FICTION

The Abstainer
Ian McGuire

Two men, haunted by their pasts.
Driven by the need for justice.

Blood begets blood.
In a fight for life and legacy.

Manchester, 1867

Stephen Doyle arrives in Manchester from New York. He is an Irish-American veteran of the Civil War and a member of the Fenians, a secret society intent on ending British rule in Ireland, by any means necessary. Now he has come to seek vengeance.

James O’Connor has fled grief and drink in Dublin for a sober start in Manchester as Head Constable. His mission is to discover and thwart the Fenians’ plans. When his long-lost nephew arrives on his doorstep, he never could have foreseen how this would imperil his fragile new life – or how his and Doyle’s fates would come to be intertwined.

The rebels will be hanged at dawn, and their brotherhood is already plotting revenge. 

From the acclaimed author of The North Water comes an epic story of revenge and obsession.


The Lying Life of Adults
Elena Ferrante

‘Two years before leaving home my father said to my mother that I was very ugly. The sentence was uttered under his breath, in the apartment that my parents, newly married, had bought in Rione Alto, at the top of Via San Giacomo dei Capri. Everything – the spaces of Naples, the blue light of a very cold February, those words – remained fixed. But I slipped away, and am still slipping away, within these lines that are intended to give me a story, while in fact I am nothing, nothing of my own, nothing that has really begun or really been brought to completion: only a tangled knot, and nobody, not even the one who at this moment is writing, knows if it contains the right thread for a story or is merely a snarled confusion of suffering, without redemption.’

Giovanna’s pretty face has changed: it’s turning into the face of an ugly, spiteful adolescent. But is she seeing things as they really are? Into which mirror must she look to find herself and save herself?

She is searching for a new face in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: the Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and the Naples of the depths, which professes to be a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves between these two cities, disoriented by the fact that, whether high or low, the city seems to offer no answer and no escape.

A powerful new novel set in a divided Naples by Elena Ferrante, the beloved best-selling author of My Brilliant Friend.


The Survivors
Jane Harper

Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences.

The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home.

Kieran’s parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.

When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away…

The compelling new novel from Jane Harper, the bestselling author of The Dry.


The Mother Fault
Kate Mildenhall

You will not recognise me, she thinks, when I find you . . .
Mim’s husband is missing. No one knows where Ben is, but everyone wants to find him – especially The Department. And they should know, the all-seeing government body has fitted the entire population with a universal tracking chip to keep them ‘safe’.
But suddenly Ben can’t be tracked. And Mim is questioned, made to surrender her passport and threatened with the unthinkable – her two children being taken into care at the notorious BestLife.
Cornered, Mim risks everything to go on the run to find her husband – and a part of herself, long gone, that is brave enough to tackle the journey ahead.
From the stark backroads of the Australian outback to a terrifying sea voyage, Mim is forced to shuck off who she was – mother, daughter, wife, sister – and become the woman she needs to be to save her family and herself.


Piranesi
Susanna Clarke

Piranesi lives in the House.
Perhaps he always has.

In his notebooks, day after day, he makes a clear and careful record of its wonders: the labyrinth of halls, the thousands upon thousands of statues, the tides that thunder up staircases, the clouds that move in slow procession through the upper halls.

On Tuesdays and Fridays Piranesi sees his friend, the Other. At other times he brings tributes of food and waterlilies to the Dead. But mostly, he is alone.

Messages begin to appear, scratched out in chalk on the pavements. There is someone new in the House. But who are they and what do they want? Are they a friend or do they bring destruction and madness as the Other claims?

Lost texts must be found; secrets must be uncovered. The world that Piranesi thought he knew is becoming strange and dangerous.

The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.


The Darkest Evening (Vera Stanhope #9)
Ann Cleeves 

Driving home during a swirling blizzard, Vera Stanhope’s only thought is to get there quickly.

But the snow is so heavy, she becomes disoriented and loses her way. Ploughing on, she sees a car slewed off the road ahead of her. With the driver’s door open, Vera assumes the driver has sought shelter but when she inspects the car she is shocked to find a young toddler strapped in the back seat.

Afraid they will freeze, Vera takes the child and drives on, arriving at Brockburn, a run-down stately home she immediately recognizes as the house her father Hector grew up in.

Inside Brockburn a party is in full swing, with music and laughter to herald the coming Christmas. But outside in the snow, a young woman lies dead and Vera knows immediately she has a new case. Could this woman be the child’s mother, and if so, what happened to her?

A classic country house mystery with a contemporary twist, Ann Cleeves returns with a brilliant Vera novel to savour.


State Highway One
Sam Coley

This is what I want to do. I want to go home. I want you to come with me.
‘I want to go from here . . .’
Finger on Cape Reinga.
‘. . . to here.’
Finger at the bottom of Stewart Island, right at the bottom of the map.

It’s been years since Alex was in New Zealand, and years since he spent any one-on-one time with his twin sister, Amy. When they lose their parents in a shock accident it seems like the perfect time to reconnect as siblings. To reconnect with this country they call ‘home’.

As they journey the length of State Highway One, they will scratch at wounds that have never healed – and Alex will be forced to reckon with what coming home really means.


The Burning Island
Jock Serong

A father’s obsession. A daughter’s quest.

Eliza Grayling, born in Sydney when the colony itself was still an infant, has lived there all her thirty-two years. Too tall, too stern—too old, now—for marriage, she looks out for her reclusive father, Joshua, and wonders about his past. There is a shadow there: an old enmity.

