Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

9 Sep 2015

BiP eNews

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Patrick Ness
Sept 2015 | Walker Books | $24.95hb

Patrick Ness is one of our favourite authors for young adults. Playing favourites is hard, but with a wide range of books that are consistently stunning, a scope of ideas that is sweeping, socially-minded, funny yet deeply engaging, and a style of delivery that is – always - breath-taking, well, yeah. Patrick Ness is probably our favourite! And we also know he’s a favourite of many of our YA readers, too.

An extract from The Guardian’s review of his latest offering, The Rest of Us Just Live Here, says it all really:

"By turns hilarious and poignant, The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a novel that requires you to suspend your disbelief and enjoy the ride. In a narrative that features zombie deer, a demigod of cats and mountain lions, and mysterious pillars of blue light, Ness clearly has enormous fun with the fantasy tropes beloved of his audience. It is not straight satire, although there are satirical elements, his principal aim being to turn the ubiquitous “Chosen One” meme on its head. He neither denigrates nor condescends, rather, he constructs a story that puts “the chosen ones” in their place, consigning them, literally, to the margins of the action."

BiP are celebrating this Nessy new release with a competition!

One lucky fan will win a rare, limited edition signed proof copy of The Rest of Us Just Live Here simply by telling us in 25 words or less which Patrick Ness novel is their favourite and why.

Recommended for 4+

The Day the Crayons Came Home

Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers
Sept 2015 | HarperCollins | $24.99hb

The hilarious sequel to the genius bestseller The Day the Crayons Quit is finally here. The crayons who quit in the last book are back and they're crosser than ever. One day Duncan receives a set of postcards from his crayons who been lost, forgotten, broken - even melted in a clothes dryer and stuck to a pair of underpants. Clever, laugh-out-loud text and joyful illustrations combine to show that crayons have feelings too…great fun to share with young children.

Recommended for 6+
Don’t Forget Tiggs!
Michael Rosen and Tony Ross
July 2015 | Andersen Press | $14.99hb

Mr and Mrs Hurry are always in a hurry. They never, ever stop rushing around. One morning they both forget to take their son Harry to school, but luckily for the Hurry family, someone else lives with them – their ginger cat Tiggs. When Tiggs realises what’s happened he’s on the case immediately, but how can a cat solve his foolish human’s problem? Well, Tiggs just happens to be one very smart (and very hungry) cat… 
Michael Rosen – perhaps best known for writing the classic children’s picture book We’re Going On A Bear Hunt – teams up with illustrator Tony Ross to create a fun and very funny novel, perfect for emerging readers.

26 Aug 2015

BiP eNews

Some books we have enjoyed recently...

The Simple Act of Reading
Debra Adelaide (ed)
June 2015 | Vintage | $29.99pb

Debra Adelaide has edited a charming collection of writers’ memories of their childhood reading. David Malouf, Carrie Tiffany, Joan London, Gabrielle Carey, Andy Griffiths and others wander down their own individual memory lanes, sharing their love of reading and its influence on their own writing. Books of this kind are fun as they remind us of our own past reading and help to unearth much that we had forgotten.
BiP guest review by Brendan Strauch
Australian Confederates: How 42 Australians joined the rebel cause and fired the last shot in the American Civil War
Terry Smyth
Aug 2015 | Ebury | $34.99pb

A young lad is rescued from a rushing creek in Northern Victoria. His rescuer is feted and goes on to write his own history in colonial Australia. Did a famous Victorian parliamentarian not attend the Melbourne Club dinner for visiting rebel officers, and if so, why not? Where does the last stitch go in the burial shroud of a sailor?

These anecdotes form a small but fascinating part of this eminently readable insight into the political machinations, social history and the international diplomatic storm surrounding the visit to Melbourne of the Confederate raider CSS Shenandoah in the summer of 1865. How did forty-two Australians sail off into history to participate in one of the defining moments in the history of the United States? Victoria was a British colonial outpost and was subject to the laws of the mother country, but in the state of the Eureka rebellion the confederate cause found sympathy, not necessarily on the question of slavery but rather in a desire for sovereignty and independence. Australian Confederates is an intriguing tale of how, in a world devoid of convenient communication, the Civil War continued for the captain and crew of the CSS Shenandoah long past the surrender of the southern rebel states and how, in the year of its 150th anniversary, there exists this little-known link between the United States and Australia.
A Little Life
Hanya Yanagihara
May 2015 | Picador | $32.99pb
Long-listed for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, A Little Life is a work of extraordinary intelligence and heart, a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark and haunting examination of the tyranny of experience and memory.

