Our top picks of the month for book clubs

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For book clubs who want to think deeply about our country…

The Yield by Tara June Winch

Tara June Winch’s exquisite tale about reclaiming Indigenous storytelling, language and identity is a powerful exploration of dispossession and a piercing insight into the heart of this country. The novel focuses largely on two characters: Albert Gondiwini – a Wiradjuri man intent on keeping alive the language and culture of his people – whose death opens the book; and Albert’s granddaughter August, who has returned from England for Albert’s burial only to discover her family’s home is being repossessed by a mining company. Our reviewer Miles describes it as a ‘big hearted, hopeful book. More hopeful, maybe, than we deserve’. Read his full review here.


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For book clubs who love campus novels…

Bunny by Mona Awad

Samantha Heather Mackey couldn’t be more of an outsider in her elite university, where she feels unbearably at odds with the ruling clique of twee rich girls who call each other ‘Bunny’. But when she receives a secret invitation to the Bunnies’ fabled ‘smut salon’, she is inexorably pulled into their intoxicating world. Part New England campus novel, part Secret History-style mood piece, Mona Awad’s second novel is a dizzying down-the-rabbit-hole tale of obsession, loneliness, creativity and female bonds. Our bookseller Georgia describes it as ‘subversive, witty and dark’, likening it to ‘ Jennifer’s Body meets Dead Poets' Society ’. Read her thoughts here.


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For thrill-seeking book clubs…

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

What lengths would you go to in order to protect your child? This is the question Adrian McKinty deftly explores in his blockbuster new thriller The Chain. Rachel O’Neill receives the chain letter from hell: an untraceable phone call telling her that her daughter has been abducted and the only way to save her is to pay $25,000 and kidnap another child. Gripping, propulsive and at times darkly funny, this standalone is a true page-turner. ‘If you like a pacy thriller with evil psychopaths, brave heroines and lots of twists and turns,’ says our managing director Mark Rubbo, ‘then this is for you’.


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For book clubs looking for some 1990s nostalgia…

Expectation by Anna Hope (available 11 July)

It is the mid-1990s and Cate, Hannah and Lissa are young, vibrant and inseparable, reveling in a world pulsing with art, activism, desire – and the promise of everything to come. But 10 years on their lives are very different from what they had envisioned, and each hungers for what the others have. Filled with sharp insights and painfully relatable moments, Expectation is an honest exploration of female friendships over time – their rise and fall and the joy and agony they can bring. Our reviewer Joanna found it be an ‘elegant, empathetic novel about messy, ordinary, brave women who aren’t trying to change the world, but just do their best to live happily in it.’ Read her full review here.


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For book clubs who enjoy Meg Wolitzer and Curtis Sittenfeld…

Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

This blistering debut by New York publishing insider Taffy Brodesser-Akner explores with effortless wit the power dynamics of marriage, divorce and modern relationships. Finally free from his nightmare of a marriage, our ostensible hero Toby Fleishman is ready for a life of online dating and weekend-only parental duties. When his ex-wife suddenly disappears, however, his tidy narrative of being the spurned, righteous husband is put under the microscope, throwing into question everything he thought he knew. In a world saturated by stories, news articles and reality TV shows on love, Brodesser-Akner has crafted an alarmingly wise and utterly of the moment story that has some critics calling it ‘a Tinder-age Portnoy’s Complaint’.


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For book clubs who want non-fiction that reads like dark satire…

A Wunch of Bankers by Daniel Ziffer

Tearful victims, blank-faced executives, hapless regulators, and a couple of utter charlatans…Daniel Ziffer’s A Wunch of Bankers (surely a nominee for best book title of the year) rips into the scandal-riddled inside story of the Hayne Royal Commission, mixing analysis, reportage, and observations to great effect. Told with style and panache, Ziffer’s epic of corporate weaselling in the Australian banking sector is enlightening and surprisingly funny. As our reviewer Chris puts it, ‘Ziffer delights in transcribing sweating bank chiefs uncomfortably tightening their own nooses while an incredulous Commissioner Hayne and the inscrutable QC Rowena Orr calmly feed them the rope.’ Read Chris’ full review here.


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For book clubs plugged into the zeitgeist…

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

When Lisa Taddeo decided to write a book on desire, she chose to explore the macroscopic subject on a microscopic level – by immersing herself in the relationships and lives of three very different women over the course of eight years. Lina is a mother of two in suburban Indiana whose marriage has lost its passion; Maggie is a young woman facing backlash from her hometown for coming forward with allegations against her high school English teacher; and successful restaurant owner Sloane is asking questions of where her husband’s desire ends and where hers begins. Based on years of compassionate and immersive reporting, Three Women is a conversation starter filled with small and larger moments of women’s sexual desire, pain, disappointment, longing, and despair. Our head book buyer Alison describes it as a ‘masterclass in empathy’ and ‘undoubtedly one of the books of the year.’ Read her full review here.


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For book clubs who share dating horror stories…

Fake by Stephanie Wood

When Stephanie Wood found out the man she thought she had loved didn’t actually exist and was instead spun from a mind-boggling web of deceit, she decided to bust out her journalism skills and investigate him further. This surprising and sobering book is the result, as Wood explores the minefield of lies, cheats and narcissists who prey on the unsuspecting in the world of contemporary love. Not just confined to Wood’s own experience, however, Fake also talks to psychologists, explores modern personality disorders, lists the clues and signs that someone isn’t to be trusted; and interviews other women and men who have experienced similar manipulations. ‘If you’re single, read it. And if you’re in a relationship, you’d better read it too,’ advises our bookseller Gabrielle. Read her full review here.

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Three Women

Three Women

Lisa Taddeo

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