Stella Charls

Stella Charls is marketing and events coordinator for Readings.

Reviews

The Museum of Words by Georgia Blain

Reviewed by Stella Charls

I hadn’t read Georgia Blain until her last novel, Between a Wolf and a Dog, published early last year. Immediately I regretted not having read her work sooner, as it was clear from the first page tha…

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The Salesman

Reviewed by Stella Charls

With The Salesman, acclaimed writer-director Asghar Farhadi offers up another analytical yet deeply empathetic film about modern Iranian society under a repressive regime. Here, as with his previous …

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Pulse Points by Jennifer Down

Reviewed by Stella Charls

Jennifer Down’s debut novel, Our Magic Hour, released last year, remains one of the most absorbing works of fiction I’ve had the pleasure of reading. This intimate, emotionally astute novel about gri…

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The Answers by Catherine Lacey

Reviewed by Stella Charls

With The Answers, Catherine Lacey asserts herself as one of contemporary fiction’s freshest young voices; her work captures the anxiety of uncertainty and the challenges of living in a female body wi…

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Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

Reviewed by Stella Charls

I doubt I will enjoy another book in 2017 more than Rachel Khong’s Goodbye, Vitamin. This small miracle of a novel about family, friendship and memory is equal parts laugh-out-loud hilarious and acut…

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The Last Garden by Eva Hornung

Reviewed by Stella Charls

The Last Garden is the highly anticipated new novel from Eva Hornung. Her last novel, Dog Boy, was shortlisted for numerous prizes and won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award in 2010. With The Last G

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Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

Reviewed by Stella Charls

It’s tempting to search for parallels between John Darnielle’s music (he’s singer-songwriter for The Mountain Goats) and his fiction. Universal Harvester, his highly anticipated second novel, follows…

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The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

Reviewed by Stella Charls

When Sharon Kisses and Mel Vaught meet in college they bond instantly. Sharon is straight-laced and introspective; Mel manic and the life of any party. Both are from the rural south, East Kentucky an…

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Where Am I Going?

Reviewed by Stella Charls

South Italian slacker Checco (Checco Zalone) is 39 and still living at home. He’s sexist, selfish and happy with his lot in life, working idly in his cushy public service job. He is one of the privil…

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Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett

Reviewed by Stella Charls

Don’t be fooled by the size of Claire-Louise Bennett’s debut story collection, Pond. This slim volume of 20 stories, the shortest of which runs to a couple of sentences, is staggeringly ambitious and…

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The Trapeze Act by Libby Angel

Reviewed by Stella Charls

The Trapeze Act, the debut novel from Australian writer Libby Angel, is an expertly layered, lyrical rumination on family and identity. Growing up in suburban Adelaide in the 1960’s, Loretta is the d…

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The Love of a Bad Man by Laura Elizabeth Woollett

Reviewed by Stella Charls

The women in Laura Elizabeth Woollett’s assured short-fiction collection The Love of a Bad Man are the kind that get under your skin and stay there. This collection offers readers an unusual and affe…

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Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

Reviewed by Stella Charls

I read the hype surrounding Sweetbitter before I read the novel itself. This brilliant debut by young American author Stephanie Danler has been in the spotlight for a few months, after Knopf picked u…

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Brooklyn

Reviewed by Stella Charls

Sensitively adapted by Nick Hornby from Colm Tóibín’s beloved novel, Brooklyn is the story of Eilis (the mesmerising Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant who moves from small town Enniscorthy, Ire…

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Sex Object by Jessica Valenti

Reviewed by Stella Charls

There is no shortage of strong opinions about Jessica Valenti. A feminist writer, long-time blogger and founder of the site Feministing, Valenti made her career online. The response to her writing – …

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The Healing Party by Micheline Lee

Reviewed by Stella Charls

The dysfunctional family is the foundation of so many great works of fiction – there is so much natural drama to draw upon in complicated relationships between parents and children, siblings, and tig…

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The Lonely City by Olivia Laing

Reviewed by Stella Charls

Olivia Laing’s new book, The Lonely City, explores the connection between loneliness and creativity. Like her previous works, To the River and The Trip to Echo Spring, The Lonely City eludes neat cat…

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Between a Wolf and a Dog by Georgia Blain

Reviewed by Stella Charls

The intriguing title of Georgia Blain’s new novel, Between a Wolf and a Dog, comes from a French expression, L’heure entre chien et loup: the hour between dog and wolf. Referring to the twilight mome…

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Our Magic Hour by Jennifer Down

Reviewed by Stella Charls

Jennifer Down’s Our Magic Hour is a brilliant Australian debut. Intimate, raw and occasionally heartbreaking, this is a book that demands to be devoured quickly, but stayed with me long after I finis…

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All That is Lost Between Us by Sara Foster

Reviewed by Stella Charls

All That is Lost Between Us is at once a psychological thriller and a portrait of a family at breaking point. At 17 years old, it’s natural that Georgia keeps secrets from her parents, yet one secret…

