Get sorted for the holiday season with these great books - ideal presents for yourself or a loved one.
To make life easy for you, we've linked the books to a local online seller and you can always just pop into your local independent book seller and pick up your favourite.
Here's our pick of the latest great reads:
Novels to Inspire
Pick your summer read...
By: Karly Lane
When Erin Macalister heads to her home town to help take care of her beloved grandmother she's relieved to be leaving behind both the city and the remnants of a broken marriage...
Arriving in the small rural town she finds nothing much has changed there - including Jamie McBride, who lives on the neighbouring farm to her and is as ridiculously good looking as he was when they were seventeen and madly in love...
Desperate to bring back her grandmother's smile, Erin goes through old photo albums with her. Though frail and confused her grandmother tells vivid stories about the past, including memories of a soldier she once loved. Erin's curiosity about the man deepens when she finds an engagement ring he once gave her grandmother...
Meanwhile, Jamie McBride seems intent on rekindling their relationship, even though Erin's not at all sure she wants to risk heartache again.....
From the bestselling author of Poppy's Dilemma and Gemma's Bluff, this poignant, heartfelt story of old loves and new possibilities is inspirational and entertaining...
About the Author
Karly Lane lives on the beautiful Mid North Coast of NSW in Australia. A certified small town girl, she is most happy in a little town where everyone knows who your grand parents were. She writes women’s fiction – everything from romantic suspense to family sagas and life in rural Australia.
She has romantic suspense titles published with The Wild Rose Press and Eternal Press under Karlene Blakemore-Mowle and her latest release, North Star is available now. A wife and mother of four children, working part time as a pathology collector by day, she manages to squeeze in her writing whenever and however she can. She is a proud member of the RWA Australia.
By: Edna O'Brien
When a wanted war criminal, masquerading as a healer, settles in a small west coast Irish village, the community are in thrall. One woman, Fidelma McBride, falls under his spell and in this searing novel, Edna O'Brien charts the consequence of that fatal attraction.
This is a story about love, the artifice of evil and the terrible necessity of accountability in our shattered, damaged world. It has been ten years since the last novel from Edna O'Brien and The Little Red Chairs reminds us why she is felt to be one of the great Irish writers, of any generation.
The Little Red Chairs may be her masterpiece.
About the Author
Since her debut novel The Country Girls Edna O'Brien has written over twenty works of fiction along with a biography of James Joyce and Lord Byron.
She is the recipient of many awards including the Irish Pen Lifetime Achievement Award, the American National Art's Gold Medal and the Ulysses Medal. Born and raised in the west of Ireland she has lived in London for many years.
Give the Devil His Due
The Rowland Sinclair Mystery Series : Book 7
By: Sulari Gentill
When Rowland Sinclair is invited to take his yellow Mercedes onto the Maroubra Speedway, renamed the Killer Track for the lives it has claimed, he agrees without caution or reserve...
But then people start to die.....
The body of a journalist covering the race is found in a House of Horrors, an English blueblood with Blackshirt affiliations is killed on the race track, and it seems that someone has Rowland in their sights ...
A strange young reporter preoccupied with black magic, a mysterious vagabond, an up-and-coming actor by the name of Flynn, and ruthless bookmakers all add mayhem to the mix.
With danger presenting at every turn, and the brakes long since disengaged, Rowland Sinclair hurtles towards disaster with an artist, a poet and brazen sculptress along for the ride...
About the Author
Sulari Gentill set out to study astrophysics, ended up graduating in law, and later abandoned her legal career to write books instead of contracts. She grows French black truffles on her farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains of NSW, which she shares with her husband Michael, their young family and several animals—the farm, not the truffles.
Gentill was announced the winner of the 2012 Davitt Award for Best Crime Fiction, and was shortlisted for a 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best first book in the South East Asia and Pacific region. Under the name Sulari Gentill, S.D.
Gentill also writes the Rowland Sinclair series; a series of historical crime fiction novels including A Few Right Thinking Men, A Decline in Prophets, Miles off Course, Paving the New Road and her latest, Gentlemen Formerly Dressed.
By: Kate Morton
From the internationally bestselling author of The Shifting Fog & The Secret Keeper
An abandoned house.....
After a particularly troubling case, Sadie Sparrow is sent on an enforced break from her job with the Metropolitan Police and retreats to her beloved grandfather's cottage in Cornwall. There she finds herself at a loose end, until one day she stumbles upon an abandoned house surrounded by overgrown gardens and dense woods, and learns the story of a baby boy who disappeared without a trace.
A missing child.....
June 1933, and the Edevane family's country house, Loeanneth, is polished and gleaming, ready for the much-anticipated Midsummer Eve party. For Eleanor, the annual party has always been one of her treasured traditions, but her middle daughter, Alice, sixteen years old and with literary ambitions, is especially excited. Not only has Alice worked out the perfect twist for her novel, she's also fallen helplessly in love with someone she shouldn't. But by the time midnight strikes and fireworks light up the night sky, the Edevane family will have suffered a loss so great they leave Loeanneth and never return.
An unsolved mystery.....
Seventy years later, in the attic writing room of her elegant Hampstead home, the formidable Alice Edevane, leads a life as neatly plotted as the bestselling detective novels she writes. Until a young police detective starts asking questions about her family's past and seeking to resurrect the complex tangle of secrets Alice has spent her life trying to escape...
