2020 is shaping up to be an exceptionally good year for fiction (now we just need to work on the reality!) Why not escape fires, Iran, Trump, royal drama and Brexit with some top notch writing. In the first few months we will be seeing works from two giants of the literary world – Maggie O’Farrell and Hilary Mantel. Mantel will be finally releasing The Mirror and The Light, the last book in the Wolf Hall Trilogy. If you have not read the first two books in the series, Wolf Hall, and Bring Up the Bodies, rush in and grab a copy. Both of them are amazing works of literature and all-time favourites here in the shop. Maggie O’Farrell, another shop favourite, is back in March with the exquisitely written Hamnet, a departure for her as this is a work of historical fiction. I’m currently reading an advance copy at the moment and it is wonderful. But what to read while we are waiting for those to hit our shelves? To continue on the wolf theme, the answer is Lucy Treloar’s Wolfe Island which I read over the summer break. This is simply a wonderful book that has big ideas, indelible characters and perfect sentences. I loved it and expect it to still be on my favourites of 2020 at the end of the year even though I read it start of January. Kitty Hawke is the last inhabitant of a drowning island, that is sinking into Chesapeake Bay. Solitary, with only the company of her wolfdog, her world is turned upside down when her granddaughter arrives in the midst of a storm, begging for sanctuary for herself and her friends. Trouble follows in a world that has already troubled. This book has so much to say about the world that surrounds us as well as our ability to survive and love in the most difficult of circumstances. Highly recommended.
It is hardly a good start to the year for Australia, but still Happy New Year from all of us. As I write this is Heather is winging her way off to the American Booksellers Association Winter Conference in chilly Baltimore courtesy of a travel grant from the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel. It is a conference for independent bookshops only and Heather is looking forward to talking to our American counterparts as well as authors and getting ideas that she can bring back to us in Station Street. I’ve been doing lots of reading in the holidays and thought I’d post about some of my new favourites. First lets talk about food. Like many others I’ve started the year full of resolutions about eating healthier and has pulled out Michael Mosley’s The Fast 800 again. Full of science and tasty recipes, this is a great book if you are looking to lose weight, bring down cholesterol and be generally healthier. Helping with this is my new favourite vegetarian/ vegan cookbook East. It is a total winner packed full of delicious and simple recipes. Move over Ottolenghi, Meera Sodha is a genius. I was lucky enough to be cooked the following for a New Year’s Eve dinner by my 14 year old daughter (that’s how simple the recipes are) chilli salt pineapple, sweet chilli cashews, caramelised onion and chilli ramen and silken tofu with pine nuts and pickled chillies (guess the linking ingredient) – literally the best veggie meal I’ve ever had. Another book for assisting in the new year resolutions is The Resilience Project – Finding Happiness Through Gratitude, Empathy & Mindfulness by Hugh Van Cuylenburg. Many local parents might have come across Hugh as he regularly conducts school workshops or you might have listened to his popular podcast. Entertaining, informative, bursting with empathy, this is a great book for teenagers and up and just might change your life for the better. Recommended!
Why not escape the silly season madness for just a couple of hours and come along to hear two thoughtful writers, Favel Parrett, and Sarah Hopkins. Both of these authors are award winners and their books are fascinating. Favel Parrett’s There Was Still Love is a fictional exploration of her own family’s life and explores connection and dislocation. Sarah’s The Subjects is a page-turning psychological drama looking at a controversial experiment on young offenders. We are so looking forward to it – so come along this Wednesday 4 December 7pm and join us to raise a glass to another fabulous year of books, reading and these brilliant authors. RSVP on Facebook, via email email@example.com, ring 90174748 or our favourite method in store!!
And if you are in an author listening mood you can join us listening to Heather Morris, author of the world wide bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and now Cilka’s Journey, at Preston Library 7pm 10 December. Entry is free, you just need to register for the event via the library’s website.
We were delighted to see a former speaker at Opening Pages, Ilka Tampke, win Most Underrated Book of the Year with her wonderful book, Songwoman so why not come along on 4 December and meet two wonderful authors because you never know what prize list they might turn up on next year. Favel Parrett who has already won the Dobbie Literary Award and been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin will be talking about her brand new book There Was Still Love, the beautiful story of her grandmother and her twin, one who lives in Australia and the other who lives behind the Iron Curtain. Poetic and full of heart, it will be lovely to hear Favel talk about what writing this book was like for her. Joining her is criminal lawyer and award winning author Sarah Hopkins, with her fascinating page turner, The Subjects. Daniel is sixteen and should be in jail instead he is diverted into a different program with other gifted delinquents. It’s not a jail, a school, or a psych unit. What is it exactly? This is a compelling novel and we are looking to welcoming both these authors to our last Opening Pages for the year. So, come join us on Wednesday 7 December 7pm, and lets raise a glass to 2019 and another great year of reading. RSVP on Facebook, email firstname.lastname@example.org, ring on 90174748 or tell us in-store.
It’s been a fantastic year of Opening Pages with wonderful books, authors and audiences and December is no exception. We are welcoming Favel Parrett, one of Australia’s most loved authors of the last decade. Favel burst onto the literary scene eight years ago with Past The Shallows which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin and won the Dobbie Literary Award. There Was Still Love is her third book. This book focusses on the family, exploring how big world events shape the smallest lives. A quiet book but with a powerful and beautifully written message of the healing power of love. Joining Favel we have Sarah Hopkins. Sarah is a criminal lawyer by training and The Subjects is her fourth book. Daniel is a sixteen year old drug dealer going to jail until all of a sudden he isn’t. Instead, he’s taken off to a deluxe outback facility and becomes convinced that he is part of an experiment, except he has no idea for what. Parallels have been made to Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things, this is a critically acclaimed exploration about social engineering, that will be fascinating to read and discuss with the author over a drink or two. Come and join us for the last Opening Pages for the year. RSVPS in store, by email email@example.com, call 90174748 or on Facebook.
You’ve had the Tuesday off to celebrate a horse race, why not come out on the Wednesday night and celebrate books and authors. Carrie Tiffany and Julienne van Loon will be in store talking about their fabulous new releases – the perfect mixture of fiction and non-fiction! Join us at 7pm for a drink to both The Thinking Woman and Exploded View. RSVPS in store, email firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook or by phone 90174748.
Christos Tsiolkas‘s books have been read (and watched) around the world. In particular The Slap and Barricuda have chronicled modern Australian life in all its complications so a new book from him is a big event in the publishing calendar! Very different in subject matter from his last two, Damascus is an epic in every sense of the world. Tsiolkas is known for exacting eye on contemporary life but here he takes on something very different – the life of St Paul and the beginnings of the Catholic Church. He spent a year not writing but instead reading everything he could find about this era and then travelled to Rome, Turkey, Israel and Greece, following Paul’s footsteps. When it came to writing, it took seven complete drafts to come up with this book. Already proclaimed as a masterpiece of imagination and transformation, this focusses on doubt and faith, tyranny and revolution, friendship and betrayal. We are about to start reading in store so grab a copy today and read along too.