Scribe Catalogue, January–June 2022

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Break the Internet

Olivia Yallop

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Out of Office

Anne Helen PetersenCharlie Warzel

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A Witness of Fact

Drew Rooke

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Who Needs the ABC?

Matthew RicketsonPatrick Mullins

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Devil House

John Darnielle

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The Herd

Johan Anderberg

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the great benefits of a little nap Brice Faraut (trans. Eric Rosencrantz)

An expert guide on the art and science of napping.

A daytime nap fulfills all the same functions as a night’s sleep — it’s hormonal, purifying, curative, consolidating, and reinvigorating. It also helps us to combat sleepiness, pain, depression, weak immunity, stress, hypertension, excess weight, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

But to take advantage of all this we need to be aware of the subtleties of the siesta. There are different types of naps, correct body positions, even times of the day that are more conducive to sleeping. There’s also an ideal amount of time to nap — and, perhaps most importantly, a way to wake up without feeling sleepy.

Saved by the Siesta explains how siestas work and how you can overcome the destructive effects of a bad night’s sleep. It also delves into the stages of sleep and how they affect cognitive performance, memory, and even creativity.

A lucid and accessible synthesis of the science of sleep, as well as a practical guide to the art of the nap.

‘A life-changing book by a top neurologist.’

Daily Mail

Brice Faraut

Brice Faraut is a neuroscientist specialising in the effects of restricting sleep, leading to new discoveries in the effects of sleep deprivation and people’s capacity to recover from it. He is the author of numerous scientific publications.


in pursuit of influence Olivia Yallop

Traditional media is over. The internet reigns. And in the attention economy, influencers are royalty. But who are they … and how do you become one?

Break the Internet takes a deep dive into the influencer industry, tracing its evolution from blogging and legacy social media such as Tumblr to today’s world in which YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok dominate. Surveying the new media landscape that the rise of online celebrity has created, it is an insider account of a trend which is set to dominate our future — experts estimate that the economy of influence will be valued at $24bn globally by 2025.

Olivia Yallop enrols in an influencer bootcamp, goes undercover at a fan meetup, and shadows online vloggers, Instagrammers, and content creators to understand how online personas are built, uncovering what it is really like to live a branded life and trade in a ‘social stock market’. From mumfluencers and activists to governments and investors, everyone wants to build their online influence. But how do you stay authentic in a system designed to commodify identity? Break the Internet examines both the dangers and the transformative potential of online culture.

‘This is a book that looks deeply at the commodification of the self, and the increasingly blurred line between leisure and labour … Behind our small screens is an unimaginable vastness, which Break the Internet manages to shape into something understandable, even to the influencer-ignorant such as me … wryly funny.’

Eleanor Margolis, The Guardian

Olivia Yallop

Olivia Yallop is a digital strategist and commentator on technology and pop culture. She has a degree from the University of Oxford and lives in London.


a 21-day mindfulness program for reducing anxiety and cultivating calm Daniel J. Siegel

This hands-on user’s guide to the groundbreaking Wheel of Awareness meditation practice featured in the bestseller Aware takes readers step-by-step through a 21-day journey to discover what it means to be truly present and aware in our daily lives.

In today’s increasingly fast-paced world it can be difficult to find moments to catch your breath, regain inner balance, and just … be. This simple yet profound guide shows readers how to strengthen their minds by learning to focus attention, open awareness, and develop a positive state of mind — the three pillars of mindfulness practice that research shows lead to greater physical and mental well-being.

Psychiatrist and cofounder of the Mindsight Institute, Dr Daniel J. Siegel, created the science-grounded meditation practice called the Wheel of Awareness to unlock the power of the brain to integrate its many functions and develop internal resources that lead to an enduring sense of calm and quiet. Packed with guided meditation instructions, practical exercises, and everyday tools and techniques, Becoming Aware meets readers where they are and offers a simple program to enhance our inner sense of clarity and even our interpersonal well-being.

Praise for Aware:‘This is a Dan Siegel masterpiece. He integrates decades of science and wisdom about the nature of our mind and optimal well-being into an easy to read personal journey. At the cornerstone is “The Wheel of Awareness,” a simple yet profound visual map of the mind, which enables people, including children, to experience of presence, self knowledge, and compassion. Aware will awaken and enrich your life immeasurably!’

Elissa Epel, professor at UCSF, member of the National Academy of Science, co-author of New York Times bestseller The Telomere Effect

Daniel J. Siegel

Daniel J. Siegel, MD, received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA, where he is currently a clinical professor. He is the executive director of the Mindsight Institute, and the author of numerous books, including the bestsellers Mindsight and Brainstorm, as well as No-Drama Discipline and The Whole-Brain Child (co-authored with Tina Payne Bryson). He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and occasionally with his launched adolescents.


the big problem and bigger promise of working from home Anne Helen Petersen, Charlie Warzel

The future isn’t about where we will work, but how. For years we have struggled to balance work and life, with most of us feeling overwhelmed and burned out because our relationship to work is broken. This “isn't just a book about remote work. It's a book that helps us imagine a future where our lives — at the office and home — are happier, more productive, and genuinely meaningful” (Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit).

Out of Office is a book for every office worker — from employees to managers — currently facing the decision about whether, and how, to return to the office. The past two years have shown us that there may be another path forward, one that doesn’t involve hellish daily commutes and the demands of jam-packed work schedules that no longer make sense. But how can we realise that future in a way that benefits workers and companies alike?

Based on groundbreaking reporting and interviews with workers and managers around the world, Out of Office illuminates the key values and questions that should be driving this conversation: trust, fairness, flexibility, inclusive workplaces, equity, and work-life balance. Above all, they argue that companies need to listen to their employees — and that this will promote, rather than impede, productivity and profitability. As a society, we have talked for decades about flexible work arrangements; this book makes clear that we are at an inflection point where this is actually possible for many employees and their companies. Out of Office is about so much more than zoom meetings and hybrid schedules: it aims to reshape our entire relationship to the office.

‘If you believe there’s a better way to live than refreshing your work email until you close your eyes at night, you’ll appreciate this deep dive into how workers relate to the office.’

Angela Haupt, Washington Post

Anne Helen Petersen

Anne Helen Petersen is an American writer and journalist based in Missoula, Montana. She worked as a Senior Culture Writer for Buzzfeed until 2020 when she began writing a newsletter for subscribers at Substack. A former academic, Petersen received her PhD at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of three previous books, including Can’t Even: how millennials became the burnout generation (2020).

