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gleaner Vol. 26 No. 10 November 2019

Out this month from Julian Barnes: The Man in the Red Coat 1


Amazing, another year come, and going. And a chance to pick the best of 2019 (as the well-read gleebooks staff have enthusiastically done in this edition), and to look at what fabulous reading treats await all of us for Christmas, and the summer holidays. As I’ve said elsewhere, Robert MacFarlane’s Underland is my book of the year, but if, like me, you were late discovering how brilliant the 2018 Booker Prize winner, Anna Burns’ Milkman is, please read it. It’s as stunningly original as it is powerful. As usual, our Summer Reading Guide has lots of enticing books—here are a few of my personal favourites (some read, some to come): Australian Fiction sees Charlotte Wood return with The Weekend (a story of what really counts, in the end, rich in insight and dark humour). Christos Tsiolkas with Damascus (an epic exploration of the birth of the Christian Church); and Heather Rose with Bruny (a clever, confronting take about a possible new world order, set around and on Bruny Island in Tasmania). On the international fiction front, Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge returns to negotiate her later life in Olive, Again—what a treat, and Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House is (certainly amongst the staff here at Gleebooks) already the best loved book of the year—from a storyteller at the top of her game. There’s a heap of good crime fiction to take to the beach this Xmas, but I’m highlighting a couple of great new Australian offerings—two small town Oz procedurals, Peace from Gary Disher and Chris Hammer’s Silver, and Christian White’s eerie island town in dead of winter thriller, The Wife and the Widow; plus a big bonus (I was sure he was done with writing) from the incomparable John Le Carré, Agent Running in the Field. On the nonfiction to read list are: The Anarchy, William Dalrymple’s forensic dig into the rise and fall of the East India Company—perhaps the first ‘too big to fail’ company in history. Judith Hoare’s The Woman Who Cracked The Anxiety Code—we just held a very well attended launch of this long overdue and revelatory biography of Claire Weekes, the unconventional and intrepid doctor whose theories and best-selling books in the fifties and sixties revolutionised ideas about, and responses to, anxiety and nervous illness. Of course Bill Bryson’s The Body, a Guide for Occupants —maybe it’s a bit late to be paying attention to my ageing carcas, but no one does this kind of history better. And lastly I look forward to dipping into Tim Flannery’s Life: Selected Writings. This is the definitive collection of essays, speeches, occasional speeches, reviews—I always recommend Tim as one of the finest reviewers of scientific and climate history of the last twenty years. Happy reading, I do hope you enjoy a summer of great reading. Best wishes and thanks for your support of Gleebooks in 2019. David Gaunt


for free entry Join the Gleeclub r stores, freeto events held in ou Australia, post anywhere in ued with every 10% credit accr Gleaner purchase, and the door. delivered to your In This Desert, There Were Seeds (eds) Elizabeth Tan & Jon Gresham ($24, PB)


Endangered tigers connecting telepathically through timetravel; a guard’s ethical dilemma at a history museum; a slaughterhouse worker’s memories of his dead wife; a monochrome town upended by a wild watermelon… This is an intimate collection of past and future dreams, featuring exciting new and established literary voices from Western Australia and Singapore. From our shifting sense of community and identity, to our frustrations with existing political, social and economic structures—this anthology transcends boundaries and captures the persistence of ordinary lives in deserts literal and metaphorical.

Australian Literature Springtime: A Ghost Story by Michelle de Kretser

Picking up her pace, Frances saw a woman in the shadowy depths of the garden. She wore a wide hat and a trailing pink dress; a white hand emerged from her sleeve. There came upon Frances a sensation that sometimes overtook her when she was looking at a painting: space was foreshortened, time stilled. When Frances met Charlie at a party in Melbourne he was married with a young son. Now Charlie & Frances live in Sydney with her dog, Rod, and an unshakeable sense that they have tipped the world on its axis. Everything is alien, unfamiliar, exotic: haunting, even. ($15, PB)

The Bee and the Orange Tree by Melissa Ashley

It’s 1699, and the salons of Paris are bursting with the creative energy of fierce, independent-minded women. But outside those doors, the patriarchal forces of Louis XIV & the Catholic Church are moving to curb their freedoms. In this battle for equality, Baroness Marie Catherine D’Aulnoy invents a powerful weapon: ‘fairy tales’. When Marie Catherine’s daughter, Angelina, arrives in Paris for the first time, she is swept up in the glamour & sensuality of the city, where a woman may live outside the confines of the church or marriage. But this is a fragile freedom, as she discovers when Marie Catherine’s close friend Nicola Tiquet is arrested, accused of conspiring to murder her abusive husband. ($35, HB)

Gleebooks’ special price $29.99 Griffith Review 66: Novella Project VII ($28, PB)

Griffith Review’s dedication to the novella form has been hailed by Nick Earls as central to the revival of the form in Australia. ‘Griffith Review’s Novella Project is one of the world’s leading novella competitions,’ he comments ‘and is the cornerstone of the revitalisation of the form in Australia.’ As well as the winning novella entries, Griffith Review 66 features new work from Holly Ringland & Griffith Review Writing Fellow Krissy Kneen. This year’s expert judges for the novella competition are Maxine Beneba Clarke, Aviva Tuffield & Matthew Condon.

Field of Poppies by Carmel Bird ($30, PB)

Keen to escape the pressures of city life, Marsali Swift & her husband William are drawn to Listowel, a glorious historic mansion in the seemingly tranquil small town of Muckleton. There is time to read, garden, decorate, play chess & befriend the locals. Yet one night Listowel is robbed, and soon after a neighbour is murdered. The violent history of the couple’s adopted Goldfields town is revealed, and plans for a new goldmine emerge. Subtle & sinister details unnerve—the novels that are studied at book club echo disappearances & colonial transgressions, a treasured copy painting of Monet‘s Field of Poppies recalls loves & dreams but also times of war. The planet is in trouble, but is the human race up to the challenge? Are Marsali and William walking blindfold into a hostile world?

Hide by S. J. Morgan ($33, PB)

It’s 1983 in Thatcher’s Britain. Alec Johnston has left his comfortable family home in Cardiff & taken a flat with bikers Minto, Stobes & Black. There he meets Sindy, Minto’s strange & vulnerable young girlfriend. When she starts to view Alec as a possible saviour from her abusive relationship, it earns Alec a big target on his back. Hide takes the reader on a dark, unsettling journey: one that begins in a small town in Wales and continues through the vast Australian outback. As the threats get closer, Alec fears this is one journey from which he may never return.

The Last Paradise by Di Morrissey ($35, HB)

Grace has the perfect life: a job she loves, a beautiful daughter & a rich, successful husband. But one night, when their world falls apart in a shocking disaster, Grace suddenly sees what she couldn’t admit—her marriage & her husband are a fraud. With the life she knew in tatters, she takes an assignment promoting the launch of a unique luxury hotel, hidden in an untouched oasis in the heart of tourist-crazed Bali. Here, in this last paradise, Grace gathers the strength to take charge of her world. And, inspired by a woman’s story from long ago, she discovers a path to a future she’d never dared to imagine.

The Queen’s Tiger by Peter Watt ($30, PB)

It is 1857. Colonial India is a simmering volcano of nationalism about to erupt. Army surgeon Peter Campbell & his wife Alice, in India on their honeymoon, have no idea that they are about to be swept up in the chaos. Ian Steele, known to all as Captain Samuel Forbes, is fighting for Queen & country in Persia. A world away, the real Samuel Forbes is planning to return to London—with potentially disastrous consequences for Samuel & Ian both. Then Ian is posted to India, but not before a brief return to England & a reunion with the woman he loves. In India he renews his friendship with Peter Campbell, and discovers that Alice has taken on a most unlikely role. Together they face the enemy & the terrible deprivations & savagery of war—and then Ian receives news from London that crushes all his hopes.

Damascus by Christos Tsiolkas ($33, PB)

Christos Tsiolkas’ new novel is based around the gospels & letters of St Paul—focusing on characters one & two generations on from the death of Christ, as well as Paul (Saul) himself, Using this ‘quarry’, Tsiolkas explores the themes that have always obsessed him: class, religion, masculinity, patriarchy, colonisation, exile; the ways in which nations, societies, communities, families and individuals are united and divided— contemporary and urgent concerns made vivid and visceral in an historical novel that unflinchingly dissects doubt & faith, tyranny & revolution, and cruelty & sacrifice.

special price $29.99

The Diamond Hunter by Fiona McIntosh

When six-year-old Clementine Knight loses her mother to malaria during the 1870s diamond rush in southern Africa, she is left to be raised by her destitute, alcoholic father, James. Much of Clementine’s care falls to their trusty Zulu companion, Joseph One-Shoe, and the unlikely pair form an unbreakable bond. When the two men uncover a large, flawless diamond, James believes he has finally secured their future, but the discovery of the priceless gem comes at a huge cost. A dark bargain is struck to do whatever it takes to return Clementine to a respectable life at the Grant family’s sprawling estate in northern England—while the diamond disappears. Years on, long-buried memories of Clementine’s childhood in Africa and her beloved Joseph One-Shoe are triggered, as she questions who she can trust. To solve the mystery of what happened to her loved ones all those years ago, she must confront a painful history and finally bring justice to bear. ($33, PB)

Everything Changes: Australian Writers and China: A Transcultural Anthology (eds) Xianlin Song and Nicholas Jose ($28, PB)

This collection of selection of poetry & prose by 25 Australian writers covers the period from 1988 to 2018—four decades from the Australian bicentenary year of 1988, when migration from the mainland of China to Australia increased markedly, to the present, when China’s resurgence in wealth and power makes it a major partner in many areas of Australian life. The contributors (Kim Cheng Boey, Lachlan Brown, Felicity Castagna, Brian Castro, Tom Cho, Eileen Chong, Robert Gray , Nicholas Hasluck, Linda Jaivin, Gail Jones, Nicholas Jose, John Kinsella, Julie Koh, Bella Li, Isabelle Li, Miriam Wei, Wei Lo, John Mateer, Jennifer Mills, Ouyang Yu, Glen Phillips, James Stuart, Jessie Tu, Beth Yahp, Alexis Wright and Fay Zwicky) have lived through that transformation which is reflected in their life experience, their travels, their encounters & relationships, and in their work.

On D’Hill Two wonderful books of literary criticism engaged my attention this month—one I have read and one for which I haven’t yet had the necessary time. I admit to not having read Michelle de Kretser on Shirley Hazzard in the Writers on Writers series, as Michelle would surely see through any cant on my behalf. I am waiting for a very quiet, rainy day as Shirley Hazzard has always been one of my very favourite Australian writers (The Transit of Venus perhaps my favourite book ever) and Michelle de Kretser follows as a close second. I know her analysis of Hazzard’s work will be so intelligent and finely calibrated it will need all my attention. Can’t wait. The book I have read is by another of my fangirl writer heroes—Debra Adelaide—who has published two books this year. I wrote about Zebra, Debra’s book of short stories earlier in the year and now she has a selection of terrific, thoughtful essays, The Innocent Reader: Reflections on Reading and Writing. There’s much to love in these pages, especially the Reading to the Dog essay—about dogs and literature as well as in literature. In The Front Line, a funny and perceptive esssay about reviewing, I was amused by Adelaide referring to A.D. Hope’s ‘infamous attack on Patrick White’s The Tree of Man back in 1956, labelling it pretentious and illiterate verbal sludge’. In my last year of school I wrote an essay about the same book, saying much the same thing as Hope, and thought myself very clever—though the teacher had other ideas. This essay prompted me to think that this monthly column is a series of mini-reviews, if you will. The difference is that the operative word in what I do is ‘seller’, so unlike someone writing for a newspaper or journal, I can’t bag books I don’t think are any good. The best I can do is not to mention them. What we call in the trade, handselling, where the bookseller literally puts a book in the customer’s hand, is also a form of reviewing, in that we are not only personally recommending the book, but asking someone to pay for it. It can be nerve-wracking because if the bookseller gets it wrong, they could lose the customer for good, or at the very least, their respect. It’s a minefield I tell you, and I wouldn’t give it up for quids. Have a great festive season and see you next year. See you on D’Hill, Morgan

The Toy of the Spirit by Anthony Mannix

Anthony Mannix’s work centres on the documentation & investigation of his experiences of schizophrenia and, what is for him, madness’ implicit creativity & value. His texts range widely in approach, employing humour & poetry, diaristic reflection, images, heart-felt emotion, anthropological cataloguing, description & explanation. By turns visionary, philosophical, experimental & erotic, Mannix’s writing, in all its varied manifestions is any unconscious worlds. He is, as he suggests, an anthropologist of the unconscious. ‘[His work] opened, with some surprise, the eyes and minds of all those who visited to a very different world—one of madness & obsessive creativity, shocking and yet very exciting.’ — Carolynne Skinner, Oz Arts Magazine. ($25, PB)

Disaster’s Children by Emma Sloley ($30, PB)

As the world dies, a woman must choose between her own survival & that of humankind. Raised in a privileged community of wealthy survivalists on an idyllic, self-sustaining Oregon ranch, Marlo has always been insulated. The outside world, which the ranchers call ‘the Disaster,’ is a casualty of ravaging climate change, a troubled landscape on the brink of catastrophe. For as long as Marlo can remember, the unknown that lies beyond the borders of her utopia has been a curious obsession. But just as she plans her escape into the chaos of the real world, a charismatic new resident gives her a compelling reason to stay. And, soon enough, a reason to doubt—and to fear— his intentions. Now, feeling more and more trapped in a paradise that’s become a prison, Marlo has a choice: stay in the only home she’s ever known—or break away, taking its secrets of survival with her.


International Literature

NEALE DANIHER THE MOST INSPIRING AUSTRALIAN BOOK OF 2019. Neale Daniher sat down to pen a letter to the grandchildren he’ll never get to know. And then he kept on writing...

FRANCES WHITING ‘The Best Kind of Beautiful is the best kind of book: touching, funny, whimsical and mysterious! A special story about a delightful family.’ Liane Moriarty


HETTY MCKINNON ‘If you were stuck on a desert island and had to choose a salad to survive on, chances are it would come from this book.’ Sydney Morning Herald

CHARLOTTE REE ‘Imagine Florence Broadhurst baking Nana’s tastiest favourites on acid and you’ve pretty much got Charlotte’s Ree-markable first book.’ Matt Preston

Find Me by André Aciman ($30, PB)

André Aciman revisits the characters introduced in Call Me By Your Name in the years after their first meeting. Elio’s father, Samuel, is on a trip from Florence to Rome to visit Elio, now a gifted classical pianist. A chance encounter on the train upends Sami’s visit & changes his life forever. Elio soon moves to Paris, where he, too, has a consequential affair, while Oliver, a New England college professor with a family, suddenly finds himself contemplating a return trip across the Atlantic. Aciman is a master of sensibility, of the intimate details and the nuances of emotion that are the substance of passion. Find Me reenters the world of one of our greatest contemporary romances to show us that in fact true love never dies.

The Topeka School by Ben Lerner ($30, PB)

Adam Gordon is a senior at Topeka High School, class of ‘97. His parents are psychologists, his mom a famous author in the field. A renowned debater & orator, an aspiring poet, and—although it requires a lot of posturing & weight lifting—one of the cool kids, he’s also one of the seniors who brings the loner Darren Eberheart into the social scene, with disastrous effects. Deftly shifting perspectives & time periods, The Topeka School is a story about the challenges of raising a good son in a culture of toxic masculinity. It is also a prehistory of the present: the collapse of public speech, the tyranny of trolls & the new right, and the ongoing crisis of identity among white men.

Granta 149—Europe: Strangers in the Land (ed) Sigrid Rausing ($25, PB)

This issue of Granta includes essays by Elif Shafak, UKON, Andrew Miller, Will Atkins, Lara Feigel, Katherine Angel, Michael Hofmann, Joseph Koerner, Tom McCarthy & many more. It harks back to the 1989 issue of the same name, themed around the response to the fall of the Berlin wall. Through the lenses of exile & migration, the essays look at what it means to be European now. Featuring a photoessay by Bruno Fert who steps inside the temporary homes of refugees in camps in Greece & France.

End of the Ocean by Maja Lunde ($33, PB) Bottle Grove: A Novel by Daniel Handler

This novel begins with a wedding, held in the small San Francisco forest of Bottle Grove—bestowed by a wealthy patron for the public good, back when people did such things. A cross section of lives, a stretch of urban green where ritzy guests, lustful teenagers, drunken revellers & forest creatures all wait for the sun to go down. The girl in the corner slugging vodka from a cough-syrup bottle is Padgett—she’s keeping something secreted in the woods. The couple at the altar are the Nickels— the bride is emphatic about changing her name, as there is plenty about her old life she is ready to forget. And looming over this dark comedy of 2 unions is the income disparity between San Francisco’s tech community and—everyone else. ($30, PB)

Beyond the Sea by Paul Lynch ($30, PB)

Author of the award-winning novel, Grace, tells the tale of two South American fishermen, Bolivar & Hector, who go to sea before a sudden storm. Cast adrift in the Pacific Ocean, the two men must come to terms with their environment, and each other, if they are to survive. It begins as a gripping survival story & ends as a fearless existential parable, a meditation on what it means to be a man, a friend, a sinner, a human, in our fallen world. As deep & timeless as the sea, this novel sits squarely in the tradition of Camus, Borges, Joyce, Beckett & McCarthy.

Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi ($25, PB)

Three sisters live in the village of al-Awafi in Oman: Mayya, who marries after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla, who rejects all offers while waiting for her beloved, who has emigrated to Canada. These 3 women & their families witness Oman evolve from a traditional, slaveowning society, slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex present. Elegantly structured & taut, this is a coiled spring of a novel, telling of Oman’s coming-of-age through the prism of one family’s losses & loves.

Starve Acre by Andrew Michael Hurley ($30, PB)

Richard & Juliette Willoughby’s son, Ewan, has died suddenly at the age of 5. Starve Acre, their house by the moors, was to be full of life, but is now a haunted place. Juliette seeks the help of the Beacons, a seemingly benevolent group of occultists. Richard, to try & keep the boy out of his mind, has turned his attention to the field opposite the house, where he patiently digs the barren dirt in search of a legendary oak tree. This is a novel about the way in which grief splits the world in two and how, in searching for hope, we can so easily unearth horror.


In 2019, 70 year-old Signe sets out on a hazardous voyage to cross an entire ocean in only a sailboat. She is haunted by the loss of the love of her life, and is driven by a singular & all-consuming mission to make it back to him. In 2041, David flees with his young daughter, Lou, from a war-torn Southern Europe plagued by drought. They have been separated from their rest of their family & are on a desperate search to reunite with them once again, when they find Signe’s abandoned sailboat in a parched French garden, miles away from the nearest shore. As David and Lou discover personal effects from Signe’s travels, their journey of survival & hope weaves together with Signe’s, forming a heartbreaking, inspiring story about the power of nature and the human spirit.

Muck by Dror Burstein ($30, PB)

In a Jerusalem both ancient & modern, where the First Temple squats over the populace like a Trump casino, 2 young poets are about to have their lives turned upside down. Struggling Jeremiah is worried that he might be wasting his time trying to be a writer; the great critic Broch just beat him over the head with his own computer keyboard. Mattaniah, on the other hand, is a real up-and-comer—but he has a secret he wouldn’t want anyone in the literary world to know: his late father was king of Judah. Jeremiah’s despair yields a vision: that Jerusalem is doomed, and that Mattaniah will not only be forced to ascend to the throne but will thereafter witness his people slaughtered & exiled. But what does it mean to tell a friend & rival that his future is bleak? Can the very act of speaking a prediction aloud make it come true? If so, does that make you a seer, or just a schmuck? Dramatizing the eternal dispute between haves & have-nots, between poetry & power, this is a subversive retelling of the book of Jeremiah: a comedy with apocalyptic stakes.

The Age of Anxiety by Pete Townshend ($33, PB)

That this is a great rock novel is beside the point. The narrator is cultured, witty & unreliable in a novel that captures the craziness of the music business & shows Pete Townshend’s sly sense of humour & sharp ear for dialogue. First conceived as an opera, Townshend’s novel deals with mythic & operatic themes including a maze, divine madness & long-lost children. Hallucinations & soundscapes haunt the novel, which on one level is an extended meditation on manic genius & the dark art of creativity.

The Girl Who Reads on the Métro by Christine Féret-Fleury ($25, HB)

When Juliette takes the métro to her loathed office job each morning, her only escape is books, and as she avidly reads she imagines what her fellow commuters’ choices might say about them. But one day she decides to alight the train a few stops early & meets Soliman—the mysterious owner of the most enchanting bookshop Juliette has ever seen. For Soliman also believes in the power of books to change the course of a life—entrusting his passeurs with the task of giving each book to the person who needs it most—and he thinks Juliette is perfect for the job.

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout ($30, HB)

Elizabeth Strout revisits the blunt, contradictory yet deeply loveable Olive Kitteridge as she grows older—adjusting to her new life with her second husband, challenging her estranged son and his family to accept him, experiencing loss and loneliness, witnessing the triumphs and heartbreaks of her friends and neighbours in the small coastal town of Crosby, Maine—and, finally, opens herself to new lessons about life.

The Memory Pool ‘A joyful, moving, nostalgic and original take at what it means to be Australian. Dive in!’ Robert Drewe

The Ventriloquists by E.R. Ramzipoor ($30, PB)

Australian stories of summer, sun and swimming

Brussels, 1943. 12 -year-old street orphan Hélène survives by living as a boy & selling copies of the country’s most popular newspaper, Le Soir—now a propaganda rag for the Nazis. Hélène’s is befriended by a rogue journalist, Marc Aubrion, who draws her into a secret network that publishes dissident underground newspapers. When the Nazis track down Aubrion’s team they are given an impossible choice—to be killed, or to turn the resistance newspapers into a Nazi propaganda bomb that will sway public opinion against the Allies. But Aubrion has a brilliant idea—while pretending to do the Nazis’ bidding, they will instead publish a fake edition of Le Soir that pokes fun at Hitler & Stalin—daring to laugh in the face of their oppressors. ‘The ventriloquists’ have agreed to die for a joke, and they have only 18 days to tell it.

