Apologies for the quick round up post this month. The days are getting away from me at a rate of knots at the moment, so I will simply provide a brief update to keep everyone in the loop.
We clocked 17 reviews for General Non-Fiction over April and May with 15 different reviewers for 13 different books.
Shelleyrae @Booked Out reviewed Accidental Death? by Robin Bowles – a close look at six unsolved true crime cases in recent Australian history. She found it to be “a thought provoking read, an interesting examination of blame, guilt, and justice, and the lack thereof.”
Ashleigh @The Book Muse covered The Suicide Bride: A Mystery of Tragedy and Family Secrets in Edwardian Sydney by Tanya Bretherton. Ashleigh said, “What I found fascinating about this is that there are no definitive answers – given the policing and forensic processes of the time, a lot less notice would have been taken of compromising the evidence and crime scene. So we may never know the truth, but there were many suicide brides in the months surrounding this case“. She also included an interview with the author here.
From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage by Judith Brett got more love during this time that encompassed the run up to our most recent federal election. Jennifer stated,
This slim book contains a wealth of facts and figures. I did not know, for example, that while voting is compulsory in 19 of the world’s 166 electoral democracies, only 9 strictly enforce it. I really appreciated Ms Brett’s succinct summary of the differences between the democracies of the USA and Australia.
While Janine @Resident Judge of Port Phillip said, “The book has a light touch on what could otherwise be pretty turgid material. There are enough ‘jump-forwards’ to keep the currency of her endeavour in mind, and particularly in the latter chapters, Brett herself comes forward more….sometimes we need to be reminded, as Brett does in her final sentence, that
What the story of compulsory voting tells us is how very good we are at elections. We should celebrate it. (p. 183)”
Janine also reviewed Imperfect by Lee Kofman with a personal response to a personal book, “In reading this book, I alternated between anger and a vague sense of voyeurism.”
I responded to Jane Caro’s Accidental Feminists at my blog, Brona’s Books with,
Jane Caro has written a book about the women of her generation (the Baby Boomers) who didn’t expect to change the world, but accidentally found that the world they had been brought up to live in, no longer existed. They were the first generation of women to have earned money working for most of their adult lives, and thanks to advances in medicine and technology, were able to take control of their own bodies, in a way that no previous generations could ever have imagined possible.
Raising Readers: How to Nurture A Child’s Love of Books by Megan Daley garnered two reviews this month too. Cass said,
This is a book that will not only guide you as to how and why you should care so much about your children’s reading lives but will offer practical advice and down-to-earth content that is easy to read, up-to-date, sensible and reasonable.
Rebecca @Story Addict stated, “This would make a great gift for a baby shower or parent with a child starting school. Or you could just buy it for yourself any old time if you’re interested, because it’s chock full of fascinating things you never knew about kids and reading!”
Kin: An Extraordinary Filmmaking Family edited by Amanda Duthie was reviewed by Sue @Whispering Gums. She suggests that, ” Too few Australians know about our indigenous pioneers – who they are, let alone what they’ve done and the challenges they’ve faced doing it.” This is a book that discusses the life and family of one such indigenous pioneer – Freda Glynn and her work with CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) and Imparja TV.
The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper received two more reviews via Kim @Reading Matters and Sharon on her Goodreads page. As did Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin – Kim @Reading Matters again as well as Kate @Books Are My Favourite and Best.
Bill @The Australian Legend presented us with a book of illustrations by Mary Leunig titled, One Good Turn. He said, “All of the pictures bear looking at, over and over. For ‘simple’ drawings they have extraordinary depth and complexity.…Many of the drawings are intensely personal, or more accurately, refer to intensely personal situations.”
Nancy @NancyElin revisited Fiona Wright’s first book, Small Acts of Disappearance (“She writes frankly and movingly about a…difficult and very personal subject“) while Jonathan @Me Fail I Fly reviewed her most recent work, World was Whole. (“A number of the essays here are fragmentary – congeries (a word my high school Latin teacher used to love throwing at us) of moments, observations, eavesdrops, beautifully chosen quotations from other writers.”)
I hope you enjoyed these quick glimpses into our most recent general non-fiction AWW reviews. I plan to do better next month (crosses fingers and sends off time management wishes to blogger fairy!)
About Bronwyn: I have been a book blogger at Brona’s Books since 2009 and a bookseller (specialising in children’s literature) in Sydney since 2008. Prior to this I was as an Early Childhood teacher for 18 years in country NSW.
I joined the AWW team in 2015 as the History, Memoir, Biography editor. In 2017 I moved to the General Non-fiction page and in 2018 I picked up the role of editor of Poetry. You can also find me at The Classics Club as one of the new Gen 2 moderators.
I taught myself to read when I was four by memorising my Dr Seuss books. I haven’t stopped reading since.
You can find me on Twitter @bronasbooks and Litsy @Brona.