Bookshelf Bounty


Every third Sunday of the month I share my Bookshelf Bounty – what’s been added to my TBR tile recently for review from publishers, purchases or gifts.

This month I’m linking up with Mailbox Monday

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review 

(My thanks to the respective publishers)




It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon


Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz





I have to be honest, I just couldn’t motivate myself to write reviews this week. I’ve started half a dozen or so but gotten nowhere with any of them. Instead I watched a ridiculous amount of television.





What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…


Family Baggage by Ilsa Evans

Fed to Red Birds by Rijn Collins

The Wakes by Dianne Yarwood




New Posts…


International Women’s Day 2023

Book Lust




What I’m Reading This Week…

{Covers link to Goodreads}

The Angel Makers is a true-crime story like no other–a 1920s midwife who may have been the century’s most prolific killer leading a murder ring of women responsible for the deaths of at least 160 men.

The horror occurred in a rustic farming enclave in modern-day Hungary. To look at the unlikely lineup of murderesses–village wives, mothers, and daughters–was to come to the shocking realization that this could have happened anywhere, and to anyone. At the center of it all was a sharp-minded village midwife, a “smiling Buddha” known as Auntie Suzy, who distilled arsenic from flypaper and distributed it to the women of Nagyrév. “Why are you bothering with him?” Auntie Suzy would ask, as she produced an arsenic-filled vial from her apron pocket. In the beginning, a great many used the deadly solution to finally be free of cruel and abusive spouses.

But as the number of dead bodies grew without consequence, the killers grew bolder. With each vial of poison emptied, a new reason surfaced to drain yet another. Some women disposed of sickly relatives. Some used arsenic as “inheritance powder” to secure land and houses. For more than fifteen years, the unlikely murderers aided death unfettered and tended to it as if it were simply another chore–spooning doses of arsenic into soup and wine, stirring it into coffee and brandy. By the time their crimes were discovered, hundreds were feared dead.

Anonymous notes brought the crimes to light in 1929. As a skillful prosecutor hungry for justice ran the investigation, newsmen from around the world–including the New York Times–poured in to cover the dramatic events as they unfolded.

The Angel Makers captures in expertly researched detail the entirety of this harrowing story, from the early murders to the final hanging–the story of one of the most sensational and astonishing murder rings in all of modern history.



Neither of them expected to fall in love. But sometimes life has other plans.

When Wren realises her fiancé is in love with someone else, she thinks her heart will never recover.

On the other side of the world, Anders lost his wife four years ago and is still struggling to move on.

Wren hopes that spending the summer with her dad and step-family on their farm in Indiana will help her to heal. There, amid the cornfields and fireflies, she and Anders cross paths and their worlds are turned upside-down again.

But Wren doesn’t know that Anders is harbouring a secret, and if he acts on any feelings he has for Wren it will have serious fall-out for everyone.

Walking away would hurt Wren more than she can imagine. But, knowing the truth, how can she possibly stay?



On the dawn of 16 July 1990, Liliana Rivera Garza, Cristina Rivera Garza’s sister, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend and subsumed into Mexico’s dark and relentless history of femicide. She was a twenty-year-old architecture student who had been trying for years to end her relationship with a high school boyfriend who insisted on not letting her go. A few weeks before the tragedy, Liliana made a definitive decision: at the height of her winter she had discovered that, as Albert Camus had said, there was an invincible summer in her. She would leave him behind. She would start a new life. She would do a master’s degree and a doctorate; she would travel to London. But his decision was that she would not have a life without him.

Returning to Mexico after decades of living in the United States, Cristina Rivera Garza collects and curates evidence – handwritten letters, police reports, school notebooks, voice recordings and architectural blueprints – to defy a pattern of increasingly normalised, gendered violence and understand the life lost. What she finds is Liliana: her sister’s voice crossing time and, like that of so many disappeared and outraged women in Mexico, demanding justice.

A multi-layered portrait of Liliana’s experience on earth, Liliana’s Invincible Summer is an excavation of the life of a brilliant woman who lacked, like everyone else, the necessary language to identify, denounce and fight against sexist violence and intimate partner terrorism. Marshalling the skills of scholar, translator, novelist and poet, Rivera Garza presents an astonishing work of creative non-fiction that celebrates her sister’s passage through the earth, and reveals the incalculable problem of violence against women.



Leslie Bird loves being a wife and mother but loathes her husband and children. The only person she ever loved was born dead.

