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September New Releases

FICTION

City of CrowsCity of Crows
Chris Womersley

A woman’s heart contains all things …

France, 1673. Desperate to save herself and her only surviving child from an outbreak of plague, the widow Charlotte Picot flees her village to seek sanctuary in Lyon.

But, waylaid on the road by slavers, young Nicolas is stolen and his mother left for dead. Charlotte fears the boy has been taken to Paris for sale, for it is well known there is no corruption in a man’s heart that cannot be found in that terrible City of Crows.

Yet this is not only a story of Paris and its streets thronged with preachers, troubadours and rogues. It is also the tale of a woman who calls herself a sorceress and a demon who thinks he is a man …


 

Terra NulliusTerra Nulius
Claire G. Coleman

Jacky was running. There was no thought in his head, only an intense drive to run. There was no sense he was getting anywhere, no plan, no destination, no future. All he had was a sense of what was behind, what he was running from. Jacky was running.

The Natives of the Colony are restless. The Settlers are eager to have a nation of peace, and to bring the savages into line. Families are torn apart, reeducation is enforced. This rich land will provide for all.

This is not Australia as we know it. This is not the Australia of our history. This Terra Nullius is something new, but all too familiar.

This is an incredible debut from a striking new Australian Aboriginal voice.


 

Girl Who Takes Eye for an EyeThe Girl who Takes an Eye for an Eye (Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series Book #5)
David Lagercrantz

Lisbeth Salander is an unstoppable force:

Sentenced to two months in Flodberga women’s prison for saving a young boy’s life by any means necessary, Salander refuses to say anything in her own defence. She has more important things on her mind.

Mikael Blomkvist makes the long trip to visit every week – and receives a lead to follow for his pains. For him, it looks to be an important expose for Millennium. For her, it could unlock the facts of her childhood.

Even from a corrupt prison system run largely by the inmates, Salander will stand up for what she believes in, whatever the cost. And she will seek the truth that is somehow connected with her childhood memory, of a woman with a blazing birthmark on her neck – that looked as if it had been burned by a dragon’s fire . . .

The tension, power and unstoppable force of The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye are inspired by Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, as Salander and Blomkvist continue the fight for justice that has thrilled millions of readers across the world.


 

The ChokeThe Choke
Sofie Laguna

I never had words to ask anybody the questions, so I never had the answers.

Abandoned by her mother and only occasionally visited by her secretive father, Justine is raised by her pop, a man tormented by visions of the Burma Railway. Justine finds sanctuary in Pop’s chooks and The Choke, where the banks of the Murray River are so narrow it seems they might touch – a place of staggering natural beauty. But the river can’t protect Justine from danger. Her father is a criminal, and the world he exposes her to can be lethal.

Justine is overlooked and underestimated, a shy and often silent observer of her chaotic world. She learns that she has to make sense of it on her own. She has to find ways to survive so much neglect. She must hang on to friendship when it comes, she must hide when she has to, and ultimately she must fight back.

The Choke is a brilliant, haunting novel about a child navigating an often dark and uncaring world of male power and violence, in which grown-ups can’t be trusted and comfort can only be found in nature. This compassionate and claustrophobic vision of a child in danger and a society in trouble celebrates above all the indomitable nature of the human spirit.


 

History of BeesThe History of Bees
Maja Lunde

In the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this dazzling and ambitious literary debut follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees—and to their children and one another—against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.

England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive—one that will give both him and his children honor and fame.

United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle against modern farming, but hopes that his son can be their salvation.

China, 2098. Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao’s young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident, she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him.

Haunting, illuminating, and deftly written, The History of Bees joins these three very different narratives into one gripping and thought-provoking story that is just as much about the powerful bond between children and parents as it is about our very relationship to nature and humanity.


 

GodsgraveGodsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicles #2)
Jay Kristoff

Conquer your fear, conquer the world

Mia Corvere, destroyer of empires, has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry do not believe she has earned it.

Her position is precarious, and she’s still no closer to exacting revenge for the brutal death of her family. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it is announced that Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself into slavery for a chance to fulfill the promise she made on the day she lost everything.

Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold, secrets are revealed and the body count rises within the collegium walls, Mia will be forced to choose between her loyalties and her revenge.


 

NON FICTION

Inner Life of AnimalsThe Inner Life of Animals
Peter Wohlleben

Mother deer that grieve?
Horses that feel shame?
Squirrels that adopt their grandchildren?

We humans tend to assume that we are the only living things able to experience feelings intensely and consciously. But have you ever wondered what’s going on in an animal’s head?

More and more researchers are realising that animals in fact experience a rich emotional life. Acting as our interpreter of the animal world and of the fascinating science, Peter Wohlleben brings this new research to life with his own observations of his favourite creatures.

From the leafy forest floor to the inside of a bee hive, The Inner Life of Animals shows us microscopic levels of observation as well as forcing us to confront the big philosophical, ethical and scientific questions. We hear the stories of a grateful humpback whale, of a hedgehog who has nightmares, and of a magpie who commits adultery; we meet bees that plan for the future, pigs who learn their own names and crows that go tobogganing for fun. And at last we find out why wasps exist.

Our fellow creatures are not mindless automatons driven by an inflexible genetic code, but individuals with personality and feeling. The Inner Life of Animals will show you these living things in a new light and will open up the animal kingdom like never before.


 

VenomVenom: The Heroic Search for Australia’s Deadliest Snake
Brendan James

This historic search for Australia’s deadliest snake. By one of Australia’s best and brightest young authors, this is a gripping, incandescent tale of heroism and tragedy, offering the glimmering possibility of reconciliation.

In the early years of the twentieth century, an awareness was growing among European Australians of an unexpected threat, one that seemed the very embodiment of the dark, ominous power of the Australian bush. To the Indigenous people of the Guugu Yimithirr nation, it was nguman; to the whites it was the taipan, an eight foot, lightning fast venomous snake whose bite meant certain death.

Venom is an examination of European settlers’ troubled and often antagonistic relationship with the land, seen through the lens of the desperate scramble for an antivenom, and highlighted by the story of George Rosendale, a taipan bite victim of the Guugu Yimithirr nation.


 

I Am I Am I AmI Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death
Maggie O’Farrell

A childhood illness she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. A terrifying encounter on a remote path. A mismanaged labour in an understaffed hospital.

This is a memoir with a difference: seventeen encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal to us a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots. It is a book to make you question yourself: what would you do if your life was in danger? How would you react? And what would you stand to lose? I Am, I Am, I Am is a book you will finish newly conscious of your own vulnerability, and determined to make every heartbeat count.


 

Prince Boofhead SyndromeThe Prince Boofhead Syndrome
Michael Carr-Gregg & Elly Robinson

The long-awaited, highly anticipated companion volume to The Princess Bitchface Syndrome – the must-have manual for all parents of teenage boys.

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg believes that too many Australian boys have got it too easy – and the result is a generation of ‘boofheads’: boys with huge egos who think they are too good to stack the dishwasher or turn up to school. They expect the world and give little in return. But things are about to change.

From the author of the groundbreaking Australian bestseller The Princess Bitchface Syndrome and researcher Elly Robinson comes this essential companion book for boys. It serves as both a warning and a rescue manual for all desperate parents – why have some boys today become such egotistical and lazy creatures, what can you do to prevent it, and how do you deal with the situation if you’re caught up in the crisis?

This book will ask the tough questions and deliver straightforward advice so that the parents of today can take back control. It is essential reading for everyone living with a teenage boy.


 

5 Ingredients - Jamie Oliver_05 Ingredients
Jamie Oliver

Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated – it’s all about making the journey to good food, super-simple.

Every recipe uses just five key ingredients, ensuring you can get a plate of food together fast, whether it’s finished and on the table super-quickly, or after minimal hands-on prep, you’ve let the oven do the hard work for you. We’re talking quality over quantity, a little diligence on the cooking front, and in return massive flavour.

Each recipe has been tried and tested (and tested again!) to ensure the book is packed with no-fuss, budget-friendly dishes that you can rustle up, any day of the week.

With over 130 recipes, and chapters on Chicken, Beef, Pork, Lamb, Fish, Eggs, Veg, Salads, Pasta, Rice & Noodles and Sweet Things, there’s plenty of quick and easy recipe inspiration to choose from.


 

OstroOstro
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Since launching Ostro online in 2014, Julia Busuttil Nishimura has gained a strong and loyal following for her generous, uncomplicated, seasonal food. As an Australian of Maltese descent and a fluent Italian speaker, who is married to a Japanese man, Julia and her food represent everything that is good about modern Australian eating. She deftly brings together a broad range of cuisines and culinary influences using the very best produce on offer. This truly is good food, made by hand.

Julia guides us through the uniquely satisfying experience of making pasta or pizza dough from scratch, clearly explaining the processes and demystifying the reasons behind them. She also shares plenty of simple, flavourful salads and one-tray bakes for days when time is scarce. Baking and desserts, too, needn’t be overly complicated – as Julia shows us, some of the best go-to recipes are the ones passed down the generations. But we also need the odd show-stopper on standby for special occasions!

This is simple food that is comforting and generous in spirit. Slow down, take your time and enjoy it.


 

SweetSweet
Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh

The eagerly awaited desserts cookbook from Yotam Ottolenghi, and his long-time friend and collaborator Helen Goh, embraces indulgence, abundance and extravagance, serving up delicacies to celebrate, share and treat those you love.

The book is exquisitely photographed by the award-winning New York team Peden + Munk, whose work appears regularly in Bon Appétit. Drawing inspiration from numerous culinary traditions, recipes are included for cakes, cookies, cheesecakes, tarts, pies, puddings and confectionery, from speculaas biscuits and financiers to pavlova, pana cotta and Persian love cakes. All have the Ottolenghi hallmarks of fresh ingredients, exotic spices and complex flavourings, including fig, rose petal, saffron, aniseed, orange blossom, star anise, pistachio and cardamom, to name but a few.

There is something here to delight everyone – simple sweets parents can make with their children as well as recipes that will inspire the most accomplished of bakers.


 

KIDS & TEEN

Pig the StarPig the Star
Aaron Blabey

Pig just LOVES attention.

In fact, he’s a great, bit SHOW-OFF.

But when ANOTHER star appears at the photo shoot, Pig doesn’t like it.

No, Pig doesn’t like it at ALL…


 

Great Rabbit ChaseThe Great Rabbit Chase
Freya Blackwood

Gumboots is a beautiful pet rabbit, but he likes to escape. A story that celebrates what it means to live in a community and a reminder that life is full of surprises.


 

Whimsy and WoeWhimsy and Woe
Rebecca McRitchie

After being abandoned by their thespian parents one afternoon while playing their weekly family game of hide-and-seek, Whimsy and Woe Mordaunt are left in the care of their austere Aunt Apoline.

Forced to work in her boarding house, looking after the guests, sharpening the thorns of every plant in the poisonous plant garden and listening to off-key renditions of ‘Fish Are Friends Too’ – an aria made famous by the legendary Magnus Montgomery – Whimsy and Woe lose all hope that their parents will someday return. Until one day, quite by accident, the siblings stumble upon a half-charred letter that sets them on a course to freedom and finding their parents.

Dark, funny, darkly funny and funnily dark, Whimsy & Woe takes readers on an adventure with two intrepid siblings in a tale of mischief, monocles, mice and mist.


 

TotoToto: The Dog-gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz
Michael Morgpurgo

When a twister descends on their Kansas farm, Toto and his owner Dorothy hide in the house – only to be plucked into the air and whisked away!

Coming down with a crash in the mysterious land of Oz, the pair meet a series of extraordinary characters: a scarecrow who believes he has no brains, a tin man without a heart, and a cowardly lion who may not be as cowardly as he thinks he is.

But Toto and Dorothy are desperate to return home – after all, home is home, and home is best! So they set off with their new friends on a journey down the yellow brick road to find the only person who might be able to help them: the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

But what they find might surprise them. And on the way, all of them will learn that what they think they are missing might have been there, all along…

Beautifully illustrated throughout, this is an unforgettable telling of a classic story, and a must for every bookshelf.


 

The ExploreThe Explorer
Katherine Rundell

From his seat in the tiny aeroplane, Fred watches as the mysteries of the Amazon jungle pass by below him. He has always dreamed of becoming an explorer, of making history and of reading his name amongst the lists of great discoveries. If only he could land and look about him.

As the plane crashes into the canopy, Fred is suddenly left without a choice. He and the three other children may be alive, but the jungle is a vast, untamed place. With no hope of rescue, the chance of getting home feels impossibly small.

Except, it seems, someone has been there before them …


 

Wilder CountryWilder Country (Road to Winter #2)
Mark Smith

Finn, Kas and Willow have survived the winter of storms. Severe winds and cold have kept the Wilders at bay. Now that spring has come, everything has changed. They’re being hunted again, and they won’t be safe while Ramage wants their blood.

But Finn and Kas made a promise to Rose—to find her baby and bring her back. And finding Hope means finding Ramage…

Wilder Country is the exciting, action-packed sequel to Mark Smith’s highly acclaimed The Road to Winter.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUGUST BEST SELLERS

FICTION

Handmaid's tale1. The Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She has only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

A modern dystopian classic.


On the Java Ridge Cover Image2. On the Java Ridge
Jock Serong

Amid the furious ocean there was no human sound on deck: some people standing, watching the wave, but no one capable of words.

On the Java Ridge, skipper Isi Natoli and a group of Australian surf tourists are anchored beside an idyllic reef off the Indonesian island of Dana.

In the Canberra office of Cassius Calvert, Minister for Border Integrity, a Federal election looms and (not coincidentally) a hardline new policy is being announced regarding maritime assistance to asylum-seeker vessels in distress.

A few kilometres away from Dana, the Takalar is having engine trouble. Among the passengers fleeing from persecution are Roya and her mother, and Roya’s unborn sister.

The storm now closing in on the Takalar and the Java Ridge will mean catastrophe for them all.

With On the Java Ridge Jock Serong, bestselling author of The Rules of Backyard Cricket, brings us a literary novel with the pace and tension of a political thriller—and some of the most compelling, heartstopping writing about the sea since Patrick O’Brian.


The Dry3. The Dry
Jane Harper

Who really killed the Hadler family?

Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well …

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds are reopened. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret … A secret Falk thought long-buried … A secret which Luke’s death starts to bring to the surface …


Wimmera4. Wimmera
Mark Brandi

In the long, hot summer of 1989, Ben and Fab are best friends.

Growing up in a small country town, they spend their days playing cricket, yabbying in local dams, wanting a pair of Nike Air Maxes and not talking about how Fab’s dad hits him or how the sudden death of Ben’s next-door neighbour unsettled him. Almost teenagers, they already know some things are better left unsaid.

Then a newcomer arrived in the Wimmera. Fab reckoned he was a secret agent and he and Ben staked him out. Up close, the man’s shoulders were wide and the veins in his arms stuck out, blue and green. His hands were enormous, red and knotty. He looked strong. Maybe even stronger than Fab’s dad. Neither realised the shadow this man would cast over both their lives.

Twenty years later, Fab is still stuck in town, going nowhere but hoping for somewhere better. Then a body is found in the river, and Fab can’t ignore the past any more.


