My New Gig at Mountain Radio – Reviews -“The Joyce Girl”, “Mrs Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” and “Women Who Read Are Dangerous”.


‘Life is a comedy for those who think, and a tragedy for those who feel.’ 

French Essayist Jean de la Bruyere

Today, I was interviewed by radio presenter, Ann Creber for Mountain Radio in Emerald  – The Dandenong Ranges, in which I hope to make a regular appearance once a month.  

The Show is called ‘The Books I am Reading Now’.  

Totally enjoyable.

You can listen live on the following link on the First Monday of the Month between 4:30 PM AND 5:00 PM



by  Annabel Abbs

Hachette Publishing

Paperback  $ 32.99  

2.5 stars out of 5


Based on the ‘true’ story  – more a fabrication-  of the heartbreaking,tragic story of Lucia Joyce (1907 – 1982) daughter of one of the most Modernist writers of the twentieth century –  the Irish author James Joyce.

Set in avant-garde Paris  in the Twenties, the novel chronicles Lucia’s tormented, nomadic childhood and her  erratic behaviour – upon which the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung diagnosed as “schizoid characteristics” and her father’s deliberation of Lucia entering a sanatorium in Paris at the age of twenty-eight—she was his muse for ‘Finnegan’s Wake— her  passion for dancing – in fact, Lucia had trained under Raymond Duncan (brother of Isadora), her ill-fated affairs with Samuel Beckett and Alexander Calder, and perhaps the most sinister, Abbs’s accusation that she and her brother Giorgio committed incest –  plus, Nora Barnacle ‘s perennial jealousy of her daughter. Finally, when Lucia was admitted to the hospital in 1936, Nora never saw her daughter again.



by Ransom Riggs

Random House


380 pages


3 out of 5 stars


Ransom Riggs is a contemporary writer from Florida writer who studied at the University of Southern California School of Cinema and Television.

The debut novel was released in 2011 and the movie (directed by Tim Burton) is in cinemas now.

An unusual, macabre read, combining fiction and photography, gothic in nature and ‘wondrously strange’ in the spirit of John Green’s work (The Fault in our Stars).


The protagonist is sixteen-year-old Jacob, beginning a journey from Florida to try and retrace his eccentric grandfather’s life in a boyhood orphanage on a remote Welsh island. Growing up, Jacob was enthralled by his Polish-born grandfather Abraham Portland’s adventurous and magical life – maybe, even eerie – as he relayed the stories of Miss Peregrine’s nightmarish orphanage for ‘peculiar children’—a girl who could fly, a boy who had bees living inside him, the twins who could lift boulders and many more—plus, his grandfather was convinced ‘the monsters were always chasing him’.

Was it Abraham’s imagination?

Hallucinations due to his advancing age? Finally, Jacob realizes these were not ‘fairy’ stories – in fact, they were horror stories!

The analogy being that Abraham was sent away at the age of twelve years, from Poland  to escape the Nazis, on a ship to England, and never saw his family again.

A fascinating, atmospheric tale – a page-turner as the ‘peculiar’ characters come to life!

NB: Rigg’s novel has sold millions in the last few years and has been translated into forty languages.



by Stefan Bollman

Abbeville Press


150 pages



Stefan Bollman is a German writer – originally published in 2005 – this book is now re-published 2016.

The engaging artworka are from private collections and smaller European museums.

Foreword by Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves 2013).

A compelling selection of seventy diverse paintings, drawings, prints, photography and literary quotes of women reading through the ages.

Once upon a time, a woman with a book was deemed to be idle!!! With the Age of Industrialization and a revolution in education, a new wave of literacy emerged.

Admire the works of Jan Vermeer to Edward Hopper – Rembrandt- Edward Burne Jones – Lawrence Alma- Tadema – James McNeill Whistler et al.

On the cover, ‘Dreams’ (1896) by Vittorio Matteo Corcos and on the back jacket a black and white photograph of Lee Miller and Tanja Ramm (1931) seated under a tapestry by Jean Cocteau.

A provocative read and a perfect gift for lovers of art and literature.


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