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Lindy Jones
Lindy was awarded the Australian Bookseller Association Text Publishing Bookseller of the Year in 2011.
My Father the Great Pirate

My Father the Great Pirate

Davide Cali ,  Maurizio Quarello

$27.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Sometimes there are books in the children's section because they are illustrated and in a picture book format, so therefore they are for kids. But often enough, these books can't be categorised, and shouldn't be limited to young readers, because they truly transcend age barriers and can speak to anyone who reads. This book is one of those undefinable and special experiences.

As a young boy, the narrator's father goes away, and only returns once a year. The child knows this is because his father is a pirate, a great pirate, who tells him stories about the places he's been, the ships he's attacked, the treasures buried and his shipmates. But one summer his father doesn't return and the boy's mother gets a telegram…

I won't tell more of the story, but I will say that every adult I have inveigled to read this book, has stood quietly and thoughtfully when they reach the end. I don't know how a child would react to it, but I know it moved me unutterably. There are themes of love and what we do to protect our loved ones, of bravery and resilience and that moment when childhood is put behind even when understanding has yet to catch up with experience.

The illustrations are coloured in a muted palette, soft greys and creamy yellows with occasional splashes of warm umber, and convey as much meaning as the simply related text.
 
Have a look for yourself - I think this is one of the best books I have seen in my picture book section this year. Or for that matter, anywhere in the shop. Lindy Jones

My Father the Great Pirate by Davide Cali & Maurizio Quarello at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
H is for Hawk

H is for Hawk

Helen Macdonald

$34.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK -----  MacDonald has been obsessed with the archaic traditions of falconry since early childhood, training small falcons and generally immersed in the fellowship of falconers for many years. When her beloved father dies unexpectedly, she is overwhelmed by loss and decides to take on the greatest challenge of all - to train a goshawk. In the process of building a rapport with her hawk, MacDonald learns what it truly is to be human through her association with the wildest and largest British raptor of all.

A lyrical and beautifully crafted meditation on grief, connection, wildness and control, it is also intertwined with her re-reading of T H White's little known book The Goshawk , which details the celebrated author's attempts to train such a bird himself. White and his mistakes, his writings and outsider status, all become essential to her own attempts to make sense of what has happened in losing her father.

I can't recommend this highly enough, and any fan of the ilk of Robert MacFarlane or Roger Deacon, will appreciate this fine book. Lindy

------

'In real life, goshawks resemble sparrowhawks the way leopards resemble housecats. Bigger, yes. But bulkier, bloodier, deadlier, scarier, and much, much harder to see. Birds of deep woodland, not gardens, they're the birdwatchers' dark grail.'

As a child Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer. She learned the arcane terminology and read all the classic books, including T. H. White's tortured masterpiece, The Goshawk, which describes White's struggle to train a hawk as a spiritual contest. When her father dies and she is knocked sideways by grief, she becomes obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She buys Mabel for GBP800 on a Scottish quayside and takes her home to Cambridge. Then she fills the freezer with hawk food and unplugs the phone, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals.

'To train a hawk you must watch it like a hawk, and so gain the ability to predict what it will do next. Eventually you don't see the hawk's body language at all. You seem to feel what it feels. The hawk's apprehension becomes your own. As the days passed and I put myself in the hawk's wild mind to tame her, my humanity was burning away.'

Destined to be a classic of nature writing, H is for Hawk is a record of a spiritual journey - an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald's struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk's taming and her own untaming. At the same time, it's a kaleidoscopic biography of the brilliant and troubled novelist T. H. White, best known for The Once and Future King. It's a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to try to reconcile death with life and love.

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
Shadow Art: How to Have Fun in the Dark - Create 100 Shadow Animals

Shadow Art: How to Have Fun in the Dark - Create 100 Shadow Animals

Sophie Collins

$15.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Just for something different, a book that shows how to create a menagerie of different animals with just the aid of a torchlight and the shape of your hands. With a little practice, make silhouettes of things like elephants and camels and dogs and birds… Hours of fun for child and adult alike, simple and effective and a great boost to imaginative play! Lindy

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Made using only your hands and a torch or lamp, shadow animals have a charm that has lasted through the ages. You might have tried creating them as a child, even if your repertoire was limited to a rather shaky wolf (one of the first shadow animals that anyone learns!. But in your great-grandmother's day, shadow-casting was considerably more sophisticated. Any parlour entertainer worth his or her salt could effortlessly bring dozens of animals to life. So, if modern party games seem soulless, step out of the shadows with  Shadow Ark . Just an hour's practice will have you demonstrating the roar of a lion and the snap of a crocodile; and soon you'll be putting on an entire show. Friends will be getting competitive over the realism of their shadow creations and children will be queuing two by two to learn to make their favourites. Before you know it, you'll be an aficionado of a parlour game that even your grandma would consider sweetly old- fashioned. In keeping with this, we've suggested a traditional, biblical story line, but don't limit yourself. Once you have the characters at your fingertips, you'll be able to enact anything from Red Riding Hood to lassie Come Home.
Is There a Dog in This Book?

Is There a Dog in This Book?

Viviane Schwarz

$24.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Now, just occasionally, I have gotten customers boxed in, and read them my favourite cat books: There are Cats in This Book and There are No Cats in This Book by Schwarz. They just beg to be read aloud! This new title is (I apologise in advance!) going to be another I take great delight in reading to unsuspecting enquirers about books for youngsters… The cats, Tiny, Moonpie and Andre discover that there is a dog in their book - and all cats know all dogs are scary, smelly, yappy and snappy, so they try to hide. But the new puppy soon finds them, and the cats realise they have found a new friend. Bold bright illustrations with interactive features and a lovely direct style of narrative. Even if you don't ask nicely, I am all too ready to share this one with you! Lindy

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In this third title in the extraordinarily inventive, brilliantly interactive  Cats  series from award-winning illustrator Viviane Schwarz - our three favourite picture book cats Tiny, Moonpie and Andre make a new furry friend...Something smells funny...what can it be? Wait, hang on a second, is it a DOG? Is there a dog in this book?! Oh no! Tiny, Moonpie and Andre are SCARED of dogs! Dogs are snappy and yappy, smelly and noisy and...they HATE cats. So, they all try and hide from him - behind the couch, under the piano, in the wardrobe - but when the little doggy finally finds them, well, they simply can't get enough of him! He is really very soft. And they want YOU to love him, too - go on, just give him a little cuddle. With an irresistible story that directly involves the reader, this book's clever design and bright, gestural illustrations make for a LOT of fun for cat (and dog) lovers! It is a completely interactive book brimming over with all kinds of fantastic flaps and fabulous flips that reveal lots of little surprises and jokes for children to enjoy!
The Dark Inside

The Dark Inside

Rupert Wallis

$14.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- James is trapped in a nightmare life - his mother dead, his stepfather violent, neglectful and begrudging, school dreadful. He often seeks refuge in the deserted house on the hill, where he keeps a record of how many days until he's 18 and able to escape. One day though, he discovers a man there - beaten very badly and obviously in trouble. Webster however is not an ordinary man and when the travellers turn up asking about information and promising gold for the knowledge of his whereabouts, James is tempted to reveal what he knows. But the travellers aren't telling the truth, and James and Webster end up running from their respective enemies... This was an amazingly atmospheric novel, which leaves a lot to the reader's imagination (is Webster cursed? is James doomed to suffer the same fate? what is the puppet the old traveller woman keeps?). It reminded me of Patrick Ness and David Almond, and was as skilful and as thought-provoking as works by either of those fine writers. 12+ Lindy

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The House on the Hill has been abandoned for as long as James can remember. So when he discovers Webster, a drifter, hiding there, he's instantly curious about the story behind the homeless man. What is he running from? Afflicted by a dark curse, Webster is no longer who he used to be. But there is said to be a cure and it might just be that by helping Webster, James will find some solace of his own. Together they embark on a journey, not knowing that what they discover will impact them both in ways they never imagined...A gripping and haunting story about loss and hope, perfect for fans of Patrick Ness and David Almond.
Messenger of Fear

Messenger of Fear

Michael Grant

$22.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Mara wakes up in an unknown place, remembering nothing but her name. A mysterious young man, dressed in a black coat with silver skull buttons, appears, and he knows who she is and what is happening. With no choice that she can see, Mara follows Messenger, and finds herself reliving the final hours of dead teenager Samantha Early's life. As different characters appear, and the taciturn and seemingly harsh Messenger unveils more of Samantha's life, and as Mara witnesses the moral choices made by others, she realises that she is caught within a balance she does not understand, that forces greater than her own existence are in play - and she is just one piece in a vast battle of justice and retribution. A gripping and occasionally creepy beginning to a new series - I couldn't put it down! 13+ Lindy

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I remembered my name - Mara. But, standing in that ghostly place, faced with the solemn young man in the black coat with silver skulls for buttons, I could recall nothing else about myself. And then the games began. The Messenger sees the darkness in young hearts, and the damage it inflicts upon the world. If they go unpunished, he offers the wicked a game. Win, and they can go free. Lose, and they will live out their greatest fear. But what does any of this have to do with Mara? She is about to find out...
To This Day

To This Day

Shane Koyczan

$19.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This began as a video that went viral. Koyczan, a spoken-word poet, grew up being picked upon, and his powerful poem is a response to the harmful effects of bullying behaviour - whether you are victim, instigator, or witness. It is also a poem about inner strength and finding the way to move past such negativity. The words are enough on their own to start conversations and reflections, but it is raised to another level by the illustrations. Thirty different artists from around the globe have contributed work, including Australians Armin Greder, Kathleen Jennings and Phil Lesnie. A thoughtful book with an essential message - no age limit to this! Lindy

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I'm not the only kid who grew up this way surrounded by people who used to say that rhyme about sticks and stones as if broken bones hurt more than the names we got called.  From acclaimed spoken-word poet Shane Koyczan, the rallying cry against bullying that became a viral video viewed over 12 million times. Now a dazzling illustrated book featuring the work of thirty artists from around the world, To This Day is a powerful expression of the lasting effects of bullying, and the inner strength that allows people to move beyond it. With a heartfelt personal preface by Shane, this extraordinary poem will resonate with anyone who has experienced bullying, whether as a victim, observer or participant.
When the Night Comes

When the Night Comes

Favel Parrett

$27.99

Double Reward Points
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ABBEY'S CHOICE SEPTEMBER 2014 ----- Set in the 1980s in Hobart and on the southern oceans, this finely crafted novel is as deceptively simple as Parrett's first, award-winning Past the Shallows.

Isla and her brother have been taken to Hobart by their mother who is escaping an unhappy marriage. It is a grey sort of life for all of them, until her mother befriends some Danish sailors who are crew on the Nella Dan which supplies the Australian Antarctic bases under contract. One sailor in particular, Bo, brings a different way of seeing the world to Isla, and for a few weeks each summer, his kindness and quiet practicality brighten her life.

The chapters are interspersed with Bo's point-of-view as he works as a steward on the Nella Dan (a ship that engenders strong ties and affection in all who serve on her) and these sections are highly evocative of shipboard life and the wonders of the icy south. This is a quiet and reflective novel, pared down but beautifully formed. It is a story of small actions that generate great significance, of the helplessness of children who can only work things out in an incomplete manner, and of how adults bumble their way through life, not having all the answers themselves.

Deeply moving, and highly recommended. Lindy

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Running away from the mainland was supposed to make their lives better. But, for Isla and her brother, their mother's sadness and the cold, damp greyness of Hobart's stone streets seeps into everything. Then, one morning, Isla sees a red ship. That colour lights her day. And when a sailor from the ship befriends her mother, he shares his stories with them all - of Antarctica, his home in Denmark and life onboard. Like the snow white petrels that survive in the harshest coldest place, this lonely girl at the bottom of the world will learn that it is possible to go anywhere, be anything. But she will also find out that it is just as easy to lose it all. For Isla, those two long summers will change everything. Favel Parrett delivers an evocative and gently told story about the power fear and kindness have to change lives.

When the Night Comes by Favel Parrett at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
Nest

Nest

Inga Simpson

$27.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE AUGUST 2014 ----- From the author of Mr Wigg comes this beautifully crafted novel of an artist re-finding her purpose and place in life. Jen is licking her wounds after the dissolution of her long term relationship with a man she has never gotten over, nor seems to want to recover from, and her mother’s death has given her the chance to buy a house and piece of bush near her childhood town. Jen left many years ago, but having nowhere else to go, has returned in order to resume her painting and her life. She tutors a promising young boy, Henry, works on her house and block, and observes the birds around her.

When a young girl who is Henry’s close friend goes missing, Jen’s past rears up to confront her, because when she was Henry’s age, her best friend went missing, never to be seen again. And so too, did her father, at the same time – and the town has never been convinced of his innocence. When the town starts remembering, Jen has to accept that her life will change yet again... An outstanding novel with a finely worked narrative line and fully realised characters. Lindy

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Once an artist and teacher, Jen now spends her time watching the birds around her house and tending her lush sub-tropical garden near the small town where she grew up. The only person she sees regularly is Henry, who comes after school for drawing lessons. When a girl in Henry's class goes missing, Jen is pulled back into the depths of her own past. When she was Henry's age she lost her father and her best friend Michael - both within a week. The whole town talked about it then, and now, nearly forty years later, they're talking about it again. Everyone is waiting - for the girl to be found and the summer rain to arrive. At last, when the answers do come, like the wet, it is in a drenching, revitalising downpour.

Nest by Inga Simpson at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
Demons

Demons

Wayne Macauley

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Seven old friends decide to spend the weekend in a house perched above the Great Ocean Road. It is to be a total escape from the pressures of their various professional and domestic situations, with good food, good wine and stories. No papers, no television, no mobile phones or computers and no children - it should be a restorative break from modern life. Waiting for the last couple to arrive, they decide to take turns telling stories - true or invented? - as the weather starts to close in.

When Marshall does finally turn up, it's not with his wife but with his daughter, and the dynamics of the group shift into uncertainty - and recriminations. And the stories being told are less innocent, and when the house is cut off by a huge storm, their old friendships are called into question…

A sly social commentary, a thoughtful examination of tale-telling and its forms, and a cleverly constructed novel with unexpected flashes of cutting humour. Lindy

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They were going to tell stories. Let's go away for the weekend, said Megan, and leave our phones behind and turn off the computers and television and stop time because time is moving too fast and soon we'll all be saying where the hell did our lives go? We'll cook some food and drink some wine and each tell a story.  It is the middle of winter. Seven friends travel to a remote coastal beach house for the weekend. Without phones, internet or television, they sit around the fireplace, telling stories - each exposing the foibles of humankind. But as a storm rolls in and torrential rain cuts the party off from the outside world, it soon becomes clear that some secrets are best kept hidden. Demons is an extraordinary novel by one of Australia's great writers.
Lonely Graves: Posthumus Trilogy #1

Lonely Graves: Posthumus Trilogy #1

Britta Bolt

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- I don't usually read a lot of crime novels, and the ones I do should provide me with interesting characterisations and situations rather than gory details! This one is set in Amsterdam, and the main character, Pieter Posthumus, works for the Department of Emergencies and Internment in the section known as the Lonely Funeral team. They provide dignified funerals for the unclaimed, anonymous and forgotten. When one of the bodies belongs to a Moroccan immigrant, Posthumus feels there is something that needs explaining about the situation, and he starts to look for clues. Meanwhile, an elite police squad is hunting for terrorists but one of the detectives starts to suspect all is not above board in their investigation… Twists and turns, and a portrait of contemporary Dutch life to boot! Lindy

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A suicide. A drowned man. A sudden death. It's all in a day's work for Pieter Posthumus. In Amsterdam, the Lonely Funerals team exists to make sure that no one goes to the grave unmourned. Posthumus takes that responsibility seriously. A careful, humane man, he works hard to find out all he can about the anonymous or abandoned dead entrusted to his care. So when a young Moroccan immigrant is found in the Prinsengracht canal in suspicious circumstances, Posthumus cannot let it go. The police may call it accident or suicide; he is sure there's more to it. He takes up the case and starts digging...an investigation that leads to him getting caught up in a terror plot and in the way of an elite police unit. Discover an Amsterdam beyond the charms and the canals, where Pieter Posthumus aims to find justice for all - both the living and the dead.
Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

Bob Graham

$27.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Somewhere in an Asian country, a young sparrow flits about finding food where he can. One day he discovers a sack of grain, and before he knows it, he is transported by truck and ship to a strange land, where he eventually finds a new home. Then he comes into contact with Elsie, who is in a stroller pushed by her loving grandparents, and by chance and the actions of a dog, Elsie discovers one of the greatest pleasures in life… As always with Bob Graham's books, this one has a quiet message and delicately expressive illustrations that capture both the freedom of the bird and the wonderment of the child. Another beautiful book, sweet without sentimentality, that will appeal to anyone who loves picture books! Lindy

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In this beautifully illustrated story, Bob Graham shows how all the creatures and the people of the world can be connected to each other in the most surprising ways. A wild, young sparrow rises from the dust outside an Indian food stall surrounded by swaying palms. The sparrow flies off just where he pleases, following the food...He journeys south through the lush rice paddies and across the rough sea and all the way into a bright new day where, just for a moment, the wild sparrow's world collides with little Edie's. So it is that little Edie discovers the taste of vanilla ice cream in the most curious way! This is the story of a traveller free to go where he pleases, of a journey, and of how life can take wild and curious paths. Vanilla Ice Cream is classic Bob Graham storytelling - warm and tender and wise - and is sure to spark the imaginations of young readers (and old) and inspire lots of interesting discussion. Vanilla Ice Cream sits alongside Bob's classic stories How to Heal a Broken Wing and A Bus Called Heaven and Silver Buttons. It is filled with unique observations that open our eyes to new ways of looking at the world.
Are You Seeing Me?

Are You Seeing Me?

Darren Groth

$18.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Justine and Perry are twins. Their Dad died just before their 18th birthday, their Mum is long gone, and Justine has deferred university (and her slightly overbearing-in-a-nice-way boyfriend) to take care of Perry, who has a brain condition that causes him to react differently to situations he finds stressful. The two of them are off on an overseas holiday care of insurance, and Justine wants it to be memorable for Perry, as he is moving into assisted accommodation when they return to Australia. And it will be, if not for all the reasons she thought before the trip started… Told in alternating voices of both Justine and Perry, this is a sensitively told story of what matters most, whatever your age or however others see you. Ages 14+ Lindy

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This road trip will have earth-shattering consequences ...Twins Justine and Perry are about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime in the Pacific Northwest. It's been a year since they watched their dad lose his battle with cancer. Now, at only nineteen, Justine is the sole carer for her disabled brother. But with Perry having been accepted into an assisted-living residence, their reliance on each other is set to shift. Before they go their separate ways, they're seeking to create the perfect memory. For Perry, the trip is a glorious celebration of his favourite things: mythical sea monsters, Jackie Chan movies and the study of earthquakes. For Justine, it's a chance to reconcile the decision to 'free' her twin, to see who she is without her boyfriend, Marc - and to offer their mother the chance to atone for past wrongs. But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble...
We Were Liars

We Were Liars

E. Lockhart

$17.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Cadence Sinclair is the eldest granddaughter of a patrician old-money family. Each summer they holiday on their private island off Marthas Vineyard - grandparents, aunts and cousins. The aunts are all vying for favour from their bigoted father, the littles and the golden retrievers are tolerated with amusement, and the older grandchildren - Cady, Mirren and Johnny form their own clique. Gat is an addition to their circle, a brown-skinned politically aware boy who Cady falls deeply in love with from the very beginning.

But something unspeakably horrible happened to Cady on the island of her fifteenth summer - and no-one speaks of it. She is continually plagued by debilitating headaches, has missed a lot of school and her cousins don't return her emails.

After missing one summer on the island, she returns the next, only to find there is a lot more she hasn't been told about - her grandfather's senility, her aunts' deterioration, her cousins refusing to stay in their allocated family homes. Spiky and energetic writing carries along a clever, gripping and twisty story. 14+ Lindy

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A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends - the Liars - whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth. We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense that will leave you reeling. Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
Emu

Emu

Claire Saxby ,  Graham Byrne

$27.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Following on from their successful book Big Red Kangaroo, the creators turn to the other symbol on our coat-of-arms. A father emu gathers up a clutch of blue-green eggs, and incubates his brood. Non-fiction blended with a simple story and accurate and artistically rendered illustrations, so that young readers learn interesting facts wrapped up in the narrative. Lindy

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In the open forest, Emu gathers granite-green eggs under soft feathers. Emu will care for the eggs and protect the stripy chicks once they hatch. There are many hazards in the forest for this unusual family.
Noggin

Noggin

John Corey Whaley

$14.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Travis has woken up after what feels like a nap to him. He had terminal leukemia and volunteered to undergo a procedure where his head was cryogenically preserved until the time a suitable donor body could be found. At the time of his death, he thought that would be a long time in the future, but it turns out to be only five years - just long enough for people to have come to terms with losing him and picking up the pieces of their lives. Including his girlfriend Cate and best friend Kyle.

It's hard enough dealing with adolescence but dealing with the fact your birth certificate says you're 21 when you're still 16 and the people you relied on have grown up and you haven't, let alone the associated publicity that comes from being grafted onto someone else's body and considered a miracle - well Travis has a lot of catching up to do. And it won't be easy…

This was brilliant! A fascinating concept handled deftly, with a lot of interesting questions and thought-provoking scenarios, but also with humour and insight. Ages 13+ Lindy

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Listen - Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn't. Now he's alive again. Simple as that. The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but Travis can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy's body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he's still sixteen, but everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she's not his girlfriend anymore? That's a bit fuzzy too. If the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, it looks like there's going to be a few more scars.
A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman

$29.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE JULY 2014 ----- Perhaps the Scandinavians are tired of being associated with literary works of the darkest and most depressing hue, because there are some deliciously farcical and entertaining books filtering through that show the Scandis have a sense of humour! This latest offering has been an international bestseller, and it thoroughly deserves that status.

Ove is 59, in the second day of his forced retirement, and considering the best place to put a hook in his ceiling. He has conducted his morning ritual of ensuring the residential area is free of vehicles, nothing has been broken into, the rubbish has been properly sorted into the recycling bins, and shooed away an annoying cat. Ove is a practical man of inflexible habits and perceived as the neighbourhood’s grump – but that is far from the truth because Ove knows there is right, and everything else is wrong. He judges others by the car they drive (he is a lifelong devotee of Saab) and when his morning is disturbed by the sound of a Japanese car backing into his letterbox, he cannot contain his fury. But it turns out to be just the thing he needed to start living again – because as the reader finds out, Ove is a man who has lost the love of his life and his reasons to live.

This wonderful book had me in fits of laughter at times, and at others in quiet tears. It is a life-affirming novel with many shades of light and dark, a great cast of characters (I did enjoy the Cat Annoyance!) and a charming narrative style. The sort of book I don’t just highly recommend, but want everyone to read! Lindy

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There is something about Ove. At first sight, he is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots -  neighbours who can't reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets. But isn't it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so? In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible...The word-of-mouth bestseller causing a sensation across Europe, Fredrik Backman's heartwarming debut is a funny, moving, uplifting tale of love and community that will leave you with a spring in your step - and less ready to judge on first impressions a man you might one day wish to have as your dearest friend.
Lost and (&) Found

Lost and (&) Found

Brooke Davis

$26.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Millie Bird, aged 7, records dead things in her special book, but she wasn’t to know her Dad would be the 28th entry. Nor was she to know when her mother leaves her in the ladies’ underwear section of the department store, how long she would have to wait.

Karl, aged 87, has been left in an old people’s home and he doesn’t know how much more of his life he has to wait. And Agatha Pantha, aged 82, has been left alone after her husband dies and she doesn’t know how much longer she has to record measurements in her book of ageing.

How these three different characters form a unit makes for a charmingly off-centre story, as they escape their enforced waiting and attempt to reunite themselves with family, love and life. Throw in an incomplete mannequin, public transport, the Indian-Pacific and an assortment of helpful or interfering minor characters and you have a fine road trip of a read.

In turns, funny and poignant, wise and wide-ranging, this book crosses boundaries and deserves all the success it will inevitably have!

Brooke came in to Abbey's recently. It was 'the' book at the recent London Book Fair and has already been sold into 16 countries, with major deals in the US and UK - not bad for a debut novel! Brooke has worked as a bookseller in Victoria and Perth (where she now lives) and charmed everyone she met at the recent booksellers' conferences in Melbourne, with her modesty, intelligence and good nature. Her book is a universal favourite amongst those of us who have read it in advance of release, and we look forward to sharing this wonderful book with the wider reading public! Lindy
 
Photo: Brooke Davis (centre) at Abbey's 
 
Lost & Found and Brooke Davis at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
Analogue Men

Analogue Men

Nick Earls

$32.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Nick Earls is well-known for his comedic novels often about young men, decent but somewhat clueless, coping with being adults. In this engagingly funny new novel, he turns his sharply observant talent to a middle-aged man’s struggles in navigating the world around him. I can’t tell you how much I laughed (but I do apologise to the man I startled on the train when I brayed out loud!)

Andrew has finally had enough of being an infrequent visitor to his family’s lives, and has taken on another role in order to return to Brisbane. From being a private-equity troubleshooter for companies overseas, he has been shifted sideways into managing a radio station – AM, at that. His wife is a brisk, efficient doctor who seems chagrined and amused in equal measure by his return; his twin children are busy with technology and being teenagers; his father (once the reigning king of local radio) has moved in to recover from cancer surgery. There just doesn’t seem to be room for Andrew. To top it off, his biggest problem at work is the station’s biggest asset – a politically incorrect bigmouth who delights in offending all and sundry. Andrew starts to feel increasingly irrelevant – an analogue man in a digital age. Warm and wry, witty and wise – a great book to drive away the winter blues! Lindy

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Andrew Van Fleet is 49 and feeling 50 closing in. He's bailed out of his private equity job for something that'll let him spend more time at home, but the house is overrun by iPads and teenage hormones and conversations that have moved on without him. Plus his ailing father is now lodged in the granny flat, convalescing from surgery and with his scrappy bulldog in tow. And then there's Brian Brightman, the expensive fading star at the radio station Andrew's signed up to manage, whose every broadcast offers fresh trouble. He's 49 too and, like Andrew, starting to wonder if the twenty-first century might prove to be his second best.

Analogue Men by Nick Earls at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
Mr Chicken Lands on London

Mr Chicken Lands on London

Leigh Hobbs

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- He's back! That lovable giant chicken decides he has to visit London, so after breakfast he grabs his camera and flies there for the day. After a whirlwind day full of sightseeing and the sort of chaos that follows him wherever he goes, Mr Chicken heads home tired but satisfied… As much fun as Mr Chicken Goes to Paris with the slightly crazed and anarchic style that makes Leigh Hobbs such a favourite with readers of all ages! Lindy

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See London with Mr Chicken! From the creator of the much-loved bestseller Mr Chicken Goes to Paris. Mr Chicken can't wait another minute, so he finishes his breakfast, collects his camera and flies to London. He wants to see everything. Join Mr Chicken and let him show you his favourite city in all the world.
As Stars Fall

As Stars Fall

Christie Nieman

$18.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Robin has been forced to leave her beloved home in the Victorian countryside when her father decides to take off with another woman, and her teacher mother accepts a post in Melbourne. She hates the city, the school, and being the new girl. Seth is alienated and angry and spends his days in a drug-induced haze, having dropped out of school when his mother (a scientist studying bush stone-curlews) died in a bushfire. His sister Delia, highly intelligent and principled, is struggling with her nightmares and grief, but as their father is a selfish drunk stuck in his own loss, has to be the grown-up of the family. Each of these lost teenagers are drawn together, united by a misplaced stone-curlew, and eventually learn how to cope with what life has thrown at them. A strong novel for readers 14+ Lindy

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The fire was fast and hot ...only days after it went through, there were absolutely no birds left. I should have seen it as an omen, the birds all leaving like that. Robin is a self-confessed bird-nerd from the country, living in the city. On the first day at her new school, she meets Delia. Delia is freaky and definitely not good for Robin's image. Seth, Delia's brother, has given up school to prowl the city streets. He is angry at everything, especially the fire that killed his mother. When a rare and endangered bird turns up in the city parklands, the lives of Robin, Seth and Delia become fatefully and dangerously intertwined ...An intricate love story about nature, grief, friendship and life. 
Lucas and Jack

Lucas and Jack

Ellie Royce ,  Andrew McLean

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Every week Lucas accompanies his Mum when she visits her grandfather in a nursing home. It's boring there so Lucas doesn't go inside to see his Great Grandpop - but one day he meets Jack. Jack is another resident, but he's full of stories and even a bit of mischief. Suddenly Lucas can't wait to visit each week, as Jack tells stories and teaches Lucas that old people were once young and full of stories - and often, despite their age, still full of life. Quite a touching story, well-served by Andrew McLean's gentle illustrations. 4-6yo Lindy

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Every week Lucas' mum visits Great Grandpop at the nursing home. And every week Lucas waits for her outside. Waiting is boring! Until Lucas meets Jack. Jack is tricky and Jack is fun, and he is a great storyteller. Lucas and Jack is a great book for introducing young children to the idea that old people can be fun and that deep down we have more in common than we think. More importantly Lucas and Jack encourages children to ask questions, be curious, imaginative and empathetic. 
Murder Most Unladylike: Wells & Wong #1

Murder Most Unladylike: Wells & Wong #1

Robin Stevens

$16.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Hazel Wong has been sent to an English boarding school, because her Anglophile father in Hong Kong wishes to score points against his competitors. Hazel has been determined to enjoy it, but the reality is somewhat colder and hungrier - not to mention lonelier. That is, until the most popular girl in the school, Daisy Wells decides Hazel will be her best friend (or willing slave, though in Daisy's books they are much of a muchness!) Together they start a detective agency but it's not until Hazel discovers the science mistress dead that they have something to investigate. Particularly when the body disappears before anyone else has seen it… A rather charming cross between an Enid Blyton and an Alan Bradley and a lot of fun! 12+ Lindy

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When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency at Deepdean School for Girls, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia's missing tie. Which they don't, really). But then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She thinks it must all have been a terrible accident - but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now the girls know a murder must have taken place ...and there's more than one person at Deepdean with a motive. Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove a murder happened in the first place. Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally), Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning, scheming and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?
Shy: A Memoir

Shy: A Memoir

Sian Prior

$32.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This absorbing and revealing memoir deals with social anxiety, fame and its effects on relationships. Sian had suffered from shyness all her life, but had managed to hide her ‘failing’, adopting a more confident persona that carried her through careers in the public eye for two decades. When she entered a relationship with someone famed for his songwriting and singing, she could thought she had found someone whose reserve matched her own, and felt safe in his company. But whenever they were in company, people gravitated to him and ignored her, and her social anxieties grew. Deciding to research the topic, she also delves in to more personal questions regarding her past. Then her partner drops a bombshell…A book that will resonate with any woman who has been unceremoniously dumped by the man she thought was her true love. Sian might be criticised for not naming her ex but the book is about her, and not him, and I found this to be an effective method of dealing with the obvious trauma of losing him. I also find it hard to listen to his songs lately, but this memoir is a fine read. Lindy

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Shy. It's a shy word, a timid little word that begs to remain unnoticed. Only three letters long, and it begins with an exhortation to silence. Shhh. Reserved is different. It's for tall men with jutting jaws. Prime ministers can appear reserved: never shy. Restrained carries itself with dignity. Even introvert has a whiff of authority about it: these people have been tested; Myers and Briggs have awarded them an impressive three-syllable psychological label. But with shy there's no authority, no control. It's a blushing, hunching word; a nervous, knock-kneed, wallflower word. A word for children, not grown-ups, because surely grown-ups grow out of shyness. Don't they? Sian Prior has maintained a career in the public eye, as a broadcaster and performer, for more than twenty years. For far longer than that she has suffered from excruciating shyness. Eventually, after bolting from a party in a state of near-panic, she decides to investigate her condition. What is it-shyness? Where did hers come from? Why does it create such distressing turmoil beneath her assured professional front? As Sian begins to research the science of social anxiety, other factors present themselves as facets of the problem. Family, intimate friendships, self-perception and fear and longing and the consequences of love... While, in counterpoint, there is the security, the sense of belonging, she finds in the life she shares with Tom, her famous partner. Until he tells her he is leaving.
Darwin

Darwin

Tess Lea

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The last of the NewSouth series on Australian capital cities, this maintains the consistent excellent quality of the other books. A blend of history, memoir, explanation and exploration, Darwin the city is a place that shouldn’t exist. Sheer tenacity has seen it survive natural catastrophes, wartime bombing, inhospitable geography and the indifference of Commonwealth governments. Tess Lea reveals a city that has always struggled against its physical position (and the section on how mosquitoes have influenced settlement is both fascinating and slightly scary!) but holds pride in being so isolated, tough and defiant. Even if contemporary Darwin is losing much of what set it apart, and even if it is truly a militarised town where no-one mentions the impact of American Marines stationed there, or the fact Darwin is home to the biggest military aerial defence training zone in the world. A paradoxical place, captured in cleanly descriptive style; a book that presents it in all its compromised glories! Lindy

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Darwin is a survivor, you have to give it that. Razed to the ground four times in its short history, it has picked itself up out of the debris to not only rebuild but grow. Darwin has known catastrophes and resurrections; it has endured misconceived projects and birthed visionaries. To know Darwin, to know its soul, you have to listen to it, soak in it, taste it. To write about her home town, Tess Lea waded knee-deep in memories of the city, including those of her family and her own. The story begins in 1974, when Cyclone Tracy shattered Darwin, and Lea was a little girl. Then it takes us back to the wild times of early settlement, explores the backstory of the White Australia policy, paints a vivid picture of the bombing of Darwin during World War II - the first Australian city to experience direct attack from a foreign power - and guides us to Australia's militarised future, led by Darwin, sitting as it does under the largest aerial defence training space in the world. Lyrical and visceral, Tess Lea's ode to her hometown is suffused with the textures, colours, scents and the many gritty realities that beset this tough, fragile, magical, foolhardy and unique place.
The Ruby Slippers

The Ruby Slippers

Keir Alexander

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- If you want an easy and entertaining read, this one will fit the bill! Michael Marcinkus runs an old-fashioned deli in a New York neighbourhood. His aunt Rosa is a disreputable, shambling, unwashed wreck of a woman, muttering and shuffling and striking dread into the people who pass her by. One day she is involved in an accident, and while she is in hospital, Michael ventures into her stinking flat, where he stumbles across an unexpected treasure – a pair of ruby shoes in a box stamped with a Hollywood insignia. This starts off a chain of events involving a number of characters in the district – the street boy up to no good, the man who has lost his partner, Michael’s wife and family, and an assortment of well-meaning customers. Nothing serious about this, but a good way to while away an afternoon or two! Lindy

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Old Rosa the bag lady shuffles along the streets of New York, stinking, silent and shunned by man and beast. Time and again her nephew, Michael Marcinkus the grocer, has tried to help - but Rosa remains unknowable, hushed inside her hulk. On the day of the St Patrick's Day Parade, Rosa is in a terrible accident. While she lies in hospital, Mr Marcinkus visits her squalid apartment and unearths something remarkable from the monstrous piles of junk: two glittering ruby slippers, relics of Hollywood history. How on earth does decrepit old Rosa come to own such treasure? And what is to be done with it now? Rosa's 'Ruby Millions' soon become an irresistible beacon for the misplaced hopes and darkest desires of an unforgettable cast of characters. But in the hunger to possess the prize, will anyone stop to learn the incredible story of the woman to whom they once belonged? The Ruby Slippers is a rare and moving fantasia of hidden treasures, forgotten histories, lost connections, and our search for true meaning.
The Word Ghost

The Word Ghost

Christine Paice

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Rebecca’s father has been given a new parish, and Rebecca is most unhappy. Obsessed with all the fervour of a 15year old she has had to leave behind her boyfriend; her older sister has left home for university; and the new neighbourhood is decidedly weird. Creepy, even. So when the ghost of a failed 19th century poet appears in her bedroom, she is not so much surprised as puzzled by what he wants. Their unusual friendship offers solace to them both, but the ghost of his sister wants something else again… A coming-of-age novel with an energetic, almost breathless style that captures the contradictions and complications of leaving childhood behind. Lindy

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This is England 1973, and fifteen-year-old Rebecca Budde is in love with Dave. After one glorious summer, Rebecca is forced to move with her family to Brightley, a village with a puddle for a pond, and no excitement at all. If only Dave were there. Very weird things are going on inside their new house, and even stranger things are happening in the village at night. Someone appears to be living in Rebecca's wardrobe. Someone else is on the balcony, trying to get in. Things don't make sense anymore as Algernon Keats steps from the shadows, his sister not far behind him. There's no Dave, two ghosts, a pub, a dog and Alex March, a dark and brooding artist, living in the Manor House down the road, whose interest in Rebecca is both puzzling and thrilling. What do Alex and Algernon want from Rebecca? What on earth does any of it mean? Is it possible to love a ghost? And what happens if he loves you back? The lights are out. Welcome to Brightley. Rebecca thinks love is forever, but sometimes it's not. And nor, sometimes, is death. The Word Ghost is a funny, moving story about what it means to find love, lose love and discover who you are when you live in a village with no street lights and a decidedly dark side. 
The Heroes' Welcome

The Heroes' Welcome

Louisa Young

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is the sequel to the excellent My Dear I Wanted to Tell You and continues the stories of Riley Purefoy and Peter Locke after the cessation of the Great War. If war was hell, settling back into civilian life holds its own horrors. Riley’s facial disfigurement presents problems apart from the physical, and misunderstanding arises between him and his sweetheart Nadine even as they marry. Peter is struggling with a sense of futility, alcoholism and a wife bearing her own self-inflicted damage. As time passes Riley and Peter learn how to re-engage with life, never able to put aside their war experiences, but slowly finding their way in a world irrevocably marked by the cataclysm. An excellent examination of the impact of peace. Lindy

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The Heroes' Welcome is the incandescent sequel to the bestselling R&J pick My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You. Its evocation of a time deeply wounded by the pain of WW1 will capture and beguile readers fresh to Louisa Young's wonderful writing, and those previously enthralled by the stories of Nadine and Riley, Rose, Peter and Julia.

