Between events, browse and shop titles in the Readings bookshop at the Russell Street entrance of State Library Victoria. Their book experts will provide recommendations inspired by your visit to MWF.
The Accidental Prime Minister
Annika Smethurst uncovers the man behind the headlines to show us what makes Scott Morrison tick—taking us from his childhood, as the son of a local policeman, to a meeting that would lead to marriage to his teenage sweetheart, telling the personal and the political.
All About Yves
How do you re-learn to live in the world as a different gender? This book shares the challenges and joys of being transgender in Australia today, and reveals how trans experiences like Rees' can teach all of us about what it means to be a man or woman.
All Our Shimmering Skies
All Our Shimmering Skies is a story about gifts that fall from the sky, curses we dig from the earth and the secrets we bury inside ourselves. A buoyant, beautiful and magical novel abrim with warmth, wit and wonder, a love letter to Australia and the art of looking up.
When Indigenous lawyer Jasmine decides to take her mother Della on a tour of England’s most revered literary sites, Jasmine hopes it will bring them closer together and help them reconcile the past. This book celebrates the power of words and quiet spaces between.
After the Tampa
Abbas Nazari tells his story, from living under Taliban rule, to spending a terrifying month at sea, to building a new life. A powerful story for our times celebrating the importance of never letting go of hope.
A Million Things
How long can a friendship last when it’s based on secrets? A tender, funny and heartbreaking story of grief and resilience, told with eloquent simplicity. In brave, spiky Rae, Emily Spurr has created a character you will never forget.
A Room Called Earth
A woman gets ready to go to a party. She arrives, feels overwhelmed, leaves, and then returns. Attuned to the people who come into her view, she is hilarious, self-aware, sometimes acerbic, and painfully honest.
The Art of Time Travel
Through portraits of historians, including Inga Clendinnen, Judith Wright and Geoffrey Blainey, Tom Griffiths traces how a body of work is formed out of a lifelong dialogue between past evidence and present experience.
Beliefs or intuitions about the role the past plays in our present are often evoked as if they are timeless and self-evident truths. It is because they are neither, yet still we are persuaded by them, that they tell us a great deal about the forces that shape our culture and the way we live.
What do we believe? Who do we believe? Why do we believe? In this intensely personal and gorgeously written new book, Sarah Krasnostein talks with her trademark compassion and empathy to these believers and finds out what happens when their beliefs crash into her own.
Black and Blue
Veronica Heritage-Gorrie's explores the impact of racism on her life, the impact of intergenerational trauma, and the inevitable difficulties of making her way as an Aboriginal woman in the white-and-male-dominated workplace of the police force.
Who is Rampaging Roy Slaven? An Australian icon, a raconteur, an athlete of unsurpassable—and some say improbable—sporting feats. Rampaging Roy Slaven has lived an extraordinary life. A year in the life of a boy who knew he was destined for greatness but had to finish high school first.
The Murrumbidgee River surges through town leaving death and destruction in its wake. It is a stark reminder that while the river can give life, it can just as easily take it away. This book is a story of love, loss and belonging.
Bodies of Light
This epic novel is a masterwork of tragedy and heartbreak-the story of a life in full. Sublimely wrought in devastating detail, Bodies of Light confirms Jennifer Down as one of the writers defining her generation.
Born Into This
Engaging, humorous and thought-provoking stories from Adam Thompson who addresses universal themes of identity, racism and heritage destruction from a wholly original perspective.
Brave New Humans
This astonishing real-life exposé shines a light on the global fertility business today—a booming and largely unregulated industry that takes a startlingly lax approach to huge ethical concerns.
The Brilliant Boy
The Brilliant Boy is a feat of remarkable historical perception, deep research and masterful storytelling, allowing us to think differently about our present and future.
The Carbon Club
The story of how a loose confederation of influential climate-science sceptics, politicians and business leaders sought to control Australia’s response to the climate crisis.
At seventeen, Lech Blaine walked away unscratched from a car crash that killed three of his friends and left two in comas. This is a riveting account of family, friendship, grief and love after tragedy.
Viet Thanh Nguyen
Both literary thriller and brilliant novel of ideas, The Committed is a blistering portrayal of commitment and betrayal that will cement Viet Thanh Nguyen’s position in the firmament of American letters.
Coming of Age in the War on Terror
Randa Abdel-Fattah interrogates the impact on a generation who have grown up only knowing a world at war on terror and the effect on young people’s trust towards adults, the societies they live in and their political consciousness.
