New Books / Reviews
Listings and Reviews of New Books Winter 2023
For millennia, owls have captivated and intrigued us. Our fascination with these mysterious birds was first documented more than thirty thousand years ago in the Chauvet Cave paintings in southern France.
With their forward gaze and quiet flight, owls are often a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, and foresight. But what does an owl really know? And what do we really know about owls? Though our fascination goes back centuries, scientists have only recently begun to understand in deep detail the complex nature of these extraordinary birds. Some two hundred sixty species of owls exist today, and they reside on every continent except Antarctica, but they are far more difficult to find and study than other birds because they are cryptic, camouflaged, and mostly active in the dark of night.
The extraordinary story of Mary Reibey – immortalised on the Australian $20 note, Australia’s first female entrepreneur and the most powerful woman in colonial history
In 1791, teenage runaway and sometime horse thief Mary Reibey narrowly escaped the English gallows with transportation to the brutal new penal colony at Sydney Cove. It was the beginning of a 60-plus year story of bravery and tenacity. Within two decades Mary would overcome the stigma of her convict past to become the richest woman in colonial Australia.
For generations Blackwood Bay, a quaint village in northern England, has been famous only for the smuggling that occurred along its coastline centuries ago, but then two local girls disappear bringing the town a fresh and dark notoriety.
When Alex, an ambitious documentary filmmaker, arrives in Blackwood Bay, she intends to have the residents record their own stories as her next project. But instead of a quaint community, Alex finds a village blighted by economic downturn and haunted by a tragedy that overshadows every corner.
Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?
Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.
Welcome to Christine’s life.
Dolly Maunder was born at the end of the nineteenth century, when society’s long-locked doors were starting to creak ajar for women. Growing up in a poor farming family in country New South Wales but clever, energetic and determined, Dolly spent her restless life pushing at those doors.
In this compelling new novel, Kate Grenville uses family memories to imagine her way into the life of her grandmother. This is the story of a woman, working her way through a world of limits and obstacles, who was able to make a life she could call her own. Her battles and triumphs helped to open doors for the women who came after.
The Boys’ Club is the must-read inside story behind the power and politics of AFL, Australia’s biggest sport.
Revealing how the fledgling state administrative body evolved into the Australian Football League and its meteoric rise to become one of the richest and most powerful organisations in the land, award-winning investigative journalist Mick Warner delivers a fascinating insight into key figures and their networks.
What if we got it wrong?
What if the first five chapters of the Bible weren’t about good and evil at all?
What if they contained a hidden meaning, evidence of a divine grand plan?
Throughout history, a select few have been entrusted with the knowledge that the future of human civilisation boils down to a single test. A test that’s conducted every second century and just happens to coincide with major turning points in human history.
What if the choices you made determined the outcome?
Five ordinary people from London who stumble across a hidden set of ruins are about to find out.
Billions of people around the world enjoy an unprecedented standard of living based on one thing: oil. And each year we demand more. We produce and consume energy not simply to heat, feed, move or defend ourselves, but to educate, entertain, construct our world then fill it with stuff. Everything we buy, from a McDonalds’ hamburger to garden furniture to cancer drugs, represents a measure of energy produced and consumed. But how can this sustain itself, when already we have burned our way through half the easily available oil? Yet the pursuit of fuel is relentless. It can shape the diplomatic, economic and military strategies of nations, perverting the cultures and politics of entire regions; it props up corrupt governments and dictators; it fosters the instability and resentments that have already spawned Muammar Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. In this devastating piece of reportage, Paul Roberts shows what is likely to happen, why the transition from oil will be complicated, traumatic and possibly dangerous, and what it will mean for our daily lives.
For years, Mitch Rapp’s bold actions have saved the lives of countless Americans. He has killed with impunity, tortured to avert disaster, and shown he will do whatever it takes to prevent terrorists from fulfilling their bloody wishes. His battles for peace and freedom have made him a hero to many, and an enemy to countless more. In the tangled, duplicitous world of espionage, there are those, even among America’s allies, who want to see Mitch Rapp eliminated. They have decided the time has come. Now, the powerful father of a dead terrorist demands vengeance in its simplest form, an eye for an eye, and Rapp instantly becomes the target of an international conspiracy. This time he must use all of his vigilance and determination to save himself before he can turn his fury on those who have dared to betray him.
Draws on first-person testimonies and forensic records to document the events surrounding the 1666 Great Fire of London that destroyed more than 13,000 homes, numerous buildings, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, in an account that considers the roles played by such figures as Charles II, Samuel Pepys, and Christopher Wren.
A sharp contemporary morality tale, cleverly disguised as a comic novel, Amsterdam is “a dark tour de force, perfectly fashioned” from the bestselling author of Atonement.
On a chilly February day, two old friends meet in the throng outside a London crematorium to pay their last respects to Molly Lane. Both Clive Linley and Vernon Halliday had been Molly’s lovers in the days before they reached their current careers. Clive is Britain’s most successful modern composer, and Vernon is a newspaper editor. Gorgeous, feisty Molly had other lovers, too, notably Julian Garmony, Foreign Secretary, a notorious right-winger tipped to be the next prime minister. In the days that follow Molly’s funeral, Clive and Vernon will make a pact with consequences that neither could have foreseen.
