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Between Friends Book Club: JULY

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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)


 

MAY NEW RELEASES

FICTION

Stars are fireThe Stars Are Fire (Anita Shreve)

1947. After a summer-long drought, fires are racing along the coast of Maine, ravaging two hundred thousand acres – the largest fire in the state’s history.

Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her husband Gene joins the volunteers fighting to bring the fire under control. Along with her best friend, Rosie, and Rosie’s two young children, the women watch in horror as their houses go up in flames, then walk into the ocean as a last resort. They spend the night frantically trying to save their children. When dawn comes, they have miraculously survived, but their lives are forever changed: homeless, penniless, and left to face an uncertain future in a town that no longer exists.

As Grace awaits news of her husband’s fate, she is thrust into a new world in which she must make a life on her own, beginning with absolutely nothing – she must find work, a home, a way to provide for her children. In the midst of devastating loss, Grace discovers glorious new freedoms – joys and triumphs she could never have expected her narrow life with Gene could contain – and her spirit soars. And then the unthinkable happens, and Grace’s bravery is tested as never before.


 

Lucky OneThe Lucky One (Caroline Overington)

An old castle …
For more than 150 years, a grand house known as Alden Castle has stood proudly in the rolling hills of California’s wine country, home to a family weighed down by secrets and debt.

A fresh body …
When the castle is sold, billionaire developers move in, only to discover one skeleton after another – including a fresh corpse – rotting in the old family cemetery.

An unsolved mystery …
As three generations of the well-respected Alden-Stowe family come under scrutiny, police unearth a twisted web of rivalries, alliances, deceit, and treachery.

A gold-digger wife, a demented patriarch, a daughter in the grip of first love … Who has lied? Who will survive? And who, amidst all the horror and betrayal, is the lucky one?


Based on a true storyBased On A True Story (Delphine De Vigan)

Today I know that L. is the sole reason for my powerlessness. And that the two years that we were friends almost made me stop writing for ever.

Overwhelmed by the huge success of her latest novel, exhausted and unable to begin writing her next book, Delphine meets L.

L. is the kind of impeccable, sophisticated woman who fascinates Delphine; a woman with smooth hair and perfectly filed nails, and a gift for saying the right thing. Delphine finds herself irresistibly drawn to her, their friendship growing as their meetings, notes and texts increase. But as L. begins to dress like Delphine, and, in the face of Delphine’s crippling inability to write, L. even offers to answer her emails, and their relationship rapidly intensifies. L. becomes more and more involved in Delphine’s life until she patiently takes control and turns it upside down: slowly, surely, insidiously.

Based on a True Story is a chilling novel of suspense that will leave you questioning the truth and its significance long after you have turned the final page.


House of NamesHouse Of Names (Colm Toibin)

I HAVE BEEN ACQUAINTED WITH THE SMELL OF DEATH.

Judged, despised, cursed by gods she has long since lost faith in, the murderess Clytemnestra tells of the deception of Agamemnon, how he sacrificed her eldest daughter – her beloved Iphigenia – to the Trojan campaign; how Clytemnestra used what power she had, seducing the prisoner Aegisthus, turning the government against its lord; plotting the many long years until her beacon fires announce the king’s return …

Electra, daughter of a murdered father, loyal subject of the rightful king, studies Clytemnestra and her lover with cold anger and slow-burning cunning. She watches as they walk the gardens and corridors of the palace. She waits for the traitors to become complacent, to believe they are finally safe; she waits for her exiled brother, Orestes, for the boy to become a warrior, for fate to follow him home. She watches and she waits, until her spies announce her brother’s return …


Closing DownClosing Down (Sally Abbott)

What would you do if all you held to be familiar was lost?

Australia’s rural towns and communities are closing down, much of Australia is being sold to overseas interests, states and countries and regions are being realigned worldwide.

Town matriarch Granna Adams, her grandson Roberto, the lonely and thoughtful Clare – all try in their own way to hold on to their sense of self, even as the world around them fractures.

The past is long gone. The question now is: do they have a future?


Assassin's FateAssassin’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.


Earthly remainsEarthly Remains (Donna Leon)

During the interrogation of an entitled, arrogant man suspected of giving drugs to a young girl who then died, Commissario Guido Brunetti acts rashly, doing something he will quickly come to regret. In the aftermath, he begins to doubt his career choices and realises that he needs a break from the stifling problems of his work.

Granted leave from the Questura, Brunetti is shipped off by his wife, Paola, to a villa owned by a wealthy relative on Sant’Erasmo, one of the largest islands in the Venetian laguna. There, he intends to pass his days rowing, and his nights reading Pliny’s Natural History.

The recuperative stay goes according to plan and Brunetti is finally able to relax, until Davide Casati, the caretaker of the house, goes missing following a sudden storm. Nobody can find him – not his daughter, not his friends, and not the woman he’d been secretly visiting. Now, Brunetti feels compelled to investigate, to set aside his holiday and discover what happened to the man who had recently become his friend.

In Earthly Remains, Donna Leon shows Venice through an insider’s eyes. From family meals and vaporetti rides to the never-ending influx of tourists and suffocating political corruption, the details and rhythms of everyday Venetian life are at the core of this thrilling novel, and of the terrible crime at its heart.


Boy on the BridgeThe Boy On The Bridge (M.R. Carey)

Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy.
The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world.
To where the monsters lived.

In The Boy On The Bridge, M. R. Carey returns to the world of The Girl With All The Gifts, the phenomenal word-of-mouth bestseller which is now a critically acclaimed film starring Sennia Nanua, Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine.


NON-FICTION

China Baby LoveChina Baby Love (Jane Hutcheon)

In 1997 Linda McCarthy Shum had a stable teaching career and a happy marriage with beloved partner Greg. Living in regional Queensland, Linda was a woman of deep faith with a family of grown children and grand-children on the way. She was 49 and her life was fine.

But Linda’s life had not always been so settled. Throughout her childhood she had been made to feel unwanted by a mother battling her own troubles. This cold beginning to Linda’s life journey, and the sad cruelty she had just read about in a newsletter, would soon bring her life undone.

The article spoke of Chinese babies being abandoned and dying because of a lack of human contact. The unwanted children were seen as ‘throwaway kids’ and armies of them were filling up the orphanages of China.

