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Gift recommendations from Scribe

At Scribe we believe that books are the perfect gift to receive at Christmastime. We’ve published a sensational list of books this year and can guarantee that you’ll find a trove of treasures amongst our local and international fiction and nonfiction.

Highlights include: 

Old Vintage Melbourne — an enchanting collection of historical and contemporary photographs of Melbourne adapted from Chris Macheras’ popular Instagram account of the same name; Christmas in Suburbia — a vibrant postcard book of collected Christmas snapshots by celebrated photographer Warren Kirk; In Moonland — an astonishing new novel from Miles Allinson, the multi-award-winning author of Fever of AnimalsBlack and Blue by Veronica Gorrie — the remarkable memoir of an Aboriginal woman who became one of a rare few Aboriginal police officers in Australia, fighting through appalling institutional racism and sexism; and A Room Called Earth is a daring and luminous debut novel by Madeline Ryan.

Please browse below to find the perfect Christmas gift.

AUSTRALIAN FICTION

In Moonland

HIGHLY COMMENDED IN THE 2022 VICTORIAN PREMIER'S LITERARY AWARD FOR FICTION

‘A parent’s love for a child, you probably know this yourself, it’s pretty bottomless. It goes down into the guts of the world. But a child’s love for a parent is different. It goes up. It’s more ethereal. It’s not quite present on the earth.’

In present-day Melbourne, a man attempts to piece together the mystery of his father’s apparent suicide as his young family slowly implodes. At the ashram of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, in 1976, a man searching for salvation must confront his capacity for violence and darkness.…

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The Newcomer

There's no such thing as a perfect victim.

In a hotel room on a sleepy Pacific island, Judy Novak waits. And worries. It isn’t the first time 29-year-old problem child Paulina has kept her mother waiting. But Judy can’t ignore the island’s jagged cliffs and towering pines — or the dread that Paulina has finally acted on her threats to take her own life.

When Paulina’s body is discovered, Judy’s worst fears seem confirmed. Only, Paulina didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

So begins a thorny investigation, wherein every man on the island is a suspect yet none are as maligned as Paulina: the…

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The Golden Book

Jessie had said they should go at midnight. 'It’s the gods’ time,' she said, narrowing her eyes dramatically. 'Anything could happen.’

It’s the 1980s, and in their small coastal town, Ali and her best friend, Jessie, are on the cusp. With ‘The Golden Book’, a journal of incantation and risk taking as their record, they begin to chafe at the restrictions put on them by teachers, parents, each other. Then Jessie suffers a devastating accident, and both their lives are forever changed.

When Ali is an adult, with a young daughter herself, the news of Jessie’s death brings back the intensity of…

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The Orchard Murders

A novel about revenge, obsession, and the dangerous gullibility of religious fanatics.

In 1944, in the outer-Melbourne suburb of Nunawading, a brutal triple murder heralds the return of a long-forgotten cult. A man named Anthony Prescott has declared himself the Messiah and has promised his followers immortality. There are those who believe him and who are ready to kill in his name. Inspector Titus Lambert of the Melbourne Homicide unit, whose detectives are over-stretched, requests the discreet assistance of Helen Lord and Joe Sable, once members of his unit, now private inquiry agents. The investigation…

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A Room Called Earth

A brilliant debut from a neurodiverse author that explores a young woman's magical, sensitive, and passionate inner world.

A young woman gets ready to go to a party. She arrives, feels overwhelmed, leaves, and then returns. Minutely attuned to the people who come into her view, and alternating between alienation and profound connection, she is hilarious, self-aware, sometimes acerbic, and always honest.

And by the end of the night, she’s shown us something radical about love, loss, and the need to belong.

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ESSENTIAL READING

Black and Blue

WINNER OF THE 2022 VICTORIAN PREMIER'S PRIZE FOR LITERATURE
WINNER OF THE 2022 VICTORIAN PREMIER'S LITERARY AWARD FOR INDIGENOUS WRITING
SHORTLISTED FOR THE DOUGLAS STEWART PRIZE FOR NONFICTION

The story of an Aboriginal woman who worked as a police officer and fought for justice both within and beyond the Australian police force.

