November New Releases

At the beginning of each month, the temptation strikes and I begin to see my Instagram flooding with new release titles! It’s so hard to draw your eyes away from new books (I say this while squinting at my bedside book stack … If I squint it becomes smaller right ๐Ÿ˜‰). Here are 5 November releases to look forward too ๐Ÿ“š

How We Love by Clementine Ford

There is love in this place, just like there is love everywhere we care to look for it. There is beauty and there is hope and there is a boy and there is a mother and there is the past and there is the future but most importantly there is the now, and everything that exists between them that has got them from one moment to the next. The now is where we find the golden glow where, for the briefest of moments, the sky rips open and we see what it is we are made of.
Tell me a story, he asked me.
And so I began.

Clementine Ford is a person who has loved deeply, strangely and with curiosity. She is fascinated by love and how it makes its home in our hearts and believes that the way we continue to surrender ourselves to love is an act of great faith and bravery.

This tender and lyrical memoir explores love in its many forms, through Clementine’s own experiences. With clear eyes and an open heart, she writes about losing her adored mother far too young, about the pain and confusion of first love – both platonic and romantic – and the joy and heartache of adult love. She writes movingly about the transcendent and transformative journey to motherhood and the similarly monumental path to self-love. ‘We love as children, as friends, as parents and, yes, sometimes as sexual beings, and none of it is more important than the other because all of it shows us who we are.’

Extract from Allen & Unwin

Devotion by Hannah Kent

Prussia, 1836: Hanne Nussbaum is a child of nature – she would rather run wild in the forest than conform to the limitations of womanhood. In her village of Kay, Hanne is friendless and considered an oddity . . . until she meets Thea.

Ocean, 1838: The Nussbaums are Old Lutherans, bound by God’s law and at odds with their King’s order for reform. Forced to flee religious persecution the families of Kay board a crowded, disease-riddled ship bound for the new colony of South Australia. In the face of brutal hardship, the beauty of whale song enters Hanne’s heart, along with the miracle of her love for Thea. Theirs is a bond that nothing can break.

The whale passed. The music faded.

South Australia, 1838: A new start in an old land. God, society and nature itself decree Hanne and Thea cannot be together. But within the impossible . . . is devotion.

Extract from Pan Macmillan AU

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

Tully and Rachel are murderous when they discover their father has a new girlfriend. The fact that Heather is half his age isn’t even the most shocking part. Stephen is still married to their mother, who is in a care facility with end-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Heather knows she has an uphill battle to win Tully and Rachel over, while carrying the burden of the secrets of her past. But, as it turns out, they are all hiding something.

The announcement of Stephen and Heather’s engagement threatens to set off a family implosion, with old wounds and dark secrets finally being forced to the surface.

A garage full of stolen goods. An old hot-water bottle, stuffed with cash. A blood-soaked wedding. And that’s only the beginning …

Extract from Pan Macmillan AU

The Last Woman in the World by Inga Simpson

It’s night, and the walls of Rachel’s home creak as they settle into the cover of darkness. Fear has led her to a reclusive life on the land, her only occasional contact with her sister.

A hammering on the door. There stands a mother, Hannah, with a sick baby. They are running for their lives from a mysterious death sweeping the Australian countryside.

Now Rachel must face her worst fears: should she take up the fight to help these strangers survive in a society she has rejected for so long?

From the critically acclaimed author of Mr Wigg and NestThe Last Woman in the World looks at how we treat our world and each other – and what it is that might ultimately redeem us.

Extract from Hachette AU

Wiradjuri Country by Larry Brandy

The Wiradjuri are the people of the three bila (rivers) and their nguram-bang (Country) is the second largest in Australia.

Come with Uncle Larry Brandy on an enlightening journey through his Countryโ€™s rivers, woodlands, grasslands and rocky outcrops, as well as the murri-yang (sky world). Along the way, young readers will encounter animals such as bila-durang (platypus), and maliyan (wedge-tailed eagle), plants like the maybal (grass tree) and yirany (yam daisy), and discover stories like that of Tiddalik the giant frog. They will learn how Wiradjuri people lived on their Country, using the flower spikes of the grass tree as spears, soaking its flowers in water to make a sweet drink and weaving its leaves into baskets.

