Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

26 Oct 2016

2016 Man Booker Prize WINNER

The Sellout by Paul Beatty   $26.99 PB

A biting American satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court. Born in the 'agrarian ghetto' of Dickens - on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles - the narrator of The Sellout is raised by his single father, a controversial sociologist, and spends his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. Led to believe that his father's pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family's financial woes, he is shocked to discover, after his father is killed in a police shoot-out, that there never was a memoir. In fact, all that's left is the bill for a drive-through funeral. Fuelled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: his hometown Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town's most famous resident - Hominy Jenkins - he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school. What follows is a remarkable journey that challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement and the holy grail of racial equality - the black Chinese restaurant.

19 Oct 2016

BiP eNews: Leonie's Holiday Reviews

Leonie has been away on holiday, which means that she has been very busy reading. Here are some of the books she read:

A Great Reckoning: A Chief Inspector Gamache Thriller
Louise Penny

Former Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has a new job as Commander of the Quebec Sûreté Academy. He has been asked to bring a total change to the culture of corruption and brutality which has pervaded the force for several years. Before starting in his new position he has taken time off, at home in Three Pines, to review the dossiers of the aspiring candidates for the next intake at the Academy. Only Amelia Choquet appears to be a rebel, with her piercings and attitude to the world. Her name seems familiar to Gamache, but he cannot think why. She was accepted into the Academy on a scholarship, but she feels as if she might be thrown out any day because of her seemingly do-not-care attitude. One of her first lectures is taken by the Commander himself and Amelia, along with the other cadets, does not quite know what to make of the man. Meanwhile Reine Marie Gamache is keeping busy by going through historical documents relating to Three Pines. She discovers a strange old map of what seems to be Three Pines, which has everyone intrigued and keen to know more about it. Soon someone will be dead and everyone at the Academy will be a suspect. To help keep four cadets safe the Commander assigns them to investigate the history and meaning of the map, billeting them with locals, which the cadets are not happy about. Louise Penny continues to bring her characters to life with effortless skill. The Gamache family and the residents have become old friends to me and the many fans of Three Pines. A Great Reckoning is a strong, intriguing mystery.

The Silence Between Breaths
Cath Staincliffe 
$29.99 PB

Passengers rush to board the 10.35am Manchester to London train. Eight strangers share a carriage. Jeff just makes the train on his way to a job interview; Caroline is meeting an old friend in London, and Meg and her partner Diana, with dog Boss, are heading off on holiday. Nick is with his wife Lisa and their two children, off to a family wedding. Rhona is reluctantly attending a recruitment fair with her colleagues and is worried about being back in time to collect her daughter; Saheel is hoping that he will not have anyone sitting next to him and Holly is sitting next to Jeff, constantly checking her mobile phone. Naz, the young train attendant, is doing his best to keep his area of the train tidy. Only one of these people has any idea that the journey will not end happily. In this timely thriller a group of ordinary people is forced to cope with an event that no-one is prepared for. With her experience in writing for a hit TV drama, Cath Staincliffe constantly builds the tension. You cannot help reading to the end.

Magpie Murders
Anthony Horowitz 
$32.99pb           ** BiP price $27.95

As a bookseller, I get to read a lot of books, most of which I enjoy. Some of them I love and a small number disappoint. Then there is the odd one that unexpectedly makes me laugh. Anthony Horowitz’s new crime novel did just that. Magpie Murders is a book within a book, filled with larger than life characters in the vein of Hercule Poirot or Agatha Raisin. Sue Ryland is an editor for a small independent publisher. One of her authors is Alan Conway, a very successful writer of a series of crime novels featuring private detective Atticus Pünd. Conway is a difficult client who declares that the new manuscript, 'Magpie Murders', the ninth book in the series, will be the last. He also provides a draft of the book he feels he was meant to write, which his publisher Charles had no intention of publishing. Sue has barely finished reading Magpie Murders, which is missing its final chapter, when she learns that Alan Conway has fallen to his death. When the police quickly close their investigation, finding that Conway’s death was suicide, she decides to become detective instead of writer. Anthony Horowitz must have had so much fun writing this novel. Interspersed with the narrative there are in-jokes which should appeal to crime lovers; he even makes a few comments about his own work. It was a pleasure to read Magpie Murders and to have some fun with it as well.

