Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

2 Dec 2016

Higgins Christmas Appeal

The festive season is always the busiest time of the year in bookshops throughout Australia, and the largest category of purchases is children’s books, as families and friends buy gifts for the younger generation. Books to read for enjoyment, and books to read for learning and inspiration.
Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Federal Member for Higgins, and Books in Print are working together to provide new books to disadvantaged children this Christmas.

The major need is for books for children at primary school level.

Customers who donate books to the Higgins Christmas Appeal will receive a 10% discount on donated titles instead of Book Club points. Our experienced staff will be available to help with the selection of suitable books.

Please consider donating to the Higgins Christmas Appeal, a collaboration between Kelly O’Dwyer and Books in Print.

Join with us to provide new books to disadvantaged children this Christmas through the Smith Family.

Ask in-store at Malvern’s Books in Print for details about our 10% discount on donated books.

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

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.

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 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. 

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.

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…

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.