Dear Reader, April 2019

Our Nonfiction Book of the Month is Black Inc.’s anthology, Growing Up African in Australia. As is true for the collections exploring Asian and Aboriginal identities before it (and the Queer collection to come in August), I don’t think the impact of this anthology can be overestimated. The book industries here and internationally are trying to grapple with questions of diversity, representation, and inclusion, at all levels. This kind of publishing is clearly part of the answer. How profoundly important it is for readers and writers to see their own, their peers’, and their broader community’s experiences in print! You can read an extract from this great collection here.

Elsewhere in non-fiction, Unconditional Love is the memoir of Jocelyn Moorhouse, one of Australia’s preeminent film directors. Sophie Cunningham’s City of Trees is a wide-ranging work of non-fiction about love and loss in the natural world. The Colonial Fantasy is Sarah Maddison’s polemic about the failures of White Australian Indigenous policy. Michael Roddan’s The People vs the Banks is the first (but certainly not the last) piece of publishing on Australia’s banking royal commission. Matthew Warren’s Blackout is about Australia’s energy future.

Invented Lives by Andrea Goldsmith is our Fiction Book of the Month. It’s her first novel since The Memory Trap (2013), which won the 2015 Melbourne Prize’s Best Writing Award. Our reviewer has read this novel more than once along its journey to publication, and the final work is a book he simply calls ‘wonderful’ and deserving of a wide readership. This book joins a bumper month for fiction. Our reviewers recommend to you new Australian books by Melina Marchetta, Miriam Sved, and Wayne Macauley, and debuts by Julie Keys, Melissa Ferguson and Felicity McLean. In international fiction, the Japanese novel The Forest of Wool and Steel entranced its country’s booksellers and readers alike (and our reviewer too). We also recommend this month new books by Siri Hustvedt, Tash Aw and David Vann, and a debut already making a name for itself, Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. I can’t stop emoting about Lanny by Max Porter: my love for that book is utter and complete. If I could work out how to find a way to double my opportunities to read (and, quite seriously, I am always trying to work out how to do that) I would already have read Isabella Hammad’s The Parisian, Namwali Serpell’s The Old Drift, Halle Butler’s The New Me, Samanta Schweblin’s Mouthful of Birds, Nathan Englander’s Kaddish.com, and Ali Smith’s Spring. Margaret Atwood Fever 2019 builds further with this month’s release of a graphic-novel edition of The Handmaid’s Tale. Wilam is the new picture book from Aunty Joy Murphy, Andrew Kelly, and Lisa Kennedy, and provides this month’s beautiful front cover artwork.

And finally, dear reader, one of the biggest releases for the month actually appears halfway through, with the publication of Ian McEwan’s Machines Like Me on 16 April. To prepare for this event, we suggest you delve into McEwan’s extensive backlist: buy three of his previous titles for the price of two, while stocks last. A full review of the book will be in our next edition.


Alison Huber is the head book buyer at Readings.

You can pick up a free copy of the April edition of the Readings Monthly from any of our shops, or download a PDF here.

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Invented Lives

Invented Lives

Andrea Goldsmith

$32.99Buy now

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