She Inspires Book Review for Book Lovers

There's something heart-lifing finding yourself holding a new book that you're about to delve into, to be transported by the writing, by the story or new ideas you'll explore. I always enjoy bringing you our book selections overflowing with inspiring books to choose from. The trick is always narrowing down your selection to the ideal ones to add to your library.

I hope you thoroughly enjoy this selection and find the perfect treasure for you or the lucky one being given a book.

Fabulous Books

Our book reviews today include everything from novels to memiors to delicious cook books to thought provoking tales. I hope you enjoy perusing them as much as I have in bringing them together for you.

For Independent 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.

Novels

Trash

By: Andy Mulligan

RRP: $17.99

Raphael is a dumpsite boy. He spends his days wading through mountains of steaming trash, sifting it, sorting it, breathing it, sleeping next to it.

Then one unlucky-lucky day, Raphael's world turns upside down. A small leather bag falls into his hands. It's a bag of clues. It's a bag of hope. It's a bag that will change everything. Soon Raphael and his friends Gardo and Rat are running for their lives.

Wanted by the police, it takes all their quick-thinking and fast-talking to stay ahead. As the net tightens, they uncover a dead man's mission to put right a terrible wrong.

And now it's three street boys against the world...

About the Author

Andy Mulligan was brought up in South London. He worked as a theatre director for ten years, before travels in Asia prompted him to retrain as a teacher. He has taught English and Drama in Britain, India, Brazil and the Philippines.

Andy's novel Trash has been published in twenty-two languages and will soon be a major motion picture directed by Stephen Daldry and scripted by Richard Curtis.

Seasons of War
A Gallipoli Story

By: Christopher Lee

RRP: $24.99

I was young then. I remember the landing on the beach and the days of my time on the peninsula and returning home from war, the past and the present coming together in my mind over the years. I remember the beauty of the ugly place.

Packed into tiny boats, Michael, his brother Dan and their mates think only of what is to come. These young Australians miss home, hate the enemy and are choking in fear.

After the surreal panic of that first dawn charge up the Turkish beaches, when nothing is as they were told, they dig in. For the next eight months, each will play his part in the epic battle of Gallipoli.

Trying to survive in the lottery of close warfare and watching as the seasons change, Michael comes to wonder whether the men he fights are so different from himself. Wedged in the trenches, soldiers of both sides will be irrevocably changed by two relentless forces – the turning seasons and the grinding machine of war. Even if they survive, what will they become?

This powerfully lyrical novel by acclaimed screenwriter Christopher Lee (writer of the TV series Gallipoli) takes us to the heart of the diggers' experience. It brings to life the kind of truth that only fiction can – what it was like to be in those trenches, and how the character of the nation transformed when Gallipoli changed these men.

About the Author

A former journalist and foreign correspondent, Christopher Lee is author of the novel Bush Week and the non-fiction book Howzat! Kerry Packer's War. A leading television scriptwriter best known for his work on The Secret Life of Us, Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo and Howzat! Kerry Packer's War, he is also the writer of the Nine Network miniseries Gallipoli.

He has been awarded the Centenary Medal, the Queensland Premier's Literary Award and the Foxtel Fellowship for Screenwriting Excellence

By: Abigail Ulman

RRP $29.99

This exceptional collection of stories is about young women of different ages, from their early teens to their late twenties, coming to terms with what it means to desire, and be desired, with funny, surprising and sometimes confronting results.

Ulman first made her mark with the story Chagall's Wife in Meanjin; this collection shows that she's a young Australian writer to put alongside Ceridwen Dovey, Nam Le and Fiona McFarlane.

Read Caroline Baum's Review

There is no doubt that short stories are having a 'moment'. They have bounced back from the doldrums of a decade ago, when no publisher believed they could sell a collection by anything other than the nation's top names and a handful of international stars, to being a great calling card for a raft of fresh talent. This collection is a corker, pulsating with a fearless irreverent energy that says 'Here I am, take it or leave it'. These smart, self-aware, knowing stories belong to Gen Y. In this tribe, being a barista trumps being a barrister.

About the Author

Abigail Ulman was born and raised in Melbourne. She has a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the University of Melbourne/VCA and was a recent Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University. Hot Little Hands is her first book.

14th Deadly Sin

By: James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

RRP $32.99

Detective Lindsay Boxer and her three best friends are back and recovering from the events that pushed them all to the edge.

After her near-death experience, Yuki is seeing her life from a new perspective and is considering a change in her law career. San Francisco Chronicle reporter Cindy has healed from her gunshot wound and has published a book on the infamous serial killers she helped to bring down. Lindsay is just happy that the gang are all still in one piece. But a new terror is sweeping the streets of San Francisco.

A gang dressed as cops are ransacking the city, and leaving a string of dead bodies in their wake. Lindsay is on the case to track them down and needs to discover whether these killers could actually be police officers. Maybe even cops she already knows...

About The Author

JAMES PATTERSON is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. He is the author of some of the most popular series of the past decade - the Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Detective Michael Bennett novels - and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers. He lives in Florida with his wife and son.

James is passionate about encouraging children to read. Inspired by his own son who was a reluctant reader, he also writes a range of books specifically for young readers. James has formed a partnership with the National Literacy Trust, an independent, UK-based charity that changes lives through literacy.

Etta and Otto and Russell and James

By: Emma Hooper

RRP: $29.99

'I've gone. I've never seen the water, so I've gone there. I will try to remember to come back.'

Etta's greatest unfulfilled wish, living in the rolling farmland of Saskatchewan, is to see the sea. And so, at the age of eighty-two, she gets up very early one morning, takes a rifle, some chocolate and her best boots, and begins walking the 2,000 miles to the water.

