Book reviews

Caroline Gardam writes/wrote book reviews that – mostly – appeared in the Saturday edition of Brisbane’s newspaper, the Courier-Mail, back when that newspaper actually published such things as independent book reviews. Some were syndicated across other News Limited titles. The format of most of these reviews is quite short; sometimes it’s difficult to review in 250 words. (Other times, that’s more than enough.)

This site archives book reviews written predominantly in the early 2000s. They may not be reproduced or copied.

Below is a list of links to reviews by title. It might also be helpful to peruse by author via the list on the sidebar to the right. Or whack a term in the search box if you know what you’re looking for.

3096 days

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: One year of seasonal eating

The art of being a well dressed wife

Bad boy

Bad intentions

Berlin Syndrome

Between the leaves

Bitter greens

Blue Covenant: The global water crisis and the coming battle for the right to water

Born on a Blue Day

The Cactus Eaters

The coffee story

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet

Creating a World Without Poverty

A cruel bird came to the nest and looked in



An Explorer’s Notebook

The Forest Wars

A game of sorrows

Giving Ground

Granta 116

The grey cat


His last duchess

The holy assassin

How to grow practically everything


An Inconvenient Truth

Insatiable: Competitive Eating and the Big Fat American Dream

In the company of angels

Invented knowledge

Jason Donovan. Between the lines: my story uncut

A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx

Keith Suter’s local notebook: 50 things you want to know about Australian and world issues … but were too afraid to ask

Lady Almina and the story of the real Downton Abbey

The language wars

The last kestrel

Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family’s Feuds

The Lonely Polygamist

Mad women

Madonna: Like an icon

Making Globalisation Work

Me of the never never

The Monkey and the Dragon

The mother of Mohammed

Mr Shakespeare’s bastard

The Museum of Unnatural History

My dear I wanted to tell you

My spiritual autobiography

My story: Mamdouh Habib

Natural History

North to Matsumae: Australian whalers to Japan

The On-Nibus

The orphan master’s son


pedder dreaming

A Perfect Mess: The hidden benefits of disorder

Possible Side Effects

Private Life

Radical homemakers

The reinvention of love

Renovation Nation: Our obsession with home


Rip tide

Salvage the bones

The Selfish Capitalist: Origins of Affluence


Sex and the single girl



Super cooperators

There’s a riot going on

Three famines

The tiger

To be sung underwater



Unbearable lightness


Viral Loop: the power of pass-it-on

Watch out for me

The Yacoubian Building