Chris Gordon

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Christine Gordon is the events manager for Readings. She also writes on the topics of gardening and cooking for Readings.

Reviews

Monogamy by Sue Miller

The devil is always in the detail. Graham and Annie have been married for nearly thirty years, seemingly with great devotion. Graham is a bookseller. (Do I know him? I thought several times throughou…

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State Highway One by Sam Coley

Sam Coley won the 2017 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers for his very deserving debut novel State Highway One. The story is centred on Alex, a young Aucklander who returns home from abroad after the…

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Into the Suburbs: A Migrant’s Story by Christopher Raja

Personal stories of migration to Australia always break my heart a little. It is within these affecting portraits of someone’s life that we see an Australia that is racist, classist and so arrogant. …

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The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey

What to do with a mother’s guilt? Where does a mother’s shame lead? What does love make us do? Amanda Lohrey asks these questions of her readers in her latest breathtaking novel.

Erica Marsden’s so…

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How to Talk About Climate Change in a Way That Makes a Difference by Rebecca Huntley

Rebecca Huntley is one of Australia’s most experienced and respected social researchers. As she quips, ‘I make a living out of understanding why people think the way they do.’ Here, in her sixth book…

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The Spill by Imbi Neeme

The late, great Inga Clendinnen had a theory that history based on personal recollections could be considered, essentially, ‘fake news’ because we all remember details differently; what seems true fo…

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Phosphorescence by Julia Baird

We already know and love Julia Baird. She has written many articles and (two) books addressing gender and politics. She is a journalist with something to say. She is the host of ABC TV’s The Drum and…

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All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg

Jami Attenberg can do bleak humour. She can skewer and summarise characters with one scathing sentence. She is the lord of mockery, the lady of irony, but, more than anything else, she is the queen w…

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She I Dare Not Name by Donna Ward

This is Donna Ward’s first book, but she has been writing for a long time. Her essays have appeared in all our major journals and she is known as a thoughtful and concise author. She I Dare Not Name

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A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende is an incredible, prolific and successful author. She has written twenty-three books that have been translated into forty-two languages with more than 74 million copies sold across the…

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Riptides by Kirsten Alexander

There are three immediate elements you can expect from local author Kirsten Alexander. You can expect the story to be multi-layered. You can expect there to be twists and turns in the plot. And you c…

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Your Own Kind of Girl by Clare Bowditch

Melbourne is a town of connections. I’m sure many of us have heard of Clare Bowditch, perhaps we have heard her on the radio, seen her on television, or follow her on Instagram. Perhaps you have sung…

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The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett is indisputably one of the greatest storytellers of our time and her eighth novel, The Dutch House, is an undeniable joy to read. I recommend settling into this novel. It starts slowly b…

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The Innocent Reader by Debra Adelaide

Debra Adelaide is not the first author to pen a memoir of sorts by taking us on a journey of personal reading. You may have read Jane Sullivan or Ramona Koval’s books of a similar nature. All of thes…

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The Pillars by Peter Polites

This is Peter Polites’ second novel; his first, Down the Hume, was shortlisted for a NSW Premier’s Literary Award in 2018. We know, therefore, that he is an author who can tell an Australian story. P…

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Jack Charles: Born-again Blakfella by Jack Charles with Namila Benson

Told with heart-wrenching honesty and humour, Jack Charles’s story is a history of necessary change. Charles is an actor, musician, potter and gifted performer, but in his seventy-three years he has …

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Mirka Mora: A Life Making Art by Sabine Cotte

I adore Mirka Mora’s virtuosity and this art book is devised for those that love her and her glorious art practice. Told with grace and obvious affection, Sabine Cotte’s book is a tribute to Mora’s c…

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City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

This generous novel is not for fans of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. Rather, it is for readers that want to be taken on a glorious, fictitious adventure through the 1940s and beyond. Set in Ne…

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Australia Day by Stan Grant

Stan Grant has an issue with how we are responding to Australia Day. In his new book Australia Day, he argues that not all Australians are racist. Grant believes that the present media coverage of th…

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Unconditional Love: A Memoir of Filmmaking and Motherhood by Jocelyn Moorhouse

You’ve seen her beautiful movies and you have rejoiced that an Australian female director has won so many awards and accolades for her work. You may have remarked that Jocelyn Moorhouse’s most recent…

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The Hollow Bones by Leah Kaminsky

