Readings Recommends: Fiction

Stone Arabia

Stone Arabia

Dana Spiotta

Stone Arabia, Dana Spiotta's moving and intrepid third novel, is about family, obsession, memory, and the urge to create - in isolation, at the margins of our winner-take-all culture.

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Jane Austen Made Me Do it: Original Stories Inspired by Literature's Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart

Jane Austen Made Me Do it: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart

Laurel Ann Nattress

A Ballantine Books Trade Paperback original --T.p. verso.

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The Beautiful Indifference

The Beautiful Indifference

Sarah J. E. Hall

Whether it's a frustrated housewife seeking extreme experience or a young woman contemplating the death of her lover, dark devices and desires rise to the surface. This title focuses on characters that are real-life survivors.

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Domestic Violets

Domestic Violets

Matthew Norman

In the vein of Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perrotta comes DOMESTIC VIOLETS, Matthew Norman's darkly comic family drama about love, loss, and ambition.

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We Bought a Zoo (Film Tie-in): the Amazing True Story of a Broken-down Zoo, and the 200 Animals That Changed a Family Forever

We Bought a Zoo (Film Tie-in): the Amazing True Story of a Broken-down Zoo, and the 200 Animals That Changed a Family Forever

Benjamin Mee

A film tie-in edition to 20th Century Fox's film adaptation of the heart-warming international bestseller starring Scarlett Johansson and Matt Damon and directed by Oscar-winning director Cameron Crowe.

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Antwerp

Antwerp

Roberto Bolano

Crimes, campgrounds, vagrants, violence, poetry, sex, love and corruption -- they're all here: it's pure Bolano.

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The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul

Deborah Rodriguez

In a little coffee shop in one of the most dangerous places on earth, five very different women come together. As these five discover there's more to one another than meets the eye, they form a unique bond that will for ever...

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The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno

The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno

Ellen Bryson

A sumptuous period story with the most wondrously vibrant cast of characters -- this tale of secrets, friendship and forbidden love will leave you enchanted

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The Breakers

The Breakers

Claudie Gallay, Alison Anderson

Chosen by Le Monde and by readers of Elle as their Novel of the Year - a beautiful, resonant novel set on Normandy's coastline.

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Down the Rabbit Hole

Down the Rabbit Hole

Juan Pablo Villalobos, Rosalind Harvey, Adam Thirlwell

What Tochtli wants more than anything right now is a new pet for his private zoo: a pygmy hippopotamus from Liberia. But Tochtli is growing up in his drug baron father's luxury hideout, shared with hit men and dealers. Down the...

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 Read reviewIn Red

In Red

Magdalena Tulli, Bill Johnston

In Tulli's second novel, set in a mythical fourth partition of Poland, the world is unreal yet strangely familiar.

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The Lost Daughter

The Lost Daughter

Lucretia Grindle

A compelling new mystery from the author of The Villa Triste

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What it is Like to Go to War

What it is Like to Go to War

Karl Marlantes

From the author of MATTERHORN comes a vivid, visceral examination of what happens to a young man when he is sent into battle, based on Karl's own experiences as a decorated Marine.

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 Special price Read reviewThe Cat's Table

The Cat’s Table

Michael Ondaatje

A new novel, by turns poignant and electrifying, about the magical, often forbidden, discoveries of childhood and a lifelong journey that begins unexpectedly with a sea voyage.

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Breaking Away

Breaking Away

Anna Gavalda, Alison Anderson

On the car journey to a family wedding, Garance reflects on how adult life, with its disappointments and responsibilities, has not always gone to plan for herself or her three siblings.

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 Read reviewA Visit from the Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan, James Gurbutt

A novel that circles the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. It is about the interplay of time and music, about survival, about the...

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Peake's Progress

Peake’s Progress

Mervyn Peake, Maeve Gilmore

Peake's Progress is a selection of Mervyn Peake's work, compiled by his widow, Maeve Gilmore, from every period of his work as writer and draughtsman. It contains a remarkable work from childhood, and a generous selection from...

