Essential Summer Reading Books

I don’t know about you, but when I’m on a break or holiday is when I tend to do the most reading. There’s nothing more relaxing than escaping reality in a good book. Whether you are into romance, biographies, crime, self help or need a good laugh, we’ve found some of the hottest books around to keep you interested over the Summer break. Here are our top 10 Summer reads:

Award-winning journalist and the mastermind behind a popular reality TV column, James Weir, (if you haven’t already, have a read of James’ articles on News.com. Witty and hilarious!) has released his first book to rave reviews.

Synopsis:

A sleepy town is about to wake up and smell the turmeric lattes #DontForgetYourKeepCup

It started with the Hemsworths. Now, Byron Bay local, Aimee Maguire, is about to lose everything because she can’t afford to pay the rent. Her engagement is also on an official time-out since her fiancé doesn’t know what he wants. The last thing she needs is a surprise visit from her micro-influencer niece looking to ‘build her brand’.

Her arrival sets off a chain of events that ends with Aimee tangled up with a group of influencers-turned-reality TV stars, exposing her to the absolute worst of humanity. But somewhere amid this mother of all messes there just might be a silver lining Aimee has been searching for. All she needs to do is embrace the one thing she’s been fighting so hard against – change.

Cashed-up celebs, desperate wannabes, cranky Karens and cringe-worthy hashtags – it’s all here in this hilarious novel about the celebrification of Byron Bay and the power of letting go.

A riveting novel about what we choose to keep from our past, and what we choose to leave behind, from the New York Times bestselling author of Wish You Were Here and the bestselling author of She’s Not There.

Synopsis:

Olivia McAfee and Ava Campanello have each had a change of life forced upon them. Olivia never dreamed that after her messy divorce she would find herself back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in and taking over her father’s beekeeping business. Ava is also in search of a fresh start, moving to Adams with her daughter Lily, who is in her final year of high school.

For a short while, these new beginnings are just what everyone hoped for. Olivia’s son Asher falls for the new girl at school, and Lily can’t help loving him in return. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time, yet she wonders if she can trust him completely.

Then one day Olivia receives a phone call. Lily is dead and Ash is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent, but she also recognises the flashes of his father’s dangerous temper in him. As the case unfolds she realises Ash has hidden more than he’s shared with her.

Fan favourite Jordan McAfee, previously in The Pact, Nineteen Minutes and Salem Falls, returns as Ash’s lawyer and Olivia’s brother.

Mad Honey is a gripping novel of suspense, a poignant love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take.

Sarah Ayoub is a journalist, bestselling author and academic with a PhD in migrant Australian YA literature. Her work has been published in The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney Review of Books, Meanjin and more, has released her latest book, The cult of romance.

Synopsis:

When your bestie is marrying a guy she barely knows, can you save her from the cult before it’s too late? Natalie is living proof that love is a scam. She’s traumatised by her parents’ failed marriage and overwhelmed by her grandmother’s expectations of good Lebanese girls — marriage, motherhood and exceptional tabouli-making skills. When her best friend decides to get hitched to a guy in the motherland, Nat’s not exactly thrilled by the mammoth task before her: juggling cultural traditions, extra bridesmaid dresses and super-judgemental relatives. And to top it off there’s the annoyingly good-looking best man and his constant need to mansplain all of the things. Natalie is in for the trip of her life. But can she save her friend from the cult of romance, without falling in love herself?

Melbourne-based Australian writer Sally Hepworth is the New York Times bestselling author of eight novels (and more than one million books worldwide), most recently The Soulmate.

Synopsis:

Gabe is alone at the cliff’s edge. His arms are outstretched, palms facing the empty air.’

He said she jumped. He wouldn’t lie.

Before the woman went over the cliff, Pippa and Gabe were happy. They had the kind of marriage that everyone envies, as well as two sweet young daughters, a supportive family, and a picturesque cliff-side home – which would have been idyllic had the tall beachside cliffs not become so popular among those wishing to end their lives.

Gabe has become somewhat of a local hero since they moved to the cliff house, talking seven people down from stepping off the edge. But when Gabe fails to save the eighth, a sordid web of secrets begins to unravel, pushing bonds of loyalty and love to the brink.

What wouldn’t you do for your soulmate?

From journalist, author and podcaster Georgie Abay, Best Laid Plans is an honest and frank look at how life often plays out like trying to walk in a straight line after ten margaritas.

Prior to founding her own media company (The Grace Tales, a lifestyle platform for mothers), Georgie was the Deputy Editor at Australian Vogue. Over two decades as a journalist, Georgie interviewed hundreds of people from all over the globe and shared their stories, all while living her own personal version of Plan B. What she learnt through her own experience and those candid discussions is that how we choose to deal with life’s unexpected twists and turns is what defines us, and resilience is everything.

