Nina Kenwood

Twitter: NinaKenwood

Nina Kenwood is the digital marketing manager for Readings.

Reviews

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Jane Harper’s The Dry was the book of 2016. An Australian debut that grabbed everyone’s attention, it won awards, hit the top of bestseller lists, and captured a Hollywood movie deal in the process. …

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Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Celeste Ng’s second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, opens with the line: ‘Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally g…

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Hunger by Roxane Gay

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Roxane Gay is the smart, funny, outspoken author of the bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist and several acclaimed works of fiction. Her new book, Hunger, is a deeply personal memoir that examin…

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Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Elizabeth Strout is one the best American writers working today. She is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge, and last year’s devastatingly brilliant short novel My Name is Lucy

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The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Ariel Levy’s first book, Female Chauvinist Pigs (2005), was an influential feminist work on raunch culture and the sexualisation of women. In the 12 years since its publication, Levy has written prim…

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Ruins by Rajith Savanadasa

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Set in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Rajith Savanadasa’s debut novel Ruins is a sweeping family saga that looks at class, wealth, gender, intergenerational conflict, cultural conflict, politics and more. It fo…

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The Dry by Jane Harper

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Jane Harper’s The Dry won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript in 2015, and before it was even published, rights were sold to over twenty territories and Reese Withers…

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Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

From its very first pages, I knew Robin Wasserman’s novel Girls on Fire was going to be a book for me. I say this because it’s not going to be a book for everyone. Girls on Fire is intense, shocking,…

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My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Last year, I read Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge, and I was blown away. It was one of the best books I read in 2015. Now I’ve read Strout’s new novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, and I can confident…

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A Murder Without Motive by Martin McKenzie-Murray

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

I’ve long been a fan of Martin McKenzie-Murray’s journalism, and I think his work for The Saturday Paper is outstanding. He is skilled at approaching difficult topics with sensitivity, compassion and…

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Small Acts of Disappearance by Fiona Wright

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Small Acts of Disappearance is Fiona Wright’s memoir of her eating disorder. It’s structured as a series of ten essays, and from the very first lines of the opening chapter, I was captivated by Wrigh…

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In the Quiet by Eliza Henry-Jones

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

I approached this debut Australian novel with some caution, because it centres on a literary device that I can find off-putting: main character Cate is dead and narrating the story from her afterlife…

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Dietland by Sarai Walker

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Plum is a 29-year-old, 300-pound woman who is scheduled for weight-loss surgery. She believes that once she loses weight her real life will begin: ‘The real me, the woman I was supposed to be, was wi…

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The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Set in England in 1255, The Anchoress follows the plight of Sarah, a seventeen-year-old who chooses to become an anchoress – a holy woman – and spend her life locked in a small cell to the side of a …

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Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

If you’ve never heard of Amy Poehler … well, if you’ve never heard of Amy Poehler, Yes Please might not be the book for you. But for those who are familiar with the comedian, writer and actress, Yes

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The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Mia and Lorrie Ann live in the Californian town of Corona Del Mar. It is the 1990s, and the two girls, best friends, are 15 years old. Mia’s life is tough – her family is difficult and she’s dealing …

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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

There’s an outbreak of the flu. The virus is airborne, highly contagious, and kills almost everyone who contracts it. Within a week, the world as we know it is gone. This is the premise underlying St

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The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing is a hefty 500-page, multi-generational family saga. The novel follows the story of an Indian family who immigrate to America, moving between three timelines – Indi…

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The Feel-Good Hit of the Year by Liam Pieper

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Liam Pieper’s memoir – of family, addiction and loss – begins in a crumbling, 35-room gothic mansion in Caulfield in the 1980s, where his hippie parents are struggling to raise their children amid th…

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The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

This warm, gentle novel reads like a love letter to bookshops. It follows the life of A.J. Fikry, a man who is left as the sole owner of a small bookstore after his young wife tragically dies in a ca…

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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Alternatively funny and heartbreaking, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves tells the story of a young woman, Rosemary, and her not-so-ordinary upbringing. This is the kind of book where the less y…