When Joshua Grayling is offered the chance for a reckoning with his nemesis, Eliza is horrified. It involves a sea voyage with an uncertain, probably violent, outcome. Insanity for an elderly blind man, let alone a drunkard.

Unable to dissuade her father from his mad fixation, Eliza begins to understand she may be forced to go with him. Then she sees the vessel they will be sailing on. And in that instant, the voyage of the Moonbird becomes Eliza’s mission too.

Irresistible prose, unforgettable characters and magnificent, epic storytelling: The Burning Island delivers everything readers have come to expect from Jock Serong. It may be his most moving, compelling novel yet.


Troubled Blood (Cormoran #6)
Robert Galbraith

Private Detective Cormoran Strike is visiting his family in Cornwall when he is approached by a woman asking for help finding her mother, Margot Bamborough – who went missing in mysterious circumstances in 1974.

Strike has never tackled a cold case before, let alone one forty years old. But despite the slim chance of success, he is intrigued and takes it on; adding to the long list of cases that he and his partner in the agency, Robin Ellacott, are currently working on. And Robin herself is also juggling a messy divorce and unwanted male attention, as well as battling her own feelings about Strike.

As Strike and Robin investigate Margot’s disappearance, they come up against a fiendishly complex case with leads that include tarot cards, a psychopathic serial killer and witnesses who cannot all be trusted. And they learn that even cases decades old can prove to be deadly . . .


The Evening and the Morning (A Pillars of the Earth Prequel Novel)
Ken Follett

A TIME OF CONFLICT
It is 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages, and England faces attacks from the Welsh in the west and the Vikings in the east. Life is hard, and those with power wield it harshly, bending justice according to their will – often in conflict with the king. With his grip on the country fragile and with no clear rule of law, chaos and bloodshed reign.

THREE LIVES INTERTWINED
Into this uncertain world three people come to the fore: a young boatbuilder, who dreams of a better future when a devastating Viking raid shatters the life that he and the woman he loves hoped for; a Norman noblewoman, who follows her beloved husband across the sea to a new land only to find her life there shockingly different; and a capable monk at Shiring Abbey, who dreams of transforming his humble abbey into a centre of learning admired throughout Europe.

THE DAWN OF A NEW AGE
Now, with England at the dawn of the Middle Ages, these three people will each come into dangerous conflict with a ruthless bishop, who will do anything to increase his wealth and power, in an epic tale of ambition and rivalry, death and birth, and love and hate.

Thirty years ago we were introduced to Kingsbridge in The Pillars of the Earth, and now in this masterful prequel international bestseller Ken Follett will take us on a journey into a rich past, which will end where his masterpiece begins.


The Book of Two Ways
Jodi Picoult

Dawn Edelstein knows everything there is to know about dying. She specialises in helping her clients make peace with the end of their lives. But as she’s flying home from her latest case, she is forced to confront her own mortality for the first time.

Instead of seeing her brilliant quantum physicist husband and their beloved daughter flash before her eyes in what she assumes are her last moments, only one face is shockingly clear: Wyatt Armstrong.

Safely on the ground, Dawn now faces a desperate decision. Should she return to Boston, her family and the life she knows, or journey back to an Egyptian archaeological site she left over a decade earlier, reconnect with Wyatt, and finally finish her abandoned magnum opus, The Book of Two Ways?

As the story unfolds, Dawn must confront the questions she’s never truly answered: What does a life well-lived look like? When we depart this earth, what do we leave behind of ourselves? And who would you be if you hadn’t turned out to be the person you are right now?


House of Correction
Nicci French

‘So,’ said Mora Piozzi, her lawyer, looking down at her laptop. ‘In brief: you are charged with the murder of Stuart Robert Rees, on December 21st, between the hours of ten-forty in the morning and half-past three o’clock in the afternoon.’

Tabitha is accused of murder. She is in prison awaiting trial.
There is a strong case against her, and she can’t remember what happened on December 21st.
She is alone, frightened and confused.
But somehow, from the confines of her cell, she needs to prove everyone wrong.

House of Correction is beautifully written, clever, shocking, twisty, so believable and utterly compelling. This is another stunningly brilliant novel to relish from Nicci French.


I Give My Marriage a Year
Holly Wainwright

Lou and Josh have been together for 14 years. They share two kids, a mortgage, careers and plenty of history. Now, after a particularly fraught Christmas, Lou is ready to ask herself: is this marriage worth hanging on to?

Every month for a year, Lou sets a different test for their relationship – from daily sex to brutal honesty – to help her decide if she should stay or go. Secrets are exposed, old wounds reopened and a true-to-life suburban love story unfolds.

I Give My Marriage a Year paints a sharply accurate, often hilarious picture of a modern Australian marriage. Lou and Josh are a couple on the edge, and their efforts to bring their relationship back from the brink will resonate with anyone who has ever asked themselves: is this enough?

Whose side will you take? Who deserves a second chance? And will Josh and Lou stay together or split for good?


Betty
Tiffany McDaniel

A girl comes of age against the knife.’

So begins the story of Betty Carpenter.

Born in a bathtub in 1954 to a Cherokee father and white mother, Betty is the sixth of eight siblings. The world they inhabit is one of poverty and violence – both from outside the family and also, devastatingly, from within. When her family’s darkest secrets are brought to light, Betty has no choice but to reckon with the brutal history hiding in the hills, as well as the heart-wrenching cruelties and incredible characters she encounters in her rural town of Breathed, Ohio.