Brace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting and profoundly moving book in many a season. Hanya Yanagihara’s novel is an epic about love and friendship in the twenty-first century that goes into some of the darkest places fiction has ever travelled and yet somehow improbably breaks through into the light. When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they are broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he will not only be unable to overcome, but that will define his life forever. This book has become a staff favourite.
The Blue Guitar
John Banville
August 2015 | Vintage | $32.99pb

Oliver Orme used to be a painter, well-known and well-rewarded, but the muse has deserted him. He is also, as he confesses, a thief; he does not steal for gain, but for the thrill of possession, the need to capture and fix the world around him. His worst theft is Polly, the wife of his friend Marcus, with whom he has had an affair. When the affair is discovered, Oliver hides himself away in his childhood home and from here he tells the story of a year, from one autumn to the next.

In his delineation of Oliver, John Banville has created one of the most memorable characters in recent fiction: compelling yet weak, desperate for love and yet inclined towards acts of terrible mischief. Set in a reimagined Ireland that is both familiar and deeply unsettling, The Blue Guitar reveals a life haunted by the desire to possess and always aware of the frailty of the human heart.

A Guide to Berlin
Gail Jones
Aug 2015 | Vintage | $32.99pb       **BiP price $27.99

A Guide to Berlin' is the name of a short story written by Vladimir Nabokov in 1925, when he was a young man of 26, living in Berlin.

A group of six international travellers, two Italians, two Japanese, an American and an Australian, meet in empty apartments in Berlin to share stories and memories. Each is enthralled in some way to the work of Vladimir Nabokov, and each is finding their way in deep winter in a haunted city. A moment of devastating violence shatters the group, and changes the direction of everyone's story. Brave and brilliant, A Guide to Berlin traces the strength and fragility of our connections through biographies and secrets.


Young adult fiction

Freedom Ride

Sue Lawson
July 2015 | Walker Books | $17.95pb

I was born in 1955; Freedom Ride is set in 1965. It concerns the Freedom Ride, headed by Charles Perkins, which trekked around country Victoria to ascertain the living conditions of Aborigines. The situation of Aborigines at the time was nothing short of shameful and hard to credit from this distance in 2015. However, as a glance at any sports page in a newspaper in recent times will show, not a lot has changed. This gripping story is told through the eyes of teenage Robbie (a little like Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, if you will) and I was alternately shamed and riveted by it. Robbie knows bad things happen in Walgaree. But it's nothing to do with him. That's just the way the Aborigines have always been treated. In the summer of 1965 racial tensions in the town are at boiling point, and something headed Walgaree's way will blow things apart. It's time for Robbie to take a stand. Nothing will ever be the same.


Fiona Wood
Aug 2015 | Macmillan | $19.99pb

Some novelists have a certain way of creating characters and stories that stay with you for days, even weeks after you have finished reading. For us, Fiona Wood is one of those rare and gifted writers. In her latest book, Cloudwish, Fiona revisits characters we met, sometimes fleetingly, in her previous, award-winning books Six Impossible Things and Wildlife. Cloudwish is a moving, insightful and beautifully written story with explorations of the migrant experience and, ultimately, what it means to love, at its core. Cath and Lucy absolutely adored this book for young adults.

15 Aug 2015

The 65-Storey Treehouse

At long last, the wait is over: the fifth volume of the phenomenon that is Andy Griffths and Terry Denton’s ever-expanding Treehouse series in now in stock!

Andy and Terry’s amazing 65-Storey Treehouse has a pet-grooming salon, a birthday room where it’s always your birthday (even when it’s not), a room full of exploding eyeballs, a lollipop shop, a quicksand pit, an ant farm, a time machine and Tree-NN: a 24-hour-a-day TV news centre keeping you up to date with all the latest treehouse news, current events and gossip.

So, what are you waiting for? Come on up and join in the fun!

6 Aug 2015

BiP eNews

Circling the Sun
Paula McLain
July 2015 | Virago | $29.99pb

The author of The Paris Wife takes readers to the heart of another true story: set in 1920s colonial Kenya, Circling the Sun is about an unforgettable woman who lived by nobody's rules but her own. As a young girl, Beryl Markham was brought to Kenya from Britain by parents dreaming of a new life. For her mother the dream quickly turned sour and she returned home. Beryl was brought up by her father, who switched between indulgence and heavy-handed authority, allowing her first to run wild on their farm, then incarcerating her in the classroom. The scourge of governesses and a serial absconder from boarding school, by the age of sixteen Beryl had been catapulted into a disastrous marriage - but it was in facing up to this reality that she took charge of her own destiny. Scandalizing high society with her errant behaviour, she left her husband and became the first woman ever to hold a professional racehorse trainer's licence. After falling in with the notoriously hedonistic and gin-soaked Happy Valley set, Beryl soon became embroiled in a complex love triangle with the writer Karen Blixen and big game-hunter Denys Finch Hatton (immortalized in Blixen's memoir Out of Africa). It was this unhappy affair which set tragedy in motion, while awakening Beryl to her truest self, and to her fate: to fly.

