Hot reads for the cooler months

With the brisk, crisp mornings securely in place and winter looming on the horizon, what better time to plan your winter reading list? We’ve picked out some favourites – some sizzling, some romantic, some exciting – to keep you occupied while you’re rugged up indoors.


Cape May by Chip Cheek

The Great Gatsby meets Revolutionary Road in Cape May, an atmospheric tale of lust, innocence and betrayal from Chip Cheek. In late 1957, newlyweds Henry and Effie arrive in a sleepy beach town on their honeymoon. But marriage isn’t what they thought, and they begin to grow disappointed with their happy ever after. Just as they’re about to cut their trip short, they bump into an enigmatic and alluring group of people, sparking an entanglement of relationships, the consequences of which will reverberate through their whole lives.


The Wedding Puzzle by Sallie Muirden

On the morning of her wedding, 24-year-old Beth Shaw drives down the peninsula to the Portsea Hotel. She is uneasy and confused because she has just learnt something devastating about her fiancé, Jordan, that completely changes her view of him. With its Austenesque feel, The Wedding Puzzle is an astute, entertaining, and often tense comedy of manners, that considers our choice of partner and the decision to marry as the key moment in our lives.


Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor

It’s 1993 and Paul is a bartender at the only gay club in a university town thrumming with politics and partying. He studies queer theory, has a dyke best friend, makes zines, and is a flaneur with a rich dating life. But Paul’s also got a secret: he’s a shapeshifter. Swapping between genders at will, Paul takes himself on a journey of self-discovery through 90s America in a subversive, often erotic blend between speculative fiction and identity politics from debut author Andrea Lawlor.


The Second-Worst Restaurant in France by Alexander McCall Smith

Paul Stewart’s agent and girlfriend, Gloria, has arranged for him to write The Philosophy of Food in Six Easy Chapters, a project he relishes but that will have to be delivered in six months. It is not going well. So when his cousin offers to let him stay with her in a French village, he needs no second bidding. Once there, however, Paul finds his fortunes tangled up with the fate of one eating establishment in the village: the infamous Second Worst Restaurant in France…the latest from bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith is sure to amuse.


The New Me by Halle Butler

The New Me is a refreshing, contemporary fiction reminiscent of Sally Rooney’s Normal People and Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation. In a windowless office, the possibility of a permanent job arises. Will it bring the new life Millie (thirty years old, permanent temp) is envisioning – one involving a gym membership, a book club, and a lot less beer and TV – finally within reach? Or will it reveal just how hollow that vision has become?


Coach Fitz by Tom Lee

As one of the SMH Best Young Novelists of 2019, Tom Lee is certainly one to watch. His debut, Coach Fitz, follows a young jogger in an unstable relationship with an older woman. Coach Fitz is both the young man’s coach and mentor. As their relationship turns sour, he in turn becomes a coach, this time to a young man, as he attempts to orchestrate an ideal expression of his emotional, athletic and intellectual urges.


Small Days and Nights by Tishani Doshi

Escaping her failing marriage, Grace has returned to Pondicherry to cremate her mother. Once there, she finds herself heir to an unexpected inheritance. Luminous, funny, surprising and heartbreaking, Small Days and Nights is the story of a woman caught in a moment of transformation, and the sacrifices we make to forge lives that have meaning.


Close to the Edge by Tony Faber

In the middle of rush hour on the London tube, Laurie Bateman witnesses a terrible accident. Afterwards, her life – which had been looking up, with a new guy on the scene and finally getting praise at work – plummets downhill. Within a few days of the accident, her flat is burgled and her flatmate assaulted. Are the events linked? Perhaps what she saw was not an accident, but something much more sinister…


The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean

Part mystery, part coming of age story, The Van Apfel Girls are Gone is set in a distant suburb on the encroaching bushland, over the long hot summer of 1992. Reminiscent of The Virgin Suicides, The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone tells the story of an enigmatic group of sisters, who over the course of one long, hot summer, all disappeared. Tikka was eleven at the time. Now, as an adult, she returns home to try to make sense of the summer that shaped her.

The New Me

The New Me

Halle Butler

$22.99Buy now

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