New books coming up – Bloomsbury

Recently, Bloomsbury Australia/New Zealand kindly sent out a copy of their catalogue for the second half of 2012 (you can find it here). Readers, this is truly book porn at its best! There are so many good titles in this catalogue; it took me ages to write down my ‘I want’ list (which I surprisingly still write by hand).

Here are some of the highlights:

The Harbour – Francesca Brill

‘It is the summer of 1940, and for Stevie Steiber, a young American journalist in Hong Kong, the war raging in Europe is a world away. While longing to be taken seriously as a writer, she keeps her readers informed about society gossip from the Orient, her days at the Happy Valley race-course slipping into dangerous, hedonistic nights.

Major Harry Field has been charged by Her Majesty’s Government with investigating suspicious activity inside the colony. He is intrigued by the recent arrival on the island of Jishang, a sophisticated Chinese publisher who owns a controversial political magazine. But it is Stevie, Jishang’s outspoken, beautiful correspondent who really fascinates him.

As the decadent British contingent remain oblivious to the cataclysm nearly upon them, the spy and the journalist are obsessively drawn to one another. And when the Japanese army seizes the island, they are faced with terrifying challenges. What will they sacrifice to stay alive, and how far will they go to protect each other? The Harbour is a stunning and utterly compelling debut about war, love and culpability set in 1940s Hong Kong and New York.'(from the Bloomsbury website)

I really like WWII novels and Hong Kong is a place that I don’t read too much about in novels.

Abdication – Juliet Nicolson

‘England, 1936. After the recent death of George V, the nation has a new king, Edward VIII. But for all the confident pomp and ceremony of the accession, it is a turbulent time. Terrible poverty and unemployment affect many, but trouble few among the ruling elite; for others, Oswald Mosley’s New Party, which offers a version of the fascism on the rise in Germany, seems to offer the vision of the future.

Nineteen-year-old May Thomas has just disembarked at Liverpool Docks after making the long journey by steamer from Barbados to escape the constraints of her sugar-plantation childhood. Her first job as a secretary and chauffeuse to Sir Philip Blunt, Chief Whip in Baldwin’s Conservative government, will open her eyes to the upper echelons of British society…

The unlikely friendship she forms with Evangeline Nettlefold, American god-daughter of the Chief Whip’s wife and an old school friend of Wallis Simpson, will see her through family upheavals including the shocking, sudden loss of her mother; but more significant for May, the Blunts’ son Rupert has an Oxford University friend, Julian, a young man of conscience for whom, despite all barriers of class, she cannot help but fall.

Secrets, hidden truths, undeclared loves, unspoken sympathies and covert complicities are everywhere – biggest and most dangerous of them all, the truth about the new King’s relationship with a married woman, and the silent horror that few in Britain dare voice: the increasing inevitability of another world war…’ (from the Bloomsbury website)

I love this time period. I haven’t read a lot about Wallis Simpson or the abdication, so I think this is an entertaining way for me to brush up on my history.


The Paris Correspondent – Alan S. Cowell

‘High-profile journalist Alan S. Cowell’s latest novel is a fast-paced trip into the dark heart of a newspaper office abroad. Addictive and illuminating, it deftly portrays the rivalries and complicated passions at the story’s heart. Ed Clancy and Joe Shelby are journalists with The Paris Star, an English-language paper based in Paris. Relics from a time when print news was in its heyday, when being a reporter meant watching a city crumble around you as you called in one last dispatch, the Internet age has taken them by surprise. The two friends are faced with the death of what they hold most dear–their careers, and, for Shelby, a woman he cannot bring himself to mention.

The Paris Correspondent is a tribute to journalism, love, and liquor in a turbulent era. Written in riveting prose that captures the changing world of a foreign correspondent’s life, Alan S. Cowell’s breakout novel is not to be missed. Writing from experience and in homage to Reynolds Packard’s Dateline Paris, his razor-sharp and darkly funny style will win readers the world over. ‘(from

Even though I’m a big fan of the internet, I’ve always found newspapers rather exciting.


Momofuku Milkbar – Christina Tosi

‘The highly anticipated complement to the New York Times bestselling Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar reveals the recipes for the innovative, addictive cookies, pies, cakes, ice creams, and more from the wildly popular bakery.

A runaway success, the Momofuku cookbook suffered from just one criticism among reviewers and fans: where were Christina Tosi’s fantastic desserts? The compost cookie, a chunky chocolate-chip cookie studded with crunchy salty pretzels and coffee grounds; the crack pie, a sugary-buttery confection as craveable as the name implies; the cereal milk ice cream, made from everyone’s favorite part of a nutritious breakfast—the milk at the bottom of a bowl of cereal; the easy layer cakes that forgo fancy frosting in favor of unfinished edges that hint at the yumminess inside.

Momofuku Milk Bar finally shares the recipes for these now-legendary riffs on childhood flavors and down-home classics—all essentially derived from ten mother recipes—along with the compelling narrative of the unlikely beginnings of this quirky bakery’s success. It all started one day when Momofuku founder David Chang asked Christina to make a dessert for dinner that night. Just like that, the pastry program at Momofuku began, and Christina’s playful desserts helped the restaurants earn praise from the New York Times and the Michelin Guide and led to the opening of Milk Bar, which now draws fans from around the country and the world.

With all the recipes for the bakery’s most beloved desserts—along with ones for savory baked goods that take a page from Chang’s Asian-flavored cuisine, such as Kimchi Croissants with Blue Cheese—and 100 color photographs, Momofuku Milk Bar makes baking irresistible off-beat treats at home both foolproof and fun.’ (From


I really enjoy baking, so I think I’ll enjoy this one –especially the crack pie!

Note most books are also available in eBook format, which is great for those of us with eReaders and those who have no more room on their shelves.

What tickles your fancy book-wise in the upcoming months?

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16 thoughts on “New books coming up – Bloomsbury

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  1. I wish there were more Australian books published here. And I wish there wasn’t a gap between the time they are published there and here.

    Thanks for the thumbs up!

    I stopped by because I saw your cockatiel and I couldn’t resist saying hi to a fellow cockatiel person.

    1. That cockatiel – Sam – unfortunately passed away two years ago. I now have Olly, who is a big English speaker. Naturally, his favourite phrase is, ‘You’re a good boy Olly’. Although I am not too happy at him this morning for squawking and waking me up!
      I don’t like the delay either between countries – sometimes I’ll see a book but won’t buy it (usually due to the luggage being too heavy!) and then I realise it’s not out for months at home.

  2. The Harbour has been selected as one of Amazon’s Rising Stars. It’s a great read. Also, well reviewed in the Daily Mail on Friday.

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