About the Author
KATE MORTON grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and lives now with her husband and three young sons in Brisbane. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, specialising in nineteenth- century tragedy and contemporary gothic novels.
Kate has sold over 10 million copies in 33 languages, across 38 countries. The Shifting Fog, published internationally as The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours and The Secret Keeper have all been number one bestsellers around the world.
Presents for the Kids
By: Lucie Arnoux (Illustrator)
'You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them' (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Step into the shoes of the world's favourite princes and princesses, orphans and ogres. The footprints of these stories are visible all around the world - from Germany to Russia, from America to China. The golden slipper enables Cinderella to marry the prince, but the red shoes force a girl to dance for ever; the worn out dancing shoes give away the princesses' secret, but the Seven League Boots help the children escape from the ogre. Shoe, boot, slipper or sandal - footwear is the foundation of many of the world's best-loved folktales.
About the Author
Lucie Arnoux is a London based Illustrator, specialized in graphic novels and children book illustration.
Her work explores narrative and storytelling through intricate compositions and vibrant colours, and medias ranging from gouache and acrylic to digital painting. Clients include comics magazine Lanfeust Mag, the tutorial magazine Advanced Creations, the International Youth Art Festival, and the South Kensington comics and children book festival. Her work was also presented to the Royal Opera House of London
By: Leigh Hobbs
All four stories about loveable Mr Badger in one collectable volume, from the creator of Old Tom and Mr Chicken.
Life is full of surprises at the Boubles Grand Hotel. Luckily, Mr Badger is on hand to cope with any situation.
Join in the fun and read all four hilarious Mr Badger stories in one volume: Mr Badger and the Big Surprise, Mr Badger and the Missing Ape, Mr Badger and the Difficult Duchess and Mr Badger and the Magic Mirror.
About the Author
Leigh Hobbs works across a wide range of artistic mediums, but is best known for his children's books featuring Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Fiona the Pig, the Freaks in 4F, Mr Badger and Mr Chicken.
Old Tom is also a popular TV series, and Leigh has won every major Australian children's choice award. Mr Chicken Goes to Paris was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, is a bestseller at Paris's Louvre Bookshop, was adapted for the stage by NIDA, and was shortlisted for the CBCA Awards - as were Horrible Harriet and Old Tom's Holiday. Since childhood, Leigh has had a passion for art, architecture, classical music, English history and London, a place he finds endlessly fascinating and visits regularly.
By: Cornelia Funke, Monica Armino (Illustrator)
For Ages: 3 - 5 years old
Sir Tristan and his cat Terrible Tab have decimated the mouse population of Raven Castle.
Can the last survivors defeat the ferocious feline with the help of some homemade armour and a heroic mouse knight?
Part of Barrington Stoke's picture book range for all the family, with easy-read font.
By: Tonke Dragt
Tiuri returns in The Secrets of the Wild Wood, the thrilling and long-awaited sequel to The Letter for the King!
Now that I have discovered those secrets, will I ever get out of here alive so that I may tell others what I know?' thought Ristridin. Strange rumours circulate about the Wild Wood: tales of robbers and lost cities, of dangerous knights and mysterious Men in Green. and now Sir Ristridin, last seen in that impenetrable forest, has disappeared.
Tiuri, now a young Knight with a White Shield, sets out with Piak and Marius to uncover the Wild Wood's secrets, only to find himself caught up in a terrible plan to seize King Unauwen's throne - a plan destined to end in a fierce battle between Good and Evil, in which no-one can remain impartial.
Ever willing to risk all perils to fight for what is right and true, Tiuri gathers his old friends and sets off to warn King Unauwen - before it is too late.
About the Author
Tonke Dragt was born in 1930 in Indonesia. When she was twelve, she was imprisoned in a Japanese camp during the war, where she wrote her very first book using begged and borrowed paper.
After the war, she and her family moved to the Netherlands, where she became an art teacher. In 1962 she published her most famous story, The Letter for the King, which won the Children's Book of the Year Award and has been translated into sixteen languages. Dragt was awarded the State Prize for Youth Literature in 1976 and was knighted in 2001.
By: Katherine Rundell
A much anticipated new novel from the award-winning author of Rooftoppers, Katherine Rundell. Told with brilliant imagination and a unique voice, this is a modern children's classic in the making
Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora's mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training.
A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.
When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run.
What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.
By: Libby Gleeson, Freya Blackwood (Illustrator)
In this delightful companion to The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and the Present, Cleo comes up with ingenious ways to make a new friend and find a pet.
Cleo's best friend is away, her parents are busy, and there's nothing to do but count raindrops - or tidy her room. Just when she thinks she'll never cheer up, Cleo has an idea. In the next story, Cleo longs for a pet but her mum and dad say no. Perhaps the answer is hidden somewhere unexpected.
Two more endearing stories about Cleo, the little girl with a big imagination who always finds a way to have fun, from the creators of The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and the Present.
About the Author
Libby Gleeson AM has published over 40 popular, highly acclaimed books for children and teenagers, been shortlisted for 17 CBCA Awards, and won five. Libby has been a teacher and lecturer and contributes regularly to national conferences. She chaired the Australian Society of Authors from 1999-2001, and in 2007 was awarded membership to the Order of Australia. She won the 2011 Dromkeen Medal, awarded for contributions to children's literature.