The Wonder
Emma Donoghue 
$29.99 PB

Emma Donoghue’s previous book was Room, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and made into a very successful film. The central character of her new novel is a child in danger. The Wonder is set in a village in the Irish midlands in the 1850s. The whole area was decimated during the potato famine. The locals are superstitious with no liking of newcomers, especially the English. They start to believe that Anna O’Donnell, the eleven-year-old daughter of a local farming family, is a living saint. Anna is reputed to have not eaten for four months, but she is still alive and well. After an article about her is published in a Dublin newspaper crowds of visitors try to gain her blessing. A town committee hires nurse Lib Wright and Sister Michael, a nursing nun, to undertake a two-week observation of Anna and her family, to ensure that no fraud is being committed. Lib is extremely sceptical of the child; from the start she suspects Anna and her mother of a hoax. The nurses stay with Anna twenty-four hours a day, with no physical contact allowed with anyone else. Lib tries to get Anna to explain the reasons for her actions. When Anna’s condition begins to deteriorate Lib fears for the girl’s life, but the town committee refuses to act. This is a powerful story of religion, superstition and family secrets by a talented writer.

2 Sep 2016

September New Releases | Fiction

Ian McEwan     $32.99 HB     **BiP Price $27.99

Nutshell is a classic story of murder and deceit, told by a narrator with a unique voice in contemporary literature. A bravura performance, it is the finest recent work from a true master. Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She is still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but not with John. Instead, she is with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy's womb. Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world’s master storytellers.

Minds of Winter
Ed O’Loughlin      $32.99 PB

In the new novel from the Booker long-listed author Ed O'Loughlin, a meeting between two strangers sheds light on the greatest unsolved mystery of polar exploration. Minds of Winter begins with a chance encounter at the top of the world. Fay Morgan and Nelson Nilsson have each arrived in Inuvik, Canada - 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle - searching for answers about a family member: Nelson for his estranged older brother, Fay for her disappeared grandfather. They soon learn that these two men have an unexpected link - a hidden share in an enduring polar mystery. In a feat of extraordinary scope and ambition, Ed O'Loughlin moves between a frozen present and an-ever thawing past, and from the minds of two present-day wanderers to the lives some of polar history's most enigmatic figures. Minds of Winter is a novel about ice and time and their ability to preserve or destroy, of mortality and loss and our dreams of transcending them.

Nothing Short of Dying
Erik Storey     $29.99 PB

Clyde Barr has been on the run for sixteen years. Now he’s back in the Colorado wilderness, hoping for some peace and quiet. Then Clyde receives a frantic phone call for help from his sister Jen. But the line goes dead. She’s been taken. 

Clyde doesn’t know where Jen is. He doesn’t know who has her. He doesn’t know how much time he has. All he knows is that nothing short of dying will stop him from saving her…

The Rules of Backyard Cricket
Jock Serong     $29.99 PB

Jock Serong’s novel begins in a suburban backyard with Darren Keefe and his older brother, sons of a fierce and gutsy single mother. The endless glow of summer, the bottomless fury of contest. All the love and hatred in two small bodies poured into the rules of a made-up game. Darren has two big talents: cricket and trouble. No surprise that he becomes an Australian sporting star of the bad-boy variety—one of those men who always gets away with things. Until the day we meet him, middle-aged, in the boot of a car. Gagged, cable-tied, a bullet in his knee. Everything pointing towards a shallow grave. The Rules of Backyard Cricket is a novel of suspense in the tradition of Peter Temple’s Truth. With glorious writing harnessed to a gripping narrative, it observes celebrity, masculinity—humanity—with clear-eyed lyricism and exhilarating narrative drive.          Recommended by Deborah.

September New Releases | Non-Fiction

Hero Maker: A Biography of Paul Brickhill
Stephen Dando-Collins     $34.99 PB

The Dam Busters, The Great Escape and Reach for the Sky were all written by Paul Brickhill, an Australian hero of WWII. 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of his birth and the 25th anniversary of his death. In 1956 Brickhill, the writer from Sydney’s lower North Shore, had every reason to feel blessed. He was the highest-earning author in the UK and two of his bestselling books – The Dam Busters and Reach for the Sky – had recently been made into blockbuster films. Another of his books – inspired by his experiences as a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft 3 in Germany during the Second World War – was attracting interest from  Hollywood. That book was The Great Escape. Yet, life for the enigmatic Brickhill was never simple. He was beset with mental-health issues and his marriage to model Margot Slater was tempestuous. He struggled with alcohol and writer’s block too, as his success – and all that accompanied it – threatened to overwhelm him. In The Hero Maker, award-winning historical author and biographer Stephen Dando-Collins exposes the contradictions of one of Australia’s most successful, but troubled, writers. Brickhill’s extraordinary story – from the youth with a debilitating stutter to Sydney Sun journalist to Spitfire pilot and POW to feted author – explodes vividly to life on the centenary of his birth.

