The Opal Octopus

Reading and reviews by the Indian Ocean

Library Loot


badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.


This Week’s Library Loot:

This week I picked up two reserves hot off the presses, both by Australian women writers.

two books - head of the river and the fictional woman


Head of the River is by Sydney ocean-swimmer, coffee-lover, lecturer, and writer Pip Harry, who also wrote YA hit I’ll Tell You Mine.

cover of Head of the River - silhouetted rowers


It’s the most elite school sporting event in the country. Nine rowers, 2000 gruelling metres and one chance for glory in the ultimate team sport. Sit forward … ROW.

Tall, gifted and the offspring of Olympians, superstar siblings Leni and Cristian Popescu are set to row Harley Grammar to victory in the Head of the River.
With six months until the big race, the twins can’t lose. Or can they?

When Cristian is seduced by the easy route of performance-enhancing drugs, and Leni is suffocated with self-doubt, their bright futures start to fade. Juggling family, high expectations, study, break-ups, new relationships and wild parties, the pressure starts to build.

As the final moments tick down to the big race, who’ll make it to the start line? And who’ll plummet from grace?

Ooh, a contemporary YA sports novel set in Australia. Interesting!

Pip Harry can be found at, and on Facebook and Twitter.


Tara Moss’s The Fictional Woman has been gaining a bit of press about the place. Moss is a novelist, TV presenter, blogger and journalist. Her writing has run the gamut of horror, crime, journalism, and nonfiction. 

closeup of woman's face with words written all over it - dumb blonde, bossy, bimbo, feminist, model, mother, gold-digger, party girl, bitch, inspiration, bleeding heart


Tara Moss has worn many labels in her time, including ‘author’, ‘model’, ‘gold-digger’, ‘commentator’, ‘inspiration’, ‘dumb blonde’, ‘feminist’ and ‘mother’, among many others. Now, in her first work of non-fiction, she blends memoir and social analysis to examine the common fictions about women.

She traces key moments in her life – from small-town tomboy in Canada, to international fashion model in the 90s, to bestselling author taking a polygraph test in 2002 to prove she writes her own work – and weaves her own experiences into a broader look at everyday sexism and issues surrounding the underrepresentation of women, modern motherhood, body image and the portrayal of women in politics, entertainment, advertising and the media.

Deeply personal and revealing, this is more than just Tara Moss’s own story. At once insightful, challenging and entertaining, she asks how we can change the old fictions, one woman at a time.


Moss can be found at (not as it says at Goodreads!), and on Facebook and Twitter .

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