Martha Elliott, maverick psychotherapist, harbours some dark secrets from her own past and is more interested in achieving good outcomes for her clients than playing by the rules. Martha blends counselling with breathing exercises, meditation, foot massages and whatever it takes. In a series of intense encounters with her clients, deep insights and raw truths about human nature emerge, including reflections on the nature of psychotherapy itself.
Cinnamon Gardens Nursing Home is nestled in the quiet suburb of Westgrove, Sydney and populated with residents with colourful histories, each with their own secrets, triumphs and failings. This is their safe place, an oasis of familiar delights, a beautiful garden, a busy kitchen and a bountiful recreation schedule.
But this ordinary neighbourhood is not without its prejudices. The serenity of Cinnamon Gardens is threatened by malignant forces more interested in what makes this refuge different rather than embracing the calm companionship that makes this place home to so many. As those who challenge the residents’ existence make their stand against the nursing home with devastating consequences, our characters are forced to reckon with a country divided.
Sam always knew he was starting life on the back foot. When his parents split, Sam, his mother and his brother had to learn to survive in a world not built for single-parent families. Add to that Sam’s diagnosis with a form of dwarfism and the odds seemed stacked against them. As surgeons kept breaking and resetting Sam’s legs in attempts to keep him walking, disability and poverty collided, and it took all the family’s strength not to crumple in the impact.
With each change in circumstance, jobs gained and lost, relationships starting and ending, moving between city and country and from school to school, Sam tried to make sense of the adult decisions that kept shaking his world. Armed with hope, the support of friends and teachers, and the unwavering love of his mum, he began to claw his way to a brighter future.
The unlikely story of how a failed dishwasher, tour guide, cabinet maker, bus driver, bookseller and literary journal publisher became one of Australia’s hottest humour essayists.
Robert Skinner arrives in the city, searching for a richer life. Things begin badly and then, surprisingly, get slightly worse. Pretty soon he’s sleeping rough and trying to run a literary magazine out of a dog park. His quest for meaning keeps being thwarted, by gainful employment, house parties, ill-advised love affairs, camel trips, and bureaucratic entanglements. This wryly subversive book of adventures (and misadventures) offers an original and utterly hilarious take on work and escape.
The Matilda Effect is the exciting, inspiring, sometimes infuriating and always colourful story of the Australian women’s football (soccer) team, the Matildas, and their ultimately successful struggle, alongside other women from around the world, to compete in World Cup football. From the 1980s, when women had to pay to participate in the pilot Women’s World Cup, to 2019, when the principle of equal pay for women players was finally accepted amid surging interest in their game, the voices of key figures emerge. The Matilda Effect takes the reader out of the stands and onto the pitch, into the team’s hotels, buses, boardrooms and social media universe, where positive change has been wrestled into being.
In the cold, wet summer of 1960, 11-year-old Joy Henderson lives in constant fear of her father. She tries to make him happy but, as he keeps reminding her, she is nothing but a filthy sinner destined for Hell. Yet, decades later, she returns to the family’s farm to nurse him on his death bed. To her surprise, her ‘perfect’ sister Ruth is also there, whispering dark words, urging revenge. Then the day after their father finally confesses to a despicable crime, Joy finds him dead, with a belt pulled tight around his neck.
For Senior Constable Alex Shepherd, investigating George’s murder revives memories of an unsolved case still haunting him since that strange summer of 1960: the disappearance of nine-year-old Wendy Boscombe.
The scene in the West Village studio appears to be classic crime-of-passion: two wine glasses by the bed, music playing, and a young sculptor named Ariel Byrd with the back of her head bashed in. But when Dallas tracks down the wealthy Upper East Side woman who called 911, the details don’t add up. Gwen Huffman is wealthy, elegant, comforted by her handsome fiancé as she sheds tears over the trauma of finding the body–but why did it take an hour to report it? And why is she lying about little things?
“Not much daylight left now”. So begins the field diary of Alix Verhoeven, whose impulsive acceptance of an offer to spend Easter on a remote island has turned into a terrifying ordeal. Hiding in a tiny cave, she carefully rations out her meagre supplies, while desperately trying to figure out how to escape the men hunting her. She is determined not to be a victim.
Called in to examine what is left of a body struck by lightning, Tempe traces an unusual tattoo to its source and is soon embroiled in a much larger case. Young men, tourists, have been disappearing on the islands of Turks and Caicos for years. Seven years ago, the first victim was found in a strange location with both hands cut off, the other visitors vanished without a trace. But, recently, tantalising leads have emerged and only Tempe can unravel them.
