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Book Reviews


9780143785286

Out of the Forest by Gregory P. Smith

Reviewed by Natalie, Cronulla

A fascinating, devastating and uplifting meditation on the impacts of childhood abuse, the restorative power of nature and how we connect with society. If you like 'Lost Connections', you'll love this. (continued)
9781760630560

Cedar Valley by Holly Throsby

Reviewed by Shelly, Book Buyer

The most endearing thing about Goodwood was the way Holly lovingly captured the small town community spirit, and Cedar Valley is another beautifully crafted novel set in a small town (near Goodwood, there are a couple of easter eggs for the fans!). While the mystery in Goodwood was a very pers... (continued)
9781760295776

Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee

Reviewed by Natalie, Cronulla

A fiercely articulate, well-constructed, courageous reckoning of one woman's past meeting the limitations and inadequacies of the judicial court system. A brave personal journey coupled with a relentless professional pilgrimmage. A 2018 must read. (continued)
9781781259993

Civilizations: How Do We Look & Eye of Faith by Mary Beard

Reviewed by Natalie, Cronulla

Accompanying the BBC television series this book is both an accessible and completely fascinating account of early faith in history. (continued)
9781460753897

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

Reviewed by Natalie, Cronulla

5 stars! I just loved everything about this book - it made me laugh, cry and sometimes both. This is a beautiful coming of age story that had me from the start. Defintely keep in place for it by Tim Winton and Jasper Jones. (continued)
9781406370645

The Wonderling

Reviewed by Harley Crebert (aged 9)

Arthur, the one eared fox ("Wonderling") and Trinket (a small wingless bird) are the unlikely heroes who embark on heroic adventures and daring escapades through the fantastical world of Lumentown, Gloomintown and The Home (for wayward and misbegotten creatures). On a quest ... (continued)
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Dork Diaries: Frenemies Forever

Reviewed by Olivia

A young customer of ours has kindly reviewed one of our new young fictions! (continued)
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Half Wild by Pip Smith

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale

Pip Smith acknowledges the detailed and scholarly research of Susannah Fullerton and Mark Tedeschi who have both published works on the life of Eugenia Falleni, and from these, and her own investigations she has produced a dramatic, and compassionate fiction. She opens her story with a quo... (continued)
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Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale

This is the sixth Sean Duffy novel to be delivered by Irish ex-pat Adrian McKinty. The story is set in Belfast in 1988, a time of great volatility and trouble. Duffy is one of the few Catholic members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and thus a natural outsider. He has just become a father and... (continued)
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The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale

These stories from a Pulitzer Prize winner centre around the experiences of Vietnamese refugees who flee their country as Saigon falls, and focus on the communities they form in the US.  Superbly written, the stories convey the disconnection, vulnerability and dismay felt by refugees, the... (continued)
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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Reviewed by Jo Riccioni, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale

Fantasy lovers, meet Mia Corvere, 17-year-old dispossessed noble of Godsgrave, on the run from her father’s killers and out for revenge. Mia is tough and smart, determined to become a student at the esoteric Red Church. But the Red Church is no ordinary school. There the most deadly assa... (continued)
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See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale

Lizzie Borden's grizzly tale is hardly the obvious story for a librarian from regional Victoria to retell as a debut novel - but Sarah Schmidt makes a suitably chilling job of rendering the last days of Andrew Borden and his wife Abby. Covering the period leading up to the murders and ... (continued)
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Dregs by Jorn Lier Horst

Reviewed by Shirley Corley, Berkelouw Crime Book Club

For fans of Scandi Noir  a new star is born.  He is Norwegian crime writer Jorn Lier Horst. His sixth crime novel, brilliantly translated into English, has now been published in Australia.  Due to the success of Dregs, two more novels will follow later this year. This beautifull... (continued)
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Winter Traffic by Stephen Greenall

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale

Big man, Detective Michael Rawson, known variously as The Big Ship, The Blue Movie and The Incremental to give you just a few of his nicknames is at the centre of this sprawling story. He has been a hero, he has big gambling debts, he worries about his daughter and ex-wife and although he is s... (continued)
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A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale

When Count Alexander Rostov appears before the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs in post-revolutionary Moscow he is declared to be a non-person and condemned to live the rest of his life in the Metropol Hotel - "set foot outside the Metropol again and you will be shot".&n... (continued)
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The Turners by Mick Elliott

Reviewed by 10 year old Zac Martin

My Book Review (on Turners) The book Turners was VERY good in my opinion. The description was amazing along with the details of everything that was happening.  Excitement was something else that hooked me into Turners. He turned into a KOMODO DRAGON!!!AT SCHOOL!!!!!!Just heaps of... (continued)
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The Boy Behind the Curtain by Tim Winton

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books Mona Vale

Helen Garner's recent collection of writing is called Everywhere I Look, and in Garner's work it seems to me, it is what she chooses to notice, the things she looks at, that create a  particular view of the world, delivered to the reader through her transcendent writing.  I t... (continued)
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Barkskins by Annie Proulx

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books Mona Vale

Annie Proulx' s novel tells the story of the European colonisation of North America through the exploitation of its vast forests, and the history of the Sel and Duquet family who arrive in Kebec in 1693.With the destruction of the forest comes the marginalisation of the indigenous people w... (continued)
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All the Light We Cannot See

Reviewed by Jade Brown-Zwar

'All the light we cannot see'  is a beautiful and enchanting novel which presents a different perspective to the highly sensitive and horrific time of World War II. Following the live of a German boy and a blind French girl, Anthony Doerr not only siezes the power of language to p... (continued)
9781444753509

The Crossing by Andrew Miller

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale

Maud and Tim meet at the end of their university studies brought together by their shared interest in sailing. Maud is a scientist ready to embark on a career in  R&D. Her parents are both school teachers - she remembers her home always smelling of laminating. She is intelligent and p... (continued)