LONDON, APRIL 1919. THE GREAT WAR HAS ENDED. In a flurry of spring blossom, childhood sweethearts Nadine Waverney and Rilery Purefoy are married. Thos who have survived the war are, in a way, home. But Riley is wounded and disfigured; normality seems incomprehensible, and love unfathomable. Honeymooning in a battered, liberated Europe, they long for a marriage made of love and passion rather than dependence and pity. At Locke Hill in Kent, Riley's former CO Major Peter Locke is obsessed by Homer. His hysterical wife, Julia, and the young son they barely know attempt to navigate family life, but are confounded by the ghosts and memories of Peter's war. Despite all this, there is the glimmer of a real future in the distance: Rose Locke, Peter's cousin and Riley's former nurse, finds that independence might be hers for the taking, after all.

For those who fought, those who healed and those who stayed behind, 1919 is a year of accepting realities, holding to hope and reaching after new beginnings. The Heroes' Welcome is a brave and brilliant evocation of a time deeply wounded by the pain of war. It is as devastating as it is inspiring.
Flying Dinosaurs: How Fearsome Reptiles Became Birds

Flying Dinosaurs: How Fearsome Reptiles Became Birds

John Pickrell

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Written by a journalist rather than a scientist, this accessible book presents the current thinking on the evolution of birds. In the process, it removes some long held misconceptions – thanks to the remarkable discoveries of amazing fossil fields in China, and fascinating research being carried out there and elsewhere. It seems many dinosaurs were covered in feathery fuzz rather than scales, that flight as a strategy has been the most successful development of the animal kingdom, that clever science has discovered the colour range of dinosaurs, and that we don’t need to go all Jurassic Park and recreate dinosaurs, as they still exist today in a wonderful array of shapes and abilities today. An entertaining and enlightening read! Lindy

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ABBEY'S CHOICE JUNE 2014 ----- Dinosaurs didn't die out when an asteroid hit Earth 66 million years ago. Get ready to unthink what you thought you knew and journey into the deep, dark depths of the Jurassic.

The discovery of the first feathered dinosaur in China in 1996 sent shockwaves through the palaeontological world. Were the feathers part of a complex mating ritual, or a stepping stone in the evolution of flight? And just how closely related is T. rex to a chicken?

Award-winning journalist John Pickrell reveals how dinosaurs developed flight and became the birds in our backyards. He delves into the latest discoveries in China, the US, Europe and uncovers a thriving black market in fossils and infighting between dinosaur hunters, plus the controversial plan to use a chicken to bring dinosaurs back from the dead.

A rare sighting of the black-crested Pickrellontaurus at Abbey's

A rare sighting of the blue-striped Pickrell at Abbey's
After Darkness

After Darkness

Christine Piper

$27.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK
WINNER: The 2014 Australian/Vogel's Literary Award

The Vogel is always an interesting award, going as it does to an unpublished manuscript by a writer under 35. Over its 30-something years, it has had its share of controversy (The Hand that Signed the Paper, anyone?) and launched a number of important authors (hello Tim Winton/Kate Grenville/Gillian Mears!). Changes in the award structure a few years ago meant the book was published and released the day after the announcement of the winning story. Or, if you are lucky enough to attend the announcement ceremony, the showbag you leave with contains a couple of boxes of Vogel's breakfast cereals, and a copy of the winning book. So, I went home on Tuesday night and thought I'd better have a look - and four hours later had to put it down half-finished to be resumed and greedily finished the next day.
 
Tomakazu Ibaraki is the main character. The story starts in 1942 as he is on his way to an internment camp in South Australia. He had been working as a doctor in Broome, before being detained and sent to Loveday camp where a number of resident Japanese nationals (as distinct from prisoners-of-war) are interned. Many of the men had lived and worked in Australia for years, but some of them are locked up merely for having a Japanese parent, even though they are Australian-born and bred, and it is the anger these men feel at being treated as enemy aliens that is one of the most interesting themes of the book. As the reserved Tomakazu struggles to fit in, it becomes apparent that he is suffering from a sadness and guilt that predates his arrival in Broome in 1938. The novel moves in time, from 1942 back to 1938 and also 1934, when as a new medical intern Tomakazu is offered the chance to pursue microbiology research at the Army Medical College. Only gradually does he learn what the aim of the research truly is, and the internal conflict between his moral integrity and the need to retain honour by keeping to his commitment of confidentiality creates insurmountable difficulties that affect the rest of his life choices.
 
After Darkness is a compelling and finely written book. It reveals a little-known aspect of World War II history through a character who has not been able to reconcile societal expectations and personal experience. I truly think Christine Piper is an author to watch, and I won’t be surprised if in years to come her name is in the list of great Australian authors launched by the Vogel Award. Lindy


‘A brave, profound meditation on identity, trauma, loss and courage… reminds us that there are two sides to every war and that history never ceases to be written… A novel that demands its place alongside Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Mark Dapin’s Spirit House.’ – Stephen Romei, The Australian

After Darkness by Christine Piper at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
The Pigeon Needs a Bath

The Pigeon Needs a Bath

Mo Willems

$16.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The irascible Pigeon is back! He's filthy but he has a host of reasons why he shouldn't take a bath: it's considered impolite in some circles, 'clean' and 'dirty' are just words, he's pretty sure he had one last month… Of course, once he bad-temperedly gets into the bath, he changes his mind! Willem's trademark drawings are deceptively simple, but convey a great deal of attitude. Fun for the pre-schoolers who love Pigeon's naughty antics, and just as much fun for the adult who recognises toddler behaviour! Lindy

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The pigeon is BACK! And he STINKS! No, really, he actually smells very bad... Smell? What smell? I don't smell. YOU smell. The Pigeon needs a bath! Except, well, the Pigeon's really not so sure about that... Besides, he took a bath last month! Maybe. It looks like it's going to take some serious convincing to get the Pigeon to take the plunge! This is a laugh-out-loud, read-out-even-louder brand new pigeon book from the New York Times best-selling picture book master - Mo Willems. Mo's Pigeon encompasses all the melodrama that most 4 years olds muster on a daily occasion including...trying to avoid bathtime! The New York Times Book Review called Mo  the biggest new talent to emerge thus far in the 00's.
Riot

Riot

Sarah Mussi

$14.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Set a short way into the future, this tremendously paced novel throws the reader straight in the deep end. A bill has been passed into British law, mandating enforced sterilisation of any teenager who does not gain university admission, or has no job to step straight into. It is supposed to solve the problems of society, but of course, the teenagers this repressive measure is aimed at, aren't convinced. The main character, Tia, is the daughter of the minister who has formulated this policy, but she is also an elite hacker who has organised flash mob riots. When a protest turns terribly wrong, she discovers there is more to the movement than meets the eye. Along with a fellow hacker-conspirator, she has to fight for what she thinks is right, even if it means she stands to lose everything she holds important… A compelling read, 14+ Lindy

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England is struggling under a recession that has shown no sign of abating. Years of cuts has devastated Britain: banks are going under, businesses closing, prices soaring, unemployment rising, prisons overflowing. The authorities cannot cope. And the population has maxed out. The police are snowed under. Something has to give. Drastic measures need taking. The solution: forced sterilisation of all school leavers without secure further education plans or guaranteed employment. The country is aghast. Families are distraught, teenagers are in revolt, but the politicians are unshakeable: The population explosion must be curbed. No more free housing for single parents, no more child benefit, no more free school meals, no more children in need. Less means more. But it is all so blatantly unfair - the Teen Haves will procreate, the Teen Havenots won't. It's time for the young to take to the streets.
The Hueys in None the Number: A Counting Adventure

The Hueys in None the Number: A Counting Adventure

Oliver Jeffers

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This delightful book explains the concept of zero to the very young. The Hueys, Jeffers' egg-like characters, discuss counting, and how none can be just as much a number as one to ten are, even if it's nothing! An imaginative take on the traditional counting book, with examples of numbers that are far from ordinary (like 2 is sleeps before an important event, or 4 is tantrums someone throws in a day) combining fun and learning in an off-centre way! Lindy

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The Hueys have an important question about counting in this hilarious new book from international bestselling, award-winning author/illustrator, Oliver Jeffers, creator of How to Catch a Star and Lost and Found. The thing about the Hueys was that they loved numbers: 0, 1, 2, 3...Wait! 0? Is 'none' a number? Join the Hueys for a counting conundrum! This witty and lively pictorial debate makes numbers interesting and fun!
The Minnow

The Minnow

Diana Sweeney

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Winner of last year's Text Prize for Young Adult and Children's Literature, this slightly surreal novel is set after a devastating flood. Tom passes herself off as a boy after her parents and sister are killed in the deluge, has conversations with fish and turtles, and lives with Bill in an old shed by the lake. Bill is a secretive man, and very unlikeable, but Tom is so immersed in her grief she accepts his appalling behaviour without judgement - including the fact he has impregnated her… She moves in with her best friend, who lost his family to the same flood, and with his help, and with wise words from her feisty but fading grandmother she learns how to deal with all that life has given her. Ages 14+ Lindy

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Tom survived a devastating flood that claimed the lives of her sister and parents. Now she lives with Bill in his old shed by the lake. But it's time to move out - Tom is pregnant with Bill's baby. Jonah lets her move in with him. Mrs Peck gives her the Fishmaster Super Series tackle box. Nana is full of gentle good advice and useful sayings. And in her longing for what is lost, Tom talks to fish: Oscar the carp in the pet shop, little Sarah catfish who might be her sister, an unhelpful turtle in a tank at the maternity ward. And the minnow. The Minnow is a moving and powerful coming-of-age story with a whimsical element that belies the heartbreaking truth of grief and loss. Tom is a character you will never forget.
No Stars to Wish on

No Stars to Wish on

Zana Fraillon

$15.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Jack is a cheeky young lad, full of mischief, delighting in jokes. He loves his great-grands, his Mum, his cousins and siblings who all share a tumbledown house. He's also deaf, so when his older sister tries to wake him one night, he doesn't stir, until strange men bundle all the children into a van and take them to an orphanage. Jack is known as Number 49, but there's no way he's going to become 49 - a boy he knows has left him clues on how to make his way home again. As the days accumulate, Jack struggles to make sense of what's happening, but he won't give up hope… and nor will his older sister. A very moving and powerful story, with a fresh and immediate style. Ages 9+ Lindy

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Each kid only has one pair of shoes here. Number 49's shoes are a pretty good fit for me and I know they're new because they still have that plastic smell. But the real Number 49 is quite a bit bigger than I am, because his pants keep falling down on me. I wish he would come back, so that I could go home. Jack loves telling jokes, but not many people laugh at them in the orphanage. Will he ever be reunited with his mother and sister, his great-aunts and great-grandmother, back at home? A haunting, fable-like story.
Pandora Jones: Admission

Pandora Jones: Admission

Barry Jonsberg

$17.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Pandora wakes in a strange place, and discovers she is one of the few survivors of a pandemic that has swept the world. She can remember watching her family die, but she doesn't know how she got to The School. The School is surrounded by a gigantic wall, ruled by despotic teachers, and is meant to prepare the survivors on how to live in an altered world. But is the truth being told? Pan's not convinced - and she's in danger... A conspiracy novel with a cracking pace! 12+ Lindy

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Pandora Jones wakes in an infirmary - her body weak, her memory providing only flashes of horrific scenes of death. She soon discovers that her family has succumbed to a plague pandemic which almost wiped out humanity. Pan is one of the survivors who have been admitted to The School - a quarantined, heavily guarded survival-skills facility - to recover their strength, hone their skills and prepare for whatever comes next. Pandora's skill is intuition, but how useful will it be outside the secure walls of The School? And what if it leads her to question where the truth lies...Plague. Pandemic. Intuition. Secrets. Truth. Courage. Action. Survival.
Our Island

Our Island

Children of Gununa ,  Alison Lester ,  Elizabeth Honey

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is a lovely and colourful collaboration between respected  authors and the children of the community of Mornington Island. It has been an on-going project, where the children have been encouraged to describe their island home in words and paintings, and this forms the basis of the book. Royalties go to the community, so it is both a worthwhile book and a worthwhile cause! Lindy

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Our island lies beneath a big blue sky, surrounded by the turquoise sea. Turtles glide through the clear salt water, and dugongs graze on banks of seagrass.  In this lyrical celebration of place, the children of Mornington Island explore their home in words and pictures. This is a collaboration with much-loved children's picture-book creators authors Alison Lester and Elizabeth Honey. All royalties from Our Island and one dollar from the sale of each copy will be donated to  Mornington Island State School to fund art projects in the community.
The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen

Susin Nielsen

$14.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Henry's comfortable and loving family life is shattered. Trying to start afresh in a new town and new school, Henry starts a diary at his counsellor's insistence. He resists at first, but before long he starts to confide in his journal - what his present life is like, the pitfalls of living with his barely-employed father and eventually, the tragic events that broke up his family. Strong issues, but dealt with sensitively and with the occasional well-placed flash of humour. 13+ Lindy

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13-year-old Henry's happy, ordinary life comes to an abrupt halt when his older brother, Jesse, picks up their father's hunting rifle and leaves the house one morning. What follows shatters Henry's family, who are forced to resume their lives in a new city, where no one knows their past. When Henry's therapist suggests he keep a journal, at first he is resistant. But soon he confides in it at all hours of the day and night. Susin Nielsen has created a fantastic new character in Henry, whose journal entries are infused with humour and provide a riveting read.
The Thickety: A Path Begins

The Thickety: A Path Begins

J A White ,  Andrea Offermann

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- One night 6 year old Kara is snatched from her home and taken, blindfolded, to a field where the first thing she sees is her mother, bound and waiting execution. They have both been accused of witchcraft, a capital offence, but Kara manages to unconsciously fool the witch-hunter and is allowed to go free. 

Seven years later, she, her sickly brother (who was born on the night of their mother's death) and her grief-maddened father are little short of outcasts. Their isolated island community abhors magic - even wishing is considered reprehensible - and is anticipating the return of a legendary leader who will save the world from its evil.

Surrounding the settlement is a forest, Thickety, which embodies all the darkness it fears, and between the trees and the farmland is Fringe, an area vegetated with treacherous plants. When Kara is lured into Thickety, breaking a promise she made her mother, dreadful things are set in motion, and everything she has struggled for is jeopardised…

This is far and away one of the best novels I've read in a very long time. I read it in one sitting because I was so absorbed in the world that was created and couldn't bear to put it down until I had reached the end - and what a finish: there's a major development I didn't see coming at all! There are many levels to this imaginative novel and its atmosphere of uncertainty and menace is artfully conveyed.

The creatures could come from nightmares, and the repressive nature of the puritan community is well described, but it is Kara who catches your attention from the very first. Intelligent, stoic, quietly defiant, she deals with habitual suspicion and doubt, yet remains faithful to her true self. I reckon Kara will be the next heroine to sweep readers away, and that this is the beginning of a very special series indeed! Lindy
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

Elizabeth Kolbert

$29.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE MARCH 2014 ----- Since life began on Earth, there have been five major mass extinctions: the Ordovician 450 million years ago; the late Devonian 375 million years ago; the Permian 250 million years ago; the Triassic-Jurassic 200 million years ago; and the Cretaceous 65 million years ago. Here in the Anthropocene (a name still being investigated as appropriate to describe the current epoch), we are perhaps in the midst of the Sixth Extinction that our race is instrumental in causing.

Kolbert is a journalist, rather than a scientist, but her ability to communicate scientific concepts is evident in this accessible and highly researched book. It blends history with cutting edge discoveries; it has a good overview of the development of the ideas of evolution and species dispersal, of the gradual understanding of the length of life on the planet.

Each chapter is arranged around the story of one species emblematic of an idea or problem, including: the Panamanian golden frog and the discovery of the devastating chytrid fungus; the idea of extinction as arrived at through the examination of mastodon fossils; coral and the acidification of the seas; the fragmentation of rainforest as told through a single tree species and the repercussions of climate change; or the desperate plight of American bats and a plague perhaps introduced by travellers visiting a tourist cave system.

In all of these things, human actions are the essential agency of change. It is perhaps hard to use the word ‘enjoyable’ when the subject is so terrifying, but I found this book absorbing and thoughtful, and it makes me want to read more on various subjects Kolbert covers – a sign that the book has engaged and stimulated in equal measure! Lindy

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Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions of life on earth. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.

Elizabeth Kolbert combines brilliant field reporting, the history of ideas and the work of geologists, botanists and marine biologists to tell the gripping stories of a dozen species - including the Panamanian golden frog and the Sumatran rhino - some already gone, others at the point of vanishing.

The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy and Elizabeth Kolbert's book urgently compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
The Enchanted

The Enchanted

Rene Denfeld

$24.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE MARCH 2014 ----- A prisoner on death row watches and listens to what happens around him. We don’t know what he’s done, because he can’t face it himself. He hears The Lady try to make sense of one of his fellow inmate’s life and actions in an attempt to save him from execution; he sees The Priest lost in the maze of good intentions and diminishing faith; he watches the beginnings of something fragile between them. The prisoner shrinks from any contact, but reading and re-reading brings colour to his cell – that and the Horses. 

Language is the enchantment in his dark world, and as the story unfolds, if we do not and can not condone, we come to understand the prisoner’s life. A powerful book best consumed in one sitting, then thought about quietly long afterwards. Lindy
 
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Even monsters need peace. Even monsters need a person who truly wants to listen - to hear - so that someday we might find the words that are more than boxes. Then maybe we can stop men like me from happening...

A prisoner sits on death row in a maximum security prison. His only escape from his harsh existence is through the words he dreams about, the world he conjures around him using the power of language. For the reality of his world is brutal and stark. He is not named, nor do we know his crime. But he listens. He listens to the story of York, the prisoner in the cell next to him whose execution date has been set. He hears the lady, an investigator who is piecing together York's past. He watches as the lady falls in love with the priest and wonders if love is still possible here. He sees the corruption and the danger as tensions in 'this enchanted place' build. And he waits. For even monsters have a story...
Two Wolves

Two Wolves

Tristan Bancks

$16.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- One day when Ben is filming one of his stop-motion detective movies, there's a knock on the front door. Real policemen are asking after his parents. After they leave, Ben's folks turn up, tell Ben and his young sister they are all going on their first family holiday, and head for his grandfather's cabin in remote bushland. Ben's Dad is a short-tempered and unpleasant man, and the holiday certainly isn't like anything Ben has ever imagined, even if there seems to suddenly be some money to spend which they have never had before. What starts as an uncomfortable and tense time rapidly gets worse, and Ben is forced to confront some awful truths… An action-packed novel for ages 11-13. Lindy

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'Gripping and unpredictable, with a hero you won't forget.' - John Boyne, author of The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas An old man tells his grandson that there is a battle raging inside him, inside all of us. A terrible battle between two wolves. One wolf is bad u pride, jealousy, greed. The other wolf is good u kindness, hope, truth. The child asks, 'Who will win?' The grandfather answers simply, 'The one you feed.' One afternoon, police officers show up at Ben Silver's front door. Minutes after they leave, his parents arrive home. Ben and his little sister Olive are bundled into the car and told they're going on a holiday. But are they? It doesn't take long for Ben to realise that his parents are in trouble. Ben's always dreamt of becoming a detective u his dad even calls him 'Cop'. Now Ben gathers evidence and tries to uncover what his parents have done. The problem is, if he figures it out, what does he do? Tell someone? Or keep the secret and live life on the run?
The One and Only Jack Chant

The One and Only Jack Chant

Rosie Borella

$15.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Amber works in an old people's home; there isn't much on offer in her small country town and it certainly isn't something she particularly wanted to do. She starts noticing a young man hanging around the home; the old people accept him and enjoy his company but no-one knows who he is. She is attracted to him, and his courtly old-fashioned manners; although he is suitably vague about his past, he also appears troubled by something he can't quite remember. As she comes to learn more about him, Amber suspects Jack may not be quite what, or who, he appears. An enjoyably romantic and sweet-natured novel about the past affecting the present and determining the future. 13+ Lindy

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Sixteen-year-old Amber never expected to find romance while working in an old people's home...but then Jack Chant is not what she expected either. He's young, exciting and enigmatic - and deeply troubled by something that happened in his past, something he can't quite remember. Gradually Amber suspects that Jack's past might be a whole lot further back in time than he realises. Is he solid flesh and blood, or just some kind of dreamy fantasy? A sweetly romantic coming-of-age story in which Amber learns more than most teens about getting old, falling in love and letting go.
The Simple Things

The Simple Things

Bill Condon ,  Beth Norling

$12.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Known for his young adult novels, Condon turns his talents to a novel for primary age readers. Stephen is the sort of gentle young lad who likes routine and has a certain way of looking at the world around him. When his parents take him to visit his Great Aunt Lola, he doesn't want to stay even though his Mum says they have to wait until Lola's 80th birthday has passed before returning home. He isn't sure about the girl staying next door, either, although her grandfather is likeably eccentric. Lola is scary, and used to her own way, and both she and Stephen learn that the world can contain all sorts of different ways of living and loving. An affectionate novel of cross-generational friendship and the importance of allowing outsiders a chance. Ages 8-11. Lindy

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Stephen has never met his great aunt Lola, and he doesn't want to. She sends him money twice a year and he always writes back, but Lola is almost eighty - what will they have to talk about? When they arrive at her house, Stephen discovers she's grumpy, scary and really, really old. He wants to turn around and go home, but his mum says they have to stay until Lola's birthday - three weeks away. Left to his own devices, Stephen learns about the simple things in life - like fishing, and cricket, and climbing trees - and the importance of family. Soon Lola entrusts Stephen with a great secret, and he realises that Lola has become more important to him than just an aunt who sends him money - she's now a friend.
Fire

Fire

Jackie French ,  Bruce Whatley

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- A companion to the creators' book Flood this captures the harshness of bushfire. Written in simple rhyming couplets, the text conveys the omnivorous nature of wildfire, the harshness and battles and cost as it devours the land. It also ends with a positive message, of resilience and regrowth. The illustrations are evocative, the oranges and yellows of the flames, and the ashy greys of the aftermath conveying a realistic portrayal of bushfire's effects. Whatley also spatters his paint on the pages to effectively show how fire is dirty, spewing ash and debris. An important and useful book to discuss a widespread and common occurrence, which does not sacrifice artistic beauty to its message. Lindy

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One small spark brought fire awake, Winding like a small black snake, Fire flickered, fire crept, Flames snickered, bushfire leapt...  Inspired by the bushfires that have affected many Australians, Fire is a moving and sensitive story of a natural disaster as seen through the eyes of a cockatoo. The fire mercilessly engulfs homes and land, leaving a devastating path of destruction.
The Mark of the Horse Lord

The Mark of the Horse Lord

Rosemary Sutcliff

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- I grew up reading Sutcliff's novels, and I credit my interest in history to her deftly plotted and deeply researched stories. This was one of my favourites and has certainly stood the test of time since it was first published in 1965. Red-haired gladiator, Phaedrus, wins his freedom but has no place nor people to return to. Approached by Celtic tribesmen to impersonate their rightful king in a plot against a ursurping queen, Phaedrus accepts. He is taught by the man he needs to impersonate, and learns much of importance - including a sense of belonging. Being accepted by the tribe however, is only the beginning of a deeper struggle… Full of sophisticated storylines and psychological depth, this is a powerful and exciting read. Lindy

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'Take my place, Phaedrus, and with it, take my vengeance...' Phaedrus the gladiator wins his freedom after years of bloody battles in the arena. Soon he finds himself riding north towards the wilds of Caledonia on a strange mission. He is to assume the identity of Midir, Lord of the Horse People, to seek vengeance against the treacherous Liadhan, who has usurped the throne. Ahead of him lies more adventure and more danger than he had ever known in the arena...
The Museum of Extraordinary Things

The Museum of Extraordinary Things

Alice Hoffman

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Coralie has been brought up by her slightly sinister father to impersonate a mermaid in his Museum of Extraordinary Things – a freak show on Coney Island in the early years of the 20th century. She is kept separate from human society to preserve the illusion of her otherness, but as the nature of mass entertainment changes, her father looks for different attractions. He also displays her in less innocent circumstances, as his business declines…

Eddie is a young man who rejects his Jewish background and feels betrayed by what he perceives as his father’s weakness. He becomes intrigued by photography, and when he witnesses a terrible tragedy, finds himself embroiled in both cover-ups and mysteries.

How these two disparate characters find each other and their true place in the world is a riveting and beautifully detailed read. Lindy
The Wives of Los Alamos

The Wives of Los Alamos

TaraShea Nesbit

$27.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- It took me a few chapters to get into this novel, as it is narrated by a collective chorus of voices – the wives of the men involved in the Project at Los Alamos during WWII. Once I had gotten used to the multiplicity of storytellers, I found this thoroughly interesting. The women have come from all over the country, kept ignorant of their husbands’ works and dealing with life in an isolated and isolating place.

From the difficulties of maintaining their families, the jealousies and friendships and hardships of living in a town constructed for one purpose, the need to maintain secrecy and something of their own lives and the many and varied ways they coped (or didn’t) this is an admirable exercise in evoking place and time and experience. Lindy

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Their average age was twenty-five. They came from Berkeley, Cambridge, Paris, London and Chicago - and arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure or at least resigned to it. But hope quickly turned to  hardship in the desolate military town where everything was a secret,  including what their husbands were doing at the lab. They lived in  barely finished houses with a P.O. Box for an address, in a town wreathed with barbed wire, all for the benefit of 'the project' that didn't exist as far as the greater world was concerned.

They were  constrained by the words they couldn't say out loud, the letters they couldn't send home, the freedom they didn't have. Though they were strangers, they joined together - babies were born, friendships  were forged, children grew up.

But then 'the project' was unleashed and even bigger challenges faced the women of Los Alamos, as they struggled  with the burden of their contribution towards the creation of the most destructive force in mankind's history - the atomic bomb.

Contentious, gripping and intimate, The Wives of Los Alamos is a personal tale of one of the most momentous events in our history.
Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions

Robert Glancy

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Frank has been involved in a very bad accident. He doesn’t remember very much of his past life as a husband, employee in the family law firm (where there was none better at dealing with the fine print of contracts) and is being told who he was by his wife, his older brother and various acquaintances.

It’s rather puzzling though, the things he does remember don’t quite seem to fit with the pictures other people make of him and for him. And what is his younger brother trying to tell him in the strange and entertaining emails he keeps sending? As Frank’s past life gradually comes back to him, he starts to realise there are plenty of terms and conditions to living that he may not have been aware of in his previous incarnation…

I really enjoyed Frank and his gradual reawakening to life’s possibilities, and how the underdog can actually come out on top! Lindy

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Frank has been in a car accident*. The doctor tells him he lost his spleen, but Frank believes he has lost more. He is missing memories - of those around him, of the history they share and of how he came to be in the crash. All he remembers is that he is a lawyer who specialises in small print**.

In the wake of the accident Frank begins to piece together his former life - and his former self. But the picture that emerges, of his marriage, his family and the career he has devoted years to, is not necessarily a pretty one. Could it be that the terms and conditions by which Frank has been living are not entirely in his favour***?

In the process of unravelling the knots into which his life has been tied, he learns that the devil really does live in the detail and that it's never too late to rewrite your own destiny.

*apparently quite a serious one.
**words that no one ever reads.
*** and perhaps never have been.
Bark

Bark

Lorrie Moore

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- A collection of eight short stories, this is the first from this celebrated writer in 15 years. Each story explores time’s passing and its effects on relationships. Very few of the characters are happy or even content; mostly they are in the ruins of personal relationships – marriages dissolving, friends dying, the aftermath of divorce and all the attendant griefs of failure.

Observant, occasionally poignant, tender and often just on the edge of something hopeful, these are fine examples of how the short story can often convey more than whole novels. Lindy

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In these eight masterful stories Lorrie Moore explores the passage of time, and summons up its inevitable sorrows and comic pitfalls.

In 'Debarking', a newly divorced man tries to keep his wits about him as the US prepares to invade Iraq. In 'Foes', a political argument goes grotesquely awry as the events of 9/11 unexpectedly manifest at a fundraising dinner in Georgetown. In 'The Juniper Tree', a teacher, visited by the ghost of her recently deceased friend, is forced to sing 'The Star Spangled Banner' in a kind of nightmare reunion. And in 'Wings', we watch the unraveling of two once-hopeful musicians, who neither held fast to their dreams, nor struck out along other paths.

Gimlet-eyed social observation, the public and private absurdities of American life, dramatic irony, and enduring half-cracked love wend their way through each of these narratives, in Moore's characteristic style that is always tender, never sentimental and often heartbreakingly funny.
This is the Life

This is the Life

Alex Shearer

$27.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- I think so far this year, that this is my favourite novel. It is a tender and sometimes poignant novel of two brothers and their loving but sometimes difficult past. The younger one has left his family and work in England to fly to Brisbane to be by his brother's side. Louis has brain cancer, it turns out, but he's not going down without a fight.

He has never quite found his place in the world, possessing both intelligence and principles in equal measure; nor has he ever really settled down as restlessness and his own eccentricities play against other people understanding him fully. Despite this, Louis' friends are true ones, and his younger brother adores and tolerates him. As the disease takes hold, and takes away, brotherly love supports, consoles, and deepens the understanding, that this is the life.

With a cast of beautifully drawn characters, and a feeling that this is not a novel but almost a memoir, the veracity of the descriptions and wonderful flashes of humour make this touching book quite special indeed. Lindy

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Even when you have received a death sentence, you still have to live...

Life just seems like a big party sometimes, at which we all gradually get edged to the door, and then we are out in the cold. But the party continues without us... 

This is the story of Louis, who never quite fitted in, and of his younger brother who always tagged along. Two brothers on one final journey together, wading through the stuff that is thicker than water.

Tender-hearted, at times achingly funny, This is the Life is a moving testimony to both the resilience of the human spirit and to the price of strawberries.
All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

Anthony Doerr

$29.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE MAY 2014 ----- Marie-Laure loses her sight at the age of six. Her father, the locksmith for the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, helps her navigate her life by constructing intricate models of her surroundings. Werner is an orphan living in Zollverein who has an uncanny mechanical aptitude but in Nazi Germany is destined for the coal mines that claimed his father’s life.

As they grow, both Marie-Laure and Werner face challenges they can overcome, but the gathering forces of war are going to rip them from their accustomed lives. When Marie-Laure and her father flee Paris for St Malo, they are carrying what may be a precious and myth-shrouded jewel – or a decoy to fool the Nazi treasure plunderers. Werner also finds himself serving in St Malo, his talent for wireless engineering much in demand. He has succumbed to the ideology of his times, but uneasiness is always under the surface of his thoughts. When the Americans bomb St Malo there may be a chance for redemption…

An intricate novel but easily read as the alternating chapters follow first one then the other character. Beautifully plotted and very finely written, this was a moving, haunting story of the effects war has on innocence. Lindy

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The epic new novel, set during WW2, from Sunday Times Short Story Prize-winner Anthony Doerr.

Marie-Laure has been blind since the age of six. Her father builds a perfect miniature of their Paris neighbourhood so she can memorise it by touch and navigate her way home. But when the Nazis invade, father and daughter flee with a dangerous secret.

Werner is a German orphan, destined to labour in the same mine that claimed his father's life, until he discovers a knack for engineering. His talent wins him a place at a brutal military academy, but his way out of obscurity is built on suffering. At the same time, far away in a walled city by the sea, an old man discovers new worlds without ever setting foot outside his home. But all around him, impending danger closes in.

Doerr's combination of soaring imagination and meticulous observation is electric. As Europe is engulfed by war and lives collide unpredictably, 'All The Light We Cannot See' is a captivating and devastating elegy for innocence.
For Once in My Life

For Once in My Life

Marianne Kavanagh

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Tess believes in soul mates. She’s pretty sure that the thoughtful, attractive and faithful Dominic is hers. George doesn’t believe in soul mates, but he does believe in music, love and doing the right thing. They’ve never met, but they have mutual friends, most of whom think Tess and George would be good together. It takes a few years, and plenty of mistakes before they do finally meet, but by then both are happily enmeshed with other partners. Or are they?

A charmingly entertaining and ebullient novel that is perfect for a lazy weekend (and will no doubt one day make a perfect Saturday afternoon rom-com movie!). Lindy

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This was George. She recognised him, although she had never met him. All around were people pressing into him, shouting over him, jostling him, and he stood there, looking at her, completely and utterly familiar. She was shocked, because of that jolt of recognition. But at the same time she was reassured. He was exactly as she knew he would be. Tess and George are soul mates. They've just never met each other. They both live in London. They went to the same university.

But throughout their twenties, despite their shared friends' best efforts, they never come face to face. And now they're stuck with partners who don't understand them and jobs that make them unhappy, always settling for second best. Finally they meet at a friend's thirtieth birthday party. Can they disentangle themselves from their former lives and grab hold of their one chance to be together? Or is it too late?
 
