Nick Place is a former resident of Fairfield and he still lives not too far away from us. His first novel for adults is a bit of a crime caper featuring policeman Tony Laver, whose shooting of a criminal came at a bad time in the history of Victoria Police. As a result, he has been shunted out of Major Crime and off into a cycling police patrol. To say that he isn’t happy is something of an understatement. But he dons the lycra and after some time of screaming thigh and sore bum syndrome, he gradually starts to see some value in what he is doing, and is soon solving crime with the best of them. The setting will be known to locals, as Fairfield, Alphington, High Street and Heidelberg all feature. It’s a hoot, and I hope there are more Tony Laver adventures to come. $24.95
As part of our “Meet the author in May” Nick Place will be here in the shop on Saturday May 25th from 11-12.30. Come along, buy a book, meet Nick and get your book signed. It should be fun.
After various author visits and events we have some books signed by the authors:
Kylie Ladd has signed copies of her latest book, Into My Arms as well as her previous books, After the Fall, Last Summer & Naked
Graeme Simsion has signed copies of The Rosie Project and they will go fast so don’t wait too long to buy that one.
Jen Storer has signed copies of Truly Tan, Truly Tan Jinxed, Tensy Farlow & Accidental Princess
Michael Pryor has signed copies of The Extraordinaires books 1 & 2. Michael will be here on Saturday 18th May at 11-12.30 so he could sign books personally for you as a gift.
We are very lucky so have so many authors who give up their time to come and visit us. Take advantage of their efforts. Signed books make terrific gifts, or just spoil yourself.
Hannah Kent has produced an astonishingly good first novel, Burial Rites, based on the true story of a woman who was sentenced to be executed in Iceland in 1829 for her part in a murder. The book opens with the murder in the past and the trial having been held and with the culprits awaiting execution. The woman, Agnes is sent to stay with the family of the District Officer while she awaits her execution. The members of his family are all horrified by the news, but have to accept her presence, and as the winter wears on they variously make do with the situation. Agnes’ story is tragic, and as the time for her execution draws near, the question is still hangs in the air: did she or didn’t she commit the murder?
The bleak Icelandic winter landscape is as much a character in the story as the Edinburgh of Ian Rankin’s Rebus books and you will be reaching for a warm hoodie or blanket as you read it. It’s hard to find a redundant word in this book. It is seriously very good. Paperback, $33
Meet Kylie in person here on Saturday 11th May 11-12.30. But check this out in the meantime
Kate Atkinson is one of my favourite authors, so a new release from her is always exciting! She has taken a break from her popular series of crime novels featuring Jackson Brodie to write this extraordinary and thought-provoking novel. The premise of the novel is simple, and is right there on the back cover:
“What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?”
This is what literally happens to Ursula Todd.
Ursula is born on a snowy night in February 1910. The first time she is born, she dies before she has even taken a breath. The second time she is luckier and survives. Ursula is born, lives and dies under different circumstances as she experiences her life over and over, through the turbulent events of the 20th century. In many lives she faces the same turning points and a different choice she makes, or her reaction to an occurrence, changes the outcome for her and those around her. She doesn’t consciously remember her earlier lives, but often has strong “premonitions” when faced with a situation that has ended badly in a previous life. Despite Ursula often facing the same crossroads moments, the story never feels repetitive and is always satisfying – a testament to Kate Atkinson’s inventiveness. Some lives are subtly different, and others radically so, but the characters and the bonds between them are convincing and immediate.
Original, inventive and engrossing, this is a book about family, love, war, history, hope and possibilities. After all, who amongst us hasn’t ever wondered “what if”? A wonderful novel, thoroughly deserving of it’s place on the shortlist of this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. Trade paperback, $32.95
Caroline B. Cooney’s series of books about Janie, an American teenager are really starting to catch on, and we can see why! We had a teenager come in to purchase the first book in the series, The Face on the Milk Carton, for his schools unit on banned books. The controversial subject matter of these fantastic stories means they were banned for quite some time in the United States. Originally published in the 90s, this series has just been given new lease on life in Australia.
Janie Johnson (aka Jayne Jonstone) is a 15-year old with lots of red hair who hates speaking in front of her English class. During an everyday lunch in her high schools cafeteria, Janie and her friends are talking about the faces of missing children put on the backs of milk cartons. But what no-one saw coming when they were looking the picture of a 3 year-old girl in the polka dress with her hair in pigtails, was that 12 years later, that same girl was sitting among them.
So who is Janie Johnson really? Who took her from the shopping center all those years ago? And more importantly, what is she going to do about it?! This is a page-turning story with some great morals and messages, along with a really interesting and unusual subject matter.
The Face On The Milk Carton is the first book, What Happened to Janie? is also in stock, and all four books are now available in the new edition. All $12.95.
We love the Origami Yoda books at Fairfieldbooks. They combine a Wimpy Kid style with Star Wars, so it’s perfect for fans of both. This new book is a fun activity book with lots of suggestions for making and drawing Wookies, helmets and masks among other things. In all there are 75 different activities to fill many hours. It even includes a few sheets of origami paper. You don’t need to have read the books to get some fun out of this, but it might be a new series for that young star wars & wimpy kid lover you know. $11.95 Age range 7-11
Jo Case is a writer and mother whose son Leo was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome after some time of social problems. Jo views the news with a mixture of feelings, which isn’t surprising. Relief at a final diagnosis but also some fear about what it means for Leo and his future. As she throws herself into reading about Asperger’s, she recognises aspects of herself, her father and her brother in the literature. She comes to the view that they are all within the Asperger’s spectrum. She is reluctant to get a definitive diagnosis for herself her main fear being whether she can be a good mother if she really has Aspergers. Jo writes really well, and isn’t afraid to paint herself warts and all. She is at different times irrational, moody and fearful, but she tells it like it is. I think this is a very good contribution to the available literature on Aspergers.
Few things are as quitessentially Melbourne as our laneways… Finding a bar down a laneway down a laneway that you love and have zero chance of ever finding your way back to is all part of a visit to, or indeed a life in, Melbourne. So it’s a wonder this book didn’t happen a lot earlier. From laneways lined with street art and bins and not much else to some of Melbournes busiest and most well known shopping strips, Laneways of Melbourne by Kornelia Freeman and Ulo Pukk supplies a little bit of history a long with information on what you’ll find on any particular laneway. This lovely photographic guide starts at the beginning, with AC/DC lane and takes you through the alphabet all the way to the slightly more surprising Wharf St. This book is so chock full of places I’ve never even heard of, let alone been to, I’m starting to wonder if I’m really Melburnian! There are all sorts of wonders to be found in our laneways; from art installations to cafes, architecture to history. And with this book in hand all you have to do to find it, is go for a walk.
A great gift for a lover of Melbourne, or a visitor. PB, $19.95.