FICTION

The Rain Heron
Robbie Arnott

Ren lives alone on the remote frontier of a country devastated by a coup. High on the forested slopes, she survives by hunting and trading-and forgetting.

But when a young soldier comes to the mountains in search of a local myth, Ren is inexorably drawn into her
impossible mission.

As their lives entwine, unravel and erupt-as myths merge with reality-both Ren and the soldier are forced to confront what they regret, what they love, and what they fear.

Robbie Arnott’s stunning second novel remakes our relationship with the natural world. The Rain Heron is equal parts horror and wonder, and utterly gripping.


The Silk House
Kayte Nunn

Australian history teacher Thea Rust arrives at an exclusive boarding school in the British countryside only to find that she is to look after the first intake of girls in its 150-year history. She is to stay with them in Silk House, a building with a long and troubled past.

In the late 1700s, Rowan Caswell leaves her village to work in the home of an English silk merchant. She is thrust into a new and dangerous world where her talent for herbs and healing soon attracts attention.

In London, Mary-Louise Stephenson lives amid the clatter of the weaving trade and dreams of becoming a silk designer, a job that is the domain of men. A length of fabric she weaves with a pattern of deadly flowers will have far-reaching consequences for all who dwell in the silk house.

Intoxicating, haunting and inspired by the author’s background, The Silk House is an exceptional gothic mystery.


The Geometry of Holding Hands
Alexander McCall Smith

In Edinburgh, rumours and gossip abound. But Isabel Dalhousie knows that such things can’t be taken at face value. Still, the latest whispers hint at mysterious goings-on, and who but Isabel can be trusted to get to the bottom of them? At the same time, she must deal with the demands of her two small children, her husband and her rather tempestuous niece, Cat, whose latest romantic entanglement comes – to no one’s surprise – with complications. Even with so much going on, Isabel, through the application of good sense, logic and ethics, will, as ever, triumph.

Isabel Dalhousie applies her moral philosopher’s mind to wrongdoings in Edinburgh, and will have to call upon her powers of deduction and her unflappable moral code to unravel another mystery in the new novel from the bestselling author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.


Heaven and Earth
Paolo Giordano

Every summer Teresa follows her father to his childhood home in Puglia, down in the heel of Italy, a land of relentless, shimmering heat and centuries-old olive groves. There Teresa spends long afternoons enveloped in a sun-struck stupor, reading her grandmother’s cheap crime paperbacks.

Everything changes the summer she meets the three boys who live on the masseria next door: Nicola, Tommaso and Bern – the man Teresa will love for the rest of her life. Raised like brothers on a farm that feels to Teresa almost suspended in time, the three boys share a complex, intimate and seemingly unassailable bond.

But no bond is unbreakable and no summer truly endless, as Teresa soon discovers.

Because there is resentment underneath the surface of that strange brotherhood, a twisted kind of love that protects a dark secret. And when Bern – the enigmatic, restless gravitational centre of the group – commits a brutal act of revenge, not even a final pilgrimage to the edge of the world will be enough to bring back those perfect, golden hours in the shadow of the olive trees.

From the creator and writer of the new HBO series We Are Who We Are, co-written and directed by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) and starring Chloe Sevigny.


Night Sleep Death The Stars
Joyce Carol Oates

When a powerful parent dies, each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways, and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all.  Night Sleep Death The Stars is a gripping examination of contemporary America through the prism of a family tragedy.

Stark and penetrating, Joyce Carol Oates’s latest novel is a vivid exploration of race, psychological trauma, class warfare, grief, and eventual healing, as well as an intimate family novel in the tradition of the author’s bestselling We Were the Mulvaneys.


