Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

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

30 Oct 2013

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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!

BiP staff review by Leonie

29 Jul 2013

His Stupid Boyhood: A Memoir by Peter Goldsworthy

Jul 2013 | $29.99pb | Hamish Hamilton

The subject of Peter Goldsworthy’s title is his first eighteen years and ‘the getting of stupidity; the getting of wisdom would have to wait’. His father was a teacher, which meant that, in the 1950s and 1960s, the Goldsworthy family was frequently uprooted to different parts of South Australia and, in one memorable instance, to Darwin. People were left behind, but, most importantly, each move introduced Peter to new books and new ideas. The story of his youth is also one of serious illness, from asthma to later lung problems which required serious medical attention. These physical weaknesses did not stop Peter taking on all-comers in verbal contests, although physical defence of his honour was often delegated to more capable friends. In self-deprecating terms Peter describes his naive, self-confident ways, which often ruined attempts to make meaningful contact with girls, and which still caused him trouble as an eighteen-year-old. But Peter was not just a reader; by the end of the book he has become a writer, a published poet and a medical student. The writing is honest, unflaggingly humorous and entertaining, and conjures up wonderful images which enable the reader to share Peter Goldsworthy’s own journey. More please.

BiP Staff Review by Chris

18 Jul 2013

2013 Caldecott Medal WINNER

Jon Klassen’s weird and wacky sense of humour prevails once again in this cautionary (but very funny) tale about a thief who thinks he’s got away with it... For ages 3 and up.

2013 Caldecott Honour Book

I Want My Hat Back--Jon Klassen's picture book debut--tells a cumulative tale with a cheeky twist, aided by graphically simple, and truly hilarious, illustrations.

12 Jul 2013

EXTRACT: Blood Witness by Alex Hammond


There were mangroves here, which meant saltwater crocodiles and sharks too. But that was why they had come. Rachel had wanted to see the sharks.

Will Harris sat on the bow listening to the sails yawn against the wind as the boat sliced through the water seeking out a new dive site among Palau's limestone islands. They had spent the trip sailing through over two hundred and fifty of them, a maze of verdant green and azure sea.

Rachel crept up from behind and wrapped her legs and arms around him.

'Hey,' she said.

'How are you going, fiancée?'

Speaking the word aloud still felt strange and thrilling. It was less than a week ago that he'd proposed on the beach, at a table on the sand illuminated by oil burners, watching the sun set over the pacific.

'I'm great. Properly relaxed, you know?'

'Well, don't get too calm, we're heading back in soon.'

'Hush now. We've got plenty of time together,' she said, pointing her legs out in front of them both and stretching her toes.

'If only we could stay out here forever.'

4 Jul 2013

More Than This by Patrick Ness

Sept 2013 | $27.95hb | Walker Books

When Patrick Ness wrote the amazing Chaos Walking series, he took young adult fiction to a new level and inspired a legion of readers and writers of all ages. The series won many awards including the Guardian Children’s fiction award, the Costa award and the most prestigious children’s book award: the Carnegie medal. His haunting follow up novel A Monster Calls won the Carnegie medal and also the Kate Greenaway medal for its illustrations.

The story begins with a boy Seth, nearly seventeen, walking into the ocean. The water is freezing, the waves enormous and he is soon overcome by their ferocity. His body is smashed into rocks and he drowns. He dies. Then he awakens and finds himself in a place entirely different to the one he just left, and yet, in the back of his mind, strangely familiar. And he is alone, completely alone…

Reading More Than This is like going on a journey into another world, where you open your mind to a myriad of possibilities of what reality is, or could be. What actually does happen when we die? Is there an afterlife? Is there a Hell? Are we held accountable for our actions in this life? All these and more philosophical questions are explored within this beautifully written novel. On another level, it is an exciting and captivating page-turner that would appeal to readers of science fiction, fantasy or just great adventure. There is no doubt that this book will make you think and keep you guessing until the end. 

Ness’s novels strike such a chord with young adult and adult readers alike, not only because his writing is, to quote author John Green, “insanely beautiful”, but also because he is a masterful storyteller. He creates real and complex characters that become like friends to the reader. We really do care what happens to them. Seth, our hero in More Than This is a fine example of this. We are right there beside him on his incredible journey that is fraught with pain, confusion and heartache and we’re right there with him when he discovers that, no matter how intensely difficult life can become, there really is more…and more and more. 

Patrick Ness really has a lot to say about life, the universe and everything. Thank you Patrick Ness, we could not have asked for more than this.

