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FICTION

Wild Abandon
Emily Bitto

In the fall of 2011, a heartbroken young man flees Australia for the USA. Landing in the excessive, uncanny-familiar glamour and plenitude of New York City, Will makes a vow to say yes to everything that comes his way. By fate or random chance, Will’s journey takes him deep into the American heartland where he meets Wayne Gage, a fast-living, troubled Vietnam veteran, would-be spirit guide and collector of exotic animals. These two men in crisis form an unlikely friendship, but Will has no idea just how close to the edge Wayne truly is.

Wild Abandon is a headlong tumble through the falling world of end-days capitalism, a haunting, hyperreal snapshot of our own strange times. We read with increasing horror and denial as we approach the cataclysmic conclusion of Will’s American odyssey, dreading what is galloping towards us, but utterly unable to look away.

This lyrical and devastating new novel from the Stella Prize-winning author of The Strays offers us startling and profound visions of the world and our place in it.


Scary Monsters
Michelle de Kretser

Release date: 19 October

‘When my family emigrated it felt as if we’d been stood on our heads.’

Lili’s family migrated to Australia from Asia when she was a teenager. Now, in the 1980s, she’s teaching in the south of France. She makes friends, observes the treatment handed out to North African immigrants and is creeped out by her downstairs neighbour. All the while, Lili is striving to be A Bold, Intelligent Woman like Simone de Beauvoir.

Lyle works for a sinister government department in near-future Australia. An Asian migrant, he fears repatriation and embraces ‘Australian values’. He’s also preoccupied by his ambitious wife, his wayward children and his strong-minded elderly mother. Islam has been banned in the country, the air is smoky from a Permanent Fire Zone, and one pandemic has already run its course.

Three scary monsters – racism, misogyny and ageism – roam through this mesmerising novel. Its reversible format enacts the disorientation that migrants experience when changing countries changes the story of their lives. With this suspenseful, funny and profound book, Michelle de Kretser has made something thrilling and new.

‘Which comes first, the future or the past?’


Cloud Cuckoo Land
Anthony Doerr

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All the Light We Cannot See, perhaps the most bestselling and beloved literary fiction of our time, comes the highly anticipated Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Set in Constantinople in the fifteenth century, in a small town in present-day Idaho, and on an interstellar ship decades from now, Anthony Doerr’s gorgeous third novel is a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring story about children on the cusp of adulthood in worlds in peril, who find resilience, hope – and a book. In Cloud Cuckoo Land, Doerr has created a magnificent tapestry of times and places that reflects our vast interconnectedness – with other species, with each other, with those who lived before us, and with those who will be here after we’re gone.

Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross.

Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege. And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father. She has never set foot on our planet.

Like Marie-Laure and Werner in All the Light We Cannot See, Anna, Omeir, Seymour, Zeno, and Konstance are dreamers and outsiders who find resourcefulness and hope in the midst of gravest danger. Their lives are gloriously intertwined. Doerr’s dazzling imagination transports us to worlds so dramatic and immersive that we forget, for a time, our own. Dedicated to “the librarians then, now, and in the years to come,” Cloud Cuckoo Land is a beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship – of the book, of the Earth, of the human heart.


Love & Virtue
Diana Reid

Sex. Power. Consent.

Whenever I say I was at university with Eve, people ask me what she was like, sceptical perhaps that she could have always been as whole and self-assured as she now appears. To which I say something like: ‘People are infinitely complex.’ But I say it in such a way – so pregnant with misanthropy – that it’s obvious I hate her.

Michaela and Eve are two bright, bold women who befriend each other their first year at a residential college at university, where they live in adjacent rooms. They could not be more different; one assured and popular – the other uncertain and eager-to-please. But something happens one night in O-week – a drunken encounter, a foggy memory that will force them to confront the realities of consent and wrestle with the dynamics of power.

Initially bonded by their wit and sharp eye for the colleges’ mix of material wealth and moral poverty, Michaela and Eve soon discover how fragile friendship is, and how capable of betrayal they both are.

Written with a strikingly contemporary voice that is both wickedly clever and incisive, issues of consent, class and institutional privilege, and feminism become provocations for enduring philosophical questions we face today. 


Crossroads
Jonathan Franzen

It’s December 23, 1971, and heavy weather is forecast for Chicago. Russ Hildebrandt, the associate pastor of a liberal suburban church, is on the brink of breaking free of a marriage he finds joyless – unless his wife, Marion, who has her own secret life, beats him to it. Their eldest child, Clem, is coming home from college on fire with moral absolutism, having taken an action that will shatter his father. Clem’s sister, Becky, long the social queen of her high-school class, has sharply veered into the counterculture, while their brilliant younger brother Perry, who’s been selling drugs to seventh-graders, has resolved to be a better person. Each of the Hildebrandts seeks a freedom that each of the others threatens to complicate.

Jonathan Franzen’s novels are celebrated for their unforgettably vivid characters and their keen-eyed take on the complexities of contemporary America. Now, for the first time, in Crossroads, Franzen explores the history of a generation. With characteristic humour and complexity, and with even greater warmth, he conjures a world that feels no less immediate.

A tour de force of interwoven perspectives and sustained suspense, Crossroads is the story of a Midwestern family at a historical moment of moral crisis. Jonathan Franzen’s gift for melding the small picture and the big picture has never been more dazzlingly evident.


Showtime!
Judy Nunn

‘So, Will, are you going to come with me and my team of merry performers to the sunny climes of Australia, where the crowds are already queuing and the streets are paved with gold?’

In the second half of the 19th century, Melbourne is a veritable boom town, as hopefuls from every corner of the globe flock to the gold fields of Victoria.

And where people crave gold, they also crave entertainment.

Enter stage right- brothers Will and Max Worthing and their wives Mabel and Gertie. The family arrives from England in the 1880s with little else but the masterful talents that will see them rise from simple travelling performers to sophisticated entrepreneurs.

Enter stage left- their rivals, Carlo and Rube. Childhood friends since meeting in a London orphanage, the two men have literally fought their way to the top and are now producers of the bawdy but hugely popular ‘Big Show Bonanza’. The fight for supremacy begins.

Waiting in the wings- Comedy, tragedy, passion and betrayal; economic depression, the Black Death and the horrors of World War One…


The Survivors
Alex Schulman

Release date: 12 October

Benjamin sees the shape of his two brothers trying to kill each other. It’s no worthy finale, but perhaps it’s also no surprise. How else had they expected this to end? 

Three brothers return to the family cottage by the lake where, more than two decades earlier, a catastrophe changed the course of their lives. Now, they are here to scatter their mother’s ashes.

Benjamin, the middle son, drives the three of them down the old gravel road to the house, through a familiar landscape but also through time. Here they are as boys, tanned legs and hungry eyes, children left to themselves by remote parents; here they are as young men, estranged but bound together by the history that defines them, their lives spent competing for their father’s favour and their mother’s love in a household more like a minefield than a home.

In the intervening years, Benjamin has grown increasingly untethered from reality, frozen in place as life carries on around him. And between the three brothers hums a dangerous current. What really happened that summer day when everything was blown to pieces?

The Survivors is the tale of a family falling apart and a chronicle of a mind unravelling in the wake of a tragedy, both a coming-of-age novel and a reckoning with a deeply buried past. Written with singular elegance and the drive of a suspense novel, its ending will leave you marvelling at what the best fiction can achieve.


Oh William!
Elizabeth Strout

Release date: 19 October

Lucy Barton is a successful writer living in New York, navigating the second half of her life as a recent widow and parent to two adult daughters. A surprise encounter leads her to reconnect with William, her first husband – and longtime, on-again-off-again friend and confidante. Recalling their college years, the birth of their daughters, the painful dissolution of their marriage, and the lives they built with other people, Strout weaves a portrait, stunning in its subtlety, of a decades-long partnership.

Oh William! is a luminous novel about the myriad mysteries that make up a marriage, about discovering family secrets, late in life, that rearrange everything we think we know about those closest to us, and the way people continue to live and love, against all odds. At the heart of this story is the unforgettable, indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who once again offers a profound, lasting reflection on the mystery of existence. ‘This is the way of life,’ Lucy says. ‘The many things we do not know until it is too late.’


