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If Graham and Kristin Gill recommend a book, you can be sure it has been vetted to make sure it’s an engaging and worthwhile read. The Castlemaine couple curate the books they sell through their online store, Northern Books, rather than relying on an auto-feed from an industry database.
Northern Books’ recommendations for winter include the 12 books listed below.
The Silence by Susan Allott
Combining the emotional power and dual narrative style of Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours with the nuanced, layered, and atmospheric mystery of Jane Harper’s The Dry, this is a powerful debut novel revolving around a shocking disappearance, two neighbouring families, and shameful secrets that refuse to stay buried.
Top End Girl by Miranda Tapsell
In this engaging memoir, Miranda shares the path she took to acting and how her role in The Sapphires and then in Love Child inspired her to create a film about coming back to family and culture. This ballad-loving rom-com nerd also asks us all to open our minds and our hearts to the importance of country and culture.
The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham
Australian crime writer Michael Robotham’s compelling psychological thriller delves deeply into the psyche of the human mind. Each woman reveals her tale in alternating chapters that merge into chilling twists. It’s even endorsed by Stephen King: “A book you won't be able to put down, although you may occasionally want to hide your eyes.”
One Bright Moon by Andrew Kwong
From famine to freedom, this is the tale of how a young boy fled Chairman Mao's China to a new life in Australia. Andrew Kwong was only seven when he witnessed his first execution. The grim scene left him sleepless, anxious and doubtful about his fervour as a revolutionary in Mao's New China. Yet he knew if he devoted himself to the Party and its Chairman he would be saved.
The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben
Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn't know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing. A brilliant new thriller from the international bestselling author described by Dan Brown as 'the modern master of the hook and twist’.
Sticks and Stones by Katherine Firkin
A terrifying, twisting debut from an exciting new voice in Australian crime fiction. It’s winter in Melbourne and Detective Emmett Corban is regretting his promotion to head of the Missing Persons Unit, as the routine reports pile up on his desk. But when Natale Gibson goes missing, what seems like a standard missing person's case quickly turns into a frightening hunt for a serial killer.
The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan by Lisa Ireland
The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan is a charming, nostalgic and heart-warming story that begins with 79-year-old Shirley kidnapping her husband from his nursing home for one final adventure. It’s also a chance for her to make amends for a lifelong guilty secret. A beautiful and moving tribute to love, family, relationships and ageing.
Falastin: A cookbook by Sami Tamimi, Tara Wigley
Falastin is described as a love letter to Palestine. It is an evocative collection of more than 110 recipes and stories from the co-authors of Jerusalem and Ottolenghi: The Cookbook and Ottolenghi SIMPLE. So what is Palestinian food? Think of fish and spices, along with meats, flatbread, fermented yogurt and chillies.
The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott
Ren lives alone on the remote frontier of a country devastated by a coup. High on the forested slopes, she survives by hunting and trading - and forgetting. But when a young soldier comes to the mountains in search of a local myth, Ren is inexorably drawn into her impossible mission. Australian author Robbie Arnott's gripping novel is equal parts horror and wonder.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Celeste Ng, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
The Yield by Tara June Winch
Profoundly moving and exquisitely written, Tara June Winch's The Yield is the story of a people and a culture dispossessed. But it is as much a celebration of what was and what endures, and a powerful reclaiming of Indigenous language, storytelling and identity. The novel won the NSW Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, the People's Choice Award and Book of the Year.
The Dickens Boy by Tom Keneally
In the late 1800s, rather than run the risk of his under-achieving sons tarnishing his reputation at home, Charles Dickens sent two of them to an outback station in Australia. This is Tom Keneally in his most familiar terrain, taking historical figures and events and reimagining them with verve, compassion and humour. It is a triumph.