Winter Reading Guide 2024

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Dirt Poor Islanders | Winnie Dunn | $32.99 | Hachette

Both a seminal work of auto-fiction, being the first mainstream novel published by a Tongan-Australian writer, and also an exciting new contribution to the Australian literary canon. Set between two family homes in Mount Druitt - the homes of Meadow’s grandmother and aunts, and that of her father, stepmum and siblings - this is a vivid, warming and challenging story of growing up in community and in a big, blended family. Discussions of family, food and sexuality made the story particularly compelling, but I loved it most for its perfect capturing of early adolescence. - Steph

No Church In The Wild

| Murray Middleton | $34.99 | Pan Macmillan

Five years after violence erupted between young migrants and local police in Melbourne’s inner west, a police-led trip to hike the Kokoda Trail seeks to rebuild trust. But fresh allegations of racial profiling have the community on edge. A fierce interrogation of contemporary Australian society and the prejudices that still underpin it.

Safe Haven | Shankari Chandran

To Sing Of War

| Catherine McKinnon | $32.99 | HarperCollins

In New Guinea, 1944, a young Australian nurse, Lotte Wyld, chances upon her first love, Virgil Nicholson, a soldier in the Allies’ hard-fought jungle campaign. And on the sacred island of Miyajima in Japan, Hiroko Narushima is doing her best to protect her family. A beautiful, rich and intricately woven novel that asks how one person can make a difference.

| $34.99 | Ultimo Press

Arriving in Australia seeking asylum, Fina dedicates herself to aiding the refugees who are held in Port Camden, a remote island outpost. But after she speaks out for those being detained, Fina becomes the focus of a media storm that leads to her arrest. Safe Haven is about displacement and seeking refuge and the lengths you’ll go to find safety and love.

Why Do Horses Run | Cameron Stewart | $32.99 | Allen & Unwin

Missing in every sense of the word, a man walks into the landscape and doesn’t stop. Profound and moving, this indelible debut explores the propensity of the natural world to both heal and harm, as well as the ineradicable power of kindness and community.

The Glass House | Anne Buist & Graeme Simsion | $32.99 | Hachette

Psychiatry registrar

Hannah Wright, a country girl with a chaotic history, thought she had seen it all in the emergency room. But that was nothing compared to the psychiatric ward at Menzies Hospital. A compelling novel about mental health.

Mrs Hopkins | Shirley Barrett | $32.99 | Allen & Unwin

On a rainy night in 1871, an idealistic schoolmistress arrives on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour. Mrs Hopkins doesn’t know what to expect from the notorious Biloela Industrial School for Girls, but nothing could prepare her for what she encounters inside the high sandstone walls . A witty and poignant final novel from Barrett about what destroys us, what sustains us, and what we carry from one world into the next.

Art, power, love, and money coalesce between Pat, a scholarship boy hungry for success in the antiquities scene and Lally, who has invested into and found success with her Manhattan gallery. Sparks fly despite their differences. The Work exhibits Lee’s sharp mind as she takes on the business of intimacy in the face of distance, talent in the face of entitlement, and art in the face of commerce . - Leona

The Work | Bri Lee | $32.99 | Allen & Unwin

The Gorgon Flower | John Richards | $32.99 | UQP

In this gothic-inspired collection of stories, Richards pushes the limits of what short fiction can be. With settings that range from rural France to medieval Italy to nineteenth-century Borneo (plus an exploration of parallel universes), The Gorgon Flower is an impressively crafted, engrossing debut by a bold new writer.

Only The Astronauts | Ceridwen Dovey | $34.99 | Penguin

The term genre bending is often overused, but I have no idea what I would describe this book as. Starting from the epigraphs (from both Italo Calvino and Elon Musk), Dovey takes us on a wild ride between space, romance, and inanimate objects. Reading it was a bonkers experience I wish I could repeat. - Lexie

Kindling Stories | Kathleen Jennings | $32.99 | NewSouth Books

Small fires start in the hearts of Jennings’ characters and irresistibly spread to those around them. Journeys are taken to urther unexpected places, debts repaid, disguises put on, and lessons offered (although not often learned) in this fantastic collection of folk tales and fantasies.

The End Of The Morning | Chamian Clift | $32.99 | NewSouth

During the years of the Depression, Cressida Morley and her eccentric family live in a weatherboard cottage on the edge of a wild beach. But who will she become? This is the final and unfinished autobiographical novel by Clift. Published here for the first time, it is the book that Clift herself regarded as her most significant work.

Heartsease | Kate Kruimink | $34.99 | Pan Macmillan

Lot and Nelly are sisters who were once very close, but a great deal has changed since their mother’s death, years before. When the pair meet at a silent retreat in a strange old house in the Tasmanian countryside, the spectres of memory are unleashed. Heartsease is a sad, sly and darkly comic story about the weight of grief.