Charlie Warzel

Based in Missoula, Montana, Charlie Warzel became a New York Times opinion writer at large in 2019. Before that, he was a senior technology writer at BuzzFeed News. He has been a technology writer for Adweek magazine and a producer at NBC News.


Gavin McCrea

A Sunday Independent Book of the Year

Against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution and Europe’s sexual revolution, the fates of two families in London and Beijing become unexpectedly intertwined, in this dazzling new novel from the author of Mrs Engels.

Revolution is a Family Affair.

In London, sisters Iris and Eva, members of a radical performance collective, plan an attack on the West End theatre where their mother is playing the title role in Miss Julie. Meanwhile in Beijing, Jiang Qing, Chairman Mao’s wife, rehearses a gala performance of her model ballet, The Red Detachment of Women, which she will use in order to attack her enemies in the Party.

As the preparations for these two astonishing performances unfold, Iris, Eva, and Jiang Qing are transformed into unforgettable protagonists in a single epic drama. The three ‘sisters’, although fighting very different personal battles, find themselves bound together by the passions of love, by the obsessions of power, and by the forces of history.

Exquisitely observed, relevant, and wise, The Sisters Mao shows us that the political is always personal.

‘McCrea’s portrait of Jiang Qing is a masterpiece of characterisation: at once monstrous and pitiable. The Sisters Mao is dazzlingly clever and original.’

Antonia Senior, The Times

Gavin McCrea

Gavin McCrea was born in Dublin in 1978. His first novel, Mrs Engels (Scribe, 2015), was shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Walter Scott Prize, and longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. Gavin’s articles have appeared in The Paris Review, The Guardian, The Irish Times, Catapult, and LitHub.


our history of addiction Carl Erik Fisher

An authoritative, illuminating, and deeply humane history of addiction — a phenomenon that remains baffling and deeply misunderstood despite having touched countless lives — by an addiction psychiatrist striving to understand his own family and himself.

Even after a decades-long opioid overdose crisis, intense controversy still rages over the fundamental nature of addiction and the best way to treat it. With uncommon empathy and erudition, Carl Erik Fisher draws on his own experience as a clinician, researcher, and alcoholic in recovery as he traces the history of a phenomenon that, centuries on, we hardly appear closer to understanding — let alone addressing effectively.

As a psychiatrist-in-training fresh from medical school, Fisher was soon face-to-face with his own addiction crisis, one that nearly cost him everything. Desperate to make sense of the condition that had plagued his family for generations, he turned to the history of addiction, learning that the current quagmire is only the latest iteration of a centuries-old story: humans have struggled to define, treat, and control addictive behaviour for most of recorded history, including well before the advent of modern science and medicine.

A rich, sweeping history that probes not only medicine and science but also literature, religion, philosophy, and sociology, The Urge illuminates the extent to which the story of addiction has persistently reflected broader questions of what it means to be human and care for one another. Fisher introduces us to the people who have endeavoured to address this complex condition through the ages: physicians and politicians, activists and artists, researchers and writers, and of course the legions of people who have struggled with their own addictions. He also examines the treatments and strategies that have produced hope and relief for many people with addiction, himself included. Only by reckoning with our history of addiction, he argues — our successes and our failures — can we light the way forward for those whose lives remain threatened by its hold.

The Urge is at once an eye-opening history of ideas, a riveting personal story of addiction and recovery, and a clinician's urgent call for a more expansive, nuanced, and compassionate view of one of society's most intractable challenges.

The Urge is an insightful, thought-provoking, and beautifully written book that stands to revolutionise our understanding of one of medicine’s — and society’s — most challenging problems. Carl Erik Fisher is a masterful physician-writer who is equally attentive to the grand sweep of history and the subtleties of each individual’s experience of addiction. A remarkable achievement.’

Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies

Carl Erik Fisher

Carl Erik Fisher is an addiction physician and bioethicist. He is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, where he works in the Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry. He also maintains a private psychiatry practice focusing on complementary and integrative approaches to treating addiction. His writing has appeared in Nautilus, Slate, and Scientific American MIND, among other outlets. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his partner and son.


a Russian adventure Pieter Waterdrinker (trans. Paul Evans)

‘History doesn’t repeat itself, it rhymes.’

One day in 1988, an enigmatic priest knocks on Pieter Waterdrinker’s door with an unusual request: will he smuggle seven thousand bibles into the Soviet Union? Pieter agrees, and soon finds himself living in the midst of one of the biggest social and cultural revolutions of our time, working as a tour operator ... with a sideline in contraband.

Thirty years later, from his apartment on Tchaikovsky Street in Saint Petersburg, where he lives with his Russian wife and three cats, Pieter reflects on his personal history in the Soviet Union, as well as the century of revolutions that took place in and around his street. A master storyteller, he blends history with memoir to create an ode to the divided soul of Russia and an unputdownable account of his own struggles with life, literature, and love.

‘A remarkable, sly blend of memoir and history, past and present, amusement and bemusement. How the memoir of a Dutch writer selling bibles in Russia also becomes the story of our past century is beyond me. But in Waterdrinker’s masterful hands, it does. The Long Song of Tchaikovsky Street is a spectacular tale, and a towering achievement.’

Shalom Auslander, author of Mother for Dinner

Pieter Waterdrinker

Pieter Waterdrinker (born 1961, Haarlem) is one of the most successful novelists in contemporary Dutch literature, praised for his compelling voice. He studied Russian at the University of Amsterdam, and was a long-time correspondent at the leading Dutch daily De Telegraaf. His literary work has often been translated and longlisted for awards, and his last novel The Rat of Amsterdam is a critically acclaimed bestseller. He lives between Saint Petersburg and the South of France.


a memoir of love and labour Anna Qu

A young girl forced to work in a Queens sweatshop calls child services on her mother in this powerful debut memoir about labour and self-worth that traces a Chinese immigrant's journey to an American future.

As a teen, Anna Qu is sent by her mother to work in her family's garment factory in Queens. At home, she is treated as a maid and suffers punishment for doing her homework at night. Her mother wants to teach her a lesson: she is Chinese, not American, and such is their tough path in their new country. But instead of acquiescing, Qu alerts the Office of Children and Family Services, an act with consequences that impact the rest of her life.