Latitudes of Longing
Shubhangi Swarup

In the feverish tropics of the Andaman Islands, a young botanist tends to a fragile rose he has imported to welcome his bride. Hoping their marriage will bloom in this strange life, hundreds of miles from the east coast of India, he is entranced by Chanda Devi’s fierce nature and unusual gifts; speaking to trees and the ghosts of former colonialists. These islands, she tells her adoring husband, rest on a faultline, cracked so deep into the earth that spirits cross the boundary freely. But it is not this fracture that takes a tragic bite out of their happiness.

With the family riven by heartbreak, their maid takes the chance to resolve her own past mistakes. Having abandoned her son many years before, she now traces him to Myanmar, only to find him in prison – the enemy of a brutal regime. The faultline she followed over the Indian Ocean now cuts north into Nepal, where the prisoner’s ally, an itinerant drug dealer, tries to rescue a young woman from the dancing bars of Kathmandu. It shadows his footsteps into the Karakorum mountains, where a scientist looks deep into the abyss between India and Pakistan. It rises all the way to the snow deserts, beyond the reach of nation or war, where an elder of the village waits for the return of his true love, bringing all their journeys full circle.

A breathtaking epic, Latitudes of Longing possesses the reader with a blazing sense of wonder. Shubhangi Swarup’s vision goes deeper than the human stories of the subcontinent to reveal the conscious history of the earth itself. Tender in every detail, touched with humour and profound, this is a novel brimming with life, an original masterpiece


Last Survivor
Tony Park

Greed.

Joanne Flack is on the run – suspected of stealing a rare African plant thought to be extinct and worth millions of dollars.

Danger.

Sonja Kurtz is hired by the CIA to hunt down Joanne and find the link between the missing plant and a terrorist group hiding out in South Africa.

Treachery.

Joanne is a member of the Pretoria Cycad and Firearms Appreciation Society who take it upon themselves to track down the plant … and the traitor in their midst who is willing to kill for it.


The Museum of Forgotten Memories
Anstey Harris

When Cate and Richard met at university they felt an immediate spark, but as the couple matured Richard’s inner demons threatened their happiness. With time, he receded further and further into darkness until he disappeared altogether.

Now, four years after Richard’s passing, Cate is let go from her teaching job and can’t pay the rent on the London flat she shares with her and Richard’s son, Leo. She packs the two of them up and ventures to Richard’s grandfather’s old Victorian museum in the small town of Crouch-on-Sea, where the dusty staff quarters await her. Despite growing pains and a grouchy caretaker, Cate falls in love with the quirky taxidermy exhibits and sprawling grounds and makes it her mission to revive them. But as Cate becomes more invested in Hatters, she must finally confront the reality of Richard’s death – and the role she played in it – in order to reimagine her future.

The Museum of Forgotten Memories masterfully weaves life with death, past with present, and grief with hope.


On a Barbarous Coast
Craig Cormick & Harold Ludwick

We were becoming the wild things we most feared, but could not see it at the time.

On a night of raging winds and rain, Captain Cook’s Endeavour lies splintered on a coral reef off the coast of far north Australia. A small disparate band of survivors, fracturing already, huddle on the shore of this strange land – their pitiful salvage scant protection from the dangers of the unknown creatures and natives that live here.

Watching these mysterious white beings, the Guugu Yimidhirr people cannot decide if they are ancestor spirits to be welcomed – or hostile spirits to be speared. One headstrong young boy, Garrgiil, determines to do more than watch and to be the one to find out what exactly they are.

Fierce, intriguing and thoughtful, On a Barbarous Coast is the story of a past and future that might have been.


The Court of Miracles
Kester Grant

Liberty

1828 and the citizens of Paris still mourn in the wake of their failed revolution. Among them, in the dark alleys and crumbling cathedrals of the city, the most wretched have gathered into guilds of thieves, assassins – and worse. Together they are known as The Court of Miracles.

Family

Eponine has lost more than most. When her father, Thénardier, sells her sister to the Guild of Flesh she makes a promise to do anything she can to get her sister back, even if that means joining the Court of Miracles, the very people keeping her sister a slave.

