Lone Wolf: Albanese and the New Politics: Quarterly Essay 88 | Katharine Murphy

I would like to be a regular Quarterly Essay reader. Every time I read one, I admire the format and find the content fascinating, challenging or enlightening. It's a fairly quick and easy way to absorb a current topic, yet I rarely prioritise them in my reading schedule. Insert shrug. Although it looks like it … Continue reading Lone Wolf: Albanese and the New Politics: Quarterly Essay 88 | Katharine Murphy

This Changes Everything | Niki Bezzant #NZnonfiction

A common theme emerges if you search online for 'menopause cartoons'. There's no shortage of offerings - over 7 million results when I Googled recently - and they overwhelmly depict women looking dumpy, dowdy and elderly....My generation - Gen X - don't consider ourselves old, or dowdy, or past it. I read This Changes Everything: … Continue reading This Changes Everything | Niki Bezzant #NZnonfiction

Burning Questions | Margaret Atwood #CANessays

Burning Questions is my third collection of essays and other occasional pieces. The first Second Words, which began in 1960, when I started publishing book reviews, and ended in 1982. The second was Moving Targets, which gathered materials from 1983 to mid-2004. Burning Questions runs from mid-2004 to mid-2021. So, twenty years, give or take, … Continue reading Burning Questions | Margaret Atwood #CANessays

Otherland | Maria Tumarkin #UnderstandingUkraine

It is on the train from Russia to Ukraine that the moment I have been waiting for finally comes, and Billie refuses to use the toilet, point-blank. Maria Tumarkin is an Australian writer of memoirs and cultural histories. Her books and essays tend to include oodles of fascinating things about the nature of memory, change … Continue reading Otherland | Maria Tumarkin #UnderstandingUkraine

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century | Barbara Tuchman #USAnon-fiction

The genesis of this book was a desire to find out what were the effects on society of the most lethal disaster of recorded history - that is to say, of the Black Death of 1348-50, which killed an estimated one third of the population living between India and Iceland. A number of times throughout … Continue reading A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century | Barbara Tuchman #USAnon-fiction

Chernobyl Prayer: A Chronicle of the Future | Svetlana Alexievich #ReadtheNobels

I don't know what to tell you about. Death or love? Or is it the same thing. What should I tell you about?... Prologue: A Lone Human Voice I'm so very glad I read Chernobyl Prayer. I really appreciate the type of history Svetlana Alexievich has captured in her books. It's oral history, or more … Continue reading Chernobyl Prayer: A Chronicle of the Future | Svetlana Alexievich #ReadtheNobels

No Document | Anwen Crawford #AWWnon-fiction

No Document is an elegy for a friendship and artistic partnership cut short by death. The memory of this collaboration becomes a model for how we might relate to others in sympathy, solidarity and rebellion. At once intimate and expansive, Anwen Crawford’s book-length essay explores loss in many forms: disappeared artworks, effaced histories, abandoned futures. Written … Continue reading No Document | Anwen Crawford #AWWnon-fiction

Leaping Into Waterfalls | Bernadette Brennan #AWWbiography

Gillian Mears often likened herself to a Clarence Valley butcherbird, a creature filled with beautiful song who could also peck out the eyes of fledglings. I have put off writing this book response for weeks now. Reading Leaping Into Waterfalls: The Enigmatic Gillian Mears by Bernadette Brennan was such a tremendous example of how to … Continue reading Leaping Into Waterfalls | Bernadette Brennan #AWWbiography

Summer Diary: The Herbogowan | Rumer Godden #ReadingWeek2021

'When the lotus comes it is time to go.' That is what we say in Kashmir. My copy of Coromandel Sea Change (Pan Macmillan 2013) includes a short non-fiction piece at the back called Summer Diary: The Herbogowan. It is undated. The only information provided is to be found on the title page, stating that … Continue reading Summer Diary: The Herbogowan | Rumer Godden #ReadingWeek2021

Friends & Rivals | Brenda Niall #AWWbiography

'All over the country, brooding on squatters' verandahs, or mooning in selectors' huts,' so A. G. Stephens wrote in the Bulletin in 1901, 'there are scattered here and there hundreds of lively, dreamy Australian girls whose queer uncomprehended ambitions are the despair of the household. They yearn, they aspire for they know not what...' I … Continue reading Friends & Rivals | Brenda Niall #AWWbiography