What are We Reading?

It’s official!

Reading books is Australia’s most enjoyable leisure activity.

A recent survey showed that ‘reading books’ rated well ahead of ‘browsing the internet’, ‘watching tv’ and ‘creative craft’.


The top 4 reasons given for reading were:

  1. For relaxation
  2. To learn
  3. The drama of good stories
  4. To become immersed in another world

Crime/mystery/thriller is the most popular fiction genre for nearly half of Australian readers. While a third enjoy reading historical fiction, contemporary fiction and science fiction/fantasy.

Autobiography, biography and memoir are the most widely read non-fiction books – read by up to 45% of Australians. These are followed by cook books at 37% and history & humour books at 28%.


And how did people find out about books?

66% said ‘word of mouth’ and 53% said ‘browsing in bookshops’. Obviously there is an overlap there!

Speaking of word of mouth (ho ho) we would love you to recommend Brays to your friends so we can bring the enjoyment of books to still more people.

Happy reading!

Posted in Philip, Reading Habits, Survey | 1 Comment

Pretty Book Covers

Do attractive covers influence you when you’re book browsing?

The good folk at the Australian Book Design Awards 2017 think so. Each year for the past 65 years, they have celebrated

the bravest and brightest, the most original and beautiful books published in Australia.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This year’s winners include:

  • Darren Holt for the Best Designed Commercial Fiction BookRed Herring by Jonathan Cullinane (Harper Collins).
  • Sandy Cull for the Best Designed Literary Fiction BookThe Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose (A&U).
  • Mary Callahan for the Best Designed Nonfiction BookThe Art of Reading by Damon Young (MUP).
  • Sandy Cull for the Best Designed SeriesWisdom Tree books by Nick Earls (Inkerman & Blunt).
  • Bruno Herfst & Marc Martin for Best Designed Children’s Illustrated BookLots by Marc Martin (Viking).
  • Amy Daoud for Best Designed Children’s Fiction BookMagrit by Lee Battersby (Walker).
  • Allison Colpoys for Best Designed Young Adult BookGirl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (Harper Collins).
  • Allison Colpoys for Best Designed Children’s/YA SeriesWord by Word series -various authors (Little Hare).
  • Daniel New for Best Designed Fully Illustrated Book Under RRP $50Grown and Gathered by Matt and Lentil Pubrick (Plum).
  • Allison Colpoys & Kasia Gadecki for Best Designed CookbookFlorentine by Emiko Davies (Hardie Grant).

Which cover is your favourite?

Posted in Australian Books, Book Covers, Bronwyn | Leave a comment

NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2017

On Monday night the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards were announced. For the first time in the awards history the Book of the Year prize was taken out by a play. Congratulations to all the winners. We were delighted to see many staff favourites feature in the list below.

Sara had the good fortune to see Purcell’s stunning and powerful performance in The Drover’s Wife at Belvoir St last year. She has been raving about it ever since.

Bron & Libby both adore The Museum of Modern Love. Bronwyn was thrilled to hear Rose talk about her book and what it means to win an award like this at The Award Goes To….session at the Writer’s Festival on Thursday. Also at the session were James Roy & Noël Zihabamwe, talking about One Thousand Hills, Bron’s favourite teen book of 2016.

Have you read any of these books yet? Or heard a mind-blowing bookish discussion at the Sydney Writer’s Festival on the radio or at Bookclub? We’d love to know what has caught your attention lately.

Book of the Year Prize & Playwriting Prize

  • The Drover’s Wife (Leah Purcell, Currency Press)

Christina Stead Prize for Fiction 

  • The Museum of Modern Love (Heather Rose, A&U)

UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing

  • Letter to Pessoa (Michelle Cahill, Giramondo Press)

Douglas Stewart Prize for Nonfiction

  • Our Man Elsewhere: In Search of Alan Moorehead (Thornton McCamish, Black Inc.)

Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry

  • Ghostspeaking (Peter Boyle, Vagabond Press)

Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature 

  • Iris and Tiger (Leanne Hall, Text)

Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature

  • One Thousand Hills (James Roy & Noël Zihabamwe, Omnibus)

Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting 

  • The Code: series two episode four (Shelley Birse, Playmaker Media)
  • Down Under (Abe Forsythe, Riot Film)

Multicultural NSW Award

  • The Hate Race (Maxine Beneba Clarke, Hachette)

The NSW Premier’s Translation Prize

  • Royall Tyler

Multicultural NSW Early Career Translator Prize

  • Jan Owen

People’s Choice Award

  • Vancouver #3 in the series ‘Wisdom Tree’ (Nick Earls, Inkerman & Blunt).

