FICTION

The Mirror and the Light (Wolf Hall #3)
Hilary Mantel

England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, before Jane dies giving birth to the male heir he most craves.

Cromwell is a man with only his wits to rely on; he has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him?

With The Mirror and the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. She traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion and courage.


Sweetness and Light
Liam Pieper

India, monsoon season.

Connor, an Australian expat with a brutal past, spends his time running low-stakes scams on tourists in a sleepy beachside town. Sasha, an American in search of spiritual guidance, heads to an isolated ashram in the hope of mending a broken heart.

When one of Connor’s grifts goes horribly wrong, it sets in motion a chain of events that brings the two lost souls together – and as they try to navigate a world of gangsters, gurus and secret agendas, they begin to realise that within the ashram’s utopian community, something is deeply, deeply wrong…

Racing from the beaches of Goa to the streets of Delhi to the jungles of Tamil Nadu, Sweetness and Light is an intoxicating, unsettling story of the battle between light and dark, love and lust, morality and corruption. This is an explosive and unforgettable novel that confirms Liam Pieper’s place as one of Australia’s finest, sharpest writers.


The Good Turn (Cormac Reilly #3)
Dervla McTiernan

Police corruption, an investigation that ends in tragedy and the mystery of a little girl’s silence – three unconnected events that will prove to be linked by one small town.

While Detective Cormac Reilly faces enemies at work and trouble in his personal life, Garda Peter Fisher is relocated out of Galway with the threat of prosecution hanging over his head. But even that is not as terrible as having to work for his overbearing father, the local copper for the pretty seaside town of Roundstone.

For some, like Anna and her young daughter Tilly, Roundstone is a refuge from trauma. But even this village on the edge of the sea isn’t far enough to escape from the shadows of evil men.


Swimming in the Dark
Tomasz Jedrowski

You were right when you said that people can’t always give us what we want from them.

Poland, 1980. Anxious, disillusioned Ludwik Glowacki, soon to graduate university, has been sent along with the rest of his class to an agricultural camp. Here he meets Janusz – and together, they spend a dreamlike summer swimming in secluded lakes, reading forbidden books – and falling in love.

But with summer over, the two are sent back to Warsaw, and to the harsh realities of life under the Party. Exiled from paradise, Ludwik and Janusz must decide how they will survive; and in their different choices, find themselves torn apart.

Swimming in the Dark is an unforgettable debut about youth, love, and loss – and the sacrifices we make to live lives with meaning.


Melting Moments
Anna Goldsworthy

It is 1941. Eighteen-year-old Ruby leaves behind the family farm, her serious mother and roguish father, and heads for Adelaide. After a brief courtship, she enters into a hasty marriage with a soldier about to go to war – who returns a changed man.

In this absorbing novel, Anna Goldsworthy recreates the world of Adelaide half a century ago, and portrays the phases of a woman’s life with intimacy and sly humour. We follow Ruby as she contends with her damaged husband and eccentric in-laws. We see her experience motherhood and changing social circumstances, until, in a moving twist, a figure from the past reappears, to kindle a late-life romance.

In her captivating fiction debut, Goldsworthy evokes a woman’s life in a pre-feminist world. In this tender, funny book, she combines an Austenesque wit with Alice Munro’s feeling for human complexity.


The Recovery of Rose Gold
Stephanie Wrobel

Rose Gold Watts believed she was sick for eighteen years.

She thought she needed the feeding tube, the surgeries, the wheelchair…

Turns out her mum, Patty, is a really good liar.

After five years in prison Patty Watts is finally free. All she wants is to put old grievances behind her, reconcile with her daughter – and care for her new infant grandson. When Rose Gold agrees to have Patty move in, it seems their relationship is truly on the mend.

But Rose Gold knows her mother. Patty won’t rest until she has her daughter back under her thumb. Which is inconvenient because Rose Gold wants to be free of Patty. Forever.

Only one Watts will get what she wants.

Will it be Patty or Rose Gold?

Mother, or daughter?


The Coconut Children
Vivian Pham

Life in a troubled neighbourhood demands too much too young. But Sonny wouldn’t really know.

Watching the world from her bedroom window, she exists only in second-hand romance novels and falls for any fast-food employee who happens to spare her a glance.

Everything changes with the return of Vince, a boy who became a legend after he was hauled away in handcuffs at fourteen.

Sonny and Vince used to be childhood friends. But with all that happened in-between, childhood seems so long ago. It will take two years of juvie, an inebriated grandmother and a porn stash for them to meet again.

The Coconut Children is an urgent, moving and wise debut from a young and gifted storyteller.


The Boy from the Woods
Harlan Coben

Thirty years ago, a child was found in the New Jersey backwoods.

He had been living a feral existence, with no memory of how he got there or even who he is. Everyone just calls him Wilde.

Now a former soldier and security expert, he lives off the grid, shunned by the community – until they need him.

A child has gone missing. With her family suspecting she’s just playing a disappearing game, nobody seems concerned except for criminal attorney Hester Crimstein. She contacts Wilde, asking him to use his unique skills to find the girl.

But even he can find no trace of her. One day passes, then a second, then a third.

On the fourth, a human finger shows up in the mail.

And now Wilde knows this is no game. It’s a race against time to save the girl’s life – and expose the town’s dark trove of secrets…


The Origin of Me
Bernard Gallate

Lincoln Locke’s fifteen-year-old life is turned upside down when he’s thrust into bachelor-pad living with his father, after his parents’ marriage breaks up, and into an exclusive new school. Crestfield Academy offers Lincoln a new set of peers – the crème de la crème of gifted individuals, who also happen to be financially loaded – and a place on the swim relay team with a bunch of thugs in Speedos. Homunculus, the little voice inside his head, doesn’t make life any easier; nor does Lincoln’s growing awareness of a genetic anomaly that threatens to humiliate him at every turn.

