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July Best Sellers

It’s been such a busy start to the month of August that it’s half way gone before we’re getting to sharing last month’s best sellers with you all!!

Our apologies for the tardiness – here they are…


1. Go Set a Watchman (Harper Lee, $45.00 HB)

9781785150289-1-edition.default.original-1This world wide sensation has received fairly mixed reviews, probably mostly related to the significant expectations many readers had/have.  A sequel, but penned prior, to the much loved and lauded To Kill A Mockingbird.  If you’ve read it, let us know what you thought…

2. The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion)

3. The Little Paris Bookshop (Nina George)

4. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

5. The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins)

6. The Rosie Effect (Graeme Simsion)

7. All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Dorr)

8. Life After Life (Kate Atkinson)

9. The Eye of the Sheep (Sofie Laguna) ***2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award Winner***

10. Burial Rites (Hannah Kent)


This segment was really dominated by the adult colouring book phenomenon, which continues with gusto – we’re starting to suspect it will be THE go to gift for this Christmas! – but we’ve decided to share the non-colouring-book-non-fiction best sellers here.

1. Shining: The Story of a Lucky Man (Abdi Aden, $30.00 PB)

9781460703724We had a wonderful author event with Abdi Aden towards the end of the month – he really is an amazingly positive person for someone who has been through so much trauma.  A very inspirational speaker – we were grateful for his visit and humbled by his sharing of his story – his book is a remarkably uplifting tale of survival and the tragedies of war.  Those of you who attended were not disappointed – you can see some photos of the event on our Facebook page.

2. Wine Companion 2016 (James Holliday)

3. Plenty More (Yotam Ottolenghi)

4. Stasiland (Anna Funder)

5. A Table in the Orchard (Michelle Crawford)

6. The Short Long Book (Martin Flanagan)

7. H is for Hawke (Helen McDonald)

8. One Life My Mother’s Story (Kate Greenville)

9. Emergency (Simon Judkins)

10. How To Be A Woman (Caitlin Moran)

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Colouring book best sellers are being determined greatly by what stock we can actually get our hands on – many of the most popular titles are still temporarily out of stock with our distributors while they reprint to meet demand – but if you’re after a particular one, don’t forget that you can put in a special order and we’ll let you know once it’s arrived in store.


I am Pilgram1. I Am Pilgrim (Terry Hayes, $23.00 PB)

2. Disclaimer (Renee Knight)

3. The Kind Worth Killing (Peter Swanson)

4. No Name Lane (Howard Linskey)

5. Three Wishes (Liane Moriarty)

6. Burn (James Patterson)

7. The Hand that Feeds You (A.J. Rich)

8. CHILD 44 (Tom Rob Smith)

9. Pretty Girls (Karin Slaughter)

10. Silkworm (Robert Galbraith)


We’ve combined picture story, junior fiction and teen fiction sales here – we suspect August will be dominated by a certain new Treehouse book…

1. Beyond the Kingdoms – Land of Stories Book 4 (Chris Colfer, $25.00 HB)

isbn9780349124421This popular new junior fiction series is written by Chris Colfer, probably most recognisable for playing Kurt on Glee.  The Land of Stories books feature the fast-paced adventures of twins, Alex and Conner Bailey.  Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories from their grandmother, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. The series uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

2. Wonder (RJ Palacio)

3. The 52-Storey Treehouse (Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton)

4. The Wishing Spell – Land of Stories Book 1 (Chris Colfer)

5. Kissed by the Moon (Alison Lester)

6. Why I Love Footy (Michael Wagner and Tom Jellet)

7. The 13-Storey Treehouse (Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton)

8. Yes No Maybe – Tom Gates Book 8 (Liz Pichon)

9. Soon (Moris Gleitzman)




June Best Sellers

June Best Sellers Fiction1.  The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins

