Scribe Catalogue, Jan–June 2021

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Black and Blue

Veronica Gorrie

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The Speechwriter

Martin McKenzie-Murray

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A Room Called Earth

Madeleine Ryan

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The New Climate War

Michael E. Mann

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Two-Week Wait

Luke JacksonKelly Jackson

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Alison Gibbs

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a 9-step guide for finding a job you like (and actually getting hired to do it) Alexa Shoen

Banging your head against the wall with the job search? #ENTRYLEVELBOSS will help you stop freaking out. Miserable in your current role but no idea what to do next? With this book you’ll be able to make a decision, no personality tests required. Convinced that you are the most unhireable person on this planet? That’s statistically improbable — and you’ll be amazed at how employable you’ll be by the time you have finished reading.

This is personal training for your career, based on a step-by-step plan that includes:

  • All the intel you need about getting hired in today’s world, in today’s industries, and with today’s tools.
  • Hyper-specific advice including templates for networking emails, CVs, and cover letters.
  • Straight-to-the-point guidance about what not to do.
  • A solid dose of humour and emotional support from someone who really has been there.

The world of work has changed, and getting hired today for a job you actually want is going to take a lot more than a neatly typed cover letter and a well-pressed suit. But along with all the challenges of the new economy come unprecedented opportunities, and careers expert Alexa Shoen is here to unlock them for you.

‘A game-changer for anyone who feels like they're waiting for their ‘real’ career to start. You can either read Alexa’s book, or keep having the ‘Sunday Scaries’ for the rest of your f*cking life. You pick.’

Sarah Knight, New York Times bestselling author of Get Your Sh*t Together

Alexa Shoen

Alexa Shoen, born in 1989, is the internet’s leading confidant for panicking job seekers and the CEO of #ENTRYLEVELBOSS: an online education company that transforms those job seekers into hired, happy professionals. She previously worked in design for Facebook, leading cross-platform initiatives to optimise the company’s multi-billion-dollar advertising business. Before that, she was one of the most sought-after communication consultants in the European tech industry and advised high-growth companies in Berlin, London, and New York. Alexa is a beneficiary of the UK’s Exceptional Talent (Technology) visa scheme, a prestigious immigration route awarded to just 200 world-leading technologists annually. She’s also an acclaimed independent jazz vocalist. Alexa is originally from San Diego, California.


Sònia Hernández (trans. Samuel Rutter)

A sly and playful novel about the many faces we all have.

Fifteen-year-old Berta says that beautiful things aren’t made for her, or that she isn’t destined to have them, or that the only things she deserves are ugly. It’s why her main activity, when she’s not at school, is playing the ‘prosopagnosia game’ — standing in front of the mirror and holding her breath until she can no longer recognise her own face. An ibis is the only animal she wants for a pet.

Berta’s mother is in her forties. By her own estimation, she is at least twenty kilos overweight, and her husband has just left her. Her whole life, she has felt a keen sense of being very near to the end of things. She used to be a cultural critic for a regional newspaper. Now she feels it is her responsibility to make her and her daughter’s lives as happy as possible.

A man who claims to be the famous Mexican artist Vicente Rojo becomes entangled in their lives when he sees Berta faint at school and offers her the gift of a painting. This sets in motion an uncanny game of assumed and ignored identities, where the limits of what one wants and what one can achieve become blurred. Art, culture, motherhood, and the search for meaning all have a part to play in whether Sònia Hernàndez’ characters recognise what they see within.

‘With [Prosopagnosia], Sònia Hernández cements her place as one of the most individual voices of her generation.’

La Vanguardia

Sònia Hernández

Sònia Hernández was born in 1976, in Terrassa. Granta named her one of their ‘Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists’ in 2010. A writer and critic, she has contributed to many publications.


the 12-step guide to science-based nutrition for a healthier and longer life Bas Kast (trans. David Shaw)

What do people with a particularly long life-span eat?
How can you lose weight efficiently?
Are illnesses in old age avoidable?
Can you ‘eat yourself young’

Discover the answers to these questions and more in this practical, science-based guide to eating well and living longer, which has sold over a million copies worldwide.

When science journalist Bas Kast collapsed with chest pains, he feared he had ruined his health forever with a diet of junk food. So he set off on a journey to uncover the essentials of diet and longevity.

Here, filtered from thousands of sometimes conflicting research findings, Kast presents the key scientific insights that reveal the most beneficial diet possible. From analysing how much sugar you should consume to looking at the impact of supplements, fasting, and even whether you should drink tea or coffee, Kast breaks down diet myths to present the key facts you need to know in clear, accessible language.

‘The most important non-fiction book of the year.’

Der Spiegel

Bas Kast

Bas Kast was born in 1973, and studied psychology and biology in Constance, Bochum, and Boston. He works as a science journalist and author. His publications include I Do Not Know What I Want (2012), and And Suddenly CLICK! (2015).


a new translation (trans. Maria Dahvana Headley)


A new, feminist translation of Beowulf by the author of The Mere Wife

Nearly twenty years after Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf — and fifty years after the translation that continues to torment high-school students around the world — there is a radical new verse interpretation of the epic poem by Maria Dahvana Headley, which brings to light elements never before translated into English.

A man seeks to prove himself as a hero. A monster seeks silence in his territory. A warrior seeks to avenge her murdered son. A dragon ends it all. These familiar components of the epic poem are seen with a novelist’s eye towards gender, genre, and history. Beowulf has always been a tale of entitlement and encroachment — of powerful men seeking to become more powerful and one woman seeking justice for her child — but this version brings new context to an old story. While crafting her contemporary adaptation, Headley unearthed significant shifts lost over centuries of translation; her Beowulf is one for the twenty-first century.

‘Maria Dahvana Headley’s decision to make Beowulf a bro puts his macho bluster in a whole new light.’

Andrea Kannapell, The New York Times


Alison Gibbs

‘But then we all love this place, don’t we, in our different ways?’

It’s the summer of 1976, and the winds of change are blowing through the small town of Repentance on the edge of the Great Dividing Range. The old families farmed cattle and cut timber, but the new settlers, the hippies, have a different perspective on the natural order and humankind’s place in the scheme of things. Soon everything will be disturbed. Either the old growth is coming down or the loggers have to be stopped. And although not everyone agrees on tactics, noone will escape being drawn into the coming confrontation.

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.

‘A fierce, fair, and moving novel, so true you can smell the rainforest.’

Robert Drewe

Alison Gibbs

Alison Gibbs was born in Kyogle in 1963 and spent her childhood in the towns and villages of northern New South Wales. She now lives in Sydney, where she runs her own writing consultancy producing copy for United Nations agencies and the not-for-profit sector. Her short stories and essays have been published and broadcast in Australia and the United Kingdom and have received numerous short-listings and awards. Repentance is her first novel.


how we mate, why we stray, and what it means for modern sexuality Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jetha

The 10th-anniversary edition of the book that radically re-evaluates the origins and nature of human sexuality.

Since Darwin’s day, we’ve been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science — as well as religious and cultural institutions — has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man’s possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman’s fertility and fidelity.

In this groundbreaking book, however, Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá argue that human beings evolved in egalitarian groups that shared food, child care, and, often, sexual partners. Weaving together evidence from anthropology, archaeology, primatology, anatomy, and psychosexuality, the authors show how far from human nature monogamy really is.

With intelligence and humour, Ryan and Jethá explain how our promiscuous past haunts our contemporary struggles.  They explore why many people find long-term fidelity so difficult; why sexual passion tends to fade even as love deepens; why homosexuality persists in the face of standard evolutionary logic; and what the human body reveals about the prehistoric origins of modern sexuality.

