Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even to the remote Tidelands – the marshy landscape of the south coast.
Alinor, a descendant of wise women, crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life.
Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbours. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.
Inland Tea Obreht
A man searching for a home he can’t find. A woman bound to a home she can’t leave.
Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life – her husband who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home, and her husband’s seventeen-year-old cousin, who communes with spirits.
Lurie is a former outlaw and a man haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires a momentous expedition across the West.
Mythical, lyrical, and sweeping in scope, Inland is grounded in true but little-known history. It showcases all of Tea Obreht’s talents as a writer, as she subverts and reimagines the myths of the American West, making them entirely – and unforgettably – her own.
Good Girl Bad Girl Michael Robotham
The girl with no past…
Six years ago, Evie Cormac was discovered, filthy and half-starved, hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a shocking crime. Now approaching adulthood, Evie is damaged, self-destructive and has never revealed her true identity.
The boy who survived…
Forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven, a man haunted by his own past, is investigating the death of champion figure-skater Jodie Sheehan. When Cyrus is called upon to assess Evie, she threatens to disrupt the case and destroy his ordered life. Because Evie has a unique and dangerous gift – she knows when someone is lying.
And nobody is telling the truth…
Lapse Sarah Thornton
All it took was a lapse…a momentary lapse…to bring Clementine Jones’ world crashing down. Now she’s living like a hermit in small-town Katinga, coaching the local footy club. She’s supposed to be lying low, but here she is, with her team on the cusp of their first premiership in fifty years—and the whole bloody town counting on her, cheering her on.
So why the hell would her star player quit on the eve of the finals?
It’s a question she wishes she’d left alone. Others are starting to ask questions too—questions about her. Clem’s not the only one with a secret, and as tension builds, the dark violence just below the town’s surface threatens to erupt. Pretty soon there’ll be nowhere left for Clem to hide.
The Trespassers Meg Mundell
Fleeing their pandemic-stricken homelands, a shipload of migrant workers departs the UK, dreaming of a fresh start in prosperous Australia.
For nine-year-old Cleary Sullivan, deaf for three years, the journey promises adventure and new friendships; for Glaswegian songstress Billie Galloway, it’s a chance to put a shameful mistake firmly behind her; while impoverished English schoolteacher Tom Garnett hopes to set his future on a brighter path.
But when a crew member is found murdered and passengers start falling gravely ill, the Steadfast is plunged into chaos. Thrown together by chance, and each guarding their own secrets, Cleary, Billie and Tom join forces to survive the journey and its aftermath.
The Trespassers is a beguiling novel that explores the consequences of greed, the experience of exile, and the unlikely ways strangers can become the people we hold dear.
The Second Sleep Robert Harris
1468. A young priest, Christopher Fairfax, arrives in a remote Exmoor village to conduct the funeral of his predecessor. The land around is strewn with ancient artifacts – coins, fragments of glass, human bones – which the old parson used to collect. Did his obsession with the past lead to his death?
Fairfax becomes determined to discover the truth. Over the course of the next six days, everything he believes – about himself, his faith and the history of his world – will be tested to destruction.
The Memory Police Yoko Ogawa
Hat, ribbon, bird, rose. To the people on the island, a disappeared thing no longer has any meaning. It can be burned in the garden, thrown in the river or handed over to the Memory Police. Soon enough, the island forgets it ever existed.
When a young novelist discovers that her editor is in danger of being taken away by the Memory Police, she desperately wants to save him. For some reason, he doesn’t forget, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for him to hide his memories. Who knows what will vanish next?
The Memory Police is a beautiful, haunting and provocative fable about the power of memory and the trauma of loss, from one of Japan’s greatest writers.
For readers of The Handmaid’s Tale, Fahrenheit 451 and Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Where the Dead Go Sarah Bailey
A fifteen-year-old girl has gone missing after a party in the middle of the night. The following morning her boyfriend is found brutally murdered in his home. Was the girl responsible for the murder, or is she also a victim of the killer? But who would want two teenagers dead?
The aftermath of a personal tragedy finds police detective Gemma Woodstock in the coastal town of Fairhaven with her son Ben in tow. She has begged to be part of a murder investigation so she can bury herself in work rather than taking the time to grieve and figure out how to handle the next stage of her life – she now has serious family responsibilities she can no longer avoid. But Gemma also has ghosts she must lay to rest.
