The Wave Watcher's Companion

27th Dec 2020

Gavin Pretor-Pinney I thought this would be a relaxing insight into nature, but this is a dense, packed examination of waves in our world. From water, to sound, to light, to matter. It does have analogies and a good wit, so it is an easy read, but i... more details

Natural Born Keller

21st Dec 2020

Amanda Keller I knew Amanda from her work on Beyond 2000 and then some of her work with Andrew Denton and then The Living Room. She is quite funny and I wanted to see how her life got to where it is. The book follows her professional career and also... more details

By the Shores of Silver Lake

13th Dec 2020

Laura Ingalls Wilder This is another beautiful book, it follows on from 'On the Banks of Plum Creek' I read earlier this year. This one has the Ingalls participating in working on the railway, setting up a new town, staking a claim for a homestead. ... more details

Mail Obsession

8th Dec 2020

Mark Mason I was a little dubious of a book full of british trivia, but I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of Bill Brysons early work without the pessimism. There was some structure too, following his trips to cover the postcodes. There was 'runner... more details

Stumbling on Happiness

26th Nov 2020

Daniel Gilbert I don't like self-help books, but this one had a more scientific and non-ficton approach. Plus with the endorsement of Malcolm Gladwell, I had to give it a try. It is a fascintating examination of our ability to remember the past, pe... more details

The Tangled Lands

17th Nov 2020

Paolo Bagigalupi and Tobias S Bucknell I picked this one up because of Bagigalupi, but on getting home realised I had read Bucknell too. Nice find. This collobaration has them writing a chapter each across 4 chapters. It is set in the same world an... more details

Small Gods

12th Nov 2020

Terry Pratchett This one is about religion and politics and society. It follows the adventures of Brutha a novice who hears his God talking to him. In this case the God has taken the form of a tortoise. So many good Pratchett jokes that are intersp... more details

Utopian Man

2nd Nov 2020

I picked this one up because it was set during the turn of the 20th century. It follows the adventures of an eccentric businessman who runs a bookshop with other eclectic offerings in melbourne. I thought that novelty would be enough, but it also a w... more details

The Mandibles

25th Oct 2020

Lionel Shiver Set in the near future, 2029-2047, it follows a family through a financial and societal collapse. I love these post-apocalyptic books. How would you cope if the frameworks we currently lived in collapsed. What is important to humanity ... more details

On the Banks of Plum Creek

11th Oct 2020

Laura Ingalls Wilder This is the first book of Wilder's I have read. I certainly have seen and enjoyed the TV series. I picked this up because of how I enjoyed the Australian pioneer stories. This may not have the humour of the Australian stories, b... more details

How Proust Can Change Your Life

8th Oct 2020

Alain De Botton A gentle introduction to Proust. It reminded me of De Botton's Art of Travel. Each chapter had a topic and delved into Proust work to show his perspective and then De Botton's interpretation. His adulation made it a little intimidati... more details

The Body - A Guide for Occupants

2nd Oct 2020

Bill Bryson One of my favourite authors, he has evolved from travel writing to an insightfull non fiction writer. This topic suited his biting wit better than 'One Summer'. Most of the book topics ended with "and we are not sure why". It was wonder... more details

Jaywalking with the Irish

16th Sep 2020

A family moves from the US to Ireland. The Father had travelled there previously and been enraptured by the country. He returned with his wife. Then when he was 47 and they were a bit bored with the commonplace and lack of community in America, they ... more details

Breaking Good

9th Sep 2020

Simon Fenech (with Neil Bramwell) This is just a story about an ice addict. It was hard to empathise with this guy. He injured his back at work, lost some family members and slid into the world of ice, dealing and chopping cars. I like the bikie nov... more details

The Ancient Paths

5th Sep 2020

Graham Robb I was concerned this would lack the science of other non fiction I like to read, but it had some good insights. From the Heraklea way, through the defeat of Gaul to the Celts in England. To me it is a book about history, how people occup... more details

On Our Selection

25th Aug 2020

Steele Rudd This is two books in one, it includes Our New Selection too. I love these early Australian stories. They show the tough times and the families and communites working together. I like the idea of carving out your slice in the bush and fam... more details

The Book Club

21st Aug 2020

David Gilmour This was a sweet, beautiful book. As my eldest enters her teen years soon I like dthe idea of seeing a father connect with their teenage child. I also loved the idea of thewm watching and discussing movies together. This book deleivere... more details

A Tale of Two Cities

19th Aug 2020

This is the first book of Charles Dickens I have read, and I am suitably impressed. He does characters so well. It took me a while to warm up to the detail, but the detail is not wasted, it is not for its own sake or to make things pretty like in oth... more details

Spare Room Tycoon

4th Aug 2020

James Chan Practical and down to earth. I loved this book, it suited my small business. Lots of other business and self help books are all aspiration and get rich dreams. This one is real peoples stories, real ups and downs of running a small busine... more details

