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The Life by Malcolm Knox
Daring, dazzling, funny and heartbreaking, this is a story about fame and ambition, surfing and the southern Gold Coast. Reading this superb novel is like watching Muriel’s Wedding……you know the characters and the location and can probably add a few anecdotes of your own.
The Life tells the story of former world champion surfer Dennis Keith, now 58, eighteen stone and living with his mother Mo in a Coolangatta retirement village. Everyday he shuffles to the corner shop wearing his aviator sunnies to buy a pine-lime splice, trying not to think about the waves that he conquered in his youth. He is interviewed by a young would-be biographer and gradually the story of his rise and fall emerges revealing an idiosyncratic and complex character, intelligent and sensitive yet inarticulate and aggressive. Along the way we learn of his complex relationship with his brother, his doomed love affair which ends in murder and the double edged sword that is celebrity.
Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett 
 
Favel Parrett, a surfing devotee based in Melbourne has ticked all the boxes with her brilliant debut novel.
 
 
Set on the south coast of Tasmania in the 1980’s (where Favel grew up), this dark and brooding story is about three young brothers, Joe, Miles and Harry. Their mother was killed in a car accident some years previously and their struggling father takes out his frustration with life on the boys. The story is told through the eyes of the two youngest boys, Harry and Miles in language that is heartbreakingly innocent and naïve. The three boys stick together and try to protect each other, but when Joe, the eldest, leaves home, everything falls apart.
 
This beautiful novel speaks to your soul of both the harshness of nature and of life and is a must for all book lovers. If you like Tim Winton or Craig Silvey’s Jasper Jones, it will strike a special note.  
The Tigers Wife 
by Tea Obrecht
 
 
 
 
As Natalia and a friend travel across the former Yugoslavia, immunising villagers, the body of her grandfather turns up in a hospital in the middle of nowhere. She and her family have no idea why.
Recalling stories he told her as a child, she becomes convinced that he went in search of the Deathless Man, a mythical figure, that her grandfather claimed to have met a number of times in his life.
In her quest to find out how her grandfather, a man of hard fact and science, could turn to this fantasy, she discovers something particular about his childhood: a tiger escaped from a zoo during World War II bombings and wandered deep into the woods, settling just outside his peasant village. It terrorized the town, the devil incarnate to everyone, except for her grandfather and 'the tiger's wife'
The Land of Painted Caves by Jean Auel.   This is the triumphant finale of the hugely successful Earth's Children series.  It takes readers on a journey of discovery and adventure, as Ayla struggles to fbalance her duties as a new mother with her training to become a Zelandoni - one of the Ninth Cave community's spiritual leaders and healers.Once again, Jean Auel combines her brilliant narrative skills and appealing characters with a remarkable re-creation of the way life was lived thousands of years ago.  She brings to life the terrain, dwelling places, longings, beliefs and creativity of Ice Age Europeans for the reader - as real on the page as today's news.
 
 Batavia by Peter FitzSimons .  Described by author Peter FitzSimons as "a true adults-only version of Lord of the Flies" the story is set in 1629, when the Batavia struck an unseen reef just off the coast of Western Australia.  Commandeur Francisco Pelsaert set off in the long-boat to seek help, and his second-in-command Jeronimus Cornelisz then took over  - instigating a reign of terror that is countered only by a previously anonymous soldier called Wiebbe Hayes.  Peter FitzSimons unique writing style has made him the country's best-selling non-fiction writer over the last ten years, and he is perfect man to make this bloody, chilling, stunning tale come alive. 
 
                   The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal. Edmund de Waal was entranced by a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings he first encountered it in the Tokyo apartment of his great uncle Iggie. And later, when he inherited the ‘netsuke’, they unlocked a story far larger than he could ever have imagined.In this stunningly original memoir, Edmund de Waal traces the lines of a remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century. And, in prose as elegant and precise as the netsuke themselves, he tells the story of a unique collection which passed from hand to hand, and finally found its way back home to Japan.
 
       The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez.  In a little coffee shop in one of the most dangerous places on earth, five very different women come together:  Sunny, the proud proprietor, who needs an ingenious plan - and fast - to keep her café and customers safe; Yazmina, a young pregnant woman stolen from her remote village and now abandoned on Kabul's violent streets;  Candace, a wealthy American who has finally left her husband for her Afghan lover, the enigmatic Wakil;  Isabel, a determined journalist with a secret that might keep her from the biggest story of her life; and Halajan, the sixty-year-old den mother, whose long-hidden love affair breaks all the rules.As these five discover there's more to one another than meets the eye, they form a unique bond that will for ever change their lives and the lives of many others.‘Rodriguez paints a vivid picture of Afghan culture…as if Maeve Binchy had written The Kite Runner.’ Kirkus Reviews
 
                 The Kingkiller Chronicle Book 2 : Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.  This is the sequel to the extraordinary The Name Of The Wind.  Picking up the tale of Kvothe Kingkiller once again, we follow him into exile, into policital intrigue, courtship, adventure, love and magic...and further along the path that has turned Kvothe, the mightiest magician of his age, into Kote, the unassuming pub landlord.Packed with as much magic, adventure and home-grown drama as The Name Of The Wind, this is a sequel in every way the equal to it's predecessor and a must-read for all fantasy fans. Readable, engaging and gripping The Wise Man's Fear is the biggest and the best new fantasy novel out there.