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DECEMBER BEST SELLERS

FICTION

Force of Nature1. Force of Nature
Jane Harper

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.

The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.

Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.


Two Steps Forward2. Two Steps Forward
Graeme Simsion & Anne Buist

Zoe, a sometime artist, is from California. Martin, an engineer, is from Yorkshire. Both have ended up in picturesque Cluny, in central France. Both are struggling to come to terms with their recent past—for Zoe, the death of her husband; for Martin, a messy divorce.

Looking to make a new start, each sets out alone to walk two thousand kilometres from Cluny to Santiago, in northwestern Spain, in the footsteps of pilgrims who have walked the Camino—the Way—for centuries. The Camino changes you, it’s said. It’s a chance to find a new version of yourself.

But can these two very different people find each other?

In this smart, funny and romantic journey, Martin’s and Zoe’s stories are told in alternating chapters by husband-and-wife team Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist.

Two Steps Forward is a novel about renewal—physical, psychological and spiritual. It’s about the challenge of walking a long distance and of working out where you are going. And it’s about what you decide to keep, what you choose to leave behind and what you rediscover.

Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist has been optioned by Fox Searchlight with Ellen DeGeneres and Jeff Kleeman producing it through A Very Good Production.


The Dry3. The Dry
Jane Harper

Who really killed the Hadler family?

It hasn’t rained in Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the farming community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are discovered shot to death on their property. Everyone assumes Luke Hadler committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son.

Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to his hometown for the funerals and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and his childhood friend Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke’s death threatens to unearth …


Long Way From Home4. A Long Way From Home
Peter Carey

Irene Bobs loves fast driving. Her husband is the best car salesman in western Victoria. Together they enter the Redex Trial, a brutal race around the ancient continent over roads no car will ever quite survive.

With them is their lanky fair-haired navigator, Willie Bachhuber, a quiz show champion and failed schoolteacher whose job it is to call out the turns, the grids, the creek crossings on a map that will finally remove them, without warning, from the lily-white Australia they know so well.

This thrilling, high-speed story starts in one way and then takes you someplace else. It is often funny, the more so as the world gets stranger, and always a page-turner, even as you learn a history these characters never knew themselves. Set in the 1950s amid the consequences of the age of empires, this brilliantly vivid and lively novel reminds us how Europeans took possession of a timeless culture – the high purpose they invented and the crimes they committed along the way.


Midnight Line5. The Midnight Line
Lee Child

Jack Reacher takes an aimless stroll past a pawn shop in a small Midwestern town. In the window he sees a West Point class ring from 2005. It’s tiny. It’s a woman cadet’s graduation present to herself. Why would she give it up? Reacher’s a West Pointer too, and he knows what she went through to get it.

Reacher tracks the ring back to its owner, step by step, down a criminal trail leading west. Like Big Foot come out of the forest, he arrives in the deserted wilds of Wyoming. All he wants is to find the woman. If she’s OK, he’ll walk away. If she’s not … he’ll stop at nothing.

He’s still shaken by the recent horrors of Make Me, and now The Midnight Line sees him set on a raw and elemental quest for simple justice. Best advice: don’t get in his way.


Passage of Love6. The Passage of Love
Alex Miller

Sitting in a New York park, an old man holds a book and tries to accept that his contribution to the future is over.

Instead, he remembers a youthful yearning for open horizons, for Australia, a yearning he now knows inspired his life as a writer. Instinctively he picks up his pen and starts at the beginning…

At twenty-one years, Robert Crofts leaves his broken dreams in Far North Queensland, finally stopping in Melbourne almost destitute. It’s there he begins to understand how books and writing might be the saving of him. They will be how he leaves his mark on the world. He also begins to understand how many obstacles there will be to thwart his ambition.

When Robert is introduced to Lena Soren, beautiful, rich and educated, his life takes a very different path. But in the intimacy of their connection lies an unknowability that both torments and tantalises as Robert and Lena long for something that neither can provide for the other.

In a rich blend of thoughtful and beautifully observed writing, the lives of a husband and wife are laid bare in their passionate struggle to engage with their individual creativity.


