Got a major book nerd in your life? Or perhaps you’ve finally got some down time and want to spend it with a mojito, some sunshine and a great book. Check out our essential summer reading guide!
Here are our top picks of the new - and never go out of style - reads for summer 2016 for all ages, stages and interests.
- Thriller fans
Night School, Lee Child
The twenty-first Jack Reacher thriller by number-one bestselling author Lee Child is out in paperback just in time for Christmas. This time, Jack Reacher is fresh off a secret mission and a big win – having received a medal from the Army, he finds himself flung into a classroom with only three students; himself, an FBI agent, and a CIA analyst. Their assignment? To find that American. And what he’s selling. And to whom. There is serious sh*t going on, signs of a world gone mad.
RRP: $22.99, online and from all good bookstores.
The bonkbuster fanatic
Killer Diamonds, Rebecca Chance
Seriously saucy (as in do not give to your distant Aunt Mavis who may or may not appreciate the liberally sprinkled and audacious sex scenes), Rebecca Chance’s books have become known as Jackie Collins on Viagra. She manages to combine heavy duty sex scenes with cleverly scripted plots, so you’ll be guessing from the first page on the ‘whodunnit’ side, while folding down the corner of the naughty bits for future reference. In her latest, Killer Diamonds, the plot revolves around former Oscar-winning film star and famous beauty, Vivienne Winter; her handsome, spoilt, sexy playboy grandson Angel, and ambitious Christine Smith - a jewellery expert working for a centuries old auction house. When Vivienne decides to auction off her famous diamond collection, the anger and resentment Angel feels towards his grandmother for selling what he considered his inheritance sets in motion a series of events with deadly consequences.
RRP: $19.99 in paperback, online and from all good bookstores.
For the literary masterpiece enthusiast
Hag Seed: The Tempest Retold, Margaret Atwood
Written by one of the most popular literary writer of our time, the Hag Seed is a re-imagining of Shakespeare's play, the Tempest. Felix is at the top of his game as Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival, and he has big plans for taking his already stellar career to the next level; staging a Tempest like no other. However, as life has a tendency to do, things take a different path and he finds himself instead living in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by memories of his beloved lost daughter, Miranda. And also brewing revenge. Fast forward 12 years, and his chance to seek it arrives in the shape of a theatre course at a nearby prison. Here, Felix and his inmate actors will put on his Tempest and snare the traitors who destroyed him.
RRP: $29.00, online and from any good bookstore.
The Woman Who Upped and Left, Fiona Gibson
Whether a single Mum, long term married, mum to boys, teens or younger kids, few Mums will fail to appreciate the humour and liberally sprinkled realism in any of former UK journalist Fiona Gibson’s books. The latest, The Woman Who Upped And Left, follows the sorry (if hilarious for the reader) story of single mum Audrey, whose often seized by the urge to walk out of her house without looking back – but she can’t possibly do that. She has a job, a home, responsibilities… and a slothful teenage son’s pants to pick up. But when she finally calls enough is enough, everyone is forced to take notice.
RRP: $19.99, online and from all good bookstores
The biography addict
Call of the Outback, Ernestine Hill
A great choice for lovers of travel and all things Australian history, Call of the Outback follows the fascinating life of intrepid traveller and journalist Ernestine Hill, who abandoned her comfortable life and hit the outback roads following the birth of her illegitimate son Her career shifted to writing about the most far flung outposts of Australia's vast interior back in the '30s, for newspapers and journals around the nation. She also published several best selling books "The Great Australian Loneliness," " The Territory," "Flying Doctor Calling," and "My Love Must Wait."
RRP: $32.99, online and in good bookstores
The can't-fail blockbuster admirer
The Whistler, John Grisham
Worldwide bestseller John Grisham is the go to guy when it comes to picking a book most will enjoy. His latest title sees Lacy Stoltz investigating judicial misconduct by Florida's one thousand judges, when she meets Greg Myers, an indicted lawyer with an assumed name and an an extraordinary tale to tell. A judge involved in organised crime who has facilitated the building of a casino on an Indian reservation, two bodies, and said judge's small fortune from undeclared winnings. The question is, will Lacy pit herself against the most corrupt judge in American history, one who thinks nothing of murder?
RRP: $32.99, online
The music buff
Wonderland Avenue, Danny Sugerman
By no means a new release (the book was released in the early 90s but remains a consistent seller), Wonderland Avenue is a must read for music fans and readers that can’t gobble up enough true Hollywood tales of glamour and excess. Even if you’re not a fan of 60s music, anyone that’s ever wanted a graphic behind the scenes peek at the LA music scene will love this biography by Danny Sugarman, a boy that came from great wealth and privilege and ditched it all to follow his music idols and become teen manager to the Doors, then Iggy Pop. And as the blurb reads, this is the true tale of a Hollywood wildchild who, “by the age of twenty-one had an idyllic home, a beautiful girlfriend, the best car in the world, two kinds of hepatitis, a diseased heart, a $500 a day heroin habit and only a week to live. He lived.”
RRP: $29.99, available online and in good bookstores.
The person who‘s impossible to buy for
Tasty Express, Sneh Roy
Regardless of whether or not the recipient is into cooking, this is a book for anyone that likes to eat. Sneh’s book makes food accessible to any level of chef, and her love of creating amazing tastes is evident and infectious on every page (she’s also a food blogger and photographer – and contributes to many foodie sites.) The book contains more than 100 recipes, and takes a simple but imaginative approach to cooking. Her inspos? Everything from urban food truck and inner city café, to the fresh variety of a lively market and the unforgettable aromas of her childhood in India. Biggest bonus: it’s that mouth-wateringly delicious food that makes you feel like you’re seriously indulging, but is generally very healthy.
RRP: $39.95 (though often on special on line around the $30 mark), available from bookstores or online.
For the not-quite baby, not quite big-kid
Do Not Open This Book, by Andy Lee and Heath McKenzie
Originally written as a one-off for his little nephew George, comedian and radio personality Andy Lee (half of Hamish and Andy), Do Not Open This Book was only ever meant to for the eyes of his sister, her husband and their son George. Luckily for everyone else, it got a massive release and has been widely named the 'funniest book of the year' - the paper version of a kids movie that parents wind up loving as much (and folk without kids sidle into the cinema to see even without small people.) And what's it about? Employing the best of reverse psychology, threats, bribes, reverse psychology, young readers will love doing everything they're asked not to - just please don't open it!
RRP $19.99, online or in any good bookstore
Christmas Wombat, Jackie French (Illustrated by Bruce Whatley)
A perfect pick for a Christmas read, Christmas Wombat is a tale of Mothball the wombat’s Christmas. She eats, she sleeps, she scratches, but on Christmas Eve ... An adorable read following a very hungry wombat who loves carrots by the award winning team of French and Whatley, this one suits babies, toddlers or young readers who will enjoy the simple words and bright pictures.
RRP: $14.99, available online and in good bookstores.
Diary of Wimpy Kid: Double Down, Jeff Kinney
The 11th book in the massively popular book and movie series, Double Down deals with a topic close to many a parents heart – too much technology in our kids lives! When Greg’s mum decides video games are turning his brain to mush, she demands he put down the controller and explore his ‘creative side.’ A random event spikes his imagination, and he decides making a blockbuster film will both make his mum happy and turn him into a wildly successful millionaire. Which of course is the opposite of what happens!
RRP $14.99, online and in all good bookstores