Tag Archives: we’re all going to die

All I Want for Christmas is BOOKS


It’s that time of the year again, the time when I write out the perfect gift suggestions for Christmas, guaranteed to please even the fussiest gift receiver. You’re welcome.

Let’s start with the kids in our lives.

Want a great picture book? You can’t reall go past My Dog Bigsy by Alison Lester. It’s an adorable book about a cheeky dog that causes quite the commotion amongst other animals. Buy it here.


Looking for something for the sporty 7-10 year old in your life? Try Kicking Goals with Goodesy and Magic by Anita Heiss, Adam Goodes and Michael O’Loughlin. A lovely book about friendship. Buy it here.

Do you have an 8-12 year old who loves action and adventure and also has a love of maps? Al Tait has what you want and plenty of it in her Mapmaker Chronicles. It’s been described as the best thing since Deltora QuestBuy it here.

Do you have an 6-9 year old that loves action and adventure but want unicorns instead of maps? Search no further than Kate Forsyth’s Impossible Quest series. So many beautiful nods to classic fantasy, your kids will be sure to love it. Buy it here.


Wendy Orr’s Dragonfly Song is also a great choice. And just quietly, I’m pretty sure it based around the same ritual that the minotaur myth was derived from. Give it a read. Fascinating stuff. Buy it here. http://www.booktopia.com.au/the-dragonfly-song-wendy-orr/prod9781760290023.html


Looking for something for 12+? Try Fleur Ferris’s Risk. It’s an eerie book about what lurks online. Buy it here.


This year, why not go on a crime-spree for the adults in your life?


Harry’s World by A.B. Patterson. Rough cop, gritty issues, sexy sexing and beautiful writing. Buy it here.


Love crime but the person you’re wanting to buy for is ice-cold? Go get L.A. Larkin’s Devour. It’s the hotest thing in Antarctic Noir. Buy it here.


Emma Viskic’s Resurrection Bay won all of the crime awards. All of them. It’s a book that truly lives up to the hype. No spoilers, just buy it here.


The Promise Seed by Cass Moriarty is a beautiful story about cross generational friendships and the ties that bind. Buy it here.


How about books that explore mental illness?


Anna Spargo-Ryan’s debut The Paper House has taken Australia by storm. A beautifully literary book about living with mental illness and grief. It is contemporary Australian fiction. Buy it here.


I also hear that Confessions of a Mad Mooer is awesome. Forget all other suggestions, this book is the perfect Christmas gift for young and old. It’s my memoir, whoops I mean, it’s the author’s memoir about their month long stint in a psychiatric hospital with postnatal depression. A must read for any PND sufferers, and for any of their friends or family. Also great for any writers struggling with mental illness. It does have swearing. It’s nonfiction. Get it here.


You want to give the gift of laughter instead of crime or madness? 


Try Our Tiny Useless Hearts by Toni Jordan. Fresh, funny, a great read with lots of depth along with the laughter. Buy it here.


We’re all Going to Die by Leah Kaminsky… okay, I know the title sounds a bit morbid, and it is about death, but I promise that it’s actually uplifting. It even says it’s a “joyful book about death.” Buy it here.


Feel like you want something more historical to give? 


Try Ben Pobjie’s Error Australis a humorous recap of Australian history. Buy it here.

Mary’s Australia by Pamela Freeman is a fascinating read about life in the times of our very own Saint, Mary MacKillop. Buy it here.


Or you can get Girt by David Hunt. It is a totally unauthorised history of Australia. Buy it here.


I hope that I have helped make things a little bit easier for you…. Now go buy my book!


Don’t forget to check last year’s book recommendations, they’re still excellent choices. So get on it and buy, buy, buy!

Leah Kaminsky: #Robinpedia



Leah Kaminsky is an award winning writer and physician. I’ll just let that sink in for all those people out there saying they don’t have enough time to write. When she’s not off dazzling the world with her literary or medical brilliance she enjoys snacking on a good strawberry and reading. Leah Kaminsky subscribes to the belief that life is too short to finish reading books that you don’t enjoy so will happily stop and put it down for someone else to come along and read, and then pick up something else that tickles her fancy bone.* Different strokes for different folks. She assures me that she never puts down my recaps of The Book Club ABC, a program which she is an avid viewer of.

Leah Kaminsky has written an impressive array of non-fiction titles. Her first solo nonfiction being We’re All Going to Die which was published through Harper Collins in 2016.  She also co-authored Cracking to Code with Stephen and Sally Damiani 2015 published through Penguin.

Along with these two titles Leah Kaminsky also contributed to:

The Best Australia Science Writing published through NewSouth Publishing 2014

Writer M.D. published through Random House 2012

Differential Diagnosis published through Hachette 2011

Stitching Things Together published through Interactive Press 2010

The Pen and the Stethoscope published through Scribe 2010

Your Child’s Health published through Hardie Grant 2006

Issue #46 Creative Nonfiction 2012 https:///www.creativenonfiction.org

ABC Guide to Poisons published through Houghton Mifflin 1991


But not content with dominating in medical nonfiction Leah Kaminsky turned her talented hand to fiction and produced her debut fictional novel The Waiting Room published by Vintage Books in 2015.  It was highly praised by critics and readers alike.