BiP staff review by Cathy

Purchase a copy of Patrick Ness’ new novel More Than This to go in the draw to win a set of the Chaos Walking series signed especially for Books in Print. A signed copy of A Monster Calls is also up for grabs as a runner-up prize. 

With each purchase of More Than This comes a letter from Patrick Ness exclusive to his Australian and New Zealand fans - but only limited number are available!

28 May 2013

KIMOCHIS! New to Australia, now in stock at Books in Print!

At Books in Print we are dedicated to children’s literature in all shapes and forms. Books and reading are so important for children’s enjoyment, learning and social development. We are constantly asked for books that deal with feelings and emotions for young children and were delighted to discover the Kimochi range of books and toys. We have had an incredibly positive response to the range from our customers. Most children are familiar with them already as they are used in many schools (including Malvern Central Primary) as a tool for helping children deal with issues like anger management or overcoming shyness. So feel free to come and have a look at the range and ask our children’s specialists about ways that Kimochis can help, entertain or comfort your child.

Social and emotional learning is the process through which children develop the fundamental skills for life effectiveness. Parents can use the Kimochi characters, story books and feelings to spark conversations, resolve conflicts and build a strong parent-child connection. Kimochis provide a tangible way to help children learn techniques for handling life’s challenging moments. And, when children can effectively express and communicate feelings, they build confidence, self-esteem, strong relationships and the foundations for social and academic success.

  • Kimochis Toys
    • Mini Toys $29.95
    • Includes 15cm character, comic book and feeling keychain
    • Box Sets $49.95
    • Includes 33cm character, 3 feelings and a how-to-Feel Guide
    • Mini Feelings $3.95 each, sold separately
  • Kimochis Picture Book Series
    • Cloud’s Best Worst Day Ever $24.95hb | Cloud was having the BEST day ever, until everything started to go wrong. Can Cloud manage his BAD mood without raining on everyone else’s parade?
    • Bug Makes a Splash $24.95hb | Bug is afraid of trying new things. When his friends invite him for a swim, can Bug overcome his scared feelings with brave ones and dive right in?
    • Cat’s not-so-perfect Sandcastle $24.95hb | Cat is determined to build a perfect sandcastle. When her friends come to help, can Cat remember to add teamwork and fun to the day?

23 May 2013

And The Mountains Echoed --- Chapter Sample

May 2013 | $32.99pb | Bloomsbury

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, the book that readers everywhere have been waiting six years for ...

Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways that we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history, and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

9 May 2013

BiP eNews 09/05/2013

 Cry Blue Murder 
by Kim Jane and Marion Roberts $19.95 pb

** Limited number of signed copies available!
Celia and Alice begin an email correspondence when it becomes known that there is a killer on the loose, abducting schoolgirls. Three bodies have been found, each shrouded in hand-woven fabric. The girls’ friendship deepens as they share their hopes and fears, and from the police investigation, forensic reports and from the correspondence between the girls, the truth of the mystery unfolds. The novel is written in a true-crime style, which I really liked, and, no spoilers, but the ending definitely has the ‘Wow’ factor. I was completely captivated by this wonderful collaboration and could literally not put it down until I had finished it. Cry Blue Murder is a riveting, exciting and chilling young adult novel and it is set right here in Malvern!
- Review by Cathy.

Kim Kane is the author of the cool and quirky novel Pip – the story of Olive and of picture books Family Forest and The Unexpected Crocodile. She lives in Melbourne. Marion Roberts is the author of Sunnyside Up and Mostly Sunny and she also lives in Melbourne.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey $19.99 pb
In the first book of this new and exciting trilogy, Rick Yancey wanted to create a plausible novel about an alien invasion and he has really delivered the goods! The 5th Wave is a well-written and totally compelling, post-apocalyptic story with realistic and heroic characters, and non-stop action and suspense. It has been compared to “War of the Worlds” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” but it is the believability of this story that will appeal to today’s young adult readers. The 5thwave is sure to be a huge best seller and will appeal to the fans of the “Gone” series and the “Chaos Walking” trilogy. I really loved it and can’t wait for the next instalment. Recommended for readers 14+
- Review by Cathy.