Nearly twenty years later, estranged from her mother and working at a Manhattan start-up, Qu requests her OCFS report. When it arrives, key details are wrong. Faced with this false narrative, and on the brink of losing her job as the once-shiny start-up collapses, Qu looks once more at her life's truths, from abandonment to an abusive family to seeking dignity and meaning in work.

Travelling from Wenzhou to Xi'an to New York, Made in China is a fierce memoir unafraid to ask thorny questions about trauma and survival in immigrant families, the meaning of work, and the costs of immigration.

Made in China capture[s] the confusion and wonder of lives spent looking … Qu’s narrative is laced with bitterness and aching … The struggle … seems to be holding all of these conflicting emotions at once … Qu honour[s] these complexities, tell us we were not meant to swallow our pain and survive in this world without support systems.’

Chanel Miller, New York Times Book Review

Anna Qu

Anna Qu is a Chinese American writer. She writes personal essays on identity and growing up in New York as an immigrant. Her work has appeared in Threepenny Review, Lumina, Kartika, Kweli, Vol.1 Brooklyn, and Jezebel, among others. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College. She serves as the Nonfiction Editor at Kweli Journal, and teaches at New England College, Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, and Catapult. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their cat, Momo.


the peculiar case of chief forensic pathologist Colin Manock Drew Rooke

The compelling story of South Australia’s disgraced former chief forensic pathologist and the legal scandals in which he became implicated.

For nearly three decades, Dr Colin Manock was in charge of South Australia’s forensic pathology services, and played a vital role within the state’s criminal justice system: in cases of unexpected or unexplained death, it was his job to determine when a person took their final breath and whether they had died naturally or as a result of something more sinister. Throughout his long career, he performed more than 10,000 autopsies and gave expert scientific evidence in court that helped secure approximately 400 criminal convictions.

But, remarkably, Manock, a self-described ‘witness of fact’, did not have the necessary training for such a senior, specialist role, and he made serious errors in several major cases — with tragic consequences, including the apparently wrongful imprisonment of innocent people. The full extent of his wrongdoing and the exact number of cases impacted by it remains a mystery more than twenty-five years after he retired, due to the continuing refusal of those in power to heed calls to launch a formal inquiry into his career.

In this book, Rooke examines several of Manock’s most controversial cases, and speaks with many of his former colleagues, people directly impacted by his flawed work, and legal experts. At its heart, A Witness of Fact is about how an entire legal system has failed badly, how unsafe verdicts have been swept under the carpet — and how forensic evidence that is admitted in courts of law in Australia and across the world is dubious more often than we would like to think.

A Witness of Fact is the untold and downright bizarre true story of Colin Manock. Rooke has left no file or transcript unread, no stone unturned, and his work is a testimony to journalistic vigilance in the face of forensic science and an unquestioning legal system. Best of all, Rooke has done all the hard work for us, and in lieu of an inquiry, we have this careful and fascinating portrait of a man, his ego, and the danger between the two.’

Anna Krien

Drew Rooke

Drew Rooke is a freelance journalist and author whose work has been widely published, including in The Monthly, The Saturday Paper, Kill Your Darlings, and Overland. His first book, One Last Spin: the power and peril of the pokies, was published by Scribe in 2018. He is a 2021 Our Watch Fellow.


Chris Macheras

Due to popular demand, Old Vintage Melbourne is currently out of stock. You can preorder now for a signed copy for March 2022. There is still some stock in Melbourne bookshops, so contact your local store.

An enchanting collection of annotated historical images and contemporary photographs, revealing the change and development that Melbourne has experienced over the years.

In 1835, as he walked the sacred grounds of the Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung peoples of the Kulin Nations, John Batman wrote in his diary, ‘This will be the place for a village.’ That small village rapidly grew into the vibrant city of Melbourne.

Historical photographs are a window to the past — a time capsule that allows us to walk in the footsteps of our predecessors. Now, this collection enables us to imagine strolling down Bourke Street in 1875, or catching a Collins Street tram in 1910, or walking through the city’s inner suburbs many years ago. As well, a series of then-and-now photographs reveals a striking contrast between the Melbourne of yesteryear and the city we are familiar with today.

Adapted from the popular ‘Old Vintage Melbourne’ Instagram account, this book invites you to reminisce about and cherish the important heritage of the city of Melbourne. Turn back the clock and immerse yourself in these captivating chronicles of an incredibly diverse, unique city.

‘[S]tunning … rarely seen glimpse[s] into life in Melbourne from the mid-1800s onward … this gem is one that anyone with an interest in our city’s history will want in their collection.’

Jen Kelly, Herald Sun

Chris Macheras

Chris Macheras is a Melbourne-born lawyer and artist. His Greek-Australian upbringing instilled an appreciation for the hardships his migrant grandparents endured in pursuit of a better life. His combined love of Melbourne, history, and photography led him to establish Old Vintage Melbourne, using social media as the platform to reach tens of thousands of others with shared interests.


Ryan O’Connor


‘After a couple of weeks, I found myself standing outside the voids in the middle of the night listening for human activity, for any sign of life at all. Voids are flats that have been vacated, that will never be lived in again. But there never were any signs of life. Only the wind whistling through vacant interiors.’

In a condemned tower block in Glasgow, residents slowly trickle away until a young man is left alone with only the angels and devils in his mind for company. Stumbling from one surreal situation to the next, he encounters others on the margins of society, finding friendship and camaraderie wherever it is offered, grappling with who he is and what shape his future might take.

The Voids is an unsparing story of modern-day Britain, told with brilliant flashes of humour and humanity.

‘At times disturbing, and at others hilarious, there are characters that appear for a page that have haunted me ever since. A wild ride that journeys through the underbelly of our society.’

Paul McVeigh, author of The Good Son

Ryan O’Connor

Ryan O’Connor received the Scottish Book Trust Next Chapter Award in 2018; later the same year he was Highly Commended in the Bridport Prize short story category. He currently lives in Glasgow with his partner and two young sons.


Becky Manawatu



  1. (verb) to cry, howl, groan, wail, bawl.
  2. (interjection) expression of astonishment or distress.

Taukiri was born into sorrow. Aue can be heard in the sound of the sea he loves and hates, and in the music he draws out of the guitar that was his father’s. It spills out of the gang violence that killed his father and sent his mother into hiding, and the shame he feels about abandoning his eight-year-old brother to a violent home.

