FATHER’S DAY READING GUIDE 2021
265 KING ST NEWTOWN NSW 2042 | 02 9557 8700 | BOOKS@BETTERREAD.COM.AU
AUSTRALIAN FICTION 2
Once There Were Wolves | Charlotte McConaghy | $32.99 | Penguin
The Inheritance | Gabriel Bergmoser | $29.99 | Harper Collins
The Housemate | Sarah Bailey | $32.99 | Allen and Unwin
Inti Flynn is an aggressive and lonely woman wrestling repressed violence with a passion for saving extinct animals; first herns, this time, wolves. There is much to admire in McConaghy’s latest novel, a dark, atmospheric and affecting environmental dystopia. - Dean
If you want to be distracted from the mundanity of COVID living, look no further than Gabriel Bergmoser’s latest fast-paced, gritty urban thriller. It follows feisty protagonist Maggie, who is in over her head with drug cartels, cops, and the mystery of her past. From the acclaimed author of The Hunted.
Dishes left in the sink, keys lost again: who amongst us has not fantasized about killing our housemate? In Bailey’s novel that dream is actualised. Three housemates: one dead, one missing, one accused of murder. Ten years on, a journalist and a podcaster make an unlikely duo trying to solve the case.
Catch Us the Foxes | Nicola West | $32.99 | Simon and Schuster
Dark As Last Night | Tony Birch | $29.99 | UQP
Set in Kiama, journalist Mo Robertson investigates her best friend’s murder. Through the tangled web woven by significant members of the town, Mo discovers secret symbols and takes several wrong turns to uncover the truth of her friend’s death. Twin Peaks meets The Dry. Secrets behold, cults alive, this is a racy Aussie crime. - Dean
As ever, reading Tony Birch’s work makes you think harder and better. Birch’s latest short story collection is as affecting as we would expect; we meet characters at turning points, as teens become adults, adults mourn lost siblings, and life keeps moving, but not always forward. - August ILF Book of the Month
In Moonland | Miles Allinson | $29.99 | Scribe Publications A rounded exploration of masculinity and how the relationship with one’s father winds around and fractures choices in adulthood. I read this in one sitting; it was engaging, perplexing, off-beat and intelligent. Allinson is a fascinating, Australian author who clearly has his own thing going on. - Dean
Here in the After | Marion Frith | $32.99 | Harper Collins Trauma manifests in many ways, but so much of it is feeling very, very alone. 62-year-old Anna has survived a terrorist attack and 35-year-old Nat is an Army vet. In ordinary circumstances, they’d have nothing in common. But their experiences have not been ordinary. A tender tale about friendship and growth.
When Things are Alive They Hum | Hannah Bent | $32.99 | Ultimo Press This debut is published by newcomer to the Aussie lit sphere, Ultimo Press, whose stated aim is to publish work that is “of the moment”. Hannah Bent’s book certainly fits the bill, as it follows Harper Ming Hua and her sister Marlowe Xiao Qing, who has Down syndrome. When Harper is denied a heart transplant, Marlowe has a lot to reckon with.
I Am the Tiger | John Ajvide Lindqvist | $32.99 | Text Publishing What begins as a wickedly grim Scandi crime, turns to intensely vivid psychological horror. Lindqvist is the king of horror, his writing creeps and curdles while his flawed heroes keep you engaged until the chilling finale! Grizzly yet great, Lindqvist is one of my favourite authors and I Am the Tiger will leave you floored! - Dean
Godspeed | Nickolas Butler | $29.99 | Allen and Unwin I didn’t know that I needed a construction work thriller in my life, but here we are. Three construction workers build an architectural feat for a mysteriously wealthy homeowner, but all is not what it seems, and danger looms. About haves and have-nots, and how far we’ll go for the promise of economic security.
Damnation Spring | Ash Davidson | $32.99 | Hachette In a Pacific Northwest logging town, workers must trust that the pesticides they use are safe. But when women are having miscarriages left, right, and centre, obviously something is amiss. What do corporations owe to workers, and what do people owe to each other?
The Magician | Colm Tóibín | $32.99 | Pan Macmillan Tóibín is known for his stunning psychological portraits of bleak interpersonal relations (who did not cry reading Brooklyn?) and The Magician is no exception. It is inspired by the life of German author Thomas Mann, a closeted homosexual who wrote between the wars; a tale of family, regret, and the ravages of history.