House of Spies5. House of Spies
Daniel Silva

A heart-stopping tale of suspense, Daniel Silva’s runaway bestseller, The Black Widow, was one of 2016’s biggest novels. Now, in House of Spies, Gabriel Allon is back and out for revenge – determined to hunt down the world’s most dangerous terrorist, a shadowy ISIS mastermind known only as Saladin.

Just months after a deadly attack on America, terrorists leave a trail of carnage through London’s glittering West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy, but with one loose thread.

The thread leads Gabriel Allon and his team to the south of France and the gilded doorstep of Jean-Luc Martel and Olivia Watson. A beautiful former British fashion model, Olivia pretends not to know the true source of Martel’s enormous wealth. And Martel, likewise, turns a blind eye to the fact he is doing business with a man whose objective is the very destruction of the West.

Written in seductive and elegant prose, the story moves swiftly from the glamour of Saint-Tropez to the grit of Casablanca and, finally, to an electrifying climax.

A dazzling tale of avarice and redemption, set against the backdrop of the great conflict of our times. Silva has inherited the mantle of king of the spy thriller from John le Carré, and is taking the genre into the fascinating, terrifying world of 21st century espionage.


Trip of a Lifetime6. The Trip of a Lifetime
Monica McInerny

‘I always thought memories were unchangeable. Set in stone, shaped by the years. But there are always others too, ones you haven’t let yourself remember . . . ’

The wilful and eccentric Lola Quinlan is off on the trip of a lifetime, taking her beloved granddaughter and great-granddaughter with her. More than sixty years after emigrating to Australia, she’s keeping a secret promise to return to her Irish homeland.

But as she embarks on her journey, the flamboyant Lola is still hiding the hurtful reasons she left Ireland in the first place. What – and who – will be waiting for her on the other side of the world?

The Trip of a Lifetime is a big, bold, beautiful book about the light and dark times of life, and all the wonders in between. Moving from the Clare Valley of South Australia to the lush Irish countryside, this is a delightful, emotional story about a colourful and huge-hearted family that you’ll want to call your own.


goodpeople7. The Good People
Hannah Kent

The fires on the hills smouldered orange as the women left, pockets charged with ashes to guard them from the night. Watching them fade into the grey fall of snow, Nance thought she could hear Maggie’s voice. A whisper in the dark.

“Some folk are born different, Nance. They are born on the outside of things, with a skin a little thinner, eyes a little keener to what goes unnoticed by most. Their hearts swallow more blood than ordinary hearts; the river runs differently for them.”

Nóra Leahy has lost her daughter and her husband in the same year, and is now burdened with the care of her four-year-old grandson, Micheál. The boy cannot walk, or speak, and Nora, mistrustful of the tongues of gossips, has kept the child hidden from those who might see in his deformity evidence of otherworldly interference.

Unable to care for the child alone, Nóra hires a fourteen-year-old servant girl, Mary, who soon hears the whispers in the valley about the blasted creature causing grief to fall upon the widow’s house.

Alone, hedged in by rumour, Mary and her mistress seek out the only person in the valley who might be able to help Micheál. For although her neighbours are wary of her, it is said that old Nance Roche has the knowledge. That she consorts with Them, the Good People. And that only she can return those whom they have taken…


Twentieth Man8. The Twentieth Man
Tony Jones

He was the only one left alive; now it was his turn to die.

In September 1972 journalist Anna Rosen takes an early morning phone call from her boss at the ABC telling her about two bombings in Sydney’s busy CBD. It’s the worst terrorist attack in the country’s history and Anna has no doubt which group is responsible for the carnage. She has been investigating the role of alleged war criminals in the globally active Ustasha movement.

High in the Austrian Alps, guided by starlight and a crescent moon, Marin Katich is one of twenty would-be revolutionaries who slip stealthily over the border into Yugoslavia on a mission planned and funded in Australia which will have devastating consequences for all involved.

Two and half years ago Anna and Marin had become lovers at university but his sudden and mysterious disappearance brought their relationship to an abrupt end. Now the Sydney bombings will draw their lives back together.

With Croatian extremists under suspicion and a power struggle erupting between ASIO and the federal police, Attorney-General Lionel Murphy personally directs a raid on the security agency. Events suddenly reach a trigger point with the impending arrival of Yugoslavia’s prime minister.

Tony Jones, one of Australia’s most admired journalists, has written a brilliantly compelling thriller, taking us from the savage mountains of Yugoslavia to Canberra’s brutal yet covert power struggles in a novel that’s intelligent, informed and utterly suspenseful.


The Power9. The Power
Naomi Alderman

What if the power to hurt were in women’s hands?

Suddenly – tomorrow or the day after – teenage girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman’s extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed.


 

Ministry of Utmost Happiness10. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
Arundhati Roy

In a city graveyard, a resident unrolls a threadbare Persian carpet between two graves. On a concrete sidewalk, a baby appears quite suddenly, a little after midnight, in a crib of litter. In a snowy valley, a father writes to his five-year-old daughter about the number of people that attended her funeral. And in the Jannat Guest House, two people who’ve known each other all their lives sleep with their arms wrapped around one another as though they have only just met.

Here is a cast of unforgettable characters caught up in the tide of history. Told with a whisper, with a shout, with tears and with laughter, it is a love story and a provocation. Its heroes, present and departed, human and animal, have been broken by the world we live in and then mended by love — and for this reason, they will never surrender.


11. The Secrets She Keeps (Michael Robotham)

12. The Group (Mary McCarthy)

13. The Rules of Backyard Cricket (Jock Serong)

14. I am Pilgrim (Terry Hayes)

15. Whipbird (Robert Drewe)

16. Where the Trees Were (Inga Simpson)

17. Her (Garry Disher)

18. Between a Wolf and Dog (Georgia Blain)

19. Colombiano (Rusty Young)


NON FICTION

Barefoot Investor1. 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.


Halliday Wine Guide 20182. Halliday Wine Guide 2018
James Halliday

The Halliday Wine Companion is recognised as the industry benchmark for Australian wine and the 2018 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 – each with vintage-specific ratings – advice on optimal drinking, and each wine’s closure, alcohol content and price. He also provides information about the wineries and winemakers, and other important details such as vineyard sizes, opening times, contact details and website addresses.


Fifteen Young Men3. Fifteen Young Men
Paul Kennedy

It was a maritime tragedy that unfolded one sad, dark hour at a time. A cold, cruelly blustery night revealing – with agonising slowness – that fifteen young men of the Mornington Football Club would never make it home. As dawn broke and families began to mourn, a nation was to learn the full extent of one of the world’s worst sporting disasters.

The sinking of the Process in catastrophically rough seas off Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in 1892, with the loss of all on board, horrified Australia. ‘Such an accident has no parallel in our land’s history,’ reported The Argus. Yet somehow, for more than a century, this calamitous event slipped from Australia’s consciousness.

In Fifteen Young Men, journalist Paul Kennedy reveals the stories behind the tragedy. In his compelling evocation of a spirited Australian town on the cusp of a new century, he captures the trauma of families and friends suffering almost unbearable loss, but also the irrepressible optimism of the times, and the mateship, love and resilience that would come to define a budding nation.


Live Lead Learn4. Live Lead Learn
Gail Kelly

Gail Kelly’s presence reaches far beyond her own profession. The first female CEO of one of Australia’s big four banks, listed by Forbes in 2010 as the 8th most powerful woman in the world, and mother of four (including triplets), Gail is celebrated as one of our finest, most innovative thinkers on leadership and workplace culture.

In these personal, practical chapters, Gail Kelly shares what she’s learned over her remarkable career, drawing from her personal and professional life.

As a leader, she argues passionately for the importance of putting people and customers at the heart of a business; of leading with courage and generosity of spirit; and of resilience. Some of those lessons were learnt at times of high pressure, and Gail takes us into her thinking as she led Westpac through the global financial crisis and the merger with St. George.

But Gail’s voice speaks to each of us, whatever our role in life. She explores the absolute importance of loving what you do; learning to learn; backing yourself; and most importantly, placing your family above all things.

At the heart of Gail’s refreshing, authentic, integrated approach is how both individuals and companies thrive when they openly address the meaning of what they do, and understand the need to live a whole life.

Live, Lead, Learn is the inspiring story of one of the world’s most prominent business people, who started as a Latin teacher and became mother of four and CEO of Westpac – and everything she has learned along the way.


 

Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck5. 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.


Always Striving Essendon6. Always Striving 
Dan Eddy

Always Striving is not a blow-by-blow account of the history of the Essendon Football Club. Instead, this book highlights the key moments, people and events that have helped to define it through more than 140 years of existence. From the establishment of the club in the 1870s, to four successive premierships in the 1890s, the first VFL title in 1897, the brilliance of Albert Thurgood, Dick Reynolds’ three Brownlow Medals, John Coleman’s high marking, the Windy Hill brawl against Richmond, Leon Baker’s famous goals in the 1984 Grand Final, Kevin Sheedy’s jacket waving and, in more recent times, Dustin Fletcher’s 400th game; there are many moments that have established the Bombers as one of Australia’s greatest sporting clubs. Always Striving looks at 80 of the best, and, as it covers every generation, is a must-have for any lover of the Red and Black.


 

Boy Behind Curtain B format7. The Boy Behind the Curtain
Tim Winton

In Tim Winton’s fiction, chaos shapes the lives of his characters. So too Winton’s own life. The extraordinarily powerful true stories that make up The Boy Behind the Curtaintake us behind the scenes, revealing the accidents, both serendipitous and traumatic, that have influenced his view of life and fuelled his distinctive artistic vision.

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.


Marching Powder8. Marching Powder
Rusty Young

Rusty Young, a twenty-something Australian law graduate, was backpacking in South America when he heard about Thomas McFadden, an English drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia’s notorious San Pedro prison. When Rusty met Thomas, they formed a surprising yet instant friendship and then became partners in an attempt to record Thomas’s experiences in the jail. The result is one of the most compelling prison stories of all time.

Marching Powder is a shocking, sometimes darkly comic account of life in San Pedro. In this bizarre prison, inmates are expected to buy their cells from real estate agents. Others run shops and restaurants, and women and children live with imprisoned family members. Violence and crime are never far away, and the jail contains some of Bolivia’s busiest cocaine laboratories. In San Pedro, cocaine makes life bearable – even the prison cat is addicted to crack.

Yet amid, the corruption, brutality and the daily struggle for survival, Marching Powder is also the tale of an unlikely friendship, forged in the oddest of circumstances, between a drug smuggler and a lawyer. It is the story of one of the strangest places on earth, where horror is leavened by humour and where cruelty lives side by side with compassion.


Taming Toxic People9. Taming Toxic People
David Gillespie

Psychopaths are often thought of as killers and criminals, but actually five to ten per cent of people are probably psychopathic without ever indulging in a single criminal act. These everyday psychopaths may be charming in the early stages of relationships or employment but, Gillespie argues, their presence in your life is at best disruptive, and at worst highly dangerous: they will leave you feeling cheated and humiliated, dominating and manipulating you to the point where you question your sanity. Worse, he cautions, at a societal level their tendency to gravitate towards positions of power can be disastrous.

Taming Toxic People is a practical guide to restraining that difficult person in your life, be it your boss, your spouse or a parent. But it is also a serious and meticulously researched warning: if we value a free and well-functioning society, we need to rebuild the sense of community that has historically kept the everyday psychopath in check, and we must understand and act to manage the psychopathic behaviour in our midst.


Mystery Gut10. Mystery Gut 
Dr Kerryn Phelps

As practitioners, Prof Phelps and Dr Lee know the problems caused by poor gut health and how an uneasy gut can make life miserable. Symptoms such as weight gain, diarrhoea and cramping are common, but few people receive a definitive disease label. Most of us are entirely unaware that by taking care of our gut we can improve our overall health.

In this meticulously researched and highly practical book, the doctors explain how we are on the threshold of a major revolution in the way we think about the gut and its relevance to our health. They explain common medical problems – from IBS to various food intolerances – and show you what’s going on and what to do about it.

Featuring a comprehensive guide on the mysteries of microbiota, a plethora practices and treatments to restore your energy, and 30 recipes to revitalise and heal your gut – produced with nutritionist and clinical dietitian Jaime Chambers – this is an essential guide to fixing your gut and improving your wellbeing.


11. Life of Brine (Phil Jarratt)

12. The Australian Bird Guide (Peter Menkhorst et al)

13. Silver Linings (Dr Mrin Nayagam)

14. Daring to Drive (Manal Al Sharif)

15. Girl Stuff (8-12) (Kaz Cooke)

16. The Museum of Words (Georgia Blain)

17. Sunlight and Seaweed (Tim Flannery)

18. Let My People Go Surfing (Yvon Chouinard)

19. Penguin Bloom (Cameron Bloom & Bradley Trevor Greive)


 

August New Releases

FICTION

ColombianoColombiano
Rusty Young

For seven years Rusty Young, author of the international bestseller Marching Powder, lived and worked in Colombia, interviewing special forces soldiers, snipers, undercover intelligence agents and members of two vicious terrorist organisations – the FARC and Autodefensas.

During this time he was both shocked and touched by the stories of child soldiers he encountered. He vowed to one day turn their tales into a book and let their voices be heard.

In Colombia you have to pick a side. Or one will be picked for you . . .

All Pedro Gutiérrez cares about is fishing, playing pool and his girlfriend Camila’s promise to sleep with him on his sixteenth birthday. But his life is ripped apart when Guerrilla soldiers callously execute his father in front of him, and he and his mother are banished from their farm.

Swearing vengeance against the five men responsible, Pedro, with his best friend Palillo, joins an illegal Paramilitary group, where he is trained to fight, kill and crush any sign of weakness.

But as he descends into a world of unspeakable violence, Pedro must decide how far he is willing to go. Can he stop himself before he becomes just as ruthless as those he is hunting? Or will his dark obsession cost him all he loves?

Colombiano is an epic tale of rural villages held to ransom, of jungle drug labs, cocaine supermarkets, witch doctors and buried millions, of innocent teenage love, barbaric torture and meticulously planned revenge.

Superbly told and by turns gripping, poignant and darkly comic, Colombiano is the remarkable story of a boy whose moral descent becomes a metaphor for the corruption of an entire nation. Both blockbuster thriller and electrifying coming-of-age story, Rusty Young’s powerful novel is also a meditation on the redeeming power of love.


Whip Bird

Whipbird
Robert Drewe

Kungadgee, Victoria, Australia. A weekend in late November, 2014. At Hugh and Christine Cleary’s new vineyard, Whipbird, six generations of the Cleary family are coming together from far and wide to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the arrival of their ancestor Conor Cleary from Ireland. Hugh has been meticulously planning the event for months – a chance to proudly showcase Whipbird to the extended clan. Some of these family members know each other; some don’t.

As the wine flows, it promises to be an eventful couple of days.

Comic, topical, honest, sharply intelligent, and, above all, sympathetic, Robert Drewe’s exhilarating new novel tells a classic Australian family saga as it has never been told before.


