Autumn Reading Guide 2024

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Your Utopia | Bora Chung | $27.99 | Scribe | Lexie’s Review I have never wanted to know what goes on in an author’s mind more than when I was reading this book. Starting off with humour and moving into the almost philosophical with a sense of creepy sci-fi, despite the disjointed feeling of the beginning the stories interconnect to show the evolution of humankind. From the overreliance of machines, projections about the future of humanity, and the belief in the perseverance of nature, the strength of these stories is not in the individual but the cohesive view of humankind. From the quest of immortality to recent protests in Korea, Your Utopia is both a looking glass into the future and filled with hope.

FEBRUARY BOOK OF THE MONTH FEBRUARY ILF BOOK OF THE MONTH Gawimarra: Gathering | Jeanine Leane | $24.99 | UQP | Steph’s Review Cherished childhood memories, significant Aunties and Elders, conflicting identity and intergenerational trauma, issues of repatriation and “the 3 Cs” (colonialism, capitalism and Christianity), and of course, the good “C” - Country; Jeanine captures so much in her poetry collection. One of my favourite moments was her gazing upon a taxidermied platypus in a museum in France, and another as she makes daisy chains in her family garden. These poems are deeply personal but also highlight current and historical issues, in a stunning act of activism and love. Purple Threads was a highlight of the First Nations Classics collection, also published by the great folk at UQP, and I am just as enamoured by Jeanine’s storytelling here.

Murray and Bun: Murray The Viking | Adam Stower | $15.99 | Harper Collins | Ally and Lewis’ Review I am already in love with Murray and Bun and this is only the beginning of their adventures together! Murray is a cat and Bun is…you guessed it, a bunny. In an amazing turn of events, the duo discover that Murray’s cat flap is enchanted and walking through it means winding up somewhere you never thought you’d be! This time, the cat flap leads Murray and Bun to a land of Vikings, where they are given a super important mission: to rescue a Viking from the depths of Troll Island. What follows is a funny, sweet and laugh-out-loud tale. This book is perfect for newly independent readers and is great for fans of the Dog Man series.

FEBRUARY KIDS BOOK OF THE MONTH MARCH BOOK OF THE MONTH The Extinction of Irena Rey | Jennifer Croft | $35.00 | Scribe | Lexie’s Review Sometimes you read a book so perfect that you wish every other book in the world was like it. It was so much fun to watch a translator…. mimic? Ape? Mock? The art of translating, and watch characters battle it out in the most meta way I’ve seen in a long time. Touching on obsession, the power of authors, the impending doom of climate change, sex, and the importance of mushrooms in that order, The Extinction of Irena Rey was delightfully intelligent and tongue in cheek.

Always Will Be | Mykaela Saunders | $32.99 | UQP | Angus’ Review This is a sci-fi short story collection distinct from anything I, and probably you, have ever read before. Saunders, of Dharug descent and from the Tweed Goori community, very strongly draws on her cultural heritage to weave together compelling and beautiful short stories - a style which she dubs as ‘Goori Futurism’. All of the stories are enlightening, showcasing nuances of a fully reasserted Indigenous sovereignty in future Australia as to both mirror contemporary society and empower possibilities for her community. The storytelling is spellbinding, the narratives are intricate and educational and ultimately, the collective power of the stories hopes for better futures. Always Was, Always Will Be.



Outlaw Girls | Emily Gale and Nova Weetman | $16.99 | Text Publishing From the fabulous duo that brought us Elsewhere Girls comes another captivating time-travel novel. Kate and Ruby live in Victoria, 145 years apart. One of them (Ruby) is living a modern life, riding horses and helping out on her family farm. The other (Kate) is the sister of Ned Kelly, secretly taking supplies to her brother as he hides from the police. When Kate is transported into the future, she crosses paths with Ruby and so begins an adventure that teaches both characters about family, friendship, loyalty and betrayal. This is an awesome story for young readers interested in historical fiction, or anyone who loves a bit of action and intrigue!