On a search for answers to big LIFE questions, he turns to the school library, where he spies a nineteenth-century memoir, My One Redeeming Affliction by Edwin Stroud, a one-time star of Melinkoff’s Astonishing Assembly of Freaks. As Lincoln slowly reads this peculiar, life-changing book, the past reaches into his present in fascinating and alarming ways.

Ways that defy imagination…

Audacious, funny and wonderfully inventive, The Origin of Me is a song to friendship, to young love, to the joy of imagination, and to celebrating differences.


We Were Never Friends
Margaret Bearman

Lotti lives under the shadow of a genius: her father George Coates is a brilliant and celebrated Australian painter.

When Lotti meets the outcast waif Kyla at a suburban Canberra school, two worlds are set to collide. Slowly Kyla is drawn into the orbit of the Coates family.

Or is it the other way around?

As Lotti and Kyla navigate their way towards adulthood, dark secrets start to unravel, with devastating consequences…

We Were Never Friends is a compelling and powerful novel about friendship, the pursuit of a creative life and the legacies we leave behind.


The Yellow Bird Sings
Jennifer Rosner

Poland, 1941. After the Jews in their town are rounded up, Róza and her five-year-old daughter, Shira, spend day and night hidden in a farmer’s barn. Forbidden from making a sound, only the yellow bird from her mother’s stories can sing the melodies Shira composes in her head.

Róza does all she can to take care of Shira and shield her from the horrors of the outside world. They play silent games and invent their own sign language. But then the day comes when their haven is no longer safe, and Róza must face an impossible choice: whether to keep her daughter close by her side, or give her the chance to survive by letting her go…

The Yellow Bird Sings is a powerfully gripping and deeply moving novel about the unbreakable bond between parent and child and the triumph of humanity and hope in even the darkest circumstances.


You Are Not Alone
Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Shay Miller has three strikes against her: no job, no apartment, no love in her life. But when she witnesses a perfectly normal looking young woman about her age make the chilling decision to leap in front of an ongoing subway train, Shay realizes she could end up in the same spiral.

She is intrigued by a group of women who seem to have it all together, and they invite her with the promise: “You are not alone.” Why not align herself with the glamorous and seductive Moore sisters, Cassandra and Jane? They seem to have beaten back their demons, and made a life on their own terms – a life most people can only ever envy. They are everything Shay aspires to be, and they seem to have the keys to getting exactly what they want.

As Shay is pulled deeper and deeper under the spell of the Moore sisters, she finds her life getting better and better. But what price does she have to pay? What do Cassandra and Jane want from her? And what secrets do they, and Shay, have that will come to a deadly confrontation?

You are not alone: Is it a promise? Or a threat?


Amnesty
Aravind Adiga

Danny – Dhananjaya Rajaratnam – is an illegal immigrant in Sydney, denied refugee status after he has fled from his native Sri Lanka. Working as a cleaner, living out of a grocery storeroom, for three years he’s been trying to create a new identity for himself. And now, with his beloved vegan girlfriend, Sonja, with his hidden accent and highlights in his hair, he is as close as he has ever come to living a normal Australian life.

But then one morning, Danny learns a female client of his has been murdered. When Danny recognizes a jacket left at the murder scene, he believes it belongs to another of his clients – a doctor with whom he knows the woman was having an affair. Suddenly Danny is confronted with a choice: come forward with his knowledge about the crime and risk being deported, or say nothing, and let justice go undone? Over the course of a single day, evaluating the weight of his past, his dreams for the future, and the unpredictable, often absurd reality of living invisibly and undocumented, he must wrestle with his conscience and decide if a person without rights still has responsibilities.


Shuggie Bain
Douglas Stuart

It is 1981. Glasgow is dying and good families must grift to survive. Agnes Bain has always expected more from life. She dreams of greater things: a house with its own front door and a life bought and paid for outright (like her perfect, but false, teeth). But Agnes is abandoned by her philandering husband, and soon she and her three children find themselves trapped in a decimated mining town. As she descends deeper into drink, the children try their best to save her, yet one by one they must abandon her to save themselves. It is her son Shuggie who holds out hope the longest.

Shuggie is different. Fastidious and fussy, he shares his mother’s sense of snobbish propriety. The miners’ children pick on him and adults condemn him as no’ right. But Shuggie believes that if he tries his hardest, he can be normal like the other boys and help his mother escape this hopeless place.

Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain lays bare the ruthlessness of poverty, the limits of love, and the hollowness of pride. A counterpart to the privileged Thatcher-era London of Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty, it also recalls the work of Édouard Louis, Frank McCourt, and Hanya Yanagihara, it is a blistering debut by a brilliant novelist with a powerful and important story to tell.


Desire Lines
Felicity Volk

Arctic Circle, 2012. On a lightless day at the end of the polar winter, landscape architect Evie Waddell finds herself exhuming the past as she buries Australian seeds in a frozen mountain vault – insurance against catastrophe.

Molong, 1953. Catastrophe is all seven-year-old Paddy O’Connor has known. Shipped from institutional care in London to an Australian farm school, his world is a shadowy place where lies scaffold fragile truths and painful memories. To Paddy’s south in Canberra, young Evie is safe in her family’s embrace, yet soon learns there are some paths from which you can’t turn back; impulses and threats that she only half understands but seems to have known forever.

Blue Mountains, 1962. From their first meeting as teenagers at a country market, Paddy and Evie grow a compulsive, unconventional love that spans decades, taking them in directions neither could have foreseen.

Set against the uneasy relationship society has with its own truth-telling in history, war and politics, Desire Lines is an epic story of love and the lies we tell ourselves to survive – and a reminder that even truths which seem lost forever can find their way home.


