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Reviews

 

Adult fiction

In Moonland (Miles Allinson, Scribe)
New Australian Fiction 2021 (ed by Rebecca Starford, Kill Your Darlings)
The Magpie Wing (Max Easton, Giramondo) 
Private Prosecution (Lisa Ellery, Fremantle Press) 
Happy Hour (Jacquie Byron, A&U)
The Things We See in the Light (Amal Awad, Pantera Press)
Dark as Last Night (Tony Birch, UQP)
Nostalgia Has Ruined My Life (Zarah Butcher-McCunnigle, Giramondo)
The Airways (Jennifer Mills, Picador)
The Overthinkers (Lisa Portolan & Ben Cheong, Big Sky Publishing)

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In Moonland (Miles Allinson, Scribe)

Released September 2021

Miles Allinson’s accomplished second novel—the follow-up to his moving and deeply personal 2015 debut Fever of Animals—is an ambitious and gripping story of parenthood, utopias and environmental collapse, told across several interconnected narratives. The narrator of the first section is Joe, a young father dealing with a relationship breakdown as he becomes obsessed with resolving the mystery of his father, Vincent:… Read more

Most viewed adult fiction

  1. All Our Shimmering Skies (Trent Dalton, HarperCollins)
  2. It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake (Claire Christian, Text)
  3. Rural Dreams (Margaret Hickey, MidnightSun)
  4. Infinite Splendours (Sofie Laguna, A&U)
  5. New Animal (Ella Baxter, A&U)
  6. Love Objects (Emily Maguire, A&U)
  7. The Women and the Girls (Laura Bloom, A&U)
  8. Lucky’s (Andrew Pippos, Picador)
  9. Echolalia (Briohny Doyle, Vintage)
  10. The Silent Listener (Lyn Yeowart, Viking)
 

Adult nonfiction

Believe in Me (Lucy Neave, UQP)
My Friend Fox (Heidi Everett, Ultimo Press) 
Sold Down the River (Scott Hamilton & Stuart Kells, Text)
An Insider’s Plague Year (Peter Doherty, MUP)
Recipe for a Kinder Life (Annie Smithers, Thames & Hudson)
Imaginative Possession: Learning to live in the Antipodes (Belinda Probert, Upswell)
The First Time I Thought I Was Dying (Sarah Walker, UQP)
Muddy People (Sara El Sayed, Black Inc.)
Daughter of the River Country (Dianne O’Brien with Sue Williams, Echo)
The Mother Wound (Amani Haydar, Macmillan)

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Believe in Me (Lucy Neave, UQP)

Released September 2021

Bet is a Sydney-based veterinarian raised in Adelaide by her single mother, Sarah. When Bet starts questioning her gender, identity and place in the world, she begins to put together the broken pieces of her mother’s life. Born in upstate New York, Bet's mother was exiled to Sydney in the 1970s to give birth in an… Read more

Most viewed adult nonfiction

  1. Soar: A life freed by dance (David McAllister, Thames & Hudson)
  2. Boy on Fire: The young Nick Cave (Mark Mordue, Fourth Estate)
  3. Just Money: Misadventures in the great Australian debt trap (Royce Kurmelovs, UQP)
  4. Loss Adjustment (Linda Collins, Awa Press)
  5. Who Gets to be Smart (Bri Lee, A&U)
  6. Buried Not Dead (Fiona McGregor, Giramondo)
  7. Coming of Age in the War on Terror (Randa Abdel-Fattah, NewSouth)
  8. The Nordic Edge: Policy possibilities for Australia (ed by Andrew Scott & Rod Campbell, MUP)
  9. Black Summer (ed by Michael Rowland, ABC Books)
  10. Eating With My Mouth Open (Sam van Zweden, NewSouth)
 