All The Beautiful Things You Love | Jonathan Seidler | $34.99 | Macmillan

You love, you’re loved, you love each other, you spend a decade collecting all the things that make memories and a home; then it’s all over. The characters in Seidler’s novel blister and sizzle with realness, vibrancy and masterfulness. I couldn’t put this novel down. A riotous romp with all the clutter and noise of a long term relationship. - Robert


Director and The Daemon | Pitaya Chin | $32.95 | NewSouth Books

The director of a big budget

Australian sci-fi TV show grapples with the dilemma of corporate sponsorship, and becomes infatuated with their beautiful but selfish lead star. The Director and the Daemon is a character-driven novel of ideas that is beautiful, funny, provocative, and deeply felt.

Imperial Harvest | Bruce Pascoe | $32.99 | Black Inc

Imperial Harvest is a timely book that speaks to the universal lessons of war. It addresses pertinent themes of dispossession by tracing imperialist tactics all the way back to the rise of the Khan empire in the 13th century. Here, the vast scope of Pascoe’s imagination is breath-taking as we follow this journey across Europe.


Crooked Seeds | Karen Jennings | $34.99 | Text Publishing

In a Cape Town public housing complex, Deidre van Deventer receives a call from the police. The remains of several bodies have just been unearthed from her family’s former home, after decades underground. A woman in post-apartheid South Africa confronts her family’s troubled past in this taut and compelling novel.

Caledonian Road | Andrew O’Hagan | $32.99 | Random House

Caledonian Road is a thoroughfare in London, famous for its diversity. Cleverly, this stretch is both the apt setting for O’Hagan’s novel and a metaphoric embodiment of what the novel explores so deeply. Beginning in the outset of 2021, it delves into the lives of an eclectic group of individuals struggling with a variety of issue of the time! - Angus

James | Percival Everett | $34.99 | Pan Macmillan

Pity | Andrew McMillan | $32.99 | Allen & Unwin

Brothers Alex and Brian have spent their whole life in the town where their father lived and his father, too. Set across three generations of South Yorkshire mining family, McMillan’s short and magnificent debut novel is a lament for a lost way of a life as well as a celebration of resilience and the possibility for change.

When the enslaved Jim overhears that he is about to be sold to a new owner in New Orleans and separated from his wife and daughter forever, he formulates a plan. Thus begins a dangerous, transcendent journey by raft along the Mississippi River, toward the elusive promise of free states and beyond.

Parasol Against the Axe | Helen Oyeyemi | $32.99 | Allen & Unwin

Oyeyemi treats you to a kaleidoscopic weekend in Prague, as dazzling as it is effortlessly unique. Get lost in the story like you would an unfamiliar city and let it reward you with moments of philosophical clarity, wheelbarrow rides, raw emotion and raw onions. This novel is a holiday, an adventure, a marvel and a guide.

The Alternatives | Caoilinn Hughes | $32.99 | Bloomsbury

The Alternatives has everything I want in a book; interwoven stories, dysfunctional relationships between sisters, the Irish countryside. . . When Olwen (the oldest of four sisters) disappears without a trace, the remaining three sisters put their strains (and PHDs) aside and go in search of her. We follow Irish politics, impending climate change and how best to care for each other.

You Dreamed of Empires | Álvaro Enrigue | $39.99 | Random House

A hallucinatory, revelatory, colonial revenge story, You Dreamed of Empires brings to life Tenoxtitlan, Mexico at its height in the 1500s - and reimagines its destiny. It sets afire the moment of conquest and turns it into a moment of revolution, in a novel so electric and so unique that it feels like a dream.

- Lexie

A Cage Went in Search of a Bird | Ali Smith, Tommy Orange, Naomi Alderman, Helen Oyeyemi, Keith Ridgway, Yiyun Li, Charlie Kaufman, Elif Batuman, Leone Ross & Joshua Cohen | $32.99 | Hachette

An anthology of Kafka-inspired short stories by prize-winning writers! These ten specially commissioned pieces are by turns mind-bending, funny, unsettling and haunting.



Gentleman from Peru | André Aciman | $26.99 | Allen & Unwin

Aciman is one of my favourite writers, and in his latest offering we are whisked away to a luxury hotel on the Amalfi coast and into the company of the enigmatic ‘Gentleman from Peru’. This is a story about love in all its forms; passionate and gentle, stirring and evocative of love lost, found and reunited. - Robert

The Morningside | Téa Obreht | $34.99 | Hachette

The Morningside was once the jewel of Island City. But now the luxury high-rise is crumbling and Island City is half-underwater. The building’s newest resident is an 11-yearold girl, Silvia and she embarks on a mission to find out the truth about her new home and her own haunted past.

The Ministry of Time | Kaliane Bradley | $32.99 | Hachette

Set in the near future, our protagonist is a civil servant employed by the government department responsible for time travel. In particular, she must monitor an “expat” from the past. As twisted reasons behind her role become more clear, she is forced into deciding her true allegiances. A fresh and exciting debut, I loved it! - Lewis

Please Report Your Bug Here | Josh Riedel | $32.99 | Macmillan

A college grad with the six-figure debt to prove it, Ethan Block views San Francisco as the place to be. Yet his job at hot new dating app DateDate is a far cry from what he envisioned. He overrides the system and then he disappears. Adventurous and hypertimely, Please Report Your Bug Here is an inventive millennial coming-of-age story, a dark exploration of the corruption now synonymous with Big Tech

All Fours | Miranda July | $32.99 | Allen & Unwin

A semi-famous artist announces her plan to drive cross-country from LA to NY. Just after leaving her family at home, she spontaneously exits the freeway, beds down in a nondescript motel and immerses herself in a temporary reinvention that turns out to be the start of an entirely different journey.

