Sunday 6th September is Father's Day and our booksellers have created an online catalogue full of new release books and gift ideas; you can view it by clicking here. So many great books whose publishing dates were pushed back with COVID-19 are being released in the next few weeks. Elena Ferrante's The Lying Life of Adults, Yaa Gyasi's Transcendent Kingdom, and Akwaeke Emezi's The Death of Vivek Oji are just a few. We're really happy to announce our two books of the months for September: both are by First Nations authors and both are incredible reads. The first is Betty – a heart-wrenching family epic based on the life of a Cherokee woman, Betty Carpenter, written by her daughter, Tiffany McDaniels.

The second book of the month is part of a new initiative to deepen our ongoing support for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) and better encourage our community to read and engage with books by Indigneous authors. The ILF is a fantastic not-for-profit that's dedicated to lifting literacy levels in remote Indigenous communities, so all children across Australia have the same choices and opportunities. Donations provide books and literacy programs to remote communities where they are needed most. From this month onwards, we will select a new release book and donate a portion of its sales revenue from the month to the ILF. For our inaugural book, we have chosen Tony Birch's The White Girl in its new format. It's already a beloved and critically acclaimed book and, if you haven't had a chance to yet, please join us in reading it this month.

Don't forget we're hosting two special events this weekend. To raise funds for the victims of the explosion in Lebanon, Australia’s most celebrated authors, poets and academics of Lebanese and Arab backgrounds are coming together for two nights of online conversations about the literature of the Arab diaspora, and the important role that Australia can play in supporting struggling communities from the Arab world. There are two sessions, on Friday and Saturday night, with some wonderful guests and moderators. ​Tickets are $10 each and 100% of proceeds will be donated to Impact Lebanon, an NGO which provides disaster relief and is also an activist resource for the Lebanese diaspora internationally. Tickets can be purchased through Better Read Events.
SEPTEMBER BOOK OF THE MONTH
TIFFANY MCDANIELS
INTERNATIONAL FICTION
$32.99

This most magnificent book feels like rubberneck reading. It is trauma after trauma but it's written so beautifully you just can’t stop reading. This is the story of Betty Carpenter growing up in the hills of Breathed, Ohio. Although I was constantly scarred by the content, the balance of exquisite Cherokee lore made this book fascinating and dreamy amongst the violence and I absolutely adored everything here. It made me cry, breathe deep, sigh and smile as it is just perfect. Not for everyone – if A Little Life was not for you then don’t reach for Betty – but if you like a strong family epic filled with equal parts beauty and trauma, then you will adore Betty just as I have. One of my favourite reads of the year and one I’ll never forget.

— REVIEWED BY DEAN —
INDIGENOUS LITERACY FOUNDATION
BOOK OF THE MONTH
TONY BIRCH
AUSTRALIAN FICTION
$24.99

Tony Birch has written some incredible books – Common PeopleBlood and Ghost River – but The White Girl is my favourite and one of the best Australian books of last year. The book takes place in the 1960s, when the devastating policy of taking Indigenous children from their families was widespread. Odette is raising her granddaughter Sissy on the fringe of a small country town when a new sergeant arrives, resolved to "protect" and "uplift" Sissy and children like her. Truth-telling historical fiction like The White Girl is so vital to this country's future. As always, Tony Birch is insightful and intelligent in his critiques of Australian society and history. It’s clear, however, that not just his politics and his knowledge, but his heart and his grief are all over these pages. This is a story of love, family, women, protection and terrible wrong-doing: it is brilliantly told and completely unforgettable.

— BY EMMA CO —
NEW RELEASE FICTION
ELENA FERRANTE
INTERNATIONAL FICTION
$32.99

In her much anticipated latest novel Ferrante delivers a powerful work of fiction with its musings and reflections on relationships and toxicity, family dynamics and the power of secrets. Ferrante’s prose is as dynamic and compelling as ever as she navigates questions of love, beauty and familial ties through Giovanna.

Set in Naples, Ferrante has once again created a novel that is not only to be read but to be treasured. The Lying Life of Adults is a captivating new novel from one of the greatest Italian writers today.

— REVIEWED BY LUCY —
SAM COLEY
NEW ZEALAND FICTION
$32.99

Winner of the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers, this road-story by a New Zealand author is absorbing. Alex returns to NZ when his filmmaker parents die suddenly. Struggling with this reality, away from his hot-shot music industry job in Dubai, Alex and his twin sister Amy embark on a road trip along State Highway 1. Along the way the twins, who have very little in common, wrestle with grief while unpicking their past to try and understand their family a little better. Confident and cruisy, State Highway One is filled with movement and emotion making it a strong debut.