Wonder FTI7. Wonder
R.J.Palacio

‘My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.’

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things – eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside. But ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren’t stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?

Wonder is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.


The Choke8. The Choke
Sofie Laguna

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

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

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

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


Under the Cold Bright Lights9. Under The Cold Bright Lights
Garry Disher

The young detectives call Alan Auhl a retread, but that doesn’t faze him. He does things his own way—and gets results.

He still lives with his ex-wife, off and on, in a big house full of random boarders and hard-luck stories. And he’s still a cop, even though he retired from Homicide some years ago.

He works cold cases now. Like the death of John Elphick—his daughters still convinced he was murdered, the coroner not so sure. Or the skeleton that’s just been found under a concrete slab. Or the doctor who killed two wives and a girlfriend, and left no evidence at all.

Auhl will stick with these cases until justice is done. One way or another.


Pilgrim10. 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.


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.


5 Ingredients - Jamie Oliver_02. 5 Ingredients
Jamie Oliver

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

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

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

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


Unbreakable3. Unbreakable
Jelena Dokic and Jessica Halloran

This is a story of Jelena Dokic’s survival. How she survived as a refugee, twice. How she survived on the tennis court to become world No. 4. But, most importantly, how she survived her father, Damir Dokic, the tennis dad from hell.

Jelena was a prodigious talent, heralded as Australia’s greatest tennis hope since Evonne Goolagong. She had exceptional skills, a steely nerve and an extraordinary ability to fight on the court. Off it she endured huge challenges; being an ‘outsider’ in her new country, poverty and racism. Still she starred on the tennis court. By 18, she was in the world’s top 10. By 19, she was No. 4. The world was charmed by her and her story – a refugee whose family had made Australia home when she was eleven years old.

Jelena has not told a soul her incredible, explosive story in full – until now.

From war-torn Yugoslavia to Sydney to Wimbledon, she narrates her hellish ascent to becoming one of the best tennis players in the women’s game, and her heart-breaking fall from the top. Her gutsy honesty will leave you in awe. Her fight back from darkness will uplift you. Most of all, Jelena’s will to survive will inspire you.


Sagaland4. Saga Land
Richard Fidler and Kari Gislason

A new friendship.

An unforgettable journey.

A beautiful and bloody history.

This is Iceland as you’ve never read it before …

Broadcaster Richard Fidler and author Kári Gíslason are good friends. They share a deep attachment to the sagas of Iceland – the true stories of the first Viking families who settled on that remote island in the Middle Ages.These are tales of blood feuds, of dangerous women, and people who are compelled to kill the ones they love the most. The sagas are among the greatest stories ever written, but the identity of their authors is largely unknown.

Together, Richard and Kári travel across Iceland, to the places where the sagas unfolded a thousand years ago. They cross fields, streams and fjords to immerse themselves in the folklore of this fiercely beautiful island. And there is another mission: to resolve a longstanding family mystery – a gift from Kari’s Icelandic father that might connect him to the greatest of the saga authors.


 

Walks of the mornington peninsula5. Walks of the Mornington Peninsula
Ken Martin

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

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

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


 

Working Class Man6. Working Class Man
Jimmy Barnes

It’s a life too big and a story too extraordinary for just one book…

Jimmy Barnes has lived many lives – from Glaswegian migrant kid to iconic front man, from solo superstar to proud father of his own musical clan. In this hugely anticipated sequel to his critically acclaimed bestseller, Working Class Boy, Jimmy picks up the story of his life as he leaves Adelaide in the back of an old truck with a then unknown band called Cold Chisel.

A spellbinding and searingly honest reflection on success, fame and addiction; this self-penned memoir reveals how Jimmy Barnes used the fuel of childhood trauma to ignite and propel Australia’s greatest rock’n’roll story. But beyond the combustible merry-go-round of fame, drugs and rehab, across the Cold Chisel, solo and soul years – this is a story about how it’s never too late to try and put things right.


Burke and Wills7. Burke and Wills
Peter Fitzsimons

‘They have left here today!’ he calls to the others. When King puts his hand down above the ashes of the fire, it is to find it still hot. There is even a tiny flame flickering from the end of one log. They must have left just hours ago.