Posted in Australian, Bronwyn, NSW Premier's Literary Award, Sydney Writers Festival | Leave a comment

New Philosopher & Womankind Magazine

The latest editions of our best selling Womankind and New Philosopher magazines have now arrived in store.

This quarter, #16 New Philosopher is all about food. What we eat and why. Too little; too much. Production, consumption and waste. Articles by Will Self, Andre Dao, DBC Pierre & Lisa Heldke will simply whet your appetites for more!

A woman’s place is in the resistance according to #12 Womankind magazine, featuring articles on the refugee crisis, mid-life odyssey’s, yoga and stoicism. Contributing authors this quarter include Lucy Treloar, Kate Forsyth, Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore and Stav Dimitropoulos.

Both magazines (& some of their back issues) are available at Brays Books for $14.95


Posted in Bronwyn, Magazines, New Philosopher, Womankind | Leave a comment

Sydney Writer’s Festival 2017 Launch

One of the pleasures of being a book seller is attending the many book and festival launches that occur throughout the year.

Last night was the Launch of the 2017 Sydney Writer’s Festival season. It was also the first time that many of us caught up with the new Artistic Director, Michaela McGuire as well. She impressed us with her humour and laid back charm.

This year’s theme is refuge. Michaela feels that now, more than ever, “readers will be turning to literature as a place of refuge.

Being able to see the world through someone else’s eyes is one of the enduring functions of literature. It can provide comfort in belonging; wonder and curiosity in diversity and also, at times, shock us out of our complacency.


This is the 20th year of the Sydney Writer’s Festival and they are celebrating with a new look website here. Bookings for the festival opened today, so you can expect teething problems and queues (that’s me saying that, not the organisers!)

I have no doubt that certain talks will book out very quickly. However I have usually been able to attend some of the lesser known talks on the spur of the moment and have often enjoyed these spontaneous events all the more for being unexpected and unplanned.

After the festival is over, Create NSW will take over the Walsh Bay site for a two year redevelopment scheme that will create an arts precinct around Pier 2/3 and Wharf 3/4. Apparently a proper amenities block will be part of the new plan!

Details about the venue for the 2018 and 2019 SWF will be revealed in due course.

Who are you looking forward to seeing at this year’s Festival?

Posted in Bronwyn, Sydney Writers Festival | Leave a comment

Indie Books Awards 2017


As members of the Australian Independent Booksellers group, we at Brays Books are delighted to celebrate the diversity of exciting and interesting writers on this year’s long list for The Indie Book Awards.

The Indie Book Awards were established in 2008 with the aim of creating a unique award recognising and rewarding the best Australian writing as chosen by Australian Independent Booksellers. The Awards celebrate the enormous depth and range of literary talent in this nation.

The Indie Awards differ from other literary awards because they are chosen by independent booksellers who are renowned for their love of books and reading, support new and emerging Australia authors and foster a love of quality writing.

Last month the long list was whittled down to the shortlist titles for each category that you see below.

Category winners and the overall Indie Book of the Year Award winner will be announced on the 20th March.

Previous Indie Book of the Year Award winners have been:

Breath by Tim Winton (2008)

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey (2009)

The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do (2011)

All That I Am by Anna Funder (2012)

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (2013)

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (2014)

The Bush by Don Watson (2015)

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (2016)

Who would you like to see win this year’s Indie Book of the Year Award?

2017 Shortlist


The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette Australia)

Against anything I had ever been told was possible, I was turning white. Onthe surface of my skin, a miracle was quietly brewing . . .’

Suburban Australia. Sweltering heat. Three bedroom blonde-brick. Family of five. Beat-up Ford Falcon. Vegemite on toast. Maxine Beneba Clarke’s life is just like all the other Aussie kids on her street.

Except for this one, glaring, inescapably obvious thing.

Ghost Empire by Richard Fidler (ABC Books, HarperCollins Australia)

GHOST EMPIRE is a rare treasure – an utterly captivating blend of the historical and the contemporary, realised by a master storyteller.