Velvet was the Night | Silvia Moreno-Garcia | $32.99 | Hachette 1970s Mexico City: political unrest consumes the city and Maite seeks escape from her humdrum life. If you liked Mexican Gothic you’ll love MorenoGarcia’s latest. A riveting noir thriller about a vibrant young woman who goes missing; her bored neighbour, and a goon-for hire who both try to solve the case. Guns! Russian spies! Hitmen! Intrigue!
The Island of Missing Trees | Elif Shafak | $32.99 | Penguin Two queer Cypriot teens fall in love in secret, and then their home is destroyed by war. Eventually they find their way back to each other, but diaspora has changed their lives forever. Shafak has a knack for interweaving inter-personal narratives across cultures; this is heartwarming and poignant.
The Woman in the Purple Skirt | Natsuko Imamura | $27.99 | Allen and Unwin Winner of the Akutagawa Prize, the woman in the yellow cardigan is following the woman in the purple skirt. The woman in the yellow cardigan narrates in a deadpan, slightly offputting way which reveals a creeping obsession that is clever and complicated. A short and observed thriller, masterfully executed and intriguing. Both creepy and funny, this psychological thriller is for fans of Convenience Store Woman. - Dean
Snow Country | Sebastian Faulks | $32.99 | Random House From the acclaimed author of Birdsong comes a powerful new love story set in Vienna between the wars. Snow Country is a landmark novel of exquisite yearnings, dreams of youth and the sanctity of hope. In elegant, shimmering prose, Sebastian Faulks has produced a work of timeless resonance. If your Dad won’t read anything that isn’t military-related, this is a good gateway book into new territory.
BIOGRAPHY Trejo | Danny Trejo | $29.99 | Allen and Unwin Even if you don’t know him by name, you’ll recognise Trejo’s face: the Hollywood actor plays the baddie in just about every film. Raised in an abusive home and then dealing with heroin addiction, this is his perilous journey.
Somebody’s Daughter | Ashley C. Ford | $27.99 | Allen and Unwin The affecting tale of a poor Black girl growing up with an incarcerated father. As she grows up, she must reconcile the father she has imagined and idealised in her head with the man he really is.
28 | Brandon Jack | $29.99 | Allen and Uwin Former Swans player Jack spent many years in the mire of the pressure of professional sport, binge-drinking to cope, and never feeling good enough. His memoir is written with candour and brings much-needed focus to rethinking Australian masculinity.
The Keeper of Miracles | Phillip Maisel | $32.99 | Pan Macmillan Holocaust survivor Maisel emigrated to Australia and is a keeper of stories, a rememberer of lives: this book is a testament to his grace, and to the kindness of strangers.
Last Shot | Jock Zonfrillo | $45.00 | Simon and Schuster It’s an open secret that chefs are some of the biggest partiers there are. Masterchef judge Zonfrillo tells of his years of addiction in this glamorous Michelin world.
Oh, What a Lovely Century | Roderic Fenwick Owen | $32.99 | Hachette Fenwick Owen has led a Forrest Gump-ian life. A self-described “aristocrat” and travel writer, he goes from Eton to Oxford to prewar Germany, to the royal court of Abu Dhabi. His writing style is classic camp British eccentricity.
The First Time I Thought I Was Dying | Sarah Walker | $29.99 | UQP In this striking debut, artist and writer Sarah Walker wrestles with the awkward spaces where anatomy meets society: body image and Photoshop, phobias and religion, sex scenes and onstage violence, death and grief. Her luminous writing is at once specific and universal as she mines the limits of anxiety, intimacy and control. Sharp-witted and poignant.
Dear Son | Thomas Mayor | $34.99 | Hardie Grant A grand collection from First Nations authors writing letters to a family member talking about community, masculinity and Aboriginality. This book began with Mayor writing a letter to his son Tinoi and progressed as he invited authors such as Stan Grant, Blak Douglas and many great talents to write letters addressing Indigenous men and celebrating culture.Absolutely wonderful and the perfect Fathers’ Day gift - Dean
The Master | Christopher Clarey | $32.99 | Hachette If you follow tennis, you know that there are two camps: people who would die for Federer, and people who are idiots. Based on one-on-one interviews with the legend himself, Clarey has written a captivating retrospective of his life.
Blessed | John Doyle | $32.99 | Hachette Roy and HG are mainstays of Aussie comedy, parodying our larrikin masculine sporting energy to hilarious effect with their personas H. G. Nelson and “Rampaging” Roy Slaven. This is Roy’s tale, from the streets of Lithgow to the bigtime.