Meet Leslie Bird, the irascible matriarch of a big bonkers family, coming of age and to the boil, as the secrets and slights that have shaped her and her hapless husband’s lives impact their children in the most profound and complex ways. In other words, everyone’s story. Sort of. Because this is a story, and family, like none you’ve ever read before.

Things She Would Have Said Herself is a darkly funny, deeply moving novel about the lengths and breadths one woman will go to ignore her own and others’ pain and what happens when she’s confronted by it one sweltering Christmas day.

A story of motherhood, marriage, madness, unspeakable loss and the heartbreaking messy love that holds a family together. Honest, revealing, resonant and startlingly original, if you loved Olive Kitteridge and Boy Swallows Universe, you will love this book!


Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance #ThingsSheWouldHaveSaidHerself #TheAngelmakers #LilianasInvincibleSummer #OnlyLoveCanHurtLikeThis

Book Lust


It is a sad truth that I have a finite lifespan (and budget) yet a desire to read all the books. The books on my Reading Schedule (click the link to view) largely represent those I’ve been privileged to select from offerings by a range of generous publishers, and therefore are my priority, but they don’t embody my every bookish desire or interest.

I’ve noticed a trend for limiting to-be-read (TBR) and/or want-to-read (WTR) lists (the distinction for me being those already on my physical or digital shelves vs those that aren’t), but I’ve never felt the need to temper my book lust. If I see a book that interests me, I add it to my WTR without a skerrick of guilt, at the moment my WTR shelf at Goodreads has around three and a half thousand books on it.

As I currently feature my TBR in my monthly Bookshelf Bounty post, Book Lust will be a monthly post featuring a handful of published books I’ve recently added to my WTR.

What books are you lusting after? Do you have any of these on your TBR/WTR list? And please feel free to share your links in the comments if you have reviewed them.

(Covers are linked to Goodreads)


With words come power. But do you speak out or shut up?

Everywhere Sara Javed goes – online or outside – everyone is shouting about something. Couldn’t they all just shut up? One day she takes her own advice.

At first people don’t understand her silence and are politely confused at best. But the last thing Sara could anticipate is becoming the figurehead of a global movement that splits society in two.

The Silent Movement sparks outrage in its opposers. Global structures start to shift. And the lives of those closest to Sara – as well as strangers inspired by her act – begin to unravel.

It’s time for the world to reconsider what it means to have a voice.

A sharply observed novel, charged with compassion and dark wit, that will spark important conversations about how we live, relate and communicate now.



Who hasn’t wondered for a split second what the world would be like if a person who is the object of your affliction ceased to exist? But then you’ve probably never heard of The McMasters Conservatory, dedicated to the consummate execution of the homicidal arts. To gain admission, a student must have an ethical reason for erasing someone who deeply deserves a fate no worse (nor better) than death. The campus of this “Poison Ivy League” college—its location unknown to even those who study there—is where you might find yourself the practice target of a classmate…and where one’s mandatory graduation thesis is getting away with the perfect murder of someone whose death will make the world a much better place to live.

Prepare for an education you’ll never forget. A delightful mix of witty wordplay, breathtaking twists and genuine intrigue, Murder Your Employer will gain you admission into a wholly original world, cocooned within the most entertaining book about well-intentioned would-be murderers you’ll ever read.



A rollicking space adventure with a lot of heart

When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn’t expecting much. The patched-up ship has seen better days, but it offers her everything she could possibly want: a spot to call home, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and some distance from her past.

And nothing could be further from what she’s known than the crew of the Wayfarer.

From Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the chatty engineers who keep the ship running, to the noble captain Ashby, life aboard is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. That is until the crew is offered the job of a lifetime tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet. Sure, they’ll earn enough money to live comfortably for years, but risking her life wasn’t part of the job description.

The journey through the galaxy is full of excitement, adventure, and mishaps for the Wayfarer team. And along the way, Rosemary comes to realize that a crew is a family, and that family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe…as long as you actually like them.



Halla is a housekeeper who has suddenly inherited her great-uncle’s estate… and, unfortunately, his relatives. Sarkis is an immortal swordsman trapped in a prison of enchanted steel. When Halla draws the sword that imprisons him, Sarkis finds himself attempting to defend his new wielder against everything from bandits and roving inquisitors to her own in-laws… and the sword itself may prove to be the greatest threat of all.



Kathy has worked at beloved Brisbane indie record store Dusty’s Records for half her life. She arrived as a teenager high on her dad’s supply of Led Zeppelin, stayed through her twenties and suddenly thirty is on the horizon and she’s still there, measuring her self-worth by her knowledge of the Velvet Underground’s back catalogue.

