Our latest reviews

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

This highly anticipated follow-up to 2015’s A Little Life is an epic tour de force. In fact, it’s impossible for me to praise To Paradise enough. Set in an alternative America, this is a novel of thr…

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How to End a Story: Diaries, 1995–1998 by Helen Garner

One can only imagine the enormous bravery it must take to publish a diary. Sharing your most private thoughts with the world is not for the faint of heart. But, faint of heart is not a term I would e…

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Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller by Nadia Wassef

Let me tell you where I have been this week – Cairo! Jealous? Of course, but the good news is you can go too. I loved the visit: it was hot, culturally interesting, and I browsed a wonderful bookshop…

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The Lion Above the Door by Onjali Q. Raúf

Leo belongs to one of only a few Asian families in Whot. When their class starts studying the Second World War (WW2), Leo and his friend Sangeeta wonder why there aren’t any faces that look like thei…

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How We Love: Notes on a Life by Clementine Ford

There are so many adages running through my head as I try to sum up the latest work of author and commentator Clementine Ford. Mainly though, I have Tina Turner’s words on repeat: what’s love got to …

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These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett has made a habit of keeping me company over Melbourne lockdowns. In March 2020, as the world began to shut down, I immersed myself in her multilayered family saga, The Dutch House. In ou…

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Doing Politics: Writing on Public Life by Judith Brett

In recent years, avid readers have been rewarded with collections of writings by Don Watson, David Marr and Robert Manne. Now, it’s Judith Brett’s turn, with this excellent collection that brings tog…

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Dancer: A Biography for Philippa Cullen by Evelyn Juers

The dancer, Philippa Cullen, died tragically in India at the age of 25. Evelyn Juers’ biography of this complex young woman runs to 550 pages. You may think, do Cullen’s life and achievements justify…

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12 Stradivari by Janine Jansen & Antonio Pappano

Most people have heard of Stradivari, a violin maker from the late 17th century and early 18th century. His house produced almost a thousand high-quality violins, around 650 of which have survived in…

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Orwell’s Roses by Rebecca Solnit

As a lover of Rebecca Solnit’s writing, I was thrilled at the prospect of her unique perspective on one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. And Solnit does not disappoint. Orwell’s R

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