Fiction

The Life to Come

by Michelle de Kretser

Set in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, The Life to Come is a mesmerising novel about the stories we tell and don’t tell ourselves as individuals, as societies and as nations. It feels at once firmly classic and exhilaratingly contemporary. Pippa is a writer who longs for success. Celeste tries to convince herself that her feelings for her married lover are reciprocated. Ash makes strategic use of his childhood in Sri Lanka but blots out the memory of a tragedy from that time. Driven by riveting stories and unforgettable characters, here is a dazzling meditation on intimacy, loneliness and our flawed perception of other people. Profoundly moving as well as wickedly funny, The Life to Come reveals how the shadows cast by both the past and the future can transform, distort and undo the present. This extraordinary novel by Miles Franklin-winning author Michelle de Kretser will strike to your soul.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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So Much Life Left Over

by Louis de Bernières

It’s the summer of 1968, the year of love and hate, of Prague Spring and Cold War winter. Two English students, Ellie and James, set off to hitch-hike across Europe with no particular aim in mind but a continent, and themselves, to discover. Somewhere in southern Germany they decide, on a whim, to visit Czechoslovakia where Alexander Dubcek’s “socialism with a human face” is smiling on the world. Meanwhile Sam Wareham, a first secretary at the British embassy in Prague, is observing developments in the country with a mixture of diplomatic cynicism and a young man’s passion. In the company of Czech student, Lenka Koneckova, he finds a way into the world of Czechoslovak youth, its hopes and its ideas. It seems that, for the first time, nothing is off limits behind the Iron Curtain. Yet the wheels of politics are grinding in the background. The Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev is making demands of Dubcek and the Red Army is massed on the borders. How will the looming disaster affect those fragile lives caught up in the invasion?

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Shepherd’s Hut

by Tim Winton

Jaxie dreads going home. His mum’s dead. The old man bashes him without mercy, and he wishes he was an orphan. But no one’s ever told Jaxie Clackton to be careful what he wishes for. In one terrible moment his life is stripped to little more than what he can carry and how he can keep himself alive. There’s just one person left in the world who understands him and what he still dares to hope for. But to reach her he’ll have to cross the vast saltlands on a trek that only a dreamer or a fugitive would attempt.

FORMAT: Hardback | PRICE: $39.99

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House of Gold

by Natasha Solomons

The Goldbaums’ influence reaches across Europe. They are the confidants and bankers of governments and emperors. Little happens without their say-so and even less without their knowledge. But Greta Goldbaum has no say at all in whom she’ll marry. While power lies in wealth, strength lies in family. Greta’s union with cousin Albert will strengthen the bond between the Austrian and the English branches of the dynasty. It is sensible and strategic. Greta is neither. Defiant and unhappy, she is desperate to find a place that belongs to her, free from duty and responsibility. But just as she begins to taste an unexpected happiness, the Great War is looming and even the Goldbaums can’t alter its course. For the first time in two hundred years, the family will find themselves on opposing sides. The House of Goldbaum, along with Europe herself, is about to break apart.

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Love and Ruin

by Paula McLain

In 1937, courageous and independent Martha Gellhorn travels to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War, and finds herself drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in devastating conflict. She also finds herself unexpectedly – and uncontrollably – falling in love with Ernest Hemingway, a man already on his way to being a legend. In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the tumultuous backdrops of Madrid, Finland, China, and especially Cuba, where Martha and Hemingway made their home, their relationship and professional careers ignite. But when Hemingway publishes the biggest literary success of his career, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the suffocating demands of a domestic lifestyle, or risk losing her husband by forging her way as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that will force her to break his heart, and her own.

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Art of Persuasion

by Susan Midalia

Twenty-five-year-old Hazel is reading the classics, starting with ‘A’. It’s one way to pass the time when you’ve quit your job and lost your way. But then she has a chance encounter with an irresistible older man. When Hazel is partnered with him on a political campaign, her attraction is deepened by the strength of his convictions. Adam seems to be attracted to her too – but why is he resisting? And what does Jane Austen have to teach a young woman about life, love and literature in the 21st century?

