143 Main St Mornington (03) 5975 5034



Farrell’s Bookshop and Mornington Peninsula Shire proudly present:



Wednesday 9 November

The Studio @ PCT
Peninsula Community Theatre
91 Wilsons Road, Mornington





Celebrating the release of A Single Tree, the essential companion to its award-winning predecessor The Bush: Travels in the Heart of Australia, we are proud to welcome one of Australia’s most esteemed writers, Don Watson, to the Peninsula.

In A Single Tree, Watson – a former speechwriter for Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating – assembles the raw material underpinning The Bush, his 2014 work combining memoir, travel writing, history and social critique.

Watson’s handpicked collection continues the discussion on national character sparked by The Bush and comprises diary extracts, memoirs, journals, letters, histories, poems and fiction.

Join us for a fascinating evening of discussion, with thanks to the Mornington Peninsula Shire, for use of The Studio @ PCT.


a-single-tree_coverA Single Tree
Don Watson

$45.00 Hardback
(Release date: 26 October 2016)

A Single Tree assembles the raw material underpinning Don Watson’s award-winning The Bush. These diverse and haunting voices span the four centuries since Europeans first set eyes on the continent.

Each of these varied contributors – settlers, explorers, anthropologists, naturalists, stockmen, surveyors, itinerants, artists and writers– represents a particular place and time. Men in awe of the landscape or cursing it; aspiring to subdue and exploit it or finding themselves defeated by it. Women reflecting on the land’s harshness and beauty, on the strangeness of their lives, their pleasures and miseries, the character and behaviour of the men. Europeans writing about indigenous Australians, sometimes with intelligent sympathy and curiosity but often with contempt, and often describing acts of startling brutality.

This collection comprises diary extracts, memoirs, journals, letters, histories, poems and fiction, and follows the same loose themes of The Bush. The science of the landscape and climate, and the way we have perceived them. Our deep and sentimental connection to the land, and our equally deep ignorance and abuse of it. The heroic myths and legends. The enchantments. The bush as a formative and defining element in Australian culture, self-image and character. The flora and fauna, the waterways, the colours. The heroic, self-defining stories, the bizarre and terrible, and the ones lost in the deep silences.

There are accounts of journeys, of work and recreation, of religious observance, of creation and destruction. Stories of uncanny events, peculiar and fantastic characters, deep ironies, and of land unlimited. And musings on what might be the future of the bush: as a unique environment, a food bowl, a mine, a wellspring of national identity . . .

From Dampier and Tasman to Tim Flannery and assorted contemporary farmers, environmentalists and grey nomads, these pieces represent a vast array of experiences, perspectives and knowledge. A Single Tree is an essential companion to its brilliant predecessor.

new-the-bush-by-don-watson-paperback-bookThe Bush
Don Watson

$25.00 Paperback

While most of us live in cities clinging to the coastal fringe, our sense of what an Australian is, or should be, is drawn from the vast and varied inland called the bush. But what do we mean by ‘the bush’, and how has it shaped us?

Starting with his forebears’ battle to drive back nature and eke a living from the land, Don Watson explores the bush as it was and as it now is: the triumphs and the ruination, the commonplace and the bizarre, the stories we like to tell about ourselves and the national character, and those we don’t.

A milestone work of memoir, travel writing and history, The Bush takes us on a profoundly revelatory and entertaining journey through the Australian landscape and character.


Game On Book launch (002)

game-onGame On: Supercharge Your Career and Build The Life You Want
Bianca Chatfield & Leigh Russell

$35.00 RRP  Released 1 September


In Game On, star Australian Diamonds netball defender and ex-Vixens Captain, Bianca Chatfield, and Leigh Russell, leadership specialist and high-performance coach, join forces to bring you their no-nonsense handbook for success. Combining Bianca’s experience as an elite athlete, teacher and sporting mentor, and Leigh’s background as an ex-CEO, facilitator and counsellor, this manual for life provides the ultimate toolkit for being the best you can be. 