2. The Little Paris Bookshop, Nina George

3. Forever Young, Steven Carroll

4. Life After Life, Kate Atkinson

5. Burial Rites, Hannah Kent ***Multi award Winner***

6. My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante

7. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler

8. All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

9. A God In Ruins, Kate Atkinson

10. The Perfume Collector, Kathleen Tessaro


June Best Sellers Crime and NonCRIME

1. I Am Pilgrim, Terry Hayes

2. The Kind Worth Killing, Peter Swanson

3. Friday On My Mind, Nicci French

4. No Name Lane, Howard Linskey

5. Personal, Lee Child


1. Mindfulness Colouring Book, Emma Farrarons

2. H Is For Hawk, Helen Macdonald

3. Secret Garden Colouring Book, Johanna Basford

4. Enchanted Forest Colouring Book, Johanna Basford

5. Animal Kingdom Colouring Book, Millie Marotta

 June Best Sellers Teen Fiction1. Paper Towns, John Green

2. Off The Page, Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

3. We Were Liars, E Lockhart

4. Summoned #1 The Novice, Taran Matharu

5. Stay With Me, Maureen McCarthy

6. Wonder, R.J. Palacio

7. Lies, Michael Grant

8. The Scorch Trials, James Dashner

9. Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean, Kirsty Murray, Payal Dhar & Anita Roy (Editors – collection of stories by various authors)

10. Since You’ve Been Gone, Morgan Matson

 June Best Sellers PS and Junior1. Dork Diaries #9 Drama Queen, Rachel Renée Russell

2. Kissed By The Moon, Alison Lester

3. Rivertime, Trace Balla

4. What Do You Do With An Idea?, Kobi Yamada

5. Tom Gates #9 Yes No Maybe, Liz Pichon

6. Pig The Fibber, Aaron Blabey

7. The Simple Things, Bill Condon

8. Figgy In The World, Tamsin Janu

9. Weirdo #4 Super Weirdo!, Anh Do

10. That’s What Wings Are For, Patrick Guest




For the love of book clubs…

untitled (15)I’m not a particularly obsessive person, but one thing that I do love – unapologetically – is my book club.

A small group of us – family and friends and friends of friends and friends of family – started it around six years ago.  Just a group of people, who all loved reading, and were looking for a way to read more and get more out of our reading.  Our membership has waxed and waned over the years as people have moved away, moved closer, had babies, taken on new commitments etc, but I have come to realise that we are (amusingly, if you knew any of us personally), considered a ‘serious’ book club – that is, we don’t just get together to drink wine (although that’s obviously a bonus) – we are there to discuss our book.

78e6c9ea278ebb8b85c96c788a1576f4We take it in turns to select a book each month, taking December off each year to celebrate with a Christmas dinner and reminisce about the books we’ve read over the course of the year.  It also helps take the pressure off at a busy time of year.  We agonise about what our next choice will be or alternatively have piles of books waiting in the wings for our next turn – should we select a classic?  A new release?  Something obscure?  Something mainstream?  We prepare questions in advance to guide the discussion.  We sometimes have quizzes – with prizes!!  One memorable month (and I wish I still had them to include a picture), one of our members, who happens to work at the State Library, printed all of her questions on little miniature book covers, smaller than matchboxes, of classic titles.  Now THAT’s love and obsession at its finest.

In our first year we tended to share books around, but I’ve personally developed the need to own every one of our book club books.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it up in the decades ahead (simply from a space perspective), but for now we have the room and I have become quite anal about them – labelling them by month and year, grouping them in their chronological order.  In six years I’ve only missed 2 discussions (both because, rather inconveniently, I was giving birth), but I still have those 2 books and will read them one day (when I have the time…).  I am also determined to go back and buy those books from the first year that I don’t have – until then my shelves will feel incomplete.

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Book club means so much to me for so many reasons – on a monthly basis it is an escape, a stress relief, an accomplishment, an education, a laugh, a cry…and an opportunity to engage in meaningful discourse with other wonderful individuals with varied opinions, personalities and tastes.  It has led me to read books that I would never have otherwise read .  Some I have loved.  Others I have hated.  Some I am indifferent to.  Only once have I made the decision to not finish reading a book because I was so thoroughly despising it (I won’t tell you which one…).  I still maintain it was the right decision.  The brilliant thing about book club is that even if the book is not to your taste, the discussion will often lift it up and give it value that you had not been able to see while reading it.

There is something quite magical about different people coming together and revealing to each other whole new aspects of a book – demonstrating how the human brain and personality can influence how we experience things.  I was once in Somers General Store for lunch and bumped into a long time Farrell’s customer, who would have been in her early 70s.  She started talking about her book club, which at that time had been running – continuously – for 42 years.  And it still had all its original members.  Now that is commitment.  That is love.

That is the shared joy of books.  :).

