Joanna Di Mattia

Joanna Di Mattia works as a bookseller at Readings Carlton.


My Brilliant Friend: Complete Series

Two young girls stand before the door of the town loan shark, fiercely clasping hands. This image of female solidarity and defiance endures all the way through HBO’s adaptation of the first of Elena …

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Find Me by André Aciman

If, like me, the final lines of Call Me by Your Name – André Aciman’s swoony summer tale of first love on the Italian Riviera in the 1980s – left you weeping and yearning for more of Elio and Oliver’…

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Killing Eve (Season 2)

The first season of spy thriller Killing Eve established a tense cat-and-mouse game between two flawed, obsessive women – MI5 agent Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and the target she is simultaneously pursu…

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The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy

There is nothing ordinary about Deborah Levy’s new novel, her first since 2016’s Booker Prize-shortlisted Hot Milk. As a result, it isn’t an easy one to condense here, but what I’ll say, with little …

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Top End Wedding

A romantic comedy wouldn’t be a romantic comedy without an obstacle or two to overcome on the road to happily ever after. In this respect, Wayne Blair’s Top End Wedding is no different to other rom-c…

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Expectation by Anna Hope

Now in their mid-thirties, Cate and Hannah, friends since high school, are drifting apart. Oxford-educated Cate is a new mum who has relocated to Canterbury in a house purchased by her in-laws. She’s…

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Destroyer (DVD)

Karyn Kusama’s first film, Girlfight, had quite an impact on me back in 2000. Her most recent film, the crime thriller Destroyer, hit me just as hard. I have no doubt that when I sit down at the end …

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Green Book by Peter Farrelly

We only get a brief glance at the ‘Green Book’ referred to in the title of Peter Farrelly’s Oscar-winning film. Regardless, that book, The Negro Motorist Green Book – a guidebook for African-American…

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Cape May by Chip Cheek

There’s an old-fashioned glamour to Chip Cheek’s impressive debut novel, Cape May, which I found very alluring. Set in 1957, in the seaside New Jersey town that gives the book its title, Cheek introd…

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We, The Survivors by Tash Aw

Tash Aw’s fourth novel, We, The Survivors reveals its mysteries slowly. Ah Hock, a Chinese Malaysian man, meets with a social researcher who wants to hear his story. We know, from the start, that sev…

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You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian

As with many explosions on the internet, I was a little slow to smell the fire caused by Kristen Roupenian’s short story, ‘Cat Person,’ when it appeared in the New Yorker in December 2017. Thankfully…

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Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist (DVD) by Lorna Tucker

‘I’m just totally bored talking about this. But you need it, so I’ll tell you.’ So starts Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist, with a discernible friction between camera and subject that ultimately makes …

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Ohio by Stephen Markley

In the post-9/11 era, foreign wars, financial meltdowns, diminishing opportunities, and increasing alienation have shaped the United States of America. A generation of young people have come of age i…

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Working Class Boy (DVD)

‘Flame Trees’ is my favourite Cold Chisel song. I love its yearning; the way it coils into a melancholy, regretful tone. But for its vocalist, it’s not an easy song to sing. In Working Class Boy, Jim…

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Marina Abramović in Brazil: The Space in Between

For over 40 years, Marina Abramović, the self-anointed ‘grandmother of performance art,’ has used her body to challenge audiences. In Marco Del Fiol’s film, Marina Abramović in Brazil: The Space in B

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Transcription by Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson has a gift for blending fiction with historical detail. Life After Life (2013) and its companion, A God in Ruins (2015), are brilliant evocations of England, set predominantly during Wo…

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Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

Warlight opens in the ruins of the London Blitz. It’s 1945, and fourteen-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister Rachel, are left in the care of a shifty Dickensian figure they call ‘The Moth’ and a…

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The best DVDs of 2018

by Joanna Di Mattia

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books, albums, films and TV shows of the past 12 months. Here are our top 10 DVDs of the year, voted for by Readings' staff, and displayed in no particular order. (You can find all our best picks for books, CDs & DVDs of 2018 here.) Call Me By Your Name

Northern Italy, 1983 – swimming, peaches, long summer days. Luca Guadagnino’s swoony adaptat…

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