Life growing up in Scotland in the 80s was never going to be easy. Add to that poverty, an alcoholic mother, a philandering father, and confusion about his identity, and Shuggie faces enormous challenges. This book is as much about the relationship between a son and his mother as anything else. Whilst this year’s Booker Prize winner is heartbreaking, it’s also beautifully written and evocative.
Lynne, Dymocks Rouse Hill
I ripped through this smart and disarming novel and I’ve been thinking about it ever since! Amanda and her family escape from New York to a beautiful holiday home, only to be surprised by a knock at the door; a couple in their sixties who say they own this house, and they need sanctuary from a disaster unfolding across the country, and perhaps the world. Soon to be made into a show starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington, you’ll want to read this engrossing novel first.
Kate, Dymocks Category Manager
Funny, endearing and extremely relatable, This Has Been Absolutely Lovely is a cracker of a read. Jessica Dettmann has done an incredible job of bringing to life on the page a slice of Australian family life that’s both honest and engaging, with characters that will capture your heart. Exploring themes of love, loss, growing up, and second chances, this book will well and truly have you in tears by the end of it, both happy and sad. An absolutely lovely read!
Tanaya, Dymocks Marketing Coordinator
Craig Silvey has written another Australian classic. Honeybee is everything Jasper Jones was but on a whole new level; A novel of identity told with tenderness and warmth, and one of those rare books that makes the hairs on your neck stick up as you read it. It’s exhilarating and profound, and a book that is going to be devoured and adored for decades to come, reaffirming the immense talent that is Craig Silvey.
Jon, Dymocks Sydney
I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book and I was not left disappointed! Reading a Monica McInerney book is like receiving a comforting hug and letting the warm embrace linger. The Godmothers is just like this and so much more. Eliza Miller is about to receive an offer from one of her beloved godmothers that will change her life forever. Hopeful for the future she discovers the past and solves the one mystery that’s been haunting her for many years. I found The Godmothers so sweet, full of heart, and incredibly engrossing.
Gina, Dymocks Neutral Bay
The Last Migration is one of the best books I have read in a long time, from a tremendous new talent in fiction. It is a heartbreaking love story, but also an elegy for our planet and where it is heading. This is a book I can't wait for everyone to read and an author who I can't wait to read more of.
In The Lying Life of Adults, writing phenomenon Elena Ferrante puts the reader vividly into a divided Naples seen through the unsteady and shifting gaze of teenager Giovanna. You really feel for her as she is on the brink of adulthood, surrounded by questionable role models. Once you start reading you can’t look away - an immersive ride that will stay with you long after the last page.
Eviscerating, darkly hilarious and disarmingly tender is the story of Martha in Meg Mason’s Sorrow and Bliss. Martha is a woman who, from a very young age, recognises that something is dreadfully wrong with her but, despite her efforts and the prodigious love of her sister, father and husband, she cannot “fix it”. The thoughts, sensations and emotions shared by the author felt excruciatingly personal – the unspeakable truths somehow laid out on each page for all to pick at - sometimes I felt mortified reading it. Simply outstanding.
Edyta, Dymocks Project Manager
Mim’s life is thrown into disarray when her husband disappears at work, and with an obvious cover up being engineered by his corporate employer, she is compelled to search for him amid an escalating threatening surveillance. This book is a gripping thriller, a cautionary tale about corporate and government control, and a testament to a woman’s love for her family.
Caitlin was a normal twenty- something with a promising career and a plan to go travelling with her best friend, but then a car accident leaves her with an unshakable understanding that she’s only alive by mistake. Caitlin’s journey to recovery has left me in awe, her strength and courage is inspiring. I felt her pain, her panic and her joy. Every aspect of this book has been so well presented. If you liked Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine then you are absolutely going to love The Morbids!
Gina, Dymocks Neutral Bay
A charming, funny and dramatic depiction of a modern Australian marriage that, after 14 years, isn’t looking as perfect as it may seem. I loved how easy it was to get lost in this story; the writing was incredibly engaging and I liked how it spliced both the past and present of this couple’s lives. Whilst neither Lou nor Josh were innocent in this marriage, I enjoyed how skilfully Wainwright managed to constantly shift my perception of them both, and it was this element of the story that made this an uputdownable read for me.