BiP staff review by Christine

Tim Griffiths
July 2015 | Allen & Unwin | $29.99pb

Well, what a ride, courtesy of Frank Hurley, photographer-extraordinaire and intrepid adventurer. You know the kind – traipsing through Antarctica with Douglas Mawson in sandshoes and a heavy coat and then, for some light relief, deciding to document the grinding terror that was the Western Front in 1917. Frank Hurley’s life and work have been well documented but Tim Griffiths has imagined his protagonist well, sticking closely to the truth and injecting a big dose of derring-do. If nothing else, Endurance is a great book for winter in Melbourne – it makes you feel that perhaps it is not that cold here after all!

BiP staff review by Christine

Flesh Wounds
Richard Glover
Sept 2015 | ABC Books | $29.99pb

Sydney radio presenter and journalist Richard Glover was born into what we might now call a dysfunctional family. His mother concocted a variety of stories about her upbringing, always making it better than it was. His father was a drinker, always searching for happiness after his divorce, with wives, boats and expensive possessions. Richard was an afterthought and never knew his extended family. Conversational and self-effacing in tone, Flesh Wounds follows Richard’s life and search for a family and sense of self. It is a warm, engaging and satisfying book.

BiP staff review by Christine

Long Bay
Eleanor Limprecht
Aug 2015 | Sleepers | $24.95pb

I picked this book up because of its intriguing cover and was not disappointed. The novel is based on Rebecca Sinclair, who was born into poverty in Sydney in 1885. She learned dressmaking skills at her widowed mother’s knee, unknowingly married a bigamist and ended up in Long Bay Women’s Reformatory after a short-lived career as an abortionist. The author has researched her subject thoroughly and this results in a satisfying and fascinating story. In this case you can judge a book by its cover.

22 Jul 2015

BiP eNews

This week we are highlighting three wonderful new picture books. We hope you enjoy them.

Recommended for 5+

Trace Balla
March 2015 | Allen & Unwin | $24.99hb

“It’s like the world has stopped…even the birds are quiet…I listen…nothing…just breathing…”

If it wasn’t for the enthusiastic (see below) David Suzuki quote on the cover, or the animated conversation (prompted by Trace Balla’s lovely drawings) that Sue and Kristy were having about the joys of river holidays at the back counter one afternoon, I’m not sure I’d have noticed this book. What a shame, for this picture book is very special indeed.

Clancy isn’t looking forward to the canoeing trip that his Uncle Egg, a bird enthusiast with a deep love of nature, has organised. But the trip opens up a whole new world for 10-year-old Clancy and, in turn, to us as readers. They meet the locals while faffing around on the river, see the stars in crystal clear night skies and even spy – how cool! - a wallaby swimming. Shortlisted by the CBC in the Picture Book of The Year category for 2015, this treasure of a story book, complete with thoughtful, detailed drawings, is a celebration of our unique Australian river systems, specifically The Glenelg. I sincerely hope this book wins as its environmental message is presented in an affirming and delightful way. Timely, gently funny and very beautiful.

“All children need an Uncle Egg to open up the magical world of nature. We all need to get outside, away from the television, computers and mobile phones…a delightful story about the joys of the outdoors.” David Suzuki

Recommended for 4+

Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats
Alicia Potter and Birgitta Sif
July 2015 | Walker Books | $24.95hb

A tale with many tails, perfect for animal lovers of every hue! Full of scaredy cats, some terrified of mice, others frightened of birds; cats who can't pounce, cats who won't purr. Miss Hazeltine takes them all into her Home for Shy and Fearful Cats and teaches them everything she knows: 'Bird Basics', 'How Not to Fear the Broom' and how to "Hold your tails high! Arch your backs! Think good thoughts!". But under the bed hides nervous little Crumb...Will Miss Hazeltine be able to help the most shy and fearful kitty of them all? Stunningly illustrated by Birgitta Sif, this is a story about conquering your fears, being brave and finding your moment to shine.

8 Jul 2015

Harper Lee's long-awaited first novel

Go Set a Watchman
Harper Lee
14 July 2015 | William Heinemann | $45.00 HB     BiP price $32.95

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was Harper Lee's debut novel which was never published and was assumed to have been lost. Lee's publishers were completely captivated by Scout and her childhood and asked Lee to focus on that part of the story. Thus To Kill a Mockingbird was written.

Go Set a Watchman is set during the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from To Kill A Mockingbird some twenty years later. Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father's attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.

3 Jul 2015

BiP eNews

Crime and Mystery fiction is as popular as ever. We have listed below some of the best novels we have read recently, with locations which range from Italy, Japan, Mexico, Melbourne, and even, most unlikely of all, Wilmslow in England. We hope you find something to enjoy. If you would like more information about crime fiction, please drop in and talk to Deborah or Leonie.