Gemma searches for answers, while navigating her son’s grief and trying to overcome the hostility of her new colleagues. As the mystery deepens and old tensions and secrets come to light, Gemma is increasingly haunted by a similar missing persons case she worked on not long before. A case that ended in tragedy and made her question her instincts as a cop. Can she trust herself again?
A riveting thriller by the author of the international bestseller The Dark Lake, winner of both the Ned Kelly Award and the Sisters in Crime Davitt Award for a debut crime novel.
See You at the Toxteth Peter Corris
For almost four decades Peter Corris was known as ‘the godfather of Australian crime fiction’, and Cliff Hardy has been Australia’s favourite private investigator since he solved his first case in 1980. This selection of stories starts with Cliff’s early days driving round Glebe in his battered Falcon, drinking at the Toxteth Hotel and taking on cases that more often than not leave him as battered as his car. As Cliff becomes older and wiser, he prefers to use his head more than his fists, but the cases are as tricky as ever and Hardy’s clients lead him to the murkiest surroundings.
To further celebrate Peter Corris’s legacy, editor Jean Bedford has also included a selection of his columns on the world of crime and crime writing, along with his ‘ABC of Crime Writing’. From Adultery to Yeti, via Gumshoe, Hit man and The Mob, this entertaining compendium gives a fascinating insight into Peter’s vast knowledge of the genre.
Delayed Rays of a Star Amanda Lee Koe
When a photographer captures Marlene Dietrich, Anna May Wong and Leni Riefenstahl in one frame at a party in Berlin in 1928, no one realizes the extent to which their lives will reflect the tumultuous decades that follow.
Marlene crosses the Atlantic to find fame in Hollywood, the town that eats out of the palm of her hand till her wrinkles begin to show. After establishing her position as a filmmaker, Leni watches her fame turn to notoriety following the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Nine and a half times out of ten films, the side characters played by Anna May must die so the white male lead can be returned to his white paramour on the screen. In the murky world these women navigate, their choices will be held up to the test of time. And the real question is, how much has anything changed?
This fierce and exquisite debut about womanhood, ambition, and art, played out against the shifting political tides of the twentieth century, introduces a mesmerizing new literary talent for our times.
A Grave for Two Anne Holt
Selma Falck’s personal life and career as a lawyer have hit rock bottom. That is until Hege Chin Morell – Norway’s best female skier – approaches her desperate to overturn a doping charge. With two months to the Winter Olympics, Selma faces the seemingly almost impossible task of clearing Morell’s name.
However, when a male skier is found dead after a training accident, it becomes clear to Selma that there is something more serious at risk. Encountering corruption, hidden enmity and shady connections, the pattern of recent crimes and ancient sins becomes undeniable. As Selma’s race against time begins, she realizes that more lives are at stake …
The New Girl Daniel Silva
At an exclusive private school in Switzerland, mystery surrounds the identity of the beautiful girl who arrives each morning and leaves each afternoon in a heavily protected motorcade fit for a head of state. She is said to be the daughter of a wealthy international businessman. She is not.
And when she is brutally kidnapped across the border in the Haute-Savoie region of France, Gabriel Allon, the legendary chief of Israeli intelligence, is thrust into a deadly secret war with an old enemy that will determine the future of the Middle East-and perhaps the world …
A Beggar’s Kingdom Paullina Simons
Sometimes a second chance is your only hope.
Is there a fate beyond the fates? Julian has failed Josephine once. Despite grave danger and impossible odds, he is determined to do the unimaginable and try again to save the woman he loves.
What follows is a love story like no other as the doomed lovers embark on an incredible adventure across time and space. Racing through history and against the merciless clock, they face countless dangers and deadly enemies.
Living amid beauty and ecstasy, bloodshed and betrayal, each time they court and cheat death brings Julian and Josephine closer to an unthinkable sacrifice and a confrontation with the harshest master of all…destiny.
The second novel in Paullina Simons’ stunning End of Forever saga continues the heartbreaking story of Julian and Josephine, and a love that spans lifetimes.
Taking Tom Murray Home Tim Slee
Bankrupt dairy farmer Tom Murray decides he’d rather sell off his herd and burn down his own house than hand them over to the bank. But something goes tragically wrong, and Tom dies in the blaze. His wife, Dawn, doesn’t want him to have died for nothing and decides to hold a funeral procession for Tom as a protest, driving 350 kilometres from Yardley in country Victoria to bury him in Melbourne where he was born. To make a bigger impact she agrees with some neighbours to put his coffin on a horse and cart and take it slow – real slow.
