Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Good deeds at Christmas : Buy a present for a local Sudanese child

The Younger Sun (in cahoots with the Sun) bookshop is going to be giving a bunch of books as Christmas presents to young Sudanese children this year. The majority of these kids have arrived in Australia as refugees or are the children of refugees from South Sudan.

Most of these kids are otherwise unlikely to receive anything at Christmas and by giving books we're also increasing their access to reading materials within their homes. So if you would like to donate a book too - you can! Just come into the shop and choose one you think is great.

The books will be distributed amongst young Sudanese families in Melbourne's west by the Lost Boys Association.

Already our hearts have been warmed by the generosity of our customers. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Win Keith Richard's Life...autographed!

The Sun Bookshop is giving away an exclusive signed copy of Keith Richards' biography!

Just buy a copy of Life - a Christmas present perhaps - and you are instantly in the running to win a copy signed by the man himself.
We aren't kidding around.
Enter today!
Right now!

With the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the riffs, the lyrics and the songs that roused the world, and over four decades he lived the original rock and roll life: taking the chances he wanted, speaking his mind, and making it all work in a way that no one before him had ever done.Now, at last, the man himself tells us the story of life in the crossfire hurricane. And what a life. Creating immortal riffs such as the ones in 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' and 'Street Fighting Man' and 'Honky Tonk Women'. Falling in love with Anita Pallenberg and the death of Brian Jones. Marriage, family and the road that goes on forever.In a voice that is uniquely and intimately his own, with the disarming honesty that has always been his trademark, Keith Richards brings us the essential life story of our times.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Michael Hyde : All along the watchtower

All along the watchtower, Michael Hyde (Vulgar Press)

Local author Michael Hyde has written a memoir of his years as an activist during the 1960s and his opposition to Australia's involvement in the Vietnam war, his trips to China and Cambodia - and he has also given us a wonderful insight into the life of young, political and wild youths of that time.

Michael is fortunate enough to have recently recovered his ASIO file and he found that writing All along the watchtower was so much easier with with all the records of his phone calls, movements - and photos too!

The book is being released to coincide with an SBS documentary on Michael.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Review : Hand Me Down World

Hand Me Down World, Lloyd Jones (Text Publishing)

Lloyd Jones, author of the wonderful and highly acclaimed novel Mr Pip, has produced another gem. An African woman washes up on the shores of Sicily, after fleeing Tunisia to search for her kidnapped son, her destination is Berlin and we travel the journey with her as the world literally hands her down. Ines, is almost unknowable for the first half of the book, we see her journey through the eyes of those she encounters along the way. Her story is a chimera, a jigsaw of different perspectives gathered by the investigator on her tail and the truth is never clear, even her real name is unknown. The only thing that is always apparent is the powerful love for her son, and the determination to be with him that drives her forward against tremendous odds. When the investigator catches up to her, we finally hear her story told in her own voice pulling apart all that has come before it. The unique structure, the masterful writing, and the heartbreaking picture that it illustrates of the life of a refugee all make this a brilliant and timely novel.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Preincarnate - Shaun Micallef

Shaun Micallef at the Sun Bookshop

Thursday 9 December


Help celebrate Shaun's first novel


For more information click here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saraban: a chef's journey through Persia

Saraban: a chef's journey through Persia, Greg and Lucy Malouf.
How majestic! So sumptuous!

Following on from the success of their award-winning books, Saha and Turquoise, Greg and Lucy Malouf now explore one of the world's earliest and greatest empires: Saraban is an unforgettable journey through the culinary landscapes of ancient Persia and modern-day Iran. Persian cooking is one of the oldest and most sophisticated cuisines in the world and its influence has spread across India and the Middle East to North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula and even through Medieval Europe. It's a cuisine that is subtle, elegant and alluring, which rejoices in rice, uses fresh herbs in abundance and combines meat, fish, fruit and vegetables with exotic spices, such as saffron, cardamom and dried limes. In Saraban, Greg and Lucy discover a land where the rich diversity of climate, countryside, architecture and poetry provide a fitting background for an equal variety and richness of cuisine. Join them as they visit bustling bazaars and tiny soup kitchens, pick saffron before dawn and fish, in time-honoured tradition, from wooden dhows in the Persian Gulf.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

'Just add flour, salt, a little red wine ...'

