Brilliant New Reads – Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

So you’ve finished The Mirror and The Light and want a new read. Look no further. As many of you would be aware award -winning Maggie O’Farrell is one of Fairfield Books’ favourite authors so a new book by Maggie is something worth celebrating no matter what! For those who haven’t read Maggie before, all her books are very good. My particular favourites are The Vanishing of Esme Lennox and her only non-fiction I Am, I Am, I Am but both of these need to move over and make way for her brand new book Hamnet. Escape our current predicament by heading back into not just Shakespearean times but actually to his family. Shakespeare himself is barely referred to as name rather the focus is on his wife Ann (known as Agnes) and their children. Covering the span of Shakespeare and Agnes meeting up until the writing of Hamlet, it begins (no spoiler but more a historical heads up) with Hamnet, their son, getting sick from the plague. Beautifully written, this is just a joy to read and has unexpected parallels to our current day. As an author, Maggie O’Farrell, has always focused on the domestic and human relationships, but this work especially demonstrates her mastery of love, grief, what it means to be a wife, parent, child. Already, critically acclaimed, it is hauntingly beautiful and deserves all the praise (and hopefully a few awards as well). Highly Recommended! Don’t forget you can even have your book home delivered – just email or ring the store to organise.

P.S. Head on over Twitter to Maggie’s husband William Sutcliffe (also an award winning writer worth checking out) and you can be part of the virtual launch party for Hamnet @Will_Sutcliffe8 – starts 6am tomorrow morning!

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Free Delivery for Books to your door

These are strange times we live in and it is uncertain how long our shop will remain open because although books are essential to us, bookshops are not an essential service. But never fear we are determined to still provide books to our customers even if we have to (temporarily) shut our doors. We are now offering free delivery to not just FAIRFIELD, NORTHCOTE, ALPHINGTON, THORNBURY and IVANHOE but also CLIFTON HILL and PRESTON. It is best if you email us books@fairfieldbooks.com.au with the title of the book and your phone number for us to call back to take payment or otherwise give us a call on 90174748. Alternatively, ask us for suggestions (I just finished Mantel’s The Mirror and The Light). What better than a book to bunker down with? Also remember we sell puzzles, educational books, games etc. We would love to hear from you. Thanks to all our fabulous customers for their wonderful support over this extraordinary time. Stay safe everyone.

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April Opening Pages – CANCELLED – STAY SAFE and BUY A BOOK

Unfortunately due to the times we live in, we are having to cancel our upcoming Opening Pages on 1 April. It was intended to be a Y.A. showcase with Emily Gale, Michael Pryor and Michael Earp and we hope that we can postpone it to later in the year! We stock their books so why not support them and make a purchase for the teen in your life (who may have not that much to do in the next little while!)

Just a reminder that we will be staying open for as long as we can and are doing out best with disinfecting surfaces etc to keep everyone as safe as possible. Also, should you not be able to come into the shop, give us a ring and you can purchase books over the phone and we will work out the best way to get them to you. If you live locally then we can drop in mailbox or if you want to drive past, drop them in through your car window. These are crazy anxious times so stay safe and keep a book or two nearby!

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‘I’m stockpiling novels and reisling’ Annabel Crabb