MELBOURNE, 20 AUGUST 1860. In an ambitious quest to be the first Europeans to cross the harsh Australian continent, the Victorian Exploring Expedition sets off, farewelled by 15,000 cheering well-wishers. Led by Robert O’Hara Burke, a brave man totally lacking in the bush skills necessary for his task; surveyor and meteorologist William Wills; and 17 others, the expedition took 20 tons of equipment carried on six wagons, 23 horses and 26 camels.

Almost immediately plagued by disputes and sackings, the expeditioners battled the extremes of the Australian landscape and weather: its deserts, the boggy mangrove swamps of the Gulf, the searing heat and flooding rains. Food ran short and, unable to live off the land, the men nevertheless mostly spurned the offers of help from the local Indigenous people.

In desperation, leaving the rest of the party at the expedition’s depot on Coopers Creek, Burke, Wills, Charley Gray and John King made a dash for the Gulf in December 1860. Bad luck and bad management would see them miss by just hours a rendezvous back at Coopers Creek, leaving them stranded in the wilderness with practically no supplies. Only King survived to tell the tale.

Yet, despite their tragic fates, the names of Burke and Wills have become synonymous with perseverance and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds. They live on in our nation’s history – and their story remains immediate and compelling.


Tinkering8. Tinkering: The Complete Book of John Clarke
John Clarke

This book tells the story of John Clarke’s writing life, including the fan letter he sent to All Black Terry Lineen when he was ten, a golf instruction manual unlike any other, Anna Karenina in forty-three words, and the moving essays he wrote after the deaths of his parents.

Tinkering is full of surprises, and includes all kinds of puzzles and propositions. Each one has different rules but together they reveal the different facets of John Clarke’s comic genius. In these pages you will find Fred Dagg dispensing advice on everything from dentistry to dreaming, the complete history of the lost sport of farnakeling, the famous ‘Quiz Answers’, and ‘Saint Paul’s Letter to the Electorates’ —a brilliant account of the Rudd–Gillard years that was first inscribed onto stone tablets.

Tinkering also includes previously unpublished material including the ‘Doorstop Poems’, and the ‘Letters from the School’ suggesting what a serious matter birdwatching was for John Clarke.


 

WIN_20180101_14_39_36_Pro9. Seasons of the Mornington Peninsula
Kate Donnelly

A visual adventure, Seasons is an experience for all who share dreams and aspirations for a more natural or rural life away from the humdrum of cities. Follow Kate through the four distinct seasons of the Mornington Peninsula and the thousands of kilometers she covers year-in, year-out, rain, hail or shine.  Seasons showcases the vital transition and evolutions of nature as well as the mood and tone of the community and region Kate lives in.  Seasons resonate with all who harbour a desire to take a moment – to break from the trials and tribulations of daily routines.


 

Voyage-of-the-Southern-Sun Cover10. Voyage of the Southern Sun
Michael Smith

University dropout Michael Smith built a multimillion-dollar business fitting out movie theatres around the world, before restoring Melbourne’s Sun Theatre and becoming one of the country’s last independent cinema operators. After a business deal went bad, and shaken by how close he had come to being wiped out, Smith took an even bigger risk: to become the first person to fly solo around the world in an amphibious plane, retracing the 1938 Qantas, Imperial and Pan Am flying boat routes between Sydney, Southampton and New York.

With limited flying experience, no support team and only basic instruments in his tiny single-engine flying boat, the Southern Sun, Smith risked his life to make modern aviation history. His adventures include an unexpected greeting by Special Branch on his arrival in the UK, a near-death experience while leaving Greenland, and a journey up the Mississippi, landing on the river and sleeping on sandbanks at night. He made eighty stops on his flight around the globe, exploring cities and communities, as well as visiting some seventy cinemas. All along the way Smith was updating his online journal, cheered on by more than 50,000 followers.

Smith’s historic flight lasted seven months, and took him from Australia to East Timor, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Crete, Croatia, Italy, France, England, Ireland,
Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, the United States, Japan and the Philippines, before finally returning to Australia.

This is the incredible story of his journey.

 

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