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Christmas predictions: Megan O’Brien from Brunswick Bound in Melbourne

In the lead-up to Christmas, the busiest time of year on the bookselling calendar, Books+Publishing is asking booksellers across the country to predict their biggest sellers and ‘surprise sellers’.

In the this week’s instalment of the series for the 2018 Christmas period, Brunswick Bound bookseller Megan O’Brien offers her Christmas predictions.


We can’t get enough of My Year of Rest and Relaxation (Ottessa Moshfegh, Jonathan Cape) and anticipate that the new Jock Serong, Preservation (Text), will be a customer favourite. No doubt, all the customers (and there have been many) who have read and loved Sally Rooney’s Normal People and Anna Burns’ Milkman (both Faber) will be giving these to others at Christmas.


The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper (Hamish Hamilton), Half the Perfect World by Paul Genoni & Tanya Dalziell (Monash University Publishing), and Hip Hop Raised Me by DJ Semtex (Thames & Hudson). We will also keep on keeping on with all the social justice titles, such as Boys Will Be Boys (Clementine Ford, A&U), Queerstories (ed by Maeve Marsden, Hachette), Welcome to Country (Marcia Langton, Hardie Grant), The Power of Hope (Kon Karapanagiotidis, HarperCollins), and No Friend But the Mountains (Behrouz Boochani, Picador). Not necessarily gift-y books, but necessary in these times.


The two best words together at last: Ottolenghi and simple. Ottolenghi Simple (Yotam Ottolenghi, Ebury) is our big cookbook title for Christmas.

Art & design

You can’t go past the lush production Scribe has given Warren Kirk’s new photography book Suburbia—an absorbing and fascinating book about the suburban gems (and people) that are quickly disappearing from our cities.


Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee (A&U), All the Ways To Be Smart by Davina Bell & Alison Colpoys (Scribble) and Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan, a ‘let’s bring the family together and pore over it’ kind of children’s book.

Surprise sellers

Brow Books have produced a darkly comic gem with One Good Turn, a book of cartoons by Mary Leunig.

Local picks

We can’t go without Grungewick, edited by local author Michael Winkler (self-published). This collection of stories about Brunswick and its surrounds from its darker days gone by is a perennial bestseller for us. This Christmas we will also do well with On the Fly! Hobo Literature & Songs 1879-1941 (ed by Iain McIntyre, PM Press)—another book from a local author, which is a collection of fragments about counterculture life.

Trending topics

It’s going to be a year of maps, cats and trees—which is great. There are so many fascinating and beautiful books that make great gifts, including Around the World in 80 Trees (Jonathan Drori, Laurence King) and I Touched a Cat and I Liked It (Anna Blandford, Hardie Grant) from our friends at Able and Game.

(Image: Lily Mae Martin courtesy of Brunswick Bound)



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