books

The Lost Pages

Author: Marija Pericic (published by Allen and Unwin rrp $30

‘To frame The Lost Pages as being about Brod is clever and interesting. The Kafka we meet here is almost the opposite of the one we have come to expect.’ Stephen Romei, Literary Editor, The AustralianIt is 1908, and Max Brod is the rising star of Prague’s literary world. Everything he desires-fame, respect, love – is finally within his reach. But when a rival appears on the scene, Max discovers how quickly he can lose everything he has worked so hard to attain. He knows that the newcomer, Franz Kafka, has the power to eclipse him for good, and he must decide to what lengths he will go to hold onto his success. But there is more to Franz than meets the eye, and Max, too, has secrets that are darker than even he knows, secrets that may in the end destroy both of them.The Lost Pages is a richly reimagined story of Max Brod’s life filtered through his relationship with Franz Kafka. In this inspired novel of friendship, fraud, madness and betrayal, Marija Pericic writes vividly and compellingly of an extraordinary literary rivalry.’… cleverly structured and an intriguing concept.’ Jenny Barry, BooksPlus’From the very beginning, the strain between Kafka and Brod is hugely entertaining. Brod is anti-social and prefers his own company, just like the best of Kafka’s characters.’ Rohan Wilson, award winning author of The Roving Party and To Name Those Lost.

Borne

Author: Jeff VanderMeer (published by Fourth Estate rrp $25)

A novel that is simultaneously harrowing, dark, dangerous, funny and uplifting from the author of the Southern Reach trilogy “Am I a person?” Borne asks Rachel, in extremis.“Yes, you are a person,” Rachel tells him. “But like a person, you can be a weapon, too.”A ruined city of the future lives in fear of a despotic, gigantic flying bear, driven mad by the tortures inflicted on him by the Company, a mysterious biotech firm. A scavenger, Rachel, finds a creature entangled in his fur. She names it Borne.At first, Borne looks like nothing at all? a green lump that might be a discard from the Company. But he reminds Rachel of her homeland, an island nation long lost to rising seas, and she prevents her lover, Wick, from rendering down Borne as raw genetic material for the special kind of drugs he sells.But nothing is quite the way it seems: not the past, not the present, not the future. If Wick is hiding secrets, so is Rachel?and Borne most of all. What Rachel finds hidden deep within the Company will change everything and everyone. There, lost and forgotten things have lingered and grown. What they have grown into is mighty indeed.

The 7th Function of Language

Author: Laurent Binet (published by Harvill/Secker rrp $33)

Roland Barthes, one of the twentieth-century’s towering literary figures, is knocked down in a Paris street by a laundry van. It’s February 1980 and he has just come from lunch with Francois Mitterrand, who is locked in a battle for the Presidency. Barthes dies soon afterwards. History tells us it was an accident. But what if it were an assassination? What if Barthes was carrying a document of unbelievable, global importance? That document was the key to the seventh function of language – an idea so powerful it gives whoever masters it the ability to convince anyone, in any situation, to do anything. Police Captain Jacques Bayard and his reluctant accomplice Simon Herzog set off on a global chase that takes them from the corridors of power and academia to backstreet saunas and midnight rendezvous. What they discover is a global conspiracy involving the President, murderous Bulgarians and a secret international debating society. In the world of intellectuals and politicians, everyone is a suspect. And who can you trust when the idea of truth itself is at stake?

The Power

Author: Naomi Alderman (published by Penguin Books rrp $20)

Suddenly – tomorrow or the day after – teenage girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonising pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman’s extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed.

Winner of the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Polly and Buster Book One The Wayward Witch and the Feelings Monster

Author: Sally Rippin (published by Hardie Grant rrp $20)

From Australia’s best-selling female author, Sally Rippin, comes Polly and Buster– a brand new junior fiction series about the magic of friendship. Who ever heard of a witch and a monster being friends? Everyone knows that witches don’t mix with monsters.Witches are educated, clever,sophisticated. But monsters?Monsters are just uncouth. Some are even dangerous. But Polly the witch and Buster the feelings monster have been best friends forever. It’s the sort of friendship that makes your heart squeeze with happiness. Somehow, they’ve managed to keep their friendship a secret. Until one day,when everything changes.

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