This is a love story that teeters on the edge of disaster. It's about whether it's better to compromise-or to wait for your soul mate.
White Beech: The Rainforest Years

White Beech: The Rainforest Years

Dr. Germaine Greer

$39.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE NOVEMBER 2013 ----- Love her or hate her, you have to admire Greer’s fierce intelligence and passion. When she buys an abandoned farm in the Gold Coast hinterland, she is seduced by possibilities, incensed by despoliation and determined to heal a part of the land she so loves. Never doing anything by halves, she takes to botany with the fervour of a convert. This engaging book is about the rainforest she starts rehabilitating, and also the history and patterns of change wrought by humans upon the land. Intellectually satisfying writing coupled with absorbing observations. Lindy

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"For years I had wandered Australia with an aching heart. Everywhere I had ever travelled across the vast expanse of the fabulous country where I was born, I had seen devastation, denuded hills, eroded slopes, weeds from all over the world, feral animals, open-cut mines as big as cities, salt rivers, salt earth, abandoned townships, whole beaches made of beer cans."

One bright day in December 2001, 62-year-old Germaine Greer found herself confronted by an irresistible challenge in the shape of 60 hectares of dairy farm, one of many in south-east Queensland that, after a century of logging, clearing and downright devastation, had been abandoned to their fate. She didn't think for a minute that by restoring the land she was saving the world. She was in search of heart's ease.

Beyond the acres of exotic pasture grass and soft weed and the impenetrable curtains of tangled Lantana canes, there were Macadamias dangling their strings of unripe nuts and Black Beans with red and yellow pea flowers growing on their branches... and the few remaining White Beeches, stupendous trees up to 40 metres high, logged out within 40 years of the arrival of the first white settlers. To have turned down even a faint chance of bringing them back to their old haunts would have been to succumb to despair. 

Once the process of rehabilitation had begun, the chance proved to be a dead certainty. When the first replanting shot up to make a forest, and rare caterpillars turned up to feed on the leaves of the new young trees, she knew beyond doubt that at least here biodepletion could be reversed. Greer describes herself as an old dog who succeeded in learning a load of new tricks, inspired and rejuvenated by her passionate love of Australia and of Earth, most exuberant of small planets.
The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles

The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles

Katherine Pancol

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This book has sold millions in Europe! Josephine’s husband has run away to Africa with his manicurist, leaving her with his debts and their daughters - a sarcastic nymphet and a malleable pre-teen. Her glamorous sister Iris, tired of her empty Parisian chic lifestyle, pays historical researcher Josephine to write a novel so Iris can pass it off as her own, which is all very well until the novel becomes a literary sensation and Iris becomes addicted to celebrity. How Josephine finds love and the courage to stand on her own two feet makes for a typically quirky French novel! Lindy
The Charioteer: A Virago Modern Classic

The Charioteer: A Virago Modern Classic

Mary Renault ,  Simon Russell Beale

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- First published in 1953, this fine novel has been reissued after a number of years of being unavailable. Laurie has been injured in the evacuation from Dunkirk and, whilst recuperating, forms a friendship with a young conscientious objector, Andrew. Laurie, however, is hiding his true feelings. When Ralph, a former schoolmate, reappears in Laurie’s life, long-held beliefs are challenged and discoveries made. A tender and affecting novel of great beauty and hard truths, this is one of my all-time favourites. Lindy
The Icing on the Cake

The Icing on the Cake

Annabel Morley

$29.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is a charming and gentle memoir of a bygone age. Annabel’s father was the actor Robert Morley and her maternal grandmother was the acclaimed actress and beauty Gladys Cooper. Surrounded by theatrical and eccentric people, acting in films from a young age, encouraged and loved by her family, her childhood was anything but ordinary. Dotted throughout with recipes garnered from her world travels, this is a delightful life story! Lindy

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With her grandmother the society beauty Dame Gladys Cooper, and her father the renowned actor Robert Morley CBE, Annabel Morley was always going to lead an extraordinary life.

Evoking an English childhood from a bygone era, Annabel Morley brings back to life the magic and charm of growing up in a bohemian artistic and quintessentially English family. Their house in Berkshire is the backdrop to a wonderful array of events and personalities. Often surrounded by the greats of theatre such as Vivien Lee, Lawrence Olivier and Spencer Tracy, Annabel recounts these times with such wit and affection.

The Icing on the Cake features not only unpublished photographs of the Morley lives, but private letters and personal memories, including her travels to Sydney, Venice and Hollywood during the glamorous 1940’s and 50’s. Annabel’s passion for the theatre is also matched by her love of food and family, and includes recipes served at family get togethers on both sides of the word.

The Icing on the Cake by Annabel Morley at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
Cook: From Sailor to Legend

Cook: From Sailor to Legend

Rob Mundle

$49.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- James Cook - the greatest maritime navigator, explorer and cartographer of all time - began life as a Yorkshire farm boy. He didn’t even go to sea (in the merchant marine) until he was 18. How he achieved fame in his chosen career, and the many and varied circumstances of his life and work, are described in this vivid book. As with Mundle's previous books on Bligh and Flinders, this is full of nautical detail, well-researched and very readable. Lindy

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Captain James Cook is one of the greatest maritime explorers of all time. Only the acclaimed 15th-century explorers Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama can stand with him.

Bestselling author of FATAL STORM, BLIGH and FLINDERS, Rob Mundle explores the life and travels of James Cook in a major new biography for lovers of adventure and the romance of sail.

Over three remarkable voyages of discovery into the Pacific in the latter part of the 18th century, Cook unravelled the centuries-old mystery surrounding the existence of the Great South Land, Terra Australis Incognita. He became the first explorer to circumnavigate New Zealand and prove it comprised two main islands, he discovered the Hawaiian Islands, and much more.

Cook was a man who pursued a teenager's dream that evolved from a chance encounter in a small seafront village on the east coast of England. It was a dream that became a reality and transported him to legendary status among all who mapped the world - on land and sea.

Through the combination of hard-won skills as a seafarer, the talents of a self-taught navigator and surveyor, and an exceptional ability to lead and care for his men, Cook contributed to changing the shape of the world map more than anyone else.

Cook: From Sailor to Legend by Rob Mundle at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Therese Anne Fowler

$19.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE APRIL 2013 ----- Zelda Sayre is a Montgomery debutante, a beautiful daredevil of a girl, indulged and talented. She catches the eye of a young man stationed nearby, waiting to be called up to do his bit in the European war. Francis Scott Fitzgerald is everything her family does not want for her – Catholic, poor (and worst of all) Yankee, with no prospects and the burning belief he is a writer. Disregarding everything sensible, she falls in love, accepts his proposal and moves to New York. There they become the feted Fitzgeralds, always good for a good time, leading a pack of young Jazz Agers in search of more, more, more. Scott becomes the author of the moment and the pressure to always come up with the next best selling story (along with increasing dependence on alcohol) starts to tear holes in their charmed existence. Moving to France, like many others, only causes more problems, particularly as Scott takes a protégé, by name Ernest Hemingway… Told from Zelda’s point-of-view, this is a marvelously colourful novel, evocative of time and place; and while it is a novelisation of true people and events, it reads with a veracity and immediacy that will have you believing in the character. If you liked The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, you will certainly enjoy this! Lindy
Happy Eva After

Happy Eva After

Chris Harrison

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Sebastian would like to think he’s happily married to Sarah, but she spends so much time at work that he sees more of his dog than his wife, even though she has suddenly decided that the biological clock is counting down and they better procreate quick smart! Teaching at a London language college, his main interests are cryptic crosswords and the grammatical faults of others. He is a kindly man, and when one of his students appears to be involved in an unwelcome and sordid situation, he tries to help – but has he fallen into a linguistic trap of his own making? A warm and lovely novel about the grammar of modern life. Lindy

Happy Eva After by Chris Harrison at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney

Chris Harrison at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
The Coincidence Authority

The Coincidence Authority

J.W. Ironmonger

$24.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE OCTOBER 2013 ----- Coincidence has been used as a narrative device before, but not as well as this! Lindy
 
Have you ever experienced a coincidence that seems too strange to be true? And is there such a thing as fate? A novel about love in a random universe, about two lost souls each with a quest to understand the secret patterns of their lives.

Thomas Post is an expert on coincidence. He's an authority. Every coincidence, he says, can be explained by the cold laws of chance. But why then do coincidences so afflict the life of Azalea Lewis? And why has Thomas Post's orderly life been thrown into such disarray by the coincidences of Azalea?

This is the tale of two lost souls, each with a quest to understand the secret patterns hidden in a very random universe. It is the story of the short but eventful life of Azalea Lewis, a foundling child discovered at a travelling fair; and it is the unfolding story of Thomas Post who looks for patterns in a haphazard world, and who finds his belief in the fabric of life challenged by Azalea.

From the windswept tranquillity of a Manx village to the brutal abduction of child soldiers in Africa, the lives of Thomas Post and Azalea Lewis intertwine as they try to untangle the mystery of Azalea's past. A mystery that began with a seagull and four pieces of bread...
The Universe Versus Alex Woods

The Universe Versus Alex Woods

Gavin Extence

$16.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK -----  Loveable characters and serious issues, and one of quirkiest and best-intentioned narrators! Lindy

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A rare meteorite struck Alex Woods when he was ten years old, leaving scars and marking him for an extraordinary future. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, Alex hasn't had the easiest childhood. But when he meets curmudgeonly widower Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend.

Someone who teaches him that that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make it count. So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the front seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing...

Introducing a bright young voice destined to charm the world, The Universe Versus Alex Woods is a celebration of curious incidents, astronomy and astrology, the works of Kurt Vonnegut and the unexpected connections that form our world.
All the Truth That's in Me

All the Truth That's in Me

Julie Berry

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Mothball finds a new hole, and we know how curious she is! She finds herself at school where she discovers: lunchboxes rarely contain carrots, sports sheds are good napping places, and if you are round and brown, be careful you aren't mistaken for a ball… As charming and delightful as all the other Wombat books from this talented duo have been, appealing to child and adult reader alike! ~ Lindy

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Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years later, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by her friends and family.  Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to her childhood friend, Lucas. He is the boy who has owned her heart for as long as she can remember - even if he doesn't know it.  But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose - to continue living in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever.  Told in a voice that is achingly raw and intimate, this remarkably original novel will haunt and stay with you. It will fill you with Judith's passion and longing, and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last one.
Something Like Normal

Something Like Normal

Trish Doller

$12.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK -----  Examines the effects of war on a young man who is not yet emotionally mature. Lindy

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When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother's stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he's haunted by nightmares of his best friend's death. It's not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he's had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis's dry sense of humour, and incredible sense of honour, make him an irresistible and eminently loveable hero.
The List of My Desires

The List of My Desires

Gregoire Delacourt

$24.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE JULY 2013 ----- When you know what makes you happy, can achieving what others think should make you happy, make you happier? Lindy

What would it take to change your life? Jocelyne is 47. She lives in a small provincial French town, runs her own dressmaking shop, has been married to the same man for what seems like an eternity, has had two children and lives a very ordinary existence. In fact so ordinary that she is beginning to wonder what happened to her, to all those dreams she had when she was seventeen.

Then comes the chance to change her life completely - but should she? For when Jocelyne begins to look at her life and its small pleasures - her friendship with the twins who run the hairdresser next door, her weekends away, her sewing blog - she realises that maybe ordinary isn't so bad. Until the decision is taken out of her hands... A wonderfully heart-warming novel about what we value in life and the search for happiness.
Gotland

Gotland

Fiona Capp

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Elegaic and thoughtful, how a woman deals with love and her loved husband's ambitions. Lindy

Shy and idealistic, Esther Chatwin is Australia's reluctant First Lady. She longs to return to the anonymity of her old life. But her husband's sudden political success has turned the media spotlight on her and her only escape is to Gotland, the fabled island in the Baltic Sea that she loves. A special place, it's also home to the enigmatic sculptor Sven, another idealist with a troubled past.  Even on the other side of the world, deeply private events become everyone's business, and Esther must struggle to overcome the forces - within and without - that threaten to destroy her.  Gotland is a startlingly evocative and timely portrait of the cost paid by those who are drawn into the public spotlight against their will.
The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

Donna Tartt

$32.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Caught in a terrorist attack that kills his mother while at an art exhibition, Theo Decker escapes with a ring given to him by a dying man, and a 16th century painting. Returning the ring introduces him to an antique restorer; the stolen painting becomes both comfort and burden. A series of temporary homes - in New York with friends, and Las Vegas with his neglectful father - leave him unsettled, guilt-stricken and eventually trapped in a dangerous circle of deceit. A hefty novel that draws you in gradually until you find yourself submerged in the cool and satisfying prose. Lindy
Siege

Siege

Sarah Mussi

$14.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- I can't remember the last time I read such a heart-stopping novel - or one where the last two lines have so much impact! The pace is relentless and the story takes place over the course of one day. Leah is 16, the one who looks after her fractured family, and it's one ordinary Friday at school - or would be if it hadn't started with things going awry before she even arrived. Because she was late, she has detention. Because she is in the detention room, and not at general assembly, she doesn't witness a group of ninth graders arrive and start shooting. Because of this, she has a chance to escape. But this is a school in the near future, where the government has instituted a lock-down procedure for schools to prevent the reoccurrence of riots that had society in an uproar, so Leah can't leave the building. What follows is a tense day, where she has to outwit the armed students, try to convince the police that help is required, and go against the need for personal survival in order to help others. Worse still is the dreadful realisation her younger brother might be involved, and how can she protect him then? Guaranteed to be a powerful read: ages 14+ Lindy
Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia

Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia

Jenny Torres Sanchez

$12.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is an edgy novel for the young adult reader. Frenchie is in a mess. She’s finished school, but hasn’t managed to get in to the art college she wanted. Her best friend, who has always promised they would leave their dead-end Florida town to live somewhere cooler (in temperature and attitude) together, has changed his mind because he is in love with an up-and-coming singer. The only person she thinks understands her is a dead poet. And then there is the secret she’s been carrying around since the boy she has always had a crush on committed suicide… Sharp observations and a believable voice lift this above depressing issue-based YA fiction. I really enjoyed it! Lindy

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Frenchie Garcia can't come to grips with the death of Andy Cooper. Her friends didn't know she had a crush him. And they don't know she was the last person with him before he committed suicide. But Frenchie's biggest concern is how she blindly helped him die that night. Frenchie's already insane obsession with death and Emily Dickinson won't help her understand the role she played during Andy's one night of adventure. But when she meets Colin, she may have found the perfect opportunity to recreate that night. While exploring the emotional depth of loss and transition to adulthood, Sanchez's sharp humor and clever observations bring forth a richly developed voice.
Song for a Scarlet Runner

Song for a Scarlet Runner

Julie Hunt

$15.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Peat has lived apart from the isolated village she was born into, exiled to the furthest reaches of the territory to tend to dairy cows. When she inadvertently points a stranger towards the township, and he brings the plague, she is driven away from the only home she has known. Forced into the terrible swamps of the borders, she is caught by a marsh-aunty, and becomes her apprentice. Peat also makes the acquaintance of a sleek, or scarlet runner, a strange creature of variable friendliness. She learns the trade of storytelling, and accompanies her mistress to the city at the centre of the world, where it becomes apparent that the marsh-aunty has not revealed all the stories that need to be told… A classic adventure story set in a strange world, an enjoyable and well-constructed standalone novel. Ages 10-14. Lindy

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Peat is on the run - forced to flee for her life when she's blamed for bringing bad luck to her village. She heads for the endless marshes, where she's caught by an old healer-woman who makes Peat her apprentice and teaches her the skill of storytelling. But a story can be a dangerous thing. It can take you out of one world and leave you stranded in another - and Peat finds herself trapped in an eerie place beyond the Silver River where time stands still. Her only friends are a 900-year-old boy and his ghost hound, plus a small and slippery sleek - a cunning creature that might sink his teeth into your leg one minute, and save your life the next.
The Lives of Stella Bain

The Lives of Stella Bain

Anita Shreve

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- A woman wakes in a field hospital in France, 1916. She remembers nothing about how she got there, but a name occurs to her: Stella Bain. On her release, she feels compelled to go to London, in search of what, she is unsure. Found distressed and taken into the home of a doctor and his wife, she slowly starts to recover her memory. However, as her past comes back to her, the mysteries deepen… A well constructed novel of psychological suffering and eventual redemption. Lindy
Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

Joanna Trollope

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is part of the Austen Project, whereby Austen’s wonderful novels will be retold by modern authors. Usually I run a mile from these things, but I have to admit I loved this sparkling recreation! Using the same names and characters and places, Trollope channels the story into contemporary settings. That it works so well is as much a tribute to her skill as it is to the timeless observations of Jane Austen. If you want proof that human nature and concerns remain largely unchanged from centuries ago, you could do no better than this enjoyable and entertaining homage! Lindy
Coast: A History of the New South Wales Edge

Coast: A History of the New South Wales Edge

Ian Hoskins

$49.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- A readable history (with scads of lovely illustrations) of human interactions with the NSW coast. Lindy

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From Eden to Byron Bay, the New South Wales coast is more than 2,000 kilometres long, with 130 estuaries and 100 coastal lakes. This is the first history of the NSW coast and traces our relationship with this stretch of land and sea, starting when Aboriginal people feasted on shellfish and perfected the art of building bark canoes, to our present obsession with the beach as a place to live or holiday. Leading us through the European fascination with marine life, attempts to establish a whaling industry, a fear of seaborne invasion which led to the creation of a navy of our own in 1911, through to the rise of our unstoppable enthusiasm for surfing and fishing, Ian Hoskins argues that our current enthralment with the coast began more recently than we might think.

Coast by Ian Hoskins at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
Paris

Paris

Edward Rutherfurd

$32.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- A great sweeping epic that presents the development of the city over the centuries through the stories of families. Lindy

City of love. City of splendour. City of terror. City of dreams.

Inspired by the haunting, passionate story of the city of lights, this epic novel weaves a gripping tale of four families across the centuries: from the lies that spawn the noble line of de Cygne to the revolutionary Le Sourds who seek their destruction; from the Blanchards whose bourgeois respectability offers scant protection against scandal to the hard-working Gascons and their soaring ambitions.

Over hundreds of years, these four families are bound by forbidden loves and marriages of convenience; dogged by vengeance and murderous secrets; torn apart by the irreconcilable differences of birth and faith, and brought together by the tumultuous history of their city. Paris bursts to life in the intrigue, corruption and glory of its people.

Beloved author of Sarum, London and New York, Edward Rutherfurd illuminates Paris as only he can: capturing the romance and everyday drama of the men and women who, in two thousand years, transformed a humble trading post on the muddy banks of the Seine into the most celebrated city in the world.
Born in a Tent: How Camping Makes Us Australian

Born in a Tent: How Camping Makes Us Australian

Bill Garner

$39.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Interesting theory of the origin of the Australian character, and a fine read to boot.

Everyone I know has camped and I’ve had camping holidays myself, but I wouldn’t have believed I’d find a social history about it so fascinating. Yet this book is not only enjoyable and appealing, it also persuasively argues the case that camping has been a factor in our national character and that many of the traits we pride ourselves on are directly attributable to the widespread and historical practice
of living in tents! From the First Fleet (with digressions on indigenous shelters) to the gold rushes, from necessity to leisure, and right up to Tent Embassies, this wonderfully illustrated book is a pleasure to read. Lindy

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Breathtakingly original, this book shows that the history of Australia can be told through a history of camping. Bill Garner reminds us that Australia was settled as a campsite – the nation was born in a tent. But while Europeans brought tents, they did not bring camping. Australia had been a camping place for millennia. And so it continued to be. For more than a hundred years, settlers – women as well as men – colonised the country by living under canvas. It changed them into a new sort of native Australian. It gave them a feel for the place, a wry can-do attitude, and a lasting taste for equality. And it led to a sense of belonging. Born in a Tent takes the story from the campfire to the gas bottle, from a tarp slung on saplings to polymer tents and aluminium poles. It reveals how deeply our camping holidays connect us to the land, to the past, and to one another.
Flocks of Colour

Flocks of Colour

Penny Olsen

$39.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Another of those glorious productions the National Library does so well.

Australia’s avifauna is distinguished by many beautiful birds, and particularly by our glorious parrots. This splendid book draws on the National Library collection and features images of all the Australian parrots, from the first published illustration of a rainbow lorikeet collected in 1770 to William Cooper’s watercolour of the fabled night parrot. With essays by Olsen, this gorgeous book is the perfect gift for anyone interested in birds, nature, science, history or art. It’s one I’ve bought myself! Lindy

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What name could be a more apt description of Australia than The Land of Parrots, a name inspired by late 16th-century maps showing a southern region labelled Psittacorum regio? This beautiful book takes a close look at parrots in Australia, from the first published illustration of an Australian parrot - a Rainbow Lorikeet collected live on Cook’s 1770 voyage - to William Cooper’s 20th-century watercolour of the elusive Night Parrot. With introductory essays by ornithologist Penny Olsen, this book covers two and a quarter centuries of discovery and illustration of Australia’s avifauna. It features a rich portfolio of images of all the Australian parrots by artists including John Gould, Edward Lear, Neville Cayley and William Cooper, selected from the collections of the National Library of Australia. The foreword is by Joseph Forshaw, a world expert on the parrot family.
Ghost Moth

Ghost Moth

Michele Forbes

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Katherine is married to dependable, unexciting George, but when she was newly engaged to him 20 years previously, she met the love of her life, Tom. Her decisions in 1949 have had reverberations through the years, and Belfast of 1969 is a place where the past will erupt in more ways than one. A beguiling and lyrically written novel detailing the bones of a marriage, and what keeps people bound to each other. Lindy
The Orchardist

The Orchardist

Amanda Coplin

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Early in the 20th century in an isolated corner of the Pacific Northwest, a fruit grower finds his solitude disturbed by two young - and pregnant - runaway girls. Gradually he wins their trust, but their tenuous peace is shattered and tragedy strikes. Already scarred by the disappearance of his only sister many years before, the farmer must disrupt the order of his life to heal and make amends. A lyrical and assured novel of great depth. Lindy

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At the turn of the twentieth century, in a remote stretch of Northwest  America, a solitary orchardist, Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were his children. One day, two teenage girls steal his fruit at the market. Feral, scared and very pregnant, they follow Talmadge to his land and form an unlikely attachment to his gentle way of life. But their fragile peace is shattered when armed men arrive in the orchard. In the tragedy that unfolds, Talmadge must fight to save the lives of those he has learned to love while confronting the ghosts of his own troubled past. THE ORCHARDIST is an astonishing and unforgettable epic about a man who disrupts the lonely harmony of his life when he opens his heart and lets the world in.
The Storyteller and His Three Daughters

The Storyteller and His Three Daughters

Lian Hearn

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Sei has been a successful traditional storyteller, but the new ways and methods of post-gunboat Japan make him feel behind the times. Suffering financial embarrassment and creative block, he starts to realise that his own daughters provide all the drama and inspiration he could possibly want, but do the ruling powers want these stories? A charming and agreeable novel, full of rich detail and a very likeable main character. Highly recommended. Lindy
Truly Tan Spooked!

Truly Tan Spooked!

Jen Storer ,  Claire Robertson

$16.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Tan’s family have settled well into country life, but she is happy to learn that her best friend Molly is coming from the city to stay, even if it causes a small misunderstanding with her best friend Georgia. The three girls all get on well and find a mystery to investigate: why are all the stone creatures in people’s gardens disappearing? Highly recommended for girls 8-11. Lindy
Everything We Ever Saw: From the Beach to the Bush and More!

Everything We Ever Saw: From the Beach to the Bush and More!

Roland Harvey

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is excellent value, containing as it does, complete but scaled-down versions of Harvey's best-selling holiday series. A family accompanies Uncle Kev to the beach, bush, city, farm, Top End, and all the way to W.A. Full of wonderfully detailed illustrations that keep youngsters absorbed for hours - the text is fun, but it is the humorous drawings depicting all sorts of extra stories that really appeal. There are also things to find and notice scattered throughout, adding an element of search and find to keep the reader occupied. Ages 5-8 ~ Lindy

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We did a squillion and seventy things on our SIX holidays all across Australia: sailing and surfing, caving and kayaking, camping under big skies, explorations underground, museums and markets, amazing adventures on our way to the very tip of the Top End and way out west, and finally a heap of fun helping Uncle Kev on his farm. So join us! Come along to everywhere we ever went, and see everything we ever saw! And enjoy all the madness and mayhem of our fabulous family holidays. 
Ice Breaker: Hidden #1

Ice Breaker: Hidden #1

Lian Tanner

$18.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Petrel lives between decks on an ancient Icebreaker, a ship that circumnavigates the southern polar regions, and has done for centuries. The crew are divided firmly into sections - Officer, Engineer, Cook - but Petrel belongs to none of the factions, and is disregarded or persecuted by them all. Her only friends are a pair of sleek, talking rats. One day a frozen boy is found on the ice, and when he is taken on board, he remembers nothing of how he got there - but is he telling the truth? Unbeknownst to the crew, he has been sent by their ancient enemies, the Anti-Machinists, with the goal to find something hidden away on their ship for generations. Petrel is drawn to help him before she discovers the truth - or is it before the boy discovers the truth? An exciting and absorbing novel with a very credible world, first in a new series. Ages 10-14 Lindy

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Twelve-year-old Petrel is an outcast, the lowest of the low on an ancient icebreaker that has been following the same course for three hundred years. In that time, the ship's crew has forgotten its original purpose and broken into three warring tribes, the Cooks, the Officers and the Engineers. Everyone has a tribe except Petrel, whose parents committed such a terrible crime that they were thrown overboard, and their daughter ostracised. But Petrel is a survivor. She lives in the dark corners of the ship, trusting no one, speaking to no one except two large grey rats, Mister Smoke and Missus Slink. That is, until a boy is discovered, frozen on an iceberg, and brought onto the ship. No one knows where he has come from, and when he recovers consciousness he claims to have forgotten even his name. The tribes don't trust strangers; they haven't seen one for three hundred years. But Petrel saves him and hides him away in the forgotten corners of the ship, hoping he will be her friend. What she doesn't know is that for the last three hundred years, the ship has been guarding a secret. A secret that could change the world. A secret that the boy has been sent to destroy, along with the ship and everyone on it...
Once Tashi Met a Dragon

Once Tashi Met a Dragon

Anna Fienberg ,  Barbara Fienberg ,  Kim Gamble

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Tashi is a popular character in a range of little novels for newly confident readers, but this delightful picture book introduces him to slightly younger readers. Tashi has always heard tales about dragons, but no-one has ever met one. They bring the rains, and when one year the rains don't fall, Tashi sets out to discover why. A charming adventure to introduce one of the most enduring little characters of recent Australian children's books! Lindy

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No one had ever seen the dragon, but once a year it would send smoke and thunder down the mountain, and soon the rains would follow. Now the skies were always blue, the creeks were drying up and the people were hungry. What was happening up there? When Tashi reaches the dragon's golden palace, he meets an angry young dragon who is upset because his mother is under the spell of a demon sleep and he can't wake her up.
Jump: Twinmaker #1

Jump: Twinmaker #1

Sean Williams

$18.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The world has adapted to a form of instantaneous transport using d-mat booths. Some people refuse to use them, thinking that it is an abomination to be copied by a machine and reassembled, but mostly people don't think about the consequences. Clair and her best friend Libby are in to Lucky Jumping, where the coolest people assemble for spontaneous parties, and when they manage to find a great location, they become small celebrities in the circle of cognescenti. Unfortunately for Clair, she has fallen for Libby's boyfriend, and Libby has started to act strangely. When a secret code is offered that will help change your appearance as you use d-mat, Clair is repulsed, but Libby fascinated. What seems to be a simple thing turns out to be Clair's worst nightmare, and she finds herself on the run with a mob of Abstainers and with a mysterious on-line ally who isn't what they seem to be… A cracker of a novel, the first in a trilogy. 14+ ~ Lindy

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Clair lives in a world revolutionised by d-mat, a global teleport system that allows people to transport themselves instantaneously around the world. When a coded note promises improvement - the chance to change your body any way you want, making it stronger, taller, more beautiful - Clair thinks it's too good to be true, but her best friend, Libby, is determined to give it a try. What starts as Libby's dream turns into Clair's nightmare when Libby falls foul of a deadly trap. With the help of Jesse, the school freak, and a mysterious online friend called Q, Clair's attempt to protect Libby leads her to an unimagined world of conspiracies and cover-ups. Soon her own life is at risk, and Clair is chased across the world in a desperate race against time.
The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

Hans Christian Andersen ,  Charles Santore

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Personally this has always been one of my favourite fairy tales, and this new edition is faithful to the original tale. It is beautifully illustrated by Charles Santore, an award-winning American illustrator, in a range of soft marine colours which perfectly complement the sad tale of the mermaid who gives up everything for love. It would be the ideal gift for any young girl who is ready for the real story, not the bawdlerised versions, or for the collector of classic children's literature. Lindy

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The beloved tale of The Little Mermaid is faithfully reproduced in this new edition of Hans Christian Anderson's classic. Original art by critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling illustrator Charles Santore is masterfully reproduced using the most advanced technology to bring these breathtaking illustrations to life like never before. The vivid colors and captivating spreads make this beautiful story one to be treasured in every home. The Little Mermaid is a timeless classic that has fascinated readers young and old for many generations. The adventures of the young mermaid princess splash life across the pages of a story full of belonging, hope, love and sacrifice. This new edition embodies beautiful original artwork by Charles Santore, masterfully reproduced with the latest technology available, containing vivid colors and captivating illustrations that make every page an unrivaled masterpiece. The sharp contrast of life under the sea and on the land is captured with these magnificent depictions of the story. In reviewing the original Santore artwork, the School Library Journal wrote, Through his clever use of contrasting palettes, the illustrations create two distinct worlds: the ethereal blues and greens of the Sea King's undersea realm, and the sun-drenched reds and golds of the prince's domain. Children and adults are sure to treasure this book and all it encompasses for many years to come.
Tide

Tide

John Kinsella

$29.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The most beautiful short stories I’ve read this year! Kinsella is unparalleled at catching landscapes - the spaces of sea and land - but it is the psychological insights that make this so special. From young men making adult mistakes, children in the midst of nature, tired people trying and failing, or older ones understanding their lives, these stories tell more in their few pages than many novelists could ever hope to convey. Lindy
Perfect North

Perfect North

Jenny Bond

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This assured and compelling debut novel is based on real events. In 1897 at the height of the rush to reach the North Pole, a Swedish expedition set out to conquer the distance - by hot air balloon. One of the members was a young man related to August Strindberg, part of an accomplished and talented family, and engaged to Anna. When the expedition disappears, and as nothing is heard from them, she too vanishes.

Decades later, the remains of the balloon are found on a remote island, and the newspaper which originally sponsored the attempt sends a journalist, Kurt Stubbendorff, to the scene. There he finds the body of Nils Strindberg, and a cache of love letters. Moved by their contents, he decides to track down Anna and return them to her. But Anna had her reasons for disappearing, and as Kurt discovers, sometimes secrets need to be kept…

I found this to be a wonderful read, with an interesting narrative structure, psychologically rounded characters and passages of quite beautiful writing. Very satisfying, and very much recommended! Lindy

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1897: As explorers and scientists scramble to conquer the North Pole, Nils Strindberg, with fellow adventurers S. A. Andre and Knut Frankel, takes up the challenge. Setting flight in a hydrogen balloon, Nils leaves his fiance Anna and his brother Erik behind in Stockholm anxiously hoping for his return.

1930: When the men's remains are discovered on the frozen island of Kvit ya, the news makes headlines around the world. Brash young journalist Knut Stubbendorff is sent to report from the site and uncovers, among the debris, journals filled with love letters from Nils to Anna. Wanting to know more about the man who left his love to embark on a journey that was doomed from the start, Stubbendorff is determined to find her... but Anna doesnt want to be found.

In a search that uncovers lost loves, deceit and long-buried secrets, Stubbendorff discovers a story that has stayed hidden for decades and the people who have been concealing it.

Perfect North by Jenny Bond at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
Murder and Mendelssohn: Phryne Fisher #20

Murder and Mendelssohn: Phryne Fisher #20

Kerry Greenwood

$22.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- It's almost unnecessary to review a new Phryne Fisher novel, as the fans will read it anyway! What's so enjoyable about this series, apart from the loving descriptions of beautiful frocks, delicious cocktails, and beautiful young men, is the sassy Phryne herself.

This (the 20th Phryne book) reveals some more of her past, particularly her involvement in the Great War - and her clandestine activities for the British secret service - nothing surprises when it comes to Miss Fisher! Of course, we start with a murder - an orchestral conductor found dead with a sheaf of Mendelssohn stuffed in his mouth. Jack Robinson has asked for her insights, and she is all too willing to help investigate. This involves her joining an amateur choral group, leads to her rekindling a love affair with an old paramour (who himself, is pining away for love of someone who takes him for granted - something Phryne will help rectify!) and generally finding herself up to her green eyes in trouble! As enjoyable a novel as all the rest have been! ~ Lindy

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To the accompaniment of heavenly choirs singing, the fearless Miss Phryne Fisher returns in her 20th adventure with musical score in hand. An orchestral conductor has been found dead and Detective Inspector Jack Robinson needs the delightfully incisive and sophisticated Miss Fisher's assistance to enter a world in which he is at sea. Hugh Tregennis, not much liked by anyone, has been murdered in a most flamboyant mode by a killer with a point to prove. But how many killers is Phryne really stalking?

At the same time, the dark curls, disdainful air and the lavender eyes of mathematician and code-breaker Rupert Sheffield are taking Melbourne by storm. They've certainly taken the heart of Phryne's old friend from the trenches of WW1, John Wilson. Phryne recognises Sheffield as a man who attracts danger and is determined to protect John from harm. Even with the faithful Dot, Mr and Mrs Butler, and all in her household ready to pull their weight, Phryne's task is complex. While Mendelssohn's Elijah, memories of the Great War, and the science of deduction ring in her head, Phryne's past must also play its part as MI6 become involved in the tangled web of murders.  

A vastly entertaining tale of murder, spies, mathematics and music.

Murder and Mendelssohn: Phryne Fisher #20 by Kerry Greenwood at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
The Signature of All Things

The Signature of All Things

Elizabeth Gilbert

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- My rep told me he had a book I'd really enjoy, but when I found out it was by Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, I was very dubious to say the least. Still, I promised I'd have a look… and I was drawn in immediately! I admit to being prejudiced, and to being wrong!

Alma Whittacker is born in 1800, the only child to an Englishman and his Dutch wife, in Pennsylvania. Her father is basically illiterate, but by dint of cunning and hard work (and some illegality!), has made a fortune in plant collecting and pharmacy. Alma is encouraged to explore the estate and question everything from a very young age. She's homely, but effortlessly intelligent, and becomes a precocious naturalist. She takes care of her father's library and discovers certain things perhaps not intended for young, or female, eyes. When her parents adopt the beautiful daughter of a murdered prostitute, Alma's life becomes complicated with negative emotions, but botany and increasing participation in her father's business keep her busy.

Becoming intrigued and obsessed with mosses, Alma spends her adult years observing and thinking about the signature of all things - the underlying structures of life. A beautiful younger man with an unsurpassed talent for botanical illustration comes to her notice and they work well together, until the messy complications of love intrude…

I found this a clever and compelling story with many levels (all satisfying), well rounded and believable characters, and a brilliant recreation of the 19th century. Others I have persuaded to read it (despite their initial preconceptions!) have agreed with me - this is a great novel indeed! ~ Lindy

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5th January 1800. At the beginning of a new century, Alma Whittaker is born into a perfect Philadelphia winter. Her father, Henry Whittaker, is a bold and charismatic botanical explorer whose vast fortune belies his lowly beginnings as a vagrant in Kew Gardens. Alma's mother, a strict woman from an esteemed Dutch family, is conversant in five living languages (and two dead ones) and her knowledge of botany is equal to any man's.

