BOOK REVIEW: ROSANNA LEY – THE LITTLE THEATRE BY THE SEA

  On paper, a book like The Little Theatre by the Sea has the ingredients for a fabulous, summer read. It has an interesting-enough premise, it’s set in a fine, exotic location and it’s by the best-selling author of The Villa and The Saffron Trail. The end product, however, is like a pleasant but not particularly memorable holiday because you may…

BOOK REVIEW: HAIRY MACLARY & FRIENDS LITTLE LIBRARY

  Hairy Maclary is a classic character from children’s books. The stories were always wonderful reads in that the language was simplistic but extremely well-crafted. The text featured excellent rhymes and delightful and whimsical prose. The Hairy Maclary and Friends Little Library stars these same beloved characters, but the stories are condensed down to a single sentence…

BOOK REVIEW: ROBERT WAINWRIGHT – MISS MURIEL MATTERS

  Muriel Matters is a name we should all know but probably don’t. She was an inspiring woman, activist, and social re-former who played a vital role in the suffrage movement. Journalist and author Robert Wainwright has penned her biography, Miss Muriel Matters, and it’s a book that should restore Muriel’s name to the history books…

BOOK REVIEW: JOYCE MORGAN – MARTIN SHARP – HIS LIFE & TIMES

  If you don’t know the name Martin Sharp it’s still likely you’ll be familiar with his artworks. The Australian artist was responsible for designing the covers of Cream’s two studio albums, was the co-founder and principal cartoonist at Oz magazine and produced famous posters of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and more. Martin Sharp –…

BOOK REVIEW: TEA COOPER – THE CURRENCY LASS

  The Currency Lass is a dramatic story about a young woman who runs away to join the circus. The eponymous character is Catherine Cottingham, an independent young woman who is orphaned on the verge of her 21st birthday. Her philanthropist father has passed away and left her riddled with a saddlebag of debt. This…

BOOK REVIEW: ANNA ROMER – BEYOND THE ORCHARD

  Beyond the Orchard is an Australian saga spanning multiple years, taking in different generations and perspectives. It seems to have a lot in common with the late Bryce Courtenay’s work insofar as it’s an epic slice of Australiana. The book is the third novel by Anna Romer (Thornwood House) and a rich and detailed…

BOOK REVIEW: GRAEME SIMSION – THE BEST OF ADAM SHARP

  The Best of Adam Sharp is like Sliding Doors meets High Fidelity. The third novel by author, Graeme Simsion takes a more dramatic and wistful approach to his previous novels, The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect. In Adam Sharp, Simison grapples with the question of “What if?” and produces a well-written dramedy and…

BOOK REVIEW: ROLAND HARVEY – ON THE RIVER

Roland Harvey’s family adventure series has included trips to the beach, bush and farm. His latest picture book, On The River is set on Australia’s Murray River. It’s a story that will engage adults and children alike thanks to its light and whimsical text, colourful watercolour illustrations and rather detailed and informative facts. This book…

BOOK REVIEW: JENN J MCLEOD – THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SEASON

  The Other Side of the Season is a mysterious, Australian novel set near Byron Bay. It’s the fourth book by Australian author, Jenn J McLeod and it’s basically like an onion. As you read the prose it’s like another layer is slowly stripped away to reveal something more and slightly different. The Other Side…

BOOK REVIEW: LUKE DEVENISH – THE SECRET HEIRESS

  The Secret Heiress is a rich, historic fiction book set in Castlemaine, Australia in 1886 and 1903. The novel is by screenwriter, playwright, author and academic, Luke Devenish. The latter is no stranger to writing about history as his two previous books were set in Ancient Rome. His latest offering is a rather mysterious…