Treachery

Eponine becomes perhaps the greatest thief the Court has ever known, finding a place among them and gaining another sister, Cosette. But she has never forgotten the promise she made, and if she’s to have any hope of saving one sister, she will have to betray the other.

This beautiful reimagining of Les Misérables tells the stories of your favourite characters and what might have happened if the French Revolution had not come to pass.


The Last Trial
Scott Turow

Already eighty-five years old, and in precarious health, Stern has been persuaded to defend an old friend, Pavel Pafko. A former Nobel Prize-winner in Medicine, Pafko, shockingly, has been charged in a federal racketeering indictment with fraud, insider trading and murder.

As the trial progresses, Stern will question everything he thought he knew about his friend. Despite Pafko’s many failings, is he innocent of the terrible charges laid against him? How far will Stern go to save his friend, and—no matter the trial’s outcome—will he ever know the truth? Stern’s duty to defend his client and his belief in the power of the judicial system both face a final, terrible test in the courtroom, where the evidence and reality are sometimes worlds apart.

Full of the deep insights into the spaces where the fragility of human nature and the justice system collide, Scott Turow’s The Last Trial is a masterful legal thriller that unfolds in page-turning suspense—and questions how we measure a life.


One Day I’ll Tell You Everything
Emmanuelle Pagano

When I was a little boy, I would often pretend to be dead.  I wanted people to weep over me.  I wept for myself, usually near a tree, under it or up inside it, just like I’m crying today, a woman weeping, in my weeping birch tree…

After ten years away, Adèle has returned to drive the school bus in the village in the Ardèche mountains where she grew up. Her body has undergone seismic transformations, just like the landscape around her. No one recognises her. But when a snowstorm strands the bus on a mountainside, Adèle and her passengers take shelter in a cave, and the secrets begin to emerge.

One Day I’ll Tell You Everything is the haunting story of two siblings—a younger brother and his older sister, who used to be his brother.  A powerful and beautifully written story of a boy who wanted to be a girl, who became a woman, who lives intensely through her new body and through the physical world around her.


The Roxy Letters
Mary Pauline Lowry

Roxy is underemployed, sexually frustrated, and uninspired. Tired of her job as a deli maid at the original Whole Foods, Roxy daydreams of breaking out of her funk and finding a job that will get her creative juices flowing. She also wouldn’t mind finding love and finding herself off the brink of financial ruin—though Everett’s late rent payments aren’t helping her with the latter.

On top of it all, gentrification is slowly changing her beloved Austin in new and evilly corporate ways. When a new Lululemon pops up at the intersection of 6th and Lamar where the old Waterloo Video used to be, Roxy can stay silent no longer.

Encouraged by her ex-deli counter comrade Annie—now assistant to the Whole Foods CEO and planning an animal rights revolution from the inside—and her new friend Artemis, a vivacious and mercurial man-eater with a string of personas and paramours all over town, Roxy decides to take action. But can this spunky, unforgettable millennial keep Austin weird, avoid arrest, and discover good sex, true love, and her purpose in life in the process??

The Roxy Letters is a hilarious and heartwarming novel told through the letters that the charming and hapless Roxy, a twenty-eight-year old Austin native, sends to her ex-boyfriend (and current roommate) Everett.


Sticks and Stones
Katherine Firkin

It’s winter in Melbourne and Detective Emmett Corban is starting to regret his promotion to head of the Missing Persons Unit, as the routine reports pile up on his desk.

So when Natale Gibson goes missing, he’s convinced this is the big case he’s been waiting for – the woman’s husband and parents insist the devoted mother would never abandon her children, and her personal accounts remain untouched.

But things aren’t all they seem. The close-knit Italian family is keeping secrets – none bigger than the one Natale has been hiding.

Just as the net seems to be tightening, the investigation is turned on its head. The body of a woman is found . . . then another.