Lately, though, cracks have been appearing in Kathy’s comfortable indie bubble. Her friends – feisty Mel, the only other woman employed at Dusty’s, and straight-laced Alex, whom Kathy has known since preschool – are growing up and moving on, while she’s stuck in a cycle of record store, pub, repeat, with the rest of the Dusty’s music bros. But how do you move forward when you’re stuck in a groove? And what happens when you realise that you’ve been working so hard to be part of the boys’ club that you never stopped to wonder if you should be creating a club of your own?

Her Fidelity is a feminist coming-of-age story for anyone who has ever felt that a song understood them more than their own family, for anyone who has ever felt like the culture they love might not love them back, and for anyone who has ever turned to Stevie Nicks for advice while ignoring the sensible people around them.


Book Lust is a new monthly post featuring a handful of published books I’ve recently added to my WTR. #read #books #TBR #WTR #lovereading #bibliophile #fiction #Nonfiction #BookstagramAustralia #Bookstagram #BookLust

International Women’s Day 2023


8 nonfiction books

by and about Australian Women

to explore

{Covers linked to Goodreads}


Songspirals: Sharing women’s wisdom of Country through songlines by Gay’wu Group of Women

‘We want you to come with us on our journey, our journey of songspirals. Songspirals are the essence of people in this land, the essence of every clan. We belong to the land and it belongs to us. We sing to the land, sing about the land. We are that land. It sings to us.’


Truganini by Cassandra Pybus

The haunting story of the extraordinary Aboriginal woman behind the myth of ‘the last Tasmanian Aborigine’.


A Cargo of Women: Susannah Watson and the Convicts of the Princess Royal by 
Babette Smith

Babette Smith reconstructs the lives of the women from the Princess Royal from fragments of information in shipping lists, official records, newspapers and court transcripts.


Yassmin’s Story by Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Born in the Sudan, Yassmin and her parents moved to Brisbane when she was two, and she has been tackling barriers ever since. At 16 she founded Youth Without Borders, an organization focused on helping young people to work for positive change in their communities. In 2007 she was named Young Australian Muslim of the Year and in 2010 Young Queenslander of the Year. In 2011 Yassmin graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (First Class Honours) and in 2012 she was named Young Leader of the Year in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s inaugural 100 Women of Influence Awards, as well as an InStyle cultural leader and a Marie Claire woman of the future.


Reckoning: A Memoir by Magda Szubanski

Heartbreaking, joyous, traumatic, intimate and revelatory, Reckoning is the book where Magda Szubanski, one of Australia’s most beloved performers, tells her story.


Grace Tame: The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner by Grace Tame

In 2021 Grace stepped squarely into the public eye as the Australian of the Year, and was the catalyst for a tidal wave of conversation and action.


Women of a Certain Rage Edited by Liz Byrski

This book is the result of what happened when Liz Byrski asked 20 Australian women from widely different backgrounds, races, beliefs and identities to take up the challenge of writing about rage.


Not Now, Not Ever Ten years on from the misogyny speech Edited by Julia Gillard

On 9 October 2012, Prime Minister Julia Gillard stood up and proceeded to make all present in Parliament House that day pay attention – and left many of them squirming in their seats. The incisive ‘misogyny speech’, as her words came to be known, continues to energise and motivate women who need to stare down sexism and misogyny in their own lives.


You’re Doing it Wrong: A History of Bad & Bonkers Advice to Women by Kaz Cooke

You’re Doing it Wrong is an outrageous tour through the centuries of bonkers and bad advice handed down and foisted upon women, told as only Kaz Cooke can – with humour and rage, intelligence and wit.


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon


Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz





About a week and a half go I logged into my blog to post a review, only to discover the editing tools were all being displayed as a bunch of wing dings. It took a week to figure out why, which was that my template was no longer compatible with WordPress after a core update. So I’ve had to switch to a new theme, the layout of this one being the closest I could find to what I was using previously, though with far less options to customise it, so it’s pretty plain. Then another issue arose with the editing tool, and as yet there is no fix for it so I’m having to use a work around which is irritating. I’m also having ongoing issues with my tags not showing up on posts, even though they are set to. I think I have managed to sort out the issues I had with the menus at least, but please if you notice any other issues, let me know!

It’s very quiet here. The middles are now on campus and my youngest is hardly ever home between school, work, sport and his girlfriend.

We got some positive results regarding my dad, his cancer is localised and treatment has already begun. The outlook is very good. Thank you for your well wishes.

