Books 2023

Top Ten

    1. JFK, Fredrik Logevall
      “A biography of the 35th American President that sets out to place him in the context of the … time during which America went from a self-absorbed nation separated from the world by two oceans to an economic powerhouse and the world’s policeman.”
      Read my review of JFK

    2. Limberlost, Robbie Arnott
      Limberlost touched me deeply, perhaps partly because it is so very Tasmanian. But these are bonuses for me. Arnott’s words will carry anyone into the physical and emotional world of Ned without those references.”
      Read my review of Limberlost

    3. Stella Maris, by Cormac McCarthy
      Stella Maris, by Cormac McCarthy“For those who thought Stella Maris might clear up the business of the missing passenger in The Passenger, no such luck. Plot is not the point of either book, though, other than as a context for observing and commenting on human experience.”
      Read my review of Stella Maris

    4. Everything and Nothing, by Heather Mitchell
    5. Everything and Nothing, by Heather Mitchell“This is not an actor’s memoir, so often just a collection of reminiscences and anecdotes. Beautifully written, this is a book about growing up, a family history filled with love and tragedy, parents and children, reflections on choices made and unchosen events that changed lives.”
      Read my review of Everything and Nothing

    6. Don’t Dream It’s Over, by Jeff Apter
      “The cover blurb starts “Essential reading for Finn fans …“. That’s true, but die-hard fans who adore this nice, super-talented bloke might get a bit of a surprise. I, for one, came out of this book perhaps not liking Neil Finn quite as much as I did before. ”
      Read my review of Don’t Dream It’s Over

    7. Shake Some Action, by Stuart Coupe
      “A lot of things just happened or seemed like a good idea, and Coupe’s career was shaped by some key people who taught him some critical lessons. He got to write about, interview and work with people in the nascent Australian rock world, as well as overseas stars and would-be stars.”
      Read my review of Shake Some Action

    8. Ringside, by Rod Willis
      “Another fascinating memoir of life backstage in the Australian rock biz, this one by the long time manager of Cold Chisel. I’d called it a rock opera in three acts, each of which is about 100 pages long. I devoured it in a single Sunday sitting.”
      Read my review of Ringside

    9. The Great Imperial Hangover, by Samir Puri
      “This is a remarkable book, the clearest history of the world I have ever encountered. By exploring how empires rose and fell throughout history, Puri provides both an overview of world history and some basis for understanding international relations today. ”
      Read my review of The Great Imperial Hangover

    10. The Quiz Masters, by Brydon Coverdale
      The Quiz Masters“What makes this such an excellent book is that the author is describing his own life in them, from an early attempt as a teenager on Sale of the Century through his more successful and lucrative efforts on other shows, all the way to his current role on The Chase Australia.”
      Read my review of The Quiz Masters

    11. Lobrow, by Roger Grierson
      “Surely there can’t be many other people who start out as part of independent alternative band in the late 70s to eventually become the Chairman of Festival Records and then Senior Vice President of Newscorp Music, before retiring and reforming his band.”
      Read my review of Lobrow

    In total, I read 35 books in 2023. Here’s the full list in the order I read them. An asterisk indicates I’ve read it before. Deborah Conway’s Book of Life is the only book I didn’t finish.

    Stella Maris, by Cormac McCarthy
    Bulldozed, by Niki Savva
    The Quiz Masters, by Brydon Coverdale
    Major Labels, by Kelefa Sanneh
    Being Heumann, by Judy Heumann
    Girl with Curious Hair, David Foster Wallace
    The Alignment Problem, Brian Christian
    Limberlost, by Robbie Arnott
    Transformer, by Simon Doonan
    The River Wife, by Heather Rose
    Everything and Nothing, by Heather Mitchell
    Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy *
    Lobrow, by Roger Grierson
    Images in Aspic, by Charmian Clift
    Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You, by Lucinda Williams
    The Great Imperial Hangover, by Samir Puri
    The Secrets of the Huon Wren, by Claire van Ryn
    Idiots, Folliws & Misadventures, by Mikey Robins
    Shake Some Action, by Stuart Coupe
    The Mighty ‘Bras, by Paul Connolly *
    The Earth Transformed, by Peter Frankopan
    You Deserve a Tech Union, by Ethan Marcotte
    Such is Life, by Tom Collins *
    Design for Developers, by Stephanie SDtimac
    Eagles – Dark Desert Highway, by Mick Wall
    Scattershot, by Bernie Taupin
    Don’t Dream It’s Over, by Jeff Apter
    Frank Moorhouse, A Life, by Catharine Lumby
    Remorandom, by Remo Giuffré
    JFK, by Frederik Logevall
    Ringside, by Rod Willis
    Book of Life, by Deborah Conway
    The Game Players of Titan, by Philip K Dick
    Solar Lottery, by Philip K Dick
    Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

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