What had seemed like a standard missing person’s case has turned into a frightening hunt for a serial killer, and time is running out.

But to really understand these shocking crimes, Emmett and his team will need to delve back through decades of neglect – back to a squalid inner-city flat, where a young boy is left huddling over his mother’s body . . .


The Vanishing Half
Brit Bennett

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ story lines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passingLooking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.


The Spill
Imbi Neeme

In 1981, a car overturns on a remote West Australian road. Nobody is hurt, but the impact is felt for decades.

Nicole and Samantha Cooper both remember the summer day when their mother, Tina, lost control of their car – but not in quite the same way. It is only after Tina’s death, almost four decades later, that the sisters are forced to reckon with the repercussions of the crash. Nicole, after years of sabotaging her own happiness, seems finally content but still can’t get through to her sister. And Samantha is hiding something that might just tear apart the life she’s worked so hard to build for herself.

The Spill explores the cycles of love, loss and regret that can follow a family through the years – moments of joy, things left unsaid, and things misremembered. Above all, it is a deeply moving portrait of two sisters falling apart and finding a way to fit back together.


The Sight of You
Holly Miller

Joel is afraid of the future.

Since he was a child he’s been haunted by dreams about the people he loves. Visions of what’s going to happen – the good and the bad. And the only way to prevent them is to never let anyone close to him again.

Callie can’t let go of the past.

Since her best friend died, Callie’s been lost. She knows she needs to be more spontaneous and live a bigger life. She just doesn’t know how to find a way back to the person who used to have those dreams.

Joel and Callie both need a reason to start living for today.

And though they’re not looking for each other, from the moment they meet it feels like the start of something life-changing.

Until Joel has a vision of how it’s going to end . . .


NON-FICTION

Hidden Hand
Clive Hamilton & Mareike Ohlberg

With its enormous economic power, China is now a global political and military force engaged in an ideological struggle with the West. Combining a mass of evidence with unique insights, Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg lay bare the nature and extent of the Chinese Communist Party’s influence operations across the Western world – in politics, business, universities, think tanks and international institutions such as the UN. This new authoritarian power is using democracy to undermine democracy in pursuit of its global ambitions.

Combining meticulous research with compelling prose, this landmark follow up to the best-selling Silent Invasion brings to light the Chinese Communist Party’s threats to democratic freedoms and national sovereignty across Europe and North America – and show how we might push back against its autocratic influence.


Landscapes of our Hearts
Matthew Colloff

On this ancient continent, waves of people have made their mark on the landscape; in turn, it too has shaped them.

If we look afresh at our history through the land we live on, might Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians find a path to a shared future?

An epic exploration of our relationship with this country, Landscapes of Our Hearts takes us from the Great Barrier Reef to the Central Desert, the High Country to Canberra’s Limestone Plains. It is a book of hope and offers the possibility that a renewed connection to the landscape and to each other could pave the way towards reconciliation.
It will change the way you see this land.


Staying Alive
Kate Gregorevic

Discover how to thrive and live better for longer. By the time we turn 60 most of us will still have one-third of our lives to live. How well we live these years will depend on our health: are we agile, disease free, dependent on medication or require medical assistance?

In Staying Alive you’ll discover proven scientific details on how you can avoid or manage the major diseases that impact us as we age, including heart health, diabetes and dementia, and boost your everyday behaviours to improve your enjoyment of life.

Specialist Australian geriatrician, Dr Kate Gregorevic, clearly outlines the key lifestyle enhancing strategies for nutrition, exercise, cognitive and emotional health and the positive impact they will have as you age.

Easy to understand and based on the latest research, this is the day-to-day lifestyle guide you need to benefit you now and into a long and healthy future.


The Insider 
Christopher Pyne

Christopher Pyne has been many things and called many things throughout his long career in politics. Member for Sturt. Minister for Defence. Manager of Opposition Business. Leader of the House. ‘The Fixer’. Any Canberra story he doesn’t know isn’t worth telling.

