FICTION

The Dickens Boy
Tom Keneally

In the late 1800s, rather than run the risk of his under-achieving sons tarnishing his reputation at home, Charles Dickens sent two of them to Australia.

The tenth child of Charles Dickens, Edward Bulwer Lytton Dickens, known as Plorn, had consistently proved unable ‘to apply himself ’ to school or life. So aged sixteen, he is sent, as his brother Alfred was before him, to Australia.

Plorn arrives in Melbourne in late 1868 carrying a terrible secret. He has never read a word of his father’s work. He is sent out to a 2000-square-mile station in remotest New South Wales to learn to become a man, and a gentleman stockman, from the most diverse and toughest of companions. In the outback he becomes enmeshed with Paakantji, colonists, colonial-born, ex-convicts, ex-soldiers, and very few women.

Plorn, unexpectedly, encounters the same veneration of his father and familiarity with Dickens’ work in Australia as was rampant in England. Against this backdrop, and featuring cricket tournaments, horse-racing, bushrangers, sheep droving, shifty stock and station agents, frontier wars and first encounters with Australian women, Plorn meets extraordinary people and enjoys wonderful adventures as he works to prove himself.

This is Tom Keneally in his most familiar terrain. Taking historical figures and events and reimagining them with verve, compassion and humour. It is a triumph.


The Dictionary of Lost Words
Pip Williams

Motherless and irrepressibly curious, Esme spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of lexicographers are gathering words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary.

Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day, she sees a slip containing the word bondmaid flutter to the floor unclaimed. Esme seizes the word and hides it in an old wooden trunk that belongs to her friend, Lizzie, a young servant in the big house. Esme begins to collect other words from the Scriptorium that are misplaced, discarded or have been neglected by the dictionary men. They help her make sense of the world.

Over time, Esme realises that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women’s experiences often go unrecorded. She begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.

Set when the women’s suffrage movement was at its height and the Great War loomed, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. It’s a delightful, lyrical and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words, and the power of language to shape our experience of the world.


Providence
Max Barry

The video changed everything. Before that, we could believe that we were safe. Special. Chosen. We thought the universe was a twinkling ocean of opportunity, waiting to be explored. 

Afterward, we knew better.

Seven years after first contact, Providence Five launches. It is an enormous and deadly warship, built to protect humanity from its greatest ever threat. On board is a crew of just four-tasked with monitoring the ship and reporting the war’s progress to a mesmerized global audience by way of social media.

But while pursuing the enemy across space, Gilly, Talia, Anders, and Jackson confront the unthinkable: their communications are cut, their ship decreasingly trustworthy and effective. To survive, they must win a fight that is suddenly and terrifyingly real.

An inventive, speculative adventure and the intimate tale of four people facing their most desperate hour – alone, together, at the edge of the universe.


Gathering Dark
Candice Fox

A convicted killer. A gifted thief. A vicious crime boss. A disillusioned cop.
Together they’re a missing girl’s only hope.

Blair Harbour, once a wealthy, respected surgeon in Los Angeles, is now an ex-con down on her luck. She’s determined to keep her nose clean to win back custody of her son.

But when her former cellmate, Sneak Lawlor, begs for help to find her missing daughter, Blair is compelled to put her new-found freedom on the line. Joined by LA’s most feared underworld figure, Ada Maverick, the crew of criminals bring outlaw tactics to the search for Dayly.

Detective Jessica Sanchez has always had a difficult relationship with the LAPD. And her inheritance of a $7 million mansion as a reward for catching a killer has just made her police enemy number one.

It’s been ten years since Jessica arrested Blair for the cold-blooded murder of her neighbour. So when Jessica opens the door to the disgraced doctor and her friends early one morning she expects abuse, maybe even violence.

What comes instead is a plea for help.


The Loudness of Unsaid Things
Hilde Hinton

Miss Kaye works at The Institute. A place for the damaged, the outliers, the not-quite rights. Everyone has different strategies to deal with the residents. Some bark orders. Some negotiate tirelessly. Miss Kaye found that simply being herself was mostly the right thing to do.