How to Make Gravy: A to Z, A Mongrel Memoir, Paul Kelly (Penguin)

We are big Paul Kelly fans. His CDs are on high rotation at the Sun and we know all the words. This is one of the reasons we were so excited about his autobiography. The other reason is that it's awesome. Come and check it out.

from publisher's website: This extraordinary book had its genesis in a series of concerts first staged in 2004. Over four nights Paul Kelly performed, in alphabetical order, one hundred of his songs from the previous three decades. In between songs he told stories about them, and from those little tales grew How to Make Gravy, a memoir like no other. Each of its hundred chapters, also in alphabetical order by song title, consists of lyrics followed by a story, the nature of the latter taking its cue from the former. Some pieces are confessional, some tell Kelly's personal and family history, some take you on a road tour with the band, some form an idiosyncratic history of popular music, some are like small essays, some stand as a kind of how-to of the songwriter's art – from the point of inspiration to writing, honing, collaborating, performing, recording and reworking.

Paul Kelly is a born storyteller. Give him two verses with a chorus or 550 pages, but he won't waste a word. How to Make Gravy is a long volume that's as tight as a three-piece band. There isn't a topic this man can't turn his pen to – contemporary music and the people who play it, football, cricket, literature, opera, social issues, love, loss, poetry, the land and the history of Australia … there are even quizzes. The writing is insightful, funny, honest, compassionate, intelligent, playful, erudite, warm, thought-provoking. Paul Kelly is a star with zero pretensions, an everyman who is also a renaissance man. He thinks and loves and travels and reads widely, and his musical memoir is destined to become a classic – it doesn't have a bum note on it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Fable of all our Lives

The fable of all our lives, Peter Kocan (Fourth Estate)

If you start Peter Kocan's (author of The treatment and the cure and Fresh fields) latest novel in the morning, you will find that by the time you look up and around for perhaps a cup of tea or something to eat, it will already be late in the afternoon, or perhaps even time to watch Margaret and David on a Wednesday night.

The fable of all our lives is the story of Tait, a poet who has received a prestigeous arts grant and set up his house in a small rural town and begun to integrate himself into the tight-knit community. He is also freshly released from a ten-year stint in an institution - where he was serving his life sentence for a crime we are not privvy to at the novel's open.

There are characters galore - they truly make this novel. Some quirky, others frightening, all are fascinating. Tait also explores writing, history, philosophy. It's the perfect novel - intelligent but packed with the intricacies of life - for a long Sunday reading.

And from the publisher's website:
With a rich array of characters, and a potent blend of passion, lyricism and comedy, The Fable of All Our Lives will pose for readers the same question it poses for its protagonist: to what and to whom do we choose to belong?

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Howard Jacobson has won the prestigeous Man Booker Prize* for his novel The Finkler Question.

from the publisher's website:

Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular and disappointed BBC worker, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they've never quite lost touch with each other - or with their former teacher, Libor Sevick, a Czechoslovakian always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results.
Now, both Libor and Finkler are recently widowed, and with Treslove, his chequered and unsuccessful record with women rendering him an honorary third widower, they dine at Libor's grand, central London apartment. It's a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove themselves to a time before they had loved and lost; a time before they had fathered children, before the devastation of separations, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. Better, perhaps, to go through life without knowing happiness at all because that way you had less to mourn?
Treslove finds he has tears enough for the unbearable sadness of both his friends' losses. And it's that very evening, at exactly 11:30pm, as Treslove hesitates a moment outside the window of the oldest violin dealer in the country as he walks home, that he is attacked. After this, his whole sense of who and what he is will slowly and ineluctably change.
The Finkler Question is a scorching story of exclusion and belonging, justice and love, ageing, wisdom and humanity. Funny, furious, unflinching, this extraordinary novel shows one of our finest writers at his brilliant best.

Keep your eyes peeled for a Sun Bookshop staff review of this remarkable book.