Cool Water | Myfanwy Jones | $34.99 | Hachette Cleanly and crisply written, Cool Water follows three generation of men from the 1950s to the present day in far north Queensland. Capturing the mood of a small town on the cusp of change, Jones epitomises the concept of ‘show, not tell’ through the interwoven lives of Joe, Frank, and Victor. - Lexie

Nameless | Amanda Creely | $34.99 | UWA Publishing Teller’s family has been brutally murdered by the Pack. Only she and Daughter remain. They leave their city behind and seek refuge in a resistance cell. A journey through love, grief and, ultimately, hope. Amanda Creely’s profound allegorical tale sheds light on shared human experiences of war and remembers the nameless victims.

Appreciation | Liam Pieper | $34.99 | Penguin Oli Darling is a queer artist from the country - it says so right at the top of every press release. His art has brought him fame, money, fashionable substance abuse issues and only a little imposter syndrome until he gets cancelled. This is a wild romp through celebrity culture that’s as bold and scathing as it is hilarious.

The Mahler Erasures | John Kinsella | $27.99 | NewSouth Books In the isolation of his basement, Harold Lime obsessively listens to Mahler, whose nine symphonies, each correspond to a separate chapter of in innovative poetic novel. The music takes him back to his Australian childhood and youth, fostering a growing awareness of intertwined body and soul.


The Great Undoing | Sharlene Allsopp | $34.99 | Ultimo Press In a near future, identity information is encoded in digital language. Nations know where everyone is, all the time. Not everyone agrees with this surveillance, and when the system is hijacked, all global borders are closed. The world is no longer connected, and there is no back-up plan to establish belonging, ownership or trade.

Politica | Yumna Kassab | Ultimo Press | $34.99 | Ultimo Press We open in an unnamed location in the Middle East during a time of war. The shadow of that conflict will wrap itself around and infuse the characters of the family at the centre of this novel from its beginning and echoing still decades later. Kassab moves in a non-linear way, using words like brushstrokes, and paints a myriad of stunning vignettes. - Robert

One Another | Gail Jones | $34.99 | Text Publishing Helen is completing her thesis on Joseph Conrad at Cambridge. But she is distracted by a dangerous lover, and by a ghost manuscript, her anti-thesis, which she has left on a train. Helen is unmoored. And then the drama of the lost manuscript sets in motion a series of events-with possibly fatal consequences.

Body of Lies | Sarah Bailey | Allen & Unwin | $32.99 | Allen & Unwin A car crash victim clings to life and is rushed to hospital but can’t be saved. Hours later, her corpse is stolen from the morgue. Detective Sergeant Woodstock is intrigued by the case but reluctant to get involved, until the town is rocked by another shocking crime and she can’t resist joining the investigation.



Small Hours | Bobby Palmer | $32.99 | Hachette In Small Hours, everything that follows is because of the fox, and because Jack’s mother is missing. It spans generations of big dreams and lost time, unexpected connections and things falling apart, great wide worlds and the moments that define us. If you met them in the small hours, you’d begin to piece together their story.

The Fetishist | Katherine Min | $34.99 | Hachette After years of rage and grief over her mother’s death, Kyoko has decided who is to blame: a man named Daniel, a fellow violinist who had wooed her and then dropped her. So she kidnaps him... what could go wrong? An exuberant, provocative story that confronts race, complicity, visibility, and ideals of femininity.

My Friends | Hisham Matar | $34.99 | Penguin Khaled and Mustafa meet at university in Edinburgh- two Libyan eighteen-year-olds expecting to return home after their studies. In a moment of recklessness and courage, they travel to London to join a demonstration in front of the Libyan embassy. Both friends are wounded, and their lives forever changed.

The Bullet Swallower | Elizabeth Gonzalez James | $32.99 | Hachette

Butter | Asako Yuzuki | $32.99 | Harper Collins

This magical realism western starts in 1895 Dorado, Mexico with Antonio Sonoro as he prepares to rob a train to save his family from destitution. When things don’t go as planned and tragedy strikes, Antonio embarks on a revenge mission that could damn him for all eternity. The brutal experiences of the characters are delivered through striking prose that swept me into an epic saga spanning almost 100 years.

