Our Autumn Reading Picks
Book Gift Ideas

Book Gift Ideas

Good reading guide for Australian book loversIf you're anything like me finding a good book to escape with is always a delight. Books are ideal ways to escape the everyday and getaway, whether it's for a few moments or (blissfully) for a couple of hours.

Even better is taking a good book with you on a getaway when you have time to settle down to relax and read. One of the things I love best when away is to finish the day's adventures early, get back to the B&B to wine and cheese and get stuck into a good novel for the evening - and if I can include a hot soak in the bath even better! 

So to help you with your getaway I have a great list of books for you to pick from - some latest releases and some treasured classics from Penguin.

For Independant bookstore lovers and who enjoy saving on postage and ordering through bookstores, Check out this list of bookshops and find one close to you. 

For the tech savvy that prefer to shop online we've linked the books to independent bookshops and publishers to make it easy for you.

Great Autumn Getaway Books

So come dive into our pick of books to escape with.

Novels to Escape With

Here's our pick of the latest releases to escape with, what would you include? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter.

Obernewtyn

Pink Popular Penguins

by Isobelle Carmody

RRP: $9.95

In a world struggling back from the brink of apocalypse, life is harsh. But for Elspeth Gordie, born with enhanced mental abilities that would see her sterilised or burned if discovered, it is also dangerous. There is only survival by secrecy, and so she determines never to use her forbidden powers. But it is as if they have their own imperative, and their use inevitably brings her to the attention of the totalitarian Council that rules the Land . . .

Co-founded by Jane and Glenn McGrath, the McGrath Foundation raises money to place McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia and to increase breast awareness in young women.

The McGrath Foundation believes 150 of these specially trained nurses are needed to ensure that every family experiencing breast cancer has access to a breast care nurse, no matter where they live or their financial situation. McGrath Breast Care Nurses offer a unique service to families who can self-refer to this free support.

By purchasing this special edition you are helping the McGrath Foundation realise their goal.

About the Author

Isobelle Jane Carmody (born 16 June 1958) is an Australian writer of science fiction, fantasy, children's literature, and young adult literature.

Textbook Romance

Pink Popular Penguins

By: Zoe Foster, Hamish Blake

RRP: $9.95

Wouldn't it be great if there was a textbook with clear lessons on clever dating and how to build that Perfect Relationship? One that tells it straight but lets you laugh at yourself too? One that leaves you with your dignity and your personality intact? There is!

Zoë Foster, relationships guru, provides whip-smart step-by-step lessons in successful romancing, with male commentary from self-confessed male, Hamish Blake.

Co-founded by Jane and Glenn McGrath, the McGrath Foundation raises money to place McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia and to increase breast awareness in young women.

The McGrath Foundation believes 150 of these specially trained nurses are needed to ensure that every family experiencing breast cancer has access to a breast care nurse, no matter where they live or their financial situation. McGrath Breast Care Nurses offer a unique service to families who can self-refer to this free support.

By purchasing this special edition you are helping the McGrath Foundation realise their goal. To find out how you can make a difference visit mcgrathfoundation.com.au

Penguin is proud to donate $1 from the original sale of each Pink Popular Penguin to help the McGrath Foundation realise their goal.

About the Author

Zoe Foster enjoys writing author biographies because she gets to write things like, 'Zoe Foster Blake is Australia's most critically acclaimed and bestselling author, and in 2010, Foster was controversially awarded the Pulitzer for the second time', despite the fact that all of these things are untrue.

Things that are true include her role as columnist for News Limited's Sunday Style, and dating columnist for Cosmopolitan magazine. She was previously contributing editor of Mamamia.com.au, editor of beauty website primped.com.au, beauty director at Harper's BAZAAR, and prior to that beauty director at Cosmopolitan magazine.

Zoe has written three novels, Air Kisses, Playing the Field and The Younger Man, as well as the dating and relationship book Textbook Romance, written in conjunction with Hamish Blake, and the bestseller Amazing Face, a collection of her best beauty tips and tricks. The Wrong Girl is her fourth novel.

Lola's Secret

Pink Popular Penguins

By: Monica McInerney

RRP: $9.95

At the Valley View Motel, Lola Quinlan is up to her usual mischief. She's sent her family away for the holidays and invited a number of mystery guests to come and stay. But who are all these people, and why aren't they spending Christmas with their own loved ones?

As the big day draws closer, Lola discovers that at a special time of year, magic can happen in every family - especially your own.

