Our Biggest Books of 2015! (Non-Fiction)

best sellers non

Our non-fiction readers had plenty to choose from this year, with books that run the gamut from cerebral to hilarious to heartbreaking.

  1. All Fall Down, Matthew Condon: The final installment in Condon’s meticulous recreation of the events leading up to the Fitzgerald Inquiry, shedding fascinating new light on the scandal’s major players.
  2. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates: A devastating letter from a father to his son, this slim volume lands with devastating impact. A deserving winner of the National Book Award.
  3. Flesh Wounds, Richard Glover: Somehow breaking new ground in the dysfunctional family memoir genre, Glover’s autobiography is hilarious, conversational and absurd.
  4. Island Home, Tim Winton: A timely memoir by Australia’s unofficial writer laureate that explores his personal connection to the natural world, as well as his country’s neglected responsibility for it.
  5. The Road to Little Dribbling, Bill Bryson: Fans of Bryson – of which there are no shortage – will love this unofficial sequel to Notes From a Small Island, which showcases the writer’s trademark wit.
  6. Not Just Black + White, Lesley and Tammy Williams: An account of the horrific treatment faced by aboriginal women, this is a breathtakingly powerful book combining the parallel stories of mother and daughter.
  7. Reckoning, Magda Szubanski: The year’s most pleasant surprise is this deeply serious memoir from one of Australia’s favourite funnywomen. Frequently heartbreaking and stunningly well written, it announces Magda as a new literary voice.
  8. The Bush, Don Watson: This much awarded book is the story of Australia’s relationship with the bush, an expansive and thoughtful exploration of how it informs our national identity.
  9. These Things Happen, Greg Fleet: A comedian’s story of his secret, decades-long battle with drugs, this is a brave and willfully unglamourous portrait of addiction.
  10. We Are Stardust, Stefan Klein: This anthology of interviews with some of the most brilliant scientific minds alive is a fascinating and accessible compendium of big ideas.

Our Biggest Books of 2015! (Fiction)

best sellers

This year brought us many phenomenal books, some of the reviews for which you can read on the blog. Here are the books our staff and customers adored, essential additions to your summer reading list.

  1. A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara: The year’s most unlikely blockbuster was this gut-wrenching tale of love and friendship, a book unlike anything we’ve ever encountered before.
  2. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr: Our bookclub’s unanimous favourite was this Pulitzer Prize winning World War II story.
  3. Brother of the More Famous Jack, Barbara Trapido: This rediscovered classic made us cackle and cry, and stakes Trapido’s claim as Jane Austen’s raunchy modern successor.
  4. Did You Ever Have a Family, Bill Clegg: A Man Booker longlisted debut novel that finds pure poetry in horror. A testament to the majesty of the mundane, it’s as deeply empathetic as the best work of Anne Tyler.
  5. Hope Farm, Peggy Frew: A gently uplifting story about a young girl’s coming-of-age in a commune, it explores mother-daughter relationships and the mark our childhoods leave on us.
  6. My Brilliant FriendElena Ferrante: The final installment in Ferrante’s Neapolitan Saga was released in English this year, making for the perfect opportunity to revisit where it began. A Tolstoyan epic of female frienship.
  7. The Promise SeedCass Moriarty: Stunning work from a local writer, this novel describes the friendship between a young boy and an old man both wearing deep scars from troubled upbringings.
  8. Salt Creek, Lucy Treloar: Brilliant historical fiction, Treloar unpicks the minutiae of Australia’s origins, dispelling many of our colonial myths in the process.
  9. The Secret Chord, Geraldine Brooks: A Biblical Game of Thrones, Brooks once again proves herself a writer of majestic prose with this retelling of King David’s tragic fall.
  10. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins: The most talked-about thriller of the year, Hawkins’ sensational mystery is a domestic noir worthy of Gone Girl.

Top 10: Non-Fiction

  1. Reckoning, Magda Szubanski
  2. Worst Words: A Compendium of Our Times, Don Watson
  3. Island Home, Tim Winton
  4. West With the Night, Beryl Markham
  5. One Life: My Mother’s Story, Kate Grenville
  6. Keating, Kerry O’Brien
  7. In Order to Live, Yeonmi Park
  8. The Anti-Cool Girl, Rosie Waterland
  9. Not Just Black and White, Lesley and Tammy Williams
  10. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Top 10: Fiction

  1. A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara
  2. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  3. Hope Farm, Peggy Frew
  4. The Natural Way of Things, Charlotte Wood
  5. The Promise Seed, Cass Moriarty
  6. The Secret Chord, Geraldine Brooks
  7. The Lake House, Kate Morton
  8. Napoleon’s Last Island, Thomas Kenneally
  9. The Story of the Lost Child, Elena Ferrante
  10. The Japanese Lover, Isabel Allende