The Book Brief: The Very Best New Release Books in September

Each month we bring you the best new release books in our Book Brief.

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Fiction Books

Sweet Caress by William Boyd

The new William Boyd is simply sublime. Sweet Caress tells the story of photographer Amory Clay and her tumultuous life over the course of a tumultuous century. William Boyd is a master storyteller and takes this gift to new and different heights with the character of Amory Clay. Sweet Caress is a wonderful novel you won’t want to say goodbye to. Jon

Where My Heart Used To Beat by Sebastian Faulks

Dr Robert Hendricks is a veteran of the Second World War who lost his father in the First. These two wars have not only shaped his life but also his thinking as a psychiatrist. He is contacted by an aging French doctor, who served with his Father, as a possible literary executor of his estate. Hendricks travels to an island of the south of France to meet with the man who also has information about his father whom he never met. A meeting which finds Robert delving into his own memories of war as he confronts his father’s experience of his. Jon

Purity by Jonathan Franzen

Two words sum up this amazing novel, power and idealism. Power and idealism in relationships, business, politics. Pip Tyler is trying to find out who she is and who she wants to be. She takes us from Oakland to Germany and Boliva in this quest. A novel like Corrections that will have you thinking about what is right and what is wrong. Pip is a character you will grow to love. Chris

Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt

A darkly comic romp that blends a sense of humour, a sense the absurd and a sense of the surreal in a way that would make even Wes Anderson envious. Thoughtful, clever, playful and inventive Patrick deWitt captures you from the opening pages and sucks you into this surreal, absurdist world of small wars, Barons, Dukes & Counts and very large holes. If you loved The Sisters Brothers this is going to blow your mind. A wonderful, thrillingly original novel from an author whose work is like no other. Jon

Make Me by Lee Child

There is no doubting Lee Child’s ability to craft a page-turner thriller. He is a grandmaster at his craft, and his legion of fans will undoubtedly enjoy his latest. Make Me is packed with all the essential Reacher elements. He arrives in the small town of Mother’s Rest – and is immediately catapulted into the mystery behind a private detective’s disapearance, and faces up against some of his most brutal opposition yet!  Simon

Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic

This is a tour-de-force excursion into good, evil, and the labyrinth of human motivations. Emma Viskic has created a brilliant protagonist in the profoundly-deaf, and irrepressibly obstinate Caleb Zelic, and has produced one of the year’s best crime novels. This debut is stripped-down and raw, and packs one helluva punch. Simon

Noonday by Pat Barker

London is burning and Londoners are burning too. Dust, dirt, gas, total disruption and destruction are the images Pat Barker depicts and the endless cups of tea. She brings all this into focus with language by fictionalising the lives of three war time artists. Just as she did with poets in her Regeneration trilogy. The artists see the results of the bombing first hand as stretcher bearers and ambulance drivers. But how to paint it? The truth or what the Ministry wants? Is the truth too much? Is it best to paint what is beautiful? Chris

The Crossing by Andrew Miller

A young woman falls from a boat that she is repairing. Unfortunately there is no guard rail and they are not at sea. Maybe she was affected by the fumes of the pitch. The other person on the boat, Tim, rescues her and eventually marries her. She is unusual woman self contained and maybe not made for marriage. When sadness enters their lives she sails away. A truly mesmerising novel about differences and how we cope weith them.  Chris

Early One Morning by Virginia Baily

A family with many others is being taken away from the city of Rome during the war for being Jewish. A mother with three children hands over her young son to a passing Italian woman, Chiara. What a moment and so the story grows.The boy is loved but he is another casualty of war and never really recovers. A heartbreaking, wonderful read. There must be many stories like these where people made agonising choices. Chris

We Never Asked For Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

As a single parent, Letty does everything for her two children apart from raise them. Being a mother terrifies her so she always lets the grandparents take that role. However when they leave she just has to get on with it. In her previous book the Language of Flowers Diffenbaugh used flowers to define her characters this time it is feathers. Chris

Non Fiction Books

The Man With The Golden Type Writer by Fergus Fleming

Before the world-famous films came the world-famous novels. This books tells the story of the man who wrote them and how he created spy fiction’s most compelling hero. Ian Fleming  wrote constantly, to his wife, publisher, editors, fans, friends and critics, charting 007’s progress with correspondence that ranged from badgering Jonathan Cape about his quota of free copies — a coin was tossed; Fleming lost – to apologising for having mistaken a certain brand of perfume and for equipping Bond with the wrong kind of gun. His letters also reflect his friendships with contemporaries such as Raymond Chandler, Noel Coward and Somerset Maugham.