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The Librarian

by Salley Vickers

Sylvia Blackwell, a young woman in her twenties, moves to East Mole, a quaint market town in middle England, to start a new job as a children’s librarian. But the apparently pleasant town is not all it seems. Sylvia falls in love with an older man – but it’s her connection to his precocious young daughter and her neighbours’ son which will change her life and put them, the library and her job under threat. How does the library alter the young children’s lives and how do the children fare as a result of the books Sylvia introduces them to? See page 365 for a reference to The Lane Bookshop.

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The Tattooist Of Auschwitz

by Heather Morris

Lale Sokolov is well-dressed, a charmer, a ladies’ man. He is also a Jew. On the first transport from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942, Lale immediately stands out to his fellow prisoners. In the camp, he is looked up to, looked out for, and put to work in the privileged position of Tetovierer – the tattooist – to mark his fellow prisoners, forever. One of them is a young woman, Gita, who steals his heart at first glance. His life given new purpose, Lale does his best through the struggle and suffering to use his position for good. This story, full of beauty and hope, is based on years of interviews author Heather Morris conducted with real-life Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz- Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. It is heart-wrenching, illuminating, and unforgettable.

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Circe

by Madeline Miller

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft. When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. and wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home. There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

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The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted

by Robert Hillman

Tom Hope doesn’t think he’s much of a farmer, but he’s doing his best. He can’t have been much of a husband to Trudy, either, judging by her sudden departure. It’s only when she returns, pregnant to someone else, that he discovers his surprising talent as a father. So when Trudy finds Jesus and takes little Peter away with her to join the holy rollers, Tom’s heart breaks all over again. Enter Hannah Babel, quixotic small town bookseller: the second Jew – and the most vivid person – Tom has ever met. He dares to believe they could make each other happy. But it is 1968: twenty-four years since Hannah and her own little boy arrived at Auschwitz. Tom Hope is taking on a battle with heartbreak he can barely even begin to imagine.

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The Lucky Galah

by Tracy Sorenson

It’s 1969 and a remote coastal town in Western Australia is poised to play a pivotal part in the moon landing. Perched on red dunes looms the great Dish: a relay for messages between Apollo 11 and Houston, Texas. Radar technician Evan Johnson and his colleagues stare, transfixed, at the moving images on the console -although his glossy young wife, Linda, seems distracted. Meanwhile the people of Port Badminton have gathered to watch Armstrong’s small step on a single television sitting centre stage in the old theatre. The Kelly family, a crop of redheads, sit in rare silence. Roo shooters at the back of the hall squint through their rifles to see the tiny screen. I’m in my cage on the Kelly’s back verandah. I sit here, unheard, underestimated, biscuit crumbs on my beak. But fate is a curious thing. For just as Evan Johnson’s story is about to end (and perhaps with a giant leap), my story prepares to take flight…

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The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

by Holly Ringland

After her family suffers a tragedy, nine-year-old Alice Hart is forced to leave her idyllic seaside home. She is taken in by her grandmother, June, a flower farmer who raises Alice on the language of Australian native flowers, a way to say the things that are too hard to speak. Under the watchful eye of June and the women who run the farm, Alice settles, but grows up increasingly frustrated by how little she knows of her family’s story. In her early twenties, Alice’s life is thrown into upheaval again when she suffers devastating betrayal and loss. Desperate to outrun grief, Alice flees to the dramatically beautiful central Australian desert. In this otherworldly landscape Alice thinks she has found solace, until she meets a charismatic and ultimately dangerous man. Spanning two decades, set between sugar cane fields by the sea, a native Australian flower farm, and a celestial crater in the central desert, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart follows Alice’s unforgettable journey, as she learns that the most powerful story she will ever possess is her own.

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Warlight

by Michael Ondaatje

Warlight is a vivid, thrilling novel of violence and love, intrigue and desire. It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz and years of war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn’t know or understand in that time, and it is this journey – through reality, recollection, and imagination – that is told in this magnificent novel.