The Divorcées | Rowan Beaird | $32.99 | Allen & Unwin

Lois Saunders thought that marrying the right man would finally cure her loneliness. But she is suffocating in their loveless marriage. Then the gorgeous Greer comes along during her stay at a Nevada divorceranchcome along and is unlike anyone Lois has ever met.

Martyr! | Kaveh Akbar | $34.99 | Pan Macmillan

Cyrus Shams is lost. Ever since his mother’s plane was senselessly shot down over the Persian Gulf when he was just a baby, Cyrus has been grappling with her death. Now, newly sober, he is set to learn the truth of her life. When an encounter with a dying artist leads Cyrus towards the mysteries of his past, he finds himself once again caught up in the story of his mother, who may not have been who or what she seemed. Electrifying, funny, wholly original, and profound!

Long Island | Colm Tóibín | $32.99 | Pan Macmillan

Toibin’s latest offering is one of his wittiest and most heartfelt to date, an exercise in both subtlety and intensity. He expertly weaves a tapestry of rich characters, centred around Ellis, a newlywed Irish immigrant to New York who is confronted with her husband’s adultery - Ellis must decide whether to raise the child of the affair, in a country she is not yet able to call home. Toibin portrays the contradictions of being alone while surrounded by others, searching for home abroad, and longing for a lost past. In a decade punctuated by so much brilliant Irish fiction, Long Island stands out as a superbly emotional work. - Hugh


The Stars Too Fondly | Emily Hamilton | $34.99 | Hachette

This sapphic rom-com space odyssey is absolutely delightful! When Cleo and her friends steal a spaceship to investigate a missing crew they could never predict how out of hand their lives could get. The deeper into space they get, the more twisty and complex things become! A wholesome and thoughtful space adventure. - Ruby

Floating Hotel | Grace Curtis | $34.99 | Hachette

Aboard the Grand Abeona Hotel, one-time stowaway and now longtime manager Carl finally found a home. Now he must do everything to protect it. Floating Hotel is a hopeful story of misfits, rebels and found family, set in sub-orbital luxury!

The Mars House | Natasha Pulley | $34.99 | Hachette

January is living his dream as a principal in the ballet. But after an ecological disaster caused by climate change upends his life, he is forced to flee to Tharsis – a terraformed colony on Mars. A compulsively readable and moving dystopia dealing with the right to asylum, ecological collapse, and cynical retail politics! - Connor

A Darker Shade | Joyce Carol Oates | $24.99 | Bonnier

From the metaphysical horror of a snail trapped in body of a young office worker, to a women cursed to dance endlessly, her body ravaged and torn, these are stories that confront the inextricable link between physical and mental terror. Focusing on distortions of the human body, the fifteen short stories of A Darker Shade will delight, disgust and shock you.

Alien Clay | Adrian Tchaikovsky | $36.99 | Pan Macmillan

The planet of Kiln is where the tyrannical Mandate keeps its prison colony, and for inmates the journey there is always a one-way trip. One such prisoner is Professor Arton Daghdev, xeno-ecologist and political dissident, and he might just transform Kiln and distant Earth too!

The Familiar | Leigh Bardugo | $34.99 | Penguin

In a shabby house in the new capital of Madrid, Luzia Cotado uses scraps of magic to get through her days of endless toil. But when her scheming mistress discovers her scullion is hiding a talent for little miracles, she demands Luzia use those gifts to win over the royal court.

Zodiac | Ai Weiwei | $39.99 | Random House

Inspired by the signs of the Chinese zodiac and their associated human characteristics, Ai Weiwei masterfully interweaves ancient Chinese folklore with stories of his life, family, and career. The narrative shifts back and forth through the years-at once in the past, present, and futuremirroring memory and our relationship to time. Zodiac will inspire readers to return again and again to Ai Weiwei’s musings on the relationship between art, time, and our shared humanity.

The Mushroom Knight | Oliver Bly | $35.00 | Simon & Schuster

This ecological fantasy graphic novel is utterly spellbinding! With an ominous threat endangering his woodland home, a brave mushroom faerie knight embarks on a quest to find a solution. In Philadelphia, a girl searches for her missing dog. Destinies collide and friendships form and may challenge the very fabric of reality. This whimsical and magical adventure is presented in spectacularly gorgeous illustrations that I instantly fell in love with.


Red River Road | Anna Downes | $34.99 | Affirm Press

Solo traveller Katy is on a mission to find her freespirited sister, Phoebe, who disappeared along the same route in WA a year ago. A nerve-shredding outback thriller where our obsessions with freedom and beauty collide.

The Last Murder at the End of the World

Turton’s third novel might also be his most ambitious. Set in a postapocalypse world where only one tiny island of people has survived, murder is unthinkable - until it happens. Now the villagers have 107 hours to solve the crime before the apocalypse overtakes their island as well. - Connor

Pheasants Nest | Louise Milligan | $32.99 | Allen & Unwin

Kate goes missing on a night out and can only hope the police find her before it’s too late! Milligan has written a stunning and surprising thriller with a gigantic heart: a gripping, propulsive and original fiction debut.

