10 books to read right now

Deborah CookLife 24 Comments

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.

  1. 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.

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Random House, January 2015

  1. 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.

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Penguin Australia, January 2015

  1. 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.

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Simon & Schuster, February 2015

Books for Mother's Day 2015

  1. 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.

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Hachette Australia, January 2015

  1. 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.

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Text Publishing, February 2015

  1. 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.

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Simon & Schuster, March 2015

Book ideas April 2015

  1. 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.

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Hachette Australia, March 2015

  1. 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.

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Published by Allen & Unwin, March 2015

  1. 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.

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Simon & Schuster, April 2015

  1. 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.

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Random House, April 2015

Books to read in 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?

debbishDeborah 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

Comments 24

  1. I’m currently reading If She Did It and thought I was ahead of Deb but it appears I’m not. 99% of the books I read are inspired by Deb’s blog. What a great inclusion to Styling You 🙂

    1. Awww… thanks. The US version of If She Did It was called Lacy Eye (you’d get why… reading it). I like that title much better as ‘If She Did It’ is a bit too leading. Enjoy.

  2. Some great suggestions here, have noted a few down. I just bought Confessions of a Once Fashionable Mum by Georgia Madden for my sister and sister-in-law. I read it in a couple of sittings earlier this week and loved it. It’s kind of The Devil Wears Prada meets SAHM. Super-sharp humour, so close to the bone it’s scary!

  3. This is a wonderful collision of blogs! I love Deb’s reviews! I am going to get a few of these for mum for Mothers Day and maybe sneak read them first…!

    1. Just don’t bend the cover to much Jess. Of course (unlike me) you may want to avoid reading in the bath or when drinking wine, cos splotches are a dead giveaway!

  4. Great idea Nikki and welcome Deborah. I’m a very keen reader and have also read a few from your list. I just finished ‘All the light you cannot see’ Anthony Doerr and ‘Us’ David Nicholls. Both good reads. Really looking forward to your monthly list.

  5. Great idea Nikki and welcome Deborah. I’m a very keen reader and have also read a few from your list. I just finished ‘All the light you cannot see’ Anthony Doerr and ‘Us’ David Nicholls. Both good reads. Really looking forward to your monthly list.

  6. Thanks Deborah. I am loading up my e-reader for a trip, so I’m always on the lookout for suggestions of material worth reading.

  7. Thank you for the recommendations,I love reading too! the last book I tried to read was Gone Girl but could not get into it so have put it into my pile of read again someday pile X

    1. I only finished Gone Girl because I was on holiday and had to read what I had with me. I hated the characters, the actual writing was dreadful and there were too many holes in the plot- I’d say forget it. Life’s too short to read bad writing and there are plenty of great books out there to read.

    1. Ah yes, I had to force myself to add a few non-crime fiction / thrillers to the list! Just finished a good Aussie romance which I’ll include in the next post.

  8. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! It is so great to have these recommendations. I have glanced at a few of these and thought they looked good, so is great to know it is worth spending the money to read them! I really look forward to this monthly post. What a wonderful addition to your blog Nikki!

  9. Great list – thanks Deb! Got a few to add to the list from this review. Picked up Girl on the Train for a steal the other day, and have an order on its way from Book Depository.

  10. I love reading, and you have some great picks here. I have read Storm Clouds, it was really good. Would love to read The Girl On The Train, Claiming Noah, and The Pocket Wife – perfect weather to curl up with a book!

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