Benn's Book Club

Title: 
Australian History in 7 Questions
Author: 
John Hirst

'If there are genuine questions about Australian history, there is something to puzzle over. The history ceases to be predictable—and dull.'

From the author of The Shortest History of Europe, acclaimed historian John Hirst, comes this fresh and stimulating approach to understanding Australia's past and present.

Hirst asks and answers questions that get to the heart of Australia's history:

Title: 
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Author: 
Karen Joy Fowler

By the author of worldwide bestseller The Jane Austen Book Club: you can't choose your family, but they can make choices for you. Big, life-defining choices.

Rosemary's young, just at college, and she's decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we're not going to tell you too much either: you'll have to find out for yourselves what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life.

Title: 
Stasiland
Author: 
Anna Funder

Truth can be stranger—and more fascinating—than fiction. Anna Funder tells extraordinary stories from the underbelly of the most perfected surveillance state of all time, the former East Germany.

Funder meets Miriam, the sixteen-year-old who might have started World War III. She visits the regime's cartographer, obsessed to this day with the Berlin Wall, then gets drunk with the legendary 'Mik Jegger' of the east, once declared by the authorities 'no longer to exist'. And she finds spies and Stasi men, still loyal to the Firm as they wait for the next revolution.

Title: 
The Rosie Project
Author: 
Graeme Simsion

The feel-good novel of 2013, The Rosie Project is a classic screwball romance.

Don Tillman is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet.

But he has designed the Wife Project, using a sixteen-page questionnaire to help him find the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also fiery and intelligent and beautiful. And on a quest of her own to find her biological father—a search that Don, a professor of genetics, might just be able to help her with.

Title: 
Lowland
Author: 
Jhumpa Lahiri

Two brothers bound by tragedy; a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past; a country torn by revolution: the most powerful and ambitious novel yet.

From Subhash's earliest memories, at every point, his brother was there. In the suburban streets of Calcutta where they wandered before dusk and in the hyacinth-strewn ponds where they played for hours on end, Udayan was always in his older brother's sight.

Title: 
Frankenstein
Author: 
Mary Shelley

One of the greatest horror stories ever written - a scientist's quest to create life has nightmarish consequences that threaten everything he holds dear.

'It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open . . .'

What you create can destroy you.

Title: 
Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport
Author: 
Anna Krien

'The Pies beat the Saints and the city of Melbourne was still cloaked in black and white crepe paper when the rumour of a pack rape by celebrating footballers began to surface . . . And so, as police were confiscating bedsheets from a townhouse in South Melbourne, the trial by media began.'

What does a young footballer do to cut loose? At night, some play what they think of as pranks, or games: night games with women. Sometimes these involve consensual sex, sometimes not, and often the lines are blurred.

Title: 
Burial Rights
Author: 
Hannah Kent

In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men.

Title: 
The Narrow Road To The Deep North
Author: 
Richard Flanagan

A novel of the cruelty of war, and tenuousness of life and the impossibility of love.

August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever.

Title: 
The Luminaries
Author: 
Eleanor Catton

The astonishing and epic second novel from the prize-winning author of The Rehearsal - a sure contender for every major literary prize.

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