Great reads for autumn

STELLA AND MARGIE by Glenna Thomson

STELLA and her mother-in-law, Margie, are completely different from each other.

Stella can be chaotically disorganised yet also kind and compassionate.

Margie likes a routine life and can be irritatingly demanding.


Stella dreams of an exciting future.

Margie has only bitter memories of the past.

When Margie needs help recovering from a major operation, Stella offers her a place to stay.

With no other options, Margie returns to the family farm, where for decades, until Stella's arrival, she had been the one in charge.

Margie has never had a good relationship with her daughter-in-law and has no intention of making any effort to get along now that she's in a guest in her former home.

However, over time spent together, these two women do form a bond as the secrets and tragedies that have influenced their lives are gradually uncovered.

This is a beautiful story about two women, separated by a generation, who are forced together by circumstance and who slowly come to understand and care for one another.


THE LIFE TO COME by Michelle De Kretser


THIS is the latest book from Miles Franklin Award-winning author, Michelle de Kretser.

With compelling storylines and interesting characters, this is a novel about intimacy, loneliness and our subjective perceptions of other people.

Pippa is an author who dreams of success.

Celeste wants her feelings for her married lover to be reciprocated.

Ash is blotting out a tragic memory from his childhood in Sri Lanka.

Moving between Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, the characters' individual lives are revealed in such a way that they provide a commentary on the stories we choose to tell or not tell as individuals, as societies and as nations.

At times funny and profoundly moving, this is a book that will touch your soul.

It reveals how memories and expectations can transform and distort the present.



IN HIS usual satirical style, Titus O'Reily brings us a laugh-out-loud history of Australian sport and the people who have influenced it.

More than this, he examines how sport has shaped Australia as a nation.

Covering a range of sports including rugby, Aussie Rules, cricket, tennis, swimming and Quidditch, O'Reily looks at how sport has basically given Australians something to do in their spare time.

He covers the major topics such as:

League vs Union - what it says about you as a person;

How soccer is the biggest threat to Australia since Communism;

Can you dislike sport and still be an Australian?

The etiquette of watching sport.

Part history, part social commentary, part mad ravings, this is a very enjoyable read.

OPERATION PLAYBOY by Kathryn Bonella


THIS is the adrenaline-packed true story of the world's most audacious drug runners and the police hunt, 'Operation Playboy', to track them down.

Australian author, Kathryn Bonella, who wrote Schapelle Corby's biography as well as the books Hotel Kerobokan and Snowing in Bali, first became aware of these wealthy, risk-addicted Brazilian drug lords when she met those who had paid the ultimate price: incarceration on Indonesia's death row.

These drug-running playboys travelled the world: skiing in Europe, surfing in Bali, dating celebrity models and living in luxury hotels.

They were party boys with nerves of steel and reckless ambitions and they paid for their hedonistic lifestyle by trafficking cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana on international flights and through the world's biggest airports.

Operation Playboy was the manhunt headed up by one determined Brazilian police officer.

This is the thrilling story of his battles with corrupt colleagues and unethical judges to uncover the secrets of these drug lords and to bring about their downfall.

Kathryn Bonella travelled the world for first-person testimonies from an international network of mules and their bosses as well as police.

The result is a page-turning thriller of a read.

THE LAST DAYS OF US by Beck Nicholas


THIS is a young adult book about five teenagers, a derelict Kombi and an unforgettable road trip.

After the tragic loss of her brother, Zoey's life went on the rails.

She covered her grief with excessive partying, and pushed away both her boyfriend, Finn, and her best friend, Cass.

When her destructive behaviour becomes dangerous, Zoey realises she needs to get her old life back but there's one major problem - Finn and Cass are now dating.

It's now the last week of summer and the three friends are setting off on a road trip to see their favourite musician.

They're joined by Finn's bad-boy cousin, Luc, and his younger sister, Jolie.

Zoey hopes this is an opportunity to rekindle her romance with Finn, but she hasn't taken into account her friends' ongoing resentment for her previous behaviour.

This emotional coming-of-age story will resonate with anyone who has ever messed up, fallen in love or taken off on an adventure.



OLIVER Jeffers is one of the world's most influential creators of children's books.

This one is particularly special as he wrote and illustrated it for his newborn son.

In essence, it's a welcome to our planet and an introduction to our universe.

It offers a rare personal look inside Jeffers' own hopes and wishes for his child and, in doing so, he provides children and parents everywhere with a beautiful description of our world.