A review of Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Overall, this book is interesting because it gives a new perspective on war from a boy who has never been involved in it. Also, because it is from the perspective of someone who is from a foreign country, the reader can understand what World War II was like for that country and how it affected them. I was personally intrigued by the character Pino because of the hope that he held throughout the whole war. Even though things around him were falling apart, and it seemed like nothing was going right, Pino still had faith that everything would be ok.

A review of Someone Like you by Karly Lane

Lane has chosen Saint Albans, a NSW inland settlement located on the Macdonald River on the same latitude as Tuggerah and Central Mangrove fictionalised as Lochway. Lane’s characters are well-defined and likeable. Her narrative leaves an impression of familiarity and association. Using the central figure as an author automatically opened up a vault of her own personal experiences to relate with and enrich the book’s content.

An interview with Gideon Haigh

Having spent over thirty years within the field of journalism, Gideon Haigh has regularly appeared in publications now numbering in the hundreds. In addition to his work for magazines and newspapers, he has produced a staggering thirty-two non-fiction books thus far, many of which have related to the history of cricket. He has received numerous prestigious awards and accolades, including the NSW Premier Award For Non-Fiction for The Office and the Ned Kelly Award for True Crime for Certain Admissions. A Scandal In Bohemia is his second true-crime work and chronicles the sensational (and still unsolved) murder of Mollie Dean, a controversial figure within Melbourne’s 1920/30s Bohemia scene.

A review of 16 Pills by Carley Moore

Moore writes like her life depends on it. She dissects the stories of her life with intelligence and precision, and invites the reader to share in her examination. Feminist, political, funny, and irreverent, Moore’s essays are masterful, and show a true love of the form; the stories are deeply personal, while still tapping into shared human experience.

A review of Grace in Love by Ruth Latta

Having co-authored, with Joy Trott, the biography Grace MacInnis: A Woman to Remember, Ruth Latta is an expert on her subject. In Grace in Love, she holds a magnifying glass to a crucial portion of Grace Woodsworth MacInnis’s long life. Because Grace in Loveis a novel, not a biography, some fictional characters mingle with the real ones.

An interview with Scott Erickson

Scott Erickson, author of The History of the Decline and Fall of America, talks about his new satirical novel and how it came about, his ideal audience, the value they’ll get from his book, about the idea of a collapsing America and the need for open discussion, about “semi-fiction” as a genre, why he writes satire, and lots more. 

A review of The Anarchist Thing to Do by Michael Raship

The Anarchist Thing to Do is immensely readable in a way that reminds me of Salinger, whose shorter works are particularly admired by Skye and Jude – I suspect because their descriptions of family life are as eccentric, hermetic and all-encompassing as their own. Embedded in a rich tradition of American storytelling, The Anarchist Thing to Do is a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding book, written with great assurance by an author who rarely puts a foot wrong.

A review of Green Point Bearings by Kathryn Fry

Though the poems in Green Point Bearings are grounded in the natural world and are rooted  in place, particularly Lake Macquarie, the Hunter and Northern Sydney, there is also something a bit magical in these poems.  There is a mystery in this natural world that is inexplicable, arising from the spaces in which the poems are contained, in the rock, the trees, the flowers and shrubs that are everywhere and still precious, always in motion and changing: “Everything here speaks of infinity”.

An interview with A.E. Sawan

The author of Al Shabah: An Assassin’s Story talks about his debut novel and his inspiration for writing it, the blending of non-fiction with fiction, the challenges of writing about difficult and personal things, the steep learning curve of a first novel, and lots more.

A review of the Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland

There is a kind of magic that is woven through the book, primarily from the language of flowers that works in conjunction with the semantical story but has its own silent meaning.  Flannel flowers mean “what is lost is found”, Sturt’s Desert Peas, which are integral to the plot, mean “Have courage, take heart”, and Foxtails mean “Blood of my blood”.  These flowers become Alice’s language when words fail her.