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Only Story

by Julian Barnes

Time and Memory are once again the focus for Barnes’s latest offering, a novel told in three parts. Part one, we watch Paul, callow, arrogant and hopelessly young fall in love with the older and oh so different from his mother, Mrs Macleod. Age is as irrelevant as money as the excitement of their illicit and unconventional affair carries the teenage Casey Paul, as he is affectionally dubbed by Mrs Macleod, out of his teens. Part two sees Casey Paul and Mrs Macleod leave the hedges of privet of their suburb for a flat in London. Still studying he naively believes” work will be something I jogged along with; love would be my life.” Ten years pass, cracks begin to appear and the harsh reality that love can’t always save hits home. Part three and an aged Paul is thinking back on his life, recognizing that memory isn’t always reliable and is definitely biased, leaving us to ponder if, “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

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Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

by Stuart Turton

Did you enjoy An Instance of the Fingerpost? Did you play Cluedo? Are you willing to just let go and listen to a masked figure while trying to keep one step ahead of a psychotic footman, while trying to solve a murder that hasn’t been committed, while inhabiting the body of 8 different hosts on 8 different days – then this mind boggling mystery is for you. Fabulous! ‘We have work to do,’ he says. ‘I have a puzzle which requires a solution.’ ‘I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else,’ I say. ‘I’m just a doctor.’ ‘You were a doctor,’ he says. ‘Then a butler, today a playboy, tomorrow a banker. None of them are your real face, or your real personality. Those were stripped from you when you entered Blackheath and they won’t be returned until you leave.’ Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden can identify her killer. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different person. And some hosts are most helpful than others…

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Anatomy of a Scandal

by Sarah Vaughan

If you have power, wealth and good looks, can you get away with anything? Married politician James Whitehouse has been having an affair with a young staffer. After the affair finishes and a final fling together, the young girl reports rape. He said it wasn’t. How does his supportive wife feel about this and the inevitable court case that will scrutinise their lives? Can his long time university friend and prime minister support him? The female prosecutor is fierce and determined that this handsome, charming, popular man will not get away with it simply because of his privileged life. A thrilling read.

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Sing, Unburied, Sing

by Jesmyn Ward

Marty, Liz and Jules lose their parents in a car crash estranging the siblings as they each attempt to deal with their loss. Narrated by Jules, we follow him into the loneliness of his adolescence, flinching at the betrayals and into a manhood where loneliness still haunts him until years later he reconnects with his first love Alva. Throughout the years Marty, Liz and Jules continue to orbit each other, brushing up against each other and ricochetting away until recognition and acceptance allows them to reunite. Achingly sad and breathtakingly beautiful.

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The End of Loneliness

by Benedict Wells

Marty, Liz and Jules lose their parents in a car crash estranging the siblings as they each attempt to deal with their loss. Narrated by Jules, we follow him into the loneliness of his adolescence, flinching at the betrayals and into a manhood where loneliness still haunts him until years later he reconnects with his first love Alva. Throughout the years Marty, Liz and Jules continue to orbit each other, brushing up against each other and ricochetting away until recognition and acceptance allows them to reunite. Achingly sad and breathtakingly beautiful.

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In the Garden of the Fugitives

by Ceridwen Dovey

The book begins with Vita and Royce reconnecting after years of separation. Royce is now dying and nostalgic for closure. Vita, a former film student grant beneficiary from the endowment established by the much older benefactor Royce, obliges. So begins a sketching out via email of their shared past and what has occurred since they were apart. Royce’s time working in Pompeii during the 1970s,In the Garden of the Fugitives, serve as metaphor for the excavation of their shared and connected pasts and an ultimate register of bodily life. Surprising and duplicitous, this novel explores the effects of guilt on the human psyche in a series of fascinating revelations. Well worth the journey.

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The Death of Noah Glass

by Gail Jones

The art historian Noah Glass, having just returned from a trip to Sicily, is discovered floating face down in the swimming pool at his Sydney apartment block. His adult children, Martin and Evie, must come to terms with the shock of their father’s death. But a sculpture has gone missing from a museum in Palermo, and Noah is a suspect. The police are investigating. None of it makes any sense. Martin sets off to Palermo in search of answers about his father’s activities, while Evie moves into Noah’s apartment, waiting to learn where her life might take her. Retracing their father’s steps in their own way, neither of his children can see the path ahead.