Despite the hardship she faces, Betty is resilient. Her curiosity about the natural world, her fierce love for her sisters and her father’s brilliant stories are kindling for the fire of her own imagination, and in the face of all she bears witness to, Betty discovers an escape: she begins to write.

A heartbreaking yet magical story, Betty is a punch-in-the-gut of a novel – full of the crushing cruelty of human nature and the redemptive power of words.


The Kingdom 
Jo Nesbo

When Roy and Carl’s parents die suddenly, sixteen-year-old Roy is left as protector to his impulsive younger brother. But when Carl decides to travel the world in search of his fortune, Roy stays behind in their sleepy village, satisfied with his peaceful life as a mechanic.

Some years later, Carl returns with his charismatic new wife, Shannon – an architect. They are full of exciting plans to build a spa hotel on their family land. Carl wants not only to make the brothers rich but the rest of the village, too.

It’s only a matter of time before what begins as a jubilant homecoming sparks off a series of events that threaten to derail everything Roy holds dear, as long-buried family secrets begin to rise to the surface…

The Kingdom is a simmering and complex thriller full of unexpected twists, devastating family legacies and an ever growing body count.  


To Sleep in a Sea of Stars
Christopher Paolini

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, xenobiologist Kira Navárez finds an alien relic that thrusts her into the wonders and nightmares of first contact. Epic space battles for the fate of humanity take her to the farthest reaches of the galaxy and, in the process, transform not only her – but the entire course of history.

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is a masterful epic science fiction novel from the New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author of the Inheritance Cycle, Christopher Paolini.


Just Like You
Nick Hornby

The person you are with is just like you: same background, same age, same interests. The perfect match.

And it is a disaster.

Then, when and where you least expect it, you meet someone new. You seem to have nothing in common and yet, somehow, it feels totally right.

Nick Hornby’s brilliantly observed, tender but also brutally funny new novel gets to the heart of what it means to fall surprisingly and headlong in love with the best possible person – someone who is not just like you at all.


The Tolstoy Estate
Steven Conte

In the first year of the doomed German invasion of Russia in WWII, a German military doctor, Paul Bauer, is assigned to establish a field hospital at Yasnaya Polyana – the former grand estate of Count Leo Tolstoy, the author of the classic War and Peace. There he encounters a hostile aristocratic Russian woman, Katerina Trubetzkaya, a writer who has been left in charge of the estate. But even as a tentative friendship develops between them, Bauer’s hostile and arrogant commanding officer, Julius Metz, becomes erratic and unhinged as the war turns against the Germans. Over the course of six weeks, in the terrible winter of 1941, everything starts to unravel…

From the critically acclaimed and award-winning author, Steven Conte, The Tolstoy Estate is ambitious, accomplished and astonishingly good: an engrossing, intense and compelling exploration of the horror and brutality of conflict, and the moral, emotional, physical and intellectual limits that people reach in war time. It is also a poignant, bittersweet love story – and, most movingly, a novel that explores the notion that literature can still be a potent force for good in our world.


Sorrow and Bliss
Meg Mason

This novel is about a woman called Martha. She knows there is something wrong with her but she doesn’t know what it is. Her husband Patrick thinks she is fine. He says everyone has something, the thing is just to keep going.

Martha told Patrick before they got married that she didn’t want to have children. He said he didn’t mind either way because he has loved her since he was fourteen and making her happy is all that matters, although he does not seem able to do it.

By the time Martha finds out what is wrong, it doesn’t really matter anymore. It is too late to get the only thing she has ever wanted. Or maybe it will turn out that you can stop loving someone and start again from nothing – if you can find something else to want.

The book is set in London and Oxford. It is sad and funny.


Revenge: Murder in Three Parts
S.L. Lim

‘Before I go into my grave,’ she says out loud, ‘I will kill that man.’

A family favour their son over their daughter. Shan attends university before making his fortune in Australia while Yannie must find menial employment and care for her ageing parents.

After her mother’s death, Yannie travels to Sydney to become enmeshed in her psychopathic brother’s new life, which she seeks to undermine from within …

This is a novel that rages against capitalism, hetero-supremacy, mothers, fathers, families – the whole damn thing. It’s about what happens when you want to make art but are born in the wrong time and place. 

S. L. Lim brings to vivid life the frustrations of a talented daughter and vengeful sister in a nuanced and riveting novel that ends in the most unexpected way. It will not be easily forgotten.


Bluebird
Malcolm Knox

A house perched impossibly on a cliff overlooking the stunning, iconic Bluebird Beach. Prime real estate, yet somehow not real estate at all, The Lodge is, like those who live in it, falling apart.

Gordon Grimes has become the accidental keeper of this last relic of an endangered world. He lives in The Lodge with his wife Kelly who is trying to leave him, their son Ben who will do anything to save him, his goddaughter Lou who is hiding from her own troubles, and Leonie, the family matriarch who has trapped them here for their own good.

But Gordon has no money and is running out of time to conserve his homeland. His love for this way of life will drive him, and everyone around him, to increasingly desperate risks. In the end, what will it cost them to hang onto their past?

Acclaimed writer Malcolm Knox has written a classic Australian novel about the myths that come to define families and communities, and the lies that uphold them. It’s about a certain kind of Australia that we all recognise, and a certain kind of Australian whose currency is running out. Change is coming to Bluebird, whether they like it or not. And the secrets they’ve been keeping and the lies they’ve been telling can’t save them now.

