Books posts

May Highlights

by Martin Shaw

Several books likely to make my best-books-of-the-year list are released this month – and also several surely bound for literary prize shortlists. It really is an extraordinary offering!

So, let’s dive in to the exceptionally strong range of new Australian fiction. First up is a debut from Maxine Beneba Clarke, Foreign Soil – a short-story collection that forswears any sort of literary comfort z…

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An Extract from Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke

by Maxine Beneba Clarke

In Foreign Soil, Melbourne writer Maxine Beneba Clarke has given a voice to the disenfranchised, the lost, the downtrodden and the mistreated. It will challenge you, it will have you by the heartstrings. This is contemporary fiction at its finest. Here we share one of the stories from the book - ‘Dave’.

She had a shiny cherry-red frame, scooped alloy Harley handlebars and sleek metal pedals. …

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Last week’s top ten bestsellers

Diary of a Foreign Minister by Bob Carr Australian Notebooks by Betty Churcher The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Stoner by John Williams Cadence by Emma Ayres N by John A. Scott By Its Cover by Donna Leon Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi Burial Rites by Hannah Kent We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Two Australian non-fiction titles top our bestsellers this week: …

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What books would Hermione Granger read as an adult?

by Bronte Coates

She’d indulge in literary snobbery.

For the most part, I see Hermione’s taste as being rather high-brow and - dare I say - she’d probably be a huge snob when it came to her bookshelves. She’d read all the big awards - which in recent times includes Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries (winner of the 2013 Man Booker) and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch (winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize) - as well as the …

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Last week’s top ten bestsellers

Australian Notebooks by Betty Churcher Stoner by John Williams Burial Rites by Hannah Kent Diary of a Foreign Minister by Bob Carr The Sleepers Almanac No. 9 edited by Zoe Dattner & Louise Swinn The Feast Goes on by Monday Morning Cooking Club Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Playing To Win by Michael Gordon Flash Boys by Michael Lewis

After a wonderfull…

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Shame in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle series

by Gerard Elson

Last week saw the release of Boyhood Island, the third volume in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle series, and over the weekend the Guardian published a piece by Hari Kunzru asking is the author brave or shameless? Here, bookseller Gerard Elson responds.

I can’t think of a less appropriate descriptor for Knausgaard than ‘shameless’. He’s the converse of that, its blue, black and white photo ne…

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April Highlights

by Martin Shaw

Earlier this year I penned a ‘Most-Anticipated Books of 2014’ column, and – as is always the way – I soon came to regret my sins of omission, more recently becoming aware of other forthcoming works that belonged on my radar. One such is the new novel from John A. Scott, who, literally the day after submitting my column, wandered into our Carlton shop to tell me that his long-awaited new novel was…

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