E-books/audiobooks: non-fiction

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 November, 2014, 11:11pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 November, 2014, 11:11pm

Anne Rice: The Interviews
by Nola Cancel
Chunkie Productions

You need to be an Anne Rice fan to consume this compilation of interviews by one of her most loyal followers, Nola Cancel, who says that reading Interview with the Vampire at age 13 was a lifechanging experience. Cancel conducted online interviews with Rice for three years, when she was writing three novels: The Wolf Gift, The Wolves of Midwinter and Prince Lestat. The answers weren’t edited and, it seems, none of the questions either. Which is unfortunate, for not all deserve space, among them what Rice’s favourite food is and when her next book tour is taking place (postevent, who cares). Those who have read Rice’s books on Jesus Christ will be interested in her take on religion, reasons she gave up Christianity, and why she questions good and evil in her novels. There is also much to learn about Rice’s fascination with pornography and why she takes erotica “very seriously”. Writers hoping for work tips will appreciate her description of how she does what she does, but not everyone will be happy to learn Rice has written entire books with no real plan.


My Story
by Julia Gillard

This memoir by former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard should be of interest for its insights into the day-to-day running of a country. Those who care about the nation's political scene should read her account of the 2010 coup in which she ousted Kevin Rudd to become Australia's first female prime minister. And the few who know of Gillard because of her memorable stance against misogyny and sexism - she acknowledges this may be her sole claim to fame among non-Australians - will no doubt be drawn to "The curious question of gender". That chapter details the sexist slurs she had to put up with as a woman in power, all of which built up to her 15-minute tirade in parliament against then leader of the opposition, now prime minister, Tony Abbott, for his championing of chauvinism. Readers will hear her explanation of the machinations behind issues such as carbon pricing, tax reform, health reform and the growth in number of asylum seekers. When in power, Gillard was known for rarely mincing words. She's no different in her memoir.


The News Sorority
by Sheila Weller (read by Morgan Hallett)
Penguin Audio

A shared biography about Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric and Christiane Amanpour, The News Sorority's sole link for the most part is the gender of its subjects. Sure, Sawyer and Couric, as morning TV hosts, would be rivals; and Couric and Amanpour would both end up working for CNN. But, typical of most big organisations, they had little to do with each other there. To be fair, Sheila Weller has done her homework and organised the book well (having had experience with a volume that corralled singers Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell and Carole King). But these are three big names in journalism, each of whom deserve their own book. Of the women, whose stories are read by Morgan Hallett, Amanpour is the most interesting because of her background (the 1979 Islamic revolution forced her family to flee Iran) and "mission" to educate Americans about injustice around the world. Indeed, as Weller explains, the "Amanpour Factor" meant that if she was covering a story, the international community had better respond with aid.