Shocking, enlightening, and ultimately inspiring, Sex at Dawn offers a revolutionary understanding of why we live and love as we do.

‘Stunningly original. Sex at Dawn reframes our understanding of the origins and nature of human sexuality. Persuasive and supported by wide-ranging interdisciplinary research … Full of humour, passion, and insight.’

Stanley Krippner, PhD, author of The Mythic Path

Christopher Ryan

Christopher Ryan received his PhD in research psychology at Saybrook Graduate School in San Francisco, focusing on pre-historic sexual behaviour. He has taught at the University of Barcelona Medical School and published both scientific and popular articles and book chapters on human sexuality.

Cacilda Jetha

Dr Cacilda Jetha, is a practising psychiatrist, specialising in psycho-sexual disorders and couples therapy. She has done field research on sexuality for the World Health Organisation.Ryan and Jetha are married and live in Barcelona, where they co-author a blog for Psychology Today:


Joe Biden

President Joe Biden tells the story of his extraordinary life and career prior to his emergence as Barack Obama’s beloved, influential vice president.

‘I remain captivated by the possibilities of politics and public service. In fact, I believe that my chosen profession is a noble calling.’ – Joe Biden

Joe Biden has both witnessed and participated in a momentous epoch of American history. In Promises to Keep, he reveals what these experiences taught him about himself, his colleagues, and the institutions of government.

With his customary honesty and wit, Biden movingly and eloquently recounts growing up in a staunchly Catholic multigenerational household in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware; overcoming personal tragedy, life-threatening illness, and career setbacks; his relationships with presidents, world leaders, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle; and his leadership of powerful Senate committees.

Through these and other recollections, Biden shows us how the guiding principles he learned early in life — to work to make people's lives better; to honour family and faith; to value persistence, candour, and honesty — are the foundation on which he has based his life’s work as husband, father, and public servant.

Promises to Keep is an intimate series of reflections from a politician who surmounted numerous challenges to become one of America’s most effective leaders and who refuses to be cynical about politics. It is also a stirring testament to the promise of the United States.

‘A ripping good read … Biden is a master storyteller and has stories worth telling.’

The Christian Science Monitor

Joe Biden

Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States, was first elected to the Senate in 1972, and served there until 2009, when he assumed the office of vice president under Barack Obama for two terms. He grew up in New Castle County, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware and the Syracuse University College of Law. He lives in Wilmington, Delaware.


Trevor Shearston

‘Please. I’m in hell!’ The truth of that was in his face. The rims of his eyes were red-raw, his hair was matted, he hadn’t shaved since knocking at her door, when he’d been clean-shaven — one of the few details she remembered of that blurred encounter. ‘I know why you’re avoiding me. Whoever told the cops told you, too.’

It’s 1970, and young Annette Cooley is part of a small team working on an archaeological dig on the New South Wales south coast — a site that appears to prove that Aboriginal societies in the late Holocene were becoming less nomadic, even sedentary. The discovery is thrilling in its significance, and the atmosphere in the group is one of charged excitement. The team is led by a husband-and-wife pair, stars in their field, Aled Wray and Marilyn Herr, and working on their sites promises to be the making of Annette as an archaeologist.

On a new site, linked to the first, Annette starts to fall for a fellow student, Brian Harpur. But there are strange tensions and a hidden darkness within the group. Then one of their party mysteriously disappears. When police arrive, Annette makes a decision that will irrevocably mark her life, and Brian Harpur’s.

Written in clear, beautiful prose, and with great depth and moral complexity, The Beach Caves is a powerful story about jealousy, guilt, the choices we make, and the different paths our lives could have taken — shadow paths, which nevertheless leave a trace.

‘An archaeological thriller that has a real sense of lived experience. Written with beautiful exactitude by a natural writer.’

Joan London

Trevor Shearston

Trevor Shearston is the author of Something in the Blood, Sticks That Kill, White Lies, Concertinas, A Straight Young Back, Tinder, Dead Birds, and Hare’s Fur. His novel Game, about the bushranger Ben Hall, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, and the Colin Roderick Award. He lives in Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains.


Jessica Gaitán Johannesson

People say ‘I’m sorry’ all the time when it can mean both ‘I’m sorry I hurt you’ and ‘I’m sorry someone else did something I have nothing to do with’. It’s like the English language gave up on trying to find a word for sympathy which wasn’t also the word for guilt.

Swedish immigrant Kristin won’t talk about the Project growing inside her. Her Brazilian-born Scottish boyfriend Ciaran won’t speak English at all; he is trying to immerse himself in a Swedish
språkbad language bath,
to prepare for their future, whatever the fick that means. Their Edinburgh flat is starting to feel very small.

As this young couple is forced to confront the thing that they are both avoiding, they must reckon with the bigger questions of the world outside, and their places in it.

How We Are Translated is the most contemporary of novels; set somehow both in the now and in the distant past; in one city that could be many cities, and in two different languages, though also in defiance of language, with as much focus on the silences between words as the words themselves. It’s a novel that maintains just the right balance of oddity, intimacy and illumination. It’s a novel that anyone interested in the future of the English novel needs to read!’

Sara Baume, author of Spill Simmer Falter Wither

Jessica Gaitán Johannesson

Jessica Gaitán Johannesson grew up speaking Spanish and Swedish and currently lives primarily in English. She’s a bookseller and an activist working for climate justice and lives in Bath, England. How We Are Translated is her first novel.


book editors who made publishing history Craig Munro

‘Writers, their friends, enemies, editors, and publishers began to materialise out of the library’s archive boxes, and I found myself setting off in search of these elusive, eccentric, and often quarrelsome characters.’

With his unique and entertaining blend of memoir, biography, and literary detective work, Craig Munro recreates the lives and careers of a group of renowned Australian editors and their authors in a narrative spanning from the 1890s to the 1990s.

Among those encountered on the journey are A.G. Stephens, who helped turn foundry worker Joseph Furphy’s thousand-page handwritten manuscript into the enduring classic Such Is Life; P.R. Stephensen, who tangled with an irascible Xavier Herbert to tame his unwieldy masterpiece Capricornia; Beatrice Davis, whose literary soirees were the talk of Sydney, and who insisted Herbert cut his controversial novel Soldiers’ Women in half; and award-winning fiction editor Rosanne Fitzgibbon, who championed the work of many authors, including the prodigiously talented Gillian Mears.

Throughout it all, in beguiling and elegant style, Craig Munro weaves his own reminiscences of a life in publishing while tracking down some of Australian literature’s most fascinating stories. Literary Lion Tamers is a delight for anyone interested in the world of books and those who create them.

‘With an editor’s steady hand on the wheel, Munro steers us down the highways, byways, culs-de-sac and conduits of Australian literary publishing history. Personal, funny, moving and informative – it’s an exhilarating ride.’

Sylvia Martin, author of Ink in Her Veins

Craig Munro

Craig Munro is an award-winning biographer and the founding chair of the Queensland Writers Centre. As the inaugural fiction editor at the University of Queensland Press, and later as publishing manager, he worked with many emerging writers who have since become celebrated authors. Craig won the Barbara Ramsden Award for editing in 1985, and studied book publishing in Canada and the United States on a Churchill Fellowship in 1991. His previous books include Paper Empires: a history of the book in Australia, 1946–2005 (co-edited with Robyn Sheahan-Bright) and Under Cover: adventures in the art of editing.


Martin McKenzie-Murray

In his fiction debut, erstwhile speechwriter Martin McKenzie-Murray takes us on a frantic, funny, and surreal journey through the corridors of power.