Freya Blackwood grew up in Orange, NSW. The daughter of a painter and an architect, she began drawing at a young age. She has collaborated with many wonderful authors, including Libby Gleeson, Margaret Wild, Jan Ormerod, Roddy Doyle and Nick Bland. In 2010, Freya won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for Harry and Hopper, and her books have been honoured in the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards many times.
By: Elise Hurst
Set in a mysterious city inhabited by a rich cast of characters, this enchanting and superbly illustrated story celebrates creativity and friendship.
Adelaide leads a quiet life in the midst of the city. At night she listens to the song of the stars, but during the day she watches over the others like her: the still ones, the quiet ones, those who dance and dream alone.
Little does Adelaide know that her secret world will soon be transformed into something unexpected and full of joy.
A story about courage, change and finding your soul mates.
About the Author
Elise Hurst is an illustrator and author of children's books, as well as a traditional artist.
She has illustrated over fifty books over the years. The Night Garden (ABC Books), which she wrote and illustrated, received a Children's Book Council of Australia shortlisting in 2008. She lives in Melbourne with her husband, Peter, and their twin boys.
Girl Online: Book 2
By: Zoe Sugg, Zoella
Find out what happens to your favourite characters Penny, Noah and Elliot in the stunning sequel to Girl Online, by YouTube superstar Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella.
Penny's bags are packed.
When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can't wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend.
But, between Noah's jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she's really cut out for life on tour. She can't help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot . . . and her blog, Girl Online.
Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?
About the Author
Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, is a 24-year-old vlogger from Brighton, UK. Her beauty, fashion, and lifestyle vlogs have gained her over 4.9 million YouTube subscribers, and her views often exceed 12 million a month.
She won the 2011 Cosmopolitan Blog Award for 'Best Established Beauty Blog' and went on to win the 'Best Beauty Vlogger' award the following year. In 2013 she was awarded the 'Best British Vlogger' award at the Radio 1 Teen Awards and the 2014 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award for 'UK's Favourite Vlogger'.
Love a good cook book? You'll love this collection:
By: Nic Watt
Japanese cooking demystified for the home cook; from Nic Watt of award-winning restaurant Masu
This stunning cookbook combines beautiful photography and creative styling and design with excellent recipes that have been designed to make Japanese cooking accessible. It's also the story of Masu a Japanese restaurant in Auckland winning awards, including Metro Restaurant of the Year 2014, and much acclaim from diners.
Every cook needs this book in their kitchen so they can make beautiful Japanese inspired food. Nic Watt gives you lists of the items you need for a Japanese pantry, the tools to make great Japanese food and the philosophy behind it. You'll learn how to make sashimi the right way, how to make sushi simply, how to make great salads and soups and how to wow your family and friends with menus that look and taste sensational but are actually really easy to make.The book includes a number of delicious desserts and cocktails; try the scrumptious white miso pavlova and you'll be in heaven. This is clever Japanese inspired cooking for everyone.
About the Author
Australian born, Nic Watt's passion for cooking was fostered in New Zealand before honing his skills at the Park Hyatt in Tokyo, Japan. Senior positions at both the Michelin starred Nobu and the Park Hyatt in London followed before Nic made his way back to New Zealand where he headed the kitchen at the world- renowned Huka Lodge.
In 2004 Nic co-founded the Roka restaurant group in London with long-time mentor and friend Rainer Becker, winning Best Oriental Restaurant at the esteemed Tio Pepe Restaurant Awards for Roka in less than a year in 2005.
Global expansion followed before Nic returned to New Zealand in 2013, opening the multi-award winning Masu by Nic Watt in Auckland. He also opened Madame Hanoi in Adelaide early this year, to excellent reviews.
By: Sophie Thompson
'For me, cooking has always been about sharing and spending time with pals and family, luring them in with tasty morsels so they'd want to stay all day...These recipes have been handed down, invented, begged and borrowed and ultimately made my own.
I hope you'll enjoy making them your own, too.' Sophie Thompson is a much-celebrated, award-winning actress and the winner of Celebrity MasterChef, 2014. My Family Kitchen combines four generations of favourite family recipes, from Granny Annie's Orange and Ginger Chicken to Mum's Spare Ribs. From Uncle James's Pineapple Tarts to Salted Caramel Cookies for her sons.
As well as recipes from friends, such as chocolate truffles from the legendary actress Penelope Keith. The recipes were photographed in Sophie's own kitchen - each one is relayed with her trademark humour, warmth and vivaciousness.
They are fuss-free, easy-to-follow and delicious. "A true star of stage and stove." (Derek Jacobi). "I just love Sophie's food. Simple heaven." (Alison Steadman).
"If I could, I would keep Sophie in my kitchen cupboard and make her cook for me - but here is the next best think: her cookbook." (Eileen Atkins).
By Hayden Bridger
“We found a space to lease and did all the renovations ourselves … at the end of six weeks I walked out of the shop with a welders mask and returned the next morning wearing a chef’s jacket.”
And so started a south coast institution: Hayden’s Pies in Ulladulla, a port of call for all aficionados of great food served in great pastry.
Inside this book are easy-to-cook recipes from salmon and king prawn pie to chicken and pesto sausage roll.
