Bronte Coates

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Bronte Coates is is the digital content coordinator and the Readings Prizes manager. She is a co-founder of literary project, Stilts.

Reviews

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

At just 27, Sally Rooney is one of the most exciting new writers to emerge in recent years. Her debut novel, Conversations with Friends, about a complicated love affair in post-crash Dublin, caused a…

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Natural Born Loser by Oliver Phommavanh

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Grade Sixer Raymond is resigned to his fate as a natural born follower but when a new principal arrives at Barryjong Primary School determined to shake things up, he somehow finds himself cast in the…

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The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Raúf

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

The Boy at the Back of the Class is an engaging exploration of the refugee crisis through the eyes of a child. A group of students are determined to befriend the new boy in class, and when they learn…

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The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

The Art of Taxidermy is an evocative verse novel set in a small Australian town in the 1960s. Author Sharon Kernot explores themes of grief and identity in her story of Lottie, a girl fascinated by d…

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You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Miscommunications and misunderstandings abound in this debut collection of stories from Curtis Sittenfeld (Prep, American Wife). Characters are thrown into tailspins by the return of undesirables fro…

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Blue Planet II

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Seventeen years have passed since the BBC released the original Blue Planet nature documentary. Described as the first-ever comprehensive series on the natural history of the world’s oceans, it was b…

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White Night by Ellie Marney

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Award-winning author Ellie Marney delivers another cracking page-turner in White Night. Fans of her earlier books will find much to love here, as will anyone who enjoys a juicy mystery with a big bea…

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The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

If you’re on the hunt for a crime story that’s going to consume every other thought in your head, wring you out like a wet towel, and then deposit you back in the real world with your nerves fried to…

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Her Body & Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Her Body & Other Parties is an exhilarating fiction debut – a wild, sprawling collection of stories that explore the reality of being a woman. Carmen Maria Machado draws from fairy tales, science fic…

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The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Jaclyn Moriarty is one of the most inventive and refreshing voices in contemporary young adult literature, from the authentic teen voices in her Ashbury Brookfield novels to the incredible world of h…

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Tracker by Alexis Wright

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

A fiercely intelligent and provocative writer, Alexis Wright is one of the most important voices in our literary landscape. Her singular books – whether a richly surreal imagining of the future (The

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La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Cancel all your plans: Philip Pullman’s new fantasy novel has arrived and it’s darkly thrilling, deliciously tense and dangerously addictive.

The first in a brand-new trilogy, La Belle Sauvage is th…

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Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Sing, Unburied, Sing is an intensely lyrical, bruising novel. Jesmyn Ward writes the kind of sumptuous prose in which every line thrills you with its poetry – even the rippling effect of air on a car…

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Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow is the first book in a charmingly odd, breathtakingly adventurous and entirely magical new children’s series. Debut author Jessica Townsend created a major stir…

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Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell & Fiona Wood

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

This raw and funny novel is the much-anticipated collaboration between three beloved Australian YA authors: Cath Crowley, Fiona Wood and Simmone Howell. The story follows three girls as they struggle…

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Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Ashleigh Young is a voice to fall in love with. Her debut essay collection was recently named a winner of the prestigious Windham–Campbell Prize, and has just now become available in Australia thanks…

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Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Meet the Amazing Telemachus Family, famous for appearing across the land in the mid-seventies. Their live TV appearances featured charming, fast-talking conman Teddy and his wife Maureen, a genuine a…

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The Hot Guy by Mel Campbell and Anthony Morris

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Adam is a serious cinema nerd who once sat willingly through all nine hours of Turnips: A Season of Dirt. Cate is a sports publicist who hates sport as much as she loves puns. When these two lovebird…

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American War by Omar El Akkad

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Set in the near-distant future, a contentious fossil fuels bill ignites a second American civil war. What follows is brutal and bloody, and rings with the familiar. Unmanned drones patrol the skies, …

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Don’t Pat the Wombat by Elizabeth Honey

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

As a child, I read and reread Elizabeth Honey’s novels. I wanted to visit Bean’s hidden library in What Do You Think, Feezal?, and I wished Henni of the Stella Street stories was my sister. But my ab…

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They Cannot Take the Sky by Behind the Wire

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Australia’s immigration policy for asylum seekers is frequently debated in our media and homes, and yet, something crucial is too often passed over during these discussions. In his foreword to They C

