Category Archives: Mums’ books

2017 Stella Longlist announced

2017-stella-longlistThe longlist has been announced for the 2017 Stella Prize, awarded each year to great writing by Australian women. This year, out of a dozen titles chosen, there are four fiction (three novels and one short-story collection) and eight nonfiction books (five of which are memoirs).

The shortlist will be announced on International Women’s Day (Wednesday 8 March) and the winner of the $50,000 first prize will be announced on Tuesday 18 April.

We currently have half of the list in-stock, and by next week we should have the full long list. The Stella link to each title below has a plot summary, an author bio and a Stella judges’ report — so you can find out what all the fuss is about. Do get in touch if you want a longlister put aside.

Between a Wolf and a Dog by Georgia Blain (TP, Scribe- $30)
An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire (TP, Picador – $33)
The High Places by Fiona McFarlane (TP, Hamish Hamilton – $33)
The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose (PB, Allen & Unwin – $28)

Victoria: The Queen by Julia Baird (HB, Harper Collins – $50)
The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke (TP, Hachette – $33)
Poum and Alexandre: A Paris Memoir by Catherine de Saint Phalle (TP, Transit Lounge – $30)
Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru by Madeline Gleeson (PB, NewSouth – $30)
Avalanche by Julia Leigh (PB, Hamish Hamilton – $25)
Wasted: A Story of Alcohol, Grief and a Death in Brisbane by Elspeth Muir (TP, Text – $30)
Dying: A Memoir by Cory Taylor (HB, Hachette – $25)
The Media and the Massacre: Port Arthur 1996-2016 by Sonya Voumard (PB, Transit Lounge – $30)

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Filed under Dads' books, Fiction Reviews, Mums' books, Non-fiction Reviews

The Chocolate Promise, with a promise of chocolate…

chocolateJosephine Moon’s new book is about Christmas Livingstone, a chocolatier who lives by a set of rules, one of which is absolutely no romantic entanglements. She is interested in the potential medicinal uses of chocolate (how good does that sound1) and is keen to explore that in her business. A chance to study with a famous French chocolatier in France is a wonderful opportunity to develop her knowledge and expertise. However not long before she is to leave for France the arrival in town of man who has a similar interest in the subject as Christmas does, tests her adherence to her own rules. It’s a light, easy read for those times when you don’t want anything too taxing. $30

If you buy a copy of The Chocolate Promise between now and the 10th May (the day before Mother’s Day) you will go into a draw to win a fabulous box of chocolates from Chocolatier in Ivanhoe. Good Luck!

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Filed under Fiction Reviews, Gift Ideas, Mums' books

A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry.

Having heard that chicken if grown humanely has the potential to be a highly sustainable and economically efficient food source, I was very interested to see this book. It’s all about the bird, with lots of lovely recipes. One of the great things about chicken is that everyone likes it, even children, so it makes sense in lots of ways, and with some new inspiration, it’s a winner. Diana Henry has written numerous books and they are always beautifully photographed and produced. Crazy water, pickled lemons was her first, and it’s still gorgeous. She always has interesting titles for her books too! Hardback, $40bird in hand

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Filed under Cookbook Reviews, Mums' books, Non-fiction Reviews

Book Group Fodder: His Other House by Sarah Armstrong

His Other House is one of those books which will provoke a lot of discussion about honour, moral courage and people who just want to have everything. It’s ideal for a book group because it will make some people feel outraged, and a lot will take a strong view one way or another.

But the key to the book is, who is wrong, who is right, or is there just no easy solution?

It involves Dr Quinn Douglas, married to Marianna for many years and they have been going through the process of trying to have a baby. After numerous rounds of IVF and several miscarriages, Quinn is emotionally exhausted with his own grief, and with watching Marianna suffer with each devastating loss.

Meanwhile Quinn is working away a couple of days a week and meets another woman. So far, so obvious you think. Or maybe not.

Paperback, $30his other house

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Filed under Book Group titles, Fiction Reviews, Mums' books

Beci Orpin: Make & Do

Beci Orpin is a bit of a legend in the crafty/creative scene in Melbourne. Her third book is about making nice things for the home. There are chapters on using textiles, some of which require sewing, paper, wood and another on found objects. They vary in complexity and difficulty, and Beci actually gives a difficulty guide. Some of the items are wearable, some are functional and some are just nice to look at. The photography and styling in themselves are inspiring.

I am tempted to have a go at the Tote Bag and the Paper Brooches. I’ll keep you posted if I do!

It’s a hardback, and $39.95.


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Filed under Gift Ideas, Mums' books, Non-fiction Reviews

Write it in your diary! Graeme Simsion talking about “The Rosie Effect” at Fairfieldbooks, Mon 27 Oct

graeme simsion rosie effect


Come to Fairfieldbooks to hear Graeme Simsion talk about The Rosie Effect, the follow-up to the enormously successful The Rosie Project.

Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are now married and living in New York, Rosie’s completing her second year at Columbia Medical School while Don is teaching, and then Rosie announces her bombshell: she’s pregnant. What will become of Don, his obstetric version of the Standardized Meal System… and his marriage?

