Our top picks of the month for book clubs

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For book clubs that like to discover new voices…

The Wounded Sinner by Gus Henderson

Matthew’s father, Archie, is dying and Matthew must care for him in ‘The Wounded Sinner’, his grand, decaying home. Whilst Matthew is away, Jeanie stays and works as a teacher and looks after their five children. Their eldest is hitting adolescence and is challenging Jeanie’s self-image and sense of identity. Themes of growing old, fidelity and identity run through this unique and gritty novel, in which all are asking the ultimate questions about life, death and the purpose of it all.


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For book clubs that want to think about the world around them…

No Friend But the Mountains by Behrouz Boochani

‘Where have I come from? From the land of rivers, the land of waterfalls, the land of ancient chants, the land of mountains.’ In 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani was illegally detained on Manus Island. He has been there ever since. This book is the result. Laboriously tapped out on a mobile phone and translated from the Farsi. It is a voice of witness, an act of survival. A lyric first-hand account. A cry of resistance. A vivid portrait through five years of incarceration and exile.


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For book clubs that enjoy dystopian fiction…

Our Life in the Forest by Marie Darrieussecq (translated by Penny Hueston)

In the near future, a woman is writing in the depths of a forest. Her body is falling apart, as is the world around her. Before, in the city, she travelled fortnightly to visit her ‘half’, Marie, her spitting image, who lay in an induced coma, her body parts available whenever the woman needed them. This is a clever novel of suspense that challenges our ideas about the future, organ trafficking, cloning, identity, and the place of the individual in a surveillance state.


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For book clubs that want to learn new things…

The Eastern Curlew by Harry Saddler

Every year around August, large flocks of Eastern Curlews leave their breeding grounds in the Arctic and embark on a perilous 10,000km journey to the coast of Australia. The birds cannot swim; if they become exhausted and fall into the ocean, they die. But it’s a journey they have taken for tens of thousands of years, tracing invisible flyways in the sky in what is one of the most spectacular mass migrations in the animal kingdom. Following the Eastern Curlew along its migratory path, Harry Saddler tells the story of these incredible birds.


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For book clubs that love the classics…

The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley

To those who live there, Herot Hall is a paradise. But to those who live secretly along its periphery, it is a fortress guarded by an intense security network. Dylan and Gren live on opposite sides of the perimeter, neither boy aware of the barriers erected to keep them apart. When Gren crosses the border into Herot Hall and runs off with Dylan, the two worlds collide, the ensuing events echo Beowulf, giving sharp, startling currency to the ancient epic poem.


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For book clubs that want to be challenged…

The Impossible Fairytale by Han Yujoo (translated by Janet Hong)

The nameless ‘Child’ struggles to make a mark on the world, and her classmate Mia, whose spoiled life is everything the Child’s is not. At school, their fellow students seem consumed by an almost murderous rage. Adults are nearly invisible, and the society the children create on their own is marked by soul-crushing hierarchies and an underlying menace. The Impossible Fairytale is a fresh and terrifying exploration of the ethics of art making and of the stinging consequences of neglect.


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For book clubs that enjoy a good juicy read…

The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell

Set in a fading family estate nestled within the Chiltern Hills, this is the story of two summers, decades apart, woven together to reveal one dramatic family story. At 26, Lillian is resigned to life with her oppressive husband within the walls of Cloudesley, his elegant manor house – until an enigmatic artist turns her world on its head. Years later, Maggie Oberon hears her beloved grandmother, Lillian, has fallen ill and is forced to return to Cloudesley where she must face her past. Secrets soon begin to emerge and it’s up to Maggie to piece the puzzle of the past together.


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For book clubs that want to dig into the Australian psyche…

Coach Fitz by Tom Lee

Tom Lee’s debut novel tells the story of a young jogger who is in a relationship with an older woman: his coach and his mentor, Coach Fitz. She seeks to instil a philosophy of running which combines ‘controlled intensity’ with a curiosity about places and their histories. Coach Fitz is an exploration of the outdoor mentality that plays such a dominant role in the Australian psyche, and examines the emotions and aspirations of youth, and the complications these engender.

The Mere Wife

The Mere Wife

Maria Dahvana Headley

$29.99Buy now

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