The Salt Madonna
Catherine Noske

This is the story of a crime. This is the story of a miracle. There are two stories here.

Hannah Mulvey left her island home as a teenager. But her stubborn, defiant mother is dying, and now Hannah has returned to Chesil, taking up a teaching post at the tiny schoolhouse, doing what she can in the long days of this final year.

But though Hannah cannot pinpoint exactly when it begins, something threatens her small community. A girl disappears entirely from class. Odd reports and rumours reach her through her young charges. People mutter on street corners, the church bell tolls through the night and the island’s women gather at strange hours…And then the miracles begin.

A page-turning, thought-provoking portrayal of a remote community caught up in a collective moment of madness, of good intentions turned terribly awry. A blistering examination of truth and power, and how we might tell one from the other.


The Bell in the Lake
Lars Mytting

Norway, 1880. In the secluded village of Butangen at the end of the valley, headstrong Astrid dreams of a life beyond marriage, hard work and children. And then Pastor Kai Schweigaard comes into her life, taking over the 700-year-old stave church with its carvings of pagan deities. The two church bells were forged by her forefather in the sixteenth century, in memory of conjoined sisters Halfrid and Gunhild Hekne, and are said to have supernatural powers. But now the pastor wants to tear it down, to replace it with a modern, larger church. Though Astrid is drawn to him, this may be a provocation too far.

Talented architecture student Gerhard Schonauer arrives from Dresden to oversee the removal of the church and its reconstruction in the German city. Everything about elegant Schonauer is so different, so cosmopolitan. Astrid must make a choice: for her homeland and the pastor, or for a daunting and uncertain future in Germany.

Then the bells begin to toll…

Translated from the Norwegian by Deborah Dawkin


The Girl with the Louding Voice
Abi Dare

All you have are your words.

As the only daughter of a broke father, she is a valuable commodity. Removed from school and sold as a third wife to an old man, Adunni’s life amounts to this: four goats, two bags of rice, some chickens and a new TV. When unspeakable tragedy swiftly strikes in her new home, she is secretly sold as a domestic servant to a household in the wealthy enclaves of Lagos, where no one will talk about the strange disappearance of her predecessor, Rebecca. No one but Adunni…

As a yielding daughter, a subservient wife, and a powerless servant, fourteen-year-old Adunni is repeatedly told that she is nothing. But Adunni won’t be silenced. She is determined to find her voice – in a whisper, in song, in broken English – until she can speak for herself, for the girls like Rebecca who came before, and for all the girls who will follow.


The Night Watchman
Louise Erdrich

It is 1953. Thomas Wazhushk is the night watchman at the first factory to open near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a prominent Chippewa Council member, trying to understand a new bill that is soon to be put before Congress. The US Government calls it an ’emancipation’ bill; but it isn’t about freedom – it threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land, their very identity. How can he fight this betrayal?

Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Pixie – ‘Patrice’ – Paranteau has no desire to wear herself down on a husband and kids. She works at the factory, earning barely enough to support her mother and brother, let alone her alcoholic father who sometimes returns home to bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to get if she’s ever going to get to Minnesota to find her missing sister Vera.

In The Night Watchman multi-award winning author Louise Erdrich weaves together a story of past and future generations, of preservation and progress. She grapples with the worst and best impulses of human nature, illuminating the loves and lives, desires and ambitions of her characters with compassion, wit and intelligence.


Fifty Fifty (Harriet Blue #2)
James Patterson & Candice Fox

It’s not easy being a good detective – when your brother’s a serial killer.

Sam Blue stands accused of the brutal murders of three young students, their bodies dumped near the Georges River. Only one person believes he is innocent: his sister, Detective Harriet Blue. And she’s determined to prove it.

Except she’s now been banished to the outback town of Last Chance Valley (population 75), where a diary found on the roadside outlines a shocking plan – the massacre of the entire town. And the first death, shortly after Harry’s arrival, suggests the clock is already ticking.

Meanwhile, back in Sydney, a young woman holds the key to crack Sam’s case wide open.

If only she could escape the madman holding her hostage…


The Rearranged Life of Oona Lockhart
Margarita Montimore

If you knew your future, would you change your past?

Brooklyn, 1982. Oona Lockhart is about to celebrate her 19th birthday and ring in the New Year. But at the stroke of midnight, she is torn from her friends and boyfriend, finding herself in her fifty-one-year-old body, thirty-two years into the future.

Greeted by a friendly stranger, Oona learns that on every birthday she will enter a different year of her adult life at random. Still a young woman on the inside, but ever changing on the outside, who will she be next year? Wealthy philanthropist? Nineties Club Kid? World traveller? Wife to a man she’s never met?

While Oona gets glimpses of the future and thinks she knows what’s to come, living a normal life is challenging. As she struggles between fighting her fate and accepting it, Oona must learn to navigate a life that’s out of order – but is it broken?

Margarita Montimore’s whip-smart debut is an uplifting joyride through an ever-changing world that shows us the endurance of love, the timelessness of family and what it means to truly live in the moment.


Adults
Emma Jane Unsworth

Jenny is unloved, unemployable and emotionally unfiltered. Her long-suffering friends seem sick of her and whilst her social media portrays her life as a bed of roses, it is more of a dying succulent.

Could things get any worse? Her mother is on her doorstep with a suitcase, and Jenny is about to find out…

Adults is a hilarious and heartbreaking novel about living online and trying to find yourself in real life; a hymn to the power of female friendship and an essential read for you and every woman you know.


The Temple House Vanishing
Rachel Donohue

Power. Jealousy. Desire. Twenty-five years ago, a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl and her charismatic teacher disappeared without trace…

In an elite Catholic girls’ boarding-school, the pupils live under the repressive, watchful gaze of the nuns. Seeking to break from the cloistered atmosphere, two of the students – Louisa and Victoria – quickly become infatuated with their young, bohemian art teacher, who encourages their flirtation. Then, he and Louisa vanish.

