The Vanishing Half

Weather by Jenny Offill

Our June Book of the Month

The Vanishing Half

by Brit Bennett

"The Vanishing Half is a brilliant counter narrative of doubling at its finest. Brit Bennett doubles character in lives of twin girls, skin colour & gender in an astonishing contemporary story of survival & colorism in the lives of a family in 1950s Louisiana. Light-coloured twins run away from their light-coloured home town, one sister Stella recognises she can ‘pass’ as white and lives in that persona, while the other sister raises a child from an abusive partner in her home town who is ‘blueblack’. Deeper issues of trans generational trauma, appearance & disappearance, rejection, fear and internalised racism complicate this masterpiece that stars some of the most complex and beautiful characters I’ve ever read.– Virginia.

"Incredible. This is my kind of character-driven read. I loved everything about it. I was so utterly absorbed that this was my world for a few days. Nothing could stand in the way. A family epic where twin sisters live apart, one as black, the other white. Race and identity are the themes that drive the strong narrative to a head-shaking, tearful conclusion. Bennett’s unfolding of the story is handled with such finesse, she is the most beautiful writer. Her previous book The Mothers was a favourite here at BRTD but The Vanishing Half is a masterpiece and I beg everyone to read it, this is a perfect read.– Dean.

"I loved this book! The Vanishing Half is an engrossing, exquisitely-told story of twin sisters raised in a light-skinned Black community who, despite escaping the small town together, become estranged. Brit Bennett explores colorism and the American history of racial "passing" with affectionate glances to Toni Morrison and Nella Larsen. She weaves multiple perspectives and narrative strands with such skill, illuminating the unknowable minds of other people, the desire to rewrite your life or be something other than your origins, and the complex, sacrificial ties we make to family. A masterful, compelling, luminous novel." – Emma Co.



There's No Such Thing

Our June Illustrated Kids' Book of the Month

There's No Such Thing

Written and Illustrated by Heidi McKinnon

Perhaps the monster beneath your bed at night is just in your head! There’s No Such Thing follows a big, friendly bear having trouble falling asleep at night on his camping trip – there are too many frightening things that seem to keep him awake in the wild. Good thing he has his supportive and cuddly Teddy by his side to tell him there’s no such thing as a “blood-sucking spider” or a “hungry giant”. Flipping through this delight of a story may bring you to see that most things we fear at night, whether it is the ghoul in your closet or the ghost upstairs, turn out not to be as real as we think!” – Ariel



The End of the World is Bigger Than Love

Our June Kids' Fiction Book of the Month

The End of the World is Bigger than Love

by Davina Bell



Australian Fiction  
How to Be Australian
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The Application of Pressure
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The Spill
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The Rain Heron
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The Museum of Forgotten Memories
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The Henna Artist
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Young Adult  
Again Again
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A Heart in a Body in the World
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If I'm Being Honest
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Finding Our Heart: A Story about the Uluru Statement for Young Australians
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Love from Australia
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Good Question
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Bin Chicken
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How to raise a loaf and fall in love with sourdough
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Bitter Honey: Recipes and Stories from the Island of Sardinia
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Oats in the North, Wheat from the South: The History of British Baking: Savoury and Sweet
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Beatrix Bakes
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Diary of a Young Naturalist
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On Chapel Sands: My mother and other missing persons
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Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots
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The Life & Times of Malcolm McLaren: The Biography
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Australian Non-Fiction  
Top End Girl
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Fourteen: My year of darkness, and the light that followed
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Friends and Rivals: Four Great Australian Writers: Barbara Baynton, Ethel Turner, Nettie Palmer, Henry Handel Richardson
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Phosphorescence: On awe, wonder and things that sustain you when the world goes dark
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The Gospel of the Eels: A Father, a Son and the World's Most Enigmatic Fish
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Humankind: A Hopeful History
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The Kennedy Curse: The shocking true story of America's most famous family
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Burn It Down!: Feminist Manifestos for the Revolution
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Design Lives Here: Australian interiors, furniture and lighting
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Life in a Box: Traveller. Antiques Dealer. Mother. Model. Iconoclast.
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Sustainable Escapes
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Where Architects Sleep: The Most Stylish Hotels in the World
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Intrepide: Australian Women Artists in Early Twentieth-century France
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The Whole Picture: The colonial story of the art in our museums & why we need to talk about it
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Video/Art: The First Fifty Years
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Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency
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Better Read Than Dead's COVID-19 Response

Click here for the latest information

Better Read Than Dead

265 King St
Newtown 2042 NSW Australia 


10.00am – 8.00pm Monday – Friday 

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We will be open from 11am – 7pm on Monday 8 June for the Queen's Birthday Holiday.
Ph: (02) 9557 8700



Newsletter 26 May 2020

Better Read Events


Due to COVID-19, upcoming author events and book launches have been moved to Zoom. Please see our Better Read Events website for information about online alternatives, including details about our online book clubs.

Talking Words Podcast 


Top Ten 29/05/2020

 Top 10 Bestsellers


Ashley Kalagian Blunt 
Bernardine Evaristo
3. Three Women
Lisa Taddeo
 4. The Yield
Tara June Winch 
5. Where The Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens 
6. Normal People
Sally Rooney
7. Weather
Jenny Offill
8. Rodham
Curtis Sittenfield
9. The Ratline
Philippe Sands
10. The Nickel Boys
Colson Whitehead 
See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill

Congratulations to the 2020 winner of the Stella Prize:
See What You Made Me Do
by Jess Hill