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The Shepherd’s Hut

Tim Winton     Recommended by Alan    

Loved it. Brutal and lyrical. Read it in two sittings and am about to go again.

In The Shepherd’s Hut, Winton crafts the story of Jaxie Clackton, a brutalized rural youth who flees from the scene of his father’s violent death and strikes out north through the wheatbelt. All he carries with him is a rifle and a waterbottle. All he wants is peace and freedom. But surviving in the harsh saltlands alone is a savage business. And once he discovers he’s not alone out there, all Jaxie’s plans go awry. He meets a fellow exile, the ruined priest Fintan MacGillis, a man he’s never certain he can trust, but on whom his life will soon depend. The Shepherd’s Hut is a thrilling tale of unlikely friendship and yearning, at once brutal and lyrical, from one of our finest storytellers

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‘Til Wrong Feels Right LYRICS AND MORE

Iggy Pop     Recommended by    
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Tree of Life

Tim Biskup     Recommended by Sharon    

This book is the first career-spanning look at Southern California artist Tim Biskup’s prolific aesthetic range. Biskup has been referred to as a Baroque Modern master and his work has been celebrated for its “dense, character-driven style inspired by mid-century design infused with a healthy dose of punk rock energy.” Beginning with his early roots in animation, Biskup traces the evolution of his distinct style which incorporates a complex interplay of colour, geometry, and layering, resulting in a gorgeous plethora of abstract, graphic paintings and drawings. An additional autobiographical account details his Tree of Life artistic journey including his significant struggles and triumphs along the way.

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Damascus

Christos Tsiolkas     Recommended by Alan    

The stunningly powerful new novel from the author of The Slap.

Christos Tsiolkas’ stunning new novel Damascus is a work of soaring ambition and achievement, of immense power and epic scope, taking as its subject nothing less than events surrounding the birth and establishment of the Christian church. Based around the gospels and letters of St Paul, and focusing on characters one and two generations on from the death of Christ, as well as Paul (Saul) himself, Damascus nevertheless explores the themes that have always obsessed Tsiolkas as a writer: class, religion, masculinity, patriarchy, colonisation, exile; the ways in which nations, societies, communities, families and individuals are united and divided – it’s all here, the contemporary and urgent questions, perennial concerns made vivid and visceral.

In Damascus, Tsiolkas has written a masterpiece of imagination and transformation: an historical novel of immense power and an unflinching dissection of doubt and faith, tyranny and revolution, and cruelty and sacrifice.

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Acid For The Children

Flea     Recommended by Alan    

Flea, the iconic bassist and co-founder, alongside Anthony Kiedis, of the immortal Red Hot Chili Peppers finally tells his fascinating origin story, complete with all the dizzying highs and the gutter lows you’d expect from an LA street rat turned world-famous rock star.

The strange tale of a boy named Flea starts in Rye, NY. It was all very normal. But soon his parents divorced and his mother Patricia remarried a jazz musician. Flea’s stepfather frequently invited musicians to his house for jam sessions which sparked Flea’s interest in music. The family moved to Los Angeles, where Flea became fascinated with the trumpet, idolizing musicians like Miles, Dizzy, and Louis.

But the family soon fell apart, “I was raised in a very violent, alcoholic household,” Flea later said. “I grew up being terrified of my parents, particularly my father figures. It caused [me] a lot of trouble later in life.” He began smoking weed at 13, and became a daily user of harder drugs. He was on the streets by 14 and soon after, met another social outcast and drug user named Anthony Kiedis. They form a band that would become the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Acid For The Children is pure, uncut Flea, with nothing left unsaid.

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Botanical Revelation: European encounters with Australian plants before Darwin

David J. Mabberley     Recommended by Sharon    

Acclaimed author David Mabberley provides a ground-breaking analysis of early European understanding of Australia’s flora.

Combining science, horticulture, art and economics, this lavishly illustrated book – with many neverbefore-published images – reveals the motives and complex networks that led to the international spread of knowledge and cultivation of hundreds of Australian plants in Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Based on the superb Peter Crossing Collection, Botanical Revelation documents a revolutionary phase in the understanding of Australia’s flora and science more generally.

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The Eighth Life

Nino Haratischvili     Recommended by    

‘That night Stasia took an oath, swearing to learn the recipe by heart and destroy the paper. And when she was lying in her bed again, recalling the taste with all her senses, she was sure that this secret recipe could heal wounds, avert catastrophes, and bring people happiness. But she was wrong.’

At the start of the twentieth century, on the edge of the Russian Empire, a family prospers. It owes its success to a delicious chocolate recipe, passed down the generations with great solemnity and caution. A caution which is justified: this is a recipe for ecstasy that carries a very bitter aftertaste …

Stasia learns it from her Georgian father and takes it north, following her new husband, Simon, to his posting at the centre of the Russian Revolution in St Petersburg. Stasia’s is only the first in a symphony of grand but all too often doomed romances that swirl from sweet to sour in this epic tale of the red century.