Years later, a journalist uncovers the troubled past of the school and determines to resolve the mystery of the missing pair.


Below Deck
Sophie Hardcastle 

And then, just like that, a thought bubbles inside me. It’s a beginning; a new beginning; my beginning. The beginning of the story I tell myself in order to survive.   We choose to breathe, don’t we?

Twenty-one-year-old Olivia hears the world in colour, but her life is mottled grey. Estranged from her parents, and living with her grandfather who is drowning in sadness, Oli faces the reality of life beyond university alone.

When she wakes on a boat with no recollection of how she got there, she accepts the help of two strangers who change the course of her future forever. With Mac and Maggie, Oli learns to navigate a life upon open ocean and the world flowers into colours she’s never seen before.

Four years later, Oli, fluent in the language of the sea, is the only woman among men on a yacht delivery from Noumea to Auckland. In the darkness below deck, she learns that at sea, no one can hear you scream.

Moving to London, Oli’s life at sea is buried. When she meets Hugo, the wind changes, and her memories are dust blown into shapes. Reminding her of everything.

Below Deck is about the moments that haunt us, the moments that fan out like ripples through the deep. So that everything else, becomes everything after.


House on Endless Waters
Emuna Elon

At the behest of his agent, renowned author Yoel Blum reluctantly agrees to visit his birthplace of Amsterdam to meet with his Dutch publisher, despite promising his late mother that he would never return to that city. While touring the Jewish Museum with his wife, Yoel stumbles upon a looping reel of photos offering a glimpse of pre-war Dutch Jewish life, and is astonished to see the youthful face of his beloved mother staring back at him, posing with her husband, Yoel’s older sister Nettie…and an infant he doesn’t recognise.

This unsettling discovery launches him into a fervent search for the truth, revealing Amsterdam’s dark wartime history and the underground networks which hid Jewish children away from danger – but at a cost. The deeper into the past Yoel digs, the better he understands his mother’s silence, and the more urgent the question that has unconsciously haunted him for a lifetime – Who am I? – becomes.

Part family mystery, part wartime drama, House on Endless Waters is an unforgettable meditation on identity, belonging, and the inextricable nature of past and present.


A Thousand Moons
Sebastian Barry

Even when you come out of bloodshed and disaster in the end you have got to learn to live.

Winona is a young Lakota orphan adopted by former soldiers Thomas McNulty and John Cole. Living with Thomas and John on the farm they work in 1870s Tennessee, she is educated and loved, forging a life for herself beyond the violence and dispossession of her past. But the fragile harmony of her unlikely family unit, in the aftermath of the Civil War, is soon threatened by a further traumatic event, one which Winona struggles to confront, let alone understand.

Told in Sebastian Barry’s gorgeous, lyrical prose, A Thousand Moons is a powerful, moving study of one woman’s journey, of her determination to write her own future, and of the enduring human capacity for love.  The much anticipated follow up to the acclaimed Days Without End.  


The Inland Sea
Madeleine Watts

In the early 19th century, British explorer John Oxley traversed the then-unknown wilderness of central Australia in search of water. Oxley never found it, but he never ceased to believe it was out there. The myth of the inland sea was taken up by other men, and over the years search parties walked out into the desert, dying as they tried to find it. Two centuries later, his great-great-great-great granddaughter (and our narrator) spends a final year in Sydney reeling from her own self-destructive obsessions.

She’s working part-time as an emergency dispatch operator, drinking heavily, sleeping with strangers, wandering Sydney’s streets late at night, and navigating an affair with an ex-lover. Reckless and adrift, she prepares to leave. Written with down-to-earth lucidity and ethereal breeziness, this is an unforgettable debut about coming of age in a world that seems increasingly hostile. Watts explores feminine fear, apathy and danger, building to a tightly controlled bushfire of ecological and personal crisis.


Where The Truth Lies
Karina Kilmore

She was slipping away. The further she fell, the closer the clouds seemed to come. Wispy transparent slipstreams of white. Cirrus. Pain smashed her head. Floating …

When investigative journalist Chrissie O’Brian lands a senior job at The Argus, she is desperate to escape the nightmares of her past. Her life has become a daily battle to numb the pain. But her job is something she can do better than anyone else – and the only thing that keeps the memories at bay.

A face-off on the waterfront between the unions and big business is just the kind of story to get her career back on track. But after a dockworker who confided in her turns up dead, Chrissie becomes obsessed with unravelling the truth. When a gruesome threat lands on her desk, it’s clear someone is prepared to do anything to stop her.

But who is more dangerous – a ruthless enemy or a woman pushed to the edge? Used to fighting her own demons, this is one battle Chrissie is determined not to lose.


Here We Are
Graham Swift

It is Brighton, 1959, and the theatre at the end of the pier is having its best summer season in years. Ronnie, a brilliant young magician, and Evie, his dazzling assistant, are top of the bill, drawing audiences each night. Meanwhile, Jack – Jack Robinson, as in ‘before you can say’ – is everyone’s favourite compère, a born entertainer, holding the whole show together.

As the summer progresses, the off-stage drama between the three begins to overshadow their theatrical success, and events unfold which will have lasting consequences for all their futures.

Rich, comic, alive and subtly devastating, Here We Are is a masterly piece of literary magicianship which pulls back the curtain on the human condition.


NON-FICTION

Fire Country
Victor Steffensen

Delving deep into the Australian landscape and the environmental challenges we face, Fire Country is a powerful account from Indigenous land management expert Victor Steffensen on how the revival of Indigenous fire practices, including improved ’reading’ of country and undertaking ’cool burns’, could help to restore our nation.