Savage, funny, revelatory and brilliant, Bluebird exposes the hollowness of the stories told to glorify a dying culture and shows how those who seek to preserve these myths end up being crushed by them.


The Good Teacher
Petronella McGovern

A good teacher can change lives…

Every evening, Allison watches her husband’s new house, desperate to find some answers. Every morning, she puts on a brave face to teach kindergarten. She’s a good teacher, everyone says so – this stalking is just a tiny crack in her usual self-control.

A late enrolment into her class brings little Gracie. Allison takes the sick girl under her wing, smothering Gracie with the love she can’t give her own son. When Gracie has a chance to go to America for treatment, Allison whips up the community into a frenzied fundraising drive.

But as others start to question her judgement and the police arrive at her door, Allison wonders if she can trust herself. Has she crossed a line?

How far will the good teacher go to save a life? And whose life will that be?

An intriguing tale of our times about kindness and betrayal, and the danger of good deeds.


The Midnight Library
Matt Haig

Between life and death there is a library.

When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change.

The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger.

Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?

The touching, funny and heartwarming new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of How to Stop Time and Reasons to Stay Alive.


The Mayflies
Andrew O’Hagan

Everyone has a Tully Dawson: the friend who defines your life.

In the summer of 1986, in a small Scottish town, James and Tully ignite a brilliant friendship based on music, films and the rebel spirit. With school over and the locked world of their fathers before them, they rush towards the climax of their youth: a magical weekend in Manchester, the epicentre of everything that inspires them in working-class Britain. There, against the greatest soundtrack ever recorded, a vow is made: to go at life differently.

Thirty years on, half a life away, the phone rings. Tully has news.

Mayflies is a memorial to youth’s euphorias and to everyday tragedy. A tender goodbye to an old union, it discovers the joy and the costs of love.


The Morbids
Ewa Ramsey

Caitlin is convinced she’s going to die.

Two years ago she was a normal twenty-something with a blossoming career and a plan to go travelling with her best friend, until a car accident left her with a deep, unshakable understanding that she’s only alive by mistake.

Caitlin deals with these thoughts by throwing herself into work, self-medicating with alcohol, and attending a support group for people with death-related anxiety, informally known as the Morbids.

But when her best friend announces she’s getting married in Bali, and she meets a handsome doctor named Tom, Caitlin must overcome her fear of death and learn to start living again.

Beautiful, funny, and universally relatable this story of hidden loneliness and the power of compassion and companionship reminds us that life is an adventure truly worth living.


NON-FICTION

Sam Bloom: Heartache and Birdsong
Samantha Bloom, Cameron Bloom & Bradley Trevor Greive

The heart-warming Australian story Penguin Bloom – the miraculous tale of a baby magpie that helped save a young mother and her family – is a homegrown and international bestseller; soon to be a major Hollywood movie, starring Naomi Watts and Andrew Lincoln. Sam’s personal message at the end of the book has resonated powerfully with readers – where, pulling no punches, she writes about what it is really like to face life in a wheelchair.

In Sam Bloom, Sam tells her own story for the first time – how a shy but determined Australian girl became a nurse and travelled across Africa. How she fell in love with a like-minded free spirit, raised three boys and built a life together on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. And then, in a single horrific moment, how everything changed. Sam’s journey back from the edge of death and the depths of despair is so much more than an account of overcoming adversity. Sam’s captivating true story – written by close friend, New York Times bestselling author Bradley Trevor Greive, and featuring extraordinary photographs taken by Sam’s husband, Cameron Bloom – is humbling, heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure. A triumph of raw emotion and incredible beauty, Sam Bloom: Heartache & Birdsong is a truly unforgettable book.


My Tidda, My Sister
Marlee Silva

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and society has existed on this continent for millennia. It’s a culture that manifests itself as the ultimate example of resilience, strength and beauty. It’s also a culture that has consistently been led by its women.

My Tidda, My Sister shares the experiences of many Indigenous women and girls, brought together by author and host of the Tiddas 4 Tiddas podcast, Marlee Silva. The voices of First Nations’ women that Marlee weaves through the book provide a rebuttal to the idea that ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’. For non-Indigenous women, it demonstrates the diversity of what success can look like and offers an insight into the lives of their Indigenous sisters and peers.

Featuring colourful artwork by artist Rachael Sarra, this book is a celebration of the Indigenous female experience through truth-telling. Some stories are heart-warming, while others shine a light on the terrible realities for many Australian Indigenous women, both in the past and in the present. But what they all share is the ability to inspire and empower, creating a sisterhood for all Australian women.

Also features foreword by Helpmann and AACTA award-winning actor Leah Purcell.


The Doctor Who Fooled the World
Brian Deer

A reporter uncovers the secrets behind the scientific scam of the century.

The news breaks first as a tale of fear and pity. Doctors at a London hospital claim a link between autism and a vaccine given to millions of children: MMR. Young parents are terrified. Immunisation rates slump. And as a worldwide ‘anti-vax’ movement kicks off, old diseases return to sicken and kill.

But a veteran reporter isn’t so sure, and sets out on an epic investigation. Battling establishment cover-ups, smear campaigns, and gagging lawsuits, he exposes rigged research and secret schemes, the heartbreaking plight of families struggling with disability, and the scientific deception of our time.


