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What's on our bookshelves this summer

Summer reading list

The holiday season is here which means time to relax, unwind and escape in a great book. We've curated a list of our team's favourite books from the past year to add to your reading list this summer. 

1. Lola in the Mirror
Trent Dalton

A new novel from best-selling Australian author Trent Dalton (Boy Swallows Universe and All Our Shimmering Skies). Set in Brisbane, it follows a seventeen-year-old girl Lola and her mother, who are on the run. An emotional and gritty journey that powerfully captures the dark underworld of drugs, homelessness and violence. You’ll finish feeling full of equal parts love, hope and despair.

2. The Good Life: Lessons from the World's Longest Scientific Study of Happiness
Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz

A fascinating and thought-provoking read on the secrets to a happy, fulfilling life. Written by the directors of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, the longest scientific study of happiness ever conducted. Waldinger and Schulz share the surprising but profound impact of human connection and relationships on our happiness.

3. Green Lights
Matthew McConaughey

A lover letter to life from Matthew McConaughey. An unconventional memoir that tells the story of his life growing up, his rise to fame, and the lessons he has learned. The book is filled with his little musings – bumpersticks as he calls them - how to catch the "greenlights" in life.

4. The Nightingale
Kristin Hannah

A heartbreaking historical romance that looks at the often-overlooked part of the Second World War – the women’s war. The Nightingale is a story of two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, throughout Nazi-occupied France. A beautiful and vivid tale focusing on love, resilience and the bond between women, particularly sisters. It’s currently being adapted into a film starring Elle and Dakota Fanning.

5. Wifedom
Anna Funder

Wifedom explores the influential role of Eileen O’Shaughnessy in author George Orwell's life. A captivating read that explores the often-unacknowledged work of women. The book reflects on marriage, writing, and the challenges faced by wives and writers.

6. Every Summer After
Carley Fortune

A heart-warming romance by award-winning journalist Carley Fortune. Told over six years and one weekend, it follows the connection between two teenagers, Percy and Sam, set in Canada. A nostalgic exploration of love, friendships, and the choices we make that can shape our lives forever.

 7. The Secret of Elephants
Vasundra Tailor

A captivating, easy-to-read novel that follows the life of Nirmala, a young mother in a loveless marriage, set in Navsari, India. Nirmala embarks on a journey to Zimbabwe to uncover her family's history and the hidden truths of her father's past. A moving and genre-bending book that covers themes of love, family, betrayal and mystery.  

 8. The Little Virtues
Natalia Ginzburg

A selection of short essays by acclaimed Italian author writing throughout the 20th Century. Wise, thoughtful and beautifully written, Ginzburg explores themes of family relationships, friendship, politics and war. The common thread that comes through is her love of life, even throughout times of melancholy. It delicately encourages readers to reflect on their values and purpose in life.

9. Hanging By A Thread
Erin Deering

A look into the life behind the scenes of Erin Deering – co-founder of Australian swimwear brand, Triangl. An interesting insight into another young Australian start-up’s rise, and the delicate balance of achieving success while navigating mental health challenges.

 10. The Creative Act: A Way of Being
Rick Rubin

Renowned music producer Rick Rubin offers a beautifully crafted and much-acclaimed book on creativity and the artist's journey. "The Creative Act" distills his lifetime of wisdom, that will leave you inspired to embrace creativity in all avenues of life. 

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