The holidays are here. The extended family has gathered. The cars are packed and the convoy sets off. The cottage is a few hours drive away, but not everyone will live to see it. For Jill, her three sons, their wives and children, a terrifying road crash will tear apart their family. The crash will be an accident but the shattering that follows has been long coming. Because at the heart of this family lies a secret, concealed, wrestled with, festering and harmful and nothing now can stop it coming out.
David Trevellyan is a Royal Navy intelligence operative who usually works undercover, sometimes with the approval of his masters and sometimes not. On a seemingly normal evening, he takes a lonely late-night walk between a restaurant and his New York City hotel. A familiar huddled shape in the mouth of an alley catches his eye, a homeless man has been shot to death. Trevellyan steps forward and a cop car arrives. A split second too late, Trevellyan realizes he’s been set up.
But Trevellyan isn’t worried. He’s a hard man from the shadowy world of Royal Navy Intelligence. He’s been in and out of trouble a thousand times before. But the NYPD quickly hands the problem to the FBI. Trevellyan is sucked deeper into the system. And the British Consulate tells him: You’re on your own now, mate.
From the creation of the first encyclopaedia to Wikipedia, from ancient museums to modern kindergarten classes–this is a look at how humans acquire, retain, and pass on information and data, and how technology continues to change our lives and our minds.
With the advent of the internet, any topic we want to know about is instantly available with the touch of a smartphone button. With so much knowledge at our fingertips, what is there left for our brains to do? At a time when we seem to be stripping all value from the idea of knowing things, no need for math, no need for map-reading, no need for memorization, are we risking our ability to think? As we empty our minds, will we one day be incapable of thoughtfulness?
Drawing on sources dating from the First Fleet until federation – from paintings and poems to reports of public meetings and parliamentary debates – this text shows that an environmental aesthetic is as deep-set in the Australian culture as the inability to turn environmental concern into practice.
The latest gripping story in the popular Wyatt thriller series kicks off in Sydney and then unfolds on the beaches of Newcastle.
Some people just work better alone. Wyatt’s one of them. He’s been getting by on nice quiet little burglaries, one-man jobs when he gets wind of something bigger.
A corporate crook, notorious Ponzi schemer, set to face court and certain jail time. He’s about to skip bail the old-fashioned way: on a luxury yacht with a million dollars in cash.
Wyatt thinks it sounds like something he should get into.
Ellis and Michael are twelve when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how to swim, discovering poetry, and dodging the fists of an overbearing father. And then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more.
But then we fast forward a decade or so, to find that Ellis is married to Annie, and Michael is nowhere in sight. Which leads to the question, what happened in the years between?
The story of two families in small-town Basque country, pitted against each other by the ideology and violence of the terrorist group ETA, from the unrelentingly grim 1980s to October 2011 when the group proclaimed an end to its savage insurgency. Erstwhile lifetime friends, especially the generation of parents on both sides, the two families become bitter enemies when a father of one is killed by ETA militants, among them one of the sons of the other family. Told through a succession of more than one hundred short sections devoted to a rich multiplicity of characters whose role in the story becomes clear as one reads. Homeland brilliantly unfolds in nonlinear fashion as it traces the consequences for the families of both the murder victim and the perpetrator.
It is 1985 in a small Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man faces his busiest season. Early one morning, while delivering an order to the local convent, Bill makes a discovery which forces him to confront both his past and the complicit silences of a town controlled by the church.
At a busy festival site on a warm spring night, a baby lies alone in her pram, her mother vanishing into the crowds.
A year on, Kim Gillespie’s absence casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather deep in the heart of South Australian wine country to welcome a new addition to the family. Joining the celebrations is federal investigator Aaron Falk. But as he soaks up life in the lush valley, he begins to suspect this tight-knit group may be more fractured than it seems.
Between Falk’s closest friend, a missing mother, and a woman he’s drawn to, dark questions linger as long-ago truths begin to emerge.
Set in the 19th century, The Romantic is the story of life itself. Following the roller-coaster fortunes of a man as he tries to negotiate the random stages, adventures and vicissitudes of his existence, from being a soldier to a pawnbroker, a jailbird to a gigolo to a diplomat, this is an intimate yet sweeping epic.
Bedbound in her attic room beneath the falling rain, in the margin between this world and the next, Ruth Swain is in search of her father.
To find him Ruthie must first trace the jutting jaw lines, narrow faces and gleamy skin of the Swains from the restless Reverend Swain, her great-grandfather, to grandfather Abraham, to her father, Virgil, via pole-vaulting, leaping salmon, poetry and the three thousand, nine hundred and fifty eight books piled high beneath the two skylights in her room, beneath the rain.
One bright spring morning in London, Diana Cowper, the wealthy mother of a famous actor, enters a funeral parlour. She is there to plan her own service. Six hours later she is found dead, strangled with a curtain cord in her own home.
Enter disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne, a brilliant, eccentric investigator who’s as quick with an insult as he is to crack a case. Hawthorne needs a ghost writer to document his life; a Watson to his Holmes. He chooses Anthony Horowitz.
In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who threatened the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric.