Toby, former speechwriter to the PM, has reached a new low: locked behind bars in a high-security prison, with sentient PlayStations storming the city outside, and the worst of Australia’s criminals forcing him to ghost-write letters to their loved ones or have his spine repurposed as a coat-rack. How did he get here? From the vantage point of his prison cell, Toby pens his memoir, trying to piece together how he fell so far, all the while fielding the uninvited literary opinions of his murderous cellmate, Garry.

What Toby unspools is a tale of twisted bureaucracy, public servants gone rogue, and the ever-present pervasive stench of rotting prawns (don’t ask). Realising that his political career is far from the noble endeavour he’d once imagined it would be, Toby makes a bid for freedom … before the terrible realisation dawns: it's impossible to get fired from the public service. Refusing to give up (or have to pay for his relocation fee), Toby’s attempts to get fired grow more and more extreme, and he finds himself being propelled higher and higher through the ranks of bureaucracy.

‘A savage, laugh-out-loud satire that hits the ground running and never lets up.’

Tony Martin

Martin McKenzie-Murray

Martin McKenzie-Murray was The Saturday Paper’s chief correspondent, work for which made him both a Walkley and Quill finalist. Before that, he worked as a teacher, speechwriter, Age columnist, and adviser to the chief commissioner of Victoria Police. Elsewhere, his writing has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Monthly, Guardian Australia, Meanjin, and Best Australian Essays. His first book, A Murder Without Motive: the killing of Rebecca Ryle, was shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Awards for crime writing.


the fight to take back our planet Michael E. Mann

One of The Observer’s ‘Thirty books to help us understand the world’

Recycle. Fly less. Eat less meat. These are some of the ways that we’ve been told we can save the planet. But are individuals really to blame for the climate crisis?

Seventy-one per cent of global emissions come from the same hundred companies, but fossil-fuel companies have taken no responsibility themselves. Instead, they have waged a thirty-year campaign to blame individuals for climate change. The result has been disastrous for our planet.

In The New Climate War, renowned scientist Michael E. Mann argues that all is not lost. He draws the battle lines between the people and the polluters — fossil-fuel companies, right-wing plutocrats, and petro-states — and outlines a plan for forcing our governments and corporations to wake up and make real change.

‘Mann shows that corporations and lobbyists have been successful in convincing us that climate change will be fine, if we just recycle our bottles and turn out the lights. Instead, he says, global warming is a problem way too hot for any one person to handle. He’s optimistic though, because he sees what we really can and will do. Read his book, and let's get to work.’

Bill Nye, science educator, CEO of The Planetary Society

Michael E. Mann

Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State. He has received many honours and awards, including his selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002. Additionally, he contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2018 he received the Award for Public Engagement with Science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Climate Communication Prize from the American Geophysical Union. In 2020 he was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of numerous books, including Dire Predictions: understanding climate change and The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: dispatches from the front lines. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania.


Madeleine Ryan

A brilliant debut from a neurodiverse author that explores a young woman's magical, sensitive, and passionate inner world.

A young woman gets ready to go to a party. She arrives, feels overwhelmed, leaves, and then returns. Minutely attuned to the people who come into her view, and alternating between alienation and profound connection, she is hilarious, self-aware, sometimes acerbic, and always honest.

And by the end of the night, she’s shown us something radical about love, loss, and the need to belong.

‘A resolute deep dive into an inner self, a transcendent character study, and a timely reminder that there’s an entire universe inside of everyone we meet. You will be moved.’

Matthew Quick, New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook

Madeleine Ryan

Madeleine Ryan is an Australian writer, director, and actor. She’s been widely published in Australia and overseas, including in The New York Times, Lenny Letter, Bustle, The Age, The Daily Telegraph, Vice, SBS, and The Sydney Morning Herald. She currently lives in rural Victoria. You can find her online at A Room Called Earth is her first novel.


liberty and justice in the age of perpetual surveillance Jon Fasman

What are citizens of a free country willing to tolerate in the name of public safety?

Jon Fasman journeys from the US to London — one of the most heavily surveilled cities on earth — to China and beyond, to expose the legal, political, and moral issues surrounding how the state uses surveillance technology.

Automatic licence-plate readers allow police to amass a granular record of where people go, when, and for how long. Drones give the state eyes — and possibly weapons — in the skies. Algorithms purport to predict where and when crime will occur, and how big a risk a suspect has of reoffending. Specially designed tools can crack a device’s encryption keys, rending all privacy protections useless. And facial recognition technology poses perhaps a more dire and lasting threat than any other form of surveillance.

Jon Fasman examines how these technologies help police do their jobs, and what their use means for our privacy rights and civil liberties, exploring vital questions, such as: Should we expect to be tracked and filmed whenever we leave our homes? Should the state have access to all of the data we generate? Should private companies? What might happen if all of these technologies are combined and put in the hands of a government with scant regard for its citizens’ civil liberties?

Through on-the-ground reporting and vivid storytelling, Fasman explores one of the most urgent issues of our time.

‘[A] deeply reported and sometimes chilling look at mass surveillance technologies in the American justice system … Fasman avoids alarmism while making a strong case for greater public awareness and tighter regulations around these technologies. This illuminating account issues an essential warning about a rising threat to America’s civil liberties.’

Publishers Weekly

Jon Fasman

Jon Fasman is the U.S. digital editor for The Economist, having previously been Washington correspondent, South-East Asia bureau chief and Atlanta correspondent. In addition to his work for The Economist, he is also the author of two novels: The Geographer’s Library and The Unpossessed City. Fasman resides in Westchester County, New York.


a reckoning Alison Croggon

‘This figure I see in the foreground, this me. How monstrous am I? What does it mean to be a monster? From Latin monstrum, meaning an abomination … grotesque, hideous, ugly, ghastly, gruesome, horrible …

‘I was born as part of a monstrous structure — the grotesque, hideous, ugly, ghastly, gruesome, horrible relations of power that constituted colonial Britain. A structure that shaped me, that shapes the very language that I speak and use and love. I am the daughter of an empire that declared itself the natural order of the world.’

From award-winning writer and critic Alison Croggon, Monsters is a hybrid of memoir and essay that takes as its point of departure the painful breakdown of a relationship between two sisters. It explores how our attitudes are shaped by the persisting myths that underpin colonialism and patriarchy, how the structures we are raised within splinter and distort the possibilities of our lives and the lives of others. Monsters asks how we maintain the fictions that we create about ourselves, what we will sacrifice to maintain these fictions — and what we have to gain by confronting them.

‘A marvel of a book … Croggon spares no one, least of all herself, as she unearths colonial history and family complicity to scrutinise those demons that both torment and shape us. This is exactly the kind of book I have longed to see white authors write, and I love it for its refusal to provide easy answers to the dilemma at the heart of the modern human condition.’

Ruby Hamad, author of White Tears/Brown Scars

Alison Croggon

Alison Croggon is an award-winning novelist, poet, theatre writer, critic, and editor who lives in Melbourne, Australia


how to understand your hormones and transform your life Susanne Esche-Belke, Suzann Kirschner-Brouns (trans. Alexandra Roesch)

A handbook for how we can use the power of our hormones to master any stage of life.

Joint pain, weight gain, migraines, acne, sleepless nights, loss of libido — all of these and more can be caused by hormone imbalances. Our health is impacted by our hormones all the way through our lives. So why do we often assume they’re mainly ‘a menopause thing’, and wait until hot flushes arrive before we take them seriously? Many women who experience hormone-related symptoms find that they aren’t acknowledged or treated until menopause hits, despite the impact they can have years before this, on all aspects of our lives.

