota

You may recall an article in the Sydney Morning Herald in 2018 about a junior doctor resigning from the Australian public health system due to burnout. Rostered up to 20 consecutive days in a row, cl…

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The Performance by Claire Thomas

In The Performance, three woman are waiting in a Melbourne theatre for a production of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days to begin. It has been a day of extreme heat, and bushfires around the state continue…

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The Price of Two Sparrows by Christy Collins

In a Sydney beachside suburb in early 2004, a block of land next to a bird sanctuary has been purchased by members of the Muslim community to build a mosque. The mosque has been designed by talented …

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Mantel Pieces by Hilary Mantel

On the 4th February 2013, two-time Booker Prize–winner Hilary Mantel gave a speech at the British Museum for a London Review of Books event. The speech was entitled ‘Royal Bodies: From Anne Boleyn to…

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The Doctor Who Fooled the World by Brian Deer

On day one of Dr Andrew Wakefield’s hearing for serious professional misconduct, the staff of the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC) took turns to read out ninety-three pages of charges against Wakef…

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Broken Rules and Other Stories by Barry Lee Thompson

The short-story collection from a single author is something I have grown to appreciate, especially in the last ten years or so. Australian writers have definitely made their mark in this area, rangi…

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The Fogging by Luke Horton

On a plane to Indonesia for a holiday that struggling academics Tom and Clara really can’t afford, Tom experiences a sudden and intense panic attack (not his first) while his on-and-off partner of fo…

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The Loudness of Unsaid Things by Hilde Hinton

Reading The Loudness of Unsaid Things, I was reminded of two other debut novels that I have also reviewed: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart. With both those book…

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The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

After fourteen attempts at starting this review for The Mirror & the Light, I had to stop and ask myself, ‘Why is this so difficult?’. I think the answer is that, for many, this final book in the Wol…

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Body Tourists by Jane Rogers

Mortality, fear of aging and the desire to be young again have always been popular topics for fiction (just think The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde). In Body Tourists by Jane Rogers, which is…

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The Bee and the Orange Tree by Melissa Ashley

I have been having a good run of ‘books with strong endings’ lately. Alice Robinson’s The Glad Shout’s nailbiting conclusion; the protagonist’s Shakespearean revelation in Fernanda Torres’s Glory and

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Bruny by Heather Rose

In 2017, Heather Rose won the Stella Prize for The Museum of Modern Love; a meditation on art and life in New York City. Her new book Bruny, set in Rose’s home state of Tasmania, couldn’t be more dif…

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The Girls by Chloe Higgins

I originally questioned the choice of title for this book as the words ‘girl/s’ are so commonly used in this context. I wondered if a different title could have been chosen. Now that I have read The

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The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

Reading The Dreamers leading up to Christmas, I’ll admit that a book about people drifting into a seemingly peaceful and prolonged sleep had its appeal. This is, however, no fairytale but a contempor…

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The Waiter by Matias Faldbakken

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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News

A beginner’s guide to Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy

by Amanda Rayner

With the imminent release of The Mirror and the Light, Hilary Mantel’s long-awaited sequel to Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, our resident Tudor nut and Returns Officer Amanda Rayner has compiled a brief Q&A for newcomers to the series. What is the Wolf Hall trilogy?

The Wolf Hall trilogy is comprised of three books: Wolf Hall (2009), Bring up the Bodies (2012) and The Mirror and the Light

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Five reasons to reread Wolf Hall & Bring Up The Bodies

by Amanda Rayner

The Mirror and the Light, the long-awaited final novel of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy, will be released on 3 March, 2020.

If you are new to the series you can find a beginner’s guide here.

If you have already read the first two novels of the series, you may be thinking about jumping into the third one straight away. However unless you are one of those people who have read each novel three…

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