May 2015 favourite reads

Deborah CookLife 23 Comments

Editor’s note: Please welcome back Deborah from Debbish Dotcom. Deb 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. 

Like the proverbial bad smell I’m back, doused in cheap stinky perfume, and ready to share some of my favourite reads from the past month.

1. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
I love love loved this book. It features a twist which renders all previous twists mere tangles.

The book kicks off with a hit and run which kills a five-year-old boy walking home from school with his mother. Jenna escapes memories of the accident by heading to an isolated coastal cabin to start life afresh. Naturally, just as she’s moving on, her tragic past is uncovered.

This book hasn’t received a lot of fanfare here in Australia—despite receiving the largest proportion of 5 star reviews I’ve seen on Goodreads! Without a doubt, this is my favourite book of the year. So far.

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Hachette Australia, May 2015



2. Only We Know by Victoria Purman
I’m not a huge lover of romantic fiction. I suspect it’s because I spent much of my life feeling cheated by the Mills & Boon novels I read at my grandmother’s in the 1980s which suggested wealthy handsome men would be overwhelmed by my innocent beauty and throw themselves at my feet. They didn’t and I remain single. So, hmph! On top of that I struggle with sex scenes in books, many of which make me want to heave. However… I loved this delightful Aussie novel, which most certainly did not give me the urge to barf.

Teacher Calla Maloney sets off for Kangaroo Island hoping to track down her missing brother. Enroute she meets firefighter (yes, I know!!!) Sam Hunter who’s visiting the island to convince his elderly father to leave the family farm. You can kinda imagine the rest but… what I really loved about this book was Purman’s writing. It was so real and accessible it lured me in, and the dialogue is fabulous. I devoured this book. Despite the romance.

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Harlequin MIRA, May 2015

only we know


3. Memory Man by David Baldacci
Many authors churn out series of books featuring strong-but-flawed lead characters to entice readers. It doesn’t always work and I haven’t been a fan of some of Baldacci’s other series, which is why I was surprised at how much I loved his new protagonist Amos Decker. The former cop hit rock bottom after his wife and daughter were killed. Realising his family would have been disappointed at what he’d become he’s trying to get his life back on track and started his own PI business. In this first of a new series, Decker finds himself drawn back into a police investigation into a mass shooting at a local high school.

Of course Decker isn’t any ordinary man… an old football accident left him with hyperthymesia. He can’t forget ANYTHING and his recall is perfect. Coupled with his investigative skills and (ahem) slightly obsessive nature; it means he’s the perfect man to solve this crime. I have to confess I have a wee crush on Decker; he reminded me how sexy smart men can be!

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PanMacmillan, May 2015



4. Palace of Tears by Julian Leatherdale
Although I’m not a fan of historical fiction I don’t mind novels which to and fro between timeframes. Freelance researcher and writer Leatherdale uses the Hydro Majestic in the Blue Mountains as his inspiration for this tale of tycoon Adam Fox and a hotel he built in 1900. We meet a number of women in Adam’s life—former lovers, wives and daughters, as his granddaughter attempts to unravel the mysteries and secrets which led to the hotel being known as ‘The Palace of Tears’. With the backdrop of WWI and WWII and appearances by guests Dame Nellie Melba and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, it’s a book rich in history as well as intrigue.

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Allen & Unwin, May 2015



5. In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
In her first adult novel in 20 years Judy Blume draws on events from her childhood when three passenger planes crashed in her hometown within a two month period (December 1951 – February 1952).

For Blume’s fictional characters the coincidence seems impossible. Conspiracy theories run riot and New Jersey’s Newark airport is eventually closed. But most importantly, many lives are changed as those affected (directly and indirectly) try to make sense of what’s happening. We’re predominantly in the head of 14 year old Miri Ammerman who lives with her unmarried mother, journalist uncle and grandmother.

Written for an adult audience it’s a coming-of-age novel for three generations of the Ammermans, and for those whose lives have been touched by the series of tragedies.

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PanMacmillan, June 2015 (I’ve slipped this in as it’s published in a day or two)



There have been a stack of other fabulous books released this month: At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen (of Water for Elephants fame), A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson and new releases by Aussie authors John Birmingham, Matthew Reilly, Jenn J McLeod and Helene Young. But alas… my attention span is limited.

I’ll be back again with my fave reads next month, but in the meantime…

Have you been doing any reading? Do any of these new releases interest you?

debbishDeborah blogs about books, not-dieting and life in general at Her life-long love of reading is only surpassed by her addiction to vanilla diet coke, baths, chocolate and champagne. 

Comments 23

  1. Yes to Mills and Boon at Nanna’s. I devoured them. Except for me it was the 70’s. The real world was quite a shock!
    Have read and loved Bitter Greens, the original Rapunzel story for grown ups. Currently reading and enjoying Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrell.

  2. After a traumatic and eventful couple of months am getting back into my lifelong habit of 2-3 books a week. Great reviews. Have purchased the first 2 and downgraded samples of the remaining 3. Fave reads this month; Jane Green ‘The Accidental Husband’, , Anne Tyler ”The Beginners Goodbye”, and 4 books by Nancy Thayer. Chick lit all set in Nantucket, they went down like a smooth velvety red on a wintry day – just the soothing i needed. Reading certainly is food for the soul.

  3. I’ve been trying to read The 100 Foot Journey before this weekend (my book club is going on our annual weekend away and watching the movie tomorrow night) but alas, I haven’t quite got there – ok, I’m in the first 50 pages but still. Thanks for sharing your reviews Deb. I’ve not heard of several of these but you’ve given me some great inspo for future book club reads. Thanks and happy reading! x

  4. Nice deviation on the blog. And, as I too spent way too many hours in the 1980s reading my Nana’s Mills and Boons (jinx), I trust this reviewer’s judgement. No new lip gloss for me this week. I’m buying a book.

    1. Angela, I’m ashamed to admit I used to make a note of the characters’ (always-weird) names for my future babies! What can I say?! I WAS only a teenager!

  5. Thank you for these good reads ,I am currently reading Stephen Kings Revial but have not read very much I’m afraid!
    Nikki you have a lovely weekend Xx

      1. Nikki if you don’t like scary I wouldn’t read one of his books they all have a level of fear or something scary in them ,this one is only short stories though Xx

  6. I can second Kate Atkinson’s book but you should read Life after Life before A God in Ruins and for a no-brainer read i.e. airport purchase/holiday read/waiting to pick up kids from events… the new Maggie Alderson book is good and easy to dip into and follow.

  7. Long weekend here in Caloundra, perfect for curling up on the couch with a good book. A few here I will be definitely reading 🙂

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