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April New Releases

FICTION

Little GodsLittle Gods
Jenny Ackland

As a child, trapped in the savage act of growing up, Olive had sensed she was at the middle of something, so close to the nucleus she could almost touch it with her tongue. But like looking at her own nose for too long, everything became blurry and she had to pull away. She’d reached for happiness as a child not yet knowing that the memories she was concocting would become deceptive. That memories get you where they want you not the other way around. 

The setting is the Mallee, wide flat scrubland in north-western Victoria, country where men are bred quiet, women stoic and the gothic is never far away. Olive Lovelock has just turned twelve. She is smart, fanciful and brave and on the cusp of something darker than the small world she has known her entire life.

She knows that adults aren’t very good at keeping secrets and makes it her mission to uncover as many as she can. When she learns that she once had a baby sister who died – a child unacknowledged by her close but challenging family – Olive becomes convinced it was murder. Her obsession with the mystery and relentless quest to find out what happened have seismic repercussions for the rest of her family and their community. As everything starts to change, it is Olive herself who has the most to lose as the secrets she unearths multiply and take on complicated lives of their own.

Little Gods is a novel about the mess of family, about vengeance and innocence lost. It explores resilience and girlhood and questions how families live with all of their complexities and contradictions. Resonating with echoes of great Australian novels like Seven Little AustraliansCloudstreet, and Jasper JonesLittle Gods is told with similar idiosyncrasy, insight and style. Funny and heartbreaking, this is a rare and original novel about a remarkable girl who learns the hard way that the truth doesn’t always set you free.


 

Bookshop of the Broken HeartedThe Bookshop of the Broken Hearted
Robert Hillman

Tom Hope doesn’t think he’s much of a farmer, but he’s doing his best. He can’t have been much of a husband to Trudy, either, judging by her sudden departure. It’s only when she returns, pregnant to someone else, that he discovers his surprising talent as a father. So when Trudy finds Jesus and takes little Peter away with her to join the holy rollers, Tom’s heart breaks all over again.

Enter Hannah Babel, quixotic smalltown bookseller: the second Jew—and the most vivid person—Tom has ever met. He dares to believe they could make each other happy.

But it is 1968: twenty-four years since Hannah and her own little boy arrived at Auschwitz. Tom Hope is taking on a batttle with heartbreak he can barely even begin to imagine.


 

TangerineTangerine
Christine Mangan

The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the horrific accident at Bennington, the two friends – once inseparable roommates – haven’t spoken in over a year. But Lucy is standing there, trying to make things right.

Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy, always fearless and independent, helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country.

But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice – she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice’s husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.

Tangerine is an extraordinary debut, so tightly wound, so evocative of 1950s Tangier, and so cleverly plotted that it will leave you absolutely breathless.


 

Macbeth NesboMacbeth
Jo Nesbo

Set in a dark, rainy northern town, Nesbo’s Macbeth pits the ambitions of a corrupt policeman against loyal colleagues, a drug-depraved underworld and the pull of childhood friendships.

Get ready to helter-skelter through the darkest tunnels of human experience.


 

Death of Noah GlassThe Death of Noah Glass
Gail Jones

The art historian Noah Glass, having just returned from a trip to Sicily, is discovered floating face down in the swimming pool at his Sydney apartment block. His adult children, Martin and Evie, must come to terms with the shock of their father’s death. But a sculpture has gone missing from a museum in Palermo, and Noah is a suspect. The police are investigating.

None of it makes any sense. Martin sets off to Palermo in search of answers about his father’s activities, while Evie moves into Noah’s apartment, waiting to learn where her life might take her. Retracing their father’s steps in their own way, neither of his children can see the path ahead.

Gail Jones’s mesmerising new novel tells a story about parents and children, and explores the overlapping patterns that life makes. The Death of Noah Glass is about love and art, about grief and happiness, about memory and the mystery of time.


