Friday, July 19, 2024

Catherine DeMayo


Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Before the Coffee Gets Cold is one of a series of four novels by Japanese author Toshikazu Kawaguchi, whose previous work was as playwright, director and producer for theatrical group Sonic Snail.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Before the Coffee Gets Cold delivers life lessons with charm and a light touch.

Opi: The Two Lives of My Grandfather

‘My grandfather was the best grandfather a child could wish for. He … was also a Nazi.’ So begins Opi: The Two Lives of My Grandfather by Andreas Pohl.

Sweat: A History of Exercise

“One of my big fears about getting old”, Bill Hayes writes in the opening chapter of Sweat: A History of Exercise, “is that I won’t be able to get any exercise at all ... Please, shoot me first. No, wait. Throw me into a lake. I want to go out swimming ...”

We Come with This Place

We Come with This Place won an unprecedented four prizes in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, an achievement even more impressive for a first-time author.

An Indigenous Voice to Parliament – considering a constitutional bridge

In his short and cogent book, An Indigenous Voice to Parliament, Frank Brennan aims to chart the development of the Voice initiative and present the views of a range of people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, both for and against.

My Father’s House 

My Father’s House is a fascinating story of good people standing up to evil – and (sometimes) winning.


Jane Harper, whose debut novel The Dry won both critical and popular acclaim, is back on form with her latest crime novel, Exiles.

The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner

The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner, the memoir of 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame, is a fascinating look at the person behind the headlines.

Lessons in Chemistry

Lessons in Chemistry is about far more than the unlikely scientist-turned successful TV chef. Through its heroine, Elizabeth Zott, Bonnie Garmus makes clear her views on bullying, sexism, religion, friendship and acceptance.

The Midnight Library

The Midnight Library, in the same vein as films like Sliding Doors and It’s a Wonderful Life, posits a wide range of alternative scenarios based on different life choices.

No safety in numbers for Aboriginal footballers

Explosive allegations of racism raised by an external review into the Hawthorn Hawks have again put the AFL and its relations with Indigenous players in the spotlight. Eddie Betts and several others have responded that the allegations make them sad but not surprised.

The Boy from Boomerang Crescent

Eddie Betts – who played for AFL teams Carlton and Adelaide over his 16-year career and is now on Geelong’s coaching staff – is convinced that football saved him. He describes his childhood in Kalgoorlie and Port Lincoln as happy, with a loving and loyal extended family. Still, by his mid-teens, he was disengaged from school and getting into trouble.

Local love story broaches Indigenous issues – an interview with Yvonne Weldon

“I was resigned to the fact that it might never get out there,” says Yvonne Weldon, referring to the fact that Sixty-Seven Days was shortlisted for...

Sixty-Seven Days

Yvonne Weldon weaves the political issues and history of Redfern into her new novel Sixty-Seven Days .

The Escape Artist

The Escape Artist is the true story of Rudi Vrba (formerly Walter Rosenberg) who achieved the near impossible – he escaped Auschwitz. Vrba and his fellow escapee Alfred Wetzler prepared a detailed dossier of the ruthless killings in Auschwitz that reached Allied leaders ...


With her debut novel, Nightcrawling, 19-year-old Leila Mottley has achieved sudden fame; her widely acclaimed book is already an Oprah Book Club pick, with Mottley the youngest author so honoured.

Lost & Found: A Memoir

Millions of us watch the decline and death of a beloved parent (or two) in sorrow and helplessness; few of us have Kathryn Schulz’s elegance of prose in describing her range of emotions as her erudite, charming father sickens, stops talking and finally dies.

The Candy House

Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House is a book she describes as a “companion” (the term “sequel” is avoided by both Egan and publicists) to her 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning A Visit from the Goon Squad. Several of Goon Squad’s characters reappear, among them Lou Kline, Bennie Salazar, Sasha, Lincoln and Lulu.

The Urge

If there is one overarching message from The Urge, it is just that: Addiction is complex; quick fixes and slogans are irrelevant; its causes are both societal and individual, and there is no one-size-fits-all treatment model.

The Mother Wound

Losing a beloved family member is never easy, but what’s it like when your mother is brutally murdered – by your father? Amani Haydar writes about this in The Mother Wound which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction 2022.

