Now Is Not the Time to Panic
Kevin Wilson. Text Publishing. $22.99.
Sixteen-year-old Frankie Budge is determined to make it through yet another sad summer in Coalfield, Tennessee, when she meets Zeke, a talented artist who is as lonely and awkward as she is. They make an unsigned poster that becomes a phenomenon: copies are everywhere in town, and rumours start to fly about who might be behind them. Soon, the mystery has dangerous repercussions that spread further afield. Twenty years later, Frances Eleanor Budge - famous author, wife, and mother - gets a call that threatens to upend her life.
Dolly Alderton. Penguin. $34.99.
Jen stopped loving Andy and he can't figure out why. Now he's adrift on the sea of heartbreak at a time when everything he thought he knew about women, and flat-sharing, and his friendships, has transformed beyond recognition. Andy - who's trying to make it as a stand-up comedian - clings to the idea of solving the puzzle of their broken relationship. Because if he can find the answer to that, then maybe Jen can find her way back to him. Andy still has a lot to learn, not least his ex-girlfriend's side of the story.
Hunt on Dark Waters
Katee Robert. Penguin. $32.99.
This is the first book in a new fantasy romance series, Crimson Sails. from the bestselling author of the TikTok hit Neon Gods. Evelyn, a witch who steals from her vampire ex, goes through a portal into another realm called Threshold. She's rescued from the ocean by pirates and their telekinetic captain and is given the choice to join them or die. Will romantic sparks begin to fly between the captain and the new arrival?
November 9 - Special Edition
Colleen Hoover. Simon & Schuster. $32.99.
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon's last day in Los Angeles together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist. This collector's edition includes a couple of author Q&As and other special content.
William McInnes. Hachette Australia. $34.99.
Subtitled "A celebration of life and the words that make us who we are", this book is a collection of memories and moments inspired by Australia's way with words. If you've ever bunged it on, behaved like a drongo or lost your Reg Grundies, or even if you haven't you can discover some of the turns of phrase Australians have for any situation. Our love of plain speaking communicates the essence of the thing to our mates, to those in the know - and to those who should know better.
Your Face Belongs to Us: The Secretive Startup Dismantling Your Privacy
Kashmir Hill. Simon & Schuster Australia. $34.99.
The startup Clearview AI sold an app that claimed it could identify anyone using just a snapshot of their face and use the photo to find your name, your social media profiles, your friends and family - even your home address. Hill weaves the story of Clearview AI with an exploration of how facial recognition technology is reshaping our lives, from its use by governments and companies like Google and Facebook (who decided it was too radical to release) to the consequences of racial and gender biases baked into the AI. Soon it could expand the reach of policing - as it has in China and Russia - and lead us into a dystopian future.
Once a King: The Lost Memoir of Edward VIII.
Jane Marguerite Tippett. Hachette Australia. $34.99.
Fifteen years after having abdicated the throne to marry the woman he loved - Wallis Simpson - King Edward VIII, now the Duke of Windsor, published his memoirs. But while preparing the manuscript for his published and mostly ghostwritten book, the Duke also produced a private manuscript for posterity. This was written in his own words and with an uninhibited frankness. The unseen manuscript is reproduced here including much that he could or would not write for publication in 1951. Tippett weaves together Edward's writing alongside newly uncovered interviews with the Duke and Duchess, diary entries from ghostwriter Charles Murphy and other sources.
Courting: An Intimate History of Love and the Law
Alecia Simmonds. Black Inc/La Trobe University Press. $45.
Until well into the 20th century, jilted lovers in Australia could claim compensation for "breach of promise to marry". Hundreds of people, mostly from the working classes, came before the courts, and their stories give us an insight into the romantic landscape of the past - where couples met, how they courted, and what happened when flirtations turned sour. Eventually, pre-industrial romantic customs gave way to middle-class respectability, women used the courts to assert their rights, and the law eventually retreated from people's romantic lives - with women, Simmonds argues, losing out in the process.