With advances in medical science, however, effective new treatment options are available, including modern hormone replacement therapy (HRT), diet, and exercise. So why don’t more of us know that help is at hand? Why are we still being told that we have to put up with these conditions?

Our Hormones, Our Health is written by two doctors who draw on their experience as practitioners, and as women. With the aid of pioneering research from epigenetics, stress medicine, nutritional medicine, and modern HRT, they show us how we can live with health and happiness — no matter what our age.

‘A life-changing new book.’

Daily Mail

Susanne Esche-Belke

Dr Susanne Esche-Belke is a specialist in general medicine, and has been combining conventional medical knowledge with the latest findings in stress and integrative medicine in clinics and in her own practice for 20 years. Her focus is on the holistic therapy of female hormone and immune disorders. She is the co-founder of the women’s health platform Less — Doctors for Balance

Suzann Kirschner-Brouns

Dr Suzann Kirschner-Brouns is a doctor and mediator. As a medical journalist and author, she writes on health issues for well-known publishers and magazines. Formerly editor-in-chief of a gynaecological journal, and the health magazine of Der Spiegel, she is the co-founder of the women’s health platform Less — Doctors for Balance.


how the KGB cultivated Donald Trump and related tales of sex, greed, power, and treachery Craig Unger


American Kompromat unravels the Russian-influenced operations that amassed the dirty little secrets of the richest and most powerful men on earth.

American Kompromat is based on extended and exclusive interviews with high-level sources in the KGB, CIA, and FBI, as well as lawyers at white-shoe Washington firms, associates of Jeffrey Epstein, and thousands of pages of FBI reports, police investigations, and news articles in English, Russian, and Ukrainian. A narrative offering jaw-dropping context, and set in Upper East Side mansions and private Caribbean islands, gigantic yachts, and private jets, American Kompromat shows that from Donald Trump to Jeffrey Epstein, Russian operations transformed the darkest secrets of the most powerful people in the world into potent weapons that served its interests.

Among its many revelations, American Kompromat addresses what may be the single most important unanswered question of the entire Trump era — and one that Unger argues is even more important now that Trump is out of office: Was Donald Trump a Russian asset? Just how compromised was he? And how could such an audacious feat have been accomplished? To answer these questions and more, Craig Unger reports, is to understand kompromat— operations that amassed compromising information on the richest and most powerful men on earth, and that leveraged power by appealing to what is, for some, the most prized possession of all: their vanity.

This is a story that transcends the end of the Trump administration, illuminating a major underreported aspect of Trump’s corruption that has profoundly damaged American democracy.

‘For the first time a former KGB employee has gone on record to describe Donald Trump's historic relationship with the Kremlin. It's a bombshell that must be looked into.’

Robert Baer, former CIA operative and author of See No Evil

Craig Unger

Craig Unger is the author of six books, including the New York Times bestsellers House of Trump, House of Putin and House of Bush, House of Saud. For fifteen years, he was a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, where he covered national security, the Middle East, and other political issues. He was a longtime staffer at New York Magazine, has served as editor-in-chief of Boston magazine, and has contributed to Esquire, The New Yorker, and many other publications. He also appears frequently as an analyst on MSNBC, CNN, and other broadcast outlets. Unger has written about the Trump-Russia scandal for The New Republic, Vanity Fair, and The Washington Post. He is a graduate of Harvard University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


how six unlikely heroes saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust Jan Brokken (trans. David McKay)

The remarkable story of how a consul and his allies helped save thousands of Jews from the Holocaust in one of the greatest rescue operations of the twentieth century.

In May 1940, Jan Zwartendijk, the director of the Lithuanian branch of the Philips electrical-goods company, stepped into history when he accepted the honorary role of Dutch consul.

In Kaunas, the capital of Lithuania, desperate Jewish refugees faced annihilation in the Holocaust. That was when Zwartendijk — with the help of Chiune Sugihara, the consul for Japan, and the Dutch ambassador in Riga, Latvia — chose to break his country’s diplomatic rules. He opened up a possible route to freedom through the ruse of issuing visas to the Dutch colony of Curaçao on the other side of the world. Thanks to these visas, and Sugihara’s approval of onward passage, many Jews — up to 10,000 — were able to travel on the Trans-Siberian Express all through Soviet Russia to Vladivostok, further to Japan, and onwards to China.

Most of the Jews whom Zwartendijk helped escape survived the war, and they and their descendants settled in America, Canada, Australia, and other countries. Zwartendijk and Sugihara were true heroes, and yet they were both shunned by their own countries after the war, and their courageous, unstinting actions have remained relatively unknown.

In The Just, renowned Dutch author Jan Brokken wrests this heroic story from oblivion and traces the journeys of a number of the rescued Jews. This epic narrative shows how, even in life-threatening circumstances, some people make the right choice at the right time. It is a lesson in character and courage.

The Just is a riveting epic, a masterful interweaving of many threads and many journeys, written with consummate skill, clarity, and acute insight into human nature. Brokken restores to history, and to memory, acts of profound goodness and courage performed by individuals who responded to the frantic knock on the door by displaced people whose lives were in great peril. It will inspire you.’

Arnold Zable, author of Café Scheherazade

Jan Brokken

Jan Brokken is a writer of fiction, travel, and literary nonfiction. He gained international fame with The Rainbird, The Blind Passengers, My Little Madness, Baltic Souls, In the House of the Poet, The Reprisal, and The Cossack Garden, and his books have been translated into ten languages. The Just is his latest book.


the British army since 9/11 Simon Akam

A revelatory, explosive new analysis of the British military today.

Over the first two decades of the twenty-first century, Britain has changed enormously. During this time, the British Army fought two campaigns, in Iraq and Afghanistan, at considerable financial and human cost. Yet neither war achieved its objectives. This book questions why, and provides challenging but necessary answers.

Composed from assiduous documentary research, field reportage, and hundreds of interviews with many soldiers and officers who served, as well as the politicians who directed them, the allies who accompanied them, and the family members who loved and — on occasion — lost them, it is a strikingly rich, nuanced portrait of one of Britain’s pivotal national institutions in a time of great stress.

Award-winning journalist Simon Akam, who spent a year in the army when he was 18, returned a decade later to see how the institution had changed. His book examines the relevance of the armed forces today — their social, economic, political, and cultural role. This is as much a book about Britain, and about the politics of failure, as it is about the military.

‘Akam’s beautifully written, from the inside out, account of the British Army’s reluctance to engage with the realities of recent small wars, in Afghanistan in particular, is a must-read for every serious student of modern military history. At one level, it explains how and why we managed to turn victory over Al Qaeda in Afghanistan into defeat at the hands of the Taliban. But this book is about much more than the army in Afghanistan — it is a parable about failure, the failure of a revered institution, with a proud history and an uncritical public, to come to terms with a changed and changing world.’

Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, former British ambassador to Afghanistan

Simon Akam

Simon Akam (@simonakam, held a Gap Year Commission in the British Army before attending Oxford University. He won a Fulbright scholarship to study at Columbia Journalism School and in 2010 won the professional strand of The Guardian’s International Development Journalism Competition. He has worked for The New York Times, Reuters, and Newsweek, and his writing has appeared in publications including The Economist, GQ, Bloomberg Businessweek, Outside, The Washington Post, the Financial Times, New Statesman, the Paris Review, and The New Republic. He co-hosts the writing podcast Always Take Notes (@takenotesalways,


Henriette Roosenburg

In this gripping memoir, originally published in 1957, the Dutch author, codename ‘Zip’, recounts her extraordinary journey.

