Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

28 Feb 2009

Yarra : A History Of Melbourne's Murky River

by Kristin Otto
Text

The information in this book is fascinating, I do love a good local history! But the way it was presented drove me crazy.  The blurb on the back says that it 'sometimes meanders along with the same unhurried languor as its namesake'. I found this construction less than charming, in fact it made reading the book quite confusing at times and unnecessarily irritating. The maps are also poorly reproduced and difficult to read, the photos/pictures likewise. A pity becasue, as I said, an absolutely fascinating subject.

By Christine

The Girl On The Landing

by Paul Torday
W & N Fiction
9780297855330

I have mentioned this book elsewhere, but will do so again as it has just been released this week. Despite a less than flattering review in The Age this morning, Elizabeth S and I really enjoyed it. Basically the story is woven around mental illness and the consequences of the patient deciding to cease his medication. Lots of suspense and surprise. I loved it.

By Christine


24 Feb 2009

2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize

The shortlists for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize have been announced. 
Among the shortlisted titles are :
- Breath by Tim Winton (best book)
- The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (best book)
- The Spare Room by Helen Garner (best book)
- The Good Parents by Joan London (best book)
- The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (best first book)
- The Boat by Nam Lee (best first book)

Click here to see the complete shortlists.

4 Feb 2009

Butterfly

by Sonya Hartnett
Hamish Hamilton
9780241015421

Sonya Hartnett's novels are read by adults and young adults alike, and her first novel since being awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (March 2008) will no doubt appeal to an audience well beyond the age of the protagonist. 

Set in 1980s suburban Australia, Butterfly tells the story of Plum Coyle, later dubbed Aria, fast approaching her fourteenth birthday, after which she hopes that her old life, awkward body, and best friends (her worst enemies) will be a thing of her past. Plum's charming and glamorous neighbour Maureen, a wife and mother, soon becomes a coveted friend, but for reasons that Plum is initially oblivious. Maureen, recognising her sadness, reassures Plum that she understands her plight, telling her that she is strong and beautiful, even capable of becoming a fashion model. When she's with Maureen, Plum feels like the girl she had always wanted to be. 

Plum is faced with more tribulations when her friends turn on her (for good reason), ruining her birthday party, and again when she discovers Maureen's secret - a secret with the potential to tear Plum's family apart. 

Butterfly is beautifully written and cleverly expresses the trials of early adolescence, and dynamics of Plum's loving family versus her tentative place in the schoolyard.

by Kristy