The Edible City by Indira Naidoo

Join Indira as she visits some of Australia’s most innovative and memorable kitchen gardens. Indira also offers gardening tips and practical advice on beekeeping, worm farming, composting and setting up your own community garden, as well as 40 of her delicious recipes.

Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover

Part poignant family memoir, part rollicking venture into a 1970s Australia, this is a book for anyone who’s wondered if their family is the oddest one on the planet. The answer: ‘No’. There is always something stranger out there.

A Banquet of Consequences by Satyajit Das

This is a lively exploration by financial expert Satyajit Das on why, following the global credit crunch, the world is entering a period of prolonged economic stagnation, and what that means for all of us. Satyajit Das is perhaps the only finance writer who can simultaneously make you outraged and chuckle as you read, and the experience is a delight.

Falafel For Breakfast by Michael Rantissi & Kristy Frawley

Israeli-born chef Michael Rantissi and his partner and ‘balaboosta’ Aussie girl Kristy Frawley drill down to what we all love about the ingredients and flavours of the Middle East – grains and greens, generosity, pungency, sweetness, sharing. This is food that brings everyone to the table, and won’t let them leave.

Nopi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

This includes over 120 of the most popular dishes from Yotam’s innovative Soho-based restaurant Nopi. It’s written with long-time collaborator and Nopi head chef Ramael Scully, who brings his distinctive Asian twist to the Ottolenghi kitchen. This is a collection of recipes which will inspire, challenge and delight.

Atmosphere of Hope by Tim Flannery

Ten years after his internationally bestselling The Weather Makers, acclaimed scientist and author Tim Flannery argues that Earth’s climate system is approaching a crisis. Catastrophe is not inevitable, but time is fast running out. In the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Change Summit to be held in Paris in December, Atmosphere of Hope provides both a snapshot of the trouble we are in and an up-to-the-minute analysis of some of the new possibilities for mitigating climate change that are emerging now.

Deep South by Paul Theroux

For the past fifty years, Paul Theroux has travelled to the far corners of the earth – to China, India, Africa, the Pacific Islands, South America, Russia, and elsewhere – and brought them to life in his cool, exacting prose. In Deep South he turns his gaze to a region much closer to his home. Travelling through North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas he writes of the stunning landscapes he discovers – the deserts, the mountains, the Mississippi – and above all, the lives of the people he meets.

Childrens’ Picture Books

The Day The Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt

Following on from the phenomenally brilliant The Day The Crayons Quit comes the sequel. The crayons are back…and they are still not happy. This time around Duncan has to deal with the lost and forgotten crayons. The broken, chewed and melted crayons. And they are all, quite rightly, even more upset! Once again Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers have produced a picture book that is an absolute joy to read out loud and share again and again (we still haven’t worn out the first book!). Oliver Jeffers’ wonderful illustrations are typically vibrant, absurd and brilliantly funny. This is another truly timeless picture book for the whole family to enjoy over and over again! Jon, Ian & Jan

Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas by Aaron Blabey

Meet Brian, the world’s only Piranha. Brian has a particular fondness for banana. What do you think his chances are of persuading his family to follow suit? Yet another hysterical new book for the author of Pig the Pug. Ian

What The Ladybird Heard Next by Julia Donaldson

Just as sparkly and full of Donaldson trademark rhymes is this charming sequel to the much beloved tale.  Those crafty robbers Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len are out of jail and ready to cause havoc with a new BIGGER plan. Can our ladybird heroine save the day? Oh cause she can! Ian

Books for First Readers

The Cat With The Coloured Tail by Gillian Mears

Mr Hooper and The Cat with the Coloured Tail travel through the countryside in their icecream van making delicious moon-creams and playing their favourite game looking for heart shapes. However, something is wrong with Cat. When they travel into the forest they realise the heart of the world is in danger. A beautiful reminder of the kindness and hope within us. Jan

