Book Bites



Arena Holdings PTY


The Australia of 1998 finds single mother Alex arriving in the tiny town of Bellbird River. She hopes the escape from Sydney will allow her more time with her daughter. Meanwhile, a local baker, a vocally injured opera singer, an ex-prisoner and a town matriarch are all dealing with life-altering blows. But one by one, they join the town’s choir. As they belt out ‘80s and ‘90s classics, their lives face a cacophony of false starts and wrong turns, but also perseverance. Gradually, as they come together, the women learn to pivot, open up and draw boundaries. A charming, heart-warming and gratifying read. Tiah Beautement Inspired by a true crime case in Chillicothe, Ohio, where six women were found dead or disappeared between 2014 and 2015, ‘On The Savage Side’ is set two decades earlier. Narrated by Arcade (Arc), one of the murdered women, the story focuses on her and her twin, Daffodil. They grow up with a mother and aunt, both addicts who prostitute themselves to support their habit. Their father overdosed and their grandmother, the only stabilising factor in their lives, died after being hit by a car. While most readers expect a crime thriller, beware, this book is as dark and different as it is victim-centric and shows the paths people are forced to take because of their circumstances. An impactful read. Jessica Levitt The Earth is finite. Humans needs to expand, find new resources and colonise. Space is it. The out-there is here and has already changed our everyday lives. It is now essential for communication, economics and international relations. There are spy satellites orbiting the moon and space metals have been found to be worth trillions. Humans will soon be living on Mars. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are wrestling for space power, so are China, the US and Russia. Geopolitics is now space politics. Marshall explains all of this; what is happening and what is next. He also notes how the laws that govern space are out of date and were primarily products of the Cold War. So who will govern this geography? Fascinating stuff.