Linda Shum was appalled. A year later, on her first-ever trip overseas, she visited an orphanage filled with sick and dying children, the hidden human aftermath of China’s One-Child Policy.

For almost two decades, while China busily developed into a wealthy economy, Linda has travelled back and forth from her home, raising money to better care for the orphans. Battling distrusting government officials and a constant lack of funds, Linda has saved countless little lives, while also establishing a school in the orphanage and a foster-care program.

Today she is the founder and President of the Chinese Orphans Assistance Team (COAT). Linda’s work has given the ‘throwaway kids’ a brighter future, but her achievements have been hard won. During her twenty-year sojourn against sorrow, Linda has had to overcome her own tragedies, surviving breast cancer and a double mastectomy and later the loss of her husband Greg.

Host of ABC-TV’s One Plus One, and former China correspondent, Jane Hutcheon was captivated by Linda Shum’s story and driven to write a compelling account of a passionate and complex woman who has journeyed into the abandoned heart of the world’s most populous nation.


 

Ferment for GoodFerment For Good (Sharon Flynn)

The ancient art of fermenting is finding new popularity again as modern science and trends discover the importance of gut health for overall wellbeing.

Ferment for Good is a guide to discovering the joys of fermentation in its myriad variations – framed through the eyes of Sharon Flynn, a one-time English teacher who has hooked early in her 20s and has since made it her life’s work to learn and share all there is to know about this most ancient of practices.

Her mission with her business is for the person who buys her products to feel as if they are receiving it from an old friend – one who desperately wants to share her discovery and passion with them. So too with the book. Alongside a how-to guide to the basics (why do it; what you need; and what you’ll get), the book offers sections on wild fermented vegetables (including sauerkraut, kimchi and brine ferments); drinks (water kefir, kombucha, Jun tea, pineapple wine, mead); milk and dairy (including yoghurt and milk kefir), condiments and breads (such as mustard, spreads, dosa and injera); and Japanese ferments (including miso & tamari, soy sauce, sake kasu and pickled ginger).

Sharon Flynn shares her knowledge of and passion for fermentation in her accessible, chatty style, combining personal anectdotes of her fermenting adventures with hands-on instructions on how to set up your own benchtop fermentary at home. She completes the package by sharing her favourite recipes and ideas for incorporating ferments into your everyday life and meals.

Lovingly illustrated and featuring informative photos, Ferment for Good is a beautiful, carefully curated collection to introduce you to the world of fermentation.


 

Between themBetween Them: Remembering My Parents (Richard Ford)

Richard Ford’s parents volunteered little about their early lives – and he rarely asked. Later, he pieced their stories together from anecdote, history and the occasional photograph, frozen moments linking him to another time.

Edna Akin, a dark-eyed Arkansas beauty whose convent education was cut short by her itinerant parents, fell in love aged only seventeen. Parker Ford was a tall country boy with a warm, hesitant smile, who was working at a grocery in Hot Springs. They married and began a life on the road in the American South, as Parker followed his travelling salesman’s job. The 1930s were like one long weekend, a swirl of miles traversed, cocktails drunk and hotel rooms vacated: New Orleans, Memphis, Texarkana. Then a single, late child was born, changing everything.

In this book, Richard Ford evokes a vivid panorama of mid-twentieth century America, and an intimate portrait of family life. Exploring children’s changing perception of their parents, he also reflects on the impact of loss and devotion. Written with the intelligence, precision and humanity for which Ford is renowned, Between Them is both a son’s great act of love and a redeeming meditation on family.


 

Depends what you mean by extremeistDepends 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 . . .


 

PICTURE STORY

Olivia the spyOlivia The Spy (Ian Falconer)

Everyone’s favorite pig is about to have a birthday…but will her penchant for eavesdropping lead to more than presents?

Olivia’s birthday is days away. Plans must be made. Who makes plans? Moms! Who simply must know the plans? Olivia, who is NOT above eavesdropping. But when she not-so-accidentally-but-kinda overhears her mom talking about her not-so-squeaky-clean-and-possibly-very-bad-behavior, Olivia’s imagination runs wild…because it sounds like not only will there be no birthday, but Mom might just be sending her to military school instead. What a BAD birthday that would be!


 

We're all wondersWe’re All Wonders (R.J.Palacio)

I know I can’t change the way I look. But maybe, just maybe, people can change the way they see . . .

Wonder is the unforgettable story of August Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. With over 5 million copies sold, Wonder is a true modern classic, a life-changing read, and has inspired kindness and acceptance in countless readers.

Now younger readers can discover the Wonder message with this gorgeous picture book, starring Auggie and his dog Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R.J. Palacio.  With spare, powerful text and richly-imagined illustrations, We’re All Wonders shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world – a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way.

We’re All Wonders taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and teachers to talk about empathy, difference and kindness with young children.


Stack the catsStack The Cats (Susie Ghahremani)

One cat sleeps. Two cats play. Three cats stack!

Stack the Cats is a charming book about counting and organizing cats in various formations. But when the cats decide to go their own way as cats often will it’s time to count down until there’s only one sweet cat left. Counting forward and backward, understanding when there are more or fewer of something, and grouping and recognizing the number of items in a group are key early-math skills for toddlers, making Stack the Cats as developmentally sound as it is ridiculously adorable.


 

JUNIOR FICTION

Boy and the spyThe Boy And The Spy (Felice Arena)

Life has never been easy for Antonio, but since the war began there are German soldiers on every corner, fearsome gangsters and the fascist police everywhere, and no one ever has enough to eat. But when Antonio decides to trust a man who has literally fallen from the sky, he leaps into an adventure that will change his life and maybe even the future of Sicily…


 

Different DogA Different Dog (Paul Jennings)

The forest is dense and dark. And the trail full of unexpected perils. The dog can’t move. The boy can’t talk. And you won’t know why. Or where you are going. You will put this story down not wanting the journey to end.

But it’s from Paul Jennings so watch out for the ambush.

One of the best. From one of the best.


 

Turners Fully DoomedFully Doomed (The Turner’s #3) (Mick Elliott)

Leo Lennox is in big trouble.