There are many ways to get involved in a book club if you’re interested – from online groups to community organised ones to just setting something up with your friends as we did.  And I can assure you, it’s well worth it – even if you run out of room on your bookshelves…


May Best Sellers

There hasn’t been a great deal of movement in our best sellers lately, so we thought we’d feature a few titles from each category…


The Strays10. The Strays by Emily Bitto

**Winner of the 2015 Stella Prize**

On her first day at a new school, Lily befriends one of the daughters of infamous avant-garde painter Evan Trentham. He and his wife are trying to escape the stifling conservatism of 1930s Australia by inviting other like-minded artists to live and work at their family home. Lily becomes infatuated with this wild, makeshift family and longs to truly be a part of it.

As the years pass, Lily observes the way the lives of these artists come to reflect the same themes as their art: Faustian bargains and spectacular falls from grace. Yet it’s not Evan, but his own daughters, who pay the price for his radicalism.

The Strays is an engrossing story of ambition, sacrifice and compromised loyalties from an exciting new talent.

 9780701189525-1-edition.default.original-1 (2)14. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

**Shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2015**

‘It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…’

This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that day in July 1959. The whole family on the porch, relaxed, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before.

And yet this gathering is different. Abby and Red are getting older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them and their beloved family home. They’ve all come, even Denny, who can usually be relied on only to please himself. From that porch we spool back through three generations of the Whitshanks, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define who and what they are. And while all families like to believe they are special, round that kitchen table over all those years we also see played out our own hopes and fears, rivalries and tensions – the essential nature of family life.

978174237988315. At The Waters Edge by Sarah Gruen

A gripping and poignant love story about a privileged young woman’s personal awakening as she experiences the devastations of World War II in a Scottish Highlands village.

After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year’s Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son’s inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend Hank decide that the only way to regain the Colonel’s favour is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed – by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster – Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind.

The trio find themselves amid the devastation of World War II, in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands, where the locals have nothing but contempt for the privileged interlopers. As the men go out looking for the monster, Maddie is left on her own at the isolated inn, where food is rationed, fuel is scarce, and a knock from the postman can bring tragic news. Gradually the friendships she forms open her up to a larger world than she knew existed. As she embraces a fuller sense of who she might be, Maddie becomes aware not only of the dark forces around her, but to the beauty and surprising possibilities of life.

And the rest of FICTION…

1. Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins)

2. Little Paris Bookshop (Nina George)

3. A God in Ruins (Kate Atkinson)

4. The Children Act (Ian McEwan)

5. Still Alice (Lisa Genova)

6. Big Little Lies (Liane Moriarty)

7. Life After Life (Kate Atkinson)

8. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Karen Joy Fowler)

9. My Brilliant Friend (Elena Ferrante)


9780099575450-1-edition.default.original-13. H is for Hawk by Helen McDonald



As a child, Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer, learning the arcane terminology and reading all the classic books. Years later, when her father died and she was struck deeply by grief, she became obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She bought Mabel for £800 on a Scottish quayside and took her home to Cambridge, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals.

H is for Hawk is an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald’s struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk’s taming and her own untaming. This is a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to reconcile death with life and love.

97817433102744. Margaret And Me by Kate Gibbs

A food memoir and recipe book in the vein of Julie & Julia

Food writer Kate Gibbs grew up at the apron strings of her grandmother, Margaret Fulton. The matriarch of Australian cooking taught Kate everything she needed to know, including how to make bereavement soup, how thickly to spread butter on bread and that porridge must absolutely be made with salt.

In this privileged glimpse into a modern food dynasty, Kate reveals some of the highs and lows from the life of her extraordinary grandmother, as well as her own experiences growing up ‘foodie’. This rich legacy has informed Kate’s career and inspired her to talk to a new generation about the joys of cooking and the importance of good, real food.

As well as chronicling her own journey, Kate has distilled this kitchen wisdom into fifty beautifully photographed recipes, a mixture of classic dishes such as Scotch broth and homemade crumpets that recall Margaret’s Scottish heritage, to Kate’s modern takes on slow-roasted lamb shoulder and custard-filled chocolate profiteroles. These are the recipes that both women grew up with, and which endure as family favourites. Pull up a chair and enjoy.

97817601120116. Daughter Of The Territory by Jacqueline Hammar

An epic story of love, adventure and survival in the wilds of the Northern Territory.

Daughter of the Territory is the amazing life story of Jacqueline Hammar. Born in Darwin in 1929, Jacqueline’s childhood was spent in a succession of bush towns before she was sent to school in Darwin. With the outbreak of World War Two, she moved to Brisbane to finish her education.