Victor developed a passion for traditional cultural and ecological knowledge from a young age, but it was after leaving high school that Victor met two Elders who became his mentors, particularly to revive cultural burning. Developed over many generations, this knowledge shows clearly that Australia actually needs fire – with burning done in a controlled manner – for land care and healing.

Victor’s story is unassuming and honest, written in a way that reflects the nature of yarning. And while some of the knowledge shared in his book may be unclear to western world views, there is much evidence that, if adopted, it could benefit all Australians.

For every copy sold, Hardie Grant will donate $1 to Firesticks, which empowers Indigenous fire management practitioners to revive cultural burning.


We Can’t Say We Didn’t Know
Sophie McNeill

For more than 15 years, award-winning journalist Sophie McNeill has reported on some of the most war-ravaged and oppressive places on earth, including Syria, Gaza, Yemen, West Bank and Iraq.

In We Can’t Say We Didn’t Know , Sophie tells the human stories of devastation and hope behind the headlines – of children, families and refugees, of valiant doctors, steadfast dissidents and Saudi women seeking asylum. These innocent civilians bear the brunt of the lawlessness of the current age of impunity, where war crimes go unpunished and human rights are abused. Many risk everything they know to stand up for what they believe in and to be on the right side of history, and their courage is extraordinary and inspiring. 

McNeill also examines what happens when evidence and facts become subjective and debatable, and how and why disinformation, impunity and hypocrisy now reign supreme. We can’t say we didn’t know – the question now is, what are you going to do about it?


FAST Asleep
Dr Michael Mosley with Dr Clare Bailey

Getting a good night’s sleep can improve your mood, cut your risk of depression, help you fight chronic disease, keep you slim and even improve your memory; so why is it that so many of us don’t prioritise the necessary 7-8 hours a night?

In Fast Asleep, Dr Michael Mosley brings together the latest science to explain exactly what happens to us when we sleep and why it is so important that we get enough of it. Prone to insomnia, he has taken part in numerous sleep experiments and tested every sleep remedy going. He explains why so many of us struggle with sleep, what works and what doesn’t and shares his own myth-busting programme to help you achieve a good night’s rest.

Along with fascinating case studies, 50 delicious, sleep-promoting recipes and menu plans by his wife Dr Clare Bailey, this book explains why gut health and meal times matter, explores the science of dreaming and reveals tips and tricks to help you not just to sleep better but to reduce stress levels and feel happier and healthier in general.


Sustainable Escapes
Lonely Planet

This is Lonely Planet’s guide to the world’s best eco-friendly resorts and experiences. From eco-lodges with cutting-edge sustainability initiatives to tours designed to protect wildlife and empower communities, you’ll discover remarkable places where you can feel good about spending your time and money. 

There are nearly 180 escapes to choose from, organised across five themes: Nature, Relaxation, Culture, Urban and Learning, to make it easy for you to find your perfect getaway – from tracking rare black rhinos in Namibia to a high-end private island hideaway in Indonesia, or a remastered heritage hotel in Monaco to an innovative community tourism project in Cuba.

Each escape is labelled with the key sustainability features you can enjoy while staying at the hotel or participating on the tour – whether it’s wildlife spotting, sustainable dining, conservation opportunities, homestays, expert talks and more. We also tell you what makes each retreat so special, what you can do there, what’s on its doorstep, and provide contact details to help you find out more or book a visit.


The Watermill
Arnold Zable

Ranging from remote provinces in China and Cambodia to pre- and post-war Yiddish Poland, Kurdish Iraq and Iran, and Indigenous and present-day Melbourne, Arnold Zable’s quartet of stories depicts the ebbs and flows of trauma and healing, memory and forgetting, the ancient and the contemporary. And ever-recurring journeys in search of belonging.


Cry Me a River: The Tragedy of the Murray-Darling Basin (QE 77)
Margaret Simons

The Murray-Darling Basin is the food bowl of Australia, and it’s in trouble. What does this mean for the future – for water and food, and for the people and towns that depend on it?

In this Quarterly Essay, acclaimed journalist Margaret Simons takes a trip through the basin, all the way from Queensland to South Australia. She shows that its plight is environmental but also economic, and enmeshed in ideology and identity. Her essay is both a portrait of the Murray-Darling Basin and an explanation of its woes. It looks at rural Australia and the failure of political processes over the last few generations to meet the needs of communities forced to bear the heaviest burden of change. It considers corruption and resource politics, drought and climate change.


Growing Pineapples in the Outback
Rebecca Lister & Tony Kelly

When Rebecca Lister and Tony Kelly move from Melbourne to Mount Isa to care for Rebecca’s elderly mother, Diana, they have no idea what they’ve signed up for. The isolation, sweltering heat and limited employment opportunities make settling into the mining town a challenge. While Rebecca deals with her mother’s declining health and delves into her own past, Tony takes on a new role in native title law.

However, caring for Diana – a witty, crossword-loving 92-year-old – proves to be a more enriching experience than either Tony or Rebecca thought possible. As they make deeper connections to the land and community, they find themselves flourishing in a most unexpected place.

Growing Pineapples in the Outback explores the highs and lows of caring for an ageing parent, while also celebrating the rewards of a simpler life.


Beatrix Bakes
Natalie Paull

Nat Paull’s recipes are inspired by classics the world over, but they are irreverent too, and in this book she delights in showing readers that once they get the foundations right the truest magic will come from a willingness to play (with the insurance of her many clever ideas and back-up plans in their apron pocket ). The pages are filled with authentic photography that works as a stunning visual endorsement of Natalie’s favorite treats. The recipes are divided across ten chapters: Crusts, Doughs, Pastries & Crusts; Tarts, Pies, A Crostata & a Galette; The Cake List; One in the Hand; Yeasted Bakes; Fruit-full; Creams, Custards, Fillings, Glazes and Buttercreams; and Finishing Touches. Peppered throughout are infographics, offering readers a visual (pie chart) guide to following their baking hearts.

