April Recommended Reads

Aus recent release – The Wonderful Thing about Phoenix Rose
Josephine Moon

The delightful new novel by the bestselling author of The Jam Queens.

Phoenix Rose, a 35-year-old neurodivergent teacher, is at a crossroads in her career and in her relationship with her boyfriend, Zack. But when she receives an urgent plea from a friend in Tasmania who needs to rehome her beloved animals, Phoenix, who has always led with her heart, spontaneously decides to help.

When she suddenly finds herself the custodian of an eccentric dog, two cats, a clutch of chickens and a geriatric pony, she makes another snap decision – to provide a new home for them all herself. The trouble is, she will have to drive the menagerie all the way back to Brisbane in time to return to Zack and her job – and she cannot do it alone.

She enlists the help of Lily – a colourful younger woman who is also neurodivergent – as well as resourceful members of their online community. Together the new friends must navigate unexpected twists, setbacks and moments of heartbreak and triumph as they both move towards a new identity and understanding of themselves.

The Wonderful Thing about Phoenix Rose is a joyful and moving tale of a woman’s commitment to fulfilling a friend’s dying wish, while finding her own inner strength and power and sharing it with others along the way.

“The Wonderful Thing About Phoenix Rose is the sweetest, most heartwarming novel I’ve read in a long time, and I loved it.” – Brenda, Goodreads

“Josephine Moon has absolutely written a love letter to her neurokin and I am completely here for it.” – Anna Loder

Kids recent release – No Way Yirrikipayi! By children from Milikiapiti School, Melville Island, with Alison Lester

A beautiful children’s book written and illustrated by students from Melville Island with Alison Lester.

No Way Yirrikipayi! is the story of a hungry crocodile that goes searching for food on Melville Island. Along the way he encounters both land and sea animals.

Written in both Tiwi and English, this delightful, humorous book is beautifully illustrated and will appeal to all ages. It was written and developed in workshops lead by Alison Lester, ILF Ambassador and the former Children’s Laureate.

‘You’re going to love this funny Tiwi story with its beautiful illustrations’ – Alison Lester

Tasmanian Classic – Wood Green by Sean Rabin

Michael, an aspiring writer who has recently finished his PhD, takes a job as the secretary to his literary hero, Lucian Clarke, a reclusive novelist with a mysterious cosmopolitan past, who lives in a cottage in a village on a mountain outside Hobart which gives the book its title, Wood Green.

Peopled by an ensemble cast, the local publican the single mother who manages the pub’s kitchen, the unhappily married couple that runs the corner store, a newcomer from Johannesburg with a murky past, a snivelling B&B proprietor and a determined ex-girlfriend,

Wood Green artfully evokes the claustrophobia of small-town life. While Michael believes he is making a new life for himself, Lucian has other plans.

Rabin writes with wit and intelligence – and deftly executes an unsuspected plot twist – in his exploration of the perils of literary ambition and the elusive prospect of artistic legacy.

“An original voice that narrates a delicious story, populated with an interesting mix of characters, and set in an exotic location, even though a bit dreary, this book is a captivating page turner.” – Kulpreet Yadav

“Really loved this. It’s great to read an Aussie novel that isn’t about their past or their present inner-city troubles. Instead this is a close-up view of a small town in Tasmania, complete with much weirdness and ‘that’ magical twist – don’t read too much about it in advance, just go with the flow. A surprising joy.” – Dan Coxen

Tasmanian Recent Release –Wood Green by Sean Rabin Little Tasmanian – a project by Brand Tasmania, illustrated by Shiloh Longbottom

So many little Tasmanian just like you started small and did something big, or small.

And you will too.

Tasmania has the lowest literacy levels in the country and, despite countless interventions over several decades, it remains a persistent anxiety for all Tasmanians. And it begins with babies.

Beginning in 2023, every baby born in Tasmania will receive a ‘Little Tasmanian’ bag at the family’s first visit with their child health nurse from the Child Health and Parenting Service. In the bag will be a cotton Tasmanian romper, a voucher for a library card, fridge magnets with Tasmanian animals navigating parents through their baby’s first 1,000 days and the Little Tasmanian board book.

Using the message of ‘someone like you did it, and you can do it too’, it tells the stories of four inspirational Tasmanians who overcame adversity to achieve their dreams – Auntie maikutena Vicki-Laine Green (an artist who specialises in traditional arts), Masaaki Koyama (sushi chef), Diane Edgerton (CEO, Direct Edge Marketing) and Jemma Blair (Australian Rules player).


Compiled by Eva Hale.