One Minute Book Review – Come in Spinner by Dymphna Cusack and Florence James

Originally published in 1951, Come in Spinner follows the lives of a group of women in Sydney over a period of eight days during the latter part of World War 2. Sydney is brought vividly to life - the ever present soldiers both local and American. The women's lives and both the pressures and excitement … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Come in Spinner by Dymphna Cusack and Florence James

One Minute Book Review – Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

This, the 40th Discworld novel, chronicles the arrival of the locomotive in the Discworld. As would be expected, it is full of Terry Pratchett's usual humour and insight into the human condition. Totally entertaining, it  touches lightly on themes such as industrialization, fundamentalism and even gender  without even a hint of preachyness. Old characters are … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

One Minute Book Review – Christ Recrucified by Nikos Kazantzakis

Set in Anatolia in the 1920s under Turkish rule, Christ Recrucified tells the story of Manolios, a shepherd, chosen to play the part of Christ in the village's Passion Play. With the arrival of a group of refugees whose village has been destroyed by the Turks, the lives of those chosen to take part in … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Christ Recrucified by Nikos Kazantzakis

Van Diemen’s Land

Like so many traditional songs there are a number of versions of Van Diemen's Land. Apart from various musical interpretations, there are a variety of lyrics depending on the country of origin of the singer, England or Ireland. The earliest published lyrics can be found in the Launceston Examiner of 21 Nov 1939 (p.2, c1). … Continue reading Van Diemen’s Land

One Minute Book Review – Noonday by Pat Barker

The third book in Pat Barker's Life Class trilogy takes up the story of Elinor Brooke,  Paul Tarrant and Kit Neville in 1940, over twenty years after the events of the first two books ( 1 -Life Class and 2-Toby's Room)  The world is at war again and London  is suffering sustained aerial bombing. As … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Noonday by Pat Barker

Not What it Used to Be by Livi Michael

This interesting article by Livi Michael, published in Historia Magazine, looks at the way the writing of historical fiction has changed over the last fifty or so years in response to developments in historiography and the contemporary world view. In the course of my lifetime, historical fiction has been on a journey, from mass-market romance … Continue reading Not What it Used to Be by Livi Michael

One Minute Book Review – Sun on the Stubble by Colin Thiele

The first time I laughed out loud while reading a book in public occurred reading Sun on the Stubble on the tram home from school, aged twelve. Although considered a children’s book, this is one book that I am happy to read again and again. Bruno Gunther is the youngest son of a hardworking German … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Sun on the Stubble by Colin Thiele