Book Review – A Single Tree, Voices from the Bush

A SINGLE TREE, VOICES FROM THE BUSH Compiled by Don Watson Hamish Hamilton. RRP $45. Don Watson is one of Australia’s great writers, and his recent book, “The Bush”, is already a classic.   This one, “The Tree”, is a fascinating follow-up, and the two together now form an important contribution to the Australian ethos – […]


Book Review – Only, by Caroline Baum

ONLY Caroline Baum Allen & Unwin rrp. $32.99 Knowing Caroline, I was prepared for something good. I did not expect this, however. Caroline’s memoir has surpassed my expectations and has left me a little in awe of her. Only is utterly brilliant. Sophisticated, honest, enlightening, entertaining and beautifully written. This is the kind of memoir I have […]


Book Review: The Betoota Advocate Round Up

Cover Line:   “Warning: This book contains language as colourful as a Diamantina sunset, and yarns, terminology, and imagery coarser than a feral cat’s tongue.” The Betoota Advocate is now a phenomenon, with a readership surpassing the Australian Financial Review and The Australian.  The newspaper is the oldest in Australia, family owned since the l800s.  It’s […]


Book Review: The Boy Behind the Curtain

THE BOY BEHIND THE CURTAIN Tim Winton “Language, I was to discover, is nutrition, manna without which we’re bereft and forsaken, consigned like Moses and his restive entourage to wander in a sterile wilderness.  As a novelist I have spent every working day of my adult life in a vain search for the right word, […]


Book Review: The Hidden Life of Trees

“THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES, WHAT THEY FEEL AND HOW THEY COMMUNICATE” Peter Wohlleben. You will never look the same way at your strong old wooden floorboards again, or at those aging window frames in the cottage next door.  They were likely made from timber taken out of the forests of NSW long ago. They […]


Book Review: The Convict’s Daughter – The scandal that shocked

  Dr Kiera Lindsey This fast-paced historical biography tells the story of a little-known Australian woman, who eloped with the wayward son of the Attorney-General in Sydney during 1848. The year 1848 was a culmination of a decade that was called the ‘Age of Revolutions’, as feudal systems crumbled under the pressure of a new […]


Travel adventure in colonial Africa – an inspiring true story

…the story of a young man’s passage to adulthood. Author, veteran foreign correspondent and television journalist, Iain Finlay, now in his eighties, recalls two remarkable overland treks through Africa in the 1950s…an Africa at a pivotal moment in its history and changed almost beyond recognition in today’s world. Robbed in Casablanca, hitch-hiking through an Algeria in the midst of civil war, he and […]


Secrets of successful writers!

Annette will give a lunch talk at 1pm October 18 at Taree Library. Join Annette Marfording (, former Program Director of the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival and creator of a radio program on Australian writers and their work, as she talks about the value of reading Australian literature – for readers and writers – and the current risks for the survival of Australian literature. Her book Celebrating Australian […]


Potato half barrels

From Grown & Gathered by Matt & Lentil ed Published by PLUM. Rrp. $45 A potato half barrel is a really fun and easy way to grow over 50 kg of potatoes on less than 1 m2. It doesn’t have to be in a half wine barrel, any similarly large, structural vessel will do – it’s even […]


We survived the punt

  Robert Milliken reviews a lively new history of the car ferries that once made crossing Wallis Lake an adventure. Traversing rivers and lakes on the mid-north coast once involved driving cars on to punts, and crossing your fingers that you reached the other side. No such journey was more colourful, dramatic and dangerous than […]


Family favourite!

This is a great cookbook to enthuse young cooks. It’s also filled with healthy easy recipes for the whole family that a busy Mum or Dad can make. The Little Dish Family Cookbook is published by Hachette Australia, RRP $35.00 (Recipe for fish fingers below.)                 FISH FINGERS […]


Still a Wingham Gal at Heart

One of Australia’s most esteemed film producers, Sue Milliken, has published a wonderful book of Aussie movie-dom anecdotes in collaboration with Australia’s acclaimed director, Bruce Beresford. One wonders if little Sue, growing up in Wingham with her brother, (noted journalist Robert Milliken) where their parents ran the Wingham Hotel (another heritage landmark lamentably now lost) ever dreamt of being a movie producer. ‘No! Not all,’ laughs Sue. ‘But I loved going to […]