Book Review: Jennifer Palmieri’s Dear Madam President is a little book about some complex gender problems

Beyoncé may have sung about girls running the world but Jennifer Palmieri considered this a certainty until it was wrenched away in 2016. Palmieri was the communications director and advisor to Hillary Rodham Clinton in the presidential campaign that saw the advent of President Trump. Dear Madam President is a short book that chronicles this story and gives advice about some possible ways forward. It is ultimately a rather sound volume but it could have been improved by being longer and tackling certain subjects in a more in-depth way.... Read More | Share it now!

Five Books You Need To Read This Month: May

Our five titles this month are heavily US-centric, with novels set in Louisiana, California and Virginia. There’s also a weighty piece of Australian historical fiction to get your teeth into as well. We’re also featuring the new book length poem from Native American poet Tommy Pico, who is one of my favourite poets working at the moment.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Zoë Foster Blake’s Break-Up Boss is like a sassy big sister for the broken-hearted

Beloved Australian author, Zoë Foster Blake has become an authority on dating and relationships. The former Cosmopolitan columnist wrote Textbook Romance with Hamish Blake, the man who would one day become her husband. Now she delivers us Break-up Boss, a rather joyous but realistic pocket guide to break-ups and its companion piece, an eponymous app. Like Meshel Laurie’s Buddhism for Break-ups, it offers up lots of useful hints and tidbits for those people going through a break-up.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Cold Mountain author Charles Frazier returns to the American Civil War with Varina, a beautiful blend of fiction and history

1906, Saratoga Springs. A man named James Blake enters The Retreat hotel and asks to see Varina Davis. In his hands he holds a blue book, a book that offers a glimpse into his past. He barely remembers Mrs Davis – V – but he wonders if she remembers him, a small black boy rescued in uncertain circumstances and brought into her home. Wife to Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, V recollects her past, and what she can of James’, from the early days of a marriage to a man twice her age, through the Civil War she unwillingly found herself at the heart of, to the years afterwards when she left the South and all its pain behind.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Enter the dangerous world of the South African poaching industry with Tony Park’s Captive

Eager Australian lawyer Kerry Maxwell arrives in South Africa, ready and raring to help veterinarian Graham Baird in his fight against poachers in the country’s national parks. But Baird is not what she expects – he’s drunk, jaded, and, worst of all, he’s behind bars in Mozambique. Baird is responsible for the death of the brother of corrupt politician and poaching kingpin Fidel Costa, and faces a violent form of justice. But when Kerry tries to intervene, the situation only intensifies, throwing the idealistic young professional way in over her head. Kidnapped and betrayed, Kerry faces some hard lessons about the inner workings of the dangerous poaching industry, while Graham is forced to face his own emotional baggage head on, and remind himself why he got involved in the first place.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Miles Franklin Winner A.S. Patric’s follow up, Atlantic Black, is a surreal novel of pre-war Europe

After his novel Black Rock, White City won the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award, all eyes were on A.S. Patric. His win was something of a coup for small presses in Australia, and a first Miles Franklin win for publishing house Transit Lounge. Patric had been up against four extremely powerful novels, all written by Australian women, including Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things, which was the favourite to win. His follow up novel, Atlantic Black, which was realised just two years after he took out Australia’s richest and most prestigious literary award, was met with excitement and expectation.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Tom Rachman’s The Italian Teacher is a lyrical look at the true price of art

If there was ever an author who had the ability to paint a picture with his prose it’s Tom Rachman. In his latest novel, The Italian Teacher, Rachman puts together a complex and often lyrical study of a man who has grown up in the shadows of his artist father’s genius. The result is a heart-wrenching examination of modern art and its true costs.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Go beyond the Netflix series with Volker Kutscher’s Babylon Berlin

Berlin, 1929. A car is pulled from the Landwehr Canal with a mutilated corpse at the wheel. Detective Inspector Gereon Rath, newly arrived from Cologne, is on the case, stepping outside his jurisdiction and onto a few toes in the process. His search sends him deep into the seedy underworld of Weimar Berlin, where drug dealers, criminal kingpins, and dirty cops watch his every move. But as a man hiding secrets of his own, how far is Rath willing to go for answers?... Read More | Share it now!