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Smut: Down and Dirty With the Filthiest Words

Smut: Down and Dirty With the Filthiest Words

Jonathon Green

The lexicon of sex

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 Read reviewForecast: Turbulence

Forecast: Turbulence

Janette Turner Hospital

FORECAST TURBULENCE is a breathtaking and exquisitely lyrical collection of nine short stories and one memoir piece from internationally acclaimed Australian author Janette Turner Hospital. Featuring a compelling and enigmatic...

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The Year of the Hare

The Year of the Hare

Arto Paasilinna, Herbert Lomas

The international bestseller. A novel of one man's existential journey away from his life and in to the wild. With a hare. Vatanen is a journalist in Finland. The car he is riding in accidentally hits a young wild hare. The...

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I Don't Know How She Does It

I Don’t Know How She Does It

Allison Pearson

Meet Kate Reddy, fund manager and mother of two. Factor in a manipulative nanny, an Australian boss who looks at Kate's breasts as if they're on special offer, a long-suffering husband, her in-laws, two needy children and an...

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 Read reviewInfrared

Infrared

Nancy Huston

From Nancy Huston - the Orange Prize shortlisted author of Fault Lines - comes Infrared: a smart and provocative novel of sexual intimacy and desire.

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 Read reviewSarah Thornhill

Sarah Thornhill

Kate Grenville

Kate Grenville takes us back to the early Australia of The Secret River and the Thornhill family. This is Sarah's story. It's a story of tangled secrets, a story of loss and unlooked-for happiness, and a story about the silent...

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The Honey Thief

The Honey Thief

Hillman, Robert, Mazari, Najaf

This extraordinary book, derived from the long oral tradition of storytelling in Afghanistan, presents a mesmerizing portrait of a people who triumph with intelligence and humor over the oppressions of political dictators and an...

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 Read reviewHouse of Sticks

House of Sticks

Peggy Frew

Bonnie, never domestically inclined, has given up her life as a musician to become a stay-at-home mother to three small children. She tells herself she has no regrets, but sometimes the isolation and endless drudgery are...

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 Read reviewHinterland

Hinterland

Caroline Brothers

An exquisite, unsettling novel about refugees and what it is to be underage, homeless and invisible in a foreign land

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The Chase

The Chase

Christopher Kremmer

When young scientist Jean Campbell is hired to eliminate drugs in sport she enters a murky world where power, privilege and corruption mix easily. In 1940s Sydney, Jean and her charismatic boss Howard Carter expose the cruel...

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The Story of Beautiful Girl

The Story of Beautiful Girl

Rachel Simon

On a stormy night in small-town America, a couple, desperate and soaked to the skin, knock on a stranger's door. When Martha, a retired schoolteacher living a safe and conventional life, answers their knock, her world changes...

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There Should be More Dancing

There Should be More Dancing

Rosalie Ham

Margery Blandon was always a principled woman who found guidance from the wisdom of desktop calendars. She lived quietly in Gold Street, Brunswick for 60 years until events drove her to the 43rd floor of the Tropic Hotel. As she...

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A Man You Can Bank On

A Man You Can Bank On

Derek Hansen

The cops want to arrest him. The crims want to kill him. The town wants to name a dog after him.

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When We Have Wings

When We Have Wings

Claire Corbett

The dream of being able to fly is now physical reality but only the rich and powerful can afford the surgery, drugs, and gene manipulation to become fliers. Peri, a poor girl from the regions, will sacrifice anything to get her...

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 Read reviewTwo Greeks

Two Greeks

John Charalambous

Two Greeks explores migrant life and family tensions in 1970s Australian suburbia. It is a bittersweet story about mentoring, delusion and a child's need to trust.

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The Godless Boys

The Godless Boys

Naomi Wood

A story of god, love and violence

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 Read reviewThe Book of Lies

The Book of Lies

Mary Horlock

An extraordinary portrait of life under Occupation

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 Read reviewThe Amateur Science of Love

The Amateur Science of Love

Craig Sherborne

Colin dreams of escaping his parents' New Zealand farm for a grand stage career. He makes it to London and a disastrous audition before meeting Tilda; beautiful Tilda, older, an artist; who brings his future with her. A heady...