But Etta is starting to forget things. Her husband, Otto, remembers everything, and he loves her: surely they can balance things out?

Their neighbour Russell remembers too, but differently - and he still loves Etta as much as he did more than fifty years ago, before she married Otto.

Rocking back and forth with the pull of the waves, Etta and Otto and Russell and James moves from the present of a too-quiet-for-too-long Canadian farm to a dusty past of hunger, war, passion and hope, from trying to remember to trying to forget as, from prairie to forest to mountain to sand, Etta walks.

About the Author

Emma Hooper is a musician and writer. As a musician, her solo project 'Waitress for the Bees' tours internationally and has earned her a Finish Cultural Knighthood.

As an author, she has published short stories, non-fiction pieces, poetry and libretti as well as a number of academic papers. She is a research-lecturer at Bath Spa University, in the Commercial Music department, but goes home to cross-country ski in Canada as much as she can afford.

Arctic Summer

By: Damon Galgut

RRP: $19.99

In this literary tour de force, twice Booker shortlisted novelist Damon Galgut evokes the life and work of E. M. Forster, his travels to India, and the freedom and inspiration he found there.

In 1912, the SS Birmingham approaches India. On board is Morgan Forster, novelist and man of letters, who is embarking on a journey of discovery. As Morgan stands on deck, the promise of a strange new future begins to take shape before his eyes. The seeds of a story start to gather at the corner of his mind: a sense of impending menace, lust in close confines, under a hot, empty sky.

It will be another twelve years, and a second time spent in India, before A Passage to India, E. M. Forster's great work of literature, is published. During these years, Morgan will come to a profound understanding of himself as a man, and of the infinite subtleties and complexity of human nature, bringing these great insights to his remarkable novel.

At once a fictional exploration of the life and times of one of Britain's finest novelists - his struggle to find a way of living and being - and a stunningly vivid evocation of the mysterious alchemy of the creative process, Arctic Summer is a literary masterpiece, by one of the finest writers of his generation.

About the Author

Damon Galgut was born in Pretoria in 1963. He wrote his first novel, A Sinless Season, when he was seventeen. His other books include Small Circle of Beings, The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs, The Quarry, The Good Doctor, The Impostor and In A Strange Room.

The Good Doctor was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Dublin/IMPAC Award, The Impostor was also shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and In a Strange Room was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He lives in Cape Town.

That Girl from Nowhere

By: Dorothy Koomson

RRP: $32.99

From the bestselling author of The Ice Cream Girls, The Woman He Loved Before and My Best Friend's Girl, an emotional story about love, identity and the meaning of family.

‘Where are you coming from with that accent of yours?' he asks.
‘Nowhere,' I reply. ‘I'm from nowhere.'
‘Everyone's from somewhere,' he says.
‘Not me,' I reply silently.

Clemency Smittson was adopted as a baby and the only connection she has to her birth mother is a cardboard box hand-decorated with butterflies. Now an adult, Clem decides to make a drastic life change and move to Brighton, where she was born. Clem has no idea that while there she'll meet someone who knows all about her butterfly box and what happened to her birth parents.

As the tangled truths about her adoption and childhood start to unravel, a series of shocking events cause Clem to reassess whether the price of having contact with her birth family could be too high to pay...

About the Author

Dorothy Koomson has been making up stories since she was thirteen and used to share her fictional worlds with her convent school friends. She is now the author of ten novels including The Chocolate Run, My Best Friend's Girl, The Woman He Loved Before and The Flavours of Love, having worked as a journalist and editor for several national papers and women's magazines.

While writing That Girl from Nowhere Dorothy developed a penchant for making jewellery, drinking coffee and taking photos with a real camera.

Missing You

By: Kylie Kaden

RRP: $32.99

Missing You is a tantalising love story and a seductive suspense novel: 'Our lives were built around the strength of a kiss between strangers. Yet seven years on, look where it led us . . .'

When Aisha met Ryan she fell hard for his good looks and easy charm. Why worry that he didn't want children or a 9 to 5 job? Nothing and no one would come between them.

But with the birth of their high-needs son, Eli, their extraordinary love is shackled into an ordinary life, their passion blunted by responsibility. Until Ryan can't take it anymore.

Then, following a mysterious phone call late one night, Aisha leaves four-year-old Eli in the care of her elderly father Patrick - and doesn't come back.

As Patrick struggles with the grandson he barely knows or understands, his frustration with his missing daughter and absent son-in-law quickly turns to fear. Particularly when blood is found in Aisha's abandoned car . . .

About the Author

Kylie Kaden was raised in Queensland and spent holidays camping with her parents and two brothers at the Sunshine Coast, where her novels are set. She now lives in Brisbane with her husband and three young sons.

She is the author of Losing Kate and Missing You.

Captive Prince
Book One of the Captive Prince Trilogy

By: C. S. Pacat

RRP: $19.99

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else...

About the Author

C. S. Pacat is the author of the Captive Prince trilogy. Born in Australia and educated at the University of Melbourne, she has since lived in a number of different cities, including Tokyo and Perugia.

She currently resides and works in Melbourne.

By: Fiona McIntosh

RRP: $32.99

Would you risk everything for love?

Stella Myles is suddenly impoverished through a family crisis and becomes forced to make ends meet by selling herself as a dance partner in a Piccadilly ballroom. Here she meets the enigmatic Montgomery, who orchestrates a job for her as governess for the wealthy Ainsworth family in Sussex. But nothing is as straightforward as it first seems.