There is nothing quite like picking up the new novel by one of your favourite writers and getting lost in it straight away. This new novel is perfect for old fans and new fans alike nestling snuggly into the rich and layered David Mitchell universe, but at the same time being truly self-contained and just a superb, immersive read. A wonderful novel by an utterly brilliant author, I dare another book to be as good this year.
Normally, I’m not a fan of romances, but for Kevin Kwan I will happily make an exception, and his latest offering does not disappoint. Sex and Vanity is another dazzling journey through the lives of the 1%, this time through the eyes of Chinese-American Lucie Churchill. A beautiful retelling for those already familiar with A Room with a View, and another fabulously over-the-top story for anyone coming from Crazy Rich Asians, Kwan’s new book will have you glued to your seat while enjoying the whirlwind that is the life of Lucie Churchill.
Zoe, Dymocks Melbourne
A fearless, stunning and unapologetic debut novel. A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing tells the story of Jena Lin, once a child prodigy, and now a twenty-two year old “has-been”. Struggling to navigate through her professional and personal lives, Jena reflects on the void left by her past success and failure and her dysfunctional relationship with her family, in order to find her truth and become the person she wants to be. Perfect for fans of Normal People and Daisy Jones & The Six, A Lonely Girl is an exploration of female desire and the undeniable pain of being human.
Georgia, Dymocks Wollongong
Like her dazzling debut The Mothers, the new book by Brit Bennet revolves around a life-changing secret. Stella and Desiree are inseparable twins who run away form home and end up taking very different paths in life. The Vanishing Half is beautifully written and thought-provoking book which deals with family trauma, racial identity and the search for belonging. With its timely themes of white privilege and racism, this book deserves a wide audience.
Sue, Dymocks Public Relations Manager
As a fan of Anne Tyler, I was excited to read her latest offering. I was not disappointed! Micah Mortimer lives a simple life of routing and balance. He is content with his job as a tech hermit and his relationship with his 'woman' friend Cassia is also easy. So, when a teenager arrives at Micah's apartment one afternoon, claiming to be his son, Micah finds his contented life is shifted slightly askew. In true Anne Tyler style, it is the intricacies of relationships and everyday life that bring her stories to life. Redhead by the Side of the Road is the perfect autumn afternoon read.
Sharyn, Dymocks Merchandise Manager
"We choose to breathe, don't we?" The heartbreaking heroine of Below Deck tries to choose her destiny, to rewrite the narrative, but the truth refuses to remain untold. It's only when synaesthetic Oli faces her past that she begins to heal. Achingly haunting, this book and its characters stay with you, long after the dark pink sea.
Kiah, Dymocks Subiaco
A deeply philosophical, affecting book. A car accident on a remote road in the Blue Ridge Mountains kills the parents of a young boy; the boy’s uncle assumes he will take on the responsibility for the child, however the boy’s grandmother does too. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Mountain Road, Late at Night explores the responses of each character over several fraught days, the reader the observer of their "overthought everything" lives.
Meredith, Dymocks Canberra
Adults is a bitingly funny and timely satire of our obsession with social media and the desire/pressure to portray ourselves online as living an envy-inducing, picture-perfect life. To the online world Jenny appears to have accomplished such a life but, not at all unsurprisingly, the unfiltered reality is far, far different. This is such a terrific novel: clever, fearless, engaging, heartbreaking and absolutely hilarious!
Nicola, Dymocks Category Manager
A sharply observed, urgent and wise coming-of-age novel. You will feel as though you are there with Sonny and Vince, feeling every joy, ache and desire as their friendship moves from hesitation, to moments of tenderness and finally on to a subtle, heart-warming romance. This is a book about love, memory, community and two teenagers finding their place in their world, whilst fighting against the chains of intergenerational trauma.
Emily, Dymocks Marketing Coordinator
An evocative and desolately haunting story, centered on the lives of three different women across centuries, connected by lineage as well as grief, loss and violence. Set against the unforgiving beauty of Bass Rock, this book is beautifully crafted to add elements of mystery and superb tension as a vehicle for a story of women trying to survive in a world seemingly designed to destroy them. A truly wonderful book by one of the best emerging Australian authors, Evie Wyld.
