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Updated by St Joseph's Regional College Library on Nov 29, 2017
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Staff Holiday Reading Suggestions 2017

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.

“All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.”

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.

As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly

Only Harry Bosch can uncover LA's darkest secrets in this new gripping thriller from global bestseller Michael Connelly.

'What do you want me to do?' Bosch asked again.

'I want you to find someone for me,' Vance said. 'Someone who might not have ever existed.'

Harry Bosch is working as a part-time detective in the town of San Fernando outside of Los Angeles, when he gets the invitation to meet with the ageing aviation billionaire Whitney Vance. When he was eighteen Vance had a relationship with a Mexican girl called Vibiana Duarte, but soon after becoming pregnant she disappeared.

Now, as he reaches the end of his life, Vance wants to know what happened to Vibiana and whether there is an heir to his vast fortune. And Bosch is the only person he trusts to undertake the assignment.

Harry's aware that with such sums of money involved, this could be a dangerous undertaking - not just for himself, but for the person he's looking for - but as he begins to uncover Vibiana's tragic story, and finds uncanny links to his own past, he knows he cannot rest until he finds the truth.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She's worked with the revered crime writer for years and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It's just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway...

But Conway's latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript there lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.
From Sunday Times bestseller Anthony Horowitz comes Magpie Murders, his deliciously dark take on the vintage crime novel, brought bang- up-to-date with a fiendish modern twist.

The Wayward Leunig by Michael Leunig

The Wayward Leunig is a superb companion volume to Michael Leunig's The Essential Leunig, with another 400 definitive cartoons spanning five decades.

Michael Leunig found the process of selecting just 400 pieces for 2012's Essential Leunig so difficult that he set aside another 400 for a subsequent volume. As with those first 400, the cartoons in The Wayward Leunig: Cartoons That Wandered Off have been selected from five decades of work, and are just as wide-ranging, just as potent, just as hilarious, insightful, relevant, original and beautiful. A companion to volume one in format and extent, this collection is a must-have for Leunig fans.

A Single Tree by Don Watson

A Single Tree assembles the raw material underpinning Don Watson’s award-winning The Bush. These diverse and haunting voices span the four centuries since Europeans first set eyes on the continent. Each of these varied contributors – settlers, explorers, anthropologists, naturalists, stockmen, surveyors, itinerants, artists and writers– represents a particular place and time. Men in awe of the landscape or cursing it; aspiring to subdue and exploit it or finding themselves defeated by it. Women reflecting on the land’s harshness and beauty, on the strangeness of their lives, their pleasures and miseries, the character and behaviour of the men. Europeans writing about indigenous Australians, sometimes with intelligent sympathy and curiosity but often with contempt, and often describing acts of startling brutality.
This collection comprises diary extracts, memoirs, journals, letters, histories, poems and fiction, and follows the same loose themes of The Bush. The science of the landscape and climate, and the way we have perceived them. Our deep and sentimental connection to the land, and our equally deep ignorance and abuse of it. The heroic myths and legends. The enchantments. The bush as a formative and defining element in Australian culture, self-image and character. The flora and fauna, the waterways, the colours. The heroic, self-defining stories, the bizarre and terrible, and the ones lost in the deep silences.
There are accounts of journeys, of work and recreation, of religious observance, of creation and destruction. Stories of uncanny events, peculiar and fantastic characters, deep ironies, and of land unlimited. And musings on what might be the future of the bush: as a unique environment, a food bowl, a mine, a wellspring of national identity . . .
From Dampier and Tasman to Tim Flannery and assorted contemporary farmers, environmentalists and grey nomads, these pieces represent a vast array of experiences, perspectives and knowledge. A Single Tree is an essential companion to its brilliant predecessor.

Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

An art expert sees a ten-million-dollar sculpture and instantly spots it's a fake. A marriage analyst knows within minutes whether a couple will stay together. A fire-fighter suddenly senses he has to get out of a blazing building. A speed dater clicks with the right person...This international bestselling book is all about those moments when we 'know' something without knowing why. Here Malcolm Gladwell explores the phenomenon of 'blink', showing how a snap judgement can be far more effective than a cautious decision. By trusting your instincts, he reveals, you'll never think about thinking in the same way again. "Trust my snap judgement, buy this book: you'll be delighted." (The New York Times). "Compelling, fiendishly clever." (Evening Standard). "Brilliant...the implications for business, let alone love, are vast." (Observer). "Superb...this wonderful book should be compulsory reading." (New Statesman). "Blink might just change your life." (Esquire). "Should you buy this book? You already know the answer to that." (Independent on Sunday).

The Dry by Jane Harper

A desperate act in a small town with big secrets.

Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well...

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret... A secret Falk thought long-buried... A secret which Luke's death starts to bring to the surface...

Winner of the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript

The Misogyny Factor

In 2012, Anne Summers gave two landmark speeches about women in Australia, attracting more than 120,000 visits to her website. Within weeks of their delivery Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s own speech about misogyny and sexism went viral and was celebrated around the world. Summers makes the case that Australia, the land of the fair go, still hasn’t figured out how to make equality between men and women work. She shows how uncomfortable we are with the idea of women with political and financial power, let alone the reality. Summers dismisses the idea that we should celebrate progress for women as opposed to outright success. She shows what success will look like.