In entering the mansion of Harp's End, Stella encounters a family with more secrets than most. She struggles to fit in above or below stairs - although nothing proves so challenging as restraining the illicit love that ignites between herself and the mysterious Douglas Ainsworth.

When Douglas announces that they are all to voyage aboard a cruise ship bound for Morocco, tensions reach new heights and finally bubble over. Stella finds herself caught up in a family at war and in a world on the edge of another. She is now the keeper of an incendiary document smuggled out of Berlin, one which must reach London at all costs.

From the rolling green hills of the Kentish Weald to the colourful alleys and bazaars of Morocco, this is a thrilling story of intrigue and danger - and a passion to risk dying for.

About the Author

Fiona McIntosh was born in England, spent her early childhood in West Africa and has lived in Australia for the past three decades. She worked for many years in the travel industry but after her shift to full-time writing she roams the world researching and drawing inspiration for her novels.

Adelaide is her home base, which she shares with her husband and twin sons, but Fiona does most of her writing from the peace of southern Tasmania. To date she has written twenty-six novels, including seven novels for children.

Last One Home

By: Debbie Macomber

RRP: $32.99

The first ever stand-alone novel from international bestseller Debbie Macomber, author of Blossom Street Brides and Rose Harbor in Bloom. A story about the enduring bond between sisters, the power of forgiveness, and a second chance at love.

Twelve years ago, Cassie Carter chose the wrong man, and one fateful event drove three sisters apart.

Now, hoping to leave her past behind, Cassie has returned to Washington with her daughter. Though her sisters don't live too far away, she doesn't expect to see them. Karen, the oldest, is a busy wife and mother, balancing her career with raising her two children. And Nichole, the youngest, is a stay-at-home mum whose husband indulges her every whim. But one day, Cassie receives a letter from Karen, offering the hope of reconciliation.

As Cassie opens herself up to new possibilities – making amends with her sisters, finding love once more – she realises the power of compassion, and the promise of a fresh start.

About the Author

Debbie Macomber is a best-selling American author of over 150 romance novels and contemporary women's fiction. Over sixty million copies of her books are in print throughout the world, and one, 'This Matter of Marriage', became a made-for-tv-movie in 1998.

Macomber was the inaugural winner of the fan-voted Quill Award for romance in 2005 and has been awarded a Romance Writers of America RITA Award.

Food!

The River Cottage Australia Cookbook

By: Paul West, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Foreword by)

RRP: $45.00

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has sowed the seed for a brand new River Cottage - in Australia! Somewhere between Melbourne and Sydney, and nestled between the pristine Sapphire Coast and the imposing Mount Gulaga, lies the beautiful old dairy farm which is now the home of River Cottage Australia, and 'new Hugh' Paul West.

Paul is a fresh, exciting face on the global food scene, as well as a brilliant presenter. Predictably, there is a healthy dose of competition between Hugh and Paul. They have fought over who can catch the first octopus and have raced to find the first mushroom of the year. But they have similar passions - sustainability and environmental issues being at the forefront - and on the farm they discover fantastic bounty as they forage for food and share the products of their culinary skills with the locals.

Featuring recipes from the first three series of River Cottage Australia, this is the cookbook that will reveal the delicious dishes which Paul has been creating on the farm.

The book is divided into seven chapters and includes more than 120 recipes such as pumpkin scones, roasted octopus salad, baked salmon, spiced aubergine salad, pig on a spit, borlotti bean broth, raw courgette salad and warm curb cake with honey rhubarb. With a preface by Hugh (and a sprinkling of his recipes throughout), plus atmospheric, beautiful photography by Mark Chew, this is one of the best cookery books of the year.

About the Author

Born in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, Paul West trained as chef at Melbourne's renowned Vue de Monde. He has worked in all areas of food production - from being a WWOOFer (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) in orchards, to working in wholesale markets and at retail fruiterers.

Yes, Chef!

By: Lisa Joy

RRP: $32.99

Sassy foodie Becca Stone is over her job taking reservations for one of London's most successful restaurant empires. So when she is unexpectedly catapulted into working as PA to celebrity chef Damien Malone, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime.

Becca is quickly caught up in an exciting whirlwind of travel, reality TV and opening nights, and even her usually abysmal love-life takes a turn for the better. But as Becca is slowly consumed by the chaos of life in the spotlight, she begins to lose touch with her friends, her heart and even with reality. Working with Damien has its challenges and she is soon struggling with his increasingly outrageous demands and sleazy advances, all while managing the ridiculous requests of his self-centred wife. It takes a disastrous trip to Italy for Becca to realise that she may have thrown away exactly what she's been looking for all along.

Inspired by Lisa Joy's real-life adventures, this deliciously funny and romantic story is a tantalising llok at the trendy restaurant scene: a world where chefs are treated like rock stars, and cooking isn't all that goes on in the kitchen.

About the Author

Lisa Joy began writing stories in her teenage years, but decided she needed to get her heart broken and live in another country before pursuing a career as a novelist. Born in Sydney, she spent most of her childhood wearing pink tights and leotards at ballet class.

At age 21, deciding she wasn't cut out for the famished life of a ballerina, she left her safe and somewhat predictable existence behind and travelled to London, where she worked as a television producer's PA, in fashion retail and the restaurant business.

Having fallen head over heels in love with London, travelling Europe, eating amazing food and the occasional stint on stage and screen, Lisa stayed put for about 7 years, until finally, family called and she returned to Australia to work as PA to a well known Melbourne chef.

Her writing took a dramatic turn for the better after she attended a commercial fiction masterclass with author Fiona McIntosh. She now lives in the picturesque Dandenong Ranges outside Melbourne on a small acreage farm with her husband and four chooks where in addition to writing novels, she grows vegetables, berries and herbs to supply to some of Melbourne's best restaurants.