2020 doesn’t seem to have much going for it at the moment but it does have some brilliant books with more on the way and it would be so sad if people didn’t get to read them so be prepared and stock up now! Should you find yourself unexpectedly stuck at home and twiddling your thumbs, feel free to ring and order over the phone or email us. You can even pay over the phone! We are happy to be like the doctor in Altona and drop books into car windows or should you live near the shop (Fairfield, Alphington, Ivanhoe, Northcote, Thornbury) we are happy for the month of March to start dropping them in letter boxes.  Lose yourself (like me) in 900 wonderful pages of Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and The Light (it is genius!), feast on crime with new books from Karina Kilmore and Dervla McTiernan. Literary fiction fan? Try Anna Goldsworthy’s Melting Moments or Lucy Trealor‘s Wolfe Island. We have the Indie Book Award shortlists, the Stella Prize shortlist and the Costa Prize winners. Have a few kids keeping you company because school is shut – talk to us about what we are reading with our various kids bookclubs. Middle fiction in particular is super strong at the moment and there are fabulous titles for the 8-12s in your life. Suddenly got the time to do some unexpected comfort baking – grab a recipe book. The Monday Morning Cooking Club is back with a stunning dessert book – Now for Something Sweet – and if there is one community who knows the comfort of cooking in hard times, it is the Jewish community. It is fantastic! Alternatively support a fab local bakery in North Melbourne and grab Natalie Paull’s Beatrix Bakes! Feeling stressed and not sleeping well – Michael Moseley‘s brand new Sleep might be just the ticket. So if you find yourself quarantined or sick at home a book will help so send a friend into the  store or we are just a phone call  (90174748) or email books@fairfieldbooks.com.au away!

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More and More Magazines

If you have been in store lately you will have noticed that we’ve been doing a bit of rearranging and now have a magazine rack just as you walk in next to the audiobooks. We have always stocked Quarterly Essay, The Monthly, Limelight, Meanji, Griffith Review and Dumbo Feather. To that we have added three more titles – New Philosopher, Womankind and The Dura. Each of them are chock full of fascinating articles by writers from all around the world and are beautifully produced. New Philosopher and Womankind are full colour whereas The Dura – a magazine who’s subtitle is History, Stories, Politics and Shenanigans (how perfect!) – is the size of a newspaper and has a deliberate old-style black and white aesthetic. It combines ‘scathing social criticism with long-form story telling’. Each edition has a particular theme. The current one focuses on English Satire and Satirists, Dark Emu and The Kulin People, and perfect for Fairfield, a focus on Greece. Well worth a look.

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Opening Pages – TOMORROW – Wednesday March 4 7pm

It’s been a bookish last week at Fairfield Books. We’ve run two of our bookclubs (Adult and Kids) and hosted the fabulous Dervla McTiernan at our first Sunday Stories for the year and now we aim to complete the trifecta with our first Opening Pages. It’s going to be a cracker of an event with Kirsten Alexander and Kate Murdoch talking about their new books. Riptides is an absolute page-turner based on the premise that one bad decision can tear your world. In this case the decision is leaving the scene of a car accident. Set in Queensland, set in the 1970s, an earlier version of this book was shortlisted for the Bellwether Prize by PEN America and is a great read. Kate Murdoch was a painter before turning her hand to writing. The Orange Grove is her second book and is deliciously set in 1705 in a chateau in France. The perfect escapist read for everyone who is finding 2020 all a bit much. Come join us for a lovely chat with two fabulous authors and raise a glass or two to their new books and what is shaping up to be a fabulous year of reading! RSVP via email books@fairfieldbooks.com.au, Facebook, ring us or in store if you drop in today. See you there.

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Book Events – Dervla McTiernan (this Sunday 1 March) and Opening Pages (following Wed March 4)

It’s a busy bookish couple of weeks coming up in store. First up, Heather will be chatting with crime writer extrordinaire, Dervla McTiernan, about the latest in her Cormac Reilly series, A Good Turn which has just arrived in store. This is the second installment in our Sunday Stories series and Dervla, like Heather Rose our first guest, is a consumate story teller and entertaining talker. So come join us for wine and cheese THIS SUNDAY at 4pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through Trybooking – http://www.trybooking.com/BHPXG.

And then head back to our store the following Wednesday night at 7pm to listen to two marvellous authors, Kirsten Alexander and Kate Murdoch. Kirsten’s second book Riptides starts with a fatal car crash and will have you turning the pages while asking yourself what would I have done? Or escape to France in the 1700s, time of big wigs, fancy dresses and intrigue with Kate Murdoch’s historical romp, The Orange Grove. The event is free and includes a complimentary glass of wine or soft drink. You can RSVP in store, via email – books@fairfieldbooks.com, on Facebook or give us a call on 90174748.

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