This is a unique book combining language, culture, Indigenous history and storytelling, written by a Wiradjuri author. It features colour photographs of animals, plants and habitats, as well as illustrations by Indigenous artists Kristie Peters and Scott โ€˜Sauceโ€™ Towney.

Extract from Collins Booksellers Wagga Wagga

There you have it book lovers! I hope you all have a fabulous week and enjoy browsing your local bookshops in person, online or via socials ๐Ÿ“š

My 5 highly anticipated September New Releases ๐Ÿ“š

New release time in the book shop is always a highlight for me. The mountain of books continue to grow and grow. The environment swells and readers eyes light up when seeing their anticipated books hit shelves – I’m one lucky girl to see those anticipated books as soon as they jump out of a box. Here are my 5 highly anticipated September new releases:

‘Defy the Night’ by Brigid Kemmerer

“In a kingdom where sickness stalks the streets and only the richest can afford a cure, King Harristan and his brother Prince Corrick are forced to rule with an iron fist. Tessa Cade is a masked outlaw marked for death, but she likes it that way. Together with the mysterious, handsome Weston, she robs from the rich to help the poor, distributing food and medicine to those who need it most. As it becomes clear that the only way to save her people is to assassinate the King, Tessa must face a deadly mission that will take her to the dark heart of the kingdom … and force her to work with the very people she intended to destroy.”

I was incredibly lucky to get my hands on a pre-release edition of this novel. I was thrilled to learn that Brigid Kemmerer had a new series on the way as I adored her trilogy ‘A Curse so Dark and Lonely’. I have made a start on this one and I’m surprised to see that it has some Covidy elements to it. It seems like a lot of YA fantasy and contemporary will be pulling on our recent climate for inspiration in world building and environment.

‘Love & Virtue’ by Diana Reid

“Whenever I say I was at university with Eve, people ask me what she was like, sceptical perhaps that she could have always been as whole and self-assured as she now appears. To which I say something like: ‘People are infinitely complex.’ But I say it in such a way–so pregnant with misanthropy–that it’s obvious I hate her.
Michaela and Eve are two bright, bold women who befriend each other their first year at a residential college at university, where they live in adjacent rooms. They could not be more different; one assured and popular – the other uncertain and eager-to-please.
But something happens one night in O-week – a drunken encounter, a foggy memory that will force them to confront the realities of consent and wrestle with the dynamics of power.
Initially bonded by their wit and sharp eye for the colleges’ mix of material wealth and moral poverty, Michaela and Eve soon discover how fragile friendship is, and how capable of betrayal they both are.”

Now this one folks, is pretty exciting! Through my work I was invited to jump on a zoom meeting with the one and only Diana Reid and her publishers, Ultimo Press. What an incredibly talented human being and now debut author Diana is. Said to be the Australian Sally Rooney, I am very much looking forward to seeing how Diana has crafted life at university through the lens of women my age. Seriously pre-order this one book lovers, it’s going to be HUGE!

‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’ by Sally Rooney

“Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a distribution warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend Eileen is getting over a break-up, and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon are still young-but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?”

Now I haven’t actually read any Sally Rooney myself. I have ummd and ahhed about reading her debut novel, ‘Normal People’, (I watched the mini-series #whoops) but for some reason my brain keeps saying, no don’t do it – it is too literature for you. I know her stories are hard hitting but blurry at the same time which I don’t always enjoy in a novel. ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’ has already been a stand out this year in pre-orders and now it has hit shelves. I am mainly thinking of reading it to see what all the hype is about …

‘Build Your House Around My Body’ by Violet Kupersmith

“1986- The teenage daughter of a wealthy Vietnamese family gets lost in an abandoned rubber plantation while fleeing her angry father, and is forever changed by the experience.

2011- Twenty-five years later, a young, unhappy American named Winnie disappears from her new home in Saigon without a trace.

The fates of these two women are inescapably linked, bound together by past generations, by ghosts and ancestors, by the history of possessed bodies and possessed lands. Barrelling through the sweaty nightclubs of Saigon to ramshackle zoos, colonial mansions and haunted forests, Violet Kupersmith’s heart-pounding fever dream of a novel deftly combines Vietnamese history and folklore to create an immersive, playful, utterly unforgettable debut.”

