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AUGUST BEST SELLERS: Fiction and Non-fiction

FICTION

Scrublands1. Scrublands
Chris Hammer

In an isolated country town brought to its knees by endless drought, a charismatic and dedicated young priest calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners before being shot dead himself.

A year later, troubled journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals about the priest and incidents leading up to the shooting don’t fit with the accepted version of events his own newspaper reported in an award-winning investigation. Martin can’t ignore his doubts, nor the urgings of some locals to unearth the real reason behind the priest’s deadly rampage.

Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking new development rocks the town, which becomes the biggest story in Australia. The media descends on Riversend and Martin is now the one in the spotlight. His reasons for investigating the shooting have suddenly become very personal.

Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to discover a truth that becomes darker and more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town’s secrets stay buried.

A compulsive thriller that will haunt you long after you have turned the final page.


Nowhere Child2. The Nowhere Child
Christian White

***WINNER OF THE VICTORIAN PREMIER’S LITERARY AWARD FOR AN UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT 2017***

‘Her name is Sammy Went. This photo was taken on her second birthday. Three days later she was gone.’

On a break between teaching photography classes in Melbourne, Kim Leamy is approached by a stranger investigating the disappearance of a little girl from her Kentucky home twenty-eight years earlier. He believes Kim is that girl.

At first she brushes it off, but when Kim scratches the surface of her family history in Australia, questions arise that aren’t easily answered. To find the truth, she must travel to Sammy’s home of Manson, Kentucky, and into a dark past. As the mystery of Sammy’s disappearance unravels and the town’s secrets are revealed, this superb novel builds towards an electrifying climax.

Inspired by Gillian Flynn’s frenetic suspense and Stephen King’s masterful world-building, The Nowhere Child is a combustible tale of trauma, cult, conspiracy and memory. It is the remarkable debut of Christian White, an exhilarating new Australian talent.


Gentleman in Moscow3. A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles

On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov – recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt – is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol.

Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. But instead of his usual suite, he must now live in an attic room while Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval.

Can a life without luxury be the richest of all?


Eleanor Oliphant4. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?


Other Wife5. The Other Wife
Michael Robotham

William and Mary have been married sixty years. William is a celebrated surgeon, Mary a devoted wife. Both are strong believers in right and wrong.

William and Olivia have been together twenty years. Olivia was once a tennis star, but her career has long since faded.

Clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin knows only one of these stories to be true. But when he is called to his father’s hospital bed after a brutal attack, everything he once knew is turned upside down. Is it possible his father, the upstanding citizen, was leading a double life?

And who is the strange woman crying at William’s bedside, covered in his blood – a friend, a mistress, a fantasist or a killer?

A confronting psychological thriller from one of the greatest crime writers of today, Michael Robotham, the bestselling author of The Secrets She Keeps.


Wild Fire6. Wild Fire (Shetland Series #8 – Final)
Ann Cleeves

Shetland: Welcoming. Wild. Remote.

Drawn in by the reputation of the islands, an English family move to the area, eager to give their autistic son a better life.

But when a young nanny’s body is found hanging in the barn of their home, rumours of her affair with the husband begin to spread like wild fire.

With suspicion raining down on the family, DI Jimmy Perez is called in to investigate, knowing that it will mean the return to the islands of his on-off lover and boss Willow Reeves, who will run the case.

Perez is facing the most disturbing investigation of his career. Is he ready for what is to come?


Tin man7. Tin Man
Sarah Winman

It begins with a painting won in a raffle: fifteen sunflowers, hung on the wall by a woman who believes that men and boys are capable of beautiful things.

And then there are two boys, Ellis and Michael,
who are inseparable.
And the boys become men,
and then Annie walks into their lives,
and it changes nothing and everything.


Boy Swallows Universe8. Boy Swallows Universe
Trent Dalton

Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It’s not as if Eli’s life isn’t complicated enough already. He’s just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way – not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer.

But Eli’s life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He’s about to fall in love. And, oh yeah, he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day, to save his mum.

A story of brotherhood, true love and the most unlikely of friendships, Boy Swallows Universe will be the most heartbreaking, joyous and exhilarating novel you will read all year.


Tattooist of Auschwitz9. The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Heather Morris

Lale Sokolov is well-dressed, a charmer, a ladies’ man. He is also a Jew. On the first transport from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942, Lale immediately stands out to his fellow prisoners. In the camp, he is looked up to, looked out for, and put to work in the privileged position of tätowierer – the tattooist – to mark his fellow prisoners, forever. One of them is a young woman, Gita, who steals his heart at first glance.

His life given new purpose, Lale does his best through the struggle and suffering to use his position for good.

This story, full of beauty and hope, is based on years of interviews author Heather Morris conducted with real-life Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz- Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. It is heart-wrenching, illuminating, and unforgettable.