Puff Piece | John Safran | $34.99 | Penguin Cigarettes are a dying business literally and metaphorically – governments are no longer subsidising tobacco as they used to, and vaping is the activity du jour. Safran digs away at Marlboro’s rebranding and uncovers a lot of… smoke and mirrors (sorry). A wild, hilarious and thought-provoking probe into the life and death matter of the tobacco and vaping industries.
How We Became Human | Tim Dean | $34.99 | Pan Macmillan From one of our brightest philosophers comes an excoriating look at modern ethics. Dean considers how notions of just living need to change to keep up with modern phenomena like social media and conglomerisation.
A Brief History of Motion | Tom Standage | $29.99 | Bloomsbury From toddlers and toy trucks to middle-aged Merc aficionados, humans just love stuff that goes. This history of personal transportation is an absorbing read – how have cars shaped our society, and how will they continue to? Vroom vroom.
A Life in Words | Les Carlyon | $39.99 | Allen and Unwin Carlyon was a famed Australian writer and journalist who wrote about everything Australiana.This compendium is a collection of his most notable writings and is the perfect gift for the ocker literary dad.
Mortals | Rachel E. Menzies and Ross G. Menzies | $34.99 | Allen and Unwin In devastating news, we are all going to die. So, what should we do while we’re here? This book is a fascinating look at the psychological driver that is mortality and the unique homo sapiens’ knowledge of death.
CSI Told You Lies | Meshel Laurie | $34.99 | Random House As much as we are reticent to believe that Mariska Hargitay would lie, it does seem that Laurie has a point. This is a deepdive into the real world of true crime investigation, following the workings of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.
The Psychic Tests | Gary Nunn | $32.99 | Pantera Press Investigative journalist Nunn explores the current rise in astro fashion. When successful businessmen or politicians (Reagan) turn to astrologers to make world-changing decisions, Nunn reaches into his sceptical heart to find out why new age decision making yields so much power. Nunn embarks on a 2-year journey into the cosmic world, putting psychics through a range of tests including, money, criminal, ethics to explore trust, faith, connection and power. Fascinating, funny and smart! - Dean
The Arbornaut | Meg Lowman | $32.99 | Allen and Unwin The last few years have seen a resurgence of interest in trees, from Wohlleben’s The Secret Life of Trees to Powers’ novel The Overstory. Meg Lowman is a ground-breaking tree-top scientist, and here she recounts her remarkable journey.
Small Bodies of Water | Nina Mingya Powles | $29.99 | A&U Part memoir, part nature writing, part cultural studies, this collection of essays explores the bodies of water that separate and connect us. From migration to food to family to calendars, Powles’ lyrical voice resonates like a ripple.
The Fran Lebowitz Reader | Fran Lebowitz | $45.00 | Hachette Lebowitz is what they call a personality. Witty, sharp, wry, and hilarious, Lebowitz meditates on the vicissitudes of contemporary urban life, and brings some muchneeded light to an increasingly insane and stressful world.
LIFESTYLE Egg of the Universe | Bryony & Harry Lancaster | $49.99 | Murdoch Books A joyful celebration of seasonal eating and wellbeing from the popular cafe and yoga studio, Egg Of The Universe. Embracing the philosophy of better living through nutritious wholefoods and mindful movement, here are over 100 of the most popular recipes from the cafe for you to recreate at home. Day Trip Sydney | Evi O & Andrew Grune | $34.99 | Thames and Hudson In the vein of recent bestseller Places We Swim comes Day Trip Sydney, a delightful guide to the often hard-to-find-unless-youknow natural wonders accessible to anyone living in and around Sydney. Hikes, beach sanctuaries and waterfalls are just a day trip away (provided we are ever allowed to escape our 10km radiuses).
Take One Fish | Josh Niland | $55.00 | Hardie Grant There no rules when it comes to cooking fish according Niland, only an endless world of possibilities. With 60 mind-blowing recipes from just 15 global varieties of fish, this cookbook will take you on a gustatory journey – from elaborate to easy, small to large, scale to tail.
Together | Jamie Oliver | $49.99 | Penguin Getting together and sharing a meal with loved ones has never felt so important. Each chapter features a meal, from seasonal feasts to curry nights, with a simple, achievable menu that can be mostly prepped ahead. Jamie’s aim is to keep you out of the kitchen to enjoy eating with your guests.