You'll fall in love with 79-year-old Missy - prickly, stubborn, guilt-ridden and oh-so-lonely - as she claws her way back to happiness and self-forgiveness with the help of some delightful characters who enter her life after a chance encounter, and determinedly set about 'saving' her. Saving Missy is a wonderfully uplifting read that will make you laugh, cry, cringe and cheer, and stay with you long after you've closed the book!
Beth, Dymocks Busselton
Putting a human face on migrants crossing the Mexican border, this literary thriller deserves every bit of the hype it is receiving. Harrowing, compelling and engrossing, this is the perfect novel for our current times. I loved it!
Karen, Dymocks Adelaide
The Caseys are a close-knit family who spend a lot of time together, sometimes harmoniusly, sometimes with more acrimony. When Cara, one of the wives, suffers a concussion, she accidentally reveals some of her innermost thoughts and confidences with other family members, initiating a series of explosive revelations that force the family to confront some awkward and unpleasant realities. Another honest and life-affirming novel from a much-loved author, brimming with wit and sharply accurate observations of modern family life.
I’m pretty sure Kiley Reid is the next big thing – she should be if Such A Fun Age is anything to go by. This gem of a novel is witty and fun to read, while simultaneously saying a whole lot about white privilege and the power dynamics of a parent/nanny relationship. It’s also been optioned for a TV project, so make sure you read it first!
Kate, Dymocks National Category Manager
Light-hearted, funny and full of charm, Maggie’s Going Nowhere is an engaging and delightful summer read. Rose Hartley has created a main character who is often unlikable but hard not to love as she traverses the many challenges life has thrown her way. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, so much so that I devoured it in one sitting. I would highly recommend!
Congratulations to Where the Crawdads Sing for being voted by our booksellers as our 2019 Book of the Year. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. I slowed down the reading of it in order to savour it, but also because I didn’t want it to end! Now I wish I could erase my memory so I can read it for the first time again. An absolute gem!
A compelling story of loyalty, ageing and grief told with warmth and good humour. This is an aboslutely brilliant read with an immensely satisfying ending.
We return to Gilead fifteen years on from The Handmaid's Tale, and see a country that is familiar to us but still shocking in its design. I found this to be a terrifically engaging story that is beautifully written, and honours both the readers of The Handmaid's Tale and the viewers of the TV series.
This book is a cracker! Full of intrigue, international politics and great suspense. Bruny will make you want to board the ferry to visit this little haven island off the coast of Tasmania. A captivating story!!
Ted, Dymocks Nowra
Danny Conroy and his beloved sister Maeve grow up in the Dutch House, a lavish folly owned by his property developer father. Their comfortable lives are forever changed by the arrival of Andrea, whose influence over their father results in their banishment and the loss of everything they hold dear. Cementing her status as a masterful storyteller, Patchett's coming of age story is as heartbreaking as it is heart-warming. A masterpiece of family, love loss and betrayal, The Dutch House
This dark, twisty novel with comic undertones is so cleverly plotted I am in awe of Atkinson's writing skill. Fans of the Jackson Brodie series will love this, as will those yet to discover the greatness of Kate Atkinson.
The Farm is an excellent look at the difference between rich and poor and the lengths that people will go to for family. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very hard to put down. The story was well executed and I became invested in the characters and seeing their stories through to the end. A perfect read for fans of The Handmaid's Tale.
Julie, Dymocks Waurn Ponds
Set in Melbourne, Room for a Stranger tells a tale of the complex, ever-changing relationship between two individuals as they grapple with, and overcome their cultural and generational differences. Deeply emotional, the book explores how miscommunication, misunderstanding, and alienation can lead to an unlikely and unexpected connection. This is a quintessentially Australian novel that shows us how friendship can be found with people, and in places where you least expect it!
Elli, Dymocks Sydney
A hidden gem of a book (my favourite kind). We see, hear and feel things from the voices and hearts of Ellie and Dan - two strangers who are deeply altered by their chance encounter. The soulful and descriptive writing had me reluctant to put this story down. Set in the countryside of the English moors, Hazel Prior's striking debut novel will appeal to those who enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Gina, Dymocks Sydney