Children's picture books

Maxine (Bob Graham, Walker Books) 
A Trip to the Hospital (Freda Chiu, A&U Children)
Grandma’s Prickly Secret (Trudie Trewin, illus by Nelli Suneli, Larrikin House)
The Spectacular Suit (Kat Patrick, illus by Hayley Wells, Scribble)
Albert Namatjira (Vincent Namatjira, Magabala)
All Dogs Bark (Catherine Meatheringham & Deb Hudson, Windy Hollow Books)
The Cat Thief (Pat Simmons, illus by Liz Duthie, Little Pink Dog Books)
The Incredibly Busy Mind of Bowen Bartholomew Crisp (Paul Russell & Nicky Johnston, EK Books)
Coco, the Fish with Hands: Endangered Animal Tales 1 (Aleesah Darlison, illus by Mel Matthews, Puffin)
Walking in Gagudju Country: Exploring the monsoon forest (Diane Lucas and Ben Tyler, illus by Emma Long, A&U Children’s)

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Maxine (Bob Graham, Walker Books) 

Released September 2021

A ‘companion book’ for Bob Graham’s beloved Max (which was 20 years old in 2020!), Maxine does stand alone but is not as rich if you haven’t first read Max, as it does assume familiarity with the Lightning-Thunderbolt family as well as Max’s own journey, referencing and echoing it at times. Like her brother, the protagonist Maxine… Read more

Most viewed children's picture book

  1. Wolfred (Nick Bland, Hardie Grant Egmont)
  2. Piper Picks the Perfect Pet (Caroline Tuohey, illus by Nicky Johnston, Ford St)
  3. Wonder Earth (Zanni Louise & Tiff Bollhorn, illus by Sophy Louise Smith, Five Mile)
  4. With a Little Kelp from Our Friends (Mathew Bate, illus by Liz Rowland, Thames & Hudson)
  5. Dog (Shaun Tan, A&U)
  6. Walking in Gagudju Country: Exploring the monsoon forest (Diane Lucas and Ben Tyler, illus by Emma Long, A&U Children’s)
  7. Main Abija My Grandad (Karen Rogers, A&U)
  8. Scary Bird (Michel Streich, Scholastic)
  9. Give Me Some Space! (Philip Bunting, Omnibus)
  10. Iceberg (Claire Saxby, illus by Jess Racklyeft, A&U)
 

Younger readers

Treasure in the Lake (Jason Pamment, A&U)
Let’s Eat Weeds! (Annie Raser-Rowland & Adam Grubb, illus by Evie Barrow, Scribble)
The Song of Lewis Carmichael (Sofie Laguna, illus by Marc McBride, A&U)
The School for Talking Pets (Kelli Anne Hawkins, illus by Beth Harvey, HarperCollins)
Devils in Danger (Samantha Wheeler, UQP)
The Memory Thief (Leonie Agnew, Puffin)
Shockingly Good Stories (R A Spratt, Puffin)
Rainfish (Andrew Paterson, Text)
The Story of Australia: For the young (and the curious) (Don Watson, Black Inc.)
Marlow Brown, Magician in the Making (Kesta Fleming, illus by Marjory Gardner, Celapene Press)

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Treasure in the Lake (Jason Pamment, A&U)

Released September 2021

Friendship, hidden cities and all-round adventure lie at the heart of Jason Pamment’s immersive graphic novel Treasure in the Lake. Sam and Iris have been best friends since they were little, but as the two find themselves about to venture into high school, it’s unclear if their friendship will survive. Iris is desperate to escape the small town they live… Read more

Most viewed younger readers

  1. Bindi (Kirli Saunders, illus by Dub Leffler, Magabala)
  2. The Tunnel of Dreams (Bernard Beckett, Text)
  3. Aussie STEM Stars: Fiona Wood (Cristy Burne, Wild Dingo Press)
  4. Lola Online: #TheSecretUpstairsFanClubParty (Shannan & Tayla Stedman, Omnibus)
  5. The Odds (Matt Stanton, ABC Books)
  6. We Are Wolves (Katrina Nannestad, ABC Books)
  7. Footprints on the Moon (Lorraine Marwood, UQP)
  8. Paws (Kate Foster, Walker Books)
  9. The Detective’s Guide to Ocean Travel (Nicki Greenberg, Affirm)
  10. Little Jiang (Shirley Marr, illus by Katy Jiang, Fremantle Press)
 

