The Quest for Eden-Monaro: A Core Sample of Australian Democracy

review by Angela Marshall

by Eleanor Robin 

There are several aspects of Eden-Monaro, our federal electorate, that many know about it, or think they do. It is one of the original Federation electorates – it was established in 1901 and, although its boundaries have changed many times in keeping with changing population numbers, it is still recognisably the same electorate that it was 121 years ago. It encompasses the high plains of … Read more »

Rock Paper Scissors 

by Alice Feeney
Harper Collins Australia

Reviewed by Wendy Tucker 

I often read crime fiction as a break from more challenging literary fiction. Crime, suspense, thriller, psychological thriller … whatever they were once listed as, they now seem to have merged under the general title of crime or thriller. 

There seems to be an increased appetite for crime fiction and it now outsells most other genres. Bestselling thriller writer, David Baldacci, says that when times are more stressful (and … Read more »

Devotion        

Review by Wendy Tucker

Devotion 

Hannah Kent

Hannah Kent’s eagerly-awaited third novel is a departure from her earlier two although it continues with her themes of women on the fringes of their society, women who evoke suspicion.

The novel is divided into three sections: Before, After and Then.

It begins in 1836 in Prussia, where Hanne is part of an Old Lutheran community, now banned from the practice of their religion. Hanne is fifteen years old and dreading the responsibilities … Read more »

Still Life    

reviewed by Wendy Tucker

Still Life
Sarah Winman

HarperCollins, $32.99

This novel was my perfect antidote to a Christmas of rain, uncertainty and lots of visitors. It is a wonderfully rich, multi-layered, joyous and affectionate novel that spans the years between 1944 and 1979.

It is a character-driven novel with brave, transgressive characters who are a joy to know and show, in different ways, how lives can be resurrected and changed. And the city of Florence … Read more »

Book Review highlights for 2021

2021 was not the greatest year of our lives but, for avid readers, it has had some terrific highlights. Here are my selections for the best of – would love to hear which books gave you the most pleasure. 

Overall favourites/champions

After Story – Larissa Behrendt; and Kazuo Ishiguro – Klara and the Sun

Best biography

James Campbell – Talking at the Gates: A Life of James Baldwin

Best political histories

Johanna Perheentupa – Redfern: Aboriginal Activism in the 1970s; … Read more »

Dear Son: Letters and Reflections from First Nations Fathers and Sons

Reviewed by Heather O’Connor

Thomas Mayor
$34.99

Thomas Mayor is a Torres Strait Islander, father of five, union official, and tireless advocate for the proposals in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. In this collection he invited twelve contributors to write a letter, either to his father or son. The writers come from a wide range of professions and life experiences, and each is a leader in his own right. They write of life, masculinity, culture and … Read more »