ItemA Wake-up Call. "Sex, Power and the Clergy" by Muriel Porter. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Dunn, KristieThis insider’s account of the sexual abuse crisis facing the Christian churches is an engaging read - not only for believers, but for us heathens as well. The author wears various hats. A journalist and regular commentator on religious issues for many years, Muriel Porter now lectures in journalism at RMIT. She describes herself as a 'committed Anglican laywoman' who has been involved in high-level structural decision-making within the Anglican Church for the past fifteen years. These multiple roles add much to her discussion, but can also produce some tensions. ItemFeeling Unsafe. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Cox, Sarah MayorThis article is a review of various young adult fiction, including: Melina Marchetta, "Saving Francesca"; Celeste Walters, "The Glass Mountain"; Sofie Laguna, "Surviving Aunt Marsha"; Jackie French, "The Black House"; and Ruth Starke, "Nips Go National". ItemGoing Exploring. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Robson Kett, MargaretThis article is a review of various young adult non-fiction, including: Mary Malbunka, "When I was Little, Like You"; Jesse Martin with Jon Carnegie, "Dream On: The Journey of Kijana – Making it Happen"; John Nicholson, "Animal Architects"; and Coral Tulloch, "Antarctica". ItemA Quintet of Bestiaries. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Robinson, MoiraThis article is a review of various children’s picture books, including: Connah Brecon, "Sherlock Bones"; Gary Crew and Mark Wilson, "I Saw Nothing: The Extinction of the Thylacine", Libby Gleeson, illus. Ann James, "Shutting the Chooks In"; Elise Hurst, "The Elephants’ Big Day Out"; and Valanga Khoza, illus. Sally Rippin, "Gezani and the Tricky Baboon". ItemWinter Reading. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Stewart, LollaThis article contains brief reviews of Gwenda Beed Davey and Graham Seal, "A Guide to Australian Folklore: From Ned Kelly to Aeroplane Jelly"; Miles Franklin, "Childhood at Brindabella", Hanifa Deen, "Caravanserai: Journey Among Australian Muslims"; Kristin Weidenbach, "Mailman of the Birdsville Track: The Story of Tom Kruse"; Joshua Slocum (edited and introduced by Tim Flannery), "Sailing Alone Around the World"; Cornelia Frances, "And What Have You Done Lately?", and Lisa Daniel and Claire Jackson, "The Bent Lens: A World Guide to Gay and Lesbian Films, Second Edition". ItemOut There. "Text Thing" and "Dear Deliria: New and Selected Poems" by Pam Brown. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) McCooey, DavidIt is a Pam Brown moment when, flicking through her "Dear Deliria", McCooey reads of 'historic butter sculptures' and hears at the same time David Bowie on the stereo singing 'yak-butter statues'. It's a Pam Brown moment because her poetry is one of incidents and coincidence. In its interest in both the quotidian and in critique, Brown's poetry illustrates the endless interplay between texts and contexts, between art and life. These latter categories are most vivid in Brown's poems when they are collapsing into each other - like drunk friends at a party. ItemDwelling on the Weather. "A Break in the Weather" by John Jenkins. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Brennan, MichaelWith "A Break in the Weather", John Jenkins offers us an example of a verse novel. At a mere ninety-six pages, this verse novella manages to compress a great deal of information into its 252 octaves. Towards the novella's end, Bruce offers an almost Aristotelian summation of the work of art as 'a sense of being brought to a complete and adequate expression'. For all its various shortcomings, "A Break in the Weather" successfully achieves just so much. ItemStitched Up. "Born of the Sea" by Victor Kelleher. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Trigg, StephanieVictor Kelleher’s "Born of the Sea" is both a sequel to, and a correction of, its parent text, Mary Shelley’s "Frankenstein". The back cover blurb (set, incidentally, in a font reminiscent of the Warner Brothers' "Harry Potter" logo) describes it as 'A great Gothic tale revisited'. It is the autobiographical narrative of Madeleine Sauvage, the 'bride' Frankenstein began to produce for his monster, before abandoning his work and discarding its unfinished parts into the sea. ItemThe Wilder Shores. "James Gleeson: Drawings for Paintings" by Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Thomas, DanielSurrealism has a strong interest for a mass audience, and the deepest penetration into popular culture. When it was new, surrealism was quickly appropriated into commercial and advertising art. Today, commercial cinema is awash with some of surrealism's youthful political idealism, but more with its fantasies of shock-horror and sex. And James Gleeson is a star of Australian surrealism. ItemFear of Difference. "Unpacking Queer Politics" by Sheila Jeffreys. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Reynolds, RobertThe book is a continuation of Jeffreys’s project to unmask and address the oppressive institutions and practices of a heteropatriachal world. Hers is a polemical voice, and one that gets considerable attention. Jeffreys’s analysis stems from the glory days of British revolutionary lesbian feminism and American lesbian feminist separatism. These two movements peaked sometime in the late 1970s, and there are plenty of citations in "Unpacking Queer Politics" from this softly lit era of lesbian feminist praxis. ItemThe Modern Order. "Full Fathom Five" by Kate Humphrey and "The Rose Leopard" by Richard Yaxley. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) de Wever, JohannaRichard Yaxley examines the nature of relationships, family and grief in his first novel, "The Rose Leopard". Father, writer, self-confessed 'groin-driven' lover, Vincent is the dreamer; Kaz his muse and the preserver of their family. After meeting at university, they have forged a powerful partnership against those who don’t understand their shared bond of a love for stories and words. "Full Fathom Five" is a surprising combination of family drama, murder mystery and love story. Lyrical and exhilarating, Humphrey excels in descriptions of both Gus’s and Sara’s paintings, evoking their art with such detail that it is startling to realise it is fictional. Sara’s journey is striking as she faces her fears and moves on; she is a heroine of the modern order. ItemAn Arabesque Yes. "ode ode" by Michael Farrell. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Edwards, ChrisIt's easy to see why Michael Farrell already has something of a reputation as a stylist, though this is his first collection. Inventive, sharp-witted, entertaining and meticulously made, the poems in "ode ode" offer a lower-case, unpunctuated take on style in which style is energised, orchestrated substance. ItemThe Future of an Illusion: Superstition and Idolatry. [essay](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Altman, DennisThis essay explores the role of institutionalised religion in modern society, and particularly its role in justifying political or social action. It concludes that, given the dangerous conflicts in the world today, 'ultimately, religion does more harm than it does good.' ItemLactating Moms. "Fresh Milk: The Secret Life of Breasts" by Fiona Giles. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Spark, CeridwenGiles’s book is concerned with what might be described as a cleavage in knowledge. Throughout, the author argues that breasts tend either to be sacralised - and therefore desexualised - or drooled over salaciously. Never sentimental, "Fresh Milk" is open-hearted, open-minded and affecting. It creates a resonant impression of the strange and sometimes dull experience of breastfeeding. ItemIt takes Two. "About Face: Asian Accounts of Australia" by Alison Broinowski. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Bulbeck, ChillaThis is an ambitious and provocative book. While Bulbeck suspects that there has been a certain levelling of the Asian images of Australia to achieve coherence in the argument, this detracts only in a small way from a book that throws down the gauntlet to Australians and our leaders. If we had developed and pursued intelligent, independent, and well-resourced foreign policy and cultural relations with our Asian neighbours, would the Bali bombings have been avoided? ItemUnexpected Finds. "Heat 4: Burnt Ground" and "Meanjin Reads Their Lips". [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Walker, NicolaThis article is a review of recent issues of "Heat" and "Meanjin", with a summary of highlights, articles, reviews and creative works. ItemNational News.(Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Potter, MichelleThe Australia Dancing portal is a rich and innovative service providing substantial online information that indicates that there is more to dance than that disappearing moment. The new Australia Dancing portal was launched in February 2003. Statistics collected since its launch suggest that the site is likely to receive about 80,000 visits during 2003. Would you like to know more about Robert Helpmann, or Meryl Tankard, or why the image of Kathryn Dunn surprises admirers of Gideon Obarzanek’s work? Australia Dancing can help. ItemDegrees of Latitude. "Colonialism and Homosexuality" by Robert Aldrich. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Britain, IanAldrich’s book concentrates only on all-male homosexual experiences of the Imperial world, though it extends its geographical boundaries as far south as Australia, notably Sydney: 'Sodom of the South Seas', as it used to be called in the mid-nineteenth century, and the author's own current home base. Fellow Sydneysider Donald Friend, 'the gay Gauguin' as he’s styled here, nonetheless felt impelled for long periods of his artistic career to seek 'a wild, tropical, exotic life among dark-skinned native people', basing himself in Ceylon for half a decade and Bali for nearly a decade and a half. These are two of the epicentres of Aldrich's study. ItemLoading the Dice. "Due Preparations for the Plague" by Janette Turner Hospital. [review](Australian Book Review, 2003-06) Niall, BrendaA novel by Janette Turner Hospital is an event. Although her new book comes with a disclaimer, suggesting that it should be read as a thriller, there will be high expectations. Even with its cumbersome title, for which the fact that it’s a quotation from Daniel Defoe doesn’t compensate, "Due Preparations for the Plague" claims attention. Thrillers suggest plot-driven entertainments. Some are relatively undemanding: the sort of thing sold in airport bookshops. This one is too unsettling to be entertainment, and, because its central event is the fate of passengers on a hijacked plane, it won’t be a big favourite as an airport novel.