But Hayden Bridger knows how to cook more than great pies: inside you’ll also find wonderful recipes from brownies to wild rabbit with oyster mushrooms.
Catch a taste of the south coast, the new destination for keen foodies everywhere!
About the Author
I was always cooking when I was a kid & I was always foraging—not that we called it foraging back then. Mushrooming, yabbying, rabbiting, fishing, shooting … just about anything that ended in ‘ing’ I was into. It took me a surprisingly long time to put two-and-two together and figure out that when Dad and I went ferreting we always had “underground chicken burgers” for dinner that night.
As a family we always sat at the bench in the kitchen for dinner. I think the importance that my folks placed on the evening meal was a big inspiration for me. Cooking food is all about bringing family and friends together.
I grew up in north east Victoria. When I was 18 I moved to Sydney and stumbled into a chef’s apprenticeship. By the time I was 22 I was head chef at a very busy eatery in Balmain. That’s where I met Caroline – the love of my life. We went to Caroline’s home in England for four years and then travelled across Europe and Asia.
In 2003 I moved backed to Australia and decided to go into business with my folks. We didn’t know what business we were getting into, exactly, but it was going to be about food.
My sister had just moved down the south coast, and one Sunday morning Dad and I were sitting on the fence outside the Marlin Hotel in Ulladulla. There was a half eaten pie sitting on the fence – most likely left there by some drunken reveller at 2am. Dad and I turned to each other and said, “How about a pie shop?”
We found a space to lease and did all the renovations ourselves. Sam, the building’s owner, must have been extremely nervous. One day we ripped down a wall, the next day we were building another, and the days after that, we were walking in with welders, a concrete grinder and pallets of tiles. Then there was the time we pushed a six-meter-long sink into the shop from the back of a truck. At the end of six weeks I walked out of the shop with a welders mask and returned the next morning wearing a chef’s jacket.
I wasn’t from a baking background; I even failed pastry lessons at TAFE … twice. It was a hard slog for the first few years. I was determined to teach myself, and slowly but surely we became a busy little pie shop.
We have the most amazing customers in the world. They are extremely passionate about our pies.
On my first Father’s Day our house got hit by a massive gumtree in a wild wind storm. It was a blessing in disguise. Our outdoor area was smashed to smithereens and it was replaced by what can only be described as the hub of all of our wonderful gatherings with family and friends. We built a wood fired oven and we’re slowly gaining revenge on the tree that hit our house, pizza by pizza, Christmas dinner by Christmas dinner.
100+ Wholefood Recipes for Health and Wellness
By: Chrissy Freer
Whatever happened to eating real food? In a world of fasts and fads, whirlwind diets and mealtime anxiety, isn't it time we took back the joy of eating real, whole food and enjoyed the good health, energy and glowing vitality that can go with that?
We only need to look at the increasing incidence of diabetes, food intolerances, allergies and digestive irritations and disorders to see that whatever it is we're doing to our food, it's not agreeing with us...
In Real Delicious, Chrissy Freer will show you how quick, easy, satisfying and invigorating it is to cook and eat real food. These are simply delicious recipes to share with family and friends for your whole life...Eat real, eat well and love it!
About the Author
Chrissy Freer is a nutritionist and food writer who has developed a signature style of delicious recipes with a holistic health focus. She writes for a range of magazines and websites and has two previously published books - Supergrains and Superlegumes. Her recipes use whole, unprocessed foods to provide balanced nutrition dairy-free options.
Chrissy lives in the beautiful Byron Bay region with her daughter, Harriet, and loves using the area's abundant her recipe development and cooking.
Love, Aimee X
50 Beautiful Sweet Gifts for Friends and Family
By: Aimee Twigger
Love, Aimee x features 50 original, creative and sweet recipes from Aimee Twigger’s kitchen, as featured on her popular blog, Twigg Studios. Each treat has easy-to-follow instructions and is paired with stunning photographs shot by Aimee herself.
Aimee also gives crafty tips for beautifully wrapping and presenting her luscious creations so that they are perfect edible gifts for any occasion.
From violet and lemon eclairs, chocolate quail's eggs to breathtaking rose cake pops and banana chocolate doughnuts, Love, Aimee x equips you with the skills to make stunning gifts inexpensively. A collector of secondhand cookware and kitchenalia, Aimee’s creations are all homespun and homecrafted with love. Very beautiful, very sweet, very Aimee.
Aimee Twigger is a 28-year-old crafter and blogger.
She lives in Torquay, Devon, with her partner, Howard, and her Dalmatian puppy, Archie. Aimee started her food blog, Twigg Studios, in 2011 to share recipes and her passion for baking and food photography.
By: John Aitchison
For twenty years John Aitchison has been travelling to distant places to film wildlife for the BBC and other broadcasters. The Shark and the Albatross is the story of his encounters with animals in remote, exotic, and dangerous places.
For twenty years John Aitchison has been travelling the world to film wildlife for the BBC and other broadcasters, taking him to far-away places on every continent.
The Shark and the Albatross is the story of these journeys of discovery, of his encounters with animals and occasional enterprising individuals in remote and sometimes dangerous places.
His destinations include the far north and the far south, expeditions to film for Frozen Planet and other natural history series, in Svalbard, Alaska, the remote Atlantic island of South Georgia, and the Antarctic. They also encompass wild places in India, China and the United States. In all he finds and describes key moments in the lives of animals, among them polar bears and penguins, seals and whales, sharks and birds, and wolves and lynxes.
