The Perfect Present for Christmas – A Fairfield Book Subscription

Even though March only feels like five minutes ago, it is Christmas in a month. Though we would all like to have 2020 finished as soon as possible, it is a slightly daunting thought of how much needs to be organised before then. This is the year not to leave things to the last minute as Christmas shopping will require a bit more patience than normal so that we continue to operate in a Covid safe manner with restrictions on numbers in store.

We are here to make your life easier with our Fairfield Books Subscription Service. We pride ourselves on matching the book to the reader and have decided to expand our ability to do that by offering four subscription services – Babies, Middle Fiction (primary school aged children), Adult Fiction and Adult Non-fiction. The gift recipient will recieve a beautifully wrapped book per month via the mail. Subscriptions can last anywhere between 3-12 months. It can even be a gift to yourself because after the year we’ve had everyone deserves a treat. We are still putting the finishing touches on this new initiative but if you are interested ask in store or send us an email books@fairfieldbooks.com.au (not in comments below because we don’t check that regularly!)

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WE’RE OPEN (almost!)

Happy Days Melbourne. Tomorrow Fairfield Books is opening up again to the public and we are so excited to welcome you back inside. Our shelves are bursting with new books for you. Because we want to keep everyone safe we will be following the Covid-safe rules and ask that you do as well. Only five customers or two family groups are allowed in the shop at any one time. All adults and those over 12 to be in masks. Please hand sanitise on entering the store. Sadly, browsing still must be minimised (maximum of 15 minutes in store) and please keep stock handling limited.

We will back to normal hours 9.30am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 5pm Saturday, Sunday 10am – 4pm and Cup Day will be 11am – 3pm.

For those who are not comfortable to come visit us, please check out our new website http://www.fairfieldbooks.com.au (still a bit basic at this stage but it’s working!) and we are more than happy to keep ordering over the phone, email etc and delivering free to the neighbourhood.

It’s been a hard few months for everyone. Here’s hoping to more positive times and more negative tests. Thanks for all your support. We wouldn’t be here without you.

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Food for Thought

It is almost time for Melbourne to celebrate our mighty achievement of stopping the second wave of infections (of course with masks and appropriately socially distanced!) and it won’t be long before we are able to welcome you all back in store. While we count down those days here are some cookbooks that are delighting us at the moment. Bill Granger is back with a beauty simply called Australian Food. It is chock-full of his classics that you would expect if you were eating at his cafe as well as new delights. They all look family friendly and plenty in here to delight even the fussiest of tastebuds. Hetty McKinnon is back with a great new cookbook – To Asia With Love. We love Hetty and chances are you do to. She is our go-to pick when people ask for recommendations for vegetarian cookbooks. This one looks like another crowd pleaser with more of her fabulous salads alongside noodle and dumpling dishes that will have you begging for more! Finally, at last we have more of Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s fab A Year of Simple Family Food back in stock. The perfect title for this year. Heather has cooked the Tomato-Poached Fish with Saffron and Chickpeas, the lentil and honey roasted salad and the dark choc walnut cookies and highly recommends them all! All of these would be perfect picks for Christmas and I recommend buying/ordering early this year! Covid has played havoc with printing around the world and once books sell out, it might be hard to reorder.

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School’s Back – Hurray!!

To the sound of cheering parents, school is back for most of our kids. It has been quite interesting to see different books resonate for kids and their parents at different times in the lockdown. At the moment SERIES are where it is at! So I thought I’d let you know about some new additions to middle fiction series in store. Chris Colfer’s Land of Magic series has been a hit with so many kids in the 9-12 age range and he is back with his second of a brand new series – A Tale of Witchcraft! It began last year with a Tale of Magic and is set in the same world but is a brand new adventure. The always fabulous Rick Riordan is back with the next in the Trials of Apollothe Tower of Nero. As it says on the cover Epic Heroes and Legendary Adventures. Apollo is having to spend six months as a teenager where he must defeat the terrifying Nero or risk never becoming a god again. Cressida Cowell, author of How To Train Your Dragon, has many devoted fans for her alternate series – The Wizards of Once. The final book of that series has just arrived in store – Never and Forever. Will Xar and Wish be able to break the Curse of the Wildwoods or will the witches reign forever? And finally not a series (yet) but such a lovely book – The Grandest Bookshop in the World by Amelia Mellor – set in Melbourne in 1893 in the Cole’s Book Arcade in Melbourne, Pearl and Vally must save their beloved bookshop from the mysterious Obscurosmith. My daughter loved this book and your kids will as well.