Now, after 26 years, the ultimate insider is outside the House and ready to burst the Canberra bubble with his trademark sharp wit. His revelations of dealings, double dealings, friendships and feuds shine a light on the political processes of those in power: the egos, the sacrifices, the winners, the losers, the triumphs and the failures. From Howard to Rudd, Gillard, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison, Christopher Pyne has seen and heard it all. 

The Insider is one of the most brilliant, funny, engaging books by an Australian public figure you’ll ever read.


Coconut and Sambal
Lara Lee

Coconut and Sambal reveals the secrets behind authentic Indonesian cookery. With more than 80 traditional and vibrant recipes that have been passed down through the generations, you will discover dishes such as Nasi goreng, Beef rendang, Chilli prawn satay and Pandan cake, alongside a variety of recipes for sambals: fragrant, spicy relishes that are undoubtedly the heart and soul of every meal.

Lara uses simple techniques and easily accessible ingredients throughout Coconut and Sambal, interweaving the recipes with beguiling tales of island life and gorgeous travel photography that shines a light on the magnificent, little-known cuisine of Indonesia.

What are you waiting for? Travel the beautiful islands of Indonesia and taste the different regions through these recipes.


Rone: Street Art and Beyond
Mo Wyse (Editor)

Known for his multi-storey murals gracing buildings all over the world, Melbourne-based artist Rone uses his work to explore the friction and connection between beauty and decay, youth and ruin.

Rone was a seminal figure in the explosive Melbourne street art scene of the early 2000s. With his beginnings in street art, stencil and screen printing, Rone is now best known for his haunting images of women’s faces, rendered in arresting detail on silos and store fronts, museums and apartment blocks. His immersive installations have continued his investigation into divergent themes of beauty and ruin, materiality and loss, through the transformation of condemned, derelict or forgotten spaces – with each artwork painstakingly produced, only to be destroyed.

Rone: Street Art and Beyond presents a survey of the artist’s work from the street, the studio, and the ephemeral installations. The works are bookended by essays that trace the evolution of Rone’s career over the last two decades, delve into his depictions of women, and go behind the scenes of his most ambitious installation to date: Empire (2019), set in the disused Art Deco mansion Burnham Beeches on the outskirts of Melbourne. Anecdotal notes from the artist unpack the stories behind the portraits, tying them to their communities in London, Paris, New York, Havana, Christchurch, Hong Kong and beyond.


One Punch: The Tragic Toll of Random Acts of Violence
Barry Dickens

In One Punch Barry Dickins reflects on the many types of violence that can now affect everyday life. In his heartfelt exploration of the subject, Barry talks to many of the people whom this violence impacts, including the parents of children who have been killed, professionals in the justice system, and children who live in communities where violence is rife. He looks at how the world has changed in his lifetime and discusses where we are going as a society.


The Trials of Portnoy
Patrick Mullins

For more than seventy years, a succession of politicians, judges, and government officials in Australia worked in the shadows to enforce one of the most pervasive and conservative regimes of censorship in the world. The goal was simple- to keep Australia free of the moral contamination of impure literature. Under the censorship regime, books that might damage the morals of the Australian public were banned, seized, and burned; bookstores were raided; publishers were fined; and writers were charged and even jailed. But in the 1970s, that all changed.

In 1970, in great secrecy and at considerable risk, Penguin Books Australia resolved to publish Portnoy’s Complaint – Philip Roth’s frank, funny, and profane bestseller about a boy hung up about his mother and his penis. In doing so, Penguin spurred a direct confrontation with the censorship authorities, which culminated in criminal charges, police raids, and an unprecedented series of court trials across the country.

Sweeping from the cabinet room to the courtroom, The Trials of Portnoy draws on archival records and new interviews to show how Penguin and a band of writers, booksellers, academics, and lawyers determinedly sought for Australians the freedom to read what they wished – and how, in defeating the forces arrayed before them, they reshaped Australian literature and culture forever.


