Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

17 Jun 2015

BiP eNews

A new book by Gideon Haigh, new and forthcoming fiction titles, and three beautiful new picture books by author-illustrators

Certain Admissions: A Beach, a Body and a Lifetime of Secrets
Gideon Haigh
June 2015 | Viking | $32.99 pb

A fascinating look at post-war Melbourne, the operation of its legal system and the prevailing social attitudes.

One evening in December 1949 young Beth Williams accepted an invitation to dinner from John Bryan Kerr, a former radio star she had originally met in her native Tasmania. Later that night she was murdered on Melbourne’s Middle Park Beach. Kerr was subsequently arrested and put on trial for her murder. A well-educated young man who had had many opportunities to break into commercial radio, he had been dismissed several times due to poor attitude and occasional violent outbursts. He protested his innocence throughout his incarceration in Pentridge Prison after three celebrated trials. On his release in 1962 he changed his name and enjoyed a quietly successful life until his death in 2001. In 2012 another man confessed on his deathbed to Beth’s murder. Gideon Haigh has examined the original police files concerning the Beth Williams investigation, which contained a detailed handwritten but unsigned confession, supposedly composed by one of the investigating detectives. He describes the police culture of the times, which preferred confession to conviction by scientific evidence, and details the arguments in the trials which finally convicted Kerr.

The Truth According To Us
Annie Barrows
June 2015 | Bantam | $32.99 pb

Celebrated co-author of the global bestseller The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society once again evokes the charm and eccentricity of a small town filled with extraordinary characters.

In the summer of 1938 Layla Beck is forced out of the lap of luxury and sent by her Senator father to work on the Federal Writers' Project, a New Deal jobs program. Assigned to cover the history of the little mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, Layla envisions a summer of tedium. However, once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is completely drawn into their complex world. At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to acquire her favourite virtues of ferocity and devotion, but her search leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including the questionable business that occupies her charismatic father and the reason her adored aunt Jottie remains unmarried.

Simon Mawer
June 2015 | Little, Brown | $29.99 pb

A brilliant cold war spy story from the Man Booker shortlisted author of The Glass Room, continuing the story of Marian Sutro from The Girl Who Fell From the Sky.

Marian has survived Ravensbruck and returned home to Oxford, trying to adapt to the strange normality of life in post-war England. While Marian tries to rebuild her life and cast off her identity as a spy and heroine of the resistance, the memories of torture, heartbreak and betrayal will not leave her – and nor will the longing for adventure. She is de-briefed by the same branch of the secret service that sent her to Paris to extract a French atomic scientist. When her old handler tempts her back into the shadowy world of espionage, the need to serve the greater good proves hard to ignore. Drawn deep into the heart of cold war politics, Marian must risk everything to protect those she loves, to serve the cause she believes in and – most of all – to follow her own desires.

Rush Oh!

Shirley Barrett
Available Sept 2015 | Picador | $32.99 pb

Screenwriter and director Shirley Barrett has mixed fact and fiction to tell the story of the whaling community of Eden in the early years of the twentieth century.

The narrator of Rush Oh! is Mary Davidson, eldest daughter of George ‘Fearless’ Davidson, a third-generation Master Whaler who runs two boats in the whaling season. Mary has her own dreams and hopes: she is also attracting the attention of men, in particular that of a new ‘chum’, a former Methodist preacher with a mysterious past. She describes the hardships facing the whalers, who row in open boats for hours, in all weathers, in pursuit of their prey. George’s territory is Twofold Bay, which is also home to a pod of Killer whales, who help the men to capture the larger whales by confining each whale in the bay until the hunters arrive. The Killers were so well known that many were given names (the most famous, Tom, helped the whalers for over sixty years; his skeleton is on display in the Eden Killer Whale Museum). The harsh life of the whalers and their struggle for survival in the difficult season of 2008 is recounted with great feeling and respect and will resonate with readers of Australian history.


If you ever ever ever ever ever
If you ever ever ever see a whale
You must never never never never never
You must never never never touch its tail
For if you ever ever ever ever ever
If you ever ever ever touch its tail
You will never never never never never
You will never never see another whale.
- Anon.

