Category: Book Reviews

Book Reviews

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 Lucky Or Not Here I Come by Gerry Orz

Lucky Or Not, Here I Come is the debut novel of Gerry Orz, written when he was just fifteen years old. Immediately the reader can see that Orz is a storyteller who keeps his audience engaged and involved. These attributes also translate well into his ventures in filmmaking.

A review of Loose Ends by Caroline Taylor

You can call Loose Ends social commentary, a mystery to be solved, a psychological thriller, an escape novel for the novel, and even a comedy of errors. While it’s a serious situation both women are in now and were in when they were growing up temporarily in El Salvador, there’s a comedic lining.

A review of The Measure of the Moon by Lisa Preston

Preston crafts a parallel mystery that keeps the reader turning pages. What’s the link between these two characters? They appear to have nothing in common and are leading completely unrelated lifestyles. Gillian is an insulated city girl focused on her career and making a half-hearted attempt to save her crumbling marriage; Greer’s family is urban, outdoorsy, close-knit, and protective of each other.

A review of Mallee Boys by Charlie Archbold

The layout of the book uses an alternating overlap method of depicting each brother’s experiences and the reader easily acclimatises to this pattern. Before long you are drawn right into the surroundings and share in the understandings of three males who are set adrift without a matriarch to steer their lives.

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 Never Completely Awake by Martina Reisz Newberry

er poetry is universal in its ability to resonate with her audience. The writing is uncompromising and passionate. Her words are clothed in her experiences: rich and very human. Newberry writes with courage and a refreshing and welcoming honesty. I make no excuses for gushing over her work, it’s deserving of my every gush. You don’t read Martina Reisz Newberry, you experience her.

A review of North and Central by Bob Hartley

The choppy, lean writing strikes me as a guy’s kind of writing, but I do love some quirky humor sprinkled throughout. Two cheap Santas fight for the right to be in Andy’s bar and another time two wobbly octogenarians punch it out for the woman they love and the hubby shatters the other’s dentures. Defeated the toothless gent totters up to the bar to ask for a beer and is told “no teeth, no beer!”

A review of Glasshouses by Stuart Barnes

The work resists an easy correspondence. You can’t “translate” it to a simple message or meaning. Instead the poems move between landscapes that feel like they should be familiar, with the unsettling quality of dreams or memory – slightly distorted and nightmarish, but also enticing.