winton-shepherds-hut

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

bad-gateway

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.

debbie

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.

anatomy (1)

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.

gift

The Gift

Michael Speechley     Recommended by Sharon    

Championing simple acts of kindness, this exquisite picture book explores the importance of friendship and the joy of giving.

The house across the road looks abandoned, but Rosie knows someone lives there. She decides to give her mystery neighbour a gift – something different, something unusual, something surprising. Something her mum would have been proud of.

testaments

The Testaments

Margaret Atwood     Recommended by Sharon    

More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.

Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.

As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

‘Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.’ Margaret Atwood

levy

The Man Who Saw Everything

Deborah Levy     Recommended by Sharon    

In 1989, Saul is hit by a car on the Abbey Rd crossing. He is fine; he gets up and goes to see his girlfriend, Jennifer. They have sex and then break up. He leaves for the GDR, where he will have more sex (with several members of the same family), harvest mushrooms in the rain, bury his dead father in a matchbox, and get on the wrong side of the Stasi.

In 2016, Saul is hit by a car on the Abbey Rd crossing. He is not fine at all; he is rushed to hospital and spends the following days in and out of consciousness, in and out of history. Jennifer is sitting by his bedside. His very-much-not-dead father is sitting by his bedside. Someone important is missing.

Deborah Levy presents an ambitious, playful and totally electrifying novel about what we see and what we fail to see, about carelessness and the harm we do to others, about the weight of history and our ruinous attempts to shrug it off.

sewers

An Underground Guide to Sewers

Stephen Halliday     Recommended by    

Lose yourself in the vast sewer networks that lie beneath the world’s great cities – past and present. Let detailed archival plans, maps and photographs guide you through these subterranean labyrinths – previously accessible only to their builders, engineers and, perhaps, the odd rogue explorer. This execrable exploration traces the evolution of waste management from the ingenious infra-structures of the ancient world to the seeping cesspits and festering open sewers of the medieval period. It investigates and celebrates the work of the civil engineers whose pioneering integrated sewer systems brought to a close the devastating cholera epidemics of the mid-19th century and continue to serve a vastly increased population today. And let’s not forget those giant fatbergs clogging our underground arteries, or the storm-surge super-structures of tomorrow.

 

 

wondersnature

The Wonders of Nature

Ben Hoare     Recommended by    

This compendium of amazing rocks and minerals, microscopic life, plants, and animals will wow children and many adults, too. With 100 remarkable items from the natural world, from orchids to opals and lichens to lizards, everyone will find something to be captivated by. Each plant, animal, and rock is shown both photographically and illustrated, and children will love poring over the detailed close-up images.

The storybook descriptions let you discover the myths and legends surrounding both organisms and gemstones, as well as key facts about their natural history. Find out how the prowling jaguar uses spots to avoid being spotted, why a sticky sundew means big trouble for insects, and what on Earth a radiolarian is. This beautiful treasury lets you find the things that interest you and uncover new favourites along the way. With reference pages packed with information you’ll go away knowing something you didn’t before, and you’ll return time and again.

With foil on the cover, gilded edges, and a ribbon for keeping your place, The Wonders of Nature makes an attractive gift for children who can’t get enough of nature. With engaging information and absorbing images, this book is perfect for kids to explore by themselves or for bedtime stories.

shared table

The Shared Table: Vegetarian and vegan feasts to cook for your crowd

Clare Scrine     Recommended by Sharon    

The Shared Table is a celebration of shared homes and their most iconic dishes – the food designed to feed the crowd, without breaking the bank or spending hours in the kitchen. It is a book about community, warmth, love and the unique connection of a nurturing home, where shared meals are central to the environment. Plus, without getting preachy or “clean ʼnʼ green eating” about it, all the recipes in the book are vegetarian and vegan.

The eight chapters in The Shared Table are captured in different share houses throughout the inner, sunshiny, suburbs of Brisbane, Australia. Each chapter has a distinct theme, as dictated by the culinary skills of those living in the featured house: A breakfast spread menu; Hungover brunch; A leisurely long lunch; Eat it with your hands; Mexican-inspired feast; A Mediterranean dinner party; Pasta night; and Comfort food spread.

Through its clean and bright photography – all taken by Clare’s own friends and housemates – The Shared Table is simultaneously luxe and sincere. It’s a warm and inviting cookbook that every share house needs on their communal bookshelf.

ruinkasch

The Ruin of Kasch

Roberto Calasso     Recommended by Alan    

A digressive history on the ‘legitimacy of power’ and the ‘right to rule’, Penguin’s publication of this  new translation of Calasso’s The Ruin of Kasch is timely. As Western capitalist democracies sweat on the drift away from pluralism toward tribalism, Calasso’s treatise is a difficult and wonderful analysis of how power is legitimised – or not.

Hailed as one of those rare books that persuade us to see our entire civilization in a new light, its guide is the French statesman Talleyrand, who knew the secrets of the ancien regime and all that came after, and was able to adapt the notion of “legitimacy” to the modern age. Calasso follows him through a vast gallery of scenes set immediately before and after the French Revolution, making occasional forays backward and forward in time, from Vedic India to the porticoes of the Palais-Royal and to the killing fields of Pol Pot, with appearances by Goethe and Marie Antoinette, Napoleon and Marx, Walter Benjamin and Chateaubriand. At the centre stands the story of the ruin of Kasch, a legendary kingdom based on the ritual killing of the king and emblematic of the ruin of ancient and modern regimes.

Join the mailing list Sign up for the latest news, releases & specials.