Unexpected Education of Emily DeanThe Unexpected Education of Emily Dean
Mira Robertson

In 1944 Emily Dean is dispatched from Melbourne to stay with her father’s relatives in rural Victoria. At the family property of Mount Prospect, Grandmother is determined to keep up standards despite the war, while Emily’s young aunt – the beautiful, fearless Lydia – refuses to befriend her. Feeling lonely and isolated, Emily can’t wait to go home.

But things start to improve when she encounters Claudio, the Italian prisoner of war employed as a farm labourer. And become more interesting still when her uncle William returns home wounded. He’s rude, traumatised and mostly drunk, yet a passion for literature soon draws them together.

A delightfully wry novel about desire, deceit and self-discovery.


 

The LibrarianThe Librarian
Salley Vickers

Sylvia Blackwell, a young woman in her twenties, moves to East Mole, a quaint market town in middle England, to start a new job as a children’s librarian. But the apparently pleasant town is not all it seems. Sylvia falls in love with an older man – but it’s her connection to his precocious young daughter and her neighbours’ son which will change her life and put them, the library and her job under threat.

How does the library alter the young children’s lives and how do the children fare as a result of the books Sylvia introduces them to?


 

NON-FICTION

Bridge Burning and Other HobbiesBridge Burning and Other Hobbies
Kitty Flanagan

Kitty Flanagan has been locked in an industrial freezer in Western Australia, insulted about the size of her lady parts in Singapore and borne witness to the world’s most successful wife swap in suburban Sydney. It’s these valuable lessons from The University of Life that have taught her so many things, including the fact that cliches like ‘The University of Life’ are reeeally annoying.

In these funny, true stories, Kitty provides advice you didn’t even know you needed. Useful tips on how not to get murdered while hitch-hiking, how to break up with someone the wrong way, and the right way, why it’s important to keep your top on while waitressing, and why women between the ages of thirty-seven and forty-two should be banned from internet dating.

Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies is a collection of laugh-out-loud, cautionary tales from one of Australia’s favourite comedians.


 

Elizabeth Macarthur Life at the edge of the worldElizabeth Macarthur: A Life at the Edge of the World
Michelle Scott Tucker

In 1788 a young gentlewoman raised in the vicarage of an English village married a handsome, haughty and penniless army officer. In any Austen novel that would be the end of the story, but for the real-life woman who became an Australian farming entrepreneur, it was just the beginning.

John Macarthur took credit for establishing the Australian wool industry and would feature on the two-dollar note, but it was practical Elizabeth who managed their holdings—while dealing with the results of John’s manias: duels, quarrels, court cases, a military coup, long absences overseas, grandiose construction projects and, finally, his descent into certified insanity.

Michelle Scott Tucker shines a light on an often-overlooked aspect of Australia’s history in this fascinating story of a remarkable woman.


 

Sunburnt CountrySunburnt Country: The History and Future of Climate Change in Australia
Joelle Gergis

What was Australia’s climate like before official weather records began? How do scientists use tree-rings, ice cores and tropical corals to retrace the past? What do Indigenous seasonal calendars reveal? And what do settler diary entries about rainfall, droughts, bushfires and snowfalls tell us about natural climate cycles?

Sunburnt Country pieces together Australia’s climate history for the first time. It uncovers a continent long vulnerable to climate extremes and variability. It gives an unparalleled perspective on how human activities have altered patterns that have been with us for millions of years, and what climate change looks like in our own backyard.

Sunburnt Country highlights the impact of a warming planet on Australian lifestyles and ecosystems and the power we all have to shape future life on Earth.


 

Wasp and the OrchidThe Wasp and the Orchid: The Remarkable Life of Australian Naturalist Edith Coleman
Danielle Clode

‘Have you met Mrs Edith Coleman? If not you must – I am sure you will like her – she’s just A1 and a splendid naturalist.’

In 1922, a 48-year-old housewife from Blackburn delivered her first paper, on native Australian orchids, to the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria. Over the next thirty years, Edith Coleman would write over 300 articles on Australian nature for newspapers, magazines and scientific journals. She would solve the mystery of orchid pollination that had bewildered even Darwin, earn the acclaim of international scientists and, in 1949, become the first woman to be awarded the Australian Natural History Medallion. She was ‘Australia’s greatest orchid expert’, ‘foremost of our women naturalists’, a woman who ‘needed no introduction’.