In 2014, Richard Fidler and his son Joe made a journey to Istanbul. Fired by Richard’s passion for the rich history of the dazzling Byzantine Empire – centred around the legendary Constantinople – we are swept into some of the most extraordinary tales in history. The clash of civilizations, the fall of empires, the rise of Christianity, revenge, lust, murder. Turbulent stories from the past are brought vividly to life at the same time as a father navigates the unfolding changes in his relationship with his son.

GHOST EMPIRE is a revelation: a beautifully written ode to a lost civilization, and a warmly observed father-son adventure far from home.

Fight Like a Girl by Clementine Ford (Allen & Unwin)

Personal and fearless – a call to arms for feminists new, old and as yet unrealised by one of our most outspoken feminist writers.

Online sensation, fearless feminist heroine and scourge of trolls and misogynists everywhere, Clementine Ford is a beacon of hope and inspiration to thousands of Australian women and girls. Her incendiary debut Fight Like A Girl is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, and exposes just how unequal the world continues to be for women. Crucially, it is a call to arms for all women to rediscover the fury that has been suppressed by a society that still considers feminism a threat.

Fight Like A Girl will make you laugh, cry and scream. But above all it will make you demand and fight for a world in which women have real equality and not merely the illusion of it.

Everywhere I Look by Helen Garner (Text Publishing)

The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley (Affirm Press)

Inspired by a letter found tucked inside her famous husband’s papers, The Birdman’s Wife imagines the fascinating inner life of Elizabeth Gould, who was so much more than just the woman behind the man.

Elizabeth was a woman ahead of her time, juggling the demands of her artistic life with her roles as wife, lover and helpmate to a passionate and demanding genius, and as a devoted mother who gave birth to eight children. In a society obsessed with natural history and the discovery of new species, the birdman’s wife was at its glittering epicentre. Her artistry breathed life into hundreds of exotic finds, from her husband’s celebrated collections to Charles Darwin’s famous Galapagos finches.

Fired by Darwin’s discoveries, in 1838 Elizabeth defied convention by joining John on a trailblazing expedition to the untamed wilderness of Van Diemen’s Land and New South Wales to collect and illustrate Australia’s ‘curious’ birdlife.

From a naïve and uncertain young girl to a bold adventurer determined to find her own voice and place in the world, The Birdman’s Wife paints an indelible portrait of an extraordinary woman overlooked by history, until now.

The Midnight Watch by David Dyer (Penguin Books Australia)

As the Titanic and her passengers sank slowly into the Atlantic Ocean after striking an iceberg late in the evening of April 14, 1912, a nearby ship looked on. Second Officer Herbert Stone, in charge of the midnight watch on the SS Californian sitting idly a few miles north, saw the distress rockets that the Titanic fired. He alerted the captain, Stanley Lord, who was sleeping in the chartroom below, but Lord did not come to the bridge. Eight rockets were fired during the dark hours of the midnight watch, and eight rockets were ignored.

The next morning, the Titanic was at the bottom of the sea and more than 1,500 people were dead. When they learned of the extent of the tragedy, Lord and Stone did everything they could to hide their role in the disaster, but pursued by newspapermen, lawyers, and political leaders in America and England, their terrible secret was eventually revealed. The Midnight Watch is a fictional telling of what may have occurred that night on the SS Californian, and the resulting desperation of Officer Stone and Captain Lord in the aftermath of their inaction.

Told not only from the perspective of the SS Californian crew, but also through the eyes of a family of third-class passengers who perished in the disaster, the narrative is drawn together by Steadman, a tenacious Boston journalist who does not rest until the truth is found. The Midnight Watch is a powerful and dramatic debut novel–the result of many years of research in Liverpool, London, New York, and Boston, and informed by the author’s own experiences as a ship’s officer and a lawyer.

The Dry by Jane Harper (Pan Macmillan Australia)

I just can’t understand how someone like him could do something like that.

Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn’t rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty.

Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke’s death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend’s crime.

 Goodwood by Holly Throsby (Allen & Unwin)

With entrancing collages and lyrical narration, the creator of the acclaimed Mirror follows the epic flight of an extraordinary bird.