Fool Me Twice

Featured here are two fiendishly twisty crime stories! In one, seven strangers compete to win a clifftop mansion, but after 36 hours, one is murdered. In the other, a small yellow backpack left on a sidewalk shocks anyone who walks past.

Circadia | Judith Bishop | $24.99 | UQP

Exquisitely attuned to atmosphere and emotion, Bishop’s poems grieve the daily devastations of war, extinction, illness, death, and disconnection, yet find their way back into clearings transfigured by the energies of art, children, and the incandescence of existence.

How to Solve Your Own Murder | Kristen Perrin

| $32.99 | Hachette

Nothing suits a cold winter’s day like a cosy crime novel! In 1965, Frances Adams is told her fortune at the county fair, warning her that one day she will be murdered. In the present, Annie Adams goes to visit her reclusive and paranoid great-aunt Frances. I recommend accompanying this book with a cup of tea and a choccy biscuit! - Lewis

Death On The Lusitania

| R. L. Graham | $34.99 | Macmillan

The ship was doomed before it ever left port. His fate was sealed before he ever stepped on board. From R. L. Graham, Death on the Lusitania is an immersive WW1 historical novel set aboard the ill-fated ocean liner.

The Orange | Wendy Cope | $19.99 | Allen & Unwin

In poems that can turn from laughout-loud funny to deeply moving, Cope offers reflections on love and life. From the joy of falling - and being - in love to ways to help you deal with a painful break-up or the memories of people loved and lost, this is a book you will want to savour and share.


Following the reciprocal relationship between queer sexuality and the natural world, Hewitt conjures us here into a trance- a deep delirium of hypnotic, hectic rapture where everything is called into question, until a union is finally achieved - a union in nature, with nature.

Road | Sean Hewitt | $32.99 | Random House | Benjamin Stevenson | $34.99 | Penguin



Thunderhead | Miranda Darling | $29.99 | Scribe Publications | Lexie’s Review

A Mrs Dalloway for the supermarkets and range rovers of the eastern suburbs, Darling subverts domesticity through either intense satire or a brilliant commentary (both, definitely both) and highlights the deal that women make with themselves to survive. It had me snorting with laughter (I, too, do not like the springy modernity of trainers. I hate them) and is a book that people will either love or hate, and that demands to be read in a fever dream rush. This is honestly everything I want in a book.


Black Duck | Bruce Pascoe with Lyn Harwood | $34.99 | Thames & Hudson | Angus’ Review

It is impossible to read Black Duck without having Dark Emu in your periphery. Pascoe truly changed the nation with his research, and this touching memoir brings us to the land that gave him such prominence. Along with Lyn Harwood, he advocates for “treating Australia like herself,” discussing the overwhelming benefits of Indigenous agriculture and land preservation. Moreso, he poignantly delves into the communal effect of losing a leader, the devastating toll of bushfires and the inordinate toll of challenging the pre-eminent thought.


Ghost Cities | Siang Lu | $32.99 | UQP | Lexie’s Review

Considering the types of books I normally read, I didn’t quite expect Siang Lu to become possibly my favourite Australian author. Blending satire and over the top characters while discussing the irritations and imperfections of the English language, dropping easter eggs and clues throughout the entire book, and deftly dealing with race and our concept of belonging while inserting puns about steam buns, Ghost Cities is a book that will make you consider our concept of politics and what we expect from our leaders while also making you snort laugh.


Because I Love Him | Ashlee Donohue | $27.99 | Magabala Books | Ruby’s Review

Ashlee Donohue grew up a proud Dunghutti woman, in a tin shack near Hat Head creek in Kempsey NSW. This is the story of a woman fighting to keep her family together despite the hardships and abuse she faces. It explores the complexities of family relationships, the expectations of society and the contrast between urban and rural Aboriginal communities. I found this memoir to be incredibly compelling and moving. An extremely important and insightful look into the experiences of women living with domestic abuse and the significant impact that has on so many people. This is a book that everyone should read!

Psykhe | Kate Forsyth | $34.99 | Penguin | Angus’ Review

If you have never read the story of Eros and Psyche, let Forsyth’s reimagining be an incredible introduction. Even if you have, this retelling is so engaging, immersive and above all gives deserved agency to Psyche. Falling in love with a man the Gods forbid her to see, she must travel to the underworld to save him and try to return alive! This perilous tale is a ballad to the triumphant power of love, hope and a celebration of female power and determinism. Whilst staying true to the original myth you can feel Kate’s gentle and artistic influence throughout the novel that makes this so enjoyable to read.



Finding Eliza | Larissa Behrendt | $22.99 | UQP | $19.99 | Steph’s Review

In deconstructing the damaging legend of Eliza Fraser, who was allegedly captured by the Butchulla people, Behrendt interrogates the ways that stories such as this have been used for colonialist propaganda and racist sensationalism. Of particular interest were sections on the role of women in Aboriginal and white societies, the discussion of Coonardoo and the chapter on cannibalism in colonial narratives. Both a very readable work of storytelling and a compelling exploration of the depiction of Indigenous people in colonial tales both here and abroad, I can’t wait for this work of truth-telling to find a whole new audience.


