Alison Huber

Alison Huber is Readings’ Head Book Buyer and works at the Carlton store. She has been selling books in Melbourne for twenty years. She is also a recovering academic.

Reviews

Damascus by Christos Tsiolkas

Damascus is one of the standout novels of the year, delivered to us by the incomparable and singular writer who is Christos Tsiolkas, an author who reinvents himself with every single one of his book…

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Guest House for Young Widows by Azadeh Moaveni

What might make a woman – perhaps an educated woman from a stable family situation – travel to Syria to join the Islamic State? This is the foundational question of the brilliantly provocative and ge…

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Women, Men and the Whole Damn Thing by David Leser

Journalist David Leser has written a timely and passionate contribution to the public discourse that is emerging in the wake of the #MeToo movement. It’s the contribution of, in his own words, ‘a str…

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Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

It’s safe to say that you’ll be reading (or have already read) a lot of breathless and emotional endorsements for this book from readers far and wide – and this extraordinary piece of nonfiction dese…

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Lanny by Max Porter

Literature runs through Max Porter’s veins. He’s been editorial director at Granta and Portobello books, home to some of my favourite books of recent years, and penned the affecting and brilliant deb…

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The Little Girl on the Ice Floe by Adelaide Bon, translated by Ruth Diver

As the scale and impact of child sexual abuse is finally becoming acknowledged and understood (though tenuously so, as recent comments by a defence QC in a famous court case chillingly reminded us), …

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The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper

In February 2009, the state of Victoria experienced extreme weather events that provided the perfect conditions for the bushfire catastrophe that has come to be known as Black Saturday. One hundred a…

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Preservation by Jock Serong

A little-known (though maybe soon-to-be-well-known) historical event forms the basis for Jock Serong’s latest novel, Preservation.

Using the 1797 shipwreck of the Sydney Cove off the coast of Preser…

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Man Out of Time by Stephanie Bishop

Stephanie Bishop took themes of nostalgia, memory and migration and made them her own in her stunning 2015 Readings Prize-winning novel, The Other Side of the World. Bishop’s third novel, Man Out of

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Days of Awe by A.M. Homes

A.M. Homes is one of my favourite authors, and I am hungry for any new writing from her. Homes is a brilliant analyst of life in the anxious times of late capitalism, where personal relationships and…

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Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Since the age of 18, narrator Keiko has worked part time in a 24-hour Tokyo convenience store. Often baffled by societal norms, Keiko appreciates the order that the shop brings to her life; the stric…

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Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee

During her year as a judge’s associate in the District Court in Queensland, Bri Lee finds herself enduring case after case after case involving rape, sexual assault and child abuse. A fact that Lee k…

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Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday

Given the fact of the seemingly relentless media revelations of exploitation in all sorts of industries, I can’t think of a better time to read a smart book about uneven power dynamics. Lisa Halliday…

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In the Garden of the Fugitives by Ceridwen Dovey

Ceridwen Dovey won the inaugural Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction in 2014 with her book of short stories, Only the Animals, an audacious and original work of imagination. Dovey’s new novel c…

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My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

Sometimes, it’s a single character that makes a novel unforgettable; sometimes an intense plot puts you in a book’s grip; other times still, it’s the writer’s craft that draws you in and keeps you th…

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Miss Jane by Brad Watson

Miss Jane Chisolm is born on a farm in Mississippi in the early part of the last century. Before too long it becomes apparent that she has a genital birth defect that she will need to live with, one …

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The Girls by Emma Cline

There’s no other way for me to say it: I love this book. It’s a debut from a young writer called Emma Cline who I feel is a literary star of the future – actually, scrap that – of the present. This b…

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The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay

When I was at the American Booksellers Association Winter Institute in January this year, it seemed like pretty much everyone was talking about The Mirror Thief. First, I heard the impassioned pitch …

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Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves

Virginia Reeves has written an extremely affecting debut novel set during the age of electrification in 1920s Alabama. It’s the kind of story that will stay with you long after you start reading the …

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The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie

You may not immediately recognise the name of the economist, sociologist and critic of modernity, Thorstein Veblen, but you will recognise some of the concepts that he introduced into the twentieth c…

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Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

Speculative imaginings of our world in the wake of climate change are providing many authors with rich material for exploration. It’s fertile ground for some big questions that we should probably all…

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Purity by Jonathan Franzen

Fellow lovers of Big American Novels, clear your diaries: the new Jonathan Franzen is here. It has been five long years since Franzen’s last work of fiction, Freedom, and it has been worth the wait. …

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A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler

This small book makes a huge impact. It has been a bestseller in its original German language publication (selling some 150,000 copies) and readers can now join in this thoroughly deserved enthusiasm…

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Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson

Sometimes it feels like books find their own way to you. I was drawn to Fourth of July Creek in a pile of proofs at the Carlton office for no particular reason, and it turned out to be an exact fit f…

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Alice Spring by Eleanor Hogan

This handsome book is the latest addition to New South’s justly successful series about Australian cities, focusing this time on the capital of ‘Centralia’, Alice Springs. Countless readers have reli…

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Tigers in Red Weather by Lisa Klaussmann

Read our Q&A with Liza Klaussmann here.

Let me first deal with two items of publicity that will inevitably precede this book – one, it is the debut novel by Herman Melville’s great-great-great-gran…

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News

The best non-fiction books of 2019

by Alison Huber

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books, albums, films and TV shows of the past 12 months. Here are our top 10 non-fiction books of the year, voted for by Readings' staff, and displayed in no particular order. (You can find all our best picks for books, music & DVDs of 2019 here.) Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Three Women is an incredibly accomplished piece of writing, and a uniqu…

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The best international fiction books of 2019

by Alison Huber

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books, albums, films and TV shows of the past 12 months. Here are our top 10 international fiction books of the year, voted for by Readings' staff, and displayed in no particular order. (You can find all our best picks for books, music & DVDs of 2019 here.) Lanny by Max Porter

So many of us at Readings fell head over heels for Max Porter’s very…

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The best Australian fiction books of 2019

by Alison Huber

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books, albums, films and TV shows of the past 12 months. Here are our top 10 Australian fiction books of the year, voted for by Readings' staff, and displayed in no particular order. (You can find all our best picks for books, music & DVDs of 2019 here.) The White Girl by Tony Birch

The White Girl is local legend Tony Birch’s best novel to date…

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Dear Reader, November 2019

by Alison Huber

Did I think this time last year that I’d be encouraging everyone to read a book based on the life of St Paul and a bunch of other folks from biblical times? Certainly not, but here I am and it is so. The mighty Damascus is the book in question by the one and only Christos Tsiolkas. It’s our Fiction Book of the Month that everyone who cares about literature will be talking about very soon, roundin…

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Alice Robinson wins the 2019 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction

by Alison Huber

We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction is Alice Robinson, for her novel, The Glad Shout.

On hearing the news, Alice said, ‘I am absolutely elated to have been selected as the winner of the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction in 2019, a huge honour considering the incredible calibre of the books and writers on the shortlist. I …

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Dear Reader, October 2019

by Alison Huber

I think we’ll remember 2019 as a stellar year for Australian fiction. Our book of the month is There Was Still Love, the much-anticipated third novel from Favel Parrett. This quiet gem of a novel speaks the truth of familial love, particularly of the special relationships that exist between grandchildren and their grandparents, and explores timely themes of exile, home, and cultural memory. Two S…

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