Book club suggestions
Need some help deciding what your book club should read next? Here are some of our suggestions but don't forget we love to help with recommendations in store as well!
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Flames is a version of Tasmania where the landscape has a voice, a history, an impact on the lives of its inhabitants. A young man named Levi McAllister decides to build a coffin for his twenty-three-year-old sister, Charlotte - who promptly runs for her life. A water rat swims upriver in quest of the cloud god. A fisherman named Karl hunts for tuna in partnership with a seal. And a father takes form from fire. The answers to these riddles are to be found in this tale of grief and love and the bonds of family, tracing a journey across the southern island that takes us full circle. Flames sings out with joy and sadness. Utterly original in conception, spellbinding in its descriptions of nature and its celebration of the power of language, it announces the arrival of a thrilling new voice in contemporary fiction.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted - while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life. Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?
The Only Story
First love has lifelong consequences, but Paul doesn't know anything about that at nineteen. At nineteen, he's proud of the fact his relationship flies in the face of social convention. As he grows older, the demands placed on Paul by love become far greater than he could possibly have foreseen.
Tender and wise, The Only Story is a deeply moving novel by one of fiction's greatest mappers of the human heart.
A Long Way From Home
A new novel from a two-time winner of the Booker Prize.
Irene Bobs loves fast driving. Her husband is the best car salesman in western Victoria. Together they enter the Redex Trial, a brutal race around the ancient continent over roads no car will ever quite survive. With them is their lanky fair-haired navigator, Willie Bachhuber, a quiz show champion and failed schoolteacher whose job it is to call out the turns, the grids, the creek crossings on a map that will finally remove them, without warning, from the lily-white Australia they know so well.
Lincoln in the Bardo
The American Civil War rages while President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son lies gravely ill. In a matter of days, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy's body. From this seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling, supernatural domain both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself trapped in a transitional realm - called, in Tibetan tradition, the bardo - and as ghosts mingle, squabble, gripe and commiserate, and stony tendrils creep towards the boy, a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie's soul.
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2017.
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Kif Kehlmann, a young penniless writer, is rung in the middle of the night by the notorious con man and corporate criminal, Siegfried Heidl. About to go to trial for defrauding the banks of $700 million, Heidl offers Kehlmann the job of ghostwriting his memoir. He has six weeks to write the book, for which he'll be paid $10,000. But as the writing gets under way, Kehlmann begins to fear that he is being corrupted by Heidl. As the deadline draws closer, he becomes ever more unsure if he is ghostwriting a memoir, or if Heidl is rewriting him - his life, his future. Everything that was certain grows uncertain as he begins to wonder- who is Siegfried Heidl - and who is Kif Kehlmann? As time runs out, one question looms above all others- what is the truth? By turns compelling, comic, and chilling, this is a haunting journey into the heart of our age.
Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a night club, she chances to meet Styles, the man she visited with her father before he vanished, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father's life, the reasons he might have been murdered.
A dazzlingly exuberant new novel moving from north west London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty. Two brown girls dream of being dancers - but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, black bodies and black music, what it means to belong, what it means to be free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten either.Bursting with energy, rhythm and movement, Swing Time is Zadie Smith's most ambitious novel yet. It is a story about music and identity, race and class, those who follow the dance and those who lead it.
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017.
The Museum of Modern Love
'This is a weirdly beautiful book.' David Walsh founder and curator, MONA.
Arky Levin is a film composer in New York separated from his wife, who has asked him to keep one devastating promise. One day he finds his way to The Atrium at MOMA and sees Marina Abramovic in The Artist is Present. The performance continues for seventy-five days and, as it unfolds, so does Arky. As he watches and meets other people drawn to the exhibit, he slowly starts to understand what might be missing in his life and what he must do...This dazzlingly original novel asks beguiling questions about the nature of art, life and love and finds a way to answer them. Heather was the inaugural Writer in Residence at The Museum of Old and New Art (MoNA) in Hobart 2012-13 where she did much of the research for The Museum of Modern Love.
Winner of the Stella Prize 2017.
The Underground Railroad
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, and they plot their escape. Matters do not go as planned - Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her - but they manage to find a station and head north. Cora embarks on a harrowing journey, state-by-state, seeking true freedom. Like Gulliver, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey - Whitehead brilliantly recreates the unique terrors for black people in states in the pre-Civil War era. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage, and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize 2017.
The North Water
1859, A ship sets sail with a killer on board. A man joins a whaling ship bound for the Arctic Circle. Having left the British Army with his reputation in tatters, Patrick Sumner has little option but to accept the position of ship's surgeon on this ill-fated voyage. But when, deep into the journey, a cabin boy is discovered brutally killed, Sumner finds himself forced to act. Soon he will face an evil even greater than he had encountered at the siege of Delhi, in the shape of Henry Drax: harpooner, murderer, monster.
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016.
The Secret Life
In The Secret Life Andrew O'Hagan delves into the dark corners of the web to investigate the people whose lives are lived through the internet. Examining three lives - Julian Assange, Craig Wright, the Australian behind the Bitcoin inventor 'Satoshi Nakamoto', and Ronald Pinn, an online character O'Hagan created - he explores identity, secrecy, and the relationship between the individual, the state, and technology. A compulsive read.
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