Butter is a novel that has changed my reactions to my real world environment. Well, everytime I now smell a delicious meal I wonder if I am about to be seduced and murdered. Yep, the story follows a once renowned gourmet cook who is imprisoned for mass murder - each victim innocently seduced with Kajii’s cooking. An absolutely absurd tale, Butter is both witty and unsettling. - Angus

Clear | Carys Davies | $26.99 | Allen & Unwin Against the rugged backdrop of this faraway spot beyond Shetland, Davies’ intimate drama unfolds with tension and tenderness: a touching and crystalline study of ordinary people buffeted by history and a powerful exploration of the distances and connections between us.

- Ruby

Come and Get It | Kiley Reid | $32.99 | Bloomsbury Millie and Agatha form an unlikely relationship and become embroiled in a world of roommate theatrics, vengeful pranks and illicit intrigue – soon forced to question just how much of themselves they are willing to trade to get what they want. A tension-filled story about desire and consumption.

Say Hello to My Little Friend | Jennine Capó Crucet | $34.99 | Hachette Failed Pitbull impersonator Ismael Reyes might not be the Scarface type, but why should that keep him from trying? A darkly comic novel about a young man’s attempt to capitalize on his mother’s murky legacy - a story steeped in Miami’s sinister magic.

Orbital | Samantha Harvey | $35.00 | Penguin Random House

Deeply disturbing, this raving streamof-consciousness pours from the mind of a paedophile livestock vet. The graphic retelling of his summer spent grooming the daughter of a local farmer imprisons the reader inside the confines of the narrator’s skull. Rijneveld boldly takes the audience on a journey through trauma, grief and taboo, this book is intrusive, impossible to put down, and not for the faint of heart.

- Adrien

In this deeply affecting novella we follow six astronauts over the course of one day as they orbit Earth. From the distant expanse of space they hurtle over continents, oceans, sunrises, life. Yet despite their distance from life on earth, it remains as close as ever. Meditative, awe-inspiring, beautiful in its own quiet way, Harvey’s prose will stay with me for a long time and made me feel as if I too was experiencing Earth from Space. - Carolina

Burma Sahib | Paul Theroux | $34.99 | Penguin Drawing on all his powers of observation and imagination, Paul Theroux brings Orwell’s Burma years to radiant life, tracing the development of the young man’s consciousness as he confronts the social, racial and class politics and the reality of Burma beyond. Through one writer, we come to understand another - and see how what Orwell called ‘five boring years within the sound of bugles’ were in fact the years that made him.

Blackouts | Justin Torres | $34.99 | Allen & Unwin An intimate, emotionally rich novel, in which two men - young and old - reckon with queer histories and their place within them. Blackouts is a haunting, dreamlike rumination on memory and erasure, blending fact with fiction - drawing from historical records, screenplays, testimony and image - to force us to look again at the world we have inherited and the narratives we have received.

The Axeman’s Carnival | Catherine Chidgey | $32.99 | Allen & Unwin Part trickster, part surrogate child, part witness, Tama the magpie is the star of this story. Though what he says aloud to humans is often nonsensical (and hilarious), the tale he tells us weaves a disturbingly human sense. Comic, profound and poetic.

Luda | Grant Mo rrison | $34.99 | Allen & Unwin A drag queen called Luda becomes obsessed with her mysterious young rival who might be an occultist, or a murderer, or the greatest star of all. What follows is an intoxicating descent into the demimonde of Gasglow, and into the nightmarish heart of Luda herself.


My Heavenly Favourite | Lucas Rijneveld | $32.99 | Allen & Unwin

Tremor | Teju Cole | $32.99 | Allen & Unwin Tremor is a startling work of realism and invention that examines the passage of time and how we mark it. It is a reckoning with human survival amidst history’s own brutality, which refuses symmetries and seldom consoles - but it is also a testament to the possibility of joy. This is narration with all its senses alert, a surprising and deeply essential work from a beacon of contemporary literature.

