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News & Reviews
In the fourth instalment of our “We Love to Imagine” illustration series, we are excited to introduce you to Kirsty from Forbes, NSW! Kirsty has enjoyed 15 months worth of personalised books so far, and here's the information she shared with us when placing her order:
“I love writing, reading, music, travelling, cooking and lately I'm interested in trains because my current career is a train driver assistant!
I adore books and love to read. I have recently caught the travel bug so I am always thinking about my next adventures. I plan on writing them down for my future kids to read and cherish.
My black cat Billi loves to chill out on my lap whilst I read.”
If you would like to be featured, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be next!
Review by Heather from Bits & Books
In Testosterone Rex, psychologist Cordelia Fine draws on decades of research in an attempt to show that differences between the sexes are not as great as we’ve been led to believe, and that they are a result of societal and cultural influence, rather than being natural and a result of biology and evolution – and testosterone.
Fine discusses everything from conception to neurons, and Wall Street high-rollers to toy-shop aisles, so there’s a lot of information in this book to work through. It felt like a bit of information overload at times, but Fine presents the research in a largely easy to understand way, while some witty commentary and personal anecdotes also help to break up the science and made for some relatable and entertaining reading.
Although my eyes may have glazed over occasionally, I found the book interesting and engaging and I feel like I’ve come away from it with a better understanding of what gender is and isn’t. It’s a readable book even for people (like me) for whom science isn’t their best subject.
Testosterone Rex challenges what we perceive as natural, and is a must-read for anyone interested in gender politics and the science of the body.
Review by Heather from Bits & Books
The German Girl is a fictionalised retelling surrounding the true events of the St Louis, a ship that carried Jewish refugees from Europe to Cuba before the outbreak of WWII.
Armando Lucas Correa uses the lives of two 11-year-old girls to tell the story: Hannah, who we follow from 1939 Berlin, through to her time on board the St. Louis, and then in Havana; and Anna living in New York in 2014, who eventually ends up in Havana also.
Correa has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years, so the detail in the novel is incredible and really supports the fictional characters. The contrast between the grey feeling of Berlin and the heat of Havana was lovely to read, while the scenes on board the St Louis had a sense of hopeful unreality about them.
It was difficult not to be affected by the things that happen to the characters in The German Girl – especially to Hannah and her family. It’s been a while since I cried so much at the end of a book, so maybe don’t read the final chapters in public like I did (or at least make sure you have tissues).