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 Read reviewRiver of Smoke

River of Smoke

Amitav Ghosh

The sequel to the bestselling, Booker-shortlisted, Sea of Poppies

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The Lake

The Lake

Banana Yoshimoto, Michael Emmerich

A major literary sensation--the author of Hardboiled & Hard Luck --is back with a quietly stunning tour de force about a young woman who moves to Tokyo after the death of her mother and falls for a cult escapee.

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 Special priceThe Colour of Tea

The Colour of Tea

Hannah Tunnicliffe

Lost among the gaudy, busy streets of Macau, Grace's life is slowly unravelling. Her marriage to Pete, her Australian husband, is fraying and her dreams of having a family seem hopeless. With the heralding of a new year she...

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Shooting the Fox

Shooting the Fox

Marion Halligan

Shooting the Fox is brimming with surprising characters - the virgin and the pornographer, the adulterer, the translator, the defecting diplomat - and the inconveniences of modernity. In the end, though, it is a...

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Comedy in a Minor Key

Comedy in a Minor Key

Hans Keilson, Damion Searls

A penetrating study of ordinary people resisting the Nazi occupation - and, true to its title, a dark comedy of wartime manners - Comedy in a Minor Key tells the story of Wim and Marie, a Dutch couple who first hide a Jew they...

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 Special priceA Conspiracy of Friends: A Corduroy Mansions Novel

A Conspiracy of Friends: A Corduroy Mansions Novel

Alexander McCall Smith

The third novel in McCall's acclaimed series about the colourful inhabitants of Corduroy Mansions, Pimlico. This installment follows the adventures of Oedipus Snark, the nasty Liberal Democrat and his mother Berthea who is writing...

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 Read reviewLove in the Years of Lunacy

Love in the Years of Lunacy

Mandy Sayer

Sydney, 1942. Pearl is 18 beautiful and impetuous. She plays saxophone in an all-girl jazz band at the Trocadero. On one such evening black GI and jazz legend James Washington blows into her life, and nothing is ever the same...

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 Read reviewToo Close to Home

Too Close to Home

Georgia Blain

Shane, an Aboriginal man, moves up the road. He was once close to Matt, Freya's partner, and he not only brings with him a different approach to life, he also has news of a boy who might be Matt's son. Despite wanting to embrace...

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 Special priceAll the Time in the World

All the Time in the World

E. L. Doctorow

An astonishing book of short fiction by one of America's finest writers, the author of The March, Ragtime, and Homer & Langley.

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 Read reviewThe Forgotten Waltz

The Forgotten Waltz

Anne Enright

A memory of desire: a recollection of the bewildering speed of attraction, the irreparable slip into longing. In Terenure, a pleasant suburb of Dublin, in the winter of 2009, it has snowed. Gina Moynihan, girl about town, recalls...

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The Crossing

The Crossing

B. Michael Radburn

Traumatised by the disappearance of his daughter Claire, Taylor Bridges' marriage breaks down, and he exiles himself to Glorys Crossing in Tasmania. Struggling with the guilt of Claire's disappearance, Taylor is a chronic...

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The Precipice

The Precipice

Virginia Duigan

Thea Farmer, a reclusive and difficult retired school principal, lives with her dog in the Blue Mountains. Her career ended under a cloud a decade earlier, following a scandal involving a much younger male teacher. After losing...

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 Read reviewThe Ottoman Motel

The Ottoman Motel

Christopher Currie

Simon and his parents arrive in the town of Reception and check into the Ottoman Motel. Then, while Simon is asleep, his parents disappear. Are they lost? Has something terrible happened to them? Have they simply driven away? All...

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 Read reviewBig Girl Small

Big Girl Small

Rachel DeWoskin

Everybody needs a friend like Judy. She is whip-smart, hilarious, and her story is so real. She's a wonderful singer, full of big dreams for a big future and she's a dwarf. But why is she hiding out in a seedy motel on the edge of...