Each year, bar-tailed godwits undertake the longest migration of any bird, flying from Australia and New Zealand to their breeding grounds in the Arctic and back again. They follow invisible pathways — pathways that have been followed for thousands of years — while braving hunger and treacherous conditions to reach their destination. In Circle, Jeannie Baker follows the godwit’s incredible flight, taking us over awe-inspiring scenes as the birds spread their wings above such beautiful landmarks as the Great Barrier Reef and China’s breathtaking cityscapes.

Pig the Winner by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Australia)

From award-winning creator of PIG THE PUG comes a brand new tale about the world’s greediest pug.

Pig, the world’s greediest Pug, won’t play fair. He’ll do anything to win!

Pig the Pug is back and this time he is being a great big cheat. But when his latest attempt to beat his best friend, Trevor, backfires will Pig the Pug learn his lesson at last?

The 78-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton (Illus) (Pan Macmillan Australia)


From the punk rock stars of Australian children’s literature comes The 78-Storey Treehouse.

Join Andy and Terry in their spectacular new 78-storey treehouse. They’ve added 13 new levels including a drive-thru car wash, a combining machine, a scribbletorium, an ALL-BALL sports stadium, Andyland, Terrytown, a high-security potato chip storage facility and an open-air movie theatre. Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up!

Wormwood Mire by Judith Rossell (ABC Books, HarperCollins Australia)

This spine-tingling sequel to Withering-by-Sea sees Stella sent away to the moldering old family estate, where she discovers two odd cousins—and a mystery.

Eleven-year-old Stella Montgomery has always wondered about her family. What happened to her mother? And could she have a long-lost sister somewhere? Stella’s awful Aunts refuse to tell her anything, and now they have sent her Stella away to the old family home at Wormwood Mire, where she must live with two strange cousins and their governess.

But dark secrets slither and skulk within overgrown grounds of the moldering house, and Stella must be brave if she’s to find out who—or what—she really is…

Unable to care for the child alone, Nóra hires a fourteen-year-old servant girl, Mary, who soon hears the whispers in the valley about the blasted creature causing grief to fall upon the widow’s house.

Alone, hedged in by rumour, Mary and her mistress seek out the only person in the valley who might be able to help Micheál. For although her neighbours are wary of her, it is said that old Nance Roche has the knowledge. That she consorts with Them, the Good People. And that only she can return those whom they have taken…

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (Pan Macmillan Australia)

The electrifying new novel from the international bestselling author, Liane Moriarty

Despite their differences, Erika and Clementine have been best friends since they were children. So when Erika needs help, Clementine should be the obvious person to turn to. Or so you’d think.

For Clementine, as a mother of a two desperately trying to practise for the audition of a lifetime, the last thing she needs is Erika asking for something, again.

But the barbecue should be the perfect way to forget their problems for a while. Especially when their hosts, Vid and Tiffany, are only too happy to distract them.

Which is how it all spirals out of control…

Where the Trees Were by Inga Simpson (Hachette Australia)

‘All in?’ Kieran pulled me up, and the others followed. We gathered around the bigger tree. No one asked Matty – he just reached up and put his right hand on the trunk with ours.

Kieran cleared his throat. ‘We swear, on these trees, to always be friends. To protect each other – and this place.’

Finding those carved trees forged a bond between Jay and her four childhood friends and opened their eyes to a wider world. But their attempt to protect the grove ends in disaster, and that one day on the river changes their lives forever.

Seventeen years later, Jay finally has her chance to make amends. But at what cost? Not every wrong can be put right, but sometimes looking the other way is no longer an option.

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith (Allen & Unwin)

In The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, US-based Australian writer Dominic Smith brilliantly bridg
es the historical and the contemporary, tracking a collision course between a rare landscape by a female Dutch painter of the Golden Age, an inheritor of the work in 1950s Manhattan, and a celebrated Australian art historian who painted a forgery of it in her youth.

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The saga that began with Illuminae continues on board the space station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of BeiTech’s assault. Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter, Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while they are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum may be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival. The fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

The Road to Winter by Mark Smith (Text Publishing)

Since a deadly virus and the violence that followed wiped out his parents and most of his community, Finn has lived alone on the rugged coast with only his loyal dog Rowdy for company.

He has stayed alive for two winters—hunting and fishing and trading food, and keeping out of sight of the Wilders, an armed and dangerous gang that controls the north, led by a ruthless man named Ramage.

But Finn’s isolation is shattered when a girl runs onto the beach. Rose is a Siley—an asylum seeker—and she has escaped from Ramage, who had enslaved her and her younger sister, Kas. Rose is desperate, sick, and needs Finn’s help. Kas is still missing somewhere out in the bush.