On the Java Ridge Cover Image

On the Java Ridge
Jock Serong

Amid the furious ocean there was no human sound on deck: some people standing, watching the wave, but no one capable of words.

On the Java Ridge, skipper Isi Natoli and a group of Australian surf tourists are anchored beside an idyllic reef off the Indonesian island of Dana.

In the Canberra office of Cassius Calvert, Minister for Border Integrity, a Federal election looms and (not coincidentally) a hardline new policy is being announced regarding maritime assistance to asylum-seeker vessels in distress.

A few kilometres away from Dana, the Takalar is having engine trouble. Among the passengers fleeing from persecution are Roya and her mother, and Roya’s unborn sister.

The storm now closing in on the Takalar and the Java Ridge will mean catastrophe for them all.

With On the Java Ridge Jock Serong, bestselling author of The Rules of Backyard Cricket, brings us a literary novel with the pace and tension of a political thriller—and some of the most compelling, heartstopping writing about the sea since Patrick O’Brian.


Taboo

Taboo
Kim Scott

Taboo takes place in the present day, in the rural South-West of Western Australia, and tells the story of a group of Noongar people who revisit, for the first time in many decades, a taboo place: the site of a massacre that followed the assassination, by these Noongar’s descendants, of a white man who had stolen a black woman. They come at the invitation of Dan Horton, the elderly owner of the farm on which the massacres unfolded. He hopes that by hosting the group he will satisfy his wife’s dying wishes and cleanse some moral stain from the ground on which he and his family have lived for generations.

But the sins of the past will not be so easily expunged.

We walk with the ragtag group through this taboo country and note in them glimmers of re-connection with language, lore, country. We learn alongside them how countless generations of Noongar may have lived in ideal rapport with the land. This is a novel of survival and renewal, as much as destruction; and, ultimately, of hope as much as despair.


House of SpiesHouse of Spies
Daniel Silva

A heart-stopping tale of suspense, Daniel Silva’s runaway bestseller, The Black Widow, was one of 2016’s biggest novels. Now, in House of Spies, Gabriel Allon is back and out for revenge – determined to hunt down the world’s most dangerous terrorist, a shadowy ISIS mastermind known only as Saladin.

Just months after a deadly attack on America, terrorists leave a trail of carnage through London’s glittering West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy, but with one loose thread.

The thread leads Gabriel Allon and his team to the south of France and the gilded doorstep of Jean-Luc Martel and Olivia Watson. A beautiful former British fashion model, Olivia pretends not to know the true source of Martel’s enormous wealth. And Martel, likewise, turns a blind eye to the fact he is doing business with a man whose objective is the very destruction of the West.

Written in seductive and elegant prose, the story moves swiftly from the glamour of Saint-Tropez to the grit of Casablanca and, finally, to an electrifying climax.

A dazzling tale of avarice and redemption, set against the backdrop of the great conflict of our times. Silva has inherited the mantle of king of the spy thriller from John le Carré, and is taking the genre into the fascinating, terrifying world of 21st century espionage.


 

And Fire Came DownAnd the Fire Came Down
Emma Viskic

Deaf since early childhood, Caleb Zelic used to meet life head-on. Now he’s struggling just to get through the day. His best mate is dead, his ex-wife, Kat, is avoiding him, and nightmares haunt his waking hours.

But when a young woman is killed after pleading for his help in sign language, Caleb is determined to find out who she was. And the trail leads straight to his hometown, Resurrection Bay. The town is on bushfire alert and simmering with racial tensions. As he delves deeper, Caleb uncovers secrets that could threaten his life and any chance of reuniting with Kat. Driven by his demons, he pushes on. But who is he willing to sacrifice along the way?


 

Twentieth ManThe Twentieth Man
Tony Jones

He was the only one left alive; now it was his turn to die.

In September 1972 journalist Anna Rosen takes an early morning phone call from her boss at the ABC telling her about two bombings in Sydney’s busy CBD. It’s the worst terrorist attack in the country’s history and Anna has no doubt which group is responsible for the carnage. She has been investigating the role of alleged war criminals in the globally active Ustasha movement.

High in the Austrian Alps, guided by starlight and a crescent moon, Marin Katich is one of twenty would-be revolutionaries who slip stealthily over the border into Yugoslavia on a mission planned and funded in Australia which will have devastating consequences for all involved.

Two and half years ago Anna and Marin had become lovers at university but his sudden and mysterious disappearance brought their relationship to an abrupt end. Now the Sydney bombings will draw their lives back together.

With Croatian extremists under suspicion and a power struggle erupting between ASIO and the federal police, Attorney-General Lionel Murphy personally directs a raid on the security agency. Events suddenly reach a trigger point with the impending arrival of Yugoslavia’s prime minister.

Tony Jones, one of Australia’s most admired journalists, has written a brilliantly compelling thriller, taking us from the savage mountains of Yugoslavia to Canberra’s brutal yet covert power struggles in a novel that’s intelligent, informed and utterly suspenseful.


 

HerHer
Garry Disher

HER name is scarcely known or remembered. All in all, she is worth less than the nine shillings and sixpence counted into her father’s hand.

She bides her time. She does her work.Way back in the corner of her mind is a thought she is almost too frightened to shine a light on: one day she will run away.

A dark and unsettling tale from the turn of the twentieth century by a master of Australian literature.


 

AnnaAnna
Niccolo Ammaniti

It is some years since a virus killed all the adults. Now Sicily lies in ruins while the disease lies in wait, poised to claim the children as they reach adolescence.

Brave, stubborn thirteen-year-old Anna looks after her brother Astor in the cottage where their mother’s skeleton rests, lovingly decorated, in a locked bedroom. She tells him fearsome stories about monsters, hoping to keep him safe at home while she forages among the real hazards. Wild dogs. Gangs of savage, blue-painted kids.

But then Astor starts to question Anna’s version of the world, just as the blue kids are turning their attention to the cottage-and suddenly, everything will change.


NON FICTION

Halliday Wine Guide 2018Halliday Wine Guide 2018
James Halliday

The Halliday Wine Companion is recognised as the industry benchmark for Australian wine and the 2018 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 – each with vintage-specific ratings – advice on optimal drinking, and each wine’s closure, alcohol content and price. He also provides information about the wineries and winemakers, and other important details such as vineyard sizes, opening times, contact details and website addresses.


 

Things my father taught meThings My Father Taught Me
Claire Halliday

Stern, playful, encouraging, hard-working, tough or loving – no matter how we describe our own father, he leaves an indelible imprint.

Claire Halliday spoke with a range of well-known Australians who shared their stories about the way their dads shape their lives. From memories of deep warmth and closeness to stories of difficulty and tragedy – everyone’s story is unique.

What’s common in these stories, from some of Australia’s much-loved comedians, singers, radio and TV personalities, chefs and authors, is that fathers have a defining impact on our attitudes and choices in life.

Featuring the stories of Danny Katz, Ann Peacock, Anthony Callea, Darryn Lyons, David Koch, Joe Hildebrand, Kerri Pottharst (OAM), Neil Mitchell, Normie Rowe, Catriona Rowntree, George Calombaris, Paul West, Jo Stanley, Christian Wagstaff, Em Rusciano, Matthew Reilly, Rev Tim Costello, and Santo Cilauro… as told to Claire Halliday.


 

Aussie aussie aussieAussie Aussie Aussie: Questionable Histories of Great Australians
Ben Pobjie

Aussie Aussie Aussie celebrates the Australians who made Australia great, as well as the ones who stopped Australia from being as great as it could have been but who have ended up with their own Wikipedia pages anyway. TV columnist, comedian and history buff Ben Pobjie recaps the history of Australia from its humble beginnings as a colonial outpost to its modern-day status as a Commonwealth realm, where its people have the right to discuss and reject the idea of an actual Australian ever becoming head of state.

Like any good historian, Pobjie provides an intimate sense of what it was like to be there in the moment at our nation’s defining events, and with the people who made them happen.

Meet Pioneers such as Charles Kingsford-Smith and Howard Florey, whose groundbreaking efforts moved the country forward; Artists and Entertainers such as Joan Sutherland and Peter Allen, who left an indelible imprint on our national psyche despite, in practical terms, doing nothing of real value; Captains of Industry such as Kerry Packer and Gina Rinehart, who shaped Australia’s love affair with people who are amassing phenomenal quantities of personal wealth; Sporting Heroes such as Cathy Freeman and Don Bradman, who, by being elite athletes, helped define every other Australian as just ordinary; The Mavericks such as Chopper Read and Julian Assange, who crossed the line to show the rest of us where the line clearly was; the Lest we Forgetters such as Weary Dunlop and Albert Jacka, who occasionally made us feel like we mattered at all to anyone; and the Humanitarians who found fame by dedicating their lives to others, such as Fred Hollows and Tony Abbott.

Aussie Aussie Aussie is the book for any proud Australian seeking to learn more about the national heroes that make our own pathetic lives seem so insignificant.


Every Lie I've Ever ToldEvery Lie I’ve Ever Told
Rosie Waterland

‘I had made it! All my dreams had come true. I had an operating fridge, I was doing brilliantly, and I had written the memoir to prove it. I even had online haters. I had conquered life at 30 and nothing was ever going to go wrong again!

Then I downed a litre of vodka followed by 45 pills. What a fraud.’

It was all going so well for Rosie Waterland. Until it wasn’t.

Until, shockingly, something awful happened and Rosie went into agonising free fall.

Until late one evening she found herself in a hospital emergency bed, trembling and hooked to a drip. Over the course of that long, painful night, she kept thinking about how ironic it was, that right in the middle of writing a book about lies, she’d ended up telling the most significant lie of all.

A raw, beautiful, sad, shocking – and very, very funny – memoir of all the lies we tell others and the lies we tell ourselves.


 

Rev HeadRev Head
Shane Jacobson

Was it luck that gave me the chance to race at Bathurst? They say Luck is when Skill meets Opportunity. In my case Luck came when Not-Quite-Enough-Skill overshot the braking marker, speared off the track, and slammed into Opportunity while Opportunity was doing its best to get out of the way.

Shane Jacobson collects vehicles the way some people collect spoons, and has driven everything from rattletraps to racing cars, sedans to semis, forklifts to Ferraris, Fords, Holdens and everything in between.

In Rev Head, Shane puts his foot to the floor and takes us on a wild ride down the highways and byways of his motoring obsession. Deadly billycarts, drag racing in a Commodore station wagon packed with dental supplies, driving the world’s rarest, strangest and fastest cars, competing at Bathurst, rallying and some spectacular crashes – this fast-paced and often hilarious collection of motoring yarns will keep rev heads everywhere on the edge of their seats.


 

Long Way from WyandraLong Way from Wyandra
Peter Moody

Peter Moody is best-known to the Australian public as the trainer of legendary race horse Black Caviar. His story is a classic, a boy from the bush who worked his way from outback Queensland all the way to Royal Ascot.

As a kid growing up in Wyandra, a tiny bush town in Western Queensland, Peter learned to ride almost before he could walk. Horses were part of his life, and as a teenager working for local bush trainers he learned many lessons – some of them painful – as he developed his skills and understanding of them. A mate’s introduction got him an eye-opening and life changing job working as a strapper for the legendary trainer Tommy Smith in Sydney. It was a momentous move for a bush kid, and one that would set the course of his life.

His career was to see him learning from some of the greatest names and minds in the racing industry, as he plied his trade in Sydney, Brisbane and finally Melbourne were he established his own highly successful stables, Moody Racing. He was to win premierships as Melbourne’s most successful trainer, but to the wider Australian public he’s best-known as the man who gave us Black Caviar. His account of that extraordinary horse’s career is unique. He was, quite simply, the man who knew her best.

From outback childhood, to strapper, to foreman and then on to premiership winning trainer and the guiding force behind the most famous and successful horse of recent times, Black Caviar, and finally to his run-in with the racing authorities that saw him retire as trainer in the deepest frustration, Peter’s autobiography gives a hugely entertaining, fascinating and authentic insight into one of the largest characters in Australian sport.


KIDS

91 Storey TreehouseThe 91-Storey Treehouse
Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton

Andy and Terry’s amazing treehouse has 13 new storeys. Prepare for more zany fun and crazy adventures!

The seventh book in the bestselling series from Australia’s most popular children’s author and illustrator.

Join Andy and Terry in their ridiculous 91-storey treehouse! Go for a spin in the world’s most powerful whirlpool, take a ride in a submarine sandwich, get marooned on a desert island, hang out in a giant spider web, visit the fortune teller’s tent to get your fortune told by Madame Know-it-all and decide whether or not to push the mysterious big red button. Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up!


 

Friday Barnes Bitter EnemiesBitter Enemies (Friday Barnes #7)
R.A. Spratt

When four former headmasters arrive at Highcrest Academy to take part in the school’s anniversary celebrations, the students are warned to be on their best behaviour.

Unfortunately, no one told the headmasters to stay out of mischief too! Which means Friday Barnes soon has a case to solve. But unravelling the truth isn’t easy when the whole school is being forced to eat paleo because the cook is on a diet; her best friend’s brother won’t stop blubbering about the terrible boat accident he may or may not have caused; and Friday is being trailed by a mysterious admirer – or is it a stalker?

Can Friday find the facts among the mayhem? She’d better. The fate of Highcrest depends on it!


 

GuffGuff
Aaron Blabey

This is my Guff.
He’s really nice.
I’ve known him since I was little.
And I still know him even now I’m big

A funny and delightful picture book for anyone who’s ever had a little fabric friend.


In My RoomIn My Room
Jo Witek

In her room, one little girl can be anything she wants to be and go anywhere she wishes to go, all with the power of her imagination (and paper, markers, and crayons, of course!). She can go on safari or sail the seven seas. She can be a doctor, teacher, or high-powered businesswoman. The sky’s the limit! And when the day is over, she can become a little girl again, safe in her room. Like the classic Where the Wild Things Are, this latest addition to the Growing Hearts series celebrates imagination as a means to try on different identities and work through difficult emotions, all while having fun.

The Growing Hearts series celebrates the milestones of a toddler’s emotional development, from conquering fears and expressing feelings to welcoming a new sibling.


Witching Hours Vampire KnifeThe Vampire Knife (The Witching Hours #1)
Jack Henseleit

A storm is raging around the forests of Transylvania, where siblings Anna and Max are visiting with the Professor. Left alone to explore a creepy old inn, the children discover that something evil is lurking in the trees – and it just might have a taste for human blood.

When Max goes missing, it’s up to Anna and her new friend Isabella to rescue him. Setting out in the dead of night, with the storm howling around them, the girls will face peril after peril. Only one thing is certain: even if Anna can find a way to rescue her brother, Max will never be the same again …

The Vampire Knife is the first book in The Witching Hours, a spine-tinglingly spooky new series by Jack Henseleit for readers 8+.


 

Tell it to the moonTell it to the Moon (The Moonlight Dreamers #2)
Siobhan Curham

Tell It to the Moon continues the story of Moonlight Dreamers Amber, Maali, Sky and Rose, who are not like everyone else and don’t want to be: becoming friends gives them the courage to be themselves. After failing to find her surrogate mother, Amber is left unsure of who she is and what she wants to do; Maali’s spiritual faith is tested when her father becomes ill; Sky, previously home-schooled, struggles to adapt to the pressures of the school system; and after having found the courage to come out, Rose begins to pursue her dream of becoming a patissier. Once again the four girls band together to help one another overcome their individual challenges and fulfill their dreams in this fabulous and heart-warming celebration of friendship.