Sad Mum Lady
Ashe Davenport

‘If people knew how bad this was,’ I said to a friend two weeks after the birth, nipples flashing red like emergency lights under my dressing-gown, ‘they would be sterilised on their thirteenth birthdays.’

It sometimes feels like there’s a rule for parents: if you’re going to say anything mildly unhappy about parenting, you must also be at pains to stress that it is all worth it. What joy! What wonder! How lucky we are!

But then there’s the crying. And the body horror. The tearing and the leaking. And the crippling isolation. And the sleep deprivation. And somehow a dead rat in the cubbyhouse and the endless judgement of peers and neighbours and the internet.

But fear not. Ashe Davenport is here. And she’s not afraid to say it’s fucked.

Unapologetic and frank, Sad Mum Lady navigates the joys of motherhood in ways that will be familiar, hilarious and essential reading for parents and non-parents alike. Savage, true and deeply relatable – finally, a book that resists the sanitised, acceptable face of parenting. You might not feel better, but at least you’ll feel less alone.


How Innovation Works
Matt Ridley

The products of innovation are all around us, from light bulbs and nuclear energy to antibiotics, artificial intelligence and even wheelie suitcases.

In the 1950s, the economist Robert Solow calculated that 87% of economic growth came not from applying more capital or more labour, but from innovation making people more productive. It’s probably even higher today – new materials, new machines and new ideas to cut costs and enable people to spend less time fulfilling more of their needs: that’s what growth means.

But innovation is still a remarkably mysterious process. It’s more than just the invention of a new gadget: it requires lots of hard work making something affordable and useful. Innovation is an evolutionary activity that happens in the cloud of shared experiences; it relies on recombination or exchange; it is incremental; it feeds upon itself. And innovation is the great equaliser: today some of the poorest African communities have mobile phones that work as well as Tim Cook’s. Innovation is why the number of people living in extreme poverty is declining rapidly – and it is the reason the number will continue to decline.

From the bestselling author of The Rational OptimistHow Innovation Works draws on evolutionary biology and archeology as well as technology, politics and economics, telling the real stories behind the great leaps forward that have defined modern society. Looking at key developments from harnessing steam power to nuclear fusion, genetic modification and now the impact of social media on polarisation, How Innovation Works explores significant the breakthroughs in science, technology and economics that we all benefit from today – and considers where they might originate in future.


The Convict Valley
Mark Dunn

In 1790, five convicts escaped Sydney by boat and were swept ashore near present-day Newcastle. They were taken in by the Worimi people, given Aboriginal names and started families. Thus began a long and at times dramatic series of encounters between Aboriginal people and convicts in the second penal settlement in Australia.

The fertile valley of the Hunter River was the first area outside the Sydney basin explored by the British, and it became one of the largest penal settlements. Today manicured lawns and prosperous vineyards hide the struggle, violence and toil of the thousands of convicts who laid its foundations. The Convict Valley uncovers this rich colonial past, as well as the story of the original Aboriginal landholders. While there were friendships and alliances in the early years, in the later scramble for land in the 1820s – as the Valley was opened to free settlers – tensions rose and bloodshed ensued.

With fascinating stories about convicts, white settlers and the Aboriginal inhabitants that have long been forgotten, The Convict Valley is a new Australian history classic.


The Gospel of the Eels
Patrik Svensson

I can’t recall us ever talking about anything other than eels and how to best catch them, down there by the stream. Actually, I can’t remember us speaking at all. Maybe because we never did.

The European eel, Anguilla anguilla, is one of the strangest creatures nature ever created. Remarkably little is known about the eel, even today. What we do know is that it’s born as a tiny willow-leaf shaped larva in the Sargasso Sea, travels on the ocean currents toward the coasts of Europe – a journey of about four thousand miles that takes at least two years. Upon arrival, it transforms itself into a glass eel and then into a yellow eel before it wanders up into fresh water. It lives a solitary life, hiding from light and science both, for ten, twenty, fifty years, before migrating back to the sea in the autumn, morphing into a silver eel and swimming all the way back to the Sargasso Sea, where it breeds and dies.