But on the night of their departure, someone burns down the local bank. And as the motley funeral procession passes through Victoria, there are more mysterious arson attacks. Dawn has five days to get to Melbourne. Five days, five more towns, and a state ready to explode in flames …
Told with a laconic, deadpan wit, Taking Tom Murray Home is a timely, thought-provoking, heart-warming, quintessentially Australian story like no other. It’s a novel about grief, pain, anger and loss, yes, but it’s also about hope – and how community, friends and love trump pain and anger, every time.
The winner of the inaugural Banjo Prize, Taking Tom Murray Home is a funny, moving, bittersweet Australian story of fires, families and the restorative power of community.
A Lot with a Little Tim Costello
In this evocative memoir, Tim Costello explores the people and experiences that have shaped him into a socially active fighter for the world’s most challenging issues. Tracing each defining stage of his life with stark insight and honesty, Tim untangles his ongoing struggle to align his self-perceptions with his choices and what his life represents.
More than a simple life story, this is a book about individual and community, public and private, spiritual and material, equality and liberty – and, most of all, about faith and its power to sustain in the face of the world’s big issues. Challenging and thought-provoking no matter what your beliefs, this is a book to savour and re-read.
***Tim will be joining us for an event in Mornington on 15 October – click here for full details and to book a ticket***
Parenthood: Completely Unsupervised Dave O’Neil
Ah, parenting. After 300,000 years of keeping kids alive, you’d reckon we’d have it nailed. But, as the decades roll on, it seems we’re as clueless as ever. In the great tradition of mums and dads throughout history, we’re still making it up as we go along.
Hopscotch may have given way to Xbox and fish fingers to quinoa-kale organic nuggets, but, when it comes to parenting, some things never change.
A laugh-out-loud look at parenthood through the ages by comedian and father of three Dave O’Neil.
Dale Vine’s Outdoor Reno Guide Dale Vine
Nobody wants to spend time in a tired, uninspiring backyard. But how can you create an outdoor space that’s beautiful and works for your needs? Landscaper and much loved The Block contestant, Dale Vine will help you create your dream garden with his Outdoor Reno Guide. From the initial vision to planning, budgeting and final execution, Dale demystifies the process of turning your humble garden into a space that you and your family want to spend time in, whether you’re starting with bare ground or you are renovating an existing space.
With clear examples, notes on common pitfalls and simple, step-by-step DIY projects, Dale provides the specific tips, tricks and advice essential for any landscaping project, from site analysis to lifestyle considerations to plant selection. His most important message: you need a plan. No matter its size or shape, you can transform your outdoor space from a neglected, untamed patch of dirt and weeds into something magical on any budget – and even small changes can turn a simple backyard into a photogenic sanctuary.
Dale Vine’s Outdoor Reno Guide is an inspirational and instructive resource thanks to Dale’s years of experience and expert knowledge. With great photos throughout, see the potential of your garden through the lens of an expert landscaper.
The Halliday Wine Companion 2020 James Halliday
For over thirty years James Halliday has been Australia’s most respected wine critic, and his Halliday Wine Companion is the go-to guide for wine ratings, regions, best varietals, winery reviews and a curated selection of the best wines in Australia.
The 2020 edition has been completely revised to bring readers up-to-the-minute information, as well as re-designed in a modern new style to reflect the brand’s ever expanding audience. In his inimitable style, Halliday shares his extensive knowledge of wine through detailed tasting notes with points, price, value symbol and advice on best-by drinking, as well as each wine’s closure and alcohol content. He provides information about wineries and winemakers, including vineyard sizes, opening times and contact details. The perfect self-purchase or gift for the wine lover in your life.
Explore Australia 2020
Explore Australia 2020 covers more of the country than any other Australian guidebook. Now in its 37th edition, this seminal guidebook includes details on over 700 regional towns across the country, including information on local and nearby attractions, as well as markets and festivals. There’s also key information for every capital city and major touring region, plus suggested daytrip itineraries. Discover the best this country has to offer with features on the best beaches, gourmet food and wine destinations, wildlife encounters, adventure holidays, Indigenous cultural experiences and kid-friendly destinations.