Bewilderment
Richard Powers

Theo Byrne is a promising young astrobiologist who has found a way to search for life on other planets dozens of light years away. He is also the widowed father of a most unusual nine-year-old. His son Robin is funny, loving, and filled with plans. He thinks and feels deeply, adores animals, and can spend hours painting elaborate pictures. He is also on the verge of being expelled from third grade, for smashing his friend’s face with a metal thermos.

What can a father do, when the only solution offered to his rare and troubled boy is to put him on psychoactive drugs? What can he say when his boy comes to him wanting an explanation for a world that is clearly in love with its own destruction? The only thing for it is to take the boy to other planets, while all the while fostering his son’s desperate campaign to help save this one.

A magnificent new novel by Richard Powers, his first novel since the Booker Prize-shortlisted, Pulitzer Prize-winning The Overstory.


Three Sisters
Heather Morris

‘I want you to make a promise to me that you will always take care of your sisters. That you will always be there for one another. That you will not allow anyone to take you away from each other, ever. Do you understand?’

When they are little girls, Cibi, Magda and Livia make a promise to their father – that they will stay together, no matter what. Years later, at just 15, Livia is ordered to Auschwitz by the Nazis. Cibi, only 19 herself, remembers their promise and follows Livia, determined to protect her sister, or die with her. Together, they fight to survive through unimaginable cruelty and hardship.

Magda, only 17, stays with her mother and grandfather, hiding out in a neighbour’s attic or in the forest when the Nazi militia come to round up friends, neighbours and family. She escapes for a time, but eventually she too is captured and transported to the death camp.

In Auschwitz-Birkenau the three sisters are reunited and, remembering their father, they make a new promise, this time to each other: That they will survive.

From Heather Morris, the author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka’s Journey, comes an astonishing new story that will break your heart, but leave you amazed and uplifted by the courage and fierce love of three sisters, whose promise to each other kept them alive in a place without hope.


The One Impossible Labyrinth (#7 Jack West Jr)
Matthew Reilly

Release date: 12 October

THE END IS HERE 

Jack West Jr has made it to the Supreme Labyrinth. Now he faces one last race-against multiple rivals, against time, against the collapse of the universe itself-a headlong race that will end at a throne inside the fabled labyrinth. 

AN IMPOSSIBLE MAZE 

But the road will be hard. For this is a maze like no other: a maze of mazes. Uncompromising and complex. Demanding and deadly. 

A CATACLYSMIC CONCLUSION 

It all comes down to this. For it ends here-now-in the most lethal and dangerous place Jack has encountered in all of his many adventures. And in the face of this indescribable peril, with everything on the line, there is only one thing he can do. Attempt the impossible.


At the End of the Day
Liz Byrski

When Mim Squires and Mathias Vander are stranded together on a disrupted flight home to Perth, they are surprised to find that they have much in common. Mim owns a bookshop, Mathias is a writer, and both are at turning points in their lives. Mim’s childhood polio is taking a toll on her life. Mathias is contemplating a cross-continent move to be nearer his daughter.

But life back in Perth is not smooth sailing, with their respective family members going through their own upheavals. As Mim and Mathias both struggle to adjust to the challenges of being in their late seventies, secrets from the past that neither wishes to face rise to the surface, challenging their long-held beliefs in their independence and singularity.

At the end of the day, can they muster the wisdom and the courage they need to change?


Echoes of War
Tania Blanchard

Calabria, Italy, 1936

In a remote farming village nestled in the mountains that descend into the sparkling Ionian Sea, young and spirited Giulia Tallariti longs for something more. While she loves her home and her lively family, she would much rather follow in her Nonna’s footsteps and pursue her dream of becoming a healer.

But as Mussolini’s focus shifts to the war in Europe, civil unrest looms. Whispers of war are at every corner and her beloved village, once safe from the fascist agenda of the North, is now in very real danger.

Caught between her desire to forge her own path and her duty to her family, Giulia must draw on the passion in her heart and the strength of her conviction.

Can she find a way to fulfil her dreams or will the echoes of war drown out her voice?

Set in Mussolini’s Italy amid great upheaval, this is the story of one woman’s determination to find her place in a world that men are threatening to tear apart. Another heart-rending novel inspired by a true story from Australia’s bestselling author of The Girl from Munich.


The Lincoln Highway
Amor Towles

In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter.

With his mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett plans to pick up his eight-year-old brother Billy and head to California to start a new life.

But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have stowed away in the trunk of the warden’s car. They have a very different plan for Emmett’s future, one that will take the four of them on a fateful journey in the opposite direction – to New York City.

Bursting with life, charm, richly imagined settings and unforgettable characters, The Lincoln Highway is an extraordinary journey through 1950s America from the pen of a master storyteller and author of bestselling The Gentleman in Moscow.


Plum
Brendan Cowell

Peter ‘The Plum’ Lum is a 49-year-old ex-star NRL player, living with his son and girlfriend in Cronulla. He’s living a pretty cruisey life until one day he suffers an epileptic fit and discovers that he has a brain disorder as a result of the thousand-odd head knocks he took on the footy field in his twenty-year-career. According to his neurologist, Plum has to make some changes – right now – or it’s dementia, or even death.

Reluctantly, Plum embarks on a journey of self-care and self-discovery, which is not so easy when all you’ve ever known is to go full tilt at everything. On top of this, he’s being haunted by dead poets, and, unable to stop crying, discovers he has a special gift for the spoken word. With spectral visits from Bukowski and Plath, the friendship of local misfits, and the prospect of new love, Plum might just save his own life.

From award-winning writer, director and actor, Brendan Cowell, Plum is a powerfully moving, authentic, big-hearted, angry and joyous novel of men, their inarticulate pain and what it takes for them to save themselves – from themselves. It’s got a roaring energy, a raucous humour, a heart of gold and a poetic soul.


CRIME

Better Off Dead (#26 Jack Reacher)
Lee Child

Release date: 26 October

Reacher never backs down from a problem.

And he’s about to find a big one, on a deserted Arizona road, where a Jeep has crashed into the only tree for miles around. Under the merciless desert sun, nothing is as it seems.

Minutes later Reacher is heading into the nearby border town, a backwater that has seen better days. Next to him is Michaela Fenton, an army veteran turned FBI agent, who is trying to find her twin brother. He might have got mixed up with some dangerous people.

And Reacher might just need to pay them a visit.

Their leader has burrowed his influence deep into the town. Just to get in and meet the mysterious Dendoncker, Reacher is going to have to achieve the impossible.

To get answers will be even harder. There are people in this hostile, empty place who would rather die than reveal their secrets.

But then, if Reacher is coming after you, you might be better off dead.


The Apollo Murders
Chris Hadfield

Release date: 12 October

1973: a final, top-secret mission to the Moon. Three astronauts in a tiny module, a quarter of a million miles from home. A quarter of a million miles from help. 

As Russian and American crews sprint for a secret bounty hidden away on the lunar surface, old rivalries blossom and the political stakes are stretched to breaking point back on Earth.

Houston flight controller Kazimieras ‘Kaz’ Zemeckis must do all he can to keep the NASA crew together, while staying one step ahead of his Soviet rivals. But not everyone on board Apollo 18 is quite who they appear to be.

Full of fascinating technical detail, twists and tension, The Apollo Murders puts you right there in the moment. Experience the dark majesty of space, the fierce G-forces of launch and the rush of holding on to the outside of a spacecraft travelling at 17,000 mph, as told by a former Commander of the International Space Station who has done all of those things in real life.

Strap in and count down for the ride of a lifetime.


Treasure and Dirt
Chris Hammer

In the desolate outback town of Finnigans Gap, police struggle to maintain law and order. Thieves pillage opal mines, religious fanatics recruit vulnerable young people and billionaires do as they please.

Then an opal miner is found crucified and left to rot down his mine. Nothing about the miner’s death is straightforward, not even who found the body. Sydney homicide detective Ivan Lucic is sent to investigate, assisted by inexperienced young investigator Nell Buchanan.

But Finnigans Gap has already ended one police career and damaged others, and soon both officers face damning allegations and internal investigations. Have Ivan and Nell been set up and, if so, by whom?

As time runs out, their only chance at redemption is to find the killer. But the more secrets they uncover, the more harrowing the mystery becomes, as events from years ago take on a startling new significance.

For in Finnigans Gap, opals, bodies and secrets don’t stay buried forever.

A superb standalone thriller from the acclaimed and award-winning author of the international bestsellers ScrublandsSilver and Trust.