Fifteen Young Men: Australia’s Untold Football Tragedy
Paul Kennedy     $34.99 PB

Fifteen Young Men is the true story of a doomed adventure. Few people know an Australian football team drowned in 1892. Yet the boat disaster still ranks alongside the Manchester United plane crash (1958) as one of the world’s greatest sporting tragedies. Lost were fifteen men and boys from one town - brothers, fathers, sons, uncles and best mates – ‘youths that might have made the best colonists Australia ever had.’ Only one or two members of the team were spared: the captain, who at the jetty had a strange sense of impending danger, and gave away his ticket before the voyage, and one other. For the first time in 122 years, journalist Paul Kennedy reveals why the Mornington Football Club never made it home. In doing so, he brings to life nineteenth-century Australia during the depression and its first banking crisis, a period of trauma, resilience, friendship, love and grief for a generation of settlers’ children.

Stroke of Genius: Victor Trumper and the Shot That Changed Cricket
Gideon Haigh 
Sept 2016 | $39.99 HB

Victor Trumper (1877-1915) was our first internationally recognised cricketing genius, acclaimed by the legendary W.G Grace and others, who died at 36 in 1915. He has entered Australian sporting folklore and is still one of the great names in sport, with a stand named after him at the SCG. Trumper is a figure that has long held intrigue for Australia's favourite cricket writer, Gideon Haigh. In Stroke of Genius he takes the phenomenon and specific focus of Trumper and particularly a famous, ground-breaking photograph of him by Englishman George Beldham to ask a much larger set of questions. Haigh argues Trumper changed the way cricket was perceived and played in a way that reflects on Australia's relationship with England, the start of the 20th century (photography, marketing, professionalism) and eternal themes of sport and beauty. He explores the relationship between Trumper, the photograph, the game, the country and its people.

Ghost Empire
Richard Fidler     $39.99 HB       **BiP Price $34.95

In 2014, Richard Fidler and his son Joe made a journey to Istanbul. Richard's passion for the rich history of the dazzling Byzantine Empire - centred around the legendary Constantinople – sweeps the reader into some of the most extraordinary tales in history. The clash of civilizations, the fall of empires, the rise of Christianity, revenge, lust, murder. Turbulent stories from the past are brought vividly to life at the same time as a father navigates the unfolding changes in his relationship with his son. Ghost Empire is a revelation: a beautifully written ode to a lost civilization, and a warmly observed father-son adventure far from home.

The History of Australia in 100 Objects
Toby Creswell      $49.99 HB

From Captain Cook's globe to Mabo's map, and Melba's frock to Cathy Freeman's running suit, this is Australia's history told through a gallery of things. Former Rolling Stone editor Toby Creswell has curated an illustrated popular history of Australia accumulated through the review of 100 fascinating man-made objects. Creswell takes each object as the starting point to explore the stories that make up our national history, exploring and celebrating key technological, social, political and sporting moments. From Ned Kelly's armour to Henry Lawson's pen and Julia Gillard's glasses, the chosen objects are sometimes iconic, sometimes unexpected and quirky; but the mix creates a compelling story. Each entry is accompanied by a striking image of the object. A book that can be read from cover to cover, or dipped into at any point, The History of Australia in 100 Objects is a fresh, popular take on Australia's history. 

The Australian National Dictionary
edited by Bruce Moore      $175.00 Two volume slipcase

The Australian National Dictionary is the ultimate dictionary of Australianisms. It includes words and meanings that have originated in Australia, and words that have a greater currency here than elsewhere or that have a special significance in Australian history. Like the comprehensive Oxford English Dictionary, it differs from general dictionaries in being based on historical principles. This means it describes the full history of a word, starting with its earliest appearance, establishing its origin, and documenting its use over time. 

There are 6000 new entries and more than 16,000 Australian terms. This two volume set includes colloquial terms, rhyming slang and numerous lively and colourful idioms, and regional terms from different states and territories and terms from Aboriginal English. The Australian National Dictionary is the only comprehensive, historically-based record of the words and meanings that make up Australian English. It is a unique lexical map of Australian history and culture.

16 Aug 2016

2016 Inky Awards Shortlist

Vote now for your favourite book!

