Read List 2021

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Read List 2021

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Summer is a great time to enjoy a good book! We’ve put together a list of 10 great stories by Australian authors covering a range of genres, to get you through the summer with plenty of thrills and entertainment.

Kerry Greenwood has brought us a new tale in her Phryne Fisher detective series, the first since 2013! – Death in Daylesford. Garry Linnell returns with another true Australian story, this time featuring Bushranger Captain Moonlite. There’s plenty of suspense with S. R. White’s debut novel - Hermit, a slow-burning outback thriller with an explosive finish, and Kate Mildenhall’s The Mother Fault, a fascinating story set in a grim near-future world. We’ve also included books by Monica McInerney, Richard Glover, Robert Wainwright, Victoria Purman, Andrew Pippos and Marian Matta, so there’s something for everyone!

Grab a bookmark from your library branch at Portland, Heywood or Casterton, and take the challenge of writing a 3 word review for your chance to win a prize.

#TheReadList

 

Clancy

Love, Clancy by Richard Glover

Heartfelt and hilarious, this is a book for anyone who has tried to imagine what their dog was thinking.

Human beings often write about their dogs, but the dogs don't usually get a right of reply.

In Love, Clancy, Richard Glover has collated the letters sent by Clancy to his parents in the bush. They are full of a young dog's musings about the oddities of human behaviour, life in the big city, and his own attempts to fit in.

You'll meet Clancy as a puppy, making his first attempt to train his humans, then see him grow into a mature activist, demanding more attention be paid to a dog's view of the world. Along the way, there are adventures aplenty, involving robotic vacuum cleaners, songs about cheese, trips to the country and stolen legs of ham - all told with a dog's deep wisdom when it comes to what's important in life.

Delightfully illustrated by cartoonist Cathy Wilcox.

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Death in Daylesford by Kerry Greenwood

Surrounded by secrets, great and small, the formidable Miss Phryne Fisher returns to vanquish injustice.

When a mysterious invitation arrives for Miss Phryne Fisher from an unknown Captain Herbert Spencer, Phryne's curiosity is excited. Spencer runs a retreat in Victoria's spa country for shell-shocked soldiers of the First World War. It's a cause after Phryne's own heart but what could Spencer want from her?

Phryne and the faithful Dot view their spa sojourn as a short holiday but are quickly thrown in the midst of disturbing Highland gatherings, disappearing women, murder and the mystery of the Temperance Hotel.

Meanwhile, Cec, Bert and Tinker find a young woman floating face down in the harbour, dead. Tinker, with Jane and Ruth, Phryne's resilient adopted daughters, together decide to solve what appears to be a heinous crime.

Disappearances, murder, bombs, booby-traps and strange goings-on land Miss Phryne Fisher right in the middle of her most exciting adventure.

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Daylesford
 Hermit

Hermit by S. R. White

He disappeared for 15 years, she has 12 hours to find out why…

After the puzzling death of a shopkeeper in rural Australia, troubled detective Dana Russo has just 12 hours to interrogate the prime suspect - a silent, inscrutable man found at the scene of the crime, who simply vanished 15 years earlier.

Where has he been? And just how dangerous is he? Without conclusive evidence linking him to the killing, Dana must race against time to persuade him to speak. But over a series of increasingly intense interviews, Dana is forced to confront her own past if she wants him to reveal the shocking truth.

Compulsive, atmospheric and stunningly accomplished, HERMIT

introduces a thrilling new voice in Australian crime fiction, perfect for fans of Jane Harper and Chris Hammer.

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The Godmothers by Monica McInerney

Eliza Miller grew up in Australia as the only daughter of a troubled young mother, but with the constant support of two watchful godmothers, Olivia and Maxie. Despite her tricky childhood, she always felt loved and secure. Until, just before her eighteenth birthday, a tragic event changed her life.

Thirteen years on, Eliza is deliberately living as safely as possible, avoiding close relationships and devoting herself to her job. Out of the blue, an enticing invitation from one of her godmothers prompts a leap into the unknown.

Within a fortnight, Eliza finds herself in the middle of a complicated family in Edinburgh. There’s no such thing as an ordinary day any more. Yet, amidst the chaos, Eliza begins to blossom. She finds herself not only hopeful about the future, but ready to explore her past, including the biggest mystery of all – who is her father?

Set in Australia, Scotland, Ireland and England, THE GODMOTHERS is a great big hug of a book that will fill your heart to bursting. It is a moving and perceptive story about love, lies, hope and sorrow, about the families we are born into and the families we make for ourselves.

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 Godmothers
 Life bound

Life, Bound by Marian Matta

Marian Matta’s Life, Bound moves through time and place, following characters who struggle to escape the past and strive to shape the future.

An artist’s progress is pleasingly channelled into a pattern laid down a century earlier. A solitary man’s story is almost preordained, but is indecipherable to researchers looking back some sixty years later. Karma mops up in the wake of a mousy clerk. A local legend falls foul of the town gossip. Spouses are constrained or liberated by love. Sexuality, gender, resentments, attachments and perversities all play a part. Yet the grip of the past needn’t always hold firm. Many protagonists are offered a potentially life-changing moment; whether or not they grasp it is up to them.