*He gets 50,000 pounds for winning this prize. That's around $80,000...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Book Signing Saturday 9th October

Brad "Johnno" Johnson, former captain of the Western Bulldogs, will be at the Sun Bookshop on

Saturday the 9th (that's tomorrow, folks!)

at 9.30am

Come along and celebrate the launch of his memoir

Johnno: Bulldog Through and Through

(Michael Joseph Publishing)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Australia's fiction

Bereft, Chris Womersley (Scribe)

It is 1919. The Great War has ended, but the Spanish flu epidemic is raging through Australia. Schools are closed, state borders are guarded by armed men and train travel is severely restricted. There are rumours it is the end of the world. In the NSW town of Flint, Quinn Walker returns to the home he fled ten years earlier when he was falsely accused of an unspeakable crime. Aware that his father and uncle would surely hang him, Quinn hides in the hills surrounding Flint. There, he meets a mysterious young girl called Sadie Fox, who encourages him to seek justice — and seems to know more about the crime than she should. A searing gothic novel of love, longing, and revenge, Bereft is about the suffering endured by those who go to war and those who are forever left behind.

Dead Man’s Chest, Kerry Greenwood (Allen & Unwin)

Travelling at high speed in her beloved Hispano-Suiza accompanied by her maid and trusted companion Dot, her two adoptive daughters Jane and Ruth and their dog Molly, The Hon Miss Phryne Fisher is off to Queenscliff. She'd promised everyone a nice holiday by the sea with absolutely no murders, but when they arrive at their rented accommodation that doesn't seem likely at all. An empty house, a gang of teenage louts, a fisherboy saved, and the mystery of a missing butler and his wife seem to lead inexorably towards a hunt for buried treasure by the sea. But what information might the curious Surrealists be able to contribute? Phryne knows to what depths people will sink for greed but with a glass of champagne in one hand and a pearl-handled Beretta in the other, no-one is getting past her.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Freedom: A Novel, Jonathan Franzen

I cannot rave enough about Freedom, it is absolutely brilliant. Franzen has produced another insightful family drama with characters and relationships that continue to resonate long after I turned the last page. Walter Berglund is a bike riding environmental lawyer, and Patty rebels against her high profile Democrat family and chooses to devote herself to her children rather than pursue a career. Both try to create a perfect world for their children but of course mistakes are made. Richard the enigmatic musician and Walter’s best friend is a constant presence (and source of friction) in their lives. At times funny, at times tragic but always totally engaging. Freedom is a testament to Franzen’s literary genius and is destined to become a modern classic.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our Tragic Universe, Scarlett Thomas

From the author of the brilliant, physics-inspired sci-fi-ish novel The End of Mr Y comes Our Tragic Universe. Looking at it one way, not a lot happens in this book. But if you look at it at a certain angle a whole mess of ideas (some unfinished and others half-realised) come spilling out. The protagonist, Meg, is struggling to write her ‘proper’ novel – instead distracted by the formulaic genre novels she churns out to pay for her rather meagre existence, which amounts to a damp flat in Devon with her unemployed (and quite frankly rather whingy) boyfriend Christopher and her dog B (who is very intelligent) and a cast of brilliantly curious characters (including a mysterious Beast). Lit up in lights, screaming at her for attention is the uncomfortable (but pleasurable) truth about the kiss Meg shared with the handsome, older, curator of the local museum (and how she mostly wishes it would happen again). Thomas leads us down one-way streets, to dead ends, leaves one three-page, involved philosophical musing to head off down another. She explores the mechanics and methods of writing – the ‘storyless story’, the death of the author, metafiction – as well as philosophy, Zen Buddhism, poltergeists, magic, ships in bottles, fame and whether or not we’re actually all living in some kind of fictional Second World without ever knowing it.

What happens in Our Tragic Universe is what happens after Meg reads a book she thinks she’s supposed to review and it turns out hadn’t ever sent it to her to review in the first place.

Monday, September 20, 2010

September Bookclub : Jasper Jones

The bookclub book for September is Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey (Allen & Unwin)
Wednesday 29th September at 8pm and we meet at Corner Shop, on the corner of Ballarat and Canterbury streets, Yarraville.
Jasper Jones is highly acclaimed, and was one of our favourite books of 2009. We are offering all customers 10% off Jasper Jones for the month of September.

Overall Winner, Indie Book of the Year Award 2009
Winner, Indie Book of the Year 2009 - Fiction
Shortlisted, Miles Franklin Literary Award 2010
Shortlisted, 2010 NSW Premier's Literary Award - Christina Stead Prize for fiction
Shortlisted, 2009 Western Australia Premier's Literary Award (Fiction)