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Happy’s Best New Books

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!

Akwaeke Emzi You made a fool of death with your beauty

Named the Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by The Washington Post, and Oprah Daily, author Akwaeke Emezi brings us the vivid and passionate story of Feyi Adekola. Its been five years since the death of the love of her life, but Feyi is ready to learn how to love again. Prepared to dip her toe in as opposed to jumping in fully, she finds herself on a whirlwind adventure of rooftop parties and being schmoozed by a well-known art curator to be the next big thing. She’s even started dating someone that could turn into something more – if she can ever stop locking eyes with his handsome father. Emezi’s new novel explores the beautifully complicated world of possibility and healing, and love a second time around.

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Akweke Emezi

AKWAEKE EMZI
YOU MADE A FOOL OF DEATH WITH YOUR BEAUTY

 

Elif Batuman Either/Or

From the bestselling author of The Idiot, Either/Or continues Selin’s quest for self-knowledge, as she travels abroad in a quest to understand why her crush Ivan is so elusive, and why is it, that parties, alcohol, and sex are so important. Guided by her literature syllabus and her more worldly friends, the story follows Selin’s adventure filled with the propulsive logic and intensity of youth. Funny, engaging, and eye-opening, Batuman gifts the reader with her expressive, well-meaning, and witty micro-observations.

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Either/Or novel

ELIF BATUMAN
EITHER/OR

 

Hernan Diaz Trust

Trust encapsulates money, power, intimacy, and perception in the roaring ’20s. The story follows a wall street tycoon and the daughter of an eccentric aristocrat. Together they are on top of the world, but at what cost? The mystery behind their meteoric rise in fame and fortune is investigated by one woman bent on separating fact from fiction. Intertwining their lives and the narrative in an exhilarating fashion, Trust engagingly confronts the deceptions that often live at the heart of personal relationships and the powers that can manipulate facts. Immersive, compelling, puzzling, and ultimately a quest for truth. 

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Truts novel

HERNAN DIAZ
TRUST

 

Colleen Hoover  Maybe now

The long-awaited finale to the New York Times bestselling Maybe SomedayRidge and Sydney are thrilled to finally be together guilt-free. But as the two of them navigate this freedom, they find themselves questioning what’s more important? Friendship, loyalty, or love? As Maggie deals with her illness, she decides to take life by the horns and live life to the fullest. Setting out to accomplish her dreams, Maggie keeps Ridge updated as she embarks on her adventures. Sydney watches from the sidelines growing more and more suspicious about their friendship. Can Sydney reconcile with the fact that Maggie will always be in their lives somehow…or will she end up walking away from the man she loves. 

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MAYE NOW COLLEEN HOOVER

COLLEEN HOOVER
MAYBE NOW

 

Vauhini Vara  The Immortal King Rao

The Immortal King Rao is a brilliant debut novel breaking down the boundaries between the past and the present, which questions where our actions, in particular, capitalism might take us next. Set in a future in which the world is run by the Board of Corporations, the King’s daughter, Athena, is bequeathed her father’s memories, among other contentious gifts as a part of her legacy. With climate change a pivotal focus, Athena sets out to tell the truth to the world’s Shareholders, in futuristic sensory detail, about King’s childhood on a South Indian coconut plantation; his migration to America, his marriage to the ambitious artist with whom he changed the world; and, ultimately, the most ambitious creation of his life – Athena herself.

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VAUHINI VARA
THE IMMORTAL KING RAO

 

Jenna Fischer & Angela Kinsey  The Office BFF’s

An intimate, behind-the-scenes, illustrated celebration of the much-loved TV sitcom The Office.  Co-stars Jenna Fischer & Angela Kinsey’s friendship blossomed on day one of filming.  Sharing tales from the early days of the hit show, to walking their first red carpet, to never before seen photos, The Office BFFs is infused with same warm and friendly tone Jenna and Angela have brought to their Office Ladies podcast.

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THE OFFICE BFF'S

JENNA FISCHER & ANGELA KINSEY
THE OFFICE BFF’S

 

Chloe Hooper  Bedtime Stories

Chloe Hooper  – Bedtime Stories

A memoir/manual of the personal kind. When Chloe Hooper’s partner is diagnosed with a rare and aggressive illness, she sets out to find her own way to prepare their two young sons for loss. Turning to the bookshelf, she looks for the perfect story, hoping to find the right kind of practical literature perfect for her children. With the aid of innocent orphans and evil adults, magic, monsters, and anthropomorphic animals— Chloe finds a way to teach her children about grief and strength in real life. Beautifully illustrated by the New York Times award-winning Anna Walker, Bedtime Story is a  profound and deeply moving exploration of storytelling.

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BEDTIME STORY

CHLOE HOOPER
BEDTIME STORY

 

Uncle Wes Marne  Through Old Eyes

Renowned elder and storyteller Uncle Wes may well be Australians oldest living poet, having only just recently received a letter from the Queen to mark his 100th birthday. A long-time champion of Aboriginal culture, and cultural advancement, Uncle Wes is not one to retire and has released a new poetry collection Through Old Eyes. At times wistful and melancholic but always poignant, Marnes poetry is a beautifully written tribute to the resilience of his culture and his people.

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through old eyes

UNCLE WES MARNE
THROUGH OLD EYES

 

Mykaela Saunders  This all come back now

A first ever anthology of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speculative fiction, written, curated, and designed by blackfellas, for blackfellas, and about blackfellas. Brilliant stories by Evelyn Araluen, Karen Wyld, Archie Weller, and many more, share stories of the future, and the past, in a dazzling imaginative, and at times unsettling manner. This all come back now is a love letter to kin and country, to memory and future thinking.