Based on a true story, Leah Kaminsky’s The Hollow Bones describes one of the most inexplicable and intriguing occurrences of the Nazi regime. For me, this heartbreaking story was reminiscent of tales…

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The Year of the Beast by Steven Carroll

We have certain expectations of a novel, don’t we? We read to take a journey that we cannot influence. We want to be swept along and if, by the means of our reading, we learn more about our humanity …

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The Fragments by Toni Jordan

Toni Jordan’s latest novel, The Fragments, holds within its pages a fable-like fervour for the written word. Using parallel stories which both have the theme of loss at their core, Jordan has created…

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Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

Markus Zusak’s previous book, The Book Thief, first published in 2005, has spent more than a decade on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into over forty languages, has been made…

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The Biographer’s Lover by Ruby J. Murray

If you enjoyed the recent work of Gail Jones, this novel about the worth of art, set in Melbourne’s north and Geelong, will also delight you. I loved to read about the brick terrace in Carlton, the a…

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The Geography of Friendship by Sally Piper

Female friendships can be messy, can’t they? Especially when the friendship starts when we are young and moves through our maturing years regardless of any defining experience of relationships, wealt…

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Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

Boy Swallows Universe moved me deeply, in the same way Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief or Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time did. Perhaps it’s because the character observa…

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The Year Everything Changed: 2001 by Phillipa McGuinness

Phillipa McGuinness is no stranger to books; she is, after all, a publisher. This, however, is her debut as an author and hopefully it will not be her last. The Year Everything Changed: 2001 is a rec…

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The Motherhood edited by Jamila Rizvi

In The Motherhood, Jamila Rizvi has compiled a collection of letters all written by women to earlier versions of themselves in a bid to offer guidance and reassurance for those frightful, incredibly …

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The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman

There is a saying in Hungary: You know you’re a Hungarian when you can’t say anything positive about politics. I live with a Hungarian and this statement is totally accurate. However what it doesn’t …

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News

A message from our programming and events manager

by Chris Gordon

I’ve been considering the collective noun for Melburnians of late, and have come up with ‘despondency’ as a term that seems to capture how we are all feeling: a little lost, a little sad and a little worried. Some days this emotion weighs heavily on me; I rise and don my activewear, walk for my allotted hour, talk with my family, tidy a little and contemplate dinner. But there are moments in my d…

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Three new cookbooks for the home kitchen

by Chris Gordon

This month, our food and gardening columnist is recommending two delicious new cookbooks, and one impressive ‘beverage bible’. Ottolenghi FLAVOUR by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ixta Belfrage

Yotam Ottolenghi has become associated with certain flavours. We might say at a meal, ‘This is an Ottolenghi- inspired recipe.’ By that we might mean we are serving chickpeas with toasted sesame seeds, or a meal…

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Chris Gordon shares her top picks for MWF Digital: Week 2

by Chris Gordon

Our head of events and programming, Chris Gordon, shares her top picks for the second weekend of this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival. The 2020 festival runs from 7-16 August, and will be entirely online.

As we all settle into our ‘country retreats’ – albeit our homes – I have decided that the way forward through this global pandemic is to first, wrap myself in other people’s stories and, ne…

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Four delicious new cookbooks in August

by Chris Gordon

Our food and gardening columnist recommends four delicious new cookbooks to enjoy this month. 7 Ways by Jamie Oliver

I love Jamie Oliver. I reckon he has done more for the way we eat than any other cook in modern history. In his latest book, he considers the top ingredients we buy week in, week out. We’re talking about those meal staples we pick up without even thinking. He understands how…

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Chris Gordon shares her top picks for MWF Digital: Week 1

by Chris Gordon

Our head of events and programming, Chris Gordon, shares her top picks for the first weekend of this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival. The 2020 festival runs from 7-16 August, and will be entirely online.

Lockdown in Melbourne is tough the second time round. We are all starting to fray at the edges, watch television we wouldn’t have dreamed of months ago, and our gardens are all weed-free. Wh…

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A mid-year update from our programming & events manager

by Chris Gordon

It feels like it has been quite some time since I poured you a glass of wine, ducked behind a bookcase to talk shop, or checked that the shop’s microphone was working and that you could hear me loud and clear. Lately, my time has been spent looking at authors’ bookcases, or kitchens, or very tidy lounge rooms. We ‘pivoted’, my friends, and the outcome has been glorious. The Readings’ events progr…

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