Actually, every Turner on the planet is in big trouble: a deranged scientist is threatening to expose their secret world and destroy them all.

With help from a pair of guerrilla gorillas (and their incredible inventions), his nerdy friend Ernie, and his annoying-but-sort-of-all-right older sister Abbie, Leo must criss-cross the world to stop the mad doctor before he serves up the full buffet of doom to Turners everywhere.

If he can’t, the planet won’t be just a little bit doomed – it’ll be fully doomed!

The riotous and fast-paced conclusion to the bestselling TURNERS trilogy.


 

Blink and You dieBlink And You Die (Ruby Redfort #6) (Lauren Child)

Say goodbye to Ruby Redfort: every smart kid’s smart kid. The mind-blowing conclusion to the thrilling series by award-winning author Lauren Child. Ruby Redfort: undercover agent, code-cracker and thirteen-year-old genius – you can count on her when the ice starts to crack.

All good things come to an end… Ruby Redfort is running scared, a whole bunch of people want her dead and worst of all one of them is on her team. But just who is this agent of doom?

You can run, Ruby, but you can’t hide…


 

YOUNG ADULT

Court of Wings and RuinA Court of Wings and Ruin (Sarah J. Maas)

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.


 

Begin end beginBegin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology (Edited by Danielle Binks)

The YA event of the year.

Bestsellers. Award-winners. Superstars.

This anthology has them all.

With brilliantly entertaining short stories from beloved young adult authors Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Will Kostakis, Ellie Marney, Jaclyn Moriarty, Michael Pryor, Alice Pung, Gabrielle Tozer, Lili Wilkinson and Danielle Binks, this all-new collection will show the world exactly how much there is to love about Aussie YA.


 

ReleaseRelease (Patrick Ness)

Today will change Adam Thorn’s life. Between his religious family, unpleasant boss and his ex-boyfriend, the bindings of his world are coming undone. And way across town, a ghost has risen from the lake. Is there time for Adam to find his release?

A startling and tender novel about how to let yourself love and set yourself free by Patrick Ness, the twice Carnegie Medal-winning author of A Monster Calls.


 

Dark ProphecyThe Dark Prophecy (Trials of Apollo #2) (Rick Riordan)

The god Apollo, cast down to earth and trapped in the form of a gawky teenage boy as punishment, must set off on the second of his harrowing (and hilarious) trials.

He and his companions seek the ancient oracles – restoring them is the only way for Apollo to reclaim his place on Mount Olympus – but this is easier said than done.

Somewhere in the American Midwest is a haunted cave that may hold answers for Apollo in his quest to become a god again . . . if it doesn’t kill him or drive him insane first. Standing in Apollo’s way is the second member of the evil Triumvirate – a Roman emperor whose love of bloodshed and spectacle makes even Nero look tame.

To survive the encounter, Apollo will need the help of a now-mortal goddess, a bronze dragon, and some familiar demigod faces from Camp Half-Blood. With them by his side, can Apollo face down the greatest challenge of his four thousand years of existence?

 

 

 

 

 

BEST SELLERS: April: 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.


Fifteen Young Men2. 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.


CSIRO3. CSIRO Low Carb Diet (Grant Brinkworth)

Based on emerging research from around the world, as well as original CSIRO research recently conducted in Australia, the low-carb diet has proved successful in managing lifestyle-induced metabolic diseases, including unhealthy weight gain and type 2 diabetes. The diet lowers the proportion of carbohydrate relative to protein and unsaturated ‘healthy’ fat, and encourages participants to follow a regular exercise routine.

This easy-to-follow, comprehensive lifestyle plan integrates these principles and can help you not only to reach your weight-loss goals, but also to maximise its benefits for improved metabolic health, blood glucose control and diabetes management.


Trigger_Warning_cover-250x2504. Trigger Warning (Bill Leak)

Bill Leak’s daily cartoons in The Australian newspaper have been variously described as the works of a genius and Australia’s most insightful and thought-provoking arbiter of the main story of the day. Thumbing through Trigger Warning, a collection of Bill’s cartoons from 2016, it’s easy to argue that those terms have not been used loosely.


Lion5. Lion: A Long Way Home (Saroo Brierley)

When Saroo Brierley used Google Earth to find his long-lost home town half a world away, he made global headlines.

Saroo had become lost on a train in India at the age of five. Not knowing the name of his family or where he was from, he survived for weeks on the streets of Kolkata, before being taken into an orphanage and adopted by a couple in Australia.

Despite being happy in his new family, Saroo always wondered about his origins. He spent hours staring at the map of India on his bedroom wall. When he was a young man the advent of Google Earth led him to pore over satellite images of the country for landmarks he recognised. And one day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for.

Then he set off on a journey to find his mother.

Lion: A Long Way Home is a moving and inspirational true story that celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit – hope. Now a major motion picture starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara.


Unmasked6. Unmasked (Turia Pitt)

Whether via the numerous media reports, 60 Minutes specials, Women’s Weekly cover stories or her first book, Everything To Live For, we know about the why, how and what of that fateful day in September 2011. We know how she died four times on the operating table and her tortuous road to recovery. We’ve had a glimpse of the love of her boyfriend, Michael, that sustained her, and seen hints of the inner-strength that has made her one of the most admired women in the country. But until now, the true essence of this most remarkable Australian, plus the toll her accident has all taken on her and those around her, have remained a mystery.

How and why does she push herself to ever greater physical and mental limits? What does she see when she looks in the mirror? How does her sudden celebrity (for the most unorthodox of reasons) sit with her? What lessons has she learned in the past five years? And, crucially, how can each and every one of us take those lessons and apply them to our own lives?

More than a simple chronology of events – and against the backdrop of a never-ending series of impressive physical feats, including climbing the Great Wall of China, walking the Kokoda Track and competing in not one but two Ironman competitions – this book unmasks the real Turia: funny, fierce, intelligent, flawed.

With the benefit of hindsight and five years’ worth of getting of wisdom, Turia is only now able to account for how she prevailed where others might have faltered. And for the first time, in this book we get to know the people who – by Turia’s own admission – made her recovery possible.