The Shadow House
Anna Downes

When single mother Alex flees her abusive relationship and moves with her teenage son and baby girl to a rural ecovillage, she thinks she’s made the best decision of her life. Pine Ridge is idyllic: the off-grid lifestyle and remote location are perfect, and the community is welcoming – mostly. Charmed by its magnetic founder, Kit, and the natural beauty of the former farmland, Alex settles easily into her new home.

But her arrival at Pine Ridge disturbs barely submerged secrets, and she’s shaken by a series of eerily familiar events that seem to be connected to the abandoned farmhouse on the hill. Alex realises that, in escaping her own shadowy past, she may have stumbled into someone else’s. And this time, there may be nowhere to run.

From international bestselling thriller writer Anna Downes, The Shadow House lures you in and keeps you on edge at every turn.


The Judge’s List
John Grisham

Release date: 19 October

As an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, Lacy Stoltz sees plenty of corruption among the men and women elected to the bench. In The Whistler, she took on a crime syndicate that was paying millions to a crooked judge. Now, in The Judge’s List, the crimes are even worse.

The man hiding behind the black robe is not taking bribes – but he may be taking lives. The Judge’s List – you don’t want to be on it.


The Unheard
Nicci French

‘He did kill. Kill and kill and kill.”

Tess’s number one priority has always been her three-year-old daughter Poppy. But splitting up with Poppy’s father Jason means that she cannot always be there to keep her daughter safe.

When she finds a disturbing drawing, dark and menacing, among her daughter’s brightly coloured paintings, Tess is convinced that Poppy has witnessed something terrible. Something that her young mind is struggling to put into words.

But no one will listen. It’s only a child’s drawing, isn’t it?

Tess will protect Poppy, whatever the price. But when she doesn’t know what, or who, she is protecting her from, how can she possibly know who to trust . . . ? 


State of Terror
Hilary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny

Release date: 12 October

State of Terror follows a novice Secretary of State who has joined the administration of her rival, a president inaugurated after four years of American leadership that shrank from the world stage.

A series of terrorist attacks throws the global order into disarray, and the secretary is tasked with assembling a team to unravel the deadly conspiracy, a scheme carefully designed to take advantage of an American government dangerously out of touch and out of power in the places where it counts the most.

This high-stakes thriller of international intrigue features behind-the-scenes global drama informed by details only an insider could know.


Over My Dead Body (#4 William Warwick Chronicles)
Jeffrey Archer

Release date: 14 October

In London, the Metropolitan Police set up a new Unsolved Murders Unit – a cold case squad – to catch the criminals nobody else can.

In Geneva, millionaire art collector Miles Faulkner – convicted of forgery and theft – was pronounced dead two months ago. So why is his unscrupulous lawyer still representing a dead client?

On a luxury liner en route to New York, the battle for power within a wealthy dynasty is about to turn to murder.

And at the heart of all three investigations are Detective Chief Inspector William Warwick, rising star of the Met, and ex-undercover operative Ross Hogan, brought in from the cold.

But can they catch the killers before it’s too late?


Silverview
John Le Carre

Release date: 19 October

Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian’s evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish emigre living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian’s family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise.

When a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea . . .

Silverview is the mesmerising story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In this last complete masterwork from the greatest chronicler of our age, John le Carre asks what you owe to your country when you no longer recognise it.


The Cuckoo’s Cry
Caroline Overington

On the eve of the global lockdown, Don Barlow opens the door of his old beachside cottage to find a pretty girl with pink-tipped hair, claiming to be his granddaughter. She needs help and has nowhere else to go.

He welcomes her in, and so begins a mystery set in unprecedented times: with the virus raging outside their home, the girl cannot be asked to leave, but what does he risk by having her stay?

As Don and the girl start to forge a bond, Don’s adult daughter has her own suspicions about what the newcomer is after. But, unable to travel, how can she protect Don and discover if the girl really is who she claims to be?

A compulsively gripping lockdown thriller by the bestselling author of The One Who Got Away


MEMOIR

Funkytown
Paul Kennedy

It is 1993: a serial killer is loose on the streets of Frankston, Victoria. The community is paralysed by fear and a state’s police force and national media come to find a killer. Meanwhile, seventeen-year-old Paul Kennedy is searching for something else entirely. He is focused on finishing school, getting drafted into the AFL and falling in love. So much can change in a year.

The rites of passage for many Australian teenage boys – blackout drinking, simmering violence and emotional suppression – take their toll, and the year that starts with so much promise ends with Kennedy expelled, arrested and undrafted. But one teacher sees Kennedy self-destructing, and becomes determined to set him on another path.

Told with poignancy, humour and evoking the brilliant, dusty haze of late Australian summer, Funkytown is a vivid love letter to adolescence, football, family, and outer suburbia.


The Luminous Solution
Charlotte Wood

A rich inner life is not just the preserve of the arts. The joys, fears and profound self-discoveries of creativity – through making or building anything that wasn’t there before, any imaginative exploration or attempt to invent – I believe to be the birthright of every person on this earth. If you live your life with curiosity and intention – or would like to – this book is for you.
Charlotte Wood, from the Preface to The Luminous Solution

In this essential, illuminating book, award-winning writer Charlotte Wood shares the insights she has gained over a career paying close attention to her own mind, to the world around her and to the way she and others work.

Drawing on research and decades of observant conversation and immersive reading, Charlotte shares what artists can teach the rest of us about inspiration and hard work, how to pursue truth in art and life, and to find courage during the difficult times: facing down what we fear and keeping going when things seem hopeless.


A Bloody Good Rant
Thomas Keneally

Release date: 19 October

‘When I was born in 1935 I grew up, despite the Depression and World War II, with a primitive sense of being fortunate . . . The utopian strain was very strong . . . if we weren’t to be a better society, if we were simply serfs designed to support a system of privilege, what was the bloody point?’

Thomas Keneally has been observing, reflecting on and writing about Australia and the human condition for well over fifty years. In this deeply personal, passionately drawn and richly tuned collection he draws on a lifetime of engagement with the great issues of our recent history and his own moments of discovery and understanding.

He writes with unbounded joy of being a grandparent, and with intimacy and insight about the prospect of death and the meaning of faith. He is outraged about the treatment of Indigenous Australians and refugees, and argues fiercely against market economics and the cowardice of climate change deniers. And he introduces us to some of the people, both great and small, who have dappled his life.

Beautifully written, erudite and at times slyly funny, A Bloody Good Rant is an invitation to share the deep humanity of a truly great Australian.


Nellie
Robert Wainwright

When most Australians think of Nellie Melba they picture a squarish middle-aged woman dressed in furs and large hats, an imperious Dame whose voice ruled the world for three decades. But there was much more to her life than adulation and riches.

To succeed she had to overcome social expectations, misogyny and tall-poppy syndrome. She endured the violence of a bad marriage, was denied by scandal a true love with the would-be King of France, and suffered the loss of her only child for more than a decade, stolen by his angry and vengeful father.

Against all odds, Nellie Melba became the greatest opera singer of her time on stages across Australia, America and Europe.


Well Hello!
Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales

In 2014, two of Australia’s most high-profile journalists sat at a kitchen table, hit record on a phone and started a rambling conversation that’s still going on (and on). From books to TV, music to cooking, friendship to films, there’s little cultural terrain Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales haven’t traversed in their oddly named but nonetheless wildly popular podcast Chat 10 Looks 3.

Now, in their first book together, the pair takes a stroll through some of the issues of our time, offering advice for would-be writers, thoughts on developing a rich reading life, tips for navigating the perilous world of social media, and the secrets of a great friendship, all with the digressions that listeners of their podcast have come to love. Here Crabb and Sales discuss kindness, success and failure, and not taking yourself – or others – too seriously, with a liberal sprinkling of fairy wrens, granny pants, show tunes, creative insults, diabolical mum bags and CLANGs.

Whether you’re a devoted listener of Chat 10 Looks 3, curious as to what all the fuss is about, or simply looking to cry-laugh on public transport, Well Hello is the book for you.


Windswept and Interesting
Billy Connolly

Release date: 12 October

Born in a tenement flat in Glasgow in 1942, orphaned by the age of 4, and a survivor of appalling abuse at the hands of his own family, Billy’s life is a remarkable story of success against all the odds.

