books

Sing, Unburied, Sing

Author: Jesmyn Ward (published by Bloomsbury, rrp $25)

2017 Winner National Book Award for Fiction

A searing and profound odyssey bringing the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first century America. An essential contribution to American literature. Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she ‘s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie ‘s children is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out to collect him on a voyage rife with danger and promise. In prose layered with the textures of the south, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississipi ‘s past and present. Using visceral and eloquent language that scalds with its raw power and beauty, Jesmyn Ward grapples unflinchingly with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and explores the power and limitations of the bonds of family and community.

An epic tale of hope and struggle and a searing and profound odyssey, this is is a majestic new work from a writer at the height of her powers.

How Not To Be A Boy

Author: Robert Webb (published by Canongate, rrp $30)

Rules For Being A Man:

Don’t Cry

Love Sport

Play Rough

Drink Beer Don’t

Talk About Feelings

But Robert Webb has been wondering for some time now: are those rules actually any use? To anyone? Looking back over his life, from schoolboy crushes (on girls and boys) to discovering the power of making people laugh (in the Cambridge Footlights with David Mitchell), and from losing his beloved mother to becoming a husband and father, Robert Webb considers the absurd expectations boys and men have thrust upon them at every stage of life. Hilarious and heart-breaking, How Not to Be a Boy explores the relationships that made Robert who he is as a man, the lessons we learn as sons and daughters, and the understanding that sometimes you aren’t the Luke Skywalker of your life – you’re actually Darth Vader.

La Belle Sauvage Book of Dust Volume One

Author: Philip Pullman (published by David Fickling , rrp $33)

Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dumon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua . . .

Philip Pullman returns to the world of His Dark Materials with this magnificent first volume of The Book of Dust.

A Pleasure To Be Here: The Best of Clarke & Dawes 1989-2017

Author: John Clarke (published by Text Publishing, rrp $30)

Drawn from John Clarke’s and Bryan Dawe’s weekly broadcasts, these timelessly funny scripts will delight readers as they revisit the scandals and stuff-ups of our lifetimes. Politics was never so preposterous. All the old favourites are here- Bob Hawke, Margaret Thatcher, Bob Collins (‘the front fell off’), Paul Keating, Alan Bond, John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.

The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse

Author: Mac Barnett Illustrator: Jon Klassen (published by Walker Books, rrp $25)

Early one morning a mouse met a wolf and was quickly gobbled up… When a woeful mouse is swallowed up by a wolf, he quickly learns he is not alone: a duck has already set up digs and, boy, has that duck got it figured out! Turns out it’s pretty nice inside the belly of the beast – there’s delicious food, elegant table settings and, best of all, dancing. And there’s something more: no more fear of being eaten by a wolf! Life’s not so bad, considering the alternatives. That is, until a hunter shows up… With a nod to traditional fables and a wink to the reader, the award-winning Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, Extra Yarn and Triangle offer a tale of cooperation and creative cuisine that is sure to go down easy.

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