For the Kids!

Dreamfire

By: Kit Alloway

RRP: $17.99

Joshlyn Weaver has always lived with a big secret. Ordinary kids spend their free time going to the movies, hanging out with friends, and searching on the internet. But for her, an evening at home usually means entering people's dreams. For many generations, her family has been part of a very powerful and very secretive society of dream walkers.

Tasked with the responsibility of lowering the world's general anxiety - which only leads to war and strife in the waking world - their job has always been to stop nightmares before they go too far.

By stopping nightmares while sleeping, they help to stop nightmares in real life. But when an ancient feud within the dream walker society resurfaces right when a seemingly unconnected series of very strange and very scary events start occurring during her dream walks, Josh finds herself in a race against time.

The one true dream walker has never been known. Could she be the one?

About the Author

Kit Alloway writes primarily for young adults, having always had an affection for teenagers. In addition to writing, she plays various musical instruments, decorates cakes, mixes essential oils, and studies East European languages. She lives in Louisville, KY with her family and four very tiny dogs.

Johnny Danger, DIY Spy

By: Peter Millett

RRP: $14.99

A hilarious, action-packed tale featuring a pair of evil number twos, a madman, exploding bogey bombs, discount ninjas and a man-eating piranha called Bob.

Johnny Danger has always dreamed of being a spy. He's even created a fake web page posing as secret agent Johnny Danger - complete with crazy gadgets and awesome assignments.

M16 are on the lookout for a new recruit, and they think Johnny is the real deal.

So begin the adventures of Johnny danger DIY Spy - and his hothead sidekick Penelope Pounds - as he finds himself on a mission to save the world, capture a villain, and stay one step ahead of everyone.

Because if people find out Johnny danger is just a school boy pretending to be a spy, it could mean the end of his dreams. And the end of Johnny . . .

About the Author

Peter Millet lives in New Zealand. He is the author of the Johnny Danger DIY Spy series (Penguin) and Boy Zero series (Faber & Faber) and picture book The Anzac Puppy (Scholastic), as well as a number of books by Penguin Books (NZ), Macmillan Readers and Fast Lane Fiction.

A River

By: Marc Martin

RRP: $24.99

There is a river outside my window.

Where will it take me?

So begins an imaginary journey from the city to the sea. From factories to farmlands, freeways to forest, each new landscape is explored through stunning illustrations and poetic text from this award-winning picture-book creator.

Ed note: this is a truly beautiful book - one that is a joy to share and make into a family treasure.

About the Author

Marc Martin is an illustrator, artist and book maker based in Melbourne, Australia. His illustrations have been commissioned by clients such as Monocle magazine, Wired magazine, The Financial Review, Capital magazine, The Australian Centre for the Moving Image, and various festivals.

He is also the author and illustrator of four books, A Forest (Penguin Books, 2012), Silent Observer (Erm Books, 2011), The Curious Explorer's Illustrated Guide to Exotic Animals A-Z (Penguin Books, 2013), and Max (Penguin Books, 2014). Marc's books are published internationally, and A Forest won the 2013 Crichton Award for Children's Book Illustration.

The Ruby Circle
Bloodlines Series : Book 6

By: Richelle Mead

RRP: $19.99

The epic conclusion to Richelle Mead's New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series is finally here . . .

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives.

After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead's New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis.

Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world.

About the Author

Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time. Before becoming a writer, she considered a few different career paths.

She received a liberal arts degree from the University of Michigan, an MA in Comparative Religion from Western Michigan University, and a Master in Teaching (Middle & High School English) degree from the University of Washington. In the end, she decided writing was the way for her but believes all of her education prepared her for it.

A life-long reader, Richelle has always had a particular fascination with mythology and folklore. When not writing,, she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. Lots of dresses. She is a self-professed coffee addict, fights a constant (and losing) battle with procrastination, and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.

Starfish are Pointy
Little Bug Books

By: Graeme Base

RRP: $9.99

Starfish are pointy. But what shapes are other animals?

Graeme Base's distinctive artwork comes alive in this beautiful fold-out book for the very young.

and

A Herd of Elephants
Little Bug Books

By: Graeme Base

RRP: $9.99

A group of elephants is called a herd. But what are other animal groups called?

Ed note: these are such beautiful books with wonderful images, a hunt for a ladybird and a great book design in itself. Each of these books are bound to become family favourites and make ideal gifts for little ones to instill a life long love for books.

About the Author

Graeme Base is one of the world's leading creators of picture books. His alphabet book Animalia, received international acclaim when it was first published in 1986, and has achieved classic status with worldwide sales approaching three million copies.

It has now inspired an animated TV series. Other favourites by Graeme Base include The Eleventh Hour, My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch, The Sign of the Seahorse, The Discovery of Dragons, The Worst Band in the Universe,The Waterhole (and The Waterhole Board Book), Jungle Drums and Uno's Garden.

In 2007 this last title featured in six major awards and was winner of three: Speech Pathology Book of the Year, younger readers; The Green Earth Book, USA; The Wilderness Society Environment Award.

In 2003, his first novel for young readers, TruckDogs, was released.

It was short-listed for the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards the following year. In 2009 Graeme produced the the fascinating, beautiful and challenging book Enigma; can you crack the code?

Graeme's most recent book is The Golden Snail. Graeme lives in Melbourne with his artist wife, Robyn, and their three children - James, Kate and Will.