Fight Like a Girl

Booktopia has Fight Like a Girl, Raise Voices. Raise Courage. Raise the Flag. by Clementine Ford. Buy a discounted Paperback of Fight Like a Girl online from Australia's leading online bookstore.

Goodwood

It wasn't just one person who went missing, it was two people. Two very different people. They were there, and then they were gone, as if through a crack in the sky. After that, in a small town like Goodwood, where we had what Nan called 'a high density of acquaintanceship', everything stopped. Or at least it felt that way. The normal feeling of things stopped.

The Meaning of Luck

In The Meaning of Luck: Stories of Learning, Leadership and Love, Steve explores the concept of luck, based on his experiences in the worlds of sport, business and charity. He begins by recalling the potentially devastating experience that rocked his life two and ,a half years after he
retired from cricket. ‘The best example of my take on luck is my wife Lynette, who in 2006
suffered a stroke,’ he explains. ‘She nearly died and would have died if Australia’s best neurosurgeon had not been on hand to treat her.

Today, she calls her illness a “stroke of luck”, which she can do only because she fought so hard
to, regain her health and strength. She is lucky, but only because she chose to be.’

Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry

Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry is united by the shared effort to shape 'responsible writing' on everyday subject matter: family, fear, dreams, love, literary inheritance, the body, power, fun, pain, metaphors of self.

Destroying the Joint: Why Women Have to Change the World | Penguin Books Australia

Edited by Jane Caro, this entertaining and thought-provoking collection includes essays, analysis, memoir, fiction, satire, polemic and tweets from some of our best and brightest.

Rebellious Daughters

In Rebellious Daughters, some of Australia’s most talented female writers share intimate and touching stories of rebellion and independence as they defy the expectations of parents and society to find their place in the world.

Powerful, funny and poignant, these stories explore everything from getting caught in seedy nightclubs to lifelong family conflicts and marrying too young. Beautifully written, profoundly honest and always relatable, every story is a unique retelling that celebrates the rebellious daughter within us all...

Peggy Frew talks to Kate Veitch about House of Sticks by Kate Veitch

Former Art of Fighting bassist Peggy Frew won the Unpublished Manuscript Award Category of last year’s Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards for House of Sticks. This came on the heels of another pretty damn impressive award two years earlier – The Age Short Story Award. And now, House of Sticks, a revealing and suspenseful novel of family life, has made the journey from manuscript to novel. It’s earned accolades from fellow musician Clare Bowditch and novelist Kate Veitch (Listen, Truth), who interviewed Peggy about her debut novel for Readings.

In the Company of Women

Across the globe, women are embracing their entrepreneurial spirits and starting creative businesses. In the Company of Women profiles over 100 of these influential and creative women from all ages, races, backgrounds and industries, including well-known names like Sibella Court and Tavi Gevinson. Chock-full of practical, inspirational advice for those looking to forge their own paths, these interviews detail the keys to success (for example, going with your gut; maintaining meaningful and lasting relationships), highlight the importance of everyday rituals (meditating; creating a daily to-do list) and dispense advice for the next generation of women entrepreneurs and makers (stay true to what you believe in; have patience). The book is rounded out with hundreds of lush, original photographs of the women in their work spaces.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Wolf Hall

Man preys upon his fellow man

An intimate portrait of Thomas Cromwell, the brilliant consigliore to King Henry VIII, based on Hilary Mantel's bestselling novels and starring Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis. It is 1529 and Henry has been married to Katherine of Aragon for 20 years without producing a male heir. Requests to the Pope for an annulment have gone unheeded. The King's link to Rome, Cardinal Wolsey, has failed his sovereign in only this one matter and as a result his life hangs in the balance. Enter Cromwell ‐ a pragmatic and accomplished negotiator, from humble beginnings and with an enigmatic past. As he walks the corridors of power at the Tudor court, Cromwell must navigate deadly political intrigue, the King's tempestuous relationship with Anne Boleyn and the religious upheavals of the Protestant reformation.
Special Features Deleted Scenes Featurettes Cat & Crew Interviews

Poum and Alexandre · The Stella Prize

By
Catherine de Saint Phalle

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            Transit Lounge
The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose

A mesmerising literary novel about a lost man in search of connection - a meditation on love, art and commitment, set against the backdrop of one of the greatest art events in modern history, Marina Abramovic's The Artist is Present.

Dying: A Memoir | Penguin Books Australia

A moving and heartfelt meditation on life and death, from a celebrated Australian author

Review: The Overlook by Michael Connelly

I plucked this one from my TBR shelves as part of my Good Reads group’s summer reading challenge. Connelly’s name was one of only five names that popped up when I typed new author Elly …

Odessa Sea (OME C-Format) by Cussler, Clive/ Cussler, Dirk

The new Dirk Pitt adventure from the Number 1 Sunday Times bestselling author As Director of the National Underwater and Marine Agency, Dirk Pitt has always had a knack for finding rouble. This time, though, trouble has found him ...On a NUMA mission to the Black Sea to locate the wreck of a ...

The Cruelty

The Cruelty is the first book from a groundbreaking new YA voice: an utterly compelling thriller. When Gwendolyn Bloom realizes that her father has been kidnapped, she has to take matters into her own hands. She traces him from New York City across the dark underbelly of Europe, taking on a new identity to survive in a world of brutal criminal masterminds. As she slowly leaves behind her schoolgirl self, she realizes that she must learn the terrifying truth about herself. To overcome the cruelty she encounters, she must also embrace it.