The months leading up to Christmas are, traditionally, the busiest time for book releases. This season, booklovers are more spoiled for choice than ever – many releases had been rescheduled from earlier this year to now. With new books ranging from important to high-impact to crowd-pleasers to cult-classics, here are some book launches we are excited about:
Boy on Fire : The Young Nick Cave by Mark Mordue
Boy on Fire is the first instalment of the long-awaited, near-mythical biography of Nick Cave, written by author, poet and veteran rock journalist Mark Mordue. Focussing on his earliest years, Boy on Fire is Nick Cave’s creation story – how his friends, family, the Victorian countryside (in particular the town of Wangaratta) and subsequent schooling in Melbourne, had influenced and shaped Nick Cave into the artist he would become. Not only is Boy on Fire a biography about a fascinating person, it is also a lyrical and evocative history of a bygone time and place.
Fight for Planet A by Craig Reucassel
Following the huge success of War on Waste, Craig Reucassel turns his comedy / satire talents to the issue of carbon emissions, Fight for Planet A. Fight for Planet A not only explores how we can reduce carbon emissions on an individual level, it is also a call to arms, encouraging Australians to initiate conversations about climate change, that can drive systemic change within our local and wider communities. There’s no Planet B, so we’d better fight for Planet A! This book version provides a handy reference to ideas and strategies mentioned in the original TV series.
A Promised Land by Barack Obama
A Promised Land – the first volume of Barack Obama’s two-part memoir about his presidency – is probably the most significant new book of 2020. Expectations are high – this long-awaited memoir follows the astonishing success of Michelle Obama’s Becoming, which has sold over 60 million copies to date. Available in 25 languages, A Promised Land starts with Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, ending upon the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011, and is an account of both public progress and personal growth. Expect additional interest in this account, following the results of the recent US elections.
The Dressmaker’s Secret by Rosalie Ham
She’s back! The Dressmaker’s Secret continues the story of Tilly Dunnage and the rest of the beloved cast of Rosalie Ham’s acclaimed The Dressmaker.
It is 1953 and Melbourne society is looking forward to a full social season celebrating the coronation. Tilly Dunnage is toiling away in a second-rate Collins Street salon, lying low after exacting her revenge on her hometown of Dungatar. Her plan to evade the furious townsfolk of Dungatar was working well, until Tilly’s talents – and her name – started to feature in the fashion pages… Reprising the mix of drama, high fashion and dark humour found in the original novel, The Dressmaker’s Secret looks to be another terrific holiday read.
Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
Ernest Cline was so energised by the process of adapting his beloved novel, Ready Player One, into a movie, that he created a surprise sequel. Ready Player Two starts only days after the end of the original novel. Our hero, Wade Watts, stumbles across a new and unexpected quest – a last Easter Egg from James, Halliday for his heir. Not only will it make the OASIS more wondrous and addictive, but
Wade has to beat a dangerous new rival, who has murder on his mind. Ready Player Two offers the same winning combination of fun action-packed adventure and pop-culture nostalgia that has delighted millions of fans.
The Office was not just Ricky Gervais’ first step towards superstardom, it is also (in its American incarnation) an influential piece of pop culture. This award-winning show ran for nine seasons until 2013, and is still regularly screened. Its alumni, including Steve Carrell, Mindy Kaling and John Krasinski, have gone on to successful and varied careers as writers and performers. Andy Greene’s book is perfectly timed to celebrate the 15th anniversary of The Office’s premiere. This is an oral history based on a whopping 86 interviews with cast and crew, as well as archival material. The result takes fans behind-the-scenes, with celebrations of favourite episodes, as well as plenty of previously-unpublished anecdotes.