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Author Archive: Stephanie O'Connell

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BOOK REVIEW: Defender by G.X. Todd

BOOK REVIEW: Defender by G.X. Todd

| 14 January 2017 | 1 Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Defender by G.X. Todd Headline January 2017 Paperback, $32.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Speculative Fiction 5/10 The theory behind the bicameral mind argues that there was not such a thing as an internal mindscape, that we didn’t learn to internalise our thoughts until well after the Bible was written (sources such as Homer’s […]

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BOOK REVIEW: My Cool Treehouse by Jane Field-Lewis, photography by Tina Hillier

BOOK REVIEW: My Cool Treehouse by Jane Field-Lewis, photography by Tina Hillier

| 7 January 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: My Cool Treehouse by Jane Field-Lewis, photography by Tina Hillier Pavilion September 2016 Hardcover, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Non-Fiction / Photography / Lifestyle / Interior Design 7/10 Literature, too, understands this principle. Magical tales are spun by Enid Blyton or her faraway trees while Tolkien’s elf houses and Roald Dahl’s The Minpins […]

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BOOK REVIEW: No Virgin by Anne Cassidy

BOOK REVIEW: No Virgin by Anne Cassidy

| 5 January 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: No Virgin by Anne Cassidy Hot Key Books January 2017 Paperback, $16.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult / Contemporary 4/10 TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE One has to appreciate what Anne Cassidy was trying to do in writing this book, in which a seventeen-year-old girl battles with herself as she tries to decide if […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

BOOK REVIEW: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

| 1 January 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher Bantam Press November 2016 Paperback, $34.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Biography/Memoir/Entertainment 9/10 I can’t promise that this is going to be an objective review; I feel this needs to be made clear from the outset. Five days ago, Carrie Fisher died, and in a year of deeply […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Haunt Me by Liz Kessler

BOOK REVIEW: Haunt Me by Liz Kessler

| 27 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Haunt Me by Liz Kessler Orion Children’s Books December 2016 Paperback, $16.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult/Supernatural 2/10 Joe wakes up from a deep sleep to see his family leave in a removals van. Where they’ve gone, he has no idea. Erin moves house and instantly feels at home in her new […]

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Steph’s 2016 in books: The Good, the Bad, and the DNF!

Steph’s 2016 in books: The Good, the Bad, and the DNF!

| 25 December 2016 | Reply

Steph’s 2016 in books: The Good, the Bad, and the DNF! Often this year, it felt as though I was going through a rather bad book slump. There were a lot of books it was just too hard to get into, and so it seemed there were a lot more in titles in the middle “meh” area […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Atlas of Improbable Places by Travis Elborough & Alan Horsfield

BOOK REVIEW: Atlas of Improbable Places by Travis Elborough & Alan Horsfield

| 25 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Atlas of Improbable Places by Travis Elborough & Alan Horsfield Aurum Press September 2016 Hardcover, $39.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Non-Fiction/Reference 8/10 The Atlas of Improbable Places is a voyage to the world’s most unlikely and curious locations.  Maps, the great Italian writer Italo Calvino once maintained, presuppose the idea of a narrative […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Curious Guide to Things that Aren’t by John D. Fixx and James F. Fixx, illustrated by Abby Carter

BOOK REVIEW: The Curious Guide to Things that Aren’t by John D. Fixx and James F. Fixx, illustrated by Abby Carter

| 23 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Curious Guide to Things that Aren’t by John D. Fixx and James F. Fixx, illustrated by Abby Carter Walter Foster Jr. November 2016 Hardcover, $17.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Juvenile Non-Fiction / Curiosities and Wonders 8/10 The Curious Guide to Things That Aren’t is a thought-provoking and engaging collection, featuring 26 thoughtful riddles, […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Doctor Who – A History of Humankind – The Doctor’s Official Guide by Justin Richards, illustrated by Dan Green

BOOK REVIEW: Doctor Who – A History of Humankind – The Doctor’s Official Guide by Justin Richards, illustrated by Dan Green

| 23 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Doctor Who – A History of Humankind – The Doctor’s Official Guide by Justin Richards, illustrated by Dan Green Penguin UK October 2016 Hardcover, $19.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Doctor Who / Alternate History 8/10 Robin Hood was just made up. Queen Elizabeth I never married. And nobody knows what happened to Jack […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Doctor Who – Dot-to-Doc illustrated by Gary Joynes

