THE ONE HUNDRED YEAR OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEAREDJonas Jonasson, Allen&Unwin, $29.99
From Sweden comes this part road trip, part romp through the history of the 20th century. Allan is irreverent, sardonic. Upon his escape from an aged-care home, he robs a criminal gang. And so begins a chase. Not laugh-out-loud, as the blurb claims, but wryly diverting.
LIKE A HOUSE ON FIRECate Kennedy, Scribe, $27.95
Few Australian short-story writers have international reputations. Kennedy is an exception. Although she ventures into poetry, travel and the novel (all with success), the short form is her showcase. In her work, the tradition of Australian realism continues. The domestic is the main battlefield: illness, childbirth, violence. Slices of life like slices of cake, warmly and acutely observed.
ZOMBIE TITS, ASTRONAUT FISH AND OTHER WEIRD ANIMALSBecky Crew, NewSouth, $24.99
Blogger and science writer Crew leads a tour of some spectacular oddities. It all makes science accessible to the general reader. She alternates between straight non-fiction and comic, anthropomorphic sallies – something that, depending on your taste, either endears or irritates.
BOOK THAT CHANGED ME: Joanne Harris
A true original, by one of the 20th century’s most underappreciated voices. Peake matures well; as I age, I’m discovering new things about his work and what it shows me about myself.
Joanne Harris is a British author whose best-known work is Chocolat. Her latest books are Peaches for Monsieur le Cure – the third Chocolat book – and A Cat, a Hat and a Piece of String (Doubleday, $32.95).
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.