Favourite reads packaged in smaller formats


The Dry by Jane Harper


Jane Harper’s literary thriller was named one of our top 10 crime reads of last year. It’s the story of Federal police officer Aaron Falk, who returns to his hometown to investigate a murder-suicide that is more than it seems. Managing director Mark Rubbo says: ‘I loved this book; it’s some of the best crime I’ve read in years. Rural Australia bristles with menace and desolation as terrible secrets of the past are uncovered layer by layer.’


The Return by Hisham Matar


Hisham Matar was 19 when his father was kidnapped and taken to prison in Libya. He would never see him again. 22 years later, the fall of Gaddafi meant he was finally able to return to his homeland. In this moving memoir, the author takes us on an illuminating journey, both physical and psychological; a journey to find his father and rediscover his country. Doncaster bookseller Ellen Cregan highly recommended this work in our ‘What we’re reading’ column last week. She wrote: ‘Hisham Matar is a fabulous writer on so many levels.’


At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier


In 1830s Ohio, the Goodenough family barely scratch out a living in the inhospitable Black Swamp. Robert and his sister Martha must watch as their parents' marriage is torn apart by disputes over whether to grow sweet apples to eat or sour apples for cider and applejack. One particularly vicious fight sends Robert out alone across America, far from his sister, into a life dominated not by apple trees but by the mighty redwoods and sequoias of California. This is a sweeping work of historical fiction from a masterful writer.


The North Water by Ian McGuire


A 19th-century whaling ship sets sail for the Arctic with a killer aboard in Ian McGuire’s dark, sharp and highly original novel. The North Water was one of the most talked-about books during the tenth season of ABC TV’s The Book Club, as well as being voted as one of our top 10 fiction books of 2016. Carlton bookseller Jason Austin says: ‘A novel of survival, this is the most gripping and deliciously visceral book that I have had the pleasure of reading in 2016.’


At the Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Bakewell


Now available in paperback, this fresh and funny work of non-fiction was a customer favourite last year. The story opens in Paris, near the turn of 1932-3. Three young people meet over apricot cocktails at the Bec-de-Gaz bar on the rue Montparnasse. They are Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and their new friend Raymond Aron, who opens their eyes to a radical new way of thinking…


Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar


We adore Lucy Treloar’s historical novel, which was shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction in 2016. Set in South Australia in 1835, this beautifully written and emotionally rich debut grapples with the devastating effects of colonisation and the harsh realities of frontier life. Here’s a a whole blog post all about why we think you should read it.


The Midnight Watch by David Dyer


David Dyer’s astonishing first novel is based on the true story of the SS Californian – the ship that saw the Titanic’s distress rockets and yet, unfathomably, did nothing. Shop Manager at Readings at the State Library Victoria, Tom Hoskins, says: ‘Dyer’s deep examination of the personalities and politics of characters both onboard and offshore is as fascinating as the examination of the tragedy which drives the story.’


Shrill by Lindy West


Lindy West’s Shrill is a laugh-out-loud feminist memoir that covers everything from body image and fat-shaming to twitter-trolling and even rape culture. Digital marketing manager Lian Hingee says: ‘Searingly funny, but never mean. Of all the books that I’ve read this year, it’s probably the only one that made me laugh out loud, and it’s definitely the only one that made me cry.’ We’re thrilled to have some signed copies of this book available at our Carlton shop and online, but only while stocks last.


Ghost Girls by Cath Ferla


Winter in Sydney. The city is brimming with foreign students. Sophie Sandilands takes a job teaching at an English language school. When one of her students leaps to her death it becomes clear that lurking within the psyche of this community is a deep sense of despair and alienation. When it is revealed that the dead woman on the pavement has stolen another’s identity, Sophie is drawn into the mystery.


Back to Moscow by Guillermo Erades


The early 2000s, and Martin, an expat student recently arrived in Moscow to write a doctoral thesis on the heroines of Russian literature, needs all the guidance he can get to fathom the mysterious Russian soul. Distracted from his studies by the bright lure of nightclubs, vodka, ready money and real women, his restless explorations of the city lead him to dark and unexpected places.

The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land In Between

The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land In Between

Hisham Matar

$24.99Buy now

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