It’s happy birthday to us, as The Sun Bookshop turns 25 years old. In both The Younger Sun and The Sun Bookshop birthdays just mean a good excuse to indulge ourselves in more reading.
At The Sun Bookshop we have been loving Aphrodite’s Breath by Susan Johnson. We were lucky enough to have Susan Johnson and Dmetri Kakmi in conversation about Aphrodite’s Breath our first The Sun Reads at Eleni event. Susan is an ex-Yarraville resident and at the age of 60 took her mother who was 85 to live on a Greek Island for a year. Susan’s writing is beautiful, this book is filled with food, history, beauty, friendship and the, at times difficult, relationship between a daughter and her mother. Gorgeous. More of our faves at the Sun.
SMALL THINGS LIKE THESE
By Claire Keegan
Keegan’s novel is a rare encounter. Like Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, Small Things Like These threatens to be word-perfect, each sentence as precious as the next.
It’s almost Christmas 1985. For coal merchant Bill Furlough, it’s the busiest time of year. While making his deliveries, he encounters a young woman, naked, covered in excrement, locked up in the boiler room of a church. As Bill returns her to the convent, something doesn’t add up. In the days following, Bill struggles with his own complicity and responsibility to the young woman, reckoning with his own past and the undercurrent of complicity in this small Irish town.
Small Things Like These is a book that deals in silence and as such is economic in its words, but it’s also about generosity and this too is present in the almost artisanal prose. A deeply affecting novel about a troubling and fascinating aspect of Irelands’ recent past.
THIS DEVASTATING FEVER
By Sophie Cunningham
What an intriguing creature this novel is. As the opening pages introduce you to two apparently separate stories you may wonder where the whole thing is going. Yet as the book hits its stride you enter a beautifully crafted two-track narrative, both stories effortlessly weaving together.
One story explores the life story of Leonard Woolf, husband of Virginia, sexually repressed administrator in colonial Ceylon, core member of the Bloomsbury Set and prolific author. The other, a vaguely tortured Melbourne author struggling valiantly to complete a long-overdue novel about Leonard Woolf.
Dual narrative novels often risk the reader enjoying one story over the other, a restlessness descending each time the less-favoured narrative appears. There was no such issue with THIS DEVASTATING FEVER. The totality of the journey, completely absorbing
This utterly original book is a fascinating portrait of writing lives and by the end I really did wonder if I’d just encountered a quiet work of genius.
By Curtis Sittenfeld
New York script-writer, Sally Milz, is most definitely in the top percentile for cleverness. She has worked insanely hard to succeed in the cut-throat world of TV writing and is part of a crack team who, under huge pressure, produce a SNL-style live comedy show each and every week.
With a front row seat to the gender politics of celebrity culture, Sally develops a theory of how plain men in that world are able to punch above their weight with the beautiful, smart young women they attract. As a mature woman, a serious creative and a professional gun who does not really rate in the economy of female ‘hotness’, Sally has pretty much given up on finding love. Which she is fine with, until she meets the rather gorgeous pop idol, Noah Brewster, and soon life is turned on its head.
At the Younger Sun there are always new worlds for the younger people in our lives to explore.
The Deadlands: Hunted
By Skye Melki-Wegner
$16.99 Recommended for ages 9 to 12
Deadlands: Hunted is a must-read for anyone looking for an adrenaline-filled book full of action and adventure. The story follows a group of young out-cast dinosaurs – and former enemies, fighting to survive as the last dinosaur kingdoms wage war.
‘Eleri is an oryctodromeus, a small dinosaur raised in an underground warren. He dreams of becoming his herd’s storyteller but when he saves an enemy soldier from a pterosaur attack, he is exiled to the Deadlands. To survive this scorched desert full of carnivores, he joins a herd of other young exiles, including a peppy stegosaur, a stoic sauropod, an irritable triceratops … and a mysterious spy. Can five young misfits save their warring kingdoms?’
It’s like Wings of Fire meets Jurassic Park! The characters are delightful, the plot is thrilling, and the world-building is exceptional. The best part is that this is the first in a series so we can look forward to more.
Reviewed by Jenny
Life In A Hollow
By David Gullan and Suzanne Houghton
$24.99 Recommended for ages 3-9
Life in a Hollow is a delightful picture story book that shares with little people the wonder and beauty of nature. The story follows the creatures that help create and then live in a tree hollow in the Australian bush. Tree hollows are very special places that provide animals, both big and small, with a space to nest and feel safe. Follow the fascinating journey from a fallen bough, to the arrival of insects that burrow into the wood, to lizards, bats, birds and possums who all find a safe haven in the tree hollow. The illustrations by Suzanne Houghton are just as captivating as the story. They capture the beauty and wonder of nature and make this book a must-have for anyone who loves the outdoors.
Reviewed by Jenny
By Kate J Armstrong
$24.99 Recommended for ages 14+
Nightbirds has everything you could want in a YA fantasy book. The world Kate J Armstrong creates is full of magic and adventure, with a thrilling plot filled with political intrigue. It left us all wanting more!
The Nightbirds, teenage girls from the Great Houses with magic coursing through their veins, are the best kept secret since magic is outlawed. They are protected and known as treasures among the Great Houses. Each one is meant to marry a Great House lord, but three of the girls have other plans. They soon learn their magic is much more than what they were told.
We can’t wait to read the next instalment in this brilliant new series.