Great Expectations: Emigrant Governesses in Colonial Australia
Patricia Clarke

For educated middle-class women in nineteenth-century Britain, options were limited. Marry and bear children, accept the drudgery of keeping house for relatives or friends, or attempt to find a position in one of the very few industries that would employ women. This is the story of a group of intrepid ladies who found a different solution on the other side of the world.

The Female Middle Class Emigration Society scheme helped governesses and would-be governesses emigrate to the colonies from 1861 to 1886. The women who participated were encouraged to write back to the society, and it is their letters—sometimes plaintive, sometimes upbeat—that form the heart of this book. Written by women who were often fluent in multiple foreign languages, skilled artists and musicians, able to teach the liberal arts, as well as algebra and geometry, the letters describe wildly different experiences and stories of culture clash abound.

Great Expectations tells of the colonial experiences of a particular group of emigrant women, but it also tells a broader story, of emigration, education, class prejudice and the development of Australian society.


Ottolenghi FLAVOUR
Yotam Ottolenghi & Ixta Belfrage

Flavour-forward, vegetable-based recipes are at the heart of Yotam Ottolenghi’s food.

In this stunning new cookbook Yotam and co-writer Ixta Belfrage break down the three factors that create flavour and offer innovative vegetable dishes that deliver brand-new ingredient combinations to excite and inspire.

Ottolenghi FLAVOUR combines simple recipes for weeknights, low-effort high-impact dishes, and standout meals for the relaxed cook. Packed with signature colourful photography, FLAVOUR not only inspires us with what to cook, but how flavour is dialled up and why it works.

The book is broken down into three parts, which reveal how to tap into the potential of ordinary vegetables to create extraordinary food:

  • Process explains cooking methods that elevate veg to great heights;
  • Pairing identifies four basic pairings that are fundamental to great flavour;
  • Produce offers impactful vegetables that do the work for you.

With surefire hits, such as Aubergine Dumplings alla Parmigiana, Hasselback Beetroot with Lime Leaf Butter, Miso Butter Onions, Spicy Mushroom Lasagne and Romano Pepper Schnitzels, plus mouthwatering photographs of nearly every one of the more than 100 recipes, Ottolenghi FLAVOUR is the impactful, next-level approach to vegetable cooking that Ottolenghi fans and vegetable lovers everywhere have been craving.


Another Now
Yanis Varoufakis

Imagine it is 2025. Years earlier, in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, a global hi-tech uprising has birthed a post-capitalist world in which work, money, land, digital networks and politics have been truly democratised. 

In a thought-experiment of startling originality, world-famous economist Yanis Varoufakis offers a glimpse of this alternative reality. Through the eyes of three characters – a libertarian ex-banker, a Marxist-feminist and a maverick technologist – we see the genesis of a world without commercial banks or stock markets, where companies are owned equally by all staff, basic income is guaranteed, global imbalances and climate change cancel each other out, and housing is socialised.

Is a liberal socialism feasible? Can prosperity grow without costing the Earth? Are we able to build the good society, despite our flaws? As radical in its form as in its vision, Another Now blends Platonic dialogue with speculative fiction to show that there is an alternative to capitalism, while also confronting us with the greatest question – how far are we willing to go to bring it about? 


This One Wild and Precious Life
Sarah Wilson

Will you sleep through the revolution? Or do you want to wake up and reclaim your one wild and precious life?

We live in truly overwhelming times. The climate crisis, political polarisation, racial injustice and coronavirus have left many of us in a state of spiritual PTSD. We have retreated, morally and psychologically; we are experiencing a crisis of disconnection – from one another, from our true values, from joy, and from life as we feel we are meant to be living it.

Sarah Wilson argues that this sense of despair and disconnection is ironically what unites us – that deep down, we are all feeling that same itch for a new way of living. this one wild and precious life opens our eyes to how we got here and offers a radically hopeful path forward. Drawing on science, literature, philosophy, the wisdom of some of the world’s leading experts, and her personal journey, Wilson weaves a one-of-a-kind narrative that lights the way back to the life we love. En route, she leads us through a series of ‘wildly awake’ and joyful practices for reconnecting again that include:

  • Go to your edge.
    Do what scares you and embrace discomfort daily. Use it to grow into your Big Life.
  • #buylesslivemore. 
    Break the cycle of mindless consumption and get light with your life.
  • Become a soul nerd. 
    Embrace poetry, deep reading, art, and classical music to light up your intellect.
  • Get ‘full-fat spiritual’.
    How to have an active practice – beyond the ‘lite’ ‘rainbows and unicorns’ – and use it to change the world.
  • Hike. Just hike. 
    Walking in nature reconnects us with ourselves, and with our true purpose.
  • Practise wild activism. 
    If you can get 3.5 per cent of a population to participate in sustained, non-violent protest, change happens. We create our better world.

The time has come to boldly, wildly, imagine better. We are being called upon, individually and as a society, to forge a new path and to find a new way of living. Will you join the journey?


From Boys to Men
Maggie Dent

For boys, adolescence can be a confusing minefield and parents are often bewildered as to how to best guide their precious sons.

Many parents wake one day to find that their beautiful little boys have grown into silent, withdrawn, sometimes angry and often unmotivated tweens and teens.

Well-known Australian author, parenting and resilience educator, and one of Australia’s favourite boy experts Maggie Dent, offers parents and guardians a compassionate and practical guidebook, packed with advice and ground-breaking techniques on how to stay calm and:

  • Communicate effectively to defuse conflict
  • ‘Unstick’ an unmotivated son
  • Teach them to cope with loss and failure, and how to recover
  • Help them foster healthy friendships and intimate relationships
  • Navigate technology and the digital world.

