Readings Recommends: Fiction

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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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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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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Solace

Solace

Belinda McKeon

Belinda McKeon is a startling new talent in the great Irish mould, and Solace is a work to be admired equally for its spare, intense lyricism as for its range, understanding, and deeply compassionate portrayal of life as it is...

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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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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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With My Body

With My Body

Nikki Gemmell

With My Body, and addresses the question of what is intimacy and whether it is ever truly possible to know another person. It is at once a manifesto of married mothers everywhere and a highly personal story of one woman's sexual...

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The Lady of the Rivers

The Lady of the Rivers

Philippa Gregory

Number 1 bestselling author Philippa Gregory continues her series, The Cousins' War, with Jacquetta Woodville, mother of the White Queen

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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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The Honey Thief

The Honey Thief

Hillman, Robert, Mazari, Najaf

From the authors of the bestseller The Rugmaker of Mazar - e - Sharifcomes their latest book, The Honey Thief. A superb collection of spellbinding tales from Afghanistan that portray a vivid landscape of hardship and brotherhood,...

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 Read reviewHow I Became a Famous Novelist

How I Became a Famous Novelist

Steve Hely

Sick of life as he knows it, Pete Tarslaw sets out to write a bestselling novel, armed with a formula for success cobbled together from previous bestsellers. This title tells the tale of how Tarslaw's 'pile of garbage' became the...

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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 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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The Great Night

The Great Night

Chris Adrian

Acclaimed as a gifted, courageous writer (New York Times), Chris Adrian brings all his extraordinary talents to bear in The Great Night - a brilliant and masterful re-imagining of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

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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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The Early Kozminskys: A Break in the Chain

The Early Kozminskys: A Break in the Chain

Tangea Tansley

In 1856, Simon Kozminsky travelled from Prussia to begin a new life in the fledgling colony of Victoria. In the heady days of the gold rush, he established a jewellery house that would gain world renown.

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 Read reviewI am Max Lamm

I am Max Lamm

Raphael Brous

Max Lamm, a young tennis player, arrives in London to escape the internet sex scandal that has destroyed his career. One night, in Camden Town, he accidentally kills a Pakistani boy who tries to mug him and finds himself on the...

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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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 Read reviewRiver of Smoke

River of Smoke

Amitav Ghosh

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

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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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 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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 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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The Moment

The Moment

Douglas Kennedy

Thomas Nesbitt is a divorced American writer in the midst of a rueful middle age. Living a very private life in Maine - in touch only with his daughter and still trying to reconcile himself to the end of a long marriage that he...

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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 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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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 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 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 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 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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 Special price Read reviewTrespass

Trespass

Rose Tremain

In a silent valley stands an isolated stone farmhouse, the Mas Lunel. Its owner is Aramon Lunel, an alcoholic so haunted by his violent past that he's become incapable of all meaningful action. Meanwhile, his sister, Audrun dreams...

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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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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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 Special priceDesert 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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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 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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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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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

This volume celebrates the magnificent achievement of 20th-century Middle Eastern literature that has been neglected in the English-speaking world.

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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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