Vote for your favourite title, and you could win all 20 books on the 2016 Inky Awards longlist!*

The book with the most votes in each category (Gold or Silver) will win the 2016 award. Voting closes on Sunday, 18 September at 5pm (AEST).

Use the hashtag #InkyAwards to join the celebrations, and to barrack for the Inky Awards books you think are the best.

The victors will be announced at the State Library Victoria on 4 October.

11 Aug 2016

BiP eNews

Recommended for 5+
Bicycling to the Moon
Timo Parvela and Virpi Talvitie     $15.99pb

I must confess to having a bit of a soft spot for European children’s books; a love for the style and presentation of the stories as much as an ongoing fascination with the tales that non-English speaking cultures want to read to their children. Bicycling to the Moon (known to Finnish children as Maukka and Väykkä) is a perfect, and very charming, example. 

Barker is a dog and Purdy is a cat. Together they live in a sky blue house on top of a hill with a huge lake at its base. Their differences – Barker is practical, wise, earthy and above all dependable; Purdy is headstrong, creative and oh so joyful – are what make them the very best of friends. Tracing a year of seasons, each with its challenges and joys, Parvela explores Barker and Purdy’s friendship, as well as their interaction within a tight-knit community of farm animals, with brevity, gentle wit and true depth of feeling. Each chapter holds a simple but powerful lesson bound up in wonderful storytelling for the astute reader. Whilst I have no doubt that confident readers of 7 and up will enjoy devouring this book independently – the gatefold cover, the wonderful (and how!) pencil and watercolour illustrations all make it highly desirable – I think it’s a book perhaps best read aloud by an adult, to be savoured with a child one beautiful chapter at a time.    BiP staff review by Lucinda

Recommended for 4+
Fabish: The Horse That Braved a Bushfire
Neridah McMullin and Andrew McLean     $24.99hb

This is the story of a brave horse called Fabish. In his racing days, he always tried his hardest. And when he retired, Fabish took care of the flighty young horses.   

The Black Saturday bushfires destroyed many lives in February of 2009. Neridah McMullin tells one of the rare, amazing stories of survival on that dark day in her new picture book. Upon retirement from racing, Fabish takes on a new role, looking after yearlings in a paddock far away from the stables. One hot, dry afternoon smoke fills the air and their trainer, knowing that he cannot protect them, sets the horses free as the bushfire heads straight toward the farm. All night the trainer battles the roaring fire, protecting the horses that he knows he can save and by morning, nothing is left. All he can think about are those horses he left to their own wiles… But he hears a distant, rhythmic thudding – could it be that Fabish has saved the yearlings? 

Dedicated to the late Alan Evett, the trainer in this true story, Neridah McMullin has created a stunning book that will appeal to all animal lovers, but especially those who love horses. Powerful and moving, Andrew McLean does a great job of matching pictures to words. We have signed copies available while stocks last.    BiP staff review by Lucinda

The 78-Storey Treehouse
Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton     $14.99pb

Finally, the 6th Treehouse book has arrived!

Join Andy and Terry in their spectacular new 78-Storey Treehouse. They've added 13 new levels including a drive-thru car wash, a combining machine, a scribbletorium, an ALL-BALL sports stadium, Andyland, Terrytown, a high-security potato chip storage facility and an open-air movie theatre. Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up! Recommended for 7 and beyond.

10 Aug 2016

BiP staff review: DCI Banks

When the Music’s Over
Peter Robinson
Aug 2016 | $32.99pb     ** BiP Price $27.95

Peter Robinson is back in top form with his twenty-third Alan Banks novel. The naked body of a young girl is found by a cyclist in a remote lane in north Yorkshire. It appears that she has been thrown from a moving vehicle. DI Annie Cabbot is heading the investigation, first to discover the victim’s identity and then to track down the perpetrator.  Her colleague, DC Gerry Masterson, puts her own life in danger trying to get the evidence they need. Newly-promoted to Detective Superintendent, Alan Banks is not only swamped with the paperwork which goes with the job, but has also been given another very difficult and sensitive case to investigate. A well-known entertainer, Danny Caxton, now a wealthy elderly man, has been accused several times of social abuse of young girls during his career. Linda Palmer, a poet, has come forward after fifty years, to ask for help to put her case against Caxton. She and her mother reported the offence to the police at the time but no action was taken. Although sceptical of her account at first, DS Banks believes her story and begins a search for solid evidence to back it up. Meanwhile Annie has uncovered the identity of the young victim and is working hard to establish the reasons for the death. When the Music’s Over is a tale of two very different cases of abuse of young girls; one of the cases has been covered up for many years. The deeper both detectives delve into their investigations the more disturbing each one becomes. As in all the Banks novels music and whisky are constant threads: Peter Robinson combines topical subjects with strong characters with an edgy sense of moral obligation. Alan Banks and Annie Cabbot are like old friends who will, hopefully, continue to grace us with their presence for many more books to come.          BiP staff review by Leonie