Co-founded by Jane and Glenn McGrath, the McGrath Foundation raises money to place McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia and to increase breast awareness in young women.

The McGrath Foundation believes 150 of these specially trained nurses are needed to ensure that every family experiencing breast cancer has access to a breast care nurse, no matter where they live or their financial situation. McGrath Breast Care Nurses offer a unique service to families who can self-refer to this free support.

By purchasing this special edition you are helping the McGrath Foundation realise their goal.

About the Author

Australian-born Dublin-based Monica McInerney is the author of the best-selling novels The House of Memories, Lola’s Secret, At Home with the Templetons, Those Faraday Girls (The Faraday Girls in the USA), Family Baggage, The Alphabet Sisters, Spin the Bottle (Greetings from Somewhere Else in the USA), Upside Down Inside Out and A Taste for It, the novella Odd One Out and a short story collection All Together Now, published internationally and in translation.

Her articles and short stories have appeared in newspapers, magazines and anthologies in Australia, the UK and Ireland.

What Was Promised

By: Tobias Hill

RRP $29.99

Three decades. Three families. One city. What Was Promised is a beautiful, powerful, multi-layered novel of London and its children, of roots and belonging, and of the collisions that can pull us together and spin us apart

London in the aftermath of war: children run wild on East End bombsites, while their elders strive for better lives in a country beggared by victory.

Clarence and Bernadette Malcolm have come five thousand miles in search of prosperity, but find the Mother Country not at all as has been promised them; Solly and Dora Lazarus, too, are strangers in a strange land, struggling to belong even as they try to make sense of their past; and Michael and Mary Lockhart take with both hands all that the world owes them, wherever it leads them, whatever the cost.

In the street markets and tenements of Bethnal Green the three families live and work together in uneasy harmony, until Michael shatters the balance between them, his hunger for betterment changing the courses of all their lives over decades and generations.

Reaching across forty years and capturing a city and a people in a time of tumultuous change, What Was Promised is a breathtaking novel by a master storyteller.

About the Author

Tobias Hill was born in London. In 2003 the TLS nominated him as one the best young writers in Britain. In 2004 he was selected as one of the country's Next Generation poets and shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year.

His collection of stories, Skin, won the Pen-Macmillan Prize for Fiction and was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys/Mail on Sunday Prize. What Was Promised is his fifth novel.

No Book but the World

By: Leah Hager Cohen

RRP: $27.99

The highly-anticipated follow-up to the Orange Prize long-listed The Grief of Others.

A young boy goes missing. The accused is a loner and outsider. When Ava Manseau learns that the suspect is actually her brother, Fred, she is compelled to piece together what actually happened, convinced that she alone will be able to explain him and his innocence. Fred has always been different: certainly impaired, never evaluated. The siblings grew up under seemingly idyllic circumstances, free of formal education and constraint in a family that rejected labels and diagnoses.

Now brother and sister have grown apart, their parents are gone - the boy is dead and Fred is in jail. Ava is forced to wonder: who is truly responsible for this turn of events? And is it her job to save him?

Hager Cohen brings her trademark wisdom and grace, depth of feeling and insight to an enthralling and morally ambiguous story. Perhaps, she suggests, in our ongoing struggle to comprehend one another, our imaginations can be more useful than facts.

About the Author

Leah Hager Cohen is the author of four novels, most recently The Grief of Others, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize, selected as a New York Times Notable Book, and named one of the best books of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle and Kirkus Reviews.

She is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review.

Beneath Outback Skies

By: Alissa Callen

RRP: $32.99

A captivating rural romance featuring an indomitable young woman determined to save her family farm, and the city-boy who is not all he seems...

Paige Quinn will let nothing and no one distract her from caring for her wheelchair-bound father, Connor, and fighting for her remote, drought-stricken property, Banora Downs. Least of all a surprise farm-stay guest named Tait Cavanaugh, whose smooth words are as lethal as his movie-star smile.

Except Paige can't help noticing that, for a city-boy, Tait seems unexpectedly at home on the land. And he does ask a lot of questions...

It doesn't matter how much he helps out or how much laughter he brings into her life, she soon suspects he is harbouring a big secret – the real reason he has come to Banora Downs...

About the Author

When Alissa Callen isn't writing she plays traffic controller to four children, three dogs, two horses and one renegade cow who really does believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. After a childhood spent chasing sheep on the family farm, Alissa has always been drawn to remote areas and small towns, even when residing overseas.

