Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

2 Sep 2016

September New Releases

Hero Maker: A Biography of Paul Brickhill
Stephen Dando-Collins
Sept 2016 | $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
Sept 2016 | $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.



The History of Australia in 100 Objects
Toby Creswell 
Sept 2016 | $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. 


Ghost Empire
Richard Fidler 
Aug 2016 | $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 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.



Nutshell
Ian McEwan 
Sept 2016 | $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 
Aug 2016 | $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
Sept 2016 | $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…

‘A singular new talent! Storey's Nothing Short of Dying is nothing short of brilliant. It grabs you from page one and simply doesn't let go. This man is a born storyteller!' -- Jeffery Deaver





The Rules of Backyard Cricket
Jock Serong 
Sept 2016 | $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.

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
June 2016 | $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
Aug 2016 | $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
Aug 2016 | $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