An inspirational feel-good novel celebrating friendship and focusing on being true to yourself and following your dreams.


RubenRuben
Bruce Whatley

Ruben’s dreams were of places that made no sense to him.

Places that didn’t exist. At least not anymore.

Ruben lives in a safe place in a city that takes everything and gives nothing back. He begins to feel that he is in danger and ventures to Block City where he meets Koji. She too has been hiding from the dangers of the industrial city and its excesses. Ruben and Koji realise that if they combine their knowledge of how the city works they can find a way to escape . . . together.

Ruben is a triumph of Bruce Whatley’s imaginative and technical skills.

JULY BEST SELLERS

FICTION

Handmaid's tale1. Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She has only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

A modern dystopian classic.


 

The Dry2. The Dry
Jane Harper

Who really killed the Hadler family?

Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well …

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds are reopened. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret … A secret Falk thought long-buried … A secret which Luke’s death starts to bring to the surface …

***Jane’s second book, Force of Nature, is due for release in October…and she’s coming to visit us!!  Tuesday 17 October 7pm, Tickets $50 – bookings essential.  Full details here.***


goodpeople3. The Good People
Hannah Kent

The fires on the hills smouldered orange as the women left, pockets charged with ashes to guard them from the night. Watching them fade into the grey fall of snow, Nance thought she could hear Maggie’s voice. A whisper in the dark.

“Some folk are born different, Nance. They are born on the outside of things, with a skin a little thinner, eyes a little keener to what goes unnoticed by most. Their hearts swallow more blood than ordinary hearts; the river runs differently for them.”

Nóra Leahy has lost her daughter and her husband in the same year, and is now burdened with the care of her four-year-old grandson, Micheál. The boy cannot walk, or speak, and Nora, mistrustful of the tongues of gossips, has kept the child hidden from those who might see in his deformity evidence of otherworldly interference.

Unable to care for the child alone, Nóra hires a fourteen-year-old servant girl, Mary, who soon hears the whispers in the valley about the blasted creature causing grief to fall upon the widow’s house.

Alone, hedged in by rumour, Mary and her mistress seek out the only person in the valley who might be able to help Micheál. For although her neighbours are wary of her, it is said that old Nance Roche has the knowledge. That she consorts with Them, the Good People. And that only she can return those whom they have taken…


Pilgrim4. I Am Pilgrim 
Terry Hayes

Pilgrim was the codename for a world class and legendary secret agent.

The adopted son of a wealthy New York family, he was once head of a secret internal affairs force for US intelligence and held the title ‘Rider of the Blue’. He wrote the definitive book on forensic investigation before disappearing into an anonymous retirement, taking the secrets of the Rider of the Blue with him.

A murder in New York: the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, her features have been ripped from her face, her teeth are missing, her fingerprints gone. The rooms has been sprayed with DNA-eradictaing spray. Someone has seemingly committed the perfect crime using the techniques outlined in Pilgrim’s book.

A terrorist, known only as The Arab, was radicalised when, as a young boy, he witnessed the beheading of his father in a public square in Saudi Arabia. He has dedicated his life to destroying the special relationship between the Kingdom and the United States. He learnt his trade fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, and now from hiding in Germany plots a terrible act of mass murder.

When NYPD detective Ben Bradley tracks down Pilgrim, neither man can imagine the terrifying journey they are about to begin, as what begins as an unusual and challenging murder investigation leads them into a direct collision course with the dark forces of jihadist terrorism.


Late Show5. The Late Show
Michael Connelly

A pulse-pounding thriller, introducing a driven, young detective trying to prove herself in the LAPD. Includes an extract of Two Kinds of Truth, the new Harry Bosch novel to be published in November 2017.

Los Angeles can be a dangerous city – never more so than in the dead of night.

Renee Ballard works the night shift at the LAPD in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she’s been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.

But one night she catches two cases she doesn’t want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her own partner’s wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night.

As the cases entwine, they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won’t give up her job – no matter what the department throws at her.


Trip of a Lifetime6. The Trip of a Lifetime
Monica McInerney

‘I always thought memories were unchangeable. Set in stone, shaped by the years. But there are always others too, ones you haven’t let yourself remember . . . ’

The wilful and eccentric Lola Quinlan is off on the trip of a lifetime, taking her beloved granddaughter and great-granddaughter with her. More than sixty years after emigrating to Australia, she’s keeping a secret promise to return to her Irish homeland.

But as she embarks on her journey, the flamboyant Lola is still hiding the hurtful reasons she left Ireland in the first place. What – and who – will be waiting for her on the other side of the world?

The Trip of a Lifetime is a big, bold, beautiful book about the light and dark times of life, and all the wonders in between. Moving from the Clare Valley of South Australia to the lush Irish countryside, this is a delightful, emotional story about a colourful and huge-hearted family that you’ll want to call your own.


Between Wolf and Dog7. Between a Wolf and a Dog
Georgia Blain

Outside, the rain continues unceasing; silver sheets sluicing down, the trees and shrubs soaking and bedraggled, the earth sodden, puddles overflowing, torrents coursing onwards, as the darkness slowly softens with the dawn.

Ester is a family therapist with an appointment book that catalogues the anxieties of the middle class: loneliness, relationships, death. She spends her days helping others find happiness, but her own family relationships are tense and frayed. Estranged from both her sister, April, and her ex-husband, Lawrence, Ester wants to fall in love again. Meanwhile, April is struggling through her own directionless life; Lawrence’s reckless past decisions are catching up with him; and Ester and April’s mother, Hilary, is about to make a choice that will profoundly affect them all.

Taking place largely over one rainy day in Sydney, and rendered with the evocative and powerful prose Blain is known for, Between a Wolf and a Dog is a celebration of the best in all of us — our capacity to live in the face of ordinary sorrows, and to draw strength from the transformative power of art. Ultimately, it is a joyous tribute to the beauty of being alive.


Man Called Ove FTI8. A Man Called Ove
Fredrik Backman

At first sight, Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots – neighbours who can’t reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d’etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents’ Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.

But isn’t it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so?

In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible…

The word-of-mouth bestseller causing a sensation across Europe, Fredrik Backman’s heartwarming debut is a funny, moving, uplifting tale of love and community that will leave you with a spring in your step – and less ready to judge on first impressions a man you might one day wish to have as your dearest friend.


 

Ministry of Utmost Happiness9. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
Arundhati Roy

In a city graveyard, a resident unrolls a threadbare Persian carpet between two graves. On a concrete sidewalk, a baby appears quite suddenly, a little after midnight, in a crib of litter. In a snowy valley, a father writes to his five-year-old daughter about the number of people that attended her funeral. And in the Jannat Guest House, two people who’ve known each other all their lives sleep with their arms wrapped around one another as though they have only just met.

Here is a cast of unforgettable characters caught up in the tide of history. Told with a whisper, with a shout, with tears and with laughter, it is a love story and a provocation. Its heroes, present and departed, human and animal, have been broken by the world we live in and then mended by love — and for this reason, they will never surrender.


Dog's purpose10. A Dog’s Purpose 
W. Bruce Cameron

Now a major motion picture. Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey’s search for his new life’s meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog.

But this new life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey’s journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders – will he ever find his purpose?

Touching, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog’s Purpose is not only the story of a dog’s many lives, but also a dog’s-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds that hold us all together, man and man’s best friend alike. The story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on Earth is born with a purpose.


11. Wimmera (Mark Brandi)

12. The Museum of Modern Love (Heather Rose)

13. On the Java Ridge (Jock Serong)

14. Big Little Lies (Liane Moriarty)

15. An Isolated Incident (Emily Maguire)

16. The Stars are Fire (Anita Shreve)

17. The Last Anniversary (Liane Moriarty)

18. The Animators (Kayla Rae Whitaker)

19. My Name is Lucy Barton (Elizabeth Strout)

20. Power (Naomi Alderman)


NON-FICTION

Barefoot Investor1. 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.


Clever Guts Diet2. The Clever Guts Diet 
Dr Michael Mosley

Your gut is astonishingly clever. It contains millions of neurons – as many as you would find in the brain of a cat – and is home to the microbiome, an army of microbes that influences your mood, weight and immune system.

In this groundbreaking book, Dr Mosley takes us on a revelatory journey through the gut, showing how junk food and overuse of antibiotics have wiped out many “good” gut bacteria, leading to a modern plague of allergies, food intolerances and obesity.

Setting the record straight on everything from prebiotics to probiotics, fermented foods to fasting, Dr Mosley provides scientifically proven ways to control your appetite and boost your mood.

The Clever Guts Diet is packed with delicious, healing recipes, menu plans, checklists and tips – all the tools you need to transform your gut and change the way you eat forever.


 

Sons of god3. Sons of God 
Heath O’Loughlin

Siege? Bomb threat? Terrorist alert? Shooting spree? The Sons of God are who Australia turns to in times of extreme crisis. The SOG’s top-secret methods, advanced training and incredible bravery have made them the ultimate urban warriors in the war against high-level crime and terrorism.

This book details the birth of the Sons of God and revisits 12 dramatic incidents: the Port Arthur Massacre, the bombing of Victorian Police headquarters, a wild gun battle with Neo-Nazis and more. All are told in the voices of the ‘Sons’ who were in the maelstrom, did their duty and somehow came out alive.

Author Heath O’Loughlin is the son of a Sons of God commander. He watched his bomb technician father leave the house on ‘calls outs’, never knowing where he was going or if he would return. Heath has been given exclusive and privileged access to SOG case files and interviewed 19 ‘Sons’, all of whom are going on the record for the first time, narrating their hell-raising and heretofore secret adventures in high-octane recollections guaranteed to give readers a feel of what it was to be there.


 

Fifteen Young Men4. Fifteen Young Men
Paul Kennedy

It was a maritime tragedy that unfolded one sad, dark hour at a time. A cold, cruelly blustery night revealing – with agonising slowness – that fifteen young men of the Mornington Football Club would never make it home. As dawn broke and families began to mourn, a nation was to learn the full extent of one of the world’s worst sporting disasters.

The sinking of the Process in catastrophically rough seas off Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in 1892, with the loss of all on board, horrified Australia. ‘Such an accident has no parallel in our land’s history,’ reported The Argus. Yet somehow, for more than a century, this calamitous event slipped from Australia’s consciousness.

In Fifteen Young Men, journalist Paul Kennedy reveals the stories behind the tragedy. In his compelling evocation of a spirited Australian town on the cusp of a new century, he captures the trauma of families and friends suffering almost unbearable loss, but also the irrepressible optimism of the times, and the mateship, love and resilience that would come to define a budding nation.


Real food for babies5. Real Food for Babies and Toddlers
Vanessa Clarkson

Packed with expert advice, practical strategies, nutritional information and over 80 recipes, Real Food for Babies and Toddlers offers a more natural way of introducing wholefoods to children during the all-important first 1,000 days of life. It also rescues parents from the tiresome task of making separate meals for the youngest members of the family. Using a baby-led weaning approach rather than the traditional method of spoon-feeding puree allows parents to observe and respond to their baby’s natural cues and introduce a world of bright, flavourful, nutrient-rich foods from the get-go.

Internationally renowned nutrition expert and mother of two Vanessa Clarkson presents predominantly plant-based, seasonal dishes that are delicious and completely adaptable for self-feeding babies, toddlers and their families. This is a modern collection of family-focused, beautiful meals that the whole family will love sitting down to enjoy, together.


 

Fast diet revised6. The Fast Diet (Revised Edition)
Dr Michael Mosley & Mimi Spencer

Is it possible to eat well, most of the time and get slimmer and healthier as you do it? With The Fast Diet it is!

Two years on from first publication of The Fast Diet, which outlined a radical new approach to weight loss and started a worldwide health revolution, intermittent fasting and the 5:2 programme is still the diet everyone is talking about.

In this fully updated and expanded edition for 2015, Dr Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer revisit the health phenomenon of the decade.


 

Walks of the mornington peninsula7. Walks of the Mornington Peninsula
Ken Martin

Descriptions, maps and colour photos for 63 walks.  Includes:

* Almost 300km of walking tracks, trails and beach walks
* New edition completely updated and re-written
* What to take on your walk
* Benefits of walking
* 10 minutes to 5+ hours
* Quick find reference map
* Melways map references

Areas covered include Point Nepean National Park to Langwarrin Reserve, Point Leo to Mt Martha and much more…


First WE Make the Beast Beautiful8. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful 
Sarah Wilson

This journey is what I do now. I bump along, in fits and starts, on a perpetual path to finding better ways for me and my mate, Anxiety, to get around. It’s everything I do.

Sarah Wilson – bestselling author and entrepreneur, intrepid solver of problems and investigator of how to live a better life – has helped over 1.2 million people across the world to quit sugar. She has also been an anxiety sufferer her whole life.

In her new book, she directs her intense focus and fierce investigatory skills onto this lifetime companion of hers, looking at the triggers and treatments, the fashions and fads. She reads widely and interviews fellow sufferers, mental health experts, philosophers, and even the Dalai Lama, processing all she learns through the prism her own experiences.

Sarah pulls at the thread of accepted definitions of anxiety, and unravels the notion that it is a difficult, dangerous disease that must be medicated into submission. Ultimately, she re-frames anxiety as a spiritual quest rather than a burdensome affliction, a state of yearning that will lead us closer to what really matters.

Practical and poetic, wise and funny, this is a small book with a big heart. It will encourage the myriad sufferers of the world’s most common mental illness to feel not just better about their condition, but delighted by the possibilities it offers for a richer, fuller life.


Simple Everyday Justine Schofield9. Simple Every Day 
Justine Schofield

Time seems to be the missing ingredient in many kitchens these days, no matter how many people you’re cooking for. As a popular cookbook author, food writer and cooking show host, Justine Schofield hears the same questions from her readers and viewers time and time again: How do I get dinner on the table quickly and easily without sacrificing flavour? What can I do on the weekend to streamline my cooking for the week ahead?

Simple Every Day is designed to make life easier in the kitchen, giving you more time to enjoy both the preparation and the delicious results. There are quick and tasty mid-week dinners, such as easy ramen, mozzarella-stuffed meatballs and lamb skewers with watermelon tabbouleh; Sunday slow cooks to batch up for the week ahead, such as eggplant parmigiana and the ultimate pea and ham soup; and easy bakes for breakfasts and lunch boxes, including peanut butter spiced granola, broccoli pesto scrolls and carrot cake slice. And, of course, everyone needs a few simple dessert recipes on standby, such as fruit in sticky red wine syrup or dark chocolate brûlée.

Start making the food you want to eat, and having fun while you do it! Keep it simple; keep it every day.


