Book club

Love books? Here’s what we’re reading at Editor Group

Punctuation?

Punctuation?

This short book provides a helpful and downright pleasant walk through the main punctuation marks of the English language. It combines succinct discussions of each punctuation mark with whimsical illustrations into a very digestible package.

It covers 21 marks. These include the big ones you’d expect such as the apostrophe, comma, exclamation mark, full stop and semicolon. It also covers those you might not expect …

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Radical Uncertainty

Radical Uncertainty

The good thing about the global virus lockdown has been more time to read. The bad thing has been all the uncertainty about pretty much everything, from one’s health to the economy and world peace. All of which has made it a perfect time to pick up the new, 528-page Radical Uncertainty: Decision-making for an unknowable future, by Professor John Kay and Lord Mervyn King.

I’m only half-way through Radical Uncertainty. But I think the Financial Times has nailed it from what I’ve read so far in describing the book as “an eloquent rant against the faux-precision of mathematical models”.

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State of Emergency

State of Emergency

What happens when the things that bind families together also divide them? That’s the question Singaporean author Jeremy Tiang asks in his remarkable novel, State of Emergency, which dives into Singapore’s and Malaysia’s tumultuous days of leftist movements and political detentions.

Tiang’s narrative follows an extended family from the 1940s to the present day as they navigate the choppy political currents …

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Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About The People We Don’t Know

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About The People We Don’t Know

Malcolm Gladwell has a new obsession: why do we get each other so wrong, so often? In the pages of Talking to Strangers, The New Yorker staff writer and internationally bestselling author of Outliers tries to figure it out.

Talking to Strangers opens with the case of Sandra Bland. A young African-American vlogger from Chicago, Bland was driving …

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The Marketer’s Guide to Law Firms

The Marketer’s Guide to Law Firms

Any marketer who’s found themselves working in a law firm will know they can be confusing and often downright difficult places to work – even as the professionals therein desperately need their help to get new work in the door by describing their services, articulating their value and points of difference, and simply being noticed.

Australian marketers Genevieve Burnett and Sally King have done all marketers a favour by explaining how law firms work, where marketers fit in and how they can get things done …

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Outline

Outline

Outline is certainly divisive – two friends told me they found it a struggle to read, two others said they loved it … but their partners hated it. I get it. If you’re here for a Novel, with a capital N – a structured, unbroken, sequential tale with a definite beginning, middle and end, you might find it a frustrating read. If, like me, you’ve just finished Susan Sontag’s intentionally vague The Volcano Lover, you’ll find Outline positively orthodox.

Which is not to say there isn’t a flowing narrative …

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Holiday reading guide 2019

Holiday reading guide 2019

Grab some sunglasses and a hat. The holiday season is almost here and that means one thing – it’s time to lose yourself in a great book. Here are Editor Group’s picks of recent releases that are perfect for a lazy summer afternoon.

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Banking Bad

Banking Bad

Banking Bad is one of those books you might buy for a father or brother for Christmas when you want to venture beyond socks and undies. That’s not to say it’s a bad book. In fact, it’s a pretty good read if you like a bit of corporate history and intrigue.

The book recounts the lead up to Australia’s Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services. It then gives a summary of the outcomes from the inquiry, few of which reflect well on the banks and other financial institutions. One reason to forgo the socks and undies, and perhaps even chocolate-coated sultanas …

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Fake

Fake

Single, childless and over 40, former Good Weekend magazine journalist Stephanie Wood is open to the idea of finding a partner when she is matched with “Joe” on a dating app.

Despite having early reservations, there’s something about the former Sydney architect turned sheep farmer that quickly wins her over. As their relationship unfolds, Joe proves to be sweet and romantic. He talks about their future together. He can put apostrophes in the right place …

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Midnight in Chernobyl

Midnight in Chernobyl

If you’re like me, you probably feel like you have a pretty good understanding of what happened when the Chernobyl nuclear power plant blew up in 1986. But Adam Higginbotham’s beautifully written and detailed account of the disaster and its aftermath is both an enjoyable read (give or take the nuclear disaster ruining half of Europe part) and a revelation when it comes to the specifics.

It’s also fairly terrifying in that it certainly doesn’t leave you with the impression that there could never be a similar accident …

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Shuffle: An anthology of microlit

Shuffle: An anthology of microlit

“Rain sounds like sausages frying in a pan. You don’t think it does, right now, but after you’ve read this, it will rain, and it will forever after sound like sausages.” (From Barrage by Jude Bridge.)

This recent anthology from indie publisher Spineless Wonders is a compelling collection of short stories that savour sound. The sound of words running and clashing together, mesmerising rhythms and very loud silences. And the sounds that change our characters’ lives …

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Home Fire

Home Fire

Can’t believe I’ve just discovered this novel from Kamila Shamsie. This awesome book was a deserving winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction in the UK in 2018. Its themes include family bonds, ambition, love, loyalty, grief, Muslim terrorism and British politics.