But Taukiri’s brother, Arama, is braver than he looks, and he has a friend, and his friend has a dog, and the three of them together might just be strong enough to turn back the tide of sadness.

This bestselling multi-award–winning novel is both raw and sublime, introducing a compelling new voice in New Zealand fiction.

‘There is something so assured and flawless in the delivery of the writing voice that is almost like acid on the skin.’

Tara June Winch, co-judge of the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction 2020

Becky Manawatu

Becky Manawatu (Ngai Tahu) was born in Nelson, raised in Waimangaroa, and she lived in Germany and Italy before returning to the West Coast with her family. Aue is her first novel.


how our search for love is broken Aimée Lutkin

The Lonely Hunter explores the rise of singledom, the realities of loneliness, and whether it is possible to live contentedly alone.

‘So what’s going on in your love life?’ This seemingly innocent question at a dinner party prompted Aimée Lutkin to finally tell the truth: it had been six years since her last relationship, and she was starting to suspect that it would be better to accept the life she had as a single woman — a life she liked very much — rather than keep searching for a partner. But Lutkin’s answer was met with uproar; surely she couldn’t give up on love? So she threw herself into dating, going on two dates every week over a number of months.

Documenting her experiences, Lutkin explores the reality of sexual relationships today and reveals how the cultural messages we receive shape our expectations of love. From weird Tinder hookups to the way the self care industry capitalises on our fear of being alone, and from the complexities of queer dating to the truth about the ‘loneliness epidemic’, she uses her experiences to fearlessly tell a wider story about how we love now.

‘In unflinching, honest prose that deftly weaves sociological and cultural analysis with her personal journey, The Lonely Hunter challenged everything I assumed about the nature of loneliness and what it means to lead an authentic life ... A deeply relatable story that will resonate with readers, lonely or not.’

Doree Shafrir, author of Thanks for Waiting and Startup

Aimée Lutkin

Aimée Lutkin is a writer, director, and performer from NYC, where she was born and raised. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.


stay healthy and take good care of your immune system Servaas Bingé (trans. David Shaw)

Learn how to strengthen your immune system, for life.

Our immune system is our body’s fortress — without it, we would be vulnerable to all sorts of infections and diseases. Yet misinformation about how to boost the immune system is everywhere. In Immune, Dr Servaas Bingé breaks through those myths, translating the latest scientific findings on immunity into clear advice with which you can optimise your lifestyle.

Using no-nonsense language with a touch of humour and lots of creative thinking, Bingé takes us on a fascinating journey through our immune system. He explains how we become ill and how best to protect against it, providing superb guidance for the most important thing you can do — stay healthy.

Servaas Bingé

Dr Servaas Bingé is a general practitioner and sports physician. From his work as chief physician of Lotto-Soudal, the oldest professional cycling team in the world, he developed the concept of ‘healthitude’, combining our health, attitudes, and daily choices. He is a sought-after speaker on topics of health and is the author of four books.


how America’s elites are making China stronger Isaac Stone Fish

A timely, provocative exposé of America’s political and business leadership’s deep ties to China: a network of people who believe they are doing the right thing — at a profound and often hidden cost to American and Western interests.

The past few years have seen a shift in the relations between China and the United States, from enthusiastic economic partners, to wary frenemies, to open rivals. Americans have been slow to wake up to the challenges posed by the Chinese Communist Party. Why did this happen? And what can be done about it?

In America Second, Isaac Stone Fish traces the evolution of the Chinese Communist Party’s influence in America. He shows how America’s leaders initially welcomed China’s entry into the US economy, believing that trade and engagement would lead to a more democratic China. And he explains how — despite the fact that this belief has proved misguided — many of the country’s businesspeople and politicians have become too dependent on China to challenge it.

America Second exposes a deep web of Chinese influence in America, built quietly over the years through prominent figures such as former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright, Disney chairman Bob Iger, and members of the Bush political dynasty. And it shows how to fight that influence — without being paranoid, xenophobic, or racist. This is an authoritative and important story, not only of corruption but of misplaced intentions, with serious implications for the future of the United States, as well as for the world at large.

‘Isaac Stone Fish’s candour and self-reflection drives his cautionary tale about the perils of self-censorship, rationalisation, and accommodation. He has built a powerful case against sacrificing the truth in pursuit of success in China.’

Evan Osnos, author of Age of Ambition

Isaac Stone Fish

Isaac Stone Fish is the founder and CEO of the research firm Strategy Risks, which quantifies corporate exposure to China. He is also a Washington Post Global Opinions contributing columnist, a contributor to CBSN, an adjunct at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs, a visiting fellow at the Atlantic Council, a columnist on China risk at Barron’s, and a frequent speaker at events around the United States and the world. A fluent Mandarin speaker and formerly a Beijing correspondent for Newsweek, Stone Fish spent seven years living in China. He lives in New York.


why taking it for granted is no longer an option Matthew Ricketson, Patrick Mullins

For the past nine years, the ABC has been besieged. Its funding has been slashed. Its staffing levels have been cut. It has been assailed by complaints from ministers and prime ministers. Its board has been stacked with a succession of political appointees. It has been relentlessly attacked by commercial media outlets. And it has suffered crisis after crisis.

Who Needs the ABC? charts how the best-trusted news organisation in Australia arrived at its current predicament: doing the most it ever has, with less than it needs, under a barrage of constant criticism.

This book examines the profound changes that have swept through the Australian media, technology, and political landscapes in the past decade, and explores the tense relationship between the ABC and governments of both stripes over the past 40 years. It dispels any complacency about the ABC’s future by charting the very real threat now posed by the hostility of the Liberal–National Party coalition, and the damage that it has done to the ABC over the past nine years.

Amid this, Who Needs the ABC? identifies the vital role that the ABC has played and continues to play in Australia today: in its award-winning journalism, in its vast array of cultural programming on television, radio, and online, and the comprehensive service it provides, geographically and culturally, to people across the country.

At a time when the truth has to vie with obfuscation and misinformation, this book offers a rejoinder to the ABC’s critics, points to a way out of the ABC’s current predicament, and answers the question posed by the title. Who Needs the ABC? We do.

Matthew Ricketson

Professor Matthew Ricketson is an academic, author, and journalist. He is head of the Communication group at Deakin University; before that, he was inaugural professor of journalism at the University of Canberra between 2009 and 2017, and ran the journalism program at RMIT for 11 years. He has worked for a number of newspapers and media organisations, and is the author of several books. He assisted former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein QC in the Independent Media inquiry that reported to the federal government in 2012.