He reveals what happens behind the scenes and beyond the camera. He explains the practicalities and challenges of the filming process, and the problems of survival in perilous places.
He records touching moments and dramatic incidents, some ending in success, others desperately sad. There are times when a hunted animal triumphs against the odds, and others when, in spite of preparation for every outcome, disaster strikes. And, as the author shows in several incidents that combine nail-biting tension with hair-raising hilarity, disaster can strike for film-makers too.
This is natural history writing at its absolute best, evocative, informative and gripping from first to last.
About the Author
John Aitchison is a wildlife filmmaker. His many awards include a joint BAFTA and a joint Primetime Creative Emmy both for the cinematography of the BBC series Frozen Planet.
By: Carl Hester
Valegro is nothing short of a world-wide phenomenon, a horse who has taken the sporting world by storm. In an unprecedented career, he has gone from rejection to concurrent Olympic, World and European Gold and a World No 1 ranking - leaving a trail of broken World records in his wake...
From gangly youngster to 'the best the world has seen', this is the heart-warming story of the horse that revolutionized a centuries-old sport and won the hearts of equestrian and sports fans everywhere.
Voted the Nation's favourite horse, he has achieved international fame and admiration and has a character and intelligence that the public clearly adores...This modern-day Black Beauty story is told by his owner and trainer, Carl Hester, who had the vision to bring together the potential of a young rider - Charlotte Dujardin - with a horse whose outstanding ability has proved that dreams can still come true...
With honesty, humour and contributions from leading lights across the equestrian world, this book is an inspiring and indispensable must-have for equestriennes, sports fans and anybody interested in achieving success against the odds.
The Rise and Fall of the Supersonic Airliner
By: Jonathan Glancey
In Concorde, Jonathan Glancey tells the story of this magnificent and hugely popular aircraft anew, taking the reader from the moment Captain Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier in 1947 through to the last commercial flight of the supersonic airliner in 2003.
It is a tale of national rivalries, technological leaps, daring prototypes, tightrope politics, and a dream of a Dan Dare future never quite realized.
Jonathan Glancey traces the development of Concorde not just through existing material and archives, but through interviews with those who lived with the supersonic project from its inception.
The result is a compelling mix of overt technological optimism, a belief that Britain and France were major players in the world of civil as well as military aviation, and faith in an ever faster, ever more sophisticated future.
This is a celebration, as well as a thoroughly researched history, of a truly brilliant machine that became a sky god of its era.
An Epic True Story of Heroism, Brotherhood and Sacrifice
By: Adam Makos
Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy's most famous aviator duo: Lieutenant Tom Hudner, a white New Englander from the country-club scene, and Ensign Jesse Brown, an African American sharecropper's son from Mississippi. Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighter planes for his country. Jesse became the navy's first black carrier pilot to defend a nation that wouldn't even serve him in a bar.
While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world's most dangerous job - landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier - a line of work that Jesse's young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept. Then comes the war no one expected, in faraway Korea.
Devotion brings us into the foxholes with U.S. Marines and soaring overhead with Tom and Jesse as they battle a North Korean invasion. As the fury of the fighting escalates, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, to save a Marine division cornered at the Chosin Reservoir and outnumbered ten to one. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history's most audacious one-man rescue mission.
A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of bravery and selflessness, Devotion asks: How far would you go to save a friend?
About the Author
Adam Makos is the author of the New York Times bestseller A Higher Call. In his work as a journalist in the military field, Adam has interviewed countless veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and present-day wars. In pursuit of a story, Adam has flown a WWII bomber, accompanied a Special Forces raid in Iraq, and organized an expedition into North Korea in search of an MIA American serviceman. He lives in Denver, Colorado.
Goodnight and Good Riddance
How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Life
By: David Cavanagh
Goodnight and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Britain is a social history, a diary of a nation's changing culture, and an in-depth appraisal of one of our greatest broadcasters, a man who can legitimately be called the most influential figure in post-war British popular music.
Without the support of John Peel, it's unlikely that innumerable artists - from David Bowie to Dizzee Rascal, Jethro Tull to Joy Division - would have received national radio exposure.
But Peel's influence goes much deeper than this. Whether he was championing punk, reggae, jungle or grime, he had a unique relationship with his audience that was part taste-maker, part trusted friend.
The book focuses on some 300 shows between 1967 and 2004, giving a thorough overview of Peel's broadcasting career and placing it in its cultural and social contexts.
Peel comes alive for the reader, as do the key developments that kept him at the cutting edge - the changes in his tastes; the changes in his thinking. Just like a Peel show, Goodnight and Good Riddance is warm, informative and insightful, and wears its enthusiasm proudly.
William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear
By: James Shapiro
1606 traces Shakespeare's life and work from the autumn of 1605, when he came upon an old and anonymous play - The True Chronicle History of King Leir - in one of the bookstalls near his Silver Street lodgings. From there, he traces the story's shocking and brilliant transformation into King Lear as we know it - and then to Macbeth, written in a white heat in the tumultuous spring of 1606.
For most authors, writing and revising Lear, then rapidly composing Macbeth, would have been a lifetime's accomplishment. But Shapiro's new book goes on to explore how, with the theatres closed indefinitely in autumn 1606 because of the plague, and with time on his hands, Shakespeare began a third great tragedy, Antony and Cleopatra.