Everything Harder Than Everyone Else
A wildly entertaining venture into the psychology of extreme behaviour. We all have our limits—what are yours? It’s part of human nature to test our limits. But what happens when this part comes to define us?
Dark as Last Night
These exceptional short stories capture the importance of human connection at pivotal moments in our lives, whether those occur because of the loss of a loved one or the uncertainties of childhood.
Daring to Fly
A story about conquering fear and finding joy ... a girl from Queensland who found a way to see (and report on) trauma and horror, while still holding on to joy. The story of one of Australia's most superb journalists.
A beautifully poetic and gorgeously illustrated reflection on the relationship between dogs and humans. 'Once we were strangers, legs bent the wrong way, rough voices falling to the wind … But in our hearts we wanted more than this.'
The Dark Lady
Henry is an orphan, an outsider, a thief. He has also magical powers. This brilliant, at times brutal, novel will glue you to your seat as you're hurled into a time when London stank and boys had to find their own routes through the streets.
This beautiful anthology comes at a time when First Nations peoples are starting to break free of derogatory stereotypes and find solace in their communities and cultures. A gentle and loving book for families from anywhere in the world.
This innovative mix of poetry and essay with a tender and playful voice offers an eloquent witness to the entangled present, an uncompromising provocation of history, and an embattled but redemptive hope for a decolonial future.
Eating With My Mouth Open
Sam van Zweden
Sam van Zweden offers a millennial response to classic food writers, revelling in body positivity on Instagram, dissecting wellness culture, sharing the joys of living in a family of chefs and seeing a history of migration on her dinner plate.
Emma Cormac married into a perfect life but now she’s barely coping. Inside a brand new, palatial home, her three young children need more than she can give. What might drive a mother to do the unthinkable?
She was a young medical student on her way to becoming an outstanding plastic and reconstructive surgeon and then in 2018, walked away from it all. This book charts her journey through ambition and dedication to exploitation and collapse.
The Family Doctor
Should you cling to faith in a flawed system, or take control the only way you can? Can a good person justify taking a life to save a life? A provocative novel about women’s fury, traumatic grief, new love, deep friendship, and the preciousness of life.
Psychologically taut and quietly devastating, these stories are tender portraits of the longing for intimacy, the lingering presence of pain, and the desire for love in a world that seems to withhold it more often than not.
The First Time I Thought I Was Dying
Sharp-witted and poignant, Sarah Walker wrestles with the awkward spaces where anatomy meets society- body image and Photoshop, phobias and religion, sex scenes and onstage violence, death and grief.
Flock: First Nations Stories Then and Now
Ellen van Neerven
This wide-ranging and captivating anthology brings together voices from across to generations to showcase both the power of First Nations writing and the satisfaction of a good short story.
Friends & Dark Shapes
Some friends move into a sharehouse in Redfern, all on the cusp of thirty and life changes. This is a novel of love and loss, of constancy and change. It is about looking for connection in an estranged world.
The Frontiers of Knowledge
What do we now know that we don’t know? What have we learnt about the obstacles to knowing more? Polymath and philosopher AC Grayling seeks to answer these questions in three crucial areas: science, history and psychology.
At the age of twenty, after a traumatic sexual assault trial, Kathryn Heyman ran away from her life and became a deckhand on a fishing trawler in the Timor Sea. This book is a memoir of courage and determination, of fighting back and finding joy.
Scott Ludlam draws on his unique experience as senator and activist. This is a book about hidden connections and fresh possibilities, and what happens when we invite natural systems back into the urban world.
Jamie Marina Lau
Throughout a childhood spent moving between countries, one thing was constant for Leen. The local shopping centre. The landscape of logos, the bright lights, the climate controlled environment and the interactions between workers and customers.
A compelling narrative non-fiction account of the lows and highs of heartbreak. Bruising and beautiful, it reminds us that emotional pain can make us as it breaks us, and that storytelling has the ultimate healing power.
Hold Your Fire
The title story takes us into the cold war of a contemporary family: a missile-making mother doubts her husband’s guts and the steel of her son, until a playground incident escalates and brings them into the most surprising of alliances.
How to Endo
Inspiring, vivacious and honest, Bridget Hustwaite has blended her experience with a raft of tips and strategies from health experts and endo warriors to help you thrive whenever you can, and survive on days when you just can’t.
How to Make a Basket
An exploration of how places and bodies hold memories, and the ways our ancestors walk with us, speak through us and wait for us. Deeply personal and fiercely political, these poems attempt to remember, revision and revoice history.
Out of place at boarding school, scholarship girl Evelyn Varley realises that the only way for her to fit in is to be like everyone else. This book is a powerfully insightful and luminous portrait of courage and loyalty.