Whatever adventure you’re looking for, Explore Australia 2020 is the ultimate travel guide to help you plan the perfect trip.
The Art of Growing Up John Marsden
When I hear parents say ‘I want my children to enjoy their childhood; there’ll be time when they’re older to learn about those things’, I hear the voices of those who are scared of the vastness of the universe. These adults have a view of childhood as some kind of discrete interval, rather than just a few years from the continuum of life. How fortunate that the spirit, courage and curiosity of many young people remain largely undefeated by such adults.
John Marsden has spent his adult life engaging with young minds – through both his award-winning, internationally bestselling young adult fiction and his work as one of Australia’s most esteemed and experienced educators. As the founder and principal of two schools, John is at the coalface of education and daily witness to the inevitable and yet still mysterious process of growing up.
Now, in this astonishing, insightful and hugely ambitious manifesto, John pulls together all he has learned from over thirty years’ experience working with and writing for young people. He shares his insights into everything – from the role of schools and the importance of education, to problem parents and problem children, and the conundrum of what it means to grow up and be ‘happy’ in the 21st century.
Arab, Australian, Other: Stories on Race and Identity Randa Abdel-Fattah and Sara Saleh
Although there are 22 separate Arab nationalities representing an enormous variety of cultural backgrounds and experiences, the portrayal of Arabs in Australia tends to range from homogenising (at best) to racist pop-culture caricatures.
Edited by award-winning author and academic Randa Abdel-Fattah, and activist and poet Sara Saleh, and featuring contributors Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Ruby Hamad and Paula Abood, among many others, this collection explores the experience of living as a member of the Arab diaspora in Australia and includes stories of family, ethnicity, history, grief, isolation, belonging and identity.
Portraits Destroyed: Power, Ego and History’s Vandals Julie Cotter
Churchill entered Westminster Hall at noon, to the sound of drums beating out a victory roll – his signature gesture. At 80, he was still prime minister, and angered by discussion of retirement. But that irritation would pale in comparison to the anger he was about to feel on this day, 10 November 1954, when his birthday portrait was unveiled.
Portraits have power. For centuries the tool of queens, emperors, statesmen and dictators, they offer the ultimate in image control. And, identified as portraits are with their subjects, their destruction remains a shocking act – whether committed for reasons of vanity, legacy, ethics, race, or even as part of the creative process. Join respected art historian Dr Julie Cotter as she journeys through eras, continents and regimes to examine the extraordinary stories of Portraits Destroyed.
The Father Hood Luke Benedictus, Andrew McUtchen, Jeremy Macvean
Welcome to The Father Hood. Where we celebrate the growing tribe of hands-on dads who are discovering that becoming a father is the greatest opportunity a man can get to be better than he’s ever been before; stronger, wiser and more compassionate. But there is no instruction manual or benchmark for modern dads aside from one golden rule: keep showing up.
With a mix of celebrity interviews – from Hugh Jackman, David Beckham, Osher Gunsberg and many more – as well as quotes and stats that capture the rise of the hands-on dad, The Father Hood is the guide to helping modern dads thrive and survive in the only job that really counts.
Australia Modern: Architecture, Landscape & Design 1925-1975 Hannah Lewi & Philip Goad
From the Sydney Opera House and the National Gallery of Victoria to sought-after homes across the country, the pervasive presence of modernism is inescapable in Australia. Led by the likes of Robin Boyd, Harry Seidler and Walter Burley Griffin, modernist architects and designers set out to rebuild at all scales, from vast infrastructure projects, to public health and education institutions, to new centres of culture, consumption and leisure.
Australia Modern vividly captures this architectural legacy with a survey of 100 significant modern sites, richly illustrated with archival images and newly commissioned photographs. Contextual essays by leading voices in architecture and conservation explore modernism’s influence on every facet of life in Australia and the ongoing challenges facing preservation. Showcasing projects from the iconic and the urban to the everyday, the regional and the lesser known, Australia Modern cultivates an appreciation for the modern architects and buildings that will increasingly constitute the heritage of tomorrow.
A Dream About Lightning Bugs Ben Folds
Ben Folds is an internationally celebrated musician, singer-songwriter and former frontman of the alternative rock band, Ben Folds Five, beloved for songs such as ‘Brick’, ‘You Don’t Know Me’, ‘Rockin’ the Suburbs’ and ‘The Luckiest’.
