“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” – Lemony Snicket
There’s nothing quite like a good book by the fire (or electric heater) on a cold winter’s night. From true crime and historical fiction, to coming-of-age stories, personal essays and a life guide-book for the millennial, we’ve got you covered this winter with our round up of the best new-releases.
The Shepherd’s Hut, Tim Winton
“There’s a sad feeling in a place people have just walked out of and left behind.”
Set in the salt flats of Western Australia, teenager Jaxie Clackton’s world is filled with loss and violence. When he suddenly becomes orphaned, he is propelled on a journey to find out just what it takes to keep love and hope alive in a parched and brutal world.
Through Jaxie, a profane young Australian with a constant need to show disaffection and feign strength, Winton sheds light on the need for authentic, tender and honest masculinity.
A compelling and utterly beautiful read, The Shepherd’s Hut is thoughtful at times, angry at others, and unputdownable through all.
The Only Story, Julian Barnes
“Would you rather love the more, and suffer the more; or love the less, and suffer the less? That is, I think, finally, the only real question.”
Barnes’ latest novel once again highlights his prowess in prose. Set in post WWII London, elderly man Paul Roberts reflects on his youth and his first, improbable love.
Find yourself ruminating on each and every one of Paul’s many aphorisms on love scribbled in his notebook.
This story is achingly profound and considers the human heart in ways we can all relate, but only a master like Julian Barnes, can put into words. This is the only story you’ll need this winter.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris
“If you wake up in the morning, it is a good day.”
This heart-wrenching tale is based on the true story of two Holocaust survivors – Lale, the tattooist given the task of marking his fellow prisoners forever, and Gita, the young woman who steals his heart at first glance.
You will cry at the horror of such a dark point in history, and then you will cry again at the endurance of the human spirit in the face of such darkness.
Morris’ depiction of the extremes of humanity is hauntingly beautiful. Lale and Gita’s love story is uplifting and unforgettable.
I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, Michelle McNamara
“You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.”
Follow true crime journalist, Michelle McNamara’s obsessive search for the elusive Golden State Killer in this gripping true crime investigation.
McNamara – who tragically died at the time of writing – provides an unwavering persistence to the truth and a palpable empathy for each victim with every turn of the page, with an introduction by Gillian Flynn and afterword by husband Patton Oswalt.
In a heart-wrenching breakthrough, one of McNamara’s suspects was finally arrested in April. Her husband commented when the news broke, “Think you got him, Michelle.” We’re not crying. You’re crying.
The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, Holly Ringland
“In the weatherboard house at the end of the lane, nine-year-old Alice Hart sat at her desk by the window and dreamed of ways to set her father on fire.”
Set to the lush backdrops of sugar cane fields by the sea, a native Australian flower farm and a celestial crater in central Australia, daughter of abusive father, Alice Hart must discover the power of the stories we inherit in both defining and haunting us.
Ringland expertly crafts this life-affirming tale, so that whilst Alice discovers the most powerful story she will ever possess is her own, so too does the reader.
For anyone who doubts the worth and power of their story, this novel about the redemptive power of storytelling is a glowing response.
Am I There Yet?, Mari Andrew
“For my mum: I’m sorry it’s not a grandchild”
From Instagram sensation and illustrator, Mari Andrew, comes this witty guide to growing up as a millennial. Through a medley of essays and illustrations, Andrew’s brings you along as she navigates moving to a new city, that terrifying thing known as a ‘career path’, the ups and downs of relationships and all the complexities of finding yourself.
This memoir and guide-book is deeply complex, breathtakingly relatable, and endearingly comical all at once. Andrew’s manages to put into words what every young millennial is thinking before they even realised they’d been thinking it.
Feel Free, Zadie Smith
“So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we’d just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changes and this had taken the fight out of us somewhat.”
This is Zadie Smith’s razor-sharp response to the question of what we might possibly be able to tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming. This is the sort of intellect, wit and personal intimacy found in her latest collection of essays.
Traversing topics from pop culture, high culture, social change and political debate, this collection will make you think until it hurts and reaffirms Smith as one of the most important voices of her generation.