Dear Reader, with Alison Huber
Jennifer Egan won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (among other awards) for her superb 2010 novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad. It was a runaway staff favourite at Readings that year too, and remains one of our backlist stalwarts. It’s such a good book! So it’s with considerable anticipation that we look forward to having The Candy House in store, our Book of the Month for April. Described in some places as a ‘sibling’ novel to Goon Squad, The Candy House sits somewhere adjacent to that work, intertwining itself with characters and events from the earlier book, though it’s not a straightforward sequel that requires you to read the other book first – or at all. But if you feel you’d like to take our reviewer’s advice and do just that – or perhaps you’re a re-reader and will be embarking on your own personal Egan-a-thon this month – we are giving away a free copy of the Hachette Essentials edition of the earlier book with each purchase of The Candy House, plus a tote bag to take them both home in. This crazy-good offer is only while stocks last, obviously, so see you on 5 April for the book’s release.
As I glance through the list of what’s on the way this bumper month, it’s hard to know where to point you next. Local literary legend Toni Jordan, has a new book called Dinner with the Schnabels, which is by all accounts an utter delight. All eyes will be on Douglas Stuart’s Young Mungo, the follow-up to his 2020 debut and smash-hit winner of the Booker Prize, Shuggie Bain (and thank you, Douglas, for signing bookplates for us from afar, which will accompany early purchases of Young Mungo … until we run out of them!). Our reviewer fell in love with Hilde Hinton’s second novel, A Solitary Walk on the Moon. So many people will be waiting to read Sheila Heti’s new book, Pure Colour, and it’s an experience like no other. Emily St. John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility blew our reviewer’s mind. Ali Smith is another staff favourite, and her Companion Piece is out mid-April. There are more brilliant reviews in these pages from our thoughtful and talented booksellers for work by Sean Rabin (shortlistee for the Readings Prize in 2016), Mirandi Riwoe, Paddy O’Reilly, Genevieve Novak, Catriona Ward, Kyung-Sook Shin, Claire Kohda, John Darnielle and Julian Barnes. Ocean Vuong returns to poetry with Time Is a Mother, which our reviewer calls ‘magnificent’, while our crime columnist raves about our Crime Book of the Month, the ‘sensational’ and ‘riveting’ Daughters of Eve by debut author, Nina D. Campbell.
Our nonfiction Book of the Month is Sian Prior’s wonderful memoir, Childless: A Story of Freedom and Longing. You can find my full review here. Our very clever colleague, Sean O’Beirne (author of the outstanding 2020 story collection, A Couple of Things Before the End), contributes a volume on Helen Garner to Black Inc.’s Writers on Writers series this month. We also review books by Patti Miller on the topic of friendship, a truly unique bookselling memoir from Ruth Shaw, and an analysis of the cultural role of motherhood by Gina Rushton. Plus, at last Hannah Gadsby’s long-awaited memoir, Ten Steps to Nanette, hits the shelves, along with: Kevin Rudd’s cautionary analysis of conflict between China and the US; a new book called Freezing Order from the author of the bestselling Red Notice, Bill Browder; Kylie Moore-Gilbert’s memoir of her time in an Iranian prison, The Uncaged Sky; This Woman’s Work, a much-needed canon-busting collection of essays by women on music, edited by Sinéad Gleeson and Kim Gordon (yes, that Kim Gordon); and memoirs from Martha Wainwright and the late Mark Lanegan.
And finally, dear reader, thanks to our friends at Thames and Hudson Australia, we are able to offer 20% off a fantastic group of illustrated titles for the month of April – from visual arts to fashion, interior design to architecture, and beyond. This curated selection is available for browsing at all our stores (except Readings Kids) or you can find a select few titles online here.