Seven larger than life short story collections that open up big worlds

These bite-sized tales punch well above their weight and will have you questioning why you would waste time on full-length novels. Selected Short Stories by Anton Chekhov To read Checkhov’s short stories is to be plunged into a completely different realm. Although written over a century ago, the characters and their emotions and struggles resonateContinue reading “Seven larger than life short story collections that open up big worlds”

Book Review: The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

Peter and Beatrice Leigh are a childless 30-something British couple who are devoutly evangelical Christians and are living in a Britain of an imagined near future. In this imaginary Britain things look largely similar to how they are right now, except that there’s a colony of humans living on a faraway planet called Oasis. TheseContinue reading “Book Review: The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber”

Book Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

This is a book to devour in enormous gulps. When you do come up for air, fill yourself with black tea and then settle back into your armchair, to be borne aloft once more. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent is a bittersweet and melancholy tale of a woman named Agnes Magnusdottir. Set in Iceland inContinue reading “Book Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent”

Book Review: The Abundance by Annie Dillard

Creative non-fiction genius and nature writer extraordinaire Annie Dillard has won a Pulitzer Prize for her essay writing. She has a unique, warm and intensely spiritual, even transcendental way of writing that elevates her above most other writers. That’s big praise I know, but this is really great writing. She has the ability to probeContinue reading “Book Review: The Abundance by Annie Dillard”

Book Review: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

*Contains no plot spoilers. Pachinko is a family saga about Korean migrants living in Japan against the backdrop of the unheaval of the 20th Century. The novel traces struggles, triumphs and colourful personalities of several generations of one family. It rockets along at an amazing pace and doesn’t let up. This is a book toContinue reading “Book Review: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee”

Book Review: The Romantic Italian Nights and Days by Kate Holden

Kate Holden is the Australian author of the amazing memoir In This Skin. The Romantic is a follow-up to this memoir. A bit about Kate Holden, she’s a woman from Melbourne who grew up in a respectable middle-class family. She then broke away from her stable family life and became a heroin addict and aContinue reading “Book Review: The Romantic Italian Nights and Days by Kate Holden”

Book Review: The Map of Knowledge by Violet Moller

Have you ever wondered where the original ideas in mathematics, astronomy, science, medicine, philosophy ever came from? The answers to these questions are in this remarkable history book that takes us on a tiki-tour through the highways and back alleys of some of the most vibrant and buzzing cities of the ancient world, where knowledgeContinue reading “Book Review: The Map of Knowledge by Violet Moller”

Mark Forsyth’s Elements of Eloquence Part 2: The Cheat Sheet

Here are the classical rules of rhetoric, illustrated and made simple. Based on Mark Forsyth’s Elements of Eloquence. I hope that you enjoy them and that this handy cheat sheet helps you to improve your writing.

Book Review: The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth – Part 1

Mark Forsyth is the witty and effervescent writer of several books on the history of language, etymology and linguistics. The Elements of Eloquence explains the timeless art of crafting memorable one liners. In other words, the rules of classical rhetoric.   This is a great guide for writers who want to master the subtle artContinue reading “Book Review: The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth – Part 1”

Book Review: The Trauma Cleaner: One woman’s extraordinary life in decay and disaster by Sarah Krasnostein

This is quite possibly the most incredible non-fiction memoir that I have ever read in my life. I know that sounds big, but this book was a real knock-out. It has won countless awards including the Victorian Prize for Literature. Originally a fantastic long-form essay on Narrative.ly, author Sarah Krasnostein then developed the story ofContinue reading “Book Review: The Trauma Cleaner: One woman’s extraordinary life in decay and disaster by Sarah Krasnostein”