This seasonâ€™s best books selected by your favourite independent bookseller
Summer Reading Guide
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Viking PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99
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Knopf HB WAS $39.99 NOW $32.99
Australian Fiction ADA Kaz Cooke
Inspired by photos of real 1890s vaudevillians, Kaz Cooke has written a novel evoking the world of cunning clairvoyants and trained cockatoos; of fierce loyalties and mixed lollies; of the glamour of the stage and the muck of the road. Researched while undertaking a Creative Fellowship at the State Library of Victoria and clearly the result of extensive research in that marvellous institution’s collections, Cooke’s tale of the life of Ada Delroy and her famous vaudeville troupe will charm and entertain readers just as the troupe enchanted the royalty, miners and larrikins who flocked to see them perform their famous illusions, dances and comedic routines.
FIRST PERSON Richard Flanagan
In his latest book, Richard Flanagan flexes his literary prowess to create an ambitious work that blends fiction and non-fiction, reality and fantasy. When failing author Kif Kehlmann is offered the job of ghostwriting the memoirs of notorious con man Siegfried Heidl, he accepts with some misgivings. What follows is a strange and mordantly funny tale that unsettles and entertains the reader in equal parts. Flanagan raises questions of truth and power as he unpacks the evolving and increasingly sinister relationship between writer and subject. Inspired by events in Flanagan’s own life, First Person is a more slippery and challenging read than the author’s 2014 Man Booker Prize winner, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, but is no less compelling for it.
MRS M Luke Slattery
HarperCollins PB $29.99
Journalist Luke Slattery is back with another book of historical fiction delving into subjects of eternal fascination for him – former Governor of Australia Lachlan Macquarie, his wife Elizabeth Macquarie and the chief convict architect of their regime, Francis Greenway. Slattery’s first foray into the revolutionary aspects of Macquarie’s colonialera reign occurred in The First Dismissal, a Penguin Special essay at 165 pages. Within this longer-form work, he largely plays within the confines of historical records, while allowing his characters a redemption that wasn’t available to them in real life. And by placing the voice of Elizabeth Macquarie centre-stage, Slattery elevates the voice of a woman whose recollections provide insights into a pivotal time in the conception of Australia’s nationhood and identity.
ATLANTIC BLACK AS Patri´c
Transit Lounge PB $29.99
In this follow-up to his Miles Franklin– winning novel Black Rock White City, AS Patri´c has crafted another engrossing story about intergenerational violence and trauma. Set in 1938, on the cusp of WW2 and aboard the ocean liner RMS Aquitania, the story follows Katerina, a teenage girl. Katerina’s mother suffers a psychotic breakdown at the start of the novel, leaving her daughter suddenly and unexpectedly alone for the first time in her life. The brilliance of this book lies in its atmosphere; we really feel the claustrophobia and headiness that comes with the confines of the setting. In addition, all the action takes place over just one night and a day, a tight time span that creates a blistering momentum in the narrative.
DANCING HOME Paul Collis
UQP PB $29.95
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1. What is kutjera?
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THE LIFE TO COME Michelle de Kretser
Winning the 2013 Miles Franklin Literary Award for Questions of Travel cemented Michelle de Kretser’s reputation as one of Australia’s most important novelists. Her latest work, The Life to Come, follows mediocre author Pippa through Australian share houses, a Paris writing residency and a lacklustre Sydney marriage. Through the narrative, de Kretser turns her sharp eye onto literary culture in an unflinching examination of art and creativity, and returns Allen & Unwin PB to her favoured themes of travel, identity WAS $32.99 and racism. Her trademark witty and acerbic NOW $29.99 judgement lands on people and relationships.
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Hamish Hamilton HB WAS $39.99 NOW $32.99
A LONG WAY FROM HOME Peter Carey
Suspended schoolteacher (‘chalk and talker’) and Bacchus Marsh resident Willie Bachuber is smitten when the diminutive yet perfect couple, Mr and Mrs Titch Bobbs, move next door. Titch has one desire – to own the Ford franchise for Bacchus Marsh – but Mrs Bobs knows the future is with Holden (ironic given Holden has no future in this country now). She swings the deal and the couple decide to launch their new venture by entering the famous round-Australia endurance race, the Redex Trial. The Bobs will drive, and Willie is co-opted to navigate. And so this odd trio embark on a wild ride around the country, where they encounter, among other things, Willie’s past and Australia’s future. Carey’s use of language and vernacular shine, making A Long Way from Home an immensely enjoyable read.
A SEA-CHASE Roger McDonald
THE PASSAGE OF LOVE Alex Miller
In 2013, Alex Miller went on record saying that Coal Creek would be his last novel. Fortunately, he has reconsidered. The Passage of Love is the two-time Miles Franklin Award–winner’s fictionalised retelling of his marriage to artist Anne Neil and his struggle to fulfil his vocation as a writer. The mammoth novel oscillates between a present-day first-person voice and a more detached third-person narrative where Miller is transposed to page as Allen & Unwin PB the thoughtful and intense Robert Crofts. Set in the decades after WW2, the novel WAS $32.99 tackles big subjects including race, class, NOW $29.99 Indigenous rights and post-traumatic stress.
The winner of the 2016 David Unaipon Award for unpublished Indigenous writers, Dancing Home is an intensely personal story that nonetheless explores wider themes of racism and tolerance. Blackie and Rips, fresh out of prison, begin a harrowing journey of revenge against a bent copper. Drugs, violence and dancing all feature in the immersive and tightly plotted narrative, which unfolds as they and their mate Carlos embark on a road trip across Wiradjuri country in backcountry NSW. Collis’s writing is particularly strong when writing about how Blackie’s desire for vengeance conflicts with his deep-rooted need to reconnect with his country and his ancestors. Part road-movie, part ‘Koori-noir’, the publication of this novel heralds a strong new voice in Aussie fiction.
Vintage PB $32.99
Growing up in inland Australia, Judy, a young teacher, has rarely seen the sea. But when she flees a rioting classroom one dismal Friday, she gets drunk and wakes up on a boat. Overnight, her life changes; she is in love with being on the water and in love with Wes Bannister, who lives on the boat. Judy believes that the one trusted continuation of herself is with Wes, and always will be, but then events at sea challenge their closeness. Must they become competitors in the push to be equals? In A Sea-Chase, McDonald delivers a novel about ambition, self-realisation and lasting love set on the beautiful and ferocious sea.
Literary Award Winners BETWEEN A WOLF AND A DOG
THE LOST PAGES
THE MUSEUM OF MODERN LOVE
Georgia Blain Scribe PB $29.99 Blain’s remarkable novel about love, forgiveness and loss won a 2016 Queensland Literary Award and a 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award.
Marija Periˆci´cć Allen & Unwin PB $29.99 Cleverly imagined and structured, this novel about friendship, fraud and betrayal won the 2017 Australian/ Vogel’s Literary Award.
Josephine Wilson UWA Press PB $29.99 The 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award was won by this compassionate and intelligent novel by Western Australian writer, Josephine Wilson.
Heather Rose Allen & Unwin PB $27.99 Inspired by the work of Marina Abramovi´c and set in New York, this novel about the nature of art, life and love was awarded the 2017 Stella Prize.
A HORSE WALKS INTO A BAR
LINCOLN IN THE BARDO
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
David Grossman Vintage PB $22.99 This heartbreaking, visceral novel was awarded the 2017 International Man Booker Prize.
Naomi Alderman Penguin PB $19.99 This science-fiction thriller about teenage girls developing the ability to kill with a single electrical touch won the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.
George Saunders Bloomsbury PB $29.99 Inventive and moving, Saunders’ novel about Abraham Lincoln dealing with the death of his 11-year-old son Willie won the 2017 Man Booker Prize.
Colson Whitehead Fleet PB $19.99 Awarded both the 2016 National Book Award and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Whitehead’s novel melds realism and allegory to deliver a powerful American tale.
DEVIL’S DAY Andrew Michael Hurley
John Murray PB $32.99
Every autumn, John Pentecost returns to the Lancashire farm where he grew up to help gather the sheep from the moors and celebrate Devil’s Day, a traditional ritual staged to trick the Devil (the ‘Owd Feller’) into keeping away from the flocks. Generally, very little changes in the bleak Briardale Valley, known to its three resident families as the Endlands, but this year things are different. John’s grandfather – known to everyone as the Gaffer – has died and Kat, John’s pregnant wife, is accompanying him for the first time. It soon becomes apparent that John and Kat will have to decide where their loyalties and future lie – and it’s not an easy decision. Andrew Michael Hurley’s unsettling novel is a major achievement.
THE DREAMS OF BETHANY MELLMOTH William Boyd
Viking PB $32.99
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Scribner HB WAS $39.99 NOW $17.95
Hogarth PB $29.99
A chilling dystopian novel, Future Home of the Living God deals with many subjects that will be familiar to those who have read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale: female agency, self-determination, biology and natural rights. It follows the journey of Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted child of open-minded Minneapolis liberals, as she journeys to find her Native American birth mother. As Cedar investigates her biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fuelled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity. Written in the age of Trump and in a world suffering from social and racial inequality, the effects of climate change and the reality of rapid and inevitable technological change, Erdrich’s tale of how Cedar fights to keep both herself and her unborn baby free is both thought-provoking and salutary.
Bloomsbury HB $24.99
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I’D DIE FOR YOU AND OTHER LOST STORIES F Scott Fitzgerald
A collection of the last remaining unpublished short stories by F Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby and Tender Is the Night. All 18 short fictions collected here were lost in one sense or another: physically lost, coming to light only recently; lost in the turbulence of Fitzgerald’s later life; lost to readers because his editors foolishly didn’t consider them worthy of publication. Together, they offer a new insight into the arc of Fitzgerald’s career and further demonstrate his stylistic agility and powerful imagination.
Scribner HB WAS $39.99 NOW $32.99
The third novel by award-winning Irish writer Paul Lynch is set in 1845 during the Potato Famine. Grace is 14 years old when her mother cuts off her hair, dresses her like a boy and sends her off into the countryside where ‘the rain comes yoked to a hooded sun, unfastens and falls like a cloak…’ She is joined by her 12-year-old brother, Colly, and together the two begin a painful trek across a bleak Irish landscape, seeking work and food and encountering unfathomable hardship. This is an enthralling – and often confronting – meditation on starvation, a global phenomenon that continues to afflict the modern world. Lynch’s language is breathtaking – he manages to extract beauty from even the most tragic of settings and situations.
IN THE MIDST OF WINTER Isabel Allende
The novels of Chilean-American writer Isabel Allende are beloved for their unique blend of pathos, drama and romance. Her latest saga begins with the unexpected convergence of three characters who are thrown together during a Brooklyn blizzard: a middleaged male college professor; a female Chilean academic; and a distraught young Guatemalan immigrant woman. From this initial chance encounter, Allende unspools the risks, challenges and compromises that have led them to this point, exploring their complicated histories and the paths they have taken in life. In the Midst of Winter expertly places personal narratives within the broader context of South American political events, creating a strong and engaging story in the process.
HEATHER, THE TOTALITY Matthew Weiner
THE BOAT RUNNER
Devin Murphy HarperCollins PB $24.99 Debut novel about personal redemption set in the Netherlands during WW2.
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Sofie Laguna Allen & Unwin PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99 The new book from this award-winning author is about neglected Justine, abandoned by her parents and raised by her pop, a man tormented by his memories of the Burma Railway.
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CITY OF CROWS
Chris Womersley Picador PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99 A historical novel set in 17th-century Paris by the author of The Low Road and Bereft.
THE LAST HOURS Minette Walters
Allen & Unwin PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99
THE BOOK OF DIRT
Bram Presser Text PB $32.99 This Australian novel deals with love, Holocaust survival, genealogical sleuthing, family secrets and Jewish myths.
This is the debut novel from the creator of the seven-season TV series Mad Men and, like the TV series, it’s a gripping tale that draws the readers in with its insightful – and not always laudatory – depiction of American society. The story focuses on Mark and Karen Breakstone and their beautiful, compassionate and entrancing daughter, Heather. As Heather grows – and her radiance attracts more and more dark interest – she is drawn into the malignant orbit of a troubled boy from New Jersey, causing the family’s privileged and perfect Manhattan existence to fracture.
Canongate PB $24.99
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Power, money and betrayal are at the heart of Edward St Aubyn’s retelling of King Lear, the latest addition to the Hogarth Shakespeare series, which has seen such luminaries as Margaret Atwood and Jeanette Winterson take on some of literature’s most classic texts. St Aubyn recasts Lear as media mogul Henry Dunbar, whose eldest two daughters imitate his ruthlessness and will to power so faithfully that they try to claim his company for themselves. As in the original, only his youngest daughter is loyal, despite his earlier betrayal of her. Dunbar, with his episodes of madness and desperation about his vanishing sense of self, is compelling, as are his horrifically psychopathic eldest daughters. St Aubyn’s intelligence and wit and mastery of language are obvious but never ostentatious.
GRACE Paul Lynch
FUTURE HOME OF THE LIVING GOD Louise Erdrich
Corsair PB $29.99
A philandering art dealer tries to give up casual love affairs. A man recounts his personal history through the things he has stolen from others throughout his life. A couple chart the journey of their five-year relationship backwards, from awkward reunion to lovelorn first encounter. And, at the heart of the book, a 24-year-old young woman, Bethany Mellmoth, embarks on a year-long journey of wishful and tentative self-discovery. This collection of short stories depicts the random encounters that bring the past bubbling to the surface; the impulsive decisions that irrevocably shape a life; and the endless hesitations and loss-ofnerve that wickedly complicate it.
DUNBAR Edward St Aubyn
Gerald Murnane Giramondo PB $24.95 One of Australia’s most acclaimed writers says that this novel about an ageing man relocating from the city to a remote town in the border country will be his final work of fiction.
Kurt Vonnegut Seven Stories HB $75 This 944-page volume comprises the complete short fiction of the late Kurt Vonnegut, author of Cat’s Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five. Edited by Jerome Klinkowitz and Dan Wakefield.
England, 1348. People are dying. Serfs and lords attribute the Black Plague to God’s punishment, but Lady Anne of Develish knows better. Educated by nuns with an understanding of medicine, she decides to save her people by isolating all of them in her house, a moat forbidding entry to others. This historical narrative is bursting with tension – restricted by class, people speak in veiled language, and engage in duels of bluffing and lies. In this game it is easy to pick sides: cruel and selfish characters are pitted against the intelligent, kind and just. And the threats of dark secrets and danger lurk like a wolf. Known for her taut and gripping crime fiction, Walters here delivers suspenseful historical fiction about a heroine battling against a cruel world.
BER DECEM SE RELEA
THE BURDEN OF LIES
Richard Beasley Simon & Schuster PB $29.99 If you haven’t yet been introduced to Beasley’s fast-paced thrillers, this cracker of a novel set against the backdrop of Sydney’s construction boom is a great place to start.
THE DROVER’S WIFE
Frank Moorhouse (ed.) Knopf HB $34.99 A celebration of Henry Lawson’s much-loved 1892 story. Includes essays and commentaries by Moorhouse and other writers.
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Corsair PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99
Fiction MANHATTAN BEACH Jennifer Egan
Jennifer Egan’s follow-up to the genredefying and captivating Pulitzer Prize– winning novel A Visit from the Goon Squad is a remarkable work of historical fiction. Epic in its scope and intimate in its tone, Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression and then flashes forward to WW2. Egan follows three characters – gangster Dexter Styles, union bagman Eddie Kerrigan and Eddie’s daughter Anna – as their lives collide inside nightclubs, on ships and at sea. The world of the novel is wholly realised, rich in details that never feel laboured, and the reader is swept up in Egan’s assured and elegant prose. This is historical fiction at its best: gripping, immersive and transporting.
SING, UNBURIED, SING Jesmyn Ward
Bloomsbury PB $24.99
The author of this novel has been described by Ann Patchett as ‘one of the most important writers in America today’. Part road trip, part ghost story, Ward’s lyrical third novel explores intergenerational trauma and the shadows that slavery continues to cast over contemporary American life. Set in post-Katrina Mississippi, in the same fictional town as her previous book, Salvage the Bones, which won the 2011 National Book Award, Sing, Unburied, Sing charts the journey of a broken family to collect their father and husband upon his release from prison. Narrated in turn by 13-year-old Jo Jo, who is trying to understand what it means to be a man, and by his reluctant and inattentive mother, Leonie, this is a mesmerising and deeply affecting read.
MRS OSMOND John Banville
Viking PB $29.99
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Picador PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99
A VINEYARD IN ANDALUSIA Maria Dueñas
Scribe PB $32.99
At the heart of this sweeping historical novel lies an unlikely pairing of winemaking and mining. The story starts in 1861, when Dueñas’ hero, Mauro Larrera, a ruined silver-mine owner, is forced to leave his native Mexico to seek his fortune, a journey that takes him to Cuba and eventually Jerez, the birthplace of Spanish sherry. Dueñas, bestselling author of The Seamstress (Picador PB $19.99) has meticulously researched her narrative terrain, creating an epic story that feels both lushly detailed and authentic to the period. Larrera’s encounter with an heiress to a faded wine dynasty allows Dueñas to gently tease out the role that risk and chance play in her character’s quest for reinvention. Perfect summer reading for history and wine buffs.
Writing in The Guardian, Edmund White describes this sequel to Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady as ‘both a remarkable novel in its own right and a superb pastiche’. The novel opens in London, where Isabel Osmond (née Archer) is coming to terms with the recent disclosure of her husband’s years-long betrayal. Grievously wronged, she determines to resume her youthful quest for freedom and independence. But first she must return to Italy and confront her husband, and that isn’t going to be easy. Banville has in the past described James as his principal literary influence, and in continuing the adventures of Isabel he is indulging in the ultimate form of fandom, one that fellow James fans and admirers of Banville’s own novels are sure to greatly enjoy.
THE SPARSHOLT AFFAIR Alan Hollinghurst
In five linked sections, this novel follows the lives, love affairs and scandals of a group of friends from their 1940 Oxford days to their lives in current-day London. Hollinghurst is the acclaimed author of the Man Booker Prize–winning novel The Line of Beauty. His novels centre on educated, aristocratic British characters whose veneer of civility and elitism conceals raw and often ugly truths of human nature. He’s also an unrivalled chronicler of the intersections of queer lives and social mores, with a keen eye for period details. The Sparsholt Affair is an uncompromising novel of urgent prose, moral ambiguity and authentic characterisation that is filled with biting class satire and social commentary. It is a subtle and immersive read that transports readers to wartime England and back again.
John McPhee Text PB $29.99 McPhee, a Princeton University academic and staff writer with The New Yorker, offers an expert guide to writing long-form non-fiction. Available late November.
THE HANDMAID’S TALE Margaret Atwood Vintage HB $29.99 Seen the TV series but haven’t read the novel that inspired it? Now’s your chance – grab a copy of this gift hardback edition!
Bloomsbury PB $24.99
Hamish Hamilton PB $29.99
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STORIES Susan Sontag
Hamish Hamilton HB WAS $45 NOW $39.99
Nicole Krauss Bloomsbury PB $24.99 The author of the acclaimed The History of Love here delivers a story about metaphysical journeys set in New York and Tel Aviv.
THE HISTORY OF BEES
Maja Lunde Scribner PB $32.99 Set in 1852 England, 2007 America and 2098 China, this thought-provoking story is about the relationships between children and parents, nature and humanity.
Though mainly remembered as a brilliant essayist, Susan Sontag, the author of seminal works including Against Interpretation, Under the Sign of Saturn, On Photography and Illness as Metaphor, was also a writer of fiction. In her novels and short stories, she often dealt with ideas and preoccupations that she didn’t feel able to address in her essays and monographs. Stories puts together all of her short fiction for the first time, and includes allegories, parables and autobiographical vignettes.
THE WORLD OF TOMORROW Brendan Mathews
Winter, said author Ali Smith in a 2016 interview in The Guardian, ‘is a place where you can see really clearly’. It’s also the title of the second volume of her Seasonal Quartet, a shape-shifting series about time, history and the current state of the world. Set in Cornwell over Christmas, Winter’s plot allows Smith to cast her eye over a bleak post-Brexit era while delivering a story rooted in history, memory and warmth. As with her awardwinning How to Be Both (Penguin PB $22.99), there’s plenty of art here, as well as love and laughter. Her many admirers can enjoy it while at the same time looking forward to the next instalment, Spring.
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Those who enjoy the novels of Colm Tóibín are likely to similarly enjoy this story about the women of an Irish immigrant family in 1940s and 1950s Brooklyn. The setting, characters and themes in The Ninth Hour are reminiscent of those in Tóibín’s Brooklyn, and both Tóibín and Alice McDermott have precise and elegant writing styles. But although Tóibín is good at writing about women, McDermott, author of the National Book Award–winning Charming Billy, is better. This moving novel about faith, love, female resilience and what makes a family is a major achievement, one that is rich in lyrical prose, wonderful characters and profound musings on the human condition.
