Pan MacMillan

Book Review: A love of Italy is what shines through in this Italian love story from Jenna Lo Bianco

It seems like we are living in the golden age of the romance novel. Readers are discovering all that this often overlooked and much maligned genre has to offer, thanks in no small part to BookTok and writers such as Emily Henry. And with everything that’s going on in the world generally, who can blame…

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Book Review: David Baldacci’s Absolute Power takes us back to the 90s where it all began

Absolute Power was first published in 1996 and was the launching point for the career of author David Baldacci. The book sold record numbers and with over 150 million books sold since, Baldacci is still a regular on the thriller circuit. Now, the book that started it all has been re-released with an exclusive introduction…

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Book review: Never Ever Forever is a showcase of the best romantic comedy tropes and we are here for it

There’s just something about a romantic comedy. They’re comfortingly predictable, often laugh out loud funny, and there’s that deeply satisfying feeling of being able to race through a book in a single day because you’re so absorbed in what you’re reading. Enter Karina May’s second novel, Never Ever Forever, the follow up to her debut Duck…

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Bright Young Women

Book Review: Jessica Knoll’s Bright Young Women reverses the serial killer narrative

Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll paints a vivid canvas of enthralling storytelling that navigates the complexities of female ambition, societal expectations, and the pursuit of success. Knoll, acclaimed for her previous works, including Luckiest Girl Alive, demonstrates her prowess once again in crafting a compelling narrative that delves into the lives of multifaceted characters….

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Fractal Noise

Book Review: Delve into the existential dread of sci-fi horror in Christopher Paolini’s Fractal Noise

Best known for his fantasy series The Inheritance Cycle, author Christopher Paolini first delved into science fiction with his award-winning 2020 novel To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. This new novel, Fractal Noise, serves as a prequel and shows the horrifying events behind the scenes. When a team of scientists and astronauts scouting out…

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The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2023: Jul – Sep

Somewhat inexplicably we are over half way through the year. This means, for publishers at least, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas, with September often seeing some of the year’s biggest titles drop.  We in the AU Books Team aren’t thinking about Christmas just yet, but we are here to bring you some more…

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Most Anticipated Books Oct to Dec

The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2022: Oct to Dec

We’re now edging ever closer to Christmas. That means we’re now entering into some of the busiest weeks in the world of publishing and book selling. Expect to see lots of gift books and themed releases on the shelves in the next few weeks. With so many books being released each month, we in the…

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The Most Important Job In The World

Book Review: The Most Important Job In The World shows that parenting really can be a giant motherload!

Gina Rushton’s debut book, The Most Important Job In The World, explores a simple question where the answers are anything but. The award-winning journalist goes on a deep dive to ask whether we should be parents. The result is something that will resonate with both parents and non-parents alike. Writers are often told to write about…

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Yanagihara

Book Review: Yanagihara’s latest novel is heavy on themes and symbolism, but is it too much?

To Paradise, Hanya Yanagihara’s third novel, was released in January 2022. That it has taken me until now to finish it says as much about its length (some 700 plus pages) as it does about its subject matter. Spanning three interlinked novellas each set 100 years apart, To Paradise is a book about family, obligation, tradition and…

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The House of Fortune

Book Review: Jessie Burton returns to 18th Century Amsterdam in The House of Fortune

It’s not often that a sequel to a beloved novel lives up to its predecessor. Particularly, as is the case with Jessie Burton’s latest novel, The House of Fortune, when there was never a sequel promised in the first place. When The Miniaturist was published in 2014 (and became a million copy bestseller), there was…

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Speaking in Thumbs

Book Review: Mimi Winsberg’s Speaking in Thumbs proves modern love is confusing

As a psychology graduate and serial online dater the premise of Speaking in Thumbs was appealing. A psychiatrist – herself a fellow dater – dons the best friend cap to decipher text messages and uncover what is REALLY being said. It’s a great idea, but I found it difficult to relate to this, as some…

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Sea of Tranquility

Book Review: The past, present and future are more alike than you think in Emily St. John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility

The new novel from award-winning author Emily St. John Mandel traverses time and space to tell a multifaceted story of love, endurance, human nature and reality. Sea of Tranquility is set within the same universe as her previous novels Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel offering fans of her earlier works plenty of ‘a-ha’ moments….

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Most Anticipated Books

The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2022: Apr – Jun

Somehow it’s April already, with Easter coming up just next week. And in our opinion nothing pairs better with a chocolate egg and a long weekend like a good book.  To help you decide what to read next, we at the AU Books Team are here to pick out some choice cuts from the many…

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Sheilas

Book Review: Meet the badly behaved women making history in Eliza Reilly’s Sheilas: Badass Women of Australian History

The old adage that “well behaved women rarely make history” has never been truer than here in Eliza Reilly’s Sheilas: Badass Women of Australian History. Gathering together a batch of bonafide badasses in bonnets from across Australian history, Sheilas is a witty and engaging introduction to some of the country’s most interesting – and occasionally…

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The Kitchen Front

Book Review: Jennifer Ryan’s The Kitchen Front is sweet and cosy, if predictable fare

Jennifer Ryan‘s latest cosy novel, The Kitchen Front, has been described as “The Great British Bake Off set in World War Two”. Taking its title from a daily BBC radio show established in 1940 in cooperation with the Ministry of Food, the novel looks at life on the home front for four very different women, all through…