Patrick Mullins

Patrick Mullins is a Canberra-based writer and academic who has a PhD from the University of Canberra. Tiberius with a Telephone, his first book, won the 2020 NSW Premier’s Non-Fiction Award and the 2020 National Biography Award. He is also the author of The Trials of Portnoy: how Penguin brought down Australia’s censorship system.


Russian exiles in Paris between the wars Helen Rappaport

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Romanov Sisters comes the story of the Russian aristocrats, artists, and intellectuals who sought freedom and refuge in the City of Light.

Paris has always been a city of cultural excellence, fine wine and food, and the latest fashions. But it has also been a place of refuge for those fleeing persecution — never more so than before and after the Russian Revolution and the fall of the Romanov dynasty. For years, Russian aristocrats had enjoyed all that Belle Epoque Paris had to offer, spending lavishly when they visited. It was a place of artistic experimentation, such as Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. But the brutality of the Bolshevik takeover forced Russians of all types to flee their homeland, sometimes leaving with only the clothes on their backs.

Arriving in Paris, former princes could be seen driving taxicabs, while their wives who could sew worked for the fashion houses, their unique Russian style serving as inspiration for designers such as Coco Chanel. Talented intellectuals, artists, poets, philosophers, and writers struggled in exile, eking out a living at menial jobs. Some, like Bunin, Chagall, and Stravinsky, encountered great success in the same Paris that welcomed Americans such as Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Political activists sought to overthrow the Bolshevik regime from afar, while double agents plotted espionage and assassination from both sides. Others became trapped in a cycle of poverty and their all-consuming homesickness for Russia, the homeland they had been forced to abandon.

This is their story.

‘Full of colourful anecdotes and sharp character sketches, this breezy account of life in exile entertains.’

Publishers Weekly

Helen Rappaport

Dr Helen Rappaport is the New York Times bestselling author of several books, including Magnificent Obsession, Four Sisters, and Caught in the Revolution. She is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a specialist in imperial Russian and Victorian history, and a frequent historical consultant on TV and radio. She lives in West Dorset.


John Darnielle

From New York Times bestselling author and Mountain Goats singer/songwriter John Darnielle comes an epic, gripping novel about murder, truth, and the dangers of storytelling.

Gage Chandler is descended from kings. That’s what his mother always told him. Years later, he is a true crime writer, with one grisly success — and a movie adaptation — to his name, along with a series of subsequent less notable efforts. But now he is being offered the chance for his big break: to move into the house where a pair of briefly notorious murders occurred, apparently the work of disaffected teens during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. Chandler finds himself in Milpitas, California, a small town whose name rings a bell — his closest childhood friend lived there, once upon a time. He begins his research with diligence and enthusiasm, but soon the story leads him into a puzzle he never expected — back into his own work and what it means, back to the very core of what he does and who he is.

Devil House is John Darnielle’s most ambitious work yet, a book that blurs the line between fact and fiction, that combines daring formal experimentation with a spellbinding tale of crime, writing, memory, and artistic obsession.

‘[R]iveting … Darnielle flays the conventions of true crime to reveal the macabre and ordinary brutality behind sensationalised stories of violence … This masterwork of suspense is as careful with its sharp takes as it is with the bread crumbs it slowly drops on the way to its stunning end. It operates perfectly on many levels, resulting in a must-read for true crime addicts and experimental fiction fans alike.’

Publishers Weekly, starred review

John Darnielle

John Darnielle’s first novel, Wolf in White Van, was a New York Times bestseller, a National Book Award nominee, and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction, and widely hailed as one of the best novels of the year. He is a writer, composer, guitarist, and vocalist for the band the Mountain Goats. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife and sons.


how Sweden chose its own path through the worst pandemic in 100 years Johan Anderberg (trans. Alice E. Olsson)

In the spring of 2020, as a new and deadly virus rapidly spread across the globe, the world shut down. But a small country in Northern Europe remained open.

First, its government instituted no restrictions. Then, it didn’t order the wearing of face masks. While the rest of the world looked on with incredulity, condemnation, admiration, and even envy, a small country in Northern Europe stood alone. As COVID-19 spread across the globe rapidly, the world shut down. But Sweden remained open.

The Swedish COVID-19 strategy was alternately lauded and held up as a cautionary tale by international governments and journalists alike — with all eyes on what has been dubbed ‘The Swedish Experiment’. But what made Sweden take such a different path? And did it work?

In The Herd, journalist Johan Anderberg narrates this improbable story, guiding the reader through the history and practice of epidemiology, and the ticking-clock decisions that Sweden's pandemic-response decision-makers were faced with on a daily basis. Weaving past and present effortlessly, Anderberg has written a real-life thriller about a nation dealing differently with a global crisis.

The Herd is a thrilling read about tight-knit groups of microbiologists and epidemiologists, old grudges, new alliances, and fiery emails … Anderberg is ambitious, knowledgeable, and fearless.’

Dagens Nyheter

Johan Anderberg

Johan Anderberg is a Swedish journalist and writer who has been a regular contributor to a number of Swedish and international media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal. His upcoming book The Herd, which chronicles the Swedish strategy to battle COVID-19, will be published in Sweden by Albert Bonniers Förlag in the spring of 2021, and in the US, the UK, and Australia and New Zealand by Scribe in 2022.


why tweens and teens aren’t sleeping enough, and how we can help them Heather Turgeon, Julie Wright

An intimate glimpse inside a silent epidemic that is harming teens, and a pathway for parents to help them reclaim the restorative power of sleep.

If you could protect your child from unnecessary anxiety, depression, and chronic stress, and foster a greater sense of happiness and well-being in their lives, wouldn’t you? In this book, the authors of The Happy Sleeper, the classic book on helping babies and young children develop healthy sleep habits, uncover one of the greatest threats to our teenagers’ physical and mental health: sleep deprivation. Caught in a perfect storm of omnipresent screens, academic overload, and unnecessarily early school-start times, our children are operating in a constant state of sleep debt while struggling to meet the demands of adolescence.