BiP staff review by Leonie

The Dying Season
Martin Walker
July 2015 | Quercus | $29.99pb

In the eighth book in the Bruno, Chief of Police series, Bruno is thrilled to be invited to the ninetieth birthday celebration for his childhood hero ‘The Patriarch’, local war hero, ace pilot and astute businessman. The following day Bruno is called back to the chateau where one of the guests, a close family friend, has been found dead. At first it appears that the man has died of natural causes, but Bruno is not convinced, especially when the family cover up all traces of the tragedy and arrange for a speedy cremation. His day gets even busier after a fatal car crash is caused by local deer on the road. Secrets, lies, politics and a little bit of modern Russian history are interspersed with Martin Walker’s usual mix of French country life, delicious food and wine. What more could you want on a cold winter’s day?

BiP staff review by Leonie

The Ends of the Earth (3)
Robert Goddard
July 2015 | Bantam | $32.99pb

At last, part three of The Wide World Trilogy has arrived. When James Maxted was last seen he was about to be executed by one of spymaster Fritz Lemmer’s men. At the beginning of The Ends of the Earth Max’s friends are heading for Japan to track down his father’s killers, unaware of Max’s fate. They also intended to crack the German-Japanese spy network which had infiltrated the western security services. Japan in 1919 was a very different place from the Europe they knew. Who could be trusted? Long-kept secrets are at the heart of the trilogy and their revelation brings it to a satisfying conclusion. I really enjoyed all three books; Robert Goddard is a great storyteller. 

Fall of Man in Wilmslow: The Death and Life of Alan Turing
David Lagercrantz
May 2015 | Maclehose | $29.99pb

Leonard Corell, a detective sergeant in the sleepy town of Wilmslow, is disillusioned with his lot. Tasked with investigating the suicide of a local recluse, Alan Turing, Corell is torn between admiration for the dead man's genius and disgust for his sexuality. In the face of opposition from his superiors, Corell continues to investigate the open-and-shut case, stumbling across forbidden knowledge about the marvels of Bletchley Park, and the horrors of its hero's downfall. As this succession of remarkable discoveries drives Corell to examine his own prejudice, he is rocked by two startling developments. His much-loved Aunt Vicky is exposed as a lesbian, and his increasingly hostile bosses are demanding he investigate rumours of homosexual activity in Wilmslow. To make matters worse, it seems Corell's questions might be answered sooner than he imagined. His curiosity takes him far out of his depth and he soon realizes he has much to learn about the dangers of forbidden knowledge.

David Lagercrantz was engaged by the estate of Stieg Larsson to continue the Millennium series. The Girl in the Spider’s Web will be published on 28th August 2015.

The Cartel
Don Winslow
July 2015 | William Heinemann | $32.99pb

The Cartel is a gripping true-to-life epic of power, corruption, revenge and justice from the internationally best-selling author of the acclaimed novel The Power of the Dog.  It is now 2004 and DEA agent Art Keller has been fighting the war on drugs for thirty years in a blood feud against Adan Barrera, the head of El Federacion, the world's most powerful cartel, and the man who brutally murdered Keller's partner. Finally putting Barrera away costs Keller dearly - the woman he loves, the beliefs he cherishes, and the life he wants to lead. Then Barrera gets out of jail, determined to rebuild the empire that Keller shattered. Unwilling to live in a world with Barrera in it, Keller goes on a ten-year odyssey to take him down. His obsession with justice becomes a ruthless struggle that stretches from the cities, mountains and deserts of Mexico, to Washington's corridors of power, to the streets of Berlin and Barcelona. Keller fights his personal battle against the devastated backdrop of Mexico's drug war, a conflict of unprecedented scale and viciousness, as cartels vie for power and he comes to the final reckoning with Barrera that he always knew must happen. The Cartel is true-to-life story of power, corruption, revenge, honour and sacrifice, as one man tries to face down the devil without losing his soul. It is the story of the war on drugs and the men and women who wage it.

The Unbroken Line
Alex Hammond
June 2015 | Michael Joseph | $32.99pb

The violence of the past casts a long shadow – a dark legacy with lethal consequences. When defence lawyer Will Harris is attacked by masked men with a clear message to back off, he has no choice but to listen. If only he knew what they were talking about. Under siege as his fledgling law firm struggles to get off the ground, Will agrees to defend the troubled son of a family friend. But the case is far from clear-cut and the ethical boundaries are murky. Instead of clawing his way out of trouble, Will finds he's sinking ever deeper. At the same time, his search for his attackers unearths an unexpected source that points him towards Melbourne's corridors of power. But motives, let alone proofs, are hard to find. It is only when those close to him are threatened that Will realises how near he is to the deadly truth. Gripping, sophisticated and strikingly atmospheric, The Unbroken Line creates a remarkable portrait of power, revenge and corruption, rooted in a vivid and unmistakably Australian setting.