An independent girl with a thirst for knowledge, it is not long before Alma comes into her own within the world of plants and science. As Alma's careful studies of moss take her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, the man she comes to love draws her in the opposite direction - into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose is a Utopian artist. But what unites this couple is a shared passion for knowing - a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all of life.

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
John Saturnall's Feast

John Saturnall's Feast

Lawrence Norfolk

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is my favourite historical novel of the year, along with Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies. It is 17th century England and John has the extraordinary ability to determine ingredients in any dish. When he and his mother, the village wise woman, are driven out by religious bigots, he gains refuge after her death in Buckland Manor. His talents see him rise from scullery boy to head cook, but he is driven by the need to fulfil his mother’s vision and create a Grand Feast, no matter how many years it takes… His recipes (for which Heston Blumenthal was consulted!) are interspersed throughout the book. A story of love and redemption, and a colourful recreation of the times, this is a fine feast for any reader of delicious prose! Lindy

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From the bestselling author of Lempriere's Dictionary, Lawrence Norfolk is back with an astounding novel of seventeeth-century life, love and war; the story of an orphan who becomes the greatest cook of his age. The village of Buckland, 1625. A boy and his mother run for their lives. Behind them a mob chants of witchcraft. Taking refuge among the trees of Buccla's Wood, the mother opens her book and tells her son of an ancient Feast kept in secret down the generations. But as exquisite dishes rise from the page, the ground beneath them freezes. That winter, the boy's mother dies. Taken to Buckland Manor, John is put to work in the house's vast subterranean kitchens where his talent raises him from the scullery to the great house above. A complex dish served to King Charles brings him before Lady Lucretia Fremantle, the headstrong daughter of the house. He must tempt her from her fast. But both encounters will imperil him. As the Civil War begins and the New Order's fanatical soldiers march, John and Lucretia are thrown together into a passionate struggle for survival. To keep all he holds most dear, John must realise his mother's vision. He must serve the Saturnall Feast.
Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure

Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure

Artemis Cooper

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Adventurer, war hero, polymath, Hellenophile – Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) is also celebrated as one of the finest travel writers of his generation. This wonderful biography is based on unrestricted access to his private papers and years of conversations with him. It is a lovingly crafted portrait of his life, from a young boy who didn’t quite fit in, through his reckless adolescence and wartime service, to his long life of travel, learning and friendship. Lindy

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Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) was a war hero whose exploits in Crete are legendary. Above all, he is widely acclaimed as the greatest travel writer of our times, notably for his books about his walk across pre-war Europe - A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. He was a self-educated polymath, a lover of Greece and the best company in the world. Artemis Cooper has drawn on years of interviews and conversations with Paddy and his closest friends, and had complete access to his archives. Her beautifully crafted biography portrays a man of extraordinary gifts - no one wore their learning so playfully, nor inspired such passionate friendship.
Saints of the Shadow Bible: Inspector Rebus #19

Saints of the Shadow Bible: Inspector Rebus #19

Ian Rankin

$32.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE NOVEMBER 2013 ----- Rebus has rejoined the police force; he's had to drop a rank back down to Detective Sergeant, meaning his mate Siobhan Clarke outranks him as a Detective Inspector. At a farewell function for the Chief Constable, Rebus catches up with an old colleague, long retired, who used to be his superior at Summerhall. 

It was a station where procedure was not always followed, and where the police had their own methods and interpretations of the handbook of Scottish Criminal Law - or as they called it, the Shadow Bible. Rebus is supposed to be keeping his head down, but he becomes suspicious when attending a routine call-out following a road accident. He senses there is more to it than meets the eye, and is even more convinced when he learns who the driver's boyfriend and father are.

Meanwhile, Complaints is about to be reorganised, and Malcolm Fox is going to find himself back at CID working with people who will revile him for his former role. Before that happens though, an old case is being reopened from 30 years back - and there are connections to the dubious methods used at Summerhall.

With his usual deft pace and weaving of various strands, Rankin has once again delivered an absorbing and twisty crime novel. I particularly like the way he brings Fox into the story, and that by the end of it, Rebus and Fox have mutual grounds for begrudging admiration, without either of them actually changing their own methods or ideas… Lindy

Lindy Jones with Saints of the Shadow Bible: Inspector Rebus #19 by Ian Rankin at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney

Every Breath

Every Breath

Ellie Marney

$18.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Rachel Watts is living in a tiny house in a Melbourne suburb, her parents and older brother working all the hours they can to keep a roof above their heads. None of them want to be there, but the banks foreclosed on the family property and they are reduced to near penury.

Rachel resents the loss of her wide-open country life, but there is one consolation - her friendship with charismatic neighbour and near-genius James Mycroft. He attends the same school (when he hasn't been suspended - a regular occurrence) and there are hints about a troubling past. His abiding passion is forensic science, and he runs a website dedicated to criminal forensics. When they find a friend of theirs, a homeless man, dead near Melbourne Zoo, they begin their own investigation. A page-turner for older teen readers! Lindy
That is NOT a Good Idea!

That is NOT a Good Idea!

Mo Willems

$24.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- A fox and a goose meet and there is instant attraction. Dinner! thinks one of them. Fox asks goose to go for a stroll, and she accepts. That is NOT a good idea! says a little gosling. They stroll into the dark woods (NOT a good idea!) and visit his kitchen (really NOT a good idea) where dinner is eventually served… A very simple picture book with Willems' trademark cartoon-graphic illustrations, text presented like a silent movie to move the story along, and repetition which invites young readers' participation. Ages 4-6. ~ Lindy
The Vanishing Moment

The Vanishing Moment

Margaret Wild

$17.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The respected and award-winning picture book author has produced a fascinating and intriguing novel for older readers. Three people's lives are followed, in fragments. Bob has an awful stepfather who makes his life hell. The only bright spot is his little half-sister, who he loves with all his heart. Arrow is adrift, and has never felt comfortable since early adolescence, when a terrible tragedy split her life into 'before' and 'after'.

Marika can't stop weeping after her little brother is kidnapped in a public place when she was was in charge. Arrow and Marika's lives intersect in a small coastal town which has significance for both of them - and for the magician, Bob, who tells them both of his theory about multiple universes. And even though their present lives aren't what they want, what would Marika and Arrow lose if they could change their pasts? A very satisfying read! ~ Lindy
The Dance Teacher

The Dance Teacher

Simon Milne ,  Chantal Stewart

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Isabelle wants to be a ballerina. Her teacher, Miss Sylvie, tells her dancing is hard work and practice is necessary, and asks whether she can work hard. So starts Isabelle's love affair with ballet. Her best friends start classes with her, until life gets in the way for the others, but Isabelle persists, until she realises her ambitions to be a ballerina. But one day she realises she wants something else… A sweet and charming picture book about the thrill of dance, and of working hard to achieve your dreams, and then the satisfaction of giving back. Expressive illustrations by Chantal Stewart. ~ Lindy
Just So Stories

Just So Stories

Rudyard Kipling ,  Robert Ingpen

$39.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is one in Ingpen's beautifully illustrated classics for children - but as with all the others he has done (eg Wind in the Willows, Secret Garden, Treasure Island, Alice in Wonderland) their appeal is widespread and certainly not limited! The text is unabridged and brings to the reader all Kipling's charming and colourful tales of how certain animals got their characteristic features. They are delightful and entertaining, and still worth sharing with younger readers. The gorgeous illustrations add to the experience, Ingpen's warm and soft colours in realistic shades of golden greys and browns enlivened with greens and blues are so beautifully expressive! For readers and book collectors, young and old. ~ Lindy

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling & Robert Ingpen at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
The Sky So Heavy

The Sky So Heavy

Claire Zorn

$19.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Fin is your typical teenage boy, growing up in the lower Blue Mountains, getting through school, mucking around with his friends, trying to impress the girl of his dreams. But one day nuclear bombs are detonated in the northern hemisphere, and not only are whole countries obliterated, but the climate changes literally overnight. A bitterly cold winter has set in. With his mother in Sydney, his father gone off to appease his second wife the night before the bombs and not returned, and a younger brother to look after, Fin suddenly has to grow up. Supplies run out, water is contaminated, and society reverts to each for themselves.

A cracking, page-turning novel for readers 13 and up, in the style of John Marsden’s Tomorrow series. ~ Lindy

The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
The Swan Book

The Swan Book

Alexis Wright

$29.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- How to describe this amazing, complicated and intellectually demanding novel? It is full of inventive wordplay, chorus-like mutterings from the wings of the main theatre, splintered and fragmentary narratives.

It is angry, and playful, and colourful. It is about discrimination – against and within refugees, indigenes, country-dwellers. The main character, Oblivia, does not speak, but the ghosts of (some of) her past do. The woman who saves her from the abuses of her childhood is a great storyteller, full of tales of swans from a different hemisphere.

Climate change has intensified the problems of society, but the land remains essential to a sense of identity. Politics is as useless to the ordinary person as it ever was, but hero-worship remains important to national pride. Cultural misappropriation is rife, but it isn't always the fault of the non-indigenous.

All these elements make for a coruscating story, a 'modernist' novel that takes some effort to get into, but which is well and truly worth the time. 
~ Lindy

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The new novel by Alexis Wright, whose previous novel Carpentaria won the Miles Franklin Award and four other major prizes including the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year Award.

Set in the future, with Aboriginals still living under the Intervention in the north, and in an environment fundamentally altered by climate change. It follows the life of a mute teenager called Oblivia, the victim of gang-rape by petrol-sniffing youths, from the displaced community where she lives in a hulk, in a swamp filled with rusting boats, and thousands of black swans driven from other parts of the country, to her marriage to Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia, and her elevation to the position of First Lady, confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city.

The Swan Book has all the qualities which made Carpentaria a prize-winning bestseller. It offers an intimate awareness of the realities facing Aboriginal people; the wild energy and humour in her writing finds hope in the bleakest situations; and the remarkable combination of storytelling elements, drawn from myth and legend and fairy tale.

The Swan Book by Alexis Wright
MaddAddam

MaddAddam

Margaret Atwood

$35.00

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- It's taken a couple of years but the final book in the trilogy is here, that ties up the events of Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood – and it was worth the wait!

It starts from the point where the second book left off, but as with the other books, moves between the present and the past quite smoothly. In this volume, Toby, ex-God's Gardener who has survived the plague released by Crake upon the world, is the main narrator. She finds herself telling to the neo-human Crakers, the stories Zeb has told her. As the survivors of the plague work out the ways to live in the transformed world and also how to combat the evil inadvertently released, Toby and Zeb's stories intertwine.

A lot more complicated to review than to read, Maddaddam is a wonderfully constructed novel, full of surprisingly light touches (Toby's bedtime stories to the child-like Crakers can be very funny), gripping story-lines, imaginative wordplay and a plausible world future that may not be so very far away… Fabulous stuff! ~ Lindy

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A man-made plague has swept the earth, but a small group survives, along with the green-eyed Crakers - a gentle species bio-engineered to replace humans. Toby, onetime member of the God's Gardeners and expert  in mushrooms and bees, is still in love with street-smart Zeb, who has an interesting past. The Crakers' reluctant prophet, Snowman-the-Jimmy, is hallucinating; Amanda is in shock from a Painballer assault; and Ivory Bill yearns for the provocative Swift Fox, who is flirting with Zeb. Meanwhile, giant Pigoons and malevolent Painballers threaten to attack.

Told with wit, dizzying imagination, and dark humour, Booker Prize-winning Margaret Atwood's unpredictable, chilling and  hilarious MaddAddam takes us further into a challenging dystopian world - a moving and dramatic conclusion to the internationally celebrated trilogy that began with Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood.

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood
The Feast of Artemis: Hermes Diaktoros #7

The Feast of Artemis: Hermes Diaktoros #7

Anne Zouroudi

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Hermes Diaktoros returns in the seventh gripping, sun-drenched instalment of The Mysteries of the Greek Detective.

I love this series! The Mysteries of the Greek Detective are a sparkling and entertaining lot of stories, all set in a modern-day Greece (but not contemporary – references to drachmas not euros, for instance). You don’t need to read them in any order, as they are self-contained with no reference to previous books.

Hermes Diaktoros works for the Higher Authorities rather than police, and is more interested in justice than law. This book is set in a small town at the time of its saint’s day celebrations, and Hermes, on his way elsewhere, finds himself detouring. He also discovers his half-brother Dino, an ageing hippy in appearance with a fondness for wine, women and story-telling (not to mention an inability to settle his debts!).

The two main families of the town are at loggerheads – one keeps traditional methods, the other is trying to embrace technology. When the young grandson of one family is burnt in a prank gone wrong and the patriarch of the other dies before his time, Hermes finds his special powers of observation and assistance are needed. Lots of descriptions of Greek food decorate the pages as an added incentive to read! Great fun! ~ Lindy

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The olive harvest is drawing to a close in the town of Dendra, and when  Hermes Diaktoros arrives for the celebratory festival he expects an  indulgent day of food and wine. But as young men leap a blazing bonfire  in feats of daring, one of them is badly burned. Did he fall, or was he pushed? Then, as Hermes learns of a deep-running feud between two families, one  of their patriarchs dies.

Determined to find out why, Hermes follows a  bitter trail through the olive groves to reveal a motive for murder, and  uncovers a dark deed brought to light by the sin of gluttony.

The Feast of Artemis by Anne Zouroudi at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
Stillways: A Memoir

Stillways: A Memoir

Steve Bisley

$27.99

From one of Australia's favourite actors comes a classic memoir of an Australian childhood in the sixties.

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The well-known and talented Australian actor can also write – beautifully! This is his memoir of childhood and school days, spent on the central coast. The 1950s and 60s are a foreign country now, but Bisley evokes the innocence and accepted violence of those days without sentiment.

The joys of the local show or Cracker Night, of catching a feed of prawns with his family, of mucking about with good mates, of being a young tearaway pushing the boundaries of allowable behaviour – all these and more are described in clean and unforced prose.

So too the darker moments of living with a father who had an unpredictable, violent and nasty streak, who thrashed his wife and children for perceived infractions.

There is no rancour in the retelling of these painful episodes, just a kind of mute acceptance; but they are more often hinted at than dwelt on. The book ends with Bisley being offered his first job after leaving school. I hope there will be a book of his further adventures, I enjoyed this one so much! ~ Lindy

The Vale Girl

The Vale Girl

Nelika McDonald

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Sarah Vale is the daughter of a prostitute in a small country town. She knows lots of secrets, like which of Banville's men visit her mother regularly, even if they pretend to live upright and righteous lives. She knows how to do without things, like regular meals and friends.

Tommy Johns knows how to do without things too, like his father's presence. In fact, all the people he has ever loved have disappeared. So when Sarah vanishes, he isn't surprised. She is the one friend he has. His feelings for her are actually deeper than that, but he's too careful to let them show. When he tries to tell others that Sarah is missing, nobody cares. Even the local copper, Sergeant Henson, can't undermine the indifference to her fate.

Tommy, with his fascination for local botany, is very observant, and he isn't going to give up on Sarah, and he isn't going to let others give up on her either…

A compulsively readable novel, with a few twists to keep the reader guessing. Very much in the vein of Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey, if a comparison is needed, a quietly confident and multi-layered representation of secrets and undercurrents in small town life. ~ Lindy

An extraordinary debut from a talented new writer.

Read an extract
Peggy

Peggy

Anna Walker

$16.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Peggy the chook has a nice quiet routine life. She's happy doing the same thing everyday (including watching the pigeons) so when a big gust of wind blows her away from her suburban street into the Big City, Peggy is quite confused. Still, she gets to experience all sorts of new things, and a lot of them are enjoyable; but she does want to go home. Eventually she does, with the help of the pigeons... A charming little tale, with softly expressive illustrations, which gently introduces the young reader to the joys of moving outside your comfort zone. Lindy
Blood and Beauty

Blood and Beauty

Sarah Dunant

$29.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE MAY 2013 ----- If you enjoyed Hilary Mantel’s account of Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII and need something to fill in the time until the third book in the trilogy, then I commend this novel as a fine alternative! Told in an immediate and vivid style, this will do for the Borgias what Mantel has done for Cromwell: bring historical figures into colourful life. Rodrigo Borgia is a complicated man full of roaring life and passion, not to mention an insatiable appetite for power; a Spaniard in Rome who buys his way to the Papacy, holy in theory, but corrupt in practice. He uses his children as pawns in his ambition to create a dynasty, and lets nothing get in the way of his desires, either political or personal.

I became thoroughly immersed in the time and characters and it was such an enjoyable experience that I had trouble finding something new to read after having lived in renaissance Rome! Having read a bit of history I found the novel managed all those complicated alliances and cross-currents very smoothly and felt very 'true' when dealing with the Borgias themselves. The imagery was lush and almost touchable, but as I am an admirer of Dunant's writing I expect that of her, so I wasn't disappointed. Like Mantel's interpretation of Cromwell, I find myself very much looking forward to the concluding novel. Even though I know what happens in historical accounts, I want to know how Dunant will tell their story, and having to wait a couple more years to find out seems unfair! ~ Lindy

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Acclaimed novelist of the Italian Renaissance Sarah Dunant now takes on the era's most infamous family: the Borgias. By the end of the fifteenth century, the beauty and creativity of Italy is matched by its brutality and corruption, nowhere more than in Rome and in the Church. When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy as Alexander VI, he is defined not just by his wealth or his passionate love for his illegitimate children, but by his blood: he is a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. If the Borgias are to triumph, this charismatic, consummate politician with a huge appetite for life, women and power must use papacy and family to succeed. His eldest son Cesare, a dazzlingly cold intelligence and an even colder soul, is his greatest - though increasingly unstable - weapon. Later immortalised in Machiavelli's The Prince, he provides the energy and the muscle. His daughter Lucrezia, beloved by both men, is the prime dynastic tool. Twelve years old when the novel opens, hers is a journey through three marriages: from childish innocence to painful experience, from pawn to political player.  Stripping away the myths around the Borgias, Blood & Beauty is a majestic novel that breathes life into this astonishing family and celebrates the raw power of history itself: compelling, complex and relentless.

Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney


Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant
All Our Yesterdays

All Our Yesterdays

Cristin Terrill

$12.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Em is a prisoner in a tiny cell, interrogated regularly and often beaten by a cold unfeeling man. Her only comfort is hearing the voice of Finn, the boy in the cell next to hers. When she discovers a list in her handwriting in a secret place in the cell, one she has no knowledge of writing, there is an instruction she can't ignore, but doesn't want to act upon… Marina is a popular girl, rich and in love with the boy next door, James, who happens to be her closest friend and the genius son of a prominent political family. It looks like James is starting to consider Marina in a different light - if only he'd stop hanging around with his annoying friend, Finn. It doesn't take long for the reader to understand Em and Marina are the same person, separated by time, nor to understand that Em keeps travelling in time to stop something unspeakable happening. A strong punchy storyline, clever ideas and interesting characters make this an exciting and complex novel for older readers. ~ Lindy

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A brilliantly brain-warping thriller and a love story that leaps back and forth in time - All Our Yesterdays is an amazing first novel, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games. Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn't happened yet. Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture - being kept apart, overhearing each other's anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There's no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It's from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that's about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future...
The Four Seasons of Lucy McKenzie

The Four Seasons of Lucy McKenzie

Kirsty Murray

$14.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- When Lucy's older sister is involved in an accident and her mother must fly to Paris to be with her, and her father cannot leave his job to care for her, Lucy is sent to the country house of her great aunt Big for summer. With no prospect of a family Christmas, no internet coverage and disliking her distant and gruff aunt, Lucy is not at all happy. But when the flowing mural in the dining room, which depicts the landscape outside in its four seasons, draws Lucy in the dark of night to look at it, she soon finds a portal into an earlier time. There she makes dear friends with a funny and brave young girl, and learns to draw upon her own strengths. A time-slip story for ages 11-14 ~ Lindy

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The room was full of moon shadows and dancing light. But it was the wall around the window that Lucy couldn't stop staring at, the one with the painting of Spring. It was as bright as a sunny day and the tiny yellow flowers that covered the fields were moving, as if a breeze had blown through the painting and set all the petals dancing. Lucy McKenzie can walk through walls. Sent to stay with her Aunt Big in a hidden valley, Lucy discovers the old house is full of mysteries. One hot night, she hears a voice calling from inside a painting on the dining-room wall...On the other side of the painting, Lucy meets three children. Together they race horses through the bush, battle fires and floods, and make friendships that will last a lifetime. But who are April, Tom and Jimmy Tiger, and what magic has drawn Lucy to them?
Emily Feather and the Enchanted Door

Emily Feather and the Enchanted Door

Holly Webb

$12.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Emily doesn't look anything like the rest of her fair family and she hasn't discovered her particular talent like the rest of them either. Nor does her house behave like anyone else's house - sometimes it feels like the walls have moved and the staircase has more steps than it did the day before. Then one day Emily discovers why… With a pinch of magic, and a dash of adventure and mystery, this will be the first in a series from the bestselling author, and is pitched at readers 8-10. ~ Lindy

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A brand-new series from bestselling author Holly Webb. Be careful which door you open. Everyone thinks Emily's house is cool. It has so many different doors and everything is mismatched and sometimes it feels like maybe the walls have moved. But that would be silly. Of course they couldn't have...But little do people realize that behind some doors lie other worlds, full of magic and wonder. And Emily is soon going to discover this for herself...
Banjo And Ruby Red

Banjo And Ruby Red

Libby Gleeson ,  Freya Blackwood

$24.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- I've been a fan of Freya Blackwood's beautiful illustrative style since her first book, and so a new collaboration with Libby Gleeson is to be welcomed! Banjo is a black-and-white hardworking high-energy farm dog, and Ruby Red is a stand-offish and very proud chook. They have nothing in common it would seem, and tend to get on each other's wrong side, but of course, an understanding is finally reached! An endearing story to read aloud and share. ~ Lindy

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A funny and touching story of antagonism and love by award-winning author Libby Gleeson, with illustrations by internationally acclaimed Freya Blackwood. Freya Blackwood's stunning illustrations perfectly capture the endearing personalities of boisterous Banjo and head-strong Ruby Red.  A stunning clothbound cover makes this a beautiful gift item that will be treasured for years to come.
Silver Buttons

Silver Buttons

Bob Graham

$27.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- One ordinary Thursday morning, a young girl draws silver buttons on the boots of a duck. As she does so, her baby brother wobbles to his feet and takes his first step. Outside their door people pass by on their way to other places, busy with the day-to-day busy-ness of their lives. Things are bought, farewells said, babies born. Dogs scratch and birds fly past. As the illustrations draw back from that tiny moment of domesticity in a quiet suburban house, all the rest of the city is seen to be connected. With his trademark delicately portrayed illustrations in quiet tones, Bob Graham has once again given us a thoughtful and sensitive picturebook for all ages. ~ Lindy

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Bob Graham beautifully captures a world vision in one solitary moment. At 9.59 on Thursday morning, Jodie draws a duck. Just as she is about to add one final silver button to the duck's boots, her little brother takes his first step. At this exact same moment, a man buys bread, a soldier leaves home, a baby is being born...Here is a book, a story, a philosophy so simply told and yet - in true and inimitable Bob Graham style - so rich with emotion and meaning. It is in the smallest details that we sense the greatest significance and can see the big picture. From his glorious urban skyscapes to the tender portrayal of a falling feather or the tying of a shoelace or a dog's joy in scratching his back, Bob lets us in on a world view conveyed with humanity, compassion and affection. This is a book that is sure to connect quietly and powerfully with readers of all ages. The idea that we are all alone, and yet all as one in the world, is drawn with huge sensitivity and poetry. Bob Graham's books are multi-award winning and have sold over two million copies worldwide!
Mr Wigg

Mr Wigg

Inga Simpson

$26.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This has been one of my favourites this year! A charming, delightful and tender book about connections: to family, the past, community, a way of life. Mr Wigg is getting on in years, and his son would like him to move from the family farm into a retirement home in the nearby country town. Mr Wigg is resisting the suggestion, as he knows it will be the death of him to leave behind the orchard and his sheds and all the things that retain importance after his wife's death. Over the course of summer 1971, Mr Wigg tends his fruit trees (which, in the way they rustle their leaves, convey a great deal of information!) makes his preserves, teaches his grandchildren how to bake, tells his stories, and embarks on a couple of different projects. This is a gentle, beautifully paced and subtle novel that left me beguiled and satisfied. It is the perfect anecdote to winter! Lindy

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It's the summer of 1971, not far from the stone-fruit capital of New South Wales, where Mr Wigg lives on what is left of his family farm. Mrs Wigg has been gone a few years now and he thinks about her every day. He misses his daughter, too, and wonders when he'll see her again. He spends his time working in the orchard, cooking and preserving his produce and, when it's on, watching the cricket. It's a full life. Things are changing though, with Australia and England playing a one-day match, and his new neighbours planting grapes for wine. His son is on at him to move into town but Mr Wigg has his fruit trees and his chooks to look after. His grandchildren visit often: to cook, eat and hear his stories. And there's a special project he has to finish... Trouble is, it's a lot of work for an old man with shaking hands, but he'll give it a go, as he always has.
The Day the Crayons Quit

The Day the Crayons Quit

Drew Daywalt ,  Oliver Jeffers

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Duncan comes home one day to find his crayons have written him letters. Red crayon is exhausted from being used on fire engines and Santa Claus and apples. Beige is feeling a unloved, because Light Brown gets all the gigs. Yellow and Orange are arguing as to who is the real colour of the sun. Purple wants to keep within the lines, and Pink is not an exclusive girl's colour. How is Duncan going to keep them all happy? Quite text heavy, so best for the youngster who can follow a longer narrative, but a lot of fun! Lindy

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Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown Crayon. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking - each believes he is the true color of the sun. What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best? Kids will be imagining their own humorous conversations with crayons and coloring a blue streak after sharing laughs with Drew Daywalt and  New York Times bestseller Oliver Jeffers.

From the Outback

From the Outback

Jill Brailsford

$12.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- There are four in the series: From the Bush, From the Nest, From the Ocean, From the Outback. Cloth books with a crinkly element, with black silhouettes on white backgrounds, two words to a page ('wren twitters' or 'dolphin leaps' or 'gecko climbs') these are simple but effective first books for baby. I rather like the use of less obvious animals as well (dugongs and brolgas and bilbies as well as the usual suspects!) and these are perfect gifts for the littlest member of your reading family! Lindy

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

Mo Willems

$24.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Once upon a time there were three dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur Mama Dinosaur and some other dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway. So starts this witty retelling of the classic nursery tale. The dinosaurs just happen to leave three bowls of chocolate pudding and it isn't a trap for an unsuspecting succulent child, oh no, not at all! And sure enough, 'a poorly supervised little girl named Goldilocks came traipsing along' and the fun continues. The illustrations are flat and with few distractions (but some in-jokes - there is a picture of Pigeon on the hall table) and the text is good-humoured and slightly irreverent (as are the end papers…) The sort of book pre-schoolers AND their parents will enjoy! Lindy

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This is a hugely entertaining and riotous re-telling of a classic fairytale from one of the most original and funny voices in children's books today. Have you ever heard the story of Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs? Yes, you heard right - Dinosaurs. Once upon a time, there were three hungry dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur and...a Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway. Of course. One day, purely on a whim, they decided to tidy up their house nice and neat, make their beds up all cosy and comfortable, prepare delicious hot chocolate pudding of varying temperatures, place their chairs just so, and go...Someplace else. Let's be clear, they were definitely not setting up a trap for some succulent, poorly supervised little girl called Goldilocks who may wander by...ahem. It features a new take on an age-old classic that will ensure lots of giggles and lots of re-readings - a perfect go-to bedtime story.
The Apprentices

The Apprentices

Maile Meloy

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- I absolutely adored the first book from this author (The Apothecary) and this sequel continues the adventures of Janie and Benjamin. Janie has lost some of her memories of their previous escapades, but they slowly come back to her. She's back in America, at boarding school. Benjamin and his father have taken the precious Pharmacopoeia with them to Vietnam where they are hunting a rare plant, but inbetween hunting for a rare medicinal plant, Benjamin has been experimenting with an elixir which allows him to connect with Janie - and he realises she is in dreadful danger. Fast paced, but with the elements of thoughtfulness which marked the first book, this is an imaginative and enjoyable novel. Ages 13+ Lindy

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The enthralling sequel to The Apothecary, Maile Meloy's first book for young readers. Illustrated by Ian Schoenherr Two years have passed since Janie Scott last saw Benjamin Burrows, the mysterious apothecary's son who stole her heart. She's thrown herself into an ambitious chemistry project and, when it vanishes, she suspects the rich and powerful Magnusson of stealing it. And she knows she needs help to fight him. On the other side of the world, Benjamin and the apothecary have been working in the war-torn jungles of Vietnam, using their elixirs to help the sick and wounded. But Benjamin has also been experimenting with a new formula that allows him to see into Janie's world. The friends are thrown into a whirlwind chase around the Pacific Ocean, trying to find each other and the truth behind what threatens them. The Apprentices is a magical blend of fantasy and reality that sparkles with life and adventure-a delightful sequel to the much-loved The Apothecary.
The Son

The Son

Michel Rostain

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This has been a European bestseller, and is the sort of book the French do so well. It is also a distillation of truth and fiction, because the author, Michel, lost his son, Lion, as the character Michel loses his son Lion. It is told from the point-of-view of the son, and starts eleven days after his death. Lion observes the effect of his sudden death on his parents, but primarily his father, and remembers his life and their relationship. A story of grief, and living, and love, but also ultimately of acceptance and memory’s consolations. Lindy

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We first meet Michel eleven days after the death of his son Lion. Lion was lost, suddenly, to a virulent strain of meningitis and it's left his father and entire family reeling. We join Michel on his personal journey through grief, but the twist that makes the journey truly remarkable, and tips this true story into fiction, is the fact that we see it all through Lion's eyes. In a stunningly original blurring of memoir and fiction, the novel tackles the very hardest of subjects in the most readable of ways. Rostain resolutely ducks away from sentimentality and pathos, and tells his story instead with wit, wisdom and vitality. For this is not a book about death; it's a book about life.
The Hive

The Hive

Gill Hornby

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- In a small English town, the mothers gather at the school gates to collect their children. St Ambrose Primary School is a 'good' school and for the mothers, represents not just the place for their kids to get educated but also an achievement that reflects on their social status. And standing in the centre of it all, is Beatrice, who is the undisputed arbiter of taste and the mother everyone wants to be friends with. Rachel was Beatrice's best friend, but since Rachel's husband deserted her, she has been relegated to the outer, where she watches miserably. Other women have stepped into the breach, delighted to follow orders and believe in Bea's superiority… but then a new mother appears, one who takes no notice of Bea's directives, one who is more than capable of holding her own on the issues of fundraising and social initiatives. I did laugh in places, but by the end of the novel, I couldn’t decide if the author held all women in contempt, or just mothers. Lindy

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Welcome to St Ambrose Primary School. A world of friendships, fights and feuding. And that's just the mothers. It's the start of another school year at St Ambrose. But while the children are in the classroom colouring in, their mothers are learning sharper lessons on the other side of the school gates. Lessons in friendship. Lessons in betrayal. Lessons in the laws of community, the transience of power...and how to get invited to lunch. Beatrice - undisputed queen bee. Ruler, by Divine Right, of all school fund-raising, this year, last year and, surely, for many years to come. Heather - desperate to volunteer, desperate to be noticed, desperate just to belong. Georgie - desperate for a fag. And Rachel - watching them all, keeping her distance. But soon to discover that the line between amused observer and miserable outcast is a thin one. The Hive is an irresistible, brilliantly observed novel - warm, witty and true. Wickedly funny, it is also a fascinating and subtle story about group politics and female friendship.  From the joys and perils (well, mainly perils) of the Lunch Ladder, to the military operation that is the Car Boot Sale, via the dos and don'ts of dressing your child as a dalek, all human life is here.
My Notorious Life by Madame X

My Notorious Life by Madame X

Kate Manning

$27.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is the story of how Axie Muldoon, born in poverty to Irish immigrants in New York in the mid 19th century, becomes the celebrated, castigated, reviled and respected Madame X, midwife, educator and saviour to those women who needed her knowledge to prevent pregnancy. Or, as the case might be, female pills that should not be used if p******* in case of m********** (which is the delightful way words that might cause offence are rendered in this colourful novel!) As a 13-year-old Axie and her younger siblings, Dutchess and Joe, are sent to the prairie in an attempt to save them from their fate as poor children on the streets. They are separated, and Axie makes her way back to New York to find her mother, kindling a lifelong need to reunite with her lost siblings. When her mother dies in childbirth, Axie is taken in by a midwife and reluctantly learns the trade.

In desperation, after she marries young to a boy she met on the 'Orphan Train' and has a horrific experience of childbirth herself, she falls back on the knowledge she gained, to help other women. Such is the demand for her help that she and her clever husband Charlie soon start to make more money than they ever dreamed of in their destitute days. Axie wishes to help, and occasionally finds herself going beyond her principles and actively conducting abortions to save the lives of her patients; and it is this (as well as her educational materials) that eventually leads her to the notice of crusading moralists…

Based on a true-life 'female physician' and her struggle to educate 19th century women on matters of their own fertility, and the problems and rabid opposition she encountered, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Its language was lively and believable, the characters skillfully drawn, the story satisfying, and whilst serious in content, is leavened by Axie's distinctive voice. Lindy

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Axie Muldoon, the headstrong daughter of Irish immigrants, forced to  beg for pennies as a child on the brutal streets on New York City, grows up to become the most successful - and controversial - midwife of her time. 'Saved' from poverty by a well-meaning philanthropist,  Axie is sent West with her brother Joe and her sister Dutch. But the kindness of strangers is short-lived and soon Axie returns to the city  of her birth, separated from those she loves but determined to one day  reunite her family. When she is taken in by a Manhattan doctor Axie learns the craft that she will live by - and later fight for. As a  purveyor of 'lunar tonic for the relief of female complaints' she rises  from the gutter to the glitter of 5th Avenue high society, and discovers  that the right way is not always the way of the church or the law, and  that you should never trust a man who says 'trust me.' But what if that  man is an irresistible risk-taker with a poetical Irish soul?  As Axie's reputation grows she finds herself on a collision course with  the crusading official who would be the righteous instrument of her  downfall. It will take all of her power to outwit him and save both  herself and those she loves from ruin. Inspired by a true story, My Notorious Life, by Madame X is a stunning tale of freedom, family and the many faces of love. Above  all, it is the story of one woman making her indomitable way in a difficult world.
The Astronaut Wives Club

The Astronaut Wives Club

Lily Koppel

$32.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE JUNE 2013 ----- When the men were chosen who would be the proud and patriotic space pilots proving the superiority of American technology against that of the Soviets, they became instant popular heroes. To that end, their wives were also thrust into the limelight, and were expected to support their husbands, be role models for American femininity and fulfill NASA's demands for perfection. In the pre-feminist times of the 1950s and 60s, these women could rely only on each other for support. This isn't an analytical gender study of the astronauts' wives, but a readable, almost gossipy book about how a bunch of service spouses became Cold War icons for the Space Race. Lindy

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As American astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from shy military spouses to American royalty: having tea with Jackie Kennedy, attending high society galas, and being featured on the cover of Life magazine. They quickly grew into fashion icons, donning sherbet-swirled Pucci dresses and lacquering their hair into extravagant rocket styles (to match their husbands' spaceships). Annie Glenn was the envy of the other wives, with her many magazine features; platinum-blonde bombshell Rene Carpenter was proclaimed JFK's favourite; homely Betty Grissom worried her husband was having affairs; Louise Shepard just wanted to be left alone to her card games; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived on base with a dirty secret. Together they rallied to form the Astronaut Wives Club, which has now turned into over 40 years of enduring friendship. Sexy and sophisticated, rich in melodrama, and set against the uniquely atmospheric backdrop of the Space Age, this tells the real story behind some of the biggest heroes in American history, chronicling their romantic, domestic, and public dramas during the Mad Men era.
And the Mountains Echoed

And the Mountains Echoed

Khaled Hosseini

$32.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE JUNE 2013 ----- From the author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns comes another achingly beautiful novel from this master wordsmith. 