It’s the first Monday of the month, so here’s my challenge update

Nonfiction Reader Challenge: 1/12

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: 7/25

Cloak and Dagger Challenge: 14/36

Books in Translation Challenge 1/6

Monthly Motif Challenge: 2/12




What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…


An Ungrateful Instrument by Michael Meehan

Prize Women by Caroline Lea

Judgement Day by Mali Waugh

Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder by Kerryn Mayne

Crows Nest by Nikki Mottram

No Life for a Lady by Hannah Dolby




New Posts…


Review: The Bookbinder of Jericho by Pip Williams

Review: Red Dirt Road by S.R. White

Review: A Man and His Pride by Luke Rutledge

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #2




What I’m Reading This Week…


Prepare to be bewitched by Iceland and the book that has enchanted readers for decades – and imprisoned one of them. 
Elva loves Iceland for many reasons – the epic landscape of gods and volcanos, the weather that’s the polar opposite of her home in Australia, and the fact that it’s where her mother might have gone back to when she disappeared. Iceland is where Elva’s beloved grandfather – the famous children’s book author – lives in a remote village and where the beings that haunt her imagination reside. 
Elva is interested in the odd things people make – Victorian collectibles, old spells, taxidermy, fairytales. The weird, the wonderful and the sometimes macabre. She’s got a few quirks of her own that she’s (mainly) keeping under control. Except one. 
Working in a shop of curiosities, studying at Icelandic language school, Elva begins to explore her obsessions, and when her grandfather suffers a stroke, they threaten to overtake her. Then she meets Remy, a painter who’s got some secrets of his own
In her captivating debut, Rijn Collins has created a beautifully evocative portrait of an enchanted mind in an enchanting place – a story of everyday magic, both dark and light; of families and the shadows they can cast; of the delights and dangers of the imagination. Fed to Red Birds will transport you to remote corners of both the world and the human heart.



A successful film professor and podcaster, Bodie Kane is content to forget her past: the family tragedy that marred her adolescence, her four largely miserable years at a New Hampshire boarding school, and the 1995 murder of a classmate, Thalia Keith. Though the circumstances surrounding Thalia’s death and the conviction of the school’s athletics coach, Omar Evans, are the subject of intense fascination online, Bodie prefers-needs-to let sleeping dogs lie.
But when The Granby School invites her back to teach a two-week course, Bodie finds herself inexorably drawn to the case and its increasingly apparent flaws. In their rush to convict Omar, did the school and the police overlook other suspects? Is the real killer still out there? As she falls down the very rabbit hole she was so determined to avoid, Bodie begins to wonder if she wasn’t as much of an outsider at Granby as she’d thought-if, perhaps, back in 1995, she knew something that might have held the key to solving the case. 
One of the most acclaimed contemporary American writers, Rebecca Makkai reinvents herself with each of her brilliant novels. Both a transfixing mystery and a deeply felt examination of one woman’s reckoning with her past, I Have Some Questions for You is her finest achievement yet.



It’s winter in Sydney and the lives of two strangers have fallen apart. Newly separated and in need of a distraction, Clare agrees to help her neighbour Louisa with a funeral catering business that has bitten off more than it can chew. Chris, an emergency doctor, has witnessed too many deaths but still feels compelled to attend the occasional wake. 
When Clare and Chris meet, the good in their lives is slowly illuminated. After all, the thing about death is that it makes life matter. 
Funny, moving, wise and hopeful, The Wakes is an irresistible debut novel about old friends, lost love, good food and new beginnings.



Things you might be surprised to find when cleaning out your deceased mother’s house: 
a secret diary a family mystery a new lease on life. 
Grief-stricken middle-aged sisters George, Kat and Annie give themselves a week to pack up their childhood home and divide their mother’s belongings. Beloved items are contested: an Eames chair, a collection of war medals, a learn-to-read book. The sisters – bossy Kat, mediator George and petulant Annie – are hampered by sibling rivalry, the prickly demands of their own offspring, the needs of their disabled younger brother and, in George’s case, the after-effects of a spot of adultery. 
The discovery of a decades’ old diary divides the women further: not only do they learn what their mother really thought of them, they learn that she had a life entirely of her own. They are not the family they thought they were – and their mother was so much more than she seemed. This revelation might be the key to George’s freedom …


Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance #TheWakes #FamilyBaggage #IHaveSomeQuestionsForYou #FedtoRedBirds

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #2

Welcome to the Monthly Spotlight for the

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge!