2. Who discovered the mathematical foundations of quantum physics?
WINTER Ali Smith
Highly Recommended DRAFT NO. 4: ON THE WRITING PROCESS
THE NINTH HOUR Alice McDermott
Simon & Schuster PB $32.99
Writing in the Washington Post, John Freeman Gill describes Brendan Mathews’ debut novel as having the ‘possibility of dramatic transformation amid historical ferment’ at its heart. Its title is drawn from the theme of the World’s Fair (held in New York in 1939), and its rollicking plot is largely set in the same city during the 1930s. It takes a courageous writer to follow in the steps of EL Doctorow, who used the same setting for his finest novel, 1985’s World’s Fair, but Mathews doesn’t filch, recounting the story of redheaded rogue Francis Dempsey and his adventures through Ireland and America with alacrity. Mathews is widely acknowledged as an American writer to watch.
THE GIRL WHO TAKES AN EYE FOR AN EYE
Jeffrey Eugenides 4th Estate HB WAS $34.99 NOW $29.99 The first-ever collection of short stories from Eugenides presents characters in the midst of personal and national emergencies.
Kamila Shamsie Bloomsbury PB $24.99 A contemporary reimagining of Sophocles’ Antigone, Shamsie’s new novel is a compelling story of loyalties torn apart when love and politics collide.
David Lagercrantz Quercus PB $32.99 Lagercrantz continues Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series with this novel, in which Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist investigate a crime while Lisbeth is in prison.
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A LEGACY OF SPIES
John le Carré Viking PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99 In his latest novel, the master thriller writer returns to the setting of the Cold War for the first time in 30 years.
Crime & Thrillers THE ACCIDENT ON THE A35 Graeme Macrae Burnet
Text PB $29.99
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Head of Zeus HB WAS $44.99 NOW $39.99
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Hutchinson PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99
Existentialism meets crime fiction in the third novel from Graeme Macrae Burnet, who was shortlisted for the Booker for His Bloody Project. Like Burnet’s debut, The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau (Text PB $19.99), this book also purports to be written by French novelist Raymond Brunet and merely translated by Burnet. It, too, features small-town detective Georges Gorski and the town of St Louis. Gorski is intrigued by a seemingly unremarkable car accident, although he may be more intrigued by the deceased’s wife. The story of the dead man’s son, who plays at reading Sartre, runs in parallel, as both try to find out more about the enigmatic father and husband. Burnet – or is it Brunet? – plays with the familiar tropes of detective fiction, and creates intriguing layers of references.
Harvill Secker PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99
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DEADLIER: 100 OF THE BEST CRIME STORIES WRITTEN BY WOMEN Sophie Hannah (ed.)
This extensive collection is a perfect gift for lovers of crime or as an introduction to the genre. The allure of mystery and pleasure of puzzles is celebrated, with worldwide bestsellers printed side by side with local prize-winners. We encounter Margaret Atwood’s playfulness and Patricia Highsmith’s dark, homoerotic intrigue; and we are offered a sad Australianaladen story from 2016 Ned Kelly Award winner Emma Viskic and a foray into Phryne Fisher’s 1920s world from Kerry Greenwood. Styles range from gothic to gimmick, historical to haunting, and are sure not to disappoint. A treasure to be savoured over a holiday break.
Simon & Schuster PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99
Creating compelling fiction out of compelling history is Robert Harris’ forte, and in this gripping novel he thrusts us into the crucial days leading up to the Munich Agreement. We follow two fictional friends from Oxford, one an English civil servant, and one a German diplomat involved in the (real) 1938 plot against Hitler, as they try to alert the British to Hitler’s ultimate plans. Harris sticks closely to historical fact, making the fictional elements ring true and lending poignancy to the novel. While history may condemn Chamberlain for the Munich Agreement, which is now seen as a futile act of appeasement, this is a sympathetic portrait of a man desperate to avoid another world war so soon after the last one.
There’s certainly a twist in the tail – or should that be tale? – of this psychological thriller that falls squarely into the category of domestic noir. German author Melanie Raabe creates an atmosphere thick with menace and mystery in her second foray into crime fiction. Seven years after her husband disappears in South America, Sarah is starting to re-make her life in Hamburg when she is informed he is still alive. But the man she meets at the airport is a stranger to her. So what does he want with her and her son? With references to fairy tales, and with plenty of questions about love, Raabe cleverly exploits the now-familiar trope of a strong but shaken woman whose credibility is undermined by the man who is threatening her.
AFTER THE FIRE Henning Mankell
The final novel written by the creator of the bestselling Wallender books, After the Fire is an elegiac work in which Mankell returns to the location and protagonist that featured in his 2009 novel Italian Shoes. Picking up the themes of ageing and mortality that were explored there, he delivers a novel quite unlike his others, one that has a mystery at its core but is much more than a mystery or crime novel. Rather, it is a melancholy fictional meditation on loneliness, love, loss and how to live a good life. Set on a small island in the Swedish archipelago, the plotline seems to unfold as inexorably as the tides but holds some surprises, chiefly among them the unpredictable and very human character of the elderly protagonist.
DEEP FREEZE John Sandford
Virgil Flowers, a detective with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, knows the town of Trippton a little too well. A few years back, with the help of a retired schoolteacher, he investigated the corrupt – and as it turned out, homicidal – local school board (Deadline). Now the teacher is back with even more alarming news: over the past year, three women from the same high school class of 20 years ago have been found dead in unusual circumstances, and she’s worried about what may happen at the upcoming mid-winter reunion. Will Virgil help? Fans of this long-running American series are sure to enjoy the latest Flowers novel.
CLEAR TO THE HORIZON Dave Warner
Fremantle PB $29.99
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Macmillan PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99
BER DECEM SE RELEA
PALE HORSE RIDING Chris Petit
MUNICH Robert Harris
THE STRANGER Melanie Raabe
Text PB $29.99
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Simon & Schuster PB $29.99
This grim but gripping novel goes deeply into the idea of corruption. A black market is thriving at Auschwitz in 1943, and two policemen are sent to root out its source. But how can they investigate one instance of corruption when it is everywhere, and in many guises, at the camp and throughout Nazi Germany. And when our detectives are sent back to investigate a murder, how does it make sense to solve one when, as they eventually realise, thousands of people are killed there? Throughout, it is near impossible for them to get any handle on how or why things are happening. A sequel to The Butchers of Berlin, but able to stand alone, Pale Horse Riding blends the historical and the fictional to great effect. Free gift: A copy of The Butchers of Berlin (RRP $19.99) with every copy.
Transit Lounge PB $29.95
Michael Connelly PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99
Few Australian crime novels have been as eagerly anticipated as this second book from the author of The Dry. Harper's first novel garnered a swag of awards, including a CWA Gold Dagger and a Ned Kelly from the Australian Crime Writers Association. In Force of Nature, she returns to a bush setting and to an investigation featuring federal police agent Aaron Falk. Working with his partner Carmen Cooper, Falk investigates the disappearance of Alice Russell, a whistleblower in their latest corporate malfeasance case. Alice went missing while on a team-building bush hike with four female colleagues. The aim was to build resilience and team building; instead, the team fractured and Alice went missing. Aaron and Carmen uncover what actually happened.
A mash-up of three genres – psychological thriller, horror story and literary fiction – this debut title from Australian writer Lois Murphy is an exhilarating and unorthodox read. The story starts after a sinister convoy of four-wheel drives visits the rural town of Nebulah during the winter solstice. Soon, the birds disappear and a malevolent mist descends on the town every evening at dusk. With the mist come unimaginable horrors that few local residents can endure or survive. Ex-policeman Peter and his neighbours Li and Milly are among the few to remain; trapped by circumstance, they adjust their lives to the new reality. Or so they think. Written from Peter’s perspective, Soon is the type of book that is impossible to put down once you’ve started reading.
UNDER THE COLD BRIGHT LIGHTS Garry Disher
TWO KINDS OF TRUTH Michael Connelly
The juggernaut that is Michael Connelly Inc continues to dominate bestseller lists worldwide, and is now also making a significant mark on the small screen. It seems extraordinary that this prolific output hasn’t led to a compromise in quality, but as the latest Harry Bosch book – the 20th in the series – attests, Connelly is one of the most consistent and admirable crime writers working today. Two Kinds of Truth takes as its subject the topical issue of the abuse and illegal supply of prescription drugs. Harry’s role at the San Fernando PD has expanded from solving cold cases and his latest challenge sees him going undercover to solve the double murder of two pharmacists. Meanwhile, an old case from his LAPD days comes back to haunt him...
FORCE OF NATURE Jane Harper
SOON Lois Murphy
3. What is döstädning?
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Despite having been awarded two major literary awards (the ACWA’s 2016 Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction for Before it Breaks and the 1996 WA Premier’s Book Award for City of Light), Dave Warner may well be Australia’s most under-rated writer of crime fiction. Aficionados know how good his Snowy Lane books are, though, and they are sure to be enthralled by the latest instalment, which sees the former police detective (now a Broome-based private investigator) drawn back into the investigation of the disappearance of three young women in Perth. Loosely based on the infamous Claremont killings, Clear to the Horizon has an extremely likeable main character, a fast-paced plot and writing that is dense with colourful vernacular and Aussie humour.
Text PB $29.99
Few Australian crime writers are as prolific as Garry Disher. Though best known for his eight Wyatt novels, he also authors the seven-strong Challis and Destry series and has published a number of stand-alone crime titles. Under the Cold Bright Lights is his latest stand-alone effort, and it’s one of Disher’s best. Recently brought out of retirement to work on cold cases with the Victoria Police, Acting Sargeant Alan Auhl is juggling three investigations, getting to know his new work partner Claire Pascal and giving shelter to a mother and daughter fleeing domestic abuse. Though a talented and driven policeman and a caring father and friend, Auhl has what he acknowledges as a ‘retributive darkness’ in his soul, which prompts him into vigilante-like acts that may well come back to haunt him. This complex and compelling story begs a sequel; let’s hope one eventuates.
Language, Poetry & Essays THE BOOK OF FORGOTTEN AUTHORS Christopher Fowler
BEST AUSTRALIAN ESSAYS 2017 Anna Goldsworthy (ed.) Black Inc PB $29.99
BEST AUSTRALIAN POEMS 2017
Sarah Holland-Batt (ed.) Black Inc PB $24.99
BEST AUSTRALIAN STORIES 2017
Maxine Beneba Clarke (ed.) Black Inc PB $29.99 Showcasing the strength and diversity of contemporary Australian writing, these anthologies (now in their second decade) can be depended on to provide top-notch summer reading. This year, Essays includes contributions from JM Coetzee, John Clarke, Helen Garner, Stan Grant, Sonya Hartnett and 20 other writers; Poems includes works by a huge list of poets including Judith Beveridge, Bella Li and Fiona Wright; and Stories features pieces by writers including Melissa Lucashenko, Tony Birch and Josephine Rowe.
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GATE OF LILACS: A VERSE COMMENTARY ON PROUST Clive James
Writing in the UK’s Literary Review, Edward Behrens describes Clive James’ Gate of Lilacs as ‘…an unabashedly personal response to a novel of asthmatically breathtaking self-obsession’. James learned French by reading À la recherche du temps perdu and writing this verse critique was a similarly challenging project – as he said when the book was launched, ‘I needed to write it, perhaps to register my admiration for how he got on with his work when he fell ill. Thus I would trap myself into doing likewise.’ The format he has chosen is that of a poem and it works wonderfully as both a homage and a critique.
Harvill Secker HB WAS $45 NOW $39.99
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STORIES: THE COLLECTED SHORT FICTION Helen Garner Text HB $29.99
COLLECTED POEMS 1958–2015 Clive James
Polymath, raconteur and cultural commentator Clive James is known for his mastery of the quip – he recently joked in an interview that he was making a good living out of dying, for instance – but he is on record as stating that he would most like to be remembered for his poetry. Written over a nearly 60-year period, the poems in this volume are those that he is most proud or fond of, and include everything from his early satires to his recent valedictory poems. Showcasing his technical skill and great but lightly worn erudition, this collection displays a wide thematic scope and enormous emotional power – if you haven’t yet had the chance to appreciate his poetry, this is the perfect volume to help you do so.
This beautiful book contains a treasure trove of 99 overlooked or forgotten writers, each given their own utterly inviting, hard-to-resist potted history by Christopher Fowler. Take French novelist Pierre Boulle who wrote Bridge on the River Kwai, followed by Monkey Planet, which was reissued (and filmed) as Planet of the Apes. Other forgotten authors will spark recognition in some: Virginia Andrews, author of gothic incest blockbuster Flowers in the Attic; self-deprecating historical romance writer Georgette Heyer; and cult hero Kyril Bonfiglioli, creator of the Mortdecai novels, adapted for a ‘horrible film’ with the ‘entirely inappropriate Johnny Depp’. A booklover’s delight.
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TRUE STORIES: THE COLLECTED SHORT NON-FICTION
Helen Garner Text HB $39.99 These two magnificent hardback volumes commemorate the 75th birthday of Helen Garner, surely Melbourne’s (indeed, Australia’s) unofficial writer laureate. Stories includes writing first published in Garner’s acclaimed Postcards from Surfers as well as other, previously uncollected, stories. And True Stories combines her collections True Stories, The Feel of Steel and Everywhere I Look with later short work – including a stunning brand-new opening essay on the tragic case of a Sudanese widow and mother of seven who drove her car into a lake in Melbourne, drowning three of her children. Special offer: Buy both for the special price of for $49.99.
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Michael Joseph PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99
Vintage PB WAS $34.99 NOW $27.99
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MYTHOS Stephen Fry
The Greek myths have been passed down through millennia and are embedded deeply in the traditions, tales and cultural DNA of the West. But though many of us know the names and major exploits of the residents of Olympus, we aren’t always familiar with the full myths. These retellings will have you falling in love with Zeus, marvelling at the birth of Athena, wincing at Cronus and Gaia’s revenge on Ouranos, weeping with King Midas and hunting with the beautiful and ferocious Artemis. Stephen Fry does an excellent job of capturing these stories in all their rich and deeply human relevance for the modern age, delivering a book that will be enjoyed by all generations.
ABC HB WAS $39.99 NOW $34.99
CHRONICLES OF A LIQUID SOCIETY Umberto Eco
This is the final collection from the celebrated Italian essayist and novelist. In it, Eco explores aspects of the modern world with a dazzling erudition and keen sense of the everyday. His topics include the crisis in ideological values and politics, conspiracies, mobile phones, mass media, racism and good manners, but it is the essay on unbridled individualism that is perhaps the most thought-provoking – Eco argues that this has resulted in a ‘liquid society’ where it’s not easy to find a polestar, though stars and starlets are not lacking.
THERE IT IS AGAIN: COLLECTED WRITINGS Don Watson
Don Watson is surely one of the greatest contemporary chroniclers of Australian life: sharp-witted, coolly observant, politically savvy and instinctively empathetic. A lifelong fan (with caveats) of American culture and politics, he’s equally good when writing about these subjects – and has been uncannily prescient about how both cultures have developed, as this excellent collection demonstrates. Here, he veers from reportage (visiting New Orleans post-Katrina) to memoir (with excerpts from Reflections on a Bleeding Heart, and musings on its aftermath), to opinion (a blistering parting defence of The Book Show and Ramona Koval) and – of course – his much-loved, acidly acute attacks on bureaucratic language and corporate-speak.
SAGA LAND Richard Fidler & Kári Gíslason
The Icelandic sagas are epic stories composed during the Middle Ages, filled with extreme violence, heroic Viking deeds and deadly feuds. Remarkably, they are also drawn from true stories. Co-written by two friends – ABC Radio host Richard Fidler and writer and academic Kári Gíslason – Saga Land takes their mutual fascination with these sagas as its starting point. In alternating chapters, Fidler and Gíslason record their journey through Iceland as they follow the geographical resonances of the country’s folklore, refreshing the sagas for a contemporary readership, and exploring the complexities of Gíslason’s own family saga. Fidler and Gíslason are both passionate Icelandophiles and erudite thinkers, and Saga Land is a fascinating record of their mutual obsession.
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THE CABINET OF LINGUISTIC CURIOSITIES
IN SEARCH OF LOST BOOKS
LATE ESSAYS 2006–2017
Giorgio van Straten Pushkin HB $24.99 Van Straten sifts through clues, pursues leads and interviews experts to discover the stories of eight lost tomes and their authors.
JM Coetzee Knopf HB $29.99 This collection by the Nobel laureate includes essays on the work of writers including Samuel Beckett, Daniel Defoe, Goethe, Les Murray, Philip Roth and Patrick White.
MACQUARIE DICTIONARY: 6TH EDITION
THE SUN AND HER FLOWERS
A WRITING LIFE: HELEN GARNER AND HER WORK
Paul Anthony Jones Elliot and Thompson HB $29.99 Offering a surprising or obscure word for every day of the year, this is the perfect language gift book. Did you know that fedifragous means promise-breaking or oathviolating? We didn’t.
Macquarie HB WAS $99.99 NOW $19.99 Get in quick to snaffle a copy of Australia’s national dictionary at this bargain price! It includes a foreword by Australian poet Les Murray.
Rupi Kaur Simon & Schuster PB $24.99 A new collection from the author of the acclaimed Milk and Honey, this volume of poetry celebrates love in all its forms and is illustrated by Kaur herself.
Bernadette Brennan Text PB $32.99 In the first full-length study of Garner’s 40 years of work, Brennan offers a literary portrait that maps all of Garner’s books against the different stages of her life.
THE LIBRARY: A CATALOGUE OF WONDERS
Stuart Kells Text PB $32.99 This fascinating and engaging exploration of libraries as places of beauty and wonder includes institutions around the world and also from the imaginations of various writers.
ON KATE JENNINGS Erik Jensen Black Inc HB $22.99
ON JOHN MARSDEN
Alice Pung Black Inc HB $22.99 Two volumes of ‘Writers on Writers’, a new series in which leading authors reflect on an Australian writer who has inspired and fascinated them.
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ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG NATURALIST David Attenborough
First published in the 1950s, Adventures of a Young Naturalist is the enjoyable and engaging account of the explorations of a young David Attenborough. Working as a television presenter, Attenborough was given the opportunity of a lifetime – to travel the world in search of unusual animals for London Zoo’s collection, and to film his travels for a new BBC show, Zoo Quest. Written with Attenborough’s distinct humour and charm, the stories here are not just tales of gripping adventure, they together form a fascinating portrait of the man who changed the way we value the natural world forever. Now published in a beautiful gift hardback, this compelling and gently funny memoir will entertain and inspire.
AUTUMN Karl Ove Knausgaard
Harvill Secker HB $35
The first in a seasonal quartet, Autumn is a surprisingly tender and sweet offering from Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard, who shot to literary stardom after the publication of his My Struggle series. This new work is comprised of letters to Knausgaard’s unborn daughter, along with 60 mini-essays that range from the mundane (tin cans, chewing gum, badgers) to the abstract (loneliness, war, forgiveness). Knausgaard unpacks each subject with his trademark intensity and precision; he has an undeniable gift for reimagining everyday life in a unique way that will delight and startle you. The book is also a beautiful object in its own right, featuring striking artwork from Vanessa Baird. Volume two, Winter (Harvill Secker HB $35), is also available.
CARRINGTON’S LETTERS Anne Chisholm (ed.)
Chatto & Windus HB $65
British painter Dora Carrington was the star of her year at the Slade School of Fine Art, but never achieved the fame her early career promised. A prolific and exuberant letter writer during her too-short life, she corresponded with Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Rosamund Lehmann, Maynard Keynes and many other major figures, and some of these letters form the basis of this fascinating volume. Carrington was not consciously a pioneer or a feminist, but in her determination to live life according to her own nature – especially in relation to her work, her passionate friendships and her fluid attitude to sex, gender and sexuality – she fought and wrote about battles that remain familiar and urgent today.
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Simon & Schuster HB WAS $49.99 NOW $39.99
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ALI: A LIFE Jonathan Eig
This substantial biography aims to get behind the myths surrounding one of contemporary history’s most polarising figures, Muhammad Ali. American journalist Jonathan Eig recounts the sprawling saga of Ali’s life, from his childhood in a racially segregated Louisville all the way to his lighting of the Olympic flame at the Atlanta Games in 1996. Eig undertook over 500 interviews when researching this book and he also worked through the extensive documents on the boxer compiled by the FBI. The result is a biography that portrays a brilliant, complex and often flawed man. He may have been an extraordinary athlete and icon of the civil rights movement, but he was also a fickle friend and philandering husband. A fascinating read.
