Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

The book doesn’t drag, except when it kind of needs to in order to accentuate the monotony and meaninglessness of Anna’s life. They say that you should write what you know. Plenty of books include references to their authors’ real life experiences. This is certainly the case for Anna Karenina. The book actually follows two […]

The Science of Love: How Positivity Resonance Shapes the Way We Connect

The Science of Love: How Positivity Resonance Shapes the Way We Connect

by Maria Popova The neurobiology of how the warmest emotion blurs the boundaries by you and not-you. A timeless as their words might be, the poets and the philosophers have a way of escaping into the comfortable detachment of the abstract and the metaphysical, leaving open the ‘question’of what love really is on an unglamorously […]

Mo Yan wins Nobel prize for literature

Mo Yan wins Nobel prize for literature

Mo Yan  become the first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel prize for literature, a decision that sparked rejoicing but some criticism in his homeland. State media celebrated Mo’s win and the Nobel website rapidly filled with comments from Chinese users expressing pride at his triumph. The Swedish Academy, which decides on the award, said […]

My Friend the Fanatic: Travels with an Indonesian Islamist

My Friend the Fanatic: Travels with an Indonesian Islamist

By Sadanand Dhume Text Publishing RRP $AUS34.95 In October 2002, Sadanand Dhume found himself in a place most foreigners were trying to flee Bali. Powerful explosions the previous night had ripped through two tourist nightclubs, killing more than two hundred people. That evening he visited what remained of the Sari Club. Standing among piles of […]

Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President

Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President

By Ron Suskind, Harper Collins, $ 24.99 The hidden history of Wall Street and the White House comes down to a single, powerful, quintessentially American concept: confidence. Both centres of power, tapping brazen innovations over the past three decades, learned how to manufacture it. Until August 2007, when that confidence finally began to crumble. In this brilliantly […]

The Shadow of the Wind

  Carlos Ruiz Zafon Text Publishing This edition of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s much-loved bestseller includes Chapter One of his new literary sensation The Angel’s Game. It is 1945 and Barcelona is enduring the long aftermath of civil war when Daniel Sempere’s bookseller father decides his son is old enough to visit the secret Cemetery of […]

Joseph Anton

By Salman Rushdie RRP $39.99 Random House On 14 February 1989, Valentine’s Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been ‘sentenced to death’ by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which […]

Rupert Murdoch: Investigation of Power

  By David McKnight Allen & Unwin Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is the most powerful media organisation in the world. Murdoch’s commercial success is obvious, but less well understood is his successful pursuit of political goals, using News Corp as his vehicle. David McKnight uncovers Murdoch’s crusade for his unique brand of conservatism over three […]

Finance and the Good Society

By Robert J Shiller Princeton University Press $Aus 37.95 $NZ 46.91 The reputation of the financial industry could hardly be worse than it is today in the painful aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. New York Times best-selling economist Robert Shiller is no apologist for the sins of finance–he is probably the only person to […]

Burden of Power, The Countdown to Iraq

  Alastair Campbell Random House $62.99 The Burden of Power is the fourth volume of Alastair Campbell’s diaries, and perhaps the most eagerly awaited given the ground it covers. It begins on September 12, 2001 as world leaders assess their response to Al Qaida terrorist attacks in New York and Washington the day before, a […]

Among the Islands: Adventures in the Pacific

  By Tim Flannery Text Publishing Twenty-five years ago, a young curator of mammals from the Australian Museum in Sydney set out to research the fauna of the Pacific Islands. Starting with a survey of one of the most inaccessible islands in Melanesia – Woodlark, in the Trobriands Group that the young scientist found himself […]

BOOKS: Boomerang

  By Michael Lewis Penguin Books $RRP $47 Having made the U.S. financial crisis comprehensible for us all in The Big Short, Michael Lewis realised that he hadn’t begun to get grips with the full story. ÊHow exactly had it come to hit the rest of the world in the face too? Just how broke […]

BOOKS: Her Fearful Symmetry

  By Audrey Niffenegger Random House $38.99 Her Fearful Symmetry is a great book for a dark winter night. It takes place in and around London’s Highgate Cemetery and deals with love, obsession and ghosts (real and metaphoric). The book is quietly suspenseful, slowly drawing readers into the lives of an unusual set of characters before […]

House Without Windows

The House Without Windows by Barbara Newhall Follet is about a girl who chooses to live in nature and eventually transcends to a higher being. It was written when Barbara was 9, and rewritten at 12 after the manuscript was destroyed in a house fire. In her twenties, she walked out the door of her […]

Books: Extreme Economics

  “Babbage’s book is aimed at teachers and educators, but any parent or student would benefit from reading it. . . . The spend-for-today mentality has to stop. Schools and society have to address the problem, and Dr. Babbage has concrete ideas, exercises and plans that will help. “—Don McNay, founder of the McNay Settlement […]