Susie was seven when she realised she’d had her fill of character building. She’d lie between her Holly Hobbie sheets thinking how slowly birthdays come around, but how quickly change happened. One minute her Dad was saying that the family needed to move back to the city and then, SHAZAM, they were there. Her mum didn’t move to the new house with them. And Susie hated going to see her mum at the mind hospital. She never knew who her mum would be. Or who would be there. As the years passed, there were so many things Susie wanted to say but never could.

Miss Kaye will teach Susie that the loudness of unsaid things can be music – and together they will learn that living can be more than surviving.


Sheerwater
Leah Swann

Ava and her two young sons, Max and Teddy, are driving to their new home in Sheerwater, hopeful of making a fresh start in a new town, although Ava can’t help but keep looking over her shoulder. They’re almost at their destination when they witness a shocking accident – a light plane crashing in the field next to the road. Ava stops to help, but when she gets back to the car, she realises that somehow, among the smoke, fire and confusion, her sons have gone missing …

From a substantial new Australian writing talent, Sheerwater is tense, emotional, unforgettable. Perfect for readers of Mark Brandi’s Wimmera and Stephanie Bishop’s The Other Side of the World, this is a beautifully written, propulsive, gut-wrenching and unputdownable novel – an aching, powerful story of the heroic acts we are capable of in the name of love.


Stone Sky Gold Mountain
Mirandi Riwoe

Family circumstances force siblings Ying and Lai Yue to flee their home in China to seek their fortunes in Australia. Life on the gold fields is hard, and they soon abandon the diggings and head to nearby Maytown. Once there, Lai Yue finds a job as a carrier on an overland expedition, while Ying finds work in a local store and strikes up a friendship with Meriem, a young white woman with her own troubled past. When a serious crime is committed, suspicion falls on all those who are considered outsiders.

Evoking the rich, unfolding tapestry of Australian life in the late nineteenth century, Stone Sky Gold Mountain is a heartbreaking and universal story about the exiled and displaced, about those who encounter discrimination yet yearn for acceptance.


The Glass Hotel
Emily St John Mandel

Vincent is the beautiful bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass-and-cedar palace on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. New York financier Jonathan Alkaitis owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it’s the beginning of their life together. That same day, a hooded figure scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: ‘Why don’t you swallow broken glass.’ Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship

Weaving together the lives of these characters, Emily St John Mandel’s The Glass Hotel moves between the ship, the skyscrapers of Manhattan, and the wilderness of remote British Columbia, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of our pasts. The extraordinary new novel from the bestselling, award-winning author of Station Eleven.


Hamnet
Maggie O’Farrell

On a summer’s day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?

Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week.

Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker’s son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.


The Motion of the Body Through Space
Lionel Shriver

Allergic to group activities of any kind, all her life Serenata has run, swum, and cycled – on her lonesome. But now that she’s hit 60, all that physical activity has destroyed her knees. As she contemplates surgery with dread, her previously sedentary husband Remington, recently and ignominiously redundant, chooses this precise moment to discover exercise.

Which should be good for his health, right? Yet as he joins the cult of fitness that seems increasingly to consume the whole of the Western world, her once-modest husband burgeons into an unbearable narcissist. Ignoring all his other obligations in the service of extreme sport, he engages a saucy, taunting personal trainer named Bambi, who treats his wife with contempt. When Remington announces his intention to compete in a legendarily gruelling triathlon, MettleMan, Serenata is sure he’s going to end up injured or dead – but the stubbornness of an ageing man in Lycra is not to be underestimated.

The story of an obsession, of a marriage, of a betrayal: The Motion of the Body Through Space is Lionel Shriver at her hilarious, sharp-eyed, audacious best.


Redhead by the Side of the Road
Anne Tyler

Micah Mortimer isn’t the most polished person you’ll ever meet. His numerous sisters and in-laws regard him oddly but very fondly, but he has his ways and means of navigating the world. He measures out his days running errands for work – his TECH HERMIT sign cheerily displayed on the roof of his car – maintaining an impeccable cleaning regime and going for runs (7-15, every morning). He is content with the steady balance of his life.