In My Defence, I Have No Defence
Raising the white flag on trying to live up to impossible standards this book is wild, funny and wickedly relatable, it is a hilarious reprieve for anyone who has struggled to be better. The comfort read of the year from an exciting new comedy writer.
Meet Jimmy Flick. He’s not like other kids—he’s too fast and too slow. He sees too much, and too little. Jimmy’s mother is the only one who can manage him. But when his world falls apart, he has to navigate the world on his own, and make things right.
The fraught and beautiful story of John Ames Boughton, the prodigal son of a Presbyterian minister who falls in love with Della Miles, an African-American high school teacher in segregated St Louis.
A portrait of three generations, each grappling with their own mortality. Spanning the wild idealism of the 70s through to the fragile hope of the future, it is a novel about the struggle for transcendence and the reverberating effects of family bonds.
From reckless drug addict to one of Australia’s top chefs and television stars: Jock Zonfrillo’s life story will shock and inspire. His life spiralled out of control when he tried heroin as a teen. For years he balanced a career as a rising star amongst legendary chefs with a drug addiction.
The Last Guests
Ever have the feeling you're being watched? Lina and Cain are doing their best to stay afloat. Putting Lina’s inherited lake house up for rent on weekends seems like the solution but letting strangers stay in their house might not be the best idea.
A heartfelt coming-of-age memoir that will change the way you think about autism. Clem reflects as an autistic adult on her formative experiences as an undiagnosed young person, deconstructing the misconceptions and celebrating the realities of autistic experience.
Lead the Way
This is your ultimate guide to activism and making systematic change, your way. Jean Hinchliffe is one of the key organisers of School Strikes 4 Climate, and in this book she shares her tools, stories and learnings from the movement with you.
Leave The World Behind
A compelling literary thriller about the world we live in now, keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race and class. It explores how our closest bonds are reshaped in moments of crisis—and how the most terrifying situations are never far from reality.
Lies, Damned Lies
Claire G Coleman
Colonisation in Australia is not over, it is a process and the after-effects will continue while there are still people to remember it. This literary work blends the personal with the political, offering an insight into the stark reality of the ongoing trauma of Australia’s violent colonisation.
Nic is a trivia buff, amateur nail artist and godmother to her street’s stray cats. A clear-eyed, heart-wrenching and deeply compassionate novel about love and family, betrayal and forgiveness, and the things we do to fill our empty spaces.
Bruce Pascoe, Vicky Shukuroglou
A powerful and essential guidebook that offers a new way to travel and discover Australia through an Indigenous narrative. It show travellers how to see the country as herself, and to find the way to fall in love with her, our home
An astonishing and moving tribute to Alex's friend Matt Blatt, that is at once a meditation on memory itself, and a reminder to the reader that history belongs to humanity.
Combining vivid animal encounters with philosophy and biology, Metazoa reveals the impossibility of separating the evolution of our minds from the evolution of animals themselves.
The Missing Among Us
Blending long-form journalism with true crime and philosophy, The Missing Among Us takes us from the Australian bush to the battlefields of Northern France and the perilous space of a refugee camp to explore the stories of the missing.
Everything in Klara’s life is perfect, then one phone call shatters it all. Suddenly Klara’s perfect life begins to spiral and her husband’s secrets threaten to disrupt everything she thought she knew about love, marriage and family.
The Mother Wound
Amani Haydar suffered the unimaginable when she lost her mother in a brutal act of domestic violence. The Mother Wound is a story of female resilience and the role of motherhood in the home and in the world.
Monsters explores how our attitudes are shaped by the persisting myths that underpin colonialism and patriarchy, how the structures we are raised within splinter and distort the possibilities of our lives and the lives of others.
My Friend Fox
Part parable, part memoir, My Friend Fox is a story about searching everywhere to finally feel at home. With fox as her guide, Everett comes to know how to live authentically, and venture into a future of her own making.
My Year of Living Vulnerably
In early 2019, Rick Morton was diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder. This is a book about his journey to betterness, his year of living vulnerably.
It’s not easy getting close to people. Amelia’s meeting a lot of men but once she gets the sex she wants from them, that’s it for her; she can’t connect further. Deadpan, wise and funny, this is a stunning debut.
Laura Elizabeth Woollett
In a hotel room on a sleepy Pacific island, Judy Novak waits. And worries. It isn’t the first time 29-year-old problem child Paulina has kept her mother waiting. But Judy can’t ignore the island’s jagged cliffs and towering pines.