Emma Roberts the awesome actor, actually runs a feminist/intelligent woman/inspiring/culturally diverse book club called Belletrist (you should really check out some of their picks). This is her September read and my gosh, doesn’t it sound gooooddd!!

‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’ by Florence Given

“Florence Given will explore all progressive corners of the feminist conversation; from insecurity projection and refusing to find comfort in other women’s flaws, to deciding whether to date or dump them, all the way through to unpacking the male gaze and how it shapes our identity.

Women Don’t Owe You Pretty is an accessible leap into feminism, for people at all stages of their journey who are seeking to reshape and transform the way they view themselves. In a world that tells women we’re either not enough or too much, it’s time we stop directing our anger and insecurities onto ourselves, and start fighting back to re-shape the toxic structures of our patriarchal society.”

Now when I saw this land in store, I was so pumped! ‘This Small Edition’ is a brand-new shortened version of Florence’s most important and poignant points throughout her book Woman Don’t Owe You Pretty. For those of us who are short on time (me ๐Ÿ‘ˆ๐Ÿผ) and has over 50 book on her TBR (me๐Ÿ‘ˆ๐Ÿผ, hehe) finding an awesome short and sweet version of this book was a must-have!! A friend of mine originally recommenced this to me and suggested I follow her social media – I highly recommend you do the same. She’s a real change driver and helps you to start rethinking all we have been taught in a male ruling society.

3 Memoirs on my 2021 TBR

What is a Memoir you ask? A Memoir is a historical account of a person or groups personal knowledge, predominantly written in a narrative style.

I resonate with memoirs that are from a female perspective. I enjoy reading about themes of mental health, work place hierarchy challenges, feminist POV’s and outcomes or changed life paths due to a particular experience or conflict. Here are 3 Memoirs that I would like to read by the end of 2021.

Emotional Female by Yumiko Kadota

“I never thought I would say this, but I broke. I give up. I am done. I am handing back my dream of becoming a surgeon.” In February of 2019, Yumiko blogged about her experiences as a trainee in the health system and she opened with these words. Talking all things Asian heritage and educational expectations she experienced growing up, male domination in particular health fields and being called ’emotional’ or ‘too confident’ about her work, Yumiko couldn’t take it any more. Her mental health deteriorated and so did her goal of practicing as a Plastic Surgeon.

I listened to Yumiko on an ABC Conversations Podcast and her story sounds incredibly important.

The Mother Wound by Amani Haydar

‘Gripping, transcendent, tender and, at times, infuriating. With a daughter’s heart and a lawyer’s mind, Amani Haydar maps the territory that connects the wars we fight abroad to the wars we endure in our homes.’ Jess Hill (Author of See What You Made Me Do)

I initially learned of ‘The Mother Wound’ via social media. I could not take my eyes off the cover for one but then I discovered what it was really about. Domestic violence, as I agree with the words of Jess Hill’s Stella Prize book ‘See What You Made Me Do’, a national emergency. In Amani’s memoir, she reflects on what kind of mother she hopes to be when her life experiences are scarred by the horrific murder of her mother – at the hands of her father. Deep diving into witnessing and living with coercive control growing up, as well as reflecting on her parents emotional relationship, Amani sounds like an incredibly strong human being.

*READ* Heartsick by Jessie Stephens

‘Heartbreak does not seem to be a brand of grief we respect. And so we are left in the middle of the ocean, floating in a dinghy with no anchor, while the world waits for us to be okay again.’ (except from Heartsick)

I was recommended this book by a dear friend who had read the short story type memoir herself. Jessie Stephens actually focused in on three seperate stories and allowed the people to tell share their individual experiences in a narrative type retelling. You would not believe that these three people were strangers as their experiences, traumas and whole body reaction to the feeling of heartbreak are all so similar. We all at some point on our lives feel heart sick, it’s a form of grief yet we don’t socially accept or recognise its impact. Here is my GoodReads review:

“I was undecided if this was the type of book that would grip me. We learn about three different stories about being in love, the high, the heartbreak, the grief, the up and down challenges of relationships and that burnt feeling you get after being let down over and over again. The disjointedness of each biographical recount actually reads so well and you can only lend a piece of your heart out to each person in this book. I feel understood, I am resonating with some stories, feelings and experiences. I really think this is a universal read for all human beings” – Mel (โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ 5/5)