Never before, and never again, would Shakespeare's plays explore so relentlessly the problems of aging, of losing authority, and of mortality. Following the biographical style of 1599, a way of thinking and writing that Shapiro has made his own, 1606 promises to be one of the most significant and accessible new works on Shakespeare in the decade to come.
About the Author
Professor James Shapiro, who teaches at Columbia University in New York, is the author of Rival Playwrights, Shakespeare and the Jews, and Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World's Most Famous Passion Play. 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare won the BBC FOUR Samuel Johnson Prize in 2006. His most recent book is Contested Will.
By: Andre Alexis
A pack of dogs are granted the power of human thought - but what will it do to them? A surprising and insightful look at the beauty and perils of consciousness.
It begins in a bar, like so many strange stories. The gods Hermes and Apollo argue about what would happen if animals had human intelligence, so they make a bet that leads them to grant consciousness and language to a group of dogs staying overnight at a veterinary clinic.
Suddenly capable of complex thought, the dogs escape and become a pack. They are torn between those who resist the new ways of thinking, preferring the old 'dog' ways, and those who embrace the change. The gods watch from above as the dogs venture into unfamiliar territory, as they become divided among themselves, as each struggles with new thoughts and feelings. Wily Benjy moves from home to home, Prince becomes a poet, and Majnoun forges a relationship with a kind couple that stops even the Fates in their tracks.
Engaging and strange, full of unexpected insights into human and canine minds, this contemporary take on the apologue is the most extraordinary book you'll read this year.
About the Author
Andr. Alexis was born in Trinidad and grew up in Canada. His debut novel, Childhood, won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Trillium Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. His previous books include Asylum, Beauty and Sadness, Ingrid & the Wolf, and, most recently, Pastoral, which was also nominated for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.
The Spy Catchers
The Official History of ASIO, 1949-1963
By: David Horner
With unprecedented access to their hitherto sealed records, this is the first volume of a remarkable official history of ASIO - a revealing and authoritative account of the early years of Australia's national security intelligence service.
For the first time, ASIO has opened its archives to an independent historian. With unfettered access to the records, David Horner tells the real story of Australia's domestic intelligence organisation, from shaky beginnings to the expulsion of Ivan Skripov in 1963.
From the start, ASIO's mission was to catch spies. In the late 1940s, the top secret Venona program revealed details of a Soviet spy ring in Australia, supported by leading Australian communists. David Horner outlines the tactics ASIO used in counterespionage, from embassy bugging to surveillance of local suspects. His research sheds new light on the Petrov Affair, and details incidents and activities that have never been revealed before.
This authoritative and ground-breaking account overturns many myths about ASIO, and offers new insights into broader Australian politics and society in the fraught years of the Cold War.
About the Author
David Horner AM is Professor of Australian defence history in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University. A graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, he served as an infantry platoon commander in South Vietnam. He is the author or editor of 32 books on military command, operations, defence policy and intelligence. In 2004 he was appointed Official Historian of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations, and is the author or joint author of two volumes in that series.
The Invention of Russia
The Journey from Gorbachev's Freedom to Putin's War
By: Arkady Ostrovsky
The timely and gripping story of Russia since the collapse of Communism, by The Economist's Moscow bureau chief.
By tracing the history of modern Russia from Mikhail Gorbachev to the rise of ex KGB agent Vladimir Putin, Arkady Ostrovsky reveals how the Soviet Union came to its end and how Russia has since reinvented itself.
Russia today bears little resemblance to the country that embraced freedom in the late eighties and gave freedom to others.
But how did a country that had liberated itself from seventy years of Communism end up, just twenty years later, as one of the biggest threats to the West and above all to its own people?
The Invention of Russia tells the story of this tumultuous period, including the important role played by the media, and shows how Russia turned its back on the West and found itself embracing a new era of Soviet-style rule.
About the Author
Arkady Ostrovsky is a Russian-born, British journalist who has spent fifteen years reporting from Moscow for both the Financial Times and The Economist. He holds a PhD in English Literature from Cambridge University and his translation of Tom Stoppard's trilogy, The Coast of Utopia, has been published and staged in Russia.
The Mistress of Paris
The 19th-Century Courtesan Who Built an Empire on a Secret
By: Catherine Hewitt
A fantastically readable biography of a 19th-century Parisian courtesan who harbours an incredible secret.
Valtesse de la Bigne was a celebrated nineteenth-century Parisian courtesan. She was painted by Manet and inspired Emile Zola, who immortalised her in his scandalous novel Nana. Her rumoured affairs with Napoleon III and the future Edward VII kept gossip columns full.
But her glamourous existence hid a dark secret: she was no Comtesse. She was born into abject poverty, raised on a squalid Paris backstreet; the lowest of the low. Yet she transformed herself into an enchantress who possessed a small fortune, three mansions, fabulous carriages, and art the envy of connoisseurs across Europe. A consummate show-woman, she ensured that her life - and even her death - remained shrouded in just enough mystery to keep her audience hungry for more.
Catherine Hewitt's biography tells, for the first time ever in English, the forgotten story of a remarkable woman who, though her roots were lowly, never stopped aiming high.