The Phantom Bully by Jeffrey Brown

Our ever struggling hero Roan is back in third instalment of this increasingly popular series. It is his last year of Jedi School and he NEEDS to do well but with substitute teachers, bracers and vegan food and his own personal bully to contend with can he do it? And stay clear of the dark side? Of course he can! The great cartoons just add to the fun. Ian    

Books for Young Readers

How To Fight A Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell

This the twelfth, final and possibly most exciting volume in the How to Train Your Dragon Series.  Alvin the Terrible is about to be crowned king, and his reign of terror is about to unleashed seeing the destruction of all dragons. Can Hiccup defeat his enemy, prove that he is the rightful king and end the dragon rebellion? Is this doomsday for Hiccup and the dragons or the start of something new? Ian

Books for Young Adults

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood

Van Voc Phan is and Australian girl who faces high expectations from her Vietnamese parents. As a scholarship student she studies hard at school and deals with the self-centred students by keeping a low profile. When she gets the attention of Billy Gardiner, the boy in school she always day dreams about, her life is thrown into centre stage. Using Jane Eyre as her guide she navigates her way through. Jan

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Against the backdrop of an epic conflict between beings known as the Immortals and some ‘indie’ kids at school, Patrick Ness’ latest focuses on the issues afflicting Mikey and his gang of pals in the lead-up to prom and the beginning of their college lives. They lives in a world that has been touched by zombies, soul-eating ghosts, and basically every menace that has permeated the YA genre in recent years. Mikey, though, has never been involved in these encounters – he’s just lived his life on the fringes and dealt with obligatory teenage angst that accompanies the end of high school. With Ness’s trademark wit and efficacy, The Rest of Us Just Live Here shows we’re all heroes. But not all of us get the limelight – and not all of us want it! Simon & Chris


The Monthly Book Brief – The Very Best New Release Books in September


Each month we bring you the best new release books in our Book Brief

Fiction Books

When The Night Comes by Favel Parrett

A story of growing up, journeys into the great unknowns and that anything in life is possible. Parrett’s writing is truly mesmerizing. Her words immediately draw you in and you are swept away. Poetical, evocative and truly moving this will not only have you immediately falling for her characters but also have you falling in love with an Antarctic supply ship, the Nella Dan. Favel Parrett has carefully crafted an exquisite novel. Skilfully written, elegantly constructed, beautifully told and an absolute pleasure to read and experience. Jon

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

David Mitchell fans will absolutely love this book and it will definitely create new ones too as you are swept away by the storytelling, the language and the imagination. The novel opens in 1984 in England. We meet Holly Sykes, aged 15, who has run away from home. In the process Holly becomes part of a chain events outside her, and our, comprehension. Holly inadvertently makes a promise the consequence of which will have repercussions for many lives. Jon

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

A love story full of surprises. A crime story of immense tension, a deeply satisfying read. Set in 1920’s London, this is an atmospheric portrait of that fascinating period. A time when women have to make many choices about surviving without fathers and brothers and an income. A mother and daughter decide to take in paying guests (lodgers only they don’t use that word) . The arrival of a young couple into this seemingly quiet and ordered household has dramatic and disturbing consequences.  Chris

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan’s new novel is one of his best. His delicate and smooth tone pulls you into a thrilling novel with a moral dilemma at its core.  A High court judge is about to have her private life shattered and her professional life compromised. What makes this an exceptional novel is the way it is told. Full of compassion, so unpretentious and tender towards all the characters and ideas. Chris

Lock In by John Scalzi

Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. 4% suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And 1% find themselves ‘locked in’ – fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. But then two new technologies emerge that gives people hope. Nothing can go wrong. Certainly nobody would be tempted to misuse it, for murder, for political power, or worse…

Non-Fiction Books

This House of Grief by Helen Garner

On Father’s Day 2005 a father and his three sons plunged into a dam. The boys drowned and the father survived to face a murder trial. Why does Helen Garner choose to write such uncomfortable and confronting books and more to the point why do we read them? I think it is because we want to understand ourselves and other people. Helen Garner is the best writer for such a task. Her eye for detail, her precision and clarity of writing plus her non-judgemental attitude make this a formidable read. Chris

Jamie’s Comfort Food by Jamie Oliver

Jamie’s new cookbook brings together 100 ultimate comfort food recipes from around the world. It’s all about the dishes that are close to your heart, that put a smile on your face and make you feel happy, loved, safe and secure. Inspired by everything from childhood memories to the changing of the seasons, and taking into account the guilty pleasures and sweet indulgences that everyone enjoys, it’s brimming with exciting recipes you’ll fall in love with.