The Unbroken Line is the sequel to Alex Hammond’s debut novel Blood Witness.

BiP staff review by Leonie
The Slaughter Man
Tony Parsons
June 2015 | Century | $32.99pb

After a cracker of a debut in The Murder Bag Max Wolfe is back in the gritty sequel The Slaughter Man. Still living alone with his gorgeous little daughter Scout, Max is doing his best to juggle a good home life for her with the demands of his job. The murder team is called out on New Year’s Day to the particularly brutal murder of four members of a wealthy family near Highgate Cemetery in London. Not only do the team members have to hunt for the murderer, but they must also search for missing four-year-old Bradley, who was not with the rest of the family. The similarity of these killings with a case from many years before gives a definite lead to the killer. There are ruthless and desperate men involved both with the murders and the missing boy. Many of the team are badly injured during the pursuit, and Max nearly dies, with only his love for Scout giving him the will to survive. The Slaughter Man is gripping British crime fiction at its best. You will not want to put it down.

2 Jul 2015

Top Ten Crime and Mystery

Our current Top Ten Crime and Mystery books

1. Girl on the Train
    – Paula Hawkins $32.99pb

2. Falling in Love
    – Donna Leon $29.99pb

3. I Am Pilgrim
    – Terry Hayes $19.99pb

4. The Lady from Zagreb
    – Philip Kerr $26.99pb

5. Certain Admissions: A Beach, a Body and a Lifetime of Secrets
    – Gideon Haigh $32.99pb

6. Memory Man
    – David Baldacci $29.99pb

7. Murder Bag
    – Tony Parsons $19.99pb

8. Disclaimer
    – Renee Knight $32.99pb

9. Slaughter Man
    – Tony Parsons $32.99pb

10. The Lost Swimmer
    – Ann Turner $29.99pb

17 Jun 2015

BiP eNews

A new book by Gideon Haigh, new and forthcoming fiction titles, and three beautiful new picture books by author-illustrators

Certain Admissions: A Beach, a Body and a Lifetime of Secrets
Gideon Haigh
June 2015 | Viking | $32.99 pb

A fascinating look at post-war Melbourne, the operation of its legal system and the prevailing social attitudes.

One evening in December 1949 young Beth Williams accepted an invitation to dinner from John Bryan Kerr, a former radio star she had originally met in her native Tasmania. Later that night she was murdered on Melbourne’s Middle Park Beach. Kerr was subsequently arrested and put on trial for her murder. A well-educated young man who had had many opportunities to break into commercial radio, he had been dismissed several times due to poor attitude and occasional violent outbursts. He protested his innocence throughout his incarceration in Pentridge Prison after three celebrated trials. On his release in 1962 he changed his name and enjoyed a quietly successful life until his death in 2001. In 2012 another man confessed on his deathbed to Beth’s murder. Gideon Haigh has examined the original police files concerning the Beth Williams investigation, which contained a detailed handwritten but unsigned confession, supposedly composed by one of the investigating detectives. He describes the police culture of the times, which preferred confession to conviction by scientific evidence, and details the arguments in the trials which finally convicted Kerr.

The Truth According To Us
Annie Barrows
June 2015 | Bantam | $32.99 pb

Celebrated co-author of the global bestseller The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society once again evokes the charm and eccentricity of a small town filled with extraordinary characters.

In the summer of 1938 Layla Beck is forced out of the lap of luxury and sent by her Senator father to work on the Federal Writers' Project, a New Deal jobs program. Assigned to cover the history of the little mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, Layla envisions a summer of tedium. However, once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is completely drawn into their complex world. At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to acquire her favourite virtues of ferocity and devotion, but her search leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including the questionable business that occupies her charismatic father and the reason her adored aunt Jottie remains unmarried.

Simon Mawer
June 2015 | Little, Brown | $29.99 pb

A brilliant cold war spy story from the Man Booker shortlisted author of The Glass Room, continuing the story of Marian Sutro from The Girl Who Fell From the Sky.

Marian has survived Ravensbruck and returned home to Oxford, trying to adapt to the strange normality of life in post-war England. While Marian tries to rebuild her life and cast off her identity as a spy and heroine of the resistance, the memories of torture, heartbreak and betrayal will not leave her – and nor will the longing for adventure. She is de-briefed by the same branch of the secret service that sent her to Paris to extract a French atomic scientist. When her old handler tempts her back into the shadowy world of espionage, the need to serve the greater good proves hard to ignore. Drawn deep into the heart of cold war politics, Marian must risk everything to protect those she loves, to serve the cause she believes in and – most of all – to follow her own desires.