Why I Love Footy

By: Michael Wagner , Tom Jellett (Illustrator)

RRP: $19.99

There are a bazillion reasons to love footy! These are just my biggest ones…

There's the big tackles and amazing marks. There's wearing the scarf and singing the song. But whether your team wins or loses, from the opening bounce to the final siren, the very best thing about footy is that we do it together.

About the Author

Tom Jellett is an Australian illustrator based in Sydney. Tom has been an editorial illustrator for NewsLimited, working on The Australian, The Weekend Australian and The Daily Telegraph.

His work has appeared in the South China Morning Post, The Week and Medical Observer.

He is also an acclaimed children's book illustrator. His work includes a series of books about a little pirate for Penguin Books and a couple of books about a teddy bear called Ted (Ted Goes Wild, Ted Gets Lost and Ted Hits Town).

His picture book with Justine Clarke and Arthur Baysting, The Gobbledygook is Eating a Book, has been an Australian bestseller. His most recent picture book is Why I Love Footy, written by Michael Wagner.

In 2011, he was included in the editorial category for Illustrators 53, exhibited at the Society of Illustrators, New York.

Love Bomb
Secret Letters, First Kisses and Falling Head Over Heels

By: Jenny McLachlan

RRP: $15.99

An irresistible, hilarious story about friendship, fortitude and following your heart. By the author of the fabulous Flirty Dancing.

Betty Plum has never been in love. She's never even kissed a boy. But when H.O.T. Toby starts school it's like Betty has been hit with a thousand of Cupid's arrows. It's like a bomb has exploded - a love bomb!

More than ever Betty wishes her mum hadn't died when Betty was a baby. She really needs her mum here to ask her advice. And that's when she finds hidden letters for just these moments. Letters about what your first kiss should feel like and what real love is all about ...

Is Betty ready to fall in love? Will she finally have her first kiss?

About the Author

Before Jenny started writing books for teenagers, she was an English teacher. Although she loved teaching funny teenagers (and stealing the things they said and putting them in her books) she now gets to write about them full time. In her spare time, just like Bea the heroine in her first novel, Flirty Dancing, Jenny loves to jive. She is based in the UK.

New Boy

By: Nick Earls

RRP $14.99

Adjusting to a new country and a new school was never going to be easy. The food is strange. And it's the whitest place Herschelle has ever been. Worst of all, no one understands the Aussie slang he's learnt on the web.

But it's the similarities to South Africa that make things really hard. Herschelle will have to confront racism, bullying and his own past before Australia can feel like home......

A moving, funny new novel by one of Australia's best-loved authors.

About the Author

Nick Earls is the author of twenty books, including the bestselling novels Zigzag Street, Bachelor Kisses, Perfect Skin and World of Chickens. His work has been published internationally in English and in translation, and has won awards in the UK and Australia. Five of his novels have been adapted into plays and two into feature films. He was the founding chair of the Australian arm of the international aid agency War Child and is now a War Child ambassador

Half Wild
Half Bad Trilogy : Book 2

By: Sally Green

RRP: $16.99

This is the stunning sequel to Sally Green's breathtaking debut novel - Half Bad.

After finally meeting his elusive father, Marcus, and receiving the three gifts that confirm him as a full adult witch, Nathan is still on the run. He needs to find his friend Gabriel and rescue Annalise, now a prisoner of the powerful Black witch Mercury.

Most of all he needs to learn how to control his Gift - a strange, wild new power that threatens to overwhelm him. Meanwhile, Soul O'Brien has seized control of the Council of White Witches and is expanding his war against Black witches into Europe.

In response, an unprecedented alliance has formed between Black and White witches determined to resist him. Drawn into the rebellion by the enigmatic Black witch Van Dal, Nathan finds himself fighting alongside both old friends and old enemies. But can all the rebels be trusted, or is Nathan walking into a trap?

About the Author

Sally Green lives in north-west England. In 2010 she started writing and hasn't stopped since. She used to keep chickens, makes decent jam, doesn't mind ironing, loves to walk in Wales even when it's raining and will probably never jog again. She really ought to drink less coffee.

Be Inspired

The Country Wife

By: Anne Gorman

RRP: $34.99

From Strength to Strength meets The Bean Patch as a city girl turned bush wife faces a battle to survive in an alien land she grows to love.

When she is six, Anne Gorman's family falls apart. Her mother has a breakdown - the fallout of thirteen pregnancies, the death of two children and the struggle to survive during the Great Depression. When her devout Catholic mother smashes a statue of the Virgin Mary, her punishment is to be locked up and given shock treatment. Her children are placed in a convent where they wait in vain to be rescued by their parents.

Anne doesn't see her beloved father again until years later when he is dying. After his death, her mother is released to mend her broken family. Anne's determination to escape her fate fires her ambition to find a better life. Education is her passport to freedom and after graduating from university, she is ready to take on the world. But her grand plans come unstuck when she falls in love. Marrying a farmer and becoming a mother to five children is a life she had never imagined. Yet in this alien landscape she finds love and a sense of belonging. But when Anne's husband becomes suddenly gravely ill, she has to battle to keep the property afloat and bring up her children alone.

Against a backdrop of historic change, from the Second World War to Vietnam to the sexual and political revolution in the 1960s and 1970s, a uncertain young girl becomes a women of substance.

About the Author

Anne Gorman was born in Mudgee, the eleventh child in her family. After graduating from Sydney University with a BA and a post graduate degree in Medical Social Work, her career plans hadn't factored in her decision to marry a farmer and move to a sheep and wheat property in the Riverina.

When her husband became gravely ill, Anne had to take up thereins to keep the property afloat and bring up their five children alone. She later went on to have a long and highly successful professional career, including serving as Head of the Australian Government's task force for International Year of the Child to the United Nations.