Once a teacher and a counsellor, she remains interested in the life journeys that people take. She is also partial to historic homesteads and gardens and has been known to drive hours to visit an open-garden.

She draws inspiration from the countryside around her, whether it be the brown snake at her back door or the resilience of bush communities in times of drought or flood. She currently lives on a small slice of rural Australia in central western New South Wales. Beneath Outback Skies is her first novel.

A Place of Her Own

By: Deborah O'Brien

RRP: $32.99

A compelling novel of starting over from the author of Mr Chen's Emporium. Eighteen months ago Angie Wallace thought her world had ended. Now she's fighting off suitors – and facing a crisis she never saw coming . . .

‘Unrequited love hurt like hell – whether you were fifteen or fifty-something.'

Following the death of her beloved husband Phil, Angie has made a new life for herself in the enchanting gold rush town of Millbrooke. The proud proprietor of the Old Manse B&B and a fierce protector of local history, her transition from ‘blow-in' to bona fide Millbrooker is complete.

She's even fallen for the erudite but scruffy Richard Scott, owner of Millerbrooke House.

But just as the relationship between Angie and Richard seems to be blossoming, a woman from his past arrives back in town – and turns their world upside down.

Because Diana Goodmann isn't all she seems, and when Angie vows to unearth the truth about her rival she finds herself a long way from home - and in very grave danger.

About the Author

Deborah O'Brien is a teacher, visual artist and writer. Although she was born and educated in Sydney, she has family links to rural New South Wales by way of her father and her maternal grandmother.

Together with her husband and son, she divides her time between the city and a country cottage, overlooking a creek frequented by platypuses. It is her dream to own a small herd of alpacas. She has authored several non-fiction books, contributed articles to a variety of magazines and written short stories.

A Place of Her Own is her third novel, and completes the Millbrooke trilogy of Mr Chen's Emporium and The Jade Widow.

The Perfect Match

By: Katie Fforde

RRP: $32.99

The wonderful new novel from the RNA award winning and Sunday Times bestselling author of A French Affair.

Three years ago Bella Castle left her home town nursing a broken heart over Dominic Thane, the man she fell in love with but couldn't have …

Now she's made a new life for herself in the country, working as an estate agent.

Bella loves her job and she loves her boyfriend Nevil. But recently he's been preoccupied, and she's starting to question if his future hopes and dreams are a perfect match for hers.

And when Dominic turns up unexpectedly in search of his dream house, she begins to wonder if home is really where the heart is. But she's over him, isn't she?

About the Author

Katie Fforde was born and brought up in London but has lived in Gloucestershire with her family for the last thirty years. Her first novel, Living Dangerously, went on to be chosen as part of the WHSmith Fresh Talent promotion.

There have been over eighteen novels since, as well as some grandchildren. Her hobbies, when she has time for them, are singing in a choir and flamenco dancing. Katie Fforde is President of the Romantic Novelists' Association.

Blossom Street Brides

By: Debbie Macomber

RRP: $32.99

A charming and heart-warming novel in the Blossom Street series from international bestseller Debbie Macomber. Does a perfect wedding make a happily-ever-after?

As three very different women meet in their local knitting store, A Good Yarn, they find strength in friendship to help them through their problems.

Lydia is blissfully happy in her marriage, but worrying about her adoptive daughter and the future of her business.

Bethanne is still madly in love with her husband, but their long-distance relationship is becoming difficult to deal with, and her ex-husband is determined to win her back.

Lauren has always yearned for marriage and a family of her own, but her long-term boyfriend just won't commit. Could a whirlwind romance with an unlikely stranger lead to the happily-ever-after she's always dreamed of?

As the three women's lives intersect in unexpected ways, they realise that the best surprises in life and love still lie ahead.

About the Author

Despite her dyslexia, Debbie Macomber always wanted to be a writer. As a stay-at-home mother with four children, she spent five years writing books at her kitchen table until finally one was accepted by Sillhouette.

Now, many books later and a worldwide bestseller, she and her husband live in Port Orchard, Washington, where her husband is building his own airplane. She also owns a yarn and knitting shop called A Good Yarn.

Astragal

By: Albertine Sarrazin, Patti Smith (Introduction by)

RRP: $19.99

Patti Smith's favourite novel, a cult rebel classic.

'My Albertine, how I adored her! Her luminous eyes led me through the darkness of my youth. She was my guide through the nights of one hundred sleeps. And now she is yours.'