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An Avalanche of Books

Here at Fairfield Books we are currently BURSTING at the seams with new releases as October 2020 is proving to be a bonanza of great reading. In between the heavy hitters (with new books from Trent Dalton, Craig Silvey, Jane Harper, Robert Gailbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling) and Richard Flanagan) and an eclectic Booker shortlist chockful of new authors, there are lots of other books coming out that you should know about. I have just finished reading English Pastoral by James Rebanks. I loved his first book The Shepherd’s Life, and this is a follow up of sorts. Rebanks’s family have farmed in the area of the Lake District for over 600 years. This book is an explanation of that life and the dual threats facing him (and us) climate change and modern mass farming. It is a call to arms, an exploration of nature, a discussion about farming and food and an all too human story written in such beautiful prose it could be poetry. It’s my favourite non-fiction read of the year and highly recommended. Currently I am reading The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy. An Australian author, this is a novel about Franny Stone, a young woman, haunted by love and violence, who has decided to go on a quest and follow the last of the Arctic terns on what may be their final migration to Antartica. There are also new books out from Alex Miller – the non-fiction Max which follows the extraordinary life of Max Blatt and also, Nardi Simpson’s debut novel – Song of the Crocodile -set in the ‘gateway town’ of Darnmoor, home to three generations of the Billymil family. I was recently on Radio National with the author Emily Maguire who raved about this book so it is on my must read pile.

As always we love taking orders from you remotely any way we can but if you are able to email them to us on books@fairfieldbooks.com.au that does make it easier for us to process them. Keep safe, keep reading!

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A book about a new addition

Welcome Baby by Jess Racklyeft

Jess Racklyeft has been very busy producing lovely picture books for young children over the past few years. Her latest is about a new baby coming into the house. The gentle text and soft colour palette beautifully capture the feelings a family have with the beginning of a new life.

Jess has kindly given us a number of prints to go with the purchase of the book. Numbers are limited, so don’t tarry if you are interested!

The book is a hardback and $19.99

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Great Reading for September

September is already one of the busiest book times of the year but 2020s is a treasure trove of great reads. There are so many that we would be telling you about in store, pressing into your hands to say you MUST read this book but alas we cannot do that this year, so instead we will blog! If 2020 isn’t dystopian enough for you, why not grab Kate Mildenhall’s The Mother Fault. For fans of 1984 and Handsmaid Tale, this is set in Australia. In a world where everyone has a universal tracking chip inserted, Mim’s husband, Ben, is missing and the Department want to find him. Mim knows she can’t trust the Department with their threats of looking after her in the BestLife facilities and must undertake a desperate search to save her family and herself. A white-knuckled read! For those looking for a laugh (just about all of us right now) Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club is a hoot. The detectives are pushing eighty but that’s not going to stop them investigating a brutal killing that occurs on their doorstep. A recommended read! I was chatting on Radio National’s The Bookshelf a couple of weeks ago about the stunning new book by Sarah Moss. An English author often overlooked in Australia. Her book The Ghost Wall from a couple of years ago was fabulous and this new one, Summerwater, is a stunner. Beautifully written, it is set on a Scottish summer’s day (so pouring with rain!), six different families are holidaying next to a gloomy loch. At times hilarious, at others, foreboding, she is just a fabulous writer. And finally for all those people waiting for Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments to be out in paperback! It’s arrived. A brilliantly imagined sequel to a wonderful classic, I was hooked from page three.

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Food For Thought – Jamie, Julia and Yotam

Melbourne – more lockdown – what can we say? Let’s look on the bright side – we are still here, there are fabulous books to read and we can still travel through our food. Which brings me to three fabulous new cookbooks. First is local cook Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s A Year of Simple Family Food. Julia’s first book Ostro is one of our favourites in the shop and this book looks just as good. Heather has already cooked a few dishes from it, including the most delicious sweet potato and spinach curry. Sensational. Julia’s recipes are divided into season so you are cooking with ingredients when they are at their freshest (and cheapest). My family have been trying recipes from the new Jamie Oliver. Titled 7 Ways it is focuses on new recipes for ingredients that you will already find in your shopping trolley – avocado, chicken, sausages, mushrooms etc. It’s minimum fuss, maximum taste cooking. So far we have tried the cauliflower remoulade and the mushroom & beef stir fry. Both winners and being added to the weekly repetoire. Finally, the last heavy hitter is Yotam Ollolenghi back with a cookbook simply called Flavour. It is the third in his vegetarian trilogy – Plenty,  and Plenty More. We put it in the window and people started knocking to buy it straight away.