DOUG PURDIE: The Bee Friendly Garden

Doug PurdieBee friendly garden

Doug Purdie

Friday 21 October

Tickets $15

Eco Living Display Centre @ The Briars
Nepean Hwy, Mount Martha



We’re delighted to welcome Doug Purdie back to the Peninsula for the release of his second book – The Bee Friendly Garden.  We had a fantastic session with Doug in 2014 at Heronswood to discuss his first book, Backyard Bees.

This time round join us as Doug shares all his tips on how to encourage bees and other good bugs into your green space.

Tickets $15, includes the presentation plus morning tea.

About the Author
Doug Purdie – a self-professed ‘beevangelist’ – is the co-founder of The Urban Beehive, which manages over 100 hives around Sydney. He teaches beginner beekeeping courses and is the author of Backyard Bees.


Bee friendly gardenThe Bee Friendly Garden

$40 (Release date 1 September 2016)

Bees are our most important pollinators and they are in decline the world over. They love to live in urban environments where it’s a short flight path from one plant to the next. But with the housing boom and conventional gardens favouring lawns, paving and pesticides over flowers and edible plants, we are scaring the bees and good bugs away.  Without the plants, pollinators will vanish and vice versa.

Doug Purdie’s latest book The Bee Friendly Garden is a guide for all gardeners to encourage bees and other good bugs into your green space. This helpful, beautiful book includes:

  • How bees forage and why your garden needs them

  • A comprehensive guide to bee friendly plants

  • Simple changes we can all make to encourage a healthy bee population

  • Ideas for gardens of all sizes

  • Natural pest control and planting advice

Doug Purdie asks everyone to ‘think like a bee’. It’s all too easy to view the world from two human eyes, to see what looks, nice, neat and safe. But it is a very different world from the perspective of a bee with five eyes and ultraviolet vision hunting for nectar and pollen. If we don’t start growing a pollinator highway of food our bees will essentially become marooned.

The Bee Friendly Garden help us transform our backyards and balconies from an insect desert into a bug nirvana and a ‘bee highway’ across Australia to save our bees one garden or plant tub at a time.

Backyard Bees

Backyard Bees

$35. Available now.

Everything you need to know to keep bees on your rooftop, balcony or in your backyard.

Just about anyone can keep bees. All you need is a bit of space in your backyard (or on your rooftop) and a little love for the creatures that pollinate the vegie patches of your neighbourhood. Once introduced to the charms of beekeeping and the taste of warm honeycomb direct from the hive, you’ll be hooked.

Backyard Bees is the ultimate guide to installing and maintaining a hive through the seasons. Learn how easy it is to keep happy, healthy bees, and how and when to harvest the liquid gold. Including extensive advice on choosing a hive and the equipment you need; case studies and anecdotes from beekeepers from all walks of life; and 20 delicious recipes for all that honey, from Toasted Honey Granola to Bees Knees Cocktails.

Roland Perry: Wed 14 Sept

Joins us for an evening with one of Australia’s most respected authors…


Wednesday 14 September





To celebrate the release of his latest biography, Celeste: The Parisian Courtesan Who Became a Countess and Bestselling Writer, we are delighted to welcome Roland Perry to the Peninsula. With 30 published works spanning topics including biography, politics, espionage, history (WW1 and WW2), sport and fiction, this promises to be a fascinating evening.

Horrie queen Bradman monash

Books will be available for purchase and signing on the night.

Book online now at TryBooking.com.


Celeste: The Parisian Courtesan Who Became a Countess and Bestselling Writer

$33.00 Paperback
Release date: 22 August 2016

Courtesan, countess, bestselling author – the tempestuous true story of a woman far ahead of her time …

The true story of the Countess Céleste de Chabrillan is a rich and tempestuous tale of an extraordinary woman. Born in the gutters of Paris in 1824, Céleste made her name as a dancer in the Parisian dance halls, where it is said she invented the can-can.

Then, as an equestrienne at the Paris hippodrome, her daring feats on horseback thrilled the crowds. However, it was as the city’s most celebrated courtesan that the young Parisian found genuine fame and fortune. Strikingly beautiful and charismatic, her lovers included famous novelists, artists and composers, not least Georges Bizet, whom, many believe, based his free and fearless Carmen on Céleste.

