What we’re reading: Perret, Wright & Mildenhall

Each week we bring you a sample of the books we’re reading, the films we’re watching, the television shows we’re hooked on, or the music we’re loving.


Chris Gordon is reading The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall (available September)

I was kept wide awake last night because of bloody Kate Mildenhall’s forthcoming novel, The Mother Fault. Set in Australia in the near (but please god, let it not be so) future, this novel is a complete twist-in-your-gut kind of read. At the book’s core is Mim, a mother dealing with guilt and fear as she searches for her missing husband Ben. Nobody knows where he is – not even the government which is now known as The Department – but Mim know she will do anything to save her children from a future without choices. The stakes are high, the journey is arduous, the ending is horrific yet somehow hopeful. Mildenhall blends suspense with anguish, responsibility with distress, and holds primal love above all else. This is a perfect pick for those that loved Alice Robinson’s The Glad Shout. I feel lucky to have received an early reading copy and I urge you all to look out for in in bookshops in September.


Bronte Coates is reading A Bear Named Bjorn by Delphine Perret (translated by Antony Shugaar)

Catharina Valckx’s Bruno was a big hit with Readings staff and customers a few years ago, and those same fans will likely be similarly charmed by the off-beat A Bear Named Bjorn. With sparse text and simple line drawings, French writer and artist Delphine Perret invites small readers to enter the whimsical, slow-moving world of Bjorn the bear and the other forest animals. These gentle, funny stories are perfect for thoughtful beginner readers, and especially animal lovers.


Lian Hingee is reading Get Well Soon by Jennifer Wright

What to read during a pandemic? A book about history’s worst plagues of course!

Jennifer Wright’s first book, It Ended Badly, was an absolutely hilarious round-up of the worst break-ups in history, and it did a brilliant job of putting my own heartbreaks into perspective. Her second book Get Well Soon takes an equally well-researched deep dive into diseases including the bubonic plague, smallpox, typhoid, and of course the Spanish Flu.

With chapter titles like ‘Frogs Don’t Save Lives; Readings History Books Does’ and ‘Try Being Nice Instead of Burning People as Witches’ (not to mention ‘Elect Sane, Calm Leaders’, I felt like it might just be the antidote for the many hours I was spending scouring the internet for information on Covid-19. Like It Ended Badly, Get Well Soon is fantastically entertaining as well as being educational. The chapter on the Spanish Plague (which, FYI, started in Kansas, so take that everyone who says it’s okay that Trump calls Covid-19 ‘The Chinese Flu’ because that’s where it came from) is particularly enlightening. In Get Well Soon, Wright has done a masterful job of bringing history to life, drawing clever parallels between ancient times and today. She has a sharply satirical voice, and despite the grim subject matter this book had me snort-laughing on a regular basis.

A Bear Named Bjorn

A Bear Named Bjorn

Delphine Perret, Antony Shugaar

$24.99Buy now

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