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Cartwheel by Jennifer DuBois

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Twenty-one year old Lily Hayes is an American college student studying in Argentina. Five weeks into her exchange program, she is arrested for the murder of her roommate, fellow American student Katy…

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Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

In 2006 I read and loved Marisha Pessl’s first novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, a 500-page coming-of-age story bursting with literary and pop-culture references. It was an ambitious, fascin…

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Tampa by Alissa Nutting

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

The text on the back of my advance copy of Tampa, Alissa Nutting’s new novel about a female sexual predator who is obsessed with 14-year-old boys, reads ‘*you won’t necessarily be able to say you enj…

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The Revolution Was Televised by Alan Sepinwall

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

In the world of online TV recapping, Alan Sepinwall is not just a pioneer, he’s a god. Sepinwall has been writing about TV for almost 20 years and was pivotal in bringing the practice of TV recapping…

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The Woman Upstairs Claire Messud

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

The Woman Upstairs begins with a fantastic five-page rant from its main character and narrator, Nora Eldridge. Nora is filled with rage and her energetic opening monologue sets the tone of the story …

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The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Graeme Simsion wrote The Rosie Project in the space of just 50 days. According to his blog, he spent 19 days writing the first draft, then 30 days re-writing, before entering and winning the award fo…

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This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

I couldn’t put this book down. I carried it with me everywhere, reading it on my lunchbreak, on the tram and standing in line at the supermarket.

It’s a fantastic, addictive read – The Breakfast Clu

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Sincerely by Michaela McGuire and Marieke Hardy

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Sincerely is an anthology of letters from the hugely popular Women of Letters events, run by the talented duo Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire. Started in 2010 as a small literary salon, Women of L…

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News

Five things that made me happy in 2017

by Nina Kenwood

Our marketing manager shares five things that made her feel happy this past year

2017 has been a very hard year for a lot of people, the kind of year where you take whatever sources of happiness you can find. To that end, here are four novels and a movie that gave me a lot of joy over the past 12 months, and I hope they might bring you equal amounts of joy also.

The Hating Game by Sally T…

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10 fun books to read in dark times

by Nina Kenwood

Sometimes the best escape from the dark times swirling around us is a good, fun book, dammit. And as luck would have it, right now there are a bunch of new releases that are highly entertaining, delightfully funny and 100% Trump-less. Here are four I’ve read and loved, and six I can’t wait to start. Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny

Katherine Heiny’s collection of short stories Single,

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Podcasts to listen to over summer

by Nina Kenwood

If you need to laugh…

The breakout star of the year was the delightful My Dad Wrote a Porno. I can truly say I’ve never laughed so hard at a podcast before – especially when standing on a packed, silent train. The conceit of the podcast is very simple: Jamie’s father self-published an erotic novel, and Jamie and his two friends read said erotica out loud, interspersed with their commentary. The …

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TV series to watch over summer

by Nina Kenwood

It’s been a really tough year, and summer is the perfect time to log off from social media for a little while, give yourself a break and binge watch your troubles away.

You’ll find my many suggestions below, with a few caveats: I have excluded reality TV, I watch far too many American shows, and my blind spots include Scandinavian crime and animation (sorry, BoJack Horseman fans).

If you’re …

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My top five American novels of the year

by Nina Kenwood

Here is the best American literature I read this year, in order, with picks one and two pretty much tied as my equal favourites.

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout is one of the best American writers working today, and My Name is Lucy Barton is Strout at the height of her powers. This novel is a masterpiece – short, sharp, thoughtful, simmering with emotion undernea…

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A guide to TV shows to watch this summer

by Nina Kenwood

Here’s where I’m coming from – I like good comedies, snappy dialogue, family drama, teen angst, action-packed intrigue, survival-against-the-odds stories, anything that will make me cry and legal dramas. I don’t enjoy procedurals, most cop shows, and reality TV.

My summer viewing guide encompasses the shows I have enjoyed this year, the shows I expect to enjoy in the future, and shows I don’t p…

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