Our top picks of the month for book clubs

1903clubrip

For book clubs who enjoy unflinching contemporary fiction…

The Rip by Mark Brandi

A young woman living on the street has to keep her wits about her. Or her friends. Dani and Anton look out for each other. Dani has a bit of a habit – nothing she can’t control, as she tells Anton – and Anton dreams of one day getting a place together. But when they hook up with Steve, their lives take a drastic turn. The Rip is a gritty look at the margins of society and its most vulnerable members. Raw and unflinching, it is recommended for fans of Helen Garner’s Monkey Grip, or Andrew McGahan’s Praise.


1903clubglad

For book clubs who enjoy thoughtful dystopias…

The Glad Shout by Alice Robinson

After a catastrophic storm destroys Melbourne, Isobel flees to higher ground with her husband and young daughter. Food and supplies run low, panic sets in and still no help arrives. To protect her daughter, Isobel must take drastic action. The Glad Shout is a deeply sympathetic portrait of young motherhood in the worst of circumstances. Filled with nuanced and compelling characters, and paced brilliantly, its ruminations on motherhood, feminism, marriage and inheritance will have everyone in the book club talking.


1903clubhollow

For book clubs interested in forgotten stories from World War II…

The Hollow Bones by Leah Kaminsky

Berlin, 1936. Ernst Schafer, a young, ambitious zoologist and keen hunter and collector, has come to the attention of Heinrich Himmler, who invites him to lead a group of SS scientists to the frozen mountains of Tibet. Their secret mission – to search for the origins of the Aryan race. Ernst has doubts initially, but soon seizes the opportunity to rise through the ranks of the Third Reich. Based on a true story, this is a chilling and deeply researched account of a forgotten villain from the Nazi regime. Told poignantly through the eyes of the animals he destroyed and the women in his life he undermined, Kaminsky’s imagining of Schafer’s life will keep you reading long into the night, and provoke thoughts and discussion long after the final page.


1903clubdaisy

For gig-going book clubs …

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

In the 1970s, Daisy Jones and The Six sold out arenas in the US from coast to coast and defined an era with their music. But on July 12 1979, on the night of the final concert of the Aurora tour, they split. Nobody ever knew why. Until now. This ‘oral history’ about a fictional rock band fronted by a charismatic superstar singer combines all the tropes you love from musical stardom stories like A Star is Born, Spinal Tap or Almost Famous. Featuring all the usual sex, drugs, and massive egos, Reid’s evocation of the pulsating atmosphere of the 1970s is addictive and intoxicating.


1903clublostkids

For book clubs that want something ambitious and heart-rending …

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

A family in New York packs the car and sets out on a road trip. A mother, a father, a boy and a girl, they head south west, to the Apacheria, the regions of the US which used to be Mexico. Meanwhile, thousands of children are journeying north, travelling to the US border from Central America and Mexico. They walk for days, saving whatever food and water they can. Not all of them will make it to the border. Luiselli’s high-wire literary novel has astounded our reviewer Marie with its ‘dizzying’ structure, the ‘beauty of the prose and the joy of so many voices being heard’. It’s a remarkable achievement for readers who enjoy sinking their teeth into big, ambitious books.


1903clubsausage

For politically clued-in book clubs …

From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage by Judith Brett

It’s compulsory to vote in Australia. We are one of a handful of countries in the world that enforce this rule at election time, and the only English-speaking country that makes its citizens vote. This remarkable fact is something to be proud of, argues Judith Brett in her immensely readable history of our electoral system. Brett has a knack for making institutions fascinating – as is evident in her award-winning biography of Alfred Deakin. This one’s no different, and our reviewer Julia observes that Brett’s lively and slim account of Australian democracy ‘reads like a thriller’. As we count down to a federal election, this is a great choice for brushing up on your political know-how and for cherry-picking choice political factoids to bring out during the election-night party.


1903clubwitches

For feminist book clubs …

Witches: What Women Do Together by Sam George-Allen

Witches: What Women Do Together is Sam George-Allen’s personal celebration of the power and pleasure of working with other women. From covens, to girl bands, to ballet troupes, to farmers, when girls and women come together, magic happens. With a light-hearted tone, George-Allen delves into these female-dominated workplaces, industries and social groups to uncover what makes these groups successful and strong, dismantling the myth of female isolation in the process. An empowering read for anyone interested in building strong communities and learning more about the histories of female oppression.


1903clubearth

For book clubs concerned about climate change…

The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future by David Wallace-Wells

The signs of climate change are unmistakable even today, but the big changes are still to come: What will it be like to live on a pummelled planet? What will it do to our politics, our economy, our culture and sense of history? And what explains the fact we have done so little to stop it? Wallace-Wells' The Uninhabitable Earth has been heralded as an urgent and relentless journalistic account of one of the most pressing issues of our time. With a title that’s intended to startle, this serves as a bracing prediction a new era in human history.

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From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage

From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage

Judith Brett

$29.99Buy now

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