George Delaney

George Delaney works as a bookseller at Readings Carlton.

Reviews

Wisp by Zana Fraillon & Grahame Baker-Smith

Reviewed by George Delaney

Idris is a small boy in a small, dark world – a refugee camp where he has spent his whole life. The people there are lonely and suspicious, and have slowly had their memories and wishes worn away by …

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Sonam and the Silence by Eddie Ayres & Ronak Taher

Reviewed by George Delaney

Sonam is a young girl who lives with her family in Kabul and earns money by selling chewing gum on the city streets. Sonam’s world is flooded with beauty and joy when she hears an old man playing mus…

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Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko

Reviewed by George Delaney

Melissa Lucashenko’s last novel, Mullumbimby, opened me up to a conversation about feminism, culture and land rights that has stayed with me for years, so I was excited to read her new book. Too Much

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Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia edited by Anita Heiss

Reviewed by George Delaney

This brilliant collection of short memoir from Indigenous writers highlights an enormous diversity in the life stories of Aboriginal people in Australia, from those who grew up in middle-class suburb…

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Ninja Kid: From Nerd to Ninja by Anh Do & Jeremy Ley

Reviewed by George Delaney

Nelson Kane lives in a junkyard with his mother, grandmother, and perpetually hungry cousin Kenny. It’s an ordinary, fallen-on-hard-times tip, where his grandmother invents strange gadgets out of jun…

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Afterglow by Eileen Myles

Reviewed by George Delaney

Afterglow is the ‘memoir’ of Eileen Myles’ dog Rosie, a pitbull-cross who figures in Myles’ earlier work, particularly in sections of Inferno, where the poet describes halcyon months spent in upstate…

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Savages: The Wedding by Sabri Louatah

Reviewed by George Delaney

Savages: The Wedding is the first instalment in Sabri Louatah’s Saint-Etienne Quartet, a cycle of political dramas centring on an Algerian family in that region of central France. The novel opens on …

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The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

Reviewed by George Delaney

I was reluctant to make a start on this diary because I suspected it might, in the spirit of its ur-text, Black Books, engender short-tempered job dissatisfaction and make me feel like I was repeatin…

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Taboo by Kim Scott

Reviewed by George Delaney

In the time since his last novel, Benang, Kim Scott has been working as a researcher and teacher, focusing on documenting and sharing Noongar language and culture. Scott has shown repeatedly how reju…

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Half Wild by Pip Smith

Reviewed by George Delaney

In her first novel, Pip Smith imaginatively recreates the life of Eugenia Falleni, a female-to-male transgender person who captivated Sydney in 1920 when Eugenia, living as Harry Crawford, was arrest…

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No More Boats by Felicity Castagna

Reviewed by George Delaney

No More Boats follows two previous works of fiction by Australian author Felicity Castagna: a collection of short stories and a YA novel, which won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. This latest is…

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House of Names by Colm Tóibín

Reviewed by George Delaney

Colm Tóibín’s new novel revisits Aeschylus’ Oresteia linked trilogy of plays, settling deep inside the story of Clytemnestra’s revenge on her husband Agamemnon after he returns to Argos from the Troj…

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Cannily, Cannily by Simon French

Reviewed by George Delaney

Simon French adapts the classic plot of the ‘blow-in’, the stranger in a small town, and lets us see it from the other side. Trevor Huon struggles to fit into a place where he finds he’d rather not b…

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How to Bee by Bren MacDibble

Reviewed by George Delaney

Meet tough, sassy Peony, an almost-ten-year-old farm worker in the Goulburn Valley of the near future. Peony can’t wait to be promoted to the role of ‘bee’ – reserved for the quickest, nimblest kids …

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Black Cats and Butlers by Janine Beacham

Reviewed by George Delaney

Twelve year old Rose Raventhorpe is compelled to investigate a string of murdered butlers after the death of her own beloved butler, Argyle. Set in a fictional imagining of York, England, in the late…

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The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories by Joan Aiken & Peter Bailey

Reviewed by George Delaney

This complete collection of Joan Aiken’s stories about the Armitage family is lovely reading for children and adults. Everything you wish your childhood contained – unicorns in the front garden, magi…

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The Cauliflower® by Nicola Barker

Reviewed by George Delaney

Nicola Barker’s new novel is a perplexing assemblage of narrative fragments, poetry, scripture, and historical documents, ‘collaged’, to use her own definition, to produce an exploration of faith and…

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We Ate the Road Like Vultures by Lynnette Lounsbury

Reviewed by George Delaney

When I was about seventeen, I read a passing reference to Jack Kerouac in a novel to the effect that we all grow out of our Kerouac phases towards the end of adolescence. At the time I was scandalise…

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Old Man’s Story by Bill Neidjie and Bill Lang

Reviewed by George Delaney

Old Man’s Story contains the last thoughts of the late Kakadu elder and activist, Bill Neidjie. His two previous books, Kakadu Man and Story About Feeling, are often read as poetry, but are also impo…

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Mislaid by Nell Zink

Reviewed by George Delaney

Mislaid, like Nell Zink’s first novel, The Wallcreeper, is a confident and clever work, but what is most striking is its peculiar style. It’s a bizarre domestic satire about a very dysfunctional fami…

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News

Five books I escaped into this past year

by George Delaney

Carlton bookseller George Delaney shares five books escaped into during 2017. Cool For You by Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles’s third autobiographical novel has been out of print for a while but returned in an Australian edition this year, right on time for me to continue making my way through her incredible body of work. Though she is largely known as a poet, Myles does something wonderful with …

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On reading Tove Jansson

by George Delaney

Tove Jansson is most well-known for her children’s series of illustrated Moomin novels, but I’d argue that her fiction for adults is an under-appreciated treasure.

In Fair Play, Jansson fictionalises her initially secret life with her partner, Tuuliki Pietilä, in adjacent apartments in Helsinki. The episodic novel presents two playful, sympathetic, sometimes moody women, Mari and Jonna, a writer…

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