There are few people, if any, who have not
heard of the Killer Whales of Twofold Bay –
of the great help they render to the whaling
crews at Eden and the names they bear, such
as Tom, Hooky, Humpy and Cooper . . .
And yet those who have known these strange
creatures for a lifetime look upon them as
friends; yes, just as much friends to the
whaling crews as the cattle dog to the drover;
just about as much, if not a little more so. 
Eden Observer and South Coast Advocate27 November 1903

3 Jun 2015

BiP eNews: Delightful new children's books

Recommended for 8+

Run, Pip, Run
J.C. Jones
March 2015 | Allen & Unwin | $12.99pb

Pip Sullivan’s tenth birthday is a complete disaster. Her beloved Sully – a delightfully grumpy elderly man, and the only family she has ever known - ends up in hospital and, with no one else to care for her, Pip takes matters into her own very capable hands. Determined to stay one step ahead of (the really very lovely) Senior Constable Molly Dunlop and social services, Pip finds a place to stay with the help of a seemingly psychic cat called Indigo/Bruce: staying out of foster homes so she can help Sully get better becomes her mission. Along the way she meets a sweet canine escape artist she names Houdini, becomes slightly famous, outwits plenty of adults, meddles in her school teacher’s love life and manages to help catch a dodgy criminal. I found myself rooting for Pip all the way along, loved her can-do attitude (and her dog Houdini is adorable). Run, Pip, Run is a gorgeous adventure tale about a small girl on her own in a big city, one who knows a thing or two about loyalty, bravery and friendship.

Recommended for 18 months to 3 year

Hop Up! Wriggle Over!
Elizabeth Honey
April 2015 | Allen & Unwin | $19.99hb

Elizabeth Honey’s new picture book is a feast for the really young: with nine baby animals in the family she introduces us to, every minute of the day is full of wild, romping fun. From waking in the morning, gobbling breakfast, drumming with spoons, zooming to the park and playing till it's bathtime, life's just one big game until bedtime. A perfect book for toddlers who will love the simple, musical wordplay - Crunch crunch, Gobble gobble, Lick lick, More! – and be drawn to the action-packed illustrations.

Recommended for 5+
The Most Wonderful Thing in the World
Vivian French & Angela Barrett
June 2015 | Walker Books | $27.95hb

When a king and a queen promise to marry their daughter Lucia to the man who can show them the most wonderful thing in the world, suitors descend on the palace bearing gifts. Roses, jewels and exotic birds; dancing girls, wind machines and mythical beasts - but nothing feels quite right. As the last suitor leaves, his weapons of mass destruction rejected, the king and queen are exhausted. But when a shy, young man, who isn't a suitor at all, steps forward, they finally understand what the most wonderful thing in the world really is. Vivian French's masterful retelling of a forgotten story is both funny and heart-warming, and Angela Barrett's breathtaking illustrations give life to an enchanting and romantic fairytale city.

BiP eNews cont...

A wonderful new Australian novel, a heartwarming story of a refugee from Somalia, and a new cookbook from Yotam Ottolenghi

BiP staff review by Leonie
Archipelago of Souls
Gregory Day
July 2015 | Picador | $32.99pb   *BiP price $27.95 