Hamish Hamilton HB WAS $55 NOW $49.99
4. Who was kicked out of her sorority on morals charges?
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BECOMING MYSELF Irvin D Yalom
Scribe PB $35
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Yalom is a widely published and much admired psychiatrist and psychotherapist. In this book he invites general readers into this fascinating field. Beginning with a poignant anecdote tracing his first experience of empathy, Yalom deftly weaves the evolution of his own inner life and outer achievements through a series of braided essays, cleverly analysing himself while retelling his patients’ profoundly moving stories. His deep understanding of the unconscious forces that drive us, together with his conversational and accessible style, make this a warm and engaging read, full of humanity.
HarperCollins HB WAS $39.99 NOW $34.99
7 ANTHONY POWELL Hilary Spurling
Literary biographer Hilary Spurling’s previous subjects have included Ivy Compton-Burnett and Sonia Orwell, and now she turns her attention to Anthony Powell, author of the 12-volume, 25-year magnum opus A Dance to the Music of Time. Equally notorious for his literary achievements and his lacerating wit, Powell was a one-time literary editor of Punch and a well-entrenched member of the English literary and artistic establishments (Evelyn Waugh and George Orwell were friends, the Sitwells acquaintances). Spurling, who was a friend of both Powell and his wife Violet, portrays her subject as a clever, thoughtful and modest man who was an important chronicler of his time. Her admirable biography will serve to introduce his writing – particularly the roman à clef that was his major achievement – to a new generation.
CAROLINE CHISHOLM: AN IRRESISTIBLE FORCE Sarah Goldman
She’s appeared on the five-dollar note, had a suburb named after her and even inspired a character in Dickens’ Bleak House, but what do we really know of one of Australia’s most influential historical figures, Caroline Chisholm? Goldman’s lively biography offers a portrait of a complex and determined woman who not only advocated passionately and successfully for the rights and welfare of Australia’s earliest female immigrants, but also left a lasting legacy on our approach to multiculturalism, employment and education. This is a timely and engaging read about early activism; one can’t help but wonder how Chisholm would respond to modern-day injustices.
DEVOTION Patti Smith
DANGER MUSIC Eddie Ayres
This memoir is an incredible trip through the joys of music, the chaos of Afghanistan, and the landscape of gender. Born female, Eddie Ayres enjoyed an incredibly successful career, playing viola and cello with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and hosting a classic radio show on ABC – as Emma Ayres. But his increasing anxiety about his gender led him to make an unanticipated career move: to teach music to street kids in Kabul, where Allen & Unwin PB he found the freedom to decide to transition. This narrative of a transgender man finding WAS $32.99 wholeness amongst the beauty of music NOW $29.99 is an extraordinary read, examining how, exactly, one can live authentically.
Yale University Press HB $27.99
Singer, poet and memoirist Patti Smith gives us an insight into her creative process with Devotion, the latest in the ‘Why I Write’ series from Yale University. Her ‘slim meditation’ on creativity combines diary vignettes, poems and a short story. Smith wanders through Paris’ cafes, visits a cemetery and encounters dévouement (devotion) inscribed on the headstone of a girl who loved horses. And so she writes about the sacrifice required to do what you love. Smith’s voice is like snow falling, soft and mystical. This privileged view of the ‘alchemy’ of producing art begs a second reading, and will delight anyone who seeks to interrogate the mystery of creativity.
Highly Recommended CAN YOU HEAR THE SEA?
THE FOOTY LADY
I AM, I AM, I AM
LIGHT AND SHADOW: MEMOIRS OF A SPY’S SON
THE MUSEUM OF WORDS
Brenda Niall Text HB $29.99 Here, award-winning biographer Brenda Niall turns her eye to a personal subject, her grandmother Aggie.
Bill Hayes Bloomsbury HB $29.99 Hayes writes of his life in New York City and gives an intimate glimpse of his relationship with the late Oliver Sacks.
Tim Rogers HarperCollins HB $35 In his memoir, the frontman of You Am I portrays himself as a hard-drinking, flamboyant and incurably romantic musician with the soul of a poet.
Mark Colvin MUP PB $24.99 Updated edition of the engrossing 2016 memoir by the late ABC journalist, Mark Colvin.
Stephanie Asher MUP PB $29.99 The trailblazing story of Susan Alberti: businesswoman, philanthropist, Western Bulldogs supporter and driving force behind the AFL’s move into women’s football.
Sigrid Rausing Hamish Hamilton HB $39.99 Written about the death of her sister-in-law, Rausing’s eloquent and timely attempt to understand the conundrum of addiction makes for a powerful read.
Maggie O’Farrell Tinder PB $29.99 An original, intimate and exquisitely written memoir of the brushes with death that have punctuated the life of Irish novelist, Maggie O’Farrell (After You’d Gone).
Georgia Blain Scribe HB $29.99 Written when she was dying of brain cancer, Blain’s memoir about writing, reading, life and death ponders how language shapes us, and how often we take it for granted.
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Biography & Memoir LEONARDO DA VINCI Walter Isaacson
Following his acclaimed biographies of Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin, Walter Isaacson has turned his attention to another towering figure in popular culture. At once a biography and a reflection on genius and creativity, Leonardo Da Vinci is a thought-provoking exploration of the great man’s life. Isaacson’s passion for his subject is infectious, and his wry sense of humour enlivens the narrative. The book looks back at history through a modern lens, revealing unexpected connections between then and now. Isaacson describes Leonardo as ‘wildly imaginative, passionately curious and creative across multiple disciplines’, and this absorbing and multifaceted work pays tribute to both his genius and his humanity.
LOGICAL FAMILY Armistead Maupin
The warmth, humour and commitment to entertaining his readers that were all so evident in Armistead Maupin’s iconic Tales of the City books are to be found throughout this hugely appealing memoir. Just as his characters found in each other a ‘logical family’, a family that made sense to them, so too did Maupin. As he traces his gradual move away from his blood family towards Doubleday PB $35 his logical family, he also traces his political and personal shift from conservative and repressed to liberal and proudly out. Divided between his childhood and adolescence in the South, and his awakening in San Francisco, this memoir reminds us of the darkness of the closet, the casualties of AIDS, and the joy of finding one’s people and place. BER DECEM SE A E L E R
THE MAN WHO CLIMBS TREES James Aldred
WH Allen PB $29.99
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Giramondo PB WAS $39.95 NOW $34.99
James Aldred began climbing trees in adolescence, when he spent hours exploring the dense woodland canopies around his childhood home. He has carried that same passion for adventure into adulthood as a professional tree climber and wildlife documentary cameraman. The Man Who Climbs Trees is his account of a life spent above ground, told in a series of illuminating anecdotes of his extraordinary experiences in trees. More personal reflection than scientific text, this is an accessible and delightful memoir that is ultimately a love letter to trees, as well as a warning and a plea to protect their ecosystems and habitats from natural and man-made catastrophes.
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Fleet PB $32.99
PRAIRIE FIRES Caroline Fraser
Drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries and public records, Caroline Fraser uncovers the real-life story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie books. Wilder (1867–1957) had a life full of drama and adversity. Settling on the American frontier amid land-rush speculation, Laura and her family endured Biblical tribulations of locusts and drought, poverty and want, before she left at the age of 18 to be married. This is where the books end, but Prairie Fires follows Laura in the decades that followed, when she endured personal tragedies, crisscrossed the country and eventually, aged 60, wrote a bestselling and much-loved series of novels in which she recast her extraordinarily difficult childhood as a triumph of the pioneering spirit.
John Murray PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99
TRACKER Alexis Wright
Miles Franklin Award–winner Alexis Wright further affirms her reputation as one of Australia’s most important writers with Tracker, a ‘collective memoir’ of charismatic Aboriginal leader, Tracker Tilmouth. A member of the stolen generation, the Arrente man was known for his activism and bold ideas as much as for his irreverent sense of humour and lively stories. Wright draws from extensive interviews with Tracker as well as with his friends, family and colleagues, interweaving these distinct voices to create something that is both intimate and expansive. As well as being a portrait of a man and a period of history, the structure of this book is testament to the value and role of storytelling in contemporary Aboriginal life.
RENOIR’S DANCER Catherine Hewitt
Icon PB $29.99
Text PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99
THE TRAUMA CLEANER Sarah Krasnostein
A stand-out debut, this is narrative nonfiction writing at its best. Sarah Krasnostein explores the meaning and impact of trauma by fusing the compelling life story of Sandra Pankhurst, the trauma cleaner of the title, with descriptions of the houses she cleans and – more importantly – the people who live in them. Sandra is an extraordinary woman whose own traumas (as an abused child, as a transgender person, as a rape survivor) have had their impact on her life, but have left her determined to do the best job she possibly can as she supports people suffering their own traumas. Eschewing voyeurism in favour of deep thinking and emotional truth-telling, Krasnostein delivers a book that perfectly balances empathy and clear-sightedness.
This is no worshipful tribute to the late musician. Instead, it is an impeccably researched biography of the man and an expert assessment of his extraordinary musical legacy. Long-time Rolling Stone contributor DeCurtis charts Reed’s life from his childhood through to his time at Syracuse University, the formation of the Velvet Underground, the band’s development under the Svengali-like oversight of Andy Warhol and his wildly inconsistent but hugely productive post-Velvets solo career. DeCurtis does a wonderful job in profiling the man’s life and work among NYC’s demi-monde (he describes the 1970s as Reed’s ‘wild ambisexual night crawler’ period) and offers a fascinating insight into what made Reed such a self-destructive character.
5. Where do Kate Moss and Madonna like to eat?
LOU REED: A LIFE Anthony DeCurtis
In the 1880s, Suzanne Valadon was considered the Impressionists’ most beautiful model. In Renoir’s Dancer, art historian Catherine Hewitt follows Valadon’s life and work, presenting a fascinating portrait of a strong, unorthodox and talented woman. Born in poverty in rural France, Valadon made her way to Paris as a teenager and began posing for – and having affairs with – some of the age’s most renowned painters. She also began to paint, and friends including Toulouse-Lautrec and Degas acknowledged her skill. Rebellious and opinionated, Valadon refused to be confined by tradition or gender.
WHERE THE PAST BEGINS: A WRITER’S MEMOIR Amy Tan
4th Estate PB $32.99
Here, the bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club reveals the truths and inspirations that underlie her extraordinary fiction. Drawing on vivid memories of her traumatic childhood, confessions of self-doubt in her journals and heartbreaking letters to and from her mother, Tan shows how a fluid fictional state of mind unleashed near-forgotten memories that became the emotional nucleus of her novels. She also, for the first time publicly, writes about her complex relationship with her father, who died when she was 15. A fascinating insight into the mind and creative process of a bestselling writer.
Highly Recommended BRAVING THE WILDERNESS
Brené Brown Vermilion PB $29.99 Social scientist Brené Brown argues that humanity is experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of what she calls ‘true belonging’ to address this.
Mark Raphael Baker Text PB $32.99 A moving memoir of Baker’s wife of 32 years, Kerryn Baker, who died 10 months after her diagnosis, aged 55, from stomach cancer.
LIFE IN THE GARDEN
Penelope Lively Fig Tree HB $35 A memoir of the celebrated novelist’s own life in gardens in Egypt and England, as well as a far-ranging exploration of gardens in literature.
SILENCE IN THE AGE OF NOISE
Erling Kagge Viking HB $29.99 A Norwegian adventurer explores the power of silence and the importance of shutting out the world, arguing that we can experience perfect stillness if we know where to look.
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Geoff Blackwell, Ruth Hobday & Kieran E Scott Echo HB $60 A book about equality featuring 200 original and diverse interviews with women from around the world.
THE UNFINISHED PALAZZO Judith Mackrell Thames & Hudson PB $45 The story of Venice’s Palazzo Venier dei Leoni told through the lives of three of its most unconventional, passionate and fascinating residents – Luisa Casati, Doris Castlerosse and Peggy Guggenheim.
Joe Hagan Viking PB $34.99 The story of Rolling Stone magazine and its creator, Jann Wenner. Features interviews with Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Keith Richards, Tom Wolfe, Cameron Crowe, David Geffen and many others.
WORKING CLASS MAN
Jimmy Barnes HarperCollins HB WAS $49.99 NOW $39.99 Barnesy continues on from where Working Class Boy ended, leaving Adelaide with a then-unknown band called Cold Chisel and heading towards success, fame and addiction.
Politics, Philosophy & Cultural Studies CALL OF THE REED WARBLER Charles Massy
AN ACTIVIST LIFE Christine Milne
UQP PB $32.95
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MUP HB WAS $49.99 NOW $44.99
BER DECEM SE A E L E R
Macmillan HB $29.99
This is the story of a high school English teacher from northwest Tasmania who became a fiery environmental warrior, state and federal parliamentarian and leader of a national political party. In it, former Greens leader Christine Milne tells her extraordinary story by writing about objects that have symbolic meaning in her life, including the Pride T-shirt she wore walking in Mardi Gras next to her son after years of fighting for the legal reform of gay rights in Tasmania. Milne describes how politics actually works: the deals, the promises kept and broken, the horse-trading and treachery involved. An Activist Life is also a fascinating insider’s account of how hard – but also how rewarding – it is to be a woman in Australian politics.
INCORRIGIBLE OPTIMIST Gareth Evans
Few public figures have enjoyed a career as stellar and enduring as Gareth Evans’. Among other roles, his 21 years in Australian politics saw him act as attorney general and foreign minister in the Hawke-Keating governments. These days, he’s one of the go-to talking heads of choice when media outlets seek seasoned and sensible commentary on current events, which makes the reflections, insights and opinions espoused here all the more satisfying. From the very personal to the extremely public, and structured around the policies, principles and passions he holds dear, Incorrigible Optimist charts the long road from student activist to international policymaker.
UQP PB $39.95
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Using his personal experience as a touchstone – he transitioned from an unknowing, chemical-using farmer with dead soils to a radical ecologist farmer carefully regenerating a 200-hectare property to a state of natural health – Charles Massy writes about transformative and regenerative agriculture, and about the vital connection between our soil and our health. As well as giving his take on the story behind industrial agriculture and the global profit-obsessed corporations driving it, Massy profiles innovative farmers who are finding new ways of growing food and who are convinced – as he is – that there is a tangible path forward for the future of our food supply, our Australian landscape and our earth.
TALKING TO MY DAUGHTER ABOUT THE ECONOMY Yanis Varoufakis
KEATING Kerry O’Brien
Bodley Head PB $29.99
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There’s no question mark in the title of Hillary Clinton’s latest book. Writing about the 2016 US presidential election, the Democratic Party’s candidate tells it like it was – at least from her perspective. And from that vantage point, the election was marked by an unprecedented assault on America’s democracy by a foreign adversary, Russia, aided and abetted by Wikileaks and by James Comey, the former director of the FBI. Clinton writes about the experience of running in an election marked by sexism, stranger-than-fiction twists and a maverick opponent who broke all the rules. Described by Jennifer Senior in The New York Times as ‘a post-mortem, in which she is both coroner and corpse’, What Happened is essential reading for everyone interested in the current state of the US nation and the health of Western democracy.
Scribe PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99
Highly Recommended CAPITAL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS
Thomas Piketty Belknap PB $39.99 Piketty analyses a unique collection of data from 20 countries, ranging as far back as the 18th century, to uncover key economic and social patterns.
Nancy MacLean Scribe PB $35 An explosive exposé of the well-heeled right’s relentless campaign to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatise public education and curb democratic majority rule in the US.
THE FIRST CASUALTY
Peter Greste Viking PB $35 Australian foreign correspondent Peter Greste discusses the extent to which modern investigative journalism is under threat, and the fraught quest – and desperate need – for truth in the age of terrorism.
Affluenza – the mindless drive to acquire and dispose of more stuff than we need – is a concept that was popularised in Australia in Affluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough (2005), written by Clive Hamilton and Richard Denniss. In Curing Affluenza: How to Buy Less Stuff and Save the World, Denniss renews the call for action. He provides compelling economic, cultural, personal and political arguments for how we can do better, positioning quality of life and the wellbeing of the planet as our top priorities. Affecting economic change might seem out of reach, but Denniss identifies those choices that are within individuals’ control, shows how they can be acted on and maps their positive outcomes, roadblocks and all.
Black Inc PB $27.99
WHAT HAPPENED Hillary Rodham Clinton
Simon & Schuster HB $45
Scott Galloway Bantam PB $35 Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google: how did they get to be so powerful, and how did they infiltrate our lives so thoroughly that they’re almost impossible to avoid or boycott?
9 CURING AFFLUENZA Richard Denniss
Though it’s been more than 20 years since he left office, former Prime Minister Paul Keating is yet to release an autobiography or memoir. Fortunately, this book of revelations fills the gap. Its author Kerry O’Brien, former host of the 7.30 Report and Four Corners, spent many long hours with Keating, teasing out stories and testing the man’s memories and assertions. What emerges is a treasure trove of anecdotes, Allen & Unwin HB insights, reflections and occasional admissions from one of the most colourful WAS $49.99 political leaders Australia has known. NOW $16.95
WEDNESDAYS WITH BOB Bob Hawke & Derek Rielly
Derek Rielly’s first book is a vibrant and adoring depiction of the man he describes as ‘the country’s greatest living politician’. The enjoyably neurotic journalist visits the ex-prime minister at his waterfront Sydney home every Wednesday – but only in the afternoons, as Bob likes to sleep late and do crossword puzzles. Together, this odd couple revisit key points in Hawke’s career, the journalist privy to intimate details like the way Bob cuts and lights a cigar. Back in the day, the now-retired pollie was a larrikin, beer swiller and notorious womaniser; these days, he’s a lively storyteller. Bob holds forth on fatherhood, infidelity and politics today, with Rielly an enthusiastic and adoring audience.
Joshua Green Scribe PB $29.99 The senior national correspondent for Bloomberg Businessweek recounts how Steve Bannon and Donald Trump orchestrated one of the greatest upsets in American political history.
THE FUTURE IS HISTORY Masha Gessen Granta PB $32.99 A sweeping and revelatory history of post-Soviet Russia that reveals how the hope of democracy has given way to a devastating new strain of autocracy.
Asked by his daughter Xenia why there is so much inequality in the world, the former finance minister of Greece and author of And the Weak Suffer What They Must? (Vintage PB $22.99) considered how he could make his answer accessible for both Xenia and others. The result is this book, in which he uses personal stories and famous myths – from Oedipus and Faust to Frankenstein and The Matrix – to explain what the economy is and why it has the power to shape our lives. Though a slim volume, it has a great deal of substance.
A WORLD OF THREE ZEROES Muhammad Yunus
Bangladeshi economist and founder of the Grameen Bank Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the areas of microcredit, microfinance and alleviation of global poverty. In A World of Three Zeroes, the sometimes-controversial figure takes an ‘if it’s broke, let’s try and fix it’ approach to capitalism. Yunus believes that a fundamental change in our thinking is necessary if world economic stability is to be achieved. In his roadmap to a better world, the three zeroes – poverty, unemployment and net carbon – are the key factors that must be addressed. Yunus thinks big, and on a grand scale, covering subjects ranging from human rights, poverty, health and unemployment to technology and global warming (to name just a few) in this timely, concise and thought-provoking look at how to save the planet.
BER DECEM SE RELEA
FADING AMERICA & RISING CHINA: QE 68
Hugh White Quarterly Essay PB $22.99 Hugh White, Professor of Strategic Studies at the ANU, looks at what is happening to the US globally and considers China’s growing assertiveness in our region.
YOU CAN’T SPELL AMERICA WITHOUT ME
Alec Baldwin & Kurt Andersen Bantam PB $34.99 You have two choices: laugh at this parody (‘The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year As President’), or despair at the reality.
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History ANZAC TREASURES Peter Pedersen
Commemorating the centenary of the Great War’s 1915–16 Gallipoli campaign, ANZAC Treasures: The Gallipoli Collection of the Australian War Memorial approaches the subject of Gallipoli not only from a military perspective, but also in terms of its social impact and its role in nation building. It does so by drawing on the Memorial’s immensely rich and varied National Collection, which provides a tangible link to ANZAC and gives an unparalleled insight into its many facets. The campaign’s legend and reality are encapsulated within the relics, photographs, artworks, documentary records, personal diaries and letters included in this beautifully designed and produced volume.
BURKE & WILLS Peter Fitzsimons
Fitzsimons has tackled some of Australia’s most mythologised historical moments (Eureka, Gallipoli, Kokoda) and also some of our country’s most legendary historical figures (Charles Kingsford-Smith, Nancy Wake, Douglas Mawson) in his many books. Now he takes on both myth and legend in a thoroughly researched, lengthy and lively volume. Early on, he talks about bringing ‘the story part of this history alive’, and he certainly does that, with a great deal of narrative flair. Fitzsimons applies this flair to the small details of the expedition as well as to the big questions such as the explorers’ motivations, and ultimately the debate about ‘who really was most to blame for the debacle’. A great re-examination.