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You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Alexandra Kleeman’s haunting debut novel is reminiscent of the works of authors such as Douglas Coupland, Don DeLillo and David Foster Wallace – though with a decidedly feminist viewpoint. A scathing…

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The Dragon Behind the Glass by Emily Voigt

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Journalist Emily Voigt’s first book is a thrilling deep dive into the strange and dangerous world of the Asian arowana or ‘dragon fish’. Inspired by a meeting with a pet detective tracking an illegal…

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Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

If you enjoy stories that explore the nuances of big, messy, irresistible families, then this new novel from Orange Prize-winning author Ann Patchett is for you. Commonwealth is an immersive read tha…

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Early reviews have compared this much-hyped debut from 26-year-old Yaa Gyasi to Toni Morrison’s Beloved, and it’s easy to see why. Like Morrison, Gyasi sets out to reveal the truth through fiction, i…

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Negroland by Margo Jefferson

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

In this crisp, elegant memoir, Margo Jefferson recounts her experiences growing up within Chicago’s black elite. The memoir takes its title from the name she uses to refer to herself and her peers, a…

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Wasted by Elspeth Muir

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

In 2009, Elspeth Muir’s youngest brother, Alexander, went out drinking with friends. That same night, he climbed over the railing of the Story Bridge and jumped 30 metres into the Brisbane River belo…

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Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Eligible is the fourth book to be released as part of the Jane Austen Project; a series that sees contemporary authors adapt Austen’s stories to modern-day settings. This time around, Curtis Sittenfe…

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When We Collided by Emery Lord

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Set in an idyllic beach town on the coast of California, this big-hearted romantic adventure sees two very different teenagers crashing haphazardly into one another, each facing some tough challenges…

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Our Man Elsewhere by Thornton McCamish

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

A famed war correspondent, a bestselling author of popular histories who inspired Clive James and Robert Hughes, an early conservationist who earned praise from David Attenborough – Alan Moorehead wa…

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News

A round-up of terrific picture books from April to June

by Bronte Coates

Earlier this year, I shared my favourite picture books from the first three months of the year. Here are 11 more picture books I’ve loved this year, all published from April through to June.

Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima

Jessie Sima’s debut picture book, Not Quite Narwhal, was a favourite at Readings last year, and her second offering is equally magical and heartfelt. When costum…

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Picture books that celebrate naughty behaviour

by Bronte Coates

Be warned! These fun, charming, hilarious picture books may inadvertently encourage naughty behaviour… Errol! by Zanni Louise & Philip Bunting

Meet Errol, a stubborn red-beanie-wearing penguin. When Errol’s mum calls for him to follow her, he doesn’t listen. Instead, he goes and gets himself covered in the falling snow. While his distraught mum is left behind with a lone red beanie to despa…

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A quarterly round-up of the best new picture books

by Bronte Coates

Picture book devotee Bronte Coates shares some of her favourite titles to be released in the first three months of 2018. Go Go and the Silver Shoes by Jane Godwin & Anna Walker

This tender story is sure to tug at your heartstrings. Go Go is used to wearing her brother’s hand-me-downs. Our ingenuous heroine has even developed little ways to put her unique touch on them. When she gets a brand…

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Romance novels to fall in love with

by Bronte Coates

My sister got me onto reading romance novels by virtue of our shared bookshelves. Thanks to her eclectic taste and talent for browsing second-hand bookstores, I read my way through a wide range of different kinds of novels within the genre – everything from paranormal to Georgette Heyer. My favourites were Julia Quinn’s fun, frothy stories of the Bridgerton families. I loved the big family dynami…

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Six crime novels I love

by Bronte Coates

Online bookseller Bronte Coates shares the six crime novels she finds herself recommending to other people the most. For a twisty psychological thriller… The Secret Place by Tana French

I adored this twisty mystery. One year after the murder of a teenage boy at a prestigious girl’s boarding school, a note is found pinned to a board that reads: ‘I know who killed him.’ Two detectives come i…

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24 more picture books I loved this year

by Bronte Coates

Earlier this year I shared 24 picture books that I was loving. Here are 24 more titles to add to your shelves… Petra by Marianna Coppo

Meet Petra. She’s a totally awesome rock – or is she? In this excellent picture book, Petra is subject to the whims of others and sent haphazardly around the world. But thanks to her enormous imagination and admirable self-confidence, she hardly lets this ru…

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