Dear readers,

Welcome to Booklore, our weekly collection of books worth reading; films and television shows worth watching; art worth feasting your eyes on; and podcasts and albums worth your ear time.

Bibi, bookseller at Harry Hartog Warringah is reading "Low Tox Life" by Alexx Stuart.

I've been a fan of Alexx and her podcasts for years now, so was over the moon when her book arrived. It is all I had hoped for and more. This very attractive and readable book is filled with heaps of great information about how to lower your toxic load. Great suggestions, hints, and recipes for mind and body care, home care and clean food. If that weren't enough, Alexx has generously shared some of her Mauritian family recipes. Bonus! This is a wonderful reference book and I highly recommend it. 

Laura, bookseller at Harry Hartog Miranda, is reading “Faro’s Daughter” by Georgette Heyer.  

What a superbly written, witty historical romance! This book echoes the classic style of Jane Austen, while keeping you hooked on the action-packed plot and hilarious schemes of each character. The combination of strong characters and brilliant banter will ensure that you won’t be able to stop reading. Wealthy gentleman and cold gamester Max Ravenscar feels duty-bound to rescue his young cousin, Lord Mablethorpe, from an “ensnarement” with the beautiful Deborah Grantham, who assists her aunt in running a gaming house and whom Adrian is intent on marrying. Yet, to his shock, his first impression of Deborah defies all his expectations – she doesn’t seem painted or greedy, instead appearing both charming, handsome, and - dare he think it - well-bred! But, never the one to let his emotions get in the way of business, Max attempts to lure Deborah away from young Lord Mablethorpe, offering her a large sum of money to relinquish all claims to his heart, and, more importantly, his wealth. He (wrongly) sees her only as a manipulative harpy, and is convinced that buying her off is the only solution. What he doesn’t know is that Deborah’s pride is as strong as his own and that the supposed engagement between her and Adrian is non-existent; she never returned his sentiments. The fury of her indignation to his perceived insult takes him completely off guard, startling Max’s plans and sending the two of them scheming to unbalance each other. Deborah is determined to teach Max a lesson, and he in turn becomes ever-more determined to rescue his young cousin from the schemes of this strong-willed woman. Enjoy getting swept up in the plots of stubborn Deborah, the furious reprisals of Max, and the ever-growing electricity between them.

Ashton, bookseller at Harry Hartog Miranda, is watching The Hollow, an enthralling -- and smart -- for young teens. 

Three teenagers wake up in a strange bunker; they don’t know how they got there, they don’t know each other, they don’t even know their names. In the bunker, there are no windows and no doors, only a drain, a vent that’s too high to reach, and a typewriter. They wonder whether they’re dead, or experiments in a scientist’s demented studies, but, ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because they know that they must get out. They must get home, but first they have to figure out who they are and what “home” is. Sinister supernatural threats will stand in their way, and before the end they’ll have to befriend the Grim Reaper, face down minotaurs, evade soul-sucking witches, and possibly even sell their souls.

Even though the series is aimed at children of about 12 years of age, it doesn’t pander or talk down to them, so adults can enjoy it as well.  Eerily atmospheric, The Hollow jumps clean down the throat of mystery and makes no apologies, unafraid to stare death in the face (literally, in one episode). The show is free with its characters’ emotions and allows them to experience real fear and anger, stretching tension to the point of breaking.  But it isn’t all gloom and doom, as moments of warm levity and kooky absurdity are strategically placed to alleviate tension.

Pip, bookseller at Harry Hartog Miranda, is listening to "Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo," a passionate and moving podcast that traces the search of a missing sibling.   

Amidst a wave of apprehensions of Canadian Indigenous children by child welfare, 6 young siblings are torn apart and scattered across Canada and the USA. One, Cleo, was murdered and and left on the side of the road, halfway between her adopted home in the USA and her Canadian birth home. After 40 years of being refused any information by the State and with thousands of unanswered questions, the remaining siblings are reunited by a passionate search for the truth. 

This is not an isolated story. As someone who has seen, firsthand, the effects of the Stolen Generation in Australia, I am so deeply moved by this podcast. Whilst not an uplifting story, the passion and love that these siblings have for each other and for their missing sister will supersede all barriers and shed light on a tragedy that not enough people know the reality of. 

Taylor, bookseller at Harry Hartog Miranda, is reading "The Forgotten Garden," by Kate Morton. 

Working in a bookstore, you tend to have many favourite books – you simply can’t help it! However, this is my number one book of all time. Foundlings, unrequited love, fairy tales and brambly gardens – this book has all my favourite elements! Grieving the loss of her grandmother, Cassandra takes up residence in her inherited cottage on the coast of Cornwall, England. Whilst repairing the cottage, Cassandra begins to learn of her grandmother’s mysterious past – and how she inherited the cottage herself. This is a phenomenally gripping and emotional read, which has me incredibly excited to get started on her upcoming release: The Clockmaker’s Daughter. 

Amy, bookseller at Harry Hartog Green Hills, is reading "Once & Then" series by Morris Gleitsman.

I have read through the Once series by Morris Gleitzman a couple of times in the past six years, and I love it as equally each time. It’s probably top of the most-recommended list when people come in to store asking ‘What’s a good book for a 10-12-year-old?’

Felix is the narrator and he is beautifully innocent, funny and clever. He makes it his mission to escape from the orphanage to save his Jewish parents from the Nazis who are now occupying Poland. Twelve-year-old Felix is then out on his own in a dangerous new world. The incredible characters he meets along the way both help and hinder his journey.

Once, Then, Now, After, Soon, and Maybe are easy to read, sharing stories of a horrific chapter in our shared history through the power of naivety, honesty and a dash of humour.

I’m nearing my third decade of life and I loved this series of six books, and it’s one of my mum’s favourites too, so I would recommend for all ages looking for a story that’s heart-warming and a little heartbreaking all at once.

Emily, assistant manager at Harry Hartog Green Hills, is reading "Down and Out in Paris & London" by George Orwell.  

While I have read my share of Orwell, I had never read his memoir recounting his time at the bottom of the ladder. This edition, by Text Publishing, has a foreword by the late Anthony Bourdain, who promises an exclusive look into the restaurant culture of Paris and London in the 30s. It certainly delivers. 

Down and Out reveals the hierarchy in the kitchens, how much bodily fluids are in your food (“..the more one pays for food, the more sweat and spittle one is obligated to eat with it.”) as well as introduces us to the eccentric characters that fill the slums.This is a great read! And I would recommend highly to anyone working in the food industry, or any fan of Orwell. While it isn’t his usual dystopian writings, you can clearly see the inspiration of 1984’s Ocenaia.