BER DECEM SE A E L E R
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A blend of history, cultural studies and memoir, Australian Gypsies is a warm work of non-fiction that looks to a part of Australian history that has long been left out of the conventional narrative. Sayer tracks the experiences of the Roma in Australia, from the arrival of beer enthusiast James Squire in 1785 to the modern-day Gypsy families that she meets and interviews. Including sections dedicated to the Roma’s traditions and customs, along with a language glossary, intimate colour photographs, and even a recipe for an Australian Gypsy Stew, Sayer’s genuine curiosity and respect for her subject matter is evident throughout the book and her clear-eyed approach confidently dispels many of the myths surrounding the Roma.
6.Who has been described as a 'wild ambisexual night crawler'?
NLA PB $39.99
Covering the fishing habits of Australia’s indigenous people, the endeavours of colonial-era anglers, the development of the early fishing industry and the simple pleasure of baiting a fish somewhere in the great outdoors, historian and fishing enthusiast Anna Clark documents the history of fishing in all its shapes, forms (and sizes) in Australian waters. Wonderfully researched and written, The Catch melds historical detail and social observation in a book that is sure to hook both the weekend angler and anyone who wants to delve a bit deeper into the story of fishing in Australia.
Simon Schama Bodley Head PB $35 The second volume of Schama’s illustrated cultural history of the Jews.
A THOROUGHLY UNHELPFUL HISTORY OF AUSTRALIAN SPORT Titus O’Reily Michael Joseph PB $34.99 Part history, part social commentary, but mostly a lot of nonsense about Australian sporting culture.
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GOD: A HUMAN HISTORY Reza Aslan
Bantam PB $35
Iranian–American author, TV presenter and academic Reza Aslan (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth) has written a history of God spanning the origins of spiritual thought to the concept of an active, engaged, divine presence that underlies all creation. Aslan examines how the idea of God arose in human evolution, was gradually personalised, endowed with human traits and emotions, and eventually transformed into a single divine personality: the God known today by such names as Yahweh, Father and Allah.
Highly Recommended BELONGING: THE STORY OF THE JEWS 1492–1900
THE CATCH: THE STORY OF FISHING IN AUSTRALIA Anna Clark
THE ENIGMATIC MR DEAKIN Judith Brett
A portrait of Australia’s second prime minister by one of the great chroniclers of Liberal Party history, The Enigmatic Mr Deakin shines fresh light on one of the nation’s most significant figures. Brett goes behind the image of a worthy, bearded father of Federation to reveal the gifted, passionate and intriguing man whose contributions continue to shape the contours of Australian politics. Having scrutinised Deakin’s private papers, she has an insight into both his public and inner lives, and here reveals a solitary, religious character who found much of the business of politics distasteful, especially its unabashed self-interest, double-dealing and lack of intellectual rigour. And yet politics is where Deakin chose to do his life’s work. Brett posits why he did so in this eminently readable and insightful biography.
AUSTRALIAN GYPSIES: THEIR SECRET HISTORY Mandy Sayer
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BENEATH ANOTHER SKY Norman Davies
In 2012, historian Norman Davies set off on a global circumnavigation. Beneath Another Sky: A Global Journey into History and Memory is his account of the places he visited and the history he found there. As in his bestselling Vanished Kingdoms (Penguin PB $29.99), Davies’ historical gaze penetrates behind the present to see how things became as they are, and how peoples came to tell themselves the stories that make up their identities. Human beings have been travelling – pushing out others or arriving in terra nullius – since the beginning of recorded time. So to whom is a land truly native? As always, Davies has his eye on the historical horizon as well as on what is close at hand, brilliantly complicating our view of the past.
EMPORIUM: SELLING THE DREAM IN COLONIAL AUSTRALIA Edwin Barnard
Think truth in advertising is sorely lacking today? Ha! Try colonial Australia. All kinds of false claims were made, especially for patent medicines with miraculous curative powers. But this book is about more than preposterous promises. It uses the advertisements of the day to give us a fascinating glimpse into various aspects of life in colonial Australia, from fashion to farmwork, from families to fun. Advertisements were for more than just products – they spoke volumes about attitudes and assumptions. Many of the ads here are amusing (will those strange new cannabis cigarettes really relieve asthma?), some are objectionable and some, like the ad for an electric hairbrush that can cure baldness, seem all too familiar.
THE HARBOUR Scott Bevan
Over the years, Sydney Harbour has seen many changes and occupied many roles: a source of wealth via ship-trade; the site of Japanese submarine invasion; a playground for the rich and famous; and a must-see tourist destination. This book is arranged around the different areas, coves and landmarks within the harbour. Author Scott Bevan physically travels its perimeters via kayak, yacht and ferry, reflecting as he does so on its pivotal role in Australia’s social, cultural, artistic and political history, from early European exploration to today.
BER DECEM SE A E L E R
THE BIG PICTURE: TOWARDS AN INDEPENDENT FOREIGN POLICY
THE BUTCHERING ART
TINKERING: AUSTRALIANS REINVENT DIY CULTURE
VICTORIA: THE QUEEN
Jonathan Perlman (ed.) Australian Foreign Affairs PB $22.99 The first issue of the quarterly Australian Foreign Affairs features contributions from Allan Gyngell, Linda Jakobson, Paul Keating, George Megalogenis and others.
Katherine Wilson Monash University Publishing PB $29.95 Wilson documents DIY culture as an undervalued form of material scholarship, social connection, psychological sanctuary and political activism.
Lindsey Fitzharris Allen Lane HB $39.99 A gripping account of how a young Quaker surgeon, Joseph Lister, transformed the history of medicine by using antiseptics in the operating theatre.
Julia Baird HarperCollins PB $35 Baird’s acclaimed biography tells the story of the tiny but hugely powerful woman who reigned over the British Empire for an astonishing 64 years.
THE DESPOT’S APPRENTICE
Brian Klaas Scribe PB $27.99 A former NATO, EU and US campaign advisor explains Donald Trump’s increasingly authoritarian tactics and the threat they pose to American democracy.
Paul Ham William Heinemann HB $32.99 An investigation of the childhood, war record and early career of the man who would become the Führer.
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This accessible take on Australian history explores both well- and little-known stories through the objects of the time and the people who made and owned them. Creswell takes each object as a starting point to tell the stories that make up our national history, exploring and celebrating key technological, social, political, artistic and sporting moments. From Ned Kelly’s armour to Henry Lawson’s pen and Julia Gillard’s glasses, the objects are sometimes iconic, sometimes unexpected and quirky. Together, they create a compelling, multilayered story.
Scribe PB $32.99
1947: WHEN NOW BEGINS Elisabeth Åsbrink
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Swedish journalist Elisabeth Åsbrink and her English translator Fiona Graham were awarded one of the 2017 English Pen Translates Awards for this unorthodox history, which uses the present tense to create a sense of immediacy when chronicling what Åsbrink categorises as the year in which the modern world was created. Delivering a compelling story of famous and non-famous people, of well-known and obscure events and actions, Åsbrink follows countless stories, from the creation of Israel to the writing of George Orwell’s final book Nineteen Eighty-Four and the publication of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, all the way to Christian Dior’s unveiling of the ‘New Look’, Arnold Schoenberg’s creation of a new musical form, the partition of British India and the establishment of the CIA.
ROYAL VISITS TO AUSTRALIA Jane Connors
Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Australia in 1954 – the first visit by a reigning monarch to our shores – is the centrepiece of this book. During that tour seven million people out of a population of nine million went out on the streets to catch a glimpse of her. Royal Visits shows how affection for the royal family has waxed and waned since Prince Alfred came to Australia in 1867 and a ‘deranged Irishman’ attempted to assassinate him. While most attention is given to the 1954 tour, Jane Connors uses previous and later tours not just to trace the tensions between republican sentiment and royal ties, but as a way into the social and political history of our country.
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INGLORIOUS EMPIRE Shashi Tharoor
THE HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA IN 100 OBJECTS Toby Creswell
In this incisive reassessment of colonialism, the former under-secretary general of the UN exposes the reality of Britain’s stained Indian legacy. Inglorious Empire tells the real story of the British in India – from the arrival of the East India Company to the end of the Raj – and reveals how Britain’s rise was built upon its plunder of the country. British imperialism justified itself as enlightened despotism for the benefit of the governed, but Tharoor takes on and demolishes this position, demonstrating how every supposed imperial ‘gift’ – from the railways to the rule of law – was designed in Britain’s interests alone. Powerful and persuasive, this mythbusting work should demolish Raj nostalgia once and for all.
Viking HB WAS $49.99 NOW $45
BER DECEM SE RELEA
QUEENS OF THE CONQUEST Alison Weir
Jonathan Cape PB $35
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Absorbed in the power plays that are a constant feature of this book, you might forget you’re reading real history and think you’re reading the background to a complex Middle Ages–inspired TV drama. There are alliances, betrayals, bastards, love, conquests, wars, religion, money, births, deaths and marriages on every page. But Alison Weir is a serious historian who has published many books for general readers. In this, the first of four volumes about England’s medieval queens, Weir tells the stories of the five consorts of the Norman kings of England who ruled from 1066 to 1154 – four Matildas (one also known as Maud) and Adeliza – whose power was not solely due to their royal status. As intriguing as it is accessible.
Atlantic HB WAS $39.99 NOW $35.99
A SINGLE TREE: VOICES FROM THE BUSH Don Watson
This collection of the raw material that Don Watson used to research his award-winning 2014 book The Bush comprises diary extracts, memoirs, journals, letters, histories, poems and fiction. Most of the materials display a deep and sentimental connection to the land, and an equally deep ignorance and abuse of it. All the romantic themes are here – the heroic myths and legends; the rural landscape as the formative and defining element in Australian culture; the mysterious and sometimes malevolent deep silence. Watson presents us with accounts of journeys, of work and recreation, of religious observance, of creation and destruction. He also gives us musings on what the future of the bush might be.
JOHN CURTIN’S WAR John Edwards
Written by John Edwards, adjunct professor at the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy at Curtin University and author of Keating: The Inside Story, this biography of John Curtin, our country's 14th prime minister, is long overdue and very welcome. In the first of two volumes, Edwards takes the story of one of our most underrated leaders from the late-19th-century socialist ferment in Melbourne through to his struggle for power against Joe Lyons and Bob Menzies, his appointment as prime minister two years into WW2 and his determination to be heard in Washington and London as Japan advanced seemingly inexorably towards Australia. Riveting reading.
ROME: A HISTORY IN SEVEN SACKINGS Matthew Kneale
Novelist and historian Matthew Kneale has written a fascinating popular history of his adopted home, Rome, seen from the perspective of its most significant sackings, from the Gauls to the Nazis and everything in between. Examining the most important of these attacks, he reveals how they transformed the city – and points out that this wasn’t always for the worse. Drawing an intense and vibrant portrait of the city and its inhabitants, both before and after being attacked, Kneale delivers a meticulously researched, magical and novel blend of travelogue, social and cultural history.
THE TEMPLARS Dan Jones
Head of Zeus HB $39.99
The Templars have come to encapsulate the bloody Crusades, becoming an image of fervent religious extremism in the process. Dan Jones’ history describes their inception as a small band of knights seeking to protect pilgrims in the aftermath of the first bloody crusade within the Holy Land in 1102, to their eventual incarnation as one of the most powerful political organisations of their time. His detailed but eminently readable style of writing and storytelling describes the order’s rise to power and influence within the Holy Land and also in the courts of some of the most powerful and famous kings of Europe, drawing from accounts, legend and facts to both shed light on the Templars’ influential reign and deliver an authoritative account of their history.
Highly Recommended A LITTLE HISTORY OF ECONOMICS
Niall Kishtainy Yale University Press HB $37.99 This accessible book is ideal for those new to economic theory and for anyone seeking a better understanding of the full sweep of economic history and ideas.
PRISONERS OF GEOGRAPHY
Tim Marshall Elliot & Thompson PB $22.99 In 10 chapters dedicated to different countries, continents and regions, Tim Marshall shows how geography has shaped current world events.
THE MOTHER OF ALL QUESTIONS
Emmanuel Macron Scribe PB $32.99 The youngest president in the history of France reveals his personal story and his inspirations, and discusses his vision of France and its future.
OUT OF THE WRECKAGE
UTOPIA FOR REALISTS
Naomi Klein Penguin PB $29.99 Klein (No Logo) shows us how we have ended up in the surreal and dangerous Trump era, how to stop things getting a lot worse, and how we can make things better.
Rebecca Solnit Granta HB $24.99 A new collection of ‘further feminisms’ – essays that are searing, smart and provocative – written by the author of Men Explain Things to Me and River of Shadows.
NO IS NOT ENOUGH
BER DECEM SE A E L E R
Royce Kurmelovs Hachette PB $32.99 A first-hand account of the phenomenon of One Nation, seen from the backrooms and corridors of the national parliament as well as the towns, rural communities and states that provide its voter base.
George Monbiot Bloomsbury PB $24.99 Monbiot argues that we urgently need a positive vision that can re-engage people in politics, and outlines ideas that show the way to a better social and environmental future.
Rutger Bregman Bloomsbury PB $21.99 Dutch historian Bregman believes that we can construct a society with visionary ideas (eg universal basic income, a 15-hour work week) that are, in fact, wholly implementable.
Science & Nature THE BEST AUSTRALIAN SCIENCE WRITING 2017 Michael Slezak (ed.)
NewSouth PB $29.99
Along with awe and wonder, there’s alarm and warning in the 2017 edition of The Best Australian Science Writing. The natural world along with human intelligence and inventiveness provide the awe and wonder; human impact on our environment and our seeming refusal to do anything about it provoke the alarm and warning. As always, this anthology shows that science writing for a general audience can be truly excellent.
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7. What fashion style was unveiled in 1947? GROW YOUR OWN: HOW TO BE AN URBAN FARMER Angus Stewart & Simon Leake
Murdoch PB $45
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This comprehensive guide is perfect for anyone serious about becoming an ‘urban farmer’. Whether it’s for growing crops large or small, for home eating or selling at farmer’s markets, for swapping with neighbours, or for making the most of a tiny city balcony or a fair-sized plot in the outer suburbs, Grow Your Own will have the answers on how best to do it. Angus Stewart (Gardening Australia) and soil scientist Simon Leake combine their vast knowledge in chapters on what grows where, nutrients and soils (including a short discussion on well-behaved and badly behaved clays).
Botanical charts are attracting a resurgence of interest, both as pieces of art and as objects of scientific and historical significance. This collection of botanical wall charts documents the extraordinary convergence of disciplines that flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Europe in particular was enjoying a golden age of botanical illustration, naturalists were exploring the globe and there was a clamour for knowledge of the natural world. Each chart included here is accompanied by text explaining its historical and botanical contexts, offering a stunning collection that is ideal for naturalists, botanists, scientists and anyone with a love of plant life.
Scribe PB WAS $35 NOW $14.95
THE BRAIN’S WAY OF HEALING Norman Doidge
The phenomenon of neuroplasticity – the discovery that the brain can change its own structure and function in response to mental experience – is the most important development in our understanding of the brain and mind since the beginning of modern science. Here, Norman Doidge MD, author of the bestselling The Brain That Changes Itself (Scribe PB $29.99), interviews doctors, therapists and patients working or living with conditions including dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, brain injuries, ADD, autism and cerebral palsy to illustrate how the amazing process of neuroplastic healing really works, arguing that when it is understood, it is often possible to radically improve – and even cure – many conditions thought to be irreversible.
HOW TO BE HUMAN New Scientist HB $39.99
THE INNER LIFE OF ANIMALS Peter Wohlleben
THE UNIVERSE NEXT DOOR New Scientist PB $19.99 Blending science with philosophy, these books from the New Scientist stable ask – and answer – some big questions. What is it to be human? What makes us different from other animals? Why we are like we are, and how did we get that way? What if robots become smarter than us? You can read about why humans are likely to be religious, whether your self is an illusion, what our reality might be like if the laws of physics were different and what death is. There are also some ‘smaller’ questions – why humans are hairy, how survival kits have changed over 5000 years and what someone’s voice reveals about them. Accessible but never dumbed-down.
JOHN GOULD’S EXTINCT & ENDANGERED MAMMALS OF AUSTRALIA Fred Ford
This attractive volume records the lost and vanishing animals that once thrived on our continent. Naturalist John Gould’s review of Australian mammals, published between 1845 and 1863, provided a window into the ‘comparatively undisturbed’ environment of the time and foretold the ‘inevitable demise’ of certain species due to European short-sightedness. Here, Ford draws on Gould’s material to profile species that are now endangered or extinct and adds the stories of those species since 1863. He presents fascinating and visually engaging portraits of a variety of mammals, including the thylacine, quolls, the red-tailed phascogale, potoroos and native mice. A haunting reminder of the impact of European settlement and the things we have lost.
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THE BOTANICAL WALL CHART Anna Laurent
THE QUANTUM ASTROLOGER’S HANDBOOK Michael Brooks
Scribe PB $29.99
Jerome Cardano was a 16th-century Italian polymath whose remarkable intellect spanned the study and practice of mathematics, physics, medicine, philosophy, astrology and more. Michael Brooks casts light on the man who was fêted by kings and popes in his time but has been long-neglected by the scientific establishment, revealing Cardano’s remarkable suite of intellectual triumphs while also uncovering the eccentric and fallible individual behind the genius. This book is both a biography of his life and a fascinating account of his remarkable achievements, which included several mechanical inventions that are still in use today and the discovery of the mathematical foundations of quantum physics.
Bodley Head PB $29.99
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Do animals experience emotion? That’s the fascinating question that drives this quirky and engaging work of popular science writing. In seeking answers, Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees) investigates whether our constant tendency to anthropomorphise other living creatures is, in fact, justified. Weaving recent research into the context of broader scientific enquiry, Wohlleben discovers that animals’ emotions, behaviours and intelligence are more similar to humans than we might think, and often in surprising ways – from a deer that experiences grief, to a hedgehog who has nightmares, to a magpie who commits adultery. This discursive and energetic book mingles elements of science, ethics and philosophy. It may just reshape the way you think about animals.
THE RIVER OF CONSCIOUSNESS Oliver Sacks
Published posthumously, Oliver Sacks’ last book takes a broad view of concepts of consciousness, starting with Darwin, working up to Freud, and finishing with modern understandings of the link between neurology and psychology. Sacks asks whether plants can be considered to have consciousness, whether earthworms have a mind and how time affects consciousness. While the essays are separate, they build up into a perfectly coherent whole.
Highly Recommended ANAESTHESIA
Kate Cole-Adams Text PB $32.99 Subtitled ‘The Gift of Oblivion and the Mystery of Consciousness’, Cole-Adams’ fascinating book ponders and investigates the experience of anaesthetised patients on the operating table.
Bernd Brunner Allen & Unwin PB $34.99 Brunner showcases an eclectic and fascinating selection of bird devotees including Aristotle, Charles Darwin and Helen Macdonald of H is for Hawk.
Zack Scott Wildfire HB $39.99 A visual history of the Apollo space missions and moon landings programme, which ran from 1961 until 1972. Includes stunning infographics and data visualisations.
HOW TO BUILD A UNIVERSE Brian Cox & Robin Ince HarperCollins HB $39.99 The presenters of The Infinite Monkey Cage, an irreverent BBC radio programme celebrating scientific marvels, muse on multifaceted subjects involved in building a universe.
ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY
Neil deGrasse Tyson Norton HB $26.95 Everything you need to know about astrophysics: from the Big Bang to black holes, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.
THE RUNAWAY SPECIES
David Eagleman & Anthony Brandt Canongate PB $32.99 Weaving together the arts and sciences, neuroscientist David Eagleman and composer Anthony Brandt explore the cognitive software that allows us to generate new ideas.
THE AUSTRALIAN BIRD GUIDE
Peter Menkhorst et al CSIRO PB $49.95
A FIELD GUIDE TO SPIDERS OF AUSTRALIA
Robert Whyte & Greg Anderson CSIRO PB $49.95 Two comprehensive and fully illustrated field guides documenting our extraordinary birds and arachnids.
Phaidon HB $79.95 Spanning everything from ancient cave paintings to animation, this aweinspiring exploration of the stars, planets and beyond includes reproductions of 300 works of art.
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Art & Photography ABANDONED INDIA Kip Scott
In this handsome volume, Kip Scott offers an evocative photographic portrait of centuries-old mansions dotted across the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. British and European influences mingle with distinctive Transit Lounge HB Indian features in these buildings, which WAS $59.99 are often decorated with richly coloured NOW $16.95 frescoes. Abandoned by owners who have headed for the cities, many of these stunning mansions are crumbling away, threatened by vandalism, encroaching urbanism or rampant nature – and sometimes by all three. The photographs are left to speak for themselves after a foreword by historian Lal Singh Shekhawati and brief introduction from Scott – and speak they do, loudly and clearly, of another time and another world.