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Letty Fox: Her Luck

Letty Fox: Her Luck

Christina Stead, Carmen Callil

Letty Fox tells her story as a self-styled woman in New York's world of passion, love and sexual bargaining. As a bright, uninhibited daughter of a middle class couple who believes the world is her oyster, Letty Fox tells it all -...

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 Read reviewThe Book of Rachael

The Book of Rachael

Leslie Cannold

A young man is travelling the countryside around the Sea of Galilee preaching a message of love and justice. The preacher, Joshua of Nazareth, had a sister. Rachael falls in love with Joshua's friend, Judah of Iscariot. Then a...

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 Read reviewLittle People: A Novel

Little People: A Novel

Jane Sullivan

In 1870 the celebrated midget General Tom Thumb and his troupe are touring Australia. While in Melbourne, Tom Thumb is rescued from the Yarra River by an impoverished governess, Mary Ann. She is hired by the troupe, but soon...

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 Read reviewBearings

Bearings

Leah Swann

Bearings is about challenging the course of our lives as well as keeping a foothold during unpredictable times.Leah Swann burrows deep into the souls of her characters to reveal universal complexities, frailties and strengths....

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 Read reviewSnake

Snake

Kate Jennings

My life is about to begin. This is the only thought in Irene's head the day she marries a War veteran. But Irene is restless and rebellious, bored by her life as a farmer's wife. As they raise children and crops and dream of other...

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Under the Influence

Under the Influence

Jacqueline Lunn

Eve, now 34 and a concert cellist living in London, returns to an Australian country town for the funeral of her old school friend, Meg. As Eve and Sarah, also a school friend, face their friend Meg's death, they must also face...

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Jamrach's Menagerie

Jamrach’s Menagerie

Carol Birch

London, 1857: After surviving an encounter with an escaped tiger, nine-year-old Jaffy stumbles into a job for its owner, the wild animal collector, Mr Jamrach. Commissioned by Jamrach to find and collect a sea dragon, Jaf joins a...

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The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted

The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted

Bridget Asher

Brokenhearted, mourning the loss of her husband, Heidi travels with Abbott, her 8-year-old son, and Charlotte, her niece, to spend the summer repairing their family home in a small village in the south of France. There, thousands...

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 Read reviewA Love Letter from a Stray Moon

A Love Letter from a Stray Moon

Jay Griffiths

In this fictional tour de force Jay Griffiths creates a portrait of the artist Frida Kahlo - her devastating accident and her love for Diego Rivera - that is also a celebration of the spirit of poetry and the art of rebellion....

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The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

Lisa Verge Higgins

In every group of friends there is a leader, the one who brings the group together and encourages them to celebrate the friendship they share. Rachel Braun was that leader, until her life was cut tragically short. While her...

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The Betrayal

The Betrayal

Helen Dunmore

Leningrad, 1952. Andrei, a young hospital doctor and Anna, a nursery school teacher, are forging a life together in the post-war, post-siege wreckage. But their happiness is precarious, like that of millions of Russians who must...

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 Read reviewThe Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

Philip Pullman

In this ingenious and spell-binding retelling of the life of Jesus, Philip Pullman revisits the most influential story ever told.

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 Read reviewGone

Gone

Jennifer Mills

A young man is released from prison, his hands empty, his identity gone. He catches a train out of town, then hitchhikes west. He hasn't been home for 15 years. Out of the past, as memories surface, something is coming that will...

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 Read reviewMr. Rosenblum's List: Or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman

Mr. Rosenblum’s List: Or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman

Natasha Solomons

A charming novel about an irrepressible man, his long-suffering wife and a Very English dream.

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The Siege

The Siege

Helen Dunmore

Leningrad, September 1941. Hitler orders the German forces to surround the city at the start of the most dangerous, desperate winter in its history. For two pairs of lovers - Anna and Andrei, Anna's novelist father and banned...

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The Meeting Point

The Meeting Point

Lucy Caldwell

When Euan and Ruth set off with their young daughter to live in Bahrain, it is meant to be an experience and adventure they will cherish. But on the night they arrive, Ruth discovers the truth behind the missionary work Euan has...