Unmasked will reveal the woman behind the headlines, and in so doing, uncover the grace, humour and inner-steel that gets Turia Pitt through every day – and which leaves the rest of us watching on in amazement.


 

White Queen Quarterly Essay7. Quarterly Essay: The White Queen (David Marr)

Most Australians despise what Pauline Hanson stands for, yet politics in this country is now orbiting around One Nation.

In this timely Quarterly Essay, David Marr looks at Australia’s politics of fear, resentment and race. Who votes One Nation, and why? How much of this is due to inequality? How much to racism? How should the major parties respond to anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim voices? What damage do Australia’s new entrepreneurs of hate inflict on the nation?

Written with drama and wit, this is a ground-breaking look at politics and prejudice by one of Australia’s best writers.

“This woman went to prison, danced the cha-cha on national television for a couple of years, and failed so often at the ballot box she became a running joke. But the truth is she never left us. She was always knocking on the door. Most of those defeats at the polls were close-run things. For twenty years political leaders appeased Hanson’s followers while working to keep her out of office. The first strategy tainted Australian politics. The second eventually failed. So she’s with us again – the Kabuki make-up, that mop of red hair and the voice telling us what we already know: ‘I’m fed up.’” —David Marr


 

Mrs Kelly8. Mrs Kelly (Grantlee Kieza)

When Ned Kelly’s mother, Ellen, arrived in Melbourne in 1841 aged nine, British convict ships were still dumping their unhappy cargo in what was then known as the colony of New South Wales. By the time she died aged ninety-one in 1923, having outlived seven of her twelve children, motor cars plied the highway near her bush home north of Melbourne, and Australia was a modern, sovereign nation.

Like so many pioneering women, Ellen, the wife of a convict, led a life of great hardship. Born in Ireland during a time of entrenched poverty and sectarian violence, she was a mother of seven when her husband died after months in a police lock-up. She lived through famine and drought, watched her babies die, listened through the prison wall while her eldest son was hanged and saw the charred remains of another of her children who’d died in a shoot-out with police. One son became Australia’s most infamous (and ultimately most celebrated) outlaw; another became a highly decorated policeman, an honorary member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and a worldwide star on the rodeo circuit. Through it all, ‘the notorious Mrs Kelly’, as she was dubbed by Victoria’s Assistant Police Commissioner, survived as best she could, like so many pioneering women of the time.

By bestselling biographer Grantlee Kieza, Mrs Kelly is the astonishing story of one of Australia’s most notorious women and her wild family, but it’s also the story of the making of Australia, from struggling colony and backwater to modern nation.


Beyond the Rock9. Beyond The Rock (Janelle Mcculoch)

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Joan Lindsay’s writing of Picnic at Hanging Rock

In the winter of 1966, at sixty-nine years of age, Lady Joan Lindsay sat down and wrote a short novel about a group of upper-class schoolgirls from a prestigious ladies’ college who disappear while on a country picnic in the summer of 1900. The result was Picnic at Hanging Rock, a literary mystery that has endured for half a century.

Beyond the Rock looks at not just the myth of Picnic and how it has become part of Australia’s culture, but also the story behind it. It examines Joan Lindsay’s enigmatic life, much of which she kept secret from the world, including her childhood, her complex marriage to Daryl Lindsay of the famous Lindsay family of artists, their enduring love and unconventional bohemian life, and her life at Mulberry Hill, the Lindsays’ own Arcadia deep in the Victorian countryside.

This is the story of one of Australia’s most famous novels, and the author who kept its secrets until she died.


Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller10. The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller (Carol Baxter)

Petite, glamorous and beguiling, Jessie ‘Chubbie’ Miller was one remarkable woman … flyer, thrill seeker, heartbreaker. No adventure was too wild for her, no danger too extreme. And all over the world men adored her.

When the young Jessie left suburban Melbourne and her newspaperman husband in 1927, little did she know that she’d become the first woman to complete an England to Australia flight (with a black silk gown thrown into her small flight bag, just in case), or fly the first air race for women with Amelia Earhart, or that she would disappear over the Florida Straits feared lost forever only to charm her way to a rescue. Nor could she have predicted that five years later she’d find herself at the centre of one of the most notorious and controversial murder trials in United States history. And this all began with something as ridiculously mundane as a pat of butter.

The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller is a spellbinding story of an extraordinary woman – an international celebrity during the golden age of aviation – and her passionate and spirited life.


fightlikeagirl11. Fight Like A Girl (Clementine Ford)

A friend recently told me that the things I write are powerful for her because they have the effect of making her feel angry instead of just empty. I want to do this for all women and young girls – to take the emptiness and numbness they feel about being a girl in this world and turn it into rage and power. I want to teach all of them how to FIGHT LIKE A GIRL.

Online sensation, fearless feminist heroine and scourge of trolls and misogynists everywhere, Clementine Ford is a beacon of hope and inspiration to thousands of Australian women and girls. Her incendiary debut Fight Like A Girl is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, and exposes just how unequal the world continues to be for women. Crucially, it is a call to arms for all women to rediscover the fury that has been suppressed by a society that still considers feminism a threat.

Fight Like A Girl will make you laugh, cry and scream. But above all it will make you demand and fight for a world in which women have real equality and not merely the illusion of it.


Black Emu12. Dark Emu (Bruce Pascoe)

***2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Indigenous Writers Prize Joint Winner***

Dark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for precolonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating and storing – behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Gerritsen and Gammage in their latest books support this premise but Pascoe takes this further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie.

Almost all the evidence comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources.


Insomniac City13. Insomniac City (Bill Hayes)

Bill Hayes came to New York City in 2009 with a one-way ticket and only the vaguest idea of how he would get by. But, at forty-eight years old, having spent decades in San Francisco, he craved change. Grieving over the death of his partner, he quickly discovered the profound consolations of the city’s incessant rhythms, the sight of the Empire State Building against the night sky, and New Yorkers themselves, kindred souls that Hayes, a lifelong insomniac, encountered on late-night strolls with his camera.

