Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

20 May 2014

BiP eNews: New picture books

A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna
Mar 2014 | Tate Gallery | $29.95hb
Recommended for 4+
A lion, bored by his rural life in the savannah, seeks excitement and opportunity in the city of light. On arrival in Paris the lion is disappointed to find that despite his size, people barely pay attention to him, not even when he lets out a ferocious roar on the busy Metro. Taking in the sights and sounds of Paris, this beautifully illustrated story successfully conveys the experience of being a stranger in a new city and the process of understanding our own identity. Paris looks gorgeous in this special, award-winning French book, but it is the lion who really steals the show. Highly recommended for lovers of Paris, old and young.

Recommended for 3+

Mungo Monkey Has A Birthday Party 
by Lydia Monk
May 2014 | Egmont | $16.95pb

Mungo is pretty excited about his upcoming birthday party, and all of his friends are invited. There will be dressing up, games to play and even a sleepover. Bright illustrations and loads of fun with clever, sturdy flaps to lift, this is one of our favourite new paperback picture books.

Recommended for 3+

The Princess and the Presents
by Caryl Hart & Sarah Warburton
May 2014 | Nosy Crow | $19.99hb 

Princess Ruby is incredibly spoilt. Her upcoming birthday list is extremely long and she demands that all of wishes be met. Her father, the King, rushes off to buy everything but even a selfish princess can have too many presents. A comic cautionary tale about being careful what you wish for, with charming illustrations that set the mood perfectly. This book is great fun!

Recommended for 3+

Presto Change-o! A Book of Animal Magic 
by Edouard Manceau
May 2014 | Twirl Books | $24.95hb

We adore this clever book! In large format and made of sturdy cardboard, with just a couple of deceptively simple twists and turns, you can magically transform a clock into an owl, a lion into a flower and more. Great for little (or bigger!) fingers to explore.

Recommended for 3+

The Ultimate Book of Vehicles
by Anne-Sophie Bauman & Didier Balicevic
May 2014 | Twirl Books | $29.95hb

Not a single mode of transport is ignored in this amazing and all encompassing book - more than 60 moveable parts will make this a huge hit with those boys, and we know there are a lot of them, who are obsessed with trucks and cars.

8 May 2014

BiP eNews: New and forthcoming adult fiction

BiP staff review by Leonie
The Temporary Gentleman
by Sebastian Barry
May 2014 | Allen & Unwin | $29.99pb

Sometimes you just know a book is by an Irish writer after reading two paragraphs. Sebastian Barry is one of those writers who manage to bring a touch of magic to the darkest of subjects. Jack McNulty, an ordinary young man from Sligo, meets the love of his life, Mai Kirwan, when they are both students at Galway University. Although she is way out of his league, Jack pursues Mai until she finally agrees to marry him, following the death of her beloved father. They spend the first months of their marriage in Africa, where Jack has an engineering job on a colonial outpost. Life is good as Mai heads back to Ireland for the birth of their first child. When the Second World War intervenes Jack accepts a temporary commission as an officer in the British army for the duration of the war. While he is away Mai is overcome by deep depression, which she tries to cover up. The history of the young McNultys is told by Jack, now living in Accra in 1957, as he writes his journal. He is full of remorse for the way he has lived his life and the way he treated his wife and two daughters. Jack managed to fritter away all of Mai’s inheritance, including her family home, through heavy drinking and gambling. Mai fell even further into post-natal depression after the birth of their second daughter, resorting to the gin bottle to help her survive. 

This is such a sad tale, but it is brought to life by Sebastian Barry’s wonderful way with words. Please read this book: it is something special.

Recommended by Chris
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
May 2014 | Forth Estate | $29.99pb

In 1934 Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind. Her father builds her a model of their neighbourhood so she can memorize every house, every street with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler’s empire to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Anthony Doerr illuminates the ways in which, against all odds, that people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work.

BiP staff review by Sue
The Arsonist
by Sue Miller
July 2014 | Bloomsbury | $29.99pb

Set in the small New Hampshire town of Pomeroy, Sue Miller’s new novel examines what the notion of ‘home’ means to us. Troubled by the feeling that she belongs nowhere after working in East Africa for fifteen years, Frankie Rowley returns to Pomeroy and the farmhouse where her family has always spent the summer. On her first night back a house up the road burns down. Over the weeks that follow, as her father declines into dementia and her mother becomes more desperate, another house burns, and then another. Each of Miller’s characters is struggling to shape a comfortable, safe place to call home, and this endeavour is made even more precarious by the activity of the arsonist in their midst. Tensions and suspicions run high in the collective effort to defuse this threat, while the day-to-day lives of the individual characters provide a poignant counterpoint via their own drama. It’s not hard to get behind this book – great writing and an intriguing story. Sure to please fans of Marilyn Robinson.

>> Read the first chapter

A Very Special Offer!

was $89.95hb | Nov 2012 | Slattery Media
A Lifetime of Cooking, Teaching and Writing from French Kitchen
by Diane Holuigue

BiP Special Price $39.95 

We have been able to obtain a limited quantity of Diane Holuigue’s wonderful book A Lifetime of Cooking and Teaching and Writing from the French Kitchen at a new price of $39.95. Originally published at $89.95, this 752-page magnum opus combines the concepts of classical French cooking introduced and explained in Diane’s best-selling title The French Kitchen (first published in 1983); teachings from her essential instructive manual The Clever Cook (drawn from columns that appeared in the The Australian and were first published as a single volume in 1994); and a breathtaking array of inspiring and informative travel writing, taken from Postcards From Kitchens Abroad. A beautiful present or a special treat for yourself.

BiP eNews: Children's picture books

Recommended for 3+
The Hairy-Nosed Wombats Find a New Home
by Jackie French & Sue deGennaro
May 2014 | Angus & Robertson| $24.99hb

"Once upon a time, deep underground, there was a colony of wonderfully whiskery wombats who all had hairy noses..."

The Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat is one of the world's rarest species - it is rarer than the Giant Panda, yet they were, for a time, on the very brink of extinction. A group of conservationists decided to move them to a new habitat, one where they could be happy, safe and, with luck, breed. The good news is that Hairy-nosed Wombats did just that! Lots of informative chatter at the back of this book explains the plight of one of our once endangered native animals. All the makings of a very worthy tale, yes, but this gorgeous picture book, written lovingly by Jackie French, manages to be a lot of fun as well. 

All of Jackie French's royalties for the sale of this book are being donated towards wombat research and care:

Recommended for 3+
I Have a Dog (an inconvenient dog)
by Charlotte Lance
May 2014 | Allen & Unwin | $19.99hb

Never has the phrase "a dog is for life" been more perfectly expressed than in this sweet and funny little picture book. Inconvenient though puppies can sometimes be, they can also be very convenient when they grow into adult dogs - they can make you feel safe, or make you laugh and, conveniently, can be blamed for any accidental breakages that just happen around the house... A lovely book for dog-lovers.

Recommended for 3+
A House for Donfinkle
by Choechoe Brereton & Wayne Harris
May 2014 | Walker Books | $24.95hb

Donfinkle Vonkrinkle is building his dream home. All is perfect, just as it should be, but as he stands back to admire his handiwork his confidence is undermined by the input of passersby. As he takes on board each of their various critiques, Donfinkle slowly loses creative control. Will he be able to make his home as beautiful as it was before these troublesome strangers turned up? Fantastic nonsense words and a great sense of both rhyme and rhythm, combined with Wayne Harris' brightly coloured, magical illustrations, make this a fun read-aloud picture book to share.