Staff Picks

If I Never Met You

If I Never Met You


If faking love is this easy… how do you know when it's real? 

The brand new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Mhairi McFarlane 

Laurie and Jamie have the perfect office romance
(They set the rules via email) 

Everyone can see they're head over heels
(They staged the photos) 

This must be true love
(They're faking it) 

When Laurie is dumped by her partner of eighteen years, she's blindsided. Not only does she feel humiliated, they still have to work together. 

So when she gets stuck in the lift with handsome colleague Jamie, they hatch a plan to stage the perfect romance. Revenge will be sweet… 

But this fauxmance is about to get complicated. You can't break your heart in a fake relationship – can you?

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What Is Real?

What Is Real?

Every physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity's finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr's students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favoured practical experiments over philosophical arguments.

As a result, questioning the status quo long meant professional ruin. And yet, from the 1920s to today, physicists like John Bell, David Bohm, and Hugh Everett persisted in seeking the true meaning of quantum mechanics. What is Real? is the gripping story of this battle of ideas and the courageous scientists who dared to stand up for truth.

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Then She Was Gone

Then She Was Gone

She was fifteen, her mother's golden girl. 
She had her whole life ahead of her. 
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

Ten years on, Laurel has never given up hope of finding Ellie. And then she meets a charming and charismatic stranger who sweeps her off her feet.

But what really takes her breath away is when she meets his nine-year-old daughter.

Because his daughter is the image of Ellie.

Now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What really happened to Ellie? And who still has secrets to hide?

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North Korea Journal

North Korea Journal

In May 2018, former Monty Python stalwart and intrepid globetrotter Michael Palin spent two weeks in the notoriously secretive Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a cut-off land without internet or phone signal, where the countryside has barely moved beyond a centuries-old peasant economy but where the cities have gleaming skyscrapers and luxurious underground train stations. His resulting documentary for Channel 5 was widely acclaimed.

Now he shares his day-by-day diary of his visit, in which he describes not only what he saw – and his fleeting views of what the authorities didn’t want him to see – but recounts the conversations he had with the country’s inhabitants, talks candidly about his encounters with officialdom, and records his musings about a land wholly unlike any other he has ever visited – one that inspires fascination and fear in equal measure.

Written with Palin’s trademark warmth and wit, and illustrated with beautiful colour photographs throughout, the journal offers a rare insight into the North Korea behind the headlines.

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The Last of the Bonegilla Girls

The Last of the Bonegilla Girls

Their friendship transcends nationality and background, but can it overcome the horrors of the past? A post-Second World War story of strong female ties and family, secrets and lies, set in the multicultural Australia of the fifties. 

Can the Bonegilla girls defeat their past? Or will it come to claim them? 

1954: When sixteen-year-old Hungarian Elizabeta arrives in Australia with her family, she is hoping to escape the hopelessness of life as a refugee in post-war Germany. 

Her first stop is the Bonegilla Migrant Camp on the banks of the Murray in rural Victoria, a temporary home for thousands of new arrivals, all looking for work and a better life. There, 

Elizabeta becomes firm friends with the feisty Greek Vasiliki; quiet Italian Iliana; and the adventurous Frances, the daughter of the camp's director. 

In this vibrant and growing country, the Bonegilla girls rush together towards a life that seems full of promise, even as they cope with the legacy of war, the oppressive nature of family tradition and ever-present sorrow. So when a ghost from the past reaches out for Elizabeta and threatens to pull her back into the shadows, there is nothing that her friends wouldn't do to keep her safe. 

But secrets have a way of making themselves known and lies have a way of changing everything they touch...

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Bruny

Bruny

How far would your government go? 

A right-wing US president has withdrawn America from the Middle East and the UN. Daesh has a thoroughfare to the sea and China is Australia's newest ally. When a bomb goes off in remote Tasmania, Astrid Coleman agrees to return home to help her brother before an upcoming election. But this is no simple task. Her brother and sister are on either side of politics, the community is full of conspiracy theories, and her father is quoting Shakespeare. Only on Bruny does the world seem sane. 

Until Astrid discovers how far the government is willing to go.

Bruny is a searing, subversive, brilliant novel about family, love, loyalty and the new world order.

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The Perfume Burned His Eyes

The Perfume Burned His Eyes

Matthew is a sixteen-year-old living in Jackson Heights, Queens, in 1976. After he loses his two most important male role models, his father and grandfather, his mother uses her inheritance to uproot Matthew and herself to a posh apartment building in Manhattan. Although only three miles away from his boyhood home, “the city” is a completely new and strange world to Matthew. 

Matthew soon befriends (and becomes a factotum of sorts to) Lou Reed, who lives with his transgender girlfriend Rachel in the same building. The artistic-shamanic rocker eventually becomes an unorthodox father figure to Matthew, who finds himself head over heels for the mysterious Veronica, a wise-beyond-her-years girl he meets at his new school. 

Written from the point of view of Matthew at age eighteen, two years after the story begins, the novel concludes with an epilogue in the year 2013, three days after Lou Reed’s death, with Matthew in his fifties.

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99 Percent Mine

99 Percent Mine

Crush (n.): a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She's travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they're left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he's single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy's considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn't ruin the cottage's inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She's definitely not staying because of her new business partner's tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that's inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom's heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she's switching things up. She's going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.

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Shadows of the Workhouse

Shadows of the Workhouse

In this follow up to CALL THE MIDWIFE, Jennifer Worth, a midwife working in the docklands area of East London in the 1950s tells more stories about the people she encountered. There's Jane, who cleaned and generally helped out at Nonnatus House - she was taken to the workhouse as a baby and was allegedly the illegitimate daughter of an aristocrat. Peggy and Frank's parents both died within 6 months of each other and the children were left destitute. At the time, there was no other option for them but the workhouse. The Reverend Thornton-Appleby-Thorton, a missionary in Africa, visits the Nonnatus nuns and Sister Julienne acts as matchmaker. And Sister Monica Joan, the eccentric ninety-year-old nun, is accused of shoplifting some small items from the local market. She is let off with a warning, but then Jennifer finds stolen jewels from Hatton Garden in the nun's room. These stories give a fascinating insight into the resilience and spirit that enabled ordinary people to overcome their difficulties.

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The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling

Anna Chiu has her hands pretty full looking after her brother and sister and helping out at her dad's restaurant, all while her mum stays in bed. Dad's new delivery boy, Rory, is a welcome distraction and even though she knows that things aren't right at home, she's starting to feel like she could just be a normal teen.

But when Mum finally gets out of bed, things go from bad to worse. And as Mum's condition worsens, Anna and her family question everything they understand about themselves and each other. 

A nourishing tale about the crevices of culture, mental wellness and family, and the surprising power of a good dumpling.

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