And yet, today, Edith Coleman has faded into obscurity. How did this remarkable woman, with no training or connections, achieve so much so late in life? And why, over the intervening years, have her achievements and her writing been forgotten?

Zoologist and award-winning writer Danielle Clode sets out to uncover Edith’s story, from her childhood in England to her unlikely success, sharing along the way Edith’s lyrical and incisive writing and her uncompromising passion for Australian nature and landscape.


 

CSIRO Low Carb EverydayCSIRO Low-Carb Every Day
Grant Brinkworth & Pennie Taylor

The CSIRO Low-carb Diet is based on strong scientific research that has successfully helped Australians lose weight and improve their overall health. Building on the success of the first book, this new volume will make implementing the diet at home easier than ever.

It includes: an update on the latest science; 80 new recipes with a focus on meals that are quick and easy to prepare; all daily allowances for recipes calculated and explained; daily plans and meal builders to help you seamlessly incorporate this way of eating into your everyday life; and 15 new exercises that complement those in the first book to add variety to your exercise routine, and further improve your fitness, strength and general health.

Accessible, affordable and achievable, this is a fully researched approach to better eating and improved health from Australia’s peak science organisation.


 

Women's Brain BookThe Women’s Brain Book
Dr Sarah McKay

Understanding how the brain grows and changes through the stages of life is key to health and wellbeing. This is not a book about the differences between male and female brains, nor a book using neuroscience to explain gender-specific behaviours, the ‘battle of the sexes’ or ‘Mars-Venus’ stereotypes. This is a book about what happens inside the brains and bodies of women as they move through the phases of life, and the unique – and often misunderstood – effects of female biology and hormones.

Dr McKay give insights into brain development during infancy, childhood and the teenage years (including the onset of puberty) and also takes a look at mental health as well as the ageing brain. The book weaves together findings from the research lab, case studies and interviews with neuroscientists and other researchers working in the disciplines of neuroendocrinology, brain development, brain health and ageing.

This comprehensive guide explores the brain during significant life stages, including in utero, childhood, puberty, the Menstrual Cycle, the teenage brain, depression and anxiety, pregnancy and motherhood, menopause and the ageing brain.


 

KIDS and TEEN / YA

Fearless FredericFearless Frederic
Felice Arena

When the river rises and the city of Paris begins to disappear under water, Frederic decides to help those who can’t help themselves. But as his heroic acts escalate, so does the danger. Frederic will have to battle an escaped zoo animal and fight off pickpockets and looters but, as the waters subside, can he find justice for his father and find out what courage really means?


 

Poppa Platoon in World War ChewThe Poppa Platoon in World War Chew
Danny Katz

Major Poppa, Abbie, and her little brother Flynn are on a mission at the Royal Show. They must enter The Showbag Pavilion, fight their way through crowds, defeat powerful enemies, and somehow get to the other side to buy a Chunky Choco Cherry Chew Showbag.

Will The Poppa Platoon win this battle? Will they make it out of there alive? Or is this a showbag too far?


 

When the Mountains RoaredWhen the Mountains Roared
Jess Butterworth

I thought we’d live here forever … but then, I thought Mum would be here forever too.

When Ruby’s dad uproots her from Australia to set up a hotel in the mountains of India, Ruby is devastated. Not only are they living in a run-down building in the middle of the wilderness surrounded by scorpions, bears and leopards, but Ruby is sure that India will never truly feel like home – not without her mum there.

Ever since her mum died, Ruby has been afraid. Of cars. Of the dark. Of going to sleep and never waking up.

But then the last remaining leopards of the mountain are threatened and everything changes. Ruby vows to do all she can to protect them – if she can only overcome her fears…

A vivid, warm and atmospheric adventure set in the mountains of India, about a girl who is determined to protect the wild leopards of the mountain from poachers, perfect for fans of Katherine Rundell.