In this essential book, Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright draw on the latest scientific research to reveal that today’s teenagers are, in fact, the most sleep-deprived population in human history. In fact, at a critical phase of development, many teens need more sleep than their younger siblings — but they’re getting drastically less. Generation Sleepless guides families in building healthy habits around sleep by:

• establishing family agreements around sleep habits;?
• altering family practices around phones, social media, and screen time;?
• regaining overall equilibrium in the home; and?
• remaking bedtime routines

Packed with years of research and in-depth reporting, Generation Sleepless is a wake-up call for parents that equips them with the right tools to start a family conversation about sleep and to ultimately regain connection with their tweens and teens.

Praise for The The Happy Sleeper:‘Clear a space on your bookshelf! You'll be consulting this friendly, research-based guide to the blessings of sleep for you and your little ones for many years to come.’ Adele Faber, co-author of How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

Heather Turgeon

Heather Turgeon is a psychotherapist and author. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post, among other publications. Turgeon runs parenting groups and works with families in her clinical practice in Los Angeles. She has two (well-rested) elementary- and middle-school-age kids.

Julie Wright

Julie Wright is one of Los Angeles’s best-known parenting-group leaders, and has taught thousands of mothers in her popular Wright Mommy and Me groups. She trained at Cedars-Sinai Early Childhood Center and co-founded a program for parents and babies from zero to three at the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic.


the case for a genuine National Integrity Commission and other vital democratic reforms Stephen Charles, Catherine Williams

A revealing and compelling case by Australia’s foremost integrity advocate for a strong national body to expose political corruption, uphold accountability, and restore trust — and why the country needs it now.

Over the last few years, instances of the federal government spending taxpayers’ money to gain improper political advantage in elections have continued, with many hundreds of millions of dollars being spent in the Community Sport Infrastructure Program (‘sports rorts’) and the Urban Congestion Fund (‘car parks rorts’). As Stephen Charles writes, these electorally targeted pork-barrelling exercises are better understood as political corruption, which can take many forms but essentially involves dishonest conduct that undermines trust in our democratic political system.

Keeping Them Honest points to the crucial absence of a federal integrity commission. Victoria has its own Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), and NSW has its Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), but there is no comparable body at the national level that exposes corruption in government and public administration, and that holds wrongdoers to account. While in 2020 the federal government announced legislation for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission, Stephen Charles argues that its insipid terms would protect — rather than expose — ethical breaches by federal politicians.

Stephen Charles

After a distinguished career at the Victorian Bar and as a Judge of Appeal in the Supreme Court of Victoria, Stephen Charles AO, QC, is now a board member of the Accountable Round Table and the Centre for Public Integrity. He has been for many years a tireless advocate for the creation of a federal anti-corruption watchdog.

Catherine Williams

Dr Catherine Williams is an adjunct research fellow in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University, where she has lectured and tutored. She holds degrees in Arts and Law and a PhD from La Trobe, and is now research director of the Centre for Public Integrity.


Laura Jean McKay


Out on the road, no one speaks, everything talks.

Hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, and allergic to bullshit, Jean is not your usual grandma. She’s never been good at getting on with other humans, apart from her beloved granddaughter, Kimberly. Instead, she surrounds herself with animals, working as a guide in an outback wildlife park. And although Jean talks to all her charges, she has a particular soft spot for a young dingo called Sue.

As disturbing news arrives of a pandemic sweeping the country, Jean realises this is no ordinary flu: its chief symptom is that its victims begin to understand the language of animals — first mammals, then birds and insects, too. As the flu progresses, the unstoppable voices become overwhelming, and many people begin to lose their minds, including Jean’s infected son, Lee. When he takes off with Kimberly, heading south, Jean feels the pull to follow her kin.

Setting off on their trail, with Sue the dingo riding shotgun, they find themselves in a stark, strange world in which the animal apocalypse has only further isolated people from other species. Bold, exhilarating, and wholly original, The Animals in That Country asks what would happen, for better or worse, if we finally understood what animals were saying.

‘The genius stroke of The Animals in That Country is the preternatural ‘body talk’ of its animals ... an affecting book, one that gets remarkably close to the unknowable wildness of animal sentience.’

Jack Callil, The Age

Laura Jean McKay

Laura Jean McKay is a writer and a lecturer in creative writing at Massey University in New Zealand. Her debut novel, The Animals in That Country (Scribe, 2020), won the 2021 Victorian Prize for Literature and the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction. She is also the author of Holiday in Cambodia (2013).


a therapist, her therapist, and our lives revealed Lori Gottlieb


Ever wonder what your therapist is really thinking? Now you can find out …

Meet Lori Gottlieb, an insightful and compassionate therapist whose clients present with all kinds of problems. There’s the struggling new parents; the older woman who feels she has nothing to live for; the self-destructive young alcoholic; and the terminally ill 35-year-old newlywed. And there’s John, a narcissistic television producer, who frankly just seems to be a bit of a jerk. Over the course of a year, they all make progress.

But Gottlieb is not just a therapist — she’s also a patient who’s on a journey of her own. Interspersed with the stories of her clients are her own therapy sessions, as Gottlieb goes in search of the hidden roots of a devastating and life-changing event.

Personal, revealing, funny, and wise, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone opens a rare window onto a world that is most often bound by secrecy, offering an illuminating tour of a profoundly private process.

‘What makes this book a joy to read is that it offers a wise and witty meld of the author’s personal insights and clinical observations plus bite-sized nuggets of psychology without ever lecturing or boring the reader ... For those who are skeptical, fearful or turned off by the idea of the talking cure, this fly-on-the-wall view of the subject just might convince you that therapy is remarkably worthwhile ... For self-help aficionados, there is wisdom galore on topics such as the drivers and inhibitors of psychological transformation, managing loss and grief, discovering meaning in life and work ... And for therapists, there is the chance to sit back and take note of how another clinician applies her skills to conjure up the magic of effective therapy ... A talented and highly accomplished writer, Gottlieb’s insecurities and chronic internal conflicts may surprise some readers. The fact that she doesn’t hold back talking about her suffering is what makes this book so powerful ... a most satisfying and illuminating read for psychotherapy patients, their therapists, and all the rest of us.’

Karen R. Koenig, New York Journal of Books

Lori Gottlieb

Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author who writes the weekly Dear Therapist advice column for the Atlantic, where she is also a contributing editor. She has written for the New York Times Magazine and has appeared on Today, Good Morning Amer­ica, CBS This Morning, CNN, and NPR. She lives in Los Angeles. Learn more at or by following her @LoriGottlieb1 on Twitter.


Jonathan Bazzi (trans. Alice Whitmore)

A multi-award winning Italian debut, from a bold new voice in contemporary queer literature.