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Nazi Literature in the Americas

Nazi Literature in the Americas

Roberto Bolano

Lucid, insane, deadly serious, wildly playful, biblomaniacal, and perversely imaginative' Nicole Krauss

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 Read reviewThe Summer without Men

The Summer without Men

Siri Hustvedt

An exhilarating tragicomedy about the war of the sexes and what makes women tick by the internationally bestselling author Siri Hustvedt.

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 Read reviewMe and Mr Booker

Me and Mr Booker

Cory Taylor

She should've said no when Mr Booker first tried to kiss her. That would've been the sensible thing to do. But Martha is 16, lives in a small dull town - a cemetery with lights - her father is mad, her home is stifling, and she's...

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Desert Fish

Desert Fish

Cherise Saywell

Gilly lives in a drought-ridden small town in 1970s Australia. She's left school but hasn't found a job, it's always hot and life seems a little pointless. Then Pete arrives. Gilly can't help but fall in love with him and one...

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August

August

Bernard Beckett

Trapped in a car wreck, upside down, bleeding, broken and in pain, Tristan and Grace are staring at death. As they await their fate, with only a glimmer of hope they might be seen and rescued, we discover the stories of their...

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 Read reviewBlack Glass

Black Glass

Meg Mundell

Sisters Tally and Grace have always dreamed of moving to the city. Yet neither of them ever expected to be living there broke, homeless and alone as happens when they become separated after an accident. The city, dominated by...

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 Read reviewDream of Ding Village

Dream of Ding Village

Yan Lianke, Cindy Carter

The life and death of an entire community is told by a dead boy. His story reveals the moral vacuum at the heart of Communist-capitalist China. During a blood-contamination scandal in Henan province, villagers sell their blood,...

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The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party

Alexander McCall Smith

* Mma Ramotswe's twelfth adventure; published in Little, Brown hardback

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The History of History: A Novel of Berlin

The History of History: A Novel of Berlin

Ida Hattemer-Higgins

2002. A young American woman stumbles one morning from the forest outside Berlin - hands dirty, clothes torn. She can remember nothing of the night. She returns to the life she once knew, but soon an enigmatic letter arrives from...

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 Read reviewBlue Skies

Blue Skies

Helen Hodgman

A young wife and mother watches a clock that seems forever stuck at three-in-the-afternoon. Her husband didn't come home last night. She lives for Tuesdays and Thursdays, when she can escape to a less humdrum life. Jonathan, man...

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 Read reviewBright and Distant Shores

Bright and Distant Shores

Dominic Smith

Chicago First Equitable is to construct the world's tallest building and its president, Hale Gray, hits upon a way to make it an enduring landmark: to establish on the roof an exhibition of real-life 'savages'. Caught up in this...

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 Read reviewAngelica: A Novel

Angelica: A Novel

Arthur Phillips

When Constance married Joseph Barton she believed she had found her ultimate husband and protector. But after three miscarriages and the troubled birth of their daughter, Angelica, Constance begins to fear his intentions. Sensing...

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 Read reviewOne Foot in Eden

One Foot in Eden

Ron Rash

The year is 1951 and Holland Winchester, the local thug and a war veteran, has gone missing from his small, backwater South Carolina town. The local sheriff, Will Alexander, has a gut feeling Holland's been murdered but the...

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 Read reviewThis Too Shall Pass

This Too Shall Pass

S.J. Finn

Jen Montgomery's life appears, almost suddenly, to be at an impasse. Nothing is as secure or as certain as she had previously thought. Love, marriage, parenthood, family, work, the very fabric of her identity seems to be shifting....

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 Read reviewWhat the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us

What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us

Laura Van den Berg

The stories in Laura van den Berg's rich and inventive debut illuminate the intersection of the mythic and the mundane. Rendered with grace and precision, this breathtaking collection is narrated by women yearning for absolution,...

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 Read reviewFive Bells

Five Bells

Gail Jones

Four adults converge on Circular Quay, site of the iconic Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Crowds of tourists mix with the locals, enjoying the glorious surroundings and the play of light on water. But each of the four...

