Books+Publishing magazine’s second issue for 2015 is out now! Inside you’ll find 26 reviews of adult and children’s books publishing in June, July and August.
Two adult nonfiction titles scored five stars from our reviewers. Certain Admissions (Gideon Haigh, Viking) is a ‘fascinating look at post-war Melbourne, the operation of its legal system and the prevailing social attitudes’, writes Chris Harrington; while Old Man’s Story (Mark Lang, Aboriginal Studies Press), a biography of Kakadu National Park land-owner and elder Bill Neidjie, ‘gives the reader a wonderful sense of both the man and his country’, according to Dave Martus.
Two adult fiction titles received four-and-a-half stars. The Last Will and Testament of Henry Hoffman (John Tesarch, Affirm Press), set in country Victoria in the lead-up to the Black Saturday bushfires, is a ‘highly readable and enjoyable account of some very troubling times’, writes Hannah Cartmel; while Hilary Simmons describes Paddy O’Reilly’s short-story collection Peripheral Vision (UQP) as ‘the work of an author at the top of her form’.
Other adult titles to receive four stars include two crime novel debuts, Double Madness (Caroline de Costa, Margaret River Press) and Skin Deep (Gary Kemble, Echo Publishing); the intergenerational family drama The Mothers (Rod Jones, Text); Maverick Mountaineer (Robert Wainright, HarperCollins), about Australian adventurer George Finch; and The Sex Myth (Rachel Hills, Viking), which explores sexual sociology for 20-somethings.
Among the feature articles, Brad Jefferies investigates the rise of direct-to-consumer publishing in Australia; Portia Lindsay speaks to several former publishers about their entrepreneurial projects; and Jackie Tang rounds up the best books for Mother’s Day. Affirm Press’ Keiran Rogers offers his thoughts on why small publishers are having a bigger impact on book sales; and Annie’s Books owner Annie Grossman shares her bookseller’s diary.
» Junior Term 2
A YA debut was the only children’s/YA book to score five stars in this issue. Pieces of Sky (Trinity Doyle, A&U) is set in an Australian beach town and follows protagonist Lucy in the aftermath of her older brother’s death in a surfing accident. It’s ‘absolutely, absurdly lovely’, writes Meg Whelan. Sue Lawson’s YA novel Freedom Ride (Black Dog Books) scored four-and-a-half stars, with Carody Culver describing it as ‘an important and entertaining slice of Australian history’.
Also receiving four stars were the picture books The Cow Tripped over the Moon (Tony Wilson, illus by Laura Wood, Scholastic), Fly-in Fly-out Dad (Sally Murphy, illus by Janine Dawson, The Five Mile Press) and Mr Huff (Anna Walker, Viking); for younger readers, Empire of the Waves: Voyage of the Moon Child Book One (Christopher Richardson, Puffin) and My Name Is Lizzie Flynn (Claire Saxby, illus by Lizzy Newcomb, Black Dog Books); and the YA novel The Beauty Is in the Walking (James Moloney, HarperCollins).
Among the feature articles, Danielle Binks explores diversity in Australian children’s literature; Andrea Hanke considers the benefits of blog tours for children’s and YA authors; and Nicole Brownlee, founder of digital storytelling business the Story Box Library, shares her career journey.
All these reviews, interviews and stories, and many more, can be found at our website: www.booksandpublishing.com.au
You can buy copies of the magazine from these fine purveyors of books: Readings Hawthorn, Hill of Content, Dymocks Camberwell, Dymocks Melbourne, and Fairfield Bookshop, all in Melbourne; Collins Booksellers Bairnsdale, Book City Mildura, Dymocks Claremont, Perth, and Hobart Bookshop, Hobart.