BOOK REVIEW: LIANE MORIARTY – NINE PERFECT STRANGERS

  A wellness retreat may instil images of green smoothies, yoga, some crystals, and a massage. But what if this setting was hiding something more sinister? This idea is covered in Liane Moriarty’s eighth novel. Nine Perfect Strangers is a dark and humorous look at a wellness world where all is not always, ahem, ‘well.’   To…

BOOK REVIEW: NICKY PELLEGRINO – A YEAR AT HOTEL GONDOLA

  They say you’ve never been to Venice until you’ve gotten lost there. Nicky Pellegrino’s breezy romance novel does offer some opportunities to do just that. She captures the real Venice – from the hustle and bustle of the tourist hotspots to the places the locals love. A Year at Hotel Gondola is the tenth novel from…

BOOK REVIEW: MIRANDA HART- THE GIRL WITH THE LOST SMILE

  As much as we’d love our lives to be one big festival of happiness, the reality is that we all have periods of sadness. UK comedian, Miranda Hart certainly knows this. She has used her own depressive episode as the inspiration for her debut children’s book, The Girl with the Lost Smile. The story is a…

BOOK REVIEW: JACKIE FRENCH – THE LILY & THE ROSE

Beloved Australian author, Jackie French is a firm believer in the idea that history explains why our world is the way it is. She has written hundreds of books before, but it was her research for A Rose for the Anzac Boys that inspired her to write her latest historical fiction trilogy. The Lily and the Rose is the…

BOOK REVIEW: LISA GENOVA – EVERY NOTE PLAYED

  Some people’s experience with motor neurone disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is confined to their knowledge of the late Stephen Hawking. Others may also know about the late baseball player Lou Gehrig, former American football player Steve Gleason, or the ice bucket challenge that became popular online. Author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova has…

FILM REVIEW: THE SECOND

  When you think of words like “The Second” it’s easy to be dismissive and consider it something sub-par. In the context of the new Australian film, it’s all about a writer grappling with penning her sophomore novel. But this plodding, psychological drama ultimately comes off as second-best due to some issues with its pacing…

BOOK REVIEW: BETOOTA’S AUSTRALIA

  When you’re a kid from a small, country town, the prospect of leaving home and moving to the big smoke can be scary. The guys from The Betoota Advocate know all about this so they’ve written Betoota’s Australia – A Guide to the Great Southern Land by Australia’s Oldest Newspaper (although in truth, it’s actually by…

DVD REVIEW: REBEL IN THE RYE

  There is a line in Rebel In The Rye where famous author, J.D. Salinger declares that fiction is “More truthful than reality.” The same can also be said of this bio-pic. The plot is all about the notoriously private and reclusive author of the classic novel, The Catcher In The Rye, and while much has…

BOOK REVIEW: SOPHIA NASH – WHISPERING IN FRENCH

  At university, a friend casually observed that those studying psychology tended to be people who seemed the most neurotic personalities themselves. The same rings true for the main protagonist in the novel, Whispering in French. Kate Hamilton is a French-American therapist who is trained to help her clients through their problems, but her own life is…