There’s nothing quite like a good read over the summer months. Whether you’re on the train commuting to work, soaking up the sun at Brighton Beach or enjoying