Book chat

Book news round-up: May 2022

Here’s something different for you… my covid-woolly brain can’t seem to compose any book reviews at the moment but I can put together a bunch of links. Go figure.

¶ The longlist for the 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award has been announced. I’ve actually read a few from the list but can’t say anything has particularly wowed me.

¶ Here’s some great recommendations for anyone who loves Japanese literature including new releases and books coming soon.

¶ The winner of the world’s richest literary prize for English-language novels has been named. One to add to the wishlist by the sound of things.

¶ Excited to hear that Australian author Helen Fitzgerald has a new book coming out later this year. I’ve reviewed much of her back catalogue here.

¶ Not really book news, but for copywriters, sub-editors and grammarians alike, this new board game looks brilliant fun!

¶ The Indigenous Literacy Foundation has released two new bilingual books for children. The books are the result of a unique collaboration between children, families, Elders, authors and publishers in the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia.

¶ Love him or loathe him, I’m not ashamed to say I’ve already placed my pre-order for Bono’s memoir, due to be published on 1 November.

¶ This new reprint of a Nancy Spain novel first published in 1950 sounds perfect for cosy crime aficionados. Has anyone read her work before? Why have I never heard of her?

¶ A fireproof edition of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is going to be auctioned off to raise funds for PEN America. (What does it say about a country that thinks nothing of banning books but won’t do anything to control gun ownership?)

Need a laugh? The 50 funniest books of all time, put together by Penguin Publishing, might provide some inspiration.

The shortlist for the 2022 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) has been announced. The winners will be named in Sydney on June 9.

The British Library is hosting a new exhibition showcasing 50 gold books, scrolls and documents in its collection.

¶  This one has gone onto my wishlist: The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen has won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Book chat, News

A literary cause to support: the ‘Freadom Inside’ project

Image by Maaark from Pixabay


Imagine being stuck in prison with nothing to read. No opportunity to escape to a different world. No opportunity to better yourself.

This is obviously something that has crossed the mind of Australian writer Bri Lee (whose books I have reviewed here). Bri has set up the ‘Freadom Inside’ project, which is designed to provide women incarcerated in NSW jails the opportunity to read books that have been bought for them by the public. It is being backed by Independent bookseller Glee Books, in Sydney, which is covering the postage and dispatch of the books.

Writing on her Instagram account last week, Bri said: “What I found when researching #WhoGetsToBeSmart [her latest non-fiction book about power, privilege and education in Australia] was shocking, and I have chosen to commit to this work as one concrete way I can help share learning + resources instead of hoarding them.”

The project will be officially launched next week, on October 28, via Zoom. You can find out more and book tickets here.

In the meantime, if you would like to donate a book (or books) to the project, visit this page on the Glee Books website, choose from the preselected range (which has been approved by Corrective Services), purchase online using the “freadom” coupon code and Glee Books will cover the postage and dispatch. Find out more here.

As someone who has a TBR that spans two continents (!!), I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to exist without access to reading material. I tend to buy at least a couple of books, both new and used, per month, so I have put my money where my mouth is and ordered Tara June Winch’s Swallow the Air, a book I read last year and really loved, for the project.

[Hat tip: I first read about this literary project on Australian writer Charlotte Wood’s Instagram account.]