Posted by: Lisa Hill | August 14, 2015

2015 My loot from National Bookshop Day

S T Gill and his AudiencesI was in Bendigo for the #BWF Writers Festival on National Bookshop Day so I couldn’t shop local, but I joined in the fun at the Dymock’s Festival Bookshop after Sasha Grishin’s session because, well, I just had to have copy of the irresistible S T Gill and his Audiences …

(If you can’t have the paintings on your wall, at least you can have the book, right?)

A Guide to BerlinThen, during the week, I went to my favourite local bookshops.   Ulysses Bookstore Sandringham is where I’ve bought some of our best cookbooks, but this time I bought Gail Jones’ new novel, A Guide to Berlin.  I haven’t been a fan of Gail Jones’ writing style, but this one has had rave reviews, (see this one from Susan Wyndham in the SMH) so I’ve put my hand in my pocket to try one this author more time.  After all, six strangers connected by a love of Nabokov does sound enticing … and it’s a stunning cover too.


The Buried GiantAfter that it was off to Kidna Books (422 Hampton St, Hampton) (no website, it seems, but excellent friendly service, and a fabulous range of books for kids and also some lovely colouring books for adults.  This is the latest fad, it seems, but actually, the research apparently shows that colouring in for adults is an excellent stress-buster, especially if you are not the sort of person to take to meditating.)  Kidna Books is the best place to go to buy gorgeous greeting cards for bookish friends, and I also picked up a copy of Kazuo Ishiguro’s new The Buried Giant.  There has been some anguished commentary about this one: is it fantasy or is it literary fiction, and is it possible to be both? Well, there’s only one way to find out, and to say that I like Ishiguro’s writing is a bit of an understatement, so there it is on my TBR, patiently waiting its turn!

Life on AirThen it was off to Benn’s Books Bentleigh who have a huge range for the kind of books I like.  First up, I hunted around for a book for my father: Father’s Day isn’t far away, but it’s getting harder to find books that suit him now.  He likes historical adventures like Patrick O’Brien’s and the Simon Raven series, but he’s got so many, what I usually do is to hunt around online with him by my side so that I don’t duplicate what he’s already read.  (For an old bloke of 90, he has an impressive memory for what he’s read!)  I was just about to give up when I found David Attenborough’s autobiography Life on Air and I think that will be a success.

Then just 501 French Verbsnearby was the somewhat daunting 501 French Verbs (501! will I ever learn them all?) and I bought that because it has some really helpful features such as idiomatic words and expressions using the verb, and even some with proverbs e.g. the very apt advice to authors Bien faire et laisser dire which means ‘do your work well and never mind the critics’!

Butterflies in NovemberThen it was over to the fiction shelves, and what did I spy?  Face out, cunningly positioned to attract the attention of anyone interested in #WITmonth (Women in Translation Month) there was Butterflies in November.  It’s published by Pushkin Press who’ve never disappointed yet, and it’s by an author from Iceland called Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, and translated by Brian FitzGibbon.  Irresistible, right?

When the Doves Disappeared Purge And then, (alphabetically, of course) right next to it were two books by Sofi Oksanen that I’d put on my wishlist this very morning when Tony from Tony’s Book World recommended them! Well, I couldn’t leave them there for somebody else to snaffle, not when they were the last ones on the shelf, could I?

The Porcelain Thief My last indulgence was a book I’ve read about somewhere, called The Porcelain Thief by Chinese-American author Huan Hsu.  It seems complementary to  The Orpheus Clock which I’m reading at the moment, another story about family treasures appropriated during wartime and the quest to have them returned to their rightful owners.

I haven’t got to Grants Books Cheltenham where I find second-hand treasures because my credit card needs to recover a bit.  But I will.  You know I will!

Eat Sleep Read Local

 I really like the clever packaging for my new book at Ulysses Bookstore!



  1. Nice haul, Lisa! What fun everything must have been.


    • Unlike Christmas Day and other present-getting days, National Bookshop Day is never a private disappointment, because *I* choose the books.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whatalotofbooks….


    • Just doing my little bit to support the local industry – and two of them are by Aussie authors with Aussie publishers too:)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am at Pelican Waters at the moment and there is no local book shop. Though, I am supporting the Caloundra library. Lucky you to have so many book shops nearby.


    • Indeed I am lucky, (and lucky to be able to afford to lash out like this occasionally). Browsing in bookshops is one of my greatest pleasures so I think I’d find it very hard if there weren’t one nearby.
      Mind you, I do miss the second-hand bookshop was used to be in Mentone. Diversity Books is still trading, but I used to love wandering their aisles because they had such a great collection. Now I have to make do with the Op Shops, and, well, sometimes I find a treasure, but mostly I use them to find the kind of books my father likes, which are often out of print.


  4. I volunteer at an Op Shop in Melbourne and we get very good books, new and old. So I get some good finds there, and many of our customers are happy to browse in our book corner and read and buy.


    • Some are better than others. There are three in my local shopping centre (where there is also a Centrelink office) and I’ve bought quite a few from the Family Life one because they have lots of classics and a good selection of literary fiction. (They also have really nice hand-made cards sometimes). But the other two (who also support causes dear to my heart) tend for some reason to have ancient true crime books and romances and gaudy hardbacks. On the other hand they seem to have good vintage clothing and I often see young people in there, looking fabulous without paying much for it.
      One thing I really like about supporting Family Life (which is mostly where I drop off my donations) is that they offer small interest-free loans to people in need so that they don’t have to go to those awful payday lenders.


  5. I think you’re single handedly keeping the Oz book market afloat, Lisa 😉

    Thanks for the tip off about Gail Jones’ new book: I tend to like her stuff so will keep an eye out for this one. Though the title is rather silly: many people probably won’t pick it up because they will think it’s an actual travel guide.

    I can also recommend Purge: read it when it first came out several years ago.


    • I didn’t think of that travel guide connection!


  6. I apologise, there are two book shops in Caloundra, I found them today. One was good the other very basic. Next time I am here in February I will have a better look at the shops.


    • Well done, Caloundra! Places go up in my estimation when there’s a bookshop. It means there’s enough people who read to keep it afloat!


  7. […] Bookstore Sandringham: This bookshop is always on my circuit for National Bookshop day.  Their website says that you can contact them here and they will get your books to you.  You can […]


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