The Art Book for Children

Phaidon     Recommended by Staff    

Two decades ago, Phaidon published the first volume in The Art Book for Children series (adapted especially for children from Phaidon’s iconic The Art Book), which quickly became beloved by children and parents the world over. To share its legacy with a new generation of readers, this combined, updated, and expanded edition pairs a selection of ‘best of’ artists from the original series with 30 brand-new contemporary entries.

This single volume features 60 artists through a wide range of large-scale, full-page reproductions of their artworks, including paintings, photographs, sculptures, video, prints, and installations from across time and space. Each page showcases defining artworks by the artists, combined with an interactive and informative conversation, giving relatable and memorable contexts for children, and inspiring a curiosity and appreciation for the Visual Arts that will continue into adulthood.

With a fresh new design, this book both features the ‘best of’ from the original two volumes, plus new entries, specially selected in collaboration with art historian and writer, Ferren Gipson.

Ages 7-12

Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea

Rebecca Thorne     Recommended by Staff    

All Reyna and Kianthe want is to open a bookshop that serves tea. Worn wooden floors, plants on every table, firelight drifting between the rafters… all complemented by love and good company. Thing is, Reyna works as one of the Queen’s private guards, and Kianthe is the most powerful mage in existence. Leaving their lives isn’t so easy.

But after an assassin takes Reyna hostage, she decides she’s thoroughly done risking her life for a self-centered queen. Meanwhile, Kianthe has been waiting for a chance to flee responsibility–all the better that her girlfriend is on board. Together, they settle in Tawney, a town that boasts more dragons than people, and open the shop of their dreams.

What follows is a cozy tale of mishaps, mysteries, and a murderous queen throwing the realm’s biggest temper tantrum. In a story brimming with hurt/comfort and quiet fireside conversations, these two women will discover just what they mean to each other… and the world.

All Fours

Miranda July     Recommended by Staff    

A semi-famous artist announces her plan to drive cross-country from LA to NY. Thirty minutes after leaving her husband and child at home, she spontaneously exits the freeway, beds down in a nondescript motel and immerses herself in a temporary reinvention that turns out to be the start of an entirely different journey.

Miranda July’s second novel confirms the brilliance of her unique approach to fiction. With July’s wry voice, perfect comic timing, unabashed curiosity about human intimacy and palpable delight in pushing boundaries, All Fours tells the story of one woman’s quest for a new kind of freedom.

Part absurd entertainment, part tender reinvention of the sexual, romantic and domestic life of a 45-year-old female artist, All Fours transcends expectations while excavating our beliefs about life lived as a woman. Once again, July hijacks the familiar and turns it into something new and thrillingly, profoundly alive.

Table for Two

Amor Towles     Recommended by Staff    

Millions of Amor Towles fans are in for a treat as he shares some of his shorter fiction – six stories based in New York City and a novella set in Golden Age Hollywood.

The New York stories, most of which take place around the year 2000, consider the fateful consequences that can spring from brief encounters and the delicate mechanics of compromise that operate at the heart of modern marriages.

In Towles’s novel Rules of Civility, the indomitable Evelyn Ross leaves New York City in September 1938 with the intention of returning home to Indiana. But as her train pulls into Chicago, where her parents are waiting, she instead extends her ticket to Los Angeles. Told from seven points of view, “Eve in Hollywood” describes how Eve crafts a new future for herself-and others-in a noirish tale that takes us through the movie sets, bungalows, and dive bars of Los Angeles.

Written with his signature wit, humor, and sophistication, Table for Two is another glittering addition to Towles’s canon of stylish and transporting fiction.

Because I’m Not Myself, You See: A Memoir of Motherhood, Madness and Coming Back From the Brink

Ariane Beeston     Recommended by Staff    

I do not know who I am anymore or where I have gone…

Ariane Beeston is a child protection worker and newly registered psychologist when she gives birth to her first child – and very quickly begins to experience scary breaks with reality. Out of fear and shame, she keeps her delusions and hallucinations secret, but as the months pass Ariane gets worse. Much worse. Finally admitted to a mother and baby psychiatric unit, the psychologist is forced to learn how to be the patient.

With medication, the support of her husband, psychotherapy and, ultimately, time, Ariane rebuilds herself. And she also begins a new chapter working in perinatal mental health, developing resources to support other new mothers.

Because I’m Not Myself, You See is a candid, often humorous memoir of motherhood and madness, interwoven with research and expert commentary. It’s the story of the impossible pressures placed on new mothers and how quickly things can go wrong during ‘the happiest time of your life’. It’s also about life on the other side of serious illness, trying to make sense of what doesn’t make sense, and finding humour, beauty and joy when things don’t go according to plan.

