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Happy’s Best New Books (11th October – 17th October)

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!

Kelefa Sanneh – Major Labels

While it’s an obvious choice for the music fan in your life, the threads of history and culture that Kelefa Sanneh (renowned music critic for The New York Times and The New Yorker) effortlessly weaves into this sweeping account of popular music through seven key genres is masterful — and apt for anyone to appreciate. Ambitious yet gracefully executed, you can’t help but completely reexamine your own relationship with popular music in light of the many revelations that lie in between the covers of Major Labels.

9.7

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Major Labels
KELEFA SANNEH
MAJOR LABELS

Kwon Yeo-sun – Lemon

From award-winning Korean author Kwon Yeo-sun, Lemon is an atmospheric crime novel that addresses wealth, privilege, grief, and the power to take matters into one’s own hands. After the teenager, Kim Hae-on was murdered in 2002, the case went cold. Many years later, her sister Da-on is unable to move on and attempts to discover the truth in her own way. A disconcerting yet powerful narrative unfolds.

9.4

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Lemon
KWON YEO-SUN
LEMON

Andy Jackson – Human Looking

Compelling imagery illuminates the poetry of Andy Jackson in his latest collection, Human Looking. The poet notes that “There are two ways of saying ‘human looking’; one with a hyphen, the other with a comma,” and the volume is true to this insightful observation. Jackson’s experience of living with a physical disability is portrayed in these poems, but its brutal honesty isn’t designed to alienate. Instead, readers are challenged to explore their own empathy and to accept the body with all its vulnerability and strength.

9.4

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Human Looking

ANDY JACKSON
HUMAN LOOKING

Valentin Gendrot – Cop: A Journalist Infiltrates the Police

Valentin Gendrot is an undercover specialist and in his latest, he has sought to bring what happens behind the walls of the Police Station to light. Dispatched to one of Paris’ northern working-class arrondissements, he gives a first-hand account of the fractured relationship between law enforcement and the largely disadvantaged multicultural population. A powerful investigation that uncovers the reality of policing at a human level, as well as its systemic shortcomings.

9.2

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Cop

VALENTIN GENDROT
COP

Rachelle Buchbinder and Ian Harris – Hippocrasy

We have many assumptions about the state of modern medicine and its benefits. Hippocrasy: How doctors are betraying their oath, challenges readers to examine these beliefs, by exposing the fact medicalisation can lead patients away from positive health outcomes. Written by two leading doctors, it’s a provocative read and one that gets to the core of the doctor’s mission: to do no harm.

9.0

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Hippocrasy
RACHELLE BUCHBINDER AND IAN HARRIS
HIPPOCRASY

Jonathan Franzen – Crossroads

Jonathan Franzen has returned and true to form, he’s gone big. Franzen is a specialist of the literary epic and Crossroads — his homage to counter-cultural midwestern America — is no exception. A family tale, the characters are drawn with Franzen’s typical exactitude and colour, with the complexities of morality explored in this sweeping, generational novel. Despite its universal themes, it never lumbers — Franzen’s sense of pace propels you through this compelling narrative.

9.3

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Crossroads

JONATHAN FRANZEN
CROSSROADS
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