 

LightShadow10. Light and Shadow: Memoirs of a Spy’s Son
Mark Colvin

Mark Colvin is a broadcasting legend. He was the voice of ABC Radio’s leading current affairs program PM

He was a founding broadcaster for the groundbreaking youth station Double J; he initiated The World Today program; and he’ was one of the most popular and influential journalists in the twittersphere. Mark covered local and global events for more than four decades before his death in early 2017. He reported on wars, royal weddings and everything in between. In the midst of all this he discovered that his father was an MI6 spy. Light and Shadow is the incredible story of a father waging a secret war against communism during the Cold War, while his son comes of age as a journalist during the tumultuous Whitlam and Fraser years and embarks on the risky career of a foreign correspondent.

Mark was witness to some of the most world-changing events, including the Iranian hostage crisis, the buildup to the first Gulf War in Iraq and the direct aftermath of the shocking genocide in Rwanda. But when he contracted a life-threatening illness while working in the field, his life changed forever. Mark Colvin’s engrossing memoir takes you inside the coverage of major news events and gently navigates the complexity of his father’s double life.


 

11. The Cruden Farm Diaries (Michael Morrison)

12. Finding Gobi (Dion Leonard)

13. The Australian Bird Guide (Peter Menkhorst et al.)

14. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k (Mark Manson)

15. Women Leading (Christine Nixon & Amanda Sinclair)

16. Taming Toxic People (David Gillespie)

17. The Great Australian Baking Book (Helen Greenwood)

18. Dancing with Demons (Tim Munro Watson)

19. Gut: The Inside Story of our Body’s Most Underrated Organ (Giulia Enders)

20. The Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Modern Working Women (Otegha Uwagba)

Between Friends Book Club: JULY

BC Logo Blue

The numbers for our in-store book club are obviously limited due to space, so for those of you who couldn’t be there in person, here’s some of the reactions to each of the four titles we read in July.

For more information and to put your name down on a waiting list for future book club evenings, check out our Book Club page.


WimmeraWimmera
Mark Brandi

Out now

In the long, hot summer of 1989, Ben and Fab are best friends.

Growing up in a small country town, they spend their days playing cricket, yabbying in local dams, wanting a pair of Nike Air Maxes and not talking about how Fab’s dad hits him or how the sudden death of Ben’s next-door neighbour unsettled him. Almost teenagers, they already know some things are better left unsaid.

Then a newcomer arrived in the Wimmera. Fab reckoned he was a secret agent and he and Ben staked him out. Up close, the man’s shoulders were wide and the veins in his arms stuck out, blue and green. His hands were enormous, red and knotty. He looked strong. Maybe even stronger than Fab’s dad. Neither realised the shadow this man would cast over both their lives.

Twenty years later, Fab is still stuck in town, going nowhere but hoping for somewhere better. Then a body is found in the river, and Fab can’t ignore the past any more.

Book Clubbers Wrap Up

This book was well appreciated and recommended by its readers.  They noted that it deals with some pretty heavy and confronting subject matter (ask our staff before reading if you are concerned), but ultimately they described it as a wonderful coming of age story, full of 1980s rural Australia at its vivid best.  Opening with a mystery, the book had our readers gripped from the start all the way through to the end.  They found it challenging, but written with a simplicity that belied its heavy content, making it a very accessible read.  One of our book clubbers, Veronica, penned this short review:

A tale of growing up in a quiet Victorian country town, of innocence lost, mystery and the bonds of love and friendship that time cannot diminish.  If you like mystery and suspense wrapped in a story that feels entirely real this page turner is for you.

A must for fans of Craig Silvey’s Jasper Jones or Jane Harper’s The Dry.  


DestroyersThe Destroyers
Christopher Bollen

Out now

When Charlie and I were young, we played a game called Destroyers . . . We were sharpening our instincts, jettisoning attachments. We were honing strategies for survival…

Ian Bledsoe is on the run, broke and humiliated, fleeing the emotional and financial fall-out of his father’s death. His childhood friend Charlie – rich, exuberant and basking in life on the Greek island of Patmos – is his last hope.

At first, Patmos is like a dream – sun-soaked days on Charlie’s yacht and the reappearance of a girlfriend from Ian’s past – and Charlie readily offers the lifeline he desperately needs. But, like Charlie himself, this beautiful island conceals a darkness beneath. When he vanishes leaving Ian to handle his murky business affairs, Ian finds himself caught in a terrifying labyrinth of deceptions. As boys, the pair played a game called Destroyers – a game, he now realizes, they may never have stopped playing. Expansive, vivid and suspenseful, The Destroyers is a mesmerizing drama of identity, power and fate, fathers and sons, self-invention and self-deception.

Book Clubbers’ Wrap Up

There was a bit of disappointment with this one – from a fantastic start to a very long middle followed by a face-paced climax and ending.  There was a general feeling that while the story was intriguing and readers wanted to find out what had happened, it didn’t quite hit its target as a ‘thriller’.  A bit too much of a slow burn and not enough action to keep you fully engaged.  Bollen spends a great deal of time on some story arcs developing parts of certain characters, while completely ignoring others at the risk of presenting quite one-dimensional personalities.  Readers felt that there was a missed opportunity here, but also wondered if it was a deliberate choice to build intrigue about the characters.  The book is beautifully written with great evocation of island life in Greece – very much transporting the reader to the pebbly beaches and tourist chaos of a summer in Patmos.  All in all our book clubbers felt this was more of a holiday read, but still an interesting and well written story – it won’t necessarily blow your socks off, but it will intrigue you.  


 

History of BeesThe History of Bees
Maya Lunde

Release Date: September 2017

England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive—one that will give both him and his children honour and fame.

United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper and fights an uphill battle against modern farming, but hopes that his son can be their salvation.

China, 2098. Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao’s young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident—and she is kept in the dark about his whereabouts and condition—she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him.

Haunting, illuminating, and deftly written, The History of Bees joins these three very different narratives into one gripping and thought provoking story that is just as much about the powerful relationships between children and parents as it is about our very relationship to nature and humanity.

Book Clubbers Wrap Up

Evocative, well-paced and equally well imagined, our readers found the The History of Bees to be an accessible literary page-turner with an environmental conscience.  Several book clubbers said this was not a book they would normally choose, but this merely added to their reading enjoyment. With strong environmental themes, the readers appreciated the use of the bees and the issues they face as a metaphor for the human challenges also considered.  Despite three different narratives taking place across three separate and distinct time periods, the readers felt it was a very successful novel, particularly in considering the relationships between parents and children.  The group remarked on the unusual structure of the book, in that it contains a historical element and a speculative, futuristic element. This grim future was particularly powerful, having a certain Handmaid’s Tale quality.  Highly recommended by our readers.  


 

The PartyThe Party 
Robyn Harding

Out now

One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.

Sweet sixteen. It’s a coming of age, a milestone, a rite of passage. Of course Jeff and Kim Sanders would throw a party for their daughter, Hannah. She was a good kid with good grades and nice friends. And it wasn’t a big, indulgent affair. It was just four girls coming over for pizza and cake, movies and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?

But things did go wrong, horrifically wrong. When a tragic accident leaves one of the young guests disfigured, Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb begins to unravel. The injured girl’s mother, Lisa, files a lawsuit that turns friends into enemies, reveals dark secrets in the Sanders’ marriage, and exposes the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah. Lisa’s determination to make the Sanders pay stems from a fierce love for her only child and Lisa’s own dark and damaged past.

At school, Hannah must deal with the ugly aftermath as her peers turn on the victim, and she struggles to maintain her social standing while heeding her moral compass. Her popular best friend, Lauren, is losing herself to drugs, alcohol, and a relationship with an inappropriate older man. Then a shocking, horrifying act of desperation rocks their upscale world and brings everything to a halt. And no one’s life will ever be the same.

In The Party, Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap meets Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, taking us behind the façade of the perfect family, exploring the secrets, betrayals, and moral lapses the neighbors don’t see.

The Party uncovers the lies and duplicities that children and parents tell each other. And tell themselves.

Book Clubbers’ Wrap Up

It’s probably safe to say that this was the least favourite of the titles read this month by our discerning book club members. Whilst there was significant interest in the premise of the story, our readers felt that it fell short of delivering on its potential. The characters were not especially likable, and this became a fatal flaw for this story. Ultimately, our readers felt it was too light on, despite the introduction of some big themes, and were disappointed at the lack of depth within the story. Good for an airplane or holiday read, but not a book which you feel will change your world.

  


July New Releases

FICTION

Trip of a LifetimeThe Trip of a Lifetime
Monica McInerney

‘I always thought memories were unchangeable. Set in stone, shaped by the years. But there are always others too, ones you haven’t let yourself remember . . . ’

The wilful and eccentric Lola Quinlan is off on the trip of a lifetime, taking her beloved granddaughter and great-granddaughter with her. More than sixty years after emigrating to Australia, she’s keeping a secret promise to return to her Irish homeland.

But as she embarks on her journey, the flamboyant Lola is still hiding the hurtful reasons she left Ireland in the first place. What – and who – will be waiting for her on the other side of the world?

The Trip of a Lifetime is a big, bold, beautiful book about the light and dark times of life, and all the wonders in between. Moving from the Clare Valley of South Australia to the lush Irish countryside, this is a delightful, emotional story about a colourful and huge-hearted family that you’ll want to call your own.


Australia DayAustralia Day
Melanie Cheng

***Winner, Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript 2016***

Australia Day is a collection of stories by debut author Melanie Cheng. The people she writes about are young, old, rich, poor, married, widowed, Chinese, Lebanese, Christian, Muslim. What they have in common—no matter where they come from—is the desire we all share to feel that we belong. The stories explore universal themes of love, loss, family and identity, while at the same time asking crucial questions about the possibility of human connection in a globalised world.

Melanie Cheng is an important new voice, offering a fresh perspective on contemporary Australia. Her effortless, unpretentious realism balances an insider’s sensitivity and understanding with an outsider’s clear-eyed objectivity, showing us a version of ourselves richer and more multifaceted than anything we’ve seen before.


Half WildHalf Wild
Pip Smith

Sydney, 1938. After being hit by a car on Oxford Street, sixty-three-year-old Jean Ford lies in a coma in Sydney Hospital. Doctors talk across her body, nurses jab her in the arm with morphine, detectives arrive to take her fingerprints. She has £100 in her pocket, but no identification. Memories come back to her – a murder trial, a life in prison – but with each prick of the needle her memories begin to shift.

Wellington, 1885. Tally Ho doesn’t need to go to school because she is going to be a fisherman or a cart driver or a butcher boy like Harry Crawford. Wellington is her town and she makes up the rules. Papa takes her fishing, Nonno teaches her how to jump fences on his horse Geronimo – life gallops on the way it should, until a brother, baby William, is born. ‘Go and play with your sisters,’ Papa says, but wearing dresses and sipping tea is not the life for Tally Ho. Taking the advice of her hero, Harry Crawford, she runs away.

Sydney, 1917. The burned body of a woman is discovered on the banks of the Lane Cove River. Was she a mad woman? A drunk who’d accidentally set herself on fire? Nobody knows, until-three years later – a tailor’s apprentice tells police that his mother went missing that same weekend, and that his stepfather, Harry Crawford, is not who he seems to be. Who, then, is he?

Based on the true lives of Eugenia Falleni, Half Wild is Pip Smith’s dazzling debut novel.


Sleeping in the GroundSleeping in the Ground
Peter Robinson

The thrilling twenty-fourth installment in Peter Robinson’s Number One bestselling Banks Series.

A shocking mass murder occurs at a wedding in a small Dales church and a huge manhunt follows. Eventually, the shooter is run to ground and things take their inevitable course.

But Banks is plagued with doubts as to exactly what happened outside the church that day, and why. Struggling with the death of his first serious girlfriend and the return of profiler Jenny Fuller into his life, Banks feels the need to dig deeper into the murders, and as he does so, he uncovers forensic and psychological puzzles that lead him to the past secrets that might just provide the answers he is looking for.

When the surprising truth becomes clear, it is almost too late.


WimmeraWimmera
Mark Brandi

In the long, hot summer of 1989, Ben and Fab are best friends.

Growing up in a small country town, they spend their days playing cricket, yabbying in local dams, wanting a pair of Nike Air Maxes and not talking about how Fab’s dad hits him or how the sudden death of Ben’s next-door neighbour unsettled him. Almost teenagers, they already know some things are better left unsaid.

Then a newcomer arrived in the Wimmera. Fab reckoned he was a secret agent and he and Ben staked him out. Up close, the man’s shoulders were wide and the veins in his arms stuck out, blue and green. His hands were enormous, red and knotty. He looked strong. Maybe even stronger than Fab’s dad. Neither realised the shadow this man would cast over both their lives.

Twenty years later, Fab is still stuck in town, going nowhere but hoping for somewhere better. Then a body is found in the river, and Fab can’t ignore the past any more.


HinterlandHinterland
Steve Lang

‘We have this idea we can live anywhere, that we make a choice, but it’s not true. There are places that are for you and places that aren’t. You can tell which is which if you’re prepared to listen.’

Tensions have been slowly building in the old farming district of Winderran. Its rich landscape has attracted a new wave of urban tree-changers and wealthy developers. But traditional loyalties and values are pushed to the brink with the announcement of a controversial dam project. Locals Eugenie and Guy are forced to choose sides, while newcomer Nick discovers there are more sinister forces at work. The personal and the political soon collide in ways that will change their fates and determine the future of the town.

In Hinterland, Steven Lang has created a gripping novel that captures contemporary Australia in all of its natural beauty and conflicting ambitions.


NON-FICTION

Women LeadingWomen Leading
Christine Nixon & Amanda Sinclair

Women Leading smashes tired prescriptions that women should lead like men, highlighting a long history of innovative female leadership. Christine Nixon and Amanda Sinclair draw on their own and thousands of others’ experiences to argue it is women who provide new inspiration for change towards inventive, inclusive and productive organisations and communities. Through stories, examples and research, they show how to be a positive leader while maintaining your health and humour. They will provoke you to think differently about stepping forward and inspire you to seek opportunities to lead your way.

A guide to leading, achieving and thriving from women who know.


 

Not Just LuckyNot Just Lucky
Jamila Rizvi

Australian women are suffering from a crisis of confidence about work. Accustomed to being overlooked and undervalued, even when women do get to the top, they explain their success away as ‘luck’. But it’s not.

Not Just Lucky exposes the structural and cultural disadvantages that rob women of their confidence – often without them even realising it. Drawing on case studies, detailed research and her own experience in politics and media, Jamila Rizvi is the warm, witty and wise friend you’ve been waiting for. She’ll give you everything you need to start fighting for your own success and for a more inclusive, equal workplace for all. (She’ll also bring the red wine.)

This unashamedly feminist career manifesto is for women who worry they’ll look greedy if they ask for more money. It’s for women who dream big but dread the tough conversations. It’s for women who get nervous, stressed and worried, and seem to overthink just about everything.

It will help you realise that you’re not just lucky. You’re brilliant.


 

October Story of Russian RevolutionOctober:  The Story of the Russian Revolution
China Mieville

The renowned fantasy and science fiction writer China Mieville has long been inspired by the ideals of the Russian Revolution and here, on the centenary of the revolution, he provides his own distinctive take on its history.

