Category: Non fiction reviews

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 Thrive Through Yoga by Nicola Jane Hobbs

There are plenty of yoga guides out there, and a very confusing set of different yoga styles and philosophies, but Nicola Jane Hobbs’ presents a particularly compelling approach that transcends style and focuses on practical application.  For one thing, she’s seriously charismatic, demonstrating each pose with grace and clarity, and very openly using her own personal story of anorexia, OCD, depression and anxiety in order to provide real empathy and connection. For another, she’s not just another charismatic young ‘influencer’.  Hobbs has serious qualifications in Yoga, Psychology, and Nutrition, and has clocked up many hours of experience which are put to good use in this very readable book. 

A review of Deliverance by Miantae Metcalf McConnell

The lives of forgotten, marginalized persons – among them, people of other ethnicities to our own, and women – are in desperate need of recuperation. Many of those lives are fascinating, enlightening and inspiring, but if we seek deliberately to make them inspiring from our own positions of power and privilege, then we do them a grave disservice and perpetuate the historical imbalances that marginalized them in the first place.

A review of Minimalism by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

Millburn and Nicodemus used their own discontent as a springboard to identifying the things that were ‘anchoring’ them or holding them back from finding meaning in their lives. This included the big mortgage payments that came with the expensive houses, unhealthy relationships, car payments, debts, continual spending and the high pressure careers with long hours that were required to keep the cycle going.

A review of Rome: A History in Seven Sackings by Matthew Kneale

Kneale’s two-millennium travel guide has enlightened my understanding on everything Roman, and this experience will remain within my mind indefinitely. This excellent book delivers a century-by-century account of Rome’s inhabitants, their commercial and cultural challenges along with endless religious disruptions and several sieges commencing with the Battle of Allia by the Gauls (Celts).

A review of Little Me by Matt Lucas

There’s a graciousness and respect that underlies all of the stories in this book. Little Me  creates the feeling that the reader is being taken into a very relaxed confidence, in which we get to hear the juicy backstage details as if they were being whispered to us over a cup of tea. Obviously this is a book that will be far more enjoyable for fans than for those who have never seen Matt Lucas’ work – there are a lot of references to his shows, and reading about the processes behind the shows is definitely part of the enjoyment of this gentle, self-deprecating, sometimes slapstick, but always moving memoir.

A review of Scorn by Matthew Parris

Not only does this book deliver 432 pages of compressed and valuable entertainment, it releases a multitude of ready responses that if rehearsed well, will provide a source of heavy artillery for any form of social intercourse within societies’ boundaries. This is also a vernacular most Australians accept as dinkum.

A review of The Diary of Esther Small 1886 edited and transcribed by Sarah Sousa

Sousa was not simply intrigued. She was invested. She deciphered the entries, sleuthed the cemetery records and censuses, and extensively researched nineteenth century women’s diaries, as evidenced in her luminous afterword on the subject. Surpassing the role of transcriber of Small’s logbook, Sousa became conservator and steward of the archive of her daily life.

A review of Kilted Yoga by Finlay Wilson

Because the text is minimal and the pictures large, it’s easy to follow along, especially if you’ve done yoga before. It might be a little trickier for absolute beginners, although none of the poses are particularly complex. The book can also be used as inspiration, as a way of adding to an existing practice with a few new poses, meditations or visualisations. All in all, Kilted Yoga is a bonny wee resource to help anyone get the most out of a regular yoga practice.