Our books of the month, May 2022

OUR FICTION BOOK OF THE MONTH


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Sunbathing by Isobel Beech

Reviewed by Joe Rubbo, operations manager

Sunbathing is the stunning debut novel from Melbourne writer Isobel Beech. It follows the story of a young woman who is invited to stay with her friends Giulia and Fab at Fab’s family home in Abruzzo, in the month prior to their wedding. The village is an oasis, untouched by tourism. The narrator spends lazy days with Giulia and Fab, cooking, gardening, and caring for a stray cat that wanders onto the property, in a gorgeous evocation of Italian summer … This lean, elegant novel is filled with fine observations about what it’s like to be a young adult living in the contemporary world.

Read the full review here.


OUR CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH


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Wake by Shelley Burr

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy, bookseller at Readings Doncaster

The small town of Nannine lies in the harsh red interior of New South Wales. Once a thriving outback centre, years of punishing drought have whittled it down to no more than a couple of pubs and a police station. And its one sinister claim to fame: the still-unsolved disappearance of Evelyn McCreery nineteen years ago from the bedroom she shared with her twin sister.

Wake is the best kind of outback thriller – long distances between houses and safety, the quiet terror of rural Australia’s empty unknown spaces, small towns with suspicious characters.

Read the full review here.


OUR NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE MONTH


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Bedtime Story by Chloe Hooper

Reviewed by Mark Rubbo, managing director of Readings

Bedtime Story is a special and unique book that tackles illness amongst the living in a deeply profound and beautiful way.

How does one react when one’s partner is diagnosed with cancer? In her new memoir Bedtime Story, Chloe Hooper is forced to grapple with that question when her partner, Don, is diagnosed with a particularly aggressive type of leukaemia, one that is almost certainly fatal. Chloe and Don have two young children, boys aged four and seven … How too are Don and Chloe going to reveal this possibility to the boys?

Read the full review here.


OUR KIDS BOOK OF THE MONTH


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How to Tackle Your Dreams by Fiona Hardy

Reviewed by Alexa Dretzke, children’s specialist at Readings Hawthorn

The joy of How to Tackle Your Dreams is the meeting of AFL with fashion design, well, a sort of fashion design. All from a young boy trying to navigate life since his parents’ amicable separation and his dad’s relocation to Western Australia for work.

Fiona Hardy’s strength is her ability to write the often unspoken fears of children and how they can misinterpret the actions of adults, and even their peers, making them vulnerable to anxiety. Homer is a wonderful character; that he’s imperfect makes him even more endearing

Read the full review here.


OUR YOUNG ADULT BOOK OF THE MONTH


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Family of Liars by E. Lockhart

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe, children’s and YA specialist for Readings online

The Sinclairs are beautiful, white and wealthy. They are also terribly unhappy, but well trained in appearing perfect and unassailable. There are three daughters – the eldest, Carrie, the narrator of the tale; Penny, the beautiful one; and Bess, now the youngest. Their younger sister died the previous summer but the family don’t like to speak about sad things.

This summer the girls become distracted by three handsome boys who arrive uninvited, but are treated to a warm welcome. Passions run high over the summer … but secrets that have been hidden for a long time will come to light and more tragedy lies just around the corner.

Read the full review here.


CHILDREN’S CLASSIC OF THE MONTH


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Dogger by Shirley Hughes

Reviewed by Lian Hingee, digital marketing manager

First published in 1977, this evergreen story about a little boy who loses his favourite toy and a big sister who saves the day, is as fresh and relevant now as it was nearly half a century ago. Coupled with Hughes’ instantly recognisable illustrations, Dogger is a warm-hearted story about family, community and sibling love, and how a small gesture from one person can be an enormous gift to another.

Read the full review here.


CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE MONTH


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Mozart & Birchall: Clarinet Concertos

Reviewed by Kate Rockstrom, friend of Readings

Richard Birchall is a cellist working with the Philharmonic Orchestra, the orchestra on this recording and his use of sonority is well developed in this new basset clarinet concerto written for the British virtuoso Michael Collins. Collins is, as always, a beautiful musician and brings this instrument to the heights of perfection.

Read the full review here.

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Sunbathing: A Novel

Sunbathing: A Novel

Isobel Beech

$29.99Buy now

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