Young adult

Anything But Fine (Tobias Madden, Penguin) 
Road Tripping with Pearl Nash (Poppy Nwosu, Wakefield)
Half My Luck (Samera Kamaleddine, HarperCollins)
Sugar Town Queens (Malla Nunn, A&U)
Girls in Boys’ Cars (Felicity Castagna, Pan)
Henry Hamlet’s Heart (Rhiannon Wilde, UQP)
Echo in the Memory (Cameron Nunn, Walker Books)
100 Remarkable Feats of Xander Maze (Clayton Zane Comber, HarperCollins)
Can’t Say it Went to Plan (Gabrielle Tozer, HarperCollins)
Sunburnt Veils (Sara Haghdoosti, Wakefield)

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Anything But Fine (Tobias Madden, Penguin) 

Released September 2021

Anything But Fine is the young adult debut of Tobias Madden, who works in publishing and is part of the #LoveOzYA community. Like his main character, Luca, Madden grew up in Ballarat and was a professional dancer, which possibly contributes to his novel’s feeling of authenticity and honesty. Luca is a talented and focused dancer,… Read more

Most viewed young adult

  1. This One is Ours (Kate O’Donnell, UQP)
  2. The Ghost Squad (Sophie Masson, MidnightSun)
  3. The Boy From the Mish (Gary Lonesborough, A&U)
  4. Future Girl (Asphyxia, A&U)
  5. Indigo Owl (Charlie Archbold, Wakefield)
  6. The Gaps (Leanne Hall, Text)
  7. Tiger Daughter (Rebecca Lim, A&U)
  8. The Prison Healer (Lynette Noni, Penguin)
  9. Waking Romeo (Kathryn Barker, A&U)
  10. Can’t Say it Went to Plan (Gabrielle Tozer, HarperCollins)
 

Recently released titles

The Newcomer (Laura Elizabeth Woollett, Scribe)
Daughter of the River Country (Dianne O’Brien with Sue Williams, Echo)
The Rabbits (Sophie Overett, Vintage)
Catch Us the Foxes (Nicola West, S&S)
The Nordic Edge: Policy possibilities for Australia (ed by Andrew Scott & Rod Campbell, MUP)
Henry Hamlet’s Heart (Rhiannon Wilde, UQP)
The Story of Australia: For the young (and the curious) (Don Watson, Black Inc.)
The Incredibly Busy Mind of Bowen Bartholomew Crisp (Paul Russell & Nicky Johnston, EK Books)
The Brilliant Boy: Doc Evatt and the great Australian dissent (Gideon Haigh, Scribner)
The Shut Ins (Katherine Brabon, A&U)

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The Newcomer (Laura Elizabeth Woollett, Scribe)

Released July 2021

Paulina Novak is a bad-girl bogan archetype in early 2000s Sydney. Stuck in a rut, she moves on a whim to Fairfolk Island, a fictional Pacific island known as a tourist spot ‘for newlyweds and nearly-deads’. Her mother Judy visits one Easter weekend and, together with Paulina’s landlady Vera, discovers that Paulina has been murdered.… Read more

Most viewed reviews of all time

  1. Barracuda (Christos Tsiolkas, A&U)
  2. The Feather (Margaret Wild, illus by Freya Blackwood, Little Hare)
  3. Ten Doors Down: The story of an extraordinary adoption reunion (Robert Tickner, Scribe)
  4. The Medicine: A doctor’s notes (Karen Hitchcock, Black Inc.)
  5. Whisper (Lynette Noni, Pantera Press)
  6. Three (Stephen Michael King, Scholastic)
  7. Room on Our Rock (Kate and Jol Temple, illus by Terri Rose Baynton, Scholastic)
  8. Deadly Kerfuffle (Tony Martin, Affirm)
  9. The Amulet of Athlone: The Chronicles of Jack McCool Book One (R E Devine, Bauer Media)
  10. Shirl (Wayne Marshall, Affirm)