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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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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Exile

Exile

Jakob Ejersbo, Mette Petersen

The first novel in a major trilogy exposing the guilt, loneliness and nihilism of the ex-pat experience in post-colonial Africa.

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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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The Book of Human Skin

The Book of Human Skin

Michelle Lovric

This is going to be a little uncomfortable...

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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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 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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Matilda is Missing

Matilda is Missing

Caroline Overington

Garry Hartshorn and Softie Monaghan were never love's young dream. Not even on their wedding day. Softie was sophisticated, a career woman, who owned a nice apartment overlooking St Kilda Beach. Garry had a few rough edges, plus...

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Stabat Mater

Stabat Mater

Tiziano Scarpa, Shaun Whiteside

In early eighteenth-century Venice an orphan girl discovers life and independence in the music of Vivaldi. The female musicians of the Instituto della Pieta play from a gallery in the church, their faces half hidden by metal...

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Cool Water

Cool Water

Dianne Warren

Juliet, Saskatchewan, is a blink of an eye kind of town - the welcome sign announces a population of 1,011 people - and it's easy to imagine that nothing happens on its hot and dusty streets.

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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 reviewBlack Jesus

Black Jesus

Simone Felice

A young marine returns home from Iraq, blinded and scarred by an IED and harbouring a terrible secret. He saw something in Iraq that can never be erased and the knowledge of it is slowly driving him mad.

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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 Fix

The Fix

Nick Earls

In need of some quick cash when he returns to Brisbane after years in London, Josh whores himself to his brother's PR firm and inadvertently becomes part of 'the fix'. Josh Lang went to London with investigative journalism on his...

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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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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 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 reviewBerlin Syndrome

Berlin Syndrome

Melanie Joosten

2006, Berlin. One afternoon, near Checkpoint Charlie, Clare meets Andi. He's a native Berliner and English teacher; she's an architectural photographer who has taken leave from her job in Australia. There is an instant attraction....

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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 reviewFaces in the Clouds

Faces in the Clouds

Matt Nable

Twin brothers Stephen and Lawrence Kennedy are army kids; theirs is a world of barracks, bunks and barbecues. But then their parents are killed in a car accident and the boys are sent to stay with people they barely know. How the...

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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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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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 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 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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 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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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 reviewLittle People

Little People

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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Paris Dreaming

Paris Dreaming

Anita Heiss

Libby is on a man-fast: no more romance, no more cheating men, no more heartbreak. But when fate takes Libby to work in Paris at the Musee du Quai Branly, she's suddenly thrown out of her comfort zone and into a city full of...

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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 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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 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 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 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

Angelica

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 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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