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A Visit From the Goon Squad

4th August 2017

Author: Jennifer Egan (published by Corsair, rrp $20)

Jennifer Egan’s spellbinding novel circles the lives of Bennie Salazar, an ageing former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other’s pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over many years, in locales as varied as New York, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa.We first meet Sasha in her mid-thirties, on her therapist’s couch in New York City, confronting her long-standing compulsion to steal. Later, we learn the genesis of her turmoil when we see her as the child of a violent marriage, then a runaway living in Naples, then as a college student trying to avert the suicidal impulses of her best friend.We meet Bennie Salazar at the melancholy nadir of his adult life-divorced, struggling to connect with his nine-year-old son, listening to a washed up band in the basement of a suburban house-and then revisit him in 1979, at the height of his youth, shy and tender, revelling in San Francisco’s punk scene as he discovers his ardour for rock and roll and his gift for spotting talent. We learn what became of his high school gang-who thrived and who faltered-and we encounter Lou Kline, Bennie’s catastrophically careless mentor, along with the lovers and children left behind in the wake of Lou’s far flung sexual conquests and meteoric rise and fall.

The Bricks That Built the Houses

4th August 2017

Author: Kate Tempest (published by Bloomsbury, rrp$18)

It gets into your bones. You don’t even realise it, until you’re driving through it, watching all the things you’ve always known and leaving them behind. This corner of the city. Everything is yours and nothing else exists but this. South London. 

Young Londoners Becky, Harry and Leon are escaping the city with a suitcase full of stolen money. Taking us back in time, and into the heart of the capital, The Bricks that Built the Houses explores a cross-section of contemporary urban life with a powerful moral and literary microscope, exposing the everyday stories that lie behind the tired faces on the morning commute, and what happens when your best intentions don’t always lead to the right decisions.

Wise but never cynical, and driven by empathy and ethics, it leads us into the homes and hearts of ordinary people and their families and communities, giving us a unique perspective on how we live with and love each other.

The Bricks that Builds the Houses introduces a thrilling new literary voice.

 

A Fraction of the Whole

2nd August 2017

Author: Steve Toltz (published by Penguin, rrp $25)

Meet the Deans ‘The fact is, the whole of Australia despises my father more than any other man, just as they adore my uncle more than any other man. I might as well set the story straight about both of them.’ Heroes or Criminals? Crackpots or Visionaries? Relatives or Enemies? It’s a simple family story…

Locomotive

1st August 2017

Author: Julian Tuwim (published by Thames & Hudson rrp$22)

Three beautifully illustrated classic Polish tales that will enchant the young readers of todayIn the late 1930s renowned Polish poet Julian Tuwim, was asked to write three poems for children. The publisher Przeworski connected the three poems into one book, Locomotive, and commissioned illustrations from celebrated Polish illustration duo Lewitt and Him. Locomotive…

The Tale of Angelino Brown

1st August 2017

Author: David Almond (published by Walker Books rrp$20)

Bert and Betty Brown have got themselves a little angel. Bert found him in his top pocket when he was driving his bus. Bert and Betty’s friends think he’s lovely. So do Nancy and Jack and Alice from Class 5K. What a wonder! But Acting Head Teacher Mrs Mole is not so sure. Nor is Professor Smellie. Or the mysterious bloke in black who claims to be a School Inspector. Then there’s Basher Malone – big, lumbering Basher Malone. He REALLY doesn’t like Angelino. And it looks like he’s out to get him…

For ages 9+

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