Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

25 Jun 2010

Miles Franklin Literary Award

2010 Miles Franklin Award Winner
Peter Temple - Truth

At the close of a long day, Inspector Stephen Villani stands in the bathroom of a luxury apartment high above the city. In the glass bath, a young woman lies dead, a panic button within reach.
So begins Truth, the sequel to Peter Temple’s bestselling masterpiece, The Broken Shore, winner of the Duncan Lawrie Dagger for Best Crime Novel.

17 Jun 2010

Rare & Curious: The Secret History of Governor Macquarie's Collectors' Chest by Elizabeth Ellis

Miegunyah Press/Melbourne University Publishing

In 2004 the Macquarie collector’s chest was acquired by the Mitchell Library, where it was re-united with its twin, the Dixson Galleries chest, which had been acquired by the library in 1937. The newly-arrived chest had been in storage in a Scottish castle for more than one hundred and fifty years since its departure from Australian shores in 1822. The chests had been created more as ‘cabinets of curiosities’ to display paintings and samples of fauna for pleasure. Made in part from rosewood and red cedar, both native to New South Wales, the chests are examples of the fine furniture created in the colony.  Elizabeth Ellis, has produced a fascinating, detailed investigation into the provenance of the chests. The story covers personal and professional ambition, the lives of the convict artists and craftsmen who worked on the chests and the development of skilled labour under Macquarie, all set against the background of the infant colony.

Books in Print staff review by Chris *****

We, The Drowned by Carsten Jensen

Harvill Secker

Jensen introduces the reader to the small Danish community of Marstal, a port on the island of ├ćero which was renowned for the prowess of its sailors, at the outbreak of war with Germany in 1848. What follows is an exciting romp which follows several generations of Marstallers as they pursue their fates on the high seas. The book is peopled by a number of vivid characters, including Laurids Madsen, who survives the 1848 conflict and immediately sets sail for foreign shores, and his son Albert who, years later, sets off in pursuit of his father. Albert eventually returns to Marstal, where his considerable material success is sadly offset by an unwanted gift of prescience which enables him to foresee the loss of Marstal’s ships and their crews in the First World War. Under Albert’s tutelage a young boy, Knud Erik, learns seafaring skills against the wishes of his mother Klara, the widow of a Marstal sailor. When Klara inherits Albert’s fortune she uses the money to undermine Marstal’s shipping industry to save the men from the clutches of the sea. She is angry and distraught when Knud Erik goes to sea and becomes embroiled in the naval conflict of the Second World War. Spanning a hundred years of maritime adventure, this 690-page novel creates its own world of magic.

Books in Print staff review by Chris *****