At the age of twenty-one, a sad and hungry Patti Smith walked into a bookshop in Greenwich Village and decided to spend her last 99 cents on a novel that would change her life forever. 

The book was Astragal, by Albertine Sarrazin. Sarrazin was an enigmatic outsider who had spent time in jail and who wrote only two novels and a book of poems in her short life - she died the year before Patti found her book, at the age of twenty-nine.

Astragal tells the story of Anne, a young woman who breaks her ankle in a daring escape from prison. She makes it to a highway where she's picked up by a motorcyclist, Julien, who's also on the run. As they travel through nights and days together, they fall in love and must do whatever they can to survive, living their lives always on the edge of danger.

A bewitching and timeless novel of youthful rebellion and romance, this new edition of Patsy Southgate's original translation includes an introduction by Patti Smith.

About the Author

Albertine Sarrazin (1937-67) was a French-Algerian writer. At an early age she abandoned her studies and turned to a life of crime and prostitution. She wrote her first two novels in prison and died at twenty-nine.

Patsy Southgate (1928-98) was an integral figure of both the 1950s Parisian literary scene and the New York School.

Patti Smith is a poet, performer, visual artist, and author of the National Book Award-winning memoir Just Kids. She has twelve albums, has had numerous gallery shows, and continues to give concerts of her music and poetry.

The Quick

By: Lauren Owen

RRP $32.99

A major debut adventure

You are about to discover the secrets of The Quick –

But first you must travel to Victorian Yorkshire, and there, on a remote country estate, meet a brother and sister alone in the world and bound by tragedy. 

In time, you will enter the rooms of London's mysterious Aegolius Club – a society of some of the richest, most powerful men in fin-de-siecle England. And at some point – we cannot say when – these worlds will collide.

It is then, and only then, that a new world emerges, one of romance, adventure and the most delicious of horrors – and the secrets of The Quick are revealed.

About the Author

Lauren Owen is twenty-eight years old and grew up in the grounds of an old country house in Yorkshire.

Her first attempts at writing as a teenager were Harry Potter fan fictions.

Lauren is a graduate of St Hilda's, Oxford, holds an MA in Victorian Literature, is completing a PhD on Gothic writing and fan culture, and is the recipient of the Curtis Brown Prize for best writer on the UEA creative-writing programme. The Quick is her first novel.

Cat Out of Hell

By: Lynne Truss

RRP: $27.99

By acclaimed storyteller Lynne Truss, author of the bestselling Eats, Shoots & Leaves, the mesmerising tale of a cat with nine lives, and a relationship as ancient as time itself and just as powerful.

The scene: a cottage on the coast on a windy evening. Inside, a room with curtains drawn. Tea has just been made. A kettle still steams.

Under a pool of yellow light, two figures face each other across a kitchen table. A man and a cat.

The story about to be related is so unusual yet so terrifyingly plausible that it demands to be told in a single sitting.

The man clears his throat, and leans forward, expectant.

'Shall we begin?' says the cat ...

About the Author

Bestselling author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves and Talk to the Hand, Lynne Truss is a journalist, arts and book reviewer, sports columnist and a regular broadcaster for BBC's Radio 4.

She's had two plays performed at the Edinburgh Festival, including 'Hell's Bells' in 2012. Her latest book is Get Her Off The Pitch: How Sports Took Over My Life. Cat Out Of Hell is her fourth novel, and the first in over ten years.

Inspirational and Thought Provoking

What have you read lately that you'd include on this list?

The Power of Bones

By: Keelen Mailman

RRP: $29.99

A heartbreaking tale of childhood poverty, abuse and racism that happily becomes an inspiring story of an extraordinary woman's strength through adversity.

It looked bleak and predictable for little Keelen Mailman: an alcoholic mother, absent father, the horrors of regular sexual and physical assault and the casual racism of a small outback town in the sixties. 

But somehow, despite the pain and deprivation, the lost education, she managed to absorb her mother's lessons: her Bidjara language and culture, her obligations to Country, and her loyalty to her family.

So it was no surprise to some that a girl who could hide for a year in her own home to keep her family together, run as fast as Raylene Boyle and catch porcupine and goanna, would one day make history.

At just 30, and a single mother, Keelen became the first Aboriginal woman to run a commercial cattle station when she took over Mt Tabor, two hours from Augathella on the black soil plains of western Queensland.