15 Jul 2016

BiP eNews: Some topical, thought-provoking books for young people

Recommended for 4+

by Angela May George and 
Owen Swan     $24.99hb

A little girl and her mother have fled their homeland, making the long and treacherous journey by boat to seek asylum. Out celebrates the triumph of the human spirit in the darkest times, and the many paths people take to build a new life. Owen Swan’s soft, evocative illustrations work so well with this touching story about starting a new life. This gorgeous picture book is a timely and sensitive discussion of what drives people to become refugees and the challenges they face without ever being confrontational.

A stunning book that challenges and rewards, and that is a lovely story to share with children of 4 and beyond.

The Bone Sparrow
by Zana Fraillon     $19.99pb

Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention centre after his mother fled the violence of a distant homeland, life behind the barbed wire fences is all he has ever known. As he grows, Subhi’s imagination gets bigger too, until it is bursting at the limits of his world. The Night Sea brings him gifts, the faraway whales sing to him, and the birds tell their stories. The most vivid story of all, however, is the one that arrives one night in the form of Jimmie, a scruffy, impatient girl who appears from the other side of the wires, bringing a notebook written by the mother she lost that she cannot read. Subhi, however, can read and together they unravel Jimmie’s family story.

It is difficult to convey just how important, timely, brave (very) and deeply moving we have found The Bone Sparrow. Subhi is as beautiful a character as any you wiill read in children’s fiction, Jimmie too in her own sparkling, bubbly way, but it is the events that unfold at the detention centre and the impact they will have on everyone in their wake that makes this story so compelling.

Highly – and really, we cannot recommend this one highly enough – recommended for readers of 12 and up.

Welcome to Orphancorp
by Marlee Jane Ward
Aug 2015 | $14.99pb

A sharp-edged semi-futuristic riff about a rebellious teenager’s last week at an industrial orphanage, Welcome to Orphancorp is inventive and evocative. Mirii has spent just about her entire life in the Orphancorp system and despite all odds, she has figured out how to turn the place into something resembling a home. Life is not easy in the Orphancorp system, life is short and hard but there are familial bonds to be made and the book focuses on the tenderness that the kids within the system work at, to retain their humanity in the face systemic degradation.

A confident and powerful debut for readers of 14 and up.

When Michael Met Mina
by Randa Abdel-Fattah

July 2016 | $18.99pb

A boy. A girl. Two families. One great divide. When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees - standing on opposite sides. Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre. Michael's parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values. They want to stop the boats. Mina wants to stop the hate. When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael's private school, their lives crash together blindingly. A novel for anyone who wants to fight for love, and against injustice.

14 Jul 2016

eNews cont...

This Must Be the Place

Maggie O’Farrell

June 2016 | $32.99pb    ** BiP Price $27.99

Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel is a story about complicated, sometimes messy lives, with well-rounded characters that you either love or loathe, sometimes both at the same time. Daniel Sullivan, a linguistics expert from New York, was in Ireland to collect his grandfather’s ashes when he met Claudette and her son on a country road in Donegal. Claudette was a famous French film star until one day she disappeared from her screen life, leaving no trace of her whereabouts. She became somewhat of a recluse, living in the Irish countryside with her son. Ten years later Daniel and Claudette are happily married with two small children of their own. Daniel is about to return to New York, rather reluctantly, for his father’s ninetieth birthday. He has always had a difficult relationship with his father, preferring his mother’s company as a child and teenager. Claudette has encouraged Daniel, while he is in America, to make contact with Phoebe and Niall, the two children from his disastrous first marriage. The meeting goes surprisingly well, despite Phoebe’s initial fury at his abandonment of them so many years before. On his way back to Donegal Daniel takes a detour to London which causes great damage to his marriage to Claudette and his relationships with all his children. Reading Maggie O’Farrell is a bit like playing chess: you never quite know where the next chapter will take you. Highly recommended.          BiP staff review by Leonie