In February 1917, in the midst of bloody war, Russia was still an autocratic monarchy: nine months later, it became the first socialist state in world history. How did this unimaginable transformation take place? How was a ravaged and backward country, swept up in a desperately unpopular war, rocked by not one but two revolutions?

This is the story of the extraordinary months between those upheavals, in February and October, of the forces and individuals who made 1917 so epochal a year, of their intrigues, negotiations, conflicts and catastrophes. From familiar names like Lenin and Trotsky to their opponents Kornilov and Kerensky; from the byzantine squabbles of urban activists to the remotest villages of a sprawling empire; from the revolutionary railroad Sublime to the ciphers and static of coup by telegram; from grand sweep to forgotten detail.

Historians have debated the revolution for a hundred years, its portents and possibilities: the mass of literature can be daunting. But here is a book for those new to the events, told not only in their historical import but in all their passion and drama and strangeness. Because as well as a political event of profound and ongoing consequence, Mieville reveals the Russian Revolution as a breathtaking story.


Daring to DriveDaring to Drive
Manal Al-Sharif

Manal al-Sharif was born in Mecca in 1979, the year fundamentalism took hold in the Saudi kingdom. In her adolescence, she was a religious radical, burning her brother’s CDs in the oven because music was haram: forbidden by Islamic law.

By her twenties, she had become a computer engineer, working in a desert compound that resembled suburban America. That’s when the Saudi kingdom’s contradictions became too much to bear: she was labelled a slut for chatting with male colleagues, she was forbidden to go on business trips unless chaperoned by her teenage brother and while she kept a car in the garage, she was forbidden from driving down city streets behind the wheel.

So she took to the streets in a one-woman protest that gave birth to a movement, Women2Drive. When she openly defied the ban on women driving, she was imprisoned for nine days. A YouTube video featuring Manal brought her international exposure.

Daring to Drive offers a rare glimpse, from the inside, of women’s lives in modern Saudi Arabia. It is a remarkable exploration of resilience and a celebration of female solidarity.


 

KIDS & YA

Worlds Collide LoS6Worlds Collide (Land of Stories #6 – Final)
Chris Colfer

In the highly anticipated finale, Conner and Alex must brave the impossible. All of the Land of Stories fairy tale characters – heroes and villains – are no longer confined within their world!

With mayhem brewing in the Big Apple, Conner and Alex will have to win their biggest battle yet. Can the twins restore order between the human and fairy-tale world?

Breathtaking action mixed with laugh-out-loud moments and lots of heart will make this a gripping conclusion for fans old and new.


 

Charlie and the CockroachesCharlie and the Karaoke Cockroaches
Alan Brough

It begins with an interrupted story. Then, a mysterious box that speaks and sings. Add unusually unusual teachers, incredible lurking from the Lurker, an insect orchestra and a bungling burglar and it’s up to Charlie and Hils to save three innocent bugs from the forces of evil.

Another hilarious adventure starring Charlie and Hils from comedian, actor, singer and dancer (it’s true!), Alan Brough.


 

Marsh and MeMarsh and Me
Martine Murray

There’s a hill out the back of Joey’s house. Hardly anyone goes there—it’s not a beautiful place, just a covered-over old rubbish tip. But Joey likes it up there. It’s his hill—somewhere he likes to go to wonder about life. He longs to be the best at something, to be a famous astronaut, or mountain climber, to stand out.

When Joey discovers a tree house in an old peppercorn tree on the hill, he is annoyed that someone has invaded his special place. But he is also curious about who the intruder could be. But making contact isn’t easy. The tree-house girl is wild and hostile and full of secrets—Joey needs to work out a way to win her over. And as he does, he finds a way to shine.

Marsh and Me is a story about friendship and trust and learning to believe in yourself and what makes you special. Martine Murray’s beautifully rounded characters, with all their self-doubts, yearnings and wise insights, will delight readers young and old.


 

The Ones That DisappearedThe Ones that Disappeared
Zana Fraillon

Around the world, millions of people – including many children – are victims of human trafficking. These modern-day slaves often go unseen even in our own cities and towns, their voices silent and their stories untold. In this incredible book, Zana Fraillon imagines the story of three such children, Esra, Miran and Isa. The result is powerful, heartbreaking and unforgettable.

Esra, Miran and Isa work for the Snakeskin gang, tending to plants in the dark and airless basement of a house they are not allowed to leave. They’ve been told that they belong to the Snakeskins, but Esra knows that she belongs to no one – and she is determined to find freedom.

This is a Skellig for this generation; beautiful, magical and with Zana Fraillon’s incredible talent for combining important global issues with extraordinary storytelling.

JUNE NEW RELEASES

FICTION

Complete StoriesThe Complete Stories
Anita Desai

Anita Desai is amongst our greatest and most insightful writers. On the occasion of her 80th birthday, The Complete Stories gathers together the short story collections Diamond Dust and Games at Twilight and the novellas of The Artist of Disappearance, with a new preface from the author. From the icy suburbs of Canada to the overcrowded B&Bs of Cornwall, via the hill towns and cities of India, Anita Desai observes human behaviour unflinchingly but not unkindly, recognising our ordinariness and our strangeness, and capturing both with quiet precision.


GulfThe Gulf
Anna Spargo-Ryan

‘He found an egg at the park so he incubated it and this tortoise hatched out.’

Skye’s sixteen, and her mum’s got yet another new boyfriend. Trouble is, Jason’s bad news. Really bad. Now mum’s quit her job and they’re all moving north to Port Flinders, population nobody.

‘That’s a Southern Right Whale. They have the largest balls of any animal in the world.’

She’d do anything to keep her ten-year-old brother safe. Things she can’t even say out loud. And when Jason gets violent, Skye knows she has to take control. She’s got to get Ben out and their mum’s useless as. The train home to Adelaide leaves first thing each morning and they both need to be on it. Everything else can wait.

‘Ladybirds bleed from their knees when they’re stressed.’

The Gulf is an acute, moving and uplifting story from the inimitable, alchemical imagination of Anna Spargo-Ryan, author of the acclaimed, The Paper House.


 

To Become A WhaleTo Become a Whale
Ben Hobson

To Become a Whale tells the story of 13-year-old Sam Keogh, whose mother has died. Sam has to learn how to live with his silent, hitherto absent father, who decides to make a man out of his son by taking him to work at Tangalooma, then the largest whaling station in the southern hemisphere. What follows is the devastatingly beautiful story of a gentle boy trying to make sense of the terrible reality of whaling and the cruelty and alienation of his new world, the world of men.

Set around Moreton Island and Noosa in 1961, To Become a Whale is an extraordinarily vivid and haunting novel that reads like an instant classic of Australian literature. There are echoes of Craig Silvey, Favel Parrett, Tim Winton and Randolph Stow in this moving, transformative and very Australian novel.


 

Six Tudor QueensAnne Boelyn: A King’s Obsession (Six Tudor Queens Book 2)
Alison Weir

The young woman who changed the course of history.

Fresh from the palaces of Burgundy and France, Anne draws attention at the English court, embracing the play of courtly love.

But when the King commands, nothing is ever a game.

Anne has a spirit worthy of a crown – and the crown is what she seeks. At any price.

ANNE BOLEYN. The second of Henry’s Queens. Her story.

History tells us why she died. This powerful novel shows her as she lived.


Ministry of Utmost HappinessThe Ministry of Utmost Happiness
Arundhati Roy

In a city graveyard, a resident unrolls a threadbare Persian carpet between two graves. On a concrete sidewalk, a baby appears quite suddenly, a little after midnight, in a crib of litter. In a snowy valley, a father writes to his five-year-old daughter about the number of people that attended her funeral. And in the Jannat Guest House, two people who’ve known each other all their lives sleep with their arms wrapped around one another as though they have only just met.

Here is a cast of unforgettable characters caught up in the tide of history. Told with a whisper, with a shout, with tears and with laughter, it is a love story and a provocation. Its heroes, present and departed, human and animal, have been broken by the world we live in and then mended by love — and for this reason, they will never surrender.


 

ExileExile
James Swallow

Nomad was explosive. This is nuclear.

A vicious Serbian gang whose profits come from fake nuclear weapons.

A disgraced Russian general, with access to the real thing.

A vengeful Somali warlord, with a cause for which he’d let the world burn.

A jaded government agency, without the information to stop him.

Only one man sees what’s coming. And even he might not be able to prevent it…

Racing breathlessly from uncharted CIA prisons to the skyscrapers of Dubai, from stormbeaten oil rigs off the African coast to the ancient caverns beneath the city of Naples, Marc Dane returns in the explosive new thriller from the internationally bestselling author of Nomad.


 

NothingThe Nothing
Hanif Kureishi

One night, when I am old, sick, right out of semen, and don’t need things to get any worse, I hear the noises growing louder. I am sure they are making love in Zenab’s bedroom which is next to mine.

Waldo, a feted filmmaker, is confined by old age and ill health to his London apartment. Frail and frustrated, he is cared for by his lovely younger wife, Zee. But when he suspects that Zee is beginning an affair with Eddie, ‘more than an acquaintance and less than a friend for over thirty years,’ Waldo is pressed to action: determined to expose the couple, he sets himself first to prove his suspicions correct – and then to enact his revenge.

Written with characteristic black humour and with an acute eye for detail, Kureishi’s eagerly awaited novella will have his readers dazzled once again by a brilliant mind at work.


 

Baltimore BoysThe Balitmore Boys
Joel Dicker

Fresh from the staggering success of The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, Marcus Goldman is struggling to write his third novel. A chance encounter in Florida throws him some inspiration from a surprising source: Alexandra Neville, the beautiful, phenomenally successful singer and Marcus’s first love. All at once, memories of his childhood come flooding back. Memories of a family torn apart by tragedy, and a once glorious legacy reduced to shame and ruin.

The Baltimore Boys. The Goldman Gang. That was what they called Marcus, and his cousins Hillel and Woody. Three brilliant young men with their whole lives ahead of them, before their kingdom crumbled beneath the weight of lies, jealousy and betrayal. For years, Marcus has struggled with the burdens of his past, but now, he must attempt to banish his demons and tell the real story of the Baltimore Boys.


 

NON FICTION

Theft by FindingTheft By Finding (Diaries Volume 1)
David Sedaris

The point is to find out who you are and to be true to that person. Because so often you can’t. Won’t people turn away if they know the real me? you wonder. The me that hates my own child, that put my perfectly healthy dog to sleep? The me who thinks, deep down, that maybe The Wire was overrated?

For nearly four decades, David Sedaris has faithfully kept a diary in which he records his thoughts and observations on the odd and funny events he witnesses. Anyone who has attended a live Sedaris event knows that his diary readings are often among the most joyful parts of the evening. But never before have they been available in print. Now, in Theft by Finding, Sedaris brings us his favorite entries. From the family home in Ralegh, North Carolina, we follow Sedaris as he sets out to make his way in the world. As an art student and then teacher in Chicago he works at a succession of very odd jobs, meeting even odder people, before moving to New York to pursue a career as a writer – where instead he very quickly lands a job in Macy’s department store as an elf in Santaland…

Tender, hilarious, illuminating, and endlessly captivating, Theft by Finding offers a rare look into the mind of one of our generation’s greatest comic geniuses.


 

Clever Guts DietThe Clever Guts Diet
Dr Michael Mosley

Your gut is astonishingly clever. It contains millions of neurons – as many as you would find in the brain of a cat – and is home to the microbiome, an army of microbes that influences your mood, weight and immune system.

In this groundbreaking book, Dr Mosley takes us on a revelatory journey through the gut, showing how junk food and overuse of antibiotics have wiped out many “good” gut bacteria, leading to a modern plague of allergies, food intolerances and obesity.

Setting the record straight on everything from prebiotics to probiotics, fermented foods to fasting, Dr Mosley provides scientifically proven ways to control your appetite and boost your mood.

The Clever Guts Diet is packed with delicious, healing recipes, menu plans, checklists and tips – all the tools you need to transform your gut and change the way you eat forever.


 

Tour de OzTour de Oz
Bret Harris

Four years before the inaugural Tour de France, four cyclists known as ‘Overlanders’ set out on a race around Australia.

On 24 November 1896 a wiry and wily bushman named Arthur Richardson left Coolgardie for Adelaide by bicycle. Carrying only a small kit and a water-bag, he followed the telegraph line. After much ‘sweating and swearing’ on sandy roads west of Eucla, and enduring the scorching heat, 31 days later he became the first man to pedal across the Nullarbor. But within three years Richardson had set his sights on becoming the first person to ride around the vast island continent, not yet a nation, and some 18,507km. On 5 June, 1899, he left Perth, heading north, carrying no more than a swag and a pistol. It took courage, self-confidence, endurance and resourcefulness to tackle such a ride. Richardson would follow dirt tracks, cattle and camel pads and stars in the night sky as he battled thirst, hunger, exhaustion, crocodile attack and spears from Aboriginal warriors to realize his dream. But he also had competition…another party of cyclists with the same ambition. New Zealand-born Brothers Frank and Alex White and wealthy adventurer Donald Mackay from Wallandbeen Station, NSW, were attempting the ride in a counter-clockwise direction from Melbourne and Brisbane respectively.

Set against the fledging pastoralist empires of pre-Federation Australia, Tour de Oz, is the extraordinarily true story of a remarkable race to ‘circumcycle’ the Australian continent – before we became a nation.


Under StoryUnderstory: A Life with Trees
Inga Simpson

“The understorey is where I live, alongside these plants and creatures. I tend the forest, stand at the foot of trees and look up, gather what has fallen.”

This is the story of a tree-change, of escaping suburban Brisbane for a cottage on ten acres in search of a quiet life. Of establishing a writers retreat shortly before the Global Financial Crisis hit, and of losing just about everything when it did.

It is also the story of what the author found there: the beauty of nature and her own path as a writer. Understory is a memoir about staying in one place, told through trees, by the award-winning author of Mr Wigg, Nest and Where the Trees Were.


 

HungerHunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
Roxane Gay

‘I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.’

In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In HUNGER, she explores her past-including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life-and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.

With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved-in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.


 

Scorched EarthScorched Earth
Sue Rosen

In 1942 the threat of Japanese invasion hung over Australia. The men were away overseas, fighting on other fronts, and civilians were left unprotected at home.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Japanese advance south, Prime Minister Curtin ordered state governments to prepare. From January 1942, a team frantically pulled together secret plans for a ‘scorched earth’ strategy. The goal was to prevent the Japanese from seizing resources for their war machine as they landed, and capturing Australians as slaves as they had done in Malaya and elsewhere in Asia.

From draining domestic water tanks to sinking dinghies and burning crops, from training special citizen squads to evacuating coastal towns, ‘Total war, total citizen collaboration’ was the motto. Today these plans vividly evoke the fraught atmosphere of the year Australia was threatened with invasion.

After the war these top secret plans were forgotten. This is the first time they have ever been made public.


