March Recommended Reads

Australian Recent Release – Normal Women by Ainslee Hogarth

In this darkly comic story about how we value female labor—and don’t—a new mother becomes embroiled in a dangerous mystery when her friend, a controversial entrepreneur, goes missing.

When her daughter Lotte was born, Dani had welcomed the chance to be a stay-at-home mother. To be good at something, for once. But now Dani can’t stop thinking about her seemingly healthy husband, Clark, dropping dead. Not because she hates him (not right now, anyway) but because it’s become abundantly clear to Dani that if he dies, she and Lotte will be left destitute.

And then Dani discovers The Temple. Ostensibly a yoga center, The Temple and its guardian, Renata, are committed to helping people reach their full potential. And if that sometimes requires sex work, so be it. Finally, Dani has found something she could be good at, even great at; meaningful work that will protect her and Lotte from poverty, and provide true economic independence from Clark.

Just as Dani is preparing to embrace this opportunity, Renata disappears. And Dani discovers there might be something else she’s good at: detective work.

“A conversation starter about gender roles and sex work…” – Kirkus Reviews.

“This is a darkly satirical novel about 21st-century motherhood and women’s labour, full of waspish observations and the kind of caustic epithets that had me underlining chunks.” – Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, Guardian.

Tasmanian Recent Release The Lost Child by Leigh Swinbourne

A new collection of short stories from the author of The Shark and Shadow in the Forest.

A care worker’s unwise interest in a dementia client leads him into a dark labyrinth. A man intent on suicide happens on his doppelganger. An abandoned woman wonders whether her lover’s crime might prove his love. Eight new stories to beguile and captivate.

Read a Q&A with Leigh here


Tasmanian Classic – This Whispering in Our Hearts by Henry Reynolds

‘How is it our minds are not satisfied? What means this whispering in the bottom of our hearts?’ 

Listening to the whispering in his own heart, Henry Reynolds was led into the lives of remarkable and largely forgotten white humanitarians who followed their consciences and challenged the prevailing attitudes to Indigenous people.

His now-classic book The Whispering in Our Hearts constructed an alternative history of Australia through the eyes of those who felt disquiet and disgust at the brutality of dispossession. These men and women fought for justice for Indigenous people even when doing so left them isolated and criticised by their fellow whites. The unease of these humanitarians about the morality of white settlement has not dissipated and their legacy informs current debates about reconciliation between black and white Australia.

Revisiting this history, in this new edition Reynolds brings fresh perspectives to issues we grapple with still. Those who argue for justice, reparation, recognition and a treaty will find themselves in solidarity with those who went before. But this powerful book shows how much remains to be done to settle the whispering in our hearts.

“No other historian can match Henry Reynolds’ impact on Australians’ understanding of their frontier history and its troubled inheritance.” — Mark McKenna

“In this book Reynolds shows how respect shown to the original landowners has waxed and waned over the last 200 years.” – Kathy Gollan


Kids Recent Release – When Ghosts Call Us Home by Katya de Beccerra

Haunting of Hill House meets found-footage horror in this edge-of-your-seat thriller that explores the power of family ties and the trauma that lurks there.

When Sophia Galich was twelve, she starred in her older sister Layla’s amateur horror movie Vermillion, which recorded raw footage of her very real reactions to scenes her sister concocted in their old Californian house on the coast―Cashore House.

In the years after the film’s release, Sophia’s relationship with her sister became more strained, while her memories of the now-infamous house fueled her nightmares. Vermillion amassed an army of fanatical fans who speculated about the film’s hidden messages, and it was rumored that Layla made a pact with the devil―her soul in exchange for fame and arcane knowledge. Sophia dismissed this as gossip…until Layla disappeared.

Now, Sophia must study the trail of clues Layla has left behind, returning to the very place where it all began. As she gets closer and closer to Cashore House’s haunted heart, she must once again confront the ghosts of her childhood. But the house won’t reveal its secrets without a fight.

“Although When Ghosts Call Us Home is a YA novel, there is plenty of interesting characters and mystery to keep adult readers entertained. When Ghosts Call Us Home is a spooky little novel that will have you avoiding basements, checking behind closet doors and jumping at your next text message.” – Stacey O’Carroll

“This is a sophisticated gothic thriller that gives the reader moments of real terror within an utterly compelling read.” – Angela Crocombe