Billy found his escape first as an apprentice welder in the shipyards of the River Clyde. Later he became a folk musician – a ‘rambling man’ – with a genuine talent for playing the banjo. But it was his ability to spin stories, tell jokes and hold an audience in the palm of his hand that truly set him apart.

As a young comedian Billy broke all the rules. He was fearless and outspoken – willing to call out hypocrisy wherever he saw it. But his stand-up was full of warmth, humility and silliness too. His startling, hairy ‘glam-rock’ stage appearance – wearing leotards, scissor suits and banana boots – only added to his appeal.

It was an appearance on Michael Parkinson’s chat show in 1975 – and one outrageous story in particular – that catapulted Billy from cult hero to national star. TV shows, documentaries, international fame and award-winning Hollywood movies followed. Billy’s pitch-perfect stand-up comedy kept coming too – for over 50 years, in fact – until a double diagnosis of cancer and Parkinson’s Disease brought his remarkable live performances to an end. Since then he has continued making TV shows, creating extraordinary drawings… and writing.

Windswept and Interesting is Billy’s story in his own words. It is joyfully funny – stuffed full of hard-earned wisdom as well as countless digressions on fishing, farting and the joys of dancing naked. It is an unforgettable, life-affirming story of a true comedy legend.


Manifesto
Bernadine Evaristo

Release date: 19 October

In 2019, Bernardine Evaristo became the first black woman to win the Booker Prize since its inception fifty years earlier – a revolutionary landmark for Britain. Her journey was a long one, but she made it, and she made history.

Manifesto is her intimate and fearless account of how she did it. From a childhood steeped in racism from neighbours, priests and even some white members of her own family, to discovering the arts through her local youth theatre; from stuffing her belongings into bin bags, always on the move between temporary homes, to exploring many romantic partners both toxic and loving, male and female, and eventually finding her soulmate; from setting up Britain’s first theatre company for Black women in the eighties to growing into the trailblazing writer, theatre-maker, teacher, mentor and activist we see today – Bernardine charts her rebellion against the mainstream and her life-long commitment to community and creativity. And, through the prism of her extraordinary experiences, she offers vital insights into the nature of race, class, feminism, sexuality and ageing in modern Britain.

Bernardine Evaristo’s life story is a manifesto for courage, integrity, optimism, resourcefulness and tenacity. It’s a manifesto for anyone who has ever stood on the margins, and anyone who wants to make their mark on history. It’s a manifesto for being unstoppable.


Home Truths
David Williamson

The definitive memoir of David Williamson, author of iconic dramas such as The Removalists, The Club, Don’s Party, Emerald City and Travelling North, as well as more than fifty other plays, explores the life of the writer and the true stories and real lives that inspired his works. A powerful force in theatre since the 1970s, Williamson’s plays have uniquely explored the pulse of our Australianness.

After five decades of chronicling the blunders, mishaps and messes that he and his fellow Australians got themselves into, Williamson has penned his long-awaited memoir, Home Truths. It reveals the story of the man behind the work: how a childhood defined by marital discord sparked a lifelong fascination with the power of drama to explore emotional conflict; how a mechanical engineering student became our most successful playwright; the anxiety that plagued him as he crafted his plays; the joy of connecting with an audience and the enduring sting of the critics; and the great love story that defined his personal life.

Fearless, candid and witty, Williamson also writes about the plethora of odd, interesting, caustic and brilliant people – actors, directors, writers, theatre critics, politicians – who have intersected with his life and work: from a young Jacki Weaver and Chris Haywood in the first Sydney production of The Removalists in 1971 to Nicole Kidman on the brink of stardom in the 1988 feature film of Emerald City and lively dinners with political powerhouse Paul Keating; and from Graham Kennedy in the 1976 film version of Don’s Party through eventful overseas travels with Gareth Evans, Peter Carey and Tim Winton to a West End production of Up for Grabs starring Madonna, and the satisfaction of seeing his sons Felix and Rory tread the boards in several of his own plays.


Whole Note: Life Lessons Through Music
Ed Ayres

How can we pause long enough to repair ourselves? How can we make space and time in our lives to know ourselves?

One way is through music – learning music, listening to music, being open to music. Because music consoles and restores us. Through music, whether we are listening or playing, we know ourselves more intimately, more honestly, and more clearly with every note. And with every note, music offers us a hand to the beyond.

Through music, we can say what we didn’t even know we felt.

This book is an ode to music, and a celebration of humanity’s greatest creation. It is not a call to arms, but a call to instruments.

In music, Ed Ayres finds answers to the big questions life throws at us. Using personal anecdotes – including those relating to his transition from Emma to Ed – and observations from teaching and learning music, Ed finds hope in our desire to become whole, with some simple music lessons along the way.


A Funny Life
Michael McIntyre

Release date: 14 October

Michael McIntyre is a much-loved stand-up comedian, with sell-out international tours and the hugely popular television series Michael McIntyre’s Big Show and The Wheel. But the road to stardom was paved with near-disasters, as he hilariously recounts in his autobiography.

Picking up where his first book, Life and Laughing, ends, Michael has had his first breakthrough, his 2006 appearance on The Royal Variety Performance. He was horribly in debt, with a young baby, living in a flat so tiny the kitchen was in the coat cupboard. And as well-received as his performance had been, the job offers weren’t exactly rolling in. Would he ever make his dreams a reality?

Michael’s adventures will have you laughing out loud as he describes his rise, fall and rise again. He might be selling out arena tours but his wife Kitty and two sons keep his feet firmly on the ground. Honest and revealing, and full of his unique observational humour, A Funny Life is a book his millions of fans will love.


Leaping into Waterfalls: The Enigmatic Gillian Mears
Bernadette Brennan

Gillian Mears appeared to many to be a shy woman from Grafton, but her lived and imaginative lives were rich with adventure, risk and often transgressive passion. In her award-winning and acclaimed novels and short stories, Mears wrote fearlessly of the dark undercurrents of country and family life, always probing the depths and complexity of human desire.

Mears’ sensuality and sexuality were the driving forces of her life and writing. As an adult, she was plagued by ill health yet remained steadfast in her quest to be independent and free; while recovering from open-heart surgery, she traversed the country alone in a de-commissioned ambulance. By her mid-forties, multiple sclerosis had confined her to a wheelchair. Undaunted, she continued to write and publish until her death five years later in 2016.

Mears amassed an extensive collection of diaries, letters, manuscripts, photographs, recordings and ephemera, and deposited it with the Mitchell Library. She was a prolific correspondent with significant figures of the cultural landscape-Gerald Murnane, David Malouf, Tim Winton, Elizabeth Jolley, Helen Garner, Drusilla Modjeska, Kate Grenville and Marr Grounds. This meticulous and moving biography reads Mears’ life and work within that broader cultural community to celebrate her truly extraordinary achievements and adventures.


A Carnival of Snackery (Diaries Volume 2)
David Sedaris

Release date: 12 October

There’s no right way to keep a diary, but if there’s an entertaining way, David Sedaris seems to have mastered it. 

If it’s navel-gazing you’re after, you’ve come to the wrong place; ditto treacly self-examination. Rather, his observations turn outward: a fight between two men on a bus, a fight between two men on the street, pedestrians being whacked over the head or gathering to watch as a man considers jumping to his death. There’s a dirty joke shared at a book signing, then a dirtier one told at a dinner party-lots of jokes here. Plenty of laughs.

These diaries remind you that you once really hated George W. Bush, and that not too long ago, Donald Trump was a harmless laughingstock, at least on French TV. Time marches on, and Sedaris, at his desk or on planes, in fine hotel dining rooms and odd Japanese inns, records it. The entries here reflect an ever-changing background-new administrations, new restrictions on speech and conduct. What you can say at the start of the book, you can’t by the end. At its best, A Carnival of Snackery is a sort of sampler: the bitter and the sweet. Some entries are just what you wanted. Others you might want to spit discreetly into a napkin.


Dog Days: A Year with Olive and Mabel
Andrew Cotter

In Dog Days: A Year with Olive & Mabel, join Andrew Cotter as he takes you behind the scenes and into the pages of his diary to reveal just how extraordinary the year has been, and what really happened after his lockdown superstar Labradors chewed up the internet and found it was quite tasty.

For Olive, Mabel and Andrew, the last year has been like no other. With normal work cancelled or scaled back for so long, it has been a time to take stock and share experiences – both the everyday and the decidedly odd. Here Andrew takes a sharply observed and often hilarious walk through the strangest of days for all of us, reflecting on how precious our time really is, especially the time we have with our dogs.

