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Happy’s Best New Books of 2021 (27th June – 3rd July)

Updated weekly by the fine folk at Happy Mag, these are the best new books that this week has to offer from Australia and around the world!

Sheldon Pearce – Changes

For an artist whose life was so violently cut short, the immensity of Tupac Shakur’s influence is impossible to gauge. As if his immortalisation was not complete, his voice again rose to prominence as Changes became an anthem of the 2020 protests that were catalysed by the murder of George Floyd. 50 years on from his birth and 25 years after his death, The New Yorker’s Sheldon Pearce has compiled an unprecedented oral history of the rap icon, featuring rare interviews with people who collectively made a significant impact on his life and career.

9.2

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Changes

SHELDON PEARCE
CHANGES

Lisa Taddeo – Animal

Lisa Taddeo’s visceral novel traces the story of Joan, a woman who has experienced a great deal of trauma and eventually plots a course for revenge. This tightly-wound thriller carries with it some trigger warnings, but in Joan, it presents a central character that is nigh-on unforgettable. If you like your fiction to pack one hell of a punch, then Animal is well worth your time.

8.5

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Animal
LISA TADDEO
ANIMAL

Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

From one of the most recognisable filmmakers of recent decades comes a debut work of fiction, based on his movie of the same name. Harking back to an era where novels were churned out post-film release to capitalise on the buzz, Tarantino is true-to-form, creating addictive material, while also winking at his audience. Don’t expect a simple recount of the movie: Tarantino morphs the story with trademark flair and irreverence. Too much fun.

8.7

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
QUENTIN TARANTINO
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD

Bella Green – Happy Endings

Comedian and sex worker Bella Green takes readers on a whirlwind tour of an industry that few people know about (not that they would admit it). A diverse exploration of brothels, dominatrix dungeons, and other places designed to help one get one’s rocks off. Refreshingly candid, intelligent, and incredibly funny.

8.7

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Happy Endings
BELLA GREEN
HAPPY ENDINGS

Mark Humphries and Evan Williams – On Politics and Stuff

Mark Humphries and Evan Williams have been a satirical duo for years, plying their trade in the field of Australian politics (fish in a barrel, really). Usually on screen, they’ve turned their observations to the page, promising a hard-hitting exposé of Australian Parliament. Well, that’s if they can get into the building.

8.4

BUY HERE
On Politics and Stuff
MARK HUMPHRIES AND EVAN WILLIAMS
ON POLITICS AND STUFF

John Byron – The Tribute

Though it’s an anatomical text of great historical significance, the Fabrica has a grizzly edge to it — the functional core of the human body is laid bare in graphic detail. In The Tribute, a serial killer stalks the streets of Sydney, using the images to inspire evil deeds. A multidimensional narrative, it straddles notions of misogyny and modern masculinity, through the framework of a compelling crime tale.

8.5

BUY HERE
The Tribute
JOHN BYRON
THE TRIBUTE