Biography and Memoir reviews

Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

This book by a young Irish teenager is an extraordinarily beautiful seasonal diary of observing and appreciating nature, teeming with stunning descriptions of the natural world. As he observes the ch…

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The Details by Tegan Bennett Daylight

Reading a book written about reading books involves a certain doubled type of readerly attention and produces an equally doubled readerly experience. That is, you have to keep track of at least two r…

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Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener

At twenty five, Anna Wiener quit her job as an assistant in New York publishing for the gold rush of Silicon Valley. Entrepreneurial start-ups were filled with optimism and a sense of possibility. A …

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In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

I have a confession: I’ve been pining for this book since I saw it on the horizon over a year ago. Carmen Maria Machado is a magical writer with a penchant for the darker side of fairytale, TV, film …

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Your Own Kind of Girl by Clare Bowditch

Melbourne is a town of connections. I’m sure many of us have heard of Clare Bowditch, perhaps we have heard her on the radio, seen her on television, or follow her on Instagram. Perhaps you have sung…

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The Innocent Reader by Debra Adelaide

Debra Adelaide is not the first author to pen a memoir of sorts by taking us on a journey of personal reading. You may have read Jane Sullivan or Ramona Koval’s books of a similar nature. All of thes…

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Other People’s Houses by Hilary McPhee

At one time, Hilary McPhee’s life was in upheaval and she was struggling with the illness and death of her parents, a bout of cancer and the end of a long marriage. It was a period of deep desolation…

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Unfollow by Megan Phelps-Roper

Megan Phelps-Roper was born into the infamous fringe Christian sect, the Westboro Baptist Church, well-known for its intense homophobia and picketing protests at soldiers’ funerals. Mostly made up of…

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Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith

In the final song of possibly her most famous album, Patti Smith proclaims ‘I don’t know what to do tonight / there must be something I can dream tonight’. Horses was released in 1975, but with the a…

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The Girls by Chloe Higgins

I originally questioned the choice of title for this book as the words ‘girl/s’ are so commonly used in this context. I wondered if a different title could have been chosen. Now that I have read The

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