August Recommended Reads

Australian Recent Release: Please Don’t Hug Me by Kay Kerr.

“A funny-serious own-voices story about what happens when you stop trying to be the person other people expect you to be and give yourself a go.” Text Publishing.

Erin is excited for schoolies, and maybe a little nervous. But her life is getting messy, which for Erin, who is autistic, is a problem. She’s lost her job after an incident which she doesn’t believe was her fault. She’s failed her driving test despite following the instructions perfectly, and her boyfriend is turning out not to be as romantic as she originally thought. She’s also missing her brother Rudy, who left over a year ago.

But Erin has begun writing to Rudy, and through these letters things are starting to become just that little bit clearer.

Kids Recent Release: A Clue for Clara by Lian Tanner.


Another intriguing and hilarious mystery from bestselling author of Ella and the Ocean and The Rogues, Lian Tanner.

Clara is a chook who dreams of being a famous detective with her own TV show. She is adept at reading claw marks, can find missing feathers and understands morse code and semaphore.

There’s only one problem. No one takes her seriously.

But in Olive, the daughter of the local policeman, she finds the perfect partner, and the two of them might just be able to solve the crimes that have plagued the town of Little Dismal.

Tasmanian Recent Release: The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey.

First the making – I recalled my father’s words: the cure for many ills is to build something – and then the repetition, the going over and over so that time would rupture and be stopped in its flow… Since my past and my future were hitched to my son’s life sentence, I felt that if I stepped outside the present, I risked being turned to stone.

Erica Madsen’s son Daniel, an artist, has received a life sentence after a hideous act of revenge. Erica retreats from Sydney to a quiet town on the south coast where she hopes to begin healing and be closer to where Daniel is serving his sentence.

Living in a run-down shack by the sea, Erica becomes obsessed with building a labyrinth. But in order to complete it, she will need to enlist the help of strangers, and to do so will require Erica to trust and face her past.

The Labyrinth explores the fraught relationship between parents and children, the complexity of guilt and denial, and the timeless paradox of art’s ruthless yet restorative nature. 

“Lohrey’s wisest and most intimate novel yet – luminous, full of sharp-edged beauty and illuminating questions: – Julieanne Lamond.

Tasmanian Classic: Silently on the Tide by Pete Hay.

Tasmanian poet Pete Hay’s second collection, Silently on the Tide, is a stunning book illustrating Hay’s talent and reputation as a stellar wordsmith. Hay’s poems explore and reflect his profound consideration and care for the land and the people who live on it.

Memorable poems include ‘White Words,’ the first poem of the collection and a meditation on the power of words to determine whether conservation of the natural world is treated as a priority. The poem also examines the social issues that can arise in this age of technology when we are constantly overwhelmed by information.

‘Nailing Pooranateré’ (the Aboriginal naming of the mountain) is another stand out poem addressing the recent plans to construct a cable car over the organ pipes:

“This mountain now. Assume it rich and slippery
of mood. Let it nudge the morning talk abroad.
Let it slip within the old town’s skirt.

From the steps of the House of Blah I see
a fret of green life reaching forward
from the upturned shield of rock and dirt.

Then hear the edict of the oddly wise.
This beloved thing of stars and snow and thunder
has to go. We will tread it under.
Clap it in irons. Put out its wildering eyes.”