Mary Trump spent much of her childhood in her grandparents large, imposing house in the heart of Queens, where Donald and his four siblings grew up. She describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who occupied the Oval Office.
Growing up in Hitler’s Germany, Charlotte von Klein had big dreams for the future. Her mind is full of plans for a sumptuous wedding to her childhood sweetheart Heinrich while working for the Luftwaffe, proudly giving her all for the Fatherland.
But in 1943, the tide of the war is turning against Germany, and Lotte’s life of privilege and comfort begins to collapsing around her. As Hitler’s Reich abandons Germany and the country falls to the Allied forces, Lotte is forced to flee from the unfolding chaos to the country with the darkly attractive Erich Drescher, her Luftwaffe superior.
Annie Shearer lives in the town of Upson Downs with her best friend, an adopted stray dog called Runt. The two share a very special bond. After years of evading capture Runt is remarkably fast and agile, perfect for herding runaway sheep. But when a greedy local landowner puts her family’s home at risk, Annie directs Runt’s extraordinary talents towards a different pursuit – winning the Agility Course Grand Championship at the lucrative Krumpet’s Dog Show in London. However there is a catch. Runt will only obey Annie’s commands if nobody else is watching. With all eyes on them Annie and Runt must beat the odds and the fastest dogs in the world to save her farm. To find out what happens you will need to borrow the book from the Children’s Collection at the Library.
A missing private investigator is found, locked in a car hidden deep in the woods. Worse still, both for his family and the police, is that his body was in an area that had already been searched. Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is part of a new inquiry, combing through the mistakes of the original case. There were always suspicions over how the investigation was handled and now, after a decade without answers, it’s time for the truth.
Every officer involved must be questioned, and it seems everyone on the case has something to hide, and everything to lose. But there is one man who knows where the trail may lead and that it could be the end of him: John Rebus.
Dyarubbin, the Hawkesbury-Nepean River, is where the two early Australias, ancient and modern, first collided. People of the River journeys into the lost worlds of the Aboriginal people and the settlers of Dyarubbin, both complex worlds with ancient roots. The settlers who took land on the river from the mid-1790s were there because of an extraordinary experiment devised half a world away. Modern Australia was not founded as a gaol, as we usually suppose, but as a colony. Britain’s felons, transported to the other side of the world, were meant to become settlers in the new colony. They made history on the river: it was the first successful white farming frontier, a community that nurtured the earliest expressions of patriotism, and it became the last bastion of eighteenth-century ways of life. The Aboriginal people had occupied Dyarubbin for at least 50,000 years. Their history, culture and spirituality were inseparable from this river Country. Colonisation kicked off a slow and cumulative process of violence, theft of Aboriginal children and ongoing annexation of the river lands. Yet despite that sorry history, Dyarubbin’s Aboriginal people managed to remain on their Country, and they still live on the river today.
Mma Ramostwe’s friend will persuade her to stand for election to the City Council. ‘We need women like her in politics,’ Mma Potokwani says, ‘instead of having the same old men every time . . .’
To be elected, Mma Ramotswe must have a platform and some policies. She will have to canvas opinion. She will have to get Mma Makutsi’s views. Her slogan is ‘I can’t promise anything – but I shall do my best’. Her intention is to halt the construction of the Big Fun Hotel, a dubious, flashy hotel near a graveyard, an act that many consider to be disrespectful. Mma Ramotswe will take the campaign as far as she can, but lurking around the corner, as ever, is the inextinguishable Violet Sephotho.
Not many have lived as many lives as Archie Roach: stolen child; seeker; teenage alcoholic; lover; father; musical and lyrical genius; leader, but it took him almost a lifetime to find out who he really was.
In this intimate, moving and often shocking memoir, Archie’s story is an extraordinary odyssey through love and heartbreak, family and community, survival and renewal – and the healing power of music. Overcoming enormous odds to find his story and his people, Archie voices the joy, pain and hope he found on his path through song to become the legendary singer-songwriter and storyteller that he is today – beloved by fans worldwide.
Deng Adut’s family were farmers in South Sudan when a brutal civil war altered his life forever. At six years old, his mother was told she had to give him up to fight. Deng was conscripted into the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. He began a harsh, relentless military training where he was trained to use an AK-47 and sent into battle.
Deng was rescued from war by his brother John. Hidden in the back of a truck, he was smuggled out of Sudan and into Kenya. Here he lived in refugee camps until he was befriended by an Australian couple. With their help and the support of the UN, Deng Adut came to Australia as a refugee.
This is an inspiring story of a man who has overcome deadly adversity to become a lawyer and committed worker for the disenfranchised, helping refugees in Western Sydney.
The Girl from Purple Mountain begins when the Chai family matriarch, Ruth Mei-en Tsao Chai, dies unexpectedly and her grieving husband discovers that she had secretly arranged to be buried alone rather than in the shared plots they had purchased together years ago.
