Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

26 May 2009

Dog Boy

by Evan Hornung

Dog Boy is a story about four-year-old Romochka, abandoned by his mother and uncle in Moscow in the mid 1980s. Alone in an apartment with no food and no heating, Romochka is forced onto the streets, with the voice of his mother ringing in his ears - 'Do not talk to strangers'. Hungry and freezing, the boy sees a dog on the street and recalls a memory of hugging a neighbour's dog and being warmed by the fur. He follows the dog into the basement of a blackened, windowless church, and so begins the tale of Romochka's life as a dog. 

This beautiful and brutal book is eloquently written, and it's impossible not to be touched by the characters (both dog and human). Long after you finish reading this, the story will replay in your head.

by Karen

Still Alice

by Lisa Genova
Simon & Schuster

First time novelist Lisa Genova has written a well-crafted, intelligent story.  When fifty-year-old Alice can't remember her way home from her daily jog, she realises that something is seriously wrong. With trepidation Alice tells her doctor, and her symptoms and further testing confirm that she is suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. The diagnosis is tragic, especially for someone like Alice who is a world renowned expert on linguistics and a published Harvard Professor. As Alice's world falls apart, she tries valiantly to hold on to her true self while renegotiating her relationships with her husband and children. Her relationship with her youngest daughter is fractitious and Alice disapproves of her lifestyle, while her husband would rather pretend that nothing has changed. Alice knows that soon she will soon forget everything, and all that will be left is love. The author is well equipped to write about this subject as she has a PhD in neuroscience and is a columnist for the National Alzheimer's Association.

I really enjoyed reading this, the characters were very interesting, and the dialogue is quite restrained so it never falls into mawkish sentimentality. 

by Karen

20 May 2009

Tsiolkas wins Commonwealth Writers' Prize

Best-selling Melbourne author Christos Tsiolkas has won the 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for his critically acclaimed fourth novel The Slap

At the award ceremony held on Saturday at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival, Mohammed Hanif's A Case Of Exploding Mangoes also won the overall prize for best first book. 

Click here for information on all of this year's regional winners.

13 May 2009

Jasper Jones

by Craig Silvey
Allen & Unwin

Jasper Jones is an outcast growing up in a small mining town town in Western Australia during the Vietnam War. His aboriginal mother is dead, and his caucasian father is a deadbeat drunk. 

In a place where everyone knows everyone else's business, the disappearance of the shire president's daughter is all the more mysterious. But Jasper knows the truth. The girl is dead. And he knows full well that if the body is discovered, he will be blamed immediately. So Jasper enlists the help of Charlie, a bookish thirteen year old, to dispose of the evidence so they can get to the bottom of the mystery themselves. Charlie is apprehensive, but is compelled to help his new friend all the same. And as they try to figure out what happened to the missing girl, the family secrets of a cast of endearing, alcoholic, racist, and abusive characters are revealed.  A very entertaining and insightful read, packed with hilarious, witty dialogue.  I absolutely loved every minute of it! Recommended for book groups.

The film rights for Jasper Jones were secured by an Australian producer before it's publication. 
Craig Silvey's first novel Rhubarb was written when he was just 19 years old.

by Kristy