This is the heartland of Bidjara country, after all, the place her mother and grandparents and great-grandparents had camped on and cared for, and where their ancestors left their marks on caves and rock walls more than 10,000 years ago.

In this unflinching memoir, the warmth of Keelen's personality, her determination and her irresistible humour shine through as she recalls her extraordinary life.

About the Author

Keelen Mailman was born in Augathella to a poor Aboriginal family with a history of alcoholism. Now she is the first female station manager for Mt Tabor, home to her native Bidjara people.

Chasing the Rose

By: Andrea di Robilant

RRP: $29.99

The fascinating and delightful tale of Andrea di Robilant's search for a fabled antique rose - a story that takes us back to the time of Josephine Bonaparte and into some of the most outstanding rose gardens of Europe.

The author of the best-selling A Venetian Affair now gives us a charming chronicle of his search for a fabled antique rose - a tale that takes us back to the time of Josephine Bonaparte, and looks into the future of this much beloved flower.

In his 2008 biography of the great Italian lady Lucia Mocenigo (his great-great-great-great grandmother), Andrea di Robilant described a pink rose that grows wild on the family's former country estate.

This led to an invitation for an audience with the humble but deeply knowledgeable doyenne of European roses, Sra. Eleonora Garlant.

Could this unnamed rose possibly be the long-lost Rose Bichonne, a China rose that nineteenth-century growers cultivated but which had apparently disappeared since? In search of the identity of the anonymous rose, Di Robilant finds himself captivated by rose-o-philes through time - from Lucia and her dear friend Josephine Bonaparte to the brilliant Sra. Garlant, whose garden of nearly 1500 species is one of the most significant in Europe - and by the old roses themselves, each of which has a tale to tell.

Illustrated in full colour, the book will delight rose lovers, European travelers, and amateur historians in equal measure.

About the Author

Andrea di Robilant was born in Italy and educated at Columbia University, where he specialized in international affairs. He is the author of three previous books, Venetian Navigators, A Venetian Affair and Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon. He currently lives in Rome with his wife and two sons.

Overwhelmed

Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time

By: Brigid Schulte

RRP: $29.99

Overwhelmed is a map of the stresses - individual, historical, biological and societal - that have ripped working mothers' leisure to shreds, and a quest for how it might be possible for them to put the pieces back together

Brigid Schulte has baked cupcakes until 2am. She has carried her BlackBerry on school field trips, hyperventilating with fear that she would be fired, then gone back to work until 4am after her children were in bed.

Her refrigerator is broken, her To Do list never seems to get any shorter, and the laundry pile in the upstairs hallway often looms waist-high... She is not proud of this. 

And she worries that, though she tells her nine-year-old daughter that she can be anything she wants when she grows up, she is already beginning to think the cost is too high: that it is simply not possible, as a woman, to be anything you want to be, have a family, and still have time to breathe.

So when Brigid met an eminent sociologist who studies time, and he told her that she enjoyed thirty hours of leisure each week, she thought her head was going to pop off.

Overwhelmed is a funny, eye-opening and urgent book about burning our candles at both ends and in the middle. It is a book about busy-ness and the near-impossibility of pressing the 'pause' button on life.

Exploring everything from the wiring of the female brain to male/female income distribution to the current state of gender equality in the workplace and home.

About the Author

Brigid Schulte is an award-winning journalist for the Washington Post and the Washington Post Magazine.

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, she has won numerous writing awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her two children, Liam and Tessa, and her husband, Tom Bowman, Pentagon correspondent for National Public Radio.

The Women's Health Book

A Complete Guide to Health & Wellbeing for Women of All Ages

By: The Royal Women's Hospital (Designed by)

RRP: $35

The definitive guide to health and wellbeing for every Australian woman in each stage of her life.

As a woman, looking after your health is the most important step you can take towards creating a healthy, happy family and a thriving community. But in today's busy world, with so many demands on your time, it's not always easy to find information you can trust.

The Women's Health Book is written specifically for women by health professionals who specialise in women's health. The Royal Women's Hospital is the largest health facility specialising in women's health in Australia and is well placed to help you look after your physical, mental and social wellbeing.

Here you'll find information and advice for every stage of your life, from adolescence through to older age. Covering everything from periods, sexuality, bullying and diet to pregnancy, mental health, cancer and arthritis, this is an essential reference book for every Australian woman's shelf.

It is designed to help you participate as an equal partner in your health care. Armed with the facts, you will be empowered to ask more questions and then make better choices that can help to improve your health, reduce any risks you face, and even prevent future health problems.