In 2003 she established The Institute of Executive Coaching with an American partner. Her clients included Telstra, BHP, ANZ and state and federal government departments. This is her first book.

Bad Behaviour
A Memoir of Bullying and Boarding School

By: Rebecca Starford

RRP: $29.99

It was supposed to be a place where teenagers would learn resilience, confidence and independence, where long hikes and runs in the bush would make their bodies strong and foster a connection with the natural world. Living in bare wooden huts, cut off from the outside world, the students would experience a very different kind of schooling, one intended to have a strong influence over the kind of adults they would eventually become.

Fourteen-year-old Rebecca Starford spent a year at this school in the bush. In her boarding house fifteen girls were left largely unsupervised, a combination of the worst behaved students and some of the most socially vulnerable. As everyone tried to fit in and cope with their feelings of isolation and homesickness, Rebecca found herself joining ranks with the powerful girls, and participating in various forms of bullying and aggression.

Increasingly horrified at her own behaviour, Rebecca soon found herself excluded from this group and subjected to bullying herself. Bad Behaviour tells the story of that year, a time of friendship and joy, but also of shame and fear.

It explores how those crucial experiences affected Rebecca as an adult and shaped her future relationships, and asks courageous questions about the nature of female friendship. Moving, wise and painfully honest, this extraordinary memoir shows how bad behaviour from childhood, in all its forms, can be so often and so easily repeated throughout our adult lives.

About the Author

Rebecca Starford is the co-founder and publishing-director of Kill Your Darlings and an editor at Text Publishing. She has written for Guardian, Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Australian newspapers. She was a founding member of the Stella Prize steering committee.

Bad Behaviour is her first book. Rebecca lives in Melbourne.

The Story of Australia's People
The Rise and Fall of Ancient Australia : Volume 1

By: Geoffrey Blainey

RRP: $49.99

The vast, ancient land of Australia was settled in two main streams, far apart in time and origin.

The first stream of immigrants came ashore some 50,000 years ago when the islands of Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea were one. The second began to arrive from Europe at the end of the eighteenth century. Each had to come to terms with the land they found, and each had to make sense of the other. It was not – and is still not – an easy relationship, and the story of Australia's people is as complex as it is rich.

The long Aboriginal occupation of Australia witnessed spectacular changes. The rising of the seas isolated the continent and preserved a nomadic way of life as agriculture revolutionised other parts of the world. Over millennia, the Aboriginal people mastered the land's climates, seasons and reserves.

Traditional Aboriginal life came under threat the moment Europeans crossed the world to plant a new society in an unknown land. Australia was to be a land that rewarded, tricked, tantalised and often defeated the new arrivals. The meeting of the two cultures is one of the most difficult meetings in history.

In The Story of Australia's People, Professor Geoffrey Blainey returns to the subject of his most celebrated works on Australian history, Triumph of the Nomads (1975) and A Land Half Won (1980), retelling the story of our history up until 1850 in light of the latest research and archaeological findings. Some of those findings have led him to change his mind about vital aspects of Aboriginal history, examined more fully here than in any other popular history of Australia yet published.

Compelling, groundbreaking and brilliantly readable, The Story of Australia's People is the first installment of an ambitious two-part work, and the culmination of the life work of Australia's most respected historian.

About the Author

Geoffrey Blainey is one of Australia's most significant and popular historians. He has written some 36 full-length books including The Tyranny of Distance, Triumph of the Nomads, Black Kettle and Full Moon, A Short History of the 20th Century, Sea of Dangers, A Short History of Christianity and the best-selling A Short History of the World.

Professor Blainey held chairs in economic history and then in plain history at the University of Melbourne for 21 years.

He was a delegate to the 1998 Constitutional Convention and also chaired various Commonwealth government bodies, including the Australia Council, the Literature Board, the Australia-China Council, and the National Council for the Centenary of Federation.

He is one of the few Australians whose biography appears in Encyclopaedia Britannica.

We are Here
My family's courageous journey to survive

By: Cat Thao Nguyen

RRP: $24.99

Told through the bright and unflinching eyes of Cat Thao, a girl born in a refugee camp, We Are Here is a memoir that begins in 1975 with her family's gripping exodus by foot out of post-war Vietnam - a dangerous journey, unimaginable to most, on which most perished.

The escape of Cat Thao's family from persecution traverses the horrific jungles of Khmer Rouge Cambodia and into the crowded refugee camps of Thailand. From which, finally, the Nguyens were allowed to board a Qantas plane to a freedom they wanted desperately. But the stark, contrasting suburban landscapes of Western Sydney, Australia were not the unalloyed blessing they'd imagined.

Against the backdrop of an immigrant experience, Cat Thao tells of her coming of age in Australia, haunted by lingering trauma but buoyed by instincts of hope, reinvention and survival. In a voice both candid and striking, Cat Thao details her struggles with growing up: from her bad skin and hairy legs, to Vietnamese mysticism and kinship, and bound throughout by familial loyalty and honour.

With wit and poignancy, We Are Here explores an Australia of the 80s and 90s, and a family's tireless journey for peace through a young woman's absolute determination to find her place.

About the Author

Cat Thao is an Australian writer and lawyer. She was born in Thailand to Vietnamese parents and grew up in Western Sydney. Cat Thao is married to Tony, a Canadian Chinese man whom she met at a sushi bar in Vietnam.

She has held a number of advisory and board positions including with the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Ethnic Communities' Council of New South Wales, Australian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam and the Loreto Vietnam Australia Program, an Australian charity.

Love, Tanya

By: Tanya Burr

RRP: $24.99

Love, Tanya is the first book from YouTube sensation Tanya Burr.