 

CHILDREN’S AND YOUNG ADULT

CinnamonCinnamon
Neil Gaiman

In a hot, hot country, ringed with mountains on one side and jungle on the other, lives a princess called Cinnamon. Her eyes are made of pearls, which means that she is blind. And, for reasons her parents the Rajah and Rani cannot fathom, she will not talk. So they offer a reward to anyone who can teach Cinnamon to speak. People travel from far and wide to attempt it, but nothing works. Until a mighty tiger, huge and fierce, prowls into their palace and announces that he is here to teach the girl-cub to talk …

A mighty fable from Neil Gaiman, winner of the Newbery and Carnegie Medals, illustrated in vivid colour by up-and-coming talent Divya Srinivasan. Neil Gaiman’s work has been widely adapted for film and TV, including films of Coraline and Stardust, and adaptations of American Gods, Good Omens (written with Terry Pratchett) and How to Talk to Girls at Parties are in the works for 2017.

Ages 4-8


 

Polly and BusterPolly and Buster
Sally Rippin

Who ever heard of a witch and a monster being friends?

Everyone knows that witches don’t mix with monsters. Witches are educated, clever, sophisticated. But monsters? Monsters are just uncouth. Some are even dangerous.

But Polly the witch and Buster the feelings monster have been best friends forever.
It’s the sort of friendship that makes your heart squeeze with happiness.
Somehow, they’ve managed to keep their friendship a secret.
Until one day, when everything changes …

Ages 7-10 yo


 

The FallThe Fall
Tristan Bancks

In the middle of the night, Sam is woken by angry voices from the apartment above.

He goes to the window to see what’s happening – only to hear a struggle, and see a body fall
from the sixth-floor balcony. Pushed, Sam thinks.

Sam goes to wake his father Harry, a crime reporter, but Harry is gone. And when Sam goes downstairs, the body is gone, too. But someone has seen Sam, and knows what he’s witnessed.

The next twenty-four hours could be his last.

Ages 10+


 

World's Worst Children 2The World’s Worst Children 2
David Walliams

The brilliant follow-up to David Walliams’ bestseller The World’s Worst Children! Ten more stories about a brand new gang of hilariously horrible kids from everyone’s favourite children’s author, illustrated in glorious full colour by Tony Ross. If you thought you had read about the World’s Worst Children already, you’re in for a rather nasty shock. The beastly boys and gruesome girls in this book are even ruder, even more disgusting and WORSE than you could ever imagine!

This gorgeous collection of ten stories from the master himself, David Walliams, will make you snort with laughter and thank your lucky stars that you don’t know anyone like Gruesome Griselda or Fussy Frankie in real life. It also features a special appearance from fan-favourite Raj! Gloriously illustrated in full colour throughout by artistic genius Tony Ross, The World’s Worst Children 2 is a side-splitting companion to David’s blockbuster hit, The World’s Worst Children.

Ages 9+


 

Lord of ShadowsLord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices Book 2)
Cassandra Clare

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear-before it’s too late.

Ages 14-15+


 

Wild Animals of the SouthWild Animals of the South
Dieter Braun

Through his beautiful and colourful illustrations, readers will be dazzled by the giraffes and elephants in Africa, koalas and kangaroos in Australia, huge blue whales in the open oceans, and many more!

All ages.


Skulduggery ResurrectionSkulduggery Pleasant: Resurrection (Book 10)
Derek Landy

The skeleton detective is coming back to life… again! It’s the tenth, triumphant novel in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, and it will rearrange your world.

Skulduggery and Valkyrie are back in the tenth instalment in the bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series – an incredible and unexpected treat for the legions of fans around the world.

We can’t say much but we can say this: Skulduggery and Valkyrie are going to team up with beloved characters from the first 9 books as well as an all-new cast, including new teen co-star Omen Darkly, for an adventure that takes the story to truly global proportions… while answering questions that go right back to the beginning.

And Derek says this: “I was halfway through Last Stand of Dead Men, I think, when I realised that I had more stories to tell. I told myself that if Skulduggery and Valkyrie survived the series, I would leave the option open of returning to their world. There were still secrets I need to reveal, after all, and there were still horrors they had to face. They survived the first series. But they’re really going to wish they hadn’t.”

Ages 12+


 

Archie and the BearArchie and the Bear
Zanni Louise

Archie has something to say, but no one is listening. So Archie leaves home … and discovers someone else with something to say. And because they both know how that feels, they both listen.

This is a quirky story about being who you are (even when you’re not), by Zanni Louise and with illustrations by the inimitably wonderful David Mackintosh.

Ages 3+

Miles Franklin Literary Award 2017 Shortlist Announced

Miles Franklin Award 2017 Longlist_Blog Header


The shortlisted titles for the 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award were announced on Sunday 18 June at the Australian Booksellers Association Conference Gala Dinner.  The Award was established in 1954 by the estate of My Brilliant Career author Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin to celebrate the Australian character and creativity. It supports the betterment of Australian literature by each year recognising the novel of the highest literary merit which presents Australian Life in any of its phases.

This year’s judging panel is comprised of State Library of NSW Mitchell Librarian, Richard Neville, The Australian journalist and columnist, Murray Waldren, Sydney bookseller, Lindy Jones, book critic Dr Melinda Harvey and Emeritus Professor, Susan Sheridan.  Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, Mr Neville said: “Like all great literature, the five novels on the 2017 Miles Franklin shortlist explore the restorative power of love, the pernicious influence of the past upon the present, the tragedy of the present avoiding the past, the challenge of unconventional identities, the interweaving of lives across communities, the devastation of grief, and the warzone that is the media, masculinity and a small country town. Yet again the shortlist celebrates the diversity of voices and approaches to writing about Australian life. None of these novels draw on familiar tropes of Australian literature – yet each brings a distinctive pitch of truth and insight into the Australian experience.”

The 2017 Shortlisted titles and author are:

  • An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire

  • The Last Days of Ava Langdon by Mark O’Flynn

  • Their Brilliant Careers by Ryan O’Neill

  • Waiting by Philip Salom

  • Extinctions by Josephine Wilson

 The winner will be announced on 7 September at the State Library of NSW.

Miles Franklin shortlistees and books

L-R: Ryan O’Neill, Mark O’Flynn, Emily Maguire, Josephine Wilson and Philip Salom


9781743538579An Isolated Incident
Emily Maguire

When 25-year-old Bella Michaels is brutally murdered in the small town of Strathdee, the community is stunned and a media storm descends. Unwillingly thrust into the eye of that storm is Bella’s beloved older sister, Chris, a barmaid at the local pub, whose apparent easy going nature conceals hard-won wisdom and the kind of street-smarts only experience can bring. As Chris is plunged into despair and searches for answers, reasons, explanation – anything – that could make even the smallest sense of Bella’s death, her ex-husband, friends and neighbours do their best to support her. But as the days tick by with no arrest, Chris’s suspicion of those around her grows. An Isolated Incident is a psychological thriller about everyday violence, the media’s obsession with pretty dead girls, the grip of grief and the myth of closure, and the difficulties of knowing the difference between a ghost and a memory, between a monster and a man.

About the author:

Emily Maguire is the author of the novels Taming the Beast (2004), an international bestseller and finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Kathleen Mitchell Award, The Gospel According to Luke (2006), Smoke in the Room (2009) and Fishing for Tigers (2012). Emily enjoys a high-profile in Australia as a social commentator, with her articles and essays on sex, religion and culture having been published in newspapers and journals including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Financial Review, The Big Issue and The Griffith Review.


Last Days of Ava Langdon

The Last Days of Ava Langdon
Mark O’Flynn

Ava Langdon is often not herself. Having fled her early life in New Zealand and endured the loss of her children, she now lives as a recluse in the Blue Mountains. Regarded by locals as a colourful eccentric, she dresses in men’s clothes and fearlessly pursues her artistic path. All that matters to Ava is her writing. Words offer beauty and a sense of possibility when so much has been lost. But can they offer her redemption in her last days? Poetic, poignant, and at times bitingly funny, The Last Days of Ava Langdon takes us into the mind of a true maverick.

About the author:

Mark O’Flynn’s fiction and poetry have been widely published in Australian journals as well as overseas. His novels include Grassdogs and The Forgotten World, and he has published five collections of poems, most recently The Soup’s Song. He has also published the comic memoir False Start and a collection of short fiction, White Light. He lives in the Blue Mountains.


Their Brilliant CareersTheir Brilliant Careers
Ryan O’Neill

Absurd, original and highly addictive . . .

In Their Brilliant Careers, Ryan O’Neill has written a hilarious novel in the guise of sixteen biographies of (invented) Australian writers. Meet Rachel Deverall, who discovered the secret source of the great literature of our time – and paid a terrible price for her discovery. Meet Rand Washington, hugely popular sci-fi author (of Whiteman of Cor) and inveterate racist. Meet Addison Tiller, master of the bush yarn, “The Chekhov of Coolabah”, who never travelled outside Sydney. Their Brilliant Careers is a playful set of stories, linked in many ways, which together form a memorable whole. A wonderful comic tapestry of the writing life, this unpredictable and intriguing work takes Australian writing in a whole new direction . . .

About the author:

Ryan O’Neill is the author of The Weight of a Human Heart and Their Brilliant Careers. He was born in Glasgow in 1975 and has lived in Africa, Europe and Asia before settling in Newcastle, Australia, with his wife and two daughters. His fiction has appeared in The Best Australian Stories, The Sleepers Almanac, Meanjin, New Australian Stories, Wet Ink, Etchings and Westerly. His work has won the Hal Porter and Roland Robinson awards and been shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Steele Rudd Award and the Age Short-Story Prize. He teaches at the University of Newcastle.


waitingWaiting
Philip Salom

Waiting is a story of two odd couples in prose as marvellously idiosyncratic as its characters. Big is a hefty cross-dresser and Little is little. Both are long used to the routines of boarding house life in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, but Little, with the prospect of an inheritance, is beginning to indulge in the great Australian dream, which has Big worried. Little’s cousin, Angus, is a solitary man who designs lake-scapes for city councils, and strangely constructed fireproof houses for the bushfire zone. A handy man, he meets Jasmin an academic who races in her ideas as much as in her runners. Her head is set on publishing books on semiotics and her heart is turned towards her stalled personal life. All four are waiting, for something if not someone.

About the author:

Philip Salom is a poet and novelist originally from Western Australia. Several of his collections have won national and international acclaim, including the Commonwealth Poetry prize in London, and his two previous novels between them have won the WA Premier’s Prize, a Canberra Times Book of the Year, and shortlisting for the ASL Gold Medal. His recent poetry collection Alterworld is a trilogy of his earlier major works Sky Poems and The Well Mouth and the new Alterworld. He was awarded the Christopher Brennan award for “poetry of sustained quality and distinction.” His novel Waiting is set in North Melbourne, where he now lives.


ExtinctionsExtinctions
Josephine Wilson

He hated the word ‘retirement’, but not as much as he hated the word ‘village’, as if ageing made you a peasant or a fool. Herein lives the village idiot. Professor Frederick Lothian, retired engineer, world expert on concrete and connoisseur of modernist design, has quarantined himself from life by moving to a retirement village. His wife, Martha, is dead and his two adult children are lost to him in their own ways. Surrounded and obstructed by the debris of his life – objects he has collected over many years and tells himself he is keeping for his daughter – he is determined to be miserable, but is tired of his existence and of the life he has chosen. When a series of unfortunate incidents forces him and his neighbour, Jan, together, he begins to realise the damage done by the accumulation of a lifetime’s secrets and lies, and to comprehend his own shortcomings. Finally, Frederick Lothian has the opportunity to build something meaningful for the ones he loves. Humorous, poignant and galvanising by turns, Extinctions is a novel about all kinds of extinction – natural, racial, national and personal – and what we can do to prevent them.

About the author:

Josephine Wilson is a Perth-based writer. Her writing career began in the area of performance. Her early works included The Geography of Haunted Place, with Erin Hefferon, and Customs. Her first novel was Cusp, (UWA Publishing, 2005). Josephine has lectured and taught in the tertiary sector. She is the busy parent of two children and works as a sessional staff member at Curtin University, where she teaches in the Humanities Honours Program, in Creative Writing and in Art and Design history. She completed her Masters of Philosophy at Queensland University and her PhD at UWA. Her novel Extinctions (UWA Publishing, 2016) was the winner of the inaugural Dorothy Hewett Prize.

 

 

 

MAY Best Sellers: NON FICTION

Barefoot Investor1. 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.


Australian Bird Guide2. The Australian Bird Guide (Peter Menkhorst, Danny Rogers, Rohan Clarke, Jeff Davies, Peter Marsack, Kim Franklin)

Australia’s avifauna is large, diverse and spectacular, reflecting the continent’s impressive range of habitats and evolutionary history. With specially commissioned paintings of over 900 species, The Australian Bird Guide is the most comprehensive field guide to Australian birds ever seen.

The guide features around 4700 colour illustrations, with particular emphasis on providing the fine detail required to identify difficult groups and distinctive plumages. Comprehensive species accounts have been written by a dedicated team of ornithologists to ensure identification details, distribution and status are current and accurate.

The Australian Bird Guide sets a new standard in field guides, providing an indispensable reference for all birders and naturalists looking to explore Australia’s magnificent and unique birdlife.


Cruden Farm Diaries3. Cruden Farm Diaries (Michael Morrison)

Cruden Farm was given to the late Dame Elisabeth Murdoch in 1928 as a wedding present from her husband Sir Keith Murdoch. The farm at Langwarrin, about 50 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, was a place she cherished throughout her long life. The beautiful garden she created there with gardener, Michael Morrison, is one of Australia’s finest.

In 1984 Michael began to keep garden diaries, a practice that endures to this day. He writes of the plants that have thrived and those they’ve lost, of terrible heat and freak storms, of escaped cows and memorable parties. The diaries recount the plans he and Dame Elisabeth hatched, the triumphs and tensions, the sheer fun of making a garden together.

In an age preoccupied with selfies and spotlight chasers, Michael Morrison’s diaries remind us of a different way of living – of more than forty years spent quietly but passionately dedicated to one special garden and its unique owner.


 

Cardinal4. Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell (Louise Milligan)

George Pell is the most recognisable face of the Australian Catholic Church. He was the Ballarat boy with the film-star looks who studied at Oxford and rose through the ranks to become the Vatican’s indispensable ‘Treasurer’. As an outspoken defender of church orthodoxy, ‘Big George’s’ ascendancy within the clergy was remarkable and seemingly unstoppable.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse has brought to light horrific stories about sexual abuse of the most vulnerable and provoked public anger at the extent of the cover-up. George Pell has always portrayed himself as the first man in the Church to tackle the problem. But questions about what the Cardinal knew, and when, have persisted.

The nation’s most prominent Catholic is now the subject of a police investigation into allegations spanning decades that he too abused children. Louise Milligan is the only Australian journalist who has been privy to the most intimate stories of complainants.

She pieces together a series of disturbing pictures of the Cardinal’s knowledge and his actions, many of which are being told here for the first time.

Conspiracy or cover-up? Cardinal uncovers uncomfortable truths about a culture of sexual entitlement, abuse of trust and how ambition can silence evil.


Fifteen Young Men5. Fifteen Young Men (Paul Kennedy)

It was a maritime tragedy that unfolded one sad, dark hour at a time. A cold, cruelly blustery night revealing – with agonising slowness – that fifteen young men of the Mornington Football Club would never make it home. As dawn broke and families began to mourn, a nation was to learn the full extent of one of the world’s worst sporting disasters.