Beatrix Bakes embraces the unparalleled joys of baking seasonally and creatively. It invites you to choose your own adventure with unique features that inspire you to mix-and-match and create magic out of even the worst baking fails and to celebrate indulgence, slowing down and being in the (sweetest) moment.


We Need to Talk About Mum and Dad
Jean Kitson

This warm and witty practical guide is a one-stop shop for information on how to support your ageing loved ones: how to protect their health and wellbeing, keep them safe and secure, and enable them to be self-determining and independent for as long as possible.

Full of expert advice and first-hand experience, this is your go-to resource to help you:

  • Navigate the bureaucratic maze while remaining sane
  • Understand what is needed for your elder’s health and wellbeing and how to get it, especially in a medical emergency
  • Survive the avalanche of legal papers and official forms
  • Choose the best place for them to live – home, retirement village, residential aged care, or granny and grandpa flat – and help your elders relocate with love and respect.

Compelled to discuss some of life’s most confronting questions, Jean shares heartfelt stories and clear facts alongside wonderful cartoons from much-loved Australian cartoonist, Patrick Cook.

We Need to Talk About Mum and Dad is a guide to what happens when we become parents of our parents.


Grounded: A Companion for Slow Living
Anna Carlie

Grounded (adjective): used to describe a person who has a good understanding of what is really important in life.

This book is your entry into a world that spins slowly and draws its inspiration from the earth, the ocean, the sun and the sky. Each turn of the page through projects organized into chapters for the four seasons will lead to discover a new way to practice slow living and weave nature into your everyday life. Build a garden bed and plant seeds. Watch your vegetable garden grow, and pluck a tomato or two to make a salad. Go on a walk in the woods, build a campfire and then read the moon. Rediscover a childlike joy of nature through over 20 projects to cook, make or do outside. 

Grounded is the ideal way to put down your devices and spend time in natural surrounds with your friends, your family and, of course, yourself.


Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit
Eliese Colette Goldbach

Steel is the only thing that shines in the belly of the mill…

To ArcelorMittal Steel Eliese is known as #6691: Utility Worker, but this was never her dream.

Fresh out of college, eager to leave behind her conservative hometown and come to terms with her Christian roots, Eliese found herself applying for a job at the local steel mill. The mill is everything she was trying to escape, but it’s also her only shot at financial security in an economically devastated and forgotten part of America.

In Rust, Eliese brings the reader inside the belly of the mill and the middle American upbringing that brought her there in the first place. She takes a long and intimate look at her Rust Belt childhood and struggles to reconcile her desire to leave without turning her back on the people she’s come to love. The people she sees as the unsung backbone of the nation.

Faced with the financial promise of a steelworker’s paycheck, and the very real danger of working in an environment where a steel coil could crush you at any moment or a vat of molten iron could explode because of a single drop of water, Eliese finds unexpected warmth and camaraderie among the gruff men she labors beside each day.

Appealing to readers of Hillbilly Elegy and EducatedRust is a story of the humanity Eliese discovers in the most unlikely and hellish of places, and the hope that therefore begins to grow.


Australia’s Best 100 Walks
Australian Geographic

Our free time is precious and few people have the time to survey a range of walks – it can years to find a handful of good ones. Over 150 issues and 33 years Australian Geographic has explored Australian landscapes. Our editors, writers and photographers have the energy, expertise and contacts to know where all the most exciting and exhilarating walks are to be found. In this much anticipated book, we reveal our best 100 with detailed descriptions and stunning photography to inspire both walkers and armchair travellers.

The Australian Geographic guide to Australia’s Best 100 Walks will have walkers itching to lace their boots up with this showcase of the sheer beauty and diversity of our landscapes and wildlife. With this book, walkers can set out knowing they’re going to have an incredible day outdoors. A great walk can be an exhilarating experience that will stay with you forever. Perhaps you’re stirred by endless mountain views or soothed by stepping into a living green cathedral. Maybe the challenge drives you harder and farther than you thought possible. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in the presence of a rare creature and feel a jolt of connection. There’s always magic to be found when walking but the very best walks will do all of these things. Fortunately, Australia is full of extraordinary walks – here’s our collection of the best to be found in every corner of this country.


Plants for the People: A Modern Guide to Plant Medicine
Erin Lovell Verinder

Plants are our past. Plants are our future. We are diminished if we can’t celebrate plants, properly understand their powers and harness their energy to heal ourselves.

Plants for the People is an exploration of the plant world through the eyes of a master herbalist, weaving ancient wisdom with a modern approach to plant medicine. This is a beginner’s guide to using plants to restore vitality and a general sense of wellbeing, with recipes for easy-to-make teas, tinctures, syrups, balms and baths. Throughout there are golden tips and tonics for addressing common ailments such as bloating, bad skin, lack of energy, winter coughs and colds, jangling nerves and many other present-day complaints.

An evolution of herbal-medicine books of the past, Plants for the People is a modern presentation of an ancient craft. This is plant medicine’s time to shine.


My Lucky Stroke
Sarah Brooker

Sarah Brooker was an ambitious young woman studying to be a neuroscientist. She had the world at her feet. On New Year’s Eve, 2002, an unbelievable series of events occurred: a brain aneurysm, a devastating car accident, a body broken and a mind shattered. A life was changed forever.

Several weeks later Sarah woke from a coma with no idea of who or where she was or what had happened. But thanks to an extraordinary quirk of the brain, Sarah could remember neuroscience. In fact, when doctors came to visit her during the many months she spent in hospital, Sarah assumed they were consulting her as the brain expert, not attending to her as a patient.