Kooking with a Koori | Nathan Lyons | $24.99 | Simon and Schuster He’s the viral sensation on TikTok who’s showing families that you don’t need to spend a motser to feed your hungry household. Kooking with a Koori is a collection of Nathan’s best recipes and Indigenous Australian soul foods that won’t break the bank. His aim is to get Aussies back into the kitchen making their own meals instead of grabbing fast food. So what are you waiting for? Start making your own madfeedz!
The Backyard Adventurer | Beau Miles | $29.99 | Hardie Grant
Futuresteading | Jade Miles | $39.99 | Murdoch Books
The Spiritual Path | Gregory David Roberts | $24.99 | Hachette
Beau is what happens when you cross Bear Grylls with Bush Tucker Man. This book is about conscious experimentation with adventure, making meaning out of tins of beans, rubbish and elbow grease. Beau’s Backyard exploits are being copied all over the world by everyday people.
Futuresteading is a practical and inspirational guide to living in a way that values tomorrow: a slower, simpler, steadier existence that is healthier for you, your home and the environment. This welcoming handbook begins by showing how futuresteading works in an accessible and practical explainer.
The author of Shantaram takes us on a gripping personal journey of wonder and insight into science, belief, faith and devotion. Drawing on sacred traditions, logic and the instruction of his spiritual teacher, Roberts describes the step-by-step process he followed in search of connection.
BETTER READ KIDS
Today’s Sun | Gregg Dreise | $14.99 | Penguin | 2+ What a delightful board book by talented Aboriginal author/illustrator Dreise! Decorative black and white illustrations follow Aussie animals through the day; happy kookaburras, bouncing kangaroos, snuggly koalas. ‘I loved today’s sun and I am going to love tomorrow’s sun too’! - Mandy
Seasons in the City | Megan McKean | $29.99 | Hachette | 6+ This colourful picture book looks at festivals and foods that celebrate the seasons in cities around the globe. From pretty springtime cherry blossoms in Tokyo to delicious mangoes and backyard BBQs in summertime Sydney, this is a fascinating world tour! - Reem and Anabelle
The Good Times of Pelican Rise: Save the Joeys! | Samone Amba | $17.99 | Affirm Press | 9+ After the worst bushfire season ever, eleven-year-old Sunday Moon and her besties embark on a project to knit pouches for injured wildlife. A fun new series championing community spirit and using your voice to be the change. - Mandy
The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess | Tom Gauld | $24.99 | Allen and Unwin | 4+ When the princess lands on a barge full of logs bound for the frozen North, her devoted brother embarks on a quest to rescue her. They both end up in a pickle and the true heroes of this tale are an unexpected delight! A beautifully illustrated modern fairytale. - Mandy
The Sky | Juliette Einhorn & Hélène Druvert | $39.99 | Thames and Hudson | 7+ Travel through the sky and across time in this stunning book. Along the way you’ll learn about birds and pollination, eclipses and tornadoes, the inventions of man, and our solar system. Be amazed by the intricate laser-cut details of Druvert’s signatory aesthetic as you travel from page to page. - Anabelle
Albert Namatjira | Vincent Namatjira | $24.99 | Magabala Books | 6+ In this telling story of one of our exceptional First Nations artists, we find ourselves transported back to the mid 1900’s, following the journey of Namatjira through his great grandson’s words and art. This books opens up a platform for discussion about Australian history on many levels. - Reem
The Travelling Bookshop: Mim and the Baffling Bully | Katrina Nannestad | $14.99 | Harper Collins | 8+ Mim, Nat and dad Zed live in a magic travelling bookshop, an old wooden caravan pulled by a horse called Flossy, who decides their destination. In this pretty Dutch village they make new friends and change lives forever – it’s amazing what the right book can do! An uplifting story perfect for these times. - Mandy
The Monster of Her Age | Danielle Binks | $19.99 | Hachette | 14+ 17 year old Ellie has returned to Hobart to make peace with her dying grandmother, legendary film star Lottie Lovinger. When romance sparks with Riya from a feminist horror film collective, Ellie comes to understand her family’s legacy, navigating her way through grief, trauma and family secrets to find forgiveness. - Mandy
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The books featured in the Better Read Than Dead Father’s Day 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 illustration by Maggie Stein
Lino Printing with Maggie
Our Better Read Than Dead Father's Day Reading Guide has been carefully curated by our booksellers with just the right reading recommendatio...
Published on Jul 30, 2021
Our Better Read Than Dead Father's Day Reading Guide has been carefully curated by our booksellers with just the right reading recommendatio...