And he unexpectedly fell in love again, with his friend and neighbor, the writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks, whose exuberance–“I don’t so much fear death as I do wasting life,” he tells Hayes early on–is captured in funny and touching vignettes throughout. What emerges is a portrait of Sacks at his most personal and endearing, from falling in love for the first time at age seventy-five to facing illness and death (Sacks died of cancer in August 2015). Insomniac City is both a meditation on grief and a celebration of life. Filled with Hayes’s distinctive street photos of everyday New Yorkers, the book is a love song to the city and to all who have felt the particular magic and solace it offers.


After14. After (Nikki Gemmell)

Australia’s bravest and most honest writer explores the devastating aftermath of her elderly mother’s decision to end her own life.

Nikki Gemmell’s world changed forever in October 2015 when the body of her elderly mother was found and it became clear she had decided to end her own life. After the immediate shock and devastation came the guilt and the horror, for Nikki, her family, relatives and friends. No note was left, so the questions that Elayn’s death raised were endless. Was the decision an act of independence or the very opposite? Was it a desperate act driven by hopelessness and anger, or was her euthanasia a reasoned act of empowerment?

After is the story of Elayn Gemmell – and the often difficult, prickly relationship between mothers and daughters, and how that changes over time. As anguished as it truthful, as powerful as it is profound, After is about life, death, elderly parents, mothers and daughters, hurt and healing, and about how little, sometimes, we know the ones we love the most.

A deeply intimate, fiercely beautiful, blazingly bold and important book.


 

Everywhere I look15. Everywhere I Look (Helen Garner)

I pedal over to Kensington just after dark. As I roll along the lane towards the railway underpass, a young Asian woman on her way home from the station walks out of the tunnel towards me. After she passes there’s a stillness, a moment of silent freshness that feels like spring.

Helen Garner is one of Australia’s greatest writers. Her short non-fiction has enormous range. Spanning fifteen years of work, Everywhere I Look is a book full of unexpected moments, sudden shafts of light, piercing intuition, flashes of anger and incidental humour. It takes us from backstage at the ballet to the trial of a woman for the murder of her newborn baby. It moves effortlessly from the significance of moving house to the pleasure of re-reading Pride and Prejudice.

Everywhere I Look includes Garner’s famous and controversial essay on the insults of age, her deeply moving tribute to her mother and extracts from her diaries, which have been part of her working life for as long as she has been a writer. Everywhere I Look glows with insight. It is filled with the wisdom of life.


8 week blood sugar diet16. Eight Week Blood Sugar Diet (Michael Mosley)

Everywhere we look in the world today, we are encouraged to treat ourselves to foods and drinks that are damaging our bodies. Eating low-quality carbohydrates produces a constant overload of sugar in our blood stream that furs up the arteries and piles fat into our internal organs. The result has been a doubling in the number of type-2 diabetics over the last few decades, as well as a surge in those with the potentially hazardous condition, pre-diabetes.

It is now known that even moderately elevated blood sugar levels can trigger a range of life-threatening diseases, including cancer, heart disease and dementia. Scientists in the UK have recently made a revolutionary discovery. They have not only identified an important cause of type-2 diabetes but have demonstrated in medical trials that you can prevent and even reverse the condition.

In this book Dr Michael Mosley, the medical journalist who alerted the world to the benefits of intermittent fasting draws on the work of Professor Roy Taylor – one of the UK’s foremost diabetes experts – to present a radical new solution to ‘diabesity’. He explains the science of how and why rapid weight loss combats blood sugar problems, and offers a clear, precise plan – complete with delicious, healthy recipes and menu plans – to enable you to regain your health and then stay on track – medication free. As Dr Mosley says, it is never too late to act…


basics_to_brilliance_17. Basics To Brilliance (Donna Hay)

Donna believes that, just like anything you want to be good at, mastering the basics is how you build confidence. So, in this book, she’s sharing all her favourite, tried and true recipes – think the perfect tender steak, golden roast chicken, crispy pork belly, her nan’s sponge cake, and of course the fudgiest brownies! Each basic recipe is followed by clever variations and simple flavour change-ups, so one recipe becomes many and your repertoire naturally grows. Take Donna’s ‘no-fail meringue mixture’ – once mastered, this basic recipe can be tweaked to be turned into the perfect pavlova; divinely flavoured salted caramel, chocolate, rosewater and pistachio, and raspberry meringues for an elegant afternoon tea; or a silky smooth and tangy lemon meringue pie for a divine dessert for a dinner party.

This is your ultimate guide to being brilliant in the kitchen!


Kitchen Garden Cooking Companion18. Kitchen Garden Companion (Stephanie Alexander)

This is the ultimate garden-to-table guide from one of Australia’s most highly regarded food writers.

Authoritative and distinctly personal, the book offers detailed garden and kitchen notes for 73 vegetables, herbs and fruits, along with 250 delicious recipes. Just as The Cook’s Companion inspired a generation to rediscover the pleasures of the kitchen, Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion will revolutionise the way we think about sourcing, growing and sharing our food.


 

Full Bore19. Full Bore (William McInnnes)

A chance encounter in an auction house is the jumping-off point for William’s inimitable take on our sport-obsessed nation, Australian popular culture and the artefacts and memorabilia that both make us cringe with recognition and laugh with warm affection. His trademark humour and anecdotes litter this collection, making it a true delight.

These are truly Aussie stories: about us, and about the things – and the people – in our lives.

William McInnes, one of Australia’s best-loved entertainers and authors, takes a look at the Aussie obsession with sports and pop culture.


 

Annie's Farmhouse Kitchen20. 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.

BEST SELLERS: April: FICTION & CRIME

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 …


Between Wolf and Dog2. 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.


To Know My Crime3. To Know My Crime (Fiona Capp)

Having lost all his family’s money in ill-advised investments during the GFC, Ned is reduced to squatting in a boatshed in wealthy Portsea. He is avoiding the world, particularly his sister, Angela, who after an accident, is now a paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair, and completely dependent on both her carer, Mai, and Ned – not to mention the income from their family investments.

But one day, Ned overhears a conversation between a millionaire property developer and a politician, and realizes that this might be his opportunity to restore their fortunes … if he has the nerve.

A nail-biting and compelling story of risk, blackmail and the corrosive nature of guilt – and how we all have to live with the consequences of our actions.


goodpeople4. 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…


Thirst5. 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.