An urgent, groundbreaking work of non-fiction that reimagines the boundaries that divide us—as people, nations and species—and asks how we can create forms of solidarity that endure.
No Friend But the Mountains
In 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani was illegally and indefinitely detained on Manus Island. This book is the result. A vivid portrait through six years of incarceration and exile.
O is a reimagining of what might have been, the story of a novel that took on a life of its own and mirrored its times in a way the author never dreamt of.
One Day I’ll Remember This
Helen Garner’s second volume of diaries charts a tumultuous stage in her life. Beginning in 1987 and ending in 1995 Garner reveals the inner life of a woman in love and a great writer at work.
One Hundred Days
Karuna battles her mother and herself for a sense of power in her own life, as a new life forms and grows within her. As the due date draws ever closer, the question of who will get to raise the baby festers between them.
An expansive work that draws on a vast range of material, from critical theory to pop culture to the intimacies of daily life. This book explores how we might think, experience, or discuss freedom in ways responsive to the conditions of our day.
The Other Half of You
Michael Mohammed Ahmad
In this moving and timely novel, Michael Mohammed Ahmad balances the complexities of modern love with the demands of family, tradition and faith. The Other Half of You is powerful, insightful and unforgettable.
On his eleventh birthday, Jacob’s father gives him a diary. To write about things that happen. About what he and his father do on their farm. But Jacob knows some things should not be written down. Some things should not be remembered.
Our Exceptional Friend
Drawing on history, current affairs and questions of morality this book mounts a compelling and unique case as to why Australia’s relationship with the United States needs a serious overhaul.
Margot is a successful professor, preoccupied by her fraught relationship with her ailing husband. Ivy is a philanthropist with a troubled past, distracted by the snoring man beside her. Summer is a young theatre usher, anxious about the safety of her girlfriend in the fire zone.
A beautiful, intimate and inspiring investigation into how we can find and nurture within ourselves that essential quality of internal happiness—the ‘light within’ that Julia Baird calls ‘phosphorescence’—which will sustain us even through the darkest times.
Power & Consent
This book demands a new response to complaints of sexual harassment. It also calls for the imposition of new obligations: it asks bystanders to become participants and to take collective responsibility for supporting victims and stopping perpetrators.
Cigarettes are out of favour with everyone, from governments and investors to, increasingly, smokers. So, what’s their plan? Wild, hilarious and thought-provoking, this is a probing look into Big Tobacco and the vaping industry, and how words can be a matter of life and death.
Questions Raised by Quolls
A thought-provoking and moving meditation on the place of humans in the natural world through the lens of conservation efforts protecting quolls, a most charismatic native Australian animal.
A multigenerational family story with a dose of magical realism. It is about family secrets, art, very mild superpowers, loneliness and the strange connections we make in the places we least expect.
A fable of human destiny and decline, enacted in a closed system of intimate, fractured relationships. Second Place is deeply affirming of the human soul, while grappling with its darkest demons.
See What You Made Me Do
Domestic abuse is a national emergency. Combining forensic research with riveting storytelling, See What You Made Me Do radically rethinks how to confront the national crisis of fear and abuse in our homes.
The Serpent’s Skin
While pretending to have made peace with her father’s dishonesty, JJ organises a final farewell for her mother so they can all put the past behind them. A gripping, literary crime novel about male power and the secrets that can haunt a family.
Sex, Lies and Question Time
Wry, candid and provocative, this book is a powerful call to demand more of our leaders and our institutions. It reminds us we need greater diversity to shape a fairer Australia. A better parliament means a better Australia.
The Shape of Sound
Blending memoir with observations, this is a story about the corrosive power of secrets, stigma and shame, and how deaf experiences and disability are shaped by economics, social policy, medicine and societal expectations.
She is Haunted & Other Stories
A moving and sophisticated insight into transnational Asian identity, intergenerational trauma and grief, the dynamics of mother-daughter relationships, the inexplicable oddities of female friendship, and the love of a good dog.
It is 1981. Glasgow is dying and good families must grift to survive. Agnes Bain has always expected more from life. This novel lays bare the ruthlessness of poverty, the limits of love, and the hollowness of pride.
Signs and Wonders
Beautifully observed, brilliantly argued and deeply felt, these essays show that our emotions, our art, our relationships with the generations around us have already been transformed.
Small Joys of Real Life
A poignant and unpredictable novel from an exciting new literary talent about how the life you have can change in an instant. It’s about friendship, desire, loss and growing up to accept that all you can do is be in the moment and look to find the joys in between.