And Ramage wants the girls back—at any cost.

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland (Penguin Books Australia)

Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him – at least not yet. 

Posted in Australian, Australian Authors, Bronwyn, Indies Book of the Year | Leave a comment

Stella Prize Longlist 2017

We love a good longlist at Brays!

The joy of seeing a staff favourite or two nominated, followed by the lovely bookish challenge of reading as many of the others before the winner is announced.

So far, we have read The Hate Race, Between a Wolf and a Dog and Avalanche.

The Judges for this year’s Stella Prize longlist noted that their selection

recognises exceptional writing in a year of especially fine literature by Australian women. This year’s longlist is notable for the strength and diversity of investigative, biographical and autobiographical work, as well as for highly accomplished fiction and stories. All of the books are topical and many of them address urgent national issues with particular relevance to women, at a time when women are fighting to be politically seen and heard, and to secure their positions in the public sphere.




Have you read any of this year’s Stella longlist – what did you think?

You can follow us and the Stella Prize on twitter #Stella2017 to discuss your longlist reading.

The Stella shortlist will be announced on Wednesday 8 March. The $50 000 Stella Prize winner will then be announced on the evening of Tuesday 18 April.

Posted in Australian Books, Bronwyn, Stella Prize | Leave a comment

Brays Bestsellers for 2016

Our top twelve bestselling books in Balmain for 2016 included eight titles by Australian authors. It’s wonderful to see our home grown authors being so widely read and appreciated.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our number one bestseller for 2016, outselling even J. K. Rowling, was local author John Thomson with his self-published book! Obviously Jack’s stories about growing up in Balmain have struck a chord with the entire peninsula and we’re delighted by his continuing success.

For more information about Jack’s Story read our earlier post here.

Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend continued to be a favourite throughout the year and our younger readers showed us that they still love an entertaining series with their enthusiastic demand for the sixth Treehouse book and the 11th Wimpy Kid.

Balmain’s history lovers and ABC 702 listeners showed their strong support by snapping up Richard Fidler’s fascinating excursion into Byzantium history, Ghost Empire.

Staff favourites were also your favourites with the likes of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Truly Madly GuiltyAll the Light We Cannot See, The Good People, The Natural Way of Things and Salt Creek making an appearance.

  1. Jack’s Story: Growing Up in Balmain by John Thomson
  2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
  3. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
  4. The 78 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton
  5. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  6. The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith
  7. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
  8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #11 Double Down by Jeff Kinney
  9. Ghost Empire by Richard Fidler
  10. Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar
  11. The Good People by Hannah Kent
  12. The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood.

Another wonderful year of reading behind us; another exciting year ahead.

What was your favourite read for 2016?

Posted in Best Books, Bronwyn, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Our Best of 2016

It’s December, which means it must be time for our ‘best books of the year’ post!

It’s often hard for us to keep our list of favourites to just two or three books. We all enjoy an eclectic range of genres each year, and we can like different books at different times for very different reasons, but for now, here are the Brays Books team best reads of 2016…

Philip enjoyed reading The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley, Goodwood by Holly Throsby and dipping into 1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think by Robert Arp.


Bronwyn was pleasantly surprised by how much she enjoyed His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet. Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeline Thien and Ruins by debut Australian writer Rajith Savanadasa were also favourites.


Tim enjoyed The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith, The Good People by Hannah Kent and The Interpreter by Diego Marani.


Libby loved, loved, loved Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar, Our Souls At Night by Haruf Kent and Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain.


Claire enjoyed the quirky Hot Milk by Deborah Levy and Han Kang’s award winning The Vegetarian as well as getting grand ideas from her Spanish travel guides!


Sara’s picks for 2016 are Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth, Hetty McKinnon’s fabulous and very tasty salad book, Community and for a bit of light relief, the early reader Yours Sincerely Giraffe by Megumi Iwasa.


Our newest staff member, Sylvia enjoyed The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon, All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders and the picture book The Most Mysterious Mouse by Giovanna Zoboli


To find out what many of our Australian writers have read and enjoyed this year – check out the recent SMH article here.

You can also be inspired by the 10 best books from the New York Times.

For an extensive selection of authors and their best books of the year check out The Guardian‘s two part list.