Rush Oh!

Shirley Barrett
Available Sept 2015 | Picador | $32.99 pb

Screenwriter and director Shirley Barrett has mixed fact and fiction to tell the story of the whaling community of Eden in the early years of the twentieth century.

The narrator of Rush Oh! is Mary Davidson, eldest daughter of George ‘Fearless’ Davidson, a third-generation Master Whaler who runs two boats in the whaling season. Mary has her own dreams and hopes: she is also attracting the attention of men, in particular that of a new ‘chum’, a former Methodist preacher with a mysterious past. She describes the hardships facing the whalers, who row in open boats for hours, in all weathers, in pursuit of their prey. George’s territory is Twofold Bay, which is also home to a pod of Killer whales, who help the men to capture the larger whales by confining each whale in the bay until the hunters arrive. The Killers were so well known that many were given names (the most famous, Tom, helped the whalers for over sixty years; his skeleton is on display in the Eden Killer Whale Museum). The harsh life of the whalers and their struggle for survival in the difficult season of 2008 is recounted with great feeling and respect and will resonate with readers of Australian history.


If you ever ever ever ever ever
If you ever ever ever see a whale
You must never never never never never
You must never never never touch its tail
For if you ever ever ever ever ever
If you ever ever ever touch its tail
You will never never never never never
You will never never see another whale.
- Anon.

There are few people, if any, who have not
heard of the Killer Whales of Twofold Bay –
of the great help they render to the whaling
crews at Eden and the names they bear, such
as Tom, Hooky, Humpy and Cooper . . .
And yet those who have known these strange
creatures for a lifetime look upon them as
friends; yes, just as much friends to the
whaling crews as the cattle dog to the drover;
just about as much, if not a little more so. 
Eden Observer and South Coast Advocate27 November 1903

3 Jun 2015

BiP eNews: Delightful new children's books

Recommended for 8+

Run, Pip, Run
J.C. Jones
March 2015 | Allen & Unwin | $12.99pb

Pip Sullivan’s tenth birthday is a complete disaster. Her beloved Sully – a delightfully grumpy elderly man, and the only family she has ever known - ends up in hospital and, with no one else to care for her, Pip takes matters into her own very capable hands. Determined to stay one step ahead of (the really very lovely) Senior Constable Molly Dunlop and social services, Pip finds a place to stay with the help of a seemingly psychic cat called Indigo/Bruce: staying out of foster homes so she can help Sully get better becomes her mission. Along the way she meets a sweet canine escape artist she names Houdini, becomes slightly famous, outwits plenty of adults, meddles in her school teacher’s love life and manages to help catch a dodgy criminal. I found myself rooting for Pip all the way along, loved her can-do attitude (and her dog Houdini is adorable). Run, Pip, Run is a gorgeous adventure tale about a small girl on her own in a big city, one who knows a thing or two about loyalty, bravery and friendship.

Recommended for 18 months to 3 year

Hop Up! Wriggle Over!
Elizabeth Honey
April 2015 | Allen & Unwin | $19.99hb

Elizabeth Honey’s new picture book is a feast for the really young: with nine baby animals in the family she introduces us to, every minute of the day is full of wild, romping fun. From waking in the morning, gobbling breakfast, drumming with spoons, zooming to the park and playing till it's bathtime, life's just one big game until bedtime. A perfect book for toddlers who will love the simple, musical wordplay - Crunch crunch, Gobble gobble, Lick lick, More! – and be drawn to the action-packed illustrations.

Recommended for 5+
The Most Wonderful Thing in the World
Vivian French & Angela Barrett
June 2015 | Walker Books | $27.95hb

When a king and a queen promise to marry their daughter Lucia to the man who can show them the most wonderful thing in the world, suitors descend on the palace bearing gifts. Roses, jewels and exotic birds; dancing girls, wind machines and mythical beasts - but nothing feels quite right. As the last suitor leaves, his weapons of mass destruction rejected, the king and queen are exhausted. But when a shy, young man, who isn't a suitor at all, steps forward, they finally understand what the most wonderful thing in the world really is. Vivian French's masterful retelling of a forgotten story is both funny and heart-warming, and Angela Barrett's breathtaking illustrations give life to an enchanting and romantic fairytale city.

BiP eNews cont...