But then the order of things starts to tilt. His woman friend Cassia (he refuses to call anyone in her late thirties a ‘girlfriend’) tells him she’s facing eviction because of a cat. And when a teenager shows up at Micah’s door claiming to be his son, Micah is confronted with another surprise he seems poorly equipped to handle.

Redhead by the Side of the Road is an intimate look into the heart and mind of a man who sometimes finds those around him just out of reach – and a love story about the differences that make us all unique.


Hitler’s Peace
Philip Kerr

Autumn 1943. Hitler knows he cannot win the war: now he must find a way to make peace. FDR and Stalin are willing to negotiate; only Churchill refuses to listen. The upcoming Allied Tehran conference will be where the next steps – whatever they are – will be decided.

Into this nest of double- and triple-dealing steps Willard Mayer, OSS agent and FDR’s envoy to the conference. His job is to secure the peace that the USA and Hitler now crave. The stakes couldn’t be higher.

Showcasing Philip Kerr’s brilliant research and masterful plotting at its best, Hitler’s Peace is a fitting coda to the career of one of the masters of the historical thriller.


NON-FICTION

Friends and Rivals
Brenda Niall

Four Australian women writing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries-a time when stories of bush heroism and mateship abounded, a time when a writing career might be an elusive thing for a woman.

Friends and Rivals is a vivid and engaging account of the intersecting and entwined lives of Ethel Turner, author of the much loved Seven Little Australians, Barbara Baynton, who wrote of the harshness of bush life, Nettie Palmer, essayist and critic, and Henry Handel Richardson, of The Getting of Wisdom and The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney fame.

Brenda Niall illuminates a fascinating time in Australia’s literary history and brings to life the remarkable women who made it so.


Daddy Cool
Darleen Bungey

Who can ever truly know their parents?

He was a glamorous heart-throb, a famous American singer performing in front of Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Clark Gable and other stars at the Academy Awards. In the 1930s, his recording of ‘Hawaiian Paradise’ outsold those of Bing Crosby and Guy Lombardo.

So how did he become an Australian infantryman, fighting alongside and performing for his fellow Diggers in Palestine, Beirut, Egypt and New Guinea? Why did he leave Hollywood and the ritziest hotels in America for a modest Californian bungalow in suburban Sydney? And what caused him to cease his endless drifting from one woman to another, one marriage to another, and settle with the love of his life?

She was a strong Aussie woman, a talented radio broadcaster and publicity agent. Why did she take a chance on this reckless vagabond and notorious womaniser?

Seeking answers, Darleen Bungey turns her biographical skills on her own family, exploring her father’s multi-layered and at times tempestuous life with a truthful eye and loving heart.


Captain Cook’s Epic Voyage
Geoffrey Blainey

In 1768 Captain James Cook and his crew set sail on a small British naval vessel, the boldly named Endeavour, bound for the Pacific Ocean. He was ordered to establish an observatory at Tahiti in order to record the 1769 transit of Venus, and – with the skills of naturalist Joseph Banks and his team – to collect natural history in this far part of the world. But Cook’s brief also included a secret mission from the British Admiralty: to discover Terra Australis Incognita, an unknown southern land that might prove to be larger and richer than Australia.

Cook was not alone in this quest, and the Endeavour shared the Coral Sea and coastal New Zealand with an armed French merchant ship commanded by Jean de Surville. Eventually in 1770 Cook’s ship crossed the Tasman Sea and reached the southern coast of New South Wales. Sailing north, he charted Australia’s eastern coastline and claimed it for Great Britain. It was the most significant of Cook’s voyages, transforming the world map and the way Europeans viewed the South Pacific Ocean and its lands and peoples.

On this 250th anniversary of his major discovery, Captain Cook’s Epic Voyage reveals the hardships, adventure and achievements of Cook’s most important voyage. Reshaping his previous book, Sea of Dangers , Professor Geoffrey Blainey takes us on a vivid journey, challenging accepted views and the intersection of myth, science and exploration.