And yet . . . There is still so much we don’t know about eels. No human has ever seen eels reproduce; no one can give a complete account of the eel’s metamorphoses or say why they are born and die in the Sargasso Sea; no human has even seen a mature eel in the Sargasso Sea. Ever. And now the eel is disappearing, and we don’t know exactly why.

What we do know is that eels and their mysterious lives captivate us.

This is the basis for Patrik Svensson’s quite unique natural science memoir; his ongoing fascination with this secretive fish, but also the equally perplexing and often murky relationship he shared with his father, whose only passion in life was fishing for this obscure creature.

Through the exploration of eels in literature (Günter Grass and Graham Swift feature, amongst others) in the history of science (we learn about Aristotle’s and Sigmund Freud’s complicated relationships with eels) as well as modern marine biology (Rachel Carson and others) we get to know this peculiar animal, and in this exploration, also learn about the human condition, life and death, through natural science and nature writing at its very best.


Smorgasbord
Signe Johansen with Peter’s Yard

Traditionally served whenever family and friends get together, smorgasbords are a celebration of food and gatherings. They have always featured crispbreads (knackebrod), which in Sweden are eaten like bread. This collection of simple recipes reflects the modern, more informal approach to smorgasbords so as well as classics, such as skagen (prawn salad) and citrus and spice cured gravadlax, it includes dishes such as fried chanterelles on toasted sourdough, barbecued zesty cod burgers and orange and ginger waffles with rhubarb compote.

For spring, there are ideas for an Easter celebration and a bonfire party, for summer a midsummer gathering and crayfish party. Autumn has a feast supper and foraged dinner and Winter a Christmas drinks and New Year’s brunch. The emphasis always is on selecting quality, seasonal ingredients to share and enjoy with friends and family.

Explore the seasons of Swedish cooking with these deliciously simple modern Scandinavian recipes.


Niki Lauda: The Biography
Maurice Hamilton

In 1975, Lauda became world champion for the first time. Driving for Ferrari, he looked to retain his title in 1976 and was dominating the campaign ahead of James Hunt in his McLaren. Then, on 1 August, he was involved in a horrendous crash at the Nurburgring and was badly burned and in hospital he was given the last rites, so severe were his injuries. Remarkably, six weeks later, he was back racing again, determined to show he could still compete. As they came to the final race of the season in Japan, Lauda held a narrow lead in the championship, but in appalling weather conditions, Lauda withdrew from the race, while Hunt went on to secure the points he needed to become world champion. It was high-speed drama at its best.

Lauda came back to win the title again in 1977 and then, having temporarily retired, he won it for a third time in 1984, driving for McLaren. When he finally finished as an F1 driver, he started his own airline, before he returned to the sport in various management roles, latterly as chairman of Mercedes, where he helped in the negotiations to bring Lewis Hamilton to the team.

Maurice Hamilton, who first met Lauda in 1971, draws together the remarkable story of one of the greatest stars in Formula One history. Based on interviews with friends and family, rival drivers and those he worked with later in his career, Niki Lauda is a superb and definitive tribute to a remarkable character, who died in May 2019 at the age of seventy.


The Coal Curse: Resources, Climate and Australia’s Future (Quarterly Essay No.78)
Judith Brett

Australia is a wealthy nation with the economic profile of a developing country – heavy on raw materials, and low on innovation and skilled manufacturing. Once we rode on the sheep’s back for our overseas trade; today we rely on cartloads of coal and tankers of LNG. So must we double down on fossil fuels, now that Covid-19 has halted the flow of international students and tourists? Or is there a better way forward, which supports renewable energy and local manufacturing?