Therese Spruhan

The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes ($40, HB)

In the summer of 1885, three Frenchmen arrived in London for a few days’ shopping—a Prince, a Count & a commoner with an Italian name, who four years earlier had been the subject of one of John Singer Sargent’s greatest portraits. The commoner was Samuel Pozzi, society doctor, pioneer gynaecologist & free-thinker—a rational & scientific man with a famously complicated private life. Pozzi’s life played out against the backdrop of the Parisian Belle Époque— an age of glamour & pleasure whose shadow side was hysterical, narcissistic, decadent & violent, a time of rampant prejudice & blood-and-soil nativism, with more parallels to our own age than we might imagine. In this fresh portrait of La Belle Époque, Julian Barnes illuminates the fruitful and longstanding exchange of ideas between Britain and France, and makes a compelling case for keeping that exchange alive.

Therese Spruhan

‘A joyful, moving, nostalgic and original take at what it means to be Australian. Dive in!’

The Cheffe by Marie NDiaye ($30, PB)

The Cheffe is born into a very poor family in Sainte-Bazeille in southwestern France, but when she takes a job working in the kitchen of a couple in the Landes region, it becomes clear that she has an unusual, remarkable talent for cooking. She dreams in recipes, she’s always imagining food combinations & cooking times, she hunts down elusive flavours & aromas, and she soon usurps the couple’s cook. But for all her genius, the Cheffe remains very secretive about the rest of her life. She becomes pregnant, but will not reveal her daughter’s father. She shares nothing of her feelings or emotions. And when the demands of her work & caring for her child become too much, she leaves her baby in the care of her family, and sets out to open her own restaurant, which will soon win rave reviews & be lauded by all. But her relationship with her daughter will never be easy, and before long, it will threaten to destroy everything the Cheffe has spent her life perfecting.

The Memory Pool

— Robert Drewe


‘From inside the machine — a powerful memoir of justice pursued in the face of fallible judges, law ’n’ order politicians and the tabloid press.’ DAV I D M A R R


‘From inside the machine — a powerful memoir of justice pursued in the face of fallible judges, law ’n’ order politicians and the tabloid press.’ — David Marr

special price $34.99

Rembrandt’s Whore by Sylvie Matton ($20, PB)

Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah

This is the story of the body of Bwana Daudi, the Doctor, the explorer David Livingstone—and the 69 men & women who carried his remains for 1,500 miles so that he could be borne across the sea & buried in his own country. In Petina Gappah’s novel, it is those in the shadows of history—those who saved a white man’s bones; his dark companions; his faithful retinue on an epic funeral march—whose voices are resurrected. This final, fateful journey across the African interior is lead by Halima, Livingstone’s sharp-tongued cook, and three of his most devoted servants: Jacob, Chuma & Susi. Their tale of how his corpse was borne out of 19th century Africa—carrying the maps that sowed the seeds of the continent’s brutal colonisation—has the power of myth. It is not only symbolic of slavery’s hypocrisy, but a portrait of a world trembling on the cusp of total change—and a celebration of human bravery, loyalty & love. ($30, PB)

Now in B Format Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami, $20 The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict, $23


A sensitive innocent, Hendrickje Stoffels escapes the harsh realities of her garrison home-town to become a servant in Rembrandt’s household. She soon becomes his lover & closest confidante, filling the void in his life resulting from the death of his wife & two of their children. But Hendrickje is fated to discover the hypocrisy & fickleness of Amsterdam society. Sylvie Matton paints a powerful fictional portrait of this impassioned relationship against the backdrop of a turbulent era in Dutch history.


Also in the Summer Reading Guide at a special price: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern ($33, PB) $29.99 Grandmothers by Salley Vickers ($33, PB) $29.99




the oldest foods on earth john newton

‘This book is full of the information about Australian foods that your country refused to teach you. Here’s your chance to fully appreciate your homeland.’ — Bruce Pascoe




Good news for lovers of Ann Cleeves’s Shetland/Vera crime novels. The first in her new Two Rivers series—The Long Call—is here. Far from the cold, windy Shetland islands, and the bleak Newcastle-on-Tyne area, Cleeves fans now find themselves in North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea. The funeral of Detective Matthew Venn’s estranged father is taking place—with the unwelcome Matthew standing apart. Brought up in the evangelical brethren, he was cast out when he left the faith. After the funeral he gets his first major case back in his home town—a murdered man found on the beach. An old timber yard repurposed as a place for adults with a learning disability, a Down’s Syndrome girl courted by sweets and secrets, and Matthew’s mother reluctantly involved when he meets a stonewalling from the brethren who refuse to believe one the church congregation may be involved in murder—this book has many layers, complicated characters, a quite a few twists and surprises along the way. Being a great fan of the Shetland books and the TV series, I was very happy to see a new outing from Cleeves—and The Long Call’s Matthew Venn is certainly well-placed to join Vera and Jimmy Perez in Cleeves’ gallery of great characters. I then crossed the channel to The Awkward Squad by Sophie Henaff. A bit like New Tricks and the eccentric old men of the Christopher Fowler novels, the eponymous squad are a bunch of police officers who have blackened their reputations in some way—and HQ has stuck them on cold cases where they can do little or no harm. Suspended for ‘firing one bullet too many’, Anne Capestan is charged with leading this bunch of misfits—drunk Capitaine Merlot, Jose Torres—nicknamed Malchance, as bad luck befalls anyone nearby, and Capitaine Eva Rosiere who has a lucrative side-line writing crime novels which use her fellow officers and cases (thinly disguised) as plot. With Capestan teamed with Malchance as no-one else will work with him, the squad chooses two cold cases to work—a woman murder 7 years ago, a man found in the Seine with three bullet holes in him, a ferry that capsized off the coast of Florida. As they dig deeper—it begins to appear that they have been set up to fail—with a senior officer in the middle of the whole affair. This is perfect holiday reading—I do hope Haneff gets to give the Awkward Squad more cases. I have been reading some children’s books this year, and as gift-giving season is just around the corner I’d like to mention a few. Most of these are suitable for ages 8-12, with a leeway either side. The first is The Lotterys series by Emma Donoghue. The first book is The Lotterys Plus One, the second, The Lotterys More or Less. In a house called Camelottery in Toronto lives a family made up of four parents, seven kids and five pets ... These are wonderful books, full of fun and joy—yet with a serious, but not overbearing, message of diversity and how to get along in a large group of quite different individuals. I also loved Hilary McKay’s multi-award-winning The Exiles trilogy (The Exiles, The Exiles at Home and The Exiles in Love). Four sisters—Ruth, Naomi, Rachel and Phoebe—are prolific readers. In the first book they are sent to Big Grandma for the holidays, and horror of horrors, all books have disappeared. Big Grandma makes them go for walks even in the rain, do housework and bans books. How the girls cope makes for great reading. The two following books are just as much fun. 2018 Costa Award winner, The Skylarks’ War, also by Hilary McKay, is a more serious book—perhaps for older readers. Set against the backdrop of WW1, it follows Clarry, her brother Peter and their cousin Rupert. After a summer holiday in Cornwall. Peter and Rupert return to boarding school and Clarry to life with her more and more distant father. When Rupert goes to war, Clarry realises that their Cornwall holidays are truly over. This is a beautiful book, following the losses and loves of three young people as the war to end all wars, gains momentum and their lives change for ever—it has been called one of the best books of the First World War. Highly recommended. Lastly, When Hitler Stole the Pink Rabbit a semi-autobiographical account of author Judith Kerr’s life in Berlin, and her family’s escape from the Nazis—first to Switzerland , then to France and finally England. I usually avoid books about Hitler and the Nazis, but I found this very compelling. Kerr’s father was a distinguished Journalist, who made no pretence of his attitude to the rise of the Third Reich. Finding himself on a hit list, he and his family realised they had to pack up and leave. A wonderful story of love and courage and the triumph of the human spirit against terrible events. Janice Wilder


Crime Fiction

Peace by Garry Disher ($30, PB)

Constable Paul Hirschhausen runs a one-cop station in the dry farming country south of the Flinders Ranges. He’s still new in town but the community work—welfare checks & working bees—is starting to pay off. Now Christmas is here and, apart from a grass fire, two boys stealing a ute & Brenda Flann entering the front bar of the pub without exiting her car, Hirsch’s life has been peaceful. Until he’s called to a strange, vicious incident in Kitchener Street. And Sydney police ask him to look in on a family living outside town on a forgotten back road. Suddenly, it doesn’t look like a season of goodwill at all..

Blue Moon: Jack Reacher 24 by Lee Child ($33, PB)

Reacher is trained to notice things. He’s on a Greyhound bus, watching an elderly man sleeping in his seat, with a fat envelope of cash hanging out of his pocket. Another passenger is watching too—obviously hoping to get rich quick. As the mugger makes his move, Reacher steps in. The old man is grateful, yet he turns down Reacher’s offer to help him home. He’s vulnerable, scared, and clearly in big, big trouble. In a nameless city, two ruthless rival criminal gangs, one Albanian, the other Ukrainian, are competing for control. But they hadn’t counted on Jack Reacher arriving on their patch.

The Benefit of Hindsight by Susan Hill ($33, PB)

DC Simon Serrailler is back in harness at Lafferton CID, but it’s quiet and he’s spending his spare time high up in the cathedral roof, making drawings of the medieval angels which are being restored. Simon’s sister Cat’s medical & counselling skills are tested by terrible & unexpected events at the homes of 2 very different Lafferton women. Their father, Richard, has returned to live nearby in a luxury apartment for the wellheeled over 60s, and is soon up to his usual tricks. Then one rainy night two local men open their front door to a couple seeking shelter....

Death in the East by Abir Mukherjee ($33, PB)

1905, London. As a young constable, Sam Wyndham promises to get to the bottom of an old flames murder. But the case will cost the young constable more than he ever imagined. 1922, India. Capt Sam Wyndham heads for an ashram in the hills of Assam where he hopes to conquer his opium addiction. But when he arrives, he sees a ghost from his life in London—a man thought to be long dead. He calls on his friend & colleague Sergeant Surrender-not Banerjee for help, as he is certain this figure from his past isn’t here by coincidence. He is here for revenge.

Dead Man Switch by Tara Moss ($33, PB)

Sydney, 1946. World War II, Billie Walker’s photojournalist husband is missing, presumed dead. To support herself she re-opens her late father’s detective agency—her bread & butter is tailing cheating spouses—it’s easy, pays the bills & she has a knack for it. But her latest case, the disappearance of a young man, is not proving straightforward, and soon she is up to her stylish collar in bad men, and not unfaithful, but the murdering kind. Smugglers. Players. Gangsters. Billie & her loyal assistant pit their wits against Sydney’s ruthless underworld to find the young man before it’s too late..

Under Occupation by Alan Furst ($33, PB)

Occupied Paris in 1942, a dark, treacherous city now ruled by the German security services, where French resistance networks are working secretly to defeat Hitler. Just before he dies, a man being chased by the Gestapo hands off to Paul Ricard a strange looking drawing. It looks like a part for a military weapon; Ricard realizes it must be an important document smuggled out of Germany to aid the resistance. As Ricard is drawn deeper and deeper into the French resistance network, his increasingly dangerous assignments lead him to travel to Germany, along the underground safe houses of the resistance—all the way to the mysterious and beautiful Leila, a professional spy..

The Murder of Willie Lincoln by Burt Solomon

Washington City, 1862: The US lies in tatters, and the Civil War seems without end, despite Abraham Lincoln’s determination to keep his beloved country united. When Lincoln’s 11-year-old son, Willie, dies of typhoid fever, the doctors say. However when a message arrives, suggesting that murder, not illness, was the cause, Lincoln asks John Hay, his trusted aide, to investigate. Unearthing suspicions of a secessionist conspiracy within the Executive Mansion itself, a threat to Lincoln’s surviving sons, and an extortion attempt against the president’s hellcat of a wife, John Hay chases the truth of Willie’s murder through the loftiest & lowest corners of Washington City, discovering just how far Lincoln’s enemies will go to keep him silent. ($27, PB)

A Minute to Midnight by David Baldacci ($30, PB)

30 years ago Atlee Pine’s 6-year-old twin sister, Mercy, was taken & Atlee was left for dead while their parents were apparently partying downstairs. The family moved away. The parents divorced. And Atlee chose a career with the FBI. Notorious serial killer, Daniel James Tor, confined to a Colorado maximum security prison haunts her—does he really know what happened to Mercy? On a forced leave of absence returns to Andersonville to dig into the past—murder, long-buried secrets & lies. And a revelation so personal that everything she once believed to be true is fast turning to dust.

In Darkness Visible by Tony Jones ($33, PB)

Marin Katich, living in Croatia under an alias, is being watched. Before the year is out, he has been assaulted, arrested, charged with serious war crimes & locked up in Scheveningen Prison in The Hague awaiting trial. In Sydney, Anna Rosen, a freelance journalist, is emailed photos of a man she knows to be dead—gunned down in a brutal ambush in Bosnia over a decade ago. Is it possible that the photos really are of Marin Katich? And if so, what the hell had happened in 1992? Anna & Marin’s intertwined history fuels her determination to tear apart, piece by piece, his secrets, while continuing to keep her own. The Great Divide by L. J. M Owen ($30, PB) In the rural Tasmanian town of Dunton, the body of a former headmistress of a children’s home is discovered, revealing a tortured life & death. Detective Jake Hunter, newly arrived, searches for her killer among past residents of the home. He unearths pain, secrets & broken adults. Why are some of the children untraceable? What caused such damage among the survivors? The identity of her murderer is hidden from Jake by Dunton’s fog of prejudice & lies & he is forced to confront not only the town’s history but his own nature.

A Dance of Cranes by Steve Burrows ($23, PB)

Newly estranged from his girlfriend, Lindy Hey, Inspector Domenic Jejeune returns to Southern Ontario, where he receives news that his brother, Damian, has gone missing in Wood Buffalo National Park while conducting research on Whooping Cranes. Domenic immediately heads out to try to find him. Back in the UK Lindy has been kidnapped by his old foe, Ray Hayes. Jejeune’s trusty sergeant, Danny Maik, tracks her down Lindy, but there is far more to the situation than he anticipated. With Lindy in imminent danger, Maik is forced into a desperate rescue attempt.

True West by David Whish-Wilson ($30, PB)

Western Australia, 1988. After betraying the Knights bikie gang, seventeen-year-old Lee Southern flees to the city with nothing left to lose. Working as a rogue tow truck driver in Perth, he is captured by right-wing extremists whose combination of seduction and blackmail keeps him on the wrong side of the law and under their control. As the true nature of what drives his captors unfolds, Lee becomes an unwilling participant in a breathtakingly ambitious plot - and a cold-blooded crime that will show just how much he, and everyone else, still has to lose. The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry ($30, PB) Edinburgh, 1850. Hordes of patients are dying across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless—and a whispering campaign seeks to blame the esteemed Dr James Simpson for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances. Simpson’s protegé Will Raven & former housemaid Sarah Fisher are determined to clear his name. But with Raven battling against the dark side of his own nature, and Sarah endeavouring to expand her own medical knowledge beyond what society deems acceptable for a woman, the pair struggle to understand the cause of the deaths—and soon they discover that the true cause of these deaths has evaded suspicion purely because it is so unthinkable.

False Value by Ben Aaronovitch ($30, PB)

Peter Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. He takes a job with emigre Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner’s brand new London start up—the Serious Cybernetics Company. Drawn into the orbit of Old Street’s famous ‘silicon roundabout’, Peter must learn how to blend in with people who are both civilians & geekier than he is. Compared to his last job, Peter thinks it should be a doddle. But magic is not finished with Mama Grant’s favourite son. Because Terrence Skinner has a secret hidden in the bowels of the SCC. A technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, and forward to the future of artificial intelligence. A secret that is just as magical as it technological—and just as dangerous.

Siberian Dilemma by Martin Cruz Smith ($33, PB)

A new Arkady Renko story set against the harsh & forbidding landscape of Siberia in which Renko must fight against his own demons, as well as the larger global threat posed by Russian spies. ‘Martin Cruz Smithmakes tension rise through the page like a shark’s fin’— Independent

Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich ($30, PB)

Grandma Mazur is a widow—again. This time her marriage lasted a whole 45 minutes. The unlucky groom was one Jimmy Rosolli, local gangster, lothario (senior division) and heart attack waiting to happen. It’s a sad day, but Grandma is happy with all the attention she wants as the dutiful widow. But some kinds of attention are not welcome, particularly when Jimmy’s former ‘business partners’ are convinced that his widow is keeping the keys to their financial success for herself. As someone who has spent an entire career finding bad guys, a set of missing keys should be no challenge for Stephanie Plum. Problem is, the facts are as twisted as a pretzel with mustard.




True Crime

Corrupt Bodies: Death and Dirty Dealing in a London Morgue by Peter Everett ($30, PB)

In 1985, Peter Everett landed the job as Superintendent of Southwark Mortuary. In just 6 years he’d gone from lowly assistant to running the UK’s busiest murder morgue. He couldn’t believe his luck. What he didn’t know was that Southwark, operating in near-Victorian conditions, was a hotbed of corruption. Attendants stole from the dead, funeral homes paid bribes & there was a lively trade in stolen body parts & recycled coffins. Peter managed pathologists, oversaw post mortems & worked alongside Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—including on the case of the serial killer, the Stockwell Strangler. Set in the fascinating pre-DNA & psychological profiling years of 1985-87, Everett tells a gripping & gruesome tale, with a unique insight into a largely unseen world.

Frank & Fearless by Nicholas Cowdery

For sixteen-and-a-half years, Nicholas Cowdery was Director of Public Prosecutions for NSW. During this time, he immersed himself in the worst & saddest of human behaviour as he examined cases in forensic detail. And when he made unpopular decisions he had to reckon with criticism from politicians, media, victims, perpetrators & their families. In this memoir Cowdery reflects on some of the most notorious & difficult cases of his distinguished career, including the headline-grabbing criminal trials of Gordon Wood, Keli Lane & Jeffrey Gilham. He also writes about lesser-known cases involving drugs & voluntary assisted dying, and the need for law reform. All the while, he fights for a fair trial for all concerned, revealing the workings of our criminal justice system from the inside. ($35, PB)

Person X & Fascists Among Us by Jeff Sparrow ($20, PB)

The massacre of more than 50 worshippers at mosques in Christchurch, NZ, shocked the world. The murders expressed a particular ideology that the alleged perpetrator described as ‘fascism’.But what does fascism mean today—and what kind of threat does it pose? Jeff Sparrow traces the history of the far right, showing how fascists have adapted to the new politics of the 21st century. Burgeoning in dark places online, contemporary fascism exults in violence and picks its targets strategically. With imitative massacres already occurring around the world, Christchurch must be a wake-up call. This book makes a compelling, urgent case for a new response to an old menace.


Letters of Cole Porter ($65, HB)

Alongside his professional success, Cole Porter led an eclectic personal life which featured exuberant parties, scandalous affairs, and chronic health problems. This extensive collection of letters (most of which are published here for the first time) dates from the first decade of the 20th century to the early 1960s and features correspondence with stars such as Irving Berlin, Ethel Merman, and Orson Welles, as well as his friends and lovers. Cliff Eisen and Dominic McHugh complement these letters with lively commentaries that draw together the loose threads of Porter’s life and highlight the distinctions between Porter’s public and private existence—the letters revealing some surprising insights into his attitudes toward Hollywood & Broadway, and toward money, love & dazzling success.

A Radical Romance by Alison Light ($45, HB)

Alison Light met the radical social historian, Raphael Samuel, in London in 1986. Twenty years her senior, Raphael was a charismatic socialist from a very different background to Alison’s working-class family. Within a year they were married. Within ten, Raphael would be dead. In this chronicle of a passionate marriage, Light peels back the layers of their time together, its intimacies and its estrangements. She tells of moving into Raphael’s cluttered 18th-century house in Spitalfields and into his equally full, unconventional life; of the whirlwind of change outside their door which brutally transformed London’s old East End districts; of being widowed at 41, and finding inspiration in her friendship with Raphael’s mother.

Dear Girls by Ali Wong ($30, PB)

In her hit Netflix comedy special Baby Cobra, an eight-month pregnant Ali Wong resonated so strongly that she even became a popular Halloween costume. Wong told the world her remarkably unfiltered thoughts on marriage, sex, Asian culture & working women. Through absurdly funny letters addressed to her daughters she shares the wisdom she’s learned from a life in comedy and reveals stories from her life offstage, including the brutal single life in New York (i.e. the inevitable confrontation with erectile dysfunction), reconnecting with her roots (and drinking snake blood) in Vietnam, tales of being a wild child growing up in San Francisco, and parenting war stories.

James Cook by Peter FitzSimons ($50, HB)

James Cook, the Yorkshire farm boy would go on to become the foremost mariner, navigator & cartographer of his era, and to personally map a third of the globe—his great voyages of discovery incredible feats of seamanship & navigation. Leading a crew of men into uncharted territories, Cook would face the best & worst of humanity as he took himself & his crew to the edge of the known world—and beyond. Peter FitzSimons brings James Cook to life. Focusing on his most iconic expedition, the voyage of the Endeavour, where Cook first set foot on Australian & NZ soil, FitzSimons contrasts Cook against another figure who looms large in Australasian history: Joseph Banks, the aristocratic botanist. As they left England, Banks, a rich, famous playboy, was everything that Cook was not. The voyage tested Cook’s character and would help define his legacy.