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Home is Burning by Dan Marshall

Reviewed by Stella Charls

Dan Marshall doesn’t care whether or not you like him. From the half-censored profanity on the middle of his memoir’s front cover, this self-proclaimed ‘spoiled white asshole’ is clear about one thin…

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The Devil Is A Black Dog by Sándor Jászberényi

Reviewed by Stella Charls

Hungarian war correspondent Sándor Jászberényi’s The Devil is a Black Dog is a fascinating collection that sits somewhere on the plane separating fiction and nonfiction. These nineteen interconnected…

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The Anti-Cool Girl by Rosie Waterland

Reviewed by Stella Charls

Rosie Waterland is frank, fearless and very, very funny. Reading her memoir, The Anti-Cool Girl, feels in many ways like sitting down to chat with a complete over-sharer (a no-holds barred, here’s-my…

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That Sugar Film

Reviewed by Stella Charls

Australian actor Damon Gameau’s documentary opens with the sweetest montage I’ve ever seen. Colourful lollies, bright bottles of soft-drink, the rainbow displays that line our supermarket shelves. Th…

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Almost Sincerely by Zoë Norton Lodge

Reviewed by Stella Charls

Zoë Norton Lodge is one hysterically funny lady. A born performer and story-teller, she’s skilled in combining traditional forms of comedy like stand-up with a narrative form. She started a yarn-spin…

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Small is Beautiful

Reviewed by Stella Charls

It feels like we’re experiencing a golden age of indie documentary filmmaking. Thanks to crowdfunding and streaming services, we’re spoilt for choice as viewers, yet while this staggering array of vo…

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Lion Attack! by Oliver Mol

Reviewed by Stella Charls

Oliver Mol deals in honesty and optimism. His memoir, Lion Attack!, the inaugural co-winner of the Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers, carries the subtitle ‘I’m trying to be honest and I want …

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Nightcrawler

Reviewed by Stella Charls

The first thing you notice about Lou Bloom is his face. As Nightcrawler’s anti-hero, Jake Gyllenhaal’s physical transformation is striking – gaunt and vascular, with wide, sunken eyes and an eerily t…

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Hot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman

Reviewed by Stella Charls

The characters in Abigail Ulman’s debut collection of short stories, Hot Little Hands, all float on the spectrum between youth and adulthood. These teenagers and 20-somethings are trying to figure ou…

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Dress, Memory by Lorelei Vashti

Reviewed by Stella Charls

Reading Lorelei Vashti’s Dress, Memory feels akin to spending time with a dear friend – the kind who might grip your hand fiercely as they talk, who could be accused of over-sharing but also bravely …

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News

Five books I’m still thinking about (months after reading them)

by Stella Charls

I am not a fast reader. I’m not able to whizz through hefty novels in a week let alone a night, I struggle to keep up with the new releases, and it takes me a while to get into a new voice, to feel comfortable with a new character. But when something really clicks with me, I obsess – I can’t put the book down, can’t stop talking about the characters to anyone I spend time with, and gift copies to…

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A quick guide to MIFF 2016

by Stella Charls

Here’s a quick ‘at-a-glance’ guide to this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF). You can see the full program here. We’ve shared our top picks for book lovers, compiled a list of family-friendly films, and you can also find out which films our staff are planning to see here. Most buzzed about

We recommend: High-Rise Runner up: Gimme Danger

Feel good film

We recommend: Ton

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10 must-read authors from Adelaide Writers' Week

by Stella Charls

Our marketing and events coordinator Stella Charls shares her top picks of who to see – and, if you can’t attend, who to read – from Adelaide Writers' Week this year. Fiona McFarlane

Fiona McFarlane’s extraordinary debut novel, The Night Guest, introduced a major literary talent and was shortlisted for multiple prizes including the Stella and Miles Franklin. Most recently she has published …

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The most interesting young women I met this year (in books)

by Stella Charls

This year, for the first time, I kept a record of everything I read. This was largely due to a persuasive argument made by my colleague Nina earlier this year. Looking back, my list isn’t as long as I would’ve liked but when it comes to the books I loved best this year, I’ve noticed a striking theme. Nearly all of them feature women in their teens or twenties that work to challenge the notion of …

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The best DVDs of 2015

by Stella Charls

Here are our top ten DVDs of the year, voted for by Readings staff. Displayed in no particular order.

Small Is Beautiful

Small Is Beautiful is a special documentary. Filmed in Portland, Oregon, Australian filmmaker Jeremy Beasley documents the tiny house movement, a grassroots response to the housing affordability crisis that currently affects so many people across the developed world. Beas…

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Introducing our event program for July

by Stella Charls

Marketing and Events Coordinator Stella Charls shares her top five picks from our July event calendar! Stephanie Bishop in conversation with Emily Harms

July is a fabulous month for those who love good conversation! Authors Rod Jones, Alex Hammond and Gregory Day, will all be visiting us across the month for in-depth discussions on their books. I’m particularly excited to hear Stephanie Bisho…

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