Shepherds Hut10. The Shepherd’s Hut
Tim Winton

Jaxie dreads going home. His mum’s dead. The old man bashes him without mercy, and he wishes he was an orphan. But no one’s ever told Jaxie Clackton to be careful what he wishes for.

In one terrible moment his life is stripped to little more than what he can carry and how he can keep himself alive. There’s just one person left in the world who understands him and what he still dares to hope for. But to reach her he’ll have to cross the vast saltlands on a trek that only a dreamer or a fugitive would attempt.

The Shepherd’s Hut is a searing look at what it takes to keep love and hope alive in a parched and brutal world.


NON-FICTION

Leather Soul1. Leather Soul
Bob Murphy

Bob Murphy has never been a typical footballer. Music buff, Age columnist and Winnebago driver, he is as comfortable in a quiet corner of a Fitzroy café or the front bar of a grungy pub as he is in the locker room.

Murphy takes the reader inside his 17-year career, including his three years as captain of the Bulldogs, exploring the people, places and events that shaped him: from playing backyard cricket in 1980s Warragul to Community Cup with Paul Kelly in the 2000s, and from the joy of marrying his high-school crush to the agony of a season-ending ACL ruptures.

How did the country kid with a gypsy’s heart become an All-Australian captain? What’s it like to have your club win the grand final for the first time in 62 years and have to cheer from the sidelines? How does it feel to realise you can no longer do the things that made you great?

The celebrated Australian football bard Martin Flanagan has long insisted Bob Murphy has a book in him like no footballer has written. Leather Soul proves him right.


Halliday Wine Companion 20192. Halliday Wine Companion 2019
James Halliday

Halliday Wine Companion is recognized as the industry benchmark for Australian wine. The 2019 edition has been completely revised to bring you up-to-the-minute information. In his inimitable style, James Halliday shares his extensive knowledge of wine through detailed tasting notes with points, price, value symbol, and advice on best-by drinking, as well as each wine’s closure and alcohol content. He provides information about wineries and winemakers, including vineyard sizes, opening times, and contact details.

• This is the bible for lovers of Australian wine—it is highly anticipated by wine connoisseurs each year.
• Includes a comprehensive list of the best wines and wineries that Australia has to offer.
• Includes reviews, styles, prices and the history of wineries reviewed by James Halliday.
• Listed alphabetically either by region or winery.
• Includes James Halliday’s famous 5-star rating system — wineries use his reviews in marketing for their wines.


Barefoot Investor3. The Barefoot Investor
Scott Pape

This is the only money guide you’ll ever need.

That’s a bold claim, given there are already thousands of finance books on the shelves.

So what makes this one different?

Well, you won’t be overwhelmed with a bunch of ‘tips’ … or a strict budget (that you won’t follow).  You’ll get a step-by-step formula: open this account, then do this; call this person, and say this; invest money here, and not there. All with a glass of wine in your hand.

This book will show you how to create an entire financial plan that is so simple you can sketch it on the back of a serviette … and you’ll be able to manage your money in 10 minutes a week.

Sound too good to be true? It’s not.

This book is full of stories from everyday Aussies — single people, young families, empty nesters, retirees — who have applied the simple steps in this book and achieved amazing, life-changing results.

And you’re next.


Fatherhood4. Fatherhood: Stories About Being a Dad
William McInnes

William McInnes, one of Australia’s best-known storytellers and actors, has turned to a subject that is close to his heart. Fatherhood is about family, about memories of his father and the memories he’s creating as a dad himself, with his own son and daughter.

Warm, witty and nostalgic, these tales are just like a friendly chat over the back fence, or the banter of a backyard BBQ. They will stir your own memories: of hot summer days and cooling off under the sprinkler while Dad works in the garden with the radio tuned to the sports results; that time Dad tried to teach you to drive – and then got out of the car and kissed the ground; or taking your own kids on a family road trip.

Fatherhood is full of memories: the happy, the hilarious, the sad, bad, and the unexpectedly poignant moments. You will laugh, you may even cry – but you will recognise yourself and those you love somewhere in these pages.


 

Hell Ship5. Hell Ship
Michael Veitch

For more than a century and a half, a grim tale has passed down through Michael Veitch’s family: the story of the Ticonderoga, a clipper ship that sailed from Liverpool in August 1852, crammed with poor but hopeful emigrants-mostly Scottish victims of the Clearances and the potato famine. A better life, they believed, awaited them in Australia.

Three months later, a ghost ship crept into Port Phillip Bay flying the dreaded yellow flag of contagion. On her horrific three-month voyage, deadly typhus had erupted, killing a quarter of Ticonderoga’s passengers and leaving many more desperately ill. Sharks, it was said, had followed her passage as the victims were buried at sea.