A young fighter for the resistance during World War II, Zip is captured and held prisoner as part of the ‘Night and Fog’ unit, political prisoners who wait out the war in a crowded, secret cell. During their long days and nights, each creates a secret embroidery telling the story of their war, including when they are moved from place to place, writing each other’s names in morse code out of contraband black thread. Upon liberation, Zip must find her way back to Holland with her three companions, scant belongings, and any food they can ‘liberate’ or are given by the goodwill of soldiers or villagers along the way.

In cinematic, sweeping prose, Zip reveals all the details of the time, including the camaraderie of fellow political prisoners upon release: the Dutch prisoners of war who have kept their uniforms intact; the French p.o.w.s in threadbare yet debonair getups; the French women resistance fighters who break out in song (‘La Marseillaise’) to reunite a hungry mob; not to mention the Russian liberators, and the American soldiers.

The world they enter has turned upside down. The jovial spirit and giddiness they share at being free is uplifting and unforgettable.

An adroit, page-turning and heroic tale of humanity – after the darkness, there is so much light. The Walls Came Tumbling Down is a true World War II classic.

‘You feel the life seeping back into these wasted, emaciated, exhausted friends like spring itself … You marvel at the capillary action that one caring human being can create in another with simple kindness, but in the end, pure luck, like a blessing, rains down from the heavens.’

Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times

Henriette Roosenburg

Henriette Roosenburg (1916–1972), known as ‘Zip’, was part of the Dutch resistance during World War II, collecting news for the underground press and helping maintain an escape route for crashed Allied pilots. After being arrested in 1944 and condemned to death, she survived internment in a Gestapo prison in Germany before being liberated by the Russian army in May 1945. After the war, she emigrated to the United States, and started to work for Life Magazine. She wrote the first draft of what would later become The Walls Came Tumbling Down for The New Yorker.


a memoir of racism and resilience Veronica Gorrie

The story of an Aboriginal woman who worked as a police officer and fought for justice both within and beyond the Australian police force.

A proud Gunai/Kurnai woman, Veronica Gorrie grew up dauntless, full of cheek and a fierce sense of justice. After watching her friends and family suffer under a deeply compromised law-enforcement system, Gorrie signed up for training to become one of a rare few Aboriginal police officers in Australia. In her ten years in the force, she witnessed appalling institutional racism and sexism, and fought past those things to provide courageous and compassionate service to civilians in need, many Aboriginal themselves.

With a great gift for storytelling and a wicked sense of humour, Gorrie frankly and movingly explores the impact of racism on her family and her life, the impact of intergenerational trauma resulting from cultural dispossession, and the inevitable difficulties of making her way in the white- and male-dominated workplace of the police force.

Black and Blue is a memoir of remarkable fortitude and resilience, told with wit, wisdom, and great heart.

‘Loved it. I read it in one sitting — couldn’t put it down. I thought of A.B. Facey as I read her astounding journey. What an incredible woman.’

Melissa Lucashenko, Miles Franklin Award-winning author of Too Much Lip

Veronica Gorrie

Veronica Gorrie is a Gunai/Kurnai woman who lives and writes in Victoria. Black and Blue, a memoir of her childhood and the decade she spent in the police force, is her first book.


language, power, and Alexander Graham Bell’s quest to end deafness Katie Booth

A revelatory revisionist biography of Alexander Graham Bell — renowned inventor of the telephone and powerful enemy of the deaf community.

When Alexander Graham Bell first unveiled his telephone to the world, it was considered miraculous. But few people know that it was inspired by another supposed miracle: his work teaching the deaf to speak. The son of one deaf woman and husband to another, he was motivated by a desire to empower deaf people by integrating them into the hearing world, but he ended up becoming their most powerful enemy, waging a war against sign language and deaf culture that still rages today.

The Invention of Miracles tells the dual stories of Bell’s remarkable, world-changing invention and his dangerous ethnocide of deaf culture and language. It also charts the rise of deaf activism and tells the triumphant tale of a community reclaiming a once-forbidden language.

Katie Booth has researched this story for over a decade, poring over Bell’s papers, Library of Congress archives, and the records of deaf schools around America. Witnessing the damaging impact of Bell’s legacy on her deaf family set her on a path that upturned everything she thought she knew about language, power, deafness, and technology.

‘Fascinating. The Invention of Miracles tells the story of how Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone was intertwined with his sincere but misguided passion for teaching the deaf how to speak. It’s a tale of great love, brilliant innovation, personal drama, and the unintended consequences of good intentions.’

Walter Isaacson #1 New York Times bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs

Katie Booth

Katie Booth teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work has appeared in The Believer, Aeon, Catapult, and Harper’s Magazine, and has been highlighted on Longreads and Longform; ‘The Sign for This’ was a notable essay in the 2016 edition of Best American Essays. Booth received a number of prestigious fellowships to support the writing of The Invention of Miracles, including from the Library of Congress and the Massachusetts Historical Society. She was raised in a mixed hearing/deaf family.


a memoir of family property and stolen Nazi treasure Menachem Kaiser

Menachem Kaiser’s brilliantly told story, woven from improbable events and profound revelations, is set in motion when the author takes up his Holocaust-survivor grandfather’s former battle to reclaim the family’s apartment building in Sosnowiec, Poland.

Soon, he is on a circuitous path to encounters with the long-time residents of the building, and with a Polish lawyer known as ‘The Killer’. A surprise discovery — that his grandfather’s cousin not only survived the war but also wrote a secret memoir while a slave labourer in a vast, secret Nazi tunnel complex — leads to Kaiser being adopted as a virtual celebrity by a band of Silesian treasure seekers who revere the memoir as the indispensable guidebook to Nazi plunder.

Propelled by rich, original research, Kaiser immerses readers in profound questions that reach far beyond his personal quest. What does it mean to seize your own legacy? Can reclaimed property repair rifts among the living? Plunder is both a deeply immersive adventure story and an irreverent, daring interrogation of inheritance — material, spiritual, familial, and emotional.

‘Menachem Kaiser is a young writer and storyteller of stunning talent, originality, and wisdom, and his debut book is gloriously impossible to categorise — by turns hilarious and profound, digressive and suspenseful, intimate and sweeping, it stands as an enviable accomplishment.’

Gideon Lewis-Kraus, author of A Sense of Direction: pilgrimage for the restless and hopeful

Menachem Kaiser

Menachem Kaiser holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan and was a Fulbright Fellow to Lithuania. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, New York, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Anke Stelling (trans. Lucy Jones)

A prize-winning novel about class, money, creativity, and motherhood, that ultimately reveals what happens when the hypocrisies we live by are exposed ...

Resi is a writer in her mid-forties, married to Sven, a painter. They live, with their four children, in an apartment building in Berlin, where their lease is controlled by some of their closest friends. Those same friends live communally nearby, in a house they co-own and have built together. Only Resi and Sven, the token artists of their social circle, are renting. As the years have passed, Resi has watched her once-dear friends become more and more ensconced in the comforts and compromises of money, success, and the nuclear family.

After Resi’s latest book openly criticises stereotypical family life and values, she receives a letter of eviction. Incensed by the true natures and hard realities she now sees so clearly, Resi sets out to describe the world as it really is for her fourteen-year-old daughter, Bea. As Berlin, that creative mecca, crumbles under the inexorable march of privatisation and commodification, taking relationships with it, Resi is determined to warn Bea about the lures, traps, and ugly truths that await her.

Written with dark humour and clarifying rage, Anke Stelling’s novel is a ferocious and funny account of motherhood, parenthood, family, and friendship thrust into battle. Lively, rude, and wise, it throws down the gauntlet to those who fail to interrogate who they have become.