Jonathan is 31 years old, living in Milan with his boyfriend of three years and their two Devon Rex cats when, on a day like any other, he gets a fever. But unlike most, this fever doesn’t go away; it's constant, low-level, and exhausting. After spending weeks Googling his symptoms and documenting his illness, he finally sees a doctor. A series of blood tests, anxious visits to hospitals, and repeated misdiagnoses ensue, until his doctor suggests an HIV test, and the truth is finally revealed: Jonathan is HIV-positive.

As Jonathan comes to terms with what this diagnosis will mean for him, his future, and his relationships, he also takes the reader back in time, in search of his history, to the suburbs where he grew up, and from which he feels he has escaped: Rozzano, the ghetto of Milan, and of Italy’s north. In the vein of Edouard Louis and Virginie Despentes, Fever is at once a deeply personal story and a searing examination of class, poverty, prejudice, and opportunity in modern Europe.

Jonathan Bazzi

Jonathan Bazzi (they/them) was born in Milan in 1985. They grew up in Rozzano, on the extreme southern outskirts of the city. They studied philosophy and graduated with a thesis on symbolic theology in the work of Edith Stein. Jonathan has collaborated with various newspapers and magazines, including, Vice, The Vision, and Il Fever is their first novel.


heal your bladder and improve your health Birgit Bulla (trans. Rachel Stanyon)

Something’s up down below …

Urinary tract infections result in 8.1 million visits to a doctor every year, and between 50% and 60% of adult women will have at least one UTI in their lifetime. Meanwhile, an overactive bladder or urinary incontinence affect nearly one in five of the over-40 population, yet many people wait years before seeking treatment.

Maybe it’s time we started taking pee a bit more seriously … Home and Dry is the ultimate guide to the bladder; not only will it help you to overcome problems such as recurrent infections or needing the bathroom all the time, it will also inspire wonder for a fascinating part of the body that we usually try to ignore. Using the latest research, Birgit Bulla explores the biggest problem area for women's health, and shows how taking care of your bladder will make you feel a whole lot better.

‘Collects all kinds of facts and tips that no-one seems to know.’

InStyle Germany

Birgit Bulla

Birgit Bulla is a journalist who lives in Munich and works as a freelance editor for various magazines. Out of the blue in her mid-twenties, she developed an irritable bladder. The response to her blog,, shows that she’s far from alone. Today she knows everything about this part of the body, and it comes as no surprise: Bulla is, after all, the Latin word for bladder.


conversations with adults in search of adulthood Moya Sarner

When do you become an adult? What does it mean to grow up? And what are the experiences that propel us forward — or keep us stuck?

As we get older, we pass many milestones, but for some of us it can feel as if adulthood is always just out of reach.

Journalist and psychotherapist-in-training Moya Sarner goes on a journey into what growing up really involves, and how we do it again and again throughout our lives. She draws on case studies, as well as her training, and theories of child psychology, psychoanalysis, neuroscience, and more, to explore what it means to be a ‘grown up’ and how we can meet the challenges and opportunities of every stage of our lives.

Moya Sarner

Moya Sarner is an award-winning freelance journalist who writes regular cover stories and inside pieces for the features pages of The Times, The Guardian, New Scientist, Stylist, and other publications. She is particularly interested in psychoanalysis, the unconscious, and what we can and cannot bear to know about ourselves. She is a psychotherapist in training and her first book, which explores how we grow up and what it means to be an adult, will be published in 2022.


learn to hear what’s left unsaid Ali Almossawi (illus. Alejandro Giraldo)

The creators of An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments return at last with a desperately timely guide to rhetoric.

Have you ever wondered how language shapes a story? How a politician can waffle their way out of a scandal, or a newspaper headline determine how readers think about an event? This adorably illustrated book demonstrates the ways in which language can be used to influence thought.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators packed the city’s streets on Friday. The actual count was 250,000. Why tens of thousands, then, and not a quarter million?

Rabbits zapped three badgers in an ambush last night, hours after six rabbits in a neighbouring town lost their lives. Were the six rabbits the sole participants in losing their own lives? Those silly rabbits …

Old Mr Rabbit is your guide to these and many more examples of loaded language. He mines real reporting (by respected and rogue media alike) to unmask rhetoric that shifts blame, erases responsibility, dog-whistles, plays on fear, or rewrites history — subtly or shamelessly. It takes a long pair of ears to hear what’s left unsaid — but when the very notion of truth is at stake, listening for ‘spin’ makes all the difference.

‘This is a book for every thinking person, the perfect antidote to today’s culture wars. It doesn’t contain rules about what you can or can’t say—instead, it gives you tools to think more deeply about what your words convey, so that you may more precisely express yourself.’

Hope Jahren, author of Lab Girl and The Story of More

Ali Almossawi

Ali Almossawi is an alumnus of MIT’s engineering systems division and Carnegie Mellon’s school of computer science. His books include An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, An Illustrated Book of Loaded Language, and Bad Choices. His writing has appeared in publications such as Wired. He works and lives in San Francisco.


Anjali Joseph

From award-winning writer Anjali Joseph, a compelling new novel about a dysfunctional love affair.

Meet Ved, a British investor heading back to his Indian roots with a business proposition: a lightbulb called the Everlasting Lucifer.

Meet Keteki, an art curator with a nomadic lifestyle, on her way home to Assam.

In Heathrow airport, on the way to Mumbai, their paths cross, sparking an affair that soon turns into an intricate power game — and a complicated journey towards intimacy.

‘The hesitation and wary texting, the one step forward and two steps back — this is a modern love story that also becomes a love story about Assam. I read this book in a single sitting.’

Jeet Thayil, author of Narcopolis

Anjali Joseph

Anjali Joseph is an Indian novelist living in Britain. Her first novel, Saraswati Park, won the Betty Trask Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize, and the Vodafone Crossword Book Award for Fiction. Her work illuminates the inner lives of characters: from a Bombay letter writer to a single mother in a Norwich factory, or the sceptical late-thirties protagonists of her latest novel, Keeping in Touch, as they navigate falling in love. Anjali’s gift is to make art that reconnects readers to their sense of magic. She is working on a novel about the Irish naval officer and archaeoastronomer Boyle Somerville.


how to take back our streets and transform our lives Thalia Verkade, Marco te Brömmelstroet (trans. Fiona Graham)

Our dependence on cars is damaging our health — and the planet’s. Movement asks radical questions about how we approach the biggest urban problem, reflecting on the apparent successes of Dutch cities.