In A Dream About Lightning Bugs, Folds looks back at his life so far in a charming, funny and wise chronicle of his artistic coming of age, infused with the wry observations of a natural storyteller. He opens up about finding his voice as a musician, becoming a rock anti-hero, and hauling a baby grand piano on and off stage for every performance.
From growing up in working class North Carolina amid the race and class tensions that shaped his early songwriting, to painful life lessons he learned the hard way, he also ruminates on music in the digital age, the absurdity of life on the road, and the challenges of sustaining a multi-decade, multi-faceted career in the music business.
A Dream About Lightning Bugs embodies what Folds has been singing about for years: Smile like you’ve got nothing to prove because it hurts to grow up, and life flies by in seconds.
The Strong Man Grant Edwards
Grant Edwards was once an elite athlete, Olympics qualifier and Australia’s strongest man. His Guinness Book of Records feats of strength were acclaimed internationally, and as a high ranking police officer he spent decades protecting vulnerable people around the world. But nothing could shield him from catastrophic harm in the line of duty.
Rising above his tough beginnings in 1970s suburbia, Edwards found sanctuary in elite sport. But he found his true calling with the Australian Federal Police, rising swiftly through the ranks to Commander and personally establishing cybercrime units to fight child exploitation and human trafficking. A highly sought after and disciplined security advisor for governments around the world such as East Timor, Afghanistan and the Americas, Edwards was considered the last person to ‘crack’ – but a narrow escape from a deadly attack in Kabul pushed him to breaking point.
This is the story of an extraordinary man and his extraordinary battle back from the brink.
The Millionaire Castaway David Glasheen
Losing his fortune in the stock market crash of 1987 was the final straw for Dave Glasheen. After a series of catastrophes, he needed to take drastic measures to restore himself. Opting out of the rat race, he cast himself away to a deserted island off the north-east tip of Australia, as far off the grid as was humanly possible. He has lived there ever since.
One annual supermarket shop, a sketchy internet connection, and enough ingredients for a home brew satisfy all of Dave’s material needs. He catches fish, traps rainwater and cooks on an open fire. For company he tames dingoes, meets with friends from the Aboriginal community 40 kilometres away, and entertains drop-ins such as Russell Crowe sailing past on his honeymoon or the chairman of McDonald’s on a game-fishing trip. Then there’s his running feud with Boxhead, an antisocial saltwater crocodile who just won’t leave him in peace.
Between heartbreak and hair-raising adventures, Dave has found happiness on Restoration Island and dreams of creating a retreat to promote the profound healing that saved his life. Brimming with humour, eccentricity and hard-earned wisdom, The Millionaire Castaway is the feel-good autobiography of the year.
Dear Dad Samuel Johnson
If you could tell your dad anything, what would it be?
Steve Waugh, Kathy Lette, Trent Dalton, John Paul Young, Danny Green, Kurt Fearnley, Samuel Johnson, John Williamson, Susie Youssef, Michala Banas, Glenn Shorrock, Normie Rowe, Matilda Brown, Shane Jacobson, Brooke Davis, Christie Whelan Browne, Shannon Noll, Russell Morris, Shaun Tan, Michelle Law, Ben Gillies, Hilde Hinton, Mark Brandi, Brian Mannix, Russell Morris, Catherine Deveny, Sophie Green, Toni Tapp Coutts …
A heartfelt, honest and very human book of letters that will make you smile, and make you cry. It is the perfect gift for the dad or dad figure in your life. And a poignant reminder to say how you feel before it is too late.
The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory Corey White
Corey White was a golden child. He knew this because his father would hit his mother and his sisters but not him. And his mother adored him so much she let him drop out of primary school.
After losing his father to jail and his mother to heroin, though, he became a target for cruelty and dysfunction in foster homes. A scholarship to a prestigious boarding school lifted him out of foster care and awakened a love of learning and reading for him, but this was soon overwhelmed by a crushing depression and drug addiction.
Through it all, he kept thinking – sometimes hoping, sometimes fearing – that he was destined for something bigger. Would he find salvation in the halls of a university, or a poetically grimy crack den, or through love? Or would the golden glow that had been in him since childhood ultimately fade, leaving only darkness and ruin?
The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory is a memoir of trauma and survival that will break your heart and then show you how to rebuild it. It is a powerful, lyrical and darkly funny debut from one of Australia’s brightest young comedians.