Ruth was born in China at the beginning of the 20th century, during the reign of the last emperor. Educated by American missionaries, she was one of the first women admitted into a Chinese university, during an era when most Chinese women were illiterate and had bound feet. She would defy tradition and refuse to marry the man her family had chosen for her, instead choosing his younger brother as her husband. Later, as the Japanese Army advanced across China during World War II, her foresight and quick thinking kept her family alive as she, her husband, and their three sons were forced to flee from city to city. In war-torn Chungking, she was Lady Mountbatten’s interpreter as the Allies struggled to help China. After the war, the Chais immigrated to the U.S. to what seemed, until Ruth’s death, a happier and more peaceful life.
Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbours and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.
With the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon she feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking outside her home. Until late one night she wakes in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.
For Rosa Thorn, the death of husband Rob in a hit-and-run accident has had tragic consequences for the whole family. With added money problems, Rosa is forced to take a job as a drama teacher in order to pay for her children’s private school fees. So when a new lodger, a respectable policeman, fits seamlessly into the household, Rosa finally allows herself to believe that they’ve turned a corner. But this faint glimmer of hope is quickly extinguished.
Dead, mutilated animals start appearing on the Thorn doorstep. A sinister man is stalking her daughter, Anna, and the body of a young girl is found in the neighbourhood park. Nobody is above suspicion and the more Rosa encounters the friendly façade of urban living, the more she is convinced that there is a terrifying world lurking just under the surface. With a potential murder case to solve, suddenly everybody becomes a suspect.
While English-born soldiers, sailors and surveyors have claimed pride of place among the explorers of the young New South Wales colony, the real pathfinder was a genuine native-born Australian. Hamilton Hume, a man with a profound understanding of the Aboriginal people and an almost mystical relationship with the Australian bush, led settlers from the cramped surrounds of Sydney Town to the vast fertile country that would provide the wealth to found and sustain a new nation.
Robert Macklin tells the heroic tale of this young Australian man who outdid his English ‘betters’ by crossing the Blue Mountains, finding a land route from Sydney to Port Phillip and opening up western New South Wales. His contribution to the development of the colony was immense but downplayed in deference to explorers of British origin. Hamilton Hume uncovers this brave man’s achievements and paints an intriguing and at times shocking portrait of colonial life.
Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown, Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover’s paradise? Well, almost …
In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.
The last thing Gwen Cooper wanted was another cat. She already had two, not to mention a phenomenally underpaying job and a recently broken heart. Then Gwen’s veterinarian called with a story about a three-week-old eyeless kitten who’d been abandoned. It was love at first sight.
Everyone warned that Homer would always be an “underachiever,” never as playful or independent as other cats. But the kitten nobody believed in quickly grew into a three-pound dynamo, a tiny daredevil with a giant heart who eagerly made friends with every human who crossed his path. Homer scaled seven-foot bookcases with ease and leapt five feet into the air to catch flies in mid-buzz. He survived being trapped alone for days after 9/11 in an apartment near the World Trade Centre, and even saved Gwen’s life when he chased off an intruder who broke into their home in the middle of the night.
Over six years of imprisonment in Australia’s offshore migrant detention centre, the Kurdish-Iranian journalist and writer Behrouz Boochani bore personal witness to the suffering and degradation inflicted on him and his fellow refugees, culminating eventually in his prize-winning book, No Friend but the Mountains. In the articles, essays, and poems he wrote while detained, he emerged as both a tenacious campaigner and activist, as well as a deeply humane voice that reflects the indignity and plight of the many thousands of detained migrants across the world.
In this book Boochani’s collected writings are combined with essays from experts on migration, refugee rights, politics, and literature. Together, they provide a moving, creative and challenging account of not only one writer’s harrowing experience and inspiring resilience, but the wider structures of violence which hold thousands of human beings in a state of misery in migrant camps throughout Western nation-states and beyond.
“According to your 1939 Gestapo file, you adopted the cover names Landau and Maxim. The name your mother and father gave you was Moses. We knew you as Max. You had worked in secret. From an early age you concealed yourself – like the grey box beetle in the final country of your exile, maturing on its journey out of sight beneath the bark of the tree. You risked death every day. And when at last the struggle became hopeless, you escaped the hell and found a haven in China first, and then Australia, where you became one of those refugees who, in their final place of exile, chose not death but silence and obscurity”.
Alex Miller followed the faint trail of Max Blatt’s early life for five years. Max’s story unfolded, slowly at first, from the Melbourne Holocaust Centre’s records then to Berlin’s Federal Archives. From Berlin, Miller travelled to Max’s old home town of Wroclaw in Poland. And finally in Israel with Max’s niece, Liat Shoham, and her brother Yossi Blatt, at Liat’s home in the moshav Shadmot Dvora in the Lower Galilee, the circle of friendship was closed and the mystery of Max’s legendary silence was unmasked.
