Editor’s note: Please welcome today’s guest blogger: Deborah and I go way back … to primary school in regional Queensland. As a nine-year-old I was in awe of her jazz ballet skills and as a fellow 40-something, I’m in awe of her voracious reading. Each month she’ll now also be sharing her favourite reads with Styling You readers.
I’m an avid reader and book blogger, so Nikki’s asked me to drop in every month and share some of my favourite reads. As this is the first of our little conversations for 2015 I thought I’d start with a wrap-up of my favourite fiction titles so far this year.
- The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins
Almost everyone is talking about this book—touted as the ‘next Gone Girl’. Thankfully, unlike most Gone Girl wannabes it delivers, complete with a fabulously flawed lead character.
Rarely-sober Rachel’s daily commute takes her past her old house which her ex-husband now shares with his new wife and baby. She distracts herself by fantasising about a young couple who live nearby. They seem the happily-ever-after type until she sees the woman with another man. When the woman disappears shortly after Rachel inserts herself into the investigation—thrilled to be involved. Unfortunately as she was drunkenly stumbling around the neighbourhood on the night in question she soon becomes a suspect.
Random House, January 2015
- Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
I read this when it was released overseas last year so it made my ‘Top 8 of 2014’. Eighty-two year old Maud has dementia and doesn’t remember much at all… except that her friend Elizabeth is missing. Naturally no one believes her so she sets out to investigate for herself. My father suffered from dementia and as this book is written from Maud’s point-of-view it offered me some comfort to be in a similarly muddled mind. It provides a light-hearted look at a serious subject, with some sleuthing thrown in for good measure.
Penguin Australia, January 2015
- Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger
I saw Unger in person at a writers’ festival a decade ago and she regularly pumps out quality thrillers. In her latest we’re introduced to Ian who bases his popular graphic novels on himself and long-time friend, Priss. Unfortunately his relationship with his former protector and sometime lover Priss is complicated and unhealthy. So when Ian falls in love with the fairly-normal Megan and wants to leave Priss in the past, things get kinda ugly.
Simon & Schuster, February 2015
- Storm Clouds by Bronwyn Parry
Aussie author Parry offers readers romantic suspense with a local twist. Her latest book features park ranger Erin and colleague Simon who’s just returned from a stint in the army reserve. The couple seem doomed to reviving their will-they/won’t-they relationship when Simon discovers his estranged wife’s body in his house. To clear Simon from suspicion Erin sets out to investigate and uncovers links to an alternative lifestyle group on the outskirts of town; one, which may be more sinister than enlightened.
Hachette Australia, January 2015
- Second Life by SJ Watson
I really enjoyed Watson’s first novel, Before I Go To Sleep. I obviously wasn’t alone because Hollywood types translated it onto the big screen in 2014 starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. His second novel doesn’t quite hit the mark, but is still enjoyable nonetheless. This time around our attention is on Julia, who’s relatively happy with husband Hugh and their adopted teenage son Connor, until Connor’s mother (Julia’s younger sister) is murdered.
Julia’s guilt forces her to look into her sister’s life (and death) and has her delving into the online dating world. Naturally… things get kinda complicated.
Text Publishing, February 2015
- Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp
This Aussie offering will tug at your heartstrings as it considers the very sensitive issues of infertility, IVF and embryo donation.
Catriona and James are relieved to finally be pregnant and anonymously donate their remaining embryo to a fertility clinic. Diana and Liam have overcome family opposition to receiving a donor embryo and are thrilled with the birth of their son Noah.
When Noah goes missing it’s not hard to jump to conclusions; but fortunately what follows is far from predictable and touches on a heap of moral dilemmas.
Simon & Schuster, March 2015
- If She Did It by Jessica Treadway
The fact the back cover blurb compares this book to We Need to Talk About Kevin offers a huge hint that we’re dealing with the terrifying subject of parenthood.
Hanna’s survived a horrendous attack that sentenced her to years of physical rehabilitation and left her husband dead. In the immediate aftermath of the event Hanna identified Rud—her daughter Dawn’s boyfriend—as the culprit and he was found guilty and jailed. But three years later a retrial looms and Hanna not only questions Rud’s guilt but is also forced to consider whether her own daughter could have been involved.
Hachette Australia, March 2015
- The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford
Dana’s managed her bipolar disorder for years, but knows she’s spiralling out of control when she joins her neighbour Celia for some drinks one afternoon. Hours later she wakes at home hungover and recalling little other than an argument the pair had about Dana’s husband Peter and his possible infidelity. So when Celia’s body is found that same night she fears she may have been involved.
Published by Allen & Unwin, March 2015
- Inside the O’Brien’s by Lisa Genova
Still Alice author Genova again draws on her neuroscience knowledge in her latest novel showcasing a family in the aftermath of a diagnosis of always-fatal Huntington’s Disease. Genova educates and entertains as she shares the story of a 40-something Boston cop and his family dealing with a disease that his four children have a 50 percent chance of inheriting.
Simon & Schuster, April 2015
- Missing You by Kylie Kaden
Young Brisbane couple, Aisha and Ryan meet, fall in love and marry. Their relationship is tested however when son Eli is born and it’s discovered he is autistic. One night after Ryan walks out Aisha visits her father, Patrick. She receives a call and leaves Eli with Patrick to meet someone. But she doesn’t return and days later her car is found with blood on the seat. While this novel is full of suspense, my fave part was the relationship between Patrick and Eli as they grew to understand each other.
Random House, April 2015
So there you have it—my picks so far this year.
I’ll be back next month for more fiction fun and frivolity and I’ll be sharing my favourite book of the year so far (big call, I know!).
Do any of these reads interest you? Or perhaps they’d make the perfect Mother’s Day pressie?
Deborah blogs about books, not-dieting and life in general at debbish.com. According to Deborah, her life-long love of reading is only surpassed by her addiction to diet coke, baths, chocolate and champagne. She blogs over at Debish