Jackie Tang

Jackie Tang is the editor of Readings Monthly.

Reviews

First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami

A traveller takes a drink with a melancholy monkey working in a run-down inn. A writer stumbles across a fictitious jazz record he made up for an old review as a joke. A man finds himself drawn to a …

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Friends and Dark Shapes by Kavita Bedford

In Kavita Bedford’s quietly hypnotic debut, an unnamed narrator in her late 20s roams the suburbs of Sydney trying to process her grief. A freelance writer, she lives in a Redfern share house with th…

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The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.

Though we’re only at the start of 2021, Robert Jones Jr.’s debut The Prophets already feels like one of the big books of the year. Set on an antebellum plantation in the deep south of Mississippi, Th

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A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

Among the diverse archipelago of Earthsea, the island of Gont is famous for wizards and of the Gontish wizards, the greatest is the man called Sparrowhawk. Ursula K. Le Guin’s classic 1968 work of hi…

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This is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield

Nate is stuck in a loop: go to school; go to the youth centre with his loudmouth best mate, Merrick; go home to his aggressive dad Dec, Dec’s new wife Nance and their three-year-old twin boys; lather…

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The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta

A generation has grown up with Melina Marchetta’s writing since she debuted with her impeccable young adult novel Looking for Alibrandi in 1992. As one of that generation, it’s a joy to read The Plac

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The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews

Fifteen-year-old Sam and his older brother Avery are struggling to make a better life for themselves on the streets after being abused by every parental figure in their life. Avery, who is autistic, …

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News

Dear Reader, with Jackie Tang

by Jackie Tang

It’s a shorter column this month and the books are too good for me to waffle on with an introduction, so I will get straight to it, starting with Fiction Book of the Month, the highly anticipated new Kazuo Ishiguro novel, Klara and the Sun. Ishiguro once again quietly picks apart themes of sacrifice and authenticity in this finely wrought work that ‘illustrates [his] mastery and his ability to co…

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My five favourite reads of 2020

by Jackie Tang

Our incoming Readings Monthly editor Jackie Tang shares five of her favourite books from the past year, including poetry, memoir, essays, short stories and YA! Forgotten Corners by Pete Hay

Have you ever read a book and thought to yourself, ‘How have I never read this author before?’ It’s magical, this feeling of discovery, and you immediately want to share it with those around you. I had t…

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What are the characters on Succession reading?

by Jackie Tang

If you haven’t yet gleaned from that annoying workmate who keeps asking if you’ve watched it (guilty), the HBO drama Succession is one of the breakout TV shows of the year. Now on its second season, it’s a slick roller-coaster of corporate intrigue and high-stakes power plays filled with hilariously biting one-liners and Machiavellian family dynamics.

As we prepare to hear the dramatic piano pli…

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An IDAHOBIT suggested reading list

by Jackie Tang

Today – Friday, 17 May – is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), a day to stand against the prejudice, fear, violence and marginalisation that members of the LGBTQIA+ community continue to face in their daily lives. It’s also a day for LGBTQIA+ people to celebrate themselves and their community, and for allies to commit in solidarity to making th…

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A monthly update from our Teen Advisory Board

by Jackie Tang

This month we were fortunate to be visited by Bec Kavanagh; writer, reviewer, young adult fiction specialist at Readings Kids and former schools manager with the Stella Prize.

As befitting her diverse range of capabilities, Bec shared with the Teen Advisory Board members her remarkable career. She touched on starting the A Thousand Words festival in 2009, which celebrated and encouraged the read…

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Sci-fi and fantasy reads for non-genre fans

by Jackie Tang

The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Blade Runner … science-fiction and fantasy literature has spawned so many classic stories that catch the popular culture zeitgeist. And yet, for some readers, the genre can often feel too intimidating, dense and wrapped up in its own mythology to approach. Even the most open-minded and curious reader may lack the time to devote to a 1000-page door stopper.

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