24 Apr 2014

The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award

The 2014 winner of The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award has been revealed.

When accepting the award, Christine said:
The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award is a rare and generous thing, a means for unknown writers, such as I, to have a shot at success. 
In many ways, modern Australia is built on immigrant’s tales, and Vogel's founder Niels, a Danish immigrant, created his own story when he established the award as a way of giving back to his adopted community. So I feel as if I'm adding to the diversity as a half Japanese Australian, born in Korea, now living in New York, who writes about Japanese immigrants. 
When I started working on this novel, five years ago, I was still in my twenties, had never published a piece of fiction, yet had an ambitious dream to write a novel from the point of view of a Japanese internee. Now I'm older, wearier, and pushing the middle aged category of writer, yet thanks to this award I'm absolutely looking forward to what lies ahead.


25 Mar 2014

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker

May 2014 | $32.95pb *BiP price $24.95 | Macelhose Press

Chapter Sample

Marcus Goldman, the toast of the New York literary scene, is at his wit’s end after being struck by writer’s block. Desperate not to lose his new-found fame, and in search of inspiration, he decides to spend a few weeks in New Hampshire at the home of Harry Quebert, world-famous author and his mentor from university. During his stay Marcus discovers that in 1975, aged 34, Harry had an affair with 15-year-old Nola Kellergan. The summer of their affair, Nola disappeared after she was seen running through the woods, covered in blood. No one has seen Nola since and no one knows what happened. Then the unthinkable happens. Thirty-three years after her disappearance, the body of Nola Kellergan is found in Harry’s garden, along with a manuscript copy of Quebert’s career-defining novel . Harry is the only suspect. Determined to prove Harry’s innocence, Marcus gets embroiled in the murder case of the century, while everywhere in America people are asking: Who Killed Nola Kellergan? Not just a book about an unsolved murder case, The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair explores the price of fame and the seduction of success, the ferocity of the publishing industry and the power of the media, love in all its forms and what it means to be a truly great writer.

We are offering The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair at a special price of $24.95. 
Be sure to reserve a copy because this book will sell very quickly!

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Mar 2014 | $19.95hb | Walker Books

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender begins with an extraordinary and seemingly unlikely event. Ava — in all other ways a normal, healthy baby girl — is born into the Roux family with the wings not of an angel as the crowd gathering below her hospital window believe, but of a bird. Her wings both define and confine her as Ava grows and we, suspending our disbelief, follow her family’s historically ill-fated tale of tragic loves, both won and lost. Flirting with fairytale-esque occurrences, from Ava’s mother Viviane who has a supernatural sense of smell, to her grandmother Emilienne who sees her long lost family as ghosts everywhere, Walton builds the tale to a brutal but triumphant, and cleverly played conclusion.

Chapter Sample

Occasionally a young adult novel comes along that feels fresh and new, feels upon reading, as the title of this novel suggests, both strange and very, very beautiful. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is a rare gem, one that continues, months after reading, to haunt us, largely because of Walton’s exquisite, delicate use of language and mastery of magic realism. A stunning and deeply engaging novel, highly recommended for readers of 15 and beyond, and would make a perfect gift.

We at Books in Print were so impressed with the strength and quality of the writing in this wondrous debut novel that we believe it will also appeal to our adult readers.

BiP staff review by Cathy, Karen and Lucy

3 Mar 2014

Sheila by Robert Wainwright

Feb 2014 | $32.99pb *BiP price $27.95 | Allen & Unwin

Sheila: The Australian beauty who bewitched British society

Chapter Sample

Review by Mark McGinness   (The Age - Saturday, 1 March 2014)
Review by Helen Trinca   (The Australian - Saturday, 25 January 2014)

21 Feb 2014

BiP eNews: Crime / Fiction

North of Boston by Elisabeth Elo

Jan 2014 | $29.99pb | Hachette

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


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

New Series' for Early Readers

Woolly Wombat Early Readers

Kerry Argent | Mar 2014 | $6.99pb (ea.)

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.

17 Feb 2014

2014 Indie Awards Shortlist

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)
Weirdo by Anh Do (Scholastic)


The category winners and the overall ‘Book of the Year’ winner will be announced on Wednesday, 26 March 2014

13 Feb 2014

2014 Stella Prize Longlist

- Fiction -
Burial Rites  Letter to George Clooney  Mullumbimby
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Picador)
Letter to George Clooney by Debra Adelaide (Picador)
Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko (UQP)

The Night Guest  All the Birds Singing  The Swan Book
The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane (Penguin)
The Swan Book by Alexis Wright (Giramondo) 
All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld (Random House) 

- Non-Fiction -
Moving Among Strangers  Night Games  Forgotten Rebels of Eureka
Moving Among Strangers by Gabrielle Carey (UQP)
Night Games by Anna Krien (Black Inc)
The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright (Text)

The Misogyny Factor  Boy Lost  Madeleine
Boy, Lost: A Family Memoir by Kristina Olsson (UQP)
The Misogyny Factor by Anne Summers (NewSouth)
Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John by Helen Trinca (Text)

Shortlist released 20 March 2014
Winner announced 29 April 2014

7 Feb 2014

BiP eNews: New and Interesting Non-Fiction for Children

Teenage Kitchen Rampage

Peter Oxley | Dec 2013 | $24.95hb

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 & 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.

The Road to Reckoning by Robert Lautner

Feb 2014 | $27.99pb | HarperCollins

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.

18 Jan 2014

My Promised Land by Ari Shavit

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

10 Jan 2014

The Kensington Reptilarium by N.J. Gemmell

Nov 2013 | $16.95pb | Random House

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.

Review by Meg Whelan for Books+Publishing

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Sept 2013 | $32.95pb | Vintage Australia

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 by Inga Simpson

Jun 2013 | $26.99 | Hachette

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.

BiP Staff Review by Leonie

> Read an EXTRACT

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

Aug 2013 | $24.95pb | Bantam Press

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.

7 Nov 2013

The Birdwatcher by William McInnes

Nov 2013 | $29.99pb | Hachette

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.

BiP staff review by Sue