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PAINTING BY NUMBERS: THE LIFE & ART OF FERDINAND BAUER David J Mabberley
Austrian natural history painter Ferdinand Bauer is widely regarded as one of the greatest-ever botanical artists. His sumptuous and extraordinarily realistic depictions of flowers, trees, birds and animals saw him hand-picked to accompany Matthew Flinders on his 1801–05 circumnavigation of Australia. This book includes botanical illustrations from this trip, as well as from his time in Greece and the Mediterranean. Bauer pioneered an innovative, systematic approach to illustration in which he applied colour coding to his field sketches – the original ‘paint by numbers’ technique. Filled with detailed, full-colour reproductions of Bauer’s art, this is a beautifully produced study of the artist’s life and work.
ANDY GOLDSWORTHY: PROJECTS Andy Goldsworthy
It opens with a transcribed conversation between the artist and his art-historian partner Tina Fiske, but the rest of this 367-page book allows Goldsworthy’s wonderful site-specific work to speak for itself through hundreds of full-colour photographs of 40 large-scale works created around the world. Goldsworthy’s use of local and natural materials and his preoccupation with natural forces – sunlight, sedimentation, tides and erosion, as well as the extremes of heat and cold, growth and decay – are fully documented and there are plenty of images of the artist at work, giving a fascinating insight into his creative process.
CLASSIC ART MEMES Rob Ward
THE ART MUSEUM What makes Phaidon’s The Art Museum different to other art reference books is the experience it offers the reader. Using brief descriptions and striking photographs, we are presented with an expertly curated museumlike tour of important examples of artistic innovation. Invited to follow the journey of art history by visiting different rooms and galleries across time and place, we can drop in on eras and styles spanning the period from Paleolithic cave paintings all the way to the contemporary practice of installation art. Within this imagined gallery we can visit and view nearly 1600 works of art, journeying around the world and through the ages.
Bonnier HB $14.99
This book is for everyone who has stood in art galleries looking at classic paintings and wondering what the hell is happening in them. Here are all the strangest expressions, absurd postures and awkward moments from the Renaissance to Romanticism, compiled with gloriously astute witticisms. An incisive combination of high and low culture, these laugh-out-loud memes will make you wish each page came with a share button.
ANNIE LEIBOVITZ: PORTRAITS 2005–2016 Annie Leibovitz
Phaidon HB $120
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TRAVELS WITH MY ART Michael Rubbo
Michael Rubbo HB $34.95
Filmmaker and community artist Michael Rubbo takes readers on a visual road trip of his creative life from childhood to the present day. Travels with My Art has the DIY feel of a storyboard or a scrapbook, lovingly put together to lay bare the author’s innermost thoughts, from the mundane to the profound. From love affairs to break-ups, children and career changes, travel, pets, hobbies and Van Gogh, Rubbo unravels the influences that have guided his imagination and inspired his art making. He playfully explores the role genetics plays in his artistic temperament – both his mother and nonno (grandfather) were accomplished painters – but also the role a curious mind plays in informing a way of looking at the world that finds beauty and wonder in the ordinary. Candidly written with great warmth and humour, Rubbo’s arty memoir makes readers feel as though they’ve opened a drawer and discovered a precious diary.
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Some of the photographs in this book will be familiar (Kanye West taking a photograph of Kim Kardashian who is in turn taking a selfie with her newborn child; a regal Queen Elizabeth II in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace) but others will be seen by many of us for the first time. Subjects are drawn from the arts and entertainment industries as well as from the worlds of politics, sport and finance. It’s a magnificent showcase of many of the acclaimed portraits – most the results of elaborate location shoots – that Leibovitz has created for publications such as Vanity Fair since 2005.
JOSEPH BANKS’ FLORILEGIUM Mel Gooding, David Mabberley & Joe Studholme
Joseph Banks accompanied James Cook on his first voyage around the world between 1768 and 1771. A gifted and wealthy young naturalist, Banks collected exotic flora from Madeira, Brazil, Tierra del Fuego, the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia and Java, bringing over 1300 species hitherto unknown to science home to England. On his return, he commissioned over 700 colour engravings as a scientific record. Known collectively as Banks’ Florilegium, they are some of the most precise and exquisite examples of botanical illustration ever made – yet they were never published in Banks’ lifetime. Now published for the first time in full colour, these extraordinary botanical prints are not only a great scientific record, but also a major achievement of collaborative Enlightenment art.
WHITELEY ON TRIAL Gabriella Coslovich
You’ve fallen in love with an artwork and bought it, but how do you know it’s not a fake? In 2016, a Melbourne art dealer and an art restorer were convicted of Australia’s largest-ever alleged art fraud, only to have their convictions sensationally quashed on appeal. The paintings in question were attributed to iconic Australian artist, Brett Whiteley, and the pair’s acquittal shocked the art world. Coslovich’s lively and compelling account of the case is a fascinating exposé of the darker side of the Australian art market, and a cautionary tale for collectors. True crime for art lovers, and a real page-turner.
Highly Recommended 2018 ANGKITJA DIARIES & CALENDAR
IAD Press PB diary $26.95, HB diary $29.95, calendar $24.95 This popular range is produced by the Institute of Aboriginal Development in Alice Springs and features colour reproductions of contemporary Central Australian Aboriginal art.
Julian Burnside Scribe PB $29.99 Burnside explains the origins of our legal system, looks at the way it operates in practice, and points out ways in which it does and doesn’t run true to its ultimate purposes.
JOURNEYS INTO THE WILD: THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF PETER DOMBROVSKIS
Ta-Nehisi Coates Hamish Hamilton PB $35 Coates (Between the World and Me) takes stock of the Obama era and draws a sophisticated and penetrating portrait of America today.
VITAMIN C: CLAY + CERAMIC
WHAT’S YOURS IS MINE
WHY I’M NO LONGER TALKING TO WHITE PEOPLE ABOUT RACE
Margo Neale (ed.) NLA PB $49.95 This book’s stunning artworks and authoritative text explore the history and meaning of songlines, the Dreaming or creation tracks that crisscross the Australian continent.
NLA HB $39.99 The only collection of Dombrovskis’ wonderful Tasmanian wilderness photographs currently in print. Includes an introduction by Bob Brown.
WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER
SONGLINES: TRACKING THE SEVEN SISTERS
BER DECEM SE RELEA
Tom Slee Scribe PB $29.99 Slee argues that the so-called ‘sharing economy’ extends harsh free-market practices into previously protected areas of our lives, damaging communities and pushing vulnerable individuals to take on unsustainable risk.
Phaidon HB $79.95 Packed with illustrations, this global survey showcases the work of 100 of today’s most important clay and ceramic artists.
Reni Eddo-Lodge Bloomsbury PB $27.99 Award-winning journalist Eddo-Lodge mounts a powerful and provocative argument on the role that race and racism play in modern Britain.
Food AMERICA: THE COOKBOOK Gabrielle Langholtz
Phaidon HB $59.95
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Weighing in at a whopping 767 pages, this cookbook by food writer Gabrielle Langholtz, award-wining editor of Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn, is a 50-state marathon that aims to puts America on a tasting plate. No stranger to culinary road trips, Langholtz tasks herself with the seemingly impossible challenge of rediscovering American cuisine and salvaging the country from its reputation as the world’s junk food capital. Along the way, she interviews chefs, historians, home cooks, butchers, foragers and fishers. With 800 recipes covering everything from starters, mains and desserts to breakfasts and bakery items, there are also state-bystate guest contributions, where a who’s who of the country’s food writers and chefs share stories and recipes. All up, America: The Cookbook is a ‘sea to shining sea’ success.
BOURKE STREET BAKERY: ALL THINGS SWEET Paul Allam & David McGuinness
You have to admire the passion of cookbook creators who use the words ‘we love and respect sugar’; who devote 57 pages of their book to croissant dough and all its many, many uses; and who tell you to sleep less so you can bake more. Paul Allam and David McGuinness, founders of Sydney’s Bourke Street Bakery, are evangelists for using the best-quality ingredients, feeling pastry under your hands, and baking ‘properly’. The recipes, which are ‘memories in the making’, range from easily achievable cakes and muffins to more challenging pastries, with everything sweet in between. Some of the recipes are a little more difficult than others, but that’s part of the fun.
AUSTRALIAN BUSH SUPERFOODS Lily Alice & Thomas O’Quinn
Explore Australia PB $29.99
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This guide-cum-cookbook takes 40 bush superfoods and pairs them with individual plant-based recipes. Alice’s charming botanical illustrations accompany informative text on each native plant’s habitat, indigenous uses and superfood credentials. A handy introductory guide on where to buy your bush superfoods, and whether to expect to find them dried, fresh or frozen, is a great kickstart to trying out the recipes. With its tangysweet flavour, kutjera (bush tomato) is ideal as a pasta sauce served with buckwheat noodles, while the citrus-flavoured fruit of the yellow aspen tree makes a perfect dessert slice. Passed down by indigenous people over the millennia for their medicinal and culinary properties, these superfoods are a both a great addition to the home kitchen and an introduction to Australian bush tucker.
COLOUR OF MAROC Rob Palmer & Sophia Palmer
This is a love story: not only between Australian food photographer Rob Palmer and his French-Moroccan wife, Sophia, but also between the two authors and the magical culture of Morocco. Turning the pages of this book draws us into the romance of it all, particularly through the evocative photographs and first-person travel narrative. The focus is food, and there is plenty of it. Recipes for fragrant tagines and stews, delicate pastries, refreshing soups, exotic salads and pantry staples including preserved lemons, harissa and pumpkin jam will leave you debating where to head first – the airport or the kitchen.
Affirm PB $35
Home cooks of all levels of experience will find inspiration in Cooking with Kindness – a cookbook that roundly dispels the notion that a vegan diet must inevitably be boring. Pam Ahern, the founder of Edgar’s Mission, has collected 70 vegan recipes from an impressively varied list of chefs and restaurants. Beginners will find a range of simple recipes to test, while those who like a culinary challenge will be tempted by the recipes offered by trendy Melbourne restaurant and bar Transformer and the decadent Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio. All royalties from the sale of the book go to Edgar’s Mission, a not-for-profit sanctuary that provides a safe haven for over 450 rescued farmed animals.
Highly Recommended CHAMPAGNE: A SECRET HISTORY
Robert Walters Allen & Unwin PB $32.99 A wine merchant and vineyard owner reveals the clandestine history of the Champagne region and dispels many of the myths that persist about the world’s most celebrated wine style.
THE WOMAN WHO FOOLED THE WORLD
Beau Donelly & Nick Toscano Scribe PB $32.99 The sordid story of the young Australian woman who perpetrated a global cancer con, and an exposé of the wellness industry that enabled her rise.
Murdoch HB WAS $45 NOW $16.95
BAKECLASS Anneka Manning
Australian cooking-school owner and food writer Anneka Manning guides her readers through a unique step-by-step lesson sequence to help them master the 10 fundamental mixing methods that provide the foundation for all baking recipes. BakeClass features over 90 sweet and savoury recipes that build baking know-how and confidence in a progressive and practical way. No wonder Stephanie Alexander describes it as ‘an absolute winner’.
COMING TO MY SENSES Alice Waters
Hardie Grant HB $39.99
Culinary standard bearer Alice Waters recalls the circuitous road and tumultuous times leading to the opening of her world-famous restaurant Chez Panisse and the beginning of her quest to promote organic, locally grown produce in America. In this memoir, Waters writes about her childhood in New Jersey, her time at UC Santa Barbara (when extracurricular drinking got her kicked out of her sorority on ‘morals charges’), her move to UC Berkeley when she was drawn into the free speech movement, her lifedefining year in Paris and her short career as a teacher, which was curtailed when she refused to stop wearing see-through tops to work. Her evocations of Paris and of hippieera Berkeley are loving, and her account of coming to the realisation that she wanted to promote a very particular style and type of food and eating is fascinating.
CORNERSMITH: SALADS & PICKLES Alex Elliott-Howery & Sabine Spindler
COOKING WITH KINDNESS Edgar’s Mission
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BAKING Rodolphe Landemaine
This comprehensive reference book is perfect for anyone seeking to acquire the technical know-how required to become an expert in the art of baking. Step-by-step photographs accompany each recipe, demystifying the intricacies of baking treats such as baguettes, sourdough and specialty breads, pastries, brioche and cakes. French baker Landemaine explains the fundamentals (types of flours and starters; stages of fermentation; basic doughs and fillings), and includes a comprehensive illustrated glossary outlining techniques and showing the utensils you will need to become a talented boulanger.
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Murdoch PB $39.99
This is the second cookbook from the Sydney-based family business whose cafes, ‘picklery’ and cooking school are aimed at creating delicious and sustainable food. Cornersmith: Salads & Pickles presents exciting and achievable ways to celebrate humble fruit and veg through salads, pickles and fermenting. While an uptick in consciousness around food waste means more cooks are conscious of what goes into the bin, the resourcefulness of the Cornersmith crew is next-level, seeing them finding genuinely appetising uses for the most unlikely scraps – including peels, cobs, stems and braising liquids. Organised by season, this gorgeous book makes it easy to use what’s abundant and affordable. The hunger-inducing photography means the hardest thing is deciding what to make first.
L SPECIA PRICE THE CLEVER GUTS DIET
Michael Mosley Simon & Schuster PB $29.99
THE CLEVER GUTS DIET RECIPE BOOK
Clare Bailey & Joy Skipper Simon & Schuster PB $35 Michael Mosley’s bestselling and revelatory journey through the gut and its companion cookbook, which includes 150 delicious and healthy recipes.
Anna Snoekstra Harlequin PB $29.99 Fans of Jane Harper’s The Dry are likely to also enjoy this Aussie crime novel set in a rural town and featuring a young female protagonist.
THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS
ON THE JAVA RIDGE
Claire Takacs Hardie Grant HB WAS $70 NOW $59.99 Seventy of the world’s most spectacular gardens, all photographed at the height of their beauty.
Arundhati Roy Hamish Hamilton PB $32.99 The long-anticipated second novel from the Booker Prize– winning author of The God of Small Things features a cast of unforgettable characters caught up in the tide of history.
Rowan Reid Melbourne Books HB $49.95 Forest scientist Rowan Reid proposes a radical new approach to forestry and Landcare, challenging the idea that harvesting trees for timber is always bad for the environment.
Jock Serong Text PB $29.99 This fast-paced literary thriller from the author of The Rules of Backyard Cricket is set against the backdrop of Australia’s widely condemned refugee policy.
DOWNTIME: DELICIOUSNESS AT HOME Nadine Levy Redzepi
Ebury HB $55
Inspired by her own childhood and lifelong love of food, Nadine Levy Redzepi, wife of renowned chef and restaurateur René (Noma), has created this personal and inviting compilation of recipes for everyday home-cooked meals. Step-bystep instructions make it easy for all of us to eat like the Redzepis in our own homes, creating delicious and healthy food that everyone in the family will enjoy.
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8.Who likes to sleep late and do crossword puzzles?
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MAGGIE’S RECIPE FOR LIFE Maggie Beer & Ralph Martins
As nutritionist Rosemary Stanton admits in her foreward to this book, no-one can give an absolute guarantee that a particular diet or way of eating will ensure long-term good health. What we do know is that a healthy diet decreases the risk of problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and many cancers. This book offers its readers recipes for what Maggie Beer calls ‘beautiful, life-enhancing food’ that gives people the best chance of being in good health now and into the future. Researched and written with Alzheimer’s expert Professor Ralph Martins, the book’s introductory pages explain the science behind healthy eating (should we totally avoid fats? limit carbohydrates? banish sugar?) and then arrives at the main event – 150 recipes divided into sections for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks. All are photographed, and look totally delicious.
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FLORENTINE Emiko Davies
Florence is a city synonymous with quality. Whether it be art, architecture or artisanal wares, the creations of Florentines have long been acknowledged as among the world’s best. No wonder, then, that its food is similarly famous. Australian food writer Emiko Davies lives in this beautiful Italian city and has built a global following through her blog and Instagram feed about its cuisine. In this book, she profiles what she calls ‘the true cuisine of Florence’, concentrating on the simple and traditional recipes that locals eat. Gorgeous photographs of food and Florentine scenes are interspersed with recipes that are easily achieved in the home kitchen. Meat dishes, decadent cakes and pastries, pastas, breads and salads feature, and most recipes are photographed.
HUMMUS & CO. Michael Rantissi & Kristy Frawley
Murdoch HB $49.99
MILK MADE Nick Haddow
Cheesemaker Nick Haddow of Bruny Island Cheese Co tells us that cheese makes him happy. He hopes it makes us happy, too. And he wants to share his knowledge about how to buy, make and experience the best so that we can be the very happiest we can. Despairing about the loss of diversity in cow breeds, farming practices, feed and local regions, he urges us towards those cheeses where the ‘terroir’ is evident. Haddow explains the science behind cheesemaking, takes a considered look at the raw milk debate, and celebrates individual dairy farms from around the world. And for those who want to DIY, he explains how to make cheese at home, as well as featuring cheese – and other dairy products – in delicious and sometimes unexpected recipes.
Mitchell Beazley HB $39.99
Few chefs have a more exalted foodie pedigree than Emily Roux’s. The daughter of Michel Roux Jr, chef at London’s Michelinstarred Le Gavroche, and the granddaughter and great niece of the legendary Albert and Michel Roux, Emily works in the family business but has found time on the side to collaborate with her mother Giselle to compile this fresh take on classic French recipes. New French Table includes chapters on soups and salads, classic desserts and traditional provincial dishes. There's a chapter on trends in contemporary French cooking and even one on French dishes with international accents.
Here, chef Michael Rantissi (Bathers’ Pavilion, Kepos & Co) and partner Kristy Frawley continue the tribute to Middle Eastern food they started with their first book, Falafel for Breakfast. Where Falafel concentrated on restaurant-style dishes, Hummus & Co puts the focus on home cooking. Quick and easyto-prepare mains, shared plates, salads, dips and desserts zing with the spices and aromas of the Middle East. There’s fig, haloumi and fresh za’atar leaves paired with roasted baby beetroot and labneh for brunch, or a spicy fish and chickpea stew for dinner followed by dates stuffed with goat’s cheese and pistachios. An assortment of spreads, pickles, preserves, hot teas and iced drinks complete this evocative and illustrated Middle Eastern experience.
THE MODERN COOK’S YEAR Anna Jones
4th Estate HB $49.99
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NEW FRENCH TABLE Emily & Giselle Roux
MY NEW ROOTS Sarah Britton
Vegetarians, vegans, paleo followers and gluten-free gourmets alike will love this collection of adaptable and accessible recipes from Sarah Britton, the holistic nutritionist, writer and photographer behind the popular ‘My New Roots’ healthy foods blog. Whether you are a newcomer to natural foods or are already a devotee, you’ll discover plenty of inspiration within these pages that can be used to prove the point that it is easy to eat both healthfully and happily when whole foods and plants are at the centre of every plate.
Plum PB WAS $44.99 NOW $39.99
Subtitled ‘Over 250 vibrant vegetable recipes to see you through the seasons’, this debut cookbook by one-time Jamie Oliver apprentice Anna Jones is full of ideas of how to make the most of whatever fruit, veg and herbs are in season. There are plenty of alluring recipes to choose from – smoky mushroom and roast kale lasagne, Sri Lankan squash dhal and blood orange freezer cake are among the flavour-packed, easy-to-cook dishes included. Interspersed among the recipes are spreads that give a simple starting point (eg a base for a vegetable soup), then supply ideas to build on it. A clever and creative cookbook for our increasingly vegetarian times.
OSTRO Julia Busuttil Nishimura
Written by a Melbourne-based food blogger, this lovely book is full of recipes that reflect the fresh seasonal and vegetable-based cuisine that is increasingly dominating our home menus. Like Hetty McKinnon (Community) and Yotam Yottolenghi (surely no identifier necessary), Julia Busuttil Nishimura promotes food that is both beautiful to look at and healthy to eat. Most of the recipes in Ostro are Mediterranean in inspiration (the book is named after a southerly wind in the Mediterranean Sea), with Italian comfort food the focus – the chapters on bread & pizza, pastas and desserts are particularly strong. Ostro isn’t the type of book that is opened once or twice and then relegated to the farthest bookshelf – instead, it’s sure to be opened time and again for both inspiration and practical direction.
Highly Recommended PROVENANCE
THE RED-HAIRED WOMAN
THE REST OF THEIR LIVES
THE SILENT COMPANIONS
Ann Leckie Orbit PB $32.99 The new novel by Ann Leckie, a winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C Clarke and Locus awards, is about power, theft, privilege and birthright.