Each month I highlight some of the reviews shared for the challenge in the linky

Don’t forget to link each book you read as you read during the year!

I encourage you to support all participants who have shared what they are reading for the challenge. Give them a like, leave them a comment, share their posts on Facebook, twitter, or instagram #ReadNonFicChal



All The Books I Can Read is very complimentary of The Book Of Roads & Kingdoms  by Richard Fidler. She writes, ‘This is so comprehensive and impeccably researched and it is also so incredibly readable. There’s no denying that it’s a lot of information – it covers a period of time that’s hundreds of years, changing caliphs, expanding and contracting territory, religion, wars and city developments and abandonments. But I honestly never felt like I was confused or wondering where we were in time or location, even though it did move back and forth occasionally.”


“There’s lots in this book I had learned before, but there were several practical exercises with a unique angle that I loved.” says Shoe’s Seeds and Stories about How to Make a Plant Love You by Summer Rayne Oakes. She, “…recommend(s) you read this book to get a holistic view of adding plants to your indoor space. Recommended also to those who are interested in the health benefits of having plants.”


Helen’s Book Blog gives Victory, Stand! Raising my Fist for Justice written by Tommie Smith, illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile, and cowritten by Derrick Barnes 5 stars. She writes, “I loved this graphic novel and how it covers both Tommie’s growing up and his famous race/podium statement. The illustrations are great, conveying the emotions of the story. I think this would do really well with YA readers.”


“Where do I begin? Bleak but uplifting, tension-filled and heartwarming.” writes Terrie of Bookshelf Journeys about Solito by Javier Zamora, a memoir of his journey from El Salvador to the USA to join his parents as a child.


“…an interesting read, though, as most of the cases have been explored in the media, it doesn’t offer any particularly unique information. I’d recommend The Real-Life Murder Clubs: Citizens Solving True Crimes by Nicola Stow to readers unfamiliar with, and curious about, the activities of citizen sleuths. True crime junkies aren’t likely to learn anything new.” Learn more at Book’d Out


What will you be reading in MARCH?

Need some inspiration? Check out these posts

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #HISTORY #MEMOIR

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #SCIENCE #CRIME&PUNISHMENT

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #HEALTH #TRAVEL

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #FOOD #SOCIALMEDIA

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #SPORT #RELATIONSHIPS

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Inspiration #THEARTS #PUBLISHEDIN2023

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #1

Just a reminder, it is helpful when you post your review if you indicate which category it fulfils for when I put together the Monthly Spotlight.

And don’t forget to share your latest read/review in the Linky

2023 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #2 #ReadNonFicChal Check out some of the latest #Nonfiction book reviews shared last month #readingchallenge at Book’d Out 

Review: A Man and His Pride by Luke Rutledge


Title: A Man and His Pride

Author: Luke Rutledge

Published: 31st January 2023, Viking

Status: Read January 2023 courtesy Penguin Books


My Thoughts:

When Sean Preston’s first serious relationship ends, the social media moderator makes a list. Get body back in shape. Visit Meredith. Call Mum. Don’t date. He also needs to find somewhere else to live, crashing with his best friend, and former girlfriend, Abby can only be a temporary solution.

Eager to restore his self esteem, Sean throws himself back into the world of hook ups via Grindr, convinced now that exclusive partnerships are antithesis to the gay lifestyle, despite the current campaign with regards to the Same Sex Marriage plebiscite. Yet the rewards seem increasingly hollow.

As Sean is struggling to find his place in the world, he meets William, a nurse at the home where Meredith, suffering late stage dementia, is confined. Her impending death, a mystery correspondent and William’s friendship, forces Sean to face the emotional traumas he carries, and re-claim his pride.

The author thoughtfully explores issues such as identity, homophobia, acceptance, and friendship. Sean initially presents as shallow and narcissistic, playing up to the media stereotype of a promiscuous gay party boy, but as the story unfolds his avoidance of intimacy begins to make sense. With compassion and insight Rutledge slowly strips away Sean’s outward persona to expose his vulnerability, guilt, and loneliness.

William is a sweet foil for Sean, and I really liked the way Rutledge developed the relationship between the two men. What starts as a sort of mercenary exchange becomes something more meaningful and moving. William, and his friends, also illustrate the diversity of the gay community, and model an alternative lifestyle for Sean.

Tender, forthright, entertaining and poignant, I enjoyed A Man and His Pride.


