Non-Fiction reviews

Trace: Who Killed Maria James? by Rachael Brown

Reviewed by Anna Rotar

At number 736 High Street Thornbury on 17 June 1980, Maria James was stabbed sixty-eight times in a frenzied attack at the back of the bookshop she owned and lived in. Fast forward thirty-eight years…

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The Rapids by Sam Twyford-Moore

Reviewed by Kelsey Oldham

Sam Twyford-Moore’s The Rapids examines mania and bipolar disorder in art and popular culture. A series of interlinked essays peppered with references to film, literature, music and television, the b…

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The House of Islam by Ed Husain

Reviewed by Rose Maurice

Ed Husain has taken on the mammoth task of writing a comprehensive history of Islam and its people for a Western audience. The House of Islam successfully achieves this, providing a necessary foundat…

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Origin Story by David Christian

Reviewed by Mark Rubbo

David Christian coined the phrase ‘Big History’ in reference to a project that aims to tell the story of everything that’s happened from the beginning of the universe until now. It’s an idea that cau…

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The Year Everything Changed: 2001 by Phillipa McGuinness

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Phillipa McGuinness is no stranger to books; she is, after all, a publisher. This, however, is her debut as an author and hopefully it will not be her last. The Year Everything Changed: 2001 is a rec…

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Small Wrongs by Kate Rossmanith

Reviewed by Elke Power

Small Wrongs is a powerful consideration of remorse, and whether we can ever truly know it when we see it. As an ethnologist, Kate Rossmanith is more than equipped to explore this subject from a theo…

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Waiting for Elijah by Kate Wild

Reviewed by Amanda Rayner

Just before 2pm on 2 June 2009, in the NSW country town of Armidale, Senior Constable Andrew Rich fatally shot 24-year-old Elijah Holcombe. Elijah had been experiencing increasing periods of paranoid…

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Balancing Acts edited by Justin Wolfers & Erin Riley

Reviewed by Marie Matteson

A collection of 21 essays on women and sport, Balancing Acts runs the gamut from historically focused essay on the reception of women playing AFL, to a text-message story of a an amateur soccer team,…

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Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin

Reviewed by Kara Nicholson

Brow Books is a local, not-for-profit, literary organisation that promises to publish ‘writers whose work sits in the literary margins’. Axiomatic uniquely combines narrative, reportage and essay and…

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Marcia Langton: Welcome to Country by Marcia Langton

Reviewed by Mark Rubbo

I sense a growing desire for non-Indigenous Australians to know about our Indigenous culture. The recent successes of Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia (one of our bestsellers last month) and Alexis…

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