From Boys to Men empowers parents with insights, tips and a common-sense approach to help all boys – and their families – thrive as they progress through adolescence, offering hope for a future of adventure, stability, engagement and connection.


Agent Sonya: Lover, Mother, Soldier, Spy
Ben Macintyre

In the quiet Cotswolds village of Great Rollright in 1945, an elegant housewife emerged from her cottage to go on her usual bike ride. A devoted wife and mother-of-three, Mrs Burton seemed to epitomise rural British domesticity.

However, rather than pedalling towards the shops with her ration book, she was racing through the Oxfordshire countryside to gather scientific intelligence from one of the country’s most brilliant nuclear physicists. Secrets that she would transmit to Soviet intelligence headquarters via the radio transmitter she was hiding in her outdoor privy.

Far from a British housewife, Mrs Burton – born Ursula Kuczynski, and codenamed ‘Sonya’ – was a German Jew, a dedicated communist, a colonel in Russia’s Red Army, and a highly-trained spy. From planning an assassination attempt on Hitler in Switzerland, to spying on the Japanese in Manchuria, and helping the Soviet Union build the atom bomb, Sonya conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century. Her story has never been told – until now.

Agent Sonya is the exhilarating account of one woman’s life; a life that encompasses the rise and fall of communism itself, and altered the course of history.


The Carbon Club
Marian Wilkinson

As the climate crisis threatens more extreme bushfire seasons, droughts and floods, many Australians are demanding their leaders answer the question: ‘Why didn’t you do something?’

The Carbon Club reveals the truth behind Australia’s two decades of climate inaction. It’s the story of how a loose confederation of influential climate-science sceptics, politicians and business leaders sought to control Australia’s response to the climate crisis. They shared a fear that dealing with climate change would undermine the nation’s wealth, jobs and competitive advantage – and the power of the carbon club.

Central to their strategy was an international campaign to undermine climate science and the urgency of the climate crisis. The more the climate science was questioned, the more politicians lost the imperative to act. The sustained success of the carbon club over two decades explains why Australian governments failed to deal with the challenge of climate change. But at what cost to us and the next generation?

One of Australia’s most respected investigative journalists, Marian Wilkinson has tracked the rise and rise of Australia’s carbon club in brilliant detail, with extraordinary access to key players on all sides. The result is a book that is both essential and disturbing reading.


Happy (and Other Ridiculous Aspirations)
Turia Pitt

Thousands of people have told me the one thing they’re searching for in life is happiness. So, I set out on a dragon-free quest to prove if ‘happy’ is, actually, an attainable goal, and not just a ridiculous aspiration. 

Happiness. Everyone wants more of it. But can you actually get happier? Inspirational Australian, Turia Pitt, dives into this idea, interviewing high-profile athletes, comedians, scientists and world experts to explore how everything from money to our relationships has an impact on how happy we can be.

In this book, with her characteristic humour and gutsy intelligence,* Turia Pitt goes on a quest to answer the question, Is it possible to be happier?

What does she discover on her journey? Well, look, that’s why we want you to buy the bloody book, but we can tell you that it entails, among other things, practising gratitude, working on kindness, self-love, strengthening your relationships and accepting the hard times and bad days.

Turia unpacks all of the above with easy-to-implement tips and strategies, hilarious insights into her own life and relationships, and introduces us to some of the world’s most fabulous people along the way, including Leigh Sales, Scott Pape, Zoë Foster Blake, Maria Forleo and Mick Fanning.

*She made us say that.


When America Stopped Being Great
Nick Bryant

The presidency of Donald Trump is commonly seen as an historical accident. In When America Stopped Being Great, Nick Bryant argues that by 2016 it had become almost historically inescapable. In this highly personal account, drawing on decades of covering Washington for the BBC, Bryant shows how the billionaire capitalised on the mistakes of his five predecessors – Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – and how also he became a beneficiary of a broken politics, an iniquitous economy, an ailing media, a facile culture, disruptive new technology and the creation of a modern-day presidency that elevated showmanship over statesmanship. Not only are we starting to see the emergence of a post-American world, Bryant fears we are seeing the emergence of a post-American America.

The history of Trump’s rise is also a history of America’s fall.  A comprehensive analysis of the political, economic, cultural and technological factors that contributed to America’s decline and inadvertently paved the way for Trump’s presidency.


How to Grow Your Dinner Without Leaving the House
Claire Ratinon

A vegetable garden is not an option for everyone, and so container growing has become desirable for people with little outside space.

Many have discovered the love of growing houseplants and want to take their skills to another level; others are inspired by the idea of growing their own food organically and sustainably. The book covers all the essentials of growing a range of edible plants in pots, and meeting each crop’s specific needs.

Author Claire Ratinon brings her urban food growing expertise to this popular subject, in a book designed to appeal to new gardeners and anyone who would like to take on the rewarding challenge of growing their own dinner, even if they’ve only got a window box or balcony to work with.


The People of the River
Grace Karskens

Dyarubbin, the Hawkesbury-Nepean River, is where the two early Australias – ancient and modern – first collided. People of the River journeys into the lost worlds of the Aboriginal people and the settlers of Dyarubbin, both complex worlds with ancient roots.