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Best Books 2021

The Best Books of The Year: 2021

2021. We had high hopes. But it’s been another year of uncertainty and upheaval – albeit perhaps not as bad as last year. It has been another strong year for books and publishing, with some big names returning with new books: Colson Whitehead, Taylor Jenkins Reid and Sally Rooney to name just three.  It’s also…

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Book Review: Colm Tóibín’sThe Magician offers an often interesting portrait of a complicated writer

The Magician, the new novel from Irish author Colm Tóibín, explores the live of the acclaimed German author Thomas Mann. It’s a novel that spans decades, continents and two World Wars – all in fewer pages than you would expect.  It is an interesting novel. Whilst it’s clearly incredibly well researched, and it has prompted…

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Felicity Castagna

Win a copy of Girls In Boys’ Cars by Felicity Castagna

Thanks to our friends at Pan Macmillan Australia we have two copies of Felicity Castagna’s forthcoming book Girls In Boys’ Cars to giveaway.  Girls In Boys’ Cars tells the story of a complicated friendship; of a road trip through NSW in a stolen car; of two funny, sharp and adventurous young women who refuse to…

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Heartsick

Book Review: Heartsick offers hope to the heartbroken but not much in the way of healing

In Heartsick, journalist and assistant head of content at Mammamia, Jessie Stephens goes undercover in search of the truth about heartbreak. Inspired by her own relationship breakdown and a search for a “book that [she was] fairly certain [didn’t] exist” which could “put into words how [she was] feeling”, this debut work of narrative non fiction looks…

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Change Your Thinking to Change Your Life

Book Review: Kate James’s Change Your Thinking to Change Your Life brims with life positivity lessons

These crazy Covid times have most likely left people feeling as though they were living the wrong life. For those of you questioning and soul-searching, never fear as life coach, Kate James is here to help. She is an author who has worked in the realms of positive psychology and meditation practices for some time….

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Best Books of 2020

The 14 Best Books of 2020

By now it goes without saying that 2020 has been a rough year. From wildfires to a global pandemic there has disruption and upheaval on a scale rarely, if ever, seen in “peacetime”. Pretty much every sector of society has taken a hit this year. And the publishing world, as with much of the Arts…

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Kathleen Jennings

Interview: Author Kathleen Jennings on Flyaway, the Aussie landscape, and the intersection of picture and prose

It’s been a week or so since Kathleen Jennings released her debut novella Flyaway into the world. You can read our review of the book here! We caught up with the Brisbane based writer and illustrator to chat about the release of Flyaway! First of all, can you tell us a little about Flyaway? What’s it…

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Flyaway

Book Review: Gothic fairytale comes to small town Australia in Kathleen Jennings’ Flyaway

When Bettina Scott’s father and brothers disappeared, her mother took charge. The wild ways of her childhood were over, and Bettina was moulded into a proper young lady. But, when a mysterious letter arrives and a painted warning appears on their perfect picket fence, Bettina is forced to confront what really happened all those years…

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Akin

Book Review: Emma Donoghue’s Akin is a historical story told from the present day

Akin is Emma Donoghue’s tenth novel for adults, but only her second set in the modern day. Known by most readers for her 2010 novel, Room, Donoghue has published countless novels which examine little known pockets of history, such as 2014’s Frog Music and 2016’s The Wonder. At first glance, Akin is something entirely different to Donoghue’s back catalogue, including…

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Book Review: Christine Féret-Fleury’s The Girl Who Reads on the Metro fails to adequately celebrate the magical power of books

For a book that attempts to celebrate the magical power of the medium, The Girl Who Reads on the Metro is certainly underwhelming. Although written by a prolific French author, the results appear lost in translation. What could have been an exciting and energetic meditation on the restorative power of these delightful things, is instead,…

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Trent Dalton wins big at the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards

Tonight the best and brightest of Australian publishing descended on Sydney and the Grand Ballroom of the International Convention Centre for the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards – the Australian equivalent of the Oscars for the bookishly inclined.  If you’ve been even vaguely following the Australian literary world over the last twelve months then the…

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Book Review: Regency London meets rich fantasy in Zen Cho’s The True Queen

Washed ashore on the island of Janda Baik, sisters Muni and Satki have no memory of their former lives. Mak Genggang, the region’s foremost witch, knows a curse when she sees it and in the mortal Muna and the magical Satki, it’s clear as day to her what has happened. Unable, or unwilling, to answer…

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Book Review: Debra Adelaide’s Zebra and other stories showcases the author’s astonishing range

Eccentric, heartbreaking and hilarious- this is how Debra Adelaide‘s latest book of short stories is described on the cover by her Picador stable-mate, Jennifer Mills. The book is Zebra and Other Stories, a collection comprised of fourteen stories, divided into three sections: First, Second and Third. These sections refer to the point of view taken in the stories. Adelaide covers a…

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Book Review: Markus Zusak’s Bridge of Clay is an extended musing on family, grief and brotherhood

The entire time that I was reading Markus Zusak’s new novel, Bridge of Clay, I had Josh Pyke’s song “Feet of Clay” going around and around in my head. Perhaps, this has only strengthened my belief that the entire novel is really some sort of extended metaphor, although for what exactly I couldn’t say. One…

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