Our top picks of the month for book clubs

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For book clubs interested in the modern condition…

No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

A woman known for her viral social media posts travels the world speaking to her adoring fans, her entire existence overwhelmed by the internet - or what she terms ‘the portal’. Are we in hell? the people of the portal ask themselves. Are we all just going to keep doing this until we die?

Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: ‘Something has gone wrong,’ and ‘How soon can you get here?’ As real life and its stakes collide with the increasing absurdity of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary.


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For book clubs interested in the psychology of hoarding and what we do to fill the empty spaces…

Love Objects by Emily Maguire

Nic is a forty-five-year-old trivia buff, amateur nail artist and fairy godmother to the neighbourhood’s stray cats. She’s also the owner of a decade’s worth of daily newspapers, enough clothes and shoes to fill Big W three times over and a pen collection which, if laid end-to-end, would probably circle her house twice.

The person she’s closest to in the world is her beloved niece Lena, who she meets for lunch every Sunday. One day Nic fails to show up. When Lena travels to her aunt’s house to see if Nic’s all right, she gets the shock of her life, and sets in train a series of events that will prove cataclysmic for them both.


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For book clubs who seek powerful truth-telling that plays with form…

Homecoming by Elfie Shiosaki

Homecoming pieces together fragments of stories about four generations of Noongar women and explores how they navigated the changing landscapes of colonisation, protectionism, and assimilation to hold their families together.

This seminal collection of poetry, prose and historical colonial archives, tells First Nations truths of unending love for children – those that were present, those taken, those hidden and those that ultimately stood in the light. Homecoming speaks to the intergenerational dialogue about Country, kin and culture.


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For book clubs who want a coming-of-age tale with a sinister twist…

We Run the Tides by Vendela Vida

Teenage Eulabee and her alluring best friend, Maria Fabiola, own the streets of Sea Cliff, their foggy, oceanside San Francisco neighborhood. Their lives move along uneventfully, with afternoon walks by the ocean and weekend sleepovers. Then everything changes.

Eulabee and Maria Fabiola have a disagreement about what they did or didn’t witness on the way to school one morning, and this creates a schism in their friendship. The rupture is followed by Maria Fabiola’s sudden disappearance – a potential kidnapping that shakes the quiet community and threatens to expose unspoken truths.


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For book clubs who seek unusual works of translation…

On the Line by Joseph Ponthus (translated by Stephanie Smee)

Unable to find work in his field, Joseph Ponthus enlists with a temp agency and starts to pick up casual shifts in the fish processing plants and abattoirs of Brittany. Day after day he records with infinite precision the nature of work on the production line: the noise, the weariness, the dreams stolen by the repetitive nature of exhausting rituals and physical suffering. But he finds solace in a life previously lived. Shelling prawns, he dreams of Alexandre Dumas. Pushing cattle carcasses, he recalls Apollinaire. And, in the grace of the blank spaces created by his insistent return to a new line of text – mirroring his continued return to the production line – we discover the woman he loves, the happiness of a Sunday, Pok Pok the dog, the smell of the sea.


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For book clubs looking for a local and damning memoir…

Black and Blue by Veronica Gorrie

A proud Kurnai woman, Veronica Gorrie grew up dauntless, full of cheek and a fierce sense of justice. After watching her friends and family suffer under a deeply compromised law-enforcement system, Gorrie signed up for training to become one of a rare few Aboriginal police officers in Australia. In her ten years in the force, she witnessed appalling institutional racism and sexism, and fought past those things to provide courageous and compassionate service to civilians in need, many Aboriginal themselves.

Gorrie frankly and movingly explores the impact of racism, the impact of intergenerational trauma resulting from cultural dispossession, and the inevitable difficulties of making her way as an Aboriginal woman in the white-and-male-dominated police force.


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For book clubs who know honest friendship is the light in darkness…

A Million Things by Emily Spurr

Rae is ten years old, and she’s tough. She’s had to be: life with her mother has taught her the world is not her friend. Now suddenly her mum is gone and Rae is alone, except for her dog Splinter. Rae can do a lot of things pretty well for a kid. She can take care of herself and Splints, stay under the radar at school and keep the front yard neat enough that the neighbours won’t get curious. But she is gnawed at by fear and sadness; haunted by the shadow of a terrible secret.

Lettie, who lives next door, might know more about Rae than she lets on. But she has her own reasons for keeping the world at arm’s length. When Rae finds out what they are, it seems like she and Lettie could help each other. But how long can a friendship last when it’s based on secrets?


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For book clubs interested in the other side of the story…

My Rock n Roll Friend by Tracey Thorn

In 1983, backstage at the Lyceum in London, Tracey Thorn and Lindy Morrison first met. Tracey’s music career was just beginning, while Lindy, drummer for The Go-Betweens, was ten years her senior. They became confidantes, comrades and best friends. Morrison - a headstrong heroine blazing her way through a male-dominated industry – came to be a kind of mentor to Thorn. They shared the joy and the struggle of being women in a band.

In My Rock n Roll Friend Thorn takes stock of thirty-seven years of friendship, teasing out the details of connection and affection between two women who seem to be either complete opposites or mirror images of each other. This important book asks what people see, who does the looking, and ultimately who writes women out of – and back into – history.


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For book clubs wanting a book with buzz and backbone…

The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton

Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, a Black punk artist before her time. When aspiring British singer/songwriter Nev discovers her one night, she takes him up on his offer to make music together.

In early seventies NYC, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s protest and the ensuing violence set off a life-changing series of events while reminding her the repercussions for truth-tellers are always harsher for women, especially Black women. In this incredible faux-memoir, a 2016 Opal considers a reunion while encountering truths once thought buried in the past.


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For book clubs enjoying the trend of myths retold with a feminist lens…

Ariadne by Jeniffer Saint

As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur - Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother - demands blood every year.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods - drawing their attention can cost you everything.

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On the Line: Notes from a Factory

On the Line: Notes from a Factory

Joseph Ponthus

$27.99Buy now

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