Returning to her beloved Territory, Jacqueline met and married stockman Ken Hammar, and they moved to a vast property in one of the most inaccessible areas of Australia, transporting corrugated iron and cutting down trees to build a crude hut to live in.

With only a kerosene stove, scant possessions and a bed, Jacqueline lived a harsh and isolated existence. Her determination and courage helped her survive many hardships, including having to eat pigweed and sweet potato vines when food was scarce. Meanwhile, she supported Ken as he turned huge tracts of wilderness into a prosperous million-acre cattle station.

Daughter of the Territory is a testament to a life well lived. Reminiscent of AB Facey’s A Fortunate Life and Sara Henderson’s From Strength to Strength, Jacqueline’s life story is remarkable.

And the rest of NON FICTION…

1. The Bush (Don Watson)

2. One Life, My Mother’s Story (Kate Grenville)

5. I Am Malala (Malala Yousafzai)

7. Umbrian Supper Club (Marlena De Blasi)

8. Paris Letters (Janice Mcleod)

9. Ransacking Paris (Patti Miller)

10. Testament Of Youth (Vera Brittain)


1. That’s What Wings Are For (Patrick Guest)

2. What Do You Do With An Idea? (Kobe Yamada)

3. Kissed By The Moon (Alison Lester)

4. Pig The Fibber (Aaron Blabey)

5. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid #2: Rodrick Rules (Jeff Kinney)

6. Wimpy Kid: Do-It-Yourself Book (Jeff Kinney)

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What do you do with an idea

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7. The 13th Storey Treehouse (Andy Griffiths)

8. The 26th Storey Treehouse (Andy Griffiths)

9. Hit For Six (David Warner)

10. Tom Gates #8 Yes No Maybe (Liz Pichon)


1. Wonder (RJ Palacio)

2. Paper Towns (John Green)

3. Chaos Walking (Patrick Ness)

4. Heir (Kieran Cass)

5. Stay With Me (Maureen McCarthy)




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6. Kill Order (James Dashner)

7. My Life As An Alphabet (Barry Jonsberg)

8. We Were Liars (E Lockhart)

9. Girl Online (Zoe Sugg)

10. The Fault In Our Stars (John Green)






Shining – The Story of a Lucky Man


We are delighted to be bringing  Abdi Aden to Mornington on
Sunday 26 July, to speak about his experiences and share his story.

See our Events page for further details.

Abdi’s world fell apart when he was only fifteen and Somalia’s vicious civil war hit Mogadishu. Unable to find his family and effectively an orphan, he fled with some sixty others, heading to Kenya. On the way, death squads hunted them and they daily faced violence, danger and starvation. After almost four months, they arrived at refugee camps in Kenya – of the group he’d set out with, only five had survived…

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Abdi eventually made his way to Australia and is now a permanent resident, married with children and living in Melbourne, where he is a community worker and inspirational speaker. In 2012 he appeared in the second series of SBS’s Go Back To Where You Came From.

He has recently released his story in a book: Shining – The Story of a Lucky Man (co-written with Robert Hillman; $30.00, available in store now).

A remarkably warm-hearted, uplifting and inspiring story of one boy’s survival against the odds.

An excerpt of Shining  was published in The Australian a few weeks ago, and The Age featured Abdi in an article on education initiatives for Somali refugees in Broadmeadows in 2006.






2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award Short List Announced

Monday saw the announcement of the five authors short listed for this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award, which will be awarded on 23 June.  The Award is presented to the novel of the year of the highest literary merit that presents Australian life in any of its phases.

The 2015 shortlist announcement was made at the Australian Booksellers Association Conference at State Library Victoria, following an oration by 2008 Miles Franklin winner, Steve Carroll.  We are looking forward to hosting Steve for a couple of events in association with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Libraries in June – visit our Events page for more information.

The winner of the Miles Franklin 2015 will receive $60,000 in prize money for their novel, which can make a huge difference to writers, many of whom have to supplement their writing work with income from other jobs.

The 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist is:

Sonya Hartnett – Golden Boys. $30.00
Penguin Books Australia

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Sofie Laguna – The Eye of the Sheep  $30.00
Allen & Unwin


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Joan London – The Golden Age. $33.00
Random House Australia












Christine Piper – After Darkness. $20.00
Allen & Unwin




Craig Sherborne – Tree Palace  $30.00
Text Publishing









For information about Miles Franklin and the awards her generosity made possible, visit www.milesfranklin.com.au/whoisMF.




