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This month on Litty Committee: a whole lot of GOOD STUFF. Seriously, a handful of brilliant books celebrated / will celebrate their birthdays this month and I can’t wait to dig in. Let’s do this.

As always, a bunch of these books are on sale on Booktopia right now.

How To Start A Side Hustle by Kaylene Langford

Litty Committee August
Hardie Grant Publishing.

About the book:

“How to Start a Side Hustle is a fun and easy-to-read guide that will help you design a viable business model and bring your ideas to market. Packed with practical tips, hacks and advice from both professional business people and unconventional company founders, this pocket-sized guide will take you through the process of starting your own business in a straightforward and accessible way.

“This book will help you to identify your passion and purpose, refine your business idea (why, when, who, how?), and assist you with brand execution and marketing.

“Entrepreneur and coach Kaylene Langford will provide you with the right tools you need to build a strong business model and set you up so you continue to kick goals. Featuring inspirational quotes from industry leaders, this guide also provides activities for you to work through along the way and mindset hacks to ensure you don’t lose confidence. Setting up a business can be a rollercoaster, but How to Start a Side Hustle is the perfect companion to guide you through the process!”

Category: Non-fiction

On sale: July 7, 2021

Price: $17.50 (RRP $19.99)

Gods And Monsters by Shelby Mahurin

HarperCollins Australia.

About the book:

“Evil always seeks a foothold. We must not give it one. The electrifying conclusion to the New York Times and Indiebound bestselling Serpent & Dove series is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Kendare Blake.

“Lou has spent her whole life running. Now, after a crushing blow from Morgane, the time has come to go home—and claim what is rightfully hers.

“But this is no longer the Lou her friends knew. No longer the Lou who captured a chasseur’s heart. A darkness has settled over her, and this time it will take more than love to drive it out.”

This is the last book in Mahurin’s Serpent & Dove series, the books responsible for plunging me into a young adult, fantasy phase for months now.

Category: Fiction, young adult

On sale: July 28, 2021

Price: $17.50 (RRP $19.99)

Nothing But My Body by Tilly Lawless

Litty Committee August
Allen & Unwin.
About the book:

“‘People always ask if I enjoy the sex I have with clients or if I have to fake it, as if the two are mutually exclusive and the interplay between them isn’t more complex. In actuality, it depends. And I’m not sure what people are threatened by more – that I don’t always love it, or that I don’t always hate it.’

“Nothing But My Body is an eight-day journey through the mind of a young woman, a queer sex worker in Australia, as she navigates breakups and infatuation across just over a year.

“The unnamed narrator’s voice is both fierce and vulnerable, defiant and tender, as she explores the interplay between her external and internal world, and the fluctuations of her emotions as love affairs intensify and wane. Her loneliness is assuaged by her beloved chosen family – her friends – and by the beauty of the natural world.

“Set during the cataclysmic bushfire season of 2019 and into the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, sex work is the constant backdrop of the story as it moves between Sydney, Berlin, Orange and Bellingen. The beauty of the writing and the moving and deeply engaging sense of compassion that threads through this remarkable novel give true meaning to the concepts of inclusivity and community in surprising and original ways.”

Category: Auto-fiction

On sale: August 3, 2021

Price: $22.50 (RRP $29.99)

Muddy People by Sara El Sayed

Black Inc. Books

About the book:

“Soos is coming of age in a household with a lot of rules. No bikinis, despite the Queensland heat. No boys, unless he’s Muslim. And no life insurance, not even when her father gets cancer.

“Soos is trying to balance her parents’ strict decrees with having friendships, crushes and the freedom to develop her own values. With each rule Soos comes up against, she is forced to choose between doing what her parents say is right and following her instincts. When her family falls apart, she comes to see her parents as flawed, their morals based on a muddy logic. But she will also learn that they are her strongest defenders.”

Category: Memoir

On sale: August 3, 2021

Price: $24.25 (RRP $29.99)

28 by Brandon Jack

Litty Committee August
Allen & Unwin.

About the book:

“Continually told he was born with footballing blood, Brandon Jack has spent his life uncertain of the relationship he holds with the games he’s played.

