Readings Recommends: Fiction

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Jonathan Safran Foer

In a vase in a closet, a couple of years after his father died in 9/11, nine-year-old Oskar discovers a key... The key belonged to his father, he's sure of that. But which of New York's 162 million locks does it open?

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The Beautiful Indifference

The Beautiful Indifference

Sarah 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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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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 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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Inherited

Inherited

Amanda Curtin

A dancer in a wheelchair. A collector of corks. One woman seduced by a mountain and another by Freddo Frogs. A man who hears his dead wifes voice. A poet whose voice has disappeared. A photographer distilling grief in his lens. A...

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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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 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

Najaf Mazari, Robert Hillman

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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Everything Beautiful Began After

Everything Beautiful Began After

Simon Van Booy

While in Athens, Rebecca--young, beautiful and lost--finds a confidant in George, a translator whose closest friends are Aristophanes and Jack Daniels, but their blossoming relationship becomes complicated when they meet Henry, a...

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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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Burning Bright

Burning Bright

Ron Rash

A collection of short stories that melds the dark with the beautiful in deftly painted portraits of Appalachia, ranging from the Civil War to present day. It captures the essence of the region the author knows best, leading his...

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 Read reviewPepsi Bears and Other Stories

Pepsi Bears and Other Stories

Anson Cameron

A collection of fables in which the intuition of animals is set against the hubris of man, Anson Cameron is part court jester, part acclaimed writer of short stories and novels, and part national conscience. A cola company uses...

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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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 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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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 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 reviewCaleb's Crossing

Caleb’s Crossing

Geraldine Brooks

In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American graduate of Harvard College. From the few facts that survive of this extraordinary life, Brooks creates a luminous tale of passion and belief, magic and...

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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 reviewI Hate Martin Amis Et Al

I Hate Martin Amis Et Al

Peter Barry

It is 1995. Milan Zorec, an aspiring yet rejected novelist, travels from England to Bosnia to join the Serbian forces as a sniper in Sarajevo, in the final months of the longest siege in history.

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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 reviewA Visit from the Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan

With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.

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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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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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 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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Book of Lost Threads

Book of Lost Threads

Tess Evans

Moss has run away from Melbourne to Opportunity on the trail of a man she knows only by name. But her arrival sets in train events that disturb the long-held secrets of three of the town's inhabitants: Finn, Lily, and Sandy. It is...

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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 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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 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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August

August

Bernard Beckett

Trapped in a car wreck, upside down, bleeding, broken and in pain, Tristan and Grace are staring at death.

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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 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 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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The Indignities

The Indignities

Graeme Aitken

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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 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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 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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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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 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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