The Sisters of Auschwitz by Roxane van Iperen

During WW2 two Jewish sisters—Janny & Lien Brilleslijper— run one of the largest hideaways in The Netherlands: The High Nest, a villa in The Gooi area. While the last remaining Jews are being hunted in The Netherlands, the lives of dozens of hideaways kept going for better or for worse, right under the noses of their National Socialist neighbours. Eventually, the nest is exposed & the Brilleslijper family put on one of the last transports to Auschwitz, along with the (Anne) Frank family. Roxane’s novelistic eye & rigorous research result in a hugely compelling portrayal of courage, treason & human resilience. ($33, PB)

The Saturday Portraits by Maxine B Clarke

Writing creative portraits for The Saturday Paper was a journalistic baptism of fire for Maxine Beneba Clarke. She comes face to face with PM Tony Abbott; spends 9 minutes with Hugh Jackman; writes a love letter to Prince; is escorted out of David Jones for stalking Santa Claus; w; eats slut cupcakes with feminist Karen Pickering; trolls a local racist fried chicken eatery; holds audience with the Australian Ambassador to China; covertly profiles One Plus One presenter Jane Hutcheon; share the stage with writer Roxane Gay; sip green tea with dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, and exchange emails with President Obama. ($35, PB)

Special prices in the Summer Reading Guide

8 8

Tell Me Why by Archie Roach ($50, HB) $39.99 Me by by Elton John ($45, HB) $36.99 Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister by Jung Chang ($35, PB) $29.99


Letters from Tove by Tove Jansson ($40, HB)

Out of the thousands of letters Tove Jansson wrote, a cache remains that she addressed to her family, her dearest confidantes, and her lovers, male & female. Into these she spilled her innermost thoughts, defended her ideals & revealed her heart. Penned with grace & humour, these letters offer an almost seamless commentary on Jansson’s life as it unfolds within Helsinki’s bohemian circles & her island home. Spanning 50 years between her art studies & the height of Moomin fame, she shares the bleakness of war; the hopes for love that were dashed & renewed, and her determined attempts to establish herself as an artist.

Surfacing by Kathleen Jamie ($30, HB)

Under the ravishing light of an Alaskan sky, objects are spilling from the thawing tundra linking a Yup’ik village to its hunter-gatherer past. In the shifting sand dunes of a Scottish shoreline, impressively preserved hearths & homes of Neolithic farmers are uncovered. In a grandmother’s disordered mind, memories surface of a long-ago mining accident & a ‘mither who was kind’. In this essay collection, poet Kathleen Jamie visits archeological sites & mines her own memories—of her grandparents, of youthful travels—to explore what surfaces & what reconnects us to our past. Looking to the natural world for her markers & guides, she considers, as her father dies & her children leave home, the surfacing of an older, less tethered sense of herself. Surfacing offers a profound sense of time passing & an antidote to all that is instant, ephemeral, unrooted.

Time For Lights Out by Raymond Briggs($40, HB)

In his customary pose as the grumpiest of grumpy old men, Raymond Briggs contemplates old age & death... and doesn’t like them much. Illustrated with Briggs’s inimitable pencil drawings, Time for Lights Out is a collection of short pieces, some funny, some melancholy, some remembering his wife who died young, others about the joy of grandchildren, of walking the dog... He looks back at his schooldays and his time as an evacuee during the war, and remembers his parents and the house in which he grew up.

One Hundred Autobiographies: A Memoir by David Lehman ($49, HB)

When poet & scholar David Lehman was diagnosed with cancer, no matter how debilitating the medical procedures, he wrote every day during chemotherapy & in the aftermath of radical surgery. With riffs of wit & imagination, he transmutes the details of his inner life into a prose narrative rich in incident & mental travel—journeying from the first dreadful symptoms to the sunny days of recovery. This ‘fake memoir’, features one-hundred short vignettes that tell a life story. Set against the backdrop of Manhattan, Lehman summons John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Edward Said & Lionel Trilling among his mentors. Dostoyevsky shows up, as does Graham Greene. Keith Richards & Patti Hansen put in an appearance, Edith Piaf sings, Clint Eastwood saves the neighbourhood, & the Rat Pack comes along for the ride. These and other avatars of popular culture help Lehman to make sense of his own mortality and life story.

Mutual Admiration Society by Mo Moulton ($33, PB)

In 1912, Dorothy L. Sayers & 5 friends founded a writing group at Somerville College, Oxford; they dubbed themselves the ‘Mutual Admiration Society.’ These women were sheltered & chaperoned, barred from receiving degrees despite taking classes & passing exams. But things for women were changing & in October 1920, members of the ‘Society’ returned to Oxford to receive full degrees— among the first women to be awarded such honours. Sayers & her classmates remained lifelong friends & collaborators as they battled for a truly democratic culture that acknowledged their equal humanity. They pushed boundaries in reproductive rights, sexual identity, queer family making & representations of women in the arts—despite the casual cruelty of sexism that still limited women’s choices. Mo Moulton brings these six indomitable women to vivid life, as they navigate the complexities of adulthood, work, intimacy & sex in Interwar England.

Caroline’s Dilemma: A colonial inheritance saga by Bettina Bradbury ($35, PB)

Caroline Kearney was a 31 year-old mother of 6 when her husband died in Melbourne in 1865. Having no legal rights herself to his sheep station in Wimmera, Victoria she had great hopes that her sons would inherit it. But her husband’s will, written on his deathbed, offered a reasonable annuity to support her & the children, but only if she moved to Ireland with her children & live in a house of her brothers-in-law’s choosing. English-born, Caroline had migrated to Australia with her family when she was 17. She had never even been to Ireland. Her husband & his family—unlike her—were Catholic. Pieced together from evidence in archives, newspapers, genealogical sites, legal records this book sheds new light on the workings of colonial gender relationships & family lives that spanned the 19th century globe.

Out this month Yellow Notebook: Diaries Volume One 1978–1987 by Helen Garner ($29.99, HB)

Travel Writing

A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar ($25, HB)

Shortly after completing The Return, Hisham Matar set off for Siena, a city he had never visited before. His plan was to see the paintings of the Sienese school, to immerse himself in the work of artists he admired perhaps above all others. This month in Siena would be an extraordinary period in his life—an immersion in art, a consideration of grief & violence, an intimate encounter with the city & its inhabitants. In a profoundly moving contemplation of the relationship between art & the human condition, Matar looks at how art can console & disturb in equal measure.

Search Sweet Country by Kojo Laing ($23, PB)

Kojo Laing brings the Ghanaian city of Accra to life in dizzying, lyrical prose, weaving a story filled with bizarre & often melancholy characters—an idealistic professor, a lovely young witch, a wide-eyed student, a corrupt politician and his hack sidekick, a business-savvy young woman, a healer, a bishop & a crazy man intent on founding his own village. Their collective narratives create a portrait of a country where colonialism is dying, but democracy remains elusive. Search Sweet Country is a timeless, near-forgotten gem by a virtuosic writer, as necessary now as when the book was first published.

Travels with a Writing Brush: Classical Japanese travel Writing from the Manyoshu to Basho ($25, PB)

Discover a richly literary tradition of travel writing extending through a thousand years and more, whose individual works together weave a dense & beautiful brocade of repeated patterns & motifs, tones & textures. Here are asobi, the wandering performers who prefigured geisha; travelling monks who sleep on pillows of grass & listen to the autumnal insects; and a young girl who passionately longs to travel to the capital & read more stories. Taking in songs, dramas, tales, diaries & above all, poetry, this wonderful anthology roams over mountains & along perilous shores to show how profoundly travel inspired the Japanese imagination.

My Penguin Year by Lindsay McCrae ($33, PB)

Emperor penguins have the most extraordinary lifecycle. They march up to 100 miles over solid ice to reach their breeding grounds. They choose to breed in the depths of the worst winter on the planet; and in an unusual role reversal, the males incubate the eggs, fasting for over 100 days to ensure they introduce their chicks safely into their new frozen world. Lindsay McCrae recounts her adventure to the end of the Earth to experience every aspect of a breeding emperor’s life, facing the inevitable sacrifices that came with living his childhood dream, and facing down the personal obstacles that, being over 15000km away from the comforts of home, almost proved too much.

Byron & Italy by Alan Rawes & Diego Saglia ($52, PB)

Venetian debauchery, Roman sight-seeing, revolution, horse-riding & swimming, sword-brandishing & pistol-shooting, Byron’s ‘last attachment’—forms part of the fabric of Romantic mythology. Yet Byron’s time in Italy was crucial to his development as a writer, to Italy’s sense of itself as a nation, to Europe’s perceptions of national identity & to the evolution of Romanticism across Europe. In this volume, Byron scholars from Britain, Europe and beyond re-assess the topic of ‘Byron and Italy’ in all its richness & complexity. They consider Byron’s relationship to Italian literature, people, geography, art, religion & politics, and discuss his navigations between British & Italian identities.

When You Kant Figure It Out, Ask A Philosopher Marie Robert How can Aristotle cure your hangover? How can Kant comfort you when you get dumped via SMS? This hilarious book contains advice for modern dilemmas from the greatest Western philosophers. Out 5 November

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister Jung Chang From the bestselling author of Wild Swans, a gripping story of sisterhood, revolution and betrayal, and three women who helped shape the course of modern Chinese history. Out 15 October

Olive, Again Elizabeth Strout Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout continues the life story of her prickly, yet beloved character Olive Kitteridge. Out 5 November

Love is Strong as Death Paul Kelly A collection of more than 300 of Paul Kelly’s favourite poems, combining the ancient and the modern, to speak to two great themes throughout his music: love and death. Out 5 November

The Man in the Red Coat Julian Barnes Britain’s most passionate Francophile takes us on a wonderfully rich, witty tour of Belle Epoque Paris, via the life story of society doctor, pioneer gynaecologist and free-thinker, Samuel Pozzi. Out 5 November

Who Owns History? Geoffrey Robertson Geoffrey Robertson focuses his razor-sharp mind on one of the greatest contemporary issues in the worlds of art and culture: the return of cultural property taken from its country of creation. Out 5 November

Classic Krakauer: Essays on Wilderness and Risk by Jon Krakauer ($25, PB)

Spanning a large range of subjects & locations, this collection of Jon Krakauer’s articles move from a horrifying avalanche on Mount Everest to a volcano poised to obliterate a big chunk of greater Seattle at any moment; from a wilderness teen-therapy program run by apparent sadists to an otherworldly cave in New Mexico, studied by NASA to better understand Mars; from the notebook of one Fred Beckey, who catalogued the greatest unclimbed mountaineering routes on the planet, to the last days of legendary surfer Mark Foo—all unified by the author’s ambivalent love affair with unruly landscapes.

Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking it All with Rene Redzepi, the World’s Greatest Chef by Jeff Gordinier ($35, HB)

Feeling stuck in his life, New York Times food writer Jeff Gordinier met René Redzepi, the Danish chef whose restaurant, Noma, has been repeatedly voted the best in the world. A restless perfectionist, Redzepi was at the top of his game but looking to shutter his restaurant and set out for new places, flavours and recipes. This is the story of their four-year culinary adventure. In the Yucatan jungle, Redzepi and Gordinier seek the perfect taco and the secrets of mole. On idyllic Sydney beaches, they forage for sea rocket and wild celery. On a boat in the Arctic Circle, a lone fisherman guides them to—perhaps—the world’s finest sea urchins. Back in Copenhagen, Redzepi plans the resurrection of his restaurant on the unlikely site of a garbage-filled empty lot. Hungry is a memoir, a travelogue, a portrait of a chef, and a chronicle of the moment when daredevil cooking became the most exciting and groundbreaking form of artistry.


books for kids to young adults

compiled by children’s correspondent, Lynndy Bennett

Animals by Chihiro Takeuchi ($20, BD) Inside each of these animal silhouette cut-outs are a heap of other animals from the same continent to find—2 Giraffes, 1 lion, 3 camels, 5 ostriches and 4 zebras reside inside the elephant. Takeuchi gets readers to count their way through the animals of Africa, Europe, North and South America, Asia, Oceania and the Arctics in this colourful boardbook.

for the very young

Never Touch a Platypus! By Make Believe Ideas

As with other books in this series of novelty board books, there are bold colours, various textures to touch and feel, lively language, and in this case - lesser-known animals! In addition to being fun for ages 1+, these books offer great tactile stimulation for many special needs children. ($15, BD) Lynndy

Rhymoceros by Janik Coat ($18, BD)

Janik Coat’s follow-up to Hippopposites sees a blue rhinoceros unabashedly demonstrating 16 pairs of rhyming words. Fortunately he isn’t phased by the fact that stinky, inky, caring, daring and so forth land him in compromising situations. Bumpy, furry, quilted & gold (you guess the rhymes) are suitably tactile. Good fun to say aloud.

Goodnight, Rainbow Cats by Barbara Castro Urio

Help 12 colourful cats wind down by turning each page and guiding them inside the big white house. Then, watch as each diecut window is infused with colour, and the sleepy cats curl up and catch their much-needed zzzz. A real fetish of a book—makes you want to make a version of your own. ($20, BD)

picture books

I Go Quiet by David Ouimet ($25, HB)

Originally an oversized picture book, this is a past favourite of mine now reissued in a more standard format. Over a period of years Dutch politician Schaapman created the entire mansion from vintage and found objects - designing, sewing and building every element herself before writing the story of endearing little mouse characters Sam and Julia and their friends and adventures. There are aspects of I Spy, and abundant tiny details on every page to enthrall anyone from 3 onwards. Schaapman’s original Mouse Mansion, over 3 metres high with more than 100 rooms, is on display at the public library in Amsterdam. Check it out online, and hold on for further Mansion exploits. Lynndy

I See, I See by Robert Henderson ($20, HB)

I love this Australian exploration of perspective! A dynamic interactive book designed to be read right side up and upside down at the same time. Do you see sea, or is it sky? With wider implications for individual points of view, this rhyming picture book can be read by one or more simultaneously. Lynndy

Sam & Julia: 1 Mouse Mansion by Karina Schaapman ($30, HB)

Originally an oversized picture book, this is a past favourite of mine now reissued in a more standard format. Over a period of years Dutch politician Schaapman created the entire mansion from vintage and found objects—designing, sewing and building every element herself before writing the story of endearing little mouse characters Sam and Julia and their friends and adventures. There are aspects of I Spy, and abundant tiny details on every page to enthrall anyone from 3 onwards. Schaapman’s original Mouse Mansion, over 3 metres high with more than 100 rooms, is on display at the public library in Amsterdam. Check it out online, and hold on for further Mansion exploits. Lynndy

The Piano Recital by Akiko Miyakoshi ($25, HB)

It’s the day of Momo’s first piano recital. As she nervously waits for her turn to play, she tells herself, ‘I’ll be okay ... I’ll be okay ...’ Then she hears a voice nearby, also saying, ‘I’ll be okay ... I’ll be okay ...’ It’s a mouseling! And the little mouse is nervous about her first performance, too. The mouseling invites Momo through a small door backstage, where Momo finds a miniature theatre filled with an audience of finely dressed mice there to watch singers, dancers and circus performers! When it’s the mouseling’s turn, Momo agrees to accompany her on piano. The mouse audience is so appreciative! But then, as she rises to take her bow, Momo is surprised to discover—it isn’t a mouse audience at all! A marvellous way to face down performance anxiety, or any new challenge.

Amy Wild and the Quarrelling Cats by Diana Kimpton

Amy Wild has a secret—she can talk to animals! Dogs tell their secrets, cats perform rescue missions, her entire island is squeaking and squawking with animal magic. Amy and her best friends—a dog, a parrot and four squabbling cats—love to help out creatures in need. So when the cats complain that their food is going missing, Amy’s determined to solve the mystery to stop poor Bun the baker’s cat getting the blame. Can she find out who the greedy thief is? ($13, PB)

Can You See Me? by Libby Scott & Rebecca Westcott ($17, PB)

Tally is ten years old and she’s trying really hard to be just like her friends. But Tally is autistic, and her autism means there are things that annoy her even though she wishes they wouldn’t. It means that people misunderstand her and feel frustrated by her. And they think she doesn’t realise what they’re thinking—but Tally notices all of it. And, honestly? That’s not the easiest thing to live with.

How to Make a Movie in 12 Days by Fiona Hardy

Twelve days. Five kids. Many special effects. One giant mystery. Hayley Whelan has spent her whole life dreaming of making a horror movie—and not just the type of movie that kids make on their dodgy second-hand iPhones. When her grandma passes away, she inherits the money for a proper, grown-up camera. But before Hayley even calls ‘Action!’, strange things start happening... Someone is sabotaging Hayley’s movie—but who? Why? And can Hayley finish her movie in time for the premiere? From Australia’s brightest new middle-grade talent comes this love song to movies, friendship and the summer holidays. ($17, PB)


The Nativity by Geraldine Elschner (ill) Giotto di Bondone ($36, HB)

In keeping with the season it seems apt to choose a Christmas book, and Elschner’s skilfully retold story is adorned by Giotto’s sumptuous fresco cycle, gold-foiled and gorgeous. A family keepsake. Lynndy

Eee-Moo! by Annika Dunklee ($25, HB)

When the stork drops an egg before delivery and on hatching the little creatures first words are EEE-MOO. So the animals nearby decide he is must be an emu and offer to help him find his way home. So EEE-MOO’s journey begins, assisted along the way by a cast of other animal friends who guide him to the open arms of his family. Or are they?

Don’t forget the boxed set— picture book + plush toy or digger!

We have a heap of these—a classic picture paperback like Mem Fox’s classic with your own Green Sheep to take to bed ($29.95), or for the aspiring engineer—Roadworks ($28) with a digger to begin excavations in the back yard. They’re all very reasonably priced—give us a call and find out if we have a box with your favourite book and character.


Ask Hercules Quick by Ursula Dubosarsky (ill) Andrew Joyner ($20, HB))

Desperately wanting the box of magic tricks he saw in a shop, Hercules is faced with a problem: no money. Solution? Get a job. Thankfully his idiosyncratic neighbours respond to Hercules’ ad, bringing a different sort of magic to Hercules’ life. It’s difficult to convey how much I adore this story. As ever, Dubosarsky’s novel and characters are captivatingly likeable, and a whimsical humour dominates, while in perfect interplay Joyner’s quirky illustrations both complement and add to the text, with unexpected amusing detail. I fervently hope we’ll see more books featuring Hercules, Aunt Alligator, dapper octopus Professor Calamari, the multitudinous Elk family, Queen Claude, Sylvie, and Mike and Herbert! Lynndy

Fauna: Australia’s Most Curious Creatures by Tania McCartney ($25, HB)


Covering physical characteristics of our extraordinary animals; their habitats and lifestyles; vulnerability status and evolution, this National Library of Australia book is an ideal introduction to our native creatures. Highly illustrated and leavened with humour, it is a splendid resource for all ages 6 and upwards.

WildLives: 50 Extraordinary Animals That Made History by Ben Lerwill (ill) Sarah Walsh ($35, HB)

From Balto, the legendary husky who led his team without their driver through blizzards to deliver diphtheria medicine in Alaska to Keiko—the whale that featured in the film Free Willy and was released back into the wild because of the response; from Hoover the seal that ‘spoke’ phrases in a New England accent to Lonesome George the oldest known tortoise in the world, WildLives offers a mere glimpse into significant human-animal interactions through history. Readers of 7–adult will see animals in a new light after this. Lynndy

Ready, Set, Draw! A Game of Creativity & Imagination by Hervé Tullet ($28, BX)

Osbert by Noel Streatfeild (ill) Susanne Suba ($25, HB)

Originally an oversized picture book, this is a past favourite of mine now reissued in a more standard format. Over a period of years Dutch politician Schaapman created the entire mansion from vintage and found objects - designing, sewing and building every element herself before writing the story of endearing little mouse characters Sam and Julia and their friends and adventures. There are aspects of I Spy, and abundant tiny details on every page to enthrall anyone from 3 onwards. Schaapman’s original Mouse Mansion, over 3 metres high with more than 100 rooms, is on display at the public library in Amsterdam. Check it out online, and hold on for further Mansion exploits. Lynndy

teen fiction

The Deathless Girls by Kiran M. Hargrave

On the eve of her divining, the day she’ll discover her fate, 17 year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community. Forced to work in the castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts. ($20, PB)

Dev1at3: Lifel1k3 2 by Jay Kristoff

The explosive sequel to Lifel1k3 that ‘reads like a crazed mash up of Blade Runner, Paradise Lost, XMen, Mad Max and everything in between’ from the author of the Nevernight Chronicles and co-author of the New York Times bestselling Illuminae Files. Join Lemon Fresh, Ezekiel and Cricket as they battle deadly corporate operatives from BioMaas Incorporated and Daedelus Technologies. ($20, PB)

A Winter’s Promise: The Mirror Visitor 1 by Christelle Dabos ($23, PB)

Long ago, following a cataclysm called ‘The Rupture’, the world was shattered into floating celestial islands, known now as Arks. Ophelia lives on Anima, an Ark where objects have souls. Beneath her worn scarf and thick glasses, Ophelia hides two powers—the ability to read the past of objects and their human owners, and the ability to travel through mirrors. When she is promised in marriage to Thorn, she is forced to leave her family and follow her fiancé to Citaceleste, the floating capital of a distant Ark. This multi-award winning series is the perfect gift for the fantasy lover in your family.

Wow! Whether ‘artistic’ or not, adults and children alike can spend hours playing with the various combinations of this imaginative pack. Showcasing Hervé’s signature bold colours and minimalist shapes and lines, this wildly graphic and highly intuitive card game will unlock every young (and old) artist’s creative potential. Select WHAT to draw from one deck and HOW to draw it from the other; then flick the colourful spinner wheel to randomise the options eg ‘draw a tree with your eyes closed’ to ‘draw a friend... upside down! Lynndy

True Stories of Heroes

($10, HB) From a housewife’s brave defiance of the Gestapo in Nazi Germany, to a doctor’s risking her life to treat patients in a battle zone, this book contains inspiring tales of extraordinary courage from everyday people—with full colour illustrations throughout.

Prisoners of Geography: Our World Explained in 12 Simple Maps by Tim Marshall ($35, HB)

How did the USA become a superpower? Why do people go to war? And why are some countries rich while others are so poor? The answers to these questions and many more in this eye-opening book, which uses maps to explain how geography has shaped the history of our world. Discover how the choices of world leaders are swayed by mountains, rivers and seas - and why geography means that history is always repeating itself. This remarkable, unique introduction to world affairs will inspire curious young minds everywhere.

Home by Charles Hope

($28, PB) From highly organised beehives and ant colonies to creatures that carry their homes with them, the animal kingdom is host to a spectacular array of homes. Charles Hope’s glorious full colour photos capture some of these ingenious dwellings.