Remember we remain open to sell over the phone, click and collect and we still deliver. Give us a call on 90174748, email books@fairfieldbooks.com.au or Facebook or Instagram. So many different ways to contact us. Let’s get through this (hopefully) last lockdown in true Melbourne style with great eating and reading escapes while sitting in our armchairs!

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Games and Activities to Occupy Bored Children!

While we mainly sell books we also do have a variety of games and activities great to entertain children who are bouncing off the walls due to lockdown! Here is a selection of what we currently have in store, all availbe for ‘click and collect’ or local delivery.

First up is Snap! A classic card game that is great to play with kids, and is quick and easy to teach. We have lots of differented themed packs including:

Mermaid Snap

Unicorn Snap

Diggers & Trucks Snap

Fairy Snap

Cars Snap

Animal Snap

and Travel Snap which shows illustrations of different places across the globe

$9.99 each

 

We also have some things kids can do alone!

  1. Dartboard Game, a magnetic dart board and darts, recommended for ages 3+ $19.95 each
  2. My Finger Maze Puzzle, a puzzle with 12 pieces that when assembled creates a maze, recommended for ages 2+  $23.95 each
  3. Magnetic Art Case, includes 70 magnets, board, and wipe clean marker, recommended for ages 3+ $22.95 each
  4. Magnetic Drawing Board, includes a board, magnets shapes and pen, recommended ages 3+ $19.95 each
  5. Magnetic Puzzle Box, includes figure and 30+ pieces for clothing and other items, recommended  ages 3+ $14.95 each
  6. My Very Big Puzzle Box, includes 52 puzzle pieces that assemble to maket the alphabet, recommended ages 4+ $27.95 each

 

 

 

 

We also have lots of fun science kits for kids!

8. Atomic Slime Lab, including the ingredients for Metalic Galaxy Slime, Neaon Blue Slime with Glitter, and Glow in the Dark Slime, recommended ages 8+ $22.95 each

9. Bunsen Burner, includes LED Bunsen Burner, Flask, Tripod, Test Tube Clamps, Goggles, Dropper, and Activity Book, recommended ages 3+ $49.95

10. Green Power Kit, includes two experiments converting solar and chemical energy into electricity (needs 2x fruit or vegtable not included) recommended 8+ $24.95

11. Crystal Creation, includes Instructions and ingerdiets to create 3 different types of crystal $9.99 each

12.Make Your Own Solar System, includes planet and sun molds, paint, paint brush, and glow in the dark stars and moon, recommended ages 8+ $22.95 each

13. Sand Timer, includes in structions and pieces to assemble a sand timer, Activity Book, Shovel, Net Filter, and Test Tubes, recommended ages 3+ $42.95 each

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are also lots of different versions of Bingo availble!

14. Poo Bingo, bingo but with animal poo $29.99 each

15. Dog Bingo $35 each

16. Australia’s Deadly Animal Bingo $34 each

17. Cat Bingo $35 each

Also avaible in the same style and price at 15-17 is Dinosaur Bingo, Bird Bingo, Ocean Bingo, and Bug Bingo.

 

We also have some classic games avaible!

18. Snakes & Ladders, includes die and shaker $34.95 each

19. Playing Card Game Set, including two decks of playing cards, card games book, and 5 dice $19.99 each

20. Chess $29.95 each

21. Large Pick-Up Sticks $24.95 each

 

 

 

 

Please email us at books@fairfieldbook.com.au or call us at 9017 4748 if you would like any of these, or have any other orders and enquiries!

Current hours are 10-4 Monday-Saturday

 

 

 

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Reading during Lockdown – open for business (just not browsing)

Thanks to the lovely Fairfield Books community we are still open and busy answering the telephone, responding to email, Facebook and Instagram enquiries. We are open from 10 – 4pm Monday through to Saturday and lots of customers have discovered the magic of holding their card up through our glass door and having our EFTPOS machine still read it while others have taken advantage of our home delivery service. We are pivoting like ballerinas here while talking to customers on the phone or through the glass as we keep on delivering books to happy readers. Please understand that if you end up talking to our answering machine, it probably means we are on the line talking to another customer. We miss chatting to you all in person and can’t wait until we can go back to welcoming browsing again in the shop. If you want a book to read but just don’t know which one, email us on books@fairfieldbooks.com.au with some of your current favourites and we will do our best to find you something suitable. We are gearing up for Father’s Day here – pro tip order early! ( and what looks to be one of the biggest release months ever in September – so there will lots of fabulous books for you to choose.) Keep safe, stay well and keep in touch!

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