These Precious Days

Whether you are a long-term Patchett fan, or are just meeting her for the first time, These Precious Days is a gem of a book, moving without being saccharine.


The breadth and depth of the questions Jonathan Franzen’s Crossroads explores, set it apart from his previous works.

The Kindness Revolution

Hugh Mackay AO, author of The Kindness Revolution, believes that people are capable of great kindness, and that the Covid pandemic demonstrated this.

Beautiful World, Where Are You

Climate change, the fate of a now extinct Bronze Age culture, the rise of right-wing politics and global injustice also make their appearance in the detailed electronic epistles of the two women in Sally Rooney’s third novel Beautiful World, Where Are You.

The Labyrinth

What sets The Labyrinth apart, though, is both the beauty and simplicity of Lohrey’s writing and the magnitude of the tragedy that has caused her narrator, Erica, to flee Sydney for a tiny coastal town.

 ‘I hope the book will reach kids like me’

The Boy from the Mish is both a classic coming of age novel and an unusual book.

The Boy from the Mish

The Boy from the Mish is both a classic coming of age novel and an unusual book.

My Year of Living Vulnerably

Two years after his widely acclaimed One Hundred Years of Dirt, journalist Rick Morton has produced another gritty but inspiring work, My Year of Living Vulnerably.

The Boy in the Field

This ninth novel by the Scottish-born Margot Livesey was nominated by the New York Times as one of 2020’s 100 Notable Books.

Uniting urges ‘bold’ reform of drug laws

Emma Maiden of Uniting contends that “our current drug laws are harsh, punitive, judgemental, discriminatory, isolating, out-dated and, dare I say, un-Christian”. Ms Maiden is...

All Our Shimmering Skies

All Our Shimmering Skies, like Trent Dalton's first novel and runaway best seller Boy Swallows Universe, is often gritty, violent and harrowing – but his luminous prose makes it a compelling read.

A Pilgrimage to Eternity – from Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith

Timothy Egan’s book is part travelogue, part memoir, part meditation on the past and future of Christianity and part history of the Church in Europe.


Malcolm Knox is best known as a journalist, columnist and former literary editor for the Sydney Morning Herald, but he is also the author of several books, both fiction and non-fiction.

The Beauty in Breaking

The Beauty in Breaking is a beautifully written and thoughtful memoir. The author moves between her childhood and the daily dramas of her hospital work, interspersed with deep insights into pain, trauma, healing, forgiveness and love.

Where the Crawdads Sing

Grenville has used her imagination to fill in the details of how the historical figure, Elizabeth Macarthur, may have thought and acted in A Room Made of Leaves, her fourth in a series of colonial novels, beginning with A Secret River in 2005.

A Room Made of Leaves

Grenville has used her imagination to fill in the details of how the historical figure, Elizabeth Macarthur, may have thought and acted in A Room Made of Leaves, her fourth in a series of colonial novels, beginning with A Secret River in 2005.

The Gospel of the Eels

Author Patrik Svensson describes The Gospel of the Eels as a “strange and nerdy book”. He isn’t wrong; his book (subtitled “A father, a son and the world’s most enigmatic fish”) is part memoir and part natural history with musings on other topics (the birth of the modern environmental movement and the meaning of miracles, for example) skillfully interwoven.


While published well before Covid-19 reached Australia, this book – subtitled On awe, wonder and things that sustain you when the world goes dark, is a timely read for this global pandemic.

This is Happiness

This is Happiness intrigued me with its title. Was the title sarcastic, a gibe at the miseries of an impoverished rural Ireland? Or was I about to read a twee tale of a mythical, pastoral, romantic Ireland?


If Patricia Lockwood’s family had been normal, they still would have been highly unusual.

The Gap – a paramedic’s summer on the edge

The best and worst of humanity – and much of its strangeness – is on display in Sydney paramedic Benjamin Gilmour's page-turner memoir The Gap.

The Dutch House

A deep sense of loss permeates the first part of The Dutch House; the rest of the novel details how the ensuing grief shapes the lives of protagonist Danny, and his older sister Maeve.