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 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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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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News

The best food & gardening books of 2017

by Chris Gordon

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books, albums, films and TV shows of the past 12 months. Here are our top 10 food and gardening books of the year, voted for by Readings' staff, and displayed in no particular order. (You can find all our best picks for books, CDs & DVDs of 2017 here.) Ostro by Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Melbourne-based Italian food writer Julia Busuttil Nishimur…

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Eight inspiring new food & gardening books

by Chris Gordon

Cooking with Kindness by Edgar’s Mission

This wonderful cookbook gives and gives. The recipes are gathered from all over Australia, representing the very best from the kitchens of our most famed chefs. Each recipe is sourced from a restaurant that serves amazing meals, without an animal in sight. Included are recipes from such Fitzroy favourites as Smith & Daughters, Transformer and more. All …

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Seven delectable cookbooks to inspire you this month

by Chris Gordon

Our food and gardening columnist Chris Gordon shares seven delectable and inspiring cookbooks released this month Maggie’s Recipe for Life by Maggie Beer and Professor Ralph Martins

Maggie Beer says, ‘I have two great passions – sharing my love of cooking delicious simple food and improving the health and nutrition of older people.’ Her enthusiasm is very evident in this wonderful new cookb…

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The best new food and gardening books out this month

by Chris Gordon

Our food and gardening columnist Chris Gordon shares her favourite picks for cooking and gardening books released this month. Ostro by Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Julia Busuttil Nishimura is a Melbourne-based Italian food writer, and the creator of Ostro, an online space where she shares her recipes – and the most endearing home images ever! Her book includes interpretations of dishes from Ita…

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Make your own salami with these terrific cookbooks

by Chris Gordon

It’s salami time! Chris Gordon shares the three very best books to get you started making your very own preserved meat.

Let us start at the beginning…

The origin of meat processing likely began some thousands of years ago when humans learned that salt is an effective preservative. The procedure of stuffing meat into casings remains basically the same today, however, over time it has become hi…

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Three fabulous new cookbooks for entertaining

by Chris Gordon

Cooking with Craft Beer by Torsten Goffin and Stevan Paul

Goffin and Paul are from the home of the great home brew, and I don’t mean our own fine country, but Germany. These two beer loving blokes have scanned the entire world for beer inspired recipes. These are truly delicious and informal dishes that draw from the very best yeasty delights from all over the world including Italy, Australia,…

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