Gabrielle Williams

Gabrielle Williams works as a bookseller at Readings Malvern and is the Grants Officer for the Readings Foundation. She is also the author of books for young adults, including My Life as a Hashtag.

Reviews

Other Houses by Paddy O’Reilly

Other Houses is a beautifully nuanced book about hardship, family and the impossible decisions some people are faced with, especially when they’re living from one pay cheque to the next.

Lily works …

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Booth by Karen Joy Fowler

Karen Joy Fowler has ruined the next few books for me – whatever I pick up next, it can’t possibly measure up to the sprawling, ambitious, captivating saga of her latest novel, Booth. Fowler is the b…

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The Competition by Katherine Collette

Following up her popular debut, The Helpline, Katherine Collette is back in fine form with The Competition, proving (in case anyone was in any doubt) that she is a skilled master of the light-hearted…

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Fox and I by Catherine Raven

Catherine Raven lives on her own in a tiny hand-built house, on acres of land off a dirt track that has never been named, far from towns and civilisation. She likes it that way – the remoteness of he…

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The Rabbits by Sophie Overett

Right from page one of this distinctive new novel by debut author Sophie Overett, I had the strangest feeling that I was in an Alice in Wonderland-type story. There’s a sense of oppression, the feeli…

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Stranger Care: A Memoir of Loving What Isn’t Ours by Sarah Sentilles

If you don’t know Sarah Sentilles, you should seek her out. Go read her earlier books. She’s a writer of uncommonly beautiful creative nonfiction, her pages filled with grace and honesty.

In her awa…

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The Believer by Sarah Krasnostein

How do you get up each morning and face the day when you’re serving a 35-year life sentence for murder? How does your belief system stand up to this kind of scrutiny? Sarah Krasnostein asks this ques…

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You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy

The irony about writing this review is that a review is all about opinion. It’s me talking at you, telling you what I think. But this brilliant and insightful book is all about saying less, listening…

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From Here On, Monsters by Elizabeth Bryer

The craft of accurately translating another’s work, of getting inside the head of the creator and being as faithful to the original piece as possible, is where this book by debut author Elizabeth Bry…

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Fake by Stephanie Wood

Boy meets girl. Boy kisses girl. Boy lies to girl, manipulates her emotionally, and comes up with countless outlandish excuses for cancelled dates (all while having at least one other woman on the si…

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This Brutal House by Niven Govinden

This Brutal House felt slightly dystopian before I realised I was immersed in the language of drag queens, vogue balls, runaways, and sex workers in New York City. It’s a novel peopled by characters …

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Loyalties by Delphine de Vigan

Delphine de Vigan has been flavour of the month in Paris these past couple of years, especially after her book Based on a True Story topped the bestseller lists. And with the release of her new book …

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My Two Blankets (bilingual editions) by Irena Kobald & Freya Blackwood

My Two Blankets is a beautiful book that tells the story of the strangeness of a new world for a little girl who has moved to Australia with her auntie. The words people are speaking sound strange an…

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Shell by Kristina Olsson

When most people see the Sydney Opera House, they think of sails on the harbour. But Kristina Olsson (and her character Axel Lindquist) is reminded of shells you might find on the beaches of Sweden. …

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The Honey Factory by Jürgen Tautz & Diedrich Steen

If there was such a thing as Bee School or, more accurately, Beekeepers’ School, The Honey Factory by Jürgen Tautz & Diedrich Steen would surely be the definitive text. It’s a comprehensive look into…

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The Mercy Seat by Elizabeth H. Winthrop

This is writing from an author at the very top of her game, an astonishing book, with echoes of To Kill A Mockingbird (a comparison I don’t use lightly). Beautifully written, it is heartache-making i…

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The Melody by Jim Crace

It was always going to be a tough act for Jim Crace to follow. I’d only just finished reading the astonishing Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, when I picked up The Melody to review. But of co…

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The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

This review is going to be difficult to write, because The Ninth Hour is so masterful, so charming, so delightful, it’s going to be hard to do it justice. I want to gush, but gushing is clumsy and kn…

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The Red-Haired Woman by Orhan Pamuk

When a book starts with a quote from Nietzsche about Oedipus, you know you can expect fathers, sons, mothers and lovers to become entangled with devastating consequences. When th eauthor is a previou…

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In The Darkroom by Susan Faludi

