And the winner of the Indie Book of the Year is… Jane Harper’s The Dry: for the best Australian writing of 2016, as chosen by Australian independent booksellers. Our congratulations to Jane — we’ve barely been able to keep her book in stock since it came out!
Other prize winners this year:
* Fiction: The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith
* Debut fiction: The Dry by Jane Harper
* Non-fiction: Everywhere I Look by Helen Garner
* Children’s: Circle by Jeannie Baker
* Young Adult: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
All titles in-store now, or on order in desperate haste if we’ve sold out! Let us know if you want any of the prize-winners put aside for you, and come enjoy some great Australian writing.
Steph’s best books
Clancy of the Undertow – Christopher Currie – PB – $20
Convict Tattoos: Marked Men and Women of Australia – Simon Barnard – HB – $40
His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet – PB – $20
The Turner House – Angela Flournoy – TPB – $33
Words in Deep Blue – Cath Crowley – PB – $19
That’s our best books for 2016, all wrapped up. Why don’t you comment or post to let us know your favourites?
Jess’s best books
The Bone Sparrow – Zana Fraillon – PB – $20
Gemina (The Illuminae Files 02) – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – TPB – $23
Lots – Marc Martin – HB – $25
The Other Side of Summer – Emily Gale – PB – $17
They All Saw a Cat – Brendan Wenzel – HB – $30
Stay tuned for Jodie’s best books tomorrow…
Dick’s best books
Ghost Empire – Richard Fidler – HB – $4o
Lab Girl – Hope Jahren – TPB – $33
The Midnight Watch – David Dyer – TPB – $33
The Road to Winter – Mark Smith – TPB – $20
Stiletto – Daniel O’Malley – TPB – $30
Stay tuned for Fiona’s best books tomorrow…
The Fairfieldbooks staff have put our heads down, and we’ve each come up with our five top titles for 2016. You can see most of our choices in the lovely display (above). We’ll post one list every day over the next week, and do come in and tell us what your favourites have been this year!
Stay tuned for Heather’s best books coming tomorrow…
Filed under Crime Fiction, Fiction Reviews, Gift Ideas, Junior Readers (8-11 years), Memoir, Non-fiction Reviews, Picture books (0-5 years), Teen Fiction, Tweens (11-14 years), Xmas Gift Ideas, Young Adult (14+)
The Demon Road trilogy is written by Derek Landy who wrote one of my all-time favourite series, Skulduggery Pleasant. The Demon Road trilogy is made up of three books: Demon Road, Desolation, and American Monsters. The third book, American Monsters, is just out, and wraps up the series.
The main character of the series is Amber Lamont. When Amber finds out about a deal her parents have with the Devil, she is forced to make her own deal. But there is a catch, she has a time limit to her bargain, and it’s her life on the line. Time is running out as Amber travels the Demon Road which links all the supernatural places in America.
Amber is an excellent, unique main character, with a great side cast: a mysterious mentor with a dark back story, a teenage Irish tag-along, and in the second book a group of Scooby-do type adventures (dog included). The villains are truly terrifying, ranging from Amber’s parents, to vampires, to unkillable serial killers (as if they weren’t terrifying enough already) to a twisted little country town with a horrible secret.
Demon Road is darker and grittier then Skulduggery Pleasant, but still has Derek Landy’s trade mark wit and humour. I love the Demon Road trilogy, the characters are relatable and the plot fast paced and enticing. It is the type of book that you can’t put down. It is the perfect book for any lover of Skulduggery Pleasant and the Lockwood and Co. series. Best for ages 14 to 25. With the perfect blend of the classic road trip/hero’s journey with a twist of horror and the supernatural.
Demon Road – PB – Harper Collins – $15
American Monsters-PB-Harper Collins-$20
It’s a long hot summer in 1965, and Walgaree, NSW, is cracking under the heat… and the racial tensions between whites and blacks are also reaching breaking point. Fifteen-year-old Robbie is trying to stand tall between his oppressive home life, his new job at the caravan park with Barry, Keith Wright’s perpetual tauntings and his coworker Micky from the Aboriginal settlement – and then the Freedom Ride comes to town.
Based on the historical events of the Freedom Rides led by Charles Perkins, which travelled around country NSW to research and protest the living conditions of Aboriginal Australians, this is an excellent novel for teens 14+ and adults. (I don’t know of any other fiction which looks at the Freedom Rides.) The dialogue is true, the relationship between black and white Australians is revealing and still entirely relevant, and the pace doesn’t let up. A great book, highly recommended.
Freedom Ride – Sue Lawson – PB – Black Dog Books – $17.95
Alice Pung is well known for books about her family’s experiences as migrants and for her collection of essays from other people who were refugees and migrants to Australia. Laurinda is her first novel, and it is aimed at teenagers.
Lucy is a bright girl who becomes the inaugural recipient of the Laurinda Equal Access scholarship. Laurinda is a prestigious girls’ college, and it means leaving Christ Our Saviour where Lucy has been cruising along easily, to join year 10 in a new school. Laurinda is another world, and Lucy is the outsider who is sometimes taken on by the different cliques, even the ‘Cabinet’, a very select group of girls who the others look up to. Lucy is alternatively intrigued, repelled and overwhelmed by all the conflicts and nasty tactics of many of the girls and finds it hard to work out her place.
Her background of hard working parents, with a mother who sews frenetically in the family garage, and a cleaner father who don’t have a clue how such a school works, make it difficult. For example, her mother can’t understand why a home made uniform just won’t cut it. She is unable to help Lucy in any way to make the adjustment.
The book doesn’t say much that is good about an exclusive college education, particularly socially. Despite this, Lucy does figure out how to get the most our of it, but it does come at some cost.
I was impressed by Pung’s writing, but fairly depressed by the school environment, and how many of the staff were complicit in the unpleasant behaviour of many of the student’s. Schools talk about resilience a lot, and the girls in this school needs bucket loads of it. But Lucy comes out of it well, and luckily, she isn’t alone in surviving the experience! Paperback $20