Salt Bruce Pascoe
Bruce Pascoe has been described as a ‘living national treasure’ and his work as ‘revelatory’. This volume of his best and most celebrated stories and essays, collected here for the first time, ranges across his long career, and explores his enduring fascination with Australia’s landscape, culture, land management and history.
Featuring new and previously unpublished fiction alongside his most revered and thought-provoking nonfiction – including extracts from his modern classic Dark Emu – this collection is perfect for Pascoe fans and new readers alike. It’s time all Australians saw the range and depth of this most marvellous of local writers.
Growing Up Queer in Australia Benjamin Law
I marked the day in my adolescent diary with a single blank page.
The mantle of “queer migrant” compelled me to keep going – to go further.
I never “came out” to my parents. I felt I owed them no explanation.
All I heard from the pulpit were grim hints.
I became acutely aware of the parts of myself that were unpalatable to queers who grew up in the city.
I was thirty-eight and figured it was time to come out to her.
That’s when I know it’s not going anywhere – the gay.
I felt like I had been dunked into an episode of The L Word and I wasn’t given the script.
No amount of YouTube videos and queer think pieces prepared me for this moment.
My queerness was born in a hot dry land that was never ceded.
I finally admitted what my feelings for Dirty Dancing–era Patrick Swayze had clearly been indicating for some time.
Even now, I sometimes think that I don’t know my own desire.
Compiled by celebrated author and journalist Benjamin Law, Growing Up Queer in Australia assembles voices from across the spectrum of LGBTIQA+ identity. Spanning diverse places, eras, genders, ethnicities and experiences, these are the stories of growing up queer in Australia.
For better or worse, sooner or later, life conspires to reveal you to yourself, and this is growing up.
With contributions from David Marr, Fiona Wright, Nayuka Gorrie, Steve Dow, Holly Throsby, Sally Rugg, Tony Ayres, Nic Holas, Rebecca Shaw, Kerryn Phelps and many more.
Veg Jamie Oliver
A real explosion of colour, taste and variety, he wants to get the nation switched on to just how tasty and comforting veggie meals can be, leaving people feeling full, satisfied and happy – and not missing meat from their plate. Whether it’s embracing a meat-free day or two each week, living a vegetarian lifestyle, or just wanting to try some brilliant new flavour combinations, this book ticks all the boxes.
Sharing simple tips and tricks that will excite the taste buds, and help keep people’s brains and mouths engaged, this book will also give people the confidence to up their veg intake and widen their recipe repertoire, safe in the knowledge that it’ll taste utterly delicious. From simple suppers and family favourites to weekend dishes for sharing with friends, this book is packed full of phenomenal food – pure and simple.
A book for everyone, this is the perfect moment for Jamie to inspire every kind of cook with his super-tasty, brilliantly simple, but inventive veg dishes.
Jack Charles: A Born-again Blakfella
Stolen from his mother and placed into institutional care when he was only a few months old, Uncle Jack was raised under the government’s White Australia Policy. The loneliness and isolation he experienced during those years had a devastating impact on him that endured long after he reconnected with his Aboriginal roots and discovered his stolen identity. Even today he feels like an outsider; a loner; a fringe dweller.
In this honest and no-holds-barred memoir, Uncle Jack reveals the ‘ups and downs of this crazy, drugged up, locked up, fucked up, and at times unbelievable, life’. From his sideline as a cat burglar, battles with drug addiction and stints in prison, to gracing the nation’s stages and screens as he dazzled audiences with his big personality and acting prowess, he takes us through the most formative moments of his life.
By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, Jack Charles: A Born-again Blakfella is a candid and uplifting memoir from one of Australia’s finest and most beloved actors.
Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing David Leser
How to find the right words to frame this horror? How to understand why men do what they do to women? How to comprehend this malign force that seems to seep from the male psyche and infect us all? . . . That is the central hope, the appeal, embedded in this book: that other men might join me in this investigation and ruthless self-interrogation-and in doing so, become part of the change that is so urgently required.
In February 2018, the Good Weekend cover story by David Leser, ‘Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing’, had an extraordinary response. David received hundreds of personal messages from readers around the world – both men and women – urging him to expand his story. Here is that book: a brilliant, impassioned, unflinching account of the firestorm of #MeToo, how we got there and where we must go now.