Hard By A Great Forest | Leo Vardiashvili | $32.99 | Bloomsbury Vardiashvili’s debut is part mystery, part surrealist, and part war story - and all brilliant. Saba returns home to Georgia after nearly a decade, picking up the search for his disappeared father after his brother seemingly meets the same mysterious fate. Upon Saba’s return to his transformed hometown of Tbilisi, not only are the scars of the war still visible, but a flash flood that has unleashed a stampede of frenzied zoo animals upon the city. He has a lot to grapple with! This is easily the best debut novel I’ve read in recent memory.

- Hugh



Whalefall | Daniel Kraus | $32.99 | Allen & Unwin Jay’s journey takes an unexpected turn when he is swallowed whole by a sperm whale... with only an hour left in his oxygen tank. Here, Krauss has crafted a raw and emotional thriller, laden with darkness, despair and suspense, which somehow remains grounded despite its fantastical subject matter. - Lewis

Book of Love | Kelly Link | $32.99 | Bloomsbury Laura, Daniel and Mo are high school students who have all recently died. They find themselves caught in a conflict between mysterious supernatural figures who assign them tasks to bring them back to life! A sprawling, complex and layered plot, with richly-drawn characters, this novel is deserving of high praise! - Darcy

HIM | Geoff Ryman | $34.99 | Random House In the village of Nazareth, virgin Maryam and the wife of Yosef barLevi gives birth to a miracle- a little girl. She is named Avigayil, after her grandmother. But as Avigayil grows, it’s clear she believes that she is destined to be someone greater than just the daughter of Maryam. From leading a gang of village boys to challenging the priests in the temple, Avigayil is determined to find her way as Yeshu, a man.

Brooklyn Crime Novel | Jonathan Lethem | $32.99 | Allen & Unwin On the streets of 1970s Brooklyn, a daily ritual goes down: money is exchanged, belongings surrendered, power asserted. A sweeping story of community, crime, and gentrification, tracing fifty years in one Brooklyn neighbourhood.

The Fury | Alex Michaelides | $34.99 | Penguin A reclusive ex-movie star and a group of her closest friends visit her small private island, just off the coast of Mykonos. Beneath the surface, old friendships conceal violent passions and resentments. And in 48 hours, one of them will be dead. And that’s just the beginning…

Anna O | Matthew Blake | $34.99 | Harper Collins A dark, twisty, and shocking mystery about a young woman who commits a double murder while sleepwalking, and then never opens her eyes again. But as Anna shows the first signs of stirring, Dr Benedict must determine what really happened and whether Anna should be held responsible.

Lonely Castle in the Mirror: Volume One | Mizuki Tsujimura and Philip Gabriel | $27.99 | Random House


I absolutely adored Tsujimura’s novel, and jumped at the chance to read and review the manga adaptation! It is the first volume of a story about Kokoro, a teenager who has anxiety and can’t go to school. She finds solace and solidarity amongst a group of teenagers who spend their days in a magical castle accessible through her bedroom mirror! An allegorical story of teenagers who don’t fit the mould, told through manga accessible to teenagers and adults alike. - Steph

36 Ways of Writing a Vietnamese Poem | Nam Le | $26.99 | Simon & Schuster This book-length poem is an urgent, unsettling reckoning with identity and the violence of identity, embedded with racism, oppression and historical trauma. But it also addresses the violence in those assumptions – of being always assumed to be outside one’s home, country, culture or language. And the complex violence, for the diasporic writer who wants to address any of this, of language itself.

Servo | David Goodwin | $34.99 | Hachette For anyone who’s ever toiled under the unforgiving fluorescent lights of a customer service job, Servo is a sidesplitting and mesmeric story. An odyssey of drive-offs, spiked slurpees, stale sausage rolls and sleep-deprived madness.

About Ed | Robert Gluck | $34.99 | Random House About Ed is a beautiful read: but prepare to laugh, cry and feel completely beside yourself by page 10. Ed Aulerich-Sugai died of AIDS in 1994. Two decades on Bob still grapples with the loss of a dear friend and lover: channelling his grief into a recount of a life well lived and suffering so heavily felt. A testament to friendship and unconditional love - About Ed is a must read.