Grandmothers: Essays by 21st Century Grandmothers
Helen Elliott

An anthology of essays by twenty-four Australian women, edited by Helen Elliott, about the many aspects of being a grandmother in the 21st century. It seems so different from the experience we had of our grandmothers. Although perhaps the human essential, love, hasn’t shifted much? In thoughtful, provoking, uncompromising writing, a broad range of women reflect on vastly diverse experiences. This period of a woman’s life, a continuation and culmination, is as defining as any other and the words ‘grand’ and ‘mother’ rearrange and realign themselves into bright focus.

The contributors- Stephanie Alexander, Maggie Beer, Judith Brett, Jane Caro, Elizabeth Cheung, Cresside Collette, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Helen Garner, Anastasia Gonis, Glenda Guest, Katherine Hattam, Celestine Hitiura Vaite, Yvette Holt, Cheryl Kernot, Ramona Koval, Alison Lester, Joan London, Jenny Macklin, Auntie Daphnie Milward, Mona Mobarek, Carol Raye and Gillian Triggs.


A Bigger Picture
Malcolm Turnbull

When Malcolm Turnbull took over the nation’s top job there was a sense of excitement in Australia. Sky-high opinion polls followed as the political outsider with a successful business, legal and media career took charge. The infighting that dogged politics for the best part of a decade looked to be over. But a right-wing insurgency brutally cut down Turnbull’s time in office after three years, leaving many Australians asking, ‘Why?’

Exceptionally candid and compelling, A Bigger Picture is the definitive narrative of Malcolm Turnbull’s prime ministership. He describes how he legalised same-sex marriage, established Snowy Hydro 2.0, stood up to Donald Trump, rebooted Australia’s defence industry and many more achievements – remarkable in their pace, significance and that they were delivered in the teeth of so much opposition. But it’s far more than just politics. Turnbull’s life has been filled with colourful characters and controversies, success and failure. From his early years in Sydney, growing up with a single father, to defending ‘Spycatcher’ Peter Wright against the UK Government; the years representing Kerry Packer, leading the Republican Movement and making millions in business; and finally toppling Tony Abbott to become Prime Minister of Australia. For the first time he tells it all – in his own words.

With revelatory insights on the workings of Canberra and the contentious events of Turnbull’s life, A Bigger Picture explores the strengths and vulnerabilities of one of Australia’s best-known and dynamic business and political leaders. Lyrically written in highly readable and entertaining prose, this is a genuine page-turner that’s not just for political junkies.


Falastin
Sami Tamimi & Tara Wigley

FALASTIN is a love letter to Palestine, the land and its people; an evocative collection of over 110 unforgettable recipes and stories from the co-authors of Jerusalem and Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, and Ottolenghi SIMPLE.

Travelling through Bethlehem, East Jerusalem, Nablus, Haifa, Akka, Nazareth, Galilee and the West Bank, Sami and Tara invite you to experience and enjoy unparalleled access to Sami’s homeland. As each region has its own distinct identity and tale to tell, there are endless new flavour combinations to discover.

The food is the perfect mix of traditional and contemporary, with recipes that have been handed down through the generations and reworked for a modern home kitchen, alongside dishes that have been inspired by Sami and Tara’s collaborations with producers and farmers throughout Palestine.

With stunning food and travel photography plus stories from unheard Palestinian voices, this innovative cookbook will transport you to this rich and complex land.

So get ready to laden your table with the most delicious of foods – from abundant salads, soups and wholesome grains to fluffy breads, easy one-pot dishes and perfumed sweet treats – here are simple feasts to be shared and everyday meals to be enjoyed. These are stunning Palestinian-inspired dishes that you will want to cook, eat, fall in love with and make your own.