A father tells his son, Abdullah, a story of a father’s sacrifice of one of his children, to ensure that child has a better life than he’s born to. This is on the night before the man is walking to Kabul with his little daughter, Pari. Abdullah loves Pari so much that he refuses to stay behind; he doesn’t yet know that his father has promised the girl to a rich, childless couple. The separation that follows will scar not only the siblings, but many of the people closely involved in the transaction, and even into the next generation.

Told in turn from the point of view of other family members, and of the children themselves, this is a finely woven tale of many colours and textures that spans more than five decades. It takes place in Kabul, in a small village in the mountains, in California and Paris and a small Greek island, but the true setting is the human heart, and all it is capable of. Highly recommended. Lindy

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Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and step-mother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Adbullah, Pari, as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named, is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their skulls touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand. Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways that we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history, and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.
Flight Behaviour

Flight Behaviour

Barbara Kingsolver

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Dellarobia is a young mother so discontented with her poverty-stricken life on a failing farm in the Appalachian Mountains that she impulsively decides to have an affair. On her way to consummate it, she stumbles across something so impossible as to be a miracle. But is it? Or is it a sign of something more disturbing – a freak of nature that indicates how far out of whack the world really is? With the Christians of her community celebrating it as one, and visiting researchers treating it as the other, Dellarobia finds her life totally transformed. Thoughtful, powerful and quietly compulsive reading – highly recommended. Lindy

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Discontented  with her life of poverty on a failing farm in the Eastern United States, Dellarobia, a young mother, impulsively seeks out an affair. Instead, on the Appalachian mountains above her home, she discovers  something much more profoundly life-changing - a beautiful and terrible  marvel of nature. As the world around her is suddenly transformed by a  seeming miracle, can the old certainties they have lived by for centuries remain unchallenged? Flight Behaviour is a captivating, topical and deeply  human story touching on class, poverty and climate change. It is Barbara  Kingsolver's most accessible novel yet, and explores the truths we live  by, and the complexities that lie behind them.
Me and Rory Macbeath

Me and Rory Macbeath

Richard Beasley

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Rose Avenue, Adelaide, 1977. A strange new kid and his family moves into the dilapidated rental house at the end of the street. Jake, who has lived there all the twelve years of his life, is not convinced he needs to make friends with Rory MacBeath, but Jake's best friend Robbie is more accepting. Rory is hard for Jake to work out – he knows certain things really well, like how to make a slingshot or catch a fish– but stuff that any normal kid would know how to do, like swim or play cricket, Rory has problems with. He also has problems with his father, a man so disappointed in life that he resorts to alcohol and violence; even when that's no longer a secret, no-one can help Mrs MacBeath, the main brunt of his vicious temper. Jake's mother (my favourite character in the novel – I wanted more of her!) is an unconventional woman, a chain-smoking, hard drinking, passionate criminal lawyer, and she certainly tries – and so does Rory, who seems to have no fear. This is a strong coming-of-age novel, and while it doesn't capture any of the particular flavour of Adelaide and could have been set in any Australian city, it does convey very well, that time in life when everything is on the cusp of change, and that certain helplessness associated with being unable to influence wider events. Lindy
Ashenden

Ashenden

Elizabeth Wilhide

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- A fine house, Ashenden is the centre of a number of interlinked stories. Starting in the present, when the newly inherited house is going to cost more money to repair than the siblings who inherit it have, the story goes back in time. Each chapter is a different  period of time, from the elegant Georgian days  when the house was constructed, through the 19th and 20th centuries with all their social upheavals and incremental changes, and follows the fluctuating fortunes of the various owners. I enjoyed this absorbing novel, and the ways the different characters were brought to life and how their stories were linked (some of the episodes were worthy of entire novels unto themselves!). Lindy
Verity Sparks, Lost and Found

Verity Sparks, Lost and Found

Susan Green

$16.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Verity, who we first met in the award winning The Truth About Verity Sparks, has been reunited with her father, and is living in St Kilda. It is 1879 and her Papa is very eager for 14yo Verity to be accepted into society, and thinks the best way for that to happen is that she attends Hightop House Academy for Young Ladies. While Verity has found a loving father who can provide for her, she has lost the thing that made her special – her gift for finding lost objects by merely thinking of them. When she learns about a missing heiress, Verity becomes fascinated by the case, but danger lurks as she becomes involved in the investigation. It isn’t necessary to have read the first book to read this one, but it will delight those young readers who enjoyed the first adventure of this plucky girl. ~ Lindy
It Wasn't Me

It Wasn't Me

Oliver Jeffers

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- I think any parent who has had to stop an argument between siblings will find this picture book wryly amusing! The Hueys (who starred in The New Jumper last year) almost always get along, but just sometimes they don’t. When Gillespie comes across some of his colleagues in loud disagreement, he tries to solve their argument – easier said than done. Of course, there is always one guaranteed way to break up a fight… Jeffers’ trademark drawings are deceptively simple but highly expressive, and this will delight the myriad of fans, young and old. ~ Lindy
Truly Tan: Jinxed!

Truly Tan: Jinxed!

Jen Storer

$16.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Tan, the sassy young girl who is very good at spying and solving mysteries, has found another puzzle to solve. Her Dad has bought a tram called Miss Havisham, and put it in the backyard with a big sign warning all stickybeaks to stay away. Tan is convinced the tram is haunted, and then when strange things start happening she is told it is jinxed! Using all her special skills as a spy and detective, and with the help of her best friend Gloria, an amulet, her collection of special pens and occasionally, one of her sisters, Tan sets out to lift the curse. A lot of fun, great for girl readers 8-11. ~ Lindy
Bad Dog Flash

Bad Dog Flash

Ruth Paul

$15.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Flash is full of life, and unwittingly, mischief – very typical for a young puppy! Cats, sticks, bones, shoes, washing on the line: there are lots of temptations even when you don’t mean to be naughty! Gently rendered illustrations and text that incorporates simple concepts and is delightfully playful to read out loud, this would be a fine book to share with the pre-schooler in your life. ~ Lindy
Park Lane

Park Lane

Frances Osborne

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Grace has moved to London in early 1914 to find a secretarial job to help support her family in grimy Carlisle, but the only job she can find is exactly the one her mother didn't bring her up to do - domestic service, at 35 Park Lane. It is an elegant home full of beautiful and costly things, including the daughter of the house, Beatrice, who has been jilted and is both angry and despairing. In her desire to break out of the restraints her family impose upon her, Beatrice secretly joins the suffragette movement, becoming embroiled in the increasingly violent demonstrations. Grace and Beatrice may be from opposite ends of the social spectrum, but they have a lot more in common than they know - including a man... A good solid read with interesting characters and settings and the first novel by the author of the bestselling The Bolter. Lindy
A World of Other People

A World of Other People

Steven Carroll

$24.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE APRIL 2013 ----- Set mostly in 1941 in London, the main character is Iris - young and impetuously embracing life, as all her cohort are, in the face of threat and constant reminders of death, defying the thin-lipped 'others' who would condemn their behaviour. She has half-heartedly promised to marry an old friend, who is stationed somewhere overseas, and while she is very fond of him, is it love? She volunteers for fire-watching duties with someone she knows through her church – the poet T S Eliot – at his workplace, dreaming of the time her writing is submitted for publication. Together they witness something that seems like a dream, a bomber with a dove painted on its fuselage. Some time later, Iris meets an Australian airman, Jim, and in a short time comes to understand what love should be; but war and its effects will not be denied. After reading this, I had to reacquaint myself with Little Gidding which has a pivotal part in the plot. The style is slightly hectic when told through Iris' voice, but it works very well to convey the feeling of life rushing and threatened. Highly recommended - but I would also say, ignore the cover which has nothing to do with the story! Lindy

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Set in 1941 during the Blitz, the novel traces the love affair of Jim, an Australian pilot in Bomber Command, and Iris, a forthright Englishwoman finding her voice as a writer. The young couple, haunted by secrets and malign coincidence, struggles to build a future free of society's thin-lipped disapproval. The poet T S Eliot, with whom Iris shares firewatching duties, unwittingly seals their fate with his poem Little Gidding, one of the famous Four Quartets.

Steven Carroll is always interesting to listen to when he talks about his books. The same thoughtful, mesmeric quality that comes through in his writing, is also there in his speech. He spoke with Michael Cathcart in this ABC Books & Arts Daily interview about A World of Other People, and mentions that his character Iris was inspired by Iris Murdoch, as he had been reading Peter Conradi's biography, Iris Murdoch: a Life: The Authorized Biography. He also mentions the biography, The Imperfect Life of T S Eliot by Lyndall Gordon.
 
An Abbey's Great Reading Trail

A World of Other People by Steven Carroll Four Quartets by T S Eliot Iris Murdoch: a Life: The Authorized Biography by Peter J Conradi The Imperfect Life of T. S. Eliot by Lyndall Gordon
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Therese Anne Fowler

$29.99  $26.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE APRIL 2013 ----- Zelda Sayre is a Montgomery debutante, a beautiful daredevil of a girl, indulged and talented. She catches the eye of a young man stationed nearby, waiting to be called up to do his bit in the European war. Francis Scott Fitzgerald is everything her family does not want for her – Catholic, poor (and worst of all) Yankee, with no prospects and the burning belief he is a writer. Disregarding everything sensible, she falls in love, accepts his proposal and moves to New York. There they become the feted Fitzgeralds, always good for a good time, leading a pack of young Jazz Agers in search of more, more, more. Scott becomes the author of the moment and the pressure to always come up with the next best selling story (along with increasing dependence on alcohol) starts to tear holes in their charmed existence. Moving to France, like many others, only causes more problems, particularly as Scott takes a protégé, by name Ernest Hemingway… Told from Zelda’s point-of-view, this is a marvelously colourful novel, evocative of time and place; and while it is a novelisation of true people and events, it reads with a veracity and immediacy that will have you believing in the character. If you liked The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, you will certainly enjoy this! Lindy

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Before F. Scott Fitzgerald was a literary darling, before he'd even begun to imagine The Great Gatsby or Benjamin Button, he was a young WWI army lieutenant who fell hard for a spirited Southern belle named Zelda Sayre. The life he and Zelda would lead together in New York, Long Island, Paris, Hollywood and the French Riviera made them legends, even in their own time. Set amidst the glamour of the Jazz Age and The Lost Generation's vivid world abroad, Z vividly brings Zelda and Scott's romantic, tumultuous, extraordinary journey to life. Zelda was the embodiment of the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties. She was vibrant, headstrong, complicated and misunderstood. Z is the irresistibly rich, romantic and tumultuous story of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, set in seductive settings. Filled with larger-than-life characters such as Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy and Gertrude Stein, we watch the evolution of this iconic woman as she lived large and ached to find her own identity in the shadow of her celebrated husband.
Collecting Ladies: Ferdinand Von Mueller and Women Botanical Artists

Collecting Ladies: Ferdinand Von Mueller and Women Botanical Artists

Penny Olsen

$39.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Von Mueller was the powerhouse of 19th century botany in Australia, well-connected (and sometimes well-disliked!) full of energy and passion for the wonders of the new continent. But one of his greatest talents was in encouraging others, and in the 1870s he began to advertise for lady plant collectors and illustrators. With his assistance, some of our finest botanical illustrators began, or furthered, their art at a time when women typically had no formal recourse to science. With profiles of 14 of these women, and plentifully illustrated, this is a marvelous book for anyone interested in history, science or art. One of the series of books published by the National Library, drawing on its extensive collections. Lindy

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Around 1870, Ferdinand von Mueller, the greatest Australian botanist of the nineteenth century, began to advertise in several newspapers across Australia for lady plant collectors. This was at a time when women typically had little recourse to science, or contact with men outside their circle of friends, making Mueller's network of ladies quite extraordinary. Collecting Ladies profiles 14 of Mueller's coterie of women collectors. Included are Fanny Charsley, Louisa Atkinson, Annie Walker and Ellis Rowan for whom Mueller made time to assist in pursuit of their own passions. He identified the plants they painted and provided letters of introduction to publishers and scientists. Together, these ladies produced some of the most beautiful books and botanical art to come out of Australia in the nineteenth century, covering all the Australian colonies.
A Botanical Life: Robert David Fitzgerald

A Botanical Life: Robert David Fitzgerald

Penny Olsen

$34.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Another of the beautiful productions that our National Library does so well! Robert Fitzgerald arrived from Ireland in his 20s and rose through the Lands Department in 19th century NSW. He was also one of those Victorian gentlemen-scientists who contributed a great deal to the knowledge of our natural history. Starting as a keen ornithologist, he soon discovered the attractions of our native orchids, and became quite obsessed with them. Living in Hunters Hill, he devoted his leisure time to collecting specimens, then recording them in skilled botanical illustrations which formed the basis of one of the most acclaimed works on Australian orchids. Full of glorious reproductions of his botanical art (not just of orchids) this is a lovely tribute to one of our forgotten men of science and art. Lindy

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Robert David Fitzgerald (1830-1892) was a successful colonial surveyor who had arrived in Australia in 1856 as a young Irish immigrant of 25. He was employed by the Lands Department in New South Wales and, although he was an exemplary public servant, he was also one of the last of the Victorian-era gentlemen scientists: an avid naturalist, ornithologist and skilled taxidermist. In 1864, while searching for birds to add to his collection, he was inspired by the discovery of a clump of Rock Lilies to collect a number of other orchid specimens in the area. Over the following years, Fitzgerald devoted his leisure time to botanical illustration and documented the orchids of Australia, publishing his discoveries in his internationally acclaimed work, Australian Orchids. In so doing, he corresponded and engaged with some of the great thinkers of his time, including Ferdinand von Mueller, George Bentham and Charles Darwin. A Botanical Life presents a short biography, followed by a portfolio section of more than 100 stunning full-colour images of flowers painted by Robert David Fitzgerald.
Before I Burn

Before I Burn

Gaute Heivoll ,  Don Bartlett

$27.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- A writer returns to the small Norwegian community he grew up in. It is a quiet rural area, but at the time of his birth, it was targeted by an arsonist. At first abandoned buildings were burnt, but then the arsonist started to attack occupied houses, causing great fear and distress that such a thing was happening. As the writer relates the events of the past, his own life story is revealed, and there are echoes in his life with that of the arsonist. This is not a whodunit, but a quietly unfolding psychologically-driven narrative based on true events. From an author acclaimed in his native Norway. Lindy

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In the late 1970s, a pyromaniac runs amok in rural Norway. As homes are burnt to cinders, panic spreads as neighbours wonder who amongst them could cause such fear and anguish. Born in to this chaos, Gaute Heivoll is indelibly linked to this disturbing time, and to the arsonist intent on such destruction. Before I Burn is a fictional exploration of the true events of Norway's most dramatic arson case. By juxtaposing the pyromaniac's story with his own, Gaute Heivoll lays bare the insanity that lies just beneath the surface of the human psyche, and the triggers that may flip any of us into madness. Written in fluid, vivid prose, and with a shattering honesty and humanity, Before I Burn is a literary sensation.
The Railwayman's Wife

The Railwayman's Wife

Ashley Hay

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Ani Lachlan loves her railwayman husband, Mac and their daughter Isabel deeply. Her other great love is books, and reading. It is 1948, and their lives in Thirroul are humble but happy, so when Mac dies in a terrible accident, Ani is shattered. It is through the solace of working in the Railway Institute’s local library that she starts to rebuild her life. That, and the friendship that grows between her and a returned soldier, who once harboured ambitions to be a poet; and his best friend, a doctor who is haunted by his war service and inability to save the most vulnerable victims of conflict. A story of beginnings, and remakings; the perfect accompaniment to a pot of tea and a rainy weekend’s reading! Lindy

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In a small town on the land's edge, in the strange space at a war's end, a widow, a poet and a doctor each try to find their own peace, and their own new story. In Thirroul, in 1948, people chase their dreams through the books in the railway's library. Anikka Lachlan searches for solace after her life is destroyed by a single random act. Roy McKinnon, who found poetry in the mess of war, has lost his words and his hope. Frank McKinnon is trapped by the guilt of those his treatment and care failed on their first day of freedom. All three struggle with the same question: how now to be alive. Written in clear, shining prose and with an eloquent understanding of the human heart, The Railwayman's Wife explores the power of beginnings and endings, and how hard it can be sometimes to tell them apart. It's a story of life, loss and what comes after; of connection and separation, longing and acceptance. Most of all, it celebrates love in all its forms, and the beauty of discovering that loving someone can be as extraordinary as being loved yourself.
The Secret Lives of Men

The Secret Lives of Men

Georgia Blain

$27.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This collection of short stories examines the small moments of life that have a greater impact than first suspected. A couple take their daughter on a play date none of them wants to go to, with consequences beyond anticipation. A woman discovers something almost redemptive about the man who dreadfully scarred her, physically and emotionally. A man is faced with a morally difficult decision - to keep the new love he’s finally found, or destroy the one that’s kept him attached to life. Written in Blain’s trademark cool, almost detached, certainly non-judgmental style, this may not appeal to everyone, but the connoisseurs of restrained, observant and precise prose will appreciate these stories. Lindy
Petite Mort

Petite Mort

Beatrice Hitchman

$27.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- After she files a newspaper article about the rediscovery of a copy of an infamous silent film long thought destroyed, Juliette is contacted by the reclusive actress who starred in the film all those decades ago. Adele wants to finally tell her side of a scandalous story, one involving the brightest stars of pre-war French cinema, a lowly seamstress, affairs and murder. Switching backward and forward in time, can Juliette actually trust the story Adele is slowly revealing? Or is there something essential being deliberately concealed? A colourful tale of deception, as practiced in film and life… Lindy

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Scandal, intoxication and lies flourish in the silent film studios of Paris. A silent film, destroyed in a fire in 1913, before it was seen even by its director. A lowly seamstress, who makes the costumes she should be wearing, but believes her talent - and the secret she keeps too - will get her a dressing room of her own. A beautiful house in Paris, with a curving staircase, a lake, and locked rooms. A famous - and dashing - creator of spectacular cinematic illusions, husband to a beautiful, volatile actress, the most adored icon of the Parisian studios. All fit together, like scenes in a movie. And as you will see, this plot has a twist we beg you not to disclose...
She Rises

She Rises

Kate Worsley

$27.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Louise Fletcher is a dairymaid, but she has been unexpectedly offered the chance to work as a lady’s maid in a bustling port town. Her mother has always warned her against the sea, as it had stolen both her father, and her brother Luke, but the opportunity to see more of the world is irresistible, so Louise takes the position. Her new mistress is barely older in years but is certainly wiser to the ways of the world. An alternating narrative tells of Luke, press-ganged into His Majesty’s navy, and what he has to do to survive long enough to get back to the girl he loves. The dual narrative that tries to make this a clever novel didn’t work for me, but I found it a very interesting depiction of life in the mid-18th century and worth reading for that alone. Lindy

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It is 1740 and Louise Fletcher, a young dairymaid on an Essex farm, has been warned of the lure of the sea for as long as she can remember - after all, it stole away her father and brother. But when she is offered work in the bustling naval port of Harwich, as maid to a wealthy captain's daughter, she leaps at the chance to see more of the world. There she meets Rebecca, her haughty young mistress, who is unlike anyone Louise has encountered before: as unexpected as she is fascinating. 15-year old Luke is drinking in a Harwich tavern when it is raided by His Majesty's Navy. Unable to escape, Luke is beaten and press ganged and sent to sea on board the warship Essex. He must learn fast and choose his friends well if he is to survive the brutal hardships of a sailor's life and its many dangers, both up high in the rigging and in the dark below decks. Louise navigates her new life among the streets and crooked alleys of Harwich, where fine houses concealing smugglers' tunnels are flooded by the Spring tides, and love burns brightly in the shadows.  And Luke, aching for the girl he left behind and determined to one day find his way back to her, embarks on a long and perilous journey across the ocean. The worlds they find are more dangerous and more exciting than they could ever have imagined, and when they collide the consequences are astonishing and irrevocable. A breathtakingly accomplished love story and a gripping search for identity and survival, She Rises is a bold, brilliant and utterly original novel.
Evan's Gallipoli

Evan's Gallipoli

Kerry Greenwood

$15.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Evan has been accompanying his father on his country business trips since he was young. Mr Warrender is rich enough not to have to travel, but since his wife died, he prefers to escape their fine home, peddling both his natural remedies and his faith. When he reads about the unfolding events in Gallipoli, he hatches a desire to go there and assist, taking Evan with him. Once there, Evan has to find great reserves of strength to deal with what is happening, and even more so when his father decided to parley with the Turks. Caught behind enemy lines, Evan must disguise and shepherd his increasingly erratic father back to safety on a route through Turkey and Greece, keeping more than one secret safe... Full of fine historical detail, and believable characterisations, this is pitched at teen readers, but will be enjoyed by the legion of Greenwood fans of all ages. Lindy

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The gripping story of an incredible journey behind enemy lines - told in diary form. Fourteen-year-old Evan Warrender travels with his father to the Dardenelles, where they intend to provide succour to the Allied soldiers. When they are captured by the Turks, they are launched into an epic journey, living on their wits and the kindness of strangers as they escape and travel through Turkey, back to Greece and finally home to Australia. Along the way they meet unlikely friends and companions, some of whom have deep secrets. And when Evan's own secret is revealed, we realise just how incredible the journey has truly been. Evan's fascinating survival story takes readers beyond the frontline and creates an all-encompassing account of this significant time in Australian military history. Impeccably researched, this is an eye-opening adventure story that cleverly explores both sides of the war.
My Brother Jack

My Brother Jack

George Johnston

$14.99

The Miles Franklin award-winning classic. 'One of the greatest books written this century' - The Illustrated London News 'The thing I am trying to get at is what made Jack different from me. Different all through our lives, I mean, and in a special sense, not just older or nobler or braver or less clever.' David and Jack Meredith grow up in a patriotic suburban Melbourne household during the First World War, and go on to lead lives that could not be more different. Through the story of the two brothers, George Johnston created an enduring exploration of two Australian myths: that of the man who loses his soul as he gains worldly success, and that of the tough, honest Aussie battler, whose greatest ambition is to serve his country during the war. Acknowledged as one of the true Australian classics, My Brother Jack is a deeply satisfying, complex and moving literary masterpiece. David Meredith's story continues in the sequels Clean Straw for Nothing and A Cartload of Clay. 'Enthralling ...entertaining ...vividly original - The Age
The Unfeathered Bird

The Unfeathered Bird

Katrina van Grouw

$79.00

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is a very special book indeed, lavishly and gorgeously presented on beautiful paper and with quality binding. It is the result of 25 years’ labour and is both a thing of beauty and of science, and is concerned with the appearance, posture and behavioural influences of avian internal structures. That makes the book sound dry, but it is anything but – the author is an immensely talented natural illustrator (as well as an experienced taxidermist and ornithologist) and there are nearly 400 fascinating, detailed and beautifully rendered drawings of bird skeletons, sometimes with depictions of attached muscles, and shown in natural poses. Grouped according to outward appearances rather than evolutionary pathways, with jargon-free text describing the obvious adaptations to particular environments, this is a fine book for ornithologists and artists both. Words can’t do it justice: it has to be seen to be appreciated! Lindy

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There is more to a bird than simply feathers. And just because birds evolved from a single flying ancestor doesn't mean they are structurally all the same. With over 385 stunning drawings depicting 200 species,  The Unfeathered Bird  is a richly illustrated book on bird anatomy that offers refreshingly original insights into what goes on beneath the feathered surface. Each exquisite drawing is made from an actual specimen and reproduced in sumptuous large format. The birds are shown in lifelike positions and engaged in behavior typical of the species: an underwater view of the skeleton of a swimming loon, the musculature of a porpoising penguin, and an unfeathered sparrowhawk plucking its prey. Jargon-free and easily accessible to any reader, the lively text relates birds' anatomy to their lifestyle and evolution, examining such questions as why penguins are bigger than auks, whether harrier hawks really have double-jointed legs, and the difference between wing claws and wing spurs. A landmark in popular bird books,  The Unfeathered Bird  is a must for anyone who appreciates birds or bird art.  It features: a unique book that bridges art, science, and history; over 385 beautiful drawings, artistically arranged in a sumptuous large-format book; accessible, jargon-free text - the only book on bird anatomy aimed at the general reader; drawings and text all based on actual bird specimens; includes most anatomically distinct bird groups; and many species never illustrated before.
Life in Outer Space

Life in Outer Space

Melissa Keil

$18.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This delightful young adult novel was laugh-out-loud funny in places. Sam is pretty sure life improves if you just survive high school. He’s not a bad student, and he actually enjoys learning, but he’s also a magnet for all the alpha-jerks to target. His best friends are Mike, who is a karate champion, gay, and non-expressive; Adrian, somewhat defeated by hormones and with a more-than-passing resemblance to a troll, but kind, loyal and generous; and Allison, painfully shy. They all have computer games and the love of genre movies in common, and that’s enough for Sam. So when the sparky new girl Camilla turns up and works her way into their tight little group, Sam is both confused and attracted. A wonderfully entertaining read, set in Melbourne. Lindy

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Sam Kinnison is a geek, and he's totally fine with that. He has his horror movies, his nerdy friends, World of Warcraft u and until Princess Leia turns up in his bedroom, worry about girls he won't. Then Camilla Carter arrives on the scene. She's beautiful, friendly and completely irrelevant to his plan. Sam is determined to ignore her, except that Camilla has a plan of her own u and he seems to be a part of it! Sam believes that everything he needs to know he can learn from the movies. But perhaps he's been watching the wrong ones. Life in Outer Space is Melissa Keil's brilliantly sweet and funny YA debut. It's also the first book to be signed up through the Ampersand Project, Hardie Grant Egmont's initiative for emerging YA writers.
Freaks Like Us

Freaks Like Us

Susan Vaught

$15.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Jason is an alphabet. That’s the word he and his friends Sunshine and Drip call themselves, because they attend special classes at their school for the Severely Emotionally Disturbed. Drip has ADHD, Jason is SCZI (schizophrenic) and Sunshine is SM (selectively mute). Sunshine is the only person who makes Jason feel safe from the voices in his head, so when she disappears one afternoon between getting off the bus and reaching home, Jason needs to find her. Unfortunately suspicion falls on him, and he’s got to fight through the voices to prove he didn’t do anything to her. A powerful and absorbing read for young adults that doesn’t gloss over the difficulties of mental illness, but takes a sympathetic stand for the sufferers. Lindy

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'You're just a freak. You're just a stupid freak. Freaks don't speak. Freaks shouldn't speak. Don't talk out of your head or the swirly clouds will eat you because sometimes clouds have teeth' Jason's best friend, Sunshine, has vanished. If only Jason could push through all the voices in his head, he'd know what happened; he'd tell everyone; he'd find her. But then people don't always listen to kids like Jason ...A funny and compelling thriller about a boy on the edge of mainstream society.
This isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You

This isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You

Jon McGregor

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This collection of short stories is set in the flat fenlands of eastern England. Some stories are mere fragments of language, others are technically and cleverly proficient and others still are achingly detailed observations of people and the landscape. All of them, though, are the work of a master craftsman, who catches a multiplicity of voices and characters in believable situations and treats all of them with dignity (even – or especially – the characters who are society’s refuse). Each book McGregor has produced is different from the others and this one just confirms what I believe is his amazing talent; when I had finished, I went right back to the beginning and re-read them all. Lindy

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- McGregor's unique writing style may be daunting at first but perservere and you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking, real novels of our generation. A descent into the character's world that is so subtle that you may never want to fully let go. Meg

A man builds a tree house by a river, in anticipation of the coming flood. A sugar-beet crashes through a young woman's windscreen. A boy sets fire to a barn. A pair of itinerant labourers sit by a lake, talking about shovels and sex, while fighter-planes fly low overhead and prepare for war. These aren't the sort of things you imagine happening to someone like you. But sometimes they do. Set in the flat and threatened fenland landscape, where the sky is dominant and the sea lurks just beyond the horizon, these delicate, dangerous, and sometimes deeply funny stories tell of things buried and unearthed, of familiar places made strange, and of lives where much is hidden, much is at risk, and tender moments are hard-won.
Instructions for a Heatwave

Instructions for a Heatwave

Maggie O'Farrell

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- July 1976, and London is flattened by an unrelenting heatwave. A man steps out for a newspaper, and doesn’t come back. His Irish wife, a monstrous domestic tyrant, and their adult children, each have their own version of what’s happened and where he’s gone. Nursing heartaches, frustrations and grievances, they come together – and of course, all the poison of their family past comes to the surface as they try to deal with the stress of their father’s disappearance. A quiet novel where not that much occurs in terms of action, but a great deal is happening in terms of characterisation and cross-currents. A fine portrait of family dynamics by an award-winning novelist. Lindy

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The stunning new novel from Costa-Novel-Award-winning novelist Maggie O'Farrell: a portrait of an Irish family in crisis in the legendary heatwave of 1976. In London, it hasn't rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he's going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn't come back. The search for Robert brings Gretta's children - two estranged sisters and a brother on the brink of divorce - back home, each with different ideas as to where their father might have gone. None of them suspects that their mother might have an explanation that even now she cannot share. Maggie O'Farrell's sixth book is the work of an outstanding novelist at the height of her powers.
Gossip

Gossip

Beth Gutcheon

$27.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- I picked this up thinking I was going to be reading a frothy nothing of a novel (and I do read that sort of thing occasionally, for entertainment!) only to find myself beguiled and absorbed by a tale of female friendships over a period of 50 years. Loviah is the quiet observer in this novel, and she tells the story of how she met the two most influential women in her life, Dinah (bright, attractive and unconventional) and Avis (reserved, gawky and with intellectual leanings) and the impact of these different personalities. Mistakes, misunderstandings and secrets are part of the story, but so too are the small kindnesses and accommodations good friends make for each other. They move in the higher circles of New York society, and are women who perhaps were born in the wrong period of history. Evenly paced, at times gracefully elegiac, this is a novel of substance and hindsight. Lindy

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"A gifted storyteller...her characters are intelligent, brave, and witty...human and real." Susan Isaacs, New York Times Book Review

The critically acclaimed author of Good-bye and Amen, Leeway Cottage, and More Than You Know, Gutcheon returns with a sharply perceptive and emotionally resonant novel about the power of knowing things about others, the consequences of rumour, and the unexpected price of friendship. A story set among the rich, famous, and well-dressed of Manhattan's Upper East Side, this is a bravura display of this exceptional author's breathtaking talents, addressing important themes of motherhood, friendship, and fidelity. Every reader who admires the strong, character-driven women's fiction of Sue Miller, Alice Hoffman, Elizabeth Berg, and Kaye Gibbons should lend an ear to Beth Gutcheon's Gossip.
The Town That Drowned

The Town That Drowned

Riel Nason

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Ruby Carson lives with her family in a small idyllic Canadian town. Her mother is a renowned artist, her father is a pillar of the community, and her younger brother Percy - well he’s the strange boy at school, with a formidable intelligence, formal way of expressing himself and habits he can’t bear to be altered in any way. When she slips at an ice-skating party and hits her head, she has a vision of the town under water, and a clear memory of seeing four other people float by. Unfortunately, this makes her a target for her schoolmates, and her days at school are made most unpleasant – but even more so when news filters through that a large dam will be constructed and the town will be flooded. It triggers a series of happenings and reactions that no-one could foresee, particularly for the people in Ruby’s vision… A finely written novel of adolescence and wider change. Lindy

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Living with a weird brother in a small town can be tough enough. Having a spectacular fall through the ice at a skating party and nearly drowning are grounds for embarrassment. But having a vision and narrating it to the assembled crowd solidifies your status as an outcast. What Ruby Carson saw during that fateful day was her entire town - buildings and people - floating underwater. Then an orange-tipped surveyor stake turns up in a farmer's field. Another is found in the cemetery. A man with surveying equipment is spotted eating lunch near Pokiok Falls. The residents of Haverton soon discover that a massive dam is being constructed and that most of their homes will be swallowed by the rising water. Suspicions mount, tempers flare, and secrets are revealed. As the town prepares for its own demise, 14-year-old Ruby Carson sees it all from a front-row seat. Set in the 1960s, this evokes the awkwardness of childhood, the thrill of first love, and the importance of having a place to call home.
Clay

Clay

Melissa Harrison

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Even though it’s early in the year, I’m going to state this is one of the finest novels I will read in 2013. It is astonishingly assured for a debut novelist, and reminded me of one of my favourite authors, Jon McGregor, in style and content, but with nothing so derivative. It is a story of innocence, and trying to live in a society that has changed the meaning of innocence. Three characters live in an area which borders a strip of woodland; this remnant means something different, but ultimately similar, for each. For TC, a young neglected outsider, it is refuge and connection. For Jozef, a sad and lonely man far from his native Poland, it is reminder and comfort. For Sophia, quietly mourning her beloved husband who died years previously, it is something to passionately care for that keeps her going. Full of beautiful passages of observation of the natural world that has managed to coexist in an otherwise urban environment (despite the depredations of human occupation) this is a multi-layered and thoughtful novel. It has lingered in my memory and I look forward to seeing what this writer will produce in the future. Lindy

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A boy creeps down from a high-rise block in the half-light of dawn to see the neat prints left by a fox on the frosty grass. He is TC, eight years old and skipping school to spend his time exploring the city's waste ground and long-forgotten wild corners. At school and at home he is barely missed. Sophia, seventy-eight and a half and still wearing her dear dead husband's shoes, looks out through her kitchen window at the little city park outside her flat, its grassy acres grimy and litter-blown, but to her eyes beautiful. She is writing her weekly letter to her granddaughter Daisy, whose privileged upbringing means she exists in a different world to that of TC, even though they live less than a mile apart. Jozef spends his days clearing houses and works night shifts at the local takeaway, but he is unable to forget the farm he left behind in Poland, the woods and fields he grew up with still a part of him, although he is a thousand miles away. When he meets TC in the little park one night he finds a kindred spirit, despite the forty years between them: both lonely, both looking for something, both lost.
Fish Change Direction in Cold Weather

Fish Change Direction in Cold Weather

Pierre Szalowski

$22.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- An 11yo only child is told just before Christmas 1997, that his parents are separating. He asks the sky to help, and whether it is an answer or not, storms drop an enormous amount of snow on Montreal. This has the effect of his immediate neighbours all having to help each other: the exotic dancer helps the Russian mathematician keep his fish warm so as not to lose the data he is collating on randomness; the gay couple who are pretending to the world that they aren’t, take in the angry bigot and his neglected son – but will all this goodwill help the young boy bring his parents back together? This has been an international bestseller and is a lovely quirky read; I very much enjoyed it! Lindy