Stephen Donaldson Gollancz PB $32.99 The first volume in a new series by fantasy master Donaldson (The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant ).
Jennifer Down Text PB $29.99 A collection of short stories by an emerging Australian literary talent.
Laura Purcell Raven PB $24.99 Purcell’s gothic ghost story is a clever and creepy ode to the entire genre.
Orhan Pamuk Hamish Hamilton PB $32.99 Written by the Turkish Nobel laureate, this novel is a fable of fathers and sons and the desires that come between them.
Jesse Blackadder HarperCollins PB $29.99 Inspired by the author’s own family experience, this haunting and redemptive Australian novel is about forgiveness and hope.
Jean-Paul Didierlaurent Mantle PB $29.99 Lonely Ambroise, an embalmer, and Manelle, an equally lonely domestic helper, set out on a road trip through France in this enchanting story.
Jenny Zhang Bloomsbury PB $24.99 A collection of seven short stories about a community of Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants struggling to make a new life in 1990s New York.
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Food PROVENCE TO PONDICHERRY Tessa Kiros
In her latest book, much-admired food writer Tessa Kiros leads her readers through the countries where French food has become part of the cultural landscape. She begins in Provence and visits the Caribbean, Asia and India before returning to France. At each destination, Kiros reveals its history and particular traditions. The result is an intriguing mix of recipes – some for the amateur cook, and others for those with more-advanced techniques. This beautifully presented collection of recipes and marvellous stories allows its readers to appreciate how food shapes our common global humanity. For this – and also for its exceptional chocolate cake recipe – it is worth its weight in gold.
SIROCCO Sabrina Ghayour
Ghayour, dubbed the ‘golden girl of Persian cookery’ by The Observer, here delivers a compendium of fabulous flavours from the Middle East. Focusing on simple ingredients and strong flavours, Ghayour brings her modern and inspirational touch to a variety of dishes ranging from classics and comfort food to spectacular salads and sweet treats. As in her bestsellers Feasts and Persiana, she successfully adapts classic Middle Eastern dishes to the Western palate, offering simple and delicious recipes such as semolina-crusted aubergines with honey; orange, thyme and spice chicken wings; and delicately spiced maftoul (Palestinian cous cous salad).
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THE ULTIMATE COOK’S MANUAL Marianne Magnier-Moreno
This stylish ‘cook’s manual’ has been translated into English but retains its French flavour, with recipes including boeuf en croûte with foie gras, pot-au-feu, and duck breast in orange sauce. But the emphasis is on teaching people who want to learn to cook – or aspire to get better – about ingredients and techniques. There are base recipes to start with, such as stocks and sauces, then the more complete recipes, then an illustrated glossary. The book covers everything from the absolute basics (boiling an egg, how to use a sieve) to the more advanced and sometimes obscure (deveining foie gras, or stuffing deboned chicken thighs with mousseline and serving them with a morel cream sauce). Scientific explanations will be useful to all, as will the book itself.
RIVER COTTAGE EVERY DAY Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall
Putting food on the table for the family quickly and economically doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. This book shows how Fearnley-Whittingstall’s approach to food can be adapted to suit any type of household. Breakfast, baking, lunchboxes, quick suppers, healthy snacks, eating on the move and weekend cooking for the week ahead – all these and more are covered. As its author says: ‘I have honed the River Cottage approach to food over a decade now, and I believe passionately that it is relevant to everybody, every day. You only have to decide that food, and its provenance, matters to you and your family, and the River Cottage way of doing things can offer a whole raft of solutions: food sourcing and shopping strategies, thrifty kitchen tricks and, above all, approachable, delicious, easy recipes.’
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STREET FOOD ASIA Luke Nguyen
On opening this book, you’ll be immediately struck by its high production values, which place vibrant pictures of dishes and street scenes from four colourful Asian cities – Saigon, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta – centre stage. Secondly, and most importantly, you’ll realise that this is a cookbook filled with delicious and accessible recipes that will entice you to gather your spices, sauces and ingredients into your trusty old wok and get cooking. There are recipes here that are shared by families who have owned street-food carts for generations. Luke gives us the background and the motivation to follow their lead.
Ebury HB WAS $55 NOW $44.99
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THE VEGETABLE: RECIPES THAT CELEBRATE NATURE Vicki Valsamis & Caroline Griffiths
Smith Street Books HB $49.99
This gorgeous cookbook is certain to spark creative inspiration in the kitchen with meatlovers and vegetarians alike. Caroline Griffiths and Vicki Valsamis present 130 plant-based recipes that bring together exciting flavour combinations and techniques to create truly special dishes – from roasted eggplant with lime and chipotle, to charred baby cos. Each recipe also includes friendly notes from the authors about why they’ve chosen it. The Vegetable is a marvellous ode to this versatile ingredient, as well as a beautiful object in its own right, featuring stunning photography, intricate line drawings and lavish detailing.
Murdoch PB WAS $39.99 NOW $16.95
Highly Recommended RIVER CAFE 30
Ruth Rogers, Rose Gray et al Ebury HB $55 A compendium of simple but delicious recipes from London’s much-loved modern Italian restaurant, published to celebrate its 30th birthday.
Claire G Coleman Hachette PB $29.99 This daring debut novel from an Indigenous writer is set in the near future when Australia is about to experience colonisation once more.
THE STANDING CHANDELIER
THE STOLEN BICYCLE
THE TRAVELLING CAT CHRONICLES
Lionel Shriver HarperCollins HB $19.99 A novella about friendship, ownership and the conditions of love from the author of We Need to Talk About Kevin.
Hiro Arikawa Doubleday HB $29.99 A tender, feel-good story of a man’s journey around Japan with a street cat.
Wu Ming-Yi Text PB $29.99 The award-winning Taiwanese writer delivers a profound and startlingly intimate meditation on memory, family and home.
Tom Hanks William Heinemann PB $32.99 Whimsical, moving and occasionally melancholy, this collection of 17 short stories by actor Tom Hanks will both surprise and delight his many fans.
THE ROAD TO MEXICO Rick Stein
The most-recent project of affable TV host Rick Stein turns his unrivalled enthusiasm to the fresh, flavourful food of Mexico and California. Starting in San Francisco and Baja California, and working his way down to the southernmost tip of Mexico, Stein cooks, eats and experiences a wide range of Californian and Mexican dishes. The journey, which has been documented in an accompanying TV series, was inspired by a trip that Stein made in the late ’60s, so both the book and the TV series include nostalgic tales of how the countries have changed over the years and how the food has developed.
SWEET Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh
Wondering whether the Ottolenghi-phile in your life (could it be you?) could possibly need another Ottolenghi cookbook? The answer is yes. Yes, yes, yes. Teaming up with ex-Melburnian Helen Goh, the revered cookbook author turns his culinary creativity exclusively to all things sugar. So brownies are given a new lease of life with tahini and halva; madeleines are imbued with saffron, orange and honey; and shortbread is enlivened with star anise. Some of the recipes are challenging, but that’s the joy of cooking with Ottolenghi – expanding your skills as you expand your palate. And there’s plenty for the less-experienced cook, too. Tips at the end of the book will help everyone to get the most out of this musthave addition to cookbook shelves.
VENEZIA: FOOD & DREAMS Tessa Kiros
There’s a veritable banquet of gorgeouslooking cookbooks on offer this summer, but Venezia is perhaps the most gorgeous of them all. If you’re familiar with Kiros’ previous books (Falling Cloudberries, Apples for Jam etc) you will have already been wowed by their wonderful production values – photography and design are exquisite. There are no style-over-substance issues here, though. Kiros has included plenty of easy-to-cook but delicious recipes that are authentically Venetian. Fish carpaccio with pink peppercorns, sweet and sour sardines, seafood lasagne and a wicked tiramisu are just a few of the many dishes featured. Kiros’ love for Italy – and particularly for La Serenissima – shines through the pages of this wonderful book.
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Kim Scott Picador PB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99 In this timely novel about the aspiration to reconciliation, Scott tells the story of a group of Noongar people who revisit, for the first time in many decades, a taboo place.
Mark Brandi Hachette PB $29.99 Awarded the prestigious 2016 CWA Debut Dagger, this disturbing novel by an Australian author is set in a Victorian country town.
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BER DECEM SE RELEA
Lonely Planet HB $39.99
ATLAS OF ADVENTURE In recent years, travel stalwart Lonely Planet has begun to publish inspirational pictorial guides that pick-and-mix from the company’s vast destination and photographic archive. Atlas of Adventure celebrates the rough and tumble of outdoor activity, and as you’d expect from the world’s number-one travel publisher, it’s on a global scale. A top 10 of the planet’s adventure highlights is followed by an A–Z destination guide full of action-packed, thrill-a-minute, high-octane adventures designed to accommodate both first-timers and seasoned adrenaline junkies. Take your pick from trekking in Patagonia, caving in Belize, paragliding in Iceland or kite surfing in Kenya. Beautifully illustrated throughout, with a handy symbol guide and glossary of adventure terms, readers can happily daydream their adventures away or get off the sofa and get packing.
THE GREAT BARRIER REEF Len Zell
Marine biologist, writer and photographer Len Zell takes us on a journey along 2300km of Australia’s north-eastern coastline, travelling through the diverse range of habitats that make up this extraordinary water world. Along the way, he explains how the Great Barrier Reef was formed, introduces the plants and animals that inhabit it and looks at the environmental challenges facing this incredibly delicate ecosystem. Illustrated in spectacular full-colour photography throughout, The Great Barrier Reef also features hints and tips on how to make the most out of any trip to this extraordinary and sadly endangered natural wonder.
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Lonely Planet HB WAS $80 NOW $59.99
THE CITIES BOOK Inspiration aplenty is on offer in this hefty book, which highlights what Lonely Planet considers to be the world’s 200 best cities in its lush pages. It’s a celebration both of the city itself – both its physical form and its cultural contribution – and of the individual cities featured. Each city is given a doublepage spread that includes enticing photos, primers on place and people, and pointers on when to go and what to do. At the front of the book are lists of the five best cities for different interests, such as books, wildlife, museums and nightlife. Are these 200 really the best? You can argue the toss, but you’ll want to go to pretty much all of them.
TWO STEPS FORWARD
Graeme Simsion & Anne Buist Text PB $29.99 Husband and wife Graham Simsion (The Rosie Project) and Anne Buist write alternating chapters in this funny and romantic novel about two people walking the Camino de Santiago.
Phaidon PB $39.95
PARIS Alexandra Carroll
Dorling Kindersley HB $49.99 Nothing feeds curiosity or inspires additions to the bucket list more than a well-compiled and presented reference book, and these titles are perfect examples. Reference book and bucket list in one, Natural Wonders of the World includes natural wonders from all over the globe, exploring what’s so amazing about the planet’s many unique locations and natural phenomena and how they came to be. Journey: An Illustrated History of Exploration and Travel is equally impressive, spanning the period from the ancient world (Minoan seafarers, Polynesian navigators) to the modern era with its hippie trails, iconic driving routes and space flights. As is always the case with DK titles, there’s a good balance between pictures and information, and production values are lavish.
Plum PB $34.99
Hardie Grant HB WAS $49.99 NOW $16.95
SHANNON BENNETT’S LONDON Eat, drink and sleep your way through London’s restaurants, pubs and hotels with celebrity chef Shannon Bennett and writer Scott Murray, both of whose love of the city radiates from this guide. That’s not to say they’re uncritical. There are cutting lines (‘the food was uninspired and often badly conceived’ or ‘they served me the worst Bellini I have ever had’) but generally the reviews show that London is now one of the best food cities in the world. There are a few London-inspired Shannon Bennett recipes scattered through the guide (slow roasted lamb, for example, or fish and chips).
GOING INTO TOWN: A LOVE LETTER TO NEW YORK
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Doubling as a city travel guide and inspirational pictorial, Paris: An Inspired Wander Through the City of Lights is writer-photographer Alexandra Carroll’s love letter to the city that became her extended home-away-from-home while working and living there for a year. This evocative arrondissement-by-arrondissement guide covers everything from the big sights and attractions to the more hidden and out-ofthe-way places and off-beat discoveries you’ll most likely miss if you’re ticking off the boxes on a short visit. With a great photographer’s eye, and extensive insider knowledge, Carroll manages to conjure up Paris afresh, ensuring that even the most seasoned Paris visitor will fall for the city’s charms all over again.
VOYAGE OF THE SOUTHERN SUN Michael Smith
9. What was held in New York in 1939?
Highly Recommended The Betoota Advocate ABC Books PB $32.99 The Australian satirical news website has issued what it describes as ‘the most comprehensive insight into the lucky country since Microsoft’s Encarta’. Read it at your peril.
Featuring 1000 buildings designed by the world’s finest architects, this book is a great resource for architecture buffs wanting to make the most of their travels. Each building is illustrated with a photograph and accompanied by a brief description – if that whets your interest, there are addresses, websites and opening details to assist you in planning a visit. A convenient way to find and enjoy contemporary built culture on every continent, it includes works by luminaries including Norman Foster, John Pawson, Jean Nouvel, Steven Holl, Peter Zumthor, Zaha Hadid, Shigeru Ban and David Chipperfield.
Dorling Kindersley HB $59.99
THE PLACE TO BE
NATURAL WONDERS OF THE WORLD
L SPECIA PRICE Travel is something that inspires strong emotions. Whether it’s euphoria or serenity, awe or enlightenment, our explorations and experiences across the globe cannot help but trigger reactions, questions and memories. The 240 destinations in The Place to Be range from wild and natural spaces to modern and ancient cities, all covered using photographs and expert text from LP’s travel writers explaining when to go and how to get there.
BER DECEM SE A E L E R
Black Inc PB $34.99
What comes across vividly in this boys-ownstyle adventure is that its author, Melbournebased cinema owner, entrepreneur and adventurer Michael Smith, is a man of varied but pronounced passions. Whether it be for air adventure, film, cinema buildings, history or sailing, Smith is the type of person who throws himself wholeheartedly into projects – sometimes to his own detriment and danger. This account of his recordbreaking 2015 solo journey retracing the 1938 Qantas Imperial and Pan Am flyingboat routes between Sydney, Southampton and New York in a small seaplane is totally engrossing, drawing on his trip diary, blog and memories to document a truly daring and extraordinary adventure. Full of anecdotes and quirky facts (who knew that choc tops are only sold in Australian cinemas?), it’s a highly entertaining read.
BER DECEM SE A E L E R
Roz Chast Bloomsbury HB $36.99 Created by one of The New Yorker’s best-loved and longest-serving illustrators, Roz Chast’s graphic memoir is a one-of-a-kind love letter to her native city.
Doran & Stephanie Francis Hardie Grant HB WAS $59.99 NOW $55 A collection of stories and images from everyday adventurers, including helpful tips on how to make the most of your foray into the great outdoors.
WISH YOU WERE HERE
THE WORLD: EDITION 2
EPIC DRIVES OF THE WORLD
Sheridan Jobbins Affirm PB $29.99 Hilarious memoir recounting how after the collapse of her marriage, Sheridan Jobbins drives across America, finding adventure and love along the way.
Lonely Planet PB $39.99 This fully revised second edition of this 900-page travellers guide to the planet is arranged in an A–Z format by country for easy reference.
Katrina Lawrence HarperCollins HB $35 An Australian beauty journalist recounts her love of and familiarity with the City of Lights, sharing tips about her favourite places and plenty of anecdotes.
Lonely Planet HB $44.99 Showcasing 50 great road trips, this lavishly illustrated book includes classic driving routes in America, Australia, Europe, Asia and Africa.
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Thames & Hudson HB WAS $70 NOW $59.99
Style, Architecture & Design THE APARTMENT HOUSE Katelin Butler & Cameron Bruhn
Many Australians may aspire to own a detached house on a suburban block, but these days few of us can afford to do so. This fact – combined with a desire for different styles and qualities of living – has led to a boom in the construction of apartments and townhouses across our cities. Here, architectural journalists Katelin Butler and Cameron Bruhn present 26 projects showcasing innovative apartment and townhouse designs that have been driven by a wide variety of briefs – for affordability, for ecological sustainability, for social cohesion and for convenience. Drawn predominantly from Sydney and Melbourne but including a few examples from Perth and Brisbane, this generously illustrated book provides food for thought and plenty of inspiration for those contemplating a change of residence or their very own ‘Grand Design’.
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NLA HB WAS $34.99 NOW $12.95
Hardie Grant HB $59.99
MacLehose PB $29.99
Hardie Grant HB $29.99
Thames & Hudson HB WAS $59.99 NOW $49.99
Our homes may be dominated by the impersonally mass produced, but we like to think we appreciate objects and finishes that are lovingly crafted. Here is a reminder of what goes into such crafting courtesy of a Norwegian master carpenter. Ole Thorstensen writes plainly and directly as he takes us through every step of a loft conversion in Oslo. It is in the thinking of things through and in the precise details of creating something tangible that he – and thus his readers – finds the most pleasure. This is all about putting heart and soul into one’s work, and is sure to provide plenty of inspiration for those wanting to emulate him at home.
Laurence King HB $19.99
Designer Alex Hammond and photographer Mike Tinney have put together this tribute to the humble pencil, a tool that they argue has become the modern creative’s ultimate fetish since software programs have come to dominate offices and studios. Symbols of creative freedom, the pencils photographed here are owned by artists, designers, writers, architects and musicians: James Dyson’s is high-tech, Cindy Sherman’s looks like a lipstick, Philippe Starck’s is black and streamlined, Paul Smith’s is a classic jewellike thing worth £3000 and William Boyd’s is nicely aged and rusty.
FRENCH HOUSE CHIC Jane Webster
Melburnian Jane Webster did what most people just dream about. In 2005, she moved her young family to France to restore a derelict chateau in Normandy. French House Chic serves as both visual inspiration and practical guide to those who want to do the same – or even bring some French style to their own homes. The text is a mix of homely anecdote, observations on French style and specific advice on how to achieve it (make the bottom step of a staircase stone, for example). There’s also a source book listing useful shops in France as well as Australia at the back. So Frenchy, so chic.
ONE ENCHANTED EVENING Charlotte Smith
Affirm HB $35
A bequeathed collection of vintage pieces from her godmother Doris Darnell kickstarted Charlotte Smith’s lifelong love affair with haute couture dresses. Smith’s Darnell Collection now has over 9000 pieces, a selection of which feature in One Enchanted Evening. From profiling famous designers who irrevocably changed the face of fashion to the women who wore these garments with aplomb, each piece within the book is grounded within a very particular social and historical context, showing in Smith’s words how ‘fashion can bring a slice of history to life’. Grant Cowan’s wonderfully vivid illustrations bring the Darnell Collection and the anecdotes shared to life, briefly transporting readers to exclusive social occasions of the past.
SMALL HOUSE LIVING AUSTRALIA Catherine Foster
THE SECRET LIFE OF THE PENCIL Alex Hammond & Mike Tinney
PARIS: THROUGH A FASHION EYE Megan Hess
Fashion illustrator Megan Hess’s trademark sketches of elite, willowy women clothed in luxuriant garb frame her fifth book, an aspirational guidebook to eating, shopping and staying in Paris. The book is as suitable for fashion aficionados as it is for newcomers – each shop, hotel and restaurant profile is steeped in history yet rife with familiar contemporary signposts. We learn that Hôtel Plaza Athénée is simultaneously inspired by Dior’s classic modernism and featured in Sex and the City, that Brasserie Lipp was opened in 1880 but is today a favourite of cultural icons Kate Moss and Madonna.
The former editor of Elle, Mode and The Australian Women’s Weekly joins with the former editor of Vogue Australia to take a walk down the catwalks of a five-decade period in Australian fashion, giving a fascinating insight into how styles and demands changed between 1930 and 1980. Hemlines weren’t the only thing to be transformed over this period – trousers became acceptable, makeup more dramatic, waistlines first more pronounced and then non-existent. A colourful array of photographs and illustrations drawn from the pages of The Australian Women’s Weekly prove the point (those from the 1950s and 1960s are particularly wonderful), delivering a trip down memory lane that is sure to be enjoyed by many Australian women.
MAKING THINGS RIGHT Ole Thorstensen
MADE TO LAST Vanessa Murray
Have you ever wondered how to make gin in a bathtub, fashion a bike from bamboo or preserve a bird’s wing? Melbourne writer Vanessa Murray eschews mass-production in favour of heirloom quality. In Made to Last, she introduces us to a cast of 50 artisans and makers from around the world who create objects that are both lovely to look at and built to stand the test of time. From vinyl pressing to beard soap, these eclectically curated, beautifully photographed artist profiles are interspersed with fascinating and highly unusual DIY projects.
