July Recommended Reads

 Australian Recent Release – The Heart is a Star by Megan Rogers

Layla Byrnes is exhausted. She’s juggling a demanding job as an anaesthetist, a disintegrating marriage, her young kids, and a needy lover. And most particularly she’s managing her histrionically unstable mother, who repeatedly threatens to kill herself.

But this year, it’s different. When her mother rings just before Christmas, she doesn’t follow the usual script. Instead, she tells Layla that there’s something she needs to tell her about her much-loved father. In response, Layla drops everything to rush to her childhood home on the wild west coast of Tasmania. She’s determined to finally confront her mother – and find out what really happened to her father – and lay some demons to rest.

The Heart is a Star is an engrossing, lyrical and powerfully absorbing novel about the complicated and beautiful messiness of midlife; about the ways in which we navigate an intricate, complicated world; and about how we can uncover our true selves when we are forced to face the myths that make us.

‘Tense, heartbreaking and crackling with vivid honesty – all those tiny, telling details that have you nodding with recognition and wanting to gulp the book in one rush of a sitting. I could not put this book down. A new star is born in the writing firmament.’ – Nikki Gemmell

‘Captivating … The Heart is a Star is a powerful novel with evocative and enticing language that will appeal to readers of Richard Flanagan and Holly Ringland. Rooted in feminine empowerment, Rogers’ debut is necessary and enthralling reading, and will stay with the reader long after the last page.’ Books+Publishing

‘Impressive … a compelling story told with sensitivity and intelligence’ – Lyn Yeowart, The Silent Listener

‘An unflinching, beautiful interrogation of modern womanhood, brimming with yearning and lyricism’ – Victoria Brookman, Burnt Out

‘Soul-wrenching and heart-mending in equal measure’ – Ailsa Wild, The Care Factor


Tasmanian Recent Release – Apples and Elderflower by Julia Matusik

Orchard fruits, home-grown vegetables, and roadside pickings all feature in Apples & Elderflower, a collection of recipes and stories that celebrate life in Tasmania’s far south.

Julia Matusik introduces you to reimagined recipes from her English childhood and newly created ones that feature an abundance of locally grown ingredients. It’s a story of relocation, a found community, connections forged through growing, cooking and eating, and a collective obsession with tomatoes.

Kids Recent Release – Dragon Girls by Maddy Mara (book 1)

Dragon Girls is a super collectible new series that celebrates the inner fire of everyday girls.

We are Dragon Girls, hear us roar!

Azmina, Willa, and Naomi are thrilled to learn they’re Glitter Dragon Girls. Summoned to the Magic Forest by its magnificent ruler, the Tree Queen, the girls quickly find out their dragon-selves have unbelievable abilities. They can soar above the treetops, breathe glitter-y bursts of fire, and roar loud enough to shake the ground.

With this newfound magic comes a big responsibility, however. As Dragon Girls, they are sworn protectors of the forest and must help keep it safe from the troublesome Shadow Sprites, who are determined to take the forest’s magic for their own.

‘My kids love this series.’ – Zibby Owens

‘Empowering series with female protagonists who really shined.’ – Rachel, Goodreads


Tasmanian Classic – Housewife Superstar: The Very Best of Marjorie Bligh by Danielle Wood

Housewife Superstar is the life story of eccentric Tasmanian domestic goddess, Marjorie Bligh. Marjorie, who died in 2013 at the age of 96, was the author of a library of advice books covering topics including food, household management, health and beauty, poetry, gardening and recycling. Marjorie was the go-to-girl for all manner of problem-solving knowing what to do when a goldfish has constipation (feed it Epsom salts), and what to do when you run out of rouge (cut a beetroot in half and slap it on your cheeks). Housewife Superstar is an illuminating look at a true Australian treasure.

‘Simultaneously traditional and off-beat, this eccentric little biography suits its subject.’ – The Weekend Australian

 ‘It would have been easy to send up [Marjorie’s] unwitting kitsch. Indeed, Housewife Superstar was partly inspired by rumours that Bligh was the inspiration for Dame Edna. But Wood does much better than that. The Edna connection proves to be a mere after-dinner mint to the hearty casserole of Bligh’s experiences, which her biographer uses to illuminate the status of women and ‘women’s work’ in Australia, as well as the relationship between domestic and public life.’ – The Age

 ‘I don’t think Edna has ever admired anyone as much as she admires Marjorie Bligh.’ – Barry Humphries (Dame Edna)