Fourteen
Shannon Molloy

This is a story about my fourteenth year of life as a gay kid at an all-boys rugby-mad Catholic school in regional Queensland. It was a year in which I started to discover who I was, and deeply hated what was revealed. It was a year in which I had my first crush and first devastating heartbreak. It was a year of torment, bullying and betrayal – not just at the hands of my peers, but by adults who were meant to protect me.

And it was a year that almost ended tragically.

I found solace in writing and my budding journalism; in a close-knit group of friends, all growing up too quickly together; and in the fierce protection of family and a mother’s unconditional love. These were moments of light and hilarity that kept me going.

As much as Fourteen is a chronicle of the enormous struggle and adversity I endured, and the shocking consequences of it all, it’s also a tale of survival.

Because I did survive.


Design Lives Here
Penny Craswell

Australian design has forged its own unique trajectory, influenced by geographic isolation, a distinctive natural environment and a modern sensibility. Design Lives Here showcases the best of Australian residential architecture and interiors, and pays homage to the local designers and makers who have crafted bespoke pieces of furniture and lighting for these homes, whether large or small.

From a reimagined Californian bungalow with a dining table inspired by the humble HB pencil to a monumental inner-city residence furnished with more than 100 custom pieces, these houses – and the objects that reside within – offer a compelling snapshot of contemporary Australian design through the lens of materiality, utility, site and place.


Pedantic
Ross Petras & Kathryn Petras

Your boss makes a joke about Schrodinger’s cat – something you’ve heard of, but what exactly happened (or didn’t happen) with that cat? Or you’re reading a New Yorker article that explains that ‘Solecism slipped into solipsism into full-blown narcissistic projection.’ An excellent point . . . if you know what ‘solecism’ means . . . or, for that matter, ‘solipsism’.

Language gurus Ross Petras and Kathryn Petras explain all of the words and phrases smart people should know. Covering the worlds of science, the arts and philosophy, they explore broad topics, like quantum physics and ontology, and more specific ones, like shibboleth and bete noire. From Latin phrases we often hear and read (prima facie, sui generis and the like) to those pesky words that have entered our vocabularies from other languages (bildungsroman, sturm und drang), this book will inform and delight even the most pernickety word nerds.

A compendium of 100 words and phrases smart people use – even if they only kinda sorta (secretly don’t) know what they mean – with pithy definitions and fascinating etymologies to solidify their meanings.


Party Animals: The Secret History of a Labor Fiasco
Samantha Maiden

How did Labor lose the unlosable election?

Secrets, lies, lawyers and covert recordings. If you thought the 2019 election was just about a death tax that didn’t exist, you’re in for a surprise.

From the dark arts of the dirt units to the role of billionaire Clive Palmer, this is the untold story of an election debacle.

The Labor Party was the unbeatable favourite to win the 2019 election right up until the polls closed and voters delivered the surprise verdict.

If the results staggered pundits, they also shocked Bill Shorten and his frontbench, who had spent the final weeks of the campaign carefully planning for their first days in office. Party Animals uncovers the secret history of a Labor fiasco, the untold story behind Scott Morrison’s miracle


Phosphorescence
Julia Baird

Over the last decade, we have become better at knowing what brings us contentment, well-being and joy. We know, for example, that there are a few core truths to science of happiness. We know that being kind and altruistic makes us happy, that turning off devices, talking to people, forging relationships, living with meaning and delving into the concerns of others offer our best chance at achieving happiness. But how do we retain happiness? It often slips out of our hands as quickly as we find it. So, when we are exposed to, or learn, good things, how do we continue to burn with them?

And more than that, when our world goes dark, when we’re overwhelmed by illness or heartbreak, loss or pain, how do we survive, stay alive or even bloom? In the muck and grit of a daily existence full of disappointments and a disturbing lack of control over many of the things that matter most – finite relationships, fragile health, fraying economies, a planet in peril – how do we find, nurture and carry our own inner, living light – a light to ward off the darkness?

Absorbing, achingly beautiful, inspiring and deeply moving, Julia Baird has written exactly the book we need for these times.


The Future of Us: Demography Gets a Makeover
Liz Allen

Demography is far more important than destiny.