That’s a lot of love for a lot of books!

What was your favourite read this year?

Posted in Best Books, Bronwyn, Claire, Favourites, Fiction, Libby, Philip, Sara, Sylvia, Tim | 3 Comments

Great New Non-Fiction for November!

True Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia

by David Hunt

First there was Girt. Now comes . . . True Girt.

Format: Paperback
Category: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Penguin
Publish Date: October 2016
RRP: $32.99


In this side-splitting sequel to his best-selling history, David Hunt takes us to the Australian frontier. This was the Wild South, home to hardy pioneers, gun-slinging bushrangers, directionally challenged explorers, nervous indigenous people, Caroline Chisholm and sheep. Lots of sheep.

True Girt introduces Thomas Davey, the hard-drinking Tasmanian governor who invented the Blow My Skull cocktail, and Captain Moonlite, Australia’s most famous LGBTI bushranger. Meet William Nicholson, the Melbourne hipster who gave Australia the steam-powered coffee roaster and the world the secret ballot. And say hello to Harry, the first camel used in Australian exploration, who shot dead his owner, the explorer John Horrocks.

Learn how Truganini’s death inspired the Martian invasion of Earth. Discover the role of Hall and Oates in the Myall Creek Massacre. And be reminded why you should never ever smoke with the Wild Colonial Boy and Mad Dan Morgan.

If Manning Clark and Bill Bryson were left on a desert island with only one pen, they would write True Girt.

Keeping On Keeping On

by Alan Bennett

A new collection of Alan Bennett’s diaries and more.

Format: Hardcover
Category: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publish Date: November 2016
RRP: $49.99
Our Great Price: $39.99

‘I seem to have banged on this year rather more than usual. I make no apology for that, nor am I nervous that it will it make a jot of difference. I shall still be thought to be kindly, cosy and essentially harmless. I am in the pigeon-hole marked ‘no threat’ and did I stab Judi Dench with a pitchfork I should still be a teddy bear.’

Alan Bennett’s third collection of prose Keeping On Keeping On follows in the footsteps of the phenomenally successful Writing Home and Untold Stories, each published ten years apart. This latest collection contains Bennett’s peerless diaries 2005 to 2015, reflecting on a decade that saw four premieres at the National Theatre (The Habit of Art, People, Hymn and Cocktail Sticks), a West End double-bill transfer, and the films of The History Boys and The Lady in the Van.

There’s a provocative sermon on private education given before the University at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, and ‘Baffled at a Bookcase’ offers a passionate defence of the public library. The book includes Denmark Hill, a darkly comic radio play set in suburban south London, as well as Bennett’s reflections on a quarter of a century’s collaboration with Nicholas Hytner. This is an engaging, humane, sharp, funny and unforgettable record of life according to the inimitable Alan Bennett.

Fight Like A Girl

by Clementine Ford

Personal and fearless – a call to arms by one of our most outspoken feminist writers.

A friend recently told me that the things I write are powerful for her because they have the effect of making her feel angry instead of just empty. I want to do this for all women and young girls – to take the emptiness and numbness they feel about being a girl in this world and turn it into rage and power. I want to teach all of them how to FIGHT LIKE A GIRL. Clementine Ford

It’ll change lives.’ Emily Maguire, author of An Isolated Incident.

Format: Paperback
Category: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publish Date: September 2016
RRP: $29.99 

With wit, insight and glorious, righteous rage, Clementine Ford lays out all the ways in which girls and women are hurt and held back, and unapologetically demands that the world do better. A passionate and urgently needed call to arms, Fight Like A Girl insists on our right to be angry, to be heard and to fight.

Online sensation, fearless feminist heroine and scourge of trolls and misogynists everywhere, Clementine Ford is a beacon of hope and inspiration to thousands of Australian women and girls. Her incendiary debut Fight Like A Girl is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, and exposes just how unequal the world continues to be for women. Crucially, it is a call to arms for all women to rediscover the fury that has been suppressed by a society that still considers feminism a threat.

Fight Like A Girl will make you laugh, cry and scream. But above all it will make you demand and fight for a world in which women have real equality and not merely the illusion of it.

Check out our online Summer Reading Guide here for more fabulous non-fiction. Or pop into Brays to pick up your own copy.

Posted in Australian Books, Australian Independent Bookseller, Non-Fiction | 2 Comments