War and Turpentine
Stefan Hertmans

July 2016 | $29.99pb

Shortly before his death in 1981, Stefan Hertmans' grandfather gave him a couple of filled exercise books. Stories he had heard as a child had led Hertmans to suspect that their contents might be disturbing, and for years he did not dare to open them. When he finally did, he discovered unexpected secrets. His grandfather’s life was marked by years of childhood poverty in late-nineteenth-century Belgium, by horrific experiences on the frontlines during the First World War and by the loss of the young love of his life. He sublimated his grief in the silence of painting. Drawing on these diary entries, his childhood memories and the stories told within Urbain’s paintings, Hertmans has produced a poetic novelisation of his grandfather’s story, brought to life with great imaginative power and vivid detail. War and Turpentine is an enthralling search for a life that coincided with the tragedy of a century—and a posthumous, almost mythical attempt to give that life a voice at last.

Music and Freedom

Zoe Morrison

June 2016 | $32.99pb    ** BiP Price $27.95

Alice Murray learns to play the piano aged three on an orange orchard in rural Australia. Recognising her daughter's gift, her mother sends Alice to boarding school in the bleak north of England, and there Alice stays for the rest of her childhood. Then she is offered a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London, and on a summer school in Oxford she meets Edward, an economics professor who sweeps her off her feet. Alice soon finds that Edwards is damaged, and she is trapped. She clings to her playing and to her dream of becoming a concert pianist, until disaster strikes. Increasingly isolated as the years unravel, eventually Alice cannot find it in herself to carry on. Then she hears the most beautiful music from the walls of her house… This novel's love story is that of a woman who must embrace life again if she is to survive. Inspiring and compelling, it explores the dark terrain of violence and the transformative powers of music and love.

The Toymaker

Liam Pieper

June 2016 | $29.99pb    
** BiP Price $26.95

Adam Kulakov likes his life. He is on the right side of middle age; the toy company he owns brightens the lives of children around the world; he has more money than he can ever spend, a wife and child he adores, and as many mistresses as he can reasonably hide from them. And he is not the only one with secrets. In 1944, Adam's grandfather, Arkady, was imprisoned in Auschwitz and given an impossible choice. Now, as he is coming to the end of his life, he has to keep the truth from his family, and hold back the crushing memories of his time with one of history's greatest monsters. As a mistake threatens to bring Adam's world tumbling down around him, the past reaches for Arkady. Everything he has spent a lifetime building will be threatened, as will everything Adam and his family think they know of the world. Bold, dark and compelling, The Toymaker is a novel about privilege, fear and the great harm we can do when we are afraid of losing what we hold dear.

The Hanging Club
Tony Parsons

May 2016 | $32.99pb

Max Wolfe and his daughter Scout return in the third book of the series by Tony Parsons. London is in the grip of a heatwave when the body of a taxi driver is found in the middle of Hyde Park, in a significant historical location. The police know exactly who he is after a video of his murder by hanging goes viral on the internet. Everyone is horrified and the media is in a frenzy. It is going to be an eventful summer for Max and Scout, who has just finished her first year of school. While walking home they see a homeless man outside Smithfield Market. Max recognizes the man’s voice: it is his best friend from school. What could have happened to Jackson Rose during the intervening years? They invite Jackson home to stay for a while. Was this the right thing to do? In quick succession a drunk driver who killed a child and a hate preacher are kidnapped. The police are faced with what appears to be a paramilitary group who have appointed themselves judge, jury and hangman. What is the connection between all of the victims? Who will be next? The Hanging Club is intriguing and fast-paced with great characters.          BiP staff review by Leonie

1 Jul 2016

BiP eNews - New Fiction

The winter publishing season has begun, with many good new books coming out every month. The Dry has been published to great acclaim and has become very popular with readers. Film rights have already been sold to Reece Witherspoon’s production company.

BiP staff review by Leonie
The Dry
Jane Harper     $32.99pb    ** BiP Price $27.95

Kiewarra is a small Victorian town, dying through years of drought and heatwaves. Like many small towns it lives on secrets, lies and suspicion of newcomers. Everyone is shocked when young farmer Luke Hadler is found shot dead, together with his wife Karen and son Billy. His baby daughter Charlotte has been left alive in her cot. The homicide team sent from nearby Clyde quickly sign off on the incident as a murder-suicide. Luke’s parents cannot believe that their son would kill his own family and beg Luke’s childhood best mate, Aaron Falk, to come back for the funerals. Aaron, who is now a Federal police officer specializing in financial crimes, reluctantly makes the long drive up from Melbourne. He left Kiewarra with his father many years earlier after they were both suspected of complicity in the suicide of Aaron’s teenaged friend Ellie Deacon. It does not take long for some of the locals to make it clear to Aaron that he is still not welcome, which makes his stay at the local pub even more unpleasant. After talking to Luke’s parents Falk goes out to the Hadlers’ farm, where he meets the new police sergeant, Raco, who also feels that there is something wrong. 
Jane has a distinctive writing style which draws you along page by page. Her descriptions of the town and the drought-stricken countryside are stunning. She has also managed to skilfully maintain an undercurrent of menace throughout the book. I was hooked by the end of the second paragraph. I love reading good books by new Melbourne authors.