My Lucky Stroke is an extraordinary memoir, full of life and insight, humour and drama, a story about rebuilding a life from square one that you won’t easily forget.


Missing William Tyrrell
Caroline Overington

One minute a little boy is playing outside his foster nana’s house, the next minute, he’s gone. How can a three year old child simply disappear?

On Friday 12 September 2014, William Tyrrell – a playful three-year-old boy dressed in a fire-engine red Spider-Man suit – disappears from a quiet street in broad daylight. It’s assumed he’s lost in the nearby bushland, but despite an intensive search, he’s not found, and police start to suspect he’s been abducted. No trace of William – not a shoe, not a hair – has ever been found, but now is not the time to surrender. How can a little boy just vanish? We have to find him.

From best-selling author and Walkley Award-winning journalist, Caroline Overington, Missing William Tyrrell is a moving and compelling exploration of one of Australia’s most baffling and heartbreaking mysteries.


Anxiety
Dr Mark Cross

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Mark Cross knows a lot about anxiety. Many of his patients are sufferers, which is hardly surprising, given anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia, affecting up to one in four people at some point in their lives. But Mark also knows about anxiety from another perspective, because he too has suffered from anxiety all his life.

In this book, the well-known author of Changing Minds, who featured on the award-winning ABC TV series of the same name, demystifies this mental illness in his trademark warm and friendly style. He looks at causes, treatments, both medical and natural, anxiety in the workplace and more, sharing his own experiences as well as stories from others.


Now For Something Sweet
Monday Morning Cooking Club

We are always dreaming of soft, airy, pale chiffon cake, thinking about chocolate-swirled, glossy yeasted babke, imagining flaky, chewy, jammy strudel, baking almond-studded, citrus-glazed Dutch buns, frying golden, syrup-drenched coiled fishuelas, biting into hot, sugared jam-filled doughnuts, eating crisp-shelled, marshmallowy vanilla-flecked meringues, feasting on sticky, steaming, sweet butterscotch pudding and sharing it all with abundance and love…’

After three best-selling cookbooks, the irrepressible Monday Morning Cooking Club returns with a stunning fourth book, a collection of mostly sweet heirloom recipes that are as treasured as they are mouthwatering.

Now for Something Sweet is the result of an intensive search to uncover, curate and celebrate the very best, most cherished sweet recipes from the Jewish community in Australia and around the world. (Including one outstanding savoury chapter to provide delicious relief from all the sweetness.) Alongside the recipes, they recount heart-warming and poignant stories of family, friendship, community and survival.

Ranging from the straightforward to the more elaborate, these recipes are always impressive and often show stopping. From the simple passionfruit-iced coconut slab cake to a Russian yeasted kulich which is worth the day it takes to make, from quick-bake chocolate-sandwiched romany cream biscuits to the perfect vanilla slice (mille feuille) for the home cook, this book has it all. Step-by-step ‘how to’ guides for a few essential techniques provide a helping hand to those who need it, and the more complex recipes offer a challenge for those who crave it.


Truganini
Cassandra Pybus

Cassandra Pybus’s ancestors told a story of an old Aboriginal woman who would wander across their farm on Bruny Island, in south-east Tasmania, in the 1850s and 1860s. As a child, Cassandra didn’t know this woman was Truganini, and that Truganini was walking over the country of her clan, the Nuenonne.

For nearly seven decades, Truganini lived through a psychological and cultural shift more extreme than we can imagine. But her life was much more than a regrettable tragedy. Now Cassandra has examined the original eyewitness accounts to write Truganini’s extraordinary story in full.

Hardly more than a child, Truganini managed to survive the devastation of the 1820s, when the clans of south-eastern Tasmania were all but extinguished. She spent five years on a journey around Tasmania, across rugged highlands and through barely penetrable forests, with George Augustus Robinson, the self-styled missionary who was collecting the survivors to send them into exile on Flinders Island. She has become an international icon for a monumental tragedy – the so-called extinction of the original people of Tasmania.

Truganini’s story is inspiring and haunting – a journey through the apocalypse.


Plant Tribe
Igor Josifovic & Judith de Graaff

This new book by the authors of the bestselling Urban Jungle addresses the life-changing magic of living with and caring for plants. Aimed at a wider audience than typical houseplant books, each chapter combines easily digestible plant knowledge, style guidance via real home interiors, and inspiring advice for using plants to increase energy, creativity, and well-being and to attract love and prosperity.

Also included: real-world @urbanjungleblog followers’ FAQs; a section on plants and pets; and plant care for the different stages of a houseplant’s life. The focus is on using plants to raise the positive energy of every room in the house and to live happily ever after with plants.


Man Raises Boy
Rob Sturrock

Welcome to Rob Sturrock’s journey into parenting. Since the birth of his daughter, Rob has been passionate about being an active and present father, but this hasn’t always been straightforward. Struggling with stereotypes, judgement, identity and isolation while on parental leave, Rob has tried to balance supporting his wife and young children with the societal expectation of being a breadwinner for his family.

With the arrival of his son, a new set of anxieties was born. In today’s climate, how do you raise a boy? The roar of the #MeToo movement has meant that men have had to learn to listen, and to confront their masculinity and what it means to be a man. Through extensive research and interviews with dads doing it differently – including Tony Sheldon, Adam Liaw and Bernie Shakeshaft – Rob Sturrock explores a new era of fathering that balances strength and vulnerability, allowing men to voice their insecurities and uncertainties, and encouraging them to truly cherish their families.

Man Raises Boy is at once an insightful and necessary call to arms for all new fathers, a guiding hand in the maze of love, guilt, anxiety and joy in fatherhood – and an ordinary dad’s beautifully moving love letter to his son.


The Feel-Good Family Food Plan
Joanna McMillan & Melissa Clark

Packed with simple solutions, easy-to-follow advice and expert tips, The Feel-Good Family Food Plan does the thinking for you, so you get delicious home-cooked food on the table, even on the most hectic of work and school days.