The Walnut Tree | Kate Morgan | $34.99 | Harper Collins

In this vivid work of historical non-fiction, Morgan explores the legal campaigns, test cases and individual injustices of the Victorian and Edwardian eras which fundamentally re-shaped the status of women under British law.

Hollywood: The Oral History | Jeanine Basinger and Sam Wasson | $39.99 | Allen & Unwin

Do you enjoy films and a touch of gossip mongering? Then Hollywood: The Oral History is definitely the book for you. Treat yourself to piping hot tea from Hollywood’s big hitters: with real tales of dazzle and debauchery from Meryl Streep to Steven Spielberg as well as all of the publicists, designers and visionaries working behind the scenes.

Deep Water | James Bradley | $36.99 | Penguin

Weaving together ocean science, history and personal experience, Bradley offers vital new ways of understanding not just humanity’s relationship with the planet, but our pastand perhaps most importantly, our future.

The Riddles Of The Sphinx | Anna Shechtman | $34.99 | Harper Collins

Who’s Afraid Of Gender? | Judith Butler | $55.00 | Penguin

Butler confronts the attacks on gender that are central to emerging authoritarian regimes, fascist formations and transexclusionary feminists today, and questions what it is about gender that disturbes these groups so much.

In this fascinating work, part memoir, part cultural analysis, Shechtman excavates the hidden history of the crossword and the overlooked women who have been central to its creation and evolution.

The End Of Love | Tamara Tenenbaum | $29.99 | Allen & Unwin

Drawing from philosophy, feminist activism, conversations with friends and personal experiences, Tenenbaum dives into sex and desire in the 21st century and celebrates the end of romantic love as we know it.

Four Shots In The Night | Henry Hemming | $34.99 | Hachette

Thirty years on from the grisly murder of an undercover British agent in Ireland, a detective in 2016 finds himself searching through a web of spies, cover-ups and buried secrets. Hemming grippingly delves into the world of espionage during The Troubles, yet never loses sight of the immense injustice and human cost of the conflict. A must-read for any fans of political mysteries and historical true crime. - Hugh

Growth | Daniel Susskind | $36.99 | Penguin

In this revelatory account of the past, present, and future of economic growth, economist Susskind argues that we cannot abandon growth but shows instead how we must redirect it, making it better reflect what we truly value.

An African History Of Africa | Zeinab Badawi | $36.99 | Penguin

For too long, Africa’s history has been dominated by western narratives of slavery and colonialism, or simply ignored. Now, Badawi sets the record straight and unearths the buried histories from across the continent.

The Age Of Magical Overthinking | Amanda Montell | $32.99 | Harper Collins

Montell blends cultural criticism and personal narrative to explore our modern cognitive biases and the power, disadvantages and highlights of overthinking, ultimately helping to quiet the noise of overload.


Artful Lives | Penny Olsen | $39.99 | Melbourne Books

It seems that no one romanticised their lives quite like the Cohen Sisters. Despite two world wars and a great depression, Val & Von still managed to sneak on plenty of bohemian activities including to tropical holidaying, partying, art-making and many-a love affairs. This is a beautiful retelling of two wonderful lives. - Lilly

Human? | Ziggy Ramo | $34.99 | Pantera Press

Human? is Ziggy Ramo’s offering for the future –an attempt to bridge a nation-wide knowledge gap, and start a new conversation. Prerequisite reading for anyone searching for a way forward, together.

This Is Where You Have To Go | Lynda Holden | $34.99 | Pantera Press

In this incredibly powerful memoir, Dhungutti woman Lynda Holden sheds light on the lasting impacts of forced adoption and gives voice to the countless women who have been silenced.

Framed | Stuart Rosson | $26.99 | Simon & Schuster

Framed blows the lid off one of Melbourne’s most puzzling secrets: Who stole Picasso’s Weeping Woman from the NGV in 1986.

Written by the brother of the brilliant artist who was framed for the crime, it draws on new information told to the author before his brother died.

Excitable Boy | Dominic Gordon | $29.99 | Upswell

This is Gordon’s decade long plunge down the rabbit hole, his trials and tribulations, a hotshot into the mind of a displaced teenager and his journey of survival through Melbourne. What might be at times be a soul destroying odyssey is laced with wickedly wonderful humour. A great work of episodic gothic memoir!

Girt by Sea | Rebecca Strating & Joanne Wallis | $36.99 | Black Inc

It’s so refreshing to read such a sensible, well-informed, historically literate work about Australia’s security posture in the 21st century. It is not a paranoiac clarion call for war, but nor is it blasé about the geopolitical challenges in our immediate future. It’s the sort of work that I dearly wish that Australian policymakers would read.

A Very Secret Trade | Cassandra Pybus | $34.99 | Allen & Unwin

Pybus explores one of the darkest and most carefully hidden secrets in Australia’s colonial history, the trading of plants, animals... and human body parts. It is time we all knew the truth.

Because I’m Not Myself, You See | Ariane Beeston | $36.99 | Black Inc

Beeston gives birth to her first child - and very quickly begins to experience scary breaks with reality. A frank, hopeful and darkly funny memoir of postpartum psychosis and recovery.

