The best books for JANUARY as chosen by Australia’s leading booksellers



Alison Gibbs


TPB $32.99

Summer 1976.In

the small town of

Repentance on the

edge of the Great

Dividing Range,

the old farming families are disturbed by

the new settlers, the hippies, who have a

different perspective on the natural order and

humankind’s place in the scheme of things.

A tale of a country town and its rhythms,

Repentance is also the story of modern

Australia at one of its flashpoints, told tenderly

and beautifully through the eyes of characters

you won’t forget.

Girl A

Abigail Dean


TPB $29.99

As a teenager Lex is

dubbed ‘Girl A’ when

she escapes her abusive

parents to alert authorities

and save herself and her

siblings. A successful lawyer, the last thing

Lex wants to do is remember her childhood,

but when her mother dies in prison Lex returns

to execute the will, reunite with her siblings,

and face the shared past she can no longer

avoid. Beautifully written, with the pacing of a

thriller, Girl A is another exceptional debut.


Catherine Jinks


TPB $32.99

A spine-tingling

psychological thriller

from one of Australia’s

best writers of suspense.

Meg lives alone in the

bush. A perfect place to hide. She offers to

shelter Nerine, who’s escaping a violent ex

as Meg knows what it’s like to live with an

abusive partner. Then she starts to notice

small things. A disturbed flyscreen. A tune

playing on her windchimes. Has Nerine’s ex

tracked them down? Has Meg’s husband

turned up to torment her some more?

The Women and

the Girls

Laura Bloom


PB $29.99

In 1970’s Sydney Libby,

Anna and Carol leave

their husbands and

move, kids and all, into a share house. Their

sudden shift to defining themselves as more

than wives and mothers is the narrative

arc, and their relationships with each other

mature as they struggle against patriarchal

norms. A delightful novel of three women

finding themselves through their friendships

and families.

The Prophets

Robert Jones Jr.


TPB $32.99

in store 12 January

On a Deep South

cotton plantation, Samuel and

Isaiah tend to the animals and

live in the old wooden barn.

Amidst the brutality and degradation

of slavery they find each other, but their

small refuge is a great taboo that incites

fear, jealousy and anger. The Prophets is

a deeply moving account of our capacity

to abuse and degrade, and above all

to love. A brilliant debut possessed

of lyrical prose, harrowing depth, and

panoramic vision.

Also available in an exclusive HB

edition at seleced bookshops at

The Arrest

Jonathan Lethem


TPB $29.99

From the awardwinning

author of The

Feral Detective and

Motherless Brooklyn

comes an utterly original post-apocalyptic

yarn about two siblings, the man that came

between them, and a nuclear-powered

super car. Written with unrepentant joy

and shot through with just the right amount

of contemporary dread, The Arrest is

speculative fiction at its absolute finest.


Darkness is


Mary Hoang


PB $32.99

After her father’s death

in 2017, Mary Hoag,

the head psychologist

and founder of The

Indigo Project, turned to art and writing to

explore the darker aspects of life – anxieties,

fears, insecurities, loss, emotional pain and

‘baggage’ – and how these hold the keys to

insight, meaning and purpose. In Darkness is

Golden, Mary Hoang reveals the hidden gold

that lies in your darkness, showing you how

exploring your shadows can give you a new

sense of direction for the future.

How to Raise a


Megan de Beyer


PB $32.99

How can we raise boys

to become good men?

How can mothers, in

particular, help their

sons to walk through the world as considerate

adults? Written by a parenting expert and

drawing on Western psychology as well as

Eastern philosophy, in How to Raise a Man

you will learn about the development of

masculinity, how to identify your parenting

style and familiarise yourself with the issues

facing parenthood today to become a more

compassionate, centred and effective parent.

Eat Better


Hugh Fearnley-



HB $45.00

In Eat Better Forever,

Hugh Fearnley-

Whittingstall gives you all the tools to improve

your eating habits, and therefore your life -

permanently. Starting with the simple message

that we all need to ‘Go Whole’, everything that

follows is clear, believable and achievable. From

sorting the good carbs from the bad, learning

not to fear fat and how to look after our gut,

Hugh guides us to a better way of eating that

will last us our whole lives.


