And if, like me, you find that books make perfect gifts, this is the place to go; and there's nothing more rewarding than browsing among lovely new books. They smell so good too.
- A new baby in the family? What about the ever popular Very Hungry Caterpillar? Babies are never too young to read to. I had a friend once who used to read her Philosophy text books aloud to her newborn while she cuddled her. Result: a relaxed baby with an early feel for language and a relaxed mother.
- Terrible twos to terrible fours? Already sick of an excess of toys and treats? January Birthdays? Jo recommends cuddling up with Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. The scary, but not scary illustrations will silence even the most fierce of small monsters. Imagination is guaranteed to take over from vocal chords and give you instant peace.
- What to buy for the "already reading" junior brigade who want "chapter books", but can't come at the saccharine offerings churned out on the mass market? Well the perfect answer is Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox, enjoying a second coming with the arrival of the film now being shown in Melbourne. Dahl is a quality writer, ideal for this age group and the book features brilliant photographs from the film.
At Westgarth Books there's a whole room full of kid's books.
Now for the big kids at Westgarth Books.
The first thing you notice in this shop is the quality of writers, some new, some old favourites:
- Geraldine Brooks (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March);
- JM Coetzee (Mann Booker Prize-winning author of Disgrace);
- Khaed Hossein (author of the best-selling The Kite Runner);
- E Annie Proux (who could forget The Shipping News);
- Ian McEwan (On Chesil Beach is a 'must read' if you missed it. And his other books are there too).
These are just a few of the hundreds of exceptional writers available at Westgarth Books. But wait. It's not all serious literature. There are lighter offerings as well:
- Denise Scott will appeal to many locals with her wry, witty memoir All that Happened at no. 26;
- And if it's not your taste, the current craze for Gothic treatments of Jane Austen is catered for too;
- And Kaz Cooke always makes the perfect gift for that 'lady of indeterminate age'.
And speaking of perfect gifts, a very special gift for a very special person could be Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion, guaranteed to be love at first sight.
Have you noticed the many young adults reading books on the train lately? Experts are putting this phenomenon down to the brilliant books available for the 'Young Adult contingent'. And Westgarth Books has a good selection.
- Melbourne writer, Garth Nix's acclaimed fantasy Keys to the Kingdom series as well as his Seventh Tower series.
- The ever-popular Jodi Picoult is well represented too. Her very readable novels about family and relationships appeal to a wide range of ages and tastes.
- And for the person who has everything, I recommend The Penguin Book of Australian Short Stories. It will surprise you.
Check out Westgarth Books. It's cheaper than Amazon, much quicker than eBay and so convenient - just around the corner.