What we're reading

Author: Deb & Janine  Date Posted:13 June 2024 

Every week in our newsletter we mention a book or two that we've loved, or that you've told us you loved. To make it easy for you to find our book recommendations, we've put them all in one place. Now you know where to come when you need a new book! Please share any good books you're read too. Just send us an email.


You may know the Academy Award nominated actor Stanley Tucci for his work in The Devil Wears Prada, The Hunger Games and the perfect Negroni, but Stanley grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the table. His book Taste: My Life Through Food is an intimate reflection on the intersection of food and life written with Stanley's signature wry humour and nostalgia.

The Lost Bookshop by Evie Woods tells the story of Opaline, Martha and Henry and their search for a vanishing bookshop while discovering themselves. Opaline's story is one of an independent woman in a time when women were considered to be the property of men. While Martha has escaped from a traumatic marriage and finds refuge as a housekeeper in a mansion, that soon starts to help her find her way again. A magical book and quite lovely.


Presented as emails, What's App messages and other forms of digital communication, The Appeal by Janice Hallett is a crime story about a couple of law students who are hired to go through the messages to discover what really happened. Helen says, "I really loved the format. I found it intriguing putting it all together and tracking the story, particularly when you only see one side of the messages."

Only a Monster by Vanessa Len is the story of a monster and a hero. Joan has just learned that she is part of a family of monsters with incredible powers, and the ability to travel through time but stealing it from humans. It's a fun, fabulous and intriguing adventure.


Storm Child is the fourth and latest offering in the Cyrus Haven series from the master of crime Michael Robotham. To be released later in June, this follows the story of Evie Cormac and forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven as a tragedy on a British beach unlocks terrifying memories for Evie. This latest tragedy finds the same dark forces from her past reaching out, dragging her back into the storm. This award-winning series began with Good Girl Bad Girl, followed by When She Was Good, and Lying Beside You. Read from the beginning - it's utterly absorbing.

On Wednesday night, Greg and I went to hear Sulari Gentill talk as part of the Sydney Writer's Festival. Greg loves her Rowland Sinclair series, which centres around a group of artist friends in Sydney in the 1930s, so I thought it would be fun to discover more about her. Apparently she never knows what her characters are going to do next - she literally lets it just come out of her as she types. We had to get her latest book The Mystery Writer, of course. Greg is reading it first so I have to wait my turn!


Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros is next on my reading list. My daughter Kiera loved it, lent it to her dad, and I've been waiting very impatiently to get my hands on it. A mix of fantasy, romance and dragons with the main character Violet striving to become a 'dragon rider', I'm intrigued to find out what all the hype is about! I'll let you know.

I picked up Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros last week. You might remember Deb suggested it as a book she was reading last week. Well now I'M HOOKED. I've finished Fourth Wing and now I'm on to the second in the series - Iron Flame. It's a mix of fantasy, romance and dragons and it's utterly gripping. The only problem - the next book in the series isn't released until January next year. Ugh!


If you love murder mysteries like the Thursday Murder Club, you'll love the Dr Nell Ward Mystery series. The first is A Murder of Crows which I started and finished last week, and I'm most of the way through the second - A Cast of Falcons. Dr Nell Ward is an ecologist, not a detective but you soon find her using her unique skills to solve the murder. A fun read with great characters, an intriguing mystery and a little bit of romance.

Our lovely customer Lesley Smith shared a book she's just been reading by Australian writer Kylie Orr. Here's what Lesley had to say...
The Eleventh Floor, by Kylie Orr is truyly unputdownable and I read an awful lot of books.   It’s a contemporary novel about a new mother, sleep deprived and struggling with motherhood in general who takes a one night break from her family to spend some ‘me’ time for one night at a hotel – and it all goes horribly wrong from there.   A suspensful, psychological drama that grips you from the first page... there’s a murder and of course a one night stand with the wrong person.  I woke up this morning at 2am and had to go downstairs to continue reading this book – it’s that good.


Last weekend, searching through the Kindle Unlimited library, The Day Shelley Woodhouse Woke Up by Laura Pearson popped into my feed. The premise was intriguing so I started reading and I'm so glad I did. Shelley Woodhouse wakes up in hospital and the last thing she can remember is her husband pushing her down the stairs. She can't understand, though, why the police haven't been called nor why she isn't getting any visitors. Slowly she starts to put the pieces together as the book unfolds. This book gripped me from the first page and I loved discovering what had actually happened to Shelley. 

Finishing Shelley Woodhouse, I went looking at what else Laura Pearson has written. She has several other books and I've just finished The Last List of Mabel Beaumont too. Again, it's a beautifully told story with wonderful characters. Well worth reading.



Helen has just started The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak and is finding it fascinating so far becasue one of the characters is a fig tree! It's about two star-crossed lovers in war-torn Cyprus in 1974 along with a girl's search for answers in the present day.

Deb is a fan of Robin Sharma's books and his latest - The Wealth Money Can't Buy - has just been released this week. It's a collection of short essays covering a huge range of subjects that are personal and entertaining. In the spirit of this section of the newsletter, Deb loved the chapter called 'The Human Who Reads the Most, Wins." and lines such as, "...if one finds the right book, at the right time, the writer's stardust rubs off on you" and "Reading daily grows your knowledge base and allows you to transcend hard situations, make fewer mistakes and predict the future." You'll never feel guilty about picking up that book again!

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