Culture is Life

Wayne Quilliam



HB $39.99

A modern photographic

celebration of the

diversity of Indigenous

Australians.The people

featured in the book include many high-profile

Indigenous Australians, as well as community

members of different ages from Tasmania to

the Torres Strait. With various feature sections

on significant events such as Sorry Day and

the All Stars game, this book is an accessible

gateway to better understand and appreciate

the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait

Islander peoples.

What is a Bird?

Tony D. Williams





HB $59.99

There are some

10,000 bird species

in existence today, occupying every continent

and virtually every habitat on Earth. What Is a

Bird? explores all aspects of these remarkable

creatures, providing an up-close look at their

morphology, unique internal anatomy and

physiology, fascinating and varied behaviour,

and ecology. It features hundreds of colour

illustrations and draws on a broad range of

examples, from the familiar backyard sparrow to

the most exotic birds of paradise.

Black Summer

Michael Rowland


TPB $34.99

The bushfires that burnt

across Australia from June 2019 to

February 2020 were unprecedented.

But out of the tragedies, the fear, the

lost homes, the burnt forests, the bleak

holiday and the unrelenting smoke have

come stories of courage and community.

Edited by Michael Rowland and with

forewords by Ita Buttrose and Andrew

Constance, this book brings together

contributions from ABC journalists on the

ground during the crises who brought

many of these stories into homes across

the nation.


Day Break

Amy McQuire &

Matt Chun (illus)



HB $24.99

Day Break is the story of a family making their

way back to Country on January 26. We see

the strength they draw from being together,

and from sharing stories as they move through

a shifting landscape. The story refocuses the

narratives around ‘Australia Day’ on Indigenous

survival and resistance, and in doing so honours

the past while looking to the future. A crucial

story that will open up a conversation on truthtelling

for the next generation.

Jetty Jumping

Andrea Rowe

& Hannah

Sommerville (illus)



HB $24.99

While Milla’s friends take big, brave jumps off

the jetty, Milla stays on the blistering wood,

scared of what lurks below. But when she

accidentally falls off the edge, she discovers the

beauty of the deep, dark sea – and her summer

changes forever. Jetty Jumping perfectly

captures the challenges of childhood – and the

joy of letting go – in this homage to summer.

Amari and the

Night Brothers




HB $24.99

In store 20 January

Quinton Peters was the golden boy of

the Rosewood City low-income housing

projects, receiving full scholarship offers to

two different Ivy League schools. When he

mysteriously goes missing, his little sister,

12-year-old Amari Peters, can’t understand

why it’s not a bigger deal. Why isn’t his

story all over the news? And why do the

police automatically assume he was into

something illegal? A gripping, fun, heartfelt

new fantasy for 9 -12 year olds.

Little Gem

Anna Zobel Nielsen



PB $I4.99

When her spell at

Witchcraft School goes

wrong, Gem lands in an

empty cottage, outside a strange, colourful

town. The townsfok think Gem is their new

witch, even when Gem tries to correct them.

And Gem’s new friends do need her. The

Weather Worker is missing, and there are tales

of a terrifying beast in the woods. An adorable

new series for newly independent readers.

The Book of Hopes

Katherine Rundell



HB $24.99

In difficult times, what

children really need is

hope. And in that spirit,

bestselling author Katherine Rundell emailed

fellow children’s writers and artists and asked

them to create something that would make

them laugh or wonder or snort or smile.

Packed with short stories, poems and pictures

ranging from animal friends to extra-terrestial

aliens, this book aims to provide just that.

Concrete Rose

Angie Thomas


PB $16.99

In store 19 January

This is the story of

Maverick Carter, Starr’s

father, set seventeen

years before The Hate U Give. With his King

Lord dad in prison and his mum working two

jobs, seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter

helps by slinging drugs. When he finds out

he’s a father he jumps at the chance to go

straight but he soon discovers it’s not so easy

to just walk away.A compelling read for 13+.

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