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

The Pillars by Peter Polites

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

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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The Passengers by Eleanor Limprecht

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

The joy of reading The Passengers is that this novel represents the lives of women and also illustrates the vastness and separateness of Australia from the rest of the world. Eleanor Limprecht’s work…

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The Only Story by Julian Barnes

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Julian Barnes’ writing has always dealt with the complicated notions of history and truth. We saw this clearly in his Man Booker Prize-winning title, The Sense of an Ending, which prompts the reader …

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The Passage of Love by Alex Miller

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

I don’t suppose Alex Miller is religious – nor am I, for that matter – however, I did think of Corinthians 13:8 when reading Miller’s new book, The Passage of Love. It goes something like this, depen…

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Atlantic Black by A.S. Patrić

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

When I finished reading Alec Patrić’s latest book, I was surprised to find myself in the same room as I was when I started reading. Surely something must have changed. I had been swept away on a jour…

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The World of Tomorrow by Brendan Matthews

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Brendan Mathews chose 1939 as his setting because this year in history is echoed in the present. America was in an economic slump, there was a refugee crisis and fascism was a rising trend, worldwide…

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The Choke by Sofie Laguna

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Sofie Laguna’s third novel for adults gave me that sweet reading moment we all pine for – when you realise that your lived world is colliding with that of the page. Reading becomes the sole purpose o…

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A New England Affair by Steven Carroll

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Once upon a time T.S. Eliot (Tom), considered one of the most influential playwrights and poets of modern times, wrote: ‘I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope/ For hope would be hope for…

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Neon Pilgrim by Lisa Dempster

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Written long before she became director of the Melbourne Writers Festival, Neon Pilgrim is an often humorous, brutally honest record of a walking expedition taken when Dempster was 28 years old and n…

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Siracusa by Delia Ephron

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

What a treat it is to be in the hands of an accomplished storyteller; someone who has already provided me with hours of joy in her previous works. Ephron is, after all, the famous author of books, es…

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The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

‘I’m hoping that writing my way through this new suspicious country will help me figure it all out,’ says Nina Riggs, after she finds out that her breast cancer has spread throughout her body.

In th…

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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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News

Five must-attend events in September

by Chris Gordon

Events Manager Chris Gordon shares some highlights from our October program of events. Annabel Crabb in conversation with Virginia Trioli

We are thrilled to be hosting the celebration of the Quarterly Essay 75 at the Melbourne Athenaeum with Annabel Crabb. As the author of the QE 75, Crabb’s essay on politics, work and gender deploys political observation, workplace research and her character…

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At home with Chris Gordon

by Chris Gordon

Finally, spring is here! To celebrate, I thought we would rejoice in plant-based meals. I hope these wonderful new books, all by women, inspire you. East by Meera Sodha (Available 3 September)

Meera Sodha was born in England to Ugandan-Indian parents and was raised on a delicious assortment of family recipes that had been passed down through generations. Sodha has made a living from writing…

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At home with Chris Gordon

by Chris Gordon

Veg: Easy & Delicious Meals for Everyone by Jamie Oliver

Over thirty books, countless television series, numerous restaurants, a steady stream of public-health initiatives and a gaggle of kids since we all embraced the phenomenon of The Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver is back riding the zeitgeist with Veg: Easy & Delicious Meals for Everyone. With plenty of super-tasty, brilliantly simple yet inventi…

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Put your dancing shoes on with the Melbourne Ska Orchestra

by Chris Gordon

On Sunday 14 July, Readings is hosting the explosive, lively Melbourne Ska Orchestra for a live performance at Readings Carlton. I met with Nicky Bomba, the director of Melbourne Ska Orchestra, to talk about how his entire multi-piece orchestra was going to navigate the Readings Carlton bookshop.

‘We could have the brass section popping out of philosophy,’ he said, ‘And the drummer emerging fro…

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Four new home and cooking books to inspire you this July

by Chris Gordon

On Eating Meat by Matthew Evans

In On Eating Meat, food critic, chef, farmer, television presenter and restaurateur Matthew Evans grapples with the contentious topic of the means of producing and consuming animals. He examines feedlots and abattoirs, organic farms and his very own farming practices to appreciate what we are doing and why. This book could be placed in the same bucket as Jonatha…

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Four home and style books to inspire you in June

by Chris Gordon

Gloriously Gluten Free: Sweet Treats, Cakes, Tarts and Desserts by Frederique Jules

Before you turn up your nose at this title, consider this: the authors are French and all of the truly scrumptious recipes come from their incredible Paris-based bakery, Noglu. Consequently, here are 80 easy, delicious, gluten-free recipes for sweet treats and celebration cakes. Get this book because you want t…

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