‘Stelling is brilliant on the quantum universe of parenting, the sheer unpredictability of it … The novel moves effortlessly between time periods in recent German history and builds up the composite picture of a generation that has too often seen many of its ideals disappear into trust funds … compelling.’

Michael Cronin, The Irish Times

Anke Stelling

Anke Stelling was born in 1971, in Ulm, Germany. She studied at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig. Stelling is a multi-award-winning novelist whose previous works have been much acclaimed. Higher Ground is the first of her novels to be translated into English. Stelling lives and works in Berlin.


an odyssey to Europe Ibrahima Balde, Amets Arzallus Antia (trans. Timberlake Wertenbaker)

A heartbreaking and magnificent account of a poor and illiterate young West African’s odysssey.

Ibrahima, whose family live in a village in the West African country of Guinea, helps his father sell shoes at a street stall in the capital, Conakry. At the sudden death of his father, he becomes the head of the family and picks up various skills, always alone and away from home, although his dream is to be a truck driver in his country.

But when his little brother, Alhassane, suddenly disappears, heading for Europe in a bid to earn money for the family, Ibrahima leaves everything behind to try to find him and convince him to go back to their village and continue his education. In an epic journey, Ibrahima risks his life many times searching for his little brother.

Each waystation that Ibrahima passes through takes him to another world, with different customs, other languages, other landscapes, other currencies, and new challenges to overcome. His willpower is astonishing, and the friendship and generosity of strangers he encounters on the way help him to keep going.

After enduring many trials and tribulations, he learns of Alhassane’s fate. Unable to return home, he embarks on the journey to Europe himself.

Little Brother is a testimonial account that gives a voice, heart, and soul, and flesh and bones to the seemingly nameless masses of people struggling and dying, trying only to achieve a better life for themselves and their families.

‘The charm of this wonderful book is both in the simplicity and the innocence of the storytelling. Ibrahima’s quest is at times heartbreaking, at times amusing, but steadfastly fascinating and admirable. His stream-of-consciousness delivery, with no detail too small to omit, will captivate readers and keep them turning the pages. This inspirational book should be mandatory reading at every school in the country.’

Robin Yocum, award-winning author of The Essay

Ibrahima Balde

Ibrahima Balde is a migrant from the Republic of Guinea who crossed the desert to look for his younger brother. After entering the European Union without papers, he made his way to the Basque country, where, while living in a homeless shelter in Irun, he met Amets Arzullus. Ibrahima has applied for asylum, and now lives in a Red Cross hostel in Madrid.

Amets Arzallus Antia

Amets Arzallus Antia, a child of refugees, is a renowned Basque improvisational poet who works with an association that supports migrants.


Jane Godwin (illus. Felicita Sala)

Arno had a horse,
it was brown and it was black.
He took it with him everywhere,
but did he bring it back?

When Arno loses his precious toy horse, all the kids ?in town help him to look for it. They look everywhere, but will Arno ever see his horse again?

A touching story about memory, dreams, and the mysterious ways we feel connected to those we love.

‘Besides offering an Australian setting and suggesting the boy's powerful connection with his grandfather, the book communicates a strong sense that something magical has happened … [T]he inviting artwork, created with watercolours, gouache, and coloured pencils, uses repeated lines and forms to echo the rhythm of the verse text … An appealing addition to picture-book collections.’


Jane Godwin

Jane Godwin is an Australian children’s book publisher, and also the highly acclaimed author of over twenty books for children, across all styles and ages. Her work is published internationally and she has received many commendations, including the Queensland Premier’s Award (Children’s Books), the Aurealis Award and the Animal Welfare Award, and shortlistings in the CBC Book of the Year Awards, the Prime Minister’s Literary Award, the New South Wales State Literary Award (Patricia Wrightson Prize), the YABBA Awards, the Speech Pathology Awards, The Family Award for Children’s Books, and the Australian Book Industry Awards.


Irvin D. Yalom, Marilyn Yalom

A year-long journey by the renowned psychiatrist and his writer wife after her fatal diagnosis, as they reflect on how to love and live without regret.

Internationally acclaimed psychiatrist and author Irvin Yalom devoted his career to counselling those suffering from anxiety and grief. But never had he faced the need to counsel himself until his wife, esteemed feminist author Marilyn Yalom, was diagnosed with cancer. In A Matter of Death and Life, Marilyn and Irv share how they took on profound new struggles: Marilyn to die a good death, Irv to live on without her.

In alternating accounts of their last months together and Irv's first months alone, they offer us a rare window into facing mortality and coping with the loss of one's beloved. The Yaloms had numerous blessings — a loving family, a Palo Alto home under a magnificent valley oak, a large circle of friends, avid readers around the world, and a long, fulfilling marriage — but they faced death as we all do. With the wisdom of those who have thought deeply and the familiar warmth of teenage sweethearts who've grown up together, they investigate universal questions of intimacy, love, and grief.

Informed by two lifetimes of experience, A Matter of Death and Life is an openhearted offering to anyone seeking support, solace, and a meaningful life.

‘This beautiful, poignant, and uplifting memoir is a love story, a tale of two incredibly accomplished lives that were lived almost as one, the sum turning out to be so much greater than its parts. It will inspire you and perhaps move you to look differently at your life — it did that for me.’

Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

Irvin D. Yalom

Irvin D. Yalom is emeritus professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. The author of two definitive psychotherapy textbooks, Dr Yalom has written several books for the general reader, including Love’s Executioner, Staring at the Sun, Creatures of a Day, and Becoming Myself; and the novels When Nietzsche Wept; The Schopenhauer Cure, and The Spinoza Problem. Dr Yalom lives in Palo Alto and San Francisco, California.

Marilyn Yalom

Marilyn Yalom’s books include classics of cultural history such as A History of the Wife, Birth of the Chess Queen, and How the French Invented Love, as well as her final book released posthumously, Innocent Witnesses. Marilyn and Irvin Yalom were married for sixty-five years.


an IVF story Luke Jackson, Kelly Jackson (illus. Mara Wild)

An original graphic novel based on the IVF stories of its husband-and-wife authors and the 1-in-50 couples around the world like them.

Conrad and Joanne met in their final year of university and have been virtually inseparable since then. For a while, it felt like they had all the time in the world. Yet now, when they are finally ready to have kids, they find that getting pregnant isn’t always so easy.

Ahead of them lies a difficult, expensive, and emotional journey into the world of assisted fertility, where each ‘successful’ implantation is followed by a two-week wait to see if the pregnancy takes. Join Joanne and Conrad, their friends, their family, their coworkers, and a stream of expert medical practitioners as they experience the highs and the lows, the tears and the laughter in this sensitive but unflinching portrayal of the hope and heartbreak offered to so many by modern medicine.

‘Full of honesty and vulnerability … Two-Week Wait will appeal to readers of memoir and graphic novels alike.’

Adam Ford, Books+Publishing

Luke Jackson

Luke C. Jackson is a teacher, and the author of novels, games, and films. He and his wife, Kelly, began their own IVF journey in 2011, and are now parents of two daughters. Two-Week Wait: an IVF story is their first novel.

Kelly Jackson

Kelly Jackson is a teacher and educational writer. She and her husband, Luke, began their own IVF journey in 2011, and are now parents of two daughters. Two-Week Wait: an IVF story is their first novel.


escape from China’s modern-day concentration camps Sayragul Sauytbay, Alexandra Cavelius (trans. Caroline Waight)

A shocking depiction of one of the world’s most ruthless regimes — and the story of one woman’s fight to survive.

I will never forget the camp. I cannot forget the eyes of the prisoners, expecting me to do something for them. They are innocent. I have to tell their story, to tell about the darkness they are in. It is so easy to suffocate us with the demons of powerlessness, shame, and guilt. But we aren’t the ones who should feel ashamed.