‘Blistering, beautiful, true’ –Susan Johnson, author of A Better Woman, From Where I Fell and Aphrodite’s Breath

‘Ariane Beeston’s honesty, poetry and wisdom will save lives.’ –Anna Spargo-Ryan, author of A Kind of Magic

‘Both riveting and informative, this is an unflinching look at what it is like from inside postpartum psychosis.’ -Anne Buist, Professor of Women’s Mental Health, University of Melbourne, and co-author with Graeme Simsion of The Glass House

The Untethered Sky

Fonda Lee     Recommended by Luka    

The Untethered Sky is a new novella from Fonda Lee, the author of the electrifying Green Bone Saga. If you’re unfamiliar, that saga is an epic, action-packed magical-family-drama in a gangster metropolis. The Untethered Sky, by contrast, is a slower, high-fantasy tale that nonetheless demonstrates Lee’s vivid world-building, flair for morally grey characters, and glorious magic systems. Ester’s world is populated by vicious, human-devouring manticores and the gigantic falcon-like beasts – rocs – that hunt them. Rocs bond to the humans – the ruhkers – of the King’s Royal Mews, and Ester finds purpose in their leagues, though her bond with a fledgling roc is tenuous. Her family was brutally torn apart by manticores, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge them.

It’s a deliciously exciting novella, and Lee packs a LOT into 160 pages. It’s a great pick-me-up if you’re in a slump, or as a palate cleanser between fatter fantasy tomes. – Luka

A Very Secret Trade: The dark story of gentlemen collectors in Tasmania

Cassandra Pybus     Recommended by Staff    

In the nineteenth century, collectors and museum curators in Europe were fascinated by the antipodean colony of Tasmania. They cultivated contacts in the colony who could supply them with exotic specimens, including skeletons of the thylacine and the platypus. But they were not just interested in animals and plants. The belief that the original people of the colony were an utterly unique race and facing possible extinction had the European scientific community scrambling for human exhibits.

Many eminent colonial figures were involved in this clandestine trade, among them four colonial governors, several key politicians and even Lady Jane Franklin. In Britain, Sir Joseph Banks, the Duke of Newcastle and Professor Thomas Huxley were among many eminent men who solicited human specimens from the colony. Worse still, the men responsible for the care and protection of the few original people who had survived the ravages of disease and the infamous Black Wars were prominent in the trade.

Cassandra Pybus has uncovered one of the darkest and most carefully hidden secrets in Australia’s colonial history. It is time we all knew the truth.

‘Truth-telling is every Australian’s responsibility. Reading this book will help you to walk with us.’ – Thomas Mayo

‘A deeply ethical, and deeply disturbing, historical reckoning – a model of truth-telling for white Australians. In spell-binding prose, Cassandra Pybus reveals the continuing legacies of colonial dispossession …’ – Professor Warwick Anderson

‘Exhaustively researched and arrestingly told.’ – Professor Mark McKenna

Ourselves: 100 Micro Memoirs

Edited by Laura Keenan & Casey Mulder     Recommended by Staff    

The first micro memoir collection published in Australia, this eagerly anticipated anthology from Night Parrot Press is now available. Founded in 2019, Night Parrot Press is an independent, not-for-profit publisher of non-traditional works of fiction and non-fiction based in Perth.

Ourselves: 100 Micro Memoirs is a celebration of real life. One hundred authors give voice to the raw, chaotic and joyful spectrum of what it means to be human. Each micro memoir is unique in its scope, but the collection resonates with threads of shared experience across cultures and generations. In 750 words or fewer, these carefully crafted stories invite the reader into the histories we often edit—or don’t tell—about ourselves.

The collection includes writing by new and established authors including Zoe Deleuil, Barry Divola, Mabel Gibson, Seth Malacari, Shirley Marr, Donna Mazza, Susan Midalia, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Rashida Murphy, Gillian O’Shaughnessy, Maria Papas, Cindy Solonec and Ros Thomas, among many others.

12 Rules for Strife

Jeff Sparrow and Sam Wallman     Recommended by Staff    

This is a handbook for change. Because we all know ways in which life could be better. And it can be better. We can make it better.

We don’t need to wait for a leader or saviour. We don’t need to limit ourselves to comments and clicks. In this stunningly original comic-book tour of a serious topic, Jeff Sparrow and Sam Wallman explore 12 powerful ideas distilled from the history of struggle for better lives, better working conditions, and a better world. They show how solidarity can be built across growing divisions – without compromising our values.

‘Strife’ is just another word for making yourself heard. In fun, short, shareable chapters, 12 Rules for Strife shows how together we can change everything.

Dim Sum Palace

X. Fang     Recommended by Staff    

Liddy is so excited about going to the Dim Sum Palace tomorrow with her family that she can’t sleep!

So when a delicious smell wafts into her room, she hops out of bed, opens her door and steps into… an actual palace of dim sum!

There are dumplings, baos, buns, and more delicious treats than one girl can possibly eat. Liddy just has to take a bite, but, oh no! She slips and falls… into a bowl of dumpling filling! The chefs are so busy rolling, folding and pinching dough that they don’t notice they’ve prepared a most unusual dumpling for the Empress – a Liddy dumpling! Worst of all, she looks good enough to eat…

We love the unique and adorable illustrations in this delicious picture book.

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