BOOK REVIEW: JOHN BIRMINGHAM – STRANGER THINGIES

John Birmingham is a satirist, newspaper columnist, writer and blogger. He’s also a man who knows how to find the funny in most situations. The cover of his latest book, Stranger Thingies sees comedian, Wil Anderson going so far as to say that if laughter is the best medicine then he’s claiming Birmingham’s book on Medicare. Stranger Thingies draws…

BOOK REVIEW: NICOLE LARA – BULLET IT! A NOTEBOOK

The bullet journal or BuJo is a planning system that was created by designer, Ryder Carroll. It’s one that allows people to get organised, reflect on their actions and beliefs and to consider the future by combining a traditional calendar or planner with a diary/journal and notebook. Its aim is to eliminate the need for…

BLU-RAY REVIEW: EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING

The fourth wall is the imagined one separating actors from the audience. In Everything, Everything it feels like this is completely impenetrable. The main protagonist is a girl with an auto-immune disorder who has lived a life confined to her ultra-modern, sterilised house. The character seems like a nice-enough individual with a rich imagination but the…

BLU-RAY REVIEW: GIFTED

  Gifted is a film that asks some questions about how one should raise an exceptionally clever and talented child. Should the kid be pushed and have their abilities challenged in an environment where they may grow and excel or should they be simply allowed to be a “kid” and stay grounded? Gifted is ultimately a predictable…

BOOK REVIEW: MEREDITH JAFFE – THE MAKING OF CHRISTINA

  In her debut novel The Fence, Meredith Jaffé crafted a domestic drama about two feuding neighbours and a story that could have featured on a nightly current affairs show. Her second novel, The Making of Christina is also a family-based drama. But here, she ups the ante and explores some darker themes like abuse. Jaffé should be commended…

FILM REVIEW: WONDER WHEEL

On paper, Wonder Wheel seems to have all of the right credentials. It’s a dramatic film set in the 1950s so it’s bound to look great. It stars Kate Winslet and is directed by Woody Allen. It is also set at the Coney Island Amusement Park. But even with all of this stuff on offer, one would expect Wonder Wheel to be I…

BOOK REVIEW: MARTIN HANDFORD- WHERE’S WALLY? THE TOTALLY TERRIFIC TIN

Where’s Wally? The Totally Terrific Tin packages together the first three Where’s Wally? books. For Australian readers, Wally was the much-loved but elusive travelling man who was created by Martin Handford. Wally was mostly hidden in complex, crowd scenes in a series of different picture books. This tin seems like a nice little keepsake, and handy for travelling,…

BOOK REVIEW: JANE RAY – CINDERELLA

We are all familiar with the classic fairy-tale, Cinderella. It’s one that has been told in countless books and films. English illustrator and children’s author, Jane Ray retells this story in a beautiful, three-dimensional picture book that ultimately offers young readers a lot to marvel at and enjoy.   To read the rest of this review please…

BOOK REVIEW: CAROLE WILKINSON & LIZ ANELLI – OUR STORIES- TEN POUND POM

Australia is a country that is made up of many immigrants. Their stories are celebrated in our immigration museums and in special monuments like the Welcome Wall in Sydney, which immortalises the names of some individuals on a bronze plate. Australian author, Carole Wilkinson shares her own story of being a Ten Pound Pom in…

BOOK REVIEW: MARTIN HANDFORD: WHERE’S WALLY? DESTINATION: EVERYWHERE!

  For 30 years the bespectacled, intrepid world and time traveller known to Australian readers as Wally has entertained children and adults alike. British author and illustrator, Martin Handford has created incredibly detailed and complex hidden picture books where Wally and a host of his friends hide in the crowd scenes. The latest book, Where’s Wally:…