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

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

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Fiction Books

Close Your Eyes by Michael Robotham

A mother and her teenage daughter are found murdered and a clinical psychologist is called in to help the investigation. Nothing is as it seems about the mother or her daughter or indeed the investigator. This is another intricate crime novel from Robotham that will keep you guessing right to the end. Chris

Circling The Sun by Paula McLain

Beryl Markham was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic east to west. However that is really just the tip of the iceberg. She was a most remarkable woman in many ways. A dare devil, an adventurer, a woman who loved men but made some bad choices. She was friends with Karen Blixen until she fell in love with her long term partner.  She grew up pretty wild and free in Kenya without the restraints of an English education or a mother. She loved animals; she respected the local tribes’ people and hunted with them. She was expelled from various schools in Nariobi because she was a bad influence. She could not understand why she could not train horses and fly both of which she did very well. Do you remember The Paris Wife? This is even better! Chris

The Marriage Of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

Set on the tropical island of St Thomas in 1807. A novel of slavery, racism and bigotry yet the population all live together in some sort of harmony. Rachel has an arranged marrage and a marriage of love. When she gives birth to her tenth child prejudice reaches a new level one that is not going to be tolerated.  He wants to be an artist. He is very talented and in fact is the future Camille Pissarro.  Chris

A Guide To Berlin by Gail Jones

A group of six international travellers, two Italians, two Japanese, an American and an Australian, meet in empty apartments in Berlin to share stories and memories. Each is enthralled in some way to the work of Vladimir Nabokov, and each is finding their way in deep winter in a haunted city. A moment of devastating violence shatters the group, and changes the direction of everyone’s story.

Wind/Pinball by Haruki Murakami

Wind/Pinball includes Haruki Murakami’s first two novels, published back-to-back, available for the first time in English outside Japan. With a new introduction by the author. Published as a reversible hardback. A must for Murakami fans.

The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

I totally loved this book. This sucked me in from the opening sentence and still has not let me go. The moment I finished I started missing all the characters straight away and want to get back to this universes as quickly as possible. This is science fiction at its best; expansive, alien, full of worlds, peoples and technology to explore but at the same time containing an essence and humanity that captures perfectly what we all strive for in our lives. Jon

Armada by Ernest Cline

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before-one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.

Non Fiction Books

Women I’ve Undressed by Orry Kelly

Found in a pillowcase, the fabulous long-lost memoirs of a legendary Hollywood designer – and a genuine Australian original. Orry-Kelly created magic on screen, from Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon to Some Like It Hot. He won three Oscars for costume design. He dressed all the biggest stars, from Bette Davis to Marilyn Monroe. He was an Australian. Yet few know who Orry-Kelly really was – until now.

Blindsided by Michael Lynagh

A memoir that explores the fragility and meaning of life, even if you happen to be a Wallaby legend. It’s the unthinkable for anyone – to be blind-sided by a life-threatening illness in the prime of life, with no prior warning and no time to prepare loved-ones for a life after you.

James Halliday Wine Companion 2016

The 2016 edition has been completely revised to bring you up-to-the-minute information. In his inimitable style, Halliday shares his extensive knowledge of wine through detailed tasting notes, each with vintage-specific ratings, alcohol content and price, advice on optimal drinking as well as individual information on the wineries and winemakers.

Sonnyball by Paul Kent

Sonny Bill Williams is a superstar in three sports, an icon around the world. SBW proves a modern truth. That in this new sporting world success is everything and memory is short. And no matter the code, when it comes to Sonny Bill Williams, everyone – clubs, fans, sponsors, media – ends up playing Sonny Ball.

Thermo-Struck by Kim McCosker

With a busy lifestyle, you can rely on Thermo-Struck when preparing dinner for your family or entertaining your friends. A bounty of healthy meals, home-cooked from scratch and full of nutrients, in just a fraction of the time traditionally required.

When We Were Young & Foolish by Greg Sheridan

When We Were Young and Foolish traces Greg’s own journey from impoverished childhood in Sydney’s inner west, on to his formative years at university and then The Bulletin, and in doing so also illuminates the formative years and experiences of his friends would who go on to be prime ministers, premiers and senior cabinet ministers. It offers new and personal insights into the people they were as students and twenty-somethings, and the events, philosophies, demons and relationships that helped make them the people they are.

From Venice to Istanbul by Rick Stein

From the mythical heart of Greece to the fruits of the Black Sea coast; from Croatian and Albanian flavours to the spices and aromas of Turkey and beyond – the cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean is a vibrant melting pot brimming with character. Packed with stunning photography of the food and locations, and filled with Rick’s passion for fresh produce and authentic cooking, this is a stunning collection of inspiring recipes to evoke the magic of the Eastern Mediterranean at home.

Rugby World Cup 2015: The Official Tournament Guide

The must-have companion to world rugby’s biggest event. England is the tournament host, and this book contains everything fans will need, from venue guides to detailed information on every team in the finals, key players, playing strengths, coaches, past form and a prediction of teams’ hopes of success.

Childrens’ Picture Books

What’s Up Mumu by David Mackintosh

MuMu is just not feeling right today. AND THAT’S THAT. Does her best friend Lox have enough tricks to make things right. Perhaps with lots of fun and laugher MuMu will feel better. A fun and clever story about friendship and patience. Jan

The Marvellous Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty by Beatrice Alemagna

Eddie knows her Mum would love a Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty for her birthday but what is it and where will she find one. Join her as she tours the charming French town for the perfect present. Another enchanting picture book from the author of A Lion in Paris. Jan

Brave As Can Be by Jo Witek

This delightfullly illustrated picture book is great for toddlers who are afraid of the dark, thunderstorms and many other scary issues. In this lyrical story an older sister explains to her little sister what she did to overcome her fears. The fears that once felt so huge are now a speck of dust. Jan

Books for Young Readers

The 65-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

Andy and Terry’s ever-expanding treehouse just got zanier! It now features a room where it’s always your birthday, a time machine, a lollipop shop … and that’s the boring stuff! Just how much more whacky can their treehouse get? You’ll have to read the book to find out…

Hooked On Netball by B. Hellard & L. Gibbs

Meet Maddy and her friends from the Gems!   Maddy can’t wait to play her first game of netball with her new team. She’s been training hard and can’t wait to try out her skills. But Maddy’s excitement soon turns to nerves when she realises that things might not go exactly as she imagined. What position will coach Janet put her in? What if she gets asked to sit on the bench? Suddenly, the netball courts are the last place Maddy wants to be!

The Cut Out by Jack Heath

Meet Fero: an ordinary teenager, uninitiated in the art of espionage, who just so happens to look exactly like Troy Maschenov, a ruthless enemy agent with plans to launch a devastating attack. With the clock ticking, Fero is recruited to impersonate Troy and infiltrate enemy territory. But does the rookie have what it takes? Fans of CHERUB and Alex Rider rejoice – there’s a new hero in town! Simon    

Childrens’ Non Fiction

Rugby World Cup 2015 Fact File

The 2015 Rugby World Cup is just weeks away, and there’s no better way to hone your knowledge than with this easy-to-follow guide. There are profiles of all 20 finalist teams and star players, puzzles and quizzes, and match-by-match progress charts you can fill in during the tournament. Mine’s already filled in with predictions: Wallabies to win the Cup, of course! Simon

Books for Young Adults

Green Valentine by Lili Wilkinson

Astrid wants to change the world – she is an environmental activist, popular, clever, perfect. Hiro just wants to survive – he is grouchy, rude and thinks school is not important. Can their common belief that the world needs to be made a better place bring them together. Jan