April Best Sellers


Girl on the TrainBig Lies Little LiesWe are all completely beside ourselvesStill AliceNarrow Road to the Deep North

1. Girl On The Train  Paula Hawkins  $33.00

2. Big Little Lies  Liane Moriarty  $15.00

3. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves  Karen Joy Fowler  $23.00

4. Still Alice  Lisa Genova  $20.00

5. The Narrow Road To The Deep North  Richard Flanagan  $20.00


13th Storey52 Storey TreehouseDOAWK Long Haul39th Storey26th Storey

1. 13-Storey Treehouse  Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton  $13.00

2. 52-Storey Treehouse  Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton  $13.00

3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul  Jeff Kinney  $14.95

4. 39-Storey Treehouse  Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton  $13.00

5. 26-Storey Treehouse  Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton  $13.00


Without my MumOne Life Kate GrenvilleGoing PaleoWindsor's WayAmerican Sniper

1. Without My Mum  Leigh Van Der Horst  $32.95

2. One Life: My Mother’s Story  Kate Grenville  $30.00

3. Going Paleo  Pete Evans  $40.00

4. Windsor’s Way  Tony Windsor  $33.00

5. American Sniper  Chris Kyle  $20.00


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1. That’s What Wings Are For  Patrick Guest  $24.95

2. What Do You Do With An Idea?  Kobi Yamada  $29.95

3. The Day The Crayons Quit  Drew Daywalt  $15.00 (PB) / $25.00 (HB)

4. Guess How Much I Love You  Sam McBratney  (Multiple formats available)

5. Digger The Dog Who Went To War  Mark Wilson  $25.00


I am PilgramFalling in LoveThe Kind Worth KillingThe SilkwormBlood on Snow

1. I Am Pilgram  Terry Hayes  $20.00

2. Falling In Love  Donna Leon  $30.00

3. The Kind Worth Killing  Peter Swanson  $28.00

4. The Silkworm  Robert Galbraith  $20.00

5. Blood On Snow  Jo Nesbo  $30.00



We hit the magic 500 ‘Page Likes’ early on Sunday morning and were delighted when our winner, Mornington local, Michelle, popped in to collect her prize pack this morning.


Thanks to everyone who participated in the competition – we enjoyed it immensely, so stay tuned – we may hold another one sometime soon…

FB like usWe’ve got a little giveaway competition running through our Facebook page at the moment…

Up for grabs is a fantastic package of books worth close to $150, including a Turkish cookbook, new release romantic saga, heartwarming young adult fiction, and a crime thriller.  The prize package can be viewed in store.

Turkish CookbookLone StarHB WonderThe Invisible Guardian

To be in the running to win, you need to do three things:

  1. ‘Like’ the Farrells Bookshop Facebook page (there’s a handy link from the ‘like us’ button at the top of this post…);

  2. ‘Like’ the Giveaway Competition post from today (Wednesday 6 May 2015); AND

  3. ‘Share’ the Giveaway post with your friends.

That’s it!!  Pretty simple really!

So getting clicking, liking and sharing, and enjoy the regular information we share through our Facebook page!


Competition Terms and Conditions:
For practical purposes, the competition is only open to Australian residents and current staff are excluded (we get enough perks already!).  The winner will be drawn at random from all those meeting the requirements once our Page Likes reach 500. In the event that the name drawn is a current staff member, a redraw will be conducted. Winner will be notified via Facebook. All decisions relating to the Giveaway will be made by Farrell’s Bookshop and no discussion will be entered into. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.


Mother’s Day Sunday 10 May

For many families, Mother’s Day is an opportunity to give a little bit back to their mum and show her how much she’s appreciated for all she does.  A new book is a great alternative to burnt Vegemite toast and cold tea in bed or yet another pair of pyjamas she doesn’t have the time to wear.

We asked the mums on our staff to share with us their top suggestions for a book for mum this Mother’s Day – something for themselves, something for their mum, or something for kids to share – there’s a wonderful range to choose from.

And if these titles don’t take your fancy,  just ask and we’ll be happy to recommend something else for that very special mum in your life.