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 Read reviewCaribou Island

Caribou Island

David Vann

Gary, driven by thirty years of diverted plans, and Irene are trying to rebuild their life together. Across the water on the mainland, Irene and Gary's grown daughter, Rhoda is starting her own life. She fantasizes about the...

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 Read reviewThe Messenger

The Messenger

Yannick Haenel, Ian Monk

Jan Karski, a young Polish officer, joined the Polish underground after escaping from a Soviet detention camp, before he was captured and brutally tortured by the Gestapo. Escaping from the Germans, Karski was charged with the...

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The Indignities

The Indignities

Aitken, Graeme

The Indignities by Graeme Aitken - the glittering sequel to Vanity Fierce (Random House 1986)In Vanity Fierce,Stephen Spear went to extreme lengths to snare his man.In this comic sequel, Stephen ingeniously bypasses his landmark...

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Angelology

Angelology

Danielle Trussoni

When Sister Evangeline of the St Rose Convent stumbles across a mysterious correspondence with Abigail Rockefeller in the archive, it reveals that angels once walked among us... and might still. This discovery plunges Evangeline...

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 Read reviewCrime

Crime

Ferdinand von Schirach

Crime is a collection of true crime stories told by one of Germany's most prominent defense lawyers. Some of the cases are strange, some bewildering and others heartbreaking, but all are told with genuine concern for those who...

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Yearn: Tales of Lust and Longing

Yearn: Tales of Lust and Longing

Tobsha Learner

A collection of nine sensual, witty and mystical stories marking Tobsha Learner's return to the short story format, and exploring the universal experiences of obsession, romantic encounters and secret regrets. In Yearn, the line...

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 Read reviewThe Lover's Dictionary

The Lover’s Dictionary

David Levithan

Told as a series of dictionary entries, The Lover's Dictionary is an intimate portrait of a relationship in all its guises; a compelling, deeply romantic story of two people loving each other: passionately, imperfectly. Through...

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 Special priceTablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East

Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East

Reza Aslan

Remarkable ... a triumph ... connects us at the level of our humanity, no matter where we may be from. -Los Angeles Times

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Before I Fall

Before I Fall

Lauren Oliver

As compelling as The Lovely Bones and as memorable as Jenny Downham's Before I Die, this will become a word-of-mouth phenomenon.

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 Read reviewMr. Peanut

Mr. Peanut

Adam Ross

David Pepin has loved his wife since the moment they met, and he can't imagine living without her - yet he obsessively contemplates her demise. Soon she's dead, and he's both deeply distraught and the prime suspect. The detectives...

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The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul

Deborah Rodriguez

In a little coffee shop in one of the most dangerous places on earth, five very different women come together. As these five discover there's more to one another than meets the eye, they form a unique bond that will for ever...

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 Read reviewJeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

Geoff Dyer

Jeff Atman is in Venice to cover the opening of the Biennale. He's expecting to see a load of art, go to a lot of parties. He's not expecting to meet the spellbinding Laura, who will completely transform his few days in the city....

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Undercover: A Novel of a Life

Undercover: A Novel of a Life

Keith Bulfin

A novel based on the life of Keith Bulfin, who is drawn into a world of drug smuggling and violence in Mexico City. Convicted of conspiracy to defraud, Keith is sent to a Supermax unit in Port Philip prison. There he befriends the...

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A Reliable Wife

A Reliable Wife

Robert Goolrick

Ralph Truitt, a wealthy but lonely man in his fifties places an ad in the paper for a reliable wife. Catherine Land, a beautiful thirty-four year old, responds that she is a 'simple, honest woman'. Catherine, it turns out, arrives...

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The New Yorker Stories

The New Yorker Stories

Ann Beattie

Beattie, a master of the short form, delivers a collection of all the storiesshe has published in The New Yorker.

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The Indigo Sky

The Indigo Sky

Alison Booth

In 1957, when piano teacher Ilona Talivaldis arrived in the sleepy little town of Jingera, she was mocked as the 'reffo from Latvia'. Just four years on, she and her 14-year-old daughter Zidra are at the heart of the community....

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