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Literary lockdown: Five books to read while you practise social distancing


With many traditional forms of entertainment altered dramatically for the foreseeable future, there’s never been a better time to get stuck into a good book. Dillons Norwood Bookshop has thousands of titles, and is currently offering free delivery to neighbouring suburbs – here are five staff picks.


Sami Tamimi & Tara Wigley

This beautifully presented volume continues the journey that began with Yotam Ottolenghi’s wildly popular Jerusalem (in the foreword he nominates Palestinian as his favourite cuisine). Written by two longtime Ottolenghi collaborators, it’s more than simply a collection of recipes. Packed with historical and cultural background as well as more than 100 traditional and contemporary Palestinian dishes, it’s “a celebration of Palestine - the food, the people, the place".


The Dictionary Of Lost Words
Pip Williams

This Adelaide author’s first work of fiction is one of the most highly anticipated novels of 2020. Set against the compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary, it concerns itself primarily with the fate of the words that didn’t make it in. Through the words considered too vulgar, or related primarily to the experiences of women, Esme Nicoll uncovers a hidden narrative in this story about belonging and love that still rings true today.


Modernist Adelaide
Stuart Symons

Modernism gets a bad rap. By prioritising function over form, the quintessential 20th century architectural movement helped to shape cities as we know them today. Minimalist designs incorporating glass, steel and reinforced concrete spawned new schools of thought and changed the way society could operate. Part coffee table book, part guidebook, Modernist Adelaide profiles 100 modernist buildings around the city, highlighting noteworthy design features and delving into the stories of both of architects and clients.

Young Adult (14+)

Neal Shusterman

In a utopian society where the government has been replace by an all-powerful AI, people no longer die from old age. Instead, specialists named scythes choose who can enjoy immortality. The story is told from the perspective of two apprentice scythes (one male, one female) as they navigate the complex ethical and moral questions involved in their work. Thought provoking, exciting and strewn with humour, this versatile novel is suitable for teenagers and adults alike. And best of all, it’s the first in a trilogy that has already been completed.


Alice To Prague
Tanya Heaslip

This memoir doesn’t just take readers to the other side of the globe; it takes them back in time to a world that no longer exists. It’s hard to imagine two places more different than a sunny outback cattle station and the post-communist Czech Republic filled with medieval castles and brutalist apartment blocks. But Tanya Heaslip called both home and her bittersweet memoir is full of charm and wit, a love letter to a time when the world seemed both bigger and more exotic than it does now.

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