The sinking of the Process in catastrophically rough seas off Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in 1892, with the loss of all on board, horrified Australia. ‘Such an accident has no parallel in our land’s history,’ reported The Argus. Yet somehow, for more than a century, this calamitous event slipped from Australia’s consciousness.

In Fifteen Young Men, journalist Paul Kennedy reveals the stories behind the tragedy. In his compelling evocation of a spirited Australian town on the cusp of a new century, he captures the trauma of families and friends suffering almost unbearable loss, but also the irrepressible optimism of the times, and the mateship, love and resilience that would come to define a budding nation.


Work Strife Balancee6. Work Strife Balance (Mia Freedman)

This book is for every woman who’s been told success is as simple as Lean In, Say Yes, Live Your Best Life, Beat Your Fear, Follow Your Dream… and then feel #soblessed.

It’s for guilty friends, bad mums, crap wives, imperfect feminists, rebellious daughters and any girl with a big mouth and at least one foot in it. It’s for any woman who’s ever asked: ‘Am I the only one who isn’t quite coping?’

Here is Mia Freedman’s low road to the top – a fearless, hilarious, inspiring and surprising collection of modern misadventures to read, relate to and rejoice in, then share with all the women in your life.


Depends what you mean by extremeist7. Depends What You Mean By Extremist (John Safran)

No one turns up where they’re not wanted quite like John Safran. In this hilarious and disorienting adventure he gets among our diverse community of white nationalists, ISIS supporters, anarchists and more, digging away at the contradictions that many would prefer be left unexamined. Who is this black puppet-master among the white nationalists? And this Muslim fundamentalist who geeks out on Monty Python? Is there a secret radicalisation network operating in John’s own Jewish suburb? And ultimately – is hanging with all these radicals washing off on John himself?

Populated by an extraordinary cast of ‘ordinary’ Australians, Depends What You Mean by Extremist is a startling, confronting portrait of contemporary Australia. We all think we know what’s going on in our own country, but this larger-than-life, timely, and alarmingly insightful true story will make you think again . . .


Annie's Farmhouse Kitchen8. Annie’s Farmhouse Kitchen (Annie Smithers)

Annie’s Farmhouse Kitchen is a window on the bucolic world of acclaimed Victorian chef Annie Smithers. A handsome, gifty package, it includes a best-of selection of three and four-course menus collected by Annie over the three years of her restaurant, du Fermier, in Trentham. While part of du Fermier’s appeal is undeniably its charming central Victorian location, this farmhouse-style eatery is the sort of place intrepid food lovers might equally stumble across in rural France or Dorset or California.

Annie’s food is classic French Provincial, presented with a distinct pared back, accessible aesthetic (no fuss, with preparation, anyone can do this!), and determined very much by whatever is thriving in her rambling home vegetable garden in Malmsbury. As well as being fully illustrated with delightful watercolours by Robin Cowcher – meet the cat ‘Kitten’, meet the geese, meet the dog Tommy – Annie’s Farmhouse Kitchen will also include photographs that offer another valuable visual dimension to this compelling package.

In addition to seasonal recipes (four menus per season), Annie’s Farmhouse Kitchen will present readers with four standout feasts: deep mid-winter; summer solstice; spring bounty; and autumn harvest. Annie’s distinct voice will feature throughout – both guiding readers with advice about getting the best results from her recipes (what went wrong? what about leftovers? why, exactly, is this pastry so good?), and via occasional entertaining vignettes that tell the story of the daily challenges and victories inevitably associated with running a successful small restaurant in a country town – solo.


Letters of Love9. Letters of Love (The Alannah and Madeline Foundation – Various Contributors)

The Port Arthur massacre was one of the darkest days in Australian history. But the response, an unprecedented outpouring of love and compassion, also brought out the best in Australians. One year after that tragedy, Walter Mikac launched the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, in honour of his two young daughters who died alongside their mother on that terrible day. Since then, the Foundation has helped tens of thousands of vulnerable youth feel safe and secure from violence.

On its 20th anniversary, the Alannah and Madeline Foundation will publish Letters of Love, aimed at sending love back into the community again. More than 60 celebrities and public figures have written letters about love in all its shapes and sizes – from romance and plutonic love, to familial love, devotion to nature, and as a celebration of positivity.

The book begins with a letter 6-year-old Alannah wrote to Walter weeks before the tragedy, and ends with a letter Walter has written to his daughter from a new relationship. It’s a beautiful book that harnesses the best in all of us, and is once more testament to the power of the human spirit.


First WE Make the Beast Beautiful10. First, We Make The Beast Beautiful (Sarah Wilson)

This journey is what I do now. I bump along, in fits and starts, on a perpetual path to finding better ways for me and my mate, Anxiety, to get around. It’s everything I do.

Sarah Wilson – bestselling author and entrepreneur, intrepid solver of problems and investigator of how to live a better life – has helped over 1.2 million people across the world to quit sugar. She has also been an anxiety sufferer her whole life.

In her new book, she directs her intense focus and fierce investigatory skills onto this lifetime companion of hers, looking at the triggers and treatments, the fashions and fads. She reads widely and interviews fellow sufferers, mental health experts, philosophers, and even the Dalai Lama, processing all she learns through the prism her own experiences.

Sarah pulls at the thread of accepted definitions of anxiety, and unravels the notion that it is a difficult, dangerous disease that must be medicated into submission. Ultimately, she re-frames anxiety as a spiritual quest rather than a burdensome affliction, a state of yearning that will lead us closer to what really matters.

Practical and poetic, wise and funny, this is a small book with a big heart. It will encourage the myriad sufferers of the world’s most common mental illness to feel not just better about their condition, but delighted by the possibilities it offers for a richer, fuller life.


11. Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ (Giulia Enders)

12. Girl Stuff: 8-12 (Kaz Cooke)

13. Option B (Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant)

14. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (J D Vance)

15. After Cancer: A Guide to Living Well (Ranjana Srivastava)

16. After (Nikki Gemmell)

17. 10 Things Girls Need (Steve Biddulph)

18. A Shepherd’s Life (James Rebanks)

19. Fight Like a Girl (Clementine Ford)


 

 

MAY Best Sellers: FICTION

The Dry1. The Dry (Jane Harper)

***WINNER OF THE 2017 INDIE AWARDS FOR BOOK OF THE YEAR AND BEST DEBUT FICTION ***

Who really killed the Hadler family?

Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well …

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds are reopened. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret … A secret Falk thought long-buried … A secret which Luke’s death starts to bring to the surface …

***Jane’s second book, Force of Nature, is due for release in October…and she’s coming to visit us!!  Tuesday 17 October 7pm, Tickets $50 – bookings essential.  Full details here.***


Into the Water2. Into The Water (Paula Hawkins)

In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help.

Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind.

But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped.

And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool…

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, satisfying read that hinges on the stories we tell about our pasts and their power to destroy the lives we live now.


The Group3. The Group (Mary McCarthy)

First published in 1963, The Group follows eight graduates from exclusive Vassar College as they find love and heartbreak, forge careers, gossip and party in 1930s Manhattan.

Touted as the original Sex in the City, the novel frankly portrays women’s real lives, exploring subjects such as sex, contraception, motherhood and marriage.


Between Wolf and Dog

4. Between A Wolf And A Dog (Georgia Blain)

Outside, the rain continues unceasing; silver sheets sluicing down, the trees and shrubs soaking and bedraggled, the earth sodden, puddles overflowing, torrents coursing onwards, as the darkness slowly softens with the dawn.

Ester is a family therapist with an appointment book that catalogues the anxieties of the middle class: loneliness, relationships, death. She spends her days helping others find happiness, but her own family relationships are tense and frayed. Estranged from both her sister, April, and her ex-husband, Lawrence, Ester wants to fall in love again. Meanwhile, April is struggling through her own directionless life; Lawrence’s reckless past decisions are catching up with him; and Ester and April’s mother, Hilary, is about to make a choice that will profoundly affect them all.

Taking place largely over one rainy day in Sydney, and rendered with the evocative and powerful prose Blain is known for, Between a Wolf and a Dog is a celebration of the best in all of us — our capacity to live in the face of ordinary sorrows, and to draw strength from the transformative power of art. Ultimately, it is a joyous tribute to the beauty of being alive.


Pilgrim5. I Am Pilgrim (Terry Hayes)

Pilgrim was the codename for a world class and legendary secret agent.

The adopted son of a wealthy New York family, he was once head of a secret internal affairs force for US intelligence and held the title ‘Rider of the Blue’. He wrote the definitive book on forensic investigation before disappearing into an anonymous retirement, taking the secrets of the Rider of the Blue with him.

A murder in New York: the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, her features have been ripped from her face, her teeth are missing, her fingerprints gone. The rooms has been sprayed with DNA-eradictaing spray. Someone has seemingly committed the perfect crime using the techniques outlined in Pilgrim’s book.

A terrorist, known only as The Arab, was radicalised when, as a young boy, he witnessed the beheading of his father in a public square in Saudi Arabia. He has dedicated his life to destroying the special relationship between the Kingdom and the United States. He learnt his trade fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, and now from hiding in Germany plots a terrible act of mass murder.

When NYPD detective Ben Bradley tracks down Pilgrim, neither man can imagine the terrifying journey they are about to begin, as what begins as an unusual and challenging murder investigation leads them into a direct collision course with the dark forces of jihadist terrorism.


goodpeople6. The Good People (Hannah Kent)

The fires on the hills smouldered orange as the women left, pockets charged with ashes to guard them from the night. Watching them fade into the grey fall of snow, Nance thought she could hear Maggie’s voice. A whisper in the dark.

“Some folk are born different, Nance. They are born on the outside of things, with a skin a little thinner, eyes a little keener to what goes unnoticed by most. Their hearts swallow more blood than ordinary hearts; the river runs differently for them.”

Nóra Leahy has lost her daughter and her husband in the same year, and is now burdened with the care of her four-year-old grandson, Micheál. The boy cannot walk, or speak, and Nora, mistrustful of the tongues of gossips, has kept the child hidden from those who might see in his deformity evidence of otherworldly interference.

Unable to care for the child alone, Nóra hires a fourteen-year-old servant girl, Mary, who soon hears the whispers in the valley about the blasted creature causing grief to fall upon the widow’s house.

Alone, hedged in by rumour, Mary and her mistress seek out the only person in the valley who might be able to help Micheál. For although her neighbours are wary of her, it is said that old Nance Roche has the knowledge. That she consorts with Them, the Good People. And that only she can return those whom they have taken…


 Museum of Modern Love7. The Museum of Modern Love (Heather Rose)

***WINNER OF THE 2017 STELLA PRIZE***

She watched as the final hours of The Artist is Present passed by, sitter after sitter in a gaze with the woman across the table. Jane felt she had witnessed a thing of inexplicable beauty among humans who had been drawn to this art and had found the reflection of a great mystery. What are we? How should we live?

If this was a dream, then he wanted to know when it would end. Maybe it would end if he went to see Lydia. But it was the one thing he was not allowed to do.

Arky Levin is a film composer in New York separated from his wife, who has asked him to keep one devastating promise. One day he finds his way to The Atrium at MOMA and sees Marina Abramovic in The Artist is Present. The performance continues for seventy-five days and, as it unfolds, so does Arky. As he watches and meets other people drawn to the exhibit, he slowly starts to understand what might be missing in his life and what he must do.

This dazzlingly original novel asks beguiling questions about the nature of art, life and love and finds a way to answer them.


Thirst8. Thirst (Jo Nesbo)

In this electrifying new thriller from the author of Police and The Snowman, Inspector Harry Hole hunts down a serial murderer who targets his victims . . . on Tinder.

The murder victim, a self-declared Tinder addict. The one solid clue—fragments of rust and paint in her wounds—leaves the investigating team baffled.  Two days later, there’s a second murder: a woman of the same age, a Tinder user, an eerily similar scene.  The chief of police knows there’s only one man for this case. But Harry Hole is no longer with the force. He promised the woman he loves, and he promised himself, that he’d never go back: not after his last case, which put the people closest to him in grave danger.

But there’s something about these murders that catches his attention, something in the details that the investigators have missed. For Harry, it’s like hearing “the voice of a man he was trying not to remember.” Now, despite his promises, despite everything he risks, Harry throws himself back into the hunt for a figure who haunts him, the monster who got away.


Anything is Possible9. Anything is Possible (Elizabeth Strout)

Years ago, Lucy Barton, a successful New York writer, spent time in hospital, with her mother at the foot of her bed to keep her company. Avoiding the distance between them, they spoke at length about people from their home town, the rural, dusty town of Amgash, Illinois. Writing these stories, Lucy imagines the lives of the people that she especially remembers. And the people she has imagined that, in small ways, have remembered her too.

For isn’t it true that we all hope to be remembered? Or to think in some way – even fleetingly – that we have been important to someone?

A novel in stories by the No. 1 New York Times bestselling and Man Booker long-listed author of My Name is Lucy Barton.


Assassin's Fate10. Assassin’s Fate (Fitz and the Fool 3#)  (Robin Hobb)

The much-anticipated final conclusion to the Fitz and the Fool trilogy.

Prince FitzChivalry Farseer’s daughter Bee was violently abducted from Withywoods by Servants of the Four in their search for the Unexpected Son, foretold to wield great power. With Fitz in pursuit, the Servants fled through a Skill-pillar, leaving no trace. It seems certain that they and their young hostage have perished in the Skill-river.

Clerres, where White Prophets were trained by the Servants to set the world on a better path, has been corrupted by greed. Fitz is determined to reach the city and take vengeance on the Four, not only for the loss of Bee but also for their torture of the Fool. Accompanied by FitzVigilant, son of the assassin Chade, Chade’s protégé Spark and the stableboy Perseverance, Bee’s only friend, their journey will take them from the Elderling city of Kelsingra, down the perilous Rain Wild River, and on to the Pirate Isles.

Their mission for revenge will become a voyage of discovery, as well as of reunions, transformations and heartrending shocks. Startling answers to old mysteries are revealed. What became of the liveships Paragon and Vivacia and their crews? What is the origin of the Others and their eerie beach? How are liveships and dragons connected?

But Fitz and his followers are not the only ones with a deadly grudge against the Four. An ancient wrong will bring them unlikely and dangerous allies in their quest. And if the corrupt society of Clerres is to be brought down, Fitz and the Fool will have to make a series of profound and fateful sacrifices.

Assassin’s Fate is a magnificent tour de force and with it Robin Hobb demonstrates yet again that she is the reigning queen of epic fantasy.


11. The Husband’s Secret (Liane Moriarty)

12. Big Little Lies (Liane Moriarty)

13. Little Breton Bistro (Nina George)

14. The Lucky One (Caroline Overington)

15. A Dog’s Purpose (W Bruce Cameron)

16. See What I Have Done (Sarah Schmidt)

17. The Stars Are Fire (Anita Shreve)

18. The Last Paining of Sara De Vos (Dominic Smith)

19. Exit West (Mohsin Hamid)

20. Fix (David Baldacci)


 

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