 

Truly madly deeply6. Truly Madly Guilty (Lianne Moriarty)

Clementine is haunted by regret. It was just a barbeque. They didn’t even know their hosts that well, they were friends of friends. They could so easily have said no.

But she and her husband Sam said yes, and now they can never change what they did and didn’t do that Sunday afternoon.

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One playful dog. It’s an ordinary weekend in the suburbs. What could possibly go wrong?

Marriage, sex, parenthood and friendship: Liane Moriarty takes these elements of our lives and shows us how guilt can expose the fault lines in any relationship, and it is not until we appreciate the fragility of life that we can truly value what we have.


See What I Have Done7. See What I have Done (Sarah Schmidt)

On 4 August 1892 Andrew and Abby Borden were murdered in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. During the inquest into the deaths, Lizzie Borden was arrested and charged with the murder of her father and her stepmother.

Through the eyes of Lizzie’s sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, the enigmatic stranger Benjamin and the beguiling Lizzie herself, we return to what happened that day in Fall River.

Lizzie Borden took an axe. Or did she?

A deeply atmospheric novel by a startling new Aussie talent; an incredibly unique look inside the mind of Lizzie Borden, famously accused of murdering her father and stepmother in 1892.


 

Big Lies Little Lies8. Big Little Lies (Lianne Moriarty)

The internationally bestselling author turns her unique gaze on the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves every day and what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.

‘I guess it started with the mothers.’
‘It was all just a terrible misunderstanding.’
‘I’ll tell you exactly why it happened.’

Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. A parent is dead. Was it murder, a tragic accident… or something else entirely?

Big Little Lies is a funny, heartbreaking, challenging story of ex-husbands and second wives, new friendships, old betrayals and and schoolyard politics.

‘Let me be clear. This is not a circus. This is a murder investigation.’


LastPaintingSaradeVos9. The Last Painting Of Sara De Vos (Dominic Smith)

In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted to the Guild of St. Luke in Holland as a master painter, the first woman to be so honoured. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain-a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the Manhattan bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she’s curating an exhibition of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive.

As the three threads intersect with increasing and exquisite suspense, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerises while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present.

In this extraordinary novel, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Australian writer Dominic Smith brilliantly bridges the historical and the contemporary, tracking a collision course between a rare landscape by a female Dutch painter of the Golden Age, an inheritor of the work in 1950s Manhattan, and a celebrated Australian art historian who painted a forgery of it in her youth.


Restorer10. The Restorer (Michael Sala)

After a year apart, Maryanne returns to her husband, Roy, bringing their eight-year-old son Daniel and his teenage sister Freya with her. The family move from Sydney to Newcastle, where Roy has bought a derelict house on the coast. As Roy painstakingly patches the holes in the floorboards and plasters over cracks in the walls, Maryanne believes, for a while, that they can rebuild a life together.

But Freya doesn’t want a fresh start—she just wants out—and Daniel drifts around the sprawling, run-down house in a dream, infuriating his father, who soon forgets the promises he has made.

Some cracks can never be smoothed over, and tension grows between Roy and Maryanne until their uneasy peace is ruptured—with devastating consequences.


Pilgrim11. 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.


Nomad12. Nomad (James Swallow)

Someone has betrayed your country and murdered your friends. You’re the only suspect. And the only one who can stop them striking again…

Marc Dane is a MI6 field agent at home behind a computer screen, one step away from the action. But when a brutal attack on his team leaves Marc as the only survivor – and with the shocking knowledge that there are traitors inside MI6 – he’s forced into the front line.

However the evidence seems to point towards Marc as the perpetrator of the attack. Accused of betraying his country, he must race against time to clear his name. With nowhere to turn to for help and no one left to trust, Marc is forced to rely on the elusive Rubicon group and their operative Lucy Keyes. Ex US Army, Lucy also knows what it’s like to be an outsider, and she’s got the skills that Marc is sorely lacking.

A terrorist attack is coming, one bigger and more deadly than has ever been seen before. With the eyes of the security establishment elsewhere, only Lucy and Marc can stop the attack before it’s too late.


All the light13. All The Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doer)

***WINNER OF THE 2016 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION***

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

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 she 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.


Little Life14. A Little Life (Hanya Yanagihara)

When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome – but that will define his life forever.

A Little Life is an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance.


 

Little Breton Bistro15. Little Breton Bistro (Nina George)

Marianne Messman longs to escape her loveless marriage to an uncaring husband – an artillery sergeant major named Lothar. On a day trip to Paris, Marianne decides to leap off the Pont Neuf into the Seine, but she is saved from drowning by a homeless man. While recovering in hospital, Marianne comes across a painting of the tiny port town of Kerdruc in Brittany and decides to try her luck on the coast.

In Kerdruc, Marianne meets a host of colourful characters who all gravitate around the restaurant of AR MOR (The Sea). It is this cast of true Bretons who become Marianne’s new family, and among whom she will find love once again. But with her husband looking to pull her back to her old life, Marianne is left with a choice: to step back into the known, or to take a huge jump into an exciting and unpredictable future.

A heart-warming story of romance and adventure from the internationally bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop.


 

birdmans-wife-9781925344998_lg16. The Birdman’s Wife (Melissa Ashley)

Artist Elizabeth Gould spent her life capturing the sublime beauty of birds the world had never seen before. But her legacy was eclipsed by the fame of her husband, John Gould. The Birdman’s Wife at last gives voice to a passionate and adventurous spirit who was so much more than the woman behind the man.

Elizabeth was a woman ahead of her time, juggling the demands of her artistic life with her roles as wife, lover, helpmate, and mother to an ever-growing brood of children. In a golden age of discovery, her artistry breathed wondrous life into countless exotic new species, including Charles Darwin’s Galapagos finches.

In The Birdman’s Wife a naïve young girl who falls in love with an ambitious genius comes into her own as a woman, an artist and a bold adventurer who defies convention by embarking on a trailblazing expedition to the colonies to discover Australia’s ‘curious’ birdlife.

An indelible portrait of an extraordinary woman overlooked by history – until now.


