Issue 2 of Books+Publishing magazine is out now!
Reviews: This issue’s top-rated adult books are both fiction titles, receiving 4.5 stars each. Steven Lang’s ‘stunning’ third novel Hinterland (UQP, July) is described by reviewer Kate Frawley as ‘a love story to the land and a tense exploration of the divisions arising from political alliances, personal beliefs and inherited ideals’; and Mark Brandi’s literary crime-fiction novel Wimmera (Hachette, July) is praised by reviewer Deborah Crabtree, who says ‘it’s clear that the reader is in the hands of master storyteller’.
Many fiction titles also scored four stars, including Melanie Cheng’s debut short-fiction collection Australia Day (Text, July); Anna George’s second novel The Lone Child (Viking, August); and Jock Serong’s On the Java Ridge (Text, August).
In nonfiction, four stars were awarded to Sheila Fitzpatrick’s biography of her husband, Mischka’s War: A European Odyssey of the 1940s (MUP, July); Brodie Lancaster’s debut memoir No Way! Okay, Fine (Hachette, July); and Judy Horacek’s ninth cartoon collection Random Life (Horacek Press, July).
Features: Brad Jefferies asks publishers and booksellers about their backlist sales strategies (and Andrea Hanke takes a closer look at the backlist bestsellers); Jo Case explores the growth of online influencers in the book industry; three traditionally published authors discuss their decision to experiment with self-publishing; and we interview Shelf Awareness editor-in-chief John Mutter and Waterstones MD James Daunt ahead of their appearance at the ABA Conference.
Also in this issue, former Penguin publicist and marketing manager Felicity Vallence shares her career journey, Deborah Crabtree talks to Mark Brandi about his debut crime novel Wimmera; Hilary Simmons asks Melanie Cheng about her debut short-fiction collection Australia Day (and her work as a GP); and Alexandra Payne examines the resurgence of feminist books in her regular column.
Junior Term 2
Reviews: Paula Weston’s The Undercurrent (Text, August) scored a standout five stars in this issue. Reviewer Meg Whelan calls it an ‘incredibly timely read’ that has ‘everything you could possibly ask for in a YA novel’.
Among the books receiving 4.5 stars are Kyle Hughes-Odgers’ ‘beautiful, dreamy’ picture book One Thousand Trees (Fremantle Press, July) and Peter Carnavas’ junior-fiction novel The Elephant, praised by reviewer Lian Hingee as a ‘tender story’ that shows ‘how grief and depression can be a prominent force in the lives of children and how it affects entire families’.
Many books also received four-star reviews. Among them are Lesley Gibbes and Michelle Dawson’s Fluke (Working Title Press, August), Danny Parker and Matt Ottley’s Sarah and the Steep Slope (Little Hare, August), Tristan Bancks’ The Fall (Random House, June), Tamara Moss’ Lintang and the Pirate Queen (Random House, August), Emily Rodda’s The Shop at Hoopers Bend (HarperCollins, August), Michael Pryor’s Gap Year in Ghost Town (A&U, August) and Judith Clarke’s My Lovely Frankie (A&U, July).
Features: Bec Kavanagh examines how gender-balanced text lists are entering the classroom; Jackie Tang speaks to Reading Matters conference guests A S King, Randa Abdel-Fattah and Will Kostakis; and Joanne Shiells looks at how small children’s publishers are connecting directly with their readers.
Also in this issue, Braiden Asciak interviews Tristan Bancks about his new novel The Fall, Fay Helfenbaum asks Emily Rodda about The Shop at Hoopers Bend, and Beachside Bookshop’s Libby Armstrong shares her bookseller’s diary.