Beautiful, comical, endlessly optimistic and eternally hungry Olive, Mabel (and Andrew) have padded around from the Cheltenham Literary Festival to 60 Minutes Australia, from their living room studio with ABC News Breakfast to an appearance on Good Morning America, and from obscurity to excited whispers of “Is that really Olive & Mabel?” wherever they go. Not to mention the lucrative merchandise and advertising deals that were turned down by the dozen, and the odd phone call from Hollywood.

Through it all, Olive and Mabel have always done exactly what they do best, being themselves and being there for Andrew – and for all of us who have loved watching their brilliant videos and following their progress online. If you’re a fan of Olive, Mabel and Andrew, this funny, touching and extraordinary account of a year like no other is an unmissable treat.


Taste: My Life Through Food
Stanley Tucci

Release date: 19 October

Before Stanley Tucci became a household name with The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games, and the perfect Negroni, he grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the table. Taste is an intimate reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about growing up in Westchester, NY, preparing for and filming the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia, falling in love over dinner, and teaming up with his wife to create conversation-starting meals for their children.

Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burnt dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last. Written with Stanley’s signature wry humour and nostalgia, Taste is a heartwarming read for anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal.


COOKING

Home
Stephanie Alexander

Home is a collection of more than 200 original recipes by Stephanie Alexander. Each recipe is a finely crafted tribute to her passions and preferences for produce and flavour, and each reflects her consummate skill in communicating the fundamentals of technique.

There are detailed recipes for the more ambitious home cook, but also simple ways to combine beautiful ingredients to make dishes for everyday eating.

Essays on people, places and experiences offer inspiration to readers looking to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of food. Beautifully designed and photographed, Home is a celebration of the sensual and social delights of food and an essential addition to any kitchen shelf. The recipes – classic, masterful and delicious – will be cooked, shared and enjoyed for years to come.


A Cook’s Book
Nigel Slater

Release date: 14 October

A Cook’s Book is the story of Nigel Slater’s life in the kitchen.

From the first jam tart Nigel made with his mum standing on a chair trying to reach the Aga, through to what he is cooking now, this is the ultimate Nigel Slater collection brimming with over 200 recipes.

He writes about how his cooking has changed from discovering the best way to roast a chicken to the trick to smoky, smooth aubergine mash. He gives the tales behind the recipes and recalls the first time he ate a baguette in Paris, his love of jewel-bright Japanese pickled radishes and his initial slice of buttercream-topped chocolate cake.

These are the favourite recipes Nigel Slater cooks at home every day; the heart and soul of his cooking. Chapters include: a slice of tart, a chicken in the pot, everyday greens, the solace of soup and the ritual of tea.

This is the essential Nigel Slater.


Shelf Love
Ottolenghi Test Kitchen

Whether they’re conjuring up new recipes or cooking for themselves at home, the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen team do what we all do: they raid their kitchens. But then, they turn whatever they find into approachable creations with an ‘Ottolenghi’ twist.

This instinct is in perfect sync with recent times, when we’ve all been standing in front of our kitchen shelves, our cupboards and our fridges, wondering what to cook with what we’ve got; how to put a can of chickpeas or a bag of frozen peas to good use, instead of taking an extra trip to the shops.

For the first time, the team welcome us into their creative space. These dishes pack all the punch and edge we expect from Ottolenghi, but offer more flexibility to make them our own, using what we’ve got to hand. There’s the ultimate guide to creamy dreamy hummus, a one-pan route to confit tandoori chickpeas and a tomato salad that rules them all.

This book is all about feeding ourselves and our families with less stress and less fuss, but with all the ‘wow’ of an Ottolenghi meal. It’s a notebook to scribble on and add to, to take its ethos and absolutely make it your own.

Relaxed, flexible home cooking from Yotam Ottolenghi and his superteam. This is how to cook, the OTK way.


Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventure’s Guide
Cecily Wong

We’ve been stuck at home for long enough! It’s time to get out and taste the world again. From those ever-curious, ever-quirky minds behind the bestselling Atlas Obscura, comes an unputdownable guide that marries our endless appetite for travel with our insatiable interest in food. Continent by continent, country by country, Gastro Obscura takes up the mantle of Atlas Obscura to radically expand our sense of wonder about the world – in this case, what humans eat and drink, which turns out to be far more marvellous than we could ever imagine.

Discover English bog butter. ‘Threads of God’ pasta (only three women know how to make it). The best black bean fritter restaurant in Brazil. The world’s largest floating restaurant. A croissant museum in Poland. Focusing as much on food’s place in our lives as well as our bellies, the book covers history – the network of ancient Roman fish sauce factories. Culture – picture four million women gathering to make rice pudding. Travel – scale China’s Mount Hua to reach a sacred tea house. Festivals – chase a wheel of double Gloucester at Britain’s annual Cooper’s Hill cheese rolling competition. And such truly surprising delicacies as sturgeon spinal cord, blood tofu, stinkbug tacos, and more.


Feast
Miguel Maestre

In Feast, Miguel shares his absolute favourite recipes to enjoy with family and friends. There are big, satisfying dinners as well as lots of smaller dishes to mix and match in classic share-plate style. Miguel’s food is a loving nod to the dishes of his Spanish heritage, but is also very firmly based in the modern Australian kitchen.

Whether you’re getting together for brunch, looking for something fast on a weeknight or to try some new dishes for a family celebration, there are so many bold and exciting flavours here to discover. These are generous meals from a big-hearted chef who knows that simple, good food makes everyone smile.

Recipes include: – Jamon & manchego jaffles – Sticky soy barbecued broccoli with coriander pesto – Crispy, crunchy mushroom burgers – Patatas bravas – Chicken & chorizo paella – Family heirloom Spanish chicken pie – Salt & pepper calamari rolls – Popcorn fish tacos with corn salsa – Crispy chicken schnitzy with buttery centre & perfect mash – Sticky mustard pork ribs with coleslaw – Meatball bolognese – Lamb montaditos with chunky romesco sauce – Churros con chocolate – Whole orange syrup cake, and many more…


Good Food Every Day
Gary Mehigan

Release date: 19 October

Gary Mehigan is an all-round excellent chef who loves cooking at home for his family and sharing a meal together around the table. With thirty-five years’ experience and deep expertise with food, one thing has always remained true- Gary’s genuine passion for making and eating good food, every day.

In this approachable book, Gary brings us into his own kitchen and shares the tried and tested and most loved recipes he’s been serving with confidence for many years – regular, down-to-earth meals that he comes back to again and again. In essence, it’s a homely translation of his professional notes – ‘Gary’s golden rules’, as he likes to call them!

Whether you’re someone who cooks regularly and needs a go-to book of reliable inspiration, or you’re building your confidence and looking to learn new culinary skills, Good Food Every Day is the only book you’ll need on the countertop beside you. With common-sense instructions and plenty of tips on tweaks and techniques, this is the ultimate collection of Gary’s definitive everyday recipes for great home cooking that’s right every time.


Istria: Stories from the Hidden Heart of Italy, Slovenia and Croatia
Paola Bacchia

Istria is the heart-shaped promontory at the northern crux of the Adriatic Sea, where rows of vines and olives grow in fields of red earth. Here, the cuisine records a history of changing borders — a blend of the countries (Italy, the Republic of Venice, Austria, Hungary and now Slovenia and Croatia) that have shared Istria’s hills and coasts and valleys.

This book is a record of traditions, of these cultures and of Paola’s family: recipes from her childhood, the region’s past, and family and friends who still live beside the Adriatic coast. Among recipes for semolina dumplings, beef and pork goulash and apricot strudel are memories of the region and stories of the recipes’ authors: the Italian-Istrians who remained in the region after the 1940s, and those who left for new countries.


Rick Stein at Home
Rick Stein

Home is more than a place. It’s a feeling.

Rick Stein has spent his life travelling the world in search of cooking perfection – from France and Italy to Australia and the far east – and inspiring millions of food lovers with the results. In Rick Stein At Home, he takes us into the rhythms and rituals of his home cooking. In his first book to celebrate his all-time favourite home-cooked meals, Rick shares over 100 very special recipes, including many from his recent Cornwall series – from sumptuous main courses such as Cornish Bouillabaisse and Braised Pork Belly with Soy and Black Vinegar to indulgent desserts like Apple Charlotte and Spiced Pears Poached with Blackberries and Red Wine.