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When his parents split up, and his dad leaves home, a ten-year-old boy begs the sky to help him. The next day an ice storm covers his city. When the power goes out and the temperature drops, people must turn to each other to survive. But for one neighbourhood the catastrophe brings surprising new beginnings. Julie, the dancer who lives across the street, helps Boris, an eccentric Russian mathematician, save his fish from the cold weather. And the urbane Michel and Simon open their door to Alexis, their embittered neighbour, and his son. But will the ice storm bring the boy's parents back together? Hilarious and heartwarming, Fish Change Direction in Cold Weather reminds us that happy endings might still be possible.
Tenth of December

Tenth of December

George Saunders

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is a dazzling collection of short stories from a master writer and satirist. A relentlessly cheerful woman trying to over-compensate for her dysfunctional childhood, for all the right reasons does the wrong thing. A girl on the cusp of her 15th birthday discovers that fairy tale imaginings conceal and contain lurking evil, and that not all rescuers conform to the princely template. The veteran of an unnamed war barely holds on to his sanity, rage and humanity – but does, just… A work memo’s banality is a masterpiece of euphemism. A terminally ill man plans to visit an icy lakeside, with consequences other than those he intended. A young man in a futuristic penitentiary is faced with unenviable and impossible decisions. These, and more, are haunting, clear-eyed and darkly acerbic slices of lives on edge. Highly recommended. Lindy

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In this new collection of short stories, Saunders scratches away at the surface of worlds shot-through with confusion, illuminating figures lost in a labyrinth of troubling preoccupations. A family member recollects a backyard pole dressed for all occasions; Jeff faces horrifying ultimatums and the prospect of Darkenfloxx' in some unusual drug trials; Divisional Director Todd Birnie sends round a memo to employees he thinks need some inspiration; and in an auction of local celebrities Al Roosten hides his own internal monologue behind a winning smile that he hopes will make him popular. Although, as a young boy discovers, sometimes the voices fade and all you are left with is a frozen hill on a cold day in December... Laced with wry humour and stark sensitivity, Tenth of December is a masterly exploration of human experience, dazzling and disturbing in all its haunting eloquence.
Remembering Lionsville

Remembering Lionsville

Bronwyn Bancroft

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Bronwyn Bancroft is one of our most celebrated Indigenous illustrators, and this fine book tells the story of her family. In a settlement nestled in the north of NSW, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people lived and worked together, and this book vividly evokes a way of life that is mostly vanished now. Bancroft directly addresses the reader to follow her in her memories of the country and her grandparents, aunties and uncles. Her trademark flat and highly decorative bordered style is complemented with collages of family photographs. A beautiful celebration of family history and its importance. Lindy

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A boy creeps down from a high-rise block in the half-light of dawn to see the neat prints left by a fox on the frosty grass. He is TC, eight years old and skipping school to spend his time exploring the city's waste ground and long-forgotten wild corners. At school and at home he is barely missed. Sophia, seventy-eight and a half and still wearing her dear dead husband's shoes, looks out through her kitchen window at the little city park outside her flat, its grassy acres grimy and litter-blown, but to her eyes beautiful. She is writing her weekly letter to her granddaughter Daisy, whose privileged upbringing means she exists in a different world to that of TC, even though they live less than a mile apart. Jozef spends his days clearing houses and works night shifts at the local takeaway, but he is unable to forget the farm he left behind in Poland, the woods and fields he grew up with still a part of him, although he is a thousand miles away. When he meets TC in the little park one night he finds a kindred spirit, despite the forty years between them: both lonely, both looking for something, both lost.
The Handbook for Gyfted Children

The Handbook for Gyfted Children

Lee Bacon

$16.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is a rollicking good tongue-in-cheek read! Joshua has moved many times in his life, and changed his surname just as often, because his parents – kind, loving and concerned – are supervillains and intent on destroying the world. As you do! Their main nemesis is the super-shiny, highly marketed, Captain Justice; and it turns out the new girl at school, Sophie, who Joshua is attracted to, is his daughter. Even more inconveniently, Joshua’s body is starting to play tricks on him. It turns out he is Gyfted: Genetic Youth Fluctuation, Triggering Extraordinary Development – and his gyft? Spontaneous combustion – which comes in handy when his parents disappear and he, Sophie, and his best friend Milton have to outwit a lot of really bad guys! An enjoyable fast-paced read for ages 10-13. Lindy

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When your parents are supervillains, it's hard to have a normal life. In the past two days, Joshua's parents  have tried to destroy the world, the houseplant has threatened to kill him and he's discovered something weird is happening to him. Super weird. Pencils explode in his hand. He leaves scorched butt marks on the carpet. And he can send bullies crashing into lockers. Turns out Joshua has a superpower. But he doesn't have to use it for evil, right?
Dance of Shadows

Dance of Shadows

Yelena Black

$15.99

Dancing with someone is an act of trust. Elegant and intimate; you're close enough to kiss, close enough to feel your partner's heartbeat. But for Vanessa, dance is deadly - and she must be very careful who she trusts ...Vanessa Adler attends an elite ballet school - the same one her older sister, Margaret, attended before she disappeared. Vanessa feels she can never live up to her sister's shining reputation. But Vanessa, with her glorious red hair and fair skin, has a kind of power when she dances - she loses herself in the music, breathes different air, and the world around her turns to flames ...Soon she attracts the attention of three men: gorgeous Zep, mysterious Justin, and the great, enigmatic choreographer Josef Zhalkovsky. When Josef asks Vanessa to dance the lead in the Firebird, she has little idea of the danger that lies ahead - and the burning forces about to be unleashed ...
The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan

Katherine Applegate

$14.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- I don’t normally bother reading award winners after they’ve been honoured, but I do make an exception for Newbery winners. I will also admit to bias when it came to Katherine Applegate, because she and her husband were responsible for the Animorph series ages ago. So it was with some interest, and a little trepidation, that I read The One and Only Ivan and I have to admit that I should not have let my prejudices get in the way of this lovely book! Ivan is a silverback gorilla, who has lived in his domain for 9855 days. By any other name, his domain is a cage, in a struggling and under-resourced shopping mall circus. His best friends are Bob the dog of unknown heritage, and Stella the elephant. When a new elephant, a baby, joins the menagerie, Ivan makes a promise to keep her safe – something that increasingly looks impossible… Told in Ivan’s calm voice, in small and thoughtful chapters, this is a charming and heart-warming story of friendship and freedom. Ages 10 and up. Lindy

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Inspired by a true story, this is the beautifully written tale of how a mighty gorilla wins his freedom. A winning blend of humour and poignancy that will appeal to fans of Michael Morpurgo. Ivan is an easy-going gorilla who has spent his life performing for the crowds at the Exit 8 shopping mall. He rarely misses life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly thinks about it at all. But everything changes when a baby elephant called Ruby arrives and Ivan realises he must find a new life for them both. Told from Ivan's perspective this is a stand-out novel with a pertinent message for readers of 9+.
The Taste of Apple Seeds

The Taste of Apple Seeds

Katharina Hagena

$27.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Iris returns to the small northern German town that she grew up in, for her grandmother’s funeral. She learns that she is to inherit the family home, and not sure whether it’s a blessing or a curse, stays on while she decides what to do. Of course there are a lot of family stories attached to the surroundings, and this gentle novel unfolds the history of Iris and her relatives. As she lingers there, she makes the reacquaintance of people from her past, and perhaps of love… There are touches of magic realism – the stunningly beautiful aunt born during a violent storm, who can’t touch others without giving them electric shocks, the garden that reflects loss and happiness in flowering and fruiting appropriately, the house itself with its shadows and mysteries. A beautifully translated novel suffused with longing and acceptance, this has been a bestseller in Europe, and I can see why! Lindy

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For Iris, childhood memories are of long hot summers spent playing with her cousin Rosmarie in her grandmother's garden, a place where redcurrants turned to pale tears on the branches of trees and beautiful Aunt Inga shook sparks from the tips of her fingers. But now her grandmother is dead and, along with inheriting the property, Iris finds that she also inherits her family's darkest secrets. Reluctant to keep it, but reluctant to sell, Iris spends one more summer at the house. By day she swims at the local lake, where she rediscovers a childhood companion. Alone at night she roams through the familiar rooms, exploring the tall black shadows of the past. In the flicker between remembrance and forgetting, Iris recalls an enigmatic grandfather who went to war and came back a different man, the night her cousin Rosmarie fell through the conservatory roof and shattered her family's lives, and a moment of love that made all the trees in the orchard bloom over night.
Where Wine Flows Like Water: A Gastronomic Pilgrimage Across Spain

Where Wine Flows Like Water: A Gastronomic Pilgrimage Across Spain

John McAneney

$19.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Some people tramp the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago de Compostela for spiritual reasons, some for the challenge and the history, some because they have midlife crises, but this entertaining account (though all of the preceding reasons are valid enough for the writer) is just as much concerned with the food and wine of the region. Accompanied by a good friend, meeting up with others they know along the way, the pair eat and drink their way successfully across Spain! With recipes at the end of each chapter (which are obviously tried and tested, not mere lists of ingredients and method) the reader can feel part of the pilgrimage themselves, without the sore feet and irritations of fellow travellers… Lindy
Bring Up the Bodies

Bring Up the Bodies

Hilary Mantel

$32.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Following on from Wolf Hall ($19.99), which won this same award in 2009, here is the next instalment in a planned trilogy. I recommended this unreservedly when it first came out in May, so it’s nice that the Man Booker judges agreed with me! All jokes aside, this novel is a worthy winner and a fabulous read. Thomas Cromwell is playing the dangerous game of managing Henry VIII’s capricious whims, navigating through the slippery politics of the court and pandering to Henry’s desire for Jane Seymour. After all, Anne Boleyn and her faction are no friends of Cromwell’s… Immediate, involving and brilliant writing! Lindy

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WINNER: THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2012. Bring Up the Bodies continues the vivid tale of the life of Thomas Cromwell and is the sequel to the Man Booker Prize 2009-winning Wolf Hall.

'My boy Thomas, give him a dirty look and he'll gouge your eye out. Trip him, and he'll cut off your leg,' says Walter Cromwell in the year 1500. 'But if you don't cut across him he's a very gentleman. And he'll stand anyone a drink.' By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church.

But Henry's actions have forced England into dangerous isolation, and Anne has failed to do what she promised: bear a son to secure the Tudor line. When Henry visits Wolf Hall, Cromwell watches as Henry falls in love with the silent, plain Jane Seymour. The minister sees what is at stake: not just the king's pleasure, but the safety of the nation. As he eases a way through the sexual politics of the court, its miasma of gossip, he must negotiate a 'truth' that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge undamaged from the bloody theatre of Anne's final days.

In Bring up the Bodies Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn. This new novel is a speaking picture, an audacious vision of Tudor England that sheds its light on the modern world. It is the work of one of our great writers at the height of her powers.

 

 

 

 

Lost Voices

Lost Voices

Christopher Koch

$32.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This richly rewarding novel is set in Hobart in the 1950s and the 1850s. Hugh Dixon has approached an estranged uncle, Walter, to avert his father’s disgrace. Impressed by Hugh, Walter encourages him in his desire to be an artist, and instructs him in the family history. Walter's father Martin participated in a notorious bushranger's Utopian settlement. Parallels exist: history repeats. This is a multi-layered book with a slowly unfolding, beautifully textured, style. It will be on all the literary award lists – read it before it wins! Lindy

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Twice winner of the Miles Franklin Award, Christopher Koch returns with a remarkable novel of gripping narrative power. Young Hugh Dixon believes he can save his father from ruin if he asks his estranged great-uncle Walter - a wealthy lawyer who lives alone in a Tasmanian farmhouse passed down through the family - for help. As he is drawn into Walter's rarefied world, Hugh discovers that both his uncle and the farmhouse are linked to a notorious episode in the mid-19th century. Walter's father, Martin, was living in the house when it was raided by members of an outlaw community run by Lucas Wilson, a charismatic ex-soldier attempting to build a utopia. But like later societies with communitarian ideals, Nowhere Valley was controlled by the gun, with Wilson as benevolent dictator. 20-year-old Martin's sojourn in the Valley as Wilson's disciple has become an obsession with Walter Dixon: one which haunts his present and keeps the past tantalisingly close. As Walter encourages Hugh's ambition to become an artist, and again comes to his aid when one of Hugh's friends is charged with murder, the way life's patterns repeat themselves from one generation to another becomes eerily apparent. Dramatic, insightful and evocative, this is an intriguing double narrative that confirms Koch as one of our most significant and compelling novelists.
Behind the Sun

Behind the Sun

Deborah Challinor

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Four women are transported to Sydney in 1829. Friday, a whore with a temperament to match her copper hair; Sarah, a mistrustful, talented jeweller and pickpocket; kind-hearted Harrie, who made one dreadful mistake; and Rachel, beautiful, naïve and wronged. This unlikely quartet bond in Newgate Prison and on the convict ship, but once in Sydney they will be separated. I really enjoyed this, as much for the deep historical research as for the characters, and it was satisfying to learn there will be a sequel… Lindy

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Irreverent and streetwise prostitute, Friday Woolfe, is in London's notorious Newgate gaol, awaiting transportation. There, she meets three other girls: intelligent and opportunistic thief, Sarah Morgan, naive young Rachel Winter, and reliable and capable seamstress, Harriet Clarke. On the voyage to New South Wales their friendship becomes an unbreakable bond -- but there are others on board who will change their lives forever. Friday makes an implacable enemy of Bella Jackson, a vicious woman whose power seems undiminished by her arrest and transportation, while Harriet is taken under the wing of an idealistic doctor, James Downey. Rachel catches the eye of a sinister passenger with more than honour on his mind, whose brutal assault leaves her life hanging in the balance. When they finally arrive on the other side of the world, they are confined to the grim and overcrowded Parramatta Female Factory. But worse is to come as the threat of separation looms. In the land behind the sun, the only thing they have is each other ...
Nell's Festival of Crisp Winter Glories

Nell's Festival of Crisp Winter Glories

Glenda Millard ,  Stephen Michael King

$14.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK -----  The last in the Kingdom of Silk series, and as tender and sweet as all the others. Lindy

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Two of Perry Angel's favourite people are Grandma Nell and his good friend Jenkins. One night, while listening to Nell play the beautiful Tennessee Waltz, Perry thinks of the perfect way to bring his two favourite people together: he wants to put on a dance - a proper one with petticoats and posies and a real band. Perry shares his idea with his sisters, and before long the dance turns into a wonderful winter festival.

But when something happens to Nell, will Perry's wish come true? Glenda Millard has won many prestigious awards for her Kingdom of Silk series, including CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers for Perry Angel's Suitcase, and the Queensland Premier's Children's Book Award for Layla, Queen of Hearts. Now this stunning series about the very 'uncommon' Silk family has its glorious finale in Nell's Festival of Crisp Winter Glories.
Lily and the Traitors' Spell

Lily and the Traitors' Spell

Holly Webb

$16.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK -----  Because this brought the series to an end, and I loved the magical world she created. Lindy

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Having rescued their father from a terrible prison, Lily and Georgie now find themselves in greater trouble than ever. Their evil mother has filled Georgie with wicked spells and means to use her as an unwilling weapon to execute a deadly plot against the Royal Family.

Lily must join forces with her father and friends to overcome evil. But faced with such powerful dark magicians, can they really hope to succeed? The conclusion to the richly magical Lily sequence.
The Girl from Snowy River

The Girl from Snowy River

Jackie French

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Set in a community devastated by the influenza epidemic and the losses of WWI. Flinty McAlpine disguises herself as a boy to earn money on the brumby muster headed by Clancy of the Overflow. Seeing a colt’s potential, she buys him; it will be the catalyst for her future as well. A stirring historical novel from one of our best writers for young readers. Lindy 

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Flinty McAlpine is 16 and, while WW1 ended almost a year ago, it still resonates for Flinty and her family, who lost so much. Years of war and drought have left the district in chaos and local families are doing their best to rebuild lives and land. With both parents dead, Flinty is bringing up her younger siblings, as her brother Andy has 'gone with cattle' to Queensland. Money is tight, but as the best rider in the family, Flinty seizes the opportunity to make a quick 100 quid. Disguised as a boy, she talks her way into a brumby muster headed up by the legendary Clancy of the Overflow. Among the herd there is an unbroken colt that Flinty buys as she can see his enormous potential. But for a young girl, there is still so much of life to be lived and while she has hints of her future, she never imagines what life can really hold for her. The second title in The Matilda Saga, this book is a love song to the beautiful Snowy Mountains and a tribute to Australia's poets, who immortalised so much of our land.
Robin Hood

Robin Hood

David Calcutt ,  Grahame Baker-Smith

$17.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Robin Hood, champion of the downtrodden and destitute, is a hero for all times, and this lavishly illustrated volume introduces his daring feats and his band of Merry Men to a new generation of readers. From how Robin became an outlaw to his last battle, this graceful retelling is enhanced by finely rendered illustrations from Greenaway Prize-winner Baker-Smith. Ages 8-12 Lindy

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The champion of the destitute and downtrodden rides again. Meet young Robin Hood before he becomes the hero of Sherwood Forest, and follow along with his band of merry men as his adventures become the stuff of legend. This lavishly illustrated picture book makes a wonderful gift title to complement Arthur of Albion and The Arabian Nights, and features nine tales including: Robin Becomes an Outlaw, Robin Meets Little John, Robin and the Widow, and Robin's Last Battle.

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great

Jamila Gavin

$32.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- There’s a great exhibition at the Australian Museum in November (2012) on Alexander the Great and this is the perfect book to accompany it! It tells of Alexander’s exciting life and achievements, and interleaves the biographical and historical details with myths and legends that resonated for Alexander himself. It also relates stories that sprang up in his wake as he conquered a fair chunk of his world. A bold and stirring story, enhanced by decorated pages and energetic illustrations. Lindy 

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Who was Alexander? Myth or man? God or devil? He claimed to be the son of Zeus, and even in his own lifetime wild legends sprang up about him. Above all, he was a hero - brave, wily, handsome and inspiring. This richly illustrated biography skilfully interweaves accounts of his battle campaigns with legends from each newly conquered country. From Greece and Egypt to Persia and India, the stories of the great mythical heroes of Achilles, Gilgamesh and more provide revealing echoes to Alexander's own charmed life.
Monsieur Albert Rides to Glory

Monsieur Albert Rides to Glory

Peter Smith ,  Bob Graham

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK -----
Albert decides that even if he is 60, he will compete in the bike race from Paris to Nice. After all, he’s fit and has a good bike, so why not? Although not the fastest cyclist, with perseverance and a bit of bonne chance, Albert does ride to glory! Told in rhyme which reads out loud beautifully, and with delightfully witty illustrations provided by Bob Graham (look out for his ever-charming trademark vignettes), this is a book made to share. Lindy

ABBEY'S READER REVIEW -----
"Dear Abbey's,
I collected the copy of Monsieur Albert Rides to Glory this morning and was lucky enough to be able to get it signed by the author. It is a brilliant book. Brilliantly written - warm-hearted, exciting and witty, brimming with insight into character, glorious in its whimsy and sense of adventure, and inspiring in its celebration of bicycles and of the pleasure of being alive, no matter how old you are. And on top of that the language is a joy to read - great humour and fun in the superbly crafted rhythm and rhyme.

Please pass on my grateful thanks to Peter Smith and to Bob Graham too, as the illustrator, for his special skills. Every page is a delight. Looking forward to the next one!

Cheers, Alison"


And if the author below looks familiar to some of our readers, that is because Peter can often be found at Abbey's where he works as one of our booksellers. So all of Abbey's is giving Peter a hearty "Salut Peter!" and we do hope that you will soon be reading the tale of Monsieur Albert with your young ones and be marvelling at the beautiful lines of Bob Graham's illustrations.


 

Latin for Gardeners

Latin for Gardeners

Lorraine Harrison

$35.00

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is both a beautiful book, and a useful one, and both the gardener and the Latin scholar will enjoy it. Arranged alphabetically, each entry notes masculine (and where applicable, feminine and neutral) versions, pronunciation guide, meaning and example. There are plenty of colourful historic botanical illustrations, ‘Latin in action’ breakout boxes, plant profiles and themes, and stories of plant hunters. A splendid gift! Lindy

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This is an informative, entertaining and beautifully illustrated unravelling of the mysteries of botanical Latin. Over 3,000 Latin names are listed alphabetically, showing how botanical Latin can reveal where a plant originally comes from (and thus its preferred growing conditions), along with such properties as its shape, form, colour, taste and smell. Each name is clearly defined and accompanied by a pronunciation guide, and the pages are filled with attractive botanical illustrations. Fascinating feature spreads retell the adventures of important plant hunters such as Sir Joseph Banks and Alexander von Humboldt, explaining how their discoveries affect the way our gardens look today. Individual plants are also profiled throughout, showing how their names can illuminate their hidden histories. Aided by this book, every gardener, and their garden, will benefit from uncovering the wealth of information that lies within the remarkable world of Latin binomials.
The Silver Brumby Centenary Edition

The Silver Brumby Centenary Edition

Elyne Mitchell

$32.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- I adored the Silver Brumby books as a youngster and this very fine edition contains the original four stories (Silver Brumby / Silver Brumby’s Daughter / Silver Brumbies of the South / Silver Brumby Kingdom), as well as a biography of the author, who was born in 1913. Set in the Australian Alps, they concern Thowra, the magnificent stallion, and his struggles to remain free and wild. Full of glorious descriptions of the country and its animals, with a strong environmental message, these are timeless tales. Lindy

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To many people the name Elyne Mitchell is synonymous with The Silver Brumby, the timeless classic that has captivated the hearts and imaginations of young readers since it was first published in 1958.  This special edition has been published to commemorate the centenary of Elyne Mitchell's birth and contains The Silver Brumby and three other favourite Brumby books, Silver Brumby's Daughter, Silver Brumbies of the South and Silver Brumby Kingdom. These much-loved classics tell the story of Thowra, the magnificent silver stallion, king of the brumbies. Whether you are enjoying the Silver Brumby series for the first time or rediscovering it after many years, this is a book to be treasured.  Also included in this beautiful edition is a specially commissioned biography of Elyne Mitchell, who was born in 1913 and went on to become one of Australia's most successful and popular authors. The biography also contains photographs that depict Elyne in many other areas of her long and distinguished life, including that of daughter, wife, mother, sportswoman, horsewoman, farmer and environmentalist.

A biography, Elyne Mitchell: A Daughter Remembers by Honor Auchinleck is also available.
 
See also On the Trail of the Silver Brumby by Elyne Mitchell, the best of her non-fiction writing about her beloved high country.
On the Trail of the Silver Brumby

On the Trail of the Silver Brumby

Elyne Mitchell

$49.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is one of the most gorgeous books you’ll see this year! There are archival images and glorious photographs of the high country taken by Mitchell’s grandson, James Auchinleck, to complement a fine selection of her non-fiction writings. Mitchell was a committed conservationist, champion skier and knew the Australian Alps like few others could. Best known for her Silver Brumby books, this shows another side to a remarkable writer. Lindy

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Generations of Australians have fallen in love with the silver brumbies of Elyne Mitchell's classic children's stories. Now, for the centenary of her birth in 1913, comes this celebration in words and pictures of the brumby heartland: the glorious Australian Alps that were her inspiration and great passion. Featuring the best of her non-fiction writing about her beloved high country, this is lavishly illustrated with archival images and glorious new photography of the Alps by her grandson, James Auchinleck, and others. From thrilling accounts of exploring these untamed places on foot, skis and horseback to tales of wild brumby chases and evenings spent yarning around the campfire, her words bring the mountains vividly to life. The book allows readers to follow Elyne and her brumby heroes through their kingdom and discover for themselves a world of snowy alps, secret valleys, sparkling cascades and summer fields of wildflowers.

The Centenary Edition of The Silver Brumby is also available, issued to celebrate the birth of Elyne Mitchell in 1913.

See also Elyne Mitchell: A Daughter Remembers by Honor Auchinleck, a poignant memoir by the daughter of Elyne Mitchell.
Macbeth

Macbeth

William Shakespeare ,  Jesse M. Lander ,  Kevin Stanton

$39.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Shakespeare Signature Series. There are many editions of Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, but these extremely attractive books will appeal to the collector, as much as the reader. Beautifully designed and printed with laser-cut paper designs and overlays throughout, as well as copious illustrations, essays and commentaries, introductions by renowned scholars and notes on language and meaning. Objects of beauty indeed! Lindy

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Shakespeare's dark and bloody "Scottish play". Includes contextualizing essays and timelines by scholar Jesse Lander, in collaboration with one of the world's foremost Shakespeare authorities, David Scott Kastan of Columbia University.
Romeo & Juliet

Romeo & Juliet

William Shakespeare ,  Mario DiGangi ,  Kevin Stanton

$47.15  $42.45

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Shakespeare Signature Series. There are many editions of Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, but these extremely attractive books will appeal to the collector, as much as the reader. Beautifully designed and printed with laser-cut paper designs and overlays throughout, as well as copious illustrations, essays and commentaries, introductions by renowned scholars and notes on language and meaning. Objects of beauty indeed! Lindy

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Shakespeare's timeless tale of star-crossed lovers who "Do with their death bury their parents' strife". Includes contextualizing essays and timelines by scholar Mario DiGangi, in collaboration with one of the world's foremost Shakespeare authorities, David Scott Kastan of Columbia University.
Where Things Come Back

Where Things Come Back

John Corey Whaley

$12.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK -------- This book has won its debut author a number of awards in America, and it is a worthy winner. Cullen Witter is in his final year of high school. His small hometown Lily, Arkansas, is dull and ordinary and like many a teenager he wants more. While he's academically gifted, his younger brother Gabriel is not only intelligent, but open-hearted, content  and believes nothing evil about others. Which makes his sudden disappeareance all the more inexplicable. As the Witter family deals with the uncertainty of his fate, the town fills up with birdwatchers chasing the sighting of the Lazarus Woodpecker, a bird thought extinct for decades. Weaving in and out of this storyline is the search of a young college student for the destiny of humankind, an obsession that grows out of an apocryphal book of the Ethiopan Orthodox bible. This is a great read, the characters and their struggles are both real and believable, and the clever narrative line keeps the reader intrigued. One of those young adult novels with wider appeal. Lindy
Puzzles and Words

Puzzles and Words

David Astle

$14.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The devilish ‘DA’ (no, I can’t always get the Friday crossword out!) presents more than 170 original brain teasers (torments?) and 200 word stories. A fiendish mixture of quirky dictionary and puzzle book, with anagrams, riddles, rhymes and challenges, this will keep any word nerd or frazzled puzzler occupied for hours (or in my case, days…) Lindy

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Word nerds and puzzle nuts welcome - this is a book to keep your mind tickled. With over 170 original brain teasers and 200 word stories, this has something for all ages. From agenda to zumba, this collection tells you how words came to be. Puzzles such as anagram challenges, riddles, rhymes and brain teasers will keep you amused for hours. A quirky dictionary and puzzle book in one pocket-sized volume.
Topsy Turvy World: How Australian Animals Puzzled Early Explorers

Topsy Turvy World: How Australian Animals Puzzled Early Explorers

Kirsty Murray

$29.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The first Europeans in Australia were mightily puzzled by the weird animals they found here: the water creature with a duck’s bill at one end and a beaver’s tail at the other; the greyhound hopping on its back legs; the bird that brayed like a donkey. Trying to make sense of such oddities by comparing them to more familiar animals led to any number of misunderstandings! This colourful and lively book presents 15 animals and is full of fascinating stories and facts. Perfect for the young naturalist in your life! Lindy 

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To the first Europeans who came to Australia, everything seemed topsy turvy. Christmas was in the summer and trees shed their bark but not their leaves. And the animals were bizarre. There was a bird that laughed like a donkey and a type of greyhound that bound along on its hind legs like a hare. There was an animal in Tasmania whose nocturnal screeches sounded like the devil and a river creature that had a ducks bill at one end and a beavers tail at the other. The Europeans had never seen anything like these animals before and gave them names similar to those of the European creatures they already knew. They drew and painted odd pictures of them, showing they did not understand the animals habits. In one illustration, a wombat is standing on its back legs and in another a Tasmanian tiger is wrestling with a platypus of the same size.
100 Stories from the Australian National Maritime Museum

100 Stories from the Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum

$39.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- There are thousands of stories contained within our National Maritime Museum and many of the best are included in this superb book. Divided into sections such as First Mariners, Explorers & Settlers, Migrants & Refugees, Sail & Steam, Sport & Play, each chapter presents various objects and their attached history. Clean, crisp layout, full-colour photos and fascinating information makes this a special gift for anyone interested in our history, maritime or not! Lindy

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From a small silver medallion beautifully engraved by a First Fleet convict to the 119-metre Royal Australian Navy destroyer HMAS Vampire, in 20 years the Australian National Maritime Museum has built an incredibly diverse collection of more than 130,000 items. Here the museum's curators reveal the fascinating stories behind many amazing objects, including the kit of a 19th-century ship's surgeon, the fastest vessel in the world (Spirit of Australia), a boat made from 2,000 beer cans, the remarkable Saltwater Collection of bark paintings from Arnhem Land, and surfboards inspired by the Bra Boys and the 2005 Cronulla race riots. The objects tell of unforgettable people, both famous and lesser known, whose lives were shaped by the sea. Their stories are part of our history and live on in our culture today.
When God Was a Rabbit

When God Was a Rabbit

Sarah Winman

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- One of the very best contemporary novels you'll read. A wonderful novel about what constitutes family - love - friendship. Often funny, sometimes deeply sad but always beautifully done. Lindy

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This is a book about a brother and a sister. It's a book about secrets and starting over, friendship and family, triumph and tragedy, and everything in between. More than anything, it's a book about love in all its forms. In a remarkably honest and confident voice, Sarah Winman has written the story of a memorable young heroine, Elly, and her loss of innocence-a magical portrait of growing up and the pull and power of family ties. From Essex and Cornwall to the streets of New York, from 1968 to the events of 9/11,  When God Was a Rabbit  follows the evolving bond of love and secrets between Elly and her brother Joe, and her increasing concern for an unusual best friend, Jenny Penny, who has secrets of her own. With its wit and humor, engaging characters whose eccentricities are adroitly and sometimes darkly drawn, and its themes of memory and identity,  When God Was a Rabbit  is a love letter to true friendship and fraternal love. Funny, utterly compelling, fully of sparkle, and poignant, too,  When God Was a Rabbit  heralds the start of a remarkable new literary career.
Alice Springs

Alice Springs

Eleanor Hogan

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- I'm a real fan of this series of 'City' books, all of which so far have been about our capital cities. This new title is a welcome addition! As with the others, it is written by someone who has lived and worked there for many years, and it is organised as an unfolding of a year. The author has a background in Indigenous policy and research, and has insights into that fraught area, without condescension or naïve enthusiasm. Her matter-of-fact,  clear-eyed relation of some of the problems faced by the Indigenous population is careful, and caring; but this is not a book concerned wholly with those difficulties. It is also a finely written book that celebrates the landscapes and the natural beauties of the area, considers the non-Indigenous cultures of the town, and is an affectionate tribute to a place that gets under your skin. Highly recommended. Lindy
Capturing Time: Panoramas of Old Australia

Capturing Time: Panoramas of Old Australia

Edwin Barnard

$49.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Panoramas were a popular 19th century way of showing off locations, whether painted or photographed. Wide-angled depictions of landscapes could give viewers a wonderful sense of place, and that still holds true in modern times. This splendid, beautifully-produced book has 20 fold-out panoramas and many full-colour illustrations of our capital cities, major towns and localities, as well as excellent background to the creators of the panoramas and fascinating historical information. An absolute must for anyone interested in our history! Lindy

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Panoramas, whether painted or photographed, were the 19th-century equivalent of IMAX or Google maps. These wide-angle views of landscapes and cities fascinated viewers, who had never before seen such far-reaching perspectives on the world around them. Based on the National Library of Australia's extensive collections, this book looks back on our nation through the magic of panoramas to the streets of Sydney when it was the convict capital, to the gold rushes of Melbourne, to Perth, struggling to establish a toehold in the west. Dating from 1810 to the 1920s, the paintings and photographs include historic views of all capital cities, plus some country towns. Readers can imagine what it might have been like to stand on Sydney's Observatory Hill in 1820, for example, with a companion able to point out landmarks and tell the interesting stories that only locals know.
Truly Tan

Truly Tan

Jen Storer ,  Claire Robertson

$16.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Tan is a Great Detective and she’s not convinced about her family’s relocation to the country. Starting a new school and making friends isn’t easy. But then she and her sisters discover the neighbouring kids have a fabulous cubby house, and when a photograph of it reveals a ghostly figure and strange things start happening, Tan knows her detecting skills will come in handy! A really delightful story with a sassy, good-hearted character. Highly recommended for ages 8-11. Lindy 

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The funniest series for girls since Clarice Bean! Meet Tan. She's funny. She's lively. She has the mind of a Great Detective... Dear Diary, it's official. Our entire family has moved to the country. The pets are disturbed and restless. My sisters are disturbed and restless - although that's normal. What is not normal is a cursed fox and a haunted house. That is definitely UNNORMAL. At least the country people now have an expert in their midst. Someone with a cool head and a sharp eye. Someone who can solve intriguing mysteries and knows how to keep detailed Spy Files. Really, it's lucky I came along when I did. Truly, Tan. Ages 8+
Standing in Another Man's Grave

Standing in Another Man's Grave

Ian Rankin

$32.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- John Rebus is working as a civilian in a cold case unit. When he is contacted by a missing girl’s mother who is obsessed with similar disappearances, he realises there is something to her theory, and in his maverick fashion sets off to uncover the truth. Siobhan Clarke gets roped in (mostly willingly) and Malcolm Fox of the Complaints has his suspicions about Rebus: why is he seemingly good friends with the criminals running Edinburgh’s less salubrious activities? Welcome back Rebus, your fans have missed you! Lindy

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It's 25 years since John Rebus appeared on the scene and five years since he retired. But 2012 sees his return! Not only is he as stubborn and anarchic as ever, but he finds himself in trouble with Rankin's latest creation, Malcolm Fox of Edinburgh's internal affairs unit. Added to which, Rebus may be about to derail the career of his ex-colleague Siobhan Clarke, while himself being permanently derailed by mob boss and old adversary Big Ger Cafferty. But all Rebus wants to do is discover the truth about a series of seemingly unconnected disappearances stretching back to the millennium. The problem being, no one else wants to go there, including Rebus's fellow officers. Not that any of that is going to stop Rebus. Not even when his own life and the careers of those around him are on the line.
Daughter of Empire: Life as a Mountbatten

Daughter of Empire: Life as a Mountbatten

Pamela Hicks

$35.00

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- There's something rather delicious about reading tales of the British upper class and this sparkling memoir is a delightful way of being amused (and slightly horrified) by life at those rarefied levels. Hicks is matter-of-fact about her unconventional upbringing and her eccentric family and their vast social circle (taking in royalty, military, politicians, writers, film stars and assorted bounders, both male and female). Evocative and colourful, this is a peek into a glamorous world now vanished. Lindy

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Pamela Mountbatten was born at the end of the Twenties into one of Britain's grandest families. The daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten and his glamorous wife Edwina Ashley, she was bought up by nannies and governesses as she was often parted from her parents as they dutifully carried out their public roles. A solitary child, she learned to occupy her days lost in a book, riding or playing with the family's animals (which included at different times a honey bear, chameleons, a bush baby, two wallabies, a lion, a mongoose and a coati mundi). Her parents' vast social circle included royalty, film stars, senior service officers, politicians and celebrities. Noel Coward invited Pamela to watch him filming; Douglas Fairbanks Jr. dropped in for tea and Churchill would call for 'a word with Dickie'. After the war, Pamela truly came of age in India, while her parents were the Last Viceroy and Vicereine. This introduction to the country would start a life-long love affair with the people and the place.
These Wonderful Rumours!: A Young Schoolteacher's Wartime Diaries 1939-1945