Hazzard And Harrower | Brigitta Olubas & Susan Wyndham | $39.99 | NewSouth

This is an extraordinary account of two literary luminaries, Shirley Hazzard and Elizabeth Harrower, their complex relationship and their times.

The Diggers Of Kapyong | Tom Gilling | $34.99 | Allen & Unwin

After ten months of fighting, the Korean War hangs in the balance. A single Australian battalion is dug in on a hilltop overlooking the Kapyong Valley. This is the story of a group of Aussies who changed the course of the war.


Grief is for People | Sloane Crosley | $24.99 | Allen & Unwin

In the face of tragedy how can we attempt to move on when nothing feels the same? A new memoir from Sloan Crosley, Grief Is For People is a witty, poignant reflection on a time of terrible loss, drawing on philosophy and art to better understand and at times, grapple with grief.

Lives Of The Wives |

Carmela Ciuraru | $39.99 | Harper Collins

Ciuraru offers a witty, provocative look inside the tumultuous marriages of five famous writers, illuminating the creative process as well as the role of money, fame, and power in these complex and fascinating relationships.

I Want to Die but I Still Want to Eat

Alphabetical Diaries | Shelia Heti | $24.99 | Allen & Unwin

The ways to read this book are endless. Chapter by chapter? Going through the entire book to piece together a cohesive narrative? Ten years of diaries sorted by excel reveal consistent thoughts that mesh together, any way you want to blend it. From ten years’ worth of thoughts on ‘art’, family, breakups, what she shouldn’t be doing, and announcing that she has started reading Emma again, the structure is absurd yet absolutely brilliant. - Lexie

Tteokbokki | Baek Sehee | $29.99 | Bloomsbury

Baek’s struggle with dysthymia continues. And healing is a difficult process; the inner conflict she experiences in treatment becomes more complex, more challenging. With this second book, Baek Sehee reaches out to hold the hands of all those for whom grappling with everyday despair is part of a lifelong project, part of the journey.

The Bookshop Woman | Nanako Hanada | $34.99 | Hachette

Written with a subtle but sharp sense of humour, The Bookshop Woman is a heart-warming book about a bookseller’s self-discovery. It offers a glimpse into bookselling in Japan and the quirky side of Tokyo, and follows Nanako as she recommends complete strangers ‘the book which will change their life’.


| Salman Rushdie | $36.99 | Random House

In 2022, Rushdie faced a horrific act of violence that shook the literary world and beyond. A searing, deeply personal account of enduring a brutal attempt on his life, thirty years after the fatwa that was ordered against him. It is also a deeply moving reminder of literature’s capacity to make sense of the unthinkable.

Splinters | Leslie Jamison | $34.99 | Allen & Unwin

In this blend of memoir and criticism, Jamison turns her attention to some of the most intimate relationships of her life - her consuming love for her young daughter, and a ruptured marriage once swollen with hope - and examines what it means to be many things at once: a mother, an artist, a teacher, a lover.

We Will Not Be Saved | Nemonte Nenquimo | $34.99 | Hachette

This is an inspiring and timely memoir by an Indigenous activist and member of the Waorani Nation from the Amazonian Region of Ecuador. It foregrounds the necessity of organised activism and indigenous knowledge in the battle against climate change, and it’s difficult not to feel inspired by her story of standing up against big oil and saving half a million acres of rainforest. The core of the book is a beautiful conjoining of activism, spirituality, and deep communion with nature. - Connor


Italian Coastal | Amber Guinness | $59.99 | Thames & Hudson

Welcome to the Tyrrhenian Sea, home to la dolce vita, sun-drenched islands and seaside towns where even the simplest trattoria has an effortless glamour. Amber delves into the history, stories and flavours that have come home to her kitchen and shaped her food philosophy.

Bethlehem | Fadi Kattan | $55.00 | Hardie Grant

Bethlehem is divided into four seasons and features lots of delicious recipes and gorgeous double spreads on food artisans from Palestine, where they showcase the history and culture behind their produce, telling the story of the ancient city of Bethlehem. - Steph

On Sundays | Dave Verheul | $55.00 | Hardie Grant

Sunday is the perfect day of the week for entertaining! Divided by the four seasons, each chapter includes a selection of self-contained recipes to inspire your perfect Sunday, plus there are lots of helpful tutorials on skills like breadmaking, preserving and mushrooming.

I’ll Bring Dessert | Benjamina Ebuehi | $49.99 | Hardie Grant

Being the designated ‘dessert person’ is often met with panic, but Benji is here to show you that not only is it fun, but it’s simple to create desserts with wow-factor all year round no matter the day, season or occasion. This is the only dessert book you will ever need!

Le Sud | Rebekah Peppler | $55.00 | Hardie Grant

Part cookbook, part guide book, part love letter, Le Sud is a a deep dive into the food and culture of the South of France. The recipes are elegant and delicious, but remain accessible to the home chef, and are accompanied by lots of handy side notes! Perfect for foodies, francophiles and travellers. - Lewis

Not Just Jam | Matthew Evans | $39.99 | Murdoch Books

Evans’ collection of more than 90 modern recipes for old-fashioned preserving methods. It is for the forager, who scours the suburbs looking for fruit trees; for the cook, who wants their dishes to resonate with flavours borne from own hands; and for anyone passionate about flavour.