“Now a writer and musician, he sits in his apartment and reflects upon the years spent pursuing what felt like an inevitability – the footballing life.

“This is a unique and darkly poetic fly-on-the-wall account of a world that is usually shown in bright lights. Filled with relentlessly driven diary entries, vivid details of life at the fringe, and memories of binge-drinking into oblivion as an escape during his playing days at the Sydney Swans, 28 is a portrayal of the sporting psyche in a way that has never been done before.

“But the true beauty of this book lies in the space outside football. Laid bare on these pages is a searingly honest deep dive into sport, addiction, art, sexuality, masculinity, love, family and identity.”

Category: Memoir

On sale: August 3, 2021

Price: $22.50 (RRP $29.99)

Sugar Town Queens by Malla Nunn

Allen & Unwin.

About the book:

“From the award-winning author of the CBCA shortlisted When the Ground is Hard, comes a stunning portrait of a family divided and an uplifting story of how friendship saves and heals.

“Fifteen-year-old Amandla’s mother has always been strange. For starters, she’s a white woman living in Sugar Town, one of South Africa’s infamous shanty towns. She won’t tell anyone, not even Amandla, about her past. And she has visions, including ones that promise the return of Amandla’s father as if he were a prince in a fairytale, but their hardscrabble life is no fairytale.

“Amandla knows her father is long gone – since before Amandla was born – and she’s pretty sure he’s not a prince. He’s just another mystery and missing piece of her mother’s past, and one of the many reasons people in Sugar Town give them strange looks – that and the fact that Amandla is black and her mother is not.

“Lately, her mother has been acting even more strangely, so when Amandla finds a mysterious address at the bottom of her mother’s purse along with a large amount of cash, she decides it’s finally time to get answers about her mother’s life. With her best friends by her side, Amandla is ready to take on the devil himself, and as she confronts devastating family secrets and pain that has lasted a generation, taking on the devil is exactly what she must do.”

Category: Fiction, young adult

On sale: August 3, 2021

Price: $17.50 (RRP $19.99)

Reputation by Lex Croucher

Litty Committee August
Allen & Unwin.

About the book:

“Abandoned by her parents, middle-class Georgiana Ellers has moved to a new town to live with her dreary aunt and uncle. At a particularly dull party, she meets the enigmatic Frances Campbell, a wealthy member of the in-crowd who lives a life Georgiana couldn’t have imagined in her wildest dreams.

“Lonely and vulnerable, Georgiana falls in with Frances and her unfathomably rich, deeply improper friends. Georgiana is introduced to a new world: drunken debauchery, mysterious young men with strangely arresting hands, and the upper echelons of Regency society.

“But the price of entry to high society might just be higher than Georgiana is willing to pay…”

A witty rom-com to fill the Bridgerton-size hole in my heart? SIGN ME UP.

Category: Fiction

On sale: August 3, 2021

Price: $17.50 (RRP $19.99)

Cult Following by Bexy Cameron

Allen & Unwin.

About the book:

Bexy Cameron grew up in the notorious Children of God cult, where the concept of family means something very different to what we are all used to. One of 12 children, her parents were the face of the cult in the UK, and through occasional glimpses of the world outside, she held on to a spark of resilience and resistance which grew into a flame.

“Long after her escape from the cult and now a successful filmmaker, Bexy could no longer ignore her need for answers to questions that had haunted her for a decade. Why were her parents still in the cult? Can these places so renowned for evil ever be a force for good as their acolytes so fervently believe they are? Determined to find peace, she set off on a road trip across America to explore the hold cults still hold today.

“We all know that our childhoods can cast long, dragging shadows. But can you ever truly come to terms with what you’ve been through? What does it actually take?”

Category: Non-fiction

On sale: August 3, 2021

Price: $24.25 (RRP $29.99)

Operation Jungle by John Shobbrook

Litty Committee August
University of Queensland Press.

About the book:

“In the late 1970s, criminal mastermind John Milligan and his associates conspired to import heroin into Far North Queensland via a remote mountain top airdrop. In a story that is stranger than fiction, it took them three trips through dense jungle to locate the heroin, but they only recovered one of the two packages.