Greek Myths and Mazes by Jan Bajtlik ($30, HB)

games & noveltiy

Find your way out of a maze on each page in this intricate book from the creators of Maps. From an Ancient Greek theatre, to the Trojan horse and the Minotaur, discover the legendary labyrinths of Ancient Greece, as well as its myths and legends large and beautifully illustrated collection of puzzles and facts.

The Endless Odyssey: A Mythic Storytelling Game ($25, BX) Enter a strange land of winged horses & vengeful gods, where one-eyed monsters feast on human flesh. This game revives the 19th century craze of myrioramas or ‘many pictures’—20 illustrated cards can placed in any order to create a seamless scene stretching up to 5 ½ feet long. Almost infinite combinations of cards provide endless (2,432,902,008,176,640,000) storyscaping possibilities. Bauhaus Ballet: A Pop-up Performance ($40, HB)

Dancers leap, spin and kick their way through this pop-up book inspired by the eccentric and innovative Bauhaus Triadic Ballet—with striking artwork by Lesley Barnes accompanied by Gabby Dawnay’s playful text. Seek and Find Cities ($15, PB) Join travellers Lonely Planet Cat and Bird as they explore the world in this fun search-and-find book. Our intrepid duo have spent all year planning a city-hopping tour around the globe and in each city there are all kinds of things to spot, from traditional hats to a famous landmark to a local animal or two. You’ll need to hunt high and low, peep inside buildings and search among the crowds. And don’t forget to look for Cat and Bird in every city too.

Monuments by Will Kostakis ($20, PB)

Trying to avoid his ex-best friend 16-year-old Connor stumbles upon a trapdoor to a secret chamber under his school. But when Sally Rodgers breaks into the same secret chamber looking for an ancient being—Connor’s life will never be the same. Along with the mysterious Sally & his new friend Locky, Connor discovers the Monuments—gods who have been buried for generations—who created the world and hid themselves away from humanity to keep everyone safe. But now they’re exposed and vulnerable. This is the first book in an exciting new duology from YA star, Will Kostakis. In Conclusion… After almost 33 years at Gleebooks I am leaving to make a plains change to outside Sydney. Thankfully I am moving into another area that is well populated by books, authors and illustrators - without which I’d feel bereft—and literary possibilities. Farewell and thank you to all the Gleebooks Children’s customers and publishers’ reps over the years who allowed me to enthuse at length, connect with them, and be involved in their reading progress. Wishing you all a happy book-filled Christmas, and a lifetime of the joy of reading. Lynndy


Food, Health & Garden

The Resilience Project by Hugh van Cuylenburg

Hugh van Cuylenburg was a primary school teacher volunteering in northern India when he had a life-changing realisationdespite the underprivileged community the children were from, they were remarkably positive. By contrast, young people he knew in Australia, who had food, shelter, friends and a loving family, struggled with their mental health. He set about finding the answer and in time came to recognise the key traits and behaviours these children possessed were gratitude, empathy and mindfulness. Hugh threw himself into studying & sharing this revelation with the world through The Resilience Project & in this book he explains how we can all get the tools we need to live a happier & more fulfilling life. ($35, PB)

Green: Plants for small spaces, indoors and out by Jason Chongue ($33, PB)

Jason Chongue provides a practical & personal guide to creating urban gardens and styling with plants, perfect for a range of environments and climates—from balconies, porches, courtyards & small backyards to entry ways, offices & living spaces. Chapters cover understanding your climate, a plant maintenance calendar, curating a range of spaces and appreciating plants in public spaces, as well as quick tips for styling and plant care.

An Economic History of the English Garden by Roderick Floud ($55, HB)

Roderick Floud draws on never-seen primary sources to explore how much gardens cost to make & to maintain; how many gardeners tend to particular gardens; the prices of plants sold by nurseries, or imported from far-flung corners of the world; where the plants come from, what tools & techniques were used to create them & how they were invented. He compares one garden with another in terms of the burden that it has put on the family that has owned it over the centuries. He unearths where their money came from & why they spent it on a garden. The result is a far deeper understanding of one of England’s dearest— and indeed costliest—industries.

Cook, Eat, Run by Charlie Watson ($30, PB)

British runner Charlie Watson offers a no-nonsense approach to eating for runners & athletes of all levels. From filling breakfasts & high-protein snacks to post-run energy fixes & speedy suppers, it’s an essential companion for anyone looking to seize control of their fitness regime. Featuring 70+ simple recipes, plus a section dedicated to on-the-go fuel including homemade energy gels, hydration drinks & energy bars, alongside recipes from elite runners including Sara Hall, Kara Goucher & Molly Huddle, making it a must-read for anyone totting up their miles.

Cooking with the Oldest Foods on Earth by John Newton ($23, HB)

Native produce business is booming & it’s about to enter a new phase—Australian native ingredients are beginning to turn up in growers’ markets & even local supermarkets. From Warrigal greens & saltbush, to kangaroo & yabbies, John Newton will inspire you to grab some & take it home. This short companion book to the award-winning The Oldest Foods on Earth shows you how to cook with Australian ingredients, where to find them & how to grow them. Organised by ingredient, each chapter includes a brief history, a practical guide & recipes for you to make in your very own kitchen. The Commons by Matthew Evans ($55, HB) Matthew Evans is the co-owner with his partner Sadie Chrestman of Fat Pig Farm, a 70 acre mixed holding that grows food for their on-farm restaurant in Southern Tasmania. In this book Evans captures Fat Pig Farm’s year of growing, cooking & feasting in a part how-to, part evocative diary, part cookbook (with more than 100 recipes). It’s the perfect inspiration for those about to embark on a simpler life or a vicarious solution for those who just want to dream.

Food Artisans of Japan: Recipes and stories by Nancy Singleton Hachisu ($55, HB)

Hachisu shares an in-depth intimate deep dive into Japan’s diversely rich food landscape with 120 recipes from 7 compelling Japanese chefs & 24 stories of food artisans. Each chef speaks deeply to Hachisu for genuine connection to local ingredients, unwavering desire to give back to the community, and common dedication to craft. Each of the 120 recipes from range from traditional Japanese to French or Italian-influenced Japanese dishes created from regional ingredients. Each recipe is a collaboration between the chef and Hachisu, & can be cooked successfully in either a home kitchen or restaurant.


Rick Stein’s Secret France ($50, HB)

Rick Stein’s meandering quest through the byways & back roads of rural France sees him pick up inspiration from Normandy to Provence. With characteristic passion & joie de vivre, he serves up incredible recipes—chicken stuffed with mushrooms and Comte, grilled bream with aioli from the Languedoc coast, a duck liver parfait bursting with flavour, and a recipe for the most perfect raspberry tart plus much, much more.

Australia’s First Families of Wine by Richard Allen & Kimbal Baker ($70, HB)

This book celebrates 11 of Australia’s most iconic wine families & the vineyards & businesses they have built. With more than 5,000 hectares under vine, the families operate in 16 wine-growing regions around Australia. They make many of Australia’s most distinctive wines & all are household names—Brown Brothers, Tahbilk, Campbells, Yalumba, Henschke, d’Arenberg, Jim Barry, Taylors, McWilliam’s, Tyrell’s & Howard Park. Allen & Baker showcase the colourful histories of these spectacular vineyards & historic buildings, exploring the wine industry’s transformation into an export-earning powerhouse & detailing the challenges of taking old family businesses into the 21st century.

Under the Mediterranean Sun by Nadia Zerouali & Merijn Tol ($55, HB)

Nadia Zerouali & Merijn Tol say the Arab world has no strict geography—as certain dishes in Spain & southern Italy are as influenced by the ‘Arab world’ as those in Morocco, Tunisia & the Middle East. In this book they take a food odyssey to find the people, places & dishes that unite the Mediterranean & the Arab world. The book’s 125 recipes are separated by region: Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Israel, Turkey, Sicily, Andalusia, Sardinia & Catalonia.

Pardiz: A Persian Food Journey by Manuela Darling-Gansser ($60, HB)

Pardiz is a personal journey into Manuela Darling-Gansser’s ‘paradise past’. Having lived in Iran for the first 9 years of her life, she returned as an adult to reconnect with the country she remembered so fondly. This book is a compilation of memories, stories & recipes that underline the depth & broad appeal of this great & enduring food culture—flourishing food markets; the primacy of local ingredients, the health-giving aspects of vegetable-centric dishes & the joys of a shared table.

Pasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook ($40, HB)

Inspired by the hugely popular YouTube channel Pasta Grannies features over 70 easy & accessible recipes from Italian grandmothers all over Italy—showing you how to make great-tasting Italian food. Pasta styles range from the hand-rolled pici to lumachelle della duchessa, tiny, ridged, cinnamon-scented tubes that take patience & dexterity.

Five Ingredient Vegan: 100 simple, fast, modern recipes by Katy Beskow ($40, HB)

With 100 recipes covering Basics (Baba ganoush, 3-ingredient beer bread, Citrus tabbouleh, Green apple salsa), Soups (Lemony super greens, Country lentil pottage, Spicy noodle soup, Pantry minestrone), Lunches (Santorini tomato fritters, Welsh rarebit stuffed potatoes, Spicy bean & avocado wraps, Spinach pancakes), Suppers (Baked aubergine with dukkah, Roasted cherry tomato risotto, Pumpkin & sage macaroni, Pear & butterbean traybake), and Sweets (Carrot cake porridge, Zesty bread & butter pudding, Coconut panna cotta, Blood orange granita), you too can get maximum flavour with minimal fuss—all with just five ingredients.

The Modern Tagine Cookbook by Ghillie Başan

Try the sumptuous Lamb Tagine with Dates, Almonds & Pistachios, and the tangy Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon, Green Olives & Thyme. Also included are less traditional but equally delicious recipes for beef & fish—try Beef Tagine with Sweet Potatoes, Peas & Ginger or a tagine of Monkfish, Potatoes, Tomatoes & Black Olives. Hearty vegetable tagines include Baby Aubergine with Coriander & Mint, and Butternut Squash, Shallots, Sultanas & Almonds. Başan gives recipes for variations on couscous and plenty of ideas for fresh-tasting salads & vegetable side dishes to serve as part of your Moroccan-style feast. ($25, HB)

The Atlas Cookbook: A Food Adventure by Charlie Carrington

Food connects us, teaches us & defines us. It allows us to encounter new people & tell new stories. This book explores 20 countries across 4 regions, with recipes that celebrate each location but embrace seasonal local ingredients. Featuring food from: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Colombia, France, Greece, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Syria, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. ($40, PB)

your environmentally friendly GIFT SHOP

Market shopping bags for all moods and occasions ($24.95).

While on the subject of plastic.... Reusable Beeswax Wrap, $45 The plastic wrap alternative—these wraps will last up to 12 months, and are compostable at the end of their life cycle. This pack contains 4 wraps small, medium, large and extra large.

Loqi Bag: Fold Me, Roll Me, Stuff Me A bag for all your bags. Never get caught short and have to request a plastic bag again! Made for stuffing stockings! $16.95

The perfect gifts No need for paper cups with your morning coffee after you find a keepcup in your Xmas stocking. Prices range from $12 for an espresso size to $24 and $30 for the glass variety (my favourite). We have other stylish versions of the reusable ‘takeaway’ cup (from $16.95) and ceramic containers for your takeaway soup ($19.95). And don’t forget to help your friends deal with their plastic water bottle addiction with a stainless steel water bottle ($59.95), and for those who insist on using straws how about a stainless steel straw to tuck into your pocket or clutch when heading out for cocktails ($4.95)

Calendars and Diaries Get your (and your friends’) 2020 organised in advance with a choice from the large range of calendars (especially the Blue Island art offerings—beautiful reproductions on fetishy paper, and my favoured wire hanging technology—one page at a time, $29.95). Or the staple in the middle variety from $24.95. We also have the full range of Moleskine diaries: pocket size, week per view, day per view, and in a range of colours—some new pastels this year (prices range from $29.95–$44.95) We have a large range of other themed diaries, notebooks and sketchpads—all great for that little add-on gift (I favour the moleskine ‘reporter’ myself).

BACKGAMMON SET With a folding timber board and instructions included, $49.95 LAST WORD STANDING 2–6 players use letter cards to spell high-value words that beat out the competition to the highest score—or else lose half their own points in the fray! Whether you’re a quick speller or a long-term strategiser, in the end, it’s not about who’s the wordiest—but just who has the last word standing! $39.95 HAVANA DICE A fast-paced & easy-to-learn bluffing game for 2–4 players, Havana Dice brings a Cuban twist to the traditional classic of Liar’s Dice or Dudo, which has been played in Latin America for centuries. Wild poker chips up the ante and make for a fun and unpredictable game to play again and again. $49.95 QUESTION TIME! The game of Australian Politics, $65



Events r Calenda



Sat 7: fourW—Thirty: Launcher, Hugh Crago Sun 8: Haydn Washington & Dexter Dunphy—What Can I Do to Help Heal the Environmental Crisis? Thur 12: Yemi Penn—Did You Get the Memo? http://www.gleebooks.com.au/bookings



Event—6 for 6.30 Nicholas Cowdery & Rachael Jane Chin

Frank & Fearless in conv. with Mark Tedeschi For 16½ years, Nicholas Cowdery was Director of Public Prosecutions for NSW. He reflects on cases notorious and those lesser-known involving drugs & voluntary assisted dying & the need for law reform.

11 Seymour Centre Event—6 for 6.30

12 Event—6 for 6.30 Craig Foster

Fighting for Hakeem Craig Challen & In 2012, Hakeem al-Araibi arrested Richard Harris for attacking a police station during the Arab Spring, despite TV footage Against All Odds showing him playing soccer at the in conv. with Eleanor Hall The inside account of the breathtak- time of the alleged attack. A story of ing rescue that captured the world. people power challenging two monarchies, a military junta, and the Bookings through the world’s largest sporting institutions Seymour Centre ... and winning.

Event—6 for 6.30 David Marr

The Prince in conv. with Sarah Ferguson Cardinal George Pell is behind bars. In August 2019, his appeal failed. The Prince is a portrait of hypocrisy and ambition­— now expanded and fully updated.


The Shelf Life of Zora Cross in conv. with Kate Evans Australian poet & journalist Zora Cross caused a sensation in 1917 with her book Songs of Love and Life—a provocative series of sonnets celebrating sexual passion. Her fame didn’t last despite an impressive body of work—this is her story.

Caroline’s Dilemma Superpower in conv. with Penny Russell Australia has the potential to be an The tale of Caroline Kearney sheds economic superpower of the future new light on the workings of colonial post-carbon world.’ Ross Garnaut gender relationships and family lives that spanned the 19th century globe. offers a road map for progress, covIt reveals much about women’s ering energy, transport, agriculture, property rights, migration, settler the international scene and more. colonialism, the Irish diaspora and sectarian conflict. Launch—6 for 6.30 Event—6 for 6.30 Jessica Whyte Garry Linnell Morals of the Market Buckley’s Chance Launcher: Ass Prof Ben Golder in conv. with John Lyons He fought Napoleon’s army and The neoliberal age also been the age survived. He was sent to the gallows of human rights? Researching the parallel histories of human rights and escaped the noose. Now he is in and neoliberalism in the 20th cenchains and on his way to the other tury, Jessica Whyte uncovers the side of the world. What happens place of human rights in neoliberal next will become one of the most re- attempts to develop a moral framemarkable survival stories in history. work for a market society.



Event—6 for 6.30 Bettina Bradbury


18 Event—6 for 6.30 Cathy Perkins


Coming in December

t! Don’t miss ou email! Sign up for gle weekly The gleebooks pdate. email events u oks.com.au asims@gleebo






Event—6 for 6.30 Ross Garnaut



Kerry Ree The Cherry Pic Launcher: T Told in the child’ vernacular of her ist, poet & author, her story of love & sion & repeated di impact of life as a ward living under tection

14 Launch—

Ian Bu The Tasm Launcher: D Every visitor who the vestibule of the stops to admire the ble mosaic of the Ta fills the entire vesti the story of how th treasures of Dutch cartogr




Sue Pieter

Remembe A warm, moving collection of stori about Bob Hawke nation, edi eldest da

All events listed are $12/$9 concession. Book Launches are free.

Gleeclub members free entry to events at 49 Glebe Pt Rd November Events are held upstairs at #49 Glebe Point Road unless otherwise noted. Bookings—Phone: (02) 9660 2333, Email: events@gleebooks.com.au, Online: www.gleebooks.com.au/events 2019


—6 for 6.30

ed-Gilbert ckers Daughter Terri Janke ’s voice & in the Mob, activist, artAunty Kerry, tells & loss, of dispossesislocation, and the an Aboriginal state the terror of Pron Laws.

—6 for 6.30

urnet man Map Don Heussler o passes through e Mitchell Library e magnificent marTasman Map which ibule floor. This is he library acquired h exploration and raphy

—6 for 6.30 rs-Hawke

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Launch—6 for 6.30

Eyal Mayroz Reluctant Interveners: America’s Failed Response to Genocide from Bosnia to Darfur Launcher: Prof. Simon Jackman Eyal Mayroz offers a sobering account of the interactions between the governing & the governed, & the dynamics which transformed concerns for the lives of faraway ‘others’ into cold political calculations.


Event—3.30 for 4

Christos Tsiolkas

Damascus in conv. with David Marr Christos Tsiolkas’ new novel is based around the gospels & letters of St Paul, focusing on characters one & two generations on from the death of Christ, as well as Paul (Saul) himself, to explores the themes that have always obsessed him as a writer.


Launch—3.30 for 4

Rebecca Johinke Queens of Print Launcher: Prof Umberto Ansaldo This is a tribute to the most influential and iconic women in Australian women’s magazines. In a rapidly changing industry where print media has been disrupted the book also looks forward to consider what a magazine might be & what a magazine editor might do in future.

16 Launch—3.30 for 4

SUNDAY 3 Join up to the GLEECLUB for free postage in Austr alia and free entry to events held at Gleebooks

10 Launch—3.30 for 4

Natalie Conyer Present Tense Launcher: Matt McGuire Veteran Capetown cop Schalk Lourens wants a quiet life. Like the rest of the country, he’s trying to put the past behind him. But the past has a way of hanging on, and when Schalk’s old boss, retired police captain Piet Pieterse is murdered, Schalk must confront old demons.

17 Launch—3.30 for 4

Jonathan Marshall Earth Climate Dreams: Dialogues with Depth Psychologists in the Age of the Anthropocene Essays on dynamic perspectives on global challenges such as ecological destruction, climate issues, failed leadership & limiting beliefs, while turning to imagination, dreams, symbol, metaphor & mythology

Stephanie Claire Towards a Better World Stephanie Claire tells the story of a group of young Theosophists & their new friend Ed Best, who mix in a heady world featuring luminaries such as activist & orator Annie Besant, ‘new world Teacher’, Krishnamirty & the dominating figure of Bishop Charles Leadbeater

22 Launch—6 for 6.30



29 Launch—6 for 6.30


Event—6 for 6.30

Glebe Music Festival

Rachel & Ross Menzies Tales from the Valley of Death The dread of death is a problem nearly as old as time itself. This book explores the complex lives of ten individuals in psychotherapy who were crippled by death-related fears and related existential issues, and how hard they have fought to overcome their difficulties

Anne Skyvington Karrana Launcher: Prof Mark Oslow In Karrana, a fictional town in the north NSW, Bridie O’Toole from a dairy farm is at a victory dance to celebrate the end of WW2 in the Pacific, where she meets & falls passionately in love with Will Featherstone from the opposite, well-heeled, side of the Karrana River....


Granny’s Good Reads

with Sonia Lee

If you want a book to give to a dear friend, don’t look any further than The Grass Library by David Brooks—except that once you hold the book in your hands you’ll probably want to keep it. When I saw the cover and read the first page, I was hooked. Having decided that they can’t eat animals ever again, David and his partner become vegans, going the full monty and giving up fish, eggs and cheese as well. Finally, they quit the city and go with dog Charlie to live on a small farm in the Blue Mountains—with bush on one side, a nice neighbour on the other and a swamp at the bottom. There’s also a small log cabin where David, who’s a novelist and essayist, can do his writing. The couple are soon joined by two sheep, Jonathan and Henry-Lee, who make themselves at home, even joining David when he plays music in his cabin. The menagerie is complete when two more sheep join them, Jason and a lamb called Orpheus. The sheep do everything but talk and I don’t completely dismiss even that, because when Henry strays over the swamp and gets into strife with a ram, David is alerted by Jonathan that something is wrong. The couple’s benevolence to animals includes the possum who eats their tomatoes, various snakes, cicadas, ducks and ducklings and even the rat living behind the kitchen cupboard. This is a delightful book which will certainly make you think about animals and the way we treat them. There are photos of all the animals, except the rat, scattered through the text (They don’t specify which sheep it is on the cover but I like to think it’s Jonathan telling David Brooks that Henry is chasing the girls again.) I became a Peter Hessler fan when I read River Town, which he wrote after teaching English in China in the 1990s. In 2011 he went to Egypt as New Yorker correspondent, intending to become better acquainted with both past and present Egyptian culture. In The Buried he gives us, first, a picture of life in today’s Egypt, beginning with the replacement of Mubarak by Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the latter then being given the heave-ho by Sisi, each change being attended by considerable unrest and bloodshed. Having looked at the realm of the living Hessler spends some time with the eminent and less eminent dead buried around Abydos, where there’s a stretch of desert used for burials over five millennia. The corpses recently studied there by a group of American archaeologists include some of children and adolescents, which suggests that in those fabled times not many people lived to full adulthood, malnutrition being rife. Indeed, near one of the ancient limestone quarries more than half of the bodies were of children between seven and fifteen, all of them showing the wear and tear of extra-hard labour. Just as the pharaonic class of ancient Egypt seems to have been indifferent to its young subjects, so too, says Hessler, modern Egypt is in the hands of old men who seem to show little regard for the well-being of the burgeoning young population. Hessler writes movingly about friendships he’s made with ordinary folk such as Sayyid, the building’s illiterate garbage collector, and Manu, whose life as a gay man makes him subject to threats, arrests and beatings. Before Hessler returns to the United States he takes Sayyid, his wife Wahiba and two of their sons to the Cairo Museum, a place they’ve never visited. This is one of the highlights of the book. Another highlight is Hessler’s description of the beautiful spiderweb iron decorations in his family’s apartment, and his being pleasantly surprised when the original owner of the building writes to thank him for mentioning it in a New Yorker article. He meets also some successful Chinese small-town merchants, who diagnose the reason for the lacklustre Egyptian economy as the subjection of women, who mostly quit their jobs on marrying. He’s appropriately horrified when Sayyid tells him that female genital mutilation is still the custom in much of Egypt and asks if he’s going to have his twin daughters ‘done’, to which Hessler replies that such ‘surgery’ is illegal in the United States. Well, says Sayyid, it’s illegal in Egypt too but very necessary, ‘to stop the women getting out of control’. I give this book five stars. And finally, how refreshing it was to read Jane Goodall’s The Politics of the Common Good: Dispossession in Australia after having been dominated by neo-liberals with hearts of stone for so many years. In the Great Depression our country built the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as elegant municipal buildings, court houses, museums and post offices, while now, a far wealthier country, we can’t afford to fund services like Medicare or the NDIS, let alone build necessary infrastructure. Goodall praises the Voices for Indi group and stresses that in the age of climate change we need more of the old communitarian spirit. Definitely worth a read. Sonia


Australian Studies

Coniston by Michael Bradley ($30, PB)

‘Mowed them down wholesale!’ With these words, a judge summed up the last great punitive massacre of Aboriginal people in Australia. Coniston, Central Australia, 1928: the murder of an itinerant prospector at this isolated station by local Warlpiri triggered a series of police-led expeditions that ranged over vast areas for two months, as the hunting parties shot down victims by the dozen. The official death toll, declared by the whitewash federal inquiry as being all in self-defence, was 31. The real number was certainly multiples of that. Coniston has never before been fully researched and recorded; with this book that absence in Australia’s history is now filled. As the last great mass killing in our country’s genocidal past but an event largely unremembered, it reminds us that, without truth, there can be no reconciliation.