Easy Wins

| Anna Jones | $55.00 | Harper Collins

Jones gives her golden rules for easy wins in the kitchen with supersimple recipes that are bursting with flavour and kind to the planet. She takes 12 hero ingredients that are guaranteed to make your food taste great, with chapters on lemons, olive oil, mustard, tahini and more.

The Dinner Table | Ella Risbridger & Kate Young | $49.99 | Bloomsbury

In this big, beautiful anthology, Young and Risbridger present you with their ultimate fantasy dinner party. Here you’ll find writing from over 100 authors, cooks and poets, from Salman Rushdie and Jack Underwood, to Rachel Roddy, Audre Lorde and Nigella Lawson.


Galah | Annabelle Hickson | $69.99 | Murdoch Books

Here, across six themed chapters, Hickson shares a different perspective on life in regional Australia, featuring stories from the coast to the farms, from the bush to the towns, from the rainforest to the outback. A celebration of the diversity, resourcefulness and creativity of the people that call the country home.

Modern Heritage | Cameron Bruhn | $79.99 | Thames & Hudson

Modern Heritage surveys twenty homes that embody the period’s vibrant architectural eclecticism. Weaving cultural context with new insights, homeowners and architects share the process of protecting this legacy while giving new life to these cherished homes.

The New Plant Collector | Darryl Cheng | $39.99 | Thames & Hudson

The world of indoor gardening is exploding with desirable new and unusual plants. Cheng brings his knowledge-based approach to the quest to find exciting new varieties, offering collecting suggestions to suit every level of experience, and describing the riches of twenty-two different plant groups, from anthuriums to tillandsias.

Jane Austen’s Garden | Molly Williams | $45.00 | Hardie Grant

The setting and environment of Austen’s books are a huge part of her storytelling and integral to drawing the reader into her world. This lovely book explores all the botanical inspiration and symbolism throughout her novels and her life, from the lush English countryside to the landscaped gardens of regency manor houses. This must have for your Austen collection also features a DIY project sure to impress! - Ruby

Ash Keating | Museum Langmatt | $54.99 | Thames & Hudson

Inspired by the light and colors of his native Australia, the energetic color of his painting with their fluid, vertical gradients reveals an almost transcendent longing. This publication provides an exemplary insight into the artist’s multifaceted exhibition at the Museum Langmatt.

The Local Project | $110.00 | Hardie Grant

Showcasing the very best of architecture and design from Australia and New Zealand, The Local Project: 10 is a stunning collection of homes from some of the most renown architects practicing today.

Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects | David Evans Franz, Christina Linden & Chris

E. Vargas | $69.99 | Thames & Hudson

Surveying over four centuries, this volume brings together a wideranging selection of artworks and artefacts that highlight under-recognised histories of trans and gender-nonconforming communities.

Hidden Japan | Chiara Terzuolo | $35.00 | Thames & Hudson

First things first: this is an adorable book. Filled with bite sized sections and with truly the cutest illustrations, this is a great guide for first visits to the area, with a particular emphasis on Tokyo. Hidden Japan has a little bit for everyone who is planning on making their first trip. - Lexie



A is for Australia | Ann Ingalls & Kat Kalindi | $19.99 | Thames & Hudson | 1+ G’day, mates! With D for didgeridoo, R for reef, and V for vegemite, this colorful primer has everything you need to know about the land down under. Take an alphabetised bushwalk from the Outback to the Reef, and learn what makes Australia so amazing!

Listen, Hippo! | Gabriel Evans | $24.99 | Penguin | 3+

Listen, Hippo! is all about learning the importance of listening and that we don’t always know what’s best to help people until they tell us themselves, told through the story of Hippo and Billy as Hippo tries to figure out what Billy wants to do! A fun and important story. - Ruby

Country | Aunty Fay Muir, Sue Lawson & Cheryl Davison | $24.99 | Simon & Schuster | 3+

Country is central to so much of First Nations Culture. It is past, present, future. Storytelling and song. Country is all of us. Country is you. Take a walk on Country in this delightful exploration of everything Country is, perfectly told for a young reader.

Creative Crafting | Daniel Sosa | $27.99 | Walker Books | 5+

Creative Crafting is an accessible introduction to upcycling with bright engaging illustrations and easy to follow step-by-step instructions. There are sixteen fun projects that can be made from recycling and everyday items from around the house.

The Garden of Broken Things | Freya Blackwood | $26.99 | Harper Collins | 4+

Curious Sadie follows a cat into the tangled vines behind the lonely house at Number 9, Ardent Street. Deep in the undergrowth, past all the twisted, rusted things, Sadie finds the cat sitting on the lap of a woman, bent with time and weariness. Sadie has found the Garden of Broken Things.