Lego Architecture by Philip Wilkinson

These amazing LEGO Architecture sets showcase incredible buildings from around the world. From the Empire State Building and the Guggenheim, to Farnsworth House revealing amazing exploded images of the LEGO Architecture models, showing every LEGO brick involved in the build. This is perfect for architects, designers and architecture enthusiasts of all ages.

1-Minute Gardener by Fabian Capomolla & Mat Pember

As the brains behind The Little Veggie Patch Co., Fab and Mat have taken the mystery out of – and put the fun back into – growing fruit and vegetables. 1-Minute Gardener features 70 fast, illustrated step-by-step guides to edible gardening essentials, from preparing and caring for your patch through to harvesting the rewards (and getting the kids involved along the way).

Strictly Parenting by Michael Carr-Gregg

In his work as a family psychologist, Michael Carr-Gregg has noticed a worrying trend in our modern parenting styles, which sees kids running riot and parents running for cover. In our desire to give our kids the best, we may have given them way too much, and overlooked the importance of setting boundaries. He believes it’s a recipe for disaster. In Strictly Parenting, Michael asks parents to take a good hard look at the way they are parenting – to toughen up and stop trying to be their kids’ best friends.

Travelling To Work: Diaries 1988-1998 by Michael Palin

These latest Diaries show a man grasping every opportunity that came his way, and they deal candidly with the doubts and setbacks that accompany this prodigious word-rate. As ever, his family life, with three children growing up fast, is there to anchor him. Travelling To Work is a roller-coaster ride driven by the Palin hallmarks of curiosity and sense of adventure. These ten years in different directions offer riches on every page to his ever-growing army of readers.

Childrens’ Picture Books

Is There A Dog In This Book? by Vivian Schwartz

Tiny, Moonpie and Andre are scared of dogs, and there might be a dog in this BOOK! What are they going to do? The dog could be anywhere, on any page, there are so many hiding spots in this book. So funny! You’ll love it! Jan & Danica

A House of Her Own by Jenny Hughes

Audrey is getting bigger and bigger, so she decides that she needs a house of her own. Her dad builds her a fabulous treehouse, but there is something missing. A story of the need for independence and the importance of family. Such a charming read! Jan

Books for First Readers

Squishy McFluff and the Supermarket Sweep by Pip Jones

You might have thought that you’d seen the last of Squishy McFluff, but he is back and as funny as ever! Perfect for a new reader that needs a bit of a challenge. Ian & Danica

Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan by Jeffrey Brown

I could not wait for this book to come out, and now it’s here! This book made me laugh so hard. You don’t even have to be a Star Wars fans to enjoy this book, but if you are then you’ll love it all the more. Great for kids who are becoming confident readers. Danica

Books for Young Readers

The 52-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! The wait is over! Andy and Terry have added ANOTHER 13 storeys to their treehouse and things are more hilarious than ever. Come and get your copy today! Danica, Ian & Jan

Loot by Jude Watson

International jewel heists, a twin that March never knew he had, and a curse that destroy them all. This book is packed with more action and intrigue than any book we’ve read in a long time. Great for girls and boys alike, everyone will love this book! Ian & Danica  

Books for Young Adults

The Mission by Allen Zadoff

If you loved ‘Boy Nobody’ as much as we did, then you going to absolutely love the sequel! It’s even better than the original, and that’s saying a lot. Get this book into every teenager’s hands that you know! Danica & Ian

The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore

This is the latest installment in the ‘I am Number Four’ series, and it won’t disappointment fans waiting to read about what happens when Seven fights back. A gripping read from start to finish!

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