Rick explores family classics that evoke childhood memories and newer dishes that have marked more recent personal milestones – along with unforgettable stories that celebrate his favourite ingredients, food memories, family cooking moments and more. Sharing the dishes he most loves to cook for family and friends throughout the year, Rick takes you inside his home kitchen unlike he’s done in any previous book.


Everything I Love to Cook
Neil Perry

Sixteen years since the publication of Australian national treasure Neil Perry’s groundbreaking bible for home cooks, The Food I Love, comes a bookend to that masterwork: Everything I Love to Cook. Neil’s influence on the food culture of Australia and beyond has been profound: inspiring us to try new flavours, making simple food simply brilliant, and tirelessly supporting the producers who sustainably grow the food we love to eat.

Now he revisits legendary dishes from his flagship restaurants like Rockpool Bar & Grill and modern classics from his long-running ‘Good Weekend’ column, as well as new favourites he – and we – can’t get enough of. With tips and techniques to set you up for success every time, Neil is on a mission to boost your kitchen know-how and confidence, covering everything from basic knife skills to the art of barbecuing, dressing a salad and mastering a roast dinner.

Whether you want the perfect steak sandwich or a comforting bowl of pasta, a southern Thai-style chicken curry or classic tiramisu, here are more than 230 recipes you’ll love to cook.


One Pot Perfect
Donna Hay

Release date: 13 October

Donna loves to make it easy for home cooks. Her stunning new cookbook, One Pan Perfect – featuring over 120 recipes for simple, easy, no-fuss deliciousness which only need one pot, pan, tray or bowl – will take you from the kitchen to the table in no time at all, and make your whole family happy.

We all want to find ways to cook faster, smarter and tastier than ever before, to sit back and let big, punchy flavours do the heavy lifting with just a single pan, pot, tray or dish. One Pan Perfect is the only book you need to prepare almost-instant, all-in-one meals that are super-delicious and better for you. Think fast, tasty new twists on all your favourites, plus all-new flavour combinations to explore, ready to dial up your weeknight family dinners and lazy weekend lunches.

One Pan Perfect is peppered with all the tips, tricks and how-tos to shortcut your way through the kitchen. You can even scan the QR codes throughout the book with your phone and bring the book to life through a series of instant videos that will lift your cooking game to new heights. This is fast, fresh deliciousness, all-in-one cooking at its absolute tastiest!


GARDEN & DESIGN

Wonder: 175 Years of the Royal Botanic Gardens
Sophie Cunningham

They sit in the physical and emotional heart of our city, and have done so for 175 years. Most of us have spent time there, and they mean different things to each of us. The Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne have been a place of calm, a site for reflection, creative inspiration, discovery, romance and even refuge. Anyone who has visited has a story. Now a range of these stories from Victorians from many fields is gathered in the lavish publication Wonder: 175 Years of Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Told through conversations with writers Sophie Cunningham and Peter Wilmoth, there are stories of Nick Cave conceiving the first lines of a novel there, of actor and writer Michael Veitch being taught the classics on its lawns, of a marriage that took place just days before COVID-19 began its grim sweep across the world, closing sites such as the Gardens for the first time in history. Boonwurrung Elder Aunty Carolyn Briggs tells stories of Country that reach back through millennia, while Landscape Architect Andrew Laidlaw shares the inspiration for some of the Gardens’ more recent landscapes. Horticulturalist Gemma Cotterell tells us about her work on the Australian Forest Walk; architect Kerstin Thompson reminds us of the secrets the Gardens hold and the way those secrets transform landscape into dreamscape; and botanist Neville Walsh shares his excitement on the discovery of a new species of wattle. 

The important matters of plant extinction and climate change (including water usage) are also addressed, reminding the reader of the critical role played by our public gardens in securing the future of the planet through its science, irreplaceable collections and conservation action.

With superb photography by Leigh Henningham, the book is about the people’s gardens, and these stories will resonate with readers who cherish their own experiences there.


Never Too Small: Reimagining Small Space Living
Joel Beath

What does the future of urban living look like? 

Joel Beath and Elizabeth Price explore this question drawing inspiration from a diverse collection of apartment designs, all smaller than 50m2/540ft2. Through the lens of five small-footprint design principles and drawing on architectural images and detailed floor plans, the authors examine how architects and designers are reimagining small space living. 

Full of inspiration we can each apply to our own spaces, this is a book that offers hope and inspiration for a future of our cities and their citizens in which sustainability and style, comfort and affordability can co-exist. Never Too Small proves living better doesn’t have to mean living larger.


Costa’s World
Costa Georgiadis

Release date: 14 October

Bringing together all of Costa’s gardening and sustainability knowledge, this is a book for the whole family that reflects Costa’s philosophy and quirky sense of fun.

Costa’s World is a generous, joyous, fully illustrated gardening book that celebrates the life-changing joy of chooks; kids in the garden; big ideas for small spaces; Costa’s favourite plants; growing the right plants for your conditions; biodiversity in the soil and garden; the power of community; the brilliance of bees and pollinators; easy-peasy permaculture; and much, much more.


Where They Purr
Paul Barbera

Cats can be notoriously aloof, yet they have a special knack for commanding a room. But what can these curious creatures reveal about their owners’ personal style and design sensibilities?

Where They Purr showcases twenty-eight inspirational houses and their creative interiors, along with the charismatic felines who call these places home. From a heritage-listed Victorian terrace to a modern farmhouse with panoramic vistas, an art-filled inner-city warehouse to a cosy rental that reveals the power of classic pieces and clever design, discover each cat’s domain and their predilection for sunlit nooks, mid-century furniture or rooms with a view.

Through stunning photography, Paul Barbera captures these enviable homes and the enigmatic qualities of our most contrary of domestic companions: the cat.


The City Gardener
Richard Unsworth

Our urban gardens provide an essential green refuge amid the expanding concrete jungle. Even without the luxury of sprawling suburban lawns or vast garden beds, there are many ways to create unique verdant spaces in the inner-city – from a succulent-laden, full-sun rooftop to an entertainer’s semi-tropical courtyard.

The City Gardener demonstrates how inspired design can optimise the space we have, whether large or small, to create a plant paradise. The book explores twenty private gardens created by Richard Unsworth and his design practice, Garden Life. Ranging from 38 to 1385 square metres, the gardens run the gamut of possibilities for revolutionising urban home life outdoors.

Garden plans detailing layout and materials, as well as full planting lists, accompany each case study, and expert tips on design principles, planting palettes, furnishings and finishes make this the ultimate urban gardening resource. The City Gardener will inspire, educate and empower readers to celebrate and engage with their outdoor spaces.


How to French Country
Sara Silm

From deep in the countryside of southwest France comes a comprehensive guide to surrounding yourself with French country style wherever you are. Capturing the beauty and quietude of the region, interior designer and journalist Sara Silm distils the unique colours, textures and flavours of this distinctive corner of the world.

Inherent in Sara’s detailed knowledge of French country style are philosophical lines drawn between colour, temporality, style, sensation and season, such that every design choice is a contemplation of time and place. Nowhere is this more clearly felt than in her unique colour palettes, inspired by the patina of weather-beaten shutters, of local brick and fading roof tiles, violet-hued ice cream and rolling hills bursting to life in spring.

Coupling detailed, practical design knowledge with evocative notes on rural French life and choice recipes, How to French Country offers a path to gentler living and refocusing on all that we hold dear.


Plant Lady
Emma Bastow

Plant Ladies are the new (cooler) cat ladies.

Less disappointing than a boyfriend, less demanding than a cat, plants are the perfect partners for anyone who is trying to balance work, money, commitments and a desire to live surrounded by beauty. Plants make you feel good (#science) and looking after your green frondy friends brings joy into your life.

Plant Lady will matchmake you with the perfect plants for your lifestyle and teach you not only how to keep them alive but how to get them to love you back. With the help of this book you can add some low-cost, high-pleasure greenness into your life and embrace your inner plant lady.


OTHER NON-FICTION

The Storyteller
Dave Grohl

So, I’ve written a book.

Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities (‘It’s a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!’), I have decided to write these stories just as I have always done, in my own hand. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I’ve recorded and can’t wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child. 

This certainly doesn’t mean that I’m quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it’s like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician. From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters…the list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement.