Tom Gates is Absolutely Fantastic (At Some Things) by L. Pichon $15.99 pb
Tom Gates is back for more hilarious adventures in book five of this incredibly popular series. Exciting news is afoot at Oakfield School! Mr. Fullerman has announced than Class 5F are going on an ‘Activity Break’. With all sorts of chaos on the cards, it should be BIG fun - as long as Tom doesn’t have to dorm with measly Marcus Meldrew!  
Winner of the Road Dahl Funny Prize, Red House Children’s Book Award and Waterstones’ Children’s Book Prize, this series just gets better and better. Recommended for readers 8+

Truly Tan: Jinxed by Jen Storer $16.99 pb
We met Tan in “Truly Tan”. She’s bright and lively and has the mind of a great detective. Now Tan’s back in a new adventure and this could her biggest case yet. This case could make her famous. She’s bolder. She’s brighter. But is she jinxed? Fans of “Clarice Bean” will love this funny, feisty and imaginative character. Recommended for readers 8+

Joyous and Moonbeam by Richard Yaxley $16.99 pb
Joyous, the main character in this wonderful, clever and often very funny novel for young adults, never – no, not ever – fails to see the best in everyone and everything. When he meets Moonbeam, a young woman whose view of the world is looking a little bleak, Joyous knows that she needs his particular brand of help. The story unfolds through three different, distinct voices, and is, ultimately, one of the most uplifting and unlikely friendships I’ve read in young adult fiction for some time. Joyous’ attitude is infectious, and his use of language will have you “working things around” in no time. Highly recommended for readers 12+
- Review by Lucinda.

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart $14.95 pb
Before there was a Mysterious Benedict Society, there was simply a boy names Nicholas Benedict. Meet the boy who started it all... Nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict has more problems than most children his age. Not only is he an orphan with an unfortunate nose, but he also has narcolepsy, a condition that gives him terrible nightmares and makes him fall asleep at the worst possible moments. Now he’s being sent to an new orphanage, where he will encounter vicious bullies, selfish adults, strange circumstances – and a mystery that could change his life forever! Luckily, he has one import thing in his favour; he is a genius. Fans of “The Mysterious Benedict Society” will be thrilled with this prequel which offers some insight into how Nicholas Benedict became the leader of a secret society of talented “brainiacs”. Recommended for readers 10+

Fancy Nancy – Fanciest Doll in the Universe by Jane O’Connor $19.99 hb
It’s always exciting when there’s a new Fancy Nancy and this one is sure to please! Fancy Nancy’s little sister is a handful, which is polite for really naughty. But when JoJo draws a tattoo on Marabelle Lavinia Chandelier, Nancy’s most glamorous and favourite doll, Nancy is LIVID (that’s fancy for trés angry and upset). So to make her feel better, Nancy attends a fancy doll party. But what if the doll drama isn’t over yet? Recommended for readers 3+

Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld $22.95 hb
The creators of “Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site” are back with another fantastic book for bedtime. The dream train pulls into the station. One by one the train cars are loaded – polar bears pack the reefer car with ice-cream, elephants fill the tanker cars with paints, tortoises load the autorack with race cars, kangaroos fill the hopper car with balls. With wonderful rhythmic, rhyming text, sweet and silly dreams and guaranteed for every train enthusiast. Recommended for ages 3+

2 May 2013

BiP eNews 02/05/2013

The Town That Drowned by Riel Nason $29.99 pb
This debut novel won the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize for its Canadian author, Riel Nason. In writing it she pays tribute to the area where she grew up, along the St. John River in New Brunswick. The submerged old bridge of her childhood memories inspired this telling of the flooding of a town in the name of progress. The events are seen through the eyes of 14-year-old Ruby Carson, who is a real character. She winds us into her world and forces us to contemplate the fall-out from a whole town going under. Well worth reading!
- Review by Sue.

Last Friends by Jane Gardam $29.99 pb  ** BiP Price $26.95
Last Friends is the last book in the Old Filth trilogy. Central to the book is the story of the very unusual early life of Sir Terence Veneering, Sir Edward Feather’s arch rival. Veneering was the son of a Russian acrobat and a young English girl. Marooned in north-east England, he escaped the war to emerge in the Far East as a man of panache, success and fame, yet at the stuffy English Bar he was always regarded with suspicion: where did this louche, brilliant Slav come from? Jane Gardam’s wonderful, witty turn of phrase will engage readers of Old Filth and The Man in the Wooden Hat.
- Review by Leonie.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khalded Hosseini $32.99 pb  ** BiP Price $27.95

May 21st will see the publication of the new novel by Khaled Hosseini. And the Mountains Echoed is a novel which spans generations and continents in a series of interconnected stories which move from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, and how the choices we make resonate through history.

Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live in the small village of Shadbagh. To Abdullah, Pari, as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named, is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their skulls touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand.

18 Apr 2013

BiP eNews 18/04/2013

The Memory Trap by Andrea Goldsmith $29.99 pb
What do you do when your much-loved husband of twelve years drops a bombshell? Nina Jameson, a consultant on international memorial projects, decides to leave London and return home to Melbourne. She is looking forward to spending time with her sister Zoe, while starting on a new project. Instead she finds herself caught up in the conflict between Zoe and her husband Elliot, a biographer, and two childhood friends, Ramsay and his younger brother Sean. Are memories true recollections or do we all choose to remember selectively the good or the bad things in our past? Andrea Goldsmith is a wonderful Melbourne writer who brings her characters and her city to life, with great insight into the psychological impact that passion and artistry have on those we love.  A rich and compelling story of marriage, music, the illusions of love and the deceits of memory. I have always been a big fan of Andrea’s books and The Memory Trap does not disappoint.
- Review by Leonie

Indiscretion by Charles Dubow $24.99 pb
Harry and Maddie are the perfect couple who radiate a contented magnetism to all they meet. Claire is young, pretty and ruthless. She enters their orbit and eventually seduces Harry. The revelation of their torrid affair, when it comes, is devastating for Maddie. Told in ‘Great Gatsby’ style through the eyes of Maddie’s old friend Walter, Indiscretion is a confronting tale of love, trust and the brutality of betrayal.
- Review by Christine

Night of Triumph by Peter Bradshaw $29.99 pb
We are told that on the night of VE day the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were allowed out on to the streets of London to mingle with the rejoicing public. In Night of Triumph Peter Bradshaw draws on this revelation to embroider a highly unlikely tale of public hysteria, petty crime and royalty at large. It is an engaging spoof and lots of fun.
- Review by Christine

The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson $19.95 pb
Pak Jun Do knows he is special. He knows he must be the son of the master of the orphanage, not some kid dumped by his parents - it was obvious from the way his father singled him out for beatings. He knows he is special when he is picked as a spy and kidnapper for his country, the glorious Democratic Republic of North Korea. He knows he must find his true love, Sun Moon, the greatest opera star who ever lived, before it's too late. He knows he's not like the other prisoners in the camp. He's going to get out soon. Definitely.
- The 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction citation: Awarded to ‘The Orphan Master's Son’ by Adam Johnson, an exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart.

Ashenden by Elizabeth Wilhide $19.99 pb
Now in paperback, Ashenden was a great success when first published in 2012. It is a charming saga of our architectural heritage and of the connections we have with those who have gone before. Elizabeth Wilhide knows old houses well and with a touch of ‘Downton Abbey’ about it Ashenden comes to life beautifully.
- Review by Christine.

11 Apr 2013

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent - Extract

** BIP Staff review by Sue:
Here’s something a little different for all you Scandinavian crime nuts! No, we’re not uncovering bodies in the permafrost, although murder has been committed. Based on a true story, Hannah Kent’s novel brings to life the last days of Agnes Magnusdottir, a condemned murderess. Set in northern Iceland in 1829, the drama of this tale lay in the lead-up to Agnes’ execution.  She is incarcerated with the family of the District Officer and as time passes doubts arise as to her role in the crime.’

They said I must die. They said that I stole the breath from men, and now they must steal mine. I imagine, then, that we are all candle flames, greasy-bright, fluttering in the darkness and the howl of the wind, and in the stillness of the room I hear footsteps, awful coming footsteps, coming to blow me out and send my life up away from me in a grey wreath of smoke. I will vanish into the air and the night. They will blow us all out, one by one, until it is only their own light by which they see themselves. Where will I be then?

Sometimes I think I see it again, the farm, burning in the dark. Sometimes I can feel the ache of winter in my lungs, and I think I see the flames mirrored in the ocean, the water so strange, so flickered with light. There was a moment during that night when i looked back. I looked back to watch the fire, and if I lick my skin I can still taste the salt. The smoke.

It wasn’t always so cold.

I hear footsteps.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent - Book Trailer

Hannah Kent was born in Adelaide in 1985. As a teenager she travelled to Iceland on a Rotary Exchange, where she first heard the story of Agnes Magnusdottir. Hannah is the co-founder and deputy editor of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings, and is completing her PhD at Flinders University. In 2011 she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award. Burial Rites is her first novel.