— REVIEWED BY DEAN —
NEW KIDS WRITING COMPETITION
NEW RELEASE NON-FICTION
SAM HARRIS
CULTURE / PHILOSOPHY
$32.99

Making Sense is a selection of transcripts from Sam Harris’s podcast of the same name, covering topics as diverse as consciousness, artificial intelligence, tyranny and racism with some of today’s leading thinkers. Sam Harris is at once an engaging and thoughtful interviewer, with the great strength of being able to put forward often controversial opinions while remaining above the politicized tribalism which sours much public debate. His guests invariably respond to Sam’s openness in like, with warmth, frankness and humour, making for a satisfyingly entertaining trip through a field of concepts which might otherwise prove intimidating.

— REVIEWED BY JAMES —
HELEN MCDONALD
ESSAYS / NATURE WRITING
$35.00

A gorgeous pop in and pop out book from the author of H is for Hawk. This is a collection of 41 short essays looking at human relationships with the natural world.

Helen McDonald's observation on topics spanning from headaches to hunting mushrooms and a range of contemporary natural topics are frank, personal and heartfelt. With her mix of science, memoir, naturalism and social commentary, I find MacDonald to be the most exciting natural history writers living today.

This perfect book is full of oddities that are strange yet fill you with wonder.

— REVIEWED BY DEAN —
YOTAM OTTOLENGHI
COOKING
$55.00

There is always a huge amount of excitement when a new Ottolenghi book hits the shelf, and this one has us feeling pretty pumped. Yotam Ottolenghi again delves into the pleasure of vegetables and just how much deliciousness they can offer. Here, along with co-writer Ixta Belfrage, Yotam explains the best cooking methods, the best produce and the best flavour pairings required to make your veg sing.

To wit: Miso Butter Onions, Spicy Mushroom Lasanga and Hassellback Beetroot with Leaf Lime Butter. Oh so good!

— REVIEWED BY SYLVIA —
MAX ALLEN
FOOD & DRINK HISTORY
$32.99

With years of experience as a drinks writer under his belt, Max Allen has crafted a narrative of Australia’s drinking history, from the fermented sap of Tasmanian cider gums, enjoyed by Indigenous people long before invasion, to VB, a beloved image of modern Australia. Allen explores the craftsmanship and creativity behind the creation of many of our favourite beverages and provides an insight not only into our nation's chequered past, but into his own eventful life.

Brimming with soul and nostalgic charm, this is a perfect pick for any self-professed wine experts!

— REVIEWED BY STELLA —
ONLINE EVENTS
WINDFALL AND ON HOPE
IN CONVERSATION

Join Ketan Joshi, renewable energy expert and author of Windfall: Unlocking a Fossil-Free Future, and Daisy Jeffrey, author of On Hope, as they discuss the climate emergency, policy failures, and reasons to be hopeful for the future.

In Windfall, Ketan Joshi examines how wind power inspired the creation of a weird, fabricated disease, and why the speed with which emissions could have been reduced – like putting a price on carbon – was hampered by a flurry of policy disasters. In On Hope, 17-year-old Daisy Jeffrey, one of the lead organisers of the Australian Climate Strike, shares why she is choosing hope over indifference and is standing up to speak truth to power.

Where: Online via Zoom
When: Thurs 3 Sept at 6:30pm
IN CONVERSATION

To raise funds for the victims of the Beirut explosion, some of Australia’s most celebrated authors, poets and academics of Lebanese and Arab backgrounds will come together for two nights of online discussions about the literature of the Arab diaspora. Tickets are $10 each and all proceeds will be donated to Impact Lebanon.

The Friday session, moderated by Dr. Randa Abdel-Fattah, features: Abbas El-Zein, Rawah Arja, Sara Saleh, Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Paula Abood, and Antoun Issa.
The Saturday session, moderated by Dr. Jumana Bayeh, features: Ghassan Hage, Amani Haydar, Omar Sakr, Sarah Ayoub, Ruby Hamad, and M M Morsi.

Where: Online via Zoom
When: Fri 6 Sept & Sat 5 Sept at 7:30pm – 9:30pm
FATHER'S DAY BOOK STACK GIVEAWAY
This week, we are giving away a Father's Day book stack containing The Hollywood Kid by Oscar Martinez and Juan Martinez, Public Enemies by Mark Dapin, Either Side of Midnight by Benjamin Stevenson and First Man In by Ant Middleton. To enter, send us your full name, postcode and why you would like to win this stack to books@betterread.com.au with the subject line "Newsletter Giveaway". Good luck!