Mother Country Leunig

Mother Country – Reflections Of Australian Rural Life

Helga Leunig
$24.95 (Hardback)

In 1966, Helga Leunig moved to a farm in north-east Victoria in order to raise a family, leaving her career as a professional photographer behind her, or so she thought. Here she made a vegetable garden. Made do. Lived with the beauty, simplicity and peace of country life, as well as with drought and bushfire. Out of this period of her life came these exquisitely beautiful photographs capturing family, nature and community, every image redolent with feeling.

Children ActThe Children Act

Ian McEwan
$20.00 (Paperback)
A brilliant, emotionally wrenching new novel from the author of Atonement and Amsterdam.
Fiona Maye, a leading High Court judge, renowned for her fierce intelligence and sensitivity is called on to try an urgent case. For religious reasons, a seventeen-year-old boy is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life. Time is running out.She visits the boy in hospital – an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. But it is Fiona who must ultimately decide whether he lives or dies and her judgement will have momentous consequences for them both.

My Mum Says Strangest ThingsMy Mum Says The Strangest Things

Katrina Germein
Illustrated by Tom Jellett
$24.95 (Hardback)

From the team that brought you the rip-roaring bestseller My Dad Thinks He’s Funny.

When Mum’s busy she says she’s run off her feet. When I dawdle, Mum tells me to shake a leg. When I say, “I’m coming,” Mum says, “So is Christmas.” My mum says the STRANGEST things.

Affectionate and nostalgic, this is a fun Mother’s Day gift.

Life after lifeLife After Life

Kate Atkinson
$20.00 (Paperback)
What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, Kate Atkinson finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here she is at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves.

Note: This one is a firm staff favourite and there is much excitement about this month’s release of the new companion novel, A God In Ruins

A God in RuinsA God In Ruins

Kate Atkinson

Atkinson turns her focus on Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy – would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.

GuernseyThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
$23.00 (Paperback)

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.




Prize winning titles…

There are many prestigious book prizes awarded in Australia and internationally each year.

Last week saw the winner of this year’s Pullitzer Prize announced, with Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See taking out top honours.

All The Light We Cannot See 85339-2.indd

All The Light We Cannot See

Anthony Doerr

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When Marie-Laure is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris, and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.


Last month the 3rd annual Stella Prize – an award that aims to recognise and celebrate Australian women writers’ contribution to literature – was announced, with The Strays by Melbourne author, Emily Bitto, honoured.

The Strays

The Strays

Emily Bitto

On her first day at a new school, Lily meets Eva, one of the daughters of the infamous avant-garde painter Evan Trentham. He and his wife are attempting to escape the stifling conservatism of 1930s Australia by inviting other like-minded artists to live and work with them at their family home. As Lily’s friendship with Eva grows, she becomes infatuated with this makeshift family and longs to truly be a part of it.

Looking back on those years later in life, Lily realises that this utopian circle involved the same themes as Evan Trentham’s art: Faustian bargains and terrible recompense; spectacular fortunes and falls from grace. Yet it was not Evan, nor the other artists he gathered around him, but his own daughters, who paid the debt that was owing.

The Strays is an engrossing story of ambition, sacrifice and compromised loyalties from an exciting new talent.


Also in March the Independent Booksellers of Australia group announced their award winners for 2015 – the ‘Indie Award’ for best overall title went to their non-fiction winner, Don Watson’s The Bush.

The Bush Don Watson

The Bush

Don Watson

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

Starting with his forebears’ battle to drive back nature and eke a living from the land, Don Watson explores the bush as it was and as it now is: the triumphs and the ruination, the commonplace and the bizarre, the stories we like to tell about ourselves and the national character, and those we don’t. Via mountain ash and mallee, the birds and the beasts, slaughter, fire, flood and drought, swagmen, sheep and their shepherds, the strange and the familiar, the tragedies and the follies, the crimes and the myths and the hope – here is a journey that only our leading writer of non-fiction could take us on.

At once magisterial in scope and alive with telling, wry detail, The Bush lets us see our landscape and its inhabitants afresh, examining what we have made, what we have destroyed, and what we have become in the process.

No one who reads it will look at this country the same way again.


The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards will be announced in a few weeks’ time and then in late June we’ll hear the winners of this year’s Miles Franklin Award.  August will see the Children’s Book Council of Australia winners announced – some of the recently announced Short Listed titles can be found here.

If you’re looking for a great new read, be sure to ask our staff about the many prize winning books now available.

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