This reading list is a contribution to the sharing of books. All sorts of books make their way to my bedside table. Some are sent, some recommended, some given as gifts or lent by someone who has enjoyed reading them.
Others (let’s be frank – many) I see on a bookstore shelf, find irresistible and bring home. A few of these become family members who may not leave my bookshelf, but can be read by guests who stay. Some wander on to other homes and hearts.
If you have books you’d like to talk about contact me via the web contact form.
Independently published, Australia, 2022 Cover design SGB Book Cover Designs Images from Istock
It is cause for great celebration, I think, that the Canberra region is not only become home to a growing number of fine writers but also that the region itself has finally been accepted as a suitable place in which to set stories. The lamentable cultural cringe our writers have had to contend with for decades has, at last, abated.
Independently published through Broadcast Books, Australia, 2022 Cover design Matthew Oswald, Like Design Cover photo by the author
It is by no means a new thing to write a book from an animal’s point of view. Such works often have an agenda and others tend to the twee. Neither is the case with Karen Waldman’s smart, funny and insightful work with Sidnie the English Cocker Spaniel in the driving seat.
Fourth Estate, an imprint of Harper Collins, Australia, 2022 Cover design by Alissa Dinallo Cover images floral collage ANA & YVY; face and neck by shutterstock
You could read this book as an invitation to young women and girls to find and pursue their joy, free of societal judgment and condemnation and wherever it may lie. Or you could read it as a well-researched, serious thesis on gender and society – citing both empirical and anecdotal evidence. Or, thankfully, you could do both.
Cover design by Christabella Design Cover illustration (sneakers) by Ben Sanders; images Stocksy and Shutterstock
Megan Albany’s first novel is funny and heart-breaking in equal measure, a skilfully wrought study of the difficult art of dying in our society, told in the voice of a relatively young woman dying of cancer.
Connor Court Publishing, Australia, 2022 Cover Antony Jeffrey’s daughter Ann Design Guy Jeffrey
The Poinciana Tree is an homage to the author’s mother, but it is also a portrait of the author, his family and their lives. It is as well a social history of the first part of the 20th century in Australia, especially the years before, during and immediately after the second World War.
Hardie Grant, Australia, 2022 Design Jo Hunt, Tania McCartney
The second in the Plume series is an exploration of the joys of foods and food culture around the world. As with her other work, Tania McCartney has demonstrated an understanding of how young children think and behave, whilst creating a book which adults will also enjoy.
The Majura Café Poets have been meeting since 2009 under the leadership of Canberra poet Fiona McIlroy. Despite the limitations of COVID lockdowns and uncertainty, the group has continued to gather and enjoy collegial support for their writing over the last two years and has produced this excellent slim volume of selected works.
Lothian Books, Hachette, Australia, 2022 Text and illustrations by Susannah Crispe Design: Kirby Armstrong
Under the Moonlight is the first of Susannah Crispe’s books as both writer and illustrator, though she has been illustrator for a number before. It is a gentle story, aimed at putting fear of the dark unknown in its rightful place.