Mallee Country: Land, People, History by Richard Broome et al ($39.95, PB)

Mallee Country tells the powerful history of mallee lands and people across southern Australia from Deep Time to the present. Carefully shaped and managed by Aboriginal people for over 50,000 years, mallee country was dramatically transformed by settlers, first with sheep & rabbits, then by flattening & burning the mallee to make way for wheat. Government backed settlement schemes devastated lives & country, but some farmers learnt how to survive the droughts, dust storms, mice, locusts & salinity to become some of Australia’s most resilient agriculturalists—innovation & tenacity neighbours to hardship and failure. Mallee Country is a story of how land and people shape each other, and how a landscape once derided by settlers as a ‘howling wilderness’ covered in ‘dismal scrub’ became home to citizens who delighted in mallee fauna and flora, and fought to conserve it for future generations.

Please Gamble Irresponsibly by Titus O’Reily

Australians lose more money gambling than any other country. We’ll gamble on anything, from two flies crawling up a wall to less important things like federal elections. And thanks to the internet, phones and gambling-tax loving governments, these days Australians can indulge their love of a punt no matter what they’re doing. It wasn’t always this easy. Once, you could only gamble on sport illegally. Which, it turns out, was actually also pretty easy. But over the last 30 years gambling on sport has been legalised, first slowly and then very quickly. Titus O’Reily traces the history of gambling in Australia from horseracing in the colonial era, through the rise of SP bookies & organised crime, to the commercialisation of the industry & its impact on communities & the integrity of sport. With billions of dollars involved, what are the odds of putting the genie back in the bottle? ($35, PB)

Maurice Blackburn: Champion of the people by David Day ($50, HB)

Maurice Blackburn’s mother was determined to raise him as a gentleman who would achieve greatness as a judge or a prime minister. However, Blackburn had humbler aims. With the support of his wife, he wanted instead ‘to make life better for the ordinary men & women of the country’. He went on to do so, defending the rights of working people as a leading barrister in the courts & as a politician in the parliaments of Melbourne & Canberra, becoming much loved & admired across the political spectrum. A socialist & internationalist all his life, who was twice expelled from the Labor Party for his principles, Blackburn became a leading opponent of conscription in both world wars, a supporter of rights for women, an advocate for peace, and a tireless campaigner for transforming Australia so that it served the interests of all its people. Part love story, part gripping political thriller, Blackburn’s story exposes a time when influence-peddling was rife, when political possibilities seemed limitless, and when a man of principle could still make a big difference to the course of Australian politics.

1956: The Year Australia Welcomed the World by Nick Richardson ($35, PB)

By the time the 60s came around, Australia was already expanding its outlook—politically, economically & culturally—and central to this were the events of 1956. This was the year Melbourne hosted the Summer Olympics, it also heralded the arrival of television in Australia, PM Robert Menzies grappled with world politics— opening the country’s doors to refugees from the Hungarian uprising, and allowed British nuclear tests at Maralinga. Nick Richardson peels back the layers recreate the broader events surrounding the Melbourne Olympics at the end of 1956, as well as the dramas of the Games themselves—debunking one of the hardiest clichés in Australian history—that the 1950s was a dull decade, when the nation seemed only interested in a quiet life, a cup of tea, and a weekend drive.

The Lost Boys by Paul Byrnes ($45, HB)

In WW1, thousands of boys across Australia & NZ lied about their age, forged a parent’s signature & left to fight on the other side of the world. Though some were as young as 13, they soon found they could die as well as any man. Like Peter Pan’s lost boys, they have remained forever young. These are their stories. Featuring haunting images of the boys taken at training camps and behind the lines.

Macquarie by Grantlee Kieza ($40, HB)


Lachlan Macquarie is credited with shaping Australia’s destiny, transforming the harsh, foreboding penal colony of New Holland into an agricultural powerhouse & ultimately a prosperous society. An egalitarian at heart, Macquarie saw boundless potential in Britain’s refuse, and under his rule many former convicts went on to become successful administrators, land owners & business people. However, the governor’s ambitions for the colony (which he lobbied to have renamed ‘Australia’) brought him into conflict with the continent’s original landowners, and he was responsible for the deaths of Aboriginal men, women & children, brutally killed in a military operation intended to create terror among local Indigenous people. Grantlee Kieza draws on Macquarie’s rich and detailed journals to chronicle the life & times of a poor Scottish farm boy who joined the British army to make his fortune, saw wars on five continents & clawed his way to the top.

Don’t Be Evil: The Case Against Big Tech by Rana Foroohar ($35, PB)

The third book in a landmark five-volume Australian Liberalism series, A Democratic Nation shows how Australians, inspired by the exceptional democracy they had achieved, set out to perfect its principles while protecting it from a world they saw as increasingly threatening. The period saw political battles within & between Liberal & Labor parties as attempts to protect identities defined by nation, class & race confronted ideas of individual freedom & equality. As WW1 gave rise to unimaginable horrors, economic chaos & continuing violence, the Australian Labor Party shattered & the Liberal Party became submerged in a new Nationalist win-the-war alliance. In peacetime it struggled to restore the nation’s social & economic health under the weight of pre-war & wartime identity-based policies. Throughout years of divisive political conflict, the Australian people would remain largely faithful to their hope of a land that would give them freedom to chart their own destinies, and would resist the siren calls of those who promised a conflict-free world by the use of centralised power to reconstruct the industrial & social order.

Good Economics for Hard Times by Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo ($45, HB)

A Democratic Nation: Identity, Freedom & Equality in Australia 1901–1925 by David Kemp ($60, HB)

The Conversation Yearbook 2019 (ed) John Watson ($20, PB)

A little bit of authority goes a long way in an opinionated world. Here Australia’s most erudite thinkers share expert views on the issues that shaped the nation in 2019. The Conversation Yearbook has become an annual bestselling collection that navigates fake news and shouty views and offers a fresh perspective on the fundamental issues.

Best Australian Political Cartoons 2019 ($33, PB)

The perfect accompaniment to the Conversation, the year in politics as observed by Dean Alston, Peter Broelman, Pat Campbell, Andrew Dyson, John Farmer, First Dog on the Moon, Matt Golding, Fiona Katauskas, Mark Knight, Jon Kudelka, Alan Moir, David Pope, David Rowe, Andrew Weldon, Cathy Wilcox, Paul Zanetti, and many more.

The Great War: Aftermath and Commemoration (eds) Carolyn Holbrook & Keir Reeves ($35, PB)

From the late 20th century as we moved closer to the centenary of the start of WW1 Australia was swept by an ‘Anzac revival’ & a feverish sense of commemoration. In this book, leading historians reflect on the commemorative splurge, which involved large amounts of public spending, and also re-examine what happened in the immediate aftermath of the war itself. Were returning soldiers as traumatised as we think? What did the war mean for Indigenous veterans & for relations between Catholics & Protestants? The country also faced major questions about its role in the world order that emerged after Versailles. How has the way we commemorate the war skewed our view of what really happened? Provocative & engaging essays from a diverse group of leading historians discuss the profound ways in which the Great War not only affected our political system & informed decades of national security policy but shaped—and continues to shape—our sense of who we are.

Aboriginal Australians: A history since 1788 5th Ed by Richard Broome ($40, PB)

Richard Broome tells the history of Australia from the standpoint of the original Australians: those who lost most in the early colonial struggle for power. Surveying over two centuries of Aboriginal-European encounters, he shows how white settlers steadily supplanted the original inhabitants, from the shining coasts to inland deserts, by sheer force of numbers, disease, technology and violence. He also tells the story of Aboriginal survival through resistance and accommodation, and traces the continuing Aboriginal struggle to move from the margins of a settler society to a more central place in modern Australia. Broome’s Aboriginal Australians has long been regarded as the most authoritative account of black-white relations in Australia. This fifth edition continues the story, covering the impact of the Northern Territory Intervention, the mining boom in remote Australia, the Uluru Statement, the resurgence of interest in traditional Aboriginal knowledge and culture, and the new generation of Aboriginal leaders..

Today Google and Facebook receive 90% of the world’s news ad-spending. Amazon takes half of all ecommerce in the US. Google & Apple operating systems run on all but 1% of cell phones globally. And 80% of corporate wealth is now held by 10% of companies—not the GEs & Toyotas of this world, but the digital titans. How did the tech industry get to dominate our world so completely? How did once-idealistic and innovative companies come to manipulate elections, violate our privacy, and pose a threat to the fabric of our democracy? Rana Foroohar shows the true extent to which the ‘Faang’s (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) crush or absorb any potential competitors, hijack our personal data & mental space and offshore their exorbitant profits, and reveals how these threats to our democracies, our livelihoods & our minds are all intertwined. And also lays out a plan for how we can resist.

The experience of the last decade has not been kind to the image of economists—asleep at the wheel (perhaps with the foot on the gas pedal) in the run-up to the great recession. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo show how traditional western-centric thinking has failed to explain what is happening to people in a newly globalized world—in short Good Economics has been done badly. This precise but accessible book covers many of the most essential issues of our day, including why migration doesn’t follow the law of supply and demand, why trade liberalization can drive unemployment up & wages down and why nobody can really explain why and when growth happens. In doing so, they seek to offer readers an economist’s view of the most pressing issues of the day—one that is candid about the complexities, the zones of ignorance, and the areas of genuine disagreement.

The Light that Failed: A Reckoning by Ivan Krastev & Stephen Holmes ($45, HB)

Why did the West, after winning the Cold War, lose its political balance? In the early 1990s, hopes for the eastward spread of liberal democracy were high. And yet the transformation of Eastern European countries gave rise to a bitter repudiation of liberalism itself, not only in the East but also back in the heartland of the West. Ivan Krastev & Stephen Holmes argue that the supposed end of history turned out to be only the beginning of an Age of Imitation. Reckoning with the history of the last thirty years, they show that the most powerful force behind the wave of populist xenophobia that began in Eastern Europe stems from resentment at the post-1989 imperative to become Westernized. Through this prism, the Trump revolution represents an ironic fulfilment of the promise that the nations exiting from communist rule would come to resemble the US. In a strange twist, Trump has elevated Putin’s Russia & Orban’s Hungary into models for the US.

Trials of the State: Law and the Decline of Politics by Jonathan Sumption ($28, HB)

In the past few decades, legislatures throughout the world have suffered from gridlock. In democracies, laws & policies are just as soon unpicked as made. It seems that Congress & Parliaments cannot forge progress or consensus. Moreover, courts often overturn decisions made by elected representatives. In the absence of effective politicians, many turn to the courts to solve political & moral questions. Rulings from the Supreme Courts in the US & UK, or the European court in Strasbourg may seem to end the debate but the division & debate does not subside. In fact, the absence of democratic accountability leads to radicalisation. Judicial overreach cannot make up for the shortcomings of politicians. This is especially acute in the field of human rights. For instance, who should decide on abortion or prisoners’ rights to vote, elected politicians or appointed judges? Expanding on arguments first laid out in the 2019 Reith Lectures, Jonathan Sumption argues that the time has come to return some problems to the politicians.

Levant Express: The Arab Uprisings, Human Rights, and the Future of the Middle East by Micheline R. Ishay ($50, HB)

The enormous sense of optimism unleashed by the Arab Spring in 2011 soon gave way to widespread suffering and despair. Of the many popular uprisings against autocratic regimes, Tunisia’s now stands alone as a beacon of hope for sustainable human rights progress. Libya is a failed state; Egypt returned to military dictatorship; the Gulf States suppressed popular protests & tightened control; Syria & Yemen are ravaged by civil war. Micheline Ishay charts bold & realistic pathways for human rights in a region beset by political repression, economic distress, sectarian conflict, a refugee crisis & violence against women. With due attention to how patterns of revolution & counterrevolution play out in different societies & historical contexts, Ishay reveals the progressive potential of subterranean human rights forces & offers strategies for transforming current realities in the Middle East.



A House in the Mountains The Women Who Liberated Italy from Fascism by Caroline Moorehead ($35, PB)

In the late summer of 1943, when Italy changed sides in the War & the Germans—now their enemies—occupied the north of the country, an Italian Resistance was born. Ada, Frida, Silvia & Bianca were 4 young Piedmontese women who joined the Resistance, living clandestinely in the mountains surrounding Turin. The death rattle of Mussolini’s two decades of Fascist rule—with its corruption, greed & anti-Semitism caused a bloody civil war that pitted neighbour against neighbour, but the courage shown by the partisans was exemplary, and eventually bound them together as a coherent fighting force. The women’s contribution was invaluable—and Ada’s house deep in the mountains became a meeting place and refuge for many of them. It was an unrelentingly violent period, but for the partisan women it was also a time of camaraderie and equality, pride and optimism.

Digging up Britain: Ten discoveries, a million years of history ($50, HB)

Mike Pitts takes a journey through time from the more recent & familiar to the most remote & bizarre, just as archaeologists delving into the earth find themselves moving backwards through the years until they reach the very oldest remnants of the past. At each of these sites he talks to the people who found & recovered these ancient remains, and follows their efforts to understand them. Some are major digs, carried out to record sites before they are covered over by new developments. Others are chance finds, leading to revelations out of proportion to the scale of the original projects. All are extraordinary tales of luck & cutting-edge archaeological science that have produced profound, and often unexpected, insights into people’s lives on these islands between a thousand & a million years ago.

The End Is Always Near by Dan Carlin ($35, PB)

Do tough times create tougher people? Can humanity handle the power of its weapons without destroying itself? Will human technology or capabilities ever peak or regress? Why, since the dawn of time, has it always seemed as though death and destruction is waiting just around the corner? Creator of the award-winning podcast Hardcore History, Dan Carlin connects the past & future, exploring a question that has hung over humanity like the Sword of Damocles from the collapse of the Bronze Age to the nuclear era—that of human survival.

Crusaders: An Epic History For The Wars For The Holy Lands by Dan Jones ($45, HB) $39.99

Richard III: The Self-Made King by Michael Hicks ($60, HB)

The reign of Richard III, the last Yorkist king and the final monarch of the Plantagenet dynasty, marked a turning point in British history. But despite his lasting legacy, Richard only ruled as king for the final 2 years of his life. While much attention has been given to his short reign, Michael Hicks explores the whole of Richard’s fascinating life & traces the unfolding of his character & career from his early years as the son of a duke to his violent death at the battle of Bosworth. Hicks explores how Richard villainized for his imprisonment & probable killing of the princes applied his experience to overcome numerous setbacks & adversaries. Richard proves a complex, conflicted individual whose Machiavellian tact & strategic foresight won him a kingdom. He was a reformer who planned big changes, but lost the opportunity to fulfill them & to retain his crown.

A Game of Birds and Wolves: The Secret Game that Won the War by Simon Parkin ($33, PB)

1941. The Battle of the Atlantic is a disaster. Churchill is lying to the country about the number of British ships sunk & British men killed—he knows that Britain is weeks away from being starved into surrender to the Nazis. In the first week of 1942 a group of unlikely heroes—a retired naval captain & a clutch of brilliant young women, the youngest only 17 years-old—gather to form a secret strategy unit. On the top floor of a bomb-bruised HQ in Liverpool, the Western Approaches Tactical Unit spends days & nights designing & playing wargames in an effort to crack the U-boat tactics. The story of Operation Raspberry and its unsung heroines has never been told before—Simon Parkin brings these hidden figures into the light and shows the ingenuity, perseverance & love needed to defeat the Nazis in this gripping tale of war at sea.

Venus and Aphrodite by Bettany Hughes ($30, HB) Charting Venus’s origins in powerful ancient deities, Bettany Hughes demonstrates that Venus is far more complex than first meets the eye. Beginning in Cyprus, the goddess’s mythical birthplace, Hughes decodes Venus’s relationship to the Greek goddess Aphrodite, and, in turn, Aphrodite’s mixed-up origins both as a Cypriot spirit of fertility & procreation—but also, as a descendant of the prehistoric war goddesses of the Near & Middle East, Ishtar, Inanna & Astarte. Through ancient art, evocative myth, exciting archaeological revelations and philosophical explorations Hughes shows how this mythological figure is so much more than nudity, romance & sex. It is the both the remarkable story of one of antiquity’s most potent forces, and the story of human desire—how it transforms who we are and how we behave. The Fortress: The Great Siege of Przemysl

The sequence of religious wars fought between the late 11th cenby Alexander Watson ($65, HB) tury & late medieval periods, in which armies from European In the autumn of 1914 WW1 the west was mired in the world of Christian states attempted to wrest the Holy Land from Islamic the trenches and in the East all eyes were focused on the old, berule have left an enduring imprint on relations between the Musleaguered Austro-Hungarian fortress of Przemysl. The great siege lim world & the West. From the preaching of the First Crusade by that unfolded at Przemysl was the longest of the whole war. In the Pope Urban II in 1095 to the loss of the last crusader outpost in the defence of the fortress & the struggle to relieve it Austria-Hungary Levant in 1302–03, and from the taking of Jerusalem from the Fasuffered some 800,000 casualties—this was one of the great turning timids in 1099 to the fall of Acre to the Mamluks in 1291, Crusaders points of the conflict. If the Russians had broken through they could tells a tale soaked in Islamic, Christian & Jewish blood, peopled by extraordinary have invaded Central Europe, but by the time the fortress fell their characters, and characterised by both low ambition & high principle. Master of popustrength was so sapped they could go no further. Comparable to Stalingrad in 1942–3, lar narrative history, Dan Jones offers a page-turning narrative history underpinned by Przemysl shaped the course of Europe’s future. Neither Russians nor Austro-Hungarians authoritative scholarship. ever recovered from their disasters. Alexander Watson recreates a world of long-gone Eight Days at Yalta: How Churchill, Roosevelt empires, broken armies & a cut-off community sliding into chaos. The siege was central to the war itself, but also a chilling harbinger of what would engulf the entire region in and Stalin Shaped the Post-War World the coming decades, as nationalism, anti-semitism & an exterminatory fury took hold. by Diana Preston ($50, HB) In the last winter of WW2, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Roosevelt & Joseph Stalin arrived in the Crimean resort of Yalta. Oceans by David Abulafia ($70, HB) Over 8 days of bargaining, bombast & intermittent bonhomie they A titanic history of the three great oceans—the Atlantic, the Pacific decided on the conduct of the final stages of the war against Gerand the Indian—and of mankind’s relationship with the sea from the many, on how a defeated & occupied Germany should be governed, first voyagers to the present day Emeritus Professor of Mediterraneon the constitution of the nascent UN & on spheres of influence in an History at the University of Cambridg David Abulafia begins with Eastern Europe, the Balkans & Greece. Only 3 months later—less the earliest of seafaring societies—the Polynesians of the Pacific, the than a week after the German surrender—Roosevelt was dead & Churchill was writpossessors of intuitive navigational skills, long before the invention ing to the new President, Harry S. Truman, of ‘an iron curtain’ that was now ‘drawn of the compass, who by the first century were trading between their down upon [the Soviets’] front’. Diana Preston gives a riveting minute-by-minute far-flung islands. By the 7th century, trading routes stretched from chronicle of this 8 days—Roosevelt’s determination to bring about the dissolution the coasts of Arabia & Africa to southern China & Japan, bringing together the Indian of the British Empire, Churchill convinced that he & the dying President would run Ocean & the western Pacific, linking together half the world through the international rings round the Soviet premier, while Stalin monitors everything, making paper con- spice trade. In the Atlantic, centuries before the little kingdom of Portugal carved out its cessions, while planning the imposition of Communism throughout Eastern Europe. powerful, seaborne colonial empire, many peoples sought new lands across the sea—the

Islamic Maps by Yossef Rapoport ($90, HB)

Spanning the Islamic world, from 9th century Baghdad to 19th century Iran, this book examines Islamic visual interpretations of the world in their historical context, through the lives of the map-makers themselves. What was the purpose of their maps, what choices did they make and what was the argument they were trying to convey? Lavishly illustrated this book shows how maps constructed by Muslim map-makers capture the many dimensions of Islamic civilisation, providing a window into the worldviews of Islamic societies.


Bretons, the Frisians and, most notably, the Vikings, now known to be the first Europeans to reach North America. As Portuguese supremacy dwindled in the late 16th century, the Spanish, the Dutch & then the British each successively ruled the waves. Following merchants, explorers, pirates, cartographers & travellers in their quests for spices, gold, ivory, slaves, lands for settlement & knowledge of what lay beyond, David Abulafia has created an extraordinary narrative of humanity & the oceans. Besides its grand narratives, The Boundless Sea explores the lesser known maritime enterprises of Denmark, Sweden, Oman, Sri Vijaya & many others. And today, as plastic refuse covers thousands of square miles of the waters, and once exotic trading cities & outposts are replaced by vast, mechanized container ports, he asks—what next for our oceans and our world?

