Staff Winter Holiday Reads

Curl up with a cuppa, you best friend and a book this winter holidays. We have some good suggestions for you try.

Contact if you would like any books delivered to your pigeonhole. 

Click on the book cover to find out about availablity and more.

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The runaway Australian bestseller about love and loss in wartime Germany, inspired by a true story. 
‘Captures the intensity of a brutal and unforgiving war, successfully weaving love, loss, desperation and, finally, hope into a gripping journey of self-discovery.’ The Courier Mail 
Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins. (Goodreads) 
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In 1596, William Shakespeare’s 11 year old son Hamnet died in Stratford-upon-Avon. Four or so years later, Shakespeare wrote the play considered by many to be his greatest work, giving its tragic hero a variation of his dead son’s name. Almost four centuries later Maggie O’Farrell was studying Hamlet at school and learned of the boy Hamnet, whose life has been little more than a footnote in his father’s biography. The seed of curiosity planted has grown into her finest novel yet, a reimagining of Hamnet’s death and the effect it had on his family. 
Late on a hot summer night in the tail end of 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress. (Goodreads)
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The story of Troy speaks to all of us – the kidnapping of Helen, a queen celebrated for her beauty, sees the Greeks launch a thousand ships against the city of Troy, to which they will lay siege for ten whole years. It is a terrible war with casualties on all sides as well as strained relations between allies, whose consequences become tragedies. 
In Troy you will find heroism and hatred, love and loss, revenge and regret, desire and despair. It is these human passions, written bloodily in the sands of a distant shore, that still speak to us today. (Penguin) 
A.J. Fikry owns a failing bookshop. His wife has just died, in tragic circumstances. His rare and valuable first edition has been stolen. His life is a wreck. Amelia is a book rep, with a big heart, and a lonely life. Maya is the baby who ends up on A.J.’s bookshop floor with a note. What happens in the bookshop that changes the lives of these seemingly normal but extraordinary characters? (Publisher) 
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The unforgettable story of a mother and son fleeing a drug-cartel to cross the US-Mexico border. 
‘I couldn’t put it down. I’ll never stop thinking about it’ – Ann Patchett 
‘One hell of a novel about a good woman on the run with her beautiful boy’ – Stephen King 
Fear keeps them running. Hope keeps them alive. 
Those in need of peace will find it between the covers of this elegant picture book for adults and children 
(The New York Times)  
‘Feeling a little blue? Meet the new Winnie the Pooh.’ The Daily Mail 
‘A wonderful work of art and a wonderful window into the human heart’ Richard Curtis 
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A story of brotherhood, true love and the most unlikely of friendships, Boy Swallows Universe will be the most heartbreaking, joyous and exhilarating novel you will read all year. A story of brotherhood, true love and the most unlikely of friendships, Boy Swallows Universe will be the most heartbreaking, joyous and exhilarating novel you will read all year. (Goodreads)  
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Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. 
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. 
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‘A complex, big-hearted, multi-generational Australian epic’ (Good Weekend) 
The Dunbar boys bring each other up in a house run by their own rules. A family of ramshackle tragedy – their mother is dead, their father has fled – they love and fight, and learn to reckon with the adult world. 
It is Clay, the quiet one, who will build a bridge; for his family, for his past, for his sins. He builds a bridge to transcend humanness. To survive. 
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The sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz 
In 1942 Cilka Klein is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival. (Goodreads) 
gilead by marilynne robinson
The four award-winning books—GILEAD, HOME, LILA, and JACK—are set in the fictional town of Gilead, Iowa, and explore powerful themes of faith, family legacies, love, and human connections.
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Set on timeless Wiradyuri country, where the life-giving waters of the rivers can make or break dreams, and based on devastating true events, Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (River of Dreams) is an epic story of love, loss and belonging. 
We need more of these stories; more novels that reflect Australia’s colonial past through the eyes of First Nations women. (Chris Gordon, Readings) 
In 1611 Emilia Bassano wrote a volume of radical, feminist and subversive poetry. It was one of the first published collections of poetry written by a woman in England. The little we know of Emilia Bassano is restricted to the possibility that she may have been the ‘Dark Lady’ of Shakespeare’s Sonnets – and the rest of HerStory has been erased by History. 
Morgan has taken what we know of Bassano, and her poetry, to create this lively, witty play. 
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A warm hearted novel about music, grief, relationships, gardens, love, laughter and family. Award-winning Brisbane journalist and author Frances Whiting brings her renowned warmth and empathy to this witty and gentle novel about bringing out the best in each other. (Pan Macmillan Australia) 
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From the author of Jasper Jones. Late in the night, fourteen-year-old Sam Watson steps onto a quiet overpass, climbs over the rail and looks down at the road far below. At the other end of the same bridge, an old man, Vic, smokes his last cigarette. The two see each other across the void. A fateful connection is made, and an unlikely friendship blooms. Slowly, we learn what led Sam and Vic to the bridge that night. Bonded by their suffering, each privately commits to the impossible task of saving the other. 
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Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets? (Goodreads) 
The breakout literary sensation of 2021, THE PERFORMANCE is a tightly woven examination of women’s inner lives that is enthralling, profound and deeply human. 
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Winner of the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award 
Knowing that he will soon die, Albert ‘Poppy’ Gondiwindi takes pen to paper. His life has been spent on the banks of the Murrumby River at Prosperous House, on Massacre Plains. Albert is determined to pass on the language of his people and everything that was ever remembered. He finds the words on the wind. 
Profoundly moving and exquisitely written, Tara June Winch’s The Yield is the story of a people and a culture dispossessed. But it is as much a celebration of what was and what endures, and a powerful reclaiming of Indigenous language, storytelling and identity. (Booktopia) 
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The bestselling author of Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton, returns with All Our Shimmering Skies - a glorious novel destined to become another Australian classic. (Booktopia) 
Set when the women’s suffrage movement was at its height and the Great War loomed, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. It’s a delightful, lyrical and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words, and the power of language to shape the world and our experience of it. (Goodreads) 
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The Amarna Age book No. 2 
Blending history and fantasy, The Amarna Age series is set in 18th Dynasty Egypt where the old gods have been worshipped for thousands of years and magic is a matter of belief. For readers of dark fantasy who enjoy an historical setting. (Goodreads) 
This story, full of beauty and hope, is based on years of interviews author Heather Morris conducted with real-life Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz- Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. It is heart-wrenching, illuminating, and unforgettable. (Goodreads)