Learn from the author himself at 7pm on Monday 27 October, here in the bookshop. Stay tuned for more updates…

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Filed under Events, Fiction Reviews, Mums' books

BOOK LAUNCH!!! Mothers and Daughters by Kylie Ladd

mothers daughtersKylie Ladd doesn’t live in Fairfield but she is close enough for us to claim her as a local author anyway. Kylie has helped us celebrate National Bookshop Day since it started with great energy and enthusiasm. It gives us great pleasure to say that we will be launching Kylie’s new book, Mothers and Daughters, in the shop, on Thursday 4th September at 7pm in the evening. Jo Case, author of the memoir Boomer & Me will be doing the launch for Kylie, and it will be a fun evening.

The book is about four female friends who met when their children were young and have stayed friends throughout the years of school pick ups.  Now the daughters are all entering their teens and growing up, and the mothers have decided to reunite for a holiday in Broome, where one of their number, Amira, is spending a year teaching in an aboriginal community.  Her daughter Tess is with her, and they are both looking forward to catching up with their friends. although they are aware of how their lives are now very different from how it used to be.

The reunion shows up both the common interests they still have, but even more so, the differences, which were probably always there, but are now magnified by time and life experiences. It brings into question, just why these women are friends.

Mother’s & Daughters is a book which will have many recognisable characters and aspects of friendship for all of us. It will be a good book for a group discussion.

So, come along on the 4th September and take the opportunity to meet Kylie if you haven’t already done so.  Have a glass of wine and a chat with us.

RSVP’s would be lovely, to

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Filed under Book Group titles, Events, Fiction Reviews, Mums' books

Family Secrets by Liz Byrski

I haven’t read a Liz Byrski for a while and picked up this one on a whim. I remember hearing Liz talk a few years ago and when asked why she started writing, she said she was fed up with not being able to read books about people like her, ie a woman in her 40’s, just getting on with her life. Since then, she has been very productive and Family Secrets is her eighth novel. She has also written some non-fiction but I’ve not read any of those.

So, to Family Secrets. Liz has actually moved on from the middle years for her main character in this book. Connie is approaching 70, and has just been widowed as the book begins. Her husband of many years has died after having had motor neurone disease for ten years. His life before that had been a vigorous one with success in various fields with a compliant Connie always by his side. Connie had left a lot behind in England when she married Gerald and moved to Hobart, and now, on his death, she wants to go back there, visit some old places and mend some bridges.

Her adult children, Kerry and Andrew are shocked with her proposal as they had been planning that she would sell the big house, and move closer to one of them. They are talking about her as if she was suddenly feeble and unable to make her own decisions. There are some gloriously hideous speeches from Kerry in particular as she tries to tell her mother what she should do. Her self righteousness and selfishness infuriates and shocks Connie. Despite her children claiming to know what’s best for her, which emphatically does not go off on her own for a long overseas trip, she does so, but her bridge mending attempts don’t have quite the effect she expected. family secrets

I thoroughly enjoyed Family Secrets. It won’t stretch your brain too much, but there are a lot of characters who will be recognisable to a lot of people. It’s a perfect weekend read.

It’s a large format paperback for $30

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Filed under Australian Women Writers Challenge (AWW), Fiction Reviews, Mums' books, Reviews

2014 Mothers’ Day Raffle with “The Tea Chest”

josephine moon the tea chest banner

First-time Australian author Josephine Moon gives us this charming novel about family, love, friendship and tea. It  traces the stories of three women linked to the most delectable tea shop in London, and is a perfect read for tea-loving ladies.

To celebrate Mother’s Day this year, Fairfield Books is holding a special raffle draw in conjunction with Fairfield tea specialists, The Inspired Occasion. Buy a copy of The Tea Chest ($30) and go in the Mothers’ Day draw to win high tea for two at The Inspired Occasion (on the other side of the train line at 75 Station St, Fairfield). The delicious prize is valued at $100, and the winner will be drawn on Saturday 10 May.

Don’t let your mum (or yourself!) miss out on these tea-time goodies!


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Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – Kris Carlson

KrisCarlson Reinvent


Kris Carlson is the author of two new titles in the ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff’ series.

We were at an event yesterday, The Truth Event, at which she was one of the guest speakers.  You might hear her on the radio or TV today, Tuesday 1st April.  This is NOT an April Fool’s event and if you’re inclined to look at the books we have signed copies available for $20 each.  This is her first visit to Australia so signed Australian editions are very scarce.

dont sweat Mums

dont sweat women

In her own words  ..

I’m a survivor. A widow. A mother. A grandmother. A wife. A writer & bestselling author, many times over. A mentor for people navigating that exceptionally urgent & poignant time known as “middle age.” A motivational speaker for women & girls.

And yet, who I really am, when all’s said & done, is a woman who knows how to bounce, rock and roll through all of life’s changes. Good & bad. Light & dark. Perfectly planned & wholly unthinkable.

When loss blackens my heart, when my kids leave the nest (and forget to call home), when my hormones go haywire, when earthquakes turn the solid ground beneath my feet into Jello, I am brave. I am strong. I evolve.

So can you.

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Filed under Gift Ideas, Mums' books, Non-fiction Reviews, Reviews