About the Author

The Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne is Australia's largest hospital dedicated to improving the health of women of all ages. Each year, the hospital cares for more than 200,000 women from 165 countries, who speak 60 different languages and follow 42 separate religious faiths.

For over 150 years, the Women's has led the advocacy and advancement of women's health care.

The Women's is committed to a holistic philosophy of health and provides comprehensive services ranging from health promotion to clinical expertise and leadership in maternity services, gynaecology, cancer services and specialist care of newborn babies.

It is also a major teaching hospital and a medical research leader of world renown.

Alphabet Soup

My Life on and off Screen

By: Melissa Doyle

RRP: $29.99

A funny, warm and personal memoir that reveals what it's like being a regular busy working mum, who just so happens to have a job on the telly.

Australia's best loved morning TV presenter, Mel Doyle, invites you inside her home and her life. Now, for the first time, Mel shares what it is like to juggle a high profile TV career with the full time job of being a Mum.

In Alphabet Soup, she has collected together some of her favourite memories and anecdotes from the last ten years. Covering everything from her relationship with Kochie to red carpet exclusives, from baking birthday cakes to doing the school run, this is a delicious slice of Mel's life.

And, like the rest of us, Mel has highs and lows and a constant battle to balance it all out.

Dip in and enjoy some funny, honest and totally relatable anecdotes from life on and off screen!

About the Author

Mel is a journalist, author and television presenter, best known to many as the co-host of Australia's leading breakfast television program, Sunrise.

She has worked as a journalist in the electronic media for over 18 years and has hosted many successful programs and specials throughout her career. One of the most popular faces on television, Melissa is also the proud mother of Nicholas and Talia Grace.

Delicious Food

What's your favourite new food book?

Wild Blackberries

Recipes and Memories from a New Zealand Table

By: Rosie Belton, Margaret Mahy (Foreword by)

RRP: $29.99

A delightful memoir with recipes that explores decade by decade, era by era, what we ate, and how that food defined us.

'The preparation of food, the smells and tastes and textures, have accompanied me throughout the journeys of my life. In fact looking back the food memories have become the marker posts - defining boundaries in the years, demarcating the challenges and the changes.

'In times of joy, food has enhanced the celebration, in times of sadness, it has coloured and comforted. And in times of anxiety and emptiness its preparation has given rhythm and meaning to the day, and its offering to others continues to bring a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment.

'When all else fails - cook!'

In Wild Blackberries Rosie Belton has written not only her own story but also a social history of food in New Zealand. Decade by decade, era by era, she looks at what we ate, and how that food defined us.

About the Author

Rosie Belton is a Christchurch-based writer, drama teacher, director and producer, businesswoman and author of Just A Bang On The Head (Craig Potton Publishers).

Tasty Express

Simple, Stylish & Delicious Dishes for People on the Go

By: Sneh Roy

RRP: $39.99

Tasty Express is full of easy-to-make, easy-to-take, wholesome and adventurous cooking from multi-talented food blogger, Sneh Roy.

Tasty Express is your invitation to sample more than 100 exciting recipes from renowned blogger Sneh Roy of the award-winning blog, Cook Republic. Her simple but imaginative approach to cooking and her luscious photography have earned her legions of devoted followers. Here she presents a stunning range of new recipes and a scattering of her most popular creations.

Sneh's inspirations include the cosmopolitan eats of the urban food truck and inner city café, the fresh variety of a lively market and the unforgettable aromas of her childhood in India. She embraces healthy takes on modern classics like tacos, flatbreads, veggie burgers, granola and froyo, plus a few irresistibly naughty treats. Many of her hardworking creations can be easily packed away in a lunchbox or picnic basket for work, your next camping trip or potluck evening. The recipes are predominantly vegetarian, and they can be easily repurposed with your own favourite ingredients.

For Sneh, food is about sharing with family and friends at happy mealtimes, picnics and gatherings. It is also about quiet moments with a bowl of something comforting and nourishing. In Tasty Express she brings her quirky sense of fun, her food and her photography together and invites you to join her on a delicious, fun-filled journey.

Some of the wonderful dishes in the book include: Coconut Bircher Muesli, Carrot Cake Muffins, Kulfi Milk, Eggplant Lasagna Steaks, Kale Soup With Grilled Cheese, Brown Rice Biryani Salad, Quinoa Spice Croquettes, Sweet Potato And Pepita Burgers, Tofu And Cashew Curry, Burnt Butter Caramel Slice, Coconut Froyo and Gingerbread Tiramisu.