‘Marian Matta’s superb stories are both uplifting and heart wrenching. She delves into the psyche with characters so astutely drawn that you want to follow them off the page. This is a deeply rewarding collection from a writer who knows how to express the intricacies of what it means to be human in a world that pulses with beauty, uncertainty and despair.’ – Joanna Atherfold Finn, author of Watermark

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Enid by Robert Wainwright

Enid Lindeman stood almost six feet tall, with silver hair and flashing turquoise eyes. The girl from Strathfield in Sydney stopped traffic in Manhattan, silenced gamblers in Monte Carlo and dared walk a pet cheetah on a diamond collar through Hyde Park in London.

In early twentieth-century society, when women were expected to be demure and obedient, the granddaughter of Hunter Valley wine pioneer Henry Lindeman waltzed through life to the beat of her own drum. She drove an ambulance in World War I and hid escaped Allied airmen behind enemy lines in World War II, played bridge with Somerset Maugham and entertained Hollywood royalty in the world's most expensive private home on the Riviera, allegedly paid for by her winnings in a game of cards.

Enid captivated men with her beauty, outlived four husbands-two shipping magnates, a war hero and a larger-than-life Irish earl-spent two great fortunes and earned the nickname 'Lady Killmore'. From Sydney to New York, London to Paris and Cairo to Kenya, Robert Wainwright tells the fascinating story of a life lived large on the world stage.

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enid
Luckys scaled

Lucky's by Andrew Pippos

Lucky's is a story of family.

A story about migration.

It is also about a man called Lucky.

His restaurant chain.

A fire that changed everything.

A New Yorker article which might save a career.

The mystery of a missing father.

An impostor who got the girl.

An unthinkable tragedy.

A roll of the dice.

And a story of love - lost, sought and won again (at last).

'From the first pages of this debut novel, it is clear that we are in the hands of a wise, perceptive, and highly-skilled storyteller. Pippos brilliantly distills multiple stories to those pure moments of love, despair, passion and folly that make up the essence of a life, and his fierce and fragile characters will remain in your heart long after the final page. The writing is fresh and fairly crackles with energy. Lucky's is one of the best Australian novels I've read in years!' Emily Bitto

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Moonlite by Garry Linnell

Charismatic, intelligent and handsome, George Scott was born into a privileged life in famine-wracked Ireland. His family lost its fortune and fled to New Zealand. There, Scott joins the local militia and after recovering from gunshot wounds, sails to Australia.

One night he dons a mask in a small country town, arms himself with a gun and, dubbing himself Captain Moonlite, brazenly robs a bank before staging one of the country’s most audacious jailbreaks. After falling in love with fellow prisoner James Nesbitt, a boyish petty criminal desperately searching for a father figure, Scott finds himself unable to shrug off his criminal past. Pursued and harassed by the police, he stages a dramatic siege and prepares for a final showdown with the law – and a macabre executioner without a nose.

Told at a cracking pace, and based on many of the extensive letters Scott wrote from his death cell, Moonlite is set amid the violent and sexually-repressed era of Australia in the second half of the 19th century.

"Linnell recounts with gusto Scott's early forays in the Pacific and leads the reader into tales of his robbery in the goldfields, capture, escape, recapture and then prison romance." The Canberra Times

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Moonlite
Mother

The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall

Imagining a near future Australia that is all too disturbingly familiar, The Mother Fault is an addictive thriller, a heart-pounding adventure and a moving portrayal of the lengths a mother will go to save her family.

You will not recognise me, she thinks, when I find you . . .

Mim’s husband is missing. No one knows where Ben is, but everyone wants to find him – especially The Department. And they should know, the all-seeing government body has fitted the entire population with a universal tracking chip to keep them safe’.

But suddenly Ben can’t be tracked. And Mim is questioned, made to surrender her passport and threatened with the unthinkable – her two children being taken into care at the notorious BestLife.

Cornered, Mim risks everything to go on the run to find her husband – and a part of herself, long gone, that is brave enough to tackle the journey ahead.

From the stark backroads of the Australian outback to a terrifying sea voyage, Mim is forced to shuck off who she was – mother, daughter, wife, sister – and become the woman she needs to be to save her

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The Women's Pages by Victoria Purman

From the bestselling author of The Land Girls comes a beautifully realised novel that speaks to the true history and real experiences of post-war Australian women.

The war is over and so are the jobs (and freedoms) of tens of thousands of Australian women. The armaments factories are making washing machines instead of bullets and war correspondent Tilly Galloway has hung up her uniform and been forced to work on the women's pages of her newspaper - the only job available to her - where she struggles to write advice on fashion and make-up.

As Sydney swells with returning servicemen and the city bustles back to post-war life, Tilly finds her world is anything but normal. As she desperately waits for word of her prisoner-of-war husband, she begins to research stories about the lives of the underpaid and overworked women who live in her own city.

Meanwhile Tilly's waterside worker father is on strike, and her best friend Mary is struggling to cope with the stranger her own husband has become since being liberated from Changi a broken man. As strikes rip the country apart and the news from abroad causes despair, matters build to a heart-rending crescendo. Tilly realises that for her the war may have ended, but the fight is just beginning...

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Womens
  

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