Page 4 of our reviews

Denizen James by McKenzie Watson

Here are my rules for reading this gripping and quite frankly at times terrifying debut novel: don’t read it late at night unless you have nerves of steel; and don’t read it when you are stranded at …

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Big Beautiful Female Theory by Eloise Grills

Eloise Grills’ debut book is a boisterous examination of beauty standards, sexuality, misogyny, consumerism and the cruel vicissitudes of modern life. Part memoir, part cultural commentary, the book …

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Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li

All I needed to know about Li’s book before deciding I absolutely had to read it, was that it was a heist novel centred on Chinese diaspora stealing back looted Chinese art from Western museums. I do…

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Fable: Works for Solo Harp by Australian Women Composers by Jacinta Dennett

One thing I learnt during my many years of music study was that the harp is a much harder instrument to play than it seems. Not only does each string need to be individually tuned, there are pedals t…

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Bad Art Mother by Edwina Preston

Veda Gray is a poet. She is also a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and each of these other roles chafe against her desire to free herself in her writing. As a result, she wrestles wit…

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Swimming Home: A Memoir by Judy Cotton

The succinct title of artist Judy Cotton’s wonderful memoir, Swimming Home, is watertight; it immediately conjures up images of tidal currents and the fearsome mystery of deep water, alongside hopefu…

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Ennio Morricone: Cinema Suites for Violin and Orchestra

Sometimes when you listen to an album you get the feeling the musicians are trying to tell you something. Using the emotional pulls of music, without words to help, musicians send out their message t…

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Cress Watercress by Gregory Maguire

From Gregory Maguire, author of the book that inspired the stage phenomenon Wicked, and stunningly supported by picture book creator David Litchfield’s glorious illustrations full of colour and imagi…

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Either/Or by Elif Batuman

Full disclosure: Elif Batuman’s debut novel, The Idiot, is in my top five favourite books of all time. It takes place in 1995 and follows Selin, a Turkish American woman during her freshman year at H…

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Basin: A Novel by Scott McCulloch

After poisoning and casting himself into the sea, Figure is pulled from the water and resuscitated by a paramilitary bandit named Aslan. Upon recovery, the protagonist finds himself in a landscape of…

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