The Night Parade | Jami Nakamura Lin | $45.00 | Scribe While The Night Parade masquerades as a biography, goes far beyond the “rules” associated with the genre. The book is in equal part Lin’s contemporary reimagining of Japanese folklore, which is told in tandem with the author’s battles with her own mental demons, having been diagnosed with bipolar at seventeen. Reality and mythology collide in this spellbinding memoir.

- Lilly

And How Does That Make You Feel | Joshua Fletcher | $34.99 | Hachette Psychotherapist Fletcher takes us on a candid and human journey into the individual sessions of four patients - Levi, Zahra, Noah and Daphne sharing their self-discovery and recovery as they engage in therapy for the first time.

In the Streets of Tehran | Nila | $29.99 | Allen & Unwin In this incisive, moving narrative, an anonymous Iranian woman describes her daily activism in the streets of Tehran, and shows it to be part of a long and powerful tradition of female resistance.

Kintsugi | Marie O’Rourke | $29.99 | Fremantle Press A volatile father, the death of a sister far too young, a faltering marriage, the ghosts of lovers past: these are just some of the fragments that Marie puts together again in these essays that explore her closest relationships.


Just Friends | Gyan Yankovich | $34.99 | Ultimo Press Just Friends explores modern friendship – what it means to be, to make and, sometimes, to lose a friend. It is a celebration of friendship, shining a light on the many different forms they can take and the comfort they can provide.

- Hugh

The Doctor of Hiroshima | Dr. Michihiko Hachiya | $32.99 | Hachette Told poignantly in Dr Hachiya’s own words, this is a unique and deeply moving human story of survival about a small, committed band of hospital staff in the face of unthinkable destruction and loss.

A Thousand Wasted Sundays | Victoria Vanstone | $34.99 | Pantera Press Can a party girl put down the pint glass for good? Vanstone was trapped in a cycle of binge drinking and hangxiety. In this hilarious and heartfelt memoir, she charts her transition from party girl to parent.

Octavia E Butler: the Last Interview | Octavia E Butler | $34.99 | Penguin Butler’s work broke innumerable barriers and helped open the field of science fiction to writers and readers it had never had before. In this collection of 10 interviews, Butler speaks with candor about her work.



How to Survive History | Cody Cassidy | $24.99 | NewSouth Books Have you ever wondered if you would survive the Titanic? Here is everything you need to know to survive some of history’s most notable and deadliest events. From escaping the lava flows in Pompeii to running from a 12 ft Tyrannosaurus, this book has it all. Thoroughly entertaining AND educational. - Ruby

How to Win an Information War | Peter Pomeranstev | $34.99 | Allen & Unwin A name that you may be unfamiliar with, but played an imperative role in sustaining the Allies war effort finally gets due credit in this book: Sefton Delmer. Delmer, an Australian who grew up in Germany is given weight for his antipropaganda efforts in Pomeranstev’s compelling biography, which also follows the Nazi Party’s downfall. - Angus

Languishing | Corey Keyes | $36.99 | Penguin Random House Breaking down the science of emotional exhaustion, Keyes shows that our very obsession with happiness complicates the process of finding it. He reveals the choices and mental habits that inadvertently worsen the problem, and shares simple but powerful steps to help!

When the Sahara was Green | Martin Williams | $34.99 | NewSouth Books The remarkable history of Earth’s greatest desert, including why its climate changed, the impact this on human populations, and how scientists uncovered the evidence for these great events.

Cave of Bones | Lee Berger | $36.99 | Random House Join Berger on the adventure of a lifetime as he explores the Rising Star cave system and begins the complicated process of explaining these extraordinary find. He forces a rethinking of human evolution, and discusses “the Rosetta stone of the human mind.”

No Judgement | Lauren Oyler | $34.99 | Hachette Oyler takes on the bizarre particularities of our present moment in a series of interconnected essays about literature, the attention economy, gossip, criticism and her own relentless, teethgrinding anxiety.