These Wonderful Rumours!: A Young Schoolteacher's Wartime Diaries 1939-1945

May Smith ,  Juliet Gardiner

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- May Smith was a schoolteacher in Derby during WWII. Her diaries record life on the home front; and while the war is mentioned, and her horror at it all, mostly she writes about day-to-day life. Going to the flicks, the difficulties of dressing nicely, reading books, family doings, the chores of teaching, balancing two beaus: all describe her determination not to let war totally blight all pleasure and joy. Sometimes droll, sometimes acerbic, her voice is clear and strong. A charming book that will appeal to anyone who loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Lindy

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"Auntie F. came in announcing dramatically that Hitler is coming tomorrow, at which my father remarked that he would, now that he's just finished papering upstairs." This is the diary of May Smith, a primary school teacher in a small village in Derbyshire during the Second World War. May is as preoccupied with finding a boyfriend and spending her wages on dresses as she is by the blitz and the refugee children arriving in her school. Written with wit and style, this is a charming and light-hearted insight into life during the war.
Vanished Years

Vanished Years

Rupert Everett

$32.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- With a wry and self-deprecating eye to his own faults and failings, Everett takes the reader for a tour through some of the chapters of his life. As he showed in Red Carpets and Banana Skins, he is as gifted and entertaining a writer as he is an actor, and a charming, if somewhat louche, narrator who is able to observe his skewed world with warmth and wicked wit. Lindy

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Rupert Everett's first memoir - Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins - was an international bestseller and an instant classic on publication in 2006. Reviewers compared him to Evelyn Waugh, David Niven, Noel Coward and Lord Byron. But Rupert Everett is - of course - one of a kind. Mischievous, touching and nothing less than brilliant, this new memoir is filled with brand-new stories, from childhood to the present. Astonishing encounters; tragedy and comedy; vivid portraits of friends and rivals; razor-sharp observations of the celebrity circus from LA to London and beyond...there is something extraordinary on every page. A pilgrimage to Lourdes with his father is both hilarious and moving. A misguided step into reality TV goes horribly wrong. From New York to Moscow to Berlin to Phnom Penh, Vanished Years takes the reader on a wild and wonderful new journey with a charming (and rather disreputable) companion.
Flinders: The Man Who Mapped Australia

Flinders: The Man Who Mapped Australia

Rob Mundle

$49.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Matthew Flinders, Mundle asserts, belongs to a glorious triumvirate of heroic seafaring alongside Cook and Bligh. If you don’t already agree, by the time you’ve finished this stirring account of Flinders’ life and achievements, you certainly will! Much of Flinders’ work was done in poorly-equipped, almost unseaworthy, vessels and his personal life was tragically affected by his ill-fortune in being wrecked on unfriendly shores. This is narrative history at its best! Lindy

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Matthew Flinders is a towering figure in Australian history - the first to chart our coastline and the leading champion for naming the country Australia. In 1801, he was made commander of the expedition of his life - the first close circumnavigation of Terra Australis. Famous for his meticulous charts and superb navigational skills, he was a bloody good sailor. He battled treacherous conditions in a boat hardly seaworthy, faced the loss of a number of his crewmen and, following a shipwreck on a reef off the Queensland coast, navigated the ships cutter over 1,000 km back to Sydney to get help. Rob Mundle brings Flinders fascinating story to life, from the heroism and drama of shipwreck, imprisonment and long voyages in appalling conditions, to the heartbreak of being separated from his beloved wife for most of their married life. This is a gripping adventure biography in the style of Mundles BLIGH: MASTER MARINER.
The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London

The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London

Judith Flanders

$49.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- London in the 19th century was a noisy, crowded, bustling, dangerous, exciting, vibrant city. Dickens, who obsessively walked its streets, chronicled what he saw in his phenomenally popular books, and Flanders describes in extraordinary detail what it was like in the largest city the world had known. This wonderful book explores squalid alleys and the finest homes, tells of tramping office workers and exhausted hawkers, the means of travel and modes of entertainment, and much more – a vivid testament to a vanished London. Lindy

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The 19th century was a time of unprecedented transformation and nowhere was this more apparent than on the streets of London. In only a few decades, London grew from a Regency town to the biggest city the world had ever seen, with more than 6.5 million people and railways, streetlights and new buildings at every turn. In The Victorian House, Judith Flanders described in intimate detail what went on inside the 19th-century home. Now, in The Victorian City, she explores London's outdoors in an extraordinary, revelatory portrait of everyday life on the streets. From the moment Charles Dickens, the century's best-loved novelist and London's greatest observer, arrived in the city in 1822, he obsessively walked its streets, recording its pleasures, curiosities and cruelties. Now, with him, Judith Flanders leads us through the markets, transport systems, sewers, rivers, slums, alleys, cemeteries, gin palaces, chop-houses and entertainment emporia of Dickens' London to reveal the Victorian capital in all its variety, vibrancy and squalor. From the colourful cries of street-sellers to the uncomfortable reality of travel by omnibus, via the many uses for the body parts of dead horses, or the unimaginably gruelling working days of hawker children, no detail is too small or too strange. No one who reads this book will view London in the same light again.
The Lost Diggers

The Lost Diggers

Ross Coulthart

$70.00

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Louis and Antoinette Thuillier had a photographic studio in Vignacourt during WWI where soldiers would have photos taken as souvenirs. 4,000 glass plates from this time were recently discovered in a farmhouse attic and a massive exercise is now under way to identify the men portrayed. Often battle-weary, the soldiers show camaraderie and a determination to hold on to light-hearted moments. This poignant and moving tribute, presenting over 350 of the photographs and the amazing stories behind them, is also a detective story, history and priceless archive. Lindy

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During the First World War, thousands of Aussie diggers and other Allied troops passed through the French town of Vignacourt, two hours north of Paris. Many had their photographs taken by Louis and Antoinette Thuillier as souvenirs while they enjoyed a brief respite from the carnage of the Western Front. For all too many, this was their last moment away from the lines before being sent to their deaths in battles that are now part of the mythology of Australian nationhood - Pozieres, Bullecourt, the Somme. The weariness and horror of battle is reflected in their eyes, but the photos also capture a sense of camaraderie, high spirits and even a soupcon of romance. This is the riveting detective story of the hunt across northern France for a rumoured treasure trove of antique glass photographic plates that led investigative journalist Ross Coulthart to an ancient metal chest in a dusty attic in a small farmhouse. The nearly 4,000 glass plates he and his team from Channel 7's Sunday Night discovered are being hailed by experts as one of the most important First World War discoveries ever made. But that was just the beginning. With meticulous research and the help of descendants, Coulthart was able to discover the stories behind many of the photos, of which more than 330 appear here. Part thriller, part family history and part national archive, this book brings together these wonderful images and the amazing stories behind them. The book coincides with an exhibition of the photos at the Australian War Memorial, to run from 1 Nov 2012 to 31 July 2013.
Battle Castles: 500 Years of Knights and Siege Warfare

Battle Castles: 500 Years of Knights and Siege Warfare

Dan Snow

$35.00

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This lavishly illustrated book explores the rise and fall of the medieval castle. It is divided into sections concerned with England, Normandy, Crusaders, Wales, Teutonic Knights and the Spanish Reconquest, with a particular castle featured in each chapter to explain the history by example. Thoroughly researched, and thoroughly readable, this is history at its most accessible. Lindy

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Join TV's Dan Snow in this fully illustrated book that brings to thrilling life a cavalcade of medieval fortifications and the clashes that turned empires to dust and mortals into legends. Castles and their ruins still dominate the landscape and are a constant reminder to us of a time when violence, or the threat of it, was the norm. Dan Snow explores the world's greatest medieval castles: from Dover Castle to Chateau Gaillard, Richard I's fortress in Normandy and Castillo de Gibalfaro - the last vanguard of Moorish rule in Spain, to Krak des Chevaliers in Syria - an astounding feat of engineering by the Crusaders. Each castle's story is dramatically recounted: the building techniques, the weapons used and daily life within the walls. Spanning the globe and using the latest CGI reconstructions, Snow gets to the very heart of the bloodshed and battles of the greatest fortresses of the Middle Ages.
Curious Minds: The Discoveries of Australian Naturalists

Curious Minds: The Discoveries of Australian Naturalists

Peter Macinnis

$39.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Australia’s unique flora and fauna presented challenges to the Europeans, who wanted to classify and describe what they found, and it took time and the emergence of home-grown naturalists to solve some of the conundrums presented. This gorgeously presented book draws on collections from the National Library, telling the stories of these naturalists. Some are well known, others unfairly forgotten, but each one contributed to our natural science. The perfect gift for anyone interested in art, science or history! Lindy

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This book looks at the long line of naturalists who have traversed Australia in search of new plants and animals. Identifying and classifying the unfamiliar plants and animals was their biggest challenge. The early ones were frequently wrong, but later naturalists were able to build on and learn from previous mistakes. In time, a new breed of homegrown naturalists emerged. This succession of curious minds would help to foster pride in a developing nation, as well an interest in the preservation of natural history. This book brings to life the stories of the naturalists and settlers who made the unfamiliar familiar and contributed to developments in natural science. Among the names are Joseph Banks, Charles Darwin, Amalie Dietrich, Ludwig Leichhardt, Ferdinand von Mueller, Ellis Rowan, John Lewin and John and Elizabeth Gould. Beautifully illustrated with images from the collection of the National Library of Australia, this is a loving tribute to the courageous and inquisitive men and women who led by example.
John Gould's Extinct & Endangered Birds

John Gould's Extinct & Endangered Birds

Sue Taylor

$49.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Gould was a pioneering ornithologist whose Birds of Australia stretched over 8 volumes. Now many of the birds he described in the mid-19th century are threatened – or worse, extinct. This splendidly designed book takes 59 of those birds, reproduces the original illustrations, gives a historical narrative, then concise yet detailed descriptions of status, habits and threats. As a birder myself, I know this will make a beautiful gift – if slightly sobering – for anyone interested in birds, scientific history or natural art. Lindy

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In 1838, John Gould, the father of Australian ornithology, visited Australia with the intention of gathering material for his great work on Australian birds. In the resulting publication, The Birds of Australia: In Seven Volumes (1848), and the accompanying Supplement (1869), Gould named, for the first time, no fewer than 32 Australian bird species. His words about the Norfolk Island Kaka were prophetic - the last bird of its kind died in a cage in London in 1851. Since then, a number of other species illustrated in The Birds of Australia have become extinct and others are now facing extinction. This new book features 59 plates of birds from his eight-volume work, birds that today are threatened or no longer exist. Featuring exquisite full-colour lithographs reproduced from the National Library of Australia's copy of The Birds of Australia, this book gives an insight into the history of each bird's European discovery, as well as its subsequent fortunes or misfortunes.
The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef

Len Zell

$59.99  $30.00

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Written by a leading authority, this glowingly beautiful book is not just full of stunning images, it is also enlightening and informative, with extensive and clearly written text. Take a journey along 2,300 km of the north-eastern coastline, learn how the reef was formed, the life forms it harbours and the environmental challenges that beset it. Includes handy tips on getting the most out of any trip to the reef. Lindy

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The Great Barrier Reef really is like nowhere else on earth. For many of us, the thought of it conjures up images of beautiful azure waters teeming with colourful fish against a background of coral of every shape, colour and form imaginable. Yet there is so much more to the Great Barrier Reef than this. It is a massive, complex ecosystem, one that has gone through enormous changes throughout the history and evolution of our planet. Produced in partnership with the BBC's The Great Barrier Reef TV series, this book takes you on a journey along 2,300 km of Australia's north-eastern coastline, through the diverse range of habitats that make up this extraordinary water world. Along the way, discover how the Great Barrier Reef was formed, learn about life on the Reef and meet the plants and animals that inhabit it. The book also looks at the environmental challenges facing this incredibly delicate ecosystem and what the future may hold. Illustrated in spectacular full-colour photography throughout, it also features hints and tips for making the most out of any trip to the Reef, making it the ultimate guide to one of the most treasured natural wonders of the world.
Roger, Sausage and Whippet: A Miscellany of Trench Lingo from the Great War

Roger, Sausage and Whippet: A Miscellany of Trench Lingo from the Great War

Christopher Moore

$24.99

ABBEY'S CHOICE JANUARY 2013
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This charming book is an alphabetical lexicon of the words, terms and slang of WWI when Roger referred to a gas cylinder, rum or intercourse; Sausage was an observation balloon; and Whippet was a light tank. It is interspersed with letters written by an imagined captain, Charles Cartwright, which illustrate the language in a manner that lists could not manage, bringing the words to life and conveying the times in an accessible, entertaining way. Lindy

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Roger: A code word for gas cylinder; a nickname for rum; to have sexual intercourse. Sausage: An observation balloon. Whippet: A small, light tank with a top speed of 8 mph. In four long years from 1914 to 1918, the Western Front maimed a generation of young men and women, bonded by combat and burdened by duty. Now, through the letters of Christopher Moore's Captain Cartwright, comes an extraordinary lexicon of the phrases and lingo of life at the front. Whether born of the desperation of gallows humour in France and Flanders ("If it keeps on like this, someone's going to get hurt") or borrowed from further afield ("Cushy: comfortable, safe, pleasant. From the Hindustani, khush, pleasure"), wherever he was, whatever he was doing, Tommy invented or borrowed his own word for it. From Ammo to Zig-Zag, this is a fascinating glimpse into the world of our World War One heroes. So boil up the dixie and scrounge yourself some dooly. By the time you've drummed up, you'll be slinging the bat like a barber's cat!
Paper: An Elegy

Paper: An Elegy

Ian Sansom

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- It might be a technologically-obsessed world these days, but it is based on paper – historically, culturally, personally. This discursive book celebrates paper by relating its history, how it was made, its relation to the natural world, its effect on art and architecture and cartography, and how essential it is even in the age of digital processes. Including warm personal anecdotes and meditations, this is a book well worth the paper it’s printed on! Lindy

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What do reading a book, smoking a cigarette, throwing confetti and voting in an election have in common? The answer, of course, is paper. Paper serves nearly every function of our lives. It is the technology with which we have made sense of the world. Yet the age of paper is ending. However there are some uses of paper that seem unlikely to change - Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without wrapped presents. And the language of paper - documents, files and folders - has survived digitisation. Here Ian Sansom builds a museum of paper and explores its paradox - its vulnerability and durability. This book is a timely meditation on the very paper it's printed on.
The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language

The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language

Mark Forsyth

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- There are so many words in our language that some have fallen from common use. Such a shame when every hour of the day can be illuminated by a cornucopia of gorgeously descriptive terms. But we can reclaim them with the help of The Inky Fool, who delights in resurrecting the forgotten, unjustly neglected and precisely turned words which will describe accurately, exactly that thing you didn’t even know had a name! From the author of last year’s bestseller, The Etymologicon. Lindy

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The Horologicon, which means "a book of things appropriate to each hour", follows a day in the life of unusual, beautiful and forgotten English words. From the moment you wake to the second your head hits the pillow, there is a cornucopia of hidden words ready for every aspect of your day. Do you tend to lie in bed before dawn worrying? Then you have the Old English ailment of uhtceare. Uhtceare can lead on to dysania (inability to get out of bed) and other zwoddery problems, which many have suffered, but few can name. From encounters with office ultracrepidarians, lunchtime scamblers and six o'clock sturmovschinas to the post-work joys of thelyphthoric grinagogs and nimtopsical nympholepsy, Mark Forsyth, author of the bestselling The Etymologicon, unearths words that you didn't even know you needed! From antejentacular to bedward by way of nuncheon, at last you can say, with utter accuracy, exactly what you mean.
Underwater Dogs

Underwater Dogs

Seth Casteel

$29.99

ARF! BACK IN STOCK – GET IN QUICK!
 
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Playing with his new underwater camera in the pool one day, Casteel took photos of his dog, who jumped into the pool to see what was happening. Result? The idea for this book! With more than 80 photographs of many different dogs of all shapes and forms as they dive, swim and frolic in the water, this is a delightful gift for anyone who enjoys the company of canines! Lindy

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Underwater Dogs is award-winning pet photographer Seth Casteel's exploration of the world of man's best friend. Whether they are swimming, diving, fetching or exploring below the water's surface, Seth's remarkable ability to interact with his subjects has allowed him to create a wealth of extraordinary images. With over 80 photographs of dogs of every size, shape and breed in a variety of moods - silly, focussed, surprised, primal - this is a truly unique depiction of our canine companions.
101 Best Australian Beaches

101 Best Australian Beaches

Andy Short ,  Brad Farmer

$62.00  $55.80

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- One of the things I loved about this book is it doesn’t include my favourite beach! But if you’re looking for ideas, or confirmation that your best beach is included, then you will have other reasons to love this glorious book. It has something for everyone, from locality to best beaches for shells, waves, geological features and more. Complementing the fascinating text are photographs that will make you want to go, and go now - or just make you breathe deeply and relax… Lindy

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Which Australian beach is made entirely of shells, millions of them, several metres deep? Which beach has the biggest waves? Where is the world's biggest sand dune? Where do loggerhead turtles come to lay their eggs? And why does Australia have the best beaches on the planet? This book answers all those questions and more. Between them, authors Andy Short and Brad Farmer have visited every one of Australia's 11,761 mainland beaches, making them uniquely qualified to tell us which ones we have to see before we die. This superbly illustrated and thoroughly researched book will make you want to start the journey right now.
Australian Backyard Naturalist

Australian Backyard Naturalist

Peter MacInnis

$29.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Lots of things live in even the smallest, most urban, backyard and this book enthusiastically reveals what you can find if you just go out and look! Plenty of illustrations and photographs to complement the information about everything from the tiniest and slimiest, to the cutest and furriest! With projects for all ages, this lively and entertaining book also contains anecdotes and history. A fine companion to Australian Backyard Astronomy and Australian Backyard Explorer. Lindy
The New Jumper

The New Jumper

Oliver Jeffers

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Rupert knits himself a nice new colourful jumper. Which shouldn't be so extraordinary, except that he is a Huey, and Hueys all look the same, dress the same, think the same - and what will happen if one of them does something different? And what happens if everyone does the same different thing as well? Jeffers does charming and slightly skewed books, and his deceptively simple illustrative style can sometimes hide decidedly sophisticated concepts. Lindy
Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt

Jack Gantos

$14.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- It is 1962 and Jack is looking forward to the summer holidays in his quiet and dwindling home town. However, after an unintended incident involving his father's souvenired Japanese rifle and the local drive-in showing a war movie, Jack is grounded for the duration. He is allowed out only to help old Miss Volker across the road write her history columns and obituaries for the town newspaper. Norvelt, a co-operative town set up by Eleanor Roosevelt, is suddenly witnessing the deaths of its last remaining original residents and soon Miss Volker may be the only one left. Apart from the officious and unlikeable Mr Spizz… A charming, funny and delightful book, winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal. Lindy
Red

Red

Libby Gleeson

$15.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- After a cyclone devastates Sydney, a young girl comes to. She has absolutely no idea who she is, where she is or what happened. Found by a streetwise boy who names her Red after her T-shirt she struggles to make sense of her surroundings as strange pieces of what might be her past surface through her amnesia. What seems to be a pendant around her neck turns out to be a memory stick and a message from her father - trust no-one, get this to Melbourne. With the help of Peri and a re-discovered, but unremembered, friend, Red sets off to deliver information that is vital to a commission into police corruption. Combines mystery with a road story. Lindy
Animal People

Animal People

Charlotte Wood

$23.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Stephen is not an animal person. He's allergic to them. Nor can he understand how people treat animals better than humans. In fact, on this one stifling summer's day, Stephen can't understand anything about the world, or even himself. Why does he want to escape the one woman who truly loves him and who accepts him unquestioningly? I loved this novel - its cutting and incisive look at contemporary city life, its flawed and believable characters, and its clear-eyed prose. Lindy

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Charlotte Wood takes a character from her bestselling book The Children and turns her unflinching gaze on him and his world in Animal People. Set in Sydney over a single day, Animal People traces a watershed day in the life of Stephen, aimless, unhappy, unfulfilled - and without a clue as to how to make his life better. His dead-end job, his demanding family, his oppressive feelings for Fiona and the pitiless city itself...the great weight of it all threatens to come crashing down on him. The day will bring untold surprises and disasters, but will also show him - perhaps too late - that only love can set him free. Sharply observed, hilarious, tender and heartbreaking, Animal People is a portrait of urban life, a meditation on the conflicted nature of human-animal relationships, and a masterpiece of storytelling. 
The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

Jonas Jonasson

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is one of my favourite books of the year – and as it has sold millions in Europe, I’m not alone! It also shows that Swedish writers aren’t all focused on dreadfully dark and ugly crime that will give you nightmares!

Allan Karlsson doesn’t want to be 100 and he hates the Director of the nursing home he lives in who treats the residents like stupid children and he certainly doesn’t want to have a birthday party - especially if there isn’t going to be any vodka! So he escapes from the home, absconds with a suitcase from a fellow traveller at the local bus station and embarks on an adventure. But as we find out, Allan has had plenty of adventures in his century of living; he lives by the motto 'que sera, sera', so is never really surprised at what happens. This combined with his expertise in explosives and his extraordinary ability to meet the most interesting people of the 20th century have contributed to a remarkable life - and even at 100 there is plenty more to do. Funny, ebullient, immensely diverting – a truly charming and joyful read! Lindy

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Sitting quietly in his room in an old people's home, Allan Karlsson is waiting for a party he doesn't want to begin. His one-hundredth birthday party to be precise. The Mayor will be there. The press will be there. But, as it turns out, Allan will not ...Escaping (in his slippers) through his bedroom window, into the flowerbed, Allan makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving a suitcase full of cash, a few thugs, a very friendly hot-dog stand operator, a few deaths, an elephant and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, Allan's earlier life is revealed. A life in which - remarkably - he played a key role behind the scenes in some of the momentous events of the twentieth century. This is a charming, warm and funny novel, beautifully woven with history and politics.
Limoncello and Linen Water

Limoncello and Linen Water

Tessa Kiros

$59.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Tessa is well known for her gorgeous, evocative cookbooks and this does not disappoint. Paying homage to her Italian mother-in-law, it is redolent of family gatherings around the table. Full of superb photographs, the true beauty of this book is that the recipes are for food you not only want to eat, but can also cook quite easily! Lindy 

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Much-loved author Tessa Kiros celebrates the heritage of Italy, the country she has chosen to call home, in Limoncello and Linen Water. This whimsically feminine book is a tribute to the women in our lives - mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers - and the important lessons we learn from them. With accessible, delicious recipes ranging from robust family dishes to quirky cakes and old-fashioned preserves, this book is a precious heirloom to treasure.
Zombie Tits, Astronaut Fish and Other Weird Animals

Zombie Tits, Astronaut Fish and Other Weird Animals

Rebecca Crew

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This vastly entertaining book introduces the reader to some rather amazing denizens of the animal kingdom: critters like frogs with gender-specific language, lizards that squirt poisonous blood from their eyes, the loudest insects in the world (and you’ll never guess what they use...) It contains facts and serious science, but also on the side, sassy light-hearted ruminations anthropomorphising the creatures – a blend of humour and research which is energetic and enjoyable. Lindy

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Did you know that the peacock mantis shrimp has the most powerful punch on Earth? That vampire spiders are attracted to your smelly socks? That the lesser water boatman is the loudest animal in the world? Or that concave-eared frogs have a secret language that only males can hear? From the mother-eating, black-lace weaver spiders to Texas horned lizards that can shoot jets of poisonous blood from their eyes, this book from fearless science blogger Becky Crew introduces you to a menagerie of the world's weirdest animals.
Birds of Prey of Australia: A Field Guide

Birds of Prey of Australia: A Field Guide

Stephen J.S. Debus

$39.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is a completely revised and updated field guide of a classic first published fifteen years ago, and so draws on a lot of new data. It has been reformatted, so that it is a comprehensive guide to the diurnal raptors, and contains a brief overview of the biology and the threats, conservation and future of Australian raptors. Illustrated by Jeff Davies, the plates show adult, juvenile and dimorphic differences in plumage, as well as drawings of the flight pattern (often as fellow birders know, the only way of seeing the birds!) and distribution maps. There are also illustrations of difficult species pairs so you can see the difference between an adult brown goshawk and a collared sparrowhawk for instance. Photographs are also included in a separate section, drawn from some of our best bird photographers. Overall, a very valuable book equally useful in the field, or as a reference. Lindy

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This book is an illustrated field guide to diurnal raptors, a bird group that many people find among the most difficult birds to identify. Raptors are popular and iconic birds, and important ecologically as well as in legislation, with some species listed as threatened. Birds of Prey of Australia will enable people to more easily identify them. It also provides a brief overview of the biology of raptors and an indication of the current state of knowledge on them. The book has been completely revised and updated, with 15 years of new data, a section on difficult species-pairs (split-images providing direct contrast), and rearranged in modern field-guide format, making it easy to use and enabling rapid identification of 'difficult' raptors. Birds of Prey of Australia will appeal to a wide range of readers, including ornithologists, raptor biologists, birdwatchers, wildlife rescuers/carers, raptor rehabilitators, zookeepers, naturalists, bushwalkers, ecological consultants, fauna authorities, park rangers, state forestry personnel, and students. 
Foal's Bread

Foal's Bread

Gillian Mears

$22.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- 
Northern NSW in the Depression is no place for soft dreamers. Noah is tough and independent with a talent for highjumping horses. She catches the eye, then the heart, of Rowley Nancarrow, the Australian champion highjumper. Their marriage is full of inarticulate love and ambition, but when Rowley survives his third lightning strike with permanent and accumulating loss of physical control, he and Noah face insurmountable difficulties. A powerful, remarkable, hauntingly beautiful novel, with pitch-perfect writing. My pick of the year (2011). Lindy

The sound of horses' hooves turns hollow on the farms west of Wirri. If a man can still ride, if he hasn't totally lost the use of his legs, if he hasn't died to the part of his heart that understands such things, then he should go for a gallop. At the very least he should stand at the road by the river imagining that he's pushing a horse up the steep hill that leads to the house on the farm once known as One Tree.  Set in hardscrabble farming country and around the country show high-jumping circuit that prevailed in rural New South Wales prior to the Second World War, Foal's Bread tells the story of two generations of the Nancarrow family and their fortunes as dictated by the vicissitudes of the land. It is a love story of impossible beauty and sadness, a chronicle of dreams 'turned inside out', and miracles that never last, framed against a world both tender and unspeakably hard.
 
The Orchardist

The Orchardist

Amanda Coplin

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Early in the 20th century in an isolated corner of the Pacific Northwest, a fruit grower finds his solitude disturbed by two young - and pregnant - runaway girls. Gradually he wins their trust, but their tenuous peace is shattered and tragedy strikes. Already scarred by the disappearance of his only sister many years before, the farmer must disrupt the order of his life to heal and make amends. A lyrical and assured novel of great depth. Lindy

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At the turn of the 20th century in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a solitary orchardist, Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. A gentle man, he has found solace in the sweetness of the fruit he grows and the quiet, beating heart of the land he cultivates.

One day, two teenage girls appear and steal his fruit from the market, later returning to the outskirts of his orchard to see the man who gave them no chase. Feral, scared and very pregnant, the girls take up on Talmadge's land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion. Just as the girls begin to trust him, men arrive in the orchard with guns and the shattering tragedy that follows sets Talmadge on an irrevocable course to save and protect, and also to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.

Transcribing America as it once was before railways and roads connected its corners, Coplin has woven a tapestry of secluded people who come together in the wake of unspeakable cruelty and misfortune. She writes with breathtaking precision and empathy and has crafted an astonishing debut novel about a man who disrupts the lonely harmony of an ordered life when he opens his heart and lets the world in.
Alif the Unseen

Alif the Unseen

G. Willow Wilson

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- There are some novels where a bald explanation of the plot does no justice to the story, and I think this may well be one of them. Which is a shame, as this has definitely been one of my favourites this year! Set in an unnamed, but obviously Arabic, country, sometime about now, the main character (in more senses of the word than his name) is Alif. He is a hacker extraordinaire, a mercenary of the cyberworld who will work for anyone who pays him. He has no particular political affiliations except the nameless one to see the rulers of his country disappear. In the course of his work he has come into contact with a girl out of his social league, and they had embarked on a dangerous liaison - one she breaks off when her father arranges for her to marry an older, wealthier man - but not before sending Alif an ancient book. Broken-hearted, Alif begins to not only delete every trace of her from his computer, but to write a programme which will identify the merest trace of her identity in cyberspace, and delete any communications from her as well. But in doing that, he formulates a new sort of logic - one that is encoded in the ancient book. This,  The Thousand and One Days,  turns out to be a book of knowledge belonging to the other world - that which is populated by Jinn - and in turn it leads Alif into contact with powers just as dangerous as the corrupt regime of his homeland…  This weaves strands of new and old, timeless and original, everyday and metaphysical into a truly enchanting, magical-carpet sort of story. Highly recommended! Lindy
Rural Australian Homes

Rural Australian Homes

Leta Keens ,  Simon Griffiths

$89.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- I’m the first to admit my idea of interior decoration is a wall full of books, but this splendid production had me turning the pages in rapt attention and dreaming of finding somewhere as special as the homes featured. And they are homes, not sterile and uncomfortable showcases, although some are certainly excellent examples of the architect’s vision. From an artist’s studio to a sheep station, a shed-by-any-other-name to a house of connected pavilions, these rural residences all invoke a beautiful way of living. Lindy

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Most Australians live in cities, clinging to the coast and looking outwards towards the ocean. Yet almost all of us feel closely connected to the country, even if we hardly ever visit it. Many of us dream of moving to rural areas - there's a harshness to much of the Australian landscape and yet we still feel a sense of romance about it. For Rural Australian Homes, Leta Keens travelled around Australia to find the 18 homes featured in the book - a wide-ranging and appealing selection that includes a sheep station that has been in the same family for 100 years, a converted general store, an adapted shed, and award-winning architect-designed contemporary houses. Covering every state and the Northern Territory, Rural Australian Homes gives a compelling insight into contemporary life in rural Australia, and offers a glimpse into some of the history that has defined it.
Food Lover's Guide to the World: Experience the Great Global Cuisines

Food Lover's Guide to the World: Experience the Great Global Cuisines

Lonely Planet

$49.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Travelling the world is a wonderful idea, but journeying through its cuisines? Even better! Culinary regions, cities and countries are featured, and there are usable basic recipes scattered throughout to give you a taste for the regional specialties. This fabulous book is good enough to eat: the irresistible photographs will have you salivating and booking your next trip! Lindy

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The world is your oyster. Or hot dog. Or camembert. When we travel, it is often love at first bite. This book presents a lifetime of eating experiences that will lead you from one end of the globe to the other. Take your taste buds on a tour around the world and cook up you next great culinary adventure. Includes introductions by Mark Bittman and James Oseland, celebrity food-lover contributions, best places to find local dishes in cities great and small, cultural tips and how-to-eat etiquette, plus more than 50 recipes to cook back home.
City

City

James Roy

$19.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Like his best-selling and awarded Town this is a series of interconnecting and tangential stories. A minor character in one story may take centre stage in another, later tale; or may never be seen again: but that's life in the big city. Connections are tenuous, but place links all the characters.  From the young man writing to allay his mother's fears, to the shadowy graffiti artist; from the girl who knows her African music, to the one mistaken for a credible street performer; the young lads in the red-light district for a night of looking, or the pregnant student writing about vultures, this is a swirling collection. Older readers 14+ Lindy
Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor

Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor

Jacqueline Harvey

$12.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Harvey is best known for her Alice-Miranda series, and this (the first of a new series) is aimed at younger readers aged 6-8. Clementine-Rose lives in a big house with a kind guardian, Lady Clarissa, who needs to run the house as an upmarket hotel to pay for the upkeep. Clemmie is sweet-natured, but does tend to get into trouble without trying, so when the imperious Aunt Violet arrives, things will not go to plan. A nice read for the youngsters, nothing too scary or challenging. Lindy

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Clementine Rose was delivered not in the usual way, at a hospital, but in the back of a mini-van, in a basket of dinner rolls.  So begins the story of a lovely little girl who lives in Penberthy Floss in a large ramshackle house with her mother, Lady Clarissa, Digby Pertwhistle the butler and a very sweet teacup pig called Lavender. When her scary Aunt Violet arrives unexpectedly, the household is thrown into disarray. What is it that Aunt Violet really wants and what is she carrying in her mysterious black bag?
Peggy

Peggy

Anna Walker

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Peggy the chook has a nice quiet routine life. She's happy doing the same thing everyday (including watching the pigeons) so when a big gust of wind blows her away from her suburban street into the Big City, Peggy is quite confused. Still, she gets to experience all sorts of new things, and a lot of them are enjoyable; but she does want to go home. Eventually she does, with the help of the pigeons... A charming little tale, with softly expressive illustrations, which gently introduces the young reader to the joys of moving outside your comfort zone. Lindy
The Getting of Wisdom

The Getting of Wisdom

Henry Handel Richardson ,  Dr. Germaine Greer

$12.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Another wonderful title added to the Text Classics range! You might remember the charming movie from the 1980s which was fairly true to the book, but reading will give you more insight into the characters. Laura Rambotham, with her homemade dresses and rustic ways, is sent to an exclusive girls' school. Eager to be accepted, she is ridiculed and belittled for her lack of worldliness, and as many a youngster has done, she foregoes her better nature to fall in with the crowd around her. All the pain and confusion of growing up, of getting wisdom, come hard, but this novel abounds in a lightness of touch that allows the reader to sympathise, and eventually to cheer for Laura, as she finds her own way. Lindy

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One of the most memorable characters in Australian fiction, Laura Rambotham, aged twelve, enters the portals of an exclusive girls' school eager to be accepted. But this precocious country girl is snubbed and ridiculed by her fellow students, who are richer, more attractive and more adept at dealing with life's hypocrisies. The Getting of Wisdom, a wicked and satirical novel on the pain and confusion of growing up, first appeared in 1910. A century later it has lost none of its bite. In her splendid introduction Germaine Greer describes this classic as 'Richardson's only great book precisely because the subject is, like the rest of us, ordinary, and therefore deeply important'.
Welcome to Normal

Welcome to Normal

Nick Earls

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Nick Earls is one of my favourite Australian writers, so a new collection of his short stories was a real treat for me. Some of the stories turn out to be linked, which adds to the enjoyment of Earls' deft and sympathetic treatment of his characters. In the title story, a man travels through mid-west America on a business trip with his boss, and learns that in Normal, his boss was something else other than the boring, normal person he now is. The longest story in the collection has two men on a small group tour, who tell outrageous lies about each other in a personal game of payback which ultimately reveals the closeness of their difficult relationship. Other tales take place in Brisbane, and overseas destinations, but each one contains a small truth within the smooth storytelling. HIghly recommended. Lindy
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Jesse Andrews

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Greg is just waiting for high school to be over so he can get on with whatever life holds for him. He prides himself on not being part of any of the school cliques, while being friendly towards all of them. Really he only has one friend, Earl, a verticallychallenged Afro-American with a seriously dysfunctional family. Together they make their own versions of cult classic films. When his mother forces him to spend time with a girl he has avoided since adolescence first hit, he has to move out of the self-protective bubble he's constructed. Rachel has leukaemia and has decided to stop treatment; and in an awkward attempt to cheer her on, Earl and Greg make a film of her life. This is a funny, profane (warning: lots of swearwords!) entertaining and poignant novel for mature readers. Lindy

 

Up until senior year, Greg has maintained total social invisibility. He only has one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time--when not playing video games and avoiding Earl's terrifying brothers-- making movies, their own versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Greg would be the first one to tell you his movies are f*@$ing terrible, but he and Earl don't make them for other people. Until Rachel. Rachel has leukemia, and Greg's mom gets the genius idea that Greg should befriend her. Against his better judgment and despite his extreme awkwardness, he does. When Rachel decides to stop treatment, Greg and Earl make her a movie, and Greg must abandon invisibility and make a stand. It's a hilarious, outrageous, and truthful look at death and high school by a prodigiously talented debut author.
 