Hi everyone and welcome to Love, Tanya! This book is really close to my heart, because it's inspired by my journey to becoming confident and feeling happy about who I am. I wanted to write a book to share the things I've learnt with you - to reveal my top tips on fashion, beauty, love, friendship, YouTube... and loads more! Plus, there is room for you to list your own hopes and dreams alongside mine - so get creative and get involved! I'd love it if this book became a keepsake you can turn to whenever you need some guidance or a little pick me up. I hope you enjoy it!

Love,

Tanya

About the Author

Tanya Burr is the latest YouTuber to sign a publishing deal, with Penguin the publisher.

Burr, the founder of Tanya Burr Cosmetics, has some 2.6m subscribers to her beauty and lifestyle channel.

She said in a video blog announcing the deal for Love Tanya, understood to be with the Michael Joseph imprint, that some publishers she took her book proposal to “didn’t understand social media enough”. She told viewers that publishing “is a little bit different” from making a video, as she is “used to everything being so instant with YouTube”.

Gods and Kings
The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano

By: Dana Thomas

RRP: $39.99

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, the fashion world was dominated by two very different but equally successful and turbulent figures. But, within twelve months, Alexander McQueen had committed suicide, and John Galliano has professionally imploded. Who was to blame? And how was fashion changed by their rise and fall?

This is the story of Galliano and McQueen, the two working class British boys who shook fashion to its core. With their complicated and deeply seductive designs, they moved from the raucous art and club scene of London to the old-school heart of French couture. Dana Thomas, who witnessed their arrival in Paris and who interviewed more than one hundred people close to both designers, presents their lives in rich detail. Highlighting the similarities and differences in their temperament, charisma and style, she explores both their individual talent and the changing nature of fashion over the 80s, 90s and noughties.

The result is a deeply engrossing, fast-paced and original read. Galliano and McQueen weren't simply driven and gifted: they wanted to revolutionize fashion in a way no one had in decades. And for a while, they succeeded.

About the Author

Dana Thomas began her career writing for the Style section of the Washington Post and served as Newsweek's European culture and fashion correspondent for fifteen years. She has written for The New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, WSJ, the Financial Times, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and was the European editor of Conde Nast Portfolio.

She is a contributing editor for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and the author of the New York Times bestseller, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Lustre. She lives in Paris.

Do You Love Dogs?
All you ever wanted to know about your furry friends

By: Clair Hume

RRP: $16.99

Do dogs dream?

Does tail-wagging always show that a dog is happy?

Is a pug really related to a wolf?

Can a dog be trained to ride a horse?

For thousands of years, dogs have been our best friends. They've kept us company, entertained us and even saved our lives.

In this fun and fascinating book, Clair Hume (with the help of her dog, Dave) explores all sorts of remarkable facts and stories about dogs. Do You Love Dogs? will help you understand more about the wonderful world of our canine companions. You'll probably end up looking at them in a completely different way!

About the Author

Clair Hume grew up riding horses with her two brothers on a small farm in Nar Nar Goon North before travelling around and around and around, and then coming back to Melbourne. She has been an underwater photographer (diving with whales, leopard sharks and Russian tourists) and an Antarctic photographer, a vineyard hand and a Santa elf. Today, Clair works as an editor and writer, and lives in Melbourne with her family.

Do You Love Dogs? is her first book. Dave the dog got into trouble as a pup after a bad run-in with some chickens. He then had some hard years being passed from one owner to the next and hit rock bottom when he found himself locked in a big cage with lots of food. He grew fat and sad and one day decided to escape. But his attempt to jump out of the cage landed him with a cut to his side and a visit to the vet.

Luckily for Dave, the vet was Clair's brother, Will, and he found him a perfect home. Today, Dave lives a happy life and eats lots of bones. He helps dogs in need overcome their problems and is an advocate for Pooch Rights International, Bridging the Gap (a foundation working to bring cats and dogs together) and PetRescue.

Girls, Uninterrupted
Steps for Building Stronger Girls in a Challenging World

By: Tanith Carey

RRP; $19.99

From the moment they're born, our daughters face a barrage of unhealthy messages about what it means to be female. Whether they are praised for being pretty, not smart, or accused of being bossy, rather than strong, teaching girls how to be comfortable being themselves has never been a bigger challenge. And in the age of social media trolls, internet pornography and overly sexualised children's clothes, our daughters are finding it harder than ever to stay young, carefree and happy.

The solution, however, is not avoidance, but equipping our daughters to navigate this world without losing their innocence. From combatting the Lolita effect, to teaching girls how to accept their bodies, Girls Uninterrupted is packed with expert advice and up- to-date research that will show you how your daughter can grow up to be a strong, confident woman.

About the Author

Tanith Carey is the author of six books, ranging from biography to social history and parenting.

She writes opinion and features for a wide range of publications all over the world including the Guardian, the Independent, the Independent on Sunday, the Daily Mail, Grazia, Woman and Woman's Own and the New York Daily News.

Design with Colour and Style

By: Shaynna Blaze

RRP: $39.99

Star of Selling Houses Australia, and expert judge on Channel 9's The Block

Interior design expert Shaynna Blaze is passionate about helping people uncover their own personal interior style. In this book, she explores the intriguing, enticing elements of colour and style and explains how you can use them to transform your home.

Using beautiful photographs and practical examples, Shaynna shows how colour affects a space and the mood of those living in it. She reveals how contemporary and historic design styles have developed, and ways they can be interpreted to suit your taste, with hands-on tips for putting your ideas into practice.