The settlers who took land on the river from the mid-1790s were there because of an extraordinary experiment devised half a world away. Modern Australia was not founded as a gaol, as we usually suppose, but as a colony. Britain’s felons, transported to the other side of the world, were meant to become settlers in the new colony. They made history on the river: it was the first successful white farming frontier, a community that nurtured the earliest expressions of patriotism, and it became the last bastion of eighteenth-century ways of life.

The Aboriginal people had occupied Dyarubbin for at least 50,000 years. Their history, culture and spirituality were inseparable from this river Country. Colonisation kicked off a slow and cumulative process of violence, theft of Aboriginal children and ongoing annexation of the river lands. Yet despite that sorry history, Dyarubbin’s Aboriginal people managed to remain on their Country, and they still live on the river today.

The Hawkesbury-Nepean was the seedbed for settler expansion and invasion of Aboriginal lands to the north, south and west. It was the crucible of the colony, and the nation that followed.


My Year of Living Mindfully
Shannon Harvey

In the midst of a global mental health crisis, millions of people have turned to mindfulness. But does it actually work? In a world-first experiment, journalist Shannon Harvey recruited a team of scientists to put mindful meditation to the test. But what began as a year-long self-experiment soon became a life-changing experience.

Overwhelmed with insomnia and an incurable autoimmune disease, Shannon Harvey needed to make a change. But while the award-winning health journalist found plenty of recommendations on diet, sleep and exercise, when she looked for the equivalent of a 30-minute workout for her mental wellbeing, there was nothing.

Also worried for the future mental health of her kids, who were growing up amidst critical levels of stress, anxiety, depression and addiction, Shannon enlisted a team of scientists to put meditation to the test. Could learning to quiet our busy minds be the simple solution the world so desperately needs?

During her year of living mindfully Shannon is poked, prodded, scanned and screened. After a 30,000 kilometre journey from Australia to the bright lights of Manhattan and the dusty refugee camps of the Middle East – interviewing the world’s leading mindfulness experts along the way – what begins as a quest for answers transforms into a life-changing experience.

From the director of the internationally acclaimed documentary of the same name, My Year of Living Mindfully is filled with compelling stories, groundbreaking science, and unexpected insights that go to the heart of what it means to be human in the twenty-first century.


The Genes That Make Us 
Edwin Kirk

Genes — we all have them and we’re all affected by them, often in unknown ways.

Whether directly inherited or modified by our environment, genes control or significantly influence almost every aspect of our lives. From the success of our conception and the development of our sexual characteristics, to the colour of our skin, hair, and eyes. From our height and weight, to our daily health. And, unfortunately, our genes are involved in an untold number of diseases. For many, the first time that genetics truly matters is in a doctor’s office as they learn about a condition that may affect them, their unborn children, or even their wider family.

Yet from the first laborious survey of the human genome twenty years ago to the commercial machines that now sequence 6,000 genomes per year, a revolution is taking place in medicine. Genetic screening is already available for major diseases and will become an increasingly prevalent medical tool. Around the world, teams of researchers are working on cures for diseases such as cancer, certain degenerative disorders, and a host of syndromes, while others are inventing new ways to conceive — and even modifying our genome in ways that could change what it means to be human.

Navigating this world of heartbreaking uncertainties, tantalising possibilities, and thorny questions of morality is Professor Edwin Kirk, who in addition to having over two decades of experience is that rare doctor who works both in the lab and with patients. In The Genes That Make Us, he explains everything you need to know with humour, insight, and great humanity.


No Matter Our Wreckage
Gemma Carey

My mother knew I was abused as a child. She had read letters sent from my abuser to me…But she never spoke to me about them, or what they described. And she never intervened to stop the abuse…Now she is dying and the past is rising to the surface like a bruise.

When Gemma Carey was twelve years old, a man twice her age would sneak into her bedroom on a weekly basis and sexually assault her. When Gemma was seventeen, she took the perpetrator to court without anyone else knowing and had him placed on the child sex offenders register. When she was thirty-three, her mother died of cancer. For twenty years, her mother had known about this man. But why had she not acted to protect her daughter? Could the genesis of this betrayal be found in her own family history?

No Matter Our Wreckage is the story of past and present colliding. It seeks to capture the complexity of forces which lead to abuse; to understand the intertwined narratives of mothers and daughters and how trauma becomes encoded in our DNA through generations. It explores grooming and the intricacies of consent, and how as a society we have not yet figured out how to deal with these types of crimes or the people who commit them.

No Matter Our Wreckage is a powerful, poetic and unflinching memoir about what it means not to matter, and how an extraordinary woman refused to listen to the stories she was being told about herself – by her history, by her abuser, by her mother, by society. It is only by speaking out that Gemma Carey learns she can break free from her past and reclaim her life, her self and her future.


From Snow to Ash
Anthony Sharwood

At the start of the hellish, fiery Australian summer of 2019/20, Walkley Award-winning journalist and suburban dad Anthony Sharwood set off on a journey. Abandoning his post on a busy news website to clear his mind, he solo-trekked the Australian Alps Walking Track, Australia’s most gruelling and breathtakingly beautiful mainland hiking trail, which traverses the entirety of the legendary High Country from Gippsland in Victoria to the outskirts of Canberra.

The journey started in a blizzard and ended in a blaze. Along the way, this lifelong lover of the mountains came to realise that nothing would ever be the same – either for him or for the imperilled Australian Alps, a landscape as fragile and sensitive to the changing climate as the Great Barrier Reef.