If this book was written as fiction, you’d never believe it because you’d think it was too far-fetched. In 2004, Susan Faludi received an email from her father (whom she hadn’t seen in twenty-five ye…

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The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

What a delight it has been to spend time with Julian Barnes and his new novel, The Noise of Time. Elegantly written and perfectly balanced, this slight book (it comes in at under 200 pages) is Barnes…

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Where My Heart Used To Beat by Sebastian Faulks

Like Alice down the rabbit hole (if Alice was a 60-year-old man, and the rabbit hole was somehow New York and London and a remote island off the coast of France), the new Sebastian Faulks novel gets …

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The Blue Guitar by John Banville

Right from page one of John Banville’s new novel, you know you’re in for a ride with a tricky, slippery character. Oliver Orme describes himself as a thief and a painter, and then writes, ‘Ha! What I…

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Happy are the Happy by Yasmina Reza

Happy are the Happy examines the lives of 18 Parisians as they struggle to cope with coupledom and marriage generally. And happy, it ain’t. There are 21 short stories in all, with characters who have…

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The Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert

I’ve never considered the flute to be a particularly controversial instrument, but apparently it can be. Reading The Walk Home I was thrown, unexpectedly, into a world where joining a marching band c…

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Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel

David Finkel can write – and how. Thank You For Your Service is his second non-fiction book delving into the lives of soldiers who were on the front line in Baghdad (his first book was the incredible…

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Floodline by Kathryn Heyman

After reading the blurb for Floodline, I was worried I was in for something a little more lightweight than you’d expect from Kathryn Heyman: ‘The feisty, sexy and dynamic host of a Christian shopping…

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His Stupid Boyhood by Peter Goldsworthy

Peter Goldsworthy has laid himself open for inspection – like one of his cadavers from medical school – in this memoir.

Starting with his first sexual inclination, at age four, towards crank-handled…

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Boy, Lost by Kristina Olsson

Bringing her journalistic skills to what is described on the cover as a ‘family memoir’, Kristina Olsson uses perfectly balanced prose to weave breathtaking beauty into this sad yarn.

As a 19-year-o…

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News

Applications are open for our Readings Foundation grants

by Gabrielle Williams

As we all know, it’s been a difficult couple of years, and it’s probably fair to say that no-one has experienced lockdowns quite like Melbourne. For those organisations who support the disadvantaged and marginalised in Victoria, it’s been an incredibly challenging couple of years getting programmes out to the people and communities who need them most.

With this in mind, we’re thrilled to announ…

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The Readings Foundation grant recipients for 2020

by Gabrielle Williams

The Readings Foundation has announced $135,142 worth of grants to support a range of projects and organisations within Victoria in 2020.

The Readings Foundation assists Victorian organisations that support the development of literacy, community integration and the arts. Readings donates 10% of its overall profit to the Foundation each year, and the kind donations from Readings' customers make a …

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A recap of our Booker Prize shortlist dinner

by Gabrielle Williams

Readings Foundation Grants Officer Gabrielle Williams shares a brief recap of a special event we hosted last night to celebrate the Booker Prize and to raise money for the Readings Foundation.

Last night a group of like-minded Melbournians gathered at Tolarno’s to eat delicious food, drink delicious wine, and debate the likely winner of the Booker Prize.

Everyone put forward their picks of ‘W…

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Moving beyond the postcode with Banksia Gardens

by Gabrielle Williams

In 2019, the Readings Foundation supported the Banksia Gardens Aiming High VCE Support Program. Here, our Grants Officer Gabrielle Williams shares some insight into this highly successful project.

They’re the most insignificant of numbers, literally taking up only a fraction of space on the face of an envelope, and yet the four numbers of your postcode can have an enormous impact on how wealth…

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Kids Under Cover

by Gabrielle Williams

In 2019, the Readings Foundation is supporting Kids Under Cover (KUC), a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to preventing youth homelessness. Here, our Grants Officer Gabrielle Williams shares some insight into this incredible project and who it supports.

Picture this: you’re a single mother living in a 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom social housing home with your five children. The backyard is large…

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An update from the Readings Foundation

by Gabrielle Williams

Established in 2009, the Readings Foundation assists Victorian organisations that support the development of literacy, community integration and the arts. Grants officer Gabrielle Williams talks to Readings managing director Mark Rubbo about the importance of giving back to the community.

Bookshops have long been associated with social justice, and Readings is committed to walking that walk of…

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