By tracing connections between a population’s past and present, demographers can foresee its future. The true wonder of demography, though, is not its ability to predict the future but to shape it. With energy and passion, demographer Liz Allen sets out the potential paths to make Australia better.

Bold, fearless and revealing, The Future of Us does more than help you find your inner statistician. Looking beyond births, deaths and marriages, Allen takes apart inequality, migration, tax and home ownership. She also dissects how the word ‘population’ became so charged, daring to ask what Australia might look like in 20 years if we had zero immigration.
The Future of Us gives demography a makeover and sets out future possibilities for a better us … just like a Choose Your Own Adventure, but for the nation.


Life in a Box
Sarah Jane Adams

Auction catalogues can reveal a lot about a person: their life, their loves and their style. Antique jewellery dealer Sarah Jane Adams became an international model and overnight Instagram sensation in her sixties. She tells her story through a lifetime’s collection of rare pieces and worthless objects, as well as personal photographs and effects from her ‘estate’.

Told with wit, pathos and charm. Life In A Box illustrates the deeply personal connection that we have with our belongings: they are laden with rich meaning and adventure and, above all, redolent of our stories.


An Australian Garden 
Philip Cox

The far south coast of New South Wales is a magical place, with remote coastlines, sheltered lagoons and pristine hinterland meeting mountain ranges. It was also once an area partly depleted by logging and long-term agricultural use. Some forty years ago, renowned architect Philip Cox and a group of like-minded friends purchased 80 hectares as a private retreat and a conservation exercise. Applying his own aesthetic principles of vista, light, texture, colour and mass, Philip worked with nature to reveal and enhance the bushland in an enticing way.

He replanted trees in denuded areas, cleared scrubby undergrowth in others and added lakes and ponds. Carefully, he curated extensive walks through bush and gullies, along the coast and river, offering wondrous experiences. These walks are punctuated with drama and romance as you enter various garden rooms and encounter sculptures, waterlily-adorned lakes, ponds and art-filled pavilions. As the world becomes more global, maintaining indigenous Australian landscapes and gardens becomes important. This book


Fathoms
Rebecca Giggs

When Rebecca Giggs encountered a humpback whale stranded on her local beach in Australia, she began to wonder how the lives of whales might shed light on the condition of our seas. How do whales experience environmental change? Has our connection to these fabled animals been transformed by technology? What future awaits us, and them? And what does it mean to write about nature in the midst of an ecological crisis?

In Fathoms: the world in the whale, Giggs blends natural history, philosophy, and science to explore these questions with clarity and hope. In lively, inventive prose, she introduces us to whales so rare they have never been named; she tells us of the astonishing variety found in whale sounds, and of whale ‘pop’ songs that sweep across hemispheres. She takes us into the deeps to discover that one whale’s death can spark a great flourishing of creatures. We travel to Japan to board whaling ships, examine the uncanny charisma of these magnificent mammals, and confront the plastic pollution now pervading their underwater environment.

In the spirit of Rachel Carson and John Berger, Fathoms is a work of profound insight and wonder. It marks the arrival of an essential new voice in narrative nonfiction and provides us with a powerful, surprising, and compelling view of some of the most urgent issues of our time.


Every Conceivable Way
Despina Meris

After relocating to Australia from New York, Despina Meris and her husband, Bill, settle down to baby-making. What they never expect is a string of heartbreaking unexplained miscarriages, even with the help of IVF. They turn to surrogacy – first in India, then in the Ukraine and finally in Thailand, where their baby is conceived.

But more drama unfolds when, overnight, they are caught up in the Thai government crackdown on commercial surrogacy, leaving them with no way of contacting their pregnant surrogate. Every Conceivable Way, a real-life story that is stranger than fiction, asks how far you would go before you call it quits, when it seems like all the odds are stacked against you.

Every Conceivable Way recounts one couple’s nine-year quest to become parents, while giving an inside peek into the IVF and surrogacy industries, the fertility merry-go-round, and what it’s like to live for years with uncertainty.