If We Burn | Vincent Bevins | $34.99 | Hachette From 2010 to 2020, more people took part in protests than at any other point in human history. Why has success been so elusive? In this striking work of global history, Bevins interviews hundreds of people around the world, and weaves their insights and recollections into a fast-paced, gripping narrative about geopolitics and protest.


Mushroom Magic | Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher | $29.99 | Thames & Hudson Want to know about mushrooms, but don’t know where to start? Worry no more, we have you covered. Mushroom Magic is a wonderful introduction to the world of mycology, from the Spectacular Rustgill to the Trooping Crumble Cap to the Parrot Waxcap. Each entry is concise, easy to understand and utterly fascinating. What makes the book really sing though are the beautiful illustrations from Marta Zafra, which really bring each of the specimens to life on the page. A book to treasure! - Lewis

Icons Of Rock | Jenny Boyd | $36.99 | NewSouth Books The perfect book for any fan that wants to know more about their favourite musicians and bands - or any budding composer and performer who wants a unique insight into how the world’s most legendary rock stars created and delivered their greatest music.

The Pulling | Adele Dumont | $29.99 | Scribe I was a big fan of Adele Dumont’s first book and here Adele has crafted another book that is raw, honest, emotional and beautiful. It is a memoir centered around her diagnosis with trichotillomania - compulsive hairpulling - a condition which affects an estimated 2% of the population. A brave, frank, and moving work. - Clare

Stories That Want to Be Told | Judith Neilson Institute | $29.99 | Random House The strongest proponents of long-form journalism in Australia Amanda Hooton, Michael Brissenden, Margaret Simons, Victoria Laurie, Paddy Manning, Matthew Drummond, Ceridwen Dovey, Nick Feik and Maddison Connaughton - mentored these nine writers as they developed stories they knew needed to be shared.


Povo | Edited by Adam Novaldy Anderson| $19.99 | Sweatshop Povo takes on the image of “Australia” as the “Lucky Country”, with potential and resources for all, inviting thirtyseven emerging and established writers from First Nations, migrant, and refugee backgrounds to create original works that square up against these grand narratives. This is a deeply exciting collection! - Leona

A Secretive Century | Tessa Morris-Suzuki | $35.00 | MUP

Crimes of the Cross | Anne Manne | $34.99 | Penguin For many years, Newcastle was the centre of a sinister paedophile network run by members of the Anglican Church. In Crimes of the Cross, Manne reveals how this network avoided detection for so long, and how its ringleaders were finally exposed and brought to justice.

The Great Housing Hijack | Cameron K. Murray | $34.99 | Allen & Unwin While Australians on regular incomes dream of lower rents and prices, the housing policy debate has been hijacked, sailing further away from real solutions. Murray reveals how property insiders shape the market and shows how we could create a genuinely affordable housing program.

Angry at Breakfast | Erik Jensen | $26.99 | Black Inc These editorials tell the story of a country in trouble. They are a penetrating account of the people who have led Australia, fusing character studies with political insights and unvarnished rage. Taken together, they form a sparkling portrait of a lost decade. This is writing that is witty, curious and sharp-eyed.

My Darlinghurst | Edited by Anna Clark, Tamson Pietsch and Gabrielle Kemmis | $49.99 | NewSouth Books Darlinghurst, a triangle of 80 hectares, sits on the edge of Sydney’s CBD. Here a mixture of posh and poor, criminal and respectable, itinerant and established, sick and well have made their lives in Darlinghurst. My Darlinghurst profiles this colourful neighbourhood, revealing the stories of its migrant and Indigenous residents, the razor gangs and brothels, the soldiers and wharfies, and the artists and LGBTQIA+ communities who have made Darlinghurst their home. - Jimmy

Monte Punshon refused to be labelled, moving effortlessly from the Methodist respectability of bourgeois Ballarat to playing a lively part in the secret drag parties of 1930s queer Melbourne. In a life that spanned more than a century, Punshon witnessed crucial events in Australia’s history, and her story shines a light on the hidden corners and complexities of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century society.