  • 60 weeknight dinners the whole family will love.
  • 4 weeks of meal plans take the stress out of shopping and cooking.
  • Great ideas for getting the kids involved in the kitchen.
  • Plant-rich meals to encourage good eating habits for life.
  • Ideas for fussy eaters and getting kids to love vegies.
  • Quick healthy breakfasts, lunch boxes and snacks, for fuel on the run.
  • Tips for savvy shopping, storing and freezing.

When Life Is Not Peachy
Pip Lincolne

A warm hug in book form.

When life has taken a difficult turn, our heart is aching and we’re only just holding it together, it’s easy to question everything. Who even am I, and how will I keep going? We need someone in our corner to travel this journey with us and help keep our spirits up.

This book is a gentle guide for navigating loss, grief or other sad times – a resource both for those who are downhearted and those supporting a loved one. With thoughtful advice on dealing with friends and family; healthy tips for eating and exercise when you don’t feel like it; and a just-keep-yourself-going ‘101’ for when you’re feeling very low. It’s the bolstering force we need to feel a bit closer to ourselves, or find a bit of peace.

For years Pip Lincolne has had a dedicated readership through her blog Meet Me At Mike’s and frankie magazine. She wrote this book during some tough times of her own, in the hope that what she learned might help someone else feel a little better some day.


Grow Yourself Healthy
Beth Marshall & Marianne Majerus

Explore how gardening is good for your gut – emotionally, physically and psychologically.

There is currently a huge upsurge in interest into recent scientific research highlighting the importance gardening for health.  This focuses on the activity of gardening for mental and physical health, as well as the way that if you garden for your gut you can improve your digestion too. The microbiome is the plethora of microbes that humans host in their gut, and other cells, and which are fundamental to well-being. Recent studies link digestive health and the human microbiome to a range of health conditions such as depression and anxiety, obesity, cancer, diabetes and autism. Interest in the topic has led to an array of related popular science publications, diet and recipe books. There is currently however very little literature on how to grow produce which has high nutritional value, and which optimizes the microbial life within our digestive systems.

What types of vegetable, fruit, and herbs should we being growing to encourage beneficial internal microbes? How do we design and plan a productive garden that supports gut health?

Grow Yourself Healthy introduces relevant recent science in an accessible way, provides practical guidance on how to grow, produce and design a productive garden to optimize your health, and provides information on how to grow and store vegetables for fermentation, including select recipes for gut health.


Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists
Julia Ebner

By day, Julia Ebner works at a counter-extremism think tank, monitoring radical groups from the outside. But two years ago, she began to feel she was only seeing half the picture; she needed to get inside the groups to truly understand them. She decided to go undercover in her spare hours – late nights, holidays, weekends – adopting five different identities, and joining a dozen extremist groups from across the ideological spectrum.

Her journey would take her from a Generation Identity global strategy meeting in a pub in Mayfair, to a Neo-Nazi Music Festival on the border of Germany and Poland. She would get relationship advice from ‘Trad Wives’ and Jihadi Brides and hacking lessons from ISIS. She was in the channels when the alt-right began planning the lethal Charlottesville rally, and spent time in the networks that would radicalise the Christchurch terrorist.

In Going Dark, Ebner takes the reader on a deeply compulsive journey into the darkest recesses of extremist thinking, exposing how closely we are surrounded by their fanatical ideology every day, the changing nature and practice of these groups, and what is being done to counter them.


The Power of Suffering 
David Roland

The Power of Suffering is psychologist David Roland’s personal investigation into the nature of human suffering. When our world is turned upside down, what does it do to us, how do we survive it, and, most importantly, how can we grow as a result? David takes the lived experience of eleven incredible people and follows them along each step of their journey from crisis through to acceptance and triumph. Within each story, David draws on his own experience of life-altering trauma and clinical research to offer insights we all can gain from.

Each life story examined is a moving testimony of the human spirit’s ability to rise and rise again – an executive tragically loses his family in a car crash and finds healing in the rehabilitation of wildlife, a teenage victim of domestic violence becomes a fierce advocate for abused women and brain-injured youth, a football superstar overcomes bigotry and dyslexia to forge a career in acting, a mother experiences the aching depth of love lost after her teenage child’s life is tragically cut short. These are but a few of the intimately told stories, all pointing to a path through the storm and beyond.

The Power of Suffering is a revelatory account of how the darkest night can lead to the most profound dawn.


When Time Stopped
Ariana Neumann

In 1941, the first Neumann family member was taken by the Nazis, arrested in German-occupied Czechoslovakia for bathing in a stretch of river forbidden to Jews. He was transported to Auschwitz. Eighteen days later his prisoner number was entered into the morgue book.

Of thirty-four Neumann family members, twenty-five were murdered by the Nazis. One of the survivors was Hans Neumann, who, to escape the German death net, travelled to Berlin and hid in plain sight under the Gestapo’s eyes. What Hans experienced was so unspeakable that, when he built an industrial empire in Venezuela, he couldn’t bring himself to talk about it. All his daughter Ariana knew was that something terrible had happened.

When Hans died, he left Ariana a small box filled with letters, diary entries and other memorabilia. Ten years later Ariana finally summoned the courage to have the letters translated and she began reading. What she discovered launched her on a worldwide search that would deliver indelible portraits of a family loving, finding meaning, and trying to survive amid the worst that can be imagined.

When Time Stopped is an unputdownable detective story and an epic family memoir, spanning nearly ninety years and crossing oceans. Neumann brings each relative to vivid life. In uncovering her father’s story after all these years, she discovers nuance and depth to her own history and liberates poignant and thought-provoking truths about the threads of humanity that connect us all.