‘We were islands of the same archipelago adrift in a sea of unknowing.’ Wesley Cress uses these words to describe his relationship with Leonie Fermoy, his partner, and his friend John Lascelles, many years after they first met on King Island. Wes grew up on a farm in the Colac area and was sent off to boarding school after his mother died. His brother Vern was left with their father, who was not coping on his own. When war was declared the two boys enlisted as soon as they could. They fought on Crete with the local partisans against the German and Italian armies. When the Allied troops withdrew Wes missed the evacuation, but Vern was killed on board a boat which was sunk by friendly fire. When Wes heard about his brother’s death he went AWOL in the mountains, doing things to survive which haunted him for many years. Unable to face a return to the family farm Wes landed on King Island with no plans apart from living a solitary life. Gradually some of the islanders tried to befriend him, including Leonie Fermoy, who grew up on the island. Left in the care of her abusive father, she led a lonely and at times terrible childhood, and was allowed to run wild. Wes was fascinated by this interesting young woman and decided that it was easier to write his history for her than to tell her his story directly. John Lascelles is the Assistant Post Officer who delivers the packages containing Wes’ writings to Leonie. He was brought to King Island after the death of his mother while he was still at school. His father needed to start a new life for himself and his son, and so he took over the local Post Office. John missed his friends and the chance for further education. The atmosphere of the novel is enhanced by the depiction of King Island as a community ruled by the extremes of weather. Readers may have fond memories of Gregory Day’s last novel The Grand Hotel. Archipelago of Souls is a book to remember long after you read the last page. The use of lyrical language is remarkable. I wanted to go straight back to the beginning of the book as soon as I finished.

Truth and Other Lies
Sascha Arango
April 2015 | Text | $29.99pb

Famous bestselling author, loving husband, generous friend - Henry Hayden is a pleasant person to have around. Or so it seems. And when his mistress, who is also his editor, becomes pregnant, his carefully constructed life threatens to fall apart. So Henry works out an ingenious plan. Craftily and cold-bloodedly, he intertwines lies and truths and all the shades of grey in-between. But when he tries to get rid of his mistress, Henry makes a terrible mistake. Not only are the police soon after him, but his past, which he has painstakingly kept under the carpet, also threatens to catch up with him with deadly consequences. 

‘A book which reminded me immediately of Herman Koch’s The Dinner, with an apparently simple plot which soon became more complicated. By the time you read the first page you think you know the storyline, but there are plenty of surprises for the reader.’ - Chris.

Shining: The Story of a Lucky Man
Abdi Aden & Robert Hillman
June 2015 | HarperCollins | $29.99pb

Abdi's world fell apart at the age of fifteen when Somalia's vicious civil war hit Mogadishu. Unable to find his family and effectively an orphan, he fled with some sixty others and headed to Kenya. On the way, death squads hunted them and they daily faced violence, danger and starvation. After almost four months, they arrived in at refugee camps in Kenya - of the group he'd set out with, only five had survived. All alone in the world and desperate to find his family, Abdi couldn't stay in Kenya, so he turned around and undertook the dangerous journey back to Mogadishu. But the search was fruitless, and eventually Abdi made his way - alone, with no money in his pockets - to Romania, then to Germany, completely dependent on the kindness of strangers. He was just seventeen years old when he arrived in Melbourne. He had no English, no family or friends, no money, no home. Yet, against the odds, he not only survived, he thrived. Abdi went on to complete secondary education and later university. He became a youth worker, was acknowledged with the 2007 Victorian Refugee Recognition Award and was featured in the SBS second series of Go Back to Where You Came From. Everything he has endured and achieved is testament to his quiet strength and courage, his resilience and most of all, his warm-hearted, shining and enduring optimism.

NOPI: The Cookbook
Yotam Ottolenghi & Ramael Scully
Sept 2015 | Ebury Press | $59.99hb

Nopi: The Cookbook includes over 120 of the most popular dishes from Yotam's innovative Soho-based restaurant NOPI. It is written with long-time collaborator and NOPI head chef Ramael Scully, who brings his distinctive Asian twist to the Ottolenghi kitchen. All recipes have been adapted and made possible for the home cook to recreate at home. They range in their degree of complexity so there is something for all cooks. There are dishes that long-time Ottolenghi fans will be familiar with - a starter of aubergine with black garlic, for example, or the roasted squash with sweet tomatoes - as well as many dishes which will stretch the home cook as they produce some of the restaurant's signature dishes at home, such as Beef brisket croquettes or Persian love rice. With chapters for starters and sides, fish, meat and vegetable mains, puddings, brunch, condiments and cocktails, a menu can easily be devised for any occasion and purpose.
NOPI: The Cookbook will be available on 1st September 2015 at $59.95 hardback