But when Céleste married the Count de Chabrillan, a prominent member of the French aristocracy, Parisian society was scandalised. And when the pair turned up in far off Australia, where the count served as the first French consul, Melbourne society was scandalised in turn.

Later a bestselling memoirist, novelist, playwright and librettist, the remarkable Countess Céleste de Chabrillan was, indeed, a woman far ahead of her time.



Lunch with Tim Winton: Fri 7 Oct

We are so thrilled to be able to bring one of Australia’s most celebrated authors to the Peninsula to celebrate the launch of his new book:

Small Winton, Tim 2016 (Credit Hank Kordas)Please note that this event has SOLD OUT


11.30am – 2.30pm

Safety Beach Sailing Club
185 Marine Drive, Safety Beach

Tickets: $100

(Ticket price includes the presentation, copy of the new hardback book, two-course lunch and drink of your choice on arrival)               


Photo credit: Hank Kordas


Celebrating the release of his new work of non-fiction, The Boy Behind The Curtain, join us for lunch with Tim Winton and a rare view of his imagination at work and play. 

The four-time Miles Franklin Literary Award winning author will reveal the real characters and events behind his bestselling novels, in an intimate discussion ranging across his boyhood, movies and road-trips, family and faith to the natural world, art and writing.  

We are sure this very special event will book out quickly, so don’t delay securing your place – bookings can be made online through TryBooking.com from 12pm Friday 1 July.

Please note: Specific dietary requirements should be advised via email to events@farrells.com.au and these will be accommodated where possible.

BBTC Book cover (small)The Boy Behind The Curtain
Tim Winton

$45.00 Hardback
Release Date: 3 October 2016 – Pre-orders welcome

The remarkable true stories of The Boy Behind the Curtain reveal an intimate and rare view of Tim Winton’s imagination at work and play.

A chronicler of sudden turnings, brutal revelations and tender sideswipes, Tim Winton has always been in the business of trouble. In his novels chaos waits in the wings and ordinary people are ambushed by events and emotions beyond their control. But as these extraordinarily powerful memoirs show, the abrupt and the headlong are old familiars to the author himself, for in many ways his has been a life shaped by havoc.

In The Boy Behind the Curtain Winton reflects on the accidents, traumatic and serendipitous, that have influenced his view of life and fuelled his distinctive artistic vision. On the unexpected links between car crashes and religious faith, between surfing and writing, and how going to the wrong movie at the age of eight opened him up to a life of the imagination. And in essays on class, fundamentalism, asylum seekers, guns and the natural world he reveals not only the incidents and concerns that have made him the much-loved writer he is, but some of what unites the life and the work.

By turns impassioned, funny, joyous, astonishing, this is Winton’s most personal book to date, an insight into the man who’s held us enthralled for three decades and helped us reshape our view of ourselves. Behind it all, from risk-taking youth to surprise-averse middle age, has been the crazy punt of staking everything on becoming a writer.

Hugh Mackay: Fri 24 June

We are very pleased to once again be partnering with our friends at Peninsula Voice, this time bringing to Mornington one of Australia’s leading social commentators…

Pic for website (2)HUGH MACKAY

Friday 24 June

6.30 – 8pm
(please arrive from 6.15pm to register)

St Mark’s Uniting Church
50 Barkly Street

Tickets $5, includes presentation, book signing and supper. 

Proceeds from tickets sales will be donated to Peninsula Voice.

What do people actually mean when they say ‘God’?

Around two-thirds of us say we believe in God or some ‘higher power’, but fewer than one in ten Australians attend church weekly. In Beyond Belief, Hugh Mackay presents this discrepancy as one of the great unexamined topics of our time. He argues that while our attachment to a traditional idea of God may be waning, our desire for a life of meaning remains as strong as ever…

Hugh Mackay is a social researcher and the author of seventeen books – eleven in the field of social analysis and ethics, and six novels. His latest release, Beyond Belief, tackles the very interesting questions surrounding the place of the church and religion in our increasingly secular society, but one in which we are still very much seeking to lead meaningful lives.

