Small press & self-published highlights in April

At Readings, we consider supporting small publishers and self-published authors to be an important responsibility, and we offer the opportunity for titles to be left on a consignment basis at our shops. Below are four titles that are currently available both in-store and online. In their own way, each book investigates humanities dual capacity for terror and for greatness.


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Still Alive by Safdar Ahmed

In early 2011, Safdar Ahmed visited Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre for the first time. He brought pencils and sketchbooks into the centre and started drawing with the people detained there. Their stories are told in this book.

Interweaving journalism, history and autobiography, Still Alive is an intensely personal indictment of Australia’s refugee detention policies and procedures. It is also a searching reflection on the redemptive power of art. And death metal.


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Grimmish by Michael Winkler

Pain was Joe Grim’s self-expression, his livelihood and reason for being. In 1908-09 the Italian-American boxer toured Australia, losing fights but amazing crowds with his showmanship and resilience. On the east coast Grim played a supporting role in the Jack Johnson-Tommy Burns Fight of the Century; on the west coast he was committed to an insane asylum. In between he played with the concept and reality of pain in a shocking manner not witnessed before or since.

Award-winning writer Michael Winkler braids the story of Grim in Australia and meditations on pain with thoughts on masculinity and vulnerability, plus questionable jokes, in a haymaker of highly creative non-fiction.


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Never Surrender by Georgina Hibberd

Raw and uncompromising, this is not just the story of the Greater Western Sydney Giants, but of the AFLW Women’s Competition in Australia. It is an unflinching look at the reality for women playing Australian Football at the highest level.

Georgina Hibberd was given full and unfettered access to the players and Club during their 2020 season. She draws back the curtain on the passionate wins and soul crushing losses and gives us a human insight into the make-up of one of the inaugural teams of the AFLW.


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Hard Wired by Emma Carney

Fresh out of school and emerging as a distance running star, Emma Carney discovered the sport of triathlon. The sport was never the same again. With an unmatched record, she devastated the international circuit. Defined by a relentless pursuit of sporting excellence, Emma was known to detest losing more than she loved to win.

At home in the cutthroat world of professional sport, Emma didn’t expect a welcoming party waiting for her when she reached the pinnacle of triathlon. A fiercely independent athlete, fitting in and conforming was never her style. Emma’s is a life publicly defined by winning. But success is fickle and life is fragile. Emma’s story reveals that international sporting success is about much more than winning.

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Still Alive

Still Alive

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