About the Author

Sneh Roy was brought up in Mumbai and now lives in Sydney with her husband, her two boys and a pen full of chooks.

She is a food photographer, food stylist and designer. She is also the creative force behind the blog Cook Republic, which won Best Australian Blog of the Year in 2013. She has a food column in Elle magazine and is regularly featured in leading online and print publications all over the world.

My Petite Kitchen Cookbook

Simple Wholefood Recipes

By: Eleanor Ozich

RRP: $39.99

Simple wholefood recipes to feed, nourish and heal your family.

My Petite Kitchen Cookbook is a complete menu of more than 100 simple, wholefood, gluten-free recipes that feed body and soul.

Eleanor Ozich has first-hand experience of the health benefits of clean, whole food - the recipes in this book were created as part of her family's 'road to simple eating', adopted as a means of trying (successfully) to cure her four-year-old daughter's severe eczema.

Replacing sugar and grains with natural, unprocessed alternatives, Eleanor's recipes show how easy it is to prepare healthy food that is bursting with flavour and goodness. And her stunning photography is a feast for the eyes, capturing the essence of her food - fresh, vibrant, and for sharing.

From Caramelised shallot and thyme frittata, Apple and sage pork cassoulet and Slow-cooked zucchini with basil and lemon, to Decadent raspberry and coconut chocolate torte and Lemon and coconut truffles, My Petite Kitchen Cookbook includes breakfasts, lunches, drinks, dinners, desserts and everything in between.

About the Author

As a child, Eleanor Ozich lived above her parents' restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand; she has been a passionate food lover ever since.

Eleanor is a selftaught cook who has worked as a food writer and food stylist for various publications, including Taste magazine, Viva-The New Zealand Herald and Little Treasures magazine. Eleanor created the Petite Kitchen blog as a personal diary, documenting her family's 'road to simple eating'. Her blog now has an international following of more than 20,000 people.

Something for Younger Readers

Do you have a voracious reader in the house? Here are some good reads for them.

Clementine Rose and the Seaside Escape

Clementine Rose : Book 5

By: Jacqueline Harvey

RRP: $12.99

It's time for a holiday at the seaside!

Clementine Rose and her family are off to the beach while the roof at Penberthy House is being fixed. Clementine is delighted to meet the other children staying at the guesthouse. Freddy is a lot of fun but his older sister, Della, takes a little more getting used to. Freddy takes Clementine exploring in the beach caves, where they discover a wonderful secret. But when Lavender escapes during a storm, it's all hands on deck to get the teacup pig back safe and sound.

About the Author

Jacqueline Harvey's bestselling Alice-Miranda series began as an idea for a picture book but it soon became apparent that this perpetually positive seven-and-a-quarter-year-old had a lot more to say.

The series has been sold to the United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia and Turkey and has been shortlisted for children's book awards in Australia. Her first and only picture book, The Sound of the Sea was an Honour Book in the 2006 Children's Book Council Awards.

Jacqueline has spent most of her working life teaching in girls' boarding schools and has been a Deputy Head and Director of Development.

She is passionate about improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students. Jacqueline lives in Sydney with her husband Ian and is currently working on more Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose adventures.

My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up

By: Tristan Bancks, Gus Gordon (Illustrator)

RRP: $15.99

A nail-biting - no, make that toe-biting - thrill ride through one boy's life

Have you ever been kissed by a dog? Ever had to eat Vegemite off your sister's big toe? Have you had a job delivering teeth? Has a bloodthirsty magpie ever been out to get you? Ever woken up to discover that everything hovers? And have you eaten 67 hot dogs in ten minutes?

I have. I'm Tom Weekly. This book is full of my stories, jokes, cartoon characters, ideas for theme park rides and other stuff I've made up. It's where I pour out whatever's inside my head. It gets a bit weird sometimes but that's how I roll.

Illustrated by Gus Gordon

About the Author

Tristan Bancks is a writer and filmmaker. He has a background as an actor and television presenter in Australia and the UK. His short films have won a number of awards and have screened widely in festivals and on TV.

Tristan has written a number of books for kids and teens, including the Mac Slater, Coolhunter series, It's Yr Life with Tempany Deckert, and My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up. Tristan's drive is to tell inspiring, fast-moving stories for young people.

