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

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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The Passengers by Eleanor Limprecht

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

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

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

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

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

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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News

Chris Gordon’s self-isolation cooking diary: Week 2

by Chris Gordon

Chris Gordon is our events and programming manager extraordinaire, as well as our monthly food and gardening columnist. We’re pleased that she’ll be sending us regular updates of her cooking adventures during self-isolation.

One bright sunny afternoon with a little time on my hands I emptied the pantry, wiped those shelves down with pure disgust at my family’s filth, and popped everything back…

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A message from our programming & events manager

by Chris Gordon

Winter is coming, but it’s still sunny here. This is what I do know about the literary community. It is a generous and resilient being, even when faced with a complete reckoning of sorts. Authors, publicists, publishers, book sellers and readers all fall into this extraordinary cohort of people that will not be stopped.

Although opportunities to celebrate and discuss new works and ideas have cha…

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Five cookbooks to inspire you in the kitchen in March

by Chris Gordon

Our monthly food and gardening columnist selects five new cookbooks to inspire you at home this month. Beatrix Bakes by Natalie Paull

Yes, yes, I know how much you love a light, fluffy sponge and marshmallows dipped in pure chocolate. The importance of sweet food in our daily grind should never, ever be underestimated. Beatrix Bakes is a beautifully presented guide, not for the faint-hearted,…

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At Home with Chris Gordon, February 2020

by Chris Gordon

Our monthly food and gardening columnist looks to the year of cookbooks ahead and makes some predictions for what foods will be trending in 2020…

Guess what the vegetable for 2020 is? Be still my heart, it’s brussels sprout! And the drink for the year is oat milk, which I believe is basically porridge.

A new decade brings so many promises for a better and kinder life, with or without sprouts.…

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The best food & gardening books of 2019

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, music & DVDs of 2019 here.) Jackfruit and Blue Ginger by Sasha Gill

When Sasha Gill turned vegan, she didn’t want to mi…

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The best new cookbooks in November

by Chris Gordon

Chris Gordon, our monthly food and gardening columnist, shares four of her favourite cookbooks out in November. Just Desserts by Charlotte Ree

These are all the things I love about Charlotte Ree’s debut book: the way it looks, the way it feels, and the possibility it offers that all these cakes and slices could be mine. Instagram sensation Charlotte Ree is famous for her delicious cooking a…

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