FASHION: THE FIRST 50 YEARS Deborah Thomas with Kirstie Clements
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Viking PB $39.99
As our populations increase, suburbs sprawl and land values spiral out of control, the good sense of reducing our footprints and living in smaller spaces becomes increasingly apparent. This book features 21 small but inspiring Australian homes that are stylish, practical, cost-effective and environmentally responsible. All are 90 sq m or less – considerably smaller than the average footprint of new builds in our country (around 231 sq m) – and many have been the recipients of Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) awards for small project architecture. Author Catherine Foster profiles each project using text, practical design notes, floor plans and photographs.
Highly Recommended KILTED YOGA: YOGA LAID BARE
Finlay Wilson Yellow Hite HB $19.99 This eccentric, fun and motivational guide to the fundamentals of yoga is based on the cult Kilted Yoga video.
THE CHASER ANNUAL 2017
The Chaser Black Inc PB $24.95 A full wrap of all the news, sport, entertainment and Trump jokes from a year that will forever be remembered as ‘Oh my God, remember 2017?’
THE STORY OF THE FACE
Liz Ham Manuscript HB $75 Photographic series by internationally acclaimed Australian photographer Liz Ham documenting women channelling the punk movement in their contemporary daily life.
GUIDE TO LIVING THROUGH THE IMPENDING APOCALYPSE
First Dog on the Moon ABC PB $24.95 A tender frolic through the looming collapse of civilisation and the demise of everything you ever cared about.
Paul Gorman Thames & Hudson PB $65 A definitive overview of one of the most influential music, fashion and culture magazines produced in the 1980s and 1990s.
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THE SECRET HISTORY OF TWIN PEAKS
Mark Frost Macmillan HB WAS $39.99 NOW $16.95 Written by the co-creator of the original cult TV series, this novel deepens the mysteries of the small American town where strange stuff happens.
BEST AUSTRALIAN POLITICAL CARTOONS 2017
Russ Radcliffe (ed.) Scribe PB $29.99 The year in politics as observed by Australia’s funniest and most perceptive political cartoonists.
TOP STOCKS 2018
Martin Roth Wrightbooks PB $29.95 The 24th edition of this definitive guide to Australia’s best stock exchange picks as selected by financial journalist Martin Roth.
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NLA HB WAS $39.99 NOW $16.95
BER DECEM SE RELEA
Allen & Unwin PB $29.99
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Watkins PB WAS $35 NOW $14.95
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THE BEACH: AN AUSTRALIAN PASSION Robert Drewe (ed.)
Did you know that 2 October 1902 was a turning point in Australian history? It was the day a newspaper editor flouted the law by bathing at Manly in a neck-to-knee bathing costume in daylight – inviting arrest so he could challenge what now seems a preposterous law. Drewe’s history of our varied coastline includes beach-related anecdotes as well as history and context for the many wonderful photographs reproduced here. Bathers, surfers, promenaders, surf lifesavers, sunbathers – and especially the beach itself – are all here in their Australian glory.
THE FRENCH ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK Fabrice Midal
This international bestseller explains why the key to true mindfulness is freeing ourselves from social and often selfimposed stresses. Midal offers us a new solution to the perennial problem of our too-full, too-fast modern life, asserting that it’s OK for us to say no to things that aren’t fulfilling. It’s necessary, in fact, to give ourselves a break and say, simply, ‘F*ck it! C’est la vie.’
HOW TO DEVELOP A BRILLIANT MEMORY TOOLKIT Dominic O’Brien
O’Brien reveals the secrets of mastering the art of memory and provides us with a basic tool kit for boosting our skills of memorisation and recall. The kit consists of three components: an 88-page introduction to memory techniques; a pictorial memory journey map to be used in conjunction with the Journey Method, a memorisation procedure that exploits the power of mental association to provide unforgettable cues for recall; and a deck of 50 flash cards providing tips, techniques and self-testing exercises.
BER DECEM SE RELEA
Murdoch HB WAS $59.99 NOW $49.99
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Phaidon HB WAS $95 NOW $85
THE BEATLES LYRICS Hunter Davies
Tracked down from friends of the band, collectors, museums and universities, and now reproduced in one volume, these handwritten manuscripts of the lyrics to 100 of the Beatles’ 182 songs give a unique insight into the creative process of these great songwriters. These documents are now worth a lot of money – in 2010, Lennon’s original handwritten lyric to ‘A Day in the Life’ was auctioned at Sotheby’s for an extraordinary US$1.2 million. Davies had unrivalled access to the Beatles during their heyday and here he reveals each song’s context through vivid behind-the-scenes stories.
Corsair HB $29.99
Hardie Grant PB $19.99
DUCKS FOR DARK TIMES Michael Leunig
Michael Joseph PB $24.99
Renowned Australian landscape designer William Dangar takes us on a journey through a series of 21 inspiring, emotive and lyrical gardens. Each is photographed at its optimum moment – not when newly planted, but when nature has reasserted itself and there is a certain expressiveness, a sense of wildness, breaking through the original structure and order. Dangar chronicles the challenges, the planting choices, the collaborations, the relationships and the joy that went into creating these significant gardens.
Scribe HB $24.99
THE JAPANESE GARDEN Sophie Walker
The most comprehensive exploration of the art of the Japanese garden published to date, this book covers more than eight centuries of the history of this important genre. Author and garden designer Sophie Walker brings fresh insight to this subject, exploring the Japanese garden in detail through a series of essays and with illustrated profiles of 100 gardens, ranging from ancient Shinto shrines to imperial gardens and contemporary Zen designs. As a bonus, leading artists, architects and other cultural practitioners offer personal perspectives in newly commissioned essays.
Filmmaker and pop-culture icon John Waters shares the gleefully subversive advice he gave to graduates from the Rhode Island School of Design, a speech that soon went viral. This pocket-sized transcription, brilliantly complimented by playful typography and slightly perverse pen-and-ink illustrations by Eric Hanson, is an utter joy to read. Thoughtfully considered and deliciously witty, Make Trouble will inspire all creative outsiders who seek to change society.
OVERHEARD: THE ART OF EAVESDROPPING Oslo Davis
Inner-city suburb, Sunday 2pm: ‘Well, I’m sorry, but I never claimed to have a black belt in emotions.’ Cartoonist and illustrator Oslo Davis is a self-confessed eavesdropping addict. He’s been stealthily gathering the funniest and juiciest conversational off-cuts since 2007, loitering, lurking and lying in wait at food courts, intersections, art galleries and escalators. This hilarious collection brings together the best of Davis’s muchloved ‘Overheard’ column in Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, finally collecting his embarrassingly and deliciously true hardwon snippets of strangers’ conversations and observations in one place. Free gift: A special SRG Overheard tote bag with every book purchased.
A collection of cartoons about many strange and lovely things: kind words for dark days; simple poems concerning wonderful mysteries; reflections on sadness, joy, dismay, sanity, soup and beauty. Also: doubts, confessions, laments and tributes. Leunig includes spirited depictions of dogs, ducks, teapots and trees in these unique attempts to shine some light on dark and troubled times.
THE GENTLE ART OF SWEDISH DEATH CLEANING Margareta Magnusson
GARDEN William Dangar
MAKE TROUBLE John Waters
THE NUMBER GAMES Adam Spencer
Featuring hundreds of mind-bending, headscratching, intelligence-testing number games, puzzles and quizzes (plus tonnes of hilarious and fascinating number-based trivia), the latest book of numerical fun from mathematician and comedian Adam Spencer (Big Book of Numbers) is sure to provide plenty of mind exercise this summer.
XOUM PB WAS $34.99 NOW $29.99
Weidenfeld & Nicolson HB WAS $49.99 NOW $19.95
A LITTLE HISTORY Bleddyn Butcher
Former NME photographer Bleddyn Butcher tracked the creative career of musician Nick Cave from the apoplectic extravagance of the Birthday Party to the calmer disquiet of Cave and the Bad Seeds’ 2013 album Push the Sky Away via snapshots, spotlit visions and sumptuous, theatrical portraits. These photographs mix Allen & Unwin HB the candid and uncanny, the spontaneous and the patiently staged, and include WAS $49.99 eyeball encounters with Cave’s baddest NOW $19.95 lieutenants. Butcher’s Nikonic eye defines moment after arresting moment in Cave’s glorious, sprawling story: it’s a splendid testament to two brilliant careers.
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Margareta Magnusson – who tells us deadpan that she is aged somewhere between 80 and 100 – is death cleaning, or as the Swedish call it, döstädning. The term means ‘removing unnecessary things and making your home nice and orderly when you think the time is coming closer for you to leave the planet’, and Magnusson is such an advocate of what she is doing that she has written a companionable guide. What better gift for your partner, children or whoever is left to tie up your affairs than divesting yourself of accumulated ‘things’ and putting the remainder in order? And there are benefits for one’s still-living self, too. Magnusson is a gentle guide, taking us ever-so-tenderly by the hand as she explains exactly how to death clean.
LAW SCHOOL Benjamin Law & Jenny Phang
Brow HB $24.99
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Thames & Hudson HB WAS $49.99 NOW $45
Anyone acquainted with prolific writer Benjamin Law’s work and the hit TV show The Family Law is bound to enjoy Law School. The collection features sex and relationship tips dispensed by Law and his mum as found in the duo’s long-running agony aunt–style column in The Lifted Brow, with special guest appearances by American sex advice columnist Dan Savage. Law’s trademark wit and temerity find a sound pairing in Phang’s unfiltered and meandering advice, with the book as much a celebration of sexual expression as it is an homage to the bond shared by mother and son.
NATIVE Kate Herd & Jela Ivankovic-Waters
This book takes an old subject (Australian natives) and gives it a complete makeover. Subtitled ‘Art & Design with Australian Plants’, its authors survey the ways native trees, shrubs, flowers and foliage have been put to surprising and beautiful uses by some of the most creative people working with plants today. Lavishly photographed, it is the ideal source when seeking the perfect feature plant for a space of any size.
PLANT SOCIETY Jason Chongue
Hardie Grant PB $29.99
A founder of The Plant Society, the online social network for gardeners, Jason Chongue firmly believes in cultivating relationships with plants. Here, he has created a practical and user-friendly companion for indoor gardeners interested in doing just that. His book includes tips on propagation, pruning, re-potting and pest control, as well as how best to feed and care for your beauties in particular spaces – taking into account light, heat and airflow, as well as aesthetic concerns. A gorgeous gift for old hands and budding green-thumbs alike.
THE SECRET LIFE OF COWS Rosamund Young
A PLEASURE TO BE HERE: THE BEST OF CLARKE AND DAWE 1989–2017 John Clarke Text PB $29.99 BER DECEM SE RELEA
TINKERING: THE COMPLETE BOOK OF JOHN CLARKE John Clarke Text PB $34.99 Tinkering is how the much-missed John Clarke described working on his writing. Here are many of his ‘tinkerings’, both previously published (eg scripts from his Fred Dagg TV pieces) and unpublished. The collection shows the range of his astonishing talent, and includes his writing for radio, television, stage and screen, as well some previously unpublished pieces and an introduction by his daughter, Lorin Clarke. There’s also a new edition of the Clarke and Dawe interviews, from the very beginning until just before Clarke’s untimely death, with the classic absurdity and biting satire on show in every script.
THE GRADE CRICKETER: TEA AND NO SYMPATHY Dave Edwards, Sam Perry & Ian Higgins
Is life without cricket worth living? It’s a question asked and answered by the Grade Cricketer as he faces a cricket-free future Allen & Unwin PB after a devious plan goes horribly wrong. Hilarious, ridiculous and completely true $29.99 to life to anyone who’s ever spent time in a dressing room, The Grade Cricketer: Tea and No Sympathy takes us on an uproarious sporting misadventure through the world of Aussie grade cricket and the flawed, damaged and occasionally appalling people who play it. As Wisden has so concisely and wisely said, the Grade Cricketer is both strange and brilliant.
Faber HB $19.99
There’s been a tiny home revolution of late, but the tiny mobile-home movement has long attracted surfers, beatniks and pretty much anyone who has wanted to lose/ discover themselves on an extended road trip. In 2011, Foster Huntington gave up his NYC designer position at Ralph Lauren Sphere HB $39.99 and spent two years on the road bumming around California, having fun and taking pictures of his Volkswagen van in choice locations. His Instagram hashtag #vanlife quickly spawned a new breed of likeminded boho dropouts, and over a million followers later the van-life movement was in full swing. Van Life features user-generated images of four-wheel homes with plenty of sneaky-beak interior shots highlighting how compact, streamlined and delightfully inspiring these tiny moving homes can be.
A myth-busting insider’s look at the legendary Australian music festival from a man who was there from the very start, this history is as much about the people and logistics behind the scenes as it is about the music that blasted the audience. It is also about Sunbury’s place in a musical and cultural moment, and its ongoing legacy. Sunbury was the first Australian festival to be run and created by entertainment industry professionals, including author Peter Evans, who was its lighting designer and manager. While Woodstock was of the hippie moment, Evans shows how Sunbury was just as much part of the rock-n-roll movement, with more beer consumed than marijuana, and also how it was the catalyst for the music scene that would later dominate the Australian pub-rock circuit.
THE WORM AND THE BIRD Coralie Bickford-Smith
Particular HB $35
The adage ‘the early bird catches the worm’ is given new life in this beautifully illustrated book by award-winning designer Coralie Bickford-Smith. Autumnal bursts of dark brown and yellow ochre punctuate the book’s monochromatic palate to convey quietude and tension, with a startling dark turn shifting the fable’s perspective from worm to bird. The staccato arrangement of words surrounded by illustrations depicting the minutiae of life culminates in a gentle and meditative read, a cautionary tale espousing the virtue of living in the present – a pertinent reminder for us all.
10. Who inspired a character in Dickens' Bleak House?
ACCIDENTAL HEROES: THE ROGUES Lian Tanner
Chris Ferrie Jabberwocky HB $14.99
ABCS OF PHYSICS
Chris Ferrie Jabberwocky HB $14.99
ABCS OF SCIENCE
Allen & Unwin HB $19.99
The first volume in a trilogy, Accidental Heroes is another inventive and gripping story from much-loved Australian author Lian Tanner. Though set in the same world as her ‘The Keepers’ series, it has brandnew characters. Duckling has learned cunning at her scheming grandfather’s knee, while naive Pummel believes in doing the right thing. Together the two find themselves having to guard the heir to the throne in a city where time has stopped. There’s much to entrance young readers here, including questions about loyalty and morality. 9+
BOOK OF BONES Gabrielle Balkan & Sam Brewster (illus.)
THE ANIMAL BOOK Lonely Planet HB $29.99
THE BIG EARTH BOOK Lonely Planet HB WAS $29.99 NOW $24.99 Lonely Planet’s mind-expanding range of children’s books reminds kids of the many extraordinary things to be found in our wonderfully diverse world. The Big Earth Book uses the earth, air, fire and water elements to explore the natural features of the world, and to illustrate both natural and human history. The Animal Book introduces 100 animals, from the flea to the blue whale and from the domestic to the wild, with an emphasis on conservation. 8+
SUNBURY: AUSTRALIA’S GREATEST ROCK FESTIVAL Peter Evans
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ABCS OF MATHEMATICS
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Melbourne Books HB WAS $49.95 NOW $45
VAN LIFE Foster Huntington
Chris Ferrie Jabberwocky HB $14.99 Now this is a clever idea. Marketed as ‘simple explanations of complex ideas for your future genius’, these board books offer concise explanations of foundation scientific and mathematical concepts and terms. Presented in alphabetical order from A to Z (K is for Kinetic, Kelvin and Kappa/Kκ), entries feature text, symbols and colourful illustrations.The ABCs of Science is presented using letters of the Greek alphabet, the most commonly used symbols in science. 3+
Catapulted into the spotlight after British playwright Alan Bennett quoted from it in his collection Keeping On Keeping On, organic farmer Rosamund Young’s The Secret Life of Cows has been resuscitated by Faber & Faber 14 years after it was originally published by a small farming press. Young’s chronicling of her farm animals’ sentience and individuality lends crucial insight into the psyche of animals at a time when intensive factory farming and renewed calls for a live export ban are pushing conversations about animal welfare to the forefront.
Phaidon HB $29.95
Ten animals with claims to skeletal fame – longest bone, thinnest bone, spikiest bone and so on – feature in this handsome book for young naturalists. Readers are encouraged to guess the animal from a picture of its bones and a few clues, before turning the page for the answer. Meticulously rendered white-on-black illustrations of the skeletons provide a clever and visually arresting contrast to the textured colour illustrations that follow, which show readers the featured animal with flesh on its bones. Accessible text provides information on both bones and animals. 5+
THE ALICE COLLECTION Lewis Carroll
Macmillan HB WAS $49.99 NOW $14.95
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David Fickling HB WAS $39.99 NOW $32.99 PB WAS $32.99 NOW $26.99
What a delight! This slipcase contains gorgeous editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the LookingGlass. Both include the much-loved original line illustrations by John Tenniel, and there are specially commissioned forewords by children’s authors Hilary McKay (The Exiles trilogy) and Philip Ardagh (the Eddie Dickens series). 9+
THE BOOK OF DUST VOLUME 1: LA BELLE SAUVAGE Philip Pullman
Rejoice! We are thrilled to report that the eagerly expected prequel to the His Dark Materials trilogy is as wonderfully imaginative, exciting and thoughtprovoking as its progenitors. Set in Oxford, Pullman’s action-packed account of how baby Lyra is saved from the evil machinations of the Magisterium is full of social and environmental commentary, plot twists and turns, colourful characters and philosophical questioning, taking the reader down what Marina Warner, reviewing the book for The Guardian, describes as a ‘pilgrim road of fantastic metaphysical allegory’. You’re sure to love every mote. 12+
DANNY BLUE’S REALLY EXCELLENT DREAM Max Landrak
Lothian HB $26.99
Danny’s dad is a paint maker – of every shade of blue. But one day Danny has a not-blue dream and goes outside his comfort zone to invent a whole new colour. The townspeople of Blue York slowly come around to Danny’s brilliance – ‘Not dreadful, just different’, the headlines shout – and soon he is dreaming up another, different colour. Simple line drawings from newcomer Max Landrak lend the book a comic-strip feel, as do funny asides about Danny’s inventive activities, in a lovely book celebrating creativity and difference. 2+
Macmillan HB Set WAS $29.99 NOW $16.95
Bloomsbury PB $16.99
Allen & Unwin HB $22.99
GENUINE FRAUD E Lockhart
The bestselling author of YA classic We Were Liars has returned to the genre with an homage to spy thrillers and action films that is full of twists and turns. We first meet Jule in a Mexican resort. The 18-year-old is glamorous and proficient in martial arts, with a mysterious past that gets darker with each chapter’s backwards leap. Her incredible journey across varied locations illustrates Allen & Unwin PB what it’s like to be a young woman in $19.99 a hostile world and delivers a riveting exploration of identity, loyalty and the murky waters of female friendship. 15+ BER DECEM SE RELEA
HarperCollins HB $24.99
ABC Books PB $16.99
Simon & Schuster HB $24.99
Orchard HB $24.99
Here, Jaclyn Moriarty brings the warmth and easy flow of her YA novels to her first book for middle readers. After being abandoned by her parents as a baby, 10-year-old Bronte Mettlestone is sent on a quest as outlined in her parents’ will – she must deliver gifts to 10 aunts scattered across an island country. Her adventures include pirates, sea sprites and faery magic – and a lot of bravery, cleverness and empathy. This is a great long read for kids who love curling up and losing themselves in a gentle but attentiongrabbing alternative universe. 10+
The first in a new series for middle readers, this rollicking tale set in Rome introduces us to 10-year-old Freya, whose life is turned upside down when her mother Clementine becomes ill. Sent to live with the absent-minded and eccentric writer Tobias and his perpetually hungry dog Finnegan, Freya’s resilience comes to the fore and she adapts to her new life by eating pasta, making new friends (including an organ grinder and his naughty monkey) and watching as Tobias becomes hopelessly infatuated with Vivi, a charming café owner with raspberry-gelato lips. 9+
Hodder HB $29.99
Following on from the success of the Artemis Fowl graphic novels, Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin have teamed up to craft another compelling story for young readers. Illegal follows two brothers, Ebo and Kwame, as they journey from North Africa to seek a new life in Europe. Their story is brought to vivid life by Giovanni Rigano’s art, while Ebo’s candid first-person narration offers compassionate insight into an urgent world issue. The fast-paced storytelling and careful balance of hope make Illegal an ideal pick for ages 9+.
KOALAS EAT GUM LEAVES. Laura Bunting & Philip Bunting (illus.)
