May 26

Cook’s Illustrated: a magazine that brings the STEAM into cookery

Have you heard the library is pivoting into STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) events?  As part of that push, I asked for us to get this new magazine and Make: which I reviewed earlier. When I say this to people, the connection between STEAM and Make: is pretty straightforward, but they don’t quite […]

May 24

Brood of the Witch Queen by Sax Rohmer and the train wreck that is early pulp

Can you enjoy books you know are on the wrong side of history? Recently I enjoyed the first of the Bony mysteries, even though it’s steeped so deep in 1920s Australian racism. I’ve just tried another book I knew was going to have all kinds of problems, and it’s defeated me. I’m listening to it, […]

May 22

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Solid teen scifi from the author of A Monster Calls, and the chief writer of the Doctor Who spinoff series Class.  The basic premise is that, in this world, there are two types of people, the Indie Kids, who are like the protagonists of teen supernatural TV shows, and the rest of us, who just […]

May 19

The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability

One of the corners of the media empire run by the Green Brothers on the internet is Sexplantions on YouTube, where they try to get their (mainly teen and twenties) audience past the woeful state of sex education in the United States. I was watching it the other day, and there was a video on sex […]

May 12

The Barrakee Mystery by Arthur Upfield

The Napoleon Bonaparte Series (Bony or sometimes Boney for short)  is an early set of detective novels set in Australia, with an aboriginal detective inspector. This first one was published in 1929. The audio warns before heading into them, they are prized mostly for their accurate depiction of life at that time.  What this means […]

May 09

Goodwood by Holly Throsby

Goodwood is the debut novel from Australian author Holly Throsby, who is also a noted singer-songwriter. Reading a mystery novel really takes me out of my comfort zone – I’m just not that way inclined – I need to know why, and I need to know NOW – not at the end of the book. The temptation […]

A Corpse at St Andrew’s Chapel – A Hugh De Singleton mystery

A medieval murder mystery by Mel Starr set in the 14th Century and the second novel in the Hugh De Singleton Chronicles. Alan, the beadle of the manor of Bampton, had gone out at dusk to seek those who might violate curfew. When, the following morning, he had not returned home, his young wife Matilda […]

Ghost Empire

GHOST EMPIRE  – Richard Fidler There were moments when I thought I would not finish this book, as it rambles across timelines, locations and people. I did finish it though and was in the end glad I did. Like most, I was aware that ‘”Istanbul was once Constantinople”, but not a whole lot more. This […]

The Mother’s group by Fiona Higgins

The Mothers’ group by Fiona Higgins is about a group of women, all with very different backgrounds and lives, who are brought together when they create a local mother’s group. They don’t always see eye to eye, yet they develop a friendly relationship through the common bond of their babies. When tragedy strikes one of them, they […]

May 05

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

This is a hard one to review: when it first came out, was it more shocking than now? I’ve not read it before, but I’ve seen enough of the hard boiled school to know that the farm girl’s mask may fall away and the gay guy is likely to be a villain.  There are twists, […]