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New Crime Releases

Prague Spring

by Simon Mawer

It’s the summer of 1968, the year of love and hate, of Prague Spring and Cold War winter. Two English students, Ellie and James, set off to hitch-hike across Europe with no particular aim in mind but a continent, and themselves, to discover. Somewhere in southern Germany they decide, on a whim, to visit Czechoslovakia where Alexander Dubcek’s “socialism with a human face” is smiling on the world. Meanwhile Sam Wareham, a first secretary at the British embassy in Prague, is observing developments in the country with a mixture of diplomatic cynicism and a young man’s passion. In the company of Czech student, Lenka Koneckova, he finds a way into the world of Czechoslovak youth, its hopes and its ideas. It seems that, for the first time, nothing is off limits behind the Iron Curtain. Yet the wheels of politics are grinding in the background. The Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev is making demands of Dubcek and the Red Army is massed on the borders. How will the looming disaster affect those fragile lives caught up in the invasion?

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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The Zanzibar Wife

by Deborah Rodriguez

The Zanzibar Wife is the story of three different women, each at a turning point in her life . . .Oman is a place where tales of evil spirits and eerie phenomena abound. Into this magical nation come three remarkable women, each facing a crossroad in her life. Rachel, a troubled American war photographer who is struggling to shed the trauma of her career for a simpler, gentler life. Ariana Khan, a bubbly British woman struggling to keep up with the glitz of Dubai and ready to give up on love. And Miza, a young woman living far from her beloved homeland of Zanzibar. As the second wife of Tariq, she remains a secret from his terrifying ‘other’ wife, Maryam. Until one day, when Tariq fails to come home.

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The Sparsholt Affair

by Alan Hollinghurst

In 1940, Evert Dax and David Sparsholt, two young men, meet at Oxford University. Dax is a second year student reading English, coming from a rackety upper middle class background; Sparsholt is from a Midlands community and is reading engineering, a young man whose good looks and fine figure have proved highly attractive to his peers. This time is a unique one in the history of the university: with military call-up at twenty, soon brought forward to nineteen, almost all students come up to Oxford knowing that they will only have a year or so of study. A sense of futility is mixed with one of recklessness. Things happen that would possibly have not!

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Passage of love(web)Passage of Love

by Alex Miller

Sitting in a New York park, an old man holds a book and tries to accept that his contribution to the future is over. Instead, he remembers a youthful yearning for open horizons, for Australia, a yearning he now knows inspired his life as a writer. Instinctively he picks up his pen and starts at the beginning…At twenty-one years, Robert Crofts leaves his broken dreams in Far North Queensland, finally stopping in Melbourne almost destitute. It’s there he begins to understand how books and writing might be the saving of him. They will be how he leaves his mark on the world. He also begins to understand how many obstacles there will be to thwart his ambition. When Robert is introduced to Lena Soren, beautiful, rich and educated, his life takes a very different path. But in the intimacy of their connection lies an unknowability that both torments and tantalises as Robert and Lena long for something that neither can provide for the other. In a rich blend of thoughtful and beautifully observed writing, the lives of a husband and wife are laid bare in their passionate struggle to engage with their individual creativity.

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Saga Land

by Richard Fidler & Kari Gislason

Broadcaster Richard Fidler and author Kari Gíslason share a deep attachment to the sagas of Iceland – the true stories of the first Viking families who settled on that remote island in the Middle Ages. These are tales of blood feuds, of dangerous women and people who are compelled to kill the ones they love. The sagas are among the greatest stories ever written, but the identity of their authors is largely unknown. Together, Richard and Kari travel across Iceland to the places where the sagas unfolded a thousand years ago. They cross fields, streams and fjords to immerse themselves in the folklore of this fiercely beautiful island.

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A Long Way from Home

by Peter Carey

Irene Bobs loves driving fast. Her husband is the best car salesman in western Victoria. Together they enter the Redex Trial, a brutal race around the ancient continent over roads no car will ever quite survive. With them is their lanky fair-haired navigator, Willie Bachhuber, a quiz show champion and failed schoolteacher whose job it is to call out the turns, the grids, the creek crossings on a map that will finally remove them, without warning, from the lily-white Australia they know so well. This thrilling, high-speed story starts in one place and then takes you somewhere else. It is often funny, the more so as the world gets stranger, and always a page-turner, as you learn a history these characters never knew themselves.