In this essential and incisive investigation, Leser unearths the roots of misogyny, its inextricable links to the patriarchy and how history brought us to the #Metoo movement and the wave of incandescent female rage that is sweeping the world. Crucially, he also interrogates his own psyche, privilege and culpability as he bears witness to the ‘collective wound of the world’ and asks how we can move towards healing and profound and permanent change.
Songspirals: Sharing Women’s Wisdom of Country Through Songlines Gay’wu Group of Women
‘We want you to come with us on our journey, our journey of songspirals. Songspirals are the essence of people in this land, the essence of every clan. We belong to the land and it belongs to us. We sing to the land, sing about the land. We are that land. It sings to us.’
Aboriginal Australian cultures are the oldest living cultures on earth and at the heart of Aboriginal cultures is song. These ancient narratives of landscape have often been described as a means of navigating across vast distances without a map, but they are much, much more than this. Songspirals are sung by Aboriginal people to awaken Country, to make and remake the life-giving connections between people and place. Songspirals are radically different ways of understanding the relationship people can have with the landscape.
For Yolngu people from North East Arnhem Land, women and men play different roles in bringing songlines to life, yet the vast majority of what has been published is about men’s place in songlines. Songspirals is a rare opportunity for outsiders to experience Aboriginal women’s role in crying the songlines in a very authentic and direct form.
A Chip Shop in Poznan: My Unlikely Year in Poland Ben Aitken
Not many Brits move to Poland to work in a fish and chip shop. Fewer still come back wanting to be a Member of the European Parliament.
Travel writer Ben Aitken moved to Poland in 2016 to understand why the Poles were leaving. He booked the cheapest flight he could find, to a place he had never heard of – Poznan. This candid, funny and off-beat book is the account of his year in Poland, as an unlikely immigrant.
Between peeling potatoes and boning fish, Ben spent time on the road travelling the country. He missed the bus to Auschwitz; stayed with a dozen nuns near Krakow; was offered a job by a Eurosceptic farmer and went to Gdansk to learn how Solidarity rose and communism fell.
This is a bittersweet portrait of an unsung country, challenging stereotypes that Poland is a grey, ex-soviet land, and revealing a diverse country, rightfully proud of its colourful identity.
A Woman Like Her: The Short Life of Qandeel Baloch Sanam Maher
A beautiful woman in winged eyeliner and a low-cut top lies on a bed urging her favourite cricketer to win the next match. In another post, she pouts at the camera from a hot tub. She posts a selfie with a cleric, wearing his cap at a jaunty angle. Her posts are viewed millions of times and the comments beneath them are full of hate. As her notoriety grows, the comments made about her on national talk shows are just as vitriolic. They call her Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian, they say she’ll do anything for attention. When she’s murdered, they’re transfixed by the footage of her body.
Drawing on interviews and in-depth research, Sanam Maher pieces together Qandeel’s life from the village where she grew up in the backwaters of rural Pakistan, to her stint in a women’s shelter after escaping her marriage, to her incarnation as a social media sensation and the Muslim world’s most unlikely feminist icon.
Banking Bad Adele Ferguson
In 2018, against all the odds, Australia held a royal commission into the banking and financial services industries. Its revelations rocked the nation. Even defenders of the banks were blindsided.
Few people were more instrumental in bringing about the commission than journalist Adele Ferguson. Through her exposes in print and on television, she pursued the truth about funds mismanagement, fraud, lack of probity, and the hard-sell culture that took over the finance industry after deregulation in the 1980s. But it wasn’t just light-touch regulators and crooked bankers growing fat on bonuses she put under the spotlight. It was also their victims – men and women who had lost everything, and had no recourse when they discovered empty accounts, egregious fees, forged documents and broken promises.
Now in Banking Bad, Ferguson tells the full story of the power imbalance, toxic culture and cover-ups. She describes the long fight for justice by whistleblowers, victims and political mavericks, and she looks at the outcomes of the royal commission – the falls from grace, the damaging hubris, the scathing assessment of the regulators, and the colossal compensation bill – an estimated $10 billion.
Finally, she asks whereto from here? In May 2019, the Coalition government, which resisted calls for a royal commission, was re-elected. Bank stocks surged and lending regulations were loosened. Will it all be business as usual from now on, or have our financial executives learned that their wealth cannot come at the expense of ordinary Australians?