The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars and Caliphs
Marc David Baer

Release date: 14 October

The Ottoman Empire has long been depicted as the Islamic-Asian antithesis of the Christian-European West. But the reality was starkly different: the Ottomans’ multiethnic, multilingual, and multireligious domain reached deep into Europe’s heart. In their breadth and versatility, the Ottoman rulers saw themselves as the new Romans.

Recounting the Ottomans’ remarkable rise from a frontier principality to a world empire, Marc David Baer traces their debts to their Turkish, Mongolian, Islamic and Byzantine heritage; how they used both religious toleration and conversion to integrate conquered peoples; and how, in the nineteenth century, they embraced exclusivity, leading to ethnic cleansing, genocide, and the dynasty’s demise after the First World War.

Upending Western concepts of the Renaissance, the Age of Exploration, the Reformation, this account challenges our understandings of sexuality, orientalism and genocide. Radically retelling their remarkable story, The Ottomans is a magisterial portrait of a dynastic power, and the first to truly capture its cross-fertilisation between East and West.


Around Australian at 80ks
Meredith Schofield

Meredith, Sean, their rescue pup, Bandit, and their beloved yellow kombi, Etta, are doing the Big Lap around Australia. And they’re taking you with them.

This delightful travel book is a visual love story to the great Australian road trip. Full of practical travel tips, dog-friendly camping advice and stunning photography, this book will take you through the trio’s hilarious adventures (and misadventures) as they make their way around this great southern land.


Ladies, We Need to Talk
Yumi Stynes and Claudine Ryan

Release date: 27 October

The ABC podcast Ladies, We Need To Talk has been tearing open the sealed section on life for years, but host Yumi Stynes and co-creator Claudine Ryan know there’s still way more to say. In this book, they dive further into the podcast topics that resonated most with sensitivity, hilarity and serious smarts, and open the conversation further to include personal stories from listeners.

Want to discover the wonders of your vagina or know how to close the orgasm gap? Are you riding your hormonal rollercoaster blindfolded or feeling a bit weird about your period? Do you want to kick your mental load to the kerb or consider the alternatives to monogamy? You’re not the only one – and there’s no need to go it alone. Ladies, We Need To Talk is a book for all women who feel the squeeze between their private life and their pelvic floor.


Larrimah
Caroline Graham and Kylie Stevenson

Larrimah: hot, barren, a speck of dust in the centre of the nothingness of outback Australia. Where you might find a death adder in the bar and a spider or ten in the toaster. Maybe it’s stupid to write a love letter to a town that looks like this, especially when it’s someone else’s town. A town where there’s nothing to see, nothing to buy and the closest thing to an attraction is a weird Pink Panther in a gyrocopter whose head falls off intermittently. A town steeped in ancient superstition and pockmarked with sinkholes. It’s Kadaitja country. People go missing in the bush there, the traditional owners say.

It’s doubly stupid to write a love letter to a town where someone did go missing and one of the remaining residents might be a murderer. A town at the centre of one of the biggest mysteries outback Australia has ever seen – a weird, swirling whodunnit about camel pies and wild donkeys and drug deals and crocodiles, a case that’s had police scratching their heads for years, while journalists and filmmakers and Hollywood turn up, from time to time, to ask what the hell happened here.

And it makes no sense to fall for a place when the town is crumbling into the dust and it looks a lot like your love letter might end up being a eulogy. But whatever happened in Larrimah, it’s strange and precious and surprisingly funny. Journalists Kylie Stevenson and Caroline Graham have spent years trying to pin it down – what happened to Paddy Moriarty and his dog, how they disappeared, how they might take the whole town and something even bigger with them.


The Living Planet: The Web of Life on Earth
David Attenborough

Nowhere on our planet is devoid of life. Plants and animals thrive or survive within every extreme of climate and habitat that it offers. Single species, and often whole communities adapt to make the most of ice cap and tundra, forest and plain, desert, ocean and volcano. These adaptations can be truly extraordinary: fish that walk or lay eggs on leaves in mid-air; snakes that fly; flightless birds that graze like deer; and bears that grow hair on the soles of their feet.

In The Living Planet, David Attenborough’s searching eye, unfailing curiosity and infectious enthusiasm explain and illuminate the intricate lives of the these colonies, from the lonely heights of the Himalayas to the wild creatures that have established themselves in the most recent of environments, the city. By the end of this book it is difficult to say which is the more astonishing – the ingenuity with which individual species contrive a living, or the complexity of their interdependence on each other and on the habitations provided by our planet.

In this new edition, the author, with the help of zoologist Matthew Cobb, has added all the most up-to-date discoveries of ecology and biology, as well as a full-colour 64-page photography section. He also addresses the urgent issues facing our living planet: climate change, pollution and mass extinction of species.


How to Keep Your Brain Young
Professor Kerryn Phelps

In her standout new book, Professor Phelps addresses what we all fear: losing mental function as we age. While ageing physically is inevitable, ageing mentally is not.

In this accessible book, Professor Phelps lays out the basics of the brain and the simple, everyday practices for keeping our brains younger for longer. Through the ongoing science of neuroplasticity, we know that our brains are continually capable of rewiring and relearning. Professor Phelps applies this knowledge to an array of simple, sustainable lifestyle habits, showing how anyone, whether starting at 40 or 80, can age gracefully and keep mentally sharp. 

How to Keep Your Brain Young details the fundamentals of a healthy brain, from diet and exercise to gut microbiome and mindfulness techniques, and shows us how to feel sharper, kick out the brain fog and retain mental acuity in later life. Drawing on years of clinical experience and the latest research, How to Keep Your Brain Young is the ultimate guide for happy, healthy grey matter.


No One Left Behind
Keith Payne

Release date: 12 October

From the battlefields of Korea, Malaya and Vietnam to the struggle for veterans’ welfare, Keith Payne has never shied away from a fight. More than 50 years ago, this bravery saw him receive the Commonwealth’s highest military honour – the Victoria Cross.

Keith grew up one of thirteen children in the shadow of the Great Depression and the Second World War. After seeing his father come home wounded from war, Keith joined the army. He was sent to fight in Korea at just 18 years old, the bloody beginning to decades of military service across the world.

Keith’s life was defined by one night in 1969. In the dark jungle of Vietnam, under heavy enemy fire, Keith returned to a fled battlefield to rescue 40 of his soldiers. For his extreme act of bravery in leading his men to safety, Keith became the last Australian to earn the VC for 40 years. Keith spent decades in the public spotlight while struggling with his own demons, then found new purpose as an advocate for others. In a lifetime of service, he has helped not only veterans of foreign wars, but also Indigenous diggers and communities left behind by civilian and military bureaucracy. 

No One Left Behind tells, for the first time in his words, of Keith Payne’s remarkable life. His definitive autobiography reveals the story of a big-hearted, iconic Australian and the heart and heartaches of a man who continues to fight for his mates. 


How to be Italian
Maria Pasquale

What does it mean to be Italian?

Is it pausing to enjoy an aperitivo or gelato? A passeggiata down a laneway steeped in history? An August spent tanning at the beach?

This book is a celebration of the Italian lifestyle – an education in drinking to savour the moment, travelling indulgently, and cherishing food and culture. A lesson in the dolce far niente: the sweetness of doing nothing. We may not all live in the bel paese, but anyone can learn from the rich tapestry of life on the boot.

From the innovation of Italian fashion and design, the Golden Age of its cinema to the Roman Empire’s cultural echoes (and some very good espresso), take a dip into the Italian psyche and learn to eat, love, dress, think, and have fun as only the Italians can.


The Devil’s Work
Garry Linnell

He was a murderer, swindler, bigamist and suspect in the Jack the Ripper killings.

Frederick Deeming was also the most hated man in the world.

Claiming to be haunted by the ghost of his dead mother, Deeming had spent years roaming the planet under various aliases, preying on the innocent, the gullible and the desperate. But the discovery by Australian police in 1892 of the body of one of his wives in a shallow concrete grave triggered one of the greatest manhunts in history and exposed a further series of grisly murders – those of his first wife and four children – that stunned the Victorian era.

The Devil’s Work is a gothic journey into the twisted mind of a serial killer, set in the dying years of the 19th century when science and religion had collided and some of the world’s most powerful and influential people believed in spirits and an afterlife. It reveals Deeming’s crime spree across three continents, raising fresh questions about his role in the Jack the Ripper killings and culminating in his sensational trial where he was defended by a future Australian Prime Minister who believed he could also speak to the dead.