Born in China’s north-western province, Sayragul Sauytbay trained as a doctor before being appointed a senior civil servant. But her life was upended when the Chinese authorities incarcerated her. Her crime: being Kazakh, one of China’s ethnic minorities.

The north-western province borders the largest number of foreign nations and is the point in China that is the closest to Europe. In recent years it has become home to over 1,200 penal camps — modern-day gulags that are estimated to house three million members of the Kazakh and Uyghur minorities. Imprisoned solely due to their ethnicity, inmates are subjected to relentless punishment and torture, including being beaten, raped, and used as subjects for medical experiments. The camps represent the greatest systematic incarceration of an entire people since the Third Reich.

In prison, Sauytbay was put to work teaching Chinese language, culture, and politics, in the course of which she gained access to secret information that revealed Beijing’s long-term plans to undermine not only its minorities, but democracies around the world. Upon her escape to Europe she was reunited with her family, but still lives under the constant threat of reprisal. This rare testimony from the biggest surveillance state in the world reveals not only the full, frightening scope of China’s tyrannical ambitions, but also the resilience and courage of its author.

The Chief Witness is a deeply disturbing insight into the dark heart of the Chinese Communist Party and its reign of terror in Xinjiang. It will rank historically along with the great literary exposes of the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet gulag.’

Clive Hamilton

Sayragul Sauytbay

Sayragul Sauytbay was awarded the 2021 Nuremberg International Human Rights Award, and the US State Department’s International Women of Courage Award in 2020. Her key witness accounts have already created a stir on the world stage, and have been reported by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Alexandra Cavelius

Alexandra Cavelius is a freelance author and journalist. She is published in renowned magazines, and is the author of several political nonfiction books. She was also the author of the bestseller Dragon Fighter, the autobiography of the Uighur political activist Rebiya Kadeer, who has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize.


Kim Hyo-eun (trans. Deborah Smith)

A cinematic journey through the Seoul subway that masterfully portrays the many unique lives we travel alongside whenever we take the train. A poetic translation of the bestselling Korean picture book.

I rattle and clatter over the tracks.
Same time, same route, every day.
Carrying people from one place to another,
I travel over the ground and rumble under,
twice across the wide Han River.

Around I go, around and around.
Crowds of people wait to climb aboard.

Accompanied by the constant, rumbling ba-dum ba-dum of its passage through the city, the subway has stories to tell. Between sunrise and sunset, it welcomes and farewells people, and holds them — along with their joys, hopes, fears, and memories — in its embrace.

Kim Hyo-eun

Kim Hyo-eun studied textile design at college and illustration at the Ibpil Future Illustration Research Institute. Books written and illustrated by Kim Hyo-eun include I am the Subway. Picture books with illustrations created by Kim include A Baby on a Train, A Starry Flower Wall, The Place We Walk Becomes the Road, and Minji and a Squirrel.


the life of Julia Sorell Arnold Mary Hoban

The page-turning biography of an Australian woman who refused to bend to the expectations of her husband and her time.

Julia Sorell was an original. A colonial belle from Tasmania, vivacious and warm-hearted, Julia’s marriage to Tom Arnold in 1850 propelled her into one of the most renowned families in England and into a circle that included Lewis Carroll and George Eliot. Her eldest daughter became a bestselling novelist, while her grandchildren included the writer Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, and the evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley.

With these family connections, Julia is a presence in many documented and famous lives, but she is a mostly silent presence. When extracted from her background of colonial life, extracted from the covers of marriage and family life, her story reveals an extraordinary woman, a paradox who defied convention as much as she embraced it.

What began as a marriage born of desire soon turned into a relationship riven by discord. Tom’s sudden decision to become a Catholic and Julia’s refusal to convert with him plunged their lives into a crisis wherein their great love for each other would be pitted against their profoundly different understandings of marriage and religion. It was a conflict that would play out over three decades in a time when science challenged religion, when industrialisation challenged agrarian forms, when democracy challenged aristocracy, when women began to challenge men. It was a conflict that would shape not only their own lives and that of their children, but also touch the lives of all those who came into contact with them.

Told with the pace, depth, and psychological richness of a great novel, An Unconventional Wife is a riveting biography that shines a shaft of light on a hidden but captivating life.

‘In An Unconventional Wife, Mary Hoban has given us an inconvenient heroine: a woman hobbled by her times, champing at the bit, going nowhere but telling us everything. Pieced together through impeccable research and told with all the urgency and intrigue of a soap opera, the story of Julia Sorell demands recognition of — and respect for — a woman who would otherwise be lost to history. Utterly charming.’

Clare Wright

Mary Hoban

Mary Hoban is a Melbourne-based writer and historian. Her first book was a history of Melbourne’s celebrated Queen Victoria Market. She has also authored, co-authored, and edited various textbooks, papers, and journal articles on Australian and Asian history and cultural studies. For some years she was employed in the philatelic section of Australia Post as a writer, editor, and researcher for the nation’s postage stamps, where she wrote and edited books on subjects ranging from Christmas Island to the Antarctic, from royalty to rugby. She holds a graduate diploma in biography and life writing from Monash University and an MA in public history from the University of Technology, Sydney. In 2012 she was awarded the inaugural Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship to write the biography of Julia Sorell Arnold.


in search of Darwin’s lost garden Jude Piesse

The forgotten garden which inspired Charles Darwin becomes the modern-day setting for an exploration of memory, family, and the legacy of genius.

Darwin never stopped thinking about the garden at his childhood home, The Mount. It was here, under the tutelage of his green-fingered mother and sisters, that he first examined the reproductive life of flowers, collected birds’ eggs, and began the experiments that would lead to his theory of evolution.

A century and a half later, with one small child in tow and another on the way, Jude Piesse finds herself living next door to this secret garden. Two acres of the original site remain, now resplendent with overgrown ashes, sycamores, and hollies. The carefully tended beds and circular flower garden are buried under suburban housing; the hothouses where the Darwins and their skilful gardeners grew pineapples are long gone. Walking the pathways with her new baby, Piesse starts to discover what impact the garden and the people who tended it had on Darwin’s work

.Blending biography, nature writing, and memoir, The Ghost in the Garden traces the origins of the theory of evolution and uncovers the lost histories that inspired it, ultimately evoking the interconnectedness of all things.

Praise for British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832-1877:‘This sensitivity to migration and transnational encounter is one of the most rewarding legacies of postcolonial criticism. I particularly recommend … Jude Piesse's British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832-1877.’

Talia Schaffer, SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500-1900

Jude Piesse

Jude Piesse is an academic and writer. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and a PhD in English Literature from the University of Exeter. She has published widely on nineteenth-century literature and culture, including her book about emigration literature, British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832–1877 (OUP, 2016). Though she grew up in Shropshire, she did not discover Darwin’s childhood garden until she moved to Shrewsbury with her young family to take up her first lectureship. She now works as a lecturer in English Literature at Liverpool John Moores University.


Cristina Sandu (trans. Cristina Sandu)

It’s summer behind the Iron Curtain, and six girls are about to swim their way to the Olympics — and a new life.

In an unnamed Soviet state, six girls meet each day to swim. At first, they play, splashing each other and floating languidly on the water’s surface. But soon the game becomes something more.

They hone their bodies relentlessly. Their skin shades into bruises. They barter cigarettes stolen from the factory where they work for swimsuits to stretch over their sunburnt skin. They tear their legs into splits, flick them back and forth, like herons. They force themselves to stop breathing.

