2021 Stella Prize Longlist

Looking for some good reads? Check out the 2021 Stella Prize Longlist, featuring books by great Australian women writers!

Fathoms: the world in the whale

By Rebecca Giggs

A non-fiction book containing a mix of natural history, philosophy, and science that explores the impact whales have had; our changing relationship with them, and what the future will bring them and us.

In stock $35

Revenge: Murder in Three Parts

By S. L. Lim

A new novel from the author of Real Differences, a story of the frustrations of a talented daughter and vengeful sister. Yannie’s brother was able to succeed due to the favouritism he received from their parents while she could not. She chooses to use her neglected talents to use by entering and undermining her psychopathic brother’s new life.

Currently out of stock, available to order $29.99

The Animals in That Country

By Laura Jean McKay

Jean, a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed grandmother sets of to find her son and granddaughter. A journey through the animal apocalypse, caused by a virus that’s primary symptom is that the infected can understand the language of animals.

Winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award

In stock $29.99


By Louise Milligan

 The culmination of five years of work by award-winning investigative journalist Louise Milligan exposes the treatment of witnesses that were brave enough to come forward and face their abusers in high-profile child-abuse and sexual assault cases. Drawing from her own experiences as a witness in the trial of R v George Pell, interviews with other witnesses, judges, prosecutors, and previously unpublished court transcripts, Milligan reveals the injustice in the Australian legal system and calls for a change to a system that can harm victims more than help.

Currently out of stock, available to order $34.99

Metal Fish, Falling Snow

By Cath Moore

After her mother dies, Dylan finds herself on an unexpected road trip across Australia with her mother’s grieving boyfriend. They form an unlikely bond that is broken when he leaves Dylan with the family she never knew. A tale of searching for an identity while struggling to cope with grief, a great read for both adults and older teens.

In stock $19.99

The Wandering

By Intan Paramaditha

The most unusual novel you will read all year, where you create your own story – A novel about the high and lows of global nomadism and the politics and privilege of travel and desire. Both an ingenious and unusual novel where you choose your own story. You may be a tourist, undocumented immigrant, a mother or a murderer, based on what page you choose to turn.

Currently out of stock, available to order $32.99

Stone Sky Gold Mountain

By Mirandi Riwoe

A story of two siblings who emigrated to Australia from China to seek their fortunes during the gold rush. A novel rife with unforgettable characters that deals with questions of identity and belonging, and the suspicion that falls to outsiders when something terrible happens.

In stock $29.99


By Ellena Savage

A book that resists classification, Blueberries is an amalgamation of personal essay, polemic prose poetry, true-crime journalism and confession that reflects on a fragmented life, and what it means to be a woman, a body, and an artist.

In stock $32.99

Song of the Crocodile

By Nardi Simpson

In the gateway town of Darnmoor race relations between Indigenous and settler families are fraught, with a strict status quo now upheld through threats and soft power and not the overt violence of the past. The ancestral sprits Billymil family look out for, and try to guide, their descendants. But when the town’s secrets begin to be unveiled a violent act that rocks Darnmoor shatters a century of silence. Song of the Crocodile is full of both music and the Yuwaalaraay language and is a lament to choice and change.

In stock $32.99

Smart Ovens for Lonely People

By Elizabeth Tan

A cat-shaped oven tells a depressed woman she doesn’t have to be sorry anymore. A Yourtopia Bespoke Terraria employee becomes paranoid about the mounting coincidences in her life.

A collection of funny and insightful short stories, filled with Elizabeth Tan’s wit and slicing social commentary.

In stock $29.99

A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing

By Jessie Tu

The story of the struggles of an former child prodigy who believes herself to be washed-up at the age of 22. Jena Lin balances her professional life of rehearsals, concerts, auditions, and practice; her personal life is spent managing the demands of her family and hooking up to fill the void left by fame. Even after she is awarded an internship with the New York Philharmonic, the start of her dreams are irrevocably changed when Trump is elected.

A story that explores female desire and the consequences of wanting too much and never getting it.

In stock $29.99

The Bass Rock

By Evie Wyld

The lives of three women weave together across four centuries in the dazzling new book from Evie Wyld, winner of the Miles Franklin Award.

In the early 1700s Sarah is accused of being a witch and flees for her life.
During the aftermath of the Second World War Ruth navigates a new life in a new house and strange new community. And six decades later the house stands empty and Viv, while mourning the death of her father, catalogues Ruth’s belongings and unravels her past.

In stock $32.99

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Open for Business

Since the last change to Covid19 restrictions in Melbourne, we are almost fully open for business leading up to Christmas.
The doors are open…
9.30 to 5.30 during the week,
9.30 to 5 on Saturdays
10 til 4 on Sundays

You can come in and browse. You are NOT REQUIRED to wear a mask in small retail like ours but you may choose to do so. The health authorities recommend that you do if you can’t stay one and a half metres away from other people.

If you stay longer than 15 minutes you can scan the Victorian government QR code that we have displayed around the shop to enable track and tracing in the event of any positive virus tests in our neighbourhood. We have a limit of 20 people in the store and with that many in, it’ll be very crowded! Most people would come back later anyway.

With less than two weeks to Christmas day, we hope to see you soon.

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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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