Born bad or simply mad? It’s time to meet Frederick Deeming, the man known and reviled throughout the United States, England and Australia as the Criminal of the Century.


The Beatles: Get Back
The Beatles

Release date: 15 October

The most anticipated book in more than a decade by the legendary band, The Beatles: Get Back is the official account of the creation of their final album, Let It Be, told in The Beatles’ own words, illustrated with hundreds of previously unpublished images, including photos by Ethan A. Russell and Linda McCartney. Half a century after the 1970 Let It Be album and film, this milestone book coincides with the global release of Peter Jackson’s documentary feature film, The Beatles: Get Back.

The book opens in January 1969, the beginning of The Beatles’ last year as a band. The BEATLES (The White Album) is at number one in the charts and the foursome gather in London for a new project. Over 21 days, first at Twickenham Film Studios and then at their own brand-new Apple Studios, with cameras and tape recorders documenting every day’s work and conversations, the band rehearse a huge number of songs, culminating in their final concert, which famously takes place on the rooftop of their own office building, bringing central London to a halt.

The Beatles: Get Back tells the story of those sessions through transcripts of the band’s candid conversations. Drawing on over 120 hours of sound recordings, leading music writer John Harris edits the richly captivating text to give us a fly-on-the-wall experience of being there in the studios. These sessions come vividly to life through hundreds of unpublished, extraordinary images by two photographers who had special access to their sessions–Ethan A. Russell and Linda Eastman (who married Paul McCartney two months later). Also included are many unseen high-resolution film-frames, selected from the 55 hours of restored footage from which Peter Jackson’s documentary is also drawn.

Legend has it that these sessions were a grim time for a band falling apart. However, as acclaimed novelist Hanif Kureishi writes in his introduction, “In fact this was a productive time for them, when they created some of their best work. And it is here that we have the privilege of witnessing their early drafts, the mistakes, the drift and digressions, the boredom, the excitement, joyous jamming and sudden breakthroughs that led to the work we now know and admire.” Half a century after their final performance, this book completes the story of the creative genius, timeless music, and inspiring legacy of The Beatles.


Birds
Tim Flach

Birds are a revelation. Radiating grace, intelligence and humour, they tantalise the human imagination.

Working for years in his studio and in the field, internationally acclaimed photographer Tim Flach has portrayed nature’s most alluring creatures alertly at rest and dramatically in flight, capturing intricate feather patterns and subtle colouration invisible to the naked eye.

From familiar friends, including the king penguin and the black swan, to marvellous rarities, such as the kagu and the Bali myna, Flach conveys the dazzling diversity of birds. Here are all manner of songbirds, parrots and birds of paradise; birds of prey, waterbirds and theatrical domestic breeds. Witness the shy gaze of the southern cassowary and the fearless stare of the Andean condor; marvel at the peregrine falcon – the fastest animal on Earth – in flight, wings outstretched, and the iridescent plumage of the Himalayan monal.

Compelling text by prominent ornithologist Richard O. Prum takes the reader into the deep history of birds, ancestors of the dinosaurs living among us, and sheds light on the distinct behaviours of each species. Discover how female guira cuckoos lay eggs in shared nests, distinguishing their own with unique markings, and why the Nicobar pigeon swallows small colourful stones. Learn of the vulturine guineafowl’s penchant for fallen fruit, the common ostrich’s rapid growth rate, and more as you navigate your way through these pages.

The result of much patience, precision and persistence, Birds features more than 130 extraordinary photographs. Putting us face-to-face with some of Earth’s most magnetic living beings, Flach evokes the magnificence of the animal kingdom – and the urgent need to protect and defend it.


Old Vintage Melbourne
Chris Macheras

An enchanting collection of annotated historical images and contemporary photographs, revealing the change and development that Melbourne has experienced over the years.

In 1835, as he walked the sacred grounds of the Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung peoples of the Kulin Nations, John Batman wrote in his diary, ‘This will be the place for a village.’ That small village rapidly grew into the vibrant city of Melbourne.

Historical photographs are a window to the past — a time capsule that allows us to walk in the footsteps of our predecessors. Now, this collection enables us to imagine strolling down Bourke Street in 1875, or catching a Collins Street tram in 1910, or walking through the city’s inner suburbs many years ago. As well, a series of then-and-now photographs reveals a striking contrast between the Melbourne of yesteryear and the city we are familiar with today.

Adapted from the popular ‘Old Vintage Melbourne’ Instagram account, this book invites you to reminisce about and cherish the important heritage of the city of Melbourne. Turn back the clock and immerse yourself in these captivating chronicles of an incredibly diverse, unique city.


Take Risks
John Marsden

Life is a thrilling adventure. Our children get only rare glimpses of the possibilities. To roam, to dare, to fail…these are the rights of children. 

John Marsden, the award-winning, bestselling author of the Tomorrow series, has spent his life educating kids and teenagers. He is passionate about the need to prepare them in all ways for the demands of adulthood. As the founder and principal of two schools – Candlebark and Alice Miller – John has put his theories to the test and seen the empowering results of his methods. 

Take Risks is the compelling memoir of a revered author and educator, and a forthright discussion on teaching, parenting and society as a whole.


Bradman vs. Bodyline
Roland Perry

Release date: 19 October

The 1932-33 Ashes was the most notorious and polarising series in the history of cricket.

The events of that turbulent summer centred around Don Bradman, the greatest batsman ever to play the game. With him in their side, Australia appeared unbeatable. And yet England alleged they had found the one shortcoming in Bradman’s extraordinary technique. Their ruthless attempts to exploit that real or imagined vulnerability created an international crisis that threatened the very fabric of the Empire.

Using new material and his previous unparalleled access to Sir Donald Bradman, Roland Perry has written the definitive account of Bradman and the Bodyline series. Compelling, extensively researched and full of new insights, Bradman vs Bodyline takes us behind the scenes as first Arthur Carr then Douglas Jardine planned a ‘fast leg theory’ attack designed to potentially injure Australia’s unstoppable batsman, and the rest of the team, to allow England to retake the Ashes.

From Bodyline’s genesis in English county cricket to the key protagonists of Jardine, Harold Larwood and Bradman himself, Roland Perry has written the complete and captivating story of a sporting outrage that came closer to destroying the relationship between Australia and England than anything before or since.


Doc: The Life and Times of Aussie Rock Legend Doc Neeson
Anne Souter

Release date: 19 October

Often compared to David Bowie and Mick Jagger, Doc Neeson was hailed as a ‘messianic rock god’.

He was thumping, pumping, sweaty hard rock. He commanded the stage. He was unstoppable. He was terrifying. He was wild. He was a legend. And as their frontman, Doc propelled The Angels to become the highest-paid band in Australia in the 1980s and 1990s. With massive album sales in Australia and a US record deal, global superstardom seemed assured . . . but then everything started to fall apart.

This is Doc’s story with the highs, the lows, the girls, the booze, the drugs, the tours, the good deeds, the crazy antics, the dark days and the great split that shattered The Angels. When he died in 2014 from a brain tumour, a black veil came down over a generation of Australian rock fans.


Underwater Wild
Craig Foster and Ross Frylinck

Release date: 19 October

An immersive journey into the underwater world that holds transformative lessons for us all

Craig Foster and Ross Frylinck regularly dive together in the awe-inspiring kelp forests off South Africa, without wetsuits or oxygen tanks. Craig had dived this way for years, including alongside the octopus that inspired My Octopus Teacher. In Ross, he found a kindred spirit, someone who also embraced the ancient methods of acclimating his body to frigid waters, but whose eyes had not yet adjusted to the transcendent wonder Craig saw each time they dove.

In the heart-wrenching stories that make up this unforgettable book, we swim alongside Ross as he grows from sceptic to student of the underwater wild. And in the revelatory marine science behind the stunning photos, we learn how to track sea hares, cuttlefish and limpets, and we witness strange new behaviours never before documented in marine biology. We realise that a whole world of wonder, and an innate wildness within us all, emerges anew when we simply observe.

My Octopus Teacher has captivated millions who long to connect with the natural world. Now, with Underwater Wild, the divers behind the film reveal a new vision of the sea – one full of wonder, new insights into marine biology and life-changing teachings for even the most land-bound of us.