Science & Nature

Sky Atlas: The Greatest Maps, Myths and Discoveries of the Universe by Edward Brooke-Hitching

This richly illustrated treasury showcases the finest examples of celestial cartography, as well as medieval manuscripts, masterpiece paintings, ancient star catalogues& antique instruments. This is the realm of stars & planets, but also of gods, devils, weather wizards, flying sailors, medieval aliens & mythological animals. Learn about Tibetan sky burials, star-covered Inuit dancing coats, Mongolian astral prophets & Sir William Herschel’s 1781 discovery of Uranus, the first planet to be found since antiquity. Even stranger are the forgotten stories from European history, like the English belief of the Middle Ages in ships that sailed a sea above the clouds, 16th century German UFO sightings & the Edwardian aristocrat who mistakenly mapped alien-made canals on the surface of Mars. ($45, HB)

It starts with science.

At the Edge of Time: Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe’s First Seconds by Dan Hooper ($45, HB)

Scientists in the past few decades have made crucial discoveries about how our cosmos evolved over the past 13.8 billion years. But we still know very little about what happened in the first seconds after the Big Bang. Dan Hooper focuses on what we have recently learned & are still striving to understand about this mysterious period of time at the beginning of cosmic history. He describes many of the extraordinary & perplexing questions that scientists are asking about the origin & nature of our world, examining how we are using the Large Hadron Collider & other experiments to re-create the conditions of the Big Bang & test promising theories for how & why our universe came to contain so much matter & so little antimatter. We may be poised to finally discover how dark matter was formed during our universe’s first moments, and, with new telescopes, we are also lifting the veil on the era of cosmic inflation, which led to the creation of our world as we know it.

Life: Selected Writings by Tim Flannery ($40, HB)

Essays, speeches and collective musings—this definitive collection of Tim Flannery’s work brings together 30 years of essays, speeches & occasional writing on palaeontology, mammology, environmental science & history, including the science of climate change & the challenges & opportunities we face in addressing this issue, so critical for all of us.

Transcendence: How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty & Time by Gaia Vince

Humans now live longer & better than ever before, and we are the most populous big animal on earth. Meanwhile, our closest living relatives, the now-endangered chimpanzees, continue to live as they have for millions of years. We are not like the other animals, yet we evolved through the same process. What are we then? And now we have remade the world, what are we becoming? Setting out to answer this question Gaia Vince tells a remarkable evolution story about us. Unlike any other species on earth we determine the course of our own destiny, a fact that Vince argues rests on a special relationship between our genes, environment & culture. Exploring cutting-edge advances in population genetics, archaeology, palaeontology, psychology & more that fundamentally change our understanding of how we developed as a species, Vince reimagine our ancestors—seeing humans as more than a smarter chimp with cool tools, but as the intelligent designers of all we see. ($45, HB)

Waters of the World by Sarah Dry ($35, PB)

This is a tour through 150 years of the history of the underappreciated idea that the Earth has a global climate system made up of interconnected parts, constantly changing on all scales of both time & space. This idea was forged by scientists studying water in its myriad forms. Linking the history of the planet with the lives of those who studied it, Sarah Dry follows the remarkable scientists who ascended volcanic peaks to peer through an atmosphere’s worth of water vapour, cored mile-thick ice sheets to uncover the Earth’s ancient climate history, and flew inside storm clouds to understand how small changes in energy can produce both massive storms & the general circulation of the Earth’s atmosphere. Each toiled on his or her own corner of the planetary puzzle. Gradually, their cumulative discoveries coalesced into a unified working theory of our planet’s climate. No less than the object of its study, the science of water & climate is always evolving. By revealing the complexity of this history, Sarah Dry delivers a better understanding of our planet’s climate at a time when we need it the most.

What Your Cat Is Thinking ($30, PB) What Your Dog Is Thinking ($30, PB)

Research on cat and dog behaviour, and the complicated psychology which influences their responses and needs has formally exploded in the 21st century, with fascinating new knowledge gained every day. Bo Söderström has an iron grip on all the cutting edge research to match the most determined pet’s hold on their favourite toy, and in this book he presents the most interesting results in an easy-to-understand way. Learn about the interaction between man & pet, understand your four-legged friend’s mysterious signals, & gain the ability to stare into your animal’s eyes & think ‘I get you’.

Visit the CSIRO Publishing website for more quality science books, journals and magazines

publish.csiro.au The Best Australian Science Writing 2019 (ed) Bianca Nogrady ($29.95, PB)

Delight in the discovery of a black hole munching on a star, laugh at the image of aliens puzzling over golf balls on the Moon, wonder at the mystery of the Spanish influenza’s deadly rampage, grieve for baby shearwater chicks dying with plastic-filled stomachs, rage at the loss of the Great Barrier Reef & cheer for the clitoris’ long-overdue scientific debut. The 9th edition of Best Australian Science Writing roams the length & breadth of science, revealing how a ceramic artist is helping to save the handfish, what is so dangerous about the hype around artificial intelligence & whether too much exercise is bad for the heart.

Oceanic Birds of the World: A Photo Guide Steve Howell & Kirk Zufelt ($65, PB)

Oceanic birds offer unusual identification challenges—many species look similar & it’s difficult to get good views of fast-flying birds from a moving boat. This guide covers more than 240 species with more than 2200 colour images; each group & species complex has an overview of its identification challenges, illustrated with clear comparative photos; the text describes flight manner, plumage variation related to age & moult, seasonal occurrence patterns, migration routes, and many other features.

Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction by Charles L. Adler ($42, PB)

From teleportation & space elevators to alien contact & interstellar travel, science fiction & fantasy writers have come up with some brilliant & innovative ideas—but how plausible are they? Charles Adler delves into the most extraordinary details in science fiction & fantasy—such as time warps, shape changing, rocket launches & illumination by floating candle—and shows the physics & math behind the phenomena. Adler examines space travel & wonders why it isn’t cheaper & more common today, discusses exoplanets & how the search for alien life has shifted from radio communications to space-based telescopes, and investigates the future survival of humanity & other intelligent races. With simple mathematical models—in most cases using no more than high school algebra—he ranges across a plethora of remarkable imaginings, from the works of Ursula K. Le Guin to Star Trek & Avatar, to explore what might become reality.

Out this month Dr Karl’s Random Road Trip through Science ($35, PB) Adam Spencer’s Numberland ($35, PB)


Philosophy & Religion

How to Think about God by Marcus Tullius Cicero ($30, HB)

Most ancient Romans were deeply religious & their world was overflowing with gods—from Jupiter, Minerva & Mars to countless local divinities, household gods & ancestral spirits. One of the most influential Roman perspectives on religion came from a nonreligious belief system that is finding new adherents even today: Stoicism. How did the Stoics think about religion? Philip Freeman presents vivid new translations of Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods and The Dream of Scipio. In these brief works, Cicero offers a Stoic view of belief, divinity & human immortality, giving eloquent expression to the religious ideas of one of the most popular schools of Roman & Greek philosophy—ones which have profoundly shaped Christian & non-Christian thought for more than 2000 years, influencing such luminaries as Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Dante & Thomas Jefferson.

How to Be a Leader by Plutarch ($30, HB)

The ancient biographer & essayist Plutarch thought deeply about the leadership qualities of the eminent Greeks & Romans he profiled in his famous Lives, including politicians & generals such as Pericles, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar & Mark Antony. This was distilled in a handful of essays, which are filled with essential lessons for experienced and aspiring leaders in any field today. Jefferey Beneker presents the most important of these essays (To an Uneducated Leader, How to Be a Good Leader & Should an Old Man Engage in Politics?) in lively new translations accompanied by an enlightening introduction, informative notes, and the original Greek on facing pages.

Job: A New Translation by Edward L. Greenstein ($45, HB)

The book of Job has often been called the greatest poem ever written. The book, in Edward Greenstein’s characterization, is genius emerging out of the confluence of two literary streams which dazzles like Shakespeare with unrivalled vocabulary & a penchant for linguistic innovation. Despite the text’s literary prestige & cultural prominence, no English translation has come close to conveying the proper sense of the original—consequently the book has been misunderstood in innumerable details and in its main themes. Greenstein’s new translation, the culmination of decades of intensive research & painstaking philological & literary analysis, offers a major reinterpretation of this canonical text in which Job was defiant of God until the end. The book is more about speaking truth to power than the problem of unjust suffering.

Spinoza’s Ethics (tr) George Eliot ($49, HB)

In 1856, Marian Evans completed her translation of Benedict de Spinoza’s Ethics while living in Berlin with the philosopher & critic George Henry Lewes. This would have become the first edition of Spinoza’s controversial masterpiece in English, but the translation remained unpublished because of a disagreement between Lewes & the publisher. Later that year, Evans turned to fiction writing, and by 1859 she had published her first novel under the pseudonym George Eliot. Clare Carlisle’s introduction places the Ethics in its 17th century context & explains its key philosophical claims. She discusses George Eliot’s intellectual formation, her interest in Spinoza, the circumstances of her translation & the influence of Spinoza’s ideas on her literary work. The book includes notes that indicate Eliot’s amendments to her manuscript & discuss her translation decisions alongside recent English editions.

Christianity in the Twentieth Century: A World History by Brian Stanley ($60, HB)

This book charts the transformation of one of the world’s great religions during an age marked by world wars, genocide, nationalism, decolonisation & powerful ideological currents—many of them hostile to Christianity. Leading scholar of world Christianity, Brian Stanley, traces how Christianity evolved from a religion defined by the culture & politics of Europe to the expanding polycentric & multicultural faith it is today. He provides a history of Christianity as a popular faith experienced & lived by its adherents, telling a compelling & multifaceted story of Christendom’s fortunes across the globe.

When You Kant Figure It Out, Ask A Philosopher by Marie Robert ($27, HB)

How can Kant comfort you when you get dumped via text message? How can Aristotle cure your hangover? How can Heidegger make you feel better when your dog dies? Marie Robert explains how pearls of wisdom from the greatest Western philosophers can help you face & make light of some of the daily challenges of modern life. In 12 hilarious, practical & edifying chapters, you’ll get advice from Epicurus about how to disconnect from constant news alerts & social media updates, Nietzsche’s take on getting in shape, John Stuart Mill’s tips for handling bad birthday presents & many other ancient pearls of wisdom to help you navigate life today.


Cultural Studies

Who Owns History? Elgin’s Loot & the Case for Returning Plundered Treasure by Geoffrey Robertson ($40, HB)

Taking his cue from the great Roman barrister, Cicero, Geoffrey Robertson argues that justice requires the return not only of the ‘Elgin’ Marbles to Greece, but of many looted antiquities on display in the museums of Britain, Europe & America. He argues that the Gweagal Shield—dropped when Cook shot at Aboriginals in Botany Bay in 1770—should be returned to Australia from the British Museum. He wants the government to acquire the hull of HMS Endeavour recently located off Rhode Island. He has located Arthur Phillip’s tombstone for Yemmerrawanne, the first Australian expatriate, in a South London churchyard, and he wants to bring it back. The uncompromising Robertson says cultural heritage belongs to the people of whose history it is a part, unless its return would be attended by danger to the artwork itself. And since the movement for the restitution of cultural property is based on human rights, governments that want it back must show respect for the rights of the peoples on whose behalf they make the claim.

We Are Here by Meg Mundell ($35, HB)

Australia has a large shadow population of people who experience homelessness—whether couch-surfing, staying in a refuge, boarding house or caravan park, or sleeping rough. Too often they are dismissed or blamed—spoken for, and about, but rarely speaking for themselves. Former Big Issue deputy editor Meg Mundell, has collected true stories showcasing the creative talents of people who have known homelessness—from cold city doorways to lonely bush camps, from a borrowed couch to a discreetly parked car, from dodgy boarding houses to the humid hell of Manus Island. All profits from the sale of this book will be donated to charities that work with people experiencing homelessness. The writers and visual artists featured have been paid for their contributions.

The University is Closed for Open Day: Australia in the 21st Century by Stephen Knight ($35, PB)

In this collection Stephen Knight turns mind to current attitudes & actions in need of serious examination. What is the impact of the bush myth on the national consciousness of Australian fiction? What of the modern shift in writing about Indigenous issues, from white writers to First Peoples? What has suddenly happened to Australian crime fiction? Other essays look at unravelling travelling, the tiny machines that obsess us, then those bizarrely flourishing modern identity-enhancers—tattoos & personalised number plates—and of course, the state of the contemporary university.

The Memory Pool: Australian stories of summer, sun and swimming (ed) Therese Spruhan ($30, PB)

Pools are places of imagination, daring, belonging, freedom, friendship & romance. And for some they are places of hard-core swimming training. This anthology brings together reflections & recollections about the swimming pools of childhood from a range of Australians well known and not-so-famous, including Trent Dalton, Leah Purcell, Shane Gould, Bryan Brown & Merrick Watts. Evocative, funny & sometimes bittersweet, 28 people remember the pools that shaped their childhoods. Everyone who has ever dived into their local Olympic pool, bush waterhole or saltwater baths will want to submerge themselves.

Almost Perfekt: How Sweden Works & What We Can Learn From It by David Crouch ($30, PB)

Sweden: A country that defies the laws of economic gravity. A land with high wages, strong unions & generous welfare. A dream location for business & a bastion of social responsibility, coming out on top for childcare, equality & quality of life. Perfect. Or is it? Having lived in Sweden for 6 years, journalist David Crouch has a unique perspective as an outsider looking in on one of the world’s most successful yet divided countries. Based on more than 70 interviews with leading figures in Swedish industry & politics,this is his journey through Swedish society & what sets it apart from the world today. How does Sweden manage unemployment? What makes it so good for business? And how is it dealing with immigration? With political & economic upheaval threatening to pull Europe apart, discover the reality of how Sweden works & what we can learn from it.

September 1, 1939: A Biography of a Poem by Ian Sansom ($40, HB)

This is a book about a poet—W. H. Auden, a wunderkind, a victimbeneficiary of a literary cult of personality who became a scapegoat & a poet-expatriate largely excluded from British literary history because he left. About a poem—September 1, 1939, one he tried to rewrite & disown & which has enjoyed—or been condemned—to a tragic & unexpected afterlife. About a city—New York, an island, an emblem of the Future, magnificent, provisional, seamy, and in 1939 about to emerge as the defining 20th century cosmopolis, the capital of the world. And about a world at a point of change—about 1939, and about our own Age of Anxiety, about the aftermath of September 11, when many American newspapers reprinted Auden’s poem in its entirety on their editorial pages.

and Criticism

Conversations with RBG by Jeffrey Rosen ($43, HB)

Drawing on more than 20 years of conversations with Jeffrey Rosen, starting in the 1990s & continuing through the Trump era. Rosen, a veteran legal journalist, scholar & president of the National Constitution Center, shares the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s observations on a variety of topics—with the affection they have for each other as friends evident in their banter & in their shared love for the Constitution—and for opera. Justice Ginsburg discusses the future of Roe v. Wade, her favourite dissents, the cases she would most like to see overruled, the #MeToo movement, how to be a good listener, and how to lead a productive, compassionate life—and of course the future of the Supreme Court itself.

Essays by Lydia Davis ($45, HB)

Lydia Davis’s writing is a masterclass in control—wry, lucid, penetrating, every word placed deliberately. Here she presents a dazzling collection of literary essays, each one as beautifully formed, thought-provoking, playful & illuminating as her critically acclaimed short fiction. Ranging across her many creative influences, including Thomas Pynchon, Michel Leiris, Maurice Blanchot, Lucia Berlin & Joan Mitchell, she returns again & again to her own writing process, interrogating the limits of literature & the ways in which we can challenge & reinvent it.

97,196 Words: Essays by Emmanuel Carrère

In a search for truth in all its guises, Emamanuel Carrère dispenses with the rules of genre. For him, no form is out of reach- theology, historiography, reportage & memoir. This book introduces Carrère’s shorter work to an English-language audience—it features more than 30 texts written over a 25 year period, spanning continents, histories & personal relationships—considering the divides between truth, reality & our shared humanity, exploring remarkable events & eccentric lives, including Carrère’s own. ($40, HB)

Make It Scream, Make It Burn by Leslie Jamison

This is a profound meditation on isolation, longing & the conflicts faced by all those who choose to tell true stories about the lives of others—and about why and how we tell stories. Leslie Jamison takes the reader deep into the lives of strangers—from a woman healed by the song of ‘the loneliest whale in the world’ to a family convinced their child is a reincarnation of a lost pilot—and asks how we can bear witness to the changing truths of others’ lives while striving to find a deeper connection to the complexities of our own. ($33, PB)

Serious Noticing: Selected Essays by James Wood

From the career-defining ‘Hysterical Realism’ to his more personal reflections on family, religion and sensibility, Serious Noticing offers a comprehensive overview of literary critic author of How Fiction Works, James Wood’s, writing over the last twenty years. These essays offer more than a viewpoint—they show how to bring the eye of critical reading to life as a whole. ($25, PB)

Now in B Format Books that Saved My Life: Reading for Wisdom, Solace & Pleasure by Michael McGirr, $23 The Sky is Falling: The Unexpected Politics of Hollywood’s Superheroes and Zombies by Peter Biskind, $20 On the Shoulders of Giants by Umberto Eco

In this final collection of his essays Umberto Eco explores his perennial areas of interest, accompanied by beautiful reproductions of the art he discusses. These wide-ranging pieces dig into the roots of our civilization, changing ideas of beauty, our obsession with conspiracies & the emblematic heroes of the great narrative, amongst other fascinating topics. ($65, HB)

Gleebooks’ special price $59.99 Outspoken: 50 Speeches by Incredible Women from Boudicca to Michelle Obama (ed) Deborah Coughlin ($33, HB)

A lot of history is made up of speeches. Speeches about big ideas, celebratory speeches, rousing speeches to inspire soldiers to fight to the death, comic speeches to help us see the funny side to life. From Jesus to Winston Churchill to Martin Luther King Jr and even Donald Trump, we’ve been raised with the words of important men ringing in our ears ... But where are all the women? History may not have listened to women, but that never stopped them from speaking out. From Joan of Arc and Virginia Wolf, to Oprah Winfrey and Greta Thunberg, this book is a celebration of outstanding and outspoken women everywhere.

On Chapel Sands Laura Cumming is an art historian of the accessible kind—not dense, academic theory—her way of looking at, and her way of explaining a picture, resonate through her latest book, On Chapel Sands. This is a mystery, a memoir and a most loving tribute to her mother—the central figure in this poetic, haunting book. When her mother was aged three (and known as Betty at that time), she disappeared while playing on the Lincolnshire beach (Chapel Sands in Lincolnshire), and was missing for five days. She is eventually returned to her parents, and this mystery lies dormant for decades, until her daughter, Laura, decides to find out what happened. Her mother, now known as Elizabeth, had written the memoir of her life and given it to Cumming as a twenty first birthday; and this forms the background of On Chapel Sands When Cumming investigates her mother’s strange disappearance, and in fact her true provenance, she uncovers a most extraordinary conspiracy of silence amongst everyone who knew of the five day kidnapping—a whole village in fact, some of whom are very old, but still determined to keep the secret. There are also small black and white photos peppered through the book, at which Cumming looks closely­—revealing small clues that come light on this close inspection. This is very illuminating, and I couldn’t help but think of the ‘sentimental regard’ that Susan Sontag writes about in her 1977 book, On Photography. Also fascinating are Cumming’s discussions of certain artworks, particularly Breughel’s Landscape With the Fall of Icarus. This painting, of Icarus falling and drowning in plain sight, is the first picture that Betty, as an art student, ever bought for herself, a worthy leitmotif running through the narrative. While Cumming’s tale is certainly an odd one, it’s perhaps not so unusual for the time in which it’s set. And it is so thoughtfully written that it has an impact far and beyond the facts of the disappearance. It is sad, and it’s affecting, but it is not sentimental, and it stands as a testament to both the author and her subject, her mother. A wonderful book. Seasons greetings to everybody, hope you all have a large stack of books to read over the festive season Louise

Language & Writing

Adaptation for Screenwriters Robert Edgar & John Marland ($35, PB)

Develop the critical & creative skills to ‘translate’ a story from page to screen with this step-by-step guide to the process of screen adaptation you’ll learn to: interrogate a novel or short story to release its ‘inner film’; convert fictional prose into visual drama; overcome the obstacles presented by different media ‘languages’; approach key strategic decisions—both technical & interpretive; draft & re-draft your plot, characters & dialogue; professionally format & submit your finished script. In addition to examples taken from ‘literary classics’, contemporary novels, genre fiction, short stories & biographical material, Marland & Edgar embrace the wider phenomenon of re-telling & updating existing stories, such as the ‘appropriation’ of popular figures, inter-film adaptation (sequels & ‘reboots’), and development into other visual forms including graphic fiction & video games.

Writer’s Guide to Speculative Fiction: Science Fiction & Fantasy by Kilian & Moreno-Garcia Science fiction & fantasy authors, Crawford Kilian & Silvia Moreno-Garcia, come together in this book to show writers how to craft believable worlds, good characters & engaging stories. Their hands-on, practical, put-the-book-down-andstart-writing advice explains genres & how to bend & blend them, and gives concrete suggestions on how to overcome the inevitable problems writers face, such as self editing, writing plausible characters, and building a plot without writing formula fiction. ($30, PB)

Writing to Persuade: How to Bring People Over to Your Side by Trish Hall ($41.95, HB)

As the person in charge of the Op-Ed page for the NYTimes, Trish Hall spent years immersed in argument, passion & trendsetting ideas—but also in tangled sentences, migraine-inducing jargon & dull-as-dishwater writing. Drawing on her experience editing everyone from Nobel Prize winners to first-time pundits, Hall presents the ultimate guide to writing persuasively for students, job applicants & rookie authors looking to get published. She sets out the core principles for connecting with readers—laid out in chapters such as Cultivate Empathy, Abandon Jargon, and Prune Ruthlessly. Combining boisterous anecdotes with practical advice (relayed in ‘tracked changes’ bubbles), she offers an infinitely accessible primer on the art of effectively communicating above the digital noise of the 21st century.


