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This month on Litty Committee: a must-read for miserable, albeit sorta hopeful millennials by Bridie Jabour, a thrilling debut set in rural Australia by Nicola West, and Paige Clark‘s moving debut She Is Haunted.

As always, a bunch of these babies are currently on sale on Booktopia. You know what to do.

Happy Endings by Bella Green

Litty Committee July
Pan Macmillan Australia.

About the book:

“Bella Green is a Sunday-afternoon sex worker. Divorced dads, IT nerds, international students – she’s here for the idiosyncrasies of human behaviour, for soothing the lonely. But really for the cash.

“From an entrepreneurial kid to a young woman trying to find herself (and desperate to stay out of call centres), Bella started sex work for the glamour and the taboo. Instead, she found her place in this surprisingly mundane and often entertaining industry, where the hierarchy is strict, the names are fake, and spare towels always come in handy.

“Taking us on a funny, candid, can’t-look-away journey through brothels, strip clubs, peep shows and dominatrix dungeons, Happy Endings is a hilarious and compelling memoir from a bright and bold new Australian voice.”

Category: Non-fiction

On sale: June 29, 2021

Price: Was $34.99, now $28.75.

The Mother Wound by Amani Haydar

Pan Macmillan Australia.

About the book:

“‘I am from a family of strong women.’

Amani Haydar suffered the unimaginable when she lost her mother in a brutal act of domestic violence perpetrated by her father. Five months pregnant at the time, her own perception of how she wanted to mother (and how she had been mothered) was shaped by this devastating murder.

“After her mother’s death, Amani began reassessing everything she knew of her parents’ relationship. They had been unhappy for so long – should she have known that it would end like this? A lawyer by profession, she also saw the holes in the justice system for addressing and combating emotional abuse and coercive control.

“Amani also had to reckon with the weight of familial and cultural context. Her parents were brought together in an arranged marriage, her mother thirteen years her father’s junior. Her grandmother was brutally killed in the 2006 war in Lebanon, adding complex layers of intergenerational trauma.

“Writing with grace and beauty, Amani has drawn from this a story of female resilience and the role of motherhood in the home and in the world. In The Mother Wound, she uses her own strength to help other survivors find their voices.”

Category: Non-fiction

On sale: June 29, 2021

Price: Was $34.99, now $26.25.

Setting Boundaries by Dr Rebecca Ray

Litty Committee July
Pan Macmillan Australia.

About the book:

“It is about pursuing the things that set our soul on fire, loving deeply without losing ourselves, and better resisting the demands and expectations of others.

Dr Rebecca Ray, Australian clinical psychologist and author, shows how boundaries are the key to many of the emotional and practical difficulties we encounter in daily life.

“Many of us, raised to be people-pleasers, find ourselves giving in to draining colleagues, friends, partners and relatives.

“In Setting Boundaries, Dr Ray shares science-based advice and tools to help you:

  • identify your boundaries and when they have been crossed
  • recognise the patterns and habits that have failed to support you to feel empowered
  • engage in difficult conversations from a place of strength and self-kindness
  • set clear, intentional boundaries and become your most loving, fulfilled and authentic self.

“Accessible, inspiring and deeply practical, Setting Boundaries ignites us to rethink our relationships, reclaim our lives and protect our mental health and wellbeing.”

Wow, I need this.

Category: Non-fiction

On sale: June 29, 2021

Price: Was $32.99, now $27.35.

On Politics And Stuff by Mark Humphries and Evan Williams

Hachette Australia.

About the book:

“If you love iambic pentameter, then look away because this book about Australian politics is pure prose, baby!

“This book is quite possibly the most comprehensive book on Australian politics ever written. That’s right, it covers both houses of parliament.

“We’ll take you inside the halls of power. And if we can’t actually get inside because of security, we’ll do some very fun speculating on what might be in there.

“One thing we know for sure is that this book is unputdownable. Something went wrong with the printing and it’s all sticky.”

Category: Non-fiction

On sale: June 30, 2021

Price: Was $16.99, now $15.25.

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

Litty Committee July
Simon & Schuster Australia.

About the book:

“Linh and Bao like each other. A lot. The only problem? Their families own rival pho restaurants and hate each other’s guts, so they have to keep their relationship a secret.

“But they can only steal kisses in dark alleys and the art room at school for so long. Can their love transcend an age-old feud and heal the rift between these two families? Or have these high school sweethearts bitten off more than they can chew?”

Goodreads has warned me that you should not read this book on an empty stomach.

Category: Fiction, young adult, romance

On sale: July 1, 2021

Price: Was $17.99, now $15.50.

Henry Hamlet’s Heart by Rhiannon Wilde

University of Queensland Press.

About the book:

From the 2019 winner of the Queensland Literary Awards Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer.

