The High Mountains of Portugal

Yann Martel,  The High Mountains of Portugal, Text Publishing $29.99 (April 2016)

Yann Martel

I confess that the reason why I chose this book was because of a recent trip I took to Portugal, not to mention that The Life of P, by the same author, is just about everyone’s favourite. If I thought it was a bit out there, it is as nothing compared to this ‘magic realism’ (I think that’s how you would describe it).

The book … Read more »

The Secret Chord

Geraldine Brooks,  The Secret Chord,  Hachette Australia, $34.99 (March 2016)

Australian award-winning author, BookGeraldine Brooks, brings to each of her books a completely different voice, and her latest novel, The Secret Chord, doesn’t disappoint those of us who hang out for each of her offerings. Her first novel, Years of Wonder, was set in 17th century Britain, March moved to America in the 19th century, People of the Book, spanned the centuries, based in Sarajevo, then back to 17th century America … Read more »

Politics, Death and Addiction

Carolyn Hirsh,  Politics, Death and Addiction, Brolga Publishing. (February 2016)

Carolyn Hirsh is a Melbourne-based writer whose memoir, Politics, Death and Addiction, was short-listed for the Finch Memorial Prize, 2013. This is a story of love, tragedy, family, professional life, addiction and recovery.

At the heart of Carolyn’s life has been her commitment to social justice while at the same time, she constantly juggled responsibilities associated with being a sole parent, after she was widowed as a young wife and mother. A product of her time (and her gender), she worked and studied to improve her qualifications and her ability … Read more »

The Heart Goes Last

Margaret Atwood, The Heart Goes Last, Bloomsbury $32.99 (December 2015) 

Lucky for us, Margaret Atwood is still turning them out. Fifty-five publications to date: fiction, poetry, essays and children’s books. I have always enjoyed the work of this Canadian author, especially her futuristic stories such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake.

The Heart Goes Last tells a similar story of an horrific future age of economic collapse and high tech solutions. For some it is a life of poverty and crime while … Read more »

Noonday

Pat Barker, Noonday, Hamish Hamilton, $32.99 (November 2015)

Noonday completes the story of Elinor Brooke, Paul Tarrant and Kit Neville, the two previous novels being Life Class and Toby’s Room. It is the first time that Pat Barker has written about the Second World War, her Booker Prize winners being set in the period of the First World War (The Regeneration Trilogy). She places the three friends, who had been together in the Slade School of Art in their youth, … Read more »