Hysteria
Katerina Bryant

When Katerina Bryant suddenly began experiencing chronic seizures, she was plunged into a foreign world of doctors and psychiatrists, who understood her condition as little as she did. Reacting the only way she knew how, she immersed herself in books, reading her way through her own complicated diagnosis and finding a community of women who shared similar experiences.

In the tradition of Siri Hustvedt’s The Shaking Woman, Bryant blends memoir with literary and historical analysis to explore women’s medical treatment. Hysteria retells the stories of silenced women, from the ‘Queen of Hysterics’ Blanche Wittmann to Mary Glover’s illness termed ‘hysterica passio’  a panic attack caused by the movement of the uterus — in London in 1602 and more. By centring these stories of women who had no voice in their own diagnosis and treatment, Bryant finds her own voice: powerful, brave and resonant. 


Just Ignore Him
Alan Davies

The story of a life built on sand. In the rain.

In this compelling memoir, comedian and actor Alan Davies recalls his boyhood with vivid insight and devastating humour. Shifting between his 1970s upbringing and his life today, Davies moves poignantly from innocence to experience to the clarity of hindsight, always with a keen sense of the absurd.

From sibling dynamics, to his voiceless, misunderstood progression through school, sexuality and humiliating ‘accidents’, Davies inhabits his younger mind with spectacular accuracy, sharply evoking an era when Green Shield Stamps, Bob-a-Job week and Whizzer & Chips loomed large, a bus fare was 2p – and children had little power in the face of adult motivation. Here, there are often exquisitely tender recollections of the mother he lost at six years old, of a bereaved family struggling to find its way, and the kicks and confusion of adolescence.

Through even the joyous and innocent memories, the pain of Davies’s lifelong grief and profound betrayal is unfiltered, searing and beautifully articulated. Just Ignore Him is not only an autobiography, it is a testament to a survivor’s resilience and courage.


A Year of Simple Family Food
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Family food is generous, unfussy and demonstrates love and care. No matter what busyness the day brings, the act of setting the table and enjoying a simple meal together is comforting and ever-reassuring.

Eating simply and seasonally is at the core of Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s recipes.

Whether it’s a cooling coffee granita to start a summer’s day or the comfort of a hearty baked maccheroni in darkest winter, this is the kind of food you will want to share with your loved ones throughout the year.

The dishes in this book are brought to life by great ingredients. There are plenty of quick recipes and some that require more time to bubble away on the stove. Overall, they are linked by taste and pleasure, and making the most of seasonal produce. This is generous, delicious food that the whole family will love, all year round.


The Secret Life of the Savoy and the D’Oyly Carte family
Olivia Williams

In 1889, Victorian impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte opened The Savoy, Britain’s first luxury hotel. Allowing the rich to live like royalty, it attracted glamour, scandal and a cast of eccentric characters, with the D’Oyly Carte family elevated to a unique vantage point on high society.

The Secret Life of the Savoy tells their story through three generations: Richard (a showman who made his fortune from the Gilbert and Sullivan operas), Rupert (who expanded the D’Oyly Carte empire through two world wars and the roaring twenties), and Bridget (the reluctant heiress and last of the family line). In this, the first biography of the family, Olivia Williams revives their extroardinary cultural legacy, told through the prism of their iconic hotel and its many distinguished guests.


Rising Heart
Aminata Conteh-Biger

One woman’s astonishing journey from unimaginable trauma to becoming a power for good.

In 1999, Sierra Leone was in the midst of a brutal civil war where mindless violence, vicious amputation and the rape of young enslaved women were the everyday weapons of bloody conflict.

It was also where rebel soldiers snatched the young Aminata Conteh-Biger from her father’s arms, then held her captive for months.

After she was released, the UNHCR recognised that her captors still posed a serious threat to her safety. So, still in her teens, she was put on a plane and flown to Australia to start afresh as a refugee in a land she knew nothing about.

It is here that she has proudly built a life, while never allowing her trauma to define her. Yet it was a near-death experience she suffered during the birth of her child that turned her attention to the women of Sierra Leone – where they are 200 times more likely to die while having a baby than in Australia.

So she set up the Aminata Maternal Foundation, then returned to the land of her birth to help. This is her story.


Second Best: The Amazing Untold Histories of the Greatest Runners-up
Ben Pobjie

History is always written by the winners and about the winners. But what about the men and women of the past who reached for gold but grasped only morale-sapping silver?

Australia’s second-best comedy historian Ben Pobjie celebrates the fascinating stories of those pipped at the post of greatness – from Buzz Aldrin following footsteps on the moon, to the woman not credited with discovering DNA because she had two X chromosomes, and Australia’s second Prime Minister whose name everyone keeps forgetting.

Second Best shines a light on those plucky men and women who, through no fault of their own – or at least only a little bit of fault of their own – didn’t quite get there before everyone else, but did get there before almost everyone else.


365 Days of Art in Nature
Lorna Scobie

In 365 Days of Art in Nature, Lorna Scobie, invites the reader to take a closer look at the natural world – whether that’s outside on location, or inside their own home – reminding us all that regardless of whether we live in the city or the countryside, wildlife is just on our doorstep.

Observe the slow, constant pace of the nature that surrounds you every day, and use it to inspire you in your art and creativity. Activities may include visiting a particular tree, four times in the year and drawing it. How has it changed? Study the colours you find in autumn leaves. Explore drawing them in different materials.

Featuring nature-inspired quotes, breakaway activities to get you outdoors and plenty of supportive prompts and tips, this book will spark your imagination and help you to open your eyes and appreciate the natural beauty in our world.