The hero of The Poet and The Scarecrow is back in the new thriller from Michael Connelly. Jack McEvoy, the journalist who never backs down, tracks a serial killer who has been operating completely under the radar – until now.  
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At once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps. (book cover) 
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The Kingdom is a simmering and complex thriller full of unexpected twists, devastating family legacies and an ever-growing body count. (publisher) 
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From the Author of The Dry and The Lost Man – Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home. (Book cover)
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Harry Bosch and LAPD Detective Renee Ballard come together again on the murder case that obsessed Bosch’s mentor, the man who trained him – new from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly (Goodreads) 
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A convicted killer. A gifted thief. A vicious crime boss. A disillusioned cop. Together they’re a missing girl’s only hope. Blair Harbour, once a wealthy, respected surgeon in Los Angeles, is now an ex-con down on her luck. She’s determined to keep her nose clean to win back custody of her son. But when her former cellmate, Sneak Lawlor, begs for help to find her missing daughter, Blair is compelled to put her new-found freedom on the line. Joined by LA’s most feared underworld figure, Ada Maverick, the crew of criminals bring outlaw tactics to the search for Dayly. (publisher) 
The Dry is the 2016 debut novel by British born author Jane Harper. The book has won numerous international awards and has sold more than 1 million copies worldwide. A film adaptation was released on 1 January 2021 with great success, placing it as one of the highest grossing Australian film opening weekends ever. 
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Two brothers meet at the border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of outback Queensland. They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old, no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last chance for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish. Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he lose hope and walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects. (Book cover) 


