North of Boston is Elisabeth Elo's first crime novel and it is a really good read. Pirio Kasparov was helping out on a friend's fishing boat when it was rammed by a large vessel which appeared out of the fog and then disappeared. Ned, the boat's skipper, was lost overboard but Pirio, miraculously, survived for four hours in the freezing waters north of Boston before she was rescued. Pirio feels that the collision was a deliberate act rather than a tragic accident, and she sets out to discover the truth. She enlists the help of a mysterious journalist who is also looking into the story. They soon find themselves in great danger.
*BiP staff review by Leonie
Kill Your Boss by Shane Kuhn
Jan 2014 | $29.99pb | Hachette
John Lago (not his real name, of course) is a hit man working for Human Resources Inc., an organisation that masquerades as a placement agency for interns. These interns are trained assassins, and are hired by multinational corporations and government agencies. An intern gains access to the intended victim, then gains their trust so that the victim will trust them with their life, and that is when the intern takes their life! When john meets Alice, a fellow intern, he feels his emotions stirring. But does Alice have her own agenda? Has John possibly met his match? Humorous and very entertaining, Kill Your Boss is a great read. *BiP staff review by Karen
The Tea Chest by Josephine Moon
Apr 2014 | $29.99pb | Allen & Unwin
Kate Fullerton is a young Brisbane mother and designer of tea blends. When the co-owner of a boutique tea shop in London dies, Kate inherits a share of the business on the understanding that she will go ahead with the opening of a new shop. When Leila and Elizabeth (along with the feisty young Victoria) enter Kate's world, the women throw themselves into realising Kate's vision of the most delectable tea shop in London. But with the very real possibility that The Tea Chest may fail, the three women are forced to decide what's important to each of them. This is the perfect book for our readers who love Maeve Binchy, Cathy Kelly and Monica McInerney.
*BiP staff review by Leonie BREAKING NEWS!
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
Jun 2014 | $32.99pb | Sphere
Robert Galbraith's second crime novel featuring the detective Cormoran Strike will be published in Australia on 19th June 2014. You will know that Galbraith's alter ego is J.K. Rowling. The Silkworm will be released at $32.99 in paperback, but you can reserve copies of the book at the special BiP price of $27.95
Kerry Argent’s well-loved Wombat stars in a beautifully illustrated series of books that are perfect for encouraging those at the very beginning of their reading. Simple language, full-colour pictures and cast of Australian animal characters make this collection a delightful introduction to independent reading for children of 4 and up. One Woolly Wombat, Hide and Seek, Best of Friends and At the Beach are available now.
Double Trouble: Prank Alert and Skateboard Stars
Fiona Regan and Louis Shea | Feb 2014 | $3.99pb / $7.99pb
Seven-year-old identical twins Thomas and Cooper love pulling pranks almost as much as they love skateboarding. Hilariously illustrated, this cheeky new series is ideal for beginning readers aged 7 and up. Books 3 and 4 will be available in June.
Lotus Lane (Books 1 - 4)
Kyla May | Sept 2013 | $7.99pb (ea.)
We love getting feedback from parents, particularly those with reluctant reader success stories to tell, and we’re pleased to report that this series has been a huge hit with girls aged 8 and up. Written in diary form, the girls of Lotus Lane are a lot of fun to get to know. The first four titles—Kiki: My Stylish Life, Coco: My Delicious Life, Lulu: My Glamorous Life and Mika: My New Life—are available now.
The Tinker's Three: A Very Good Idea (1)
M. C. Badger | Feb 2014 | $12.95pb
Marcus, Mila and Turtle Tinkler's parents are circus performers. Living perfectly well, by themselves on the thirty-third floor of their building, these brave, independent and highly inventive children share some pretty crazy adventures! A laugh-out-loud Australian series for readers of 7 and up. A Very Good Idea; An Excellent Invention and The Coolest Pool are out now; The Perfect Pet is due to be released in June.
The Indie Awards are awarded by the Australian Independent Booksellers and sees independent booksellers take their rightful place in the spotlight as key supporters of Australian authors. The incredible passion and knowledge of independent booksellers makes them uniquely placed to judge and recommend the best Australian books of the past year to their customers and the general reading public.
- Fiction -
Eyrie by Tim Winton (Penguin)
Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas (Allen & Unwin)
Coal Creek by Alex Miller (Allen & Unwin)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Random House)
- Non-Fiction -
Girt by David Hunt (Black Inc)
Murder in Mississippi by John Safran (Penguin)
The Stalking of Julia Gillard by Kerry-Anne Walsh (Allen & Unwin)
The Good Life by Hugh Mackay (Macmillan)
- Debut Fiction -
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Macmillan)
Mr Wigg by Inga Simpson (Hachette Hodder)
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Text)
The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane (Penguin)
- Children's -
Alphabetical Sydney by Hilary Bell and Antonia Pesenti (NewSouth Books)
Kissed by the Moon by Alison Lester (Penguin)
The 39-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Macmillan)
There have been a number of cookbooks for children and young adults over the years, but few have had quite the visual impact of legendary Australian rocker Peter Oxley’s (of the Sunnyboys) Teenage Kitchen Rampage. You’ll find 45 basic but delicious recipes explained simply and succinctly here, accompanied by truly gorgeous food photography. Sit back and relax while the kids do the cooking!
