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.
Natalie, bookseller at Harry Hartog Kotara, is reading "Hey Warrior" by Karen Young, a "practical first book for kids struggling with anxiety. It gives a friendly face to a scary feeling, explaining in an easy way why we feel what we do and how to copy. Your anxiety is strength in disguise!"
Georgia, new bookseller at Harry Hartog Warringah (welcome, Georgia!), is reading Christina Lauren's "Autoboyography"; watching the Gilmore Girls (you are winning at life, Georgia); and listening to Good Job Brain, a podcast on all things trivia.
"Autoboyography" has been dubbed "Fangirl" meets "Simon Vs. the Homosapiens Agenda," a.k.a. a dream come true. It explores the journey of Tanner Scott, a bisexual teen attending an almost exclusively Mormon high school after moving from California to Utah. On a dare, Tanner enrols in a class that asks students to write an entire novel in four months; which would be hard enough without the enormous crush he has developed on the teacher's aide, Sebastian Brother - a Mormon prodigy. I can't wait to see where this book goes, I have the feeling I'm going to absolutely zoom through it. Definitely one to pick up for anyone who enjoys LGBT+ stories, writing, or books with ridiculously beautiful dust jackets.
Briohny Doyle turned thirty without a clear idea of what her adult life should look like… sound familiar? Adult Fantasy is a fantastic, highly relatable book that blends cultural critique with personal essay. Doyle shares her intensive research of sociocultural trends in the Western world's view of what it means to be an "adult", as well as her personal experience trying to get into the property market, debating whether she wants to have kids (and whether it's socially acceptable to admit that maybe you don't want kids!), and struggling to find full-time work in the creative industries. The chapters cover such "adult" milestones as education, buying property, career goals, marriage, childrearing, etc, and paint a picture of what society expects of people transitioning through that murky stage between adolescence and adulthood. The perennial question at the heart of the book being whether we really *need* to jump through those hoops to come out the other side a fully-fledged grown-up. The jury is still out.
I can't stress how relatable this book is and I've passed it on to so many of my friends between the ages of 22 and 32, who are struggling with the 'big questions' and wondering that they should be doing with their lives. I wouldn't say Adult Fantasy has the answers, but it offers a big, warm hug as if to say, 'I feel you. I understand.' The description on the front of the book reads: 'searching for true maturity in an age of mortgages, marriages, and other adult milestones' - really, I couldn't sum it up better than that!
Frances and Bobbi are 21, ex-lovers who live and study in Ireland and perform spoken-word poetry together. Local journalist Melissa takes them under her wing and draws them into the world of her unhappy marriage to actor Nick. Frances and Bobbi then become entwined with the husband and wife, and the toxic relationships twist, turn and evolve around each other.The narrator Frances is an aspiring writer with divorced parents and a troubled home life. She is cool-headed and highly intelligent, observing people around her as she figures out how to "grow up" through the pain and pleasures of adulthood. I absorbed this book in a few nights and found myself fascinated and amused by the inner workings of Frances' mind. It's almost as if her hand is constantly floating above the "self-destruct button," an aspect of early-20s life that is troubling in its relatability!
One of the taglines is this book is "For Those Who Come Across the Sea" and this is a fantastic summary of what this book encompasses: the stories of children whom have crossed the seas to Australian shores. Their stories span history: from Anak's journey from 50,000 years ago; to Martha's voyage in the 1840s; all the way to Abdul's harrowing trip spanning many years, this book tells their stories with compassion and aplomb, demonstrating that all our stories start with a voyage over turbulent waters. This is a fantastic resource to not only start kids exploring history, but also for them to grasp deeper concepts of diversity and compassion, allowing them glimpses into worlds of which they have had little or no experience and understanding. A must for shelves at home and school!
Pet ownership provides some unique trials and one of those trials is the sense of loss we feel when our beloved companions come the end of their lives. Often we feel closer to our animal friends than we do the people around us but we are constantly told - they're just a pet. Lily and the Octopus follows this emotional journey when Ted discovers an "octopus" on the head of his aging pup Lily. Full of funny moments, quirky storytelling, and emotional resonance, this novel offers a cathartic release for the grief we often deny ourselves when our companions pass away. While it is sad, this novel is too beautiful to let drift into the I can't cope with it pile. You will cry but I guarantee you will feel so much better and so much closer with your own fur children
"The Fifth Room" is a fantastically original and clever psychological thriller that delves into science and medicine, bringing up great questions about ethics and morality in these fields.
Four students are chosen to join a secret society and compete to see who can push the boundaries of medicine the furthest using illegal self-experimentation in order win a massive reward. Miri's experiment - to negate the need for sleep - means spending hours awake, alone and occasionally borderline delirious in the bunker. When she discovers a fifth student and a fifth room, she questions the true purpose of the society and those who lie behind it.
After a brutal event 20 years ago, Christine wakes up an amnesia patient with no recollection of her past and unable to form new memories. Every day she is reminded who she is by her husband and by reading the secret diary recommended by her doctor.
As she reads about the past to understand who she is today, she questions who she can trust and unravels the truth of her forgotten years. A well-written, captivating and thrilling story.
As an influential presence on social media, Cleo Wade has created "Heart Talk" as additional material to her beliefs and teachings in self-love and spirituality. Composed of poetry and inspirational wisdom, this is a read that you don't have to consume all at once, instead as a reference point to come back to in times of need. Her advice is comforting and encouraging, full of warmth and honesty. If you've enjoyed Rupi Kaur's poetry, then do yourself a favour and give "Heart Talk" a try.
Are you a fan of Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" but curious and sceptical about the science or possibility of time travel? Then give this book a read! Kivrin is a history student at Oxford, and as part of the course requirements, students are expected to travel back in time. As Kivrin prepares to travel back to the Middle Ages, there is a glitch in the system and she is accidentally taken back to a period of the Middle Ages where half of Europe is battling the Black Death (bubonic plague). With a blend of fantasy, historical drama and a healthy measure of dark humour, this is a truly riveting read!
I read this as a complete Russian history newbie and really enjoyed my time with it! Whilst long, it is a fast-paced, accessible account of the lives, relationships and mysteries of over 300 years of Russian dynastic rule. Reading a couple chapters at a time, I quickly became enthralled by this powerful family and this dramatic era of history. This is both a fantastic starting point and a seasoned favourite, recommended for all!