A proud Gunai/Kurnai woman, Veronica Gorrie grew up dauntless, full of cheek and a fierce sense of justice. After watching her friends and family suffer under a deeply compromised law-enforcement system, Gorrie signed up for training to become one of a rare few Aboriginal police…

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Monsters

‘This figure I see in the foreground, this me. How monstrous am I? What does it mean to be a monster? From Latin monstrum, meaning an abomination … grotesque, hideous, ugly, ghastly, gruesome, horrible …

‘I was born as part of a monstrous structure — the grotesque, hideous, ugly, ghastly, gruesome, horrible relations of power that constituted colonial Britain. A structure that shaped me, that shapes the very language that I speak and use and love. I am the daughter of an empire that declared itself the natural order of the world.’

From award-winning writer and critic Alison Croggon, Monsters is…

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The Chief Witness

A shocking depiction of one of the world’s most ruthless regimes — and the story of one woman’s fight to survive.

I will never forget the camp. I cannot forget the eyes of the prisoners, expecting me to do something for them. They are innocent. I have to tell their story, to tell about the darkness they are in. It is so easy to suffocate us with the demons of powerlessness, shame, and guilt. But we aren’t the ones who should feel ashamed.

Born in China’s north-western province, Sayragul Sauytbay trained as a doctor before being appointed a senior civil servant. But her life was upended when the…

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WOMEN WHO MADE HISTORY

The Woman They Could Not Silence

From the internationally bestselling author of The Radium Girls comes a dark but ultimately uplifting tale of a woman whose incredible journey still resonates today.

Elizabeth Packard was an ordinary Victorian housewife and mother of six. That was, until the first Woman’s Rights Convention was held in 1848, inspiring Elizabeth and many other women to dream of greater freedoms. She began voicing her opinions on politics and religion — opinions that her husband did not share. Incensed and deeply threatened by her growing independence, he had her declared 'slightly insane' and committed to an…

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An Unconventional Wife

The page-turning biography of an Australian woman who refused to bend to the expectations of her husband and her time.

Julia Sorell was an original. A colonial belle from Tasmania, vivacious and warm-hearted, Julia’s marriage to Tom Arnold in 1850 propelled her into one of the most renowned families in England and into a circle that included Lewis Carroll and George Eliot. Her eldest daughter became a bestselling novelist, while her grandchildren included the writer Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, and the evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley.

With these family connections, Julia is a presence…

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The Walls Came Tumbling Down

In this gripping memoir, originally published in 1957, the Dutch author, codename ‘Zip’, recounts her extraordinary journey.

A young fighter for the resistance during World War II, Zip is captured and held prisoner as part of the ‘Night and Fog’ unit, political prisoners who wait out the war in a crowded, secret cell. During their long days and nights, each creates a secret embroidery telling the story of their war, including when they are moved from place to place, writing each other’s names in morse code out of contraband black thread. Upon liberation, Zip must find her way back to Holland…

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POLITICS & THE WORLD

American Kleptocracy

An explosive investigation into how the United States of America built one of the largest illicit offshore finance systems in the world.

For years, one country has acted as the greatest offshore haven in the world, attracting hundreds of billions of dollars in illicit finance tied directly to corrupt regimes, extremist networks, and the worst the world has to offer. But it hasn’t been the sand-splattered Caribbean islands, or even traditional financial secrecy havens like Switzerland or Panama that have come to dominate the offshoring world. Instead, the country profiting the most also happens to be the…

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Crimes Against Nature

A polemic about global warming and the environmental crisis, which argues that ordinary people have consistently opposed the destruction of nature and so provide an untapped constituency for climate action.

Crimes Against Nature uses fresh material to offer a very different take on the most important issue of our times. It takes the familiar narrative about global warming — the one in which we are all to blame — and inverts it, to show how, again and again, pollution and ecological devastation have been imposed on the population without our consent and (often) against our will. From histories of…

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God Save the Queen

An avowed republican investigates the unexpected durability and potential benefits of constitutional monarchies.