Featuring myriad stories about life not going according to plan and what comes next, Best Laid Plans explores how to overcome tragedy, embrace failure, and find joy when we suddenly hit life’s more challenging moments. Sharing Georgie’s personal stories and those of many others, these are warm, empathetic and wise chapters on love, grief, career, motherhood and more, offering insight from well-known personalities such as Australian of the Year Grace Tame, writer Pandora Sykes, entrepreneur Jodie Fox, author Aminata Conteh-Biger and actor Teresa Palmer.

Australia’s leading rural literature author, Fleur’s books become best sellers almost as quickly as they hit the shelves. We are sure you will love Fleur’s latest novel, Broad River Station.

Synopsis:

A young constable faces prejudice in a small country town, but the search for a missing child changes everything. A breathtaking novel of rural suspense from the bestselling Voice of the Outback.

Mia, a newly graduated constable, is assigned to the small country town of Broad River. And as certain as she is about her ability to do the job, on day one she’s already in conflict with colleagues who believe that women shouldn’t be coppers.

It takes the shine off coming home, where her grandmother, Clara, is in the early stages of dementia. Mia is accustomed to their conversations often not quite making sense, but when Clara gives Mia a mysterious key and hints of veiled family secrets, Mia isn’t sure what she should believe.

In the midst of all this, a local child goes missing and Mia is confined to the barracks. When Detective Dave Burrows realises she has skills that could be put to use, Mia’s career takes a new turn, and she must decide down which road to walk.

From the much-loved Myf Warhurst comes a captivating and joyous memoir of wisdom, humour and heart that unleashes the music within us all.

We all have a soundtrack to our lives, songs that as soon as we hear them we’re transported to a moment in time. As the youngest child, and only girl, in a family of creative types, Myf Warhurst grew up with the music in her. Whether she was watching Daryl Braithwaite on TV on a Sunday night or listening to the crackle of the needle across vinyl as Agnetha and Anni-Frid took her from rural Victoria to Eurovision, music has always shaped Myf’s life. Later her love of music (and the realisation that a professional pianist gig wasn’t part of the plan) would shape her career.
But music isn’t just about memories. It’s a safe place for people who feel different. Songs and lyrics helped Myf make sense of the world and deal with heartbreak and uncertainty. Music steered her hopes and fashion choices, cemented friendships and bonded her family. In Time of My Life, she shares funny, fabulous and occasionally fraught tales about growing up in a small country town with an unhealthy obsession with Countdown, then working in Australian radio and her experiences on the much-loved music quiz show Spicks & Specks. She spills the backstage beans on work, fame, feminism, failure, love and success. Like a sommelier matches food with wine, Myf matches hits with memory, and in the process reminds us all that, as Louis Armstrong said, ‘Music is life itself.’

A captivating and joyous memoir of wisdom, humour and heart that unleashes the music within us all.

Trent Dalton, Australia’s best-loved writer, goes out into the world and asks a simple, direct question: ‘Can you please tell me a love story?’

A blind man yearns to see the face of his wife of thirty years. A divorced mother has a secret love affair with a travelling priest. A widower miraculously finds a three-minute video recorded by his wife before she died. A tree lopper’s heart falls in a forest. A working mum contemplates taking the photographs of her late husband down from the fridge. A girl writes her last letter to the man she loves, then sets it on fire. An ageing gigolo regrets the one that got away. A palliative care nurse helps a dying woman converse with the angel at the end of her bed. A renowned 100-year-old scientist ponders the one great earthly puzzle he was never able to solve: ‘What is love?’

Endless stories. Human stories. Love stories.

Inspired by a personal moment of profound love and generosity, bestselling author and one of Australia’s finest journalists Trent Dalton spent two months in 2021 pounding city pavements, speaking to Australians from all walks of life and asking them one simple and direct question: ‘Can you please tell me a love story?’ For two straight weeks, he sat at a desk with a sky-blue 1960s Olivetti typewriter, on the bustling corner of Adelaide and Albert streets, Brisbane, with a sign saying, ‘Sentimental writer collecting love stories.

If you are looking to change things up in your life in 2023, this is the book for you.

People think that when you want to change your life, you need to think big. But world-renowned habits expert James Clear has discovered another way. He knows that real change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions: doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes early, or holding a single short phone call.

He calls them atomic habits.

In this ground-breaking book, Clears reveals exactly how these minuscule changes can grow into such life-altering outcomes. He uncovers a handful of simple life hacks (the forgotten art of Habit Stacking, the unexpected power of the Two Minute Rule, or the trick to entering the Goldilocks Zone), and delves into cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience to explain why they matter. Along the way, he tells inspiring stories of Olympic gold medalists, leading CEOs, and distinguished scientists who have used the science of tiny habits to stay productive, motivated, and happy.

These small changes will have a revolutionary effect on your career, your relationships, and your life.

In her first solo memoir, New York Times bestselling author Joanna Gaines invites us on an authentic and deeply vulnerable journey into her story — and helps shine a light on the beauty of our own–guiding us to release the weights that hold us back so we may live and share our story in truth.