Come along for what we are sure will be a thoroughly interesting evening of discussion, followed by a book signing and supper. Books will be available for sale and signing on the night.

You can listen to a recent radio interview Hugh did about the new book here.

beyondbeliefBeyond Belief
$33.00 RRP

What do people actually mean when they say ‘God’?

Around two-thirds of us say we believe in God or some ‘higher power’, but fewer than one in ten Australians attend church weekly. In Beyond Belief, Hugh Mackay presents this discrepancy as one of the great unexamined topics of our time. He argues that while our attachment to a traditional idea of God may be waning, our desire for a life of meaning remains as strong as ever.

Mackay interviews dozens of Australians representing many different points on the spectrum of faith, including some who are part of the emerging ‘spiritual but not religious’ movement. He exposes the deep vein of ambivalence about religion that runs through our society: we may not actively worship, but we still like to see local churches operating in our midst, and we use ‘our’ church to marry, christen our babies, educate our children and commemorate our dead. He points out some uncomfortable truths, such as our tendency to call on God only in a crisis, and unpacks our human need for ‘answers’, even when science can’t find them. He endorses the Christian ideal of the good life – a life lived for others – but acknowledges that there are many pathways to that same goal, not all of them religious.

Written with all the insight and compassion we have come to expect of our leading chronicler of Australian life, Beyond Belief is an engrossing exploration of the ways we find spiritual fulfilment in an avowedly secular age.

ArtofbelongingThe Art of Belonging
$20.00 RRP

The eternal question ‘Who am I?’ must be weighed against an even deeper question: ‘Who are we?’ We are writing each other’s stories as much as we are writing our own.

In his bestselling book, The Good Life, Hugh Mackay argued that kindness and respect for others are the hallmarks of a life well lived. Now in The Art of Belonging Mackay shows how strong communities develop our moral sense and build our emotional security. He says that as ‘social creatures’ we can only reach our potential when we engage with our communities – in the local neighbourhood, at work and even online.

Drawing on his lifelong work as a social researcher, Mackay creates a fictional suburb, Southwood, and populates it with characters who, like most of us, struggle to reconcile their need to belong with their desire to live life on their own terms. Through a series of stories, illuminated by Mackay’s social analysis, we witness the conflicts that arise when individuals assert their needs at the expense of others, but we also glimpse the satisfactions that flow from contributing to the common good.

Compellingly argued and written with wisdom, compassion and wit, The Art of Belonging is for those who yearn for a society that sustains and nurtures the many, not just the fortunate few.

goodlifeThe Good Life
$20.00 RRP

“No one can promise you that a life lived for others will bring you a deep sense of satisfaction, but it’s certain that nothing else will.”

Hugh Mackay has spent his entire working life asking Australians about their values, motivations, ambitions, hopes and fears. Now, in The Good Life, he addresses the ultimate question: What makes a life worth living?

His conclusion is provocative. The good life is not the sum of our security, wealth, status, postcode, career success and levels of happiness. The good life is one defined by our capacity for selflessness, the quality of our relationships and our willingness to connect with others in a useful way.

Mackay examines what is known as the Golden Rule through the prisms of religion, philosophy, politics, business and family life. And he explores the numerous and often painful ways we distract ourselves from this central principle: our pursuit of pleasure, our attempts to perfect ourselves and our children, and our conviction that we can have our lives under control.

Argued with all the passion and intelligence we have come to expect from one of Australia’s most prolific and insightful authors, The Good Life is a book that will start conversations, ignite arguments and possibly even change the way we live our lives.


AUTHOR EVENT: Scattered Pearls

Come along and listen to Peninsula author, Sohila Zanjani, in conversation with her co-author, David Brewster.


Wednesday 15 June

7 – 8.30pm

Lilo Cafe

1/725 Esplanade Mornington

Tickets: $20 (event only) or $50 (event + book at 10 % off RRP)

Ticket price includes the presentation, plus canapes and a drink of your choice on arrival (wine, sparkling, tea or coffee). Additional drinks available to purchase. Sohila and David will sign books following the presentation.

