Hands in the Dirt: Grow your own kai with Mrs Evans.
Leah Evans. Allen & Unwin. $45.
This how-to-garden book provides the basics of vegetable growing including 40 simple recipes. It begins with advice on how to start gardening and provids details about 11 easy-to-grow, nutritious kitchen-garden staples: beetroot, beans, broccoli, carrots, cucumber, herbs, pumpkin, leafy greens, potatoes, zucchini and tomatoes. Evans includes tips for pest and disease control, growing healthy crops and harvesting. There's information about garden-to-kitchen home cooking, basic preserving, inspiration for leftovers, and tasty, easy-to-make, hearty recipes.
Hope: How Street Dogs Taught Me the Meaning of Life.
Niall Harbison. HarperCollins. $32.99.
Born in Ireland, Niall Harbison owned a successful ad company. After selling it, he moved to Thailand where his addictions - drugs and alcohol - almost got the better of him. One day he woke up in hospital, close to death, and realised that something had to change. Now he spends his days feeding, caring for and rescuing the many street dogs he comes across. With every rescue there's a story. Like the sweet gentle McMuffin who was found with many tumours and hours from death, only to be nursed back to health. His aim is to help 10,000 street dogs.
Ground Breaking: Soil Security and Climate Change.
Philip & Freya Mulvey. Kerr Publishing. $34.95.
Zero carbon emissions alone won't stop global warming. Changes to the natural landscape from agricultural practices are a major cause of climate change. This book explains how modern farming methods deplete the soil and influence our climate, exporting heat waves, dust, and fire south-eastward in Eastern Australia and north-westward in Western America. It presents solutions too - managing land use to reduce bare ground, restore the small water cycle and sequester carbon in the soil on which life on Earth depends.
Storytellers: Questions, Answers and the Craft of Journalism.
Leigh Sales. Simon & Schuster Australia. $36.99.
Veteran ABC journalist Sales interviews the cream of Australian journalists about their craft - how (and why) they bring us the stories that inform our lives. In 10 sections - from News Reporting to Editing, via Investigative, Commentary and of course Interviewing - Sales get leaders in their field such as Hedley Thomas, Mia Freedman, Stan Grant, Trent Dalton, Tracy Grimshaw and Annabel Crabb to talk about how they get their leads, survive in war zones, write a profile, tell a story with pictures, and reveal their greatest lessons and their trade secrets.
Good as Gold.
Justin Smith. Penguin. $32.99.
From the author of Cooper Not Out comes a novel set in the gold rush era. In 1861, three campfires are burning outside the gold-mining town of Mull Creek. At the first is Jesus Whitetree, an escaped orphan who wants to find gold. At the second fire is the Jack Pink Gang, led by an obscure bushranger whose mother engages a bush poet to maker her son famous. And at the third fire is police constable Harry Logan with Mary, a young Aboriginal girl in his custody. With the announcement of the first Melbourne Cup, all three parties descend upon Melbourne town. The thrilling horse race offers something different for each of them.
Ordinary Gods and Monsters.
Chris Womersley. Pan Macmillan. $34.99.
Nick Wheatley has finished high school, but he isn't ready for the rest of his life. His parents are getting divorced, his sister is downright weird and his best friend and neighbour, Marion, seems to have acquired a boyfriend. One night, Marion's father is killed in a hit-and-run. There are no suspects and no leads. But a sly tip from the local psychic sends Nick and Marion into the undertow of a strange and sinister world they hadn't known existed in the suburbs - one of inscrutable gangsters, speed-dealing bikies and unpredictable, one-eyed conspiracy theorists.
Kerry McGinnis. Penguin. $32.99.
When Emily's beautiful cousin Aspen goes missing somewhere in the Outback, no one seems to take it seriously, not even the police. After all, Aspen has a history of drug use and a string of broken relationships to her name. Emily's search takes her south of Darwin to every road stop and tourist trap she can find. The only person who turns up is her ex-husband Ben. But there is a violent killer on the loose, a man the media have dubbed "The Outback Killer" - and after two brazen attempts on Emily's life, it soon becomes clear that someone wants Emily gone too.
Ann Patchett. Bloomsbury Publishing. $32.99.
In the spring of 2020, Lara's three daughters return to the family's orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theatre company called Tom Lake. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew. This is a meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents have led before their children were born.