A wonderful new Australian novel, a heartwarming story of a refugee from Somalia, and a new cookbook from Yotam Ottolenghi

BiP staff review by Leonie
Archipelago of Souls
Gregory Day
July 2015 | Picador | $32.99pb   *BiP price $27.95 

‘We were islands of the same archipelago adrift in a sea of unknowing.’ Wesley Cress uses these words to describe his relationship with Leonie Fermoy, his partner, and his friend John Lascelles, many years after they first met on King Island. Wes grew up on a farm in the Colac area and was sent off to boarding school after his mother died. His brother Vern was left with their father, who was not coping on his own. When war was declared the two boys enlisted as soon as they could. They fought on Crete with the local partisans against the German and Italian armies. When the Allied troops withdrew Wes missed the evacuation, but Vern was killed on board a boat which was sunk by friendly fire. When Wes heard about his brother’s death he went AWOL in the mountains, doing things to survive which haunted him for many years. Unable to face a return to the family farm Wes landed on King Island with no plans apart from living a solitary life. Gradually some of the islanders tried to befriend him, including Leonie Fermoy, who grew up on the island. Left in the care of her abusive father, she led a lonely and at times terrible childhood, and was allowed to run wild. Wes was fascinated by this interesting young woman and decided that it was easier to write his history for her than to tell her his story directly. John Lascelles is the Assistant Post Officer who delivers the packages containing Wes’ writings to Leonie. He was brought to King Island after the death of his mother while he was still at school. His father needed to start a new life for himself and his son, and so he took over the local Post Office. John missed his friends and the chance for further education. The atmosphere of the novel is enhanced by the depiction of King Island as a community ruled by the extremes of weather. Readers may have fond memories of Gregory Day’s last novel The Grand Hotel. Archipelago of Souls is a book to remember long after you read the last page. The use of lyrical language is remarkable. I wanted to go straight back to the beginning of the book as soon as I finished.

Truth and Other Lies
Sascha Arango
April 2015 | Text | $29.99pb

Famous bestselling author, loving husband, generous friend - Henry Hayden is a pleasant person to have around. Or so it seems. And when his mistress, who is also his editor, becomes pregnant, his carefully constructed life threatens to fall apart. So Henry works out an ingenious plan. Craftily and cold-bloodedly, he intertwines lies and truths and all the shades of grey in-between. But when he tries to get rid of his mistress, Henry makes a terrible mistake. Not only are the police soon after him, but his past, which he has painstakingly kept under the carpet, also threatens to catch up with him with deadly consequences. 

‘A book which reminded me immediately of Herman Koch’s The Dinner, with an apparently simple plot which soon became more complicated. By the time you read the first page you think you know the storyline, but there are plenty of surprises for the reader.’ - Chris.

Shining: The Story of a Lucky Man
Abdi Aden & Robert Hillman
June 2015 | HarperCollins | $29.99pb

Abdi's world fell apart at the age of fifteen when Somalia's vicious civil war hit Mogadishu. Unable to find his family and effectively an orphan, he fled with some sixty others and headed to Kenya. On the way, death squads hunted them and they daily faced violence, danger and starvation. After almost four months, they arrived in at refugee camps in Kenya - of the group he'd set out with, only five had survived. All alone in the world and desperate to find his family, Abdi couldn't stay in Kenya, so he turned around and undertook the dangerous journey back to Mogadishu. But the search was fruitless, and eventually Abdi made his way - alone, with no money in his pockets - to Romania, then to Germany, completely dependent on the kindness of strangers. He was just seventeen years old when he arrived in Melbourne. He had no English, no family or friends, no money, no home. Yet, against the odds, he not only survived, he thrived. Abdi went on to complete secondary education and later university. He became a youth worker, was acknowledged with the 2007 Victorian Refugee Recognition Award and was featured in the SBS second series of Go Back to Where You Came From. Everything he has endured and achieved is testament to his quiet strength and courage, his resilience and most of all, his warm-hearted, shining and enduring optimism.

NOPI: The Cookbook
Yotam Ottolenghi & Ramael Scully
Sept 2015 | Ebury Press | $59.99hb

Nopi: The Cookbook includes over 120 of the most popular dishes from Yotam's innovative Soho-based restaurant NOPI. It is written with long-time collaborator and NOPI head chef Ramael Scully, who brings his distinctive Asian twist to the Ottolenghi kitchen. All recipes have been adapted and made possible for the home cook to recreate at home. They range in their degree of complexity so there is something for all cooks. There are dishes that long-time Ottolenghi fans will be familiar with - a starter of aubergine with black garlic, for example, or the roasted squash with sweet tomatoes - as well as many dishes which will stretch the home cook as they produce some of the restaurant's signature dishes at home, such as Beef brisket croquettes or Persian love rice. With chapters for starters and sides, fish, meat and vegetable mains, puddings, brunch, condiments and cocktails, a menu can easily be devised for any occasion and purpose.
NOPI: The Cookbook will be available on 1st September 2015 at $59.95 hardback