These interlinked stories bring into focus the inhabitants of small communities, and capture the moments when life turns and one person becomes another. With insight and empathy, this book interrogates how the people we meet and the places we live shape the person we become.
Sorrow and Bliss
Spiky, sharp, intriguingly dark and tender, full of pathos, fury and wit, Sorrow and Bliss is a dazzling, distinctive novel from a boldly talented writer.
So You Think You Know What’s Good For You?
We all want to be healthier, but do you know what’s good for you? This is a one-stop handbook that will settle fruitless anxieties and allow people to focus on what matters to them.
The Success Experiment
Through her own success experiment, Lillian transformed herself from a two-time uni drop-out stuck in a career that paid in burn-out, into highly sought-after media personality FlexMami. Here she shows that her experience hasn’t been a fluke.
When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away …
Taut and crackling with character, these gritty, raw and sometimes very funny stories are Aussie Noir at its best. Crime doesn’t discriminate … it can happen to anyone … it could happen to you … in any ordinary suburb … at any time.
The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen
In this book Kneen Krissy sets out with her grandmother’s ashes, intending to trace her early life in Slovenia and Egypt. Along the way she uncovers the extraordinary story of the Slovene women and identifies the places where Lotty’s restless, demanding spirit will be at peace.
Too Migrant, Too Muslim, Too Loud
As the first Muslim woman in any Australian parliament, the one hundredth woman in the Senate, and the only engineer in the Senate, Mehreen has a unique and crucial perspective on our country and how things are changing for the better or worse.
This sublime poetry collection is not for the fainthearted, but neither are the elemental realities of domestic violence and environmental catastrophe that these poems address. This is poetry that balances ruthlessness and lyrical beauty; poetry alive to its time and audience.
The Truth About Her
A tender, absorbing, intelligent and moving exploration of guilt, shame, female anger, and, in particular, mothering, with all its trouble and treasure. A story about the nature of stories.
Forthright, funny, incisive, provocative and insightful, Trivial Grievances is truly a book for our times, and for every twenty- or thirty-something anxious about their place in the world.
A powerful memoir on the unique challenges of living with an invisible condition; the struggles with shame, loss of identity, the threat of mortality, and the profoundly complex relationships between the chronically ill and their own bodies.
Welcome to Country (2nd Ed)
A curated guidebook to Indigenous Australia and the Torres Strait Islands offering insights into Indigenous languages and customs, history, native title, art and dance, storytelling, and cultural awareness and etiquette for visitors.
With the Falling of the Dusk
Weaving his experiences of reporting from the front lines of the world’s flashpoints, together with his deep understanding of politics, history and philosophy, Stan Grant explores what is driving the world to crisis and how it might be averted.
What Are You Going Through
Utterly of our moment and timeless, this book is a deeply moving affirmation of life in its current existential threat and in its ordinary tragedies—the loss, loneliness, and the love that yet survives.
Ranging from remote provinces in China to Kurdish Iraq and Iran, this quartet of stories depicts the ebbs and flows of trauma and healing, memory and forgetting, the ancient and the contemporary. And ever-recurring journeys in search of belonging.
What Is To Be Done
In a post-truth era where politicians invent ‘facts’ and ignore or deny the obvious What Is to Be Done is a long-awaited work on the challenges of modernity and what must be done to meet them.
What White People Can Do Next
In this examination of race, class and capitalism, Emma Dabiri draws on years of academic study, lived experience and personal reflections on a year like no other to articulate a powerful vision for meaningful and lasting change.
A rare work of fiction, a dazzling evocation of a city, capturing a woman standing on one of life’s thresholds, reflecting on what has been lost, and facing, with equal hope and rage, what may lie ahead.
Where the Fruit Falls
Spanning four generations, with a focus on the 1960s and 70s, an era of rapid social change and burgeoning Aboriginal rights, Where the Fruit Falls is a re-imagining of the epic Australian novel.
This stunning collection is divided into three sections—Blood, Skin and Water—addressing themes of loss, the legacies of colonial history and violence, and the relationships between Country and memory.
Who Gets To Be Smart
Interrogating the adage ‘knowledge is power’, and calling institutional prejudice to account, Bri Lee dives into her own privilege and presumptions to bring us the stark and confronting results.
Why You Should Give a F@*k About Farming
Gabrielle Chan examines the past, present and future of farming with a characteristically forensic eye. This important book will change your thinking about food and how you eat.
A culmination of almost five years' work, this book exposes the devastating reality of the Australian legal system where truth is never guaranteed and, for victims, justice is often elusive.