Beatrix Bakes: Another Slice | Natalie Paull | $50.00 | Hardie Grant Discover recipes for irresistible cookies and tray bakes, cakes, tarts, pies (and a strudel), doughs and epic day-off baking projects to fill your weekend. Beatrix Bakes: Another Slice is an essential companion for anyone who always leaves room for dessert.

The Core of an Onion | Mark Kurlansky | $39.99 | Bloomsbury Julia Child once said that it would be impossible for civilization to exist without onions, and Kurlansky might convince you that she was right. This book includes 100 onion-centric recipes from history and unearths a staggering number of bizarre onion-related practices from all over the world. - Connor


Life in the Garden | Bunny Williams | $140.00 | Hardie Grant Developed over three residencies in Palm Springs where she brought together artists, architects, photographers and thinkers, Greer brings us the desert gardens and the beautiful lines of the modernist houses from that post-war era. A stunning, visual feast.

Ho Jiak: A Taste of Malaysia | Junda Khoo | $50.00 | Hardie Grant Think lotus roots steeped in a pork bone broth and fried bee hoon - a smoky, umami noodle dish. Ho Jiak takes readers on a journey to chef Khoo’s homeland of Malaysia and showcases the unique cuisine through 100 staple recipes from street food to homestyle cooking with soul.

What Can I Bring? | Sophie Hansen | $49.99 | Murdoch Books The easiest and best gatherings are when everyone pitches in. But what do you make when asked to bring a plate? Drawing inspiration from some of her favourite country cooks, friends, family and bring-a-plate traditions, here are the best recipes that will help glue together your own special gatherings.

Odd Roads to be Walking | Paul Finucane & Catherine Stuart | $90.00 | NewSouth Books This is a wonderfully provocative and engaging look at the pioneering women of the Australian Art movement over the last 150 years. A sweeping array of art is presented across multiple mediums, glowing with colour, texture and vitality. - Robert

The Oxherd Boy | Regina Linke | $34.99 | Random House In this exquisitely illustrated parable grounded in the three pillars of Chinese philosophy, a young boy, his family ox, and a rabbit help each other navigate the daily work of love, compassion, and community. Their conversations convey uplifting messages to guide you.

Hooked on Shakespeare | Gurinder Kaur Hatchard | $29.99 | Bloomsbury 15 projects featuring more than 30 step-by-step amigurumi inspired by the works of Shakespeare! Each project features an introduction to the play, followed by colourful step-by-step instructions. Perfect for beginning crocheters as well as advanced crochet enthusiasts.

The Crayons Love Our Planet | Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers | $24.99 | Harper Collins | 3+ The Crayons love our planet and are proud of their contributions. White ice caps, Green trees, Blue oceans and skies, Brown soil. . . This funny book shows the beauty of our planet – and why it needs our help.

Saturday is Pancake Day | Bernadette Green & Daniel Gray-Barnett | $24.99 | Scribe Publications | 3+ It’s pancake day and everyone is excited! Except for Dada Henry who is firmly planted in bed. Curious and concerned, Milo and his twin sisters try everything to lure their dad into the kitchen, but to no avail. This is a funny and heartwarming story that reminds us that everyone needs some alone time and that’s ok! - Ally

Slug Life | Moesha Kellaway | $24.99 | Harper Collins | 4+ Stevie discovers why he and his slimy kin are actually kind of amazing: they can regrow bits of themselves, their slime is liquid crystal and their climbing skills are awesome! The first in an educational and fun new series about our small and slimy friends.


Can I Sit in the Middle? | Susanne Strasser | $16.99 | Walker Books | 2+ In this fun, cumulative story, the familiar chaos of piling onto the sofa with friends builds to a climactic hullabaloo until the happy ending of sharing a book in an ideal reading spot - behind the sofa or under the blanket tent.