About the Author
Catherine Hewitt studied French Literature and Art History at Royal Holloway, University of London and the Courtauld Institute of Art.
Her proposal for The Mistress of Paris was awarded the runner-up's prize in the 2012 Biographers' Club Tony Lothian Competition for the best proposal by an uncommissioned, first-time biographer. She lives in a village in Surrey.
By: Richard Mabey
In Richard Mabey's characteristically lyrical and informative tone, The Cabaret of Plants explores plant species which have challenged our imaginations, awoken that cliched but real human emotion of wonder, and upturned our ideas about history, science, beauty and belief.
Picked from every walk of life, they encompass crops, weeds, medicines, religious gathering-places and a water lily named after a queen.
Beginning with pagan cults and creation myths, the cultural significance of plants has burst upwards, sprouting into forms as diverse as the panacea (the cure-all plant ginseng, a single root of which can cost up to $10,000), Newton's apple, the African 'vegetable elephant' or baobab, whose swollen trunks store thousands of litres of water - and the mystical, night-flowering Amazonian cactus, the moonflower.
From Ice Age artists to the Romantic poets, via colonialism and the nineteenth century botanical mania of empire, Mabey concludes his magnum opus with the latest revelations of possible 'plant intelligence' in this extraordinary collection of encounters between plants and people.
By: Lynn Terry
The internet sensation, now in a funny and heartwarming book packed with over one hundred images of dogs of all breeds posing in photobooths.
This is what happens when you put dogs in a photobooth:
they smile - they yawn - they snarl - they snog - they frown - they sneeze - they stare - they make friends - they fall out - they strike a pose - they get bored
Photographer Lynn Terry didn't know what to expect when she started taking snaps of dogs in a vintage photobooth to raise awareness for local animal shelters.
The photos capture the canines' personalities, their sense of humour, their innate need to socialise and their willingness to improvise. Behind that curtain these posing pups and mischievous mutts become superstars in their own right.
Tails from the Booth is a wondrous collection of dogs enjoying the spotlight.
About the Author
Lynn Terry has worked in photography for over twenty years, and has been focusing on animal photography since 2006.
She has worked with many local animal shelters to help bring attention to adoptable dogs. Inspired by her interest in vintage photo book shots featuring people, she began a photo booth series of dogs for a local pit bull rescue group. She then custom-built a more suitable photo booth for dogs. This book is the result of many enjoyable hours capturing the fascinating and endearing interaction between the dogs.
By: Amanda Keller
One of Australia's favourite and most multi-talented entertainers lifts the lid on life on-screen and off with not so longing looks back at growing up in the burbs in the decade taste forgot.
By turns hilarious and moving, Amanda Keller takes us on a nostalgia filled journey through her life. From her childhood in sunny Brisbane to her daggy teen years in suburban Sydney. Then onto heady college days in Bathurst, where wine was called 'claret' and came in a box, and finally to establishing a stellar career in TV and radio.
Along the way she falls in love with 'a nice Kiwi boy' who becomes her husband and she tells the story of the arrival of their two hard-won sons. But without too many icky bits.
Amanda also takes us behind the scenes of her TV career - from the challenge of turning on a typewriter at Simon Townsend's Wonder World! to the fun of travelling the globe for Beyond 2000, despite having no scientific background and absolutely no sense of direction. More recently she was able to officially represent an entire generation on Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation and share a couch with three blokes and the odd snake on The Living Room.
Amanda loves 'the wireless' and looks back on twenty years of radio. From sharing a mic with Andrew Denton on Triple M to topping the breakfast show ratings with Jonesy on WSFM.
Vivid, funny and hugely entertaining, Natural Born Keller will have you laughing out loud, nodding in recognition and occasionally bawling uncontrollably - in a cathartic sort of way.
About the Author
Amanda Keller is a much loved Australian personality who has been on our screens and air-waves for over 30 years. She spent her early years in Queensland and Western Australia before moving to suburban Sydney with her family. She studied communications at Mitchell College, where she became friends with Andrew Denton.
She got a job straight out of university at Simon Townsend's Wonder World! before moving to Ray Martin's Midday Show, Beyond 2000, Talkin' About My Generation and The Living Room.
The True Story of the Teacher Who Saved the Lives of Her Children at Sandy Hook Elementary School
By: Kaitlin Roig-Debellis, Robin Gaby Fisher (As told to)
Both a chilling and moving account of the Sandy Hook massacre told by the teacher who saved 15 of her students by hiding in a bathroom and a book about recovery from trauma with an inspirational and life-affirming message.
Kaitlin Roig-Debellis is the first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School who saved her entire class of fifteen six- and-seven-year-olds from the tragic events that took place on December 14, 2012, by piling them into a tiny bathroom within her classroom, mere feet from the brutal massacre taking place outside the door. Since then, despite the unimaginably painful experiences she endured, she has chosen to share her experience with others, in the hope that they too can find light in dark moments.
Choosing Hope is many things. A written witness to a tragedy that will never be forgotten. A gripping firsthand testament to the power of good over the power of destruction. An inspirational memoir by a brave young woman whose story is one of courage, heroism, faith, and resilience. And a celebration of all the people who make the choice to pass along their hope and positivity to young ones-parents, mentors, and especially teachers. There is no moving on, but there is always moving forward. And how we move forward is a choice.