A frequently hysterical confessional...Debut novelist Andrews succeeds brilliantly in painting a portrait of a kid whose responses to emotional duress are entirely believable and sympathetic, however fiercely he professes his essential crappiness as a human being. Though this novel begs inevitable thematic comparisons to John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (2011), it stands on its own in inventiveness, humor and heart. It is sure to be popular with many boys, including reluctant readers, and will not require much selling on the part of the librarian.
Soonchild

Soonchild

Russell Hoban ,  Alexis Deacon

$27.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Sixteen Face John is the local shaman to a community somewhere beyond the Arctic Circle. His wife is expecting their first child, but something is wrong - it can't hear the Worldsongs, which are the only reason children are born: the beauty of the songs entices them to enter this world. John must confront his own wrongdoings, venture into worlds and lifetimes beyond number, and find bravery to set things right again. Beautifully illustrated by Alexis Deacon, the playfulness of the dialogue, married to beautifully descriptive language of the senses, combine to make this book a pleasure to read. An imaginative story with a wellspring of philosophy and ethics; and knowing it was Hoban's last book adds to the poignancy of the tale. Fans will love it; ages 14 and onwards! Lindy
Australian Story: An Illustrated Timeline

Australian Story: An Illustrated Timeline

Tania McCartney

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Timelines are a good way to give children a cohesive overview of the sweep of history. This book traces the geological beginnings of Australia over the first few pages, deals with pre-contact society in a double-page spread, then follows European discovery and settlement in 22 pages of miscellaneous information (when capital cities were founded, minerals discovered, technological advances, inventions, sporting achievements - a real mix!). Aimed at very young readers and copiously illustrated with fine, full-colour images drawn from the National Library's collection! Lindy
A Day to Remember

A Day to Remember

Jackie French ,  Mark Wilson

$24.99

ANZAC Day seen through the eyes of generations of Australians. Ages: 7-12 ANZAC Day is the day when we remember and honour ANZAC traditions down the ages, from the first faltering march of wounded veterans in 1916 to the ever-increasing numbers of their descendants who march today. Containing reference to the many places the ANZACs have fought, and the various ways in which they keep the peace and support the civilians in war-torn parts of the world today, this is a picture book that looks not only at traditions, but also the effects of war. Ages: 7-12
The Oldest Song in the World

The Oldest Song in the World

Sue Woolfe

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The characters in Sue Woolfe's novels are always outsiders who don't quite make sense of the world, and this new novel is no different in that regard. Kate has never really gotten over her childhood, where her beloved rogue of a father died of a terrible disease, and her mother died in an accident with (or caused?) by her father's lover. She has also never gotten over her first love, even though she has tried to wipe out her memories by indulging in unwise sexual encounters. So when a university lecturer discovers Kate reading her treatise on linguistics, she gives Kate the chance to attend university, and then to visit a remote Aboriginal community in search of the speaker of an ancient form of language - or as one of the workers on the community calls it, the oldest song in the world. Kate only goes when the contact name she is given sounds like he might be her long-lost love. Out in the red dirt of the desert, she starts to slowly learn from her mistakes. Sometimes, as a reader, I got so frustrated with the character (but not as thwarted as she herself is!) so the feeling of relief when Kate finally learns to think and act, instead of feel and react, was a great pleasure - as is reading the evocative descriptions of the landscape. Lindy
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

William Joyce

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This was the story that inspired the Academy Award winning short film (if you haven't seen it, it's well worth looking for). A bit like Shaun Tan's Lost Thing, in that the illustrations are used to wonderful effect to tell a simple but deceptively sophisticated tale. Morris Lessmore loved words, books and order. One day though, his nicely arranged world is upset, and even the words in his book are scattered. Not knowing what else to do, he sets off aimlessly, and spies a lovely lady being towed by books, who sends him her favourite book. It leads the way to a building where other books nest, and Morris finds his true place in the world. One of those gorgeous books that any reader of any age will enjoy, and which every reader should own! Lindy
Horrible Harriet's Inheritance

Horrible Harriet's Inheritance

Leigh Hobbs

$13.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Harriet is one of Leigh Hobb's wonderfully subversive characters (she invented Mr Chicken!) and in this entertaining, slightly anarchic style Hobbs has made his trademark, Harriet's story is expanded in this young reader. Harriet is descended from a long line of interesting people - vikings, royalty, vampires - and she decides to learn more about her infamous ancestors. With many crazy drawings, this is a vastly enjoyable story which will appeal to primary aged readers (and to their parents with a slightly skewed sense of humour)! Lindy
The Owl and the Pussycat and Other Nonsense Rhymes

The Owl and the Pussycat and Other Nonsense Rhymes

Edward Lear ,  Robert Ingpen

$29.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICKS ----- Edward Lear's charming nonsense poems are presented here in one of the handsome volumes that Robert Ingpen has been illustrating for Walker books these past few years. Apart from the Owl and Pussycat in their peagreen boat, there are the Jumblies, the Dong with the luminous nose, and Bong Tree Land, amongst others. Issued to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Lear's birth, there can be no better memorial to his poems than this finely illustrated and presented book. A must for any collector, but a book to be shared and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Lindy
The Glass Canoe

The Glass Canoe

David Ireland ,  Nicolas Rothwell [intro]

$12.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- When the Text Classics range was first announced, this was the book that really got me excited! I consider David Ireland to be one of THE best writers and it has always staggered me that the works of this three-time winner of the Miles Franklin Award have been allowed to go out of print. So you can be forgiven if you don't know them - and more so if you read this novel, the 1976 Miles Franklin winner. Lance, better known as Meat Man, is chronicling his 'tribe' - the habitues of the Southern Cross Hotel, somewhere in bluecollar Northmead. Theirs is a life of casual attitudes to sex, work and violence, centred around alcohol and their own particular watering hole, but there is also loyalty (no matter how misplaced) and inarticulate tolerance towards each other (unless they transgress - as one character does). Meat Man is capable of appreciating nature with an almost pagan and poetic sensibility, but it is the colourful tales of the characters that makes an unforgettable, impressionistic portrait of working class life. The story is in the glimpses, and the power of it is in the reading. See for yourself! Lindy
The Messenger Bird

The Messenger Bird

Rosanne Hawke

$19.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Tamar can't make sense of the world: her beloved brother has died in a car crash, her mother is in hospital suffering depression, her father has thrown himself into restoring their old farmhouse in an attempt to forget his sorrow. Even her cherished music holds no consolation. When her father discovers a hand- notated music manuscript, Tamar is drawn to the melancholy beauty of the piece. Playing it opens a window onto a former inhabitant's life - Nathaniel, who lived in the farm house when it was first built. Nathaniel becomes her lifeline, and his past holds answers for her future… A rather lyrical exploration of transcending grief, with a delicate air of mystery. Suitable for 14+ Lindy
Ten Scared Fish

Ten Scared Fish

Ros Moriarty ,  Balarinji

$12.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This delightful book introduces early childhood concepts. The boldly coloured, playful and attractive illustrations are by Balarinji (the Indigenous art studio best known for covering Qantas planes with vibrant indigenous motifs). This book not only counts to ten but introduces prepositions as the fish make their way down a river to the sea. Perfect for youngsters here or overseas! Lindy
Kangaroos Hop

Kangaroos Hop

Ros Moriarty ,  Balarinji

$17.90  $15.75

Kangaroos Hop helps children identify favourite Australian animals in the Australian landscape. The kangaroos hop, the butterflies fly, the echidnas shuffle across the land and down to the water's edge where a sleepy crocodile lies...Shhhh! The lively illustrations and cumulative text help readers identify animals as well as verbs.
Do Not Forget Australia

Do Not Forget Australia

Sally Murphy ,  Sonia Kretschmar

$29.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Billy lives in Melbourne, and Henri in Villers-Bretonneux. These young boys do not know each other, but their lives will touch in the events of the Great War, and the echoes of their stories come down through the years. A lovely, moving story of how the people of different countries form a link, and something positive can be forged in the brutality of war. Beautifully illustrated by Sonia Kretchmar in strong, bold colours. Perfect for Anzac Day and ages 7-10. Lindy
Wonder

Wonder

R. J. Palacio

$21.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Augie has been home-schooled, but now it's time for him to attend middle primary. He's a funny, cheerful, intelligent and observant boy, loved by his family but with little experience of dealing with other children. A genetic disorder caused him to be born without a 'normal' face, and years of surgery and being stared at have meant he's kept to himself. Going out into the world will mean he has to find a bit more bravery… Told in different voices, this is a truly lovely novel, with more than the obvious moral to not judge a book by its cover. A young reader of my acquaintance wouldn't put this book down - we both found it equally absorbing and a wonderful read! 12+ Lindy
Overseas

Overseas

Beatriz Williams

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Don't read this if you want a historically accurate and sensible novel! But if you want a divertisement on a rainy day with your favourite box of chocolates and pot of beverage at your left elbow, go for it! Kate is a 20-something financial analyst in a Wall Street bank, overworked and under-respected, so when the legendary and mysterious businessman Julian Laurence insists on working with her, she is more than surprised. His handsome frame and courtly old-fashioned manners win her over, but he (of course!) has a strange secret - he is really the celebrated soldier-poet of WWI who disappeared on the Somme, presumed killed. An American woman appeared to him on the eve of battle and foretold his fate… The timeslip element doesn't hold up to scrutiny, but it isn't why you read these sorts of novels! As I said earlier, it's a fine distraction from the everyday world. Lindy
My Hundred Lovers

My Hundred Lovers

Susan Johnson

$27.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Turning 50 can make anyone look back on their life, and in 100 short chapters, the narrator of this novel tells of her many loves and reveals the way her life has turned out. Not all of the hundred are lovers; as often as not it is the woman's recollection of sensual moments, rather than erotic, and of her responses to them. A novel of self-awareness, hard-won wisdom, and tender forgiveness and acceptance of self. Lindy

Lyrical and exquisite, My Hundred Lovers captures the sheer wonder of life, desire and love. A woman, on the eve of her fiftieth birthday, reflects on her days with one hundred scenes from a life adding up to a simple human truth. Character and sexual identity entwine and after all the emotion, the love, the hatred and the despair is done with, the great and trivial acts of her bodily life reveal an imperfect, yet whole self. By turns humorous, sharp, haunting and wise, this is an original and exhilarating novel from one of Australia's premier writers.
Dark Secrets

Dark Secrets

Hans Rosenfeldt ,  Michael Hjorth

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Scandinavia has been the revelation of the past few years for crime fiction and this new book from two Swedish writers joins a long list of gripping titles. A teenager is reported missing in a provincial town, though police incompetence means nothing is done for more than two days. Then the body is found – missing most of the heart. To avoid complete scandal, the local police call in the Riksmord, a crack team of investigators from Stockholm. Nothing is straightforward, of course, either with the case or with the team – particularly when its leader, Torkel, brings in an outsider to assist, much to the disgust of the female investigators. Sebastian Bergman is a renowned psychologist notorious for his lack of patience and social skills, and for his sexual misbehaviour, which has worsened since the death of his wife and daughter in the Boxing
Day tsunami. A cynical, damaged man, Bergman is reluctantly back in the town of his childhood where he discovers he may have a child somewhere, and he wants to make contact. The case itself is proving very frustrating, as every lead is discounted and no motive is discernible. Then another murder is committed. This is a strong, police procedural novel with plenty of twists to hold the reader’s attention. I would have liked a bit more fleshing out of the members of the Riksmord team, and a little less extraneous detail about procedure, but this didn’t get in the way of turning the pages as quickly as possible to discover the motivations and identity of the murderer. The first in a series, I’ll certainly look for the second when it comes! Lindy
The Other Child

The Other Child

Charlotte Link

$29.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This is the first translation into English of one of Germany’s best-selling authors. It starts in 1970 with a social worker venturing on to an English farm alone; a huge mistake. Then the story picks up in 2008, when an attractive man chats to a shy and dowdy woman. That same day, a young woman is brutally murdered; and a few months later, an older woman is killed in a similar way. The victims are not obviously linked and the detective, Valerie Almond, assigned to the first case struggles to make any connections. She does start to discover, though, that the wartime evacuation of children to the area 50 years previously may have something to do with what is currently happening… A suspenseful, psychological thriller best read in one sitting! Lindy
The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans

M L Stedman

$19.99

WINNER - INDIE Awards 2013 - BOOK OF THE YEAR and CATEGORY WINNER: DEBUT-FICTION

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Tom Sherbourne finds that lighthouse keeping offers him respite from the horrors of his experiences of WWI. He takes on the posting of Janus Rock, far off the Western Australian coast, but he also falls in love with the vivacious Isabel, who marries him on his brief return to the mainland between stints. They have a happy life, but for one thing - none of Isabel’s pregnancies produce a baby who lives for long. Desperate for a child, she persuades the upright and morally unambiguous Tom to not report the most serious incident that ever occurs on the island. A small boat washes up on their rock, with a dead man and a living baby, and for the love of Isabel, he acquiesces to her pleas… A powerful novel of moral choices, beautifully written and highly recommended. Lindy
 
This mesmerizing novel has been a bestselling book around the world, and Hollywood movie rights were recently snapped up by Dreamworks, with David Heyman (Harry Potter) set to produce.
 
The Lifeboat

The Lifeboat

Charlotte Rogan

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Grace Winter has been married for 10 weeks, widowed for 6, and finds herself on trial for her life. War had broken out, curtailing their honeymoon in Europe, but the liner they were on sank in mysterious circumstances halfway between London and New York. Her rich husband managed to get Grace on to a lifeboat, but it doesn’t take long for the occupants to realise there are too many people crowded on to the lifeboat. Nor does it take long for them to be confronted by moral dilemmas, and as the days turn into weeks, and no sign of rescue is apparent, the veneer of civilisation wears very thin indeed. I very much enjoyed this finely written book. Grace is a well-drawn, but ultimately ambiguous, character who is not as innocent - or as guilty - as she seems. Lindy
Secrets of the Henna Girl

Secrets of the Henna Girl

Sufiya Ahmed

$16.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Zeba has grown up in England, an obedient daughter to her Pakistani parents. She is planning university studies and generally looking forward to life and love. She goes on holiday to visit relations in rural Pakistan, only to find that her father has promised her in marriage to her cousin, without her knowledge or consent. How can she reconcile her lovingly indulgent father with the prideful tyrant he becomes, and how can she escape from the unwanted marriage? An interesting and absorbing novel of cultural expectations and differences. Ages 14+ Lindy
Croc and Bird

Croc and Bird

Alexis Deacon

$24.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Two eggs hatch, side-by-side. One has a bird, the other a crocodile, but they don't know they're not brothers, so together they grow and share, teaching each other the skills they need. When the river carries them down to a place with more birds and crocodiles, they realise they're not related, and separate: but do they find happiness
amongst the others who look like them? A deceptively simple, profound and moving picture book, with delightful illustrations that convey cleverness, warmth and whimsy. Lindy
The Chronicles of Harris Burdick

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick

Chris Van Allsburg

$29.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Back in 1984, van Allsburg published a mostly wordless and haunting book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. This new book is a collection of well known authors' responses to the loosely related images - people like Sherman Alexie, M T Anderson, Kate DiCamillo, Cory Doctorow, Stephen King, Lois Lowry, Gregory Maguire, Linda Sue Park, Louis Sachar, Jon Scieszka and Lemony Snicket weave their word magic to match the black and white illustrations. A fascinating exercise that will appeal to readers of many ages! Lindy
I'll Save You Bobo!

I'll Save You Bobo!

Eileen Rosenthal ,  Marc Rosenthal

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Willy doesn't like the book he's just read - the big dinosaur doesn't eat the little one - so he decides to write one of his own, using his toy monkey Bobo as the hero. It would be easier if Earl the cat didn't keep getting in the way... Simply coloured, almost retro illustrations, but the concept is very easily recognisable: who hasn't heard a young boy making up a story with mounting excitement as he keeps adding more and more dangers and details? A lot of fun! Lindy
Pennies for Hitler

Pennies for Hitler

Jackie French

$15.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Georg loves his life in Germany, but his parents realise that Hitler means war and it is not safe for a half-English boy to stay in the country. He is smuggled out to England, where it is no safer; and then across the oceans to Australia. There he has to live a lie, denying his past and his identity - his German background would automatically make him a despised enemy, and his attitudes and what he has been taught to believe in pro-Nazi Germany will find no sympathy in his new home. As always, French writes simply and powerfully and this thoughtful novel will please her fans. Ages 12+ Lindy
The Bellwether Revivals

The Bellwether Revivals

Benjamin Wood

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Oscar Lowe is a bookish, working class boy who has escaped the stifling confines of his unsympathetic family. He works in a Cambridge nursing home and enjoys the friendship of an irrascible resident, Dr Paulsen, who encourages his love of reading and knowledge. One fateful day, Oscar meets Iris Bellwether and is ineluctably drawn into her privileged, somewhat jaded circle of friends, but more importantly, comes to the attention of her self-absorbed, musically talented and dangerously intelligent brother, Eden. He has some very strange qualities and believes in the healing qualities of a particular Baroque composer’s music – are they based in truth, or are they the delusions of a mentally disturbed man? As Eden experiments with his theories, Oscar is increasingly alarmed at what is happening… A beautifully written and beguiling novel. Lindy
This isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You

This isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You

Jon McGregor

$29.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This collection of short stories is set in the flat fenlands of eastern England. Some stories are mere fragments of language, others are technically and cleverly proficient and others still are achingly detailed observations of people and the landscape. All of them, though, are the work of a master craftsman, who catches a multiplicity of voices and characters in believable situations and treats all of them with dignity (even – or especially – the characters who are society’s refuse). Each book McGregor has produced is different from the others and this one just confirms what I believe is his amazing talent; when I had finished, I went right back to the beginning and re-read them all. Lindy

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- McGregor's unique writing style may be daunting at first but perservere and you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking, real novels of our generation. A descent into the character's world that is so subtle that you may never want to fully let go. Meg
The Cartographer

The Cartographer

Peter Twohig

$29.99

WINNER: NED KELLY AWARD 2012 - BEST FIRST FICTION
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- The back streets of Richmond, Melbourne, in1959 are full of dangers and wonders if you’re a boy who inhabits the role of superhero - one with an absent father, a grief stricken mother who can barely look at him, and the only adult who listens to him being a petty-criminal grandfather. Having seen his twin brother Tom die in a tragic accident, he wanders his suburb aimlessly, exploring and taking advantage of open doors (and closed ones, as well) climbing fences and spying into windows. On one of his nocturnal adventures, he witnesses a viciousmurder - and the killer sees him watching. From then on, the boy is both drawn back to the house, and tries to avoid the places he has seen the murderer. To this end he draws a map, and takes on the role of The Cartographer, leading him to more mysteries as he observes Richmond’s underlife. His acute observations are tempered by his innocence, and the reader understands more than he does… I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The language is grounded in the vernacular of the time and is highly entertaining, but there is a thread of sorrow and darkness beneath the exuberance. Lindy
The Longing

The Longing

Candice Bruce

$32.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Cornelia is working as an assistant curator on an exhibition for a painter, S P Hart, who breezed into Victoria in the 1850s leaving behind exquisite sketchbooks and a number of paintings which record the properties of landowners. When her supervisor is involved in an accident, she undertakes to interview owners of some of the paintings in the hope of finding out more about the artworks and perhaps acquiring them for the gallery. This story is intertwined with that of Ellis McRorie, the wife of the original land holder. Ellis is isolated in a loveless marriage, has suffered difficult pregnancies and the death of babies, and her only companion is an indigenous woman who has lost more than the well-meaning Ellis can conceive of. When the charming Sanford Hart is commissioned to paint Strathcarron, she feels love and hope for the first time; and Louisa is given the means to preserve her own memories. An interesting and thoughtful novel. Lindy
The Notable Brain of Maximilian Ponder

The Notable Brain of Maximilian Ponder

J.W. Ironmonger

$32.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Maximilian, a very rich young philosophy student, decides that his thesis will be to catalogue the memories of the human brain, notably his. A project he envisages will take three years. To do so, though, he needs the assistance of his closest friend, Alex, to keep the world at bay so Max’s memories are not tainted. Thirty or so years later, Alex is standing over the body of his dead friend, ready to fulfil one last, rather grisly, obligation before he calls the police… If you enjoy Paul Torday’s novels (as I do), this one will appeal, with its keen observations, gently obsessive characters and ever-so-slightly quirky sensibility. Lindy
Five Bells

Five Bells

Gail Jones

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- One fine and shining Saturday, four people find themselves at Circular Quay. Ellie and James, who were teenaged lovers, are meeting for the first time in years to have lunch. Catherine has recently moved from Ireland to take up a new job, so she’s doing the tourist thing. Pei Xing, who suffered dreadfully in China’s Cultural Revolution, is catching a ferry to visit someone she knows on the North Shore. Each character is struggling with something from their past and, over the course of the novel, this is revealed. And beneath the brightness of the day in the heart of Sydney, there is a dark mystery in play which each of the four catch glimpses of… A lyrical novel, drenched in descriptions of Sydney Harbour and local colour, with some beautifully drawn characters. Lindy
Animal Tales

Animal Tales

Dick King-Smith

$24.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This lovely edition contains five charming illustrated stories. All Because of Jackson is about a rabbit who wants to sail the seas - and ends up in Australia. The Catlady is about Miss Ponsonby, an old lady who keeps many cats and believes in reincarnation. The Guard Dog tells of a scruffy little mutt with a loud and awful voice, and how he finds a home. Hairy Hezekiah is a Bactrian camel who finds a perfect place and great friend because politeness doesn't cost anything. Horse Pie tells of Jenny the donkey who saves the horses that bully her from being stolen. Suitable for confident readers 6-8. Lindy
Sea Hearts

Sea Hearts

Margo Lanagan

$19.99

MULTI-AWARD WINNING NOVEL

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Best known for her thoughtful, interesting and slightly surreal short stories, this full-length novel contains elements that Lanagan's fans will recognise. On the island of Rollrock, young boys gather sea hearts for their mothers to eat. They have no sisters, and their fathers are mostly fishermen, but their mothers are all beautiful women with a sense of mystery about them. Misskaella is ugly, but she has what every man on the island needs - the power to bring them sea-wives, and she uses this to bind them all to her. A beautifully rendered and lyrically written tale that takes the myth of the Selkies, and breathes delicate and strange new life into it. Any age from 14 up. Lindy

Winner, 2012 Aurealis Awards - Best Fantasy Novel

Winner, 2012 Aurealis Awards - Best Young Adult Novel (shared with Dead, Actually, Kaz Delaney)

Winner, 2013 Independent Booksellers of Australia Awards (INDIE) - Best Children's & YA Book

Winner, 2013 Norma K Hemming Award

Shortlisted, 2013 NSW Premier's Literary Awards - Ethel Turner Prize (Young People's Literature)

Shortlisted, 2013 Book Design Awards - Young Adult

Shortlisted, 2013 Stella Prize

Shortlisted, 2013 Ditmar Awards - Best Novel

Shortlisted, 2012 Aurealis Awards - Fantasy Novel and Young Adult Novel

Shortlisted, 2013 Norma K Hemming Award for race, gender, sexuality, class and disability in speculative fiction

Longlisted, 2013 UK CILIP Carnegie Medal (published in UK as The Brides of Rollrock Island)
Longlisted, 2012 Gold Inky for an Australian YA Book
Shortlisted, 2012 Queensland Literary Awards

Selected as one of US Publishers Weekly best books for 2012 (Children's Fiction)
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

Annabel Pitcher

$16.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- When Jamie was five, his older sister Rose died in a terrorist attack. Five years on, his parents have split, Rose's twin sister Jasmine is a sullen, pink-haired teenager, and his father has taken them to the country to get away from London and what happened. Life is difficult enough, navigating through everyone else's grief, but then Jamie makes a new friend, one he can't tell his family about - a young Muslim girl. Although this sounds quite grim, it is a warm and honest book about grief, letting go when it's right, and growing up - for the adults as well as Jamie. 12+ readers. Lindy
Memory Wall

Memory Wall

Anthony Doerr

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- I love the short story form and this collection is proof that it can be a perfect vehicle for expressing the human condition. The title story is almost a novella in length and is set slightly in the future, weaving themes of race, privilege, connection and longing into one woman’s retrieval of her past as she drifts into dementia. In another, a man receives letters from his son at the demilitarised zone in Korea, who retreats from the awfulness of life there by birdwatching. An orphan finds herself relocated to Lithuania to live with her grandparents and in the small village realises the world is bigger than she understood. A Chinese woman who has continued her family’s tradition of seedkeeping watches her way of life disappear as the Three Gorges Dam is built; and an elderly Holocaust survivor is haunted and ultimately consoled by visions of girls she knew in her childhood. Finely crafted, beautifully realised, highly recommended! Lindy
The Underside of Joy

The Underside of Joy

Sere Prince Halverson

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Ella has everything she wants - a loving husband, two adorable stepchildren she’s helped raise, an extended family who unconditionally accept her. But one morning her husband drowns. At his funeral, the mother of his children appears and she wants them back. Struggling with grief, the realisation that Joe wasn’t exactly truthful about his finances and the disintegration of everything important to her, Ella is faced with impossible choices. For fans of Jodi Picoult and the like, this is a good strong read. Lindy
The Tunnels of Tarcoola

The Tunnels of Tarcoola

Jennifer Walsh

$9.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- No fairies! No wizards! No paranormals! Just a good clean adventure, à la Enid Blyton or Arthur Ransome, set in inner suburban Sydney. Kitty, David, Andrea and Martin are mucking around one day and discover an old tunnel, which in turn has an exit at the local derelict house. They explore the tunnels underneath their suburb and discover a stash of documents; but at the same time, sinister thugs start to shadow them. And what is the connection of the old woman in the nursing home to all of this? Excellent for ages 9-12 Lindy
The Princess and the Pig

The Princess and the Pig

Jonathan Emmett ,  Poly Bernatene

$26.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- A poor farmer's piglet and a rich queen's baby girl are swapped one day. The king knew what had happened, because (as he points to a copy of Sleeping Beauty) it happens all the time in books where bad fairies intervene. The farmer's wife (pointing to Thumbelina) knows she got a daughter because good fairies do that sort of thing all the time in books. A brightly illustrated tale of great charm and cleverness, perfect for the pre-schooler who knows their bedtime stories. Lindy
Grandpa Green

Grandpa Green

Lane Smith

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Grandpa Green was born a long time ago, before TV or computers, growing up on a farm, going to fight in a war instead of studying, marrying and having kids. His great-grandson tells the story, simply, while playing in Grandpa's garden, which itself tells the story as well, through topiary. Grandpa is forgetting things, but the garden remembers for him. A charming and gentle picturebook about the bonds of family, beautifully illustrated - in green, of course! Lindy
The Future of Us

The Future of Us

Jay Asher ,  Carolyn Mackler

$16.99

It's 1996 and very few high school students have ever used the internet. Facebook will not be invented until several years in the future. Emma just got a computer and an America Online CD. She and her best friend Josh power it up and log on - and discover themselves on Facebook in 2011. Everybody wonders what they'll be like fifteen years in the future. Josh and Emma are about to find out.
I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle

Dodie Smith ,  Valerie Grove [intro]

$14.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Cassandra Mortmain lives in a beautiful but dilapidated castle and is determined to capture scenes of her everyday life in a journal. She has plenty of material to work with! Her father, who wrote a critically acclaimed novel some years before, is suffering from writer's block, and from a wilful blindness that ignores the poverty his family endures. His second wife, Topaz, a beautiful, fey, ex-artist's model, likes to commune with nature wearing nothing but boots. Cassandra's older sister, Rose, is a scheming romantic; and Thomas, their intelligent younger brother, lives in his own world. When wealthy Americans become their landlords, Rose (who has always wanted to live in a Jane Austen novel), decides she will marry Simon, the heir, despite not loving him. Cassandra chronicles all this in an endearingly clear-eyed style, recording amusing episodes and more serious matters, including her own inconvenient love for Simon… This is a beautifully polished, seemingly effortless, novel, one which I have revisited with a great deal of pleasure many times over the years and which still retains its charms Lindy
Cosmo Cosmolino

Cosmo Cosmolino

Helen Garner ,  Ramona Koval

$12.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Originally published in 1992, this was a stylistic departure for Garner, and puzzled her readers somewhat. Full of long, beautifully constructed sentences, three stories are linked by the characters moving through time - and the appearance of angels. The unnamed narrator of the first grapples with the illness of one of her oldest friends who holds their shared past in his inflexible memory. In the second, an awkward young man does nothing to save his girlfriend from her troubles, and for his carelessness, sees her crumble into ash - literally, after her funeral service at a crematorium. And the third sees three disparate characters collide with misunderstandings on all sides, in a neglected house that was once a vital hub. Re-reading this, I was struck by the beauty of Garner's language and the keen insights she always brings to her writing; and what seemed slightly weird back in 1992 now feels timeless. Lindy
The Home Girls

The Home Girls

Olga Masters ,  Geordie Williamson [intro]

$12.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Olga Masters wrote and published towards the end of her life, and in those six or so years she produced fiction that should stand high in our literary consciousness - but as often happens, she is not remembered as she should be. Thankfully Text have republished her first collection of stories in their wonderful Text Classics series. Her short stories are masterful distillations of the human condition, written in an immediately recognisable style. Masters had a way with punctuation that can convey both just as much as needed, and much more than expected. Her subjects are domestic and universal, and one of her talents is the way she can let the reader know that behind a character's small and inarticulate action is a lifetime of experience, hurt, frustration or puzzlement. If you haven't read Masters before, this is a fine introduction; and if you have, this is a reminder of what a great writer could do a choice handful of words. Lindy

----- 

The Home Girls is a collection of candid, witty stories about rural and suburban life. Set in the mid-twentieth century, these are tales of ordinary people and domestic life. Masters was, as the Advertiser remarked, 'a natural storyteller'. Between the publication of The Home Girls, in 1982, and her death, Olga Masters was acclaimed as one of Australia's finest writers. Her short stories, distinguished by their acute observation of human behaviour, drew comparison with the finest exponents of the form, such as Chekhov.
Louis Beside Himself

Louis Beside Himself

Anna Fienberg

$15.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- From the bestselling author of the Tashi series comes this delightful book for the upper primary reader. Louis' Dad comes from a wrestling background,a nd he likes nothing better than coaching his son in the finer points of such moves as the Five Star Frog Splash or the Walls of Jericho. Louis would prefer to collect words, because he thinks that’s a better way of arming yourself against unknown terrors. His best friends like basketball and skateboarding, and Louis feels a little out of synch; but when he has to confront a burglar - who turns out to be an older girl called Cordelia, who has run away from home and needs somewhere to stay - he discovers that everyone has unique abilities; they just might not be what you thought they were…  Lindy
The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket

John Boyne ,  Oliver Jeffers [ill]

$19.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- ... The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket… is that he is born to a boringly normal family on the North Shore (yes, Sydney) who do not want to be noticed for anything at all. Which is a pity for Barnaby, who is born defying gravity! His family have to take strange measures to keep him - nailing a mattress to the ceiling, tying him down, weighting his clothes - so he doesn't float off. But one day his mother has had enough of her decidedly un-normal child - and lets him go. Barnaby is off to explore the world, to discover that not only is 'normal' unusual, but probably impossible as well. A fable, a morality tale, and a lovely story. Ages 10+ Lindy
Careful, He Might Hear You

Careful, He Might Hear You

Sumner Locke Elliot ,  Robyn Nevin [intro]

$12.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Elliott in his lifetime was a famed writer for stage and screen in America, where he had emigrated to after WWII. He wrote a number of popular and acclaimed novels - some like this one turned into  successful movies or screenplays - and all of which have been out of print for ages, and some unjustly faded from consciousness. This was his first novel, and won the Miles Franklin in 1963, and is very closely based on his own life. PS lives with his Aunt Lila in working-class and Depression-era Neutral Bay. His mother died giving birth to him, and his father drifted off without any concern for his son. PS is happy enough, until his beautiful Aunt Vanessa decides that she should have custody of him. She's returned from London and taken a house in privileged Port Piper, and she can give him all the material things Lila can't. PS is pulled between his beloved aunties, and a court case ensues - but can anyone ever win when family is involved? A novel which gives rich textures to a Sydney of the past, and is still an absorbing study of family dynamics and the powerlessness of childhood. Lindy

-----

'Oh, aren't you lucky, PS.' 'Goodness, what a lucky boy.' 'What a treat!' 'Your Aunt Vanessa is coming.' Vanessa was coming all the way from England back to Australia and she was coming on a piano boat. It's the Great Depression. Six-year-old PS is an orphan. He lives in Sydney with his Aunt Lila. But all that is about to change. Now his Aunt Vanessa has decided to take proper care of him. Careful, He Might Hear You is one of the most extraordinary portraits of childhood in Australian fiction.
Olivia and the Fairy Princesses

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses

Ian Falconer

$19.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Olivia is having an identity crisis, and she is not mollified by her father declaring that she will always be his princess. "That's the problem" she retorts - she doesn't want to be a princess like everyone else. Not a pink fluffy one anyway - there are alternative princesses from other places. Nor does she want to be a fairy princess ballerina - she's trying to develop a more stark modern style (move over Martha Graham!) In her own inimitable way, Olivia finally works out what she could be…  Any adult who has had a feisty pre-schooler in their life will recognise Olivia. This is one of those books that grown-ups love just as much as the kids, and it is an absolute delight to read out loud. Highly recommended! Lindy
Around the World in Eighty Days

Around the World in Eighty Days

Jules Verne ,  Robert Ingpen

$39.95

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Continuing with his project of illustrating unabridged classics for a new generation of readers, Robert Ingpen brings to life this enduring tale of the voyage made for a bet by Phileas Fogg. Accompanied by his manservant Passepartout, they use every form of transport to circumnavigate the world. Trailling behind is Detective Fix of Scotland Yard, who thinks Fogg is a criminal mastermind. Full of adventure and excitement, this is also quite funny in places. A beautifully presented and bound edition, printed on lovely paper, and with glorious illustrations which will appeal to those who read the story long ago, or those newly acquainted with it: any bibliophile will love it! Lindy
The Good Mayor

The Good Mayor

Andrew Nicoll

$24.99

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- One of my favourite feel-good read! A bit of magic, a lot of misdirected love, enjoyable, quirky and a pleasure all-round. Lindy

-----

This magical debut novel is a love story. It is also a story of loss, magic, friendship, wonderful food, a brass band, an Italian witch, a large lawyer, an occasional dog and a car chase at a walking pace. Set in the little town of Dot in a forgotten part of the Baltic, it tells the life of Tibo Krovic, the good and honest mayor of Dot, and his love for his secretary, the beautiful, lonely -- and married -- Mrs. Agathe Stopak. In the quiet, respectable town there is nothing that Tibo can do about his love for Mrs. Stopak. Then one day, when she accidentally drops her lunch into a fountain, everything changes -- and their lives will never be the same. Read The Good Mayor and fall in love again.
           
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