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

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Fiction Books

Touch by Claire North

The premise alone of this book is enough to give you goosebumps. The main character, who we become to know as Kepler, is able to transfer their consciousness between bodies with only a touch. Kepler has lived for centuries. Changing bodies at will. Staying for a time in a life they find interesting, others only fleetingly. But now someone wants Kepler dead and they don’t care how many people they kill to achieve the task. This book is beyond genius and will be one of THE books of 2015. Jon

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant begins as a couple set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years. It is a novel about memory set in a post-Arthurian  period of myth and fantasy. Ishiguro is a master at drawing you into a story, just go with him and enjoy the journey. Chris

If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

This is a heartfelt and wondrous debut lauded by Philipp Meyer as “astonishing”, introducing a supremely gifted and exciting new voice in fiction. This is a remarkable debut full of dazzling prose, unforgettable characters, and a poignant and heartfelt depiction of coming of age.

The Mirror World of Melody Black by Gavin Extence

I loved The Universe Versus Alex Wood, it was funny and clever. Mirror World  is about a young woman who is coping with a mental illness. She has high days and very low days. On her good days she is a brilliant writer, friend, wit and lover but on her down days she parties, spends and doesn’t stop. A novel that might help us understand the lives of others. I loved it. Chris

The Faithful Couple by A.D. Miller

Two friends, Adam and Neil meet when they are young and abroad. They are from different backgrounds but because they meet away from these constraints the friendship thrives. The constraints work loose though and they do something they will think about for the rest of their lives. Marriages, jobs, babies, in fact life rocks and unsettles this friendship especially that past action. Miller has written a novel of great moral complexity. He writes about a holiday in Europe as like a safari of violence. We don’t honour peace in the same way. This is what reading is all about. Chris

A Short History of Richard Kline

All his life, Richard Kline has been haunted by a sense that something is lacking. He envies the ease with which some people slip – seemingly unquestioningly – into contented suburban life or the pursuit of wealth. As he moves into middle age, Richard grows increasingly angry. But then a strange event awakens him to a different way of living. 

Resistance by John Birmingham

John Birmingham takes up where he left off at the end of Emergence. Dave is enjoying a well-earned rest while the rest of the world is coming to terms with the fact that monsters are now among us and wanting to re-subjugate their old food source. However human technologies are proving more than difficult, if not impossible, for them to overcome. New hordes of monsters soon start popping out all over the world and Dave quickly realizes that superpowers do not mean he is infallible. Jon

Soil by Jamie Kornegay

An idealistic environmental scientist moves his wife and young son off the grid, to a stretch of river bottom farmland in the Mississippi hills, hoping to position himself at the forefront of a revolution in agriculture. And so begins a journey into a maze of misperceptions and personal obsessions. By turns hilarious and darkly disturbing, this traces one man’s apocalypse to its epic showdown in the Mississippi mudflats.

Non-Fiction Books

Bad Behaviour by Rebecca Starford

Tells the story of a year in a boarding school, a time of friendship and joy, but also of shame and fear. It explores how those crucial experiences affected Rebecca as an adult and shaped her future relationships, and asks courageous questions about the nature of female friendship. Moving, wise and painfully honest, this extraordinary memoir shows how bad behaviour from childhood, in all its forms, can be so often and so easily repeated throughout our adult lives.

Being There by David Malouf

After exploring the idea of home, where and what it is in A First Place, what does it mean to be a writer and where writing begins in The Writing Life, David Malouf moves on to words and music and art and performance in Being There. This is an unmissable and stimulating collection of one man’s connection to the world of art, ideas and culture.

Going Paleo by Pete Evans

Going Paleo is the only book you’ll need to transform the way you eat – and change the way you look and feel – for good. This comprehensive and user-friendly guide shows you both why to go paleo and how to go paleo, with over 80 essential recipes to get you started.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

In 2012, Jon Ronson’s online identity was stolen. Jon publicly confronted the imposters, a trio of academics who had created a Jon Ronson Twitter bot obsessed by unlikely food combinations and weird sex. At first, Jon was delighted to find strangers all over the world uniting to support him in his outrage. The wrongdoers were quickly shamed into stopping. But then things got out of hand. This encounter prompted Jon to explore the phenomenon of public shaming and what he discovered astonished him.

The Story of Australia’s People by Geoffrey Blainey

The vast, ancient land of Australia was settled in two main streams, far apart in time and origin. The first stream of immigrants came ashore some 50,000 years ago when the islands of Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea were one. The second began to arrive from Europe at the end of the eighteenth century. Each had to come to terms with the land they found, and each had to make sense of the other. It was not – and is still not – an easy relationship, and the story of Australia’s people is as complex as it is rich.

Flashpoints by George Friedman

Friedman zooms in on the region that has been the cultural hotbed of the world – Europe – and examines the most basic and fascinating building block of the region: culture. Analysing the fault lines that have existed for centuries – and which have led to two world wars and dozens more conflicts – Friedman walks us through the ‘flashpoints’ that are still smouldering beneath the surface and are on course to erupt again.

Childrens’ Picture Books

One Step At A Time by Jane Jolly

Luk and his grandmother live in Thailand where they drag timber in the forest with the help of Mali the elephant. Disaster strikes when Mail steps on a landmine and is injured. With blessings from the monks and a practical solution Mali is soon up on his feet again. With beautiful illustrations both tender and dramatic this story draws you to the problem of active landmines around the world. Jan 

This Is Captain Cook by Tania McCartney

This is a charming first introduction to Australian history. Join Miss Bates class as they put on the end of year play about the life of Captain Cook. Told in a humorous and assesable way this is a book parents will enjoy reading and children will enjoy learning with. Ian

Those Pesky Rabbits by Ciara Flood

Mr Bear has new neighbours and he is just not interested, that are way too cheerfully by a long measure! The Rabbits just want to be friends but bear just wants them to GO AWAY. Can the Rabbits melt his heart or will bear scare them away? A fun cute read. Ian

Books for First Readers

Violet Mackeral’s Formal Occasion by Anna Branford

The ever popular Violet returns in her eighth adventure . Mum needs cheering up, and Violet knows just what to do, put on a ” Formal” just for Mum.  As always is it her positive can do attitude that sees her  plans eventually come together. Ian

Books for Young Readers

Tombquest: Book of the Dead by Michael Northrop

Nothing can save Alex Sennefer’s life. That’s what all the doctors say, but his mother knows it’s not true. She knows that the Lost Spells of the Egyptian Book of the Dead can crack open a door to the afterlife and pull her son back from the brink. But when she uses the spells, five evil ancients – the Death Walkers – are also brought back to life. An ancient evil has been unleashed.

Worry Magic by Dawn McNiff

Courtney is a worrier – she worries about EVERYTHING! Then one day when Dad finds a pig in the lounge? and there is an argument Courtney starts to feel woozy. Courtney is sure her worry magic dreams are making everything better. Are they? Maybe she just needs to not worry so much. Jan

Books for Young Adults

All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Grace has just moved into Embassy Row to live with her grandfather, a powerful ambassador,  she hasn’t seen in three years. Grace is sure of three things – she is not crazy, she witnessed the murder of her mother and she is going to find the killer. She must be very careful though because one wrong move could cause catastrophe. Jan

The Door That Led To Where by Sally Gardner

AJ is 17 and just started his first job. Tidying up the store room he finds a key with his name on it. Determined to find what door it belongs to he opens it and find himself back in time, in the very real and grubby year 1830. A terrific read full of intrigue, murder and life changing decisions. Ian

Published by

Jon Page

Jon Page is a bookseller and author of the Bite the Book Blog.

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