Available from Penguin Books

Or help support* Book’d Out

*Purchase from Booktopia*

*As an affiliate of Booktopia I may earn a small commission on your purchase at no additional cost to you.*

Review: Red Dirt Road by S.R. White


Title: Red Dirt Road {Detective Dana Russo #3}

Author: S.R. White

Published: 10th January 2023, Hachette Australia

Status: Read January 2023 courtesy Hachette Australia


My Thoughts:

Red Dirt Road is the third police procedural to feature Detective Dana Russo from former police officer S.R. White.

In the wake of the internal political manoeuvring in Prisoner, Dana has been sent to Unamurra, a tiny outback community with a population of 82 people and given just two days to solve the murders of two locals. Discovered a month apart, the bodies of Larry Muir and Tim Ogden were found shot in the heart and strung up on mobile art installations representing angels. Dana has concerns about the original investigation which yielded no witnesses, suspects or motive, and knows she needs to try something different if she is going to get results, and save her career.

It seems to me that the author has drawn some inspiration from the true crime mystery centred on the Australian town of Larrimah for Red Dirt Town. There are definitely some similar elements, though White tells his own story.

In what is essentially a ‘locked room’ mystery, in that the murderer must be one of Unamurra’s residents, Dana has limited resources to work with. Her usual team isn’t with her, she’s wary of the assistance offered by the town’s police officer, Abel Barillo, and the community doesn’t seem invested in finding the truth.

There’s not a lot of action in Red Dirt Road, and despite the time pressure Dana is under I felt Red Dirt Road lacked a sense of urgency, though the mystery, and the motive is intriguing.

The information Dana needs to solve the case comes slowly as she takes an oblique approach to the case. With plenty of possible suspects, White develops several red herrings, but it’s deciphering the unusual dynamics of the town that will prove crucial to Russo solving the murders.

Not my favourite of the series so far, but Red Dirt Road is still an interesting read.


Available from Hachette Australia

Or help support* Book’d Out

*Purchase from Booktopia*

*As an affiliate of Booktopia I may earn a small commission on your purchase at no additional cost to you.*

Under Reconstruction

So it seems my blog theme, which hasn’t been supported for years, will no longer cooperate with the WordPress Editor. As such, I have no choice but to replace it.

I’m really not sure how smooth or fast the transition will be, so please bear with me while I make the necessary adjustments so that I can continue posting.

Thank you for your patience!

Review: The Bookbinder of Jericho by Pip Williams


Title: The Bookbinder of Jericho

Author: Pip Williams

Published: 28th March 2023, Affirm Press

Status: Read February 2023 courtesy Better Reading Australia


My Thoughts:

“Your job is to bind books, not read them…”

Pip Williams blends history with imagination, weaving a captivating, poignant tale of desire, duty, grief and love in The Bookbinder of Jericho, a companion novel to her award winning fiction debut, The Dictionary of Lost Words.

Set within the bindery of the Oxford University Clarendon Press, we are introduced to Peggy, who, wielding her late mother’s bonefolder, gathers and folds the pages of books she dreams of studying at University, but as a Town, with the added responsibility of her vulnerable twin sister, Maude, such ambition has always seemed impossible. Then World War I breaks out, heralding change that seems to bring the future Peggy wants within her grasp, but war always calls for sacrifice.

Told in five parts, beginning in 1914 and ending in 1918, The Bookbinder of Jericho is well grounded in historical fact, exploring the gatekeeping of education and knowledge, womens suffrage, the horrors of war, post traumatic stress, and the devastating spread of Spanish Flu. It’s also a thought provoking and emotional story, rendering longing, romance, heartache, and loss with sincerity.

Peggy is a complex central figure, intelligent and dutiful but prickly, her resentment of all she is denied, by her gender, her social status, and her responsibilities, is never far from the surface. Though they are identical in looks, Maude’s contented nature and simple needs contrasts sharply with that of her twin. The supporting characters, including family friend Tilda (who appeared in The Dictionary of Lost Words), and Belgian refugees Lotte and Bastiaan, are well drawn and enrich the story.

Evocative prose effortlessly conjures movement and place. I found it easy to visualise the sisters crowded narrowboat lined with books and manuscripts, the balletic grace of the bindery women sweeping pages into their arms, the intimidating architecture of Oxford University, and Maude carefully folding her array of colourful paper stars.

The Bookbinder of Jericho is a rich, lyrical, beautifully crafted novel, I won’t hesitate to recommend.


Available from Affirm Press

Or help support* Book’d Out


*Purchase from Booktopia*

*As an affiliate of Booktopia I may earn a small commission on your purchase at no additional cost to you.*