Issue 2 of Books+Publishing magazine has landed. Gracing the front of this issue is the cover of Archie Roach’s long-awaited memoir Tell Me Why (S&S, November), and inside are 36 reviews of forthcoming adult and children’s books due to be published between July and September 2019.
This issue, we’re trying something a little different and we’ll be staggering the transfer of our print features and reviews online—meaning that magazine subscribers get access to all our features and in-depth reporting first, in one beautifully designed print package.
Each Wednesday in the Weekly Book Newsletter, we’ll be adding a feature from this issue to our online catalogue of features, so if you’re a digital-only subscriber, make sure you’re receiving the WBN (manage your subscription preferences here).
To get you started, you can read Marisa Wikramanayake’s investigation into pay and working conditions for freelance editors.
Nonfiction was particularly strong in this issue, with more than half of the nine nonfiction books reviewed receiving 4.5 stars or above. Journalist Stephanie Wood’s book Fake (Vintage, July)—an account of online deceit based on a 2017 Good Weekend feature detailing Wood’s relationship with a man she’d met online—received 4.5 stars from reviewer Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen, who calls Fake a ‘deeply immersive, incredibly human narrative’. Nguyen and Wood discuss the ethical concerns of writing Fake, the psychology of attachment and practicing self-care in an interview.
Also receiving 4.5 stars in nonfiction are life writing collection Growing Up Queer in Australia (ed by Benjamin Law, Black Inc., August), philosopher Chris Fleming’s account of his drug and alcohol addiction (On Drugs, Giramondo, August), and WA pastoralist David Pollock’s exploration of the environmental problems posed by meat production in Australia (The Wooleen Way, Scribe, September).
In fiction, Meg Mundell’s second novel The Trespassers (UQP, August) tops the list with a five-star review from Bec Kavanagh, while three short story collections (two of which are debuts) earn 4.5 stars each from our reviewers: Joey Bui’s Lucky Ticket (Text, September), Alice Bishop’s A Constant Hum (Text, July) and Josephine Rowe’s Here Until August (Black Inc., September).
This issue puts the spotlight on editors with Wikramanayake’s aforementioned feature on pay and working conditions for freelance editors, and we hear from editor Kate Goldsworthy about how she ended up a full-time freelancer after several in-house roles. The CEO of the Institute of Professional Editors, Karen Lee, writes about the advocacy work IPEd is doing, while Ventura Press publisher Jane Curry presents her theory on how editors have become hidden in plain sight.
Ahead of the ABA conference in late June, Sarah Farquharson speaks with two of its keynote speakers: managing director of the UK’s Booksellers Association Meryl Halls, and LGBTIQ activist and debut author Sally Rugg. Brad Jefferies gathers reactions from regional booksellers about the news that Big W will close up to 30 stores over the next three years; while Farrells Bookshop and BooksPlus Bathurst share how they make connections in their communities through events.
Junior term 2
Andrew Daddo is back with a new book this September, which graces the front cover of this issue of Junior. Atticus Van Tasticus (illus by Stephen Michael King, Puffin) is an illustrated middle-grade adventure that follows a 10-year-old boy who inherits a pirate ship from his grandma. Inside the magazine you’ll find Kelsey Oldham’s interview with Daddo, who describes the process of writing an illustrated novel as a ‘balancing act’.
Nina Kenwood’s YA rom-com It Sounded Better in My Head (Text, August) is the only book to receive five stars out of the 18 children’s and YA titles reviewed this issue. Calling the book ‘gorgeous and funny’, reviewer Annie Waters says the ‘seamless combination of humour and heart is reminiscent of Barry Jonsberg and Kate De Goldi’, and Waters talks comedic heroes, writing routines and creating characters with Kenwood in an interview.
Gabriel Evans’ picture book Ollie and Augustus (Walker, September) comes highly recommended, receiving 4.5 stars, while a host of highly anticipated picture books, younger readers and YA titles are also reviewed in this issue, including new books from Maxine Beneba Clarke, Nicki Greenberg, Fiona Hardy, Jackie French, Wai Chim and Will Kostakis.
Jackie Tang conducts a thorough investigation of the state of the Australian YA market and offers a heartening counterpoint to the dire statistics coming from the UK; Elizabeth Flux speaks with editors at Scholastic, DK Australia and Scribble about how they find opportunities for their lists through editor-led (rather than author-led) titles; and columnist Karys McEwen explains why age may not be the best indicator of a book’s suitability for teen readers.
Also in this issue, The Little Bookroom bookseller Michael Earp shares his career journey spanning many facets of children’s literature, Brad Jefferies finds out more about this year’s Australian Reading Hour campaign and Mischa Parkee shares her top picks for forthcoming children’s and YA titles.