When they find themselves representing their country as synchronised swimmers in the Olympics, they seize the chance they have been waiting for to escape and begin new lives.

Scattered around the globe, six women live in freedom. But will they ever be able to forget what they left behind?

‘Cristina Sandu’s spare and sparkling prose is intimate and visceral. A deeply moving story about six women who dare to dream bigger than their muddy river, whose lives splinter from their tight synchronized formations into an unflinching, often unforgiving world. An exquisite and powerful read.’

Lindsay Zier-Vogel, author of Letters to Amelia

Cristina Sandu

Cristina Sandu was born in 1989 in Helsinki to a Finnish-Romanian family who loved books. She studied literature at the University of Helsinki and the University of Edinburgh, and speaks six languages. She currently lives in the UK and works as a full-time writer. Her debut novel, The Whale Called Goliath (2017), was nominated for the Finlandia Prize. The Union of Synchronised Swimmers won the Toisinkoinen Literary Prize and will be her first book to be published in English.


Tania Chandler

The boys from back home stand beside the bed, watching her bleed onto the white sheet. ‘He only said to scare her,’ one of them says.

Sidney is happily married to her firefighter husband and thinking about having a child, but her life has been marred by psychotic breakdowns. Haunted by memories of Dean Cola — the teenage crush who is an essential piece of the puzzle that is her past — she returns to the town where she grew up. Something unthinkable happened there, but is she strong enough to face it?

A compelling portrait of mental illness, memory, and the ways that the years when we ‘come of age’ can be twisted into trauma.

‘Sensitive yet unflinching.’

Anne Buist, author of The Long Shadow and Two Steps Onward

Tania Chandler

Tania Chandler is a Melbourne-based writer, writing teacher, and editor. All That I Remember About Dean Cola is her third novel.


searching for the wild in the city Claire Dunn

We’re a famously nature-loving nation, yet 86 per cent of Australians call the city home. Amid the concrete and the busyness, how can we also answer the call of the wild?

Once upon a time, a burnt-out Claire Dunn spent a year living off the grid in a wilderness survival program. Yet love and the possibilities of human connection drew her back to the city, where she soon found herself as overscheduled, addicted to her phone, and lost in IKEA as the rest of us. Given all the city offers — comfort, convenience, community, and opportunity — she wants to stay. But to do so, she’ll have to learn how to rewild her own urban soul.

Join Claire as she sits by and swims in the brown waters of the Yarra River, forages for undomesticated food in the suburbs, and explores many other practices in a quest for connection. To make our human hearts whole, she realises, we’ve all got to pay attention and learn to belong to our cities — our land. This is where change begins. For ourselves and for the world.

Praise for My Year Without Matches:‘This is a brave and adventurous book - a memoir that took me into the heart of the wilderness through the eyes of a courageous young woman. Claire’s writing is full of life and profound surprises. She writes with stunning intricacy of the world around her as she is caught in the spell of the wilderness. Read, and you will be caught in the ripple of the land as Claire leads us into alien yet intimate landscapes.’

Anne Deveson AO, author of Tell me I'm Here and Resilience

Claire Dunn

Claire Dunn is a writer and a passionate advocate for rewilding our inner and outer landscapes. She worked for many years as a campaigner for the Wilderness Society and now facilitates nature-based reconnection retreats and contemporary wilderness rites of passage. In 2010, Claire lived in the bush for a year as part of a wilderness survival program, an experience she wrote about in My Year Without Matches. She currently lives in Melbourne.


Nixon and Watergate — an American tragedy Michael Dobbs

A riveting account — told from inside the White House — of the crucial days, hours, and moments when the Watergate conspiracy consumed and ultimately toppled a president.

In January 1973, Richard Nixon had just been inaugurated after winning re-election in a historic landslide. But by April 1973, his presidency had fallen apart as the Watergate scandal metastasized into what White House counsel John Dean called ‘a full-blown cancer’. King Richard is the intimate, utterly absorbing narrative of the tension-packed hundred days when the Watergate burglars and their handlers in the administration turned on one another, revealing their direct connection ties to the White House.

Drawing on thousands of hours of newly released taped recordings, Michael Dobbs takes us into the very heart of the conspiracy, recreating these dramatic events in unprecedentedly vivid detail. He captures the growing paranoia of the principal players and their desperate attempts to deflect blame as the noose tightened around them and the daily pressures became increasingly unbearable. At the centre of this spellbinding drama is Nixon himself, a man whose strengths — particularly his determination to win at all costs — were also his fatal flaws. Structured like a classical tragedy with a uniquely American twist, this is an epic and deeply human story of ambition, power, and betrayal.

Michael Dobbs

Michael Dobbs was born and educated in Britain, but is now a US citizen. He was a long-time reporter for The Washington Post, covering the collapse of communism as a foreign correspondent, and he has taught at Princeton, Georgetown, and the University of Michigan. The author of a Cold War trilogy that includes Down with Big Brother, One Minute to Midnight, and Six Months in 1945, he lives outside Washington, DC.


laying bare and learning to repair our love lives Ian Kerner

A renowned sex therapist shares the program he has used to help thousands of couples achieve greater intimacy.

Think about the last time you had sex. Who initiated it? When and where did it happen? What was off-limits and why? In the end, did the sex leave you motivated to have more?

Over the years, internationally recognised sex therapist and author of She Comes First, Ian Kerner, has perfected the art of the ‘sex script analysis’ — a way of looking at your sex life in action, moment by moment. In those details, an entire world is revealed. When the script works, we drop down into arousal and lose ourselves in pleasure. But when the script fails, it’s all we can do not to ruminate over the details.

In this book, Kerner shows you how to conceptualise and create a sex life that works for you. He helps you figure out what’s working, what’s not, where you might be missing some elements, and how to construct a sex script that is mutually satisfying. He also discusses many common sexual problems — such as low desire, mismatched libido, and erectile unpredictability — that may be interfering with your sex life.

Combining clinical insights, the latest sexual science and research, case studies, homework assignments, and more, this is a book that does more than just talk about sex; it will improve your life.

‘Even in therapy, sex seems like the one topic people need to talk about most but don't know how. Thankfully, renowned sex therapist Ian Kerner has come to the rescue for everyone who has wanted more out of their erotic life but felt stuck, confused, or just plain frustrated. Combining decades of clinical research and real people’s stories, this elucidating guidebook is a must-read for anyone interested in creating a richer, deeper romantic life. There is warmth, compassion and clarity on every page.’

Lori Gottlieb, LMFT, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk To Someone

Ian Kerner

Ian Kerner is a licensed US psychotherapist and nationally recognised sexuality counsellor who specialises in sex therapy, couples therapy, and working with individuals on a range of relational issues. He is the New York Times bestselling author of She Comes First and many more books, focusing on healing sexuality and relationships. He is a Clinical Fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and is certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (where he also sits on the board); the Society for Sex Therapy and Research; and the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy.


Anna McGregor

An adorable story about making new friends and finding creative solutions to playground problems.

A pair of pears rocked on a seesaw.
A pair of pears played ping-pong.
A pair of pears rode their tandem bike.
Until one day, someone new wanted
to join their fun.

Big Pear and Little Pear love playing together. But when Orange joins in, their games don’t work and Big Pear feels left out. A relatable, hilarious, and kind-hearted tale about navigating friendship when three definitely starts to feel like a crowd! From the author of much-loved Anemone is not the Enemy.

Anna McGregor

Melbourne based author/illustrator/designer Anna McGregor is devoted to giving her young readers modern, quirky, and conceptual stories from the heart. Her day job is graphic design, and when she’s not sitting at a desk, Anna enjoys travel, art, and picnics with friends.