Category: Non fiction reviews

A review of The Collins Australian Dictionary 9th Edition

The latest Collins Australian Dictionary is a beauty and has everything you want in a dictionary. It’s both ultra-modern and classic; big in scope and size, but still fits on the bookshelf; attractive but not the slightest bit obsequious; serious but with its nod to lingo and mediaspeak, still fun. If you don’t already have a major dictionary reference tool, this is an exceptional one, and though not cheap, an excellent investment.

A review of Red Hot Internet Publicity by Penny Sansevieri

When it comes to the virtual book tour, Red Hot Internet Publicity really shines. Sansevieri has been running virtual book tours for authors for a few years now, and although her services aren’t inexpensive (she’s got plenty of inside knowledge which makes the tours effective), this book is.

A review of Naples ‘44 by Norman Lewis

Lewis is a compassionate, clear-headed witness to heartrending tragedy, but there are many moments of irony and humour here as well. There is plenty of poverty, horror and suffering in these pages; yet there is resilience too. People survive.

A review of Shakespeare the Thinker by A.D. Nuttall

Nuttall uses wit and personal recollections to illuminate his text. The result is lively and relaxed although he makes no concessions to difficulties. His explanations are cogent and full. As a book by a writer worth reading for his own sake and as one of the dozen books that any reader of Shakespeare should have, this is not only an essential book, it is a delight.

A review of The Quiet by Paul Wilson

The Quiet is an easy to read book which steers clear of too much dogma and focuses instead on helping readers achieve their own sense of calm. It is written in simple plain language on nice matt recycled paper, with attractive turquoise diagrams.

A review of Virginia Woolf by Julia Briggs

This book dwells necessarily on the Bloomsbury group, a subject of so many books that saturation impairs the urgency of its interest, but she surmounts this as much as possible by an emphasis on Woolf. She has written a model of what good literary criticism should be. This is an excellent book to add to the collection of any reader who requires a useful and intriguing book on a fascinating but often elusive writer.

A review of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Dawkins is such a clear thinking scientist that he manages, through analogy, metaphor, logical argument, and example to make his points with the kind of clarity that religious theologians rarely reach. This book is a joy to read, and never gets dry or terse. Instead Dawkins’ good humour and sense of humanistic pleasure in science and discovery are constantly evident.

A review of The Paris Review Interviews, volume 1

Overall, Gourevitch’s hope that these interviews will stand “if not as definitive portraits of each artist, then as a significant contribution to such an ultimate portrait, with the added fascination that they are in large measure self-portraits” has been, on my reading, largely fulfilled.