For years, Mitch Rapp’s bold actions have saved the lives of countless Americans. He has killed with impunity, tortured to avert disaster, and shown he will do whatever it takes to prevent terrorists from fulfilling their bloody wishes. His battles for peace and freedom have made him a hero to many, and an enemy to countless more. In the tangled, duplicitous world of espionage, there are those, even among America’s allies, who want to see Mitch Rapp eliminated. They have decided the time has come. The powerful father of a dead terrorist demands vengeance in its simplest form, an eye for an eye, and Rapp instantly becomes the target of an international conspiracy. This time, he must use all of his vigilance and determination to save himself before he can turn his fury on those who have dared to betray him.
When Katherine of Aragón is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure. With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined along with Margaret’s younger sister Mary, to a sisterhood unique in all the world. The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland, and France.
United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other. Katherine commands an army against Margaret and kills her husband James IV of Scotland. But Margaret’s boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne when Katherine loses her son. Mary steals the widowed Margaret’s proposed husband, but when Mary is widowed it is her secret marriage for love that is the envy of the others. As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss, and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives is their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.
After the violent death of her husband, Callie Jones retreats to a cottage in the grounds of an old mansion in Tasmania. The relative remoteness of the place and the wild beauty of the Tasmanian landscape are a balm to her shattered nerves and the locals seem friendly, particularly horseman Connor Atherton and his siblings at the nearby property, Calico Lodge. But the old mansion has a sinister past, one associated with witchcraft and murder.
As Callie is threatened by odd events in the night and strange dreams overtake her sleep, she begins to doubt her own sanity. What’s really going on beneath the surface of this apparently peaceful town? Are her friends and neighbours really who they seem? As events escalate, Callie starts to realise that the mansion may hold the key to unlocking the mystery, but the truth might have as much power to destroy as it does to save.
A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making, from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy.
In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency, a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.
Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.
When Ex-Detective Inspector Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, are invited to an exclusive literary festival on Alderney, an idyllic island off the south coast of England, they don’t expect to find themselves in the middle of murder investigation or to be trapped with a cold-blooded killer in a remote place with a murky, haunted past.
When a local grandee is found dead under mysterious circumstances, Hawthorne and Horowitz become embroiled in the case. The island is locked down, no one is allowed on or off, and it soon becomes horribly clear that a murderer lurks in their midst. But who?
‘Our deal is over.’ That’s what reluctant author Anthony Horowitz tells ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne in an awkward meeting. The truth is that Anthony has other things on his mind. His new play, Mindgame, is about to open in London’s Vaudeville theatre. Not surprisingly Hawthorne declines a ticket.
On opening night, Sunday Times critic Harriet Throsby gives the play a savage review, focusing particularly on the writing. The next morning she is found dead, stabbed in the heart with an ornamental dagger which, it turns out, belongs to Anthony and which has his finger prints all over it.
Anthony is arrested, charged with Throsby’s murder, thrown into prison and interrogated. Alone and increasingly desperate, he realises only one man can help him. But will Hawthorne take his call?
Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?
Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.
Keith grew up one of thirteen children in the shadow of the Great Depression and the Second World War. After seeing his father come home wounded from war, Keith joined the army. He was sent to fight in Korea at just 18 years old, the bloody beginning to decades of military service across the world.
His life was defined by one night in 1969. In the dark jungle of Vietnam, under heavy enemy fire, Keith returned to a fled battlefield to rescue 40 of his soldiers. For his extreme act of bravery in leading his men to safety, Keith became the last Australian to earn the Victoria Cross for forty years.
Keith spent decades in the public spotlight while struggling with his own demons, then found new purpose as an advocate for others. In a lifetime of service, he has helped not only veterans of foreign wars, but also Indigenous diggers and communities left behind by civilian and military bureaucracy.
A new friendship. An unforgettable journey. A beautiful and bloody history. This is Iceland as you’ve never read it before. Broadcaster Richard Fidler and author Kári Gíslason are good friends. They 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 most. The sagas are among the greatest stories ever written, but the identity of their authors is largely unknown. Together, Richard and Kári 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. And there is another mission: to resolve a longstanding family mystery, a gift from Kari’s Icelandic father that might connect him to the greatest of the saga authors.
The First Astronomers is the first book to reveal the rich knowledge of the stars and the planets held by First Peoples around the world.
Our eyes have been drawn away from the skies to our screens. We no longer look to the stars to forecast the weather, predict the seasons or plant our gardens. Most of us cannot even see the Milky Way. But First Nations Elders around the world still maintain this knowledge, and there is much we can learn from them.
These Elders are expert observers of the stars. They teach that everything on the land is reflected in the sky, and everything in the sky is reflected on the land. How does this work, and how can we better understand our place in the universe?
During WW2 there was a rumour that German spies were landing by parachute in Britain, dressed as nuns…
Conradin Muller was an unusual spy. He was recruited in Hamburg in June 1943, much against his will, and sent on his first, and only, mission in late September that year. He failed to send a single report back to Germany, and when the War came to an end in May 1945, he fell to his knees and wept with relief.
From a highly reluctant German spy who is drawn to an East Anglian nunnery as his only means of escape, to the strange tale of one of the Cambridge spy ring’s adventures with a Russian dwarf, these are Alexander McCall Smith’s intriguing and typically inventive stories from the world of espionage.