Ferris | Kate DiCamillo| $19.99 | Walker Books | 9+

Reading Ferris was like being enveloped in a warm, truthful, brave hug and I couldn’t have loved it more. It spoke to so many beautiful and frightening elements of growing up with such empathy and joy. It left me in tears! I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone, of any age. - Ally

The Missing Bookshop | Katie Clapham & Kirsti Beautyman | $12.99 | Hardie Grant | 5+

Milly loves going to Storytime at her local bookshop, but then one day, she arrives to find the shop gone. Join her as she finds out what has happened to her irreplaceable bookshop in this gorgeous, bookish adventure.

My First Day Fishing | Will Millard | $29.99 | Thames & Hudson | 7+

This comprehensive handbook contains a wealth of information for the young angler and lays out, stepby-step everything they might need to know on their first fishing trip. It also includes a fish-identification guide, together with advice on how to care for your catch.


The Apprentice Witnesser | Bren MacDibble

| $17.99 | Allen & Unwin | 9+ |

Reviewed by Lily G. Age 9

I love this book. I love how descriptive it is and every page was interesting for me to read. It is about a twelve year old girl named Bastienne and the story is written from her perspective. She is an Apprentice Witnesser and her guardian Lodyma tells stories at the markets and Bastienne sells peanuts. Lodyma is the mother of Osmin. Osmin had been sent to the mountains to escape a terrible sickness and hasn’t been seen for ten years. Bastienne is like a child to her. I couldn’t put the book down!

Transcendent | Patrick Gallagher | $17.99 | Hachette | 9+

Jacob and Kira live in the heart of Mbale, Uganda with their conservationist mother and navigate life as unsuspecting geniuses. When they discover that someone has been watching their every move in the hopes to enlist them in a top-secret agency called Transcendent, their lives are turned upside down. Follow them on a high-stakes mission to fight the greatest threat the world has ever seen.

Into the Mouth of the Wolf | Erin

Gough | $22.99 | Hardie Grant | 13+ |

Reviewed by Amelia I. Age 15

A Small Collection of Happinesses |

Zana Fraillon | $14.99 | Hachette | 8+ | Reviewed Ishana S. Age 10

I highly recommend this book to anyone from ages 8 to 12 who likes a bit of an adventure. It is filled with fun, friendship and is uplifting to read.

I loved how Ada and Hettie went on so many adventures and how their relationship changed over the course of the book. There are a few really interesting twists in this book, so you never know what’s going to happen. I give it 5 stars!


Sleeping Girls Lie

| Faridah Abike-Iyimide | $19.99 | Usborne | 14+

Sade Hussein is the new girl at the prestigious Alfred Nobel Academy. She has no idea what to expect of her mysterious new boarding school, but she certainly didn’t imagine her roommate, Elizabeth, to go missing on her first night. Or for people to think Sade had something to do with it. And then a student is found dead.It’s clear there’s more to Alfred Nobel Academy than Sade could have imagined - and she must race to uncover the truth.

Iris Moretti and her mother are on the run along NSW’s South Coast, plagued by a series of earthquakes that destroyed their home. The pair has become accustomed to their life on the road, but Iris soon discovers that there is more to their circumstances than meets the eye. Throughout the novel, Erin Gough masterfully combines aspects of the thriller and romance genres to create a plot that will keep readers guessing until the final page, aided by her creation of likeable and compelling characters.

Lover Birds | Leanne Egan | $19.99 | HarperCollins | 14+

When Isabel moves to Liverpool, she criticises seemingly everything in Eloise’s life – her city, her accent, her trademark boldness – so if, when she catches Isabel staring, Eloise feels her pulse race, it must be because they hate each other. It surely couldn’t be for any other reason, could it? With a wonderful cast of characters, an irresistible romance, and an incredibly moving portrayal of ADHD, Lover Birds is an unmissable debut.

Liar’s Test | Ambelin Kwaymullina | $24.99 | Text Publishing | 13+

I’m a sucker for a YA dystopian fantasy with a strong heroine. With rich worldbuilding inspired by First Nations culture, Liar’s Test ticks all the boxes and more! Bell Silverleaf – the heroine in question – has been held captive by the sun priests and moon sisters of the Risen since she was eleven. Now, Bell has been selected to compete in the deadly Queen’s Test to decide who rules for the next twenty-five years. The ensuing narrative is epic, fast-paced, and laced with many twists and turns. Plus, it ticks the romance box! - Carolina



Miimi and Buwaarr, Mother and Baby |

Melissa Greenwood | $24.99 | Harper Collins


A touching and lyrical ode that speaks to the strength of the bond between a mother and daughter. Miimi and Buwaarr follows Miimi (Mother) as she imparts wisdom to her Buwaarr (baby) about Gumbaynggirr culture. Brimming with vibrant illustrations and moving sentiments about identity and language, Miimi and Buwaar is a powerful read . - Vevie

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Mama Bear and Me | Sophie Beer | $24.99 | Hardie Grant

Beer is one of my favourite children’s authors. In her latest picture book, she pays tribute to a mother’s love as told from the child’s perspective. Imbued with her customary warmth and care, Mama Bear and Me is as loving and funny as it is honest and tender. Filled with beautiful illustrations and a sweet rhyming narrative, this book makes for a lovely Mother’s Day gift.

- Carolina


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.


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.



The books featured in the Better Read Than Dead Winter 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 Enjoy Illustration.

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