Chris Gordon

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

Reviews

Soil: The Incredible Story of What Keeps the Earth, and Us, Healthy by Matthew Evans

Read a book on soil, they said. You like gardening, eating, breathing – read a book on soil. Until now, I can honestly say that soil has not been a passion of mine, but now I am all about considering…

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In My Defence, I Have No Defence by Sinead Stubbins

Author and comedian Sinéad Stubbins has created a warm collection of stories to illustrate, very finely, that we all feel unconvinced and insecure at times. As a writer, her particular superpower is …

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The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen by Krissy Kneen

Much loved and admired author Krissy Kneen is back with another heartfelt exploration of her personal history, but because this is a Krissy Kneen book, we are taken on a greater journey than just her…

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Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss

We need more of these stories; more novels that reflect Australia’s colonial past through the eyes of First Nations women. Anita Heiss, award-winning author and proud member of the Wiradjuri Nation o…

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With the Falling of the Dusk by Stan Grant

Stan Grant’s new book is not a long book. It will only take you an evening to read, but my advice is to take your time with it. In With the Falling of the Dusk, Grant has created his snapshot of the …

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Lapsed by Monica Dux

Monica Dux is a funny woman. Thank God, because in Lapsed she is taking on the world by examining the Catholic way of life from all angles. Dux does what so many good feminist writers do: she makes t…

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My Year of Living Vulnerably by Rick Morton

One of the reasons I love Rick Morton’s writing is because he is not afraid; he will tell you how it was, how it is and why. It’s the reason he’s such a terrific reporter for The Saturday Paper, and …

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Eating With My Mouth Open by Sam van Zweden

Sam van Zweden’s debut book, Eating with My Mouth Open, is a collection of essays that dismantle the ideas and expectations around weight and well-being through the lens of food writing. Her story wi…

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Life After Truth by Ceridwen Dovey

If you need a novel to read that feels familiar but will also give you a break from dealing with your own insecurities, here it is. This novel is the perfect read to take to the couch and completely …

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Infinite Splendours by Sofie Laguna

Infinite Splendours is filled with vivid descriptions of colour, movement, and grace. It also brims with unfathomable grief. I guarantee that award-winning author Sofie Laguna’s latest novel will for…

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Honeybee by Craig Silvey

Originally, Craig Silvey wanted to be a palaeontologist, but by the time he was nineteen years old he had published his first novel, Rhubarb, to great acclaim. Then, of course, he wrote Jasper Jones …

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All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton

It seems to me that some authors work desperately hard to ensure that their readers deliberate on who they are in relation to a particular character. Other authors want their readers to consider hist…

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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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News

On Events, with Chris Gordon

by Chris Gordon

One of my favourite words in the entire English language is flurry. I enjoy saying there was a flurry of activity, of excitement, or indeed of change. During the month of June, one could say, I was in a flurry. The dreaded virus meant that our planned events were disrupted, postponed and reconsidered. I know everyone in Melbourne also felt flurries of activity following each daily announcement; I…

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On Events, with Chris Gordon

by Chris Gordon

The other day I had my first COVID-19 immunisation jab. It was such a joy to be part of a collective initiative that contributes to everyone’s health. I interviewed an author online 12 hours later, despite feeling like I had been run over by a giant truck. ‘I am so sorry’, I said to the wonderful Jon Klassen, ‘I’m a little under the weather.’ ‘Oh’, he said from his Los Angeles studio, ‘me too. I …

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The best food & gardening books of the month

by Chris Gordon

We are so fortunate that we are not in another country battling a pandemic, but rather here in Australia living in relative peace. There are some things we can do to acknowledge that privilege and it can start at our kitchen table. It does not seem much but honouring our produce and our creators does add to our well-being and culture, and the cookbooks below pay respect to the culinary cultures t…

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On events, with Chris Gordon

by Chris Gordon

Goodness I have felt worn out these last few weeks by the behaviour of so many of our leaders. I find listening or reading other people’s stories the easiest way to sidestep the blues. I know I always feel better when I get to share, laugh or learn from my community.

We are completely spoilt for choice this month, but I admit to being very excited to be spending some time with Judith Lucy. She i…

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The best food & gardening books of the month

by Chris Gordon

Australia: The Cookbook by Ross Dobson & Alan Benson

You may already have a Ross Dobson book on your shelves. He is after all a highly acclaimed chef who has written many cookbooks before. But this one, well, this is his masterpiece. With over 350 recipes from all over the world, this enormous tome recognises all our foodie influences. And because it’s Dobson writing, there are also special tr…

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On Events in April, with Chris Gordon

by Chris Gordon

We are keeping our events program out of our shops for the time being. This is good news for those of you who want a guaranteed a seat at our discussions and book launches or indeed, for those of you who would prefer to stay at home. Our events will be staged at external venues near our shops, as well as continuing online via Zoom. My hope is that by offering this hybrid style of programming, the…

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