Non-Fiction reviews

Landscapes of Our Hearts by Matthew Colloff

Mathew Colloff works at the Fenner School of Environment & Society at the ANU, and prior to that was a research scientist for twenty- three years at the CSIRO. So, although this book is a very person…

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How to Talk About Climate Change in a Way That Makes a Difference by Rebecca Huntley

Rebecca Huntley is one of Australia’s most experienced and respected social researchers. As she quips, ‘I make a living out of understanding why people think the way they do.’ Here, in her sixth book…

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The Trials of Portnoy by Patrick Mullins

In 1969 Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint – a book so widely accepted now that it is deemed boring – was banned in Australia. Undercover police raided bookstores, charged booksellers and seized all t…

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Hazelwood by Tom Doig

In February 2014, the Hazelwood open-pit brown-coal mine caught fire and burned out of control for forty-five days. Residents of the impoverished Latrobe Valley endured months of toxic air pollution.…

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Square Haunting by Francesca Wade

I love women’s history. I love group biographies. I love English social and cultural history in the period between the wars. And I love Bloomsbury, the place and its lore. So it’s no surprise then th…

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Notes from an Apocalypse by Mark O’Connell

This isn’t the first time I’ve written a book review while wearing trackpants in bed but it’s the first time I’ve written like that on a weekday morning and in accordance with government instructions…

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Design Lives Here by Penny Craswell

The beauty of this book is that it does many things in a (seemingly) effortless, elegant fashion. For every house or apartment featured, the sum of its parts creates the whole: architecture, interior…

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Phosphorescence by Julia Baird

We already know and love Julia Baird. She has written many articles and (two) books addressing gender and politics. She is a journalist with something to say. She is the host of ABC TV’s The Drum and…

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Blueberries by Ellena Savage

To make a living as an author, Ellena Savage writes, you need to have a diverse portfolio. As an editor, academic, teacher, critic, literary event host (among other things), Ellena Savage has had to …

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Truganini by Cassandra Pybus

Cassandra Pybus’s Truganini tells the story of a journey full of deception and dead ends as George Augustus Robinson, ‘Protector of Aboriginals’, leads a group of Indigenous survivors from Lunawanna-…

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