The Easter long weekend is only a couple of sleeps away, and we don’t think there’s a better way to spend four days than with a good book (or two or three).
Each month, plenty of new releases hit our shelves and sometimes it can be overwhelming to find the perfect book. Standing in front of the shelves can be calming, but it can also produce a sense of panic: with so many new books to choose from, where do you begin?
For April we’ve tried to take out some of the guess work. From our book of the month, a grizzly and haunting historical crime tale, to a city of the future, and back again to true stories of amazing women, we think there’s something here for everyone.
Leave us a comment and let us know which book you want to get stuck into!
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
A deeply atmospheric novel by a startling new Aussie talent; an incredibly unique look inside the mind of Lizzie Borden, famously accused of murdering her father and stepmother in 1892. On 4 August 1892 Andrew and Abby Borden were murdered in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. During the inquest into the deaths, Lizzie Borden was arrested and charged with the murder of her father and her stepmother. Through the eyes of Lizzie's sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, the enigmatic stranger Benjamin and the beguiling Lizzie herself, we return to what happened that day in Fall River.
Lizzie Borden took an axe. Or did she?
Storyland by Catherine McKinnon
An ambitious, remarkable and moving novel about who we are: our past, present and future, and our connection to this land. In 1796, a young cabin boy, Will Martin, goes on a voyage of discovery in the Tom Thumb with Matthew Flinders and Mr Bass: two men and a boy in a tiny boat on an exploratory journey south from Sydney Cove to the Illawarra, full of hope and dreams, daring and fearfulness. Set on the banks of Lake Illawarra and spanning four centuries, Storyland
is a unique and compelling novel of people and place - which tells in essence the story of Australia. Told in an unfurling narrative of interlinking stories, in a style reminiscent of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas
The Hidden Hours by Sara Foster
Publishing AND murder? Heck yes. Arabella Lane, senior executive at a children's publisher, is found dead in the Thames on a frosty winter's morning after the office Christmas party. No one is sure whether she jumped or was pushed. The one person who may know the truth is the newest employee at Parker & Lane - the office temp, Eleanor. Eleanor has travelled to London to escape the repercussions of her traumatic childhood in outback Australia, but now tragedy seems to follow her wherever she goes. To her horror, she has no memory of the crucial hours leading up to Arabella's death - memory that will either incriminate or absolve her. As Eleanor desperately tries to remember her missing hours and uncover the events of that fateful night, her own extended family is dragged further into the dark, terrifying terrain of blame, suspicion and guilt.
Caught in a crossfire of accusations, Eleanor fears she can't even trust herself, let alone the people around her. And soon, she'll find herself in a race against time to find out just what happened that night - and discover just how deadly some secrets can be.
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti
Ann Patchett has described this book as one part Quentin Tarantino and one part Scheherazade, so if that doesn’t pique your interested then we don’t know what will. After years spent living on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter Loo to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, in his late wife's hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and grows curious about her mother's mysterious death. Haunting them both are twelve scars Hawley carries on his body, from twelve bullets in his criminal past - a past that eventually spills over into his daughter's present, until together they must face a reckoning yet to come. Both a coming of age novel and a literary thriller, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
explores what it means to be a hero, and the price we pay to protect the people we love.
New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
In reviewing this book, Bloomberg Business Week said: ‘only sci-fi can drown Manhattan and make you want to live there.’ It’s 2140. The waters rose, submerging New York City… But the residents adapted and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been, though changed forever. Every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island. Through the eyes of the varied inhabitants of one building, Kim Stanley Robinson shows us how one of our great cities will change with the rising tides, and how we too will change.
Carnivalesque by Neil Jordan
To Andy and his parents, it looks like any other carnival: creaking ghost train, rusty rollercoaster and circus performers. But of course it isn't. Drawn to the hall of mirrors, Andy enters and is hypnotised by the many selves staring back at him. Sometime later, one of those selves walks out re-joins his parents – leaving Andy trapped inside the glass, snatched from the tensions of his suburban home and transported to a world where the laws of gravity are meaningless and time performs acrobatic tricks.
And now an identical stranger inhabits Andy's life, unsettling his mother with a curious blankness, as mysterious events start unfolding in their Irish coastal town…
Unmasked by Turia Pitt
It's been five years since Turia Pitt made headlines for having barely survived her ordeal in the desert. And in that time, she has become one of the most inspirational women in Australia. Whether via the numerous media reports, 60 Minutes specials, Women's Weekly cover stories or her first book, Everything To Live For,
we know about the why, how and what of that fateful day in September 2011. We know how she died four times on the operating table and her tortuous road to recovery. We've had a glimpse of the love of her boyfriend, Michael, that sustained her, and seen hints of the inner-strength that has made her one of the most admired women in the country. But until now, the true essence of this most remarkable Australian, plus the toll her accident has all taken on her and those around her, have remained a mystery.
This book unmasks the real Turia: funny, fierce, intelligent, flawed. With the benefit of hindsight and five years' worth of getting of wisdom, Turia is only now able to account for how she prevailed where others might have faltered. And for the first time, in this book we get to know the people who, by Turia's own admission, made her recovery possible.
How to be a Bawse by Lilly Singh
From actress, comedian and YouTube sensation Lilly Singh (a.k.a Superwoman) comes the definitive guide to being a bawse - a person who exudes confidence, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely because they've fought through it all and made it out the other side. Told in her hilarious, bold voice that's inspired over 9 million fans, and using stories from her own life to illustrate her message, Lilly proves that there are no short-cuts to success. Warning- This book does not include hopeful thoughts, lucky charms, and cute quotes. That's because success, happiness and everything else you want in life needs to be fought for - not wished for. In Lilly's world, there are no escalators. Only stairs.
Remind Me How This Ends by Gabrielle Tozer
We love a good boy-meets-girl-again and this one is so very good. It's the summer after high school ends and everyone is moving on. Winning scholarships. Heading to uni. Travelling the world. Everyone except Milo Dark. Milo feels his life is stuck on pause. His girlfriend is 200km away, his mates have bailed for bigger things and he is convinced he's missed the memo reminding him to plan the rest of his life. Then Layla Montgomery barrels back into his world after four years. As kids, Milo and Layla were family friends who shared everything, but they haven't spoken since her mum's funeral. Layla's fallen apart since that day. She pushed away her dad, dropped out of school and recently followed her on-again-off-again boyfriend back to town because she has nowhere else to go.
What begins as innocent banter between Milo and Layla soon draws them into a tangled mess with a guarantee that someone will get hurt. While it's a summer they'll never forget, is it one they want to remember?
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
First love and hidden identities: two of our favourite ingredients in a story! Bailey “Mink” Rydell has met the boy of her dreams. They share a love of films and talk all day – Alex is perfect. Well, apart from the fact that they’ve never actually met . . . and neither of them knows the other’s real name. When Bailey moves to sunny California to live with her dad, who happens to live in the same town as Alex, she decides to track him down. But finding someone based on online conversations alone proves harder than Bailey thought, and with her irritating but charismatic (and potentially attractive?) colleague Porter Roth distracting her at every turn, will she ever get to meet the mysterious Alex?