Gus Gordon is an illustrator and author. He writes books about motorbike riding stunt chickens and dogs that live in trees. Gus lives on the northern beaches of Sydney with his wife and three children, where he has written and illustrated over 60 books for children. He has visited over 300 schools around Australia and loves speaking to kids about illustration, character design and the desire to control a wiggly line.

My Life and Other Stuff That Went Wrong

By: Tristan Bancks, Gus Gordon (Illustrator)

RRP: $15.99

If you're a fan of Andy Griffiths and Jeff Kinney, My Life and Other Stuff That Went Wrong is the book that has been missing in your life. Is your grandpa super-angry? Has your nan ever tried to climb Mt Everest?

Have you started your own playground freak show? And have you ever risked your life to save your pet rat from certain destruction? I have. I'm Tom Weekly and this is my life. Inside the covers of this book you'll read lots of weird-funny-gross stories and learn the secret of my strangest body part.

But I guarantee that won't freak you out as much as the story of how Stella Holling, a girl who's been in love with me since second grade, tricked me into kissing her.

About the Author

Tristan Bancks is a writer and filmmaker. He has a background as an actor and television presenter in Australia and the UK. His short films have won a number of awards and have screened widely in festivals and on TV.

Tristan has written a number of books for kids and teens, including the Mac Slater, Coolhunter series, It's Yr Life with Tempany Deckert, and My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up. Tristan's drive is to tell inspiring, fast-moving stories for young people.

Gus Gordon is an illustrator and author. He writes books about motorbike riding stunt chickens and dogs that live in trees. Gus lives on the northern beaches of Sydney with his wife and three children, where he has written and illustrated over 60 books for children. He has visited over 300 schools around Australia and loves speaking to kids about illustration, character design and the desire to control a wiggly line.

The Wardens

Brotherhood of Thieves Series : Book 1

By: Stuart Daly

RRP: $17.99

A brotherhood of treasure hunters. A terrifying enemy. Five young recruits. The race is on.

Caspan hates life as a thief on the streets, so he leaps at the chance to join a secret order sanctioned by the King.

The Brotherhood seeks the lost magical weapons of an ancient race that will help them fight the Roon, the invading army who creep ever closer. Defeat seems inevitable. Unless Caspan and his fellow recruits – Roland, Lachlan, Sara and Kilt – can set aside their differences and use their new skills to help turn the tide.

With swords strapped to their belts, riding magical beasts called Wardens, they leave the sanctuary of their training ground for their first mission. Will it be their last?

About the Author

Stuart Daly is a History teacher in a private high school in Sydney. Stuart is the author of The Witch Hunter Chronicles for young adult readers, an epic tale of witch hunting and demon slaying set in the seventeenth century.

His new series, Brotherhood of Thieves, is an action-packed fantasy series for middle grade readers about a secret order of treasure hunters. Stuart lives in Sydney with his wife and three children.

Slaves of Socorro

Brotherband Series : Book 4

By: John Flanagan

RRP: $17.99

Return to the seafaring world of Hal and his intrepid ship's crew in the fourth book of John Flanagan's epic Brotherband series.

When the Heron brotherband become the Skandian duty ship to the Kingdom of Araluen, they're excited at the challenges ahead. Hal, Stig, Thorn and the Herons eagerly set off for the trip – with an unexpected new crew member aboard.

But an enemy from their past returns, throwing the Herons into a dangerous quest to free captured Araluans from the slave market in Socorro. Even with the help of an Araluan Ranger, the task may be too much.

About the Author

John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice and Brotherband adventure series have sold more than eight million copies worldwide.

His books are available in more than 100 countries, are regularly on the New York Times bestseller list, and have had multiple award shortlistings in Australia and overseas. John, a former television and advertising writer, lives with his wife in a Sydney beachside suburb.

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About the Books

About the Books

Just as with any magazine's regular book reviews, many of the books featured in our book reviews are provided to us from a range of publishers while others have come from my personal library.

I try to choose books I think you, my reader, will enjoy but as the She Inspires reader has her own tastes and times for reading, I try to include a range of topics that you'll want to read or find that perfect book gift idea - what better present is there than a book?

If there are types of books that you'd love to see more of in our reviews then please let me know because I do find it a tad challenging sometimes making sure I am picking out books outside of my own favourite categories! Who would have thought?

So what happens with the books after we've reviewed them? If we're running an event they'll go in the goodie bags, otherwise some are given to the smaller country libraries on my regional trips, some to kids reading programs while others are passed around with friends and families - what matters is the sharing of them.

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