About the Author
Kaitlin M. Roig-DeBellis attended The University of Connecticut, where she completed her Masters of Education with honours from the Neag School of Education in 2006. In 2007 she began teaching first grade at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In 2013, while on temporary leave from teaching, she founded Classes 4 Classes, Inc., Kaitlin has been honoured as a Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year. She was also chosen as one of "L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth" of which she was among "10 Inspiring Women Making Beautiful Differences in their Communities" for her work with Classes 4 Classes.
In 2013, she attended the State of the Union address as a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama. That same year she received the Dedicated Teacher Award from The Chicago International Conference on Education. She contributes to a bi-weekly educational blog for the Huffington Post and contributed to the book, 'Teaching From the Heart,' Volume 2. She has been featured in People, Marie Claire, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and All You, and appeared on The Nightly News with Diane Sawyer, Anderson Cooper 360 and The Katie Couric Show.
Kaitlin currently speaks to School Boards, Administrators, Teachers and High School and College students across the United States and Canada as a keynote and commencement speaker. In 2014, she ran the New York City Marathon in honor of the lives lost at Sandy Hook.
The Flying Kangaroo
Great Untold Stories of Qantas...the Heroic, the Hilarious and the Sometimes Just Plain Strange
By: Jim Eames
'Everyone who has ever flown will enjoy The Flying Kangaroo. These are stories of passion and dedication, of risk and resilience, of excellence and Australian larrikinism, of inventiveness and determination. They reflect my pride for an airline that connected the world and became a national icon.' - Captain Richard Champion de Crespigny, Pilot in Command QF 32
From its earliest days, Qantas has attracted its fair share of unusual challenges and unique characters. These are the stories of a great airline and the people who made it told by a man who has Qantas blood running through his veins. They are hilarious, nostaligic, heroic, and sometimes even odd.
They are about the brilliant risk takers who made Qantas the safest airline in the world, the special demands of flying VIPs, the hazards of overseas postings, and the ever present dangers of the skies. But above all, these are the stories of how a uniquely Australian style shaped the best airline in the English-speaking world.
Generous and richly told, The Flying Kangaroo is a warm-hearted reminder why Qantas remains very much a part of our national psyche.
About the Author
Jim Eames is author of The Country Undertaker, Six Feet Under Or Up in Smoke and Taking to the Skies.
As one of Australia's first aviation writers, and former press secretary to the Minister for Aviation and former Director of Public Affairs for Qantas, he is a man who has lived and breathed aviation. He also tells a great yarn.
By: Barry Turner
A powerful new portrait of the second and last - and much-maligned - Nazi leader.
Among the military leaders of World War Two, Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz remains a deeply controversial figure. As chief of the German submarine fleet he earned Allied respect as a formidable enemy. But after he succeeded Hitler - to whom he was unquestioningly loyal - as head of the Third Reich, his name became associated with all that was most hated in the Nazi regime.
Yet Doenitz deserves credit for ending the war quickly while trying to save his compatriots in the east. His Dunkirk-style operation across the Baltic rescued up to 2 million troops and civilian refugees.
He was sentenced to ten years at Nuremberg - a penalty acknowledged as a blatant example of victor's justice - and after his release from Spandau kept well away from politics.
Barry Turner's closely-examined and even-handed portrait gives a fascinating new perspective on this complex figure, to whom history has not been kind.
About the Author
Barry Turner is an acclaimed historian and Editor of The Statesman's Yearbook (Palgrave) which has recently celebrated its 150th anniversary.
His most recent books are Beacon for Change (Aurum Press, 2011) and with Tony Rennell, When Daddy Came Home (Arrow, 2014), described as 'fascinating' by the Daily Mail. He lives in London and south-west France.
How Portugal Seized the Indian Ocean and Forged the First Global Empire
By: Roger Crowley
From the celebrated author of Empires of the Sea, Conquerors tells how the tiny country of Portugal set about exploring and conquering the world in the 16th Century.
As remarkable as Columbus and the conquistador expeditions, the history of Portuguese exploration is now almost forgotten. But Portugal's navigators cracked the code of the Atlantic winds, launched the expedition of Vasco da Gama to India and beat the Spanish to the spice kingdoms of the East - then set about creating the first long-range maritime empire. In an astonishing blitz of thirty years, a handful of visionary and utterly ruthless empire builders, with few resources but breathtaking ambition, attempted to seize the Indian Ocean, destroy Islam and take control of world trade.
Told with Roger Crowley's customary skill and verve, this is narrative history at its most vivid - an epic tale of navigation, trade and technology, money and religious zealotry, political diplomacy and espionage, sea battles and shipwrecks, endurance, courage and terrifying brutality.
Drawing on extensive first-hand accounts, it brings to life the exploits of an extraordinary band of conquerors - men such as Afonso de Albuquerque, the first European since Alexander the Great to found an Asian empire - who set in motion five hundred years of European colonisation and unleashed the forces of globalisation.
About the Author
Roger Crowley read English at Cambridge before going to live in Istanbul. His particular interests are the Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman empires, seafaring, and eyewitness history.
He is the author of three books on the empires of the Mediterranean and its surroundings: Constantinople: the last great siege (2005), Empires of the Sea (2008) and City of Fortune: How Venice won and lost a naval empire (2011). His website address is www.rogercrowley.co.uk, where he blogs about history.