 

Long Class GoodnightThe Long Class Goodnight
Sammy J

What would happen if the end-of-school bell never rang?

Meet Justin Monaghetti. He is destined to be a loser.

His new school is terrifying. His only friend wants to run away forever. And he’s just been given a detention for something he didn’t do.

But Justin isn’t going to accept his fate without a fight. To survive his first horrible day of high school, he’ll need a few tricks, a bit of luck – and an ingenious plan to mess with the rules.

A super-weird story of overcoming odds and defying your destiny.


 

Fates DivideThe Fates Divide (Carve the Mark #2)
Veronica Roth

In the second book of the Carve the Mark duology, globally bestselling Divergent author Veronica Roth reveals how Cyra and Akos fulfill their fates. The Fates Divide is a richly imagined tale of hope and resilience told in four stunning perspectives.

The lives of Cyra Noavek and Akos Kereseth are ruled by their fates, spoken by the oracles at their births. The fates, once determined, are inescapable.

Akos is in love with Cyra, in spite of his fate: he will die in service to Cyra’s family. And when Cyra’s father, Lazmet Noavek – a soulless tyrant, thought to be dead – reclaims the Shotet throne, Akos believes his end is closer than ever.

As Lazmet ignites a barbaric war, Cyra and Akos are desperate to stop him at any cost. For Cyra, that could mean taking the life of the man who may – or may not – be her father. For Akos, it could mean giving his own. In a stunning twist, the two will discover how fate defines their lives in ways most unexpected.


 

CircleCircle 
Madeline Miller

When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist. 

Circe is the daughter of Helios, the sun god, and Perse, a beautiful naiad. Yet from the moment of her birth, she is an outsider in her father’s halls, where the laughter of gossiping gods resounds. Named after a hawk for her yellow eyes and strange voice, she is mocked by her siblings – until her beloved brother Aeëtes is born.

Yet after her sister Pasiphae marries King Midas of Crete, Aeëtes is whisked away to rule his own island. More isolated than ever, Circe, who has never been divine enough for her family, becomes increasingly drawn to mortals – and when she meets Glaucus, a handsome young fisherman, she is captivated. Yet gods mingle with humans, and meddle with fate, at their peril.

In Circe, Madeline Miller breathes life once more into the ancient world, with the story of an outcast who overcomes scorn and banishment to transform herself into a formidable witch. Unfolding on Circe’s wild, abundant island of Aiaia, where the hillsides are aromatic with herbs, this is a magical, intoxicating epic of family rivalry, power struggles, love and loss – and a celebration of female strength in a man’s world.


 

Stories for Boys who dare to be differentStories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different
Ben Brooks

Daniel Radcliffe, Galileo Galilei, Nelson Mandela, Louis Armstrong, Grayson Perry, Louis Braille, Lionel Messi, King George VI, Jamie Oliver…all dared to be different.

Prince charming, dragon slayer, mischievous prankster… More often than not, these are the role-models boys encounter in the books they read at home and at school. As a boy, there is an assumption that you will conform to a stereotypical idea of masculinity.

But what if you’re the introvert kind? What if you prefer to pick up a book rather than a sword? What if you want to cry when you’re feeling sad or angry? What if you like the idea of wearing a dress?

There is an ongoing crisis with regards to young men and mental health, with unhelpful gender stereotypes contributing to this malaise. Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different offers a welcome alternative narrative. It is an extraordinary compilation of 100 stories of famous and not-so-famous men from the past to the present day, every single one of them a rule-breaker and innovator in his own way, and all going on to achieve amazing things. Entries include Frank Ocean, Salvador Dali, Rimbaud, Beethoven, Barack Obama, Stormzy, Ai Weiwei and Jesse Owens – different sorts of heroes from all walks of life and from all over the world. 

A beautiful and transporting book packed with stories of adventure and wonderment, it will appeal to those who need the courage to reject peer pressure and go against the grain. It is the must-have book for all those boys who worry about stuff and all those parents who worry about their boys who worry about stuff. It will educate and entertain, while also encourage and inspire.

 

 

 

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