The Arts

Jim Shaw by David Pagel ($90, HB)

Emerging out of the long West-Coast shadows of California Assemblage by way of LA Pop & Conceptualism, Jim Shaw’s narrative-driven art marries art history & contemporary existence, as well as literature & comic books, ancient myths & modern movies, science & its variations in popular psychology not only blurring the boundaries between art & life, but cultivating that confusion to consider the relationship between fact & fiction that seems to define so much of the world we inhabit today. This book is an invaluable resource for those interested in painting today & its interaction with modern life. Human Canvas by Art Wolfe ($75, HB) Inspired by the body-painting traditions of indigenous peoples Art Wolfe has photographed worldwide, and particularly those in Ethiopia & Papua New Guinea, Wolfe set out to present his own take on this art form & explore concepts of universal beauty. With photography & his background in fine-art painting to transform skin into an abstract landscape he uses lines, patterns, textures & unusual points of view to abstract the human form and create a unique and captivating look of the human body as art.

Plagued By Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright by Paul Hendrickson ($55, HB)

Frank Lloyd Wright has been known as both a supreme artist & an insufferable egotist who held in contempt almost everything aside from his own genius as an architect. Paul Hendrickson portrays a man dogged by traumas, racked by lies, and stifled by the myths he wove around himself. This is the Wright who was haunted by his father, about whom he told the greatest lie of his life. And this is the Wright of a close, perhaps romantic, relationship with friend & early mentor Cecil Corwin; the connection between the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 & the murder of his mistress, her 2 children & four others at his beloved Wisconsin home by a servant gone mad; and the eerie, unmistakable role of fires in his eventful life.

Grand Designs Australia Volume II ($60, HB)

From a home created within an old electrical substation to another like a sprawling tent under canvas, from a home inspired by Japanese origami to another designed around a shipping container—this book features 24 inspiring homes, projects straddling the continent, from Tasmania to QLD, South Australia to northern NSW, in coastal, country & city locations. Built by architects & designers, who, undeterred by constraints such as a tight budget, a short timeline, a tricky site & heritage regulations, dared to dream & saw their grand visions become reality.

Dress in the Age of Jane Austen: Regency Fashion by Hilary Davidson ($80, HB)

During the Regency period (1795 and 1825) accelerated change saw Britain’s turbulent entry into the modern age, and clothing reflected these transformations. Starting with the intimate perspective of clothing the self, Hilary Davidson moves outward through the social & cultural spheres of home, village, countryside & cities, and into the wider national & global realms, exploring the varied ways people dressed to inhabit these environments. Jane Austen’s famously observant fictional writings, as well as her letters, provide the entry point for this examination of Regency’s rich complexity of fashion—lavishly illustrated with paintings, drawings, historic garments, & fashion plates.

Yellow: The History of a Color by Michel Pastoureau ($79, HB)

In European societies today, yellow is a discreet colour, little present in everyday life & rarely carrying great symbolism. In antiquity, however, yellow was almost sacred, a symbol of light, warmth & prosperity. It became highly ambivalent in medieval Europe: greenish yellow came to signify demonic sulfur & bile, the color of forgers, lawless knights, Judas & Lucifer while warm yellow recalled honey & gold, serving as a sign of pleasure & abundance. In ancient China, yellow clothing was reserved for the emperor, while in India the coluor is associated with happiness. Above all, yellow is the colour of Buddhism, whose temple doors are marked with it. Michel Pastoureau, author of the books on blue, black, green & red, gives a feast for the eye & mind with a wealth of captivating images to accompany the text.

Opt Art: From Mathematical Optimization to Visual Design by Robert Bosch ($60, HB)

Linear optimization is is a powerful modeling method for discovering the best solution to a problem among a set of available alternatives, and also a rich medium for creating breathtaking works of art. Robert Bosch provides a lively & accessible introduction to the geometric, algebraic & algorithmic foundations of optimization. Each chapter begins with a problem or puzzle & demonstrates how the solution can be derived using a host of artistic methods & media, including 3D printing, laser cutting & computer-controlled machining. Bosch focuses on mathematical modeling throughout—converting a problem into a workable mathematical form, solving the mathematics, and examining the results, which can take the form of mosaics, line drawings & even sculpture. All you need is some high-school algebra, geometry & calculus to follow along.

Beginning in St Kilda with United Artists, visionary gallerist Anna Schwartz relocated to City Gallery at 45 Flinders Lane before Anna Schwartz Gallery found its current location at 185 Flinders Lane in 1993. Present Tense captures Schwartz, known for her steadfast promotion of the contemporary & the challenging, alongside the inimitable roster of artists that her gallery represents, and the key figures of Australian art & culture. The book combines historical vignettes, interviews, & hundreds of archival photographs & artworks—revealing a story that arcs from the journeys of immigrants who make up Australia’s rich cultural life to the local artistic scenes of Melbourne to the global stage of the art world.

Hokusai: Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji

Devoted entirely to landscapes, Hokusai’s series shows Mount Fuji from various viewpoints, framed in different ways. An indefatigable traveler who was passionate about nature, Hokusai explored every vantage point and season at the volcano. He presented it both as a solitary and majestic snow-capped peak and as a smaller object on a distant horizon. This beautiful boxed accordion-fold edition comprises the full set of forty-six prints (the original thirty-six and ten more that were completed later) and features a luxurious silken binding along with a separate explanatory booklet. ($57, HB)

Henry Darger by Klaus Biesenbach

Self-taught & working in isolation until his death in 1973, Henry Darger realised an elaborate fantasy world through hundreds of paintings & an epic written narrative. Angel-like Blengins with butterfly wings, natural catastrophes, innocent girls & murderous soldiers are reproduced in this book in double-page & gatefold illustrations. Klaus Biesenbach examines the radical originality of Darger’s art, including his use of collage, incorporation of religious themes & iconography, and frequent juxtaposition of innocence with violence. ($85, HB)

Cindy Sherman ($70, HB)

Cindy Sherman is among the most influential artists of her generation. Using herself as model, wearing a range of costumes and portraying herself in invented situations, she interrogates the imagery employed by the mass media, po pular culture and fine art. Television, advertising, magazines, fashion and Old Master paintings all form part of her visual language. This book, which accompanies a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, considers Cindy Sherman’s oeuvre through the lens of portraiture.


Present Tense: Anna Schwartz Gallery and ThirtyFive Years of Contemporary Australian Art by Doug Hall ($60, HB)

Primitive Technology: A Survivalist’s Guide to Building Tools, Shelters & More in the Wild by John Plant ($35, PB)

Disconnect and unleash your inner caveperson. Through illustrations, photographs & instruction, learn how to create something useful from natural resources & become skilled in the art of fire starting, pottery making, shelter building, spear throwing, basket crafting & much more. Whether you are a seasoned survivalist, a lover of the outdoors or an armchair admirer, these primitive crafts teach us all something about the fundamentals of human life on earth.

David Yarrow Photography: Americas Africa Antarctica Arctic Asia Europe ($195, HB)

For more than two decades, legendary British photographer David Yarrow has been putting himself in harm’s way to capture immersive and evocative photography of the world’s most revered and endangered species. This book features 150 of Yarrow’s most iconic photographs, offering a truly unmatched view of some of the world’s most compelling animals. The images are paired with Yarrow’s contextual narrative, giving insight into a man who will not accept second best in his relentless pursuit of excellence.

Paula Rego: Obedience & Defiance

Celebrated British painter Paula Rego (born 1935) uses symbolically charged imagery in her representational paintings and prints to challenge social mores perpetuated by patriarchy. Obedience and Defiance accompanies a major traveling exhibition of Rego’s career since the 1960s and includes previously unseen works and curatorial texts. ($60, HB)

Performing Arts Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road by Kenneth Womack & Alan Parsons ($59, HB)

In February 1969, the Beatles began working on what became their final album together. Kenneth Womack’s colourful retelling of how Abbey Road was written enters EMI’s Abbey Road Studio, which boasted an advanced solid state transistor mixing desk to focus on the dynamics between John, Paul, George, Ringo, and producer George Martin & his team of engineers, who set aside (for the most part) the tensions & conflicts that had arisen on previous albums to create a work with an innovative (and, among some fans & critics, controversial) studiobound sound—the culmination of the instrumental skills, recording equipment, and artistic vision that the band & George Martin had developed since their early days in the same studio 7 years earlier.

MGM Style: Cedric Gibbons and the Art of the Golden Age of Hollywood by Howard Gutner ($90, HB)

Cedric Gibbons was the supervisor in charge of the art department at MGM film studios from its inception in 1924 until his retirement in 1956. Lavishly illustrated with over 175 pristine duotone photographs, the vast majority of which have never before been published, this is the first volume to trace Gibbons’ trendsetting career. Gibbons and his associates constructed the villages, towns, streets, squares and edifices that later appeared in hundreds of films, and whose mixed architecture stood in for army camps and the wild west, Dutch New York & Dickensian London, ancient China & modern Japan. Inspired by the work of Le Corbusier & the Bauhaus masters, as well as the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs at Industriels Modernes in Paris and Frank Lloyd Wright’s experiments with open planning, Gibbons championed the notion that movie decor should move beyond the commercial framework of the popular cinema.

Acid For The Children by Flea ($33, PB)

The strange tale of a boy named Flea starts in Rye, NY. It was all very normal. But soon his parents divorced & his mother Patricia remarried a jazz musician. Flea’s stepfather frequently invited musicians to his house for jam sessions which sparked Flea’s interest in music. The family moved to LA, where Flea became fascinated with the trumpet, idolizing musicians like Miles, Dizzy & Louis. But the family soon fell apart & he began smoking weed at 13, and became a daily user of harder drugs. He was on the streets by 14 & soon after, met another social outcast & drug user named Anthony Kiedis. They form a band that would become the Red Hot Chili Peppers—this is Flea—pure &, uncut.

Two Riders Were Approaching: The Life & Death of Jimi Hendrix by Mick Wall ($33, PB)

Regarded as the greatest guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix’s career only spanned 4 years but in that time he managed to influence generations of musicians from Freddie Mercury to the Red Hot Chili Peppers & Slash. Born Johnny Allan Hendrix in Seattle in 1942, he had a difficult childhood & music became his sanctuary. Famous for playing the guitar with his teeth & lighting his instrument on fire, Hendrix’s innovative & experimental sound won over UK rock royalty & legions of US fans. But there was a dark side to Hendrix, he would become angry & violent after days of mixing alcohol & illicit drugs. Tragically in 1970 he was found dead in a London flat. The real reason behind his death is still disputed. With access to key members of Jimi’s circle, Mick Wall delivers an explosive & celebratory biography offering fans a chance to see the real & and learn the truth behind his untimely death.

Films That Made Me...: Essays and Reviews from The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw ($35, PB) ‘Like a pizza delivery driver who travels everywhere by moped, or a volcanologist who keeps turning the central heating up, I’m a film critic who loves going to the cinema.’ This book collates 2 decades of his finest reviews—insightful & introspective to savage & funny, from The Cat in the Hat and the Twilight Saga to Synecdoche, New York, Bradshaw shares the films that he loved, the films that he hated, the films that made him laugh, cry, swoon and scared.

The Australian Musical: From the beginning by Peter W. Johnston & Peter Pinne ($80, HB)

Drawing on the authors’ long careers in musical performance, and extensive research in public & private collections this is a definitive account of the history of musical theatre in Australia. From small amateur performances in the early days, to international achievements, to the new wave of Australian musicals from the 1990s & 21st century, they recount the emotional roller-coaster of successes & disappointments of one of the most demanding art forms.

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The River Murray Guide—When the water flowed ... London H. S. Nichols & Co. 1894. 12 volumes. First edition of the Nichols/SmithMurray Shipping Ltd (Morgan) Murray Memories Club, Woori Yallock. Victoria. AUST. Soft cover. Condition: Good. No Jacket. 36pp., b/w illustrations. Stapled booklet. Light marking to covers. Explanatory notes by Murray Memories Club attached to front hinge. A 1970s (?) Facsimile edition of a 1920s original issued by Murray Shipping Limited, Adelaide. $20.00. ‘The Australian who has not been afloat on the Murray and its many affluents, does not know his native country. There is a charm in a holiday trip on these highways which has a peculiarity all its own…For a restful, health-giving change, there is no other resort in Australia to compare with a voyage along these zig-zag tracks, which reach into the interior of the Commonwealth.’ Thus, David J. Gordon (1865–1946)—journalist and South Australian Federal politician—in his book, The Nile of Australia: Nature’s Gateway to the Interior. A Plea for the Greater Utilization of the Murray and Its Tributaries (1906) which provides an introduction to this evocative—and charming—tourist booklet. The Murray River Navigation Company (from 1919 Murray Shipping Ltd) was formed in 1888. The front cover of this Guide shows it was purchased for sixpence at the South Australian port of Morgan—home to hundreds of paddle steamers which carried cargo and from the 1880s onward, increasingly—passengers. Our Murray paddle steamer journey of 1367 miles (2200 kms) begins at Morgan and ends at Albury. The guide sequentially lists, the towns of interest, notable sights (on both the Victorian and NSW side), pastoral properties, farms and the fifteen Murray Locks. At each location there are listings for miles travelled both from the Murray mouth and distance those remaining until our final destination. We travel in style. Our vessels are either The Marion or the Gem. The Marion—built in 1897—was converted to a cruise steamer in 1908. It became along with the Gem, the most popular of the passenger boats. Serving five meals a day, with hot and cold-water baths, two berth cabins, a smoking room and a piano in the dining room, the Marion offered seven-day cruises from Murray Bridge to Renmark and return for £6.00 ($500 in 2018). The Gem originally built 1876 at Moama, Victoria, was rebuilt and refitted as a 40m (130ft) tourist steamer in 1882—one of the largest to have ever worked the Murray-Darling rivers. Gem was able to keep trading right up until the end of the steam boat era on the Murray in the early 1950s. She served as a boarding house at Mildura till 1962. Since 1963 until 1999 as an art gallery and restaurant. Gem is now a tourist attraction at Swan hill having undergone a painstaking restoration. On 6–10 June 1963, the Marion made her last voyage—a 381 km (237mile) journey from Berri (SA) to Mannum (VIC). She had lain idle at Morgan since 1941. Purchased by the South Australian National Trust the Marion was to be fully restored as a floating museum at her final destination. A special representational cargo was loaded: dried fruit, cases of oranges, a bale of wool, cases of wine and brandy. Recommissioned in 1994, the Marion now serves both as a museum and runs passenger trips throughout the year—one of the world’s only operational, steam driven, wood fired, side paddle steamers with overnight passenger accommodation still operating. The Australian Labor Movement 1850–1907: Extracts from contemporary documents by Noel Ebbbels Noel Ebbels was a part-time law student prior to WW2 but after he returned from active service in the Pacific he became a full-time student taking a course in history and political science. Around 1949 he started a collection of documents of the Australian Labor movement which comprised a selection from contemporary sources illustrating the main developments in the Eastern States of Australia between 1850 and 1907. This work wasn’t finished when he was killed in a road accident in 1951—so a committee was appointed, at a crowded memoiral meeting of his friends held in the Assemby Hall Melbourne, to complete and publish it. First published in 1960, this 2nd printing (1976) includes a memoir of R. N. Ebbels by C.M.H. Clark, and a foreword by Russel Ward. ($30, HB) Webster’s New International Dictionary: Second Edition An Entirely New Book—Latest Unabridged With Reference History ($100) Anybody who’s had the pleasure of reading The Grammarians, Catherine Schine’s novel of twins with ten unusual words for every occasion will understand my excitement when this hefty tome (8.3 kilos) came to my attention. It is the very book Daphne and Laurel’s father proudly installs (with its own plinth) in their living room—where standing on tiptoe to pore over its contents their obsession with language begins. It’s the prized family heirloom they go to war over after their mother dies. It’s gorgeous—littered with black & white illustrations, plus the odd colour plate, and a thumb index. This volume is in good condition apart from a few crumpled first pages. If no-one puts their hand up, I may have to home it myself.


Stephen’s Notables for 2019 Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 by Ryan H. Walsh ($30, PB)

If I ventured in the slipstream/ Between the viaducts of your dream… The opening lyrics of the title track of Irish singer Van Morrison’s second album. Released in November 1968, Astral Weeks was a landmark fusion of rock, soul, folk and jazz. Music critic Greil Marcus compared the album to Bob Beamon’s record-shattering long-jump performance at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, an astonishing, singular achievement that was ‘way outside of history’. This book is a detailed dive into the mysteries of its creation, as well as the eccentric, prickly genius who made it and the now almost forgotten cultural context and musical atmosphere from which it came.

Did You Just Eat That by Paul Dawson & Brian Sheldon ($37.95, HB)

The Five Second Rule is the belief that picking up dropped food off the ground before five seconds have elapsed still makes it (relatively) safe to eat. It is applied selectively in our household, with snap decisions made depending on type of food dropped: Tim Tams (yes), licorice (yes), pizza slices (depends on the topping and on which side hits the kitchen floor first), ice cream (no), potato chips (on bare floor—no, on carpet—perhaps). Two professors of food science and microbiology tackle the myths and popular suppositions surrounding, the five second rule, double dipping and sharing eating utensils. A rigorous examination and various experiments of ‘Surfaces’, (restaurant menus—’crawling with bacteria’); ‘Air and Water’, (so-called ‘hygienic’ hand dryers in public toilets that blast out millions of microbes) and ‘Transport Mechanisms’ (numerous people spraying germs by blowing out candles on a birthday cake is one example I had never even thought about). All serve as the three categories of investigation regarding ever present bacteria and (potentially deadly) microbes. A light, explanatory tone is accompanied by clear graphics. Germophobes should avoid this book. I just found it very entertaining.

Erebus: The Story of a Ship by Michael Palin ($23, PB) Michael Palin—world traveller, lover of ships and the sea, history and revered Monty Pythonist—chronicles the creation, life, disappearance and rediscovery of an extraordinary 19th Century British naval vessel. Launched in 1826, HMS Erebus—named after the mythological son of Chaos—was one of the last commissioned ‘bomb ships’, designed to launch heavy shells over coastal defences. She was not a large ship—‘at 372 tons she was a minnow compared to Nelson’s 2,141-ton Victory’. In 1839, Erebus was converted to an ice-ship for polar exploration, and the following year, under Captain James Clark Ross, she departed Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) with sister ship HMS Terror, and then spent the next four years voyaging further south than anyone had ever been before. These polar pioneers became the first to break through the pack ice and sight the Antarctic continent itself. In 1844, Sir John Franklin set off with both ships, charged with finding a sailing route through the Arctic Northwest Passage. This disastrous voyage occupies the last third of the book and is narrated with sympathy and tact. Palin travels from Tasmania to the Falkland Islands & the Canadian Arctic—to offer a firsthand account of the terrain & conditions that would have confronted Erebu, and using diaries, ships records, journals & archives, he offers a wealth of lightly imparted detail, bringing the shipboard life & daily routine of Erebus and the personalities of its main occupants engagingly to life. The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters & the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara ($49, HB)

The Creature from the Black Lagoon was the film monster of choice for this young fan. The haunting, unique appearance of the ‘Gill Man’—the ‘missing link’ between Fish and Human—in the 1954 classic, paved the visual way for Alien and Predator. Hollywood actress, makeup artist, special effects designer and animator, Milicent Patrick (1915–1998) is rescued from undeserved obscurity by O’Meara—a self-confessed ‘monster nerd’—in this labour of love—a hybrid of biography, memoir and film research story, and also a pointed critique of the film industry’s patriarchal tendencies. Born in El Paso, Texas, Patrick developed artistic affinity at a young age—she gained three scholarship at the Los Angeles Chouinard Art Institute, and after graduating, she became one of the first female animators to work at the Walt Disney studios. Between 1939 to 1941, Milicent was a colour animator on classics such as Fantasia (1940) & Dumbo (1941). After Disney, she worked as both a professional model & actress for a decade. In 1952 she moved to the makeup department at Universal Studios. The following year Milicent began work on Creature from the Black Lagoon. At the release of the film studio chief of makeup Bud Westmorw demanded Patrick claim that she was only responsible for making sketch renderings of his original ideas. Westmore—who received sole on-screen credit for the Creature—removed her from future projects, had her fired and used his position in the film industry to blackball her. ‘After that she never designed another monster, and her name faded into obscurity while the Creature went on to become one of the most iconic movie creations of all time’. Millicent Patrick finally receives her artistic due in this excellent biography. Thank You, Mallory O’Meara.

Promise Me You’ll Shoot Yourself: The Mass Suicide of Ordinary Germans in 1945 by Florian Huber ($33, PB)

In July 1944, the Sicherheitsdienst (The SD)—the Nazi Internal Security Ser-


vice—responsible for monitoring public opinion within Germany, recorded the following apprehensive comment of a German woman in East Prussia: ‘The eastern front will probably soon collapse. If the Bolshevik’s get in, we might as well all hang ourselves with our children. The war can no longer be won’. Nemesis arrived in Germany between February and May 1945, when the Red Army reached the eastern German provinces. Panic gripped the population. In Mecklenburg, Silesia and Brandenburg there were hundreds, perhaps thousands of suicides. Originally published in Germany in 2016, Florian Huber’s book focuses on the mass suicides that took place on 1 May 1945 in Demmin—a small city two hours north west of Berlin. The town is bounded on three sides, north, west and south by the Rivers Peene and Tollense. On 30 April 1945, the German army fled, destroying the bridges. The Russians arrived that evening to see white flags of surrender. The following day several isolated incidents of military resistance by the Hitler Youth led to the Russians burning the town centre. Widespread looting and the mass rape of women followed. Mass hysteria broke out. Terrified individuals decided on the instant to kill themselves—hanging, poison, shooting, immolation or drowning in the rivers—entire families tied themselves together, weighed themselves with stones, and raced into the rivers. Demmin’s ghastly episode was suppressed by the Communist-controlled East German state for over half a century. The Soviet Army could only be portrayed as welcome liberators. During the 1990s several books and a 2017 documentary—Surviving in Demmin—allowed the remaining survivours to speak of their experiences. In some ways, Demmin’s agony continues as the Radical Right movement now uses the tragedy for its own political ends. Every May, Neo-Nazi gangs from all over Germany silently march through the city in a mock funeral march to ‘honour’ Demmin’s victims. Stephen Reid


Salute by Ken Bolton ($25, PB)

Gee these poems be limber, you think, flipping thru the pages, admiring, here, the cut of this poem’s jib, there the poise & rancour of another. For this is a book that might save your heart, a book to pull from your jacket pocket at some moment of last judgement & wave at the gate keeper, a tall and bearded dude, surely a hipster—avant la lettre but also after it—outside of time in fact, where final judgements are, and truth and poetry.