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Manhattan Beach

by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles. Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief and glamorous career as a Ziegfield folly, and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a night club, she chances to meet Styles and she begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life and the reasons he might have been murdered.

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Munich

by Robert Harris

As Chamberlain’s plane judders over the Channel and the Führer’s train steams relentlessly south from Berlin, two young men travel with secrets of their own. Hugh Legat is one of Chamberlain’s private secretaries; Paul Hartmann a German diplomat and member of the anti-Hitler resistance. Great friends at Oxford before Hitler came to power, they haven’t seen one another since they were last in Munich six years earlier. Now, as the future of Europe hangs in the balance, their paths are destined to cross again. When the stakes are this high, who are you willing to betray?

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The Golden House

by Salman Rushdie

When powerful real-estate tycoon Nero Golden immigrates to The States under mysterious circumstances, he and his three adult children assume new identities and reinvent themselves as Roman emperors living in a lavish house in downtown Manhattan. Arriving shortly after the inauguration of Barack Obama, he and his sons quickly establish themselves at the apex of New York society. The story of the powerful Golden family is told from the point of view of their Manhattan neighbour and confidant, René, an aspiring filmmaker who finds in the Goldens the perfect subject. René chronicles the undoing of the house of Golden.

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See What I Have Done

by Sarah Schmidt

On August 4, 1892 Andrew and Abby Borden were murdered in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. During the inquest, Lizzie Borden was arrested and charged with the murder of her father and stepmother. Through the eyes of Lizzie’s sister Emma, the enigmatic stranger Benjamin and the beguiling Lizzie herself, we return to what happened that day in Fall River. Lizzie took an axe. Or did she?

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Reservoir 13 (Costa Winner 2018)

by Jon McGregor

Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home. Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed. The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life. As the seasons unfold there are those who leave the village and those who are pulled back; those who come together or break apart. There are births and deaths; secrets kept and exposed; livelihoods made and lost; small kindnesses and unanticipated betrayals. Bats hang in the eaves of the church and herons stand sentry in the river; fieldfares flock in the hawthorn trees and badgers and foxes prowl deep in the woods – mating and fighting, hunting and dying.

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (Best First Novel – Costa 2018)

by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life. Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

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Lincoln in the Bardo (Winner 2017 Man Booker)

by George Saunders

The American Civil War rages while President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son lies gravely ill. , Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body. From this seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of realism. Willie Lincoln finds himself trapped in a transitional realm – called, in Tibetan tradition, the bardo. The novel is written with George Saunders’ inimitable humour, pathos and grace. Lincoln in the Bardo poses a timeless question: how do we live and love when we know that everything we hold dear must end?

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A Gentleman in Moscow

by Amor Towles

On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov – recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt – is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol. But instead of being taken to his usual suite, he is led to an attic room with a window the size of a chessboard. Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. While Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval, the Count, stripped of the trappings that defined his life, is forced to question what makes us who we are.

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Home Fire (web)Home Fire (Long-listed for the Man Booker 2017)

by Kamila Shamsie

Isma is free. After years spent raising her twin siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she is finally studying in America, resuming a dream long deferred. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London – or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream: to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. Then Eamonn enters the sisters’ lives. Handsome and privileged, he inhabits a London worlds away from theirs. As the son of a powerful British Muslim politician, Eamonn has his own birthright to live up to – or defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz’s salvation? Two families’ fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined in this searing novel that asks: what sacrifices will we make in the name of love? A contemporary reimagining of Sophocles’ Antigone, Home Fire is an urgent, fiercely compelling story of loyalties torn apart when love and politics collide – confirming Kamila Shamsie as a master storyteller of our times.

