Friday, May 20, 2022

Reviews & Releases

New release

Jacaranda book sales blooming

Emma Pritchard. Flicking through the pages of The Lonely Jacaranda, Manager of The Book Warehouse in Grafton Jess Wood is delighted by what she sees and reads. Written, illustrated and self-published by Grafton author Russell Irving, The Lonely Jacaranda tells the tale of a little jacaranda tree, the first one to arrive in Australia from South America as a seed.


Book review – Fires, Farms and Forests – A Human History of Surrey Hills, north-west Tasmania

The author has set himself an enormous task to survey in depth the history of the Surrey Hills district of north-west Tasmania. Fires, Farms and Forests represents the culmination of much detailed and careful research, combined with the author’s extensive personal experience as a forester, and, in particular, his role managing the native grasslands and buttongrass moorlands on Surrey Hills. All this enables the author to weave a story which encompasses both general history as well as specialist insights into the management of land and forests.

New releases

New release – Outback Teacher

A charming story of a young woman who faces challenges and finds joy teaching in outback schools. The year is 1956. Sally Gare is twenty. She's just out of teachers' college, and has been sent to work at a two-teacher school more than 3000 kilometres from Perth. With the head teacher away, she starts out alone with a class of forty-five Aboriginal children, ranging in age from five years to thirteen. Thus begins the career of a remarkable teacher and a life-changing adventure in remote Australia.

New release – Rising Dust

Detective Dave Burrows returns in another breathtaking tale of rural suspense. After the family's devastating tragedy, Detective Dave Burrows is crystal clear that his wife, Mel, is no longer interested in their marriage ... 'Fleur McDonald is a master of the rural suspense novel, her characters and storyline crackle with authenticity.' Family Circle

New release

New release – Sydney Royal, celebrating 200 Years of the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) has launched a new commemorative book, at a function held at Government House in Sydney, honouring the bicentenary of the organisation in July this year. 


Book – A Voice in the Night

When it came time to finally throw away her corporate wardrobe and city lifestyle in favour of pursuing her long-held dream of becoming a full time novelist, Sarah Hawthorn relocated to the sleepy village of Bundanoon in NSW’s Southern Highlands. Sarah's debut novel, A Voice in the Night, is a psychological thriller about a woman seeking answers after her lover who died 20 yeas earlier in the 9/11 attacks suddenly contacts her.

First of the series

Truck That

This book introduces the main characters in the Carter De Freitas series by Steve Rogers. The story is set in WA's far north, features road-train driver Carter De Freitas and his cattle dog Carpenter who are inadvertently caught up in a drug smuggling operation. De Freitas, an ageing character, picks up a young Swedish back packer, Elise Alquist, who is stranded after her vehicle breaks down on the way to a job as a cook/deckhand on a charter boat out of Broome ... Key to the story are the characters and scenery of the Pilbara and Kimberley region ... meet Carter in the extract here.

Upcoming release

New book for rural, regional & remote women in business

A brand-new book is currently in the pipeline, featuring 16 amazing rural, regional and remote women in business. ‘Rural Business Women – Inspiration and advice to grow your business from regional Australia’, aims to inspire and offer advice to other rural women who are thinking of, or have already started, a business from a rural, regional or remote area of Australia.

New release

New release – Lily’s Little Flower Shop

When Lily misses out on a well-deserved promotion the day her boyfriend is offered a job overseas, she faces a choice: should she embrace an expat life, or follow her childhood dream and become a florist? Deciding to follow her heart, she moves to Clearwater, a fictional town on the NSW south coast, and decides to start again. But fitting into the tight-knit community proves harder than she expected ... It's been seven years from inspiration to publication, and author Lisa Darcy, from Gerroa on the NSW coast, is thrilled readers are loving Lily as much as she does.

New releases

New release – Once Burnt, Twice Shy

From the best-selling Karly Lane comes a pitch-perfect story of rural tragedy, old flames reawakened and the meaning of home. A tribute to the Rural Fire Service and the work they selflessly do.

New release – Great Australian Mysteries

Australia's master storyteller Graham Seal brings to life the enigmas and puzzles behind famous unsolved crimes, long-held secrets, buried loot and strange phenomena from the bush and the city. Australia has always been a land of mysteries. Some are ancient, some are historical, and many continue to perplex us today - and will probably continue to do so tomorrow.

New release – Summer at Kangaroo Ridge

A stunning new rural romance from the bestselling author of The McCalister Legacy and Lawson's Bend. 'Heart-warming, captivating and absolutely perfect.' - Blue Wolf Reviews on The McCalister Legacy.


Book – Not for Self But for All: A History of the Art Gallery of Ballarat Association

Commended in the Local History Small Publication Award, 2019 Victorian Community History Award. This award recognises the best small publications or or e-books which feature Victorian local, cultural or social history. The fascinating story of the establishment and development of the Art Gallery of Ballarat has been told in a book by noted Ballarat historian Dr Anne Beggs-Sunter.

