Non-Fiction reviews

Witness by Louise Milligan

Louise Milligan won the Walkley Book Award for her first book, Cardinal, which forensically and compassionately detailed the stories of several of the victims who made allegations of sexual abuse aga…

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The Palace Letters by Jenny Hocking

Would these historic letters between the Queen and the governor-general about Kerr’s dismissal of the Whitlam government be recognised as Commonwealth records and opened for public access? Could we n

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A Letter to Layla by Ramona Koval

Ramona Koval’s A Letter to Layla examines what it means to be human. In an affectionate account of Homo sapiens’ origins, she explores what has given us our current dominance of the planet. All life …

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Having and Being Had by Eula Biss

Having and Being Had is the new book from American essayist Eula Biss and, as with her two previous very good works, this is the kind of enthralling read that opens up your thinking in new and exciti…

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The Doctor Who Fooled the World by Brian Deer

On day one of Dr Andrew Wakefield’s hearing for serious professional misconduct, the staff of the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC) took turns to read out ninety-three pages of charges against Wakef…

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Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald

I adored H is For Hawk, Helen Macdonald’s memoir of grief and falconry, which took an unconventional approach to the wellworn idea that the natural world has healing power. Macdonald explored its bea…

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Body Count by Paddy Manning

As I write this review, I’m conscious of that we’re about to clock twelve months since the onset of the fires in New South Wales that would get out of control and eventually devastate the landscape, …

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Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake

Fungi, eh? Flavour of the month. The newest mycological champignon, Merlin Sheldrake, is a ‘musician and keen fermenter’, a son of Rupert Sheldrake, holds a PhD in tropical ecology from Cambridge, an…

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The Ratline by Philippe Sands

The good news for 2020 is that Philippe Sands has finally written a follow-up to his enormously successful Baillie Gifford Prizewinning book, East West Street! Didn’t read that one? No problem. This …

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Wild Nature by John Blay

This year of staying at home has made me ravenous for the wild places I can’t visit, and John Blay’s new book is a balm for this frustrated urge. Blay is a naturalist, best known for his exploration …

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