From Gallipoli to domestic noir: Ten new books to read in April

We've got your April reading list sorted. <i>Photo: TND/Allen & Unwin/Ultimo Press/HarperCollins Australia</i>

We've got your April reading list sorted. Photo: TND/Allen & Unwin/Ultimo Press/HarperCollins Australia

Whether you’re looking to learn about the trials and triumphs of starting up a vineyard or relax with the latest thriller, this month’s new releases have you covered.

Here are 10 books to check out in April.

Running Strong

Candice Warner

(HarperCollins Australia/$39.99)

When the whole world seems set against you, how do you keep the negative voice out of your head?

As a former professional Ironwoman and a wife to one of Australia’s cricket greats, Candice Warner knows all about the damaging consequences of living life in front of the cameras.

Warner says she has had her integrity attacked, her worth questioned, and her decisions, body and mind judged –  but she has never been stronger or more determined to forge the space she and her family need to be safe, and to live a life filled with love, purpose and optimism.

From the joys and heartbreak of elite sport to being publicly shamed as a woman, and her crucial role in one of the country’s highest profile partnerships, Running Strong is Warner’s story.

Release date: April 19

Hard to Bear

Isabelle Oderberg

(Ultimo Press/$36.99)

Every year, miscarriage affects up to 150,000 Australians and the people who love them.

So why are we so bad at dealing with it?

In Hard to Bear, journalist and debut novelist Isabelle Oderberg conducts an in-depth investigation into miscarriage care, reproductive health and the inequalities in health care.

Her words come with a unique personal perspective, having experienced seven losses.

Armed with interviews and extensive research, Oderberg charts a course to improve the system and change the lives of anyone directly or indirectly touched by early pregnancy loss.

Release date: April 5

Growing Grapes Might be Fun

Deirdre Macken

(Allen & Unwin / $34.99)

“I imagined lounging on a veranda overlooking folds of hills striped with vines. I’d be clothed in linen and surrounded by friends. On the table would be tumblers of wine we’d picked in last year’s harvest. Then we arrived at Cockatoo Hill and discovered a dump.”

When Deirdre and Roger Macken decide to turn a sheep paddock into a vineyard, they’re following the centuries-old tradition of family winemaking.

Bit by bit they clean up the land, plant vines, protect them through storms and drought, and turn a shack into a cottage. Slowly they start to read the landscape, appreciate the talents of locals and learn what to do when a snake passes by.

This is a humorous memoir containing larger-than-life characters, hard slog and sweet triumph.

Release date: April 4

The Power of Trees

Peter Wohlleben

(Black Inc./$34.99)

In the follow-up to his internationally best-selling The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares astonishing discoveries about how trees pass knowledge down to succeeding generations that helps them survive climate change.

He also criticises those who wield economic and political power, and who plant trees exclusively for the sake of logging and virtue signalling.

Trees can survive without humans, but we can’t live without trees. Even if human-caused climate change devastates our planet, trees will return – as they do, always and everywhere, even after ice ages, catastrophic fires, destructive storms and deforestation.

It would be nice if we were around to see them flourish.

Release date: April 18

The Half Brother

Christine Keighery

(Ultimo Press/$34.99)

Sisters Hannah and Stef are very different.

Intelligent and quick-witted, Hannah is an academic, partnered with an older man who doesn’t want any more children. Bubbly and warm, Stef is divorced, struggling with parenting two children with a dismissive ex-husband.

Despite their differences, the sisters think they have an unbreakable bond, but when newly revealed half-brother Alex charms his way into their folds, cracks in the foundation begin to show.

Through their insecurities and secrets, Alex plays the sisters against each other until family bonds are irrevocably broken.

Examining the nature versus nurture debate and family bonds, Christine Keighery weaves a compelling tale of family loyalties and sibling rivalry in a domestic noir.

After the Rain

Aisling Smith


The debut novel from 2020 Richell Prize winner Aisling Smith, After the Rain tells the story of Malti Fortune, who left Fiji to make a new life in Melbourne. But all that she thought was certain is now in danger of being swept away.

Her husband Benjamin is a conundrum. He has changed. Or has she?

The stories and superstitions of her childhood are telling her something she knows but doesn’t want to hear – about being a trespasser, about not belonging.

In the years to come, Malti and Benjamin’s daughters are also to learn some hard truths.

What makes a family? What does home look like? All three women are seeking answers, each haunted by her own ghosts, and by Benjamin.

Release date: April 26

The Great Gallipoli Escape

Jackie French

(HarperCollins Australia/$16.99)

Sixteen-year-old Nipper and his mates Lanky, Spud, Bluey and Wallaby Joe are starving, freezing and ill-equipped.

By November 1915, they know that that there is more to winning a war than courage. The Gallipoli campaign has been lost.

Nipper has played cricket with the Turks in the opposing dugout, dodged rocket fire and rescued drowning, freezing men when the blizzard snow melted. He is one of the few trusted with the secret kept from even most of the officers – how an entire army will vanish from the peninsula over three impeccably planned nights.

Based on first-hand accounts of those extraordinary last weeks of the Gallipoli campaign, this is the fascinating ‘lost story’ of how 150,000 men – and their horses and equipment – were secretly moved to waiting ships without a single life lost. An unforgettable story told through the eyes of a boy who lied about his age to defend his country.

Release date: April 5

Fire with Fire

Candice Fox

(Penguin Random House Australia/$32.99)

Ryan and Elsie Delaney don’t accept the official line that their young daughter drowned on Santa Monica beach. Her body has never been found and their pleas for a proper investigation are rejected.

So now the desperate pair are raining hellfire on the police.

Taking three hostages at the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, they give law enforcement an ultimatum – if Tilly isn’t located in the next 24 hours, they will destroy evidence in several major cases.

Detective Charlie Hoskins only just survived five years embedded with a ruthless gang. All his work is in that lab.

If the police won’t look for Tilly, he will. Even if that means accepting help from Lynette Lamb, the rookie officer sacked for blowing his cover – and having him thrown to the sharks.

Release date: April 4

Thirst for Salt

Madelaine Lucas

(Allen & Unwin/$32.99)

Adrift in the summer after finishing college, a young woman is on holiday with her mother in an isolated Australian coastal town when she finds herself pulled to Jude, a local man almost 20 years her senior.

As their relationship deepens, life at Sailors Beach offers her the stability she has been craving as the daughter of two drifters—a loving but impulsive mother and an itinerant father.

But when she witnesses something she doesn’t fully understand, she finds herself questioning everything—about Jude, about herself, about the life she has and the one she wants.

The debut novel of award-winning short fiction author Madelaine Lucas reveals with stunning immediacy the way the past can hold us in its thrall, shaping who we are and what we love.

Release date: April 4

The January 6 Report

The January 6th Committee with Ari Melber

(HarperCollins Australia/$29.99)

This No.1 New York Times bestseller is the official report and findings of the bipartisan Congressional investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol, and Donald Trump’s related coup conspiracies to overthrow the election.

Featuring a foreword by attorney and Emmy-winning MSNBC anchor Ari Melber, this edition includes an exclusive breakdown of the coup conspiracy, based on Melber’s reporting and real-time coverage, highlighting the multi-pronged plot against democracy.

In chilling detail, he shows how a continuous coup conspiracy might have engineered a technical effort to ‘over-ride’ the election on the floor of Congress – an essential map, and warning, for those who wish to protect democracy. If warnings are ignored and there is no accountability for the plotters at the top, a failed coup may become a training exercise.

Release date: April 3

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