Vinegar Girl - The Taming of the Shrew retold

Anne Tyler     $29.99pb    ** BiP price $24.95

Kate Battista is feeling stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she's always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but the adults do not always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner. Dr Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There's only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr…
When Dr Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he is relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he is really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men's touchingly ludicrous campaign to win her round? Anne Tyler's retelling of The Taming of the Shrew asks whether a thoroughly modern, independent woman like Kate would ever sacrifice herself for a man. The answer is as individual, off-beat and funny as Kate herself.

The Light of Paris
Eleanor Brown     $29.99pb

Chicago 1999. Madeleine is trapped – by her family’s expectations, by her controlling husband – in an unhappy marriage and a life she never wanted. But when she finds a diary detailing her grandmother Margie’s trip to Jazz Age Paris, she meets a woman she never knew: a dreamer who defied her strict family and spent a summer living on her own, and falling for a charismatic artist. When Madeleine’s marriage is threatened, she escapes to her hometown to stay with her disapproving mother. Shaken by the revelation of a family secret and inspired by her grandmother’s bravery, Madeleine creates her own summer of joy. In reconnecting with her love of painting and cultivating a new circle of friends, the chance of a new life emerges – but will she be bold enough take it?

The Lost Time Accidents
John Wray     $29.99pb

The Lost Time Accidents is a bold and epic saga that races through one family's experience of the twentieth century, embracing philosophy, science, history and politics along the way. Haunted by a failed love affair and the darkest of family secrets, Waldemar 'Waldy' Tolliver wakes one morning to discover that he has been exiled from the flow of time. The world continues to turn, and Waldy is desperate to find his way back. In his fiercely inventive new novel John Wray takes us from turn-of-the-century Viennese salons buzzing with rumours about Einstein's radical new theory to the death camps of the Second World War, from the golden age of post-war pulp science fiction to a startling discovery in a modern-day Manhattan apartment packed to the ceiling with artefacts of contemporary life.

The Unfortunate Englishman
John Lawton     $29.99pb

After he shot someone in what he believed was self-defence in the chaos of 1963 Berlin, Joe Wilderness finds himself locked up with little chance of escape. But an official pardon through his father-in-law Burne-Jones, a senior agent at MI6, means he is free to go - although forever in Burne-Jones's service. His latest operation will take him back to Berlin, which is now the dividing line between the West and the Soviets. A story of innocence and intrigue unravels, one in which Wilderness is in and out of Berlin and Vienna like a jack-in-the-box. When the Russians started building the Berlin wall in 1961, two 'Unfortunate Englishmen' were trapped on opposite sides: Geoffrey Masefield in the Lubyanka, and Bernard Alleyn (alias KGB Captain Leonid Liubimov) in Wormwood Scrubs. In 1965 there is a new plan to exchange the prisoners, a swap upon Berlin's bridge of spies. But, as ever, Joe has something on the side, just to make it interesting, just to make it profitable. The Unfortunate Englishman is a thrilling tale of Khrushchev, Kennedy, a spy exchange... and 10,000 bottles of fine Bordeaux. What can possibly go wrong?

Breaking Cover
Stella Rimington     $27.99pb

A new Cold War is coming, and Liz Carlyle is about to find herself on very thin ice. Back in London after a gruelling operation in Paris, she has been posted to MI5's counter-espionage desk. Her bosses hope the new position will give her some breathing space, but they haven't counted on the fallout from Putin's incursions into the Ukraine. Discovering that an elusive Russian spy has entered the UK, Liz needs to track him down before he completes his fatal mission - and plunges Britain back into the fraught days of the Cold War. Meanwhile, following the revelations of whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the intelligence services are in the spotlight. In response to the debate raging around privacy and security, they hire Jasminder Kapoor, a young and controversial civil rights lawyer, to explain the issues to the public. But in this new world of shadowy motives and secret identities, Jasminder must be extra-careful about whom she can trust. Gripping, tense and drawn from her own experience as Head of MI5, Stella Rimington's latest thriller brings the new Cold War vividly to life.