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THIS ALL COME BCAK NOW

MYKAELA SAUNDERS
THIS ALL COME BACK NOW

 

Casey McQuiston  I kissed Shara Wheeler

A romantic YA comedy about running after what you thought you wanted, only to find what you need. One month before graduation, Prom queen Shara Wheeler kisses Chloe Green and then disappears. Chloe sets out to find out what happened to her, and along the way discovers she’s not the only one that’s been kissed by Shara. Hailed as fierce, frank, and funny, I kissed Shara Wheeler is a messy and fun ride about finding love in unexpected places.

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I KISSED SHARA WHEELER

CASEY MCQUISTON
I KISSED SHARA WHEELER

 

Jon Mooallum  Serious Face

One of the most anticipated books of the year, Serious Face brings together a collection of broad-ranging beautiful, and profound essays that investigate the beauty of our imperfections. Mooallem looks into the collapse of a multimillion-dollar bird-breeding scam run by a farmer known as the Pigeon King, narrates a harrowing escape from the deadly wildfires in California,  and visits with a very unconventional Frenchman who is building a town at what he believes is the center of the world. Serious Face is intentfully written with the belief that it’s our vulnerability, not our victories, that connect us all.

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serious face

JON MOOALLUM
SERIOUS FACE

 

Maggie Shipstead  You have a friend in 10A

Booker prize nominee Maggie Shipstead brings her first collection of short stories to the page.  You have a friend in 10A captivates with a decade-long love triangle to life in the vast open ranges of Montana. One night between a hurdler and gymnast in the Olympic Village. Mistakes and intrigue in Paris, and a young woman’s search for her long-lost love on the snowy slopes of a ski resort. Shipstead explores love, sex, and life in a candid, cleverly observed, and tender way.

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YOU HAVE A FRIEND IN 10A

MAGGIE SHIPSTEAD
YOU HAVE A FRIEND IN 10A

 

Mieko Kawakami  All the Lovers in the Night

Mieko Kawakami’s latest novel is sweet, and subtle, and leaves a lasting impact long after you’ve read the last page. Set in contemporary Tokyo,  the story centers around Fuyuko, who lives alone and seems to like it that way. But deep down, she knows it’s not sustainable, and that in order to change things, she is going to have to step out of her comfort zones. Bravely, Fuyuko steps out, and it is on one of her outings that she has a chance encounter with a physics teacher, Mr. Mitstka, who befriends Fuyuko and gives her the opportunity to change her life.

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mieko kawakami

MIEKO KAWAKAMI
ALL THE LOVERS IN THE NIGHT

 

Jay Bergen  Lennon, the Mobster & the Lawyer

A little-known court case between John Lennon and Morris Levy, the Mob-connected owner of Roulette Records. Jay Bergen, who was Lennon’s lawyer at the time, has collated over 5,000+ pages in all of the court records and has spent the last four years, transcribing, and recounting the trial as it happened. Filled with all the high drama in the courtroom, Lennon, the Mobster, and the Lawyer also captures Lennon’s life on the cusp of the birth of his second son.

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Lennon trial

JAY BERGEN
LENNON, THE MOBSTER AND THE LAWYER

 

Minnie Driver  Managing Expectations

Minnie Driver: A-list actor, mum, singer, and songwriter, explores in this tell-all/memoir shares tales of an extraordinary life. Honest and funny,  Driver shares how the things that didn’t work out, so often worked out for the best, and how reaching for the dream is easily more interesting, expansive, sad, and funny than the dream itself coming true. Minnie states it best, ‘Now, though, I realize how apt that ambition was. It set up a template in my life of wanting something impossible to become true. How in trying to make something impossible happen, and failing repeatedly, other things happened. Things that became my life. A life I love, because it was made with so many holes that I enjoy filling in’.

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Minne Driver

MINNIE DRIVER
MANAGING EXPECTATIONS

 

Isobel Beech  Sunbathing

Melburnian writer Isoabel Beech’s debut novel, Sunbathing is a sweet, funny, and moving exploration of life, death, and the restorative power of friendship under the warm summer sun of Abruzzo. Invited to stay with friends Giulia and Fab in an old villa in the mountains of Abruzzo, three weeks shy of their wedding, traversing through loss, and wondering how to go on, or if she can. With great feeling, Beech explores the workings of the inner self in the wake of devastation and regret and reveals the many ways that the every day can offer healing and hope.

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Sunbathing

ISOBEL BEECH
SUNBATHING

 

Wu Cheng’En Monkey King

Monkey King is one of China’s all-time greatest fantasy novels. In this newly translated edition, we follow the classic tale of Sun Wukong, aka Monkey King, the shape-shifting trickster on his quest for eternal life.  A master of subterfuge, Monkey can transform himself into who or whatever he wants. Accompanied by Pigsy, and Sandy, Monkey King undergoes eighty-one trials, battling along the way with Red Boy, Princess Jade-Face, and the Monstress Dowager. Neil Gaiman has said ‘Monkey King is in the DNA of 1.5 billion people” and he’s not wrong.

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Monkey King

WU CHENG’EN
MONKEY KING

 

Ashley Goldberg Abomination

An engrossing and warm-hearted debut novel about friendship, family, love, faith, and identity. Abomination follows the story of atheist Ezra and ultra-orthodox rabbi Yonatan’s friendship. Set in Melbourne, on the cusp of a new millennium their worlds are rocked by a scandal that throws them towards two very different paths. Twenty years later, they find one another again and find themselves facing the events of the past.  ‘I couldnt stop turning the pages even though I needed to do other things. No idea whether or not Ashley lived in a tight-knit Jewish community his character occupies but it sure as hell vividly matches up to what I’ve seen and lived through’ John Safran

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abomination

ASHLEY GOLDBERG
ABOMINATION