Tumbling down the years, and across vast expanses of longing and loss, generation after generation of this compelling family hears echoes and sees reflections. Great characters and greater relationships come and go and come again; the world shakes, and shakes some more, and the reader rejoices to have found at last one of those glorious old books in which you can live and learn, be lost and found, and make indelible new friends.

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Mythologica: An encyclopedia of gods, monsters and mortals from ancient Greek

Dr Stephen Kershaw     Recommended by Sharon    

An illustrated encyclopedia of Greek mythology like no other, Mythologica features startlingly beautiful and exquisitely otherworldly portraits of mythological characters in eye-popping colour.
Uncover the colourful lives of 50 powerful gods and goddesses, earth-dwelling mortals and terrifying monsters as you journey back in time to ancient Greece. From the fearless Athena and her meddlesome ways to the brave and bold Odysseus and his remarkable journey home, discover why these incredible stories are still a part of our culture today. Listed alphabetically, each boldly designed spread presents a figure from the myths, including their name in Greek, their defining attributes and a summary of their story, along with multiple sidelights that provide additional facts.
Interspersed with the profiles are summaries of famous mythological tales and historical events, like the Odyssey, the Trojan War and the story of the Argonauts.An electrifying visual portrayal of each figure transports you directly into their wild world. Victoria Topping’s artwork is a fusion of technological and traditional techniques that combines photography, painting and cut-paper collage to perfectly express the blending of human and fantastic traits from which mythical beings are made.
The thrilling images and digestible text provide the perfect introduction to the lively world of Greek mythology. Prepare to be amazed as you uncover the epic, heroic and sometimes terrible lives of mortals, monsters and gods.

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Bad Gateway

Simon Hanselmann     Recommended by    

Megg & Mogg reach new highs – and lows.

Simon Hanselmann’s previous three Megg & Mogg books—2014’s Megahex, 2016’s Megg & Mogg in Amsterdam, and 2017’s One More Year—have all been international best sellers that have cemented Hanselmann as one of the most exciting graphic novelists of his generation. Bad Gateway is the magnum opus that those three books have been building towards, as Megg and Mogg’s fraught relationship careens into psychological depths that Hanselmann has previously only hinted at.

Perpetually drunk and high, lovable degenerates Megg and Mogg have drifted through a life full of raucous antics and free of consequences. But their heavy drug use, once a gateway to adventure, has begun to take a grim psychological toll. As her unstable lifestyle finally catches up to her, Megg must turn to her past to uncover the roots of her self-destructive habits that have led her down this dark path.

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Face It

Debbie Harry     Recommended by Sharon    

Debbie Harry is a musician, actor, activist and the iconic face of New York City cool. As the front-woman of Blondie, she and the band forged a new sound that brought together the worlds of rock, punk, disco, reggae and hip-hop to create some of the most beloved pop songs of all time. As a muse, she collaborated with some of the boldest artists of the past four decades. The scope of Debbie Harry’s impact on our culture has been matched only by her reticence to reveal her rich inner life – until now.

In an arresting mix of visceral, soulful storytelling and stunning visuals that includes never-before-seen photographs, bespoke illustrations and fan art installations, Face It upends the standard music memoir while delivering a truly prismatic portrait. With all the grit, grime, and glory recounted in intimate detail, Face It recreates the downtown scene of 1970s New York City, where Blondie played alongside the Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop and David Bowie.

Following her path from glorious commercial success to heroin addiction, the near-death of partner Chris Stein, a heart-wrenching bankruptcy, and Blondie’s break-up as a band to her multifaceted acting career in more than thirty films, a stunning solo career and the triumphant return of her band, and her tireless advocacy for the environment and LGBTQ rights, Face It is a cinematic story of a woman who made her own path, and set the standard for a generation of artists who followed in her footsteps – a memoir as dynamic as its subject.

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Anatomy: Exploring the Human Body

Phaidon Editors     Recommended by    

Anatomy: Exploring the Human Body is a visually compelling survey of more than 5,000 years of image-making. Through 300 remarkable works, selected and curated by an international panel of anatomists, curators, academics, and specialists, the book chronicles the intriguing visual history of human anatomy, showcasing its amazing complexity and our ongoing fascination with the systems and functions of our bodies. Exploring individual parts of the human body from head to toe, and revealing the intricate functions of body systems, such as the nerves, muscles, organs, digestive system, brain, and senses, this authoritative book presents iconic examples alongside rarely seen, breathtaking works. The 300 entries are arranged with juxtapositions of contrasting and complementary illustrations to allow for thought-provoking, lively, and stimulating reading.

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