BiP eNews (cont.) - New Picture Books for Children

Recommended for 3+
The Snow Wombat
Susannah Chambers and Mark Jackson

It is refreshing to come across an Australian picture book set in the snow, and The Snow Wombat, set in Australia’s High Country, is just stunning. Meeting animals, birds and people along his path, a little wombat makes his way through the cold landscape to his cosy burrow. The story itself is rhythmic, with just the right amount of repetition to keep young readers guessing what the wombat will do next. Lovely endpapers (a map of the wombat’s journey, recalling E. H. Shepard’s delicious endpapers that grace The Wind in the Willows) and the expressive face of the wombat make this picture book a stand out. Perfect for reading aloud.

Recommended for 4+

The Detective Dog
Julia Donaldson and Sara Ogilvie

When a crime needs solving... There is only one dog for the job!
And that fabulous dog just happens to be the multi-talented Detective Dog Nell, the latest lively creation of Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo and many, many more books that children and parents both adore). Nell’s human Peter takes her to school one Monday morning where tragedy has struck – all of the books in the library have been stolen! Luckily, Nell has a nose for solving crimes…this book is classic Julia Donaldson, replete with singsong language, clever rhymes and tonnes of jokes for the reader layered in the text. Sara Ogilvie is a great new match for Donaldson – her whimsical illustrations suit this story so well. This book is destined to become a much-loved classic.

Recommended for 5+

Jeanne Baker


A new book by Jeanne Baker always heralds much celebration and Circle is… Well, it’s simply breathtaking. From the creator of the critically acclaimed Where the Forest Meets the Sea and Mirror, comes a poetic, eco-conscious picture book which explores the complex interdependency of nature. This is the story of the little-known Bar-tailed Godwit who, following invisible pathways that have been used for thousands of years, undertakes the longest unbroken migration of any bird, a total of 11,000 kilometres, flying from their breeding grounds in Alaska across the Pacific Ocean to Australia or New Zealand. Facing hunger and treacherous conditions to reach their destination, their flight is one of bravery, tenacity and strength, and Jeannie's stunning mixed media collages, inspired first-hand by the spectacular landscapes of Alaska and China, will amaze readers, and take them on an extraordinary visual journey to the corners of our Earth. Baker’s pictures are, as ever, incredible, the sort of imagery that children and adults alike pore over for hours and the message is, typically, bang on.

14 Jun 2016

The new Harry Potter story will soon be here!

The countdown has begun…..

 J. K. Rowling’s new Harry Potter book will be released in Australia at 9.01am on Sunday 31st July 2016

Books in Print is offering customers a special pre-paid price of $29.95 (RRP $45.00)

Pre-paid orders will be accepted until
5.00pm Saturday 30th July

The store price will be $34.95 from Sunday 31st July

To place a pre-paid order call us on
03-9500-9631 or visit us in store

The eighth book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II is a play in two parts, based on a new story by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. It is intended to be seen in order on the same day (matinee and evening) or on two consecutive evenings.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t  much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Sam Clemmett (Albus), Jamie Parker (Harry Potter) and Poppy Miller (Ginny) in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

3 Jun 2016

2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award Shortlist

• HOPE FARM by Peggy Frew (Scribe Publications): A quietly powerful and haunting novel, full of the aching intensity of the outcast, rendered in pitch-perfect tone and heartbreakingly believable.

• LEAP by Myfanwy Jones (Allen & Unwin): A beautiful story about the resolution of grief, not by moving on or forgetting, but by finally accommodating, absorbing and accepting its weight.

• BLACK ROCK WHITE CITY by A.S. Patric (Transit Lounge): A fresh and powerful exploration of the immigrant experience and Australian life that explores the damages of war, the constraints of choice, the possibility of redemptive love and social isolation amid suburbia.

• SALT CREEK by Lucy Treloar (Pan Macmillian): This portrait of frontier life is a time-traveller’s delight as it unsettles assumptions about European ‘settlement’ and its devastating effects on Aboriginal culture, while graphically charting the unequal nineteenth-century power relations between men and women.

• THE NATURAL WAY OF THINGS by Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin): A confronting story of misogyny that is both shockingly realist in its details and deeply allegorical in its shape.

The winner will be announced at the
Melbourne Writers Festival on 26 August 2016