When he was deposed in Egypt in 1952, King Farouk predicted that there would be five monarchs left at the end of the century: the kings of hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades, and England. To date, his prediction has proved wrong, and while the twentieth century saw the collapse of monarchies across Europe, many democratic societies have retained them.

God Save the Queen is the first book to look at constitutional monarchies globally, and is particularly relevant given the pro-democracy movement in…

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FOR CURIOUS MINDS

Fox and I

WINNER OF THE 2022 PEN/E.O. WILSON LITERARY SCIENCE WRITING AWARD

A solitary woman’s inspiring, moving, surprising, and often funny memoir about the transformative power of her unusual friendship with a wild fox.

Catherine Raven left home at 15, fleeing an abusive father and an indifferent mother. Drawn to the natural world, she worked as a ranger in national parks, at times living in her run-down car on abandoned construction sites, or camping on a piece of land in Montana she bought from a colleague. She managed to put herself through college and then graduate school, eventually earning a PhD in…

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Nature Is Never Silent

For readers of Entangled Life and The Hidden Life of Trees, a fascinating journey into the world of plants and animals, and the ways they communicate with each other.

In forests, fields, and even gardens, there is a constant exchange of information going on. Animals and plants must communicate with one another to survive, but they also tell lies, set traps, talk to themselves, and speak to each other in a variety of unexpected ways.

Here, behavioural biologist Madlen Ziege reveals the fascinating world of nonhuman communication. In charming, humorous, and accessible prose, she shows how nature’s…

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The Art of More

Bestselling science writer Michael Brooks takes us on a fascinating journey through the history of civilisation, as he explains why maths is fundamental to our understanding of the world.

1, 2, 3 … ? The human brain isn’t wired for maths; beyond the number 3, it just sees ‘more’. So why bother learning it at all?

You might remember studying geometry, calculus, and algebra at school, but you probably didn’t realise — or weren’t taught — that these are the roots of art, architecture, government, and almost every other aspect of our civilisation. The mathematics of triangles enabled explorers…

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STOCKING STUFFERS

Christmas in Suburbia

From the acclaimed photographer Warren Kirk comes this charming collection of Christmas as it’s celebrated in the Australian suburbs.

Contains 24 individual postcards — perfect to send or to keep.

 

 

 

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Best Australian Political Cartoons 2021

The year in politics as observed by Australia’s funniest and most perceptive political cartoonists.

Featuring Dean Alston, Peter Broelman, Andrew Dyson, John Farmer, First Dog on the Moon, Matt Golding, Fiona Katauskas, Mark Knight, Jon Kudelka, Johannes Leak, Sean Leahy, Alan Moir, David Pope, David Rowe, John Spooner, Andrew Weldon, Cathy Wilcox, and more …

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Campese

In the 1980s and early 1990s, David Campese thrilled spectators both in Australia and overseas with his footloose, crazy-brave style of free running. This book tells the story of his rise from humble beginnings to the very top of a global sport.

As a rugby player, David Campese seemed to operate on cross-grained pure instinct, one that left many a defender clutching at him in vain, stranded in the slipstream of his audacity. Hailed as the ‘Bradman of rugby’ by former Wallaby coach Alan Jones, and the ‘Pele’ of rugby by others, Campese was a match-winner.

The refrain ‘I saw Campese play’ now…

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In Moonland

Miles Allinson

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The Golden Book

Kate Ryan

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The Newcomer

Laura Elizabeth Woollett

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A Room Called Earth

Madeleine Ryan

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The Orchard Murders

Robert Gott

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Black and Blue

Veronica Gorrie

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Monsters

Alison Croggon

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The Chief Witness

Sayragul SauytbayAlexandra Cavelius

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The Woman They Could Not Silence

Kate Moore

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An Unconventional Wife

Mary Hoban

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The Walls Came Tumbling Down

Henriette Roosenburg

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American Kleptocracy

Casey Michel

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Crimes Against Nature

Jeff Sparrow

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God Save the Queen

Dennis Altman

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Fox and I

Catherine Raven

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Nature Is Never Silent

Madlen Ziege

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The Art of More

Michael Brooks

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Christmas in Suburbia

Warren Kirk

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Best Australian Political Cartoons 2021

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Campese

James Curran

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