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Book Reviews


9781760555382

No Friend But the Mountains by Behrouz Boochani

Reviewed by Bru

No Friend But the Mountains was written entirely on a mobile phone by Behrouz Boochani, an Kurdish journalist detained on Manus Island.  When the book won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, the author, still incarcerated, was unable to collect his award. This lyrical, brave mem... (continued)
9781787330412

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

Reviewed by Michela

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh charts the journey of a young nameless narrator who enters a drug-induced hibernation to escape the societal demands placed on her by being a white, wealthy, and  beautiful inhabitant of New York City in the early 2000s. Moshfegh’s ... (continued)
9781787331105

You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian

Reviewed by Bru

Kristen Roupenian shot to fame with her viral short story in the New Yorker Cat Person. Her new collection You Know You Want This follows in the famed story’s tradition, ruthlessly examining the dark underbelly of modern relationships and love. Perfect for fans of Sally Rooney and Elena ... (continued)
9780670078189

The Arsonist

Reviewed by Rebecca Milne

  The Arsonist is a fascinating and incredibly compelling account of the Churchill Fire, one of 400 in Victoria on Black Saturday in 2009, and the subsequent investigation and arrest and trial of Brendan Sokaluk. The horrifying descriptions of the heat and ferocity of the fire... (continued)
9781760295776

Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee

Reviewed by Claudia Ashton

Through her compelling transcript of her observations as Judges associate, Bri Lee candidly reveals the ineffectual and bias treatment of women in our legal system. What she’s relaying is unbearable and unthinkable. And what is remarkable is that she has the courage and conviction to do ... (continued)
9780143785286

Out of the Forest by Gregory P. Smith

Reviewed by Natalie, Cronulla

A fascinating, devastating and uplifting meditation on the impacts of childhood abuse, the restorative power of nature and how we connect with society. If you like 'Lost Connections', you'll love this. (continued)
9781760630560

Cedar Valley by Holly Throsby

Reviewed by Shelly, Book Buyer

The most endearing thing about Goodwood was the way Holly lovingly captured the small town community spirit, and Cedar Valley is another beautifully crafted novel set in a small town (near Goodwood, there are a couple of easter eggs for the fans!). While the mystery in Goodwood was a very pers... (continued)
9781760295776

Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee

Reviewed by Natalie, Cronulla

A fiercely articulate, well-constructed, courageous reckoning of one woman's past meeting the limitations and inadequacies of the judicial court system. A brave personal journey coupled with a relentless professional pilgrimmage. A 2018 must read. (continued)
9781781259993

Civilizations: How Do We Look & Eye of Faith by Mary Beard

Reviewed by Natalie, Cronulla

Accompanying the BBC television series this book is both an accessible and completely fascinating account of early faith in history. (continued)
9781460753897

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

Reviewed by Natalie, Cronulla

5 stars! I just loved everything about this book - it made me laugh, cry and sometimes both. This is a beautiful coming of age story that had me from the start. Defintely keep in place for it by Tim Winton and Jasper Jones. (continued)
9781406370645

The Wonderling

Reviewed by Harley Crebert (aged 9)

Arthur, the one eared fox ("Wonderling") and Trinket (a small wingless bird) are the unlikely heroes who embark on heroic adventures and daring escapades through the fantastical world of Lumentown, Gloomintown and The Home (for wayward and misbegotten creatures). On a quest ... (continued)
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Dork Diaries: Frenemies Forever

Reviewed by Olivia

A young customer of ours has kindly reviewed one of our new young fictions! (continued)
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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Reviewed by Jo Riccioni, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale

Fantasy lovers, meet Mia Corvere, 17-year-old dispossessed noble of Godsgrave, on the run from her father’s killers and out for revenge. Mia is tough and smart, determined to become a student at the esoteric Red Church. But the Red Church is no ordinary school. There the most deadly assa... (continued)
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See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale

Lizzie Borden's grizzly tale is hardly the obvious story for a librarian from regional Victoria to retell as a debut novel - but Sarah Schmidt makes a suitably chilling job of rendering the last days of Andrew Borden and his wife Abby. Covering the period leading up to the murders and ... (continued)
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Dregs by Jorn Lier Horst

Reviewed by Shirley Corley, Berkelouw Crime Book Club

For fans of Scandi Noir  a new star is born.  He is Norwegian crime writer Jorn Lier Horst. His sixth crime novel, brilliantly translated into English, has now been published in Australia.  Due to the success of Dregs, two more novels will follow later this year. This beautifull... (continued)
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Winter Traffic by Stephen Greenall

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale

Big man, Detective Michael Rawson, known variously as The Big Ship, The Blue Movie and The Incremental to give you just a few of his nicknames is at the centre of this sprawling story. He has been a hero, he has big gambling debts, he worries about his daughter and ex-wife and although he is s... (continued)
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A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale

When Count Alexander Rostov appears before the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs in post-revolutionary Moscow he is declared to be a non-person and condemned to live the rest of his life in the Metropol Hotel - "set foot outside the Metropol again and you will be shot".&n... (continued)
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The Turners by Mick Elliott

Reviewed by 10 year old Zac Martin

My Book Review (on Turners) The book Turners was VERY good in my opinion. The description was amazing along with the details of everything that was happening.  Excitement was something else that hooked me into Turners. He turned into a KOMODO DRAGON!!!AT SCHOOL!!!!!!Just heaps of... (continued)
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The Boy Behind the Curtain by Tim Winton

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books Mona Vale

Helen Garner's recent collection of writing is called Everywhere I Look, and in Garner's work it seems to me, it is what she chooses to notice, the things she looks at, that create a  particular view of the world, delivered to the reader through her transcendent writing.  I t... (continued)
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Barkskins by Annie Proulx

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books Mona Vale

Annie Proulx' s novel tells the story of the European colonisation of North America through the exploitation of its vast forests, and the history of the Sel and Duquet family who arrive in Kebec in 1693.With the destruction of the forest comes the marginalisation of the indigenous people w... (continued)