With her warm, down-to-earth approach, Shaynna offers guidance and inspiration to help you discover your own individual style and colour palette, so you can design your dream interior.

About the Author

Shaynna Blaze is an award-winning interior designer who has created stunning interiors in residential and commercial spaces for over twenty years. Her designs have been featured internationally in design magazines and publications such as Elle Decoration, Belle, Cosmo and 1000 Global Interiors.

Shaynna is a resident expert and presenter on LifeStyle Channel's award-winning Selling Houses Australia and a judge on Channel 9's popular home makeover show The Block. She won the ASTRA award for favourite female personality in both 2013 and 2014. Shaynna has partnered with many companies to produce signature products, and is currently the Colour Creative Director and face of Taubmans paints.

Outback Vets

By: Annabelle Brayley

RRP: $29.99

The stakes are high for the smart and spirited vets charged with caring for Australia's rural livestock, wildlife and beloved family pets. Those who call the outback home often depend on animals for their wellbeing – and, in many cases, their livelihood.

In far south-west Queensland, Rachel Wilson and Will Nason vet all the horses at the famous Birdsville Races; in the Victorian High Country, Dave Hall's own life-threatening car accident fired his ambition to make a difference; and in her mixed practice in north-west New South Wales, lone vet Mary-Jane Stutsel has had seven days off-call in twenty years.

Among others, we also meet Jan Allen, who works with camp dogs in remote Indigenous communities in the Top End, and adventurous Rick Fenny in the vast Pilbara, who cared for the region's beloved nomad kelpie, Red Dog.

Outback Vets is a walk on Australia's wild side, from the glistening coast to the dusty desert. Get to know these hard-working animal lovers as they ride, drive and fly across some of the most remote regions of Australia, rescuing and treating creatures great and small.

About the Author

Annabelle Brayley trained as a registered nurse. When she married her husband, Ian, she went on to live on an isolated sheep and cattle station in south-west Queensland. Relocating in 2001 to the small rural community where they now live, Annabelle resumed employment in rural and remote health before retiring to pursue her passion for storytelling.

As a regular contributor to R.M. Williams OUTBACK magazine, Annabelle frequently tells the stories of people who live and work in the bush. She has developed a reputation for accuracy, honesty and sensitivity that enables people to tell their stories without fear of prejudice or sensationalism.

Airmail
Taking Women of Letters to the World

By: Marieke Hardy, Michaela McGuire

RRP: $29.99

Women of Letters have conquered the world with their passion for correspondence. Taking their literary salons on a global tour, they've collected an astounding and sweeping array of contributions from some of the world's brightest talents.

From Ubud, award-winning author Lionel Shriver writes with unexpected nostalgia about her days as an unknown novelist.

Musician Moby pays tribute from Los Angeles to his favourite David Bowie song, even while acknowledging the frustration of feeling like he'll never live up to it.

Writer, actor and Rookie Magazine founder Tavi Gevinson sends a dispatch from Chicago about the importance of getting stuff done instead of waiting for inspiration to hit.

And much-loved and bestselling novelist Monica McInerney posts a note from Dublin about how sometimes the things that don't happen to us can affect us as strongly as the things that do.

Containing two years of missives from live events held in Indonesia, the USA, the UK and Ireland, Airmail is the first international anthology in the Women of Letters series.

All royalties for this book will go to Edgar's Mission animal rescue shelter.

About the Author

Marieke Hardy is a writer, broadcaster, producer and artist. She is a regular panellist on ABC's The Book Club, the creator of the hit TV show Laid, and a curator of live art.

A collection of her essays was published in 2011.

101 Inspirations for Your Journey

By: Meredith Gaston

RRP: $24.99

Every day is a journey, whether your bags are packed and you're off to see the world, or you're simply following your usual nine-to-five routine. Let artist Meredith Gaston set you on a path of wonder, joy and mindfulness with her new book, 101 Inspirations for your Journey.

This collection of Meredith's favourite quotations from famous writers and thinkers will spark your sense of adventure and inspire gratefulness, curiosity and delight as you journey through life.

Illustrated with Meredith's charming and whimsical drawings, this follow-up to 101 Moments of Joy and Inspiration is the perfect gift for travellers of every kind.

About the Author

Artist and illustrator Meredith Gaston has received international recognition for her enchanting paintings, characterised by their warm, bold colours and simplicity of form.

Inspired by her travels and a fervent love of life, her work has been exhibited in major Australian galleries and is commissioned worldwide.

Girl in the Dark

By: Anna Lyndsey

RRP: $29.99

The story of an ordinary woman with an extraordinary illness. The memoir of a life lived in darkness and a passionate love affair with light

'Something is afoot within me that I do not understand, the breaking of a contract that I thought could not be broken, a slow perverting of my very substance'

Anna was living a normal life. She enjoyed her job; she was ambitious and worked hard; she was falling in love. Then the unthinkable happened. What started out as a mild intolerance to artificial light, preventing her from sitting comfortably in front of a computer screen for long periods, suddenly developed into something much more serious.

Anna was diagnosed with an extreme case of photosensitivity, an allergy to light in all forms. At the best times, she can venture cautiously out of her front door at night, avoiding high-strength streetlamps. At the worst, she must spend weeks on end in one blacked-out room, living in complete darkness, losing herself in audiobooks and elaborate word games.

This is the astonishing story of Anna's descent into the depths of an extraordinary illness, of the many supposed cures she has tried and of how, in the face of overwhelming despair, she has learnt to live in with her condition, supported by her steadfast husband and loving family.

About the Author

Anna Lyndsey worked for several years in London as a civil servant until she became ill. She now lives with her husband in Hampshire.

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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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