Book Club

Much ado about Indira
Dianne Dempsey
One of the ways the horrors of the nightly news was made palatable for us was through the persona of news presenter Indira Naidoo. Ms Naidoo presented the SBS News’ inaugural Late News in the late 1990s. During this time she covered the independence struggle in East Timor, the cou..
29-Jul-2016
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Riding the storm in Zimbabwe
Rosalea Ryan
If there’s one animal that symbolises Africa more than any other, it’s the elephant, yet within our lifetime, researchers predict, the last wild herds of this species will most likely disappear. One of the most vulnerable elephant populations is in Zimbabwe, a country whose chronic s..
28-Jul-2016
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Mystery in the north
Rosalea Ryan
First came a dead rabbit, then a dead teenaged girl. Now, more than 20 years later, three more bodies have surfaced in Luke Hadler’s immediate orbit: wife Karen, son Billy and Hadler himself, each one killed outright by a shotgun blast. Initially it appears to be the all-too-common collaps..
21-Jul-2016
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Playing in the dark
Bendigo Weekly
Shades: shades of truth, shades of virtue, shades of evil – shades in all their incarnations run as a central theme through The Toymaker. Juxtaposing the horrors of World War II’s Auschwitz death camp with matter-of-fact 21st-century consumerism in outer Melbourne, novelist Liam Piep..
14-Jul-2016
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Secrets of the forest
Steve Kendall
Black Fleur Ferris Random House, $19.99 Ebony Marshall has a nickname around town, Black. It’s part to do with her name, but there’s a more sinister reason. Everyone says she is bad. Death seems to follow in her wake, and her reputation i..
07-Jul-2016
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Roadtrip of Discovery
Rosalea Ryan
AT the age of 19 Tara Winkler travels to Cambodia for the first time as an add-on to a roadtrip centred primarily on Thailand and Laos. It turns out to be a confronting experience. In one of the lesser-known Cambodian cities she encounters apparently parentless children cramped together in s..
24-Jun-2016
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Reading on track
Rosalea Ryan
FORTY-NINE individual train journeys covering almost 36,000 kilometres through 22 countries on five continents – surely there must be a story or two worth telling in all that? There’s an entire book, in fact, presented in colourful, bewitching and often-humorous fashion by Britis..
17-Jun-2016
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The food of life
Rosalea Ryan
The Umbrian Supper Club Marlena de Blasi Allen & Unwin $29.99 TAKE five women, one rustic makeshift kitchen and one shared weekly meal. Blend with tenderness, add a liberal pinch or two of understanding and season generously with love. This is the do..
03-Jun-2016
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Memoir of a life in turmoil
Rosalea Ryan
Leaving Before the Rains Come Alexandra Fuller Vintage $22.99 GROWING up in the backblocks of rural Zambia, surrounded by the turmoil and terror of Rhodesia’s civil wars and the constant uncertainty of post-colonialism, life is never dull for Alexandra Fuller...
26-May-2016
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Waxing lyrical in Brazil
Rosalea Ryan
In Brazil Fran Bryson Scribe $32.99 With anticipation of this year’s Olympics now on everyone’s lips it’s hardly surprising that the games’ host, Brazil, is attracting more than its usual share of international attention. Through a series o..
20-May-2016
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The other ship
Rosalea Ryan
The Midnight Watch David Dyer Penguin $32.99 A crystal-clear, moonless night, an iceberg and not one but two ships steaming at full speed into danger: they’re as thrilling a combination of ingredients as any writer could dare to dream up. The plot to..
13-May-2016
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Reflections on a trek
Rosalea Ryan
A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino Portugués John Brierley Findhorn Press Ltd US$25.99 Its title is somewhat self-deprecating in the case of this newly updated,17th-edition guidebook: in actual fact it describes in almost-literally-step-by-step detail not ..
29-Apr-2016
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When the ink runs dry
Rosalea Ryan
Final Chapters Jim Bernhard Skyhorse Publishing $19 Authors often deal with death as a subject in their creative efforts but how much is recorded – when the pen is laid down one last time or the keyboard falls silent – of an individual writer’s own demise? I..
22-Apr-2016
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Nine lives in limbo
Rosalea Ryan
City of Thorns Ben Rawlence, Portobello $35 Dreams – however distant – of resettlement abroad fuel the sometimes-heartbreaking hopes of residents trapped in the scorchingly hot, desolate limbo of the world’s biggest refugee camp: a combinatio..
15-Apr-2016
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Hebridean mystery
Rosalea Ryan
The Ice Twins SK Tremayne Harper Collins, £7.99 Twin girls: snowy-blonde, blue-eyed, six years old and absolutely identical in every way – so much so that not even the most advanced DNA testing can tell them apart. Then comes tragedy f..
08-Apr-2016
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Presley’s last love story
Rosalea Ryan
Elvis & Ginger Ginger Alden Berkley, $27.99 To much of the world Priscilla Beaulieu was the one true love of Elvis Presley’s life. In reality, however, that marriage held together for just a short of five years, and several other significant g..
01-Apr-2016
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Shane’s spicy menu
Rosalea Ryan
Spice Journey Shane Delia Murdoch Books $49.99 T HREE kitchen ingredients say “Easter” in Australian like no other: seafood, lamb and chocolate. This year a plethora of fresh takes on that trio is offered in Spice Journey, the printed acc..
24-Mar-2016
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High rise heartaches
Rosalea Ryan
The Expatriates Janice YK Lee, Little, Brown $29.99 In the claustrophobic city that is high-rise Hong Kong, expatriates’ lives inevitably intersect. The men do business with each other, and the women – the “trailing spouses”, almost uniformly onc..
18-Mar-2016
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Catalogue to keep
Bendigo Weekly
For decades to come Bendigonians will remember the time when history’s most famous blonde occupied their city – and the current Bendigo Art Gallery exhibition’s accompanying commemorative catalogue is an exceptional keepsake for reading now and then passing down to future gener..
11-Mar-2016
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Simply Scandinavian
Rosalea Ryan
Ice Ulla-Lena Lundberg Allen & Unwin $22.99 Life is at once bizarrely complicated and unnervingly simple in the Örlands, a Swedish-speaking cluster on the outskirts of the Åland Islands. Scattered midway between Stockholm and the Finnish ..
04-Mar-2016
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