Book review

Book review – Sold Down the River

An in-depth review of an excellent, timely and well-written book. Sold Down The River is really a text book on water trading for the uninitiated which sums up the tragedy of the Murray-Darling created by successive governments of all persuasions. Highly recommended.

New releases

New release – Australian Architecture: A History

A comprehensive narrative history of building and design styles in Australia, from traditional Aboriginal gunyahs; to the local interpretations of northern hemisphere trends; to the sustainable, climate sensitive and high-tech constructions of the 21st century.

New release – The Islands

A moving and original debut novel. Observant, warm and extraordinary. 'There is an other-worldly quality about the Abrolhos which is beyond the reach of ordinary storytelling. Emily Brugman has captured them, staked them to the page in all their isolation and aridity and scoured indifference, because her storytelling is extraordinary.' Jock Serong, bestselling author of Preservation.

New release – Nomad Girl

‘There are so many stories to tell of my life, and sometimes I think they are not of importance, but they are, because often it is the little details that are the most important. I still remember every detail. [Like] Oodnadatta Country – I can still see it, in my mind’s eye, exactly as it was back in my time. The Country still calls me back to where I was born, a very exposed and stony land, but I still love it. That’s where my spirit is’: Kanakiya Myra Ah Chee.

New release

New release – Where There is a Will

A massive cyclone swell on Sydney’s beaches claims a big wave surfer, leaving his long-term partner without a body to mourn. His four adult godchildren from far and wide gather for the reading of his will. A mystery girl from Tasmania joins them Down the coast, a man is pulled from the water and abandoned to his fate with a head injury and amnesia ... The debut novel by Coffs Coast local, Michel Vimal du Monteil, himself a surfer and former SES volunteer.

Book review

Review – Walkabout to Wisdom

In many ways this captivating book describes the relationship between the author, Lachlan Hughson, and his much loved Australian Outback. In travels rivalling those of Odysseus in extent, the author takes us across the vast expanse of the ancient Australian continent, mixing geological insights, historical background, and personal experiences with vivid descriptions of nature in all its forms.

New release

New release – Abandoned

In the country town of Alumuna Creek, things are about to turn deadly. Samuel Levi, a young man molded into a life of crime, is left to die in the harsh Australian outback after a botched drug deal.


Tale about NT town has links to the Barkly

When Caroline Graham and Kylie Stevenson set out to write a book about the town of Larrimah, 490km north of Tennant Creek, they had no idea the research would lead them all over the Northern Territory, including the Barkly region. The journalists, who met in a newsroom in Mackay 15 years ago, first told the story of missing man Paddy Moriarty in their 2018 Walkley Award-winning podcast Lost in Larrimah.


Book reviews

Review – Flames of Rebellion

The opening quotation of Henry Lawson’s ‘Ode to Peter Lalor’ sets the tone for what is to come in this rollicking tale set in colonial Australia at the height of the gold rush in the mid nineteenth century. The themes of mateship, danger, struggle against authority and the enticement of that precious metal – gold – are all there.

Review – The Forgotten Menzies

An in-depth review of Stephen A Chavura and Greg Melluish's investigation into the philosophical roots of Australia's longest-serving Prime Minister.

Review – Our Sunburnt Country

No matter what one's position might be on the many variations of the Climate Change discussion, it is apparent that this well written book is a call from the heart for immediate action, with the author's focus being - ‘How do we simultaneously achieve good health for people and our planet?’

Book review

Review – From Goobarragandra to Long Plain: Volume 1

This superbly researched book documents 146 years of European activity in the northern Snowy Mountains and is replete with excellent maps and very helpful photographs which place the discussion into context, enabling the reader to visualise the descriptions clearly.

Film review

Film review – Disclosure

When a 4-year-old girl, Natasha, makes a serious allegation against a politician’s 9-year-old son, an attempt by the children’s parents to tackle the issue in a cooperative way soon degenerates into a vicious confrontation.

New releases

New release – The Colonial’s Son

As the son of 'the Colonial', legendary Queen's Captain Ian Steele, Josiah Steele has big shoes to fill. Although his home in New South Wales is a world away, he dreams of one day travelling to England to study to be a commissioned officer in the Scottish Regiment.

New release – Vandemonians: The Repressed History of Colonial Victoria

From award-winning author and historian Janet McCalman, the engrossing tale of Tasmanian convict settlers in colonial Victoria. It was meant to be 'Victoria the Free', uncontaminated by the Convict Stain. Yet they came in their tens of thousands as soon as they were cut free or able to bolt. More than half of all those transported to Van Diemen's Land as convicts would one day settle or spend time in Victoria.

New release – The Long Game

A summer of relentless heat. A local surfer named Ray Carlson is found dead in a house not far from Portsea back beach. There’s a kitchen knife deep in his chest, and blood everywhere.

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