Shower Land 1: Break the Curse | Nat Amoore & James Hart | $14.99 | Penguin | 6+ For some of us, a nice long shower is a wonderful escape from the real world. For Matt, that escape is a bit too literal! Transported from his shower to a fantastical land, with armies, battles and dragons, Matt has to find his way home. But first, he has to find some pants!! A hilarious new novel for young readers, this is the first in an exciting series to follow! - Lewis

Roarsome | Joel Slack-Smith & Rebel Challenger | $16.99 | Scholastic | 5+

Write and Draw Your Own Comics | Louie Stowell | $19.99 | Usborne | 7+

It’s Walter’s birthday, and instead of a super cool drone, he gets given Roars - a half lion, half werewolf pillow that comes to life for just one night. This is a hilarious, madcap tale of adventure and excitement for young readers.

Kapow! Boom! An awesome activity book for budding comic artists to imagine and draw their own comic strips. It includes lots of simple step-by-step instructions, with many handy tips and hints.

Tiwi Seasons with Marius | Tiwi College | $22.99 | Macmillan | 6+ Join Tiwi man Marius as he shows his friend Michael and son Justin around the Tiwi Islands. Created by Tiwi College senior girls so that Tiwi children can see their own culture in a book – and share it with the world.

11 11


Miss Cat: The Case of the Curious Canary | Jean-Luc Fromental & Joëlle Jolivet | $19.99 | Thames & Hudson | 8+ Meet Miss Cat, a private eye with ears on her hat and a nose for mystery! Miss Cat is always keen to get her claws into a new case. The first book in a new irresistible graphic novel series for young readers, featuring a cool detective dressed in her cat-ear hoodie.

The Perfect Guy Doesn’t Exist | Sophie Gonzales | $19.99 | Hachette | 12+ What happens when the fictional ‘perfect guy’ comes to life and is convinced you’re the one? Ivy wakes up to find Weston, the gorgeous lead character of her favourite show, in her bedroom. But her former best friend Mack is also back in the picture... A sapphic friendsto-enemies-to-lovers novel!

The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair | Natasha Hastings | $16.99 | Harper Collins | 9+

Losing the Plot | Annaleise Byrd | $16.99 | Walker Books | 8+

The Miraculous Sweetmakers scratched an itch I didn’t realise I had - it plunged me back into feelings of wonder, awe and childlike excitement within an intriguing and delightful fantasy world. Its descriptions were luscious and cosy, its characters were beyond loveable and the plot was a genuine page-turner! I would absolutely recommend The Miraculous Sweetmakers for young readers.


- Ally

I highly recommend this book because it’s filled with modern twists and a tiny amount of the classic, old fashioned version of the story. It is mostly recommended to people who love excitement in their books - do you know how hard it can be to live in the real world? Well read this book and you can try living in the fairytale world - it is dramatic and beautiful. This is highly-recommended from me! - Pia H. age 9

Sounds Good! | Hans and Ole Könnecke | $34.99 | Walker | 5+

Eleanor Jones is Not a Murderer | Amy Doak | $19.99 | Penguin | 13+

Sounds Good! is a very interesting and informative book about musical instruments. Each page introduces you to a different instrument – some modern and some VERY old ones. BUT…the best part about this book is the QR code on each page which takes you to a specially composed musical piece for each instrument, which is really fun to listen to! - Owen O. age 9

Eleanor has just started at her 9th high school when her classmate Angus Marshall is stabbed. Eleanor and her new-found friends investigate the murder and stumble across the many other secrets of the small town. The writing style is fast-paced and engaging, and develops the perfect atmosphere for a suspenseful and page-turning YA Australian thriller. - Amelia I. age 14

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BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS If you’d like a book recommendations, send through your query via email and one of our booksellers will respond to you with a personalised selection. SPECIAL ORDERS Want to order a book we don’t have on the shelf? Give us a call on 02 9557 8700 or send us an email and we will check both local and international availability. GIFT VOUCHERS CAN BE PURCHASED ONLINE AND IN-STORE COMPLIMENTARY GIFT-WRAPPING AVAILABLE IN-STORE

The books featured in the Better Read Than Dead Spring Reading Guide have all been hand-selected and many have been reviewed by our Better Read Than Dead and Better Read Kids booksellers. Prices, publication information, event dates and event details are correct at time of publication. Cover art by Amy Doak (author of Eleanor Jones is Not a Murderer and Eleanor Jones Can’t Keep a Secret).


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