Book buzz: the ones to watch 2011

The Australian Booksellers Association held its annual conference in Melbourne during the weekend. The regular Book Buzz session was one of the highlights, showcasing the favourite books by booksellers and publishers coming out in the following months.

Aviva Tuffield from Scribe recommends:

  • Machine Man by Max Barry (Scribe, August) is a techno thriller where a scientist loses a leg in an industrial accident, but it’s not a tragedy, it’s an opportunity to build a better body.
  • House of Sticks by Peggy Frew (Scribe, September) is humane and compassionate book, a portrait of contemporary family life that is great for book clubs.
  • The Third Wave by Alison Thompson (Scribe, September), an inspiring account of an Australian volunteering in Sri Lanka.

Amanda Macky from Dymocks Adelaide recommends:

  • Her Father’s Daughter by Alice Pung (Black Inc., September). Macky says, ‘if you want to know why people want to be refugees in Australia, to come here where it’s safe and peaceful read this book and you’ll understand’.
  • Smut by Alan Bennett (Profile Books), a little demi-hardback featuring two stories. Macky says this book ‘will have appeal to anybody who likes English humour, anybody who’s enjoyed Alan Bennett in the past and anybody who is into vicarious sex and a little surprise’.
  • The Deadly Touch of the Tigress by Ian Hamilton (Sphere, October). Originally sold in Canada as The Water Rat of Wanchai, Macky believes ‘neither title does this book justice’.

Heather Dyer from Fairfield Books recommends:

  • The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (Picador, September) is about a woman who communicates with people through the language of flowers and after leaving state care she meets a man.
  • EJ12 Girl Hero series by Susannah McFarlane at LemonFizz Media, who created the Go Girl and Zac Power series at Hardie Grant. McFarlane developed EJ12 because she felt there were no other series around the suited her eight-year-old daughter.
  • Kinglake-350 by Adrian Hyland (Text, August) is a ‘gripping’ true story of Black Saturday.

Ben Ball from Penguin recommends:

  • All That I Am by Anna Funder (Hamish Hamilton, September) is about three people who were involved in the resistance against the rise of Hilter prior to World War II. Ball says ‘you have a treat in store’. Funder will be a the Brisbane Writers Festival.
  • Midnight in Peking by Paul French (Viking, September) is a true crime book set during the last days of old Peking on the eve of  World War II, in the seedy underbelly of the city. The body of the daughter of an ex-British Consul found with innards removed.
  • Tony Robinson’s History of Australia (Viking, November) by Tony Robinson who did a program about Australia on the History Channel.

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