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 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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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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News

The best new cookbooks in August

by Chris Gordon

Family by Hetty McKinnon

Drum roll please: wonderful Hetty McKinnon is back with another soon-to-be-used-every-single-week cookbook that rejoices in gatherings and innovative, simple recipes. There are pastas to make, soups to comfort, salads that scream for crowds to enjoy and all with that familiar sense of warmth, colour and delicious tastes. There is something very liberating about McKinno…

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Five tempting new cookbooks in July

by Chris Gordon

This month, our food and gardening columnist Chris Gordon recommends two cookbooks that celebrate the versatility of cauliflower and nachos, as well as a gorgeous new edition of a classic. The Margaret Fulton Cookbook: 50th Anniversary Edition by Margaret Fulton

Our Margaret once said that she thought her recipes were so popular because ‘part of the thing that women liked about my recipes w…

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Q&A with chef and author Nancy Singleton Hachisu

by Chris Gordon

Our food and gardening columnist Chris Gordon chats with acclaimed chef and author Nancy Singleton Hachisu about her stunning new cookbook, Japan: The Cookbook, co-written with Jenni Ferrari-Adler. First, congratulations on the success of your beautiful new cookbook. What a treat it is. Did it really take you three years to write and research? Was that because you wanted to include every possi…

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Five cookbooks to inspire you in winter

by Chris Gordon

Our food and gardening columnist Chris Gordon recommends five new cookbooks for battling seasonal blues. Three Decades On: Lake House and Daylesford by Alla Wolf-Tasker

If you are reading this column, then you already know about the great Alla Wolf-Tasker, the award-winning creator of the Lake House dining experience and champion of local produce and Australian cuisine. Do not be daunted by…

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Four new cookbooks for the home cook

by Chris Gordon

Our food and gardening columnist Chris Gordon recommends four new cookbooks this month that will transport you from India to Tokyo. The Indian Vegetarian Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant

Professor Pushpesh Pant’s first book, India: The Cookbook was a comprehensive guide to Indian cooking, with over 1,000 recipes covering every aspect of India’s rich and colourful culinary heritage. In this gorgeou…

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Five new cookbooks to whet your appetite

by Chris Gordon

Our food and gardening columnist Chris Gordon recommends five new cookbooks this month. One Knife, One Pot, One Dish by Stéphane Reynaud

Much-loved French chef Stéphane Reynaud is well-known for making French fare convivial for all (except vegans). This book shows us the tricks of the trade and celebrates Reynaud’s considered approach to family cooking. This is a perfect book for cooks at a…

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