Reviewer: FL

By this author

Books February 07, 2015

The Brain’s Way of Healing

Norman Doidge’s The Brain That Changes Itself was a snowballing, word-of-mouth bestseller. Its big news was that our brains, far from being “ever-fixed”, are adaptive, changeable. In a word, neuroplastic. Picture a phrenological bust, …

Books December 20, 2014

Books 2014 #2

Selections from a year in print. Best New Talent, Guilty Pleasure, Most Overrated, Most Unwelcome.

Books November 29, 2014

Great White

Natural science writer James Woodford kicks off his “Great White journey” by cage-diving with shark scientists among the reefs and islands off South Australia’s Port Lincoln, a known hot spot for great white sharks. Suspended in a cage just below …

Books November 08, 2014


“Tell me there are no ghosts.” Frances, the brittle mainstay of Michelle de Kretser’s novella, subtitled “A Ghost Story”, seems like the sort of person who needs a good deal of reassuring. Serious and thin-skinned, she is easily spooked – …

Books November 01, 2014

The Tunnel

“I feel like I get fucked over every day…” That, as a kōan, encapsulates Dennis McIntosh’s seven years on the construction crew of Melbourne’s Western Trunk sewer project. A driven sort of bloke by his own telling, McIntosh worked in the …

Books June 28, 2014

Where Song Began

That mob of magpies warbling at your back gate? They’re assassins. The honeyeaters darting from bottlebrush to grevillea? Terrorists. Bellbirds ting-ing high in the misty mountain ash? Bullies. Corellas ranged along a verandah rail? Vandals. …