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Reviews round-up

In October Books+Publishing reviewed more than a dozen forthcoming titles due to be published in December 2020 and January 2021.

In adult fiction, lighthearted summer reads The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman and The Women and the Girls garnered positive reviews, while reviewer Elizabeth Flux said Catherine Jinks’s thriller Shelter deserves to be read in one sitting. Also publishing in January next year is Alison Gibbs’s debut novel Repentence, which reviewer Deborah Crabtree said will appeal to readers who savour language over pace and appreciators of accomplished and tender storytelling. She also spoke with the author about the genesis of the novel, which came out of a Varuna grant.

In nonfiction, summer will see the publication of several anthologies reflecting on the hardships of the past year. Joanne Shiells said the brevity of the essays in the Sophie Cunningham-edited Fire, Flood, Plague make it easy to dip in and out of, while the ABC anthology Black Summer, which reviewer Michael Kitson said ‘contains some of the very best words you can read on the subject’. Also coming in January is Dingo Bold, Rowena Lennox’s ‘thoroughly engaging and deeply persona’ look at human–dingo relations on K’gari (Fraser Island).

Bronte Coates gave a rave review to Philip Bunting’s December picture book Give Me Some Space, and also spoke to him about writing nonfiction for children. We also reviewed a trio of children’s illustrated novels: Matt Stanton’s slapstick adventure The Odds, Guardian cartoonist First Dog on the Moon’s ‘delightfully absurd’ and politically charged middle-grade debut The Carbon-Neutral Adventures of the Indefatigable EnviroTeens, and author–illustrator Anna Zobel’s ‘fresh new’ witchy fable Little Gem.

To view Books+Publishing’s review content in fiction, nonfiction and children’s categories, see the reviews page here.


Category: Features