Panic struck Melbourne. Forbidden to dock at the gold-boom town, the ship was directed to a lonely beach on the far tip of the Mornington Peninsula, a place now called Ticonderoga Bay.

James William Henry Veitch was the ship’s assistant surgeon, on his first appointment at sea. Among the volunteers who helped him tend to the sick and dying was a young woman from the island of Mull, Annie Morrison. What happened between them on that terrible voyage is a testament to human resilience, and to love.

Michael Veitch is their great-great-grandson, and Hell Ship is his brilliantly researched narrative of one of the biggest stories of its day, now all but forgotten. Broader than his own family’s story, it brings to life the hardships and horrors endured by those who came by sea to seek a new life in Australia.


Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck6. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Mark Manson

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.


One hundred years of dirt7. One Hundred Years of Dirt
Rick Morton

Social mobility is not a train you get to board after you’ve scraped together enough for the ticket. You have to build the whole bloody engine, with nothing but a spoon and hand-me-down psychological distress.

Violence, treachery and cruelty run through the generational veins of Rick Morton’s family. A horrific accident thrusts his mother and siblings into a world impossible for them to navigate, a life of poverty and drug addiction

One Hundred Years of Dirt is an unflinching memoir in which the mother is a hero who is never rewarded. It is a meditation on the anger, fear of others and an obsession with real and imagined borders. Yet it is also a testimony to the strength of familial love and endurance.


 

Teacher8. Teacher
Gabbie Stroud

Watching children learn is a beautiful and extraordinary experience. Their bodies transform, reflecting inner changes. Teeth fall out. Knees scab. Freckles multiply. Throughout the year they grow in endless ways and I can almost see their self-esteem rising, their confidence soaring, their small bodies now empowered. Given wings.  They fall in love with learning.  It is a kind of magic, a kind of loving, a kind of art.

It is teaching.  Just teaching.  Just what I do.

What I did.  Past tense.

In 2014, Gabrielle Stroud was a very dedicated teacher with over a decade of experience. Months later, she resigned in frustration and despair when she realised that the Naplan-test education model was stopping her from doing the very thing she was best at: teaching individual children according to their needs and talents. Her ground-breaking essay ‘Teaching Australia’ in the Feb 2016 Griffith Review outlined her experiences and provoked a huge response from former and current teachers around the world. That essay lifted the lid on a scandal that is yet to properly break – that our education system is unfair to our children and destroying their teachers.

In a powerful memoir inspired by her original essay, Gabrielle tells the full story: how she came to teaching, what makes a great teacher, what our kids need from their teachers, and what it was that finally broke her. A brilliant and heart-breaking memoir that cuts to the heart of a vital matter of national importance.


Family Hetty McKinnon9. Family 
Hetty McKinnon

Family food isn’t fancy or complex. Its roots are humble, stemming from recipes passed on through generations, and food rituals born from daily cooking. Most importantly, great family recipes are ones that nurture our souls, our hearts and our tummies. Family food is comfort food.

In Family, bestselling author of Community and Neighbourhood, Hetty McKinnon shares her approach to modern, uncomplicated, hearty and healthy food that is powered by vegetables. These classic recipes are the multicultural meals she serves around her own family table. Some are heirloom recipes passed on from her mother, others are old family favourites, and many are variations on much-loved comfort food, repackaged with a healthier outlook.

This could be a deconstructed falafel salad of crispy roasted chickpeas and fresh greens, drizzled with lemony tahini; an oozy savoury cobbler of summer tomatoes topped with parmesan-cornmeal scones; or an earthy miso brown butter sauce spiked with crispy sage and tossed through your favourite pasta. Finish things off with a simple dessert of sticky banana golden syrup dumplings, an indulgent choc-orange self-saucing pudding, or an addictive lime pie with anzac biscuit crust – sweet treats that are destined to become new family favourites. These irresistible recipes are interlaced with tender family stories from home cooks around the world.


Power of Hope10. The Power of Hope: Or How Community, Love and Compassion Can Change Our World
Kon Karapanagiotidis

‘I hope you take from this book the message that we all matter. That there is a place for all of us. That once we know our own voice, live the values close to our hearts and follow our dreams, we can be unstoppable. Hope is only exhausted if we forsake ourselves, otherwise no one can take hope away from us. It is both our sanctuary and our destiny to live a life with love, belonging, connection and community.’

A powerful, heartfelt and inspiring memoir from one of Australia’s leading human rights advocates, Kon Karapanagiotidis, The Power of Hope tells the story of how Kon overcame his traumatic childhood of racism, bullying and loneliness to create one of Australia’s largest and best-loved human rights organisations, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, which has gone on to transform the lives of thousands of refugees and has helped build a movement.

A book about how love, compassion, kindness and courage can transform our communities and ourselves, The Power of Hope shows us in times of darkness, both personal and political, that if we stand as one we can shine brightly and fiercely – as together we are powerful.

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