Tickets available in store or over the phone (credit card payments only).

Numbers are strictly limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

You can read a recent interview with Sohila here.

Scattered Pearls FINALScattered Pearls 

(Sohila Zanjay & David Brewster, PB $33.00)

From Tehran to Melbourne, a powerful memoir of survival…

Scattered Pearls opens in pre-revolutionary Iran, where Sohila Zanjani grew up under the threat of violence, intimidation and control at the hands of her father. Resolving never to tread in the footsteps of her mother and her grandmother, both survivors of domestic abuse, Sohila tried to find a new life for herself on the other side of the world. But to her horror she discovered that living with her father had been gentle in comparison to the reality of her new married life.

Spanning more than a hundred years, Scattered Pearls tells the true stories of Sohila, her mother and her grandmother, and the injustice and abuse meted out by the men in their lives. It is a story of cultural misogyny in both Iran and Australia, and of an ongoing search for a loving, equal relationship.

BOOK LAUNCH: Patrick Guest’s The Ricker Racker Club

Earlier this year when we were crunching the numbers on our best sellers for 2015, we were rather delighted to discover that our single biggest selling picture story book for the year was a special little book written by local author, Patrick Guest, That’s What Wings Are For.

So we are truly delighted to be assisting Pat in the official launch of his new book, The Ricker Racker Club.


Have a listen to Patrick chat about the launch with Heather Mc on her Morning Show on RPP FM Mornintgon.

Join us for some fun in the Great Outdoors – learn the SECRET handshake, the SECRET password and the SECRET SILLY DANCE – if you know how to be brave and kind, come along and join us for a meeting of The Ricker Racker Club!!

As the event is to be held outside, we have a bad weather contingency of falling back to Farrell’s Bookshop at 143 Main Street, Mornington. If you wish to be notified on the day of any change in location, please follow the Facebook event page, or alternatively register your mobile number in store (we will send an automated SMS notification).

the-ricker-racker-clubThe Ricker Racker Club

Patrick Guest (Illustrated by Nicholas Eckstrom)
$25.00 Hardback
Release Date 1 April 2016

To be in the Ricker Racker Club you have to be brave. You have to be kind. You have to not be a girl…but some people are better than others at being both kind and brave. Patrick Guest and Nathaniel Eckstrom tell us who and why and how in this lively story about silly rules and even sillier situations.

untitled (12)That’s What Wings Are For

Patrick Guest (Illustrated by Daniella Germain)
$25.00 Hardback
Available now

There are three things that all respectable dragons need:
Strong wings for flying.
Strong lungs for breathing fire,
and strong, shiny scales …
But Bluey the Dragon has none of these.
Even so, Bluey has other abilities, some of them truly wonderful … if only he can work out what they are!

Patrick wrote this book for his son and other children, who suffer from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  You can watch an interview with Patrick about the book here.

AUTHOR EVENT: Meg and Tom Keneally

We’re kicking off our events calendar for 2016 with a big one: Man Booker and Miles Franklin Prize Winning author, Tom Keneally, together with his eldest daughter, Meg.

Keneally Meg  Tom 2016 (Credit Penguin Random House)Meg and Tom Keneally – in conversation

Wednesday 23 March 2016
1.30 – 4pm

Josephine’s Restaurant at The Briars
(450 Nepean Hwy, Mount Martha)

Enjoy listening to Meg and Tom converse about their collaboration on the new Monsarrat Series, as well as insights to Tom’s long and celebrated career including his recent historical fiction, Napoleon’s Last Island.

Ticket price includes a selection of hot savoury finger food on arrival, followed by scones and tea or coffee during the presentation.  Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase at the bar.

Tickets: $40 event only or $70 including copy of the new book (includes a 10% disc). No concessions.

Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Tickets available in store only – numbers are strictly limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Please advise dietary requirements at time of booking and these will be accommodated where possible.
Note that this event has informal, unallocated seating so please arrive promptly.