“When narcotics agent John Shobbrook took on the investigation of this audacious crime, codenamed ‘Operation Jungle’, his career was on the rise within the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. What he discovered unwittingly set in motion a chain of events that not only destroyed his own career, but led to the disbanding of the Narcotics Bureau.

“Operation Jungle is a gripping true story about the high cost of truth and the far-reaching tentacles of greed and corruption that cross state borders and legal jurisdictions.”

TRUE STORY.

Category: True crime

On sale: August 3, 2021

Price:$26.25 (RRP $32.99)

The Long Game by Simon Rowell

Text Publishing.

About the book:

“A summer of relentless heat. A local surfer named Ray Carlson is found dead in a house not far from Portsea back beach. There’s a kitchen knife deep in his chest, and blood everywhere.

“Detective Sergeant Zoe Mayer is scarcely back from extended leave, and still wrestling with her demons, but she is assigned the case—alongside her new service dog, Harry, whose instincts help her in unexpected ways.

“There’s an obvious suspect for the murder, and Zoe makes an arrest. But it’s all too neat, and none of Zoe’s colleagues believes her theory that the whole thing is a stitch-up.

“Except now someone is trying to hunt Zoe down.

“Superbly plotted, and vividly set in the beachside suburbs and hilly retreats around Melbourne, The Long Game is a mystery about a tough and clever investigator who won’t give up.”

Category: Fiction, crime, mystery

On sale: August 3, 2021

Price: $26.25 (RRP $32.99)

How To Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie

Litty Committee August
HarperCollins Australia.

About the book:

“I have killed several people (some brutally, others calmly) and yet I currently languish in jail for a murder I did not commit.

“When I think about what I actually did, I feel somewhat sad that nobody will ever know about the complex operation that I undertook. Getting away with it is highly preferable, of course, but perhaps when I’m long gone, someone will open an old safe and find this confession. The public would reel. After all, almost nobody else in the world can possibly understand how someone, by the tender age of 28, can have calmly killed six members of her family. And then happily got on with the rest of her life, never to regret a thing.

“A wickedly dark romp about class, family, love… and murder.”

Sounds like a light read!

Category: Fiction (you’d hope so)

On sale: August 3, 2021

Price: $24.25, (RRP $22.99)

The Turnout by Megan Abbott

Hachette Australia.

About the book:

“With their long necks and matching buns and pink tights, Dara and Marie Durant have been dancers since they can remember. Growing up, they were trained by their glamorous mother, founder of the Durant School of Dance. After their parents’ death in a tragic accident nearly a dozen years ago, the sisters began running the school together, along with Charlie, Dara’s husband and once their mother’s prized student. The three have perfected a dance that keeps the studio thriving.

But when a suspicious accident occurs, just at the onset of the school’s annual performance of The Nutcracker – a season of competition, anxiety, and exhilaration – an interloper arrives and threatens their delicate balance.”

Category: Fiction, mystery

On sale: August 10, 2021

Price: $26.25, (RRP $32.99)

Anything But Fine by Tobias Madden

Litty Committee August
Penguin Australia.

About the book:

“A heartfelt and hilarious Australian YA debut from a rising star.

“Luca is ready to audition for the Australian Ballet School. All it takes to crush his dreams is one missed step… and a broken foot.

“Jordan is the gorgeous rowing star and school captain of Luca’s new school. Everyone says he’s straight – but Luca’s not so sure…

“As their unlikely bond grows stronger, Luca starts to wonder: who is he without ballet? And is he setting himself up for another heartbreak?”

Category: Fiction, young adult, romance

On sale: August 31, 2021

Price: $17.50 (RRP $19.99)

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

Allen & Unwin.

About the book:

“When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her long-time boyfriend announces that he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too.

“Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.

“That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex – he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she herself has just begun to understand.

“However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family, she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that they also have to fight for themselves.”

Helen Hoang is the author behind The Kiss Quotient, and is an absolute master of writing romance.

Category: Fiction

On sale: August 31, 2021.

Price: $25.25.

Litty Committee is Pedestrian.TV’s twice-monthly book column. Every month, we’ll take you through the newest reads and spotlight a novel we think you might like.

You can catch up on our other Litty Committee recommendations here

Image: HarperCollins Australia, Allen & Unwin, Penguin Australia,