It's always gratifying to learn more about those familiar faces who have appeared on our screens forever, so many thanks to Heather Mitchell for penning a memoir!
But perhaps Nordic noir is more your jam, what with this weather. The latest by Swedish writer Asa Larsson is sure to scratch that itch. We've also got some true crime, an Indochina wartime drama and a moody story of an artist and his talented muse.
As always, there's plenty to choose from in this week's books reviews.
And I welcome your thoughts and feedback on what we've been reading. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She was told as a young woman she didn't have "it", but anyone who's seen acting great Heather Mitchell in action will beg to differ.
As Ron Cerabona writes, having interviewed the acting great, her book Everything and Nothing is a far from a conventional memoir.
"It's a collection of essays that has something of the feel of a reverie, with various themes and subjects and people - family, friends, colleagues - appearing and reappearing," he writes.
"As expected, Mitchell talks about how she came to be an actor and tells stories from her life and career. However, there's a lot in Everything and Nothing that's deeply personal and sometimes shocking: stories of secrets and sickness and sexual assault and suicide."
Now for another memoir, this one with more than a tinge of true crime. Could there be a more compelling combo?
In Reckless, Marele Day tells the story of a man she meets on a boat in Darwin while deep in grief, who turns out to be a fugitive, fleeing an embezzlement scandal involving millions of dollars.
Reviewer Ian McFarlane is captivated by this "daringly curious amalgam of true crime and memoir".
"She has a finely tuned touch for narrative pace, a useful skill in any genre, but crucial in the suspense-driven shadows of sleuthing and crime," he says.
Known for writing "short, lucid, episodic books which invariably pack an exceptional punch", Eric Vuilard has a tour de force of a new novel, An Honourable Exit.
It's a searing account of a conflict that dealt a fatal blow to French colonialism during the first Indochina war.
Reveiwer Mark Thomas is struck by Vuillard's distinctive approach to established historical narratives.
"Vuillard has refined a do-it-yourself approach to history, backed up by an inimitably idiosyncratic, opinionated, impassioned style," he writes.
The art world is fertile territory, to be sure. And when it involves a young ingenue and her older mentor, with a tangle of competing talent and ambition between them, Kylie Needham has set the stage for a cracking tale with Girl In A Pink Dress.
It's right up reviewer T.J. Collins' alley.
"If, like me, you prefer character, scene and feeling to plot, you'll probably enjoy this book," he writes.
"It's evocative and textured, the literary equivalent perhaps of a moody Hieronymus Bosch panel - minus the weirdness."
It's a crowded field, but it's easy to see why Nordic noir has such a pull on us. With landscapes so different from our own, and characters with entirely different concerns, both political and social, crime thrillers set in Scandinavia are irresistible to us down under.
Asa Larsson has been a standout in the Swedish market, and her latest, The Sins of Our Fathers, doesn't disappoint.
Crime reviewer Anna Creer says this latest instalment in the popular Rebecka Marinsson series is on par with some of the best.
"The Sins of Our Fathers is far more than a crime novel," she writes.
"Larsson uses her story to explore a number of issues affecting the far north of Sweden."
There has never been a better time for us to be examining our attitudes to commemorating our colonial past, and Monumental Disruptions is especially timely.
Academics Bronwyn Carlson and Terri Farrelly have assembled an extensive collection of stories and attitudes concerning selected Australian monuments. Reviewer Russell Wenholz found it especially thought-provoking.
"In many controversial aspects of information related to colonial monuments, Carlson and Farrelly present alternative opinions from authorities and individuals - even Andrew Bolt - as well as giving the Indigenous point of view," he writes.
It's not for everyone, but the popularity of fantasy fiction, with its citadels and alternate universes and parallel timelines and magic libraries, shows no sign of waning. Our resident expert Colin Steele gives us a helpful round-up of some of the latest offerings.
He also cites a news report about the ever-growing success of the genre: "from stories exploring colonialism through the lens of fictional societies to tales of dragons, fantasy novels will be bigger than ever in the coming year, with many inspired by myths and cultures from around the world".
His selection includes poisoned planets (beyond this one), enchanted maps, dragons and vampires. Knock yourselves out!
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