13 May 2015

BiP eNews: New and forthcoming titles

BiP staff review by Deborah

The Reader on the 6.27
Jean- Paul Didierlaurent
May 2015 | Mantle | $24.99hb

The Reader on the 6.27 explores the power of books through the lives of the people they save. Guylain Vignolles lives on the edge of existence. He works at a book pulping factory in a job he hates, but at the end of every day he salvages loose pages from the huge pulping machine which dominates the factory. Then, sitting on the 6.27am train each day on the way to work, Guylain recites aloud from the pages he has saved. His fellow passengers are enthralled. It is this release of words into the world that starts our hero on a journey that will finally bring meaning into his life. For one morning, Guylain discovers the diary of a lonely young woman: Julie. A woman who feels as lost in the world as he does. As he reads from these pages to a rapt audience, Guylain finds himself falling hopelessly in love with their enchanting author . . . The Reader on the 6.27 is a tale bursting with larger-than-life characters, each of whom touches Guylain's life for the better. This captivating novel is a warm, funny fable about literature's power to uplift even the most downtrodden of lives. I found this love story with a difference quirky, entertaining and uplifting – I ended up with a smile on my face.

BiP staff review by Leonie

A Year of Marvellous Ways
Sarah Winman
June 2015 | Headline | $29.99pb

Four years ago a charming book called When God was a Rabbit appeared in bookstores. It was the first novel by young English author Sarah Winman and it quickly became a favourite with many of our readers, including me. In her second work the eponymous Marvellous Ways is an intriguing eighty-nine-year-old woman who lives a hermitic life in Cornwall. She has spent much of her younger life as a midwife to her seaside community. Is she the daughter of a mermaid, as she sometimes claims? Marvellous first appears standing by the side of a road, after a dream left her feeling that something important is coming.
It is now the late 1940s; the war is over but life in England and Cornwall is still a long way from returning to normal. On a ferry from France a very seasick young man, Francis Drake, is finally returning home after a very tough time during the war. He has a mission to pass on a letter to the father of a dead soldier who begged Drake to take the letter to Cornwall in person. But first he stops in London to rediscover his childhood haunts and hopefully to find his friend Missy. He lost contact with her after he was sent to France. This is a magical book. Sara Winman has a wonderful lightness of touch. It has whimsical humour, grief, magic, friendship and love. All too often second books from authors are disappointing but definitely not A Year of Marvellous Ways. It is a great read and a wonderful book for book groups.

BiP staff review by Leonie

Myfanwy Jones
June 2015 | Allen & Unwin | $26.99pb

Joe and Jen were high school sweethearts, with big plans for the future, once their final exams were over. While at a party, during the summer, Joe and Jen had an argument with Joe choosing to leave on his own. The next day Jen is dead. Three years later, still weighed down by grief and guilt, Joe has abandoned his plans for university and a career. He shares a rental house with two other young men, and works at low-paid cafe and bar jobs. He fills his spare time training at Parkour under inner-city bridges. (Leap takes place in inner suburban Melbourne which makes for an interesting read, trying to envisage where each scene is taking place.) Then there is Elise, a middle-aged woman who spends many hours sitting in front of the tiger enclosure, studying the tigers and learning their ways. She takes up painting again to help with the pain of the breakup of her marriage. Joe is no longer able to shut out the world, despite his grief. An intriguing girl turns up on the doorstep one day, looking for a room. There is also Lena, the skateboarding chef from the bar where he works at night. Out of the blue he is contacted on Facebook by someone calling themself ‘Emily Dickinson’ and wanting to talk about Jen. How do all of these characters fit together? Despite the thread of grief which runs through Leap there is also a glimmer of something like hope. Leap is a brilliant title for Myfanwy Jones’ wonderful book. As you read you will understand how appropriate. It is a special treat to read a great novel set in your own city, beautifully written and with such memorable characters.

BiP guest review by Graeme Walton

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematorium
Caitlin Doughty
May 2015 | Canongate | $27.99pb

Caitlin Doughty entered the fascinating world of funeral service in the San Francisco Bay area at the age of twenty-three. Her first job was to shave a deceased man. This book follows her journey in an arcane and totally fulfilling profession that is a mystery to most of us. Caitlin shares stories of people at their most vulnerable when a loved one dies..... and the frequent occasions when tears and laughter are both present. The one thing that stands out is the total care and respect for the deceased that is Caitlin’s experience. This, too, is my experience as a funeral director in Melbourne. This is a beautifully written work in which she traces the history of funeral service in many cultures over the centuries. Like many professionals in the industry she laments the fact that we are probably the first generation to ignore the reality of death and not to treat it as the profound reality that it is. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is moving, funny and informative. Caitlin is now a renowned speaker on the world stage on how we treat death and funerals; her book contains an extensive list of references for those who wish to learn more on the subjects she covers. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is highly recommended to those who wish to go behind the funeral home doors and to fellow professionals who want an insight into the industry in the United States.