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Berkelouw Balgowlah - Book Reviews

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The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski

Reviewed by Jaimee

Think Roman Empire meets Victorian England, with a main character who is Elizabeth Bennet cross Katniss Everdeen.    When Kestrel, the privileged daughter of a General, impulsively purchases Arin, a slave, at the market she sets the whole city talking. After being surrounded ... (continued)

The Shepherd's Life- James Rebanks

Reviewed by Elias

The English Lakes are famous for their beauty, but less famous for their farmers. James Rebanks, proud inheritor of a tradition that spans millennia, is a tenth-generation shepherd – that rarest of beasts, a working small hold farmer. This book is an account of his life on a land enshrin... (continued)

Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner? - Katrine Marcal

Reviewed by Elias

When Adam Smith theorised modern economics in the 18th Century, he based it on the individual. The workings of the market were driven by this individual pursuing their rational self-interest, as natural to humans as eating or breathing. In this hilarious, breezy, and sharp book, Katrine Mar&cc... (continued)

Landfalls- Naomi J.Williams

Reviewed by Lee

One voyage, many voices.  Leaving France in 1785 with the grand purpose of scientific and geographic discovery, Laperouse commands La Boussole and Astrolabe, and the fate of 114 men. This novel captures that ill-fated expedition with meticulous research and terrific characterisation. ... (continued)

The Other Side of the World- Stephanie Bishop

Reviewed by Jaimee

  Charlotte belongs in her little cottage, which always leaks and is far too small and far too cold, in England. Her husband however has had enough, and begs her to move to Australia. Run down by two children, Charlotte throws her hands in the air and says “Fine, I’ll go&r... (continued)

One True Thing- Nicole Hayes

Reviewed by Jaimee

A nice alternative to dystopian fantasy. Following in the tradition of Looking For Alibrandi, this is a “real life” fiction about Frankie. Frankie, whose mother is the current Victorian Premier, who is in the middle of election season, and is being trotted out as part of the &lsquo... (continued)

So You've Been Publicly Shamed- Jon Ronson

Reviewed by Elias

When Jon Ronson discovers a fake account on Twitter bearing his name and picture, posting fatuous updates about imaginary food, he is, naturally, annoyed. Being an investigative journalist, he soon tracks down those responsible – a group of young academics running a dubious experiment &n... (continued)

Spark- Rachael Craw

Reviewed by Imogen

This is a great book for teens. A girl named Evie is a normal teenager one day, and the next she is a Shield, a protector for her friend Kitty. Evie doesn't know who she is protecting Kitty from- all they know is that someone is out to get her. I really enjoyed this book- it's a gr... (continued)

The Paying Guests- Sarah Waters

Reviewed by Lee

A beautifully written, entirely engaging novel set in 1920s London. This is a London recovering from WWI, its inhabitatnts negotiating subtle (and not so subtle) soicial and economic change. A widow and her daughter, whose circumstances are slowly shrinking, live in a large fraying house. Taki... (continued)

Lost and Found- Brooke Davis

Reviewed by Jaimee

This is undeniably the best debut novel I have ever read. Lost and Found is a beautifully human tale about how a little girl, an old lady, and an old man, learn to grieve and to laugh, to cry and to smile, to fear and be thrilled. While a story about death and loss wouldn't always be c... (continued)

The Lies of Locke Lamora- Scott Lynch

Reviewed by Jeremy

Stranded and starving orphans are not meant to survive for long in Camorr, a city of dark alleys, rancid canals and sprawling slums. Locke Lamora, blessed with a quick wit and a certain moral flexibility, is one of the lucky few. When he is taken under the wing of a priest of the Crooked Warde... (continued)

Wolf Hall- Hilary Mantel

Reviewed by Elias

Hilary Mantel's dark masterpiece, charting the traslation of Thomas Cromwell from Putney blacksmith's son to brilliant and drangerous courtier in the court of Henry VIII. A literary page-turner and insightful, unsettling reflection on history and power, Wolf Hall is set at a time when ... (continued)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky

Reviewed by Brendan

Written as a series of letters to an anonymous stranger, this coming of age account invites the reader into a world populated by unforgettable characters sure to remain in your mind long after the last page is turned. We accompany Charlie, the eponymous wallflower, as he navigates the world of... (continued)

The Hundred-Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin

Reviewed by Andrew, Berkelouw Balgowlah Modern fantasy fun. Do not expect the typical 'hero goes on a quest storyline with an assorted bunch of weird, wild and wacky personalities' where the reader is allowed sequential time to explore their wonderful new setting. Instead, Jemisin submerses the ... (continued)

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Reviewed by Elena and Maria, Berkelouw Balgowlah LOVED IT! LOVED IT! LOVED IT! Imagine a world without love. There would be fewer wars. Fewer lies. Less pain. People would all have a life that is "safe, measured, predictable, and happy". Of course, there would also be no romance. No family tie... (continued)

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

Reviewed by Elena, Berkelouw Balgowlah "love, n. I'm not going to even try." It is hard to do justice to a book that is so captivating but in such an indescribable way. Nevertheless I am going to try anyway because I want you to read it. This is a sparingly written, but beautifully crafted exp... (continued)

Mirror by Jeannie Baker

Reviewed by Liam, Berkelouw Balgowlah Jeanie Baker is back with another visually stunning story told in her signature collage style. This wordless picture book is both innovative & unique in that it contains two separate books, both telling the one story. One is of a young boy and his family... (continued)

Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Reviewed by Elena, Berkelouw Balgowlah This adorable adventure, full of linguistic fun, will absolutely charm your socks off (and probably your shoes too)! Princesses Rhyme and Reason have been banished from the Kingdom of Wisdom. Milo, with the help of his watchdog Tock, the loveable but bumbl... (continued)

The reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

Reviewed by Elena, Berkelouw Balgowlah Vampires: strong, blood-thirsty, sexy, superhuman - right? Not according to Jinks! Her vampires are a paltry, sickly lot - no superpowers, constantly nauseous from the guinea pig blood they are forced to drink, and regular members of a therapy group designe... (continued)

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

Reviewed by Elena, Berkelouw Balgowlah Philosophic and oh-so-French, Barbery peeks behind the curtain of a wealthy Parisian apartment, focusing her story through the prickly yet refined eyes of the concierge. Barbery's elegant prose reveals the inherent beauty in even the most ordinary things - ... (continued)

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