Guinness World Records 2014: Gamer's Edition
Guinness Publishing | Dec 2013 | $22.99pb
The ultimate guide to video games, this all-new book is bursting with news and views from the gaming world, with the latest and very best records relating to the world's most popular games. Amazing trivia sits alongside hard facts and top tips on how to achieve greater feats in the games you love.
It Can't Be True! Incredible Visual Comparisons
Dorling Kindersley | Sept 2013 | $24.99hb
Did you know that the Moon is the same size as Australia? Or that a blue whale's heart is as large as a car? From the tiniest microchips to the massive, swirling planet Jupiter, with stunning photographs and images to help you visualise and understand each comparison, It Can’t Be True is full of facts that prove truth really is stranger than fiction.
Fighting For Freedom: Nancy Wake
Cassy Liberman and Lucy Desbordes | $29.95hb
Fighting for Freedom is a richly illustrated introduction to the incredible life of Nancy Wake, a.k.a. The White Mouse, a New Zealand-born woman recognised around the world as a genuine heroine of WWII. Inspirational reading for kids of 7 and up about a strong, independent and unconventional woman.
DK Knowledge Encyclopedia
Dorling Kindersley | Sept 2013 | $39.99hb
We sold out of this fascinating, groundbreaking book of facts before Christmas and we are thrilled it’s back in stock! A huge, fantastically-illustrated encyclopedia that shows you the world as you’ve never seen it before; an incredible reference book the whole family will return to time and again.
Dr Karl's Big Book of Science Stuff and Nonsense
Dr Karl Kruszelnicki | Dec 2013 | $17.99pb
An activity book with a difference that's bigger than the Big Bang. Stuffed with things to read, draw, puzzle, invent, create and decode, prepare to be engrossed in the wonderful, fascinating, intriguing world of Dr Karl Kruszelnicki—Australia's most popular scientist. Recommended for ages 7 and up.
This literary crime novel set in 1800s Pennsylvania captures the unlikely friendship between a spirited young boy and a gruff ex-ranger on a shared quest for vengeance. Twelve-year-old Thomas Walker has never left New York City. His father, a travelling salesman hoping to earn money by selling Samuel Colt’s recent invention, the “Improved Revolving Gun,” takes young Thomas with him on the road. But even the world’s first true revolver cannot save them from danger, and what starts as an adventure soon turns into a nightmare.
When his father is murdered, Thomas must rely on his own wits, courage, and determination, as well as a wooden replica of the Colt revolver, to protect himself. Luckily, an encounter with a surly ex-ranger, Henry Stands, leads to an improbable partnership, and the two set out in perilous pursuit of vengeance—that is, if they can escape the thieves who lurk around each trail, river, and road. This spare, elegant, and emotionally resonant story conveys, through a boy’s eyes, the pain of losing a father as well as the fascinating history of how the birth of the revolver changed the course of violence in America.
Feb 2014 | $39.95hb *BiP $34.95 | Scribe Publications
Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, to illuminate the pivotal moments of the Zionist century. In doing so, he also sheds new light on the problems and threats that Israel is currently facing. Beginning with his great-grandfather—a British Zionist who in 1897 visited the Holy Land on a Thomas Cook tour and understood that it was the way of the future for his people—Shavit recounts and analyses the diverse experiences of Israeli people, past and present: the idealist young farmer who first grew the Jaffa oranges that would create Palestine's booming economy; the immigrant orphans of Europe's Holocaust, who took on menial work and focused on raising their children to become the leaders of the new state; the zealous religious Zionists who started the settler movement in the 1970s; and today's architects of Israel's foreign policy with Iran, whose nuclear threat looms over the tiny country.
Provocative, heartfelt, and powerfully compelling, this is a landmark portrait of a small, vibrant country living on the edge, whose identity and presence play a crucial role in today's global political landscape.
Ari Shavit is a leading Israeli columnist, writer, and commentator on Israeli public television.