Jasper Jones17. Jasper Jones (Craig Silvey)

Artist Elizabeth Gould spent her life capturing the sublime beauty of birds the world had never seen before. But her legacy was eclipsed by the fame of her husband, John Gould. The Birdman’s Wife at last gives voice to a passionate and adventurous spirit who was so much more than the woman behind the man.

Elizabeth was a woman ahead of her time, juggling the demands of her artistic life with her roles as wife, lover, helpmate, and mother to an ever-growing brood of children. In a golden age of discovery, her artistry breathed wondrous life into countless exotic new species, including Charles Darwin’s Galapagos finches.

In The Birdman’s Wife a naïve young girl who falls in love with an ambitious genius comes into her own as a woman, an artist and a bold adventurer who defies convention by embarking on a trailblazing expedition to the colonies to discover Australia’s ‘curious’ birdlife.

An indelible portrait of an extraordinary woman overlooked by history – until now.


Girl You Left Behind18. The Girl You Left Behind (Jojo Moyes)

What happened to the girl you left behind?

France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe whilst her adored husband Edouard fights at the front. When she is ordered to serve the German officers who descend on her hotel each evening, her home becomes riven by fierce tensions. And from the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie’s portrait – painted by Edouard – a dangerous obsession is born, which will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision.

Almost a century later, and Sophie’s portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before he died. A chance encounter reveals the painting’s true worth, and its troubled history. A history that is about to resurface and turn Liv’s life upside down all over again…

Two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for what they love most – whatever the cost.  A hauntingly romantic and utterly irresistible new weepy from Jojo Moyes, author of the bestseller, Me Before You.


 

Hundred Small Lessons19. A Hundred Small Lessons (Ashley Hay)

Luminous and deeply affecting, A Hundred Small Lessons is about the many small decisions – the invisible moments – that come to make a life. The intertwined lives of two women from different generations tell a rich and intimate story of how we feel what it is to be human, and how place can transform who we are. It takes account of what it means to be mother or daughter; father or son. It’s a story of love, and of life.

When Elsie Gormley falls and is forced to leave her Brisbane home of sixty-two years, Lucy Kiss and her family move in, with their new life – new house, new city, new baby. Lucy and her husband Ben are struggling to transform from adventurous lovers to new parents and seek to smooth the rough edges of their present with memories of their past as they try to discover their future selves.

In her nearby nursing home, Elsie revisits the span of her life – the moments she can’t bear to let go; the haunts to which she might yet return. Her memories of marriage, motherhood, love and death are intertwined with her old house, whose rooms seem to breathe Elsie’s secrets into Lucy.

Through one hot, wet Brisbane summer, seven lives – and two different slices of time – wind along with the flow of the river, as two families chart the ways in which we come, sudden and oblivious, into each other’s stories, and the unexpected ripples that flow out from those chance encounters.


 

20. The Last Anniversary (Lianne Moriarty)

BEST SELLERS: March: FICTION & CRIME

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 …


To Know My Crime2. To Know My Crime
Fiona Capp

Having lost all his family’s money in ill-advised investments during the GFC, Ned is reduced to squatting in a boatshed in wealthy Portsea. He is avoiding the world, particularly his sister, Angela, who after an accident, is now a paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair, and completely dependent on both her carer, Mai, and Ned – not to mention the income from their family investments.

But one day, Ned overhears a conversation between a millionaire property developer and a politician, and realizes that this might be his opportunity to restore their fortunes … if he has the nerve.

A nail-biting and compelling story of risk, blackmail and the corrosive nature of guilt – and how we all have to live with the consequences of our actions.


Jasper Jones3. Jasper Jones
Craig Silvey

Full of unforgettable characters, a page-turning pace and outrageously good dialogue, this is a glorious novel – thoughtful, funny, heartbreaking and wise – about outsiders and secrets, and what it really means to be a hero.

Late on a hot summer night in the tail end of 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress.

Jasper takes him through town and to his secret glade in the bush, and it’s here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper’s horrible discovery. With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion as he locks horns with his tempestuous mother, falls nervously in love and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend, Jeffrey Lu.

And in vainly attempting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse. In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.


goodpeople4. 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…


Truly madly deeply5. Truly Madly Guilty
Liane Moriarty

Clementine is haunted by regret. It was just a barbeque. They didn’t even know their hosts that well, they were friends of friends. They could so easily have said no.

But she and her husband Sam said yes, and now they can never change what they did and didn’t do that Sunday afternoon.

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One playful dog. It’s an ordinary weekend in the suburbs. What could possibly go wrong?

Marriage, sex, parenthood and friendship: Liane Moriarty takes these elements of our lives and shows us how guilt can expose the fault lines in any relationship, and it is not until we appreciate the fragility of life that we can truly value what we have.


Between Wolf and Dog6. 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.


LastPaintingSaradeVos7. The Last Painting Of Sara De Vos
Dominic Smith

***WINNER OF THE 2017 INDIE AWARD FOR BEST FICTION***

In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted to the Guild of St. Luke in Holland as a master painter, the first woman to be so honoured. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain-a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the Manhattan bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she’s curating an exhibition of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive.

As the three threads intersect with increasing and exquisite suspense, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerises while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present.

In this extraordinary novel, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Australian writer Dominic Smith brilliantly bridges the historical and the contemporary, tracking a collision course between a rare landscape by a female Dutch painter of the Golden Age, an inheritor of the work in 1950s Manhattan, and a celebrated Australian art historian who painted a forgery of it in her youth.


Big little lies8. Big Little Lies
Liane Moriarty

The internationally bestselling author turns her unique gaze on the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves every day and what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.

‘I guess it started with the mothers.’
‘It was all just a terrible misunderstanding.’
‘I’ll tell you exactly why it happened.’

Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. A parent is dead. Was it murder, a tragic accident… or something else entirely?

Big Little Lies is a funny, heartbreaking, challenging story of ex-husbands and second wives, new friendships, old betrayals and and schoolyard politics.

‘Let me be clear. This is not a circus. This is a murder investigation.’


Restorer9. The Restorer
Michael Sala

After a year apart, Maryanne returns to her husband, Roy, bringing their eight-year-old son Daniel and his teenage sister Freya with her. The family move from Sydney to Newcastle, where Roy has bought a derelict house on the coast. As Roy painstakingly patches the holes in the floorboards and plasters over cracks in the walls, Maryanne believes, for a while, that they can rebuild a life together.