BOOK REVIEW: Doctor Who – Dot-to-Doc illustrated by Gary Joynes

| 23 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Doctor Who – Dot-to-Doc illustrated by Gary Joynes Penguin UK October 2016 Paperback, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Activity Book / Dot-to-Dot 9/10 For those of us who are too neurotic to really enjoy the adult colouring books which have enjoyed such a surge over the last 12-18 months, a join the dots […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Song from Somewhere Else by A.F. Harrold, illustrated by Levi Penfold

BOOK REVIEW: The Song from Somewhere Else by A.F. Harrold, illustrated by Levi Penfold

| 16 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Song from Somewhere Else by A.F. Harrold, illustrated by Levi Penfold Bloomsbury Child December 2016 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Middle Grade 8/10   They could hear their pursuers behind them. Frank knew from experience though, that they weren’t the sort of pursuers who actually wanted to catch their prey. It […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Aliens, Ghosts and Vanishings – Strange and Possibly True Australian Stories by Stella Tarakson, illustrated by Richard Morden

BOOK REVIEW: Aliens, Ghosts and Vanishings – Strange and Possibly True Australian Stories by Stella Tarakson, illustrated by Richard Morden

| 9 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Aliens, Ghosts and Vanishings – Strange and Possibly True Australian Stories by Stella Tarakson, illustrated by Richard Morden Random House Australia October 2016 Hardcover, $27.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Non-Fiction / Unsolved Mysteries 8/10 Had this book existed twenty-years ago, it would have no doubt been one of my favourites. Just shy of thirty, […]

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BOOK REVIEW: A Collapse of Horses by Brian Evenson

BOOK REVIEW: A Collapse of Horses by Brian Evenson

| 4 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: A Collapse of Horses by Brian Evenson Text Publishing November 2016 Paperback, $22.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Short Stories 6/10     If Children of the New World, is reminiscent of Black Mirror, A Collapse of Horses is more of a slightly grown-up, less-resolved version of the Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark stories many […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein

BOOK REVIEW: Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein

| 3 December 2016 | 1 Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein Text Publishing October 2016 Paperback, $22.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Short Stories 8/10   Fans of the show Black Mirror are bound to find something to like in Weinstein’s collection of stories. Each of these stories has something to do with technology, whether that be humanity’s reliance […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

BOOK REVIEW: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

| 1 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia Greenwillow Books October 2016 Paperback, $17.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult 6/10 Sometimes I think people take reality for granted. I mean like how you can tell the difference between a dream and real life. When you’re in the dream you may not know it, but […]

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BOOK REVIEW: A Babble of Words – A-Z of Collective Nouns by Adam Oehlers

BOOK REVIEW: A Babble of Words – A-Z of Collective Nouns by Adam Oehlers

| 30 November 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: A Babble of Words – A-Z of Collective Nouns by Adam Oehlers Brolga Publishing October 2016 Paperback, $15.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Book 8/10 All things that surround us Are attached to a name To separate the different And attach to the same. But when attached to the same This adds to […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Gumnut Babies by May Gibbs

BOOK REVIEW: Gumnut Babies by May Gibbs

| 29 November 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Gumnut Babies by May Gibbs Angus & Robertson August 2016 Hardcover, $39.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Book 7/10   At first glance, one could be forgiven for thinking that this book hasn’t earned its place on the shelf alongside the other forty dollar titles that Harper Collins has released under the A&R […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Witch’s Cat Wanted-Apply Within by Joy H. Davidson & Nikki Slade Robinson

BOOK REVIEW: Witch’s Cat Wanted-Apply Within by Joy H. Davidson & Nikki Slade Robinson

| 28 November 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Witch’s Cat Wanted-Apply Within by Joy H. Davidson & Nikki Slade Robinson Scholastic September 2016 Paperback, $15.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Book 8/10   The pleasant witch at the center of our tale has everything needed to be a good witch – witch’s hat, broom, and cauldron – but she doesn’t have […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Rébecca Dautremer

BOOK REVIEW: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Rébecca Dautremer

| 27 November 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Rébecca Dautremer Hodder Children’s Books November 2015 Hardcover, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Book/Illustrated Novel 9/10     We all know the story of Alice in Wonderland, and yet, every so often, a new edition is released.  More often than not it’s the same […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Allison Jay

BOOK REVIEW: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Allison Jay

| 26 November 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Allison Jay Old Barn Books July 2016 Hardcover, $27.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Book/Illustrated Novel 7/10   We all know the story of Alice in Wonderland, and yet, every so often, a new edition is released.  More often than not it’s the same […]

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