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

The Other Mother by Kelly Chandler

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Immediately I was struck by what an absolute pleasure it is to read a book set in my local neighbourhood. Of course, not everyone will understand the Ruckers Hill references – however, rest assured, …

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Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: One More Time With Feeling

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

I have a 15-year-old son. He is one of the lights of my life. This riveting documentary, One More Time with Feeling, has given me an insight into my worst fear, realised. Halfway through the recordin…

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Still Lucky by Rebecca Huntley

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Lately, the main conversation that I’ve been having at social gatherings is about how we are all living in a left-leaning ‘bubble’ that is not reflected in politics in Australia or elsewhere in the w…

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4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Firstly, do not let the size of Auster’s new novel stop you from choosing to read 4 3 2 1. There is a rhythm, as in all of Auster’s work that allows the size to become immaterial. Once you are in, th…

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Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Within the first few pages of Swing Time I was affected, again, by Zadie Smith’s ability to make universal truths personal. The story is a complete portrait of our time – our complex relationships wi…

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The Easy Way Out by Steven Amsterdam

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

This is what we already know about Amsterdam’s writing: he spins recognised worlds upside down. He has the ability to see into the future and then to discuss, reasonably, what would happen if this wa…

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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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News

Q&A with Annie Smithers

by Chris Gordon

Chef, gardener and restaurateur Annie Smithers chats with our events manager Chris Gordon about her new cookbook, Annie’s Farmhouse Kitchen. Your new cookbook is a collection of the menus you’ve cooked for your wonderful restaurant (du Fermier). I love this. How do you collect your ideas to pull such an such an impressive array of recipes together? Are you a note taker?

When I first thought …

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Four delicious new cookbooks

by Chris Gordon

Our events manager Chris Gordon shares four cookbooks to love in April. Also for foodies this month… Chris interviewed chef, gardener and restaurateur Annie Smithers, our staff tested out recipes from one of our favourite new cookbooks, and we’re offering 25% off a select range of our most popular cookbooks. It’s Always About the Food by the Monday Morning Cooking Club

This group of deligh…

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Feminist texts, old and new

by Chris Gordon

Our events manager Chris Gordon reflects on the echoes that linger between the feminist texts she read growing up, and the feminists texts being released today.

It feels important I state that I’m a white, educated, middle-aged, middle class woman living in inner-North Melbourne together with two healthy and wonderful children, and a bloke that loves and supports me. I’m aware that I’m privile…

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Best new food and gardening books this month

by Chris Gordon

French Country Cooking by Mimi Thorisson

Just stop it. This book is too much: there are images of the French countryside, tales of successful parenting from a woman with 6 children and 14 dogs (!) who also has an ability to create feasts out of garden scraps and a little cheese. This book makes you realise that there are people out there living each day as if they were playing a part in the Fr…

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New food and gardening books for healthy habits

by Chris Gordon

Our food and gardening expert shares four new food and gardening books to help you kick off the year with some healthy habits. Challenge: Eat breakfast every day. Breakfast Bowls by Caroline Griffiths

The good news is that this is not a book filled with 52 different varieties of muesli, but rather it’s a shake-it-all-up type of cookbook. It allows you to dream big in the wee hours of the m…

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Books I was inspired to read by attending Readings events

by Chris Gordon

Being the events manager of Readings is one of the most fortunate of roles in our little old Melbourne town. One of the greatest treats of my role – apart from meeting all the wonderful authors and readers – is reading books that I might not normally pick up. This activity can lead to surprising delights.

Here is a sample of my surprise reads that turned into treats this year, thanks to our even…

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