Monday, January 18, 2016

Book news and reviews from the Sydney Morning Herald

Book reviews: Midnight Sun, Medusa, The Lion's Mouth

Take Three dinkus Anna Creer Anna Creer delves into the world of Norwegian crime.

Crime books perfect for summer reading

What could be more chilled out - and chilling - this summer than reading crime novels on the beach? Jeff Popple Jeff Popple casts a cluey eye over this summer's new crime fiction releases.

Ben Sanders interview: A New Zealand author with American Blood

Ben Sanders spent two months in the US doing research for his novel. KAREN HARDY Karen Hardy talks to crime author Ben Sanders about Kiwi writers, thrillers and the American way.

Burt Reynolds memoir But Enough About Me is painfully honest about his mistakes

Burt Reynolds' latest memoir pays tributes to mentors and friends, and addresses those who've hurt him. Darryn King The 79-year-old actor has returned to the public eye with a second memoir and a new-found frankness about his past work. He doesn't hold back during an interview in his palatial Florida home.


Sadness and joy at the end of the Obernewytyn ChroniclesSadness and joy at the end of the Obernewytyn Chronicles an annus mirabilis for the fading Shakespeare

Circa 1590, William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) engraved by E. Scriven after Humphrey's drawing known as the Andrew Riemer Shapiro explores the life of Shakespeare and the influence of the world around him.

Kissinger the Idealist review: The long road to political power

Henry Kissinger with former president Richard Nixon in May 1972 in Vienna. Robert Manne Niall Ferguson's biography of Kissinger is neither a panegyric nor a demonisation. Although generally too sympathetic, Ferguson recognises his subject's over-weaning ambition and cold ruthlessness.

Bookmarks: News and views from the book world

<p></p> JASON STEGER The bestselling books from Australia, Britain and the US.

Victorian readers borrow mainly fiction from their libraries

The Rosie Project author Graeme Simsion. JASON STEGER Graeme Simsion's two Rosie books are the most popular in Victorian libraries, according to a new survey

Monash review: Grantlee Kiez fails to ask the most basic critical questions

AA-t-PMBook_Monash Peter Stanley Grantlee Kiez fails to ask the most basic critical questions, or to have read much of the necessary literature.

Rain Dogs review: Adrian McKinty's fifth Duffy book demands attention

AA-t-PMBook_Dogs Jeff Popple An engaging tale that sets an early high standard for this year's crime fiction.

How Sunil Yapa turned the WTO protests into absorbing fiction

As a young man, Sunil Yapa read Frantz Fanon, James Baldwin and Che Guevara.  Andrew Purcell Losing the manuscript for his first novel and having to start all over again made Sunil Yapa's final work a better book.

Anti-Semitism review: The flaw at the heart of Frederic Raphael's argument

Anti-Semitism by Frederic Raphael. Richard King Frederic Raphael confuses criticism of the state of Israel and anti-Semitism in his essay on the historical hatred of the Jewish race.

Slade House review: David Mitchell's Twitter fiction proves a brief pleasure

Slade House feels like part of the tapestry of David Mitchell's interconnected body of work. James Bradley The author's unusually brief novel draws on the tradition of classic ghost stories, taking readers into a world of psychic vampires.

The Clasp review: Sloane Crosley's debut fiction displays her familiar humour

The Clasp by Sloane Crosley. Emma Young The three characters at the heart of Sloane Crosley's The Clasp never consummated their love triangle as students. Now they're about to turn 30 and they meet up again.

In short: Reviews of non-fiction from Australia and around the world

Journeys with My Mother by
Halina Rubin. Steven Carroll Michael Atherton called the late Richie Benaud the ''Hemingway of the airwaves'' as we learn in Benaud in Wisden.

Turning Pages: The real story behind Patricia Highsmith and Carol

The Price of Salt by Claire Morgan (aka Patricia Highsmith). Jane Sullivan Patricia Highsmith published The Price of Salt anonymously in 1952, its lesbian theme too controversial for the day. Now, it's the basis of the new film Carol.

Jane Caro & Rosie Waterland review: Two fine and very different memoirs

Plain Speaking Jane, by Jane Caro. Candida Baker Jane Caro and Rosie Waterland have very different backgrounds but have both written fascinating memoirs of their lives.

The Prison Book Club review: Helping villains with good books

The Prison Book Club by Ann Walmsley. Dianne Dempsey The most interesting aspect of The Prison Book Club is the books themselves and the ones the prisoners prefer.

And Yet ... review: The last scraps from the brilliant Christopher Hitchens

Andy Yet ... is a collection of Christopher Hitchens' last works, showing his pugnacity and his sense of humour. James Ley If there were ever any doubt about Christopher Hitchens' relish for taking a stand and arguing his case, And Yet … includes a couple of cracking essays that will put that doubt to the sword.

Short reviews of fiction from Australia and overseas

Cass Moriarty's debut novel The Promise Seed has some powerful moments. Kerryn Goldsworthy The Canadian novelist and poet Anne Michaels has written her first books for children. It's charming.

Book news

Why I became an Elena Ferrante addict

Elena Ferrante follows two friends in Naples over 60 years. SUSAN WYNDHAM Everyone seems to be reading Ferrante this summer; the top bestsellers of 2015.

The Wimpy Kid starts the year in top spot on the bestseller list

Jeff Kinney. Jeff Kinney's Wimpy Kid starts the year at the top of the bestseller list. 

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