Making our communities safer, cleaner, and greener starts with asking the fundamental question: who do our streets belong to?

Although there have been experiments in decreasing traffic in city centres, and an increase in bike-friendly infrastructure, there is still a long way to go.

In this enlightening and provocative book, Thalia Verkade and Marco te Brömmelstroet confront their own underlying beliefs and challenge us to rethink our ideas about transport to put people at the centre of urban design.

‘Thalia Verkade is one of those people who continue digging where others would stop, before finally coming up with the most wonderful and surprising discoveries and insights.’

Joris Luyendijk, author and journalist

Thalia Verkade

Thalia Verkade (1979) lives in Rotterdam. She has been a staff writer and foreign correspondent for the Dutch national newspapers NRC Handelsblad and For the ad-free slow journalism platform De Correspondent she has written extensively about the topics she loves most: language, mobile technology, and technocracy.

Marco te Brömmelstroet

Marco te Brömmelstroet is the chair of Urban Mobility Futures at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam. His teaching centres on the relationship between land use developments and mobility behaviour. As founding academic director of the Urban Cycling Institute he strengthens the links between academia and how cycling relates to the urban and social environment. Cycling offers him a lens to radically reimagine the way in which society thinks about mobility, transport systems, and the street. His ‘Fietsprofessor’ (The Cycling Professor) Twitter account has over 60,000 followers.


a memoir of fathers who never were Emiliano Monge (trans. Frank Wynne)

From one of Mexico’s most important writers, a fictionalised memoir about three men who are driven to escape the confines of their traditional lives and roles.

In 1958, Carlos Monge McKey sneaks out of his home in the middle of the night to fake his own death. He does not return for four years.

A decade later, his son, Carlos Monge Sánchez, deserts his family too, joining a guerrilla army of Mexican revolutionaries.

Their stories are unspooled by grandson and son Emiliano, a writer, who also chooses to escape reality, by creating fictions to run away from the truth.

What Goes Unsaid is an extraordinary memoir that delves into the fractured relationships between fathers and sons, grandfathers and grandsons; that disinters the ugly notions of masculinity and machismo that all men carry with them — especially in a patriarchal culture like Mexico. It is the story of three men, who — each in his own way — flee their homes and families in an attempt to free themselves.

‘So smart it can’t help but be funny, and incredibly inventive too, as befits a hybrid memoir about fantasy and reinvention within families. A welcome affront to the politeness of English letters.’

Richard Beard, author of The Day That Went Missing

Emiliano Monge

Emiliano Monge is a critically acclaimed, award-winning Mexican author. He was selected as one of the most significant Latin American writers by the Guadalajara International Book Fair in 2009, and in 2015 was chosen by Conaculta, the Hay Festival, and the British Council as one of twenty essential Mexican writers. In 2018, he was included on a list of the most important Latin American writers under thirty-nine by the Hay Festival. He is a regular columnist for the newspaper El País and has written for many other magazines and publications. He is also a member of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores Artísticos (National Scheme of Artistic Creators) in Mexico.


a comic about workers and their unions Sam Wallman

An original and visually powerful exploration of unionism.

In our current political climate, people are looking for answers — and alternatives. The promise of unions is that their ‘members be unlimited’: that they don’t belong to the rich, the powerful, or special interests, but to all workers.

How did the idea of unionism arise? Where has it flourished? And what are its challenges in the 21st century? From Britain to Bangladesh, from the first union of the 18th century to today, from solidarity in Walmart China to his own experiences in an Amazon warehouse in Melbourne, comics journalist Sam Wallman explores the urge to come together and cooperate that arises again and again in workers and workplaces everywhere.

With a dynamic and distinctive art style, and writing that’s both thoughtful and down to earth, Our Members Be Unlimited serves as an entry point for young people or those new to these notions of collective action, but also as an invigorating read to those already engaged in the struggle for better working conditions — and a better world.

‘Sam Wallman’s comic is history and argument, it is celebration and reflection, and with every turn of its beautiful, vivid pages it is a reminder of the galvanising power of radical solidarity and of radical love. This book is a gift, it’s exhilarating.’

Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap

Sam Wallman

Sam Wallman is a comics journalist and cartoonist based in Melbourne, Australia. His drawings have been published in The Guardian, The New York Times, The Age, the ABC, and SBS.


Juan José Millás, Juan Luis Arsuaga (trans. Thomas Bunstead, Daniel Hahn)

Prehistory is all around us. We just need to know where to look.

Juan José Millás has always felt like he doesn’t quite fit into human society. Sometimes he wonders if he is even a Homo sapiens at all, or something simpler. Perhaps he is a Neanderthal who somehow survived? So he turns to Juan Luis Arsuaga, one of the world’s leading palaeontologists and a super-smart sapiens, to explain why we are the way we are and where we come from.

Over the course of many months, the two visit different places, many of them common scenes of our daily lives, and others unique archaeological sites. Arsuaga tries to teach the Neanderthal how to think like a sapiens and, above all, that prehistory is not a thing of the past: that traces of humanity through the millennia can be found anywhere, from a cave or a landscape to a children’s playground or a toy shop.

Millás and Arsuaga invite you on a journey of wonder which unites scientific discovery with the greatest human invention of all: the art of storytelling.

‘Millás is one of the writers with the most truth per square centimetre of a page.’

Antonio Iturbe, What to Read

Juan José Millás

Juan José Millás is a bestselling and multi-award-winning Spanish novelist and short-story writer, and an award-winning regular contributor to major Spanish newspapers. His narrative works have been translated into more than 20 languages, and include the novels From the Shadows and None Shall Sleep.

Juan Luis Arsuaga

Juan Luis Arsuaga is a professor of paleontology at the Complutense University of Madrid and the director of the Human Evolution and Behaviour Institute. He is a member of the American National Academy of Sciences and of the Musée de l’Homme of Paris, a visiting professor at University College London, and a co-director of excavations at the Sierra de Atapuerca World Heritage site. He is a regular contributor to Nature, Science, and the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, is the editor of the Journal of Human Evolution, and is a regular lecturer at the universities of London, Cambridge, Berkeley, New York, Tel Aviv, and Zurich, among others. The recipient of many national and international awards, he is the author of more than a dozen works.


the truth about Australia’s nuclear ambitions