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Inaugral meeting(web)The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club

by Sophie Green

In 1978, the Northern Territory has begun to self-govern. Cyclone Tracy is a recent memory and telephones not yet a fixture on the cattle stations dominating the rugged outback. Life is hard and people are isolated. However they find ways to connect. Sybil is the matriarch of Fairvale Station, run by her husband, Joe. Their eldest son, Lachlan, was Joe’s designated successor but he has left the Territory for good. It is up to their second son, Ben, to take his brother’s place. But that doesn’t stop Sybil grieving the absence of her child. With her oldest friend, Rita, now living in Alice Springs and working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and Ben’s English wife, Kate, finding it difficult to adjust to life at Fairvale, Sybil comes up with a way to give them all companionship and purpose: they all love to read, and she forms a book club.

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Extinctions(web)Extinctions (Winner of Miles Franklin 2017)

by Josephine Wilson

Professor Frederick Lothian, retired engineer, world expert on concrete and connoisseur of modernist design, has quarantined himself from life by moving to a retirement village. His wife, Martha, is dead and his two adult children are lost to him in their own ways. Surrounded and obstructed by the debris of his life – objects he has collected over many years and tells himself he is keeping for his daughter – he is determined to be miserable, but is tired of his existence and of the life he has chosen. When a series of unfortunate incidents forces him and his neighbour, Jan, together, he begins to realise the damage done by the accumulation of a lifetime’s secrets and lies, and to comprehend his own shortcomings. Finally, Frederick Lothian has the opportunity to build something meaningful for the ones he loves. Humorous, poignant, and galvanising by turns, Extinctions is a novel about all kinds of extinction – natural, racial, national, and personal – and what we can do to prevent them.

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Waiting for Monsieur(web)Waiting for Monsieur Bellivier

by Britta Rostlund

Helena Folasadu should of course say no. She doesn’t know the man talking to her, she doesn’t know Monsieur Bellivier, and she certainly isn’t waiting for him. But, bored of life, and sparked by a whim, she says yes. The go-between leads her to a deserted floor in an office building and offers her a large sum of money to sit at a computer and forward emails to Monsieur Bellivier. The emails turn out to be in code, and the bouquets Helena is handed every evening entangle her in an even greater mystery. Mancebo, a Tunisian shopkeeper, lives a quiet and ordered life, manning his grocery on a street leading to the Sacre-C ur. But one day he is approached by a woman asking whether he will spy on her boyfriend, who lives in the apartment across the street. To his surprise, Mancebo agrees. As he begins to focus on the man, his own life comes into focus, and he starts to suspect that his wife and cousin are leading secret lives. Helena and Mancebo don’t know it yet – they haven’t even met – but their missions will overlap in the most surprising ways. And, as they do, we will realise that the City of Light harbours secrets in its cafes and courtyards – more secrets than its inhabitants and visitors could possibly suspect…

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Choke(web)Choke

by Sofie Laguna

Abandoned by her mother and only occasionally visited by her secretive father, Justine is raised by her Pop, a man tormented by visions of the Burma Railway. Justine finds sanctuary in Pop’s chooks and The Choke, where the banks of the Murray River are so narrow it seems they might touch – a place of staggering natural beauty. But the river can’t protect Justine from danger. Her father is a criminal, and the world he exposes her to can be lethal. Justine is overlooked and underestimated, a shy and often silent observer of her chaotic world. She learns that she has to make sense of it on her own. She has to find ways to survive so much neglect. She must hang on to friendship when it comes, she must hide when she has to, and ultimately she must fight back. The Choke is a brilliant, haunting novel about a child navigating an often dark and uncaring world of male power and violence, in which grown-ups can’t be trusted and comfort can only be found in nature. This compassionate and claustrophobic vision of a child in danger and a society in trouble celebrates above all the indomitable nature of the human spirit.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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Crime Fiction and Thrillers