The Dragonbone Chair

26th Jul 2020

Not what I want in a fantasy. It did not have a wizard/apprentice relationship. No world changing magic. More politics and battles. Very few characters I had any empathy for. Too many species and history. I made it through it, it was good for what it... more details

The Vampire Armand

15th Jun 2020

You know what you are getting with these Anne Rice books. I love the examination of an immortal life. How they deal with eternity and interact with each other. I remember reading them many years ago. I read some of the earlier ones and could probably... more details

Going Postal

23rd May 2020

Terry Pratchett I like this one, it parallels the finance and technology industries with some stamp collecting. Well paced, engaging characters, and funny. It has a lot more Vetinari than other books, but it is Moist you pull for. I love the Golems ... more details

The Moneymaker

9th May 2020

Janet Gleeson. This non fiction follows the life of John Law in the early 18th century.  From early life in Scotland through gambling and womanising in London, then entering politicsin France. He has an acute understanding of money and risk. He... more details

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

30th Apr 2020

Jonathan Safran Foer This is a beautiful book about loss and grief. Nine year old Oskar lost his Dad in 9/11 and this is a telling of his path through the grief. It reminded me of 'The Raw Shark Texts' in some aspects because of its sometimes unconv... more details

So, Anyway

14th Apr 2020

John Cleese This covers Cleese's life from a small boy through to the start of Python. It does not cover much Python or Fawlty Towers. But it was still fascinating. An amazing amount of work before Python, including a range of collabrators. Great in... more details

The Rum Diary

31st Mar 2020

Hunter S Thompson I loved his Fear and Loathing and the Hells Angels one. This one certainly has that feeling, but it is much lighter. It is just a travel story, it does not have the structure or depth of character of his other work. I just read i... more details


24th Mar 2020

Tina FeyLightweight and funny. I think it is more orientated to a female audience but I enjoyed it. I particularly liked reading about her starting out in improv and some of her history, very vunerable at the start. Funny insights into television sho... more details

The Hinge Factor

17th Mar 2020

Erik Durschmied Fascinating book about war. From the trojan horse to the gulf war, each chapter covers a different battle. Beautifully told, you think you were there. Names I am familiar with but did not know the details of. Then this unique perspec... more details

Equal Rites 2

5th Mar 2020

Terry Pratchett This is the 3rd book in the Discworld series. The first 2 had Rincewind as the main charter, this is the first Witches book with Granny Weatherwax. I loved it, we are so privaliged to be in a world with so many Terry Practehett books... more details

The Magic of Reality

1st Mar 2020

Richard Dawkins This is a wonderful book. With chapters like 'Who was the first person?', 'What is the sun?' 'What is a rainbow?' what is there not to like. Richard starts off each chapter with what we used to believe, old myths and explanations for... more details

Our Uncle Charlie

26th Feb 2020

Elizabeth's first book, Mad as Rabbits was more cohesive. It followed progressive family adventures, it covered the hardship on the farm to begin with and as the children grew up. This book was more like a selection of stories. It was still very enjo... more details

The Book Thief

20th Feb 2020

I did not go looking for a book about the war. I have not read any I do not think. But the concept of the book thief got me. It was set in Nazi Germany in the second world war, but it was about a girl and a family and about love. I thought it was won... more details

The Natural Way Of Things

14th Feb 2020

This is an excellent book, compelling and informative reading, but gently done. I think it is the examination of dealing with rape and abuse. Each of the characters reflect a women we have seen in the news, a footy team rape victim, a poiticians mist... more details

The Art Of Travel

9th Feb 2020

Alain De Botton I had avoided this one as I don't really care for travelling. I have loved his other books, so I should not have doubted. This was wonderfully considered. Examples from Alains own life and from the lives of explorers and painters fro... more details

Madeleines In Manhattan

30th Jan 2020

This is a beautiful book. A simple recount of lifes events. I loved the first part with the family coming to New York and her recollections of life and people and buildings and food there. I was not so interested in Africa or Japan, but it was part o... more details

The Parentations

26th Jan 2020

Kate Mayfield This is a wonderful book. Fascinating concept, good strong female characters, spanning 200 years with descriptive locations in London and Iceland. It concerns itsef with immortaility and what goes along with it. Aspects you don't tend ... more details

Pyramids 2

19th Jan 2020

Terry Pratchett. We recently moved into a new house and I got my bookshlef back. Seeing all the pratchetts again I could not resist. I picked Pyramids, having forgotten I read this and reviewed it here 3 years ago. It does not matter at all. A wonde... more details

The Rebel Rules

9th Jan 2020

Chip Conley Written in 2001 by an owner of a unique chain of motels. He has a Richard Branson feel about him. It is a well writtenm business book, Examples form many different busineses, from chips own experiences, with exercises and worksheets. It ... more details