Book Review: Award-winning journalist Witold Szabłowski collects oral histories of Eastern Europe in Dancing Bears

For hundreds of years, Bulgarian Gypsies trained bears to perform. In the early 2000’s the practice was outlawed following the fall of communism, and the bears, who had only ever known their human family, were released into a reserve. Even now, years later, the bears still stand on their hind legs to dance whenever they see a human.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Delve into a 1930s murder with Katherine Kovacic’s The Portrait of Molly Dean

Molly Dean, artist’s muse and aspiring journalist, was brutally murdered in Melbourne in 1930. Despite compelling evidence her killer was never officially found. Seventy years later, art dealer Alex Clayton discovers what she believes to be a portrait of Molly and delves headfirst into the mystery. Despite cover-ups, missing records, and suspects long since deceased, Alex edges ever closer to the truth. But someone wants this secret to stay hidden, and they’ve got their eye on both Alex and the portrait.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Join eleven year old Sam on a dangerous and unpredictable road trip in Colin Dray’s Sign

Recovering from a major surgery that took away his ability to speak, Sam is a young boy without a voice. So when his Aunt Dettie packs up Sam, and his sister Katie, and sets out to drive from Sydney to Perth, Sam is unable to protest. Promised that their estranged father is waiting for them and that their mother isn’t far behind, the kids strap in and ready themselves for a family reunion. But with bush fires on the horizon, and Dettie’s behaviour becoming increasingly erratic and unpredictable, this Australian road trip is set to get more dangerous by the second.... Read More | Share it now!

Review: Explore an abandoned Tel Aviv in Raphaël Jerusalmy’s poetic novella Evacuation

Young filmmaker Naor is driving with his mother. Along the way, he tells his mother of his time in Tel Aviv, abandoned after a mandatory evacuation. Staying behind with his girlfriend Yaël, and his grandfather, Naor encounters a new side to his beloved city. As the bombs fall, the trio begin to make a film, and Naor discovers the true reasons behind his loved ones decisions to stay in the empty city.... Read More | Share it now!

Interview: Jessie Burton on bringing her beloved novel to the small screen in The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist became a worldwide bestseller upon its release in 2014. It tells the story of 18 year old Nella Oortman, who comes to Amsterdam as the wife of Johannes Brandt, a wealthy merchant in the employ of the Dutch East India Company. But as Johannes seems increasingly disinterested in being a husband, and his sister Marin rules the household along strict Christian guidelines, Nella finds herself alone and adrift in a world where appearances mean everything. When she writes to a mysterious Miniaturist to commission pieces for her wedding gift- an extravagant model of her home in miniature, the only household she seems to have any control of- she embroils herself in a haunting mystery.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Warren Mundine’s In Black + White is a searing look at Australian history & politics

If anyone knows the definition of the word “tough” then it’s Warren Mundine. This businessman and advisor to five Australian Prime Minsters grew up in poverty in Grafton. He faced racism and discrimination but he was also buoyed by the success of boxer, Lionel Rose. Mundine managed to rise above all of this and become a leading voice on Indigenous issues and an influential person in politics and business. In his memoir, In Black + White, Mundine takes the reader on a journey through his life story as well as indigenous affairs, politics and Australian history and he does this with a raw sense of truth that is unprecedented in politics.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Daniel Shand’s Fallow is a wild ride through the Scottish highlands, helmed by an increasingly unstable narrator

Paul and Michael Buchanan are in hiding. Moving from highland village to highland village, the brothers are trying to avoid the press and police surrounding their home after Michael’s release from prison. Convicted of the murder of a little girl when he was a teenager, Michael relies heavily on Paul to source them food and supplies. But Paul is concerned for more than just his younger brother’s well-being, as Fallow slowly reveals that Michael isn’t the one you should be worried about, after all.... Read More | Share it now!