The Temptations of Forgiveness

by Donna Leon

When important information is leaked from inside the Venetian Questura, Commissario Guido Brunetti is entrusted with the task of uncovering which of his colleagues is responsible. But before Brunetti can begin his investigation, he is surprised by the appearance in his office of a friend of his wife’s, who is fearful that her son is using drugs. A few weeks later, Tullio Gasparini, the woman’s husband, is found unconscious with a serious head injury at the foot of a bridge, and Brunetti is drawn to pursue a possible connection to the boy’s behaviour. But the truth is not straightforward. Following various contradictory leads, Brunetti navigates his way through a world of mysterious informants, underground deals and secret longstanding scam networks, all the while growing ever more impressed by the intuition of his fellow Commissario, Claudia Griffoni, and by the endless resourcefulness of Signorina Elettra, Vice-Questore Patta’s secretary and gate-keeper. With Gasparini’s condition showing no signs of improvement, and his investigations leading nowhere, Brunetti is steadied by the embrace of his own family and by his passion for the classics. He turns to Sophocles’s Antigone in an attempt to understand the true purpose of justice, and, in its light, he is forced to consider the terrible consequences to which the actions of a tender heart can lead.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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The Ruin

by Dervla McTiernan

Galway 1993: Young Garda Cormac Reilly is called to a scene he will never forget. Two silent, neglected children – fifteen-year-old Maude and five-year-old Jack – are waiting for him at a crumbling country house. Upstairs, their mother lies dead. Twenty years later, a body surfaces in the icy black waters of the River Corrib. At first it looks like an open-and-shut case, but then doubt is cast on the investigation’s findings – and the integrity of the police. Cormac is thrown back into the cold case that has haunted him his entire career – what links the two deaths, two decades apart? As he navigates his way through police politics and the ghosts of the past, Detective Reilly uncovers shocking secrets and finds himself questioning who among his colleagues he can trust. What really did happen in that house where he first met Maude and Jack? The Ruin draws us deep into the dark heart of Ireland and asks who will protect you when the authorities can’t – or won’t.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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The Woman in the Window

by A J Finn

It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside. Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers. But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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The Punishment She Deserves

by Elizabeth George

When a Member of Parliament shows up in the office of the Assistant Commissioner at New Scotland Yard, trouble quickly follows. He is there to request an investigation into the suicide of the son of one of his constituents in the medieval town of Ludlow, who happens to be a wealthy brewer with a team of solicitors ready to file a major lawsuit over the death. The Assistant Commissioner sees two opportunities in this request: the first is to have an MP owing him a favour, and the second is to get rid of Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, whose career at the Met has been hanging by a thread for quite some time. So he assigns Barbara Havers to the case and partners her not with her regular partner but with the one person who shares his enthusiasm for ridding the Metropolitan Police of Barbara Havers, Detective Chief Superintendent Isabelle Ardery. But Ardery has her own difficulties, the most heartbreaking of which is the loss of her twin sons to a move to New Zealand. She is not happy to be sent away from London and as a result is in a rush to return. This rush causes her to overlook things, important things, and prevents her from uncovering an earlier crime that set everything in motion

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $29.99

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Macbeth

by Jo Nesbo

Set in a dark, rainy northern town, Nesbo’s Macbeth pits the ambitions of a corrupt policeman against loyal colleagues, a drug-depraved underworld and the pull of childhood friendships. Get ready to helter-skelter through the darkest tunnels of human experience.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $32.99

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Force of Nature

by Jane Harper

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side. The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – in just a matter of days she was to provide the documents that will bring down the company she works for. Falk discovers that far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. But does it include murder?

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $19.99

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Legacy of Spies(web)A Legacy of Spies

by John le Carré

Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, has retired to his family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London are to be scrutinised by a generation with no memory of the Cold War. Somebody must be made to pay for innocent blood once spilt in the name of the greater good.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $19.99

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The Force

by Don Winslow

All Denny Malone wants is to be a good cop. He is a highly decorated NYPD detective sergeant and the leader of ‘Da Force’. Malone and his crew are an elite special unit given carte blanche to fight gangs, drugs and guns. Every day and every night for eighteen years, Malone has served on the front lines, witnessing the hurt, the dead, the victims. He’s done whatever it takes to serve and protect in a city built by ambition and corruption, where no one is clean-including Malone himself. What only a few know is that Denny Malone is dirty. Now he’s caught in a trap and being squeezed by the Feds, and he must walk the thin line between betraying his brothers and partners, the Job and his family.

FORMAT: Paperback | PRICE: $19.99

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