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My Tidda, My Sister shares the experiences of many Indigenous women and girls, brought together by author and host of the Tiddas 4 Tiddas podcast, Marlee Silva. The voices of First Nations’ women that Marlee weaves through the book provide a rebuttal to the idea that ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’. For non-Indigenous women, it demonstrates the diversity of what success can look like and offers an insight into the lives of their Indigenous sisters and peers.
In this luminous memoir, Mary McAleese traces that astonishing arc: from the tight streets of north Belfast, to a professorship in Dublin while still in her twenties, behind-the-scenes work on the peace process, and two triumphant terms as President of Ireland. (Book Depository) 
941.508 MCA 
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In a world that tells women they’re either not enough or too much this book is an accessible leap into feminism, for people at all stages of their journey who are seeking to reshape and transform the way they view themselves. (Publisher) 
305.42 GIV 
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Eddie Jaku always considered himself a German first, a Jew second. He was proud of his country. But all of that changed on 9 November 1938, when he was beaten, arrested and taken to a concentration camp. Over the next seven years, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors every day, first in Buchenwald, then in Auschwitz, then on a Nazi death march. He lost family, friends, his country. Because he survived, Eddie made the vow to smile every day. He pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom and living his best possible life. He now believes he is the ‘happiest man on earth’. (publisher) 
940.53 JAK 
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On awe wonder and things that sustain you when the world goes dark. A beautiful, intimate and inspiring investigation into how we can find and nurture within ourselves that essential quality of internal happiness – the ‘light within’ that Julia Baird calls ‘phosphorescence’ – which will sustain us even through the darkest times. (Goodreads) 
158 BAI
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 Queensland was one of the last places in the world to suffer from the ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic of 1918-1920. This anthology of short stories by various writers about the ‘Spanish Flu’ epidemic in Queensland is based on real people in real places. 
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Twenty-three Australian grandmothers reflect on their diverse experiences. Maggie Beer is grateful that she is a better grandmother than she was a mother; Alison Lester confesses she has become so busy as a grandmother that she barely has time to ride her horse; Ramona Koval worries what sort of world her grandchildren will inherit; Ali Cobby Eckermann reveals the pain of being a Stolen-Generations grandmother. Love is the emotion that connects them all, but there are so many ways of being a grandmother that the range of feeling in this anthology may surprise you. 306.8745
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Bruce Pascoe has collected a swathe of literary awards for Dark Emu and now he has brought together the research and compelling first person accounts in a book for younger readers. Using the accounts of early European explorers, colonists and farmers, Bruce Pascoe compellingly argues for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. 
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Celebrated motivational speaker and YouTube sensation Lizzie Velasquez shows us how we can learn to accept all parts of ourselves and others to create a culture of kindness and a more compassionate world. 
177.7 VEL 
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300,000 years ago, Homo sapiens had bigger skulls. Cooked food meant our heads shrunk; alongside a growing brain, our airways got narrower. Urbanisation then led us to breathe less deeply and less healthily. And so today more than 90% of us breathe incorrectly. James Nestor meets cutting-edge scientists at Harvard and experiments on himself in labs at Stanford to see the impact of bad breathing. He revives the lost, and recently scientifically proven, wisdom of swim coaches, mystics, cardiologists, Olympians and choral conductors, the world’s foremost ‘pulmonauts’ to show how breathing in specific patterns can trigger our bodies to absorb more oxygen, and he explains the benefits for everyone that result, from staying healthy and warding off anxiety to improving focus and losing weight. 
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In Truth-Telling, influential historian Henry Reynolds pulls the rug from legal and historical assumptions, with his usual sharp eye and rigour, in a book that’s about the present as much as the past. His work shows exactly why our national war memorial must acknowledge the frontier wars, why we must change the date of our national day, and why treaties are important. Most of all, it makes urgently clear that the Uluru Statement is no rhetorical flourish but carries the weight of history and law and gives us a map for the future. 
305.899 REY
In her memoir, now available in paperback and as a Young Readers edition, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Also available as an audio book read by Michelle Obama 
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Why some children struggle and how all can thrive. 
From one of the world’s foremost researchers and pioneers of paediatric health—a book that fully explores a revolutionary discovery about childhood development, parenting, and the key to helping all children find happiness and success. 
His work has revealed there are two different kinds of children: the “dandelion” child (hardy, resilient, healthy), able to survive and flourish under most circumstances, and the “orchid” child (sensitive, susceptible, fragile) who, given the right support, can thrive as much, if not more, than other children. (Goodreads) 
155.4 BOY 
Spelling It Out aims to ease anxiety and crush the myth that good spelling comes naturally. Good spelling comes from good teaching. Based on Misty Adoniou’s extensive research into spelling learning and instruction, this book encourages children and adults to nurture a curiosity about words, discover their history and, in so doing, understand the logic behind the way they are spelled. (Booktopia) 
428.1 ADO 
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Dark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for precolonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating and storing – behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Almost all the evidence comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources. (Goodreads) 
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When Jeremy Bentham proposed that government should run “for the greatest benefit of the greatest number,” he posed two problems: what is happiness and how can we measure it? With the rise of positive psychology, freakonimics, behavioural economics, endless TED talks, the happiness manifesto, the Happiness Index, the tyranny of customer service, the emergence of the quantified self movement, we have become a culture obsessed with measuring our supposed satisfaction. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural and historic resources 

A link to our Library Topic Guide on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture Resources. Includes links to books, film, interviews and websites. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Resources 



AHS Library offers two ebook and audiobook options. 

Both can be accessed via the AHS library catalogue and school tablets. In addition, both have free apps for IOS and android phones, see instruction below. 

Apps Download via the app on your Phone Login & password (only need once) More information 
EPlatform   Image result for eplatform logoSame login and password used for your school device Wheelers ePlatfom    
SORA Image result for sora logo Staff: swipe card number for both login and password Students: school device login number for both login and password Overdrive: SORA 


Full digital copies of The Australian, The Courier Mail and other newspapers froNewsBank 

To access digital newspapers, go to the Library website or click here: 

Newspaper Databases – Databases – LibGuides at All Hallow’s School 


Online copies of CHOICE magazine head to the Library website or click here 

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