Two families’ fates become entwined – one family is Muslim, and the father died on the way to Guantanamo Bay; in the other, the father is a successful politician who rejected Islam …

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Lanny

Lanny

Lanny is one of those fantastic books that will remind you – if you needed reminding – why it’s worth reading fiction. It’s ostensibly a book about a boy called Lanny who lives in an English village, yet somehow about so much more. That’s achieved by a combination of conventional storytelling and literally fantastic passages that make it a tour de force of creative writing.

I won’t tell you much more, to avoid ruining the experience of reading it. And I would say read it before anyone tells you too much about the plot. But let me pluck a couple of passages to give you a sense of the writing and author Max Porter’s ability to …

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The Edge of Memory: Ancient Stories, Oral Tradition and the Post-Glacial World

The Edge of Memory: Ancient Stories, Oral Tradition and the Post-Glacial World

We all know that myths are old. All that talk of locust plagues, oracles and cousins getting married clues us in pretty fast. But if you’ve ever wondered just how old some of the world’s legends are, you’ll want to read Patrick Nunn’s engaging, authoritative and often astonishing book.

In one of the many stories in his book, Nunn introduces us to the Klamath, a tribe indigenous to western Oregon …

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Leading Lines

Leading Lines

Speechwriting is something of a black art, so I always leap at the chance to read any book that sheds light on the topic and might help us at Editor Group, as humble practitioners.

Leading Lines is a new book by the appropriately named Lucinda Holdforth, who teaches at the University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney. She also has extensive experience writing for politicians, including former Deputy Prime Minister Kim Beazley, and the likes of former Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon …

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A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

I didn’t have any great expectations when I started reading this book. But I soon realised it was a rare gift – a book with an original plot and a wonderful main character. I’ve read a lot of novels, so an original plot is a big deal.

The story is set soon after the start of the Russian revolution. The Bolsheviks declare Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov a “former person” and sentence him to life in the Hotel Metropol in Moscow. It’s better than being shot and a lot more comfortable than a gulag, but it’s still a prison …

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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Being an artist has always been an alluring career path. Looking at a piece of work that you’ve created gives a sense of joy and fulfilment, especially if you get paid for it.

But many people don’t follow that path for fear of failure. They believe their work isn’t good enough; that no one will like it. Their fidelity to ‘perfection’ restrains the good and unique image they have in their mind from manifesting physically.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, knows the struggles that creative people endure. In this book, she explores …

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The Dry

The Dry

Despite just about everyone I know recommending this debut novel from Melbourne journalist Jane Harper, I’ve resisted reading it until now because the subject matter sounded so, ahem, dry. Somehow, out of all these recommendations, I’d managed to pick up that the book is about a drought-ravaged community in regional Victoria and totally miss the fact that it is also a chilling mystery …

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You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf From Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia

You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf From Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia

I won’t lie: this book isn’t for everyone. Even if you live on a steady diet of nonfiction it may take you a while to digest. If you’re a completist who needs to know absolutely everything about a subject before moving on to the next, look away. But if you’re fascinated by the power and variety of reference books – bibles of knowledge, the preserving amber of historical wisdom – this is the book for you …

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I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

If immersing yourself in tales of death, detectives and the depraved doesn’t sound like your ideal summer holiday, please don’t read this review. If, on the other hand, you start your day with a bowl of cereal and a side of serial killers, welcome!

The New York Times–bestselling I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is the true story of the man who terrorised California during the 1970s and ’80s – and one woman’s search to find him. True crime writer Michelle McNamara’s masterful account of her hunt for the Golden State Killer – a name she coined – will undoubtedly become a true crime classic. Her relentless and meticulous …

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Unsheltered

Unsheltered

The plot of Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel rests on absent foundations – literally.

In alternating chapters, Unsheltered weaves together the stories of two strong, intelligent individuals whose homes are crumbling around them. The homes seem to act as a metaphor for the seismic social and economic changes that are ripping the rug out from under the lives of these two main characters. Thatcher, a science teacher in the newly established utopian town of Vinelands in the late 1800s, is isolated and attacked for supporting Darwin’s theory of evolution. Willa, a recently retrenched …

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The Land Before Avocado: Journeys in a lost Australia

The Land Before Avocado: Journeys in a lost Australia

From 1965 to 1975, Australia was a land of body shirts and no social media on which to show off (or shame) them. A land where housing prices were downright reasonable. And, as Richard Glover explains, there really were no avocados – or near to none.

It was also the land of rubbish coffee, rubbish TV reception, rubbish (and unsafe) cars, scungy caravan-park holidays, corporal punishment in schools, unpoliced drink driving, unfenced swimming pools and unprotected sunburn. (“The main summer …

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The House

The House

The recent furore over advertising on the sails of the Sydney Opera House is nothing compared to the scandals, political rows and media frenzies that characterised the creation of this iconic building. Most newsworthy was the sacking of Danish architect Jørn Utzon who famously won a 1957 competition to design a world-class performance venue for Sydney. After nine drama-filled years overseeing the protracted construction process, he left Australia, never to return.

The House, by Sydney Morning Herald journalist Helen Pitt, tells the story of Utzon and many others who toiled on the …

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