A sparkling queer YA romance set in Brisbane, Henry Hamlet’s Heart follows one guy and his sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking journey to love.

“Henry Hamlet doesn’t know what he wants after school ends. It’s his last semester of year twelve and all he’s sure of is his uncanny ability to make situations awkward.

“Luckily, he can always hide behind his enigmatic best friend, Len. They’ve been friends since forever, but where Len is mysterious, Henry is clumsy; where Len is a heart-throb, Henry is a neurotic mess. Somehow it’s always worked.

“That is, until Henry falls. Hard. For the last person he imagined.”

Category: Fiction, young adult, romance

On sale: July 2, 2021

Price: Was $19.99, now $17.50.

She Is Haunted by Paige Clark

Litty Committee July
Allen & Unwin.

About the book:

“I know lots of things now that I’m dead. Peter from Apartment Two has a spastic bladder. My former boss Morgan keeps her toenails in a gold jewellery box. My brother and his wife are trying for a baby. I always excuse myself before things get too heated.

“I don’t know much about my mother yet. I am waiting for grief to catch her, but she mostly seems ashamed of her body, of what it made.

“A mother cuts her daughter’s hair because her own starts falling out. A woman leaves her boyfriend because he reminds her of a corpse; another undergoes brain surgery to try to live more comfortably in higher temperatures. A widow physically transforms into her husband so that she does not have to grieve.

“In She Is Haunted, these renditions of the author search for recognition and connection, and, more than anything else, small moments of empathy. But in what world will she move beyond her haunted past and find compassion for herself?

“With piercing insights into transnational Asian identity, intergenerational trauma and grief, the dynamics of mother-daughter relationships, the inexplicable oddities of female friendship, and the love of a good dog, Paige Clark has crafted an exquisite, moving and sophisticated debut work of fiction. Full of wit and humour, She Is Haunted announces an entrancing new literary voice as contemporary as it is unique.”

Category: Fiction

On sale: July 2, 2021

Price: Was $29.99, now $24.25.

Escape From Manus by Jaivet Ealom

Penguin Australia.

About the book:

“The awe-inspiring story of the only person to successfully escape from Australia’s notorious offshore detention centre on Manus Island.

“In 2013 Jaivet Ealom fled Myanmar’s brutal regime and boarded a boat of asylum seekers bound for Australia. Instead of receiving refuge, he was transported to Australia’s infamous Manus Regional Processing Centre.

“Blistering hot days on the island turned into weeks, then years until, finally, facing either jail in Papua New Guinea or being returned to almost certain death in Myanmar, he took matters into his own hands. Drawing inspiration from the hit show Prison Break, Jaivet meticulously planned his escape. He made it out alive but was stateless, with no ID or passport. While the nightmare of Manus was behind him, his true escape to freedom had only just begun.

“How Jaivet made it to sanctuary in Canada in a six-month-long odyssey by foot, boat, car and plane is miraculous. His story will astonish, anger and inspire you. It will make you reassess what it means to give refuge and redefine what can be achieved by one man determined to beat the odds.”

Category: Non-fiction

On sale: July 2, 2021

Price: Was $34.99, now $27.75.

The Mismatch by Sara Jafari

Litty Committee July
Penguin Australia.

About the book:

“Soraya knows she could never fall for someone like Magnus. He’s her complete opposite in every way.

“Popular and confident, Magnus seems to have his life figured out, while Soraya has got to 21 and has somehow never been kissed.

“Soraya’s mother Neda also knows what it’s like to feel mismatched. She left Iran with her husband in the wake of revolution, and the aftershocks of that decision are still being felt decades later.

“When Soraya sets her sights on Magnus for her first kiss, the last thing she expects to find is first love.

“But sometimes the person you least expect might turn out to be the perfect fit…”

Category: Fiction, contemporary romance

On sale: July 2, 2021

Price: Was $19.99, now $19.50.

Trivial Grievances by Bridie Jabour

HarperCollins Australia.

About the book:

“In 2019, Bridie Jabour wrote a piece for the Guardian about the malaise of millennials and how the painful, protracted end of their adolescence is finally hitting home. They’re looking at their lives and thinking: ‘Is this it? Have I chosen the right place to live, the right job, the right partner? Am I, perhaps, not as special as I thought?’

“The article went viral overnight and Bridie decided the time had come to write a book about her generation – those much-maligned millennials. After all, she reasoned, this generation is coming of age in a unique set of social and economic circumstances, including precarious work, delayed baby-making, rising singledom, a heating planet, loss of religion, increased unstable housing and, now, a pandemic. But despite her assumption that this generation of 31-year-olds is the most miserable ever, she discovered that wasn’t the whole truth…

“Forthright, funny, incisive and provocative, Trivial Grievances is truly a book for our times, and for every 20- or 30-something-year-old anxious about their place in the world.”