Hirsch’s rural beat is wide. Daybreak to day’s end, dirt roads and dust. Every problem that besets small towns and isolated properties, from unlicensed driving to arson. In the time of the virus, Hirsch is seeing stresses heightened and social divisions cracking wide open. His own tolerance under strain; people getting close to the edge.
Today he’s driving an international visitor around: Janne Van Sant, whose backpacker son went missing while the borders were closed. They’re checking out his last photo site, his last employer. A feeling that the stories don’t quite add up.
Newly-minted homicide detective Nell Buchanan returns to her home town, annoyed at being assigned a decades-old murder.
But this is no ordinary cold case, as the discovery of more bodies triggers a chain of escalating events in the present day. As Nell starts to join the pieces together, she begins to question how well she truly knows those closest to her. Could her own family be implicated in the crimes?
The first book in CWA Gold Dagger Award-winning British espionage series starring a team of MI5 agents united by one common bond: They’ve screwed up royally and will do anything to redeem themselves.
London, England: Slough House is where the washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their failed careers. The “slow horses,” as they’re called, have all disgraced themselves in some way to get relegated here. Maybe they messed up an op badly and can’t be trusted anymore. Maybe they got in the way of an ambitious colleague and had the rug yanked out from under them. Maybe they just got too dependent on the bottle, not unusual in this line of work. One thing they all have in common, though, is they all want to be back in the action. And most of them would do anything to get there even if it means having to collaborate with one another.
On her twelfth birthday, Sierva Maria, the only child of a decaying noble family in an eighteenth-century South American seaport, is bitten by a rabid dog. Believed to be possessed, she is brought to a convent for observation. And into her cell stumbles Father Cayetano Delaura, who has already dreamed about a girl with hair trailing after her like a bridal train. As he tends to her with holy water and sacramental oils, Delaura feels something shocking begin to occur. He has fallen in love, and it isn’t long until Sierva Maria joins him in his fevered misery.
Unsettling and indelible, Of Love and Other Demons is an evocative, majestic tale of the most universal experiences known to woman and man.
When Ukrainian journalist Iuliia Mendel got the call she had been hired to work for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, she had no idea what was to come.
In this frank and moving inside account, Zelenskyy’s former press secretary tells the story of his improbable rise from popular comedian to the president of Ukraine. Mendel had a front row seat to many of the key events preceding the 2022 Russian invasion. From attending meetings between Zelenskyy and Putin and other European leaders, visiting the front lines in Donbas, to fielding press inquiries after the infamous phone calls between Donald Trump and Zelenskyy that led to Trump’s first impeachment.
We all know the Sun, the powerhouse of our solar system, but what about Luyten’s Flare, the Rosino-Zwicky Object or Chanal’s variable star? For those whose curiosity takes them far beyond Earth’s atmosphere, The Secret Life of Stars offers a personal and readily understood introduction to some of the Galaxy’s most remarkable stars.
Each chapter connects us to the various different and unusual stars and their amazing characteristics and attributes, from pulsars, blue stragglers and white dwarfs to cannibal stars and explosive supernovae. With chapter illustrations by Eirian Chapman, this book brings to life the remarkable personalities of these stars, reminding readers what a diverse and unpredictable universe we live in and how fortunate we are to live around a stable star, our Sun.
An intimate tale of three generations, from the Civil War to the 20th century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America’s heart. In the words of Kirkus, it is a novel “as big as a nation, as quiet as thought, and moving as prayer. Matchless and towering.” Gilead tells the story of America.
La Stone is a widow who, as the Nazi threat looms, assembles a ragtag orchestra in rural Suffolk in hopes of altering “the temper of the world.” She falls for one of her recruits, a Polish pilot with a suspicious past. But patriotism trumps passion, leaving La to worry if her life will always be “a play in which I have no real part.”
Set in the days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the story of a Hollywood star, his would-be saviour, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.
First published in 1975, this diary records the experiences of a Welshman who arrived in Australia in 1869 at the age of 51 and spent the next 25 years working on farms in the Ballarat and Castlemaine area and as a street worker for the Maldon council.
Kirsty Everett was going to be an Olympic gymnast. But as she made plans to win gold, life, as it does, laughed at the goal she’d set. Aged nine, she was diagnosed with leukaemia and spent the next two and a half years in treatment and attending the funerals of children she met in the cancer ward. At the age of sixteen, Kirsty’s cancer returned. Faced with a devastating prognosis, she threw herself into as much as she could – friends, school, drama, sport, even a life-writing course with Patti Miller. As she said, ‘I thought if I was going to die I should write some things down.’
The Garretts take their first and last family vacation in the summer of 1959. They hardly ever leave home, but in some ways they have never been further apart. Mercy has trouble resisting the siren call of her aspirations to be a painter, which means less time keeping house for her husband, Robin. Their teenage daughters, steady Alice and boy-crazy Lily, could not have less in common. Their youngest, David, is already intent on escaping his family’s orbit, for reasons none of them understand. Yet, as these lives advance across decades, the Garretts’ influences on one another ripple ineffably but unmistakably through each generation.