And just in case you haven’t already passed out with feelings of inadequacy and shame, as I did when typing this up, here is Leah Kaminsky’s ridiculously impressive list of awards:

Griffith Review Contributers’ Circle Award for novel Ice Theory, February 2016

Awarded a RMIT University nonfiction Lab Mccraith House Writers’ Residency at The Butterfly House, December 2015

DISQUIET – SLS Finalist Fellowship, awarded April 2015 for novel Ice Theory

Inaugural Writer-in-Residence, Morbid Anatomy Museum, Brooklyn, November 2014

The Waiting Room shortlisted for William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition 2013

Readings Glenfern Fellowship for an Established Writer (for CNF manuscript ‘We’re All Going to Die’) 2013

Writer in Residence – Jewish Holocaust Research Centre

Hippocrates Poetry & Medicine Prize 2012

The Fish Council awarded the Varuna/Pan MacMillan Publisher’s Fellowship 2012

The Fish Council awarded a New Work Grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council 2012

Stitching Things Together commended in Anne Elder Award 2011

Billilla Studio/Bayside Council Writer-in-Residence Award 2010-2011

State Library of Victoria Creative Fellowship 2010 – $12,500 grant for research for creative non-fiction book The Fish Council

CAL Cultural Trust Development Fund – $3,000 to attend MFA (Fiction) Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpellier, Vermont USA 2010-11

Summer Literary Seminars Competition 2010 – merit scholarship award

Glenfern Studio Residency 2010 – awarded by Grace Marion Wilson Trust & Victorian Writers’ Centre

Highly Commended IP Picks Poetry Competition 2010

2nd place winner Angelo B. Natoli short story award 2010 (Fellowship of Australian Writers) for The Cat Feeders

Accepted to MFA program (Fiction) at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpellier, USA 2010.

CAL/Scribe Fiction Award 2009, The Waiting Room long listed

Penguin/Varuna Development Scholarship 2009, The Waiting Room nominated

Varuna Publishers Award 2009 shortlisted for The Waiting Room

Café Poet in Residence 2009-2010, Australian Poetry Centre (Café Loco, Elsternwick)

Writing@Rosebank Residential Writing Fellowship 2010 (Victorian Writers’ Centre)

Selected for Iowa Summer Writers’ Graduate Workshop 2009 – with director Lan Samantha Chang

Grace Marion Wilson Trust – Fiction Masterclass with Antoni Jach 2009

Writer in Residence Shaindy Rudoff Graduate School in Creative Writing 2008

Creation Grant – Arts Victoria 2008 for development of final draft of novel The Waiting Room

Emerging Writers’ Grant – Literature Board of Australia, 2008 for development of final draft of novel

Max Harris Poetry Awards 2008 – commended

John Shaw Neilson Poetry Award 2007 – Second Place (FAW national literary awards)

Winner Eleanor Dark Flagship Fellowship for Fiction – Varuna 2007

Victorian Ministry of the Arts: Writers’ Project Grant 1989 – for work on novel

Shortlisted for ASA Mentorship programme 2007 (top 10 fiction writers out of 500 total applicants)

Runner-up of Reading’s Fellowship –Writers’ Studio at Glenfern Writers’ Centre, Melbourne Oct 2006 – June 2007

Winner AUJS Short Story Competition 1981 Down Will Come Baby

Children’s Storybook MS There’s an Elephant in my Ear commissioned by Collins Dove 1990

Children’s Storybook MS The Boat that Grew Legs commissioned by the Children’s Television Foundation for development into animation and book for TV series ‘Round the Twist’ 1989

Mothers of War – shortlisted in The International Shin Shalom Peace Poem Competition, Israel 1992

(Aus)chwitz to (Aus)tralia in The Tin Wash Dish , ed John Tranter, 1989 (poem short listed in ABC/ABA Literary Awards Competition)


… I’m beginning to regret my decision to invent Robinpedia because writing about all these authors is beginning to make me feel so deeply lazy inadequate… I’ll just sit here and procrastinate about that for a little bit. I seriously want to die in a toilet right now… She’s even done freaking film and poetry. Take a look here for the hideously full list of achievements. She’d make even my mother proud.


Find Leah Kaminsky’s website here.

Find Leah Kamisky on twitter here.

Find Leah Kaminsky on Facebook here.




If you want to learn more about Robinpedia go here.

If you feel that this entry is as inadequate as I am in comparison to Leah Kaminsky please feel free to add information for me to add in the comment section. Which I will do so with much sighing and gnashing of teeth.

If you wish to send me Smarties and Moscato… please don’t hesitate.




*Leah Kaminsky tells me that there is no such thing as a fancy bone, I asked her which one of us had a medical degree… apparently we both knew it wasn’t me. Whatever Kaminsky, a fancy bone is a real thing and you know it!