Judith Brett traces the unusual history of Australia’s economy and the “resource curse” that has shaped our politics. She shows how the mining industry learnt to run fear campaigns, and how the Coalition became dominated by fossil-fuel interests to the exclusion of other voices.

In this insightful essay about leadership, vision and history, she looks at the costs of Australia’s coal addiction and asks, where will we be if the world stops buying it?


Paris Match: Falling in (love) with the French
John von Sothen

In Brooklyn, John von Sothen fell in love with Anais, a French waitress. And then, one night in Paris, on the Pont Neuf, she agreed to marry him (“Bah, we can always get divorced!”). A couple of decades in, the two have become quatre, living in their beloved 10th arondissement with teenage kids who chat to their African neighbours in fluent Parisian slang, and John has even become kind of French himself. Well, he likes to think he has. The family still see him as an American innocent abroad.

Paris Match is one of those rare books that makes you laugh out loud, as von Sothen attempts to understand what makes the French tick. Why do they take such long holidays with friends who ration snacks and mock you for sleeping in; why do French men turn to him (an American!) for fashion tips; what really is the correct way to cut brie, and how do you tell if you’re being invited to a super-exclusive secret society of intellectuals or a weird sex club? John von Sothen has found most of the answers and in this delightful, witty book shares his experience, insights and humour into the fine art of becoming everyday French.


The Great Imperial Hangover
Samir Puri

For the first time in millennia we live without formal empires. But that doesn’t mean we don’t feel their presence rumbling through history. The Great Imperial Hangover examines how the world’s imperial legacies are still shaping the thorniest issues we face today.

From Russia’s incursions in the Ukraine to Brexit; from Trump’s ‘America-first policy’ to China’s forays into Africa; from Modi’s India to the hotbed of the Middle East, Puri provides a bold new framework for understanding the world’s complex rivalries and politics.

Organised by region, and covering vital topics such as security, foreign policy, national politics and commerce, The Great Imperial Hangover combines gripping history and astute analysis to explain why the history of empire affects us all in profound ways.


Mackenzie’s Mission
Rachael Casella

Rachael and Jonathan were thrilled to welcome their baby Mackenzie into the world and to start their new lives as parents. Little did they know that in a few months they would be tested to endurance and beyond.

Like many other couples starting a family, Rachael and Jonathan had no idea they were both carriers for a genetic disease, and that 1 in 20 babies are affected by genetic birth defects. Their daughter was one of those babies, and Mackenzie’s Mission is Rachael’s beautiful and heartwarming account of Mackenzie’s life, child loss, and a journey through IVF.

Determined that other couples should not go through the same heartbreak, Rachael and Jonathan are now champions for genetic testing.

This is a story of triumph over adversity, the strength that can be found in kindness and the power of one couple to affect positive change in the world.


Becoming John Curtin and James Scullen
Liam Byrne

Before becoming the prime ministers who led Australia in moments of extraordinary crisis and transformation, John Curtin and James Scullin were two young working-class men who dreamt of changing their country for the better. Becoming John Curtin and James Scullin tells the tale of their intertwined early lives as both men became labour intellectuals and powerbrokers at the beginning of the twentieth century. It reveals the underappreciated role each man played in the events that defined the modern Australian Labor Party- its first experience of national government, the turmoil of war, the great conscription clash and party split of 1916, and the heated debates over the party’s socialist objective.

Becoming John Curtin and James Scullin shows how they became the leaders that history knows best by painting a portrait of two young men struggling to establish their identities and find their place in the world. It tells of their great friendships, loves and passions, and reminds us that these were real men, with real weaknesses, desires and dreams. It explains how their early political careers set the scene for their later prime ministerships as they honed the techniques of power that led them to the summit of Australian politics.

This is the story of two young men striving to better the world they had inherited, a story of optimism and hope with enduring relevance for today’s troubled politics.