Luke is “The One”. After everything she’s been through, Georgia knows she deserves someone like him, to make her feel loved and safe. The only problem is his ex-girlfriend. Luke says Cadence is having trouble moving on. She texts Luke all the time and leaves aggressive notes on Georgia’s car. Georgia starts to feel afraid, but she decides to confront Cadence and that’s when things get interesting.
When frantic, dishevelled Edie Ledwell appears in the office begging to speak to her, private detective Robin Ellacott doesn’t know quite what to make of the situation. The co-creator of a popular cartoon, The Ink Black Heart, Edie is being persecuted by a mysterious online figure who goes by the pseudonym of Anomie. Edie is desperate to uncover Anomie’s true identity.
Robin decides that the agency can’t help with this and thinks nothing more of it until a few days later, when she reads the shocking news that Edie has been tasered and then murdered in Highgate Cemetery, the location of The Ink Black Heart.
“From growing your own food to composting, building a rocket stove, radical hope to car sharing, this book is centred around showing people how living an ordinary life can make an extraordinary contribution to countering the climate emergency.
Whether you have a large farm, a half-acre, a backyard, a tiny balcony or no balcony at all, there are tips and tricks to suit everyone.
“Hannah makes my heart smile. Her honesty, insight and conviction are the building blocks of the good life” (Costa Georgiadis).”
In 1914, when the war draws the young men of Britain away to fight, it is the women who must keep the nation running. Two of those women are Peggy and Maude, twin sisters who work in the bindery at Oxford University Press in Jericho. Peggy is intelligent, ambitious and dreams of going to Oxford University, but for most of her life she has been told her job is to bind the books, not read them. Maude, meanwhile, wants nothing more than what she has. She is extraordinary but vulnerable. Peggy needs to watch over her.
When refugees arrive from the devastated cities of Belgium, it sends ripples through the community and through the sisters’ lives. Peggy begins to see the possibility of another future where she can use her intellect and not just her hands, but as war and illness reshape her world, it is love, and the responsibility that comes with it, that threaten to hold her back.
Destructive bushfires are increasing in frequency and intensity around the world. For people living in fire prone areas there are no reliable guides about which plants have low flammability and which are frighteningly flammable. Safer Gardens is that guide, with over 500 plants assessed, based on fire research from around the world.
Readers can look up a plant in the Plant Flammability Table to get an idea of its flammability then turn to the A–Z for more detailed information. The book contains advice about ways to create a more firesafe garden, including the need to carefully manage the use of mulch and hedges.
Futureproof Your Garden is a go-to resource for anyone who wants expert advice on how to use, capture and store water efficiently in times of drought or deluge. Angus and Emma help you to choose plants that not only suit your personal style, but that can adapt to changing environments. A photographic plant directory is packed with information on what to plant where, and the pair share design know-how that’s adaptable to outdoor spaces of all sizes. Soil care is considered in comprehensive detail, and photo essays offer step-by-step garden DIY how-tos, including wicking beds, capillary watering, deep irrigation and ollas.
Egypt is under attack and Pharaoh Tamose lies mortally wounded. The ancient city of Luxor is surrounded, All seems lost. Taita, advisor to the Pharaoh, prepares for the enemy’s final, fatal push. The ex-slave, now general of Tamose’s armies, is never more ingenious than when all hope is dashed. And this is Egypt’s most desperate hour.
Anyone who despairs of the individual’s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools, especially for girls, that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit.
Michaela and Eve are two bright, bold women who befriend each other their first year at a residential college at university, where they live in adjacent rooms. They could not be more different; one assured and popular, the other uncertain and eager-to-please. But something happens one night in O-week. A drunken encounter, a foggy memory that will force them to confront the realities of consent and wrestle with the dynamics of power.
Two teenagers, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, meet at a taverna on the island they both call home. In the taverna, hidden beneath garlands of garlic, chili peppers and creeping honeysuckle, Kostas and Defne grow in their forbidden love for each other. A fig tree stretches through a cavity in the roof, and this tree bears witness to their hushed, happy meetings and eventually, to their silent, surreptitious departures. The tree is there when war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to ashes and rubble, and when the teenagers vanish. Decades later, Kostas returns. He is a botanist looking for native species, but really, he’s searching for lost love.
In this updated edition of the bestselling book, Finding the Heart of the Nation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander author Thomas Mayor gets behind the politics and legal speak to explain why the Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation to all Australians.
It’s easy to become daunted by the task of Reconciliation. That’s why Evolve Co-Directors Carla and Munya set about developing a framework that makes it achievable through a commitment to practical, every-day action. The resulting seven steps take Australians on a journey of discovery, transforming them into champions of change.
Tim Low, award-winning author of Feral Future, in an eye-opening book on the unique nature of Australian birds and their role in ecology and global evolution.