One of the bonuses of being at home is having more time to read. Throughout isolation I’ve been listening to book club conversations, joining virtual book launches and buying some new reads online. Thrillers are big at the moment. They are action packed and can take your mind off everything going on. Some people are finding it hard to find books that can capture their attention and sweep them away. It’s not a great time to be launching a book right now but there are some excellent stories being released in an array of genres. Here are some of my top picks and suggestions from my author and book seller friends for iso-reading.
- The Good Turn by Perth author -Dervla McTiernan. I’ve been waiting for the latest tome in Dervla’s Cormac Reilly crime series to come out and have just ordered it from local Brisbane independent bookshop – Avid Reader. Set in Ireland this story begins with the abduction of a young girl, the only witness an ailing boy who watches from a distant bedroom window. In McTiernan’s trademark style, the story that unfolds reveals murder and police corruption. I was lucky enough to meet Dervla in person here in Brisbane and she was the loveliest person. If you haven’t read her work start with The Ruin and The Scholar for some of the best crime writing in the world.
- The Weekend by Charlotte Wood is one that everyone has recommended to me, so that was added to cart as well. This book is a number one international bestseller shortlisted for the Stella Prize 2020. Three women in their seventies reunite for one last, life changing weekend in the beach house of their late friend. Four women have had a lifelong friendship of the best kind : loving, practical, frank and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts for the remaining three. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long buried hurts to the surface – and threatens to sweep away their friendship for good.
- I have recently been to the Avid Reader Zoom Launch of Lauren Chater’s book – Gulliver’s Wife. Lauren was in conversation with local author -Cass Moriarty. This book tells the tale of Mary Burton Gulliver, midwife and herbalist, who is forced to rebuild her life when her husband is lost at sea. But three years later when Lemuel Gulliver is brought home fevered and communicating in riddles, her ordered world is turned upside down. Mary is caught in the crossfire of her husband’s outlandish claims and must navigate a safe passage for her daughter and the women in her care. When a dangerous stranger darkens their door Mary must set out on her own journey to discover the truth of Gulliver’s travels. Lauren explained that her own Mum was a midwife and how interesting it was to research midwifery in eighteenth century England. Author Natasha Lester describes the book as “ a vividly imagined and gloriously told tale….. that brings Mary Gulliver powerfully and enthrallingly to life. “
- Another suggestion from Cass Moriarty, Avid Reader’s Fiona Stager and romance author Ally Blake is Mirandi Riwoe’s – Stone Sky Gold Mountain. Family circumstances force siblings Ying and Lai Yue to flee their home in China to seek their fortunes in Australia. Life on the goldfields is hard, and they soon abandon their diggings and head to nearby Maytown. Once there Lai Yue finds a job as a carrier on an overland expedition while Ying finds work in a local store and strikes up a friendship with Meriem, a young white woman with her own troubled past. When a serious crime is committed, suspicion falls on those who are outsiders.
- I was lucky enough to win a copy of Natasha Lester’s latest work The Paris Secret from author Kelly Rimmer’s Facebook page. It sounds like the perfect book for me. Set in Paris, full of Dior gowns, mystery and love this book has been written by one of my favourite authors. A wardrobe of Dior gowns, a secret kept for 65 years and the three women bound forever by war. England 1939 and talented pilot Skye Penrose encounters her estranged sister. Paris 1947 Designer Christian Dior unveils his first collection. He names his debut fragrance Miss Dior, in tribute to his sister, Catherine. (This also happens to be my all time favourite fragrance.) Present day Australia and Kat Jourdan discovers a secret wardrobe full of Dior gowns which makes her question everything she has known about her beloved grandmother. The Paris Secret is an unforgettable story about the lengths people go to protect one another, and a love that, despite everything , lasts a lifetime.
In times of trouble I always turn to a book. Whether you love thrillers, fantasy, historical fiction, women’s fiction or romance there will be a story to sweep you away from the everyday. These are just some of the brilliant books that have been penned recently by Australian authors. It’s a good time to be supporting our homegrown talent who’ve worked so hard to bring their books to publication. Be swept away with some of my best isolation reads!
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).