"While Shavit is being brutally honest regarding the Zionist enterprise, he is also insightful, sensitive, and attentive to the dramatic life-stories of his fascinating heroes and heroines. The result is a unique non-fiction book that has the qualities of fine literature." - Ehud Barak, Former Prime Minister and Defence Minister of Israel
December, 1945. When their father goes missing in mysterious circumstances, the four Caddy children are uprooted from their lives in outback Australia and taken to London to live with an uncle they’ve never met: the strange, reclusive and unpredictable Basti. Uncle Basti would clearly prefer to be left alone with his house full of reptiles, but the Caddys are determined to make the most of their new living arrangements. Add in an eccentric neighbour, a meddlesome butler and some less-than-pleased authority figures, and the Caddy children face quite a challenge to have their perfect Christmas. The Kensington Reptilarium is a sweet, whimsical tale about the powerful bonds of family, and about it never being too late to make a change. The story is slightly let down by a meandering plot, but is redeemed by the adorable and kooky elements scattered throughout—including a house brimming with secret passageways and mechanical ladders, a wonderfully unique and memorable cast, and a sweet background love story. This is a must-read for young fans (aged nine to 13) of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Series of Unfortunate Events. It is the first book for children from author Nikki Gemmell.
August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever. This savagely beautiful novel is a story about the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.
Mr Wigg is a widower quietly grieving for his recently-deceased wife as he lives his new life without her on their much-reduced farm in New South Wales. There are the usual irritations of ageing: forgetfulness, a chronic medical condition and a child who thinks his parent should be in care. But Mr Wigg, who is a gentle, sensitive man, stays where he is: at home. He tends his garden, preserves its offerings, cooks with his grandchildren and works on the ‘special project’ in his shed. There are no cataclysmic events in Mr Wigg, no teeth-gnashing family dramas. It is a gentle tale winding through the seasons and the mellow years of Mr Wigg’s life. I enjoyed it very much. To find out more about Inga Simpson have a look at her blog ‘Notes from Olvar Wood’ - her stories of living amongst the trees in the Sunshine Coast hinterland are an obvious inspiration for this charming tale.
Pilgrim is the codename for a man who doesn't exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation. But that book will come back to haunt him. It will take him to a rundown New York hotel room where the body of a woman is found face down in a bath of acid, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone. What begins as an unusual and challenging investigation will become a terrifying race-against-time to save America from oblivion. Pilgrim will have to make a hazardous journey, from a public beheading in Mecca to a deserted ruin on the Turkish coast, via a Nazi death camp in Alsace and the barren wilderness of the Hindu Kush, in search of the faceless man who would commit an appalling act of mass murder in the name of his God.
In The Birdwatcher William McInnes has penned a charming love story which typically makes us cry while we are laughing and laugh while we are crying. We embrace his characters as mirrors of our sometimes wise, nerdy, grumpy, battle-scarred and scared, hilarious selves in search of a deeper connection to each other and our surroundings. The key in this endeavour, being a little stillness, is exemplified in the art of birdwatching. How can you watch birds and not be moved? How can you not collect their discarded feathers, to marvel at their design and the wonder of flight? ‘As they watch a great-billed heron somehow, almost impossibly, manages to lift itself off the ground and half-glide, half-fly to a clearing not far from where they stand. It settles with grace, like a cross between some prehistoric creature and a ballet dancer.’ In the very least, take this book out into the backyard and be still for a bit.
Oct 2013 | $32.99pb *BiP price $27.95 | Little, Brown Company
Donna Tartt burst onto the literary scene twenty years ago with her outstanding novel The Secret History. She followed this up in 2002 with Little Friends and now we have her brilliant new blockbuster The Goldfinch. Writing with skill and imagination Donna Tartt brings her characters and plot vividly to life; no matter how dark the storyline becomes you are enticed to keep on reading.
Theo Decker, aged twelve, and his mother are visiting an art museum in New York when they are caught up in a terrorist attack. Theo survives the explosion but his mother does not. He blames himself for her death, as they were only at the exhibition to fill in time before an interview with Theo’s school head to discuss his suspension for bad behaviour. When he regains consciousness after the attack Theo finds himself alone amongst the rubble, except for a badly-injured old man. He remembers the man showing a young girl a tiny painting called 'The Goldfinch', which Theo’s mother had been explaining to him just before the blast. The old man takes a heavy gold ring from his finger and gives it to Theo, begging him to take the ring to an address in New York. He also begs Theo to save the tiny painting, which is falling off the wall. These two requests will have great ramifications for Theo, for many years of his life.
With the whereabouts of Theo’s father unknown, the authorities arrange for Theo to live with a school friend’s family in Park Avenue. After several months, when Theo is beginning to feel at home, his father arrives without warning. Theo is taken to live in Las Vegas, where his father is a rather unsuccessful professional gambler. He is befriended by a boy at his new school. Boris is very street-smart, whereas Theo is still rather naive. Boris introduces Theo to a darker world of shoplifting, binge drinking and drugs. I won’t tell you any more of the story of Theo and the little painting 'The Goldfinch'. Trust me that you will not want to put down this wonderful, thought-provoking and heart-breaking novel. Welcome back Donna Tartt, it was well worth the wait!