Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

29 Jul 2013

His Stupid Boyhood: A Memoir by Peter Goldsworthy

Jul 2013 | $29.99pb | Hamish Hamilton

The subject of Peter Goldsworthy’s title is his first eighteen years and ‘the getting of stupidity; the getting of wisdom would have to wait’. His father was a teacher, which meant that, in the 1950s and 1960s, the Goldsworthy family was frequently uprooted to different parts of South Australia and, in one memorable instance, to Darwin. People were left behind, but, most importantly, each move introduced Peter to new books and new ideas. The story of his youth is also one of serious illness, from asthma to later lung problems which required serious medical attention. These physical weaknesses did not stop Peter taking on all-comers in verbal contests, although physical defence of his honour was often delegated to more capable friends. In self-deprecating terms Peter describes his naive, self-confident ways, which often ruined attempts to make meaningful contact with girls, and which still caused him trouble as an eighteen-year-old. But Peter was not just a reader; by the end of the book he has become a writer, a published poet and a medical student. The writing is honest, unflaggingly humorous and entertaining, and conjures up wonderful images which enable the reader to share Peter Goldsworthy’s own journey. More please.

BiP Staff Review by Chris

18 Jul 2013

2013 Caldecott Medal WINNER

Jon Klassen’s weird and wacky sense of humour prevails once again in this cautionary (but very funny) tale about a thief who thinks he’s got away with it... For ages 3 and up.

2013 Caldecott Honour Book

I Want My Hat Back--Jon Klassen's picture book debut--tells a cumulative tale with a cheeky twist, aided by graphically simple, and truly hilarious, illustrations.

12 Jul 2013

EXTRACT: Blood Witness by Alex Hammond


There were mangroves here, which meant saltwater crocodiles and sharks too. But that was why they had come. Rachel had wanted to see the sharks.

Will Harris sat on the bow listening to the sails yawn against the wind as the boat sliced through the water seeking out a new dive site among Palau's limestone islands. They had spent the trip sailing through over two hundred and fifty of them, a maze of verdant green and azure sea.

Rachel crept up from behind and wrapped her legs and arms around him.

'Hey,' she said.

'How are you going, fiancée?'

Speaking the word aloud still felt strange and thrilling. It was less than a week ago that he'd proposed on the beach, at a table on the sand illuminated by oil burners, watching the sun set over the pacific.

'I'm great. Properly relaxed, you know?'

'Well, don't get too calm, we're heading back in soon.'

'Hush now. We've got plenty of time together,' she said, pointing her legs out in front of them both and stretching her toes.

'If only we could stay out here forever.'

4 Jul 2013

More Than This by Patrick Ness

Sept 2013 | $27.95hb | Walker Books

When Patrick Ness wrote the amazing Chaos Walking series, he took young adult fiction to a new level and inspired a legion of readers and writers of all ages. The series won many awards including the Guardian Children’s fiction award, the Costa award and the most prestigious children’s book award: the Carnegie medal. His haunting follow up novel A Monster Calls won the Carnegie medal and also the Kate Greenaway medal for its illustrations.

The story begins with a boy Seth, nearly seventeen, walking into the ocean. The water is freezing, the waves enormous and he is soon overcome by their ferocity. His body is smashed into rocks and he drowns. He dies. Then he awakens and finds himself in a place entirely different to the one he just left, and yet, in the back of his mind, strangely familiar. And he is alone, completely alone…

Reading More Than This is like going on a journey into another world, where you open your mind to a myriad of possibilities of what reality is, or could be. What actually does happen when we die? Is there an afterlife? Is there a Hell? Are we held accountable for our actions in this life? All these and more philosophical questions are explored within this beautifully written novel. On another level, it is an exciting and captivating page-turner that would appeal to readers of science fiction, fantasy or just great adventure. There is no doubt that this book will make you think and keep you guessing until the end. 

Ness’s novels strike such a chord with young adult and adult readers alike, not only because his writing is, to quote author John Green, “insanely beautiful”, but also because he is a masterful storyteller. He creates real and complex characters that become like friends to the reader. We really do care what happens to them. Seth, our hero in More Than This is a fine example of this. We are right there beside him on his incredible journey that is fraught with pain, confusion and heartache and we’re right there with him when he discovers that, no matter how intensely difficult life can become, there really is more…and more and more. 

Patrick Ness really has a lot to say about life, the universe and everything. Thank you Patrick Ness, we could not have asked for more than this.

BiP staff review by Cathy

Purchase a copy of Patrick Ness’ new novel More Than This to go in the draw to win a set of the Chaos Walking series signed especially for Books in Print. A signed copy of A Monster Calls is also up for grabs as a runner-up prize. 

With each purchase of More Than This comes a letter from Patrick Ness exclusive to his Australian and New Zealand fans - but only limited number are available!