Soldiers Curse CoverThe Soldier’s Curse
Book One: The Monsarrat Series

RRP $33.00 Release Date 1 March 2016

A fast-paced, witty and gripping historical crime series from Tom Keneally and his eldest daughter Meg.

In the Port Macquarie penal settlement for second offenders, at the edge of the known world, gentleman convict Hugh Monsarrat hungers for freedom. Originally transported for forging documents passing himself off as a lawyer, he is now the trusted clerk of the settlement’s commandant.

His position has certain advantages, such as being able to spend time in the Government House kitchen, being supplied with outstanding cups of tea by housekeeper Hannah Mulrooney, who, despite being illiterate, is his most intelligent companion.

Not long after the commandant heads off in search of a rumoured river, his beautiful wife, Honora, falls ill with a sickness the doctor is unable to identify. When Honora dies, it becomes clear she has been slowly poisoned.

Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney suspect the commandant’s second-in-command, Captain Diamond, a cruel man who shares history with Honora. Then Diamond has Mrs Mulrooney arrested for the murder. Knowing his friend will hang if she is tried, Monsarrat knows he must find the real killer.

9780857984616Napoleon’s Last Island
Tom Keneally

$33.00 Available Now

Whilst living in exile on St Helena, Napoleon exerted an extraordinary influence on young Betsy Balcombe. How did she get from Napoleon’s side to the Australian bush?

When Tom Keneally discovered by chance at the National Gallery of Victoria that Betsy Balcombe, a young girl living on St Helena while the Emperor Napoleon was exiled there, had become the Emperor’s ‘intimate friend and annoyer’, and had then emigrated with her family to Australia, he was impelled to begin another extraordinary novel, exploring the intersection between the ordinary people of the world and those we deem exceptional.

Betsy Balcombe moved as a child with her family to St Helena, ‘that high mid-Atlantic rock of exile’. Ten years later her family befriended, served and were ruined by their relationship with Napoleon. To redeem their fortunes William Balcombe, Betsy’s father, betrayed the Emperor and accepted a job as the colonial treasurer of New South Wales, taking his family with him. After enduring a profound tragedy on the voyage out, and never quite recovering from the results of his association with Napoleon, William’s life deteriorated; however, his family struggled and survived in Australia.

Tom Keneally recreates Betsy’s friendship with The Great Ogre, her enmities and alliances with his court, and her dramatic coming of age during her years with them on the island. With his ability for bringing historical stories to life in the most brilliant and surprising ways, Keneally vividly shares this remarkable tale and the beginning of an Australian dynasty.




Author Event: Matthew Evans

untitledWe are pleased to welcome the star of the long-running SBS TV series, The Gourmet Farmer – Matthew Evans.  

Wednesday 11 November
11am   In store signing


To be in the running to win a copy of Summer on Fat Pig Farm, simply register your intention to attend the in store signing (on Facebook or in store) and attend on the day – a winner will be drawn during the signing.

12.30pm   Exclusive lunch at Moorooduc Estate – SOLD OUT!

A former chef and food critic, Matthew is now a Tasmanian smallholder, food writer and food activist. He fattens pigs, milks a cow, tends a garden and writes about food from his office on Fat Pig Farm, in the gorgeous Huon Valley.

9781743365793In his new book, Summer on Fat Pig Farm ($50.00 HB, release date 21 October), Matthew showcases beautiful seasonal produce with a collection of fresh, simple and nourishing summer recipes.

Come and join us for a delicious lunch at the beautiful Moorooduc Estate – a two-course menu with local, seasonal, ethically raised produce, in keeping with Matthew’s farming / cooking approach. Guests will also receive a starter and a glass of wine. Matthew will speak followed by a Q&A session and book signing.

Tickets $55.00. Available in store. Please book early to avoid disappointment – strictly only 45 places available.

UPDATE 15 OCTOBER: SOLD OUT!! Waist-list available – phone 5975 5034


In store signing: Ahead of our exclusive lunch at Moorooduc Estate, Matthew will be signing books in store from 11am-12pm.

Come down for the Main Street Market and chat with the Gourmet Farmer!

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