But Freya doesn’t want a fresh start—she just wants out—and Daniel drifts around the sprawling, run-down house in a dream, infuriating his father, who soon forgets the promises he has made.

Some cracks can never be smoothed over, and tension grows between Roy and Maryanne until their uneasy peace is ruptured—with devastating consequences.


Burial rites10. Burial Rites
Hannah Kent

Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, Burial Rites evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?


Pilgrim11. 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.


AFter You12. After You
Jojo Moyes

“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”
 
How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding-the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.  The much anticipated sequel to Me Before You.


 

Our-Souls-at-Night-mmp13. Our Souls At Night
Kent Haruf

Addie Moore’s husband died years ago, so did Louis Waters’ wife, and, as neighbours in Holt, Colorado they have naturally long been aware of each other. With their children now far away both live alone in houses empty of family. The nights are terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk to. Then one evening Addie pays Louis an unexpected visit. Their brave adventures-their pleasures and their difficulties-form the beating heart of Our Souls at Night.

Kent Haruf’s final novel is an exquisite and moving story about love and growing old with grace. It is a lasting tribute to the extraordinary author who wrote it.


 

birdmans-wife-9781925344998_lg14. The Birdman’s Wife
Melissa Ashley

Artist Elizabeth Gould spent her life capturing the sublime beauty of birds the world had never seen before. But her legacy was eclipsed by the fame of her husband, John Gould. The Birdman’s Wife at last gives voice to a passionate and adventurous spirit who was so much more than the woman behind the man.

Elizabeth was a woman ahead of her time, juggling the demands of her artistic life with her roles as wife, lover, helpmate, and mother to an ever-growing brood of children. In a golden age of discovery, her artistry breathed wondrous life into countless exotic new species, including Charles Darwin’s Galapagos finches.

In The Birdman’s Wife a naïve young girl who falls in love with an ambitious genius comes into her own as a woman, an artist and a bold adventurer who defies convention by embarking on a trailblazing expedition to the colonies to discover Australia’s ‘curious’ birdlife.

An indelible portrait of an extraordinary woman overlooked by history – until now.


InnocentBlood15. Innocent Blood
P.D James

Philippa Palfrey, adopted as a child, believes herself to be the motherless, illegitimate daughter of an aristocratic father. At eighteen she exercises her right to find out the truth. What she discovers will change her life forever.

Philippa enters a new and terrifying world and soon comes to realize that she is not the only one interested in her parents’ whereabouts.

Innocent Blood is both a mystery and a thriller, a superb novel that explores the themes of self-identity and the meaning of life.


Husbands secret16. The Husband’s Secret
Liane Moriarty

Cecilia Fitzpatrick, devoted mother, successful Tupperware business owner and efficient P&C President, has found a letter from her husband.

“For my wife, Cecilia Fitzpatrick, to be opened only in the event of my death”

But Cecilia’s husband isn’t dead, he’s on a business trip. And when she questions him about it on the phone, Cecilia senses something she hasn’t experienced before. John-Paul is lying.

What happens next changes Cecilia’s formerly blissful suburban existence forever, and the consequences will be life-changing for the most unexpected people.


 

978174275571717. The Light between Oceans
M.L.Stedman

They break the rules and follow their hearts. What happens next will break yours.

1926. Tom Sherbourne is a young lighthouse keeper on a remote island off Western Australia. The only inhabitants of Janus Rock, he and his wife Isabel live a quiet life, cocooned from the rest of the world.

Then one April morning a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a crying infant – and the path of the couple’s lives hits an unthinkable crossroads.

Only years later do they discover the devastating consequences of the decision they made that day – as the baby’s real story unfolds …


 

holding18. Holding
Graeme Norton

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; mother of two Brid Riordan hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste. So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke – a former love of both Brid and Evelyn – the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.

Darkly comic, touching and at times profoundly sad. Graham Norton employs his acerbic wit to breathe life into a host of lovable characters, and explore – with searing honesty – the complexities and contradictions that make us human.


 

Whistler19. The Whistler
John Grisham

The most corrupt judge in US history.

A young investigator with a secret informant.

The electrifying new thriller.

Lacy Stoltz never expected to be in the firing line. Investigating judicial misconduct by Florida’s one thousand judges, her cases so far have been relatively unexciting. That’s until she meets Greg Myers, an indicted lawyer with an assumed name, who has an extraordinary tale to tell.

Myers is representing a whistle blower who knows of a judge involved in organised crime. Along with her gangster associates this judge has facilitated the building of a casino on an Indian reservation. At least two people who opposed the scheme are dead. Since the casino was built, the judge has made several fortunes off undeclared winnings. She owns property around the world, hires private jets to take her where she wishes, and her secret vaults are overflowing with rare books, art and jewels.

No one has a clue what she’s been doing – until now.

Under Florida law, those who help the state recover illegally acquired assets stand to gain a large percentage of them. Myers and his whistle blower friend could make millions.

But first they need Lacy to start an investigation. Is she ready to pit herself against the most corrupt judge in American history, a judge whose associates think nothing of murder?


 

betterson20. The Better Son
Katherine Johnson

1952. Tasmania. The green, rolling hills of the dairy town Mole Creek have a dark underside — a labyrinthine underworld of tunnels that stretch for countless miles, caverns the size of cathedrals and underground rivers that flood after heavy rain. The caves are dangerous places, forbidden to children. But this is Tasmania — an island at the end of the earth. Here, rules are made to be broken.

For two young brothers, a hidden cave a short walk from the family farm seems the perfect escape from their abusive, shell-shocked father — until the older brother goes missing. Fearful of his father, nine-year-old Kip lies about what happened. It is a decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Fifty years later, Kip — now an award-winning scientist — has a young son of his own, but cannot look at him without seeing his lost brother, Tommy. On a mission of atonement, he returns to the cave they called Kubla to discover if it’s ever too late to set things right. To have a second chance. To be the father he never had.

The Better Son is a richly imaginative and universal story about the danger of secrets, the beauty in forgiveness and the enthralling power of Tasmania’s unique natural landscapes.

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