Eardrum: Poems and Prose about Music by Martin Langford ($25, PB)

Eardrum moves across a much wider range of musical possibilities—from Ariana Grande at Manchester to the man who plays Hornsby Fountain in his Wellington boots; from the way music has been used to inspire terror, and signify power, to the way rock has been grounded in the word, and jazz in the body. As well as the main body of poems, there is a section of very brief pieces—Langford is also an aphorist—and a series of prose meditations: on the links between music & poetry, and on various aspects of jazz, classical & rock.

I Live Alone by Lu Ye ($25, PB)

Lu Ye is one of China’s foremost female contemporary poets. Part of a new bilingual Chinese poetry series translated by Ouyang Yu, this collection of poems, explores Ye’s fascination with the natural world, displacement, loneliness, loss & her own self-discovery, in a lyrical and reflective voice, that shines with originality and passion.

Other titles in this series: Dangling by Yang Xie, $25 To Practice the Rhythms by Shu Cai, $25 On Low Ground, Lower Ground by Long Quan, $25 Flag of Permanent Defeat by Ouyang Yu is A work of defiance, Ouyang Yu’s most recent bilingual collection gathers much of his experimental work, with some of the poems collected in this book dating as far back as late 1982—an exploratory mixture of sound poetry, asemic poetry, photograph poetry, conceptual poetry, found poetry, and pinyin poetry. ($25, PB)

Special price in the Summer Reading Guide

Love Is Strong as Death Poems chosen by Paul Kelly ($40, PB)

Paul Kelly has gathered together a collection of poems from around the world that he loves, and that have inspired and challenged him over the years—a number of which he has set to music.

Gleebooks’ special price $34.99












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Prussian Blue Philip Kerr, HB

Novels, Tales, Journeys : The Complete Prose of Alexander Pushkin, HB

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Philip Roth: When She Was Good / Portnoy’s Complaint / Our Gang / The Breast, HB

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America Andy Warhol, PB

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Now $18.95 Philip Roth: Ghost Writer / Zuckerman Unbound / The Anatomy Lesson / The Prague Orgy, HB

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Home Fire Kamila Shamsie, HB

The Wrinkle in Time Quartet Madeleine l’Engle, HB

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My Name Is Lucy Barton Elizabeth Strout, HB

Collected Poetry and Prose Wallace Stevens, HB

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The Best Minds of My Generation: The Six : The Lives of the Mitford Sisters Bob Dylan All the Songs: A Literary History of the Beats Laura Thompson, HB The Story Behind Every Track, HB Allen Ginsberg, HB

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Among the Islands: Adventures in the Pacific Tim Flannery, PB

The Bonobo & the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates Frans de Waal, HB

The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in WW2 Svetlana Alexievich, HB

The Burning Time : Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, and the Protestant Martyrs of London Virginia Rounding, HB

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Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from Myself Julie Barton, PB

H Is for Hawk Helen Macdonald, HB

Notes from a Public Typewriter (eds Gustafson & Uberti, HB

The Heart of the Plate Mollie Katzen, HB



by recked Books ogue of Shipw surge of exploration and al at C e Th : e David M the zone for th bastard son

Scott D: My favourite read this year was also the shortest—Four Sol-

diers by Hubert Mingarelli. Set during the Russian Civil War in 1919 as

, the ack in an Renaissance , Wilson-Lee—Sm rized the Europe te gst other things ac on ar am ch t, at th ou ts learning ind and m s, Hernando, se e bu th m of lu le Co ta er ry of Christoph An extraordina street. timate library. . Right up my to create the ul ld to lly rfu de spirit, won

Spring signals the resumption of hostilities on the Romanian front line, four young soldiers idle away their last days of freedom. Deceptively simple and profoundly moving Mingarelli’s novella was longlisted for the 2019 Man Booker prize and described by past winner Hilary Mantel as ‘A small miracle of a book, perfectly imagined and perfectly achieved’.

Judy: Two standout reads this year for me—each one affo of delighted surprise: Em rding that sense ilie Pine’s Notes To Sel f—essays of memoir fresh, bold and most beautifully structured to reveal a self I And Anna Burns’ Milkm an written in wonderful, imm felt most drawn to. ersive Irish prose that takes you into a divided neighbourhood in Northe rn Ireland in the 70s. Ou narrator introduces us to r a craziness that is reminis cent of Samuel Beckett. The novel is funny, frighte ning and so disquieting.

Untold Lives The Five: The

Killed by Jack of the Women novelist

d al historian an —British soci ld ’ Nichols, ho ly ol en ‘P ub R nn A Hallie Mary the Ripper by gates the lives of five women— es and Mary Jane Kelly— w sti Catherine Eddo Rubenhold inve on between izabeth Stride, El , hitechapel, Lond an W m in ap er Ch pp Ri e from this th Annie nt ck se Ja ab by y five, killed r is completel re de ur m articles, r the ‘canonical’ er ei ap Th . books, newsp ovember 1888 registers, rate archives August and N h se ris ou pa kh g or in w ch resear are missing— story. Through three of these em back to life ests—although nhold brings th be Ru , es at fic coroner’s inqu ey are born certi the moment th riage and death eir life – from th as well as and birth, mar of s ct m pe ea as dr y r rough ever hopes and thei r ei th e se and takes us th e to W em their cirthey are killed. path that led th to the moment down the dark n ke . ta el ap so al ch e We ar tute in White their struggles. alone and desti cumstances —



: Laura Cumming’s evocative memoir mother’s childhood of her belov , On Chapel Sand s, is evocative and tho ed provoking, and res onates with the au ught thor’s tho ing at the world. Th e Dutch House by ughtful way of lookfavourite fiction bo Ann Patchett, wa s my ok; a dark fairytale that travels back an in time with a fam d forth ily whose destiny is inextricably entw the extraordinary ho ined with use they live in, an d are cast out of. Fin also really like to ally, I’d recommend Miss Buncle’s Book by venson, is a book D E Steabout a book, and its most unlikely au Barbara Buncle. W thor, Miss ritten in 1932, it is a most ingenious, story about life in amusing an archetypal Engli sh village. Now pu (beautifully, and ala blished s, expensively) by Pe rsephone Books, the more to this cosy bo re’s ok than meets the eye.

Our Favourite Books 2019

Morgan: City

of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert—Gilbert said she wanted to write a book that, in these troubled (Trumpian) times, would ‘go down like a glass of champagne’. In this she has brilliantly succeeded. A great holiday read. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak—A beau tifully written story about a group of friends living in the margins of modern Istanbul, with the gorgeous prostitute Leila, at its centre. Evocative and tender, this is a book not to be missed. Shortlisted for the Booker this year.

Andrew: Novels of decidedly poetic prose more often than

not fall way short of the mark for me, but this year On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong excelled where so many others have flailed. The last chapter was as devastating a conclusion to a novel as any I have read. A shout out, too, to The Wall by John Lanchester. Not perfect but a captivating and melancholy page-turner nevertheless. The Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss, published late last year, is a consummate novella that gained a little traction this year, but deserves far greater recognition. And finally in non-fiction, The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour filled me with horror and fascination at every turn; rich in cultural and psychological theory, it’s an erudite, horrifying exposition of what social media is doing to our brains and our society, and as such proved a game-changer for me.

cy buryport by Lu ng Ducks, New with a half (or a yi sa be to ed Viki: I am surprises may not have favoured Ellmanneral disinterest in dg y ge Ellman. The ju , but despite m ucks to ooker this year /B an I have found D g M a in rit of w ) s es third sn ou ersion ci m ns im co e) tream of the same tim experimental/s d calming (at the fact an is g ct tin fa e ita th irr , ns e, io be an addictiv tiplans, lists, opin st century mul e of anxieties, a distracted 21 h in this tidal wav ug rs ro lla th do g in of ctoids runn be a couple is the fact is fa US edition may bright e A th . — on iti PS ed d. K in eU multi-tasking m h better than th rhaps cooling cover is so muc factoids, or pe e or m more, but the r fo g— in bb ver, it offers a bo te ha ck w du forgetfulness— gouache of a of nd po g inside. in ds pl or ue rip cophony of w its head in a bl e book to the ca th g in os cl on salve


ds it soun t trees rns out u o b a s is . It tu ting Power t trees a ichard ay I look a , communic ns R y b s w y pe r r p e u o a t th io h s v r Ove hanged social beha is of course he Hide c h s T a h y a tT ibit pic . Th a: If I s ucey exh gical e brillian ystems Tatjanbut this ecoloar to ours & th ork of root s roven (see the Powers uses strtive c , tw p e d g il e r y p n a in s ll im r r t h pe bo ss fica vas Ric ve live scienti ugh a e way eader into a developed trees li h other thro nd has been ). But it’s th y er tl b th u s w a n c rld’s a e e a s with e ver centurie ter Wohlleb racters to dr that are mor brate the wo of e a o at le P s h e e c th y ly c v , b w li e te slo ees ed both ara tim e of Tr ger liv ges to is disp of our den Lif rative and h tory, of lon in. He mana eatest crisis his ar sk gr ture, n t primordial under your n about the apse. r s ts a ity coll a e s v w r g e t a d a n iv a d of th io — n b s tree e& ur ow than o life forms— limate chang c st e d n a r g

Scott V: This St

orm by James Ellro y—set in Los Ange 1942 after Pearl Ha les in rbour, this is the second instalment new L.A. Quartet. in Ellroy’s Along with the usu al die corrupt cops, celeb t of violence, murde rities and debauche rs, ry, you can now gold heist, fifth co throw in a lumnist activity, Na zis and massive thu (Ellroy is not for nderstorms. the faint-hearted.) His short punchy writing style is an no-nonsense acquired taste, bu t once you acquir hooked. God bless e it, you’re his dark unscrupulo us heart.

David G: Underland

by Robert MacFarlane beautiful book about landscape, the earth and man’s relationship with it. Lyrical and personal, urgent and impassioned: ‘time is profoundly out of joint, and so is place’. He’s a great writer about the natural world and this is his best, and most important, book.

any soon, and so m of the Year—so ok akBo M r e ou g Th in ct n: ominio n for sele John: Time agaiilities. For me: Tom Holland’s Dto tread the line between ib ok that manages wonderful poss nd Reacommend Beyo tern Mind—a bo ing of the Wes ssible. For crime lovers I can re p down the Old Bailey, acce rom scholarly and Rumpolesque my pick of Gary Bell—a orts to be. But by rp bt pu ou D he e an m e sonabl th t traordinary no ex is e t Rook QC Walking—th an M d ea beware ... Ellio derbelly D at Sydney’s un e McClymont’s urk and a look d ‘well cG the year is Kat an M s’ el ie ha tit ic en M id urder of olourful racing ‘c of of the ld story of the m ys or da w e pt you thought th ancient, corru this century. If longed in those be ’ en m s d. es in busin your m known Sydney ok will change 20th C, this bo


nathon: My first pic k of 2019 is The ret Atwood. I really Testaments by Ma enjoyed the differen rgace in style between 1985 The Handma Atwood’s id’s Tale and this ye ar’ the closely knit, inn s sequel. The first book is er monologue of Of fred/June, whereas draws in more voice this sequel s to create a broader, more tactile pictur Atwood’s characte e of Gilead. rs really highlight just how bizarre an both the physical d threatening and psychological worlds of Gilead we an unexpected twist re, and give to the theocracy’s power centre. You’l quickly! My secon l devour this d pick is the unmi ssable The Age of Capitalism by Shosh Surveillance ana Zuboff. It’s a stunning re-evaluati talism in the digita on of capil age. Zuboff argue s that we are not so products of ‘free’ soc much the ial media apps, bu t the raw materials mode of production of a distinct . Zuboff traces the invention of a wo privacy or persona rld without l sovereignty, where social media platfo inner lives into gri rms turn our st for their data pro duct mills. Scary, bu for push back. Zubo t also hopeful ff writes beautifully to boot.

; her have been spoiled of late Fans of Silvia Federici the of cs : Feminism & the Politi Re-Enchanting the World brilliant and seemingly feverishly e, e a real Commons and the incisiv tch-hunting & Women wer kily, Wi es, tch Wi e um vol Luc written it! say to e tim ugh and not eno treat. She has a lot to say critiques of not only her work, but also ng with her fans are able to savour oni mm Co h wit d sse ble were of essays her work, and in June we ion lect col —a via Federici George Caffentzis and Sil i and her colleague George Caffentzeric honouring & exploring Fed ulation and the pitalism, primitive accum is’ contributions to anti-ca value theory. rx’s Ma roductive labour, and commons, feminism, rep ook for the deb gui a as er eith ugh highly eno comrades. I cannot recommend this of ed son sea st le read for the mo beginner or as a pleasurab

Hannah: Jack:

Lots to admire this year (Lanny by Max Porter, The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, Elizabeth Hardwick’s Sleepless Nights, Go Ahead in the Rain by Hanif Abdurraqib and Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells to name a few. However, the worn-out binding on my copy of Common People: An Anthology of Working Class Writers (edited by Kit de Waal) is evidence of the time it’s spent in my hands—and on my mind. ‘Low esteem wants to party’, says one contributor and it does between the pages of this exhilarating collection of essays, memoirs and short stories.



is Underland ite for the year ur vo Grass fa y M Brooks’ The Sonia: rlane, but David ere too Robert Macfa lumn this month) is right up th arco m y m m ra ee G (s e y Th ar Libr Schine’s ING Catherine s by Paul ve ie Th d and I am LOV an s t viove said Killer ians. PS I’d ha book but I am such a wimp abou l’ of sa st er be r isp fo ‘d th e Howar ter— th the subject mat er rights in lence. However ection of settl ot pr in ns lia tra us ok A bo us nt no rta ge Indi akes it an impo 1880s QLD—m r. rro ho e th of despite/because

Sally: My favourite

Overstory by Rich book of the year would have to be ard Powers. It’s

an ambitious book with a number of fascinating characte rs whose paths finally cross through their shared passi on for trees. Poeti philosophical and c, topical , its an enthr alling yarn. Anoth standout for me wa er s Pachinko by Mi n Jin Lee—a family saga about Korea n migrants in 20th C Japan. The fem characters especiall ale y are strong and res ilient as they try an support their familie d s and remain true to their culture in profoundly racist soc a iety. Good to read som ething that gives an insight into a litt le known commun ity.

ia: I have three favou rite books that I rea that stayed with me d this year. Numb the longest which er one is the on was The Oversto Beautifully and cle ry by Richard Powe e verly written,it sta rts with nine short rs. family and a tree stories about a pe and then bringing rson or all those stories tog very important to eth er to create someth us all. After readin ing so g it, I wanted to wa give every child bo lk where there are rn, a seedling. The trees and oth er tw o books I want to Friend by Sigrid Nu recom nez and The Du tch House by Ann mend are The Patchett.

The Untold Story

r & Faber k of the year is Fabe house. Janice: My favourite booson of Geoffrey Faber, founder of the publishing go, but and and e Gr com the , ers ber lish Fa pub by Toby have seen ller for many years, and from authors such I have been a bookse lishing great books, pub re, the n bee ays alw e ’s report on The hav der er rea t Fab firs & er ose Fab William Golding, wh and den Au lvia Plath’s The H. Sy W. , of iot as T. S .El l have the first copies stil I d. rea to joy my treasured a long ago, along with Lord of the Flies is lossus, that I bought so end. It is a Co e to Th ing and inn el beg Ari , m Bell Jar is book is a delight fro Th l. uld take abe wo hit it Me and & copy of Archy m the Faber archives, famous audiaries and memos, fro , now ers but lett e of cur n tio obs e lec col ries of onc all the wonderful sto pany. Geoffrey Faber far to long to mention published by this com hts rig yw pla le head for and ts academic, but with litt thors, novelists, poe n, publisher, poet & but I am ma w, ver kno cle , ric you e ent cur ecc obs was an Auden: ‘You’re very d tol e comTh he ’. le pid mp stu exa business—for r if I am especially Land, although I wonde so respected ste er Wa lish e Th pub e the hav e to d om gla s, to bec it is pite shaky beginning er to enjoy this book, pany has thrived, des bookseller or publish a of be one not d of nee nes u sce Yo look behind the and loved today. colourful and revealing and y. ing tur ain cen ert eth ent nti an such ing houses of the twe the truly great publish

Ingrid: Late in the Day

by Tessa Hadley has one of the best opening paragraphs I’ve read. A phone call disrupts the languid evening, and the lives of the all the characters are irrevocably changed. I couldn’t put this book down. Another very different book, Adrian McKinty’s latest crime thriller, The Chain, will also keep you reading all night. Although part way through you may stop to frantically check your privacy settings on Facebook. The Chain is an insidious dark web ring forcing parents to pay a ransom and then kidnap a child before their own child is released. For more classic crime, read Maigret’s Pickpocket. It was first published in 1967, and newly translated this year as part of Penguin’s ambitious program to publish new translations of all Georges Simenon’s work. It has all the twists and turns, and atmosphere of a time without mobile phones and internet.

Tim: My book of the year was Ian McE wan’s

Machines Like M

e. I was captivated by clever re-imagining it’s very of 20th century his tory, and by the intriguing portr ayal of the protag onists devolving relationship wi th a sentient, chari smatic robot. The whole book see med entirely plausi ble and was beautifully written.


Editor & desktop publisher Viki Dun vikid@gleebooks.com.au Printed by Access Print Solutions


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Bestsellers—Non-Fiction 1. QE 75: Men at Work—Australia’s Parenthood Trap

Annabel Crabb

2. The Woman Who Cracked the Anxiety Code:

The Extraordinary Life of Dr Claire Weekes

Judith Hoare

3. The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company

William Dalrymple

4. The Body: A Guide for Occupants

Bill Bryson

5. Year of the Monkey

Patti Smith

6. Dead Man Walking: The Murky World of Michael

McGurk & Ron Medich

Kate McClymont

7. Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save

the World

Tyson Yunkaporta

8. 488 Rules for Life: An antidote to idiots

Kitty Flanagan

9. Secret: The Making of Australia’s Security State

Brian Toohey

10. Penny Wong: Passion & Principle

Margaret Simons

Bestsellers—Fiction 1. The Testaments 2. The Dutch House 3. The Cockroach 4. Too Much Lip 5. Fleishman is in Trouble 6. Three Women 7. Maybe the Horse Will Talk 8. There Was Still Love

Margaret Atwood Ann Patchett Ian McEwan Melissa Lucashenko Taffy Brodesser-Akner Lisa Taddeo Elliot Perlman Favel Parrett

9. Bruny

Heather Rose

10. Lapse

Sarah Thornton


and another thing.....

Another end of the Gleaner year and one of my favourite Gleaner moments, the staff ‘best-reads’—with 2019 seeing Richard Powers’ Overstory and McFarland’s Underland at the head of the pack. With two days to go before I vacate Gleebooks for a two month holiday, I’m currently compiling a list of books to travel with—and Powers and McFarland will definitely be on it. At the moment I’m digging into the ‘of the moment book’ before it gets recalled due to rich sex offenders’ litigation—Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill. It’s a puzzle to me that entirely believable deals between super-rich criminals to look after their mutual interests gets lumped under the protective ‘conspiracy theory’ umbrella and compared with wacko flat earther, birther and moon-landing hoax fabulations. Anyway, back to the packing—I think I’ll take Catch & Kill and Farrow’s other book War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy & the Decline of American Influence on the plane. Farrow (who looks entirely too young to be a Pulitzer winner) turns out to be Mia Farrow and Woody Allen’s son—he has supported his sister Dylan vigorously in her abuse suit against Allen (and Allen’s powerful publicity machine)—which leads me to another favourite book of mine this year. New Yorker writer Emily Nussbaum’s collection of essays I Like to Watch is a fantastic read, and her long essay on #Metoo and ‘What should we do with the art of terrible men?’ (including Allen) is one of the most stimulation discussions of the movement and its repercussions I’ve read. Her references have also sent me on a trail of books. Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community by Saul Austerlitz (as much a post-WW2 social history of America, and their and our indoctrination in the American way, as a history of the sitcom) was an absolute pleasure from beginning to end. On a related note Birth of the Binge: Serial TV and the End of Leisure by Dennis Broe offers equally fascinating insight (though in a more dense theoretical manner) into the state of a hyper-industrial world and its retreat into an endlessly streamed alternate ‘reality’. Unfortunately a bit expensive, but worth it. Finally, thank you to my columnists, and thank you to our loyal customers and Gleaner readers (I hope you’re using the online version as well). All the best for the new year. Happy summer reading. Viki

For more November new releases go to:

Main shop—49 Glebe Pt Rd; Ph: (02) 9660 2333, Fax: (02) 9660 9842. Open 7 days, 9am to 9m Thur–Sat; 9am to 7pm Sun–Wed Sydney Theatre Shop—22 Hickson Rd Walsh Bay; Open two hours before and until after every performance Blackheath—Shop 1 Collier’s Arcade, Govetts Leap Rd; Ph: (02) 4787 6340. Open 7 days, 9am to 6pm Blackheath Oldbooks—Collier’s Arcade, Govetts Leap Rd: Open 7 days 10am to 5pm Dulwich Hill—536 Marrickville Rd Dulwich Hill; Ph: (02) 9560 0660. Open 7 days, Tue–Sat 9am to 7pm; Sun–Mon 9 to 5 www.gleebooks.com.au. Email: books@gleebooks.com.au; oldbooks@gleebooks.com.au

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November 2019  

November 2019  

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