Omnibus HB $16.99
The cheeky hidden ice-cream on the cover of this humorous book is a clue to what lies within. A koala decides he’s had enough gum leaves, despite the fact that they come in all guises (eucalyptus birthday cake, anyone?). But when he tries different food, his reaction is priceless. The rhythmic, repetitive text makes this a perfect read-aloud choice for young children, the colour scheme is eye-catching and the simple yet nuanced illustrations reveal the lessons learned by this expressive and endearing koala. 1+
Lola really wants a dog, so brother Charlie, his mate Marv and best friend Lotta help her think about what characteristics her dog should have. Maybe it should be brown, have a furry tail and good ears, be good at hopping etc. In the end, they decide that ‘A Dog with Nice Ears’ would be ideal, and of course that comes with a surprise. As always, Lauren Child’s collage illustrations are delightful and her wordplay is lots of fun: ‘my dog must not catch fleas ... he must catch sticks’. One for fans and new readers alike. 2+
FRANKLIN’S FLYING BOOKSHOP Jen Campbell
Thames & Hudson HB $24.99
L SPECIA E C I PR
Pan Macmillan HB WAS $32.99 NOW $29.99
Adults who understand and appreciate the ways in which books can open up the world will want to give this book to the children in their lives in the hope of creating more bibliophiles. A lonely dragon wants to share his passion for books – and everything he has discovered through reading them – but the townspeople near his book-stuffed cave keep running away from him. Finally, he meets a book-loving girl who knows that books can be treasures, and his life changes. The story swirls fantastically – just as the richly coloured illustrations do. 3+
THE GREATEST MAGICIAN IN THE WORLD Matt Edmondson & Garry Parsons (illus.)
On a quest to find the greatest magician in the world, one who is worthy of inheriting his great-grandfather’s collection of magic books, Elliot learns tricks from the different magicians he encounters. By the end of his quest he has learnt about predicting the future, escapology, card tricks and sleight of hand, and so have readers. Kids will have fun with the story but even more so while learning the tricks included in envelopes along the way, which are simple to master but super-impressive to perform. 6+
IMAGINE John Lennon & Jean Jullien (illus.)
ILLEGAL Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin & Giovanni Rigano
IZZY GIZMO Pip Jones & Sara Ogilvie
The heroine of this whimsical rhyming story is ‘clever and bright’ and an inventor at heart. She also has a knack for ‘repurposing’ parts from existing equipment – a talent that has later repercussions. However, Izzy’s inventions often malfunction, leaving her overwhelmed with frustration. Her friendship with a flightless and tenacious crow gradually teaches her perseverance and that success requires effort. Filled with colourful, detailed illustrations and an inventor’s obligatory vocabulary (pistons, sprockets, sumps, cogs and circuits, for example), this lively tale of resilience will enchant children, adults and all creative types. 4+
A favourite with toddlers and parents since its original publication in 1982, this sturdy lift-the-flap book is now offered with 10 stacking and nesting blocks featuring animals from the zoo. Toddlers will love building a tower as they read the story – and then, of course, knocking it down! It’s a great way for them to learn about cause and effect, and develop hand–eye coordination. They’ll also learn to count from one to 10 as they play with the numbered blocks, and recognise different colours and sizes, too. 1+
A DOG WITH NICE EARS Lauren Child
THE GIRL, THE DOG AND THE WRITER IN ROME Katrina Nannestad
HERE WE ARE: NOTES FOR LIVING ON PLANET EARTH Oliver Jeffers Australian-born Oliver Jeffers is an acclaimed visual artist as well as a children’s book illustrator, a fact that will be immediately apparent to anyone opening this magnificent picture book. Jeffers says that he created the book after the birth of his son, when he was pondering ‘…the massive responsibility of having to explain our complex world to a new life’. Taking the form of a series of heartfelt notes introducing planet Earth to pre-schoolers, it features richly coloured and carefully delineated illustrations accompanying pithy text. It’s sure to join his previous titles Lost and Found and A Child of Books on awards lists. 3+
DEAR ZOO BOOK AND STORYBLOCKS Rod Campbell
THE EXTREMELY INCONVENIENT ADVENTURES OF BRONTE METTLESTONE Jaclyn Moriarty
THE EXPLORER Katherine Rundell
A classic but highly original adventure tale from an author who has deservedly attracted praise from the incomparable Philip Pullman, this book will have children breathless with anticipation and will also have them thinking deeply about what it means to be an explorer, and what to do with what you discover. Fred has always wanted to explore the world and gain the fame he thinks will make his father pay attention – and he gets his wish when he and three other children escape from a burning plane crash. 9+
Frances Lincoln HB $24.99
Song lyrics make for great stories – and storybooks – when they are joined with beautiful illustrations. Jean Jullien’s simple, bright and amusing drawings illuminate the messages of John Lennon’s iconic song through a sweet pigeon, who is curious about the world and welcoming of all birds. As Yoko Ono’s foreword says, ‘Everybody wants to feel happy and to feel safe’, and this book offers a chance to explore some big topics and themes with younger readers. And purchasers can feel they are making a difference, too – with royalties from the book’s sale going to Amnesty International. 2+
M IS FOR MUTINY! HISTORY BY ALPHABET John Dickson & Bern Emmerichs (illus.) Berbay HB $29.95
Alphabetical ordering is used creatively here to talk about different points and people in Australia’s history. With entries such as ‘L for Land rights’, ‘R for Rum rebellion’ and ‘T for Terra nullius’, this is a unique way to introduce junior readers to Australian history and will offer points of discussion for the whole family. Bern Emmerichs’ illustrations are divine – she has delicately hand-painted porcelain tiles, photographed them and overlayed John Dickson’s text, creating spreads that bring the people, places and animals depicted alive for junior readers. 5+
Kids MY FIRST BOOK OF PATTERNS Bobby George, June George & Boyoun Kim (illus.)
Highly Recommended BILLY AND THE MINPINS Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake (illus.) Puffin PB $22.99 This brand-new edition of Dahl’s 1991 story has been illustrated by his long-term collaborator, Quentin Blake, for the first time. 6+
Phaidon HB $19.95
L SPECIA PRICE
Walker HB $32.99
CHARLIE AND LOLA: CLASSIC GIFT SLIPCASE
Pan PB $18.99
Dav Pilkey Scholastic HB Set $39.99 A three-book set celebrating the crime-biting canine who is part dog, part man and all hero! 6+
Hardie Grant Egmont HB $29.99
Wide-Eyed HB $27.99
In his debut children’s book, Australian actor, comedian and writer Shaun Micallef draws on the tropes, characters and plot lines of traditional fairy tales to create three new stories, endowing each with absurdist twists and more than a modicum of his trademark wit. Marketed in true Micallef style as ‘More grim than Grimms’, less soppy than Aesop’, Tales from a Tall Forest is a handsome volume that is sure to be as popular with parents and caregivers as it is for middle readers. 8+
HarperCollins HB $29.99
The action comes thick and fast in this tale for our times … and many other times. Thirteen-year-old Diego lives in a world where past, present and future have been thrown together and where prejudice between people from different eras is rife. Diego and his friends, including robots and cyborgs, have to try to save the children of this new world, and Diego’s special power might be the crucial factor. Pixar animator Armand Baltazar uses his illustrations as well as his words to tell the story – both are breathtaking. 8+
Pirates, Where’s Wally–style hidden picture spreads and a magnifying glass – this will be a dream combination for many kids. An educational book in disguise, Pirates Magnified explains the history of pirating life, introduces readers to famous pirates of yore, and explains ships and life on board. There are 10 things to spot on every doublepage spread, as well as a guide to talking pirate at the end, including the advice to ‘be loud and don’t forget to swagger’. Nonfiction for kids made fun. 5+
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY David McAllister & Gabriela Tylesova (illus.)
Hardie Grant Egmont HB $29.99
The perfect Christmas present for ballet-obsessed juniors, this retelling of the plot of the Tchaikovsky-scored ballet of the same name comes courtesy of David McAllister, creative director of the Australian Ballet, and is based on his much-lauded 2015 production of the ballet. Illustrations are by Gabriela Tylesova, who designed the lavish costumes and sets for the same production. 5+
TILLY’S REEF ADVENTURE Rhonda N Garward
NLA PB $19.99
Newly hatched Tilly the green turtle travels from the shoreline to the deep safety of the Great Barrier Reef in this instructive picture book inspired by treasures in the National Library of Australia. Along the way, she meets plenty of other sea creatures, as well as some kind children who get her out of a spot of bother involving a plastic bag. Life-like illustrations make the story all the more real as we accompany Tilly on her adventure, learning lots about the reef and the environment along the way. 4+
THIS MORTAL COIL Emily Suvada
TIMELESS: DIEGO AND THE RANGERS OF THE VASTLANTIC Armand Baltazar
Jennifer Mathieu Hodder PB $19.99 When teenager Vivian Carter stands up to sexism in her American high school, she unwittingly starts a feminist revolution that shakes her whole town. 12+
Taking inspiration from classic comic books, Renegades is set in a world where superheroes and supervillains, all with special superpowers, battle for supremacy in the aftermath of a revolution. Nova (aka Nightmare) has always belonged to the Anarchists who are determined to bring down the dominant heroes, the Renegades. But meeting the moral and caring Renegade Adrian (aka Sentinel) may just change her mind. Non-stop action (along with unfulfilled romance) from Meyer, the author of the popular The Lunar Chronicles, makes this a sure-fire winner. 12+
Hold on to your hats and prepare for a wild ride with a cursed child, a vampire dwarf and a talking cat. Jessica Townsend’s debut novel is a fast-paced, darkly funny fantasy for middle-graders, but its determined young heroine Morrigan Crow will likely capture the imaginations of readers of all ages. Nevermoor’s beautiful message of self-acceptance is an age-old one but here, familiar themes are given a dazzlingly fresh twist. A fan of JK Rowling and John Marsden, Townsend says she wrote the book she would most want to read. There’s immense buzz about this magical story and rightly so, as its unique characters and setting are immediately appealing and Townsend is a young Australian writer who looks set to take on the world. 8+
PIRATES MAGNIFIED David Long & Harry Bloom (illus.)
TALES FROM A TALL FOREST Shaun Micallef & Jonathan Bentley (illus.)
THE DOLDRUMS AND THE HELMSLEY CURSE
Nicholas Gannon HarperCollins HB $24.99 Another exciting adventure about Archer Helmsley (The Doldrums), this time following his quest to restore the reputation of his grandparents, once-famous (but now infamous) Arctic explorers. 8+
In the swirling storms of ancient Scandinavia, Asgard, the mead hall of the gods, sits on a darkened plain. Home to the legendary figures of Norse mythology, from Thor the thunderer to Loki the trickster, its stories are retold here by Kevin CrossleyHolland in magically poetic style. These characters were popular heroes of the ancient Norsemen, and their adventures and conflicts, epic ballads of battle and subtle tales of trickery make for an exciting volume. Jeffrey Allen Love's illustrations are every bit as enigmatic and mysterious as the mythological characters they depict. 9+
RENEGADES Marissa Meyer
Lauren Child Orchard PB SET WAS $39.99 NOW $24.95 Slipcased set of two Charlie and Lola toddler-training classics: I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed and I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato. 2+
DOG MAN COLLECTION: BOOKS 1–3
Lothian PB $16.99
NORSE MYTHS: TALES OF ODIN, THOR AND LOKI Kevin Crossley-Holland & Jeffrey Alan Love (illus.)
BUILD THE DRAGON
Dugald A Steer, Douglas Carrel & Jonathan Woodward (illus.) Walker Books HB $24.99 Build a spectacular 3D moving model of a dragon, then wind up the motor and watch it come to life! After that, you can find out everything you need to know about dragons from around the world in the accompanying book. 7+
The premise (‘A lot of shapes make a lot of patterns’) is as simple as it is educational, and this durable board book is a delightful way to share shapes and patterns, as well as colours and everyday objects, with very young children. With a gorgeous, bright design and just enough text to keep it interesting for grown-up readers (hands up who know what a chevron is!), My First Book of Patterns is a perfect gift for baby’s first Christmas. 0+
NEVERMOOR Jessica Townsend
Puffin PB $17.99
Catarina’s father Cole, one of the world’s leading geneticists, has died and taken with him humanity’s best chance of beating a devastating virus. Or so Catarina thinks. But then she realises that Cole has created a vaccine – one that only she can find and decrypt. As Catarina follows the clues Cole has left, she comes under the malevolent attention of Cartaxus, a shadowy organisation with a stranglehold on the world’s genetic tech. Set in a genetically and technologically advanced future and featuring a strong, clever and compassionate heroine, this exciting tale by a debut Australian writer will be a hit with readers aged 12+.
Kids L SPECIA PRICE
Penguin HB WAS $27.99 NOW $22.99
BER DECEM SE RELEA
TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN John Green
Never one to shy away from tackling confrontational issues, superstar YA author John Green has followed up his bestselling novels about cancer and mortality (A Fault in Our Stars) and teenage suicide (Looking for Alaska) with this insightful story about 16-year-old Aza, who suffers from anxiety and copes with this by self-harming. When Aza and her best friend Daisy set out to solve the mystery of the disappearance of local billionaire Russell Pickett, Aza reconnects with Pickett’s son Davis, a poet and stargazer who is in many ways as vulnerable as Aza. Believable, sympathetic characters (including Aza’s mother) and an ending that offers hope for both Aza and Davis temper the sombre themes and make this as readable, sensible and topical as Green’s previous books. 15+
L SPECIA PRICE
Chronicle HB WAS $34.99 NOW $19.99
THE VERY NOISY BABY Alison Lester
Affirm Press HB $24.99
‘In a little pink house on the edge of the town, lived a baby who made unusual sounds.’ Cue delightful and slightly quirky babies, kids, families and animals, all in the now-legendary style of Alison Lester. With gentle rhymes and plenty of animal noises (‘Hoo! Moo! Growl! Squawk!’), we find out how one noisy baby and her clever sister help the farmers and zookeepers and birdwatchers and brothers of this town find their missing animals. After which effort, one very noisy baby no longer makes a peep – good night!
UQP PB $19.95
Viking HB $24.99
Viking HB $24.99
Seventeen-year-old Addie is a runaway from boarding school who is trying to bring meaning into her life as she reconnects with the town of her childhood. Taking on a job at the local historical society, she meets carefree Jarrod, a boy who seems set to free her from a boring and predictable life. But it soon becomes clear that Jarrod isn’t as carefree as he seems, and life isn’t always predictable. In this heart-warming tale, debut Australian writer Kate O’Donnell delivers an insightful and enjoyable look at teenage life and relationships. 15+
Highly Recommended MY LAZY CAT
Christine Roussey Abrams HB $21.99 Another adorable picture book from the author and illustrator of In My Heart (Abrams HB $19.99), this time about Boomer, a roly-poly and extremely lazy cat. 2+
THE MYSTERIOUS WORLD OF COSENTINO
Cosentino with Jack Heath Scholastic PB $9.99 The first book in a new series by the Australian magician and escape artist Cosentino has an exciting plot and includes bonus trick cards. 7+
ONE CHRISTMAS WISH
Katherine Rundell & Emily Sutton (illus.) Bloomsbury HB $24.99 A richly illustrated picture book about treasuring the people and values that really matter and celebrating the magic of Christmas. 3+
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley Text PB $16.99
THE WAR I FINALLY WON Kimberly Brubaker Bradley Text PB $19.99 Very occasionally, a novel or series of novels hits a perfect chord with a worldwide readership, dominating the bestseller lists and instantly garnering the tag ‘classic’. These two novels by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley are two such books. Reminiscent in both storyline and emotional impact to Michelle Magorian’s much-loved 1981 novel Goodnight Mister Tom, Bradley’s tale is set in England during WW2 and is about plucky but damaged Ada, burdened by talipes (clubfoot) and an unimaginably horrible early childhood, but saved by the love of her young brother Jamie, adopted mother Susan and the residents of the rural village to which she and Jamie have been evacuated. Hugely rewarding reading for boys, girls and everyone else aged 9+.
THE WIZARDS OF ONCE Cressida Cowell
Hodder PB $19.99
The author of the mega-selling How to Tame Your Dragon puts two unusual main characters at the heart of this equally unusual book, the first in a new series. Wish is the daughter of the Queen of the Warriors, Xar the son of the King of Wizards, and neither can please their royal parent. Warriors and Wizards are enemies, but Wish and Xar find common cause when Witches and their evil magic turn out not to be – as previously thought – extinct. This treasure of a novel is sometimes dark, often funny and always smart. 8+
THE WOLF, THE DUCK & THE MOUSE Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen (illus.)
WHAT’S UP TOP? Marc Martin
Simple, playful and absurdist, What’s Up Top? offers children and the adults reading to them lots of room for exploration. Marc Martin’s inviting watercolour pictures of reading baboons, castles with moats and the moon as a yellow balloon are deceptively simple. Their gentle detail follows the example of the words, inviting you to look – and guess – again, and again. Young readers are also encouraged to reconsider what at first glance might seem obvious, showing us that there’s no one way to look at the world, and never just one answer. 3+
A rocket launches off the page, Earth rises up in front of your eyes and the Milky Way spirals towards you in this nifty lift-theflaps, pull-the-tabs and pop-out book that brings all things space to life. Kids can learn about astronauts and astronomy, rockets and exploring robots, space stations and satellites, the Moon and Mars, and much more. Originally published in French, it has stunning design to go along with the interactive fun and explanatory text. 5+
THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE
THE WHIZ MOB AND THE GRENADINE KID Colin Meloy & Carson Ellis (illus.)
The latest book by the team behind the acclaimed Wildwood (Puffin PB $22.99) is an amusing adventure yarn that middle readers are sure to love. Bored and lonely Charlie witnesses a group of pickpockets at work in a busy city square in Marseille. Rather than reporting the crime to the police, he protects one of the culprits and importunes the gang to teach him the tricks of their trade. Soon Charlie is a member of the Whiz Mob, an international band of child thieves, and is drawn into a dangerous adventure. 9+
THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF SPACE Anne-Sophie Baumann & Olivier Latyck (illus.)
UNTIDY TOWNS Kate O’Donnell
UNEARTHED Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Unearthed is a genuine page-turner, introducing its readers to a perfectly developed world and hugely attractive characters. The plot twists and turns like the maze-like temple through which the main characters Mia and Jules must find their way. Mia is a scavenger, trawling through Allen & Unwin PB the detritus of an Earth ravaged by climate change, while Jules is a genius scholar. Each $19.99 has her own reason for being on Gaia – an alien planet billions of light years away where Earth believes it might find the technology to save itself. Fascinating philosophical questions are buried in the plot. 12+
Walker HB $24.99
You’ll be surprised by what happens to a mouse after he gets swallowed by a wolf in this new collaboration from an awardwinning duo. All is not as it seems in this action story and modern-day fable. Expect to feel an instant fondness for the inventive mouse and duck, who find creative ways to manage their situation, and even some sympathy for the wolf as he repents and reflects on the ethics of his behaviour. Adorable illustrations and an imaginative storyline are sure to keep a broad age group entertained. 3+
THE PINK SUITCASE
Susie Morganstern & Serge Bloch (illus.) Wilkins Farrago HB $26.99 Benjamin’s grandmother gives him a pink suitcase and to his mother’s horror, he absolutely loves it. A warm-hearted and amusing tale about being different and celebrating the individual. 3+
RUBY RED SHOES STORY TREASURY
Kate Knapp HarperCollins HB $49.99 A handsome slipcased collection of three charming stories about the adventures of Ruby the hare and her grandmother, Babushka: Ruby Red Shoes; Ruby Red Shoes Goes to Paris; and Ruby Red Shoes Goes to London. 5+
RJ Palacio Puffin PB $19.99 This powerful story is about Auggie, a 10-year-old boy born with a terrible facial abnormality who must convince his new classmates at school to accept him for what he is rather than what he looks like. 9+
Mira Bartok Walker HB $24.99 In this exciting fantasy tale, shy Arthur and his best friend Trinket escape from the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures and embark on an adventure in the wider world to uncover Arthur’s true destiny. 10+
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PROJECT MANAGER: VIRGINIA MAXWELL. REVIEWS: NIKKI ANDERSON, STELLA CHARLS, BRONTE COATES, JIM CRAWFORD, TOM CRAWFORD, CHRIS GORDON, MAX HANDSAKER, LOU HEINRICH, LORIEN KAYE, SALLY KEIGHERY, DAVID MCCLYMONT, MICHELLE MARTLAND, VIRGINIA MAXWELL, SONIA NAIR, MARK RUBBO, JOANNE SHIELLS, VERONICA SULLIVAN & SAM VAN ZWEDEN. EDITOR: VIRGINIA MAXWELL. PROOFREADER: JANET AUSTIN. COVER ILLUSTRATOR: OSLO DAVIS. DESIGNER: MARY CALLAHAN. PRINTER: PMP.
Summer 2017's best books selected by your favourite independent bookseller.