ADD IT TO THE DAMN LIST.

Category: Non-fiction

On sale: July 7, 2021

Price: Was $34.99, $27.75.

Catch Us The Foxes by Nicola West

Litty Committee July
Simon & Schuster Australia.

About the book:

“Twin Peaks meets The Dry in a deliciously dark and twisted tale that unravels a small Australian country town.

“Ambitious young journalist Marlowe ‘Lo’ Robertson would do anything to escape the suffocating confines of her small home town. While begrudgingly covering the annual show for the local newspaper, Lo is horrified to discover the mutilated corpse of her best friend – the town’s reigning showgirl, Lily Williams.

“Seven strange symbols have been ruthlessly carved into Lily’s back. But when Lo reports her grisly find to the town’s police chief, he makes her promise not to tell anyone about the symbols. Lo obliges, though it’s not like she has much of a choice – after all, he is also her father.

“When Lily’s murder makes headlines around the country and the town is invaded by the media, Lo seizes the opportunity to track down the killer and make a name for herself by breaking the biggest story of her life.

“What Lo uncovers is that her sleepy home town has been harbouring a deadly secret, one so shocking that it will captivate the entire nation.

“Lo’s story will change the course of her life forever, but in a way she could never have dreamed of.”

Category: Fiction, mystery, crime

On sale: July 7, 2021

Price: Was $32.99, now $24.50.

Kooking With A Koori by Nathan Lyons

Simon & Schuster Australia.

About the book:

“Western Sydney dad Nathan Lyons regularly feeds his family of eight for just $8, and his #madfeedz videos have attracted more than 127,000 followers and more than 1.4 million likes. Kooking with a Koori is a collection of Nathan’s best recipes and more Indigenous Australian soul foods that won’t break the bank. His aim is to get Aussies back into the kitchen making their own meals instead of grabbing fast food. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to the kitchen and start making your own madfeedz!”

Category: Food

On sale: July 7, 2021

Price: Was $24.99, now $21.25.

Ace Of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Litty Committee July
HarperCollins Australia.

About the book:

“A compelling, incendiary, and unputdownable thriller with a shocking twist, Faridah Àbíke-Íyímíde delves deep into the heart of institutionalised racism with this compulsive debut.

“‘Hello, Niveus High. It’s me. Who am I? That’s not important. All you need to know is…I’m here to divide and conquer.’ – Aces

“Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light.

“Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public.

“Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power.

“Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game…”

Category: Fiction, thriller, action and adventure

On sale: July 7, 2021

Price: $20.25.

Other People’s Clothes by Calla Henkel

Hachette Australia.

About the book:

“2009. Berlin.

“Two art students arrive from New York, both desperate for the city to solve their problems.

“Zoe is grieving for her high school best friend, murdered months before in her hometown in Florida.

“Hailey is rich, obsessed with the exploits of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears and wants to be a Warholian legend.

“Together they rent a once-magnificent apartment from eccentric crime writer Beatrice Becks. With little to fill their time, they spend their nights twisting through Berlin’s club scene and their days hungover.

“Soon inexplicable things start happening in the apartment and the two friends suspect they are being watched by Beatrice. Convinced that their landlord is using their lives as inspiration for her next thriller novel, they decide to beat her at her own game. The girls start hosting wild parties in the flat and quickly gain notoriety, with everyone clamouring for an invite to ‘Beatrice’s.’ But ultimately they find themselves unable to control the narrative and it spirals into much darker territory…”

Category: Fiction, contemporary, thriller

On sale: July 13, 2021

Price: Was $32.99, now $26.25.

Small Joys of Real Life by Allee Richards

Litty Committee July
Hachette Australia.

About the book:

This debut from Allee Richards has been shortlisted for both The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers and the Victorian Premier’s Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.

“The night Eva shared a smile with Pat, something started. Two weeks later, lying together in her bed, Pat said, ‘You can’t live your life saying you’ll get around to doing something you know will make you happy. You just have to do it.’

“Eva didn’t know how devastating those words would turn out to be. Pat dies and the aftershock leaves Eva on unsteady ground. She is pregnant. And she has to make a choice.

“Suddenly, the world that she at times already questioned, her career, her roommates and friends, and life in the inner-city are all even harder to navigate. Her best friends, Sarah and Annie, are also dealing with the shifts and changes of their late 20s, and each of them will at times let the others down.

“Small Joys of Real Life is a poignant and unpredictable novel from an exciting new literary talent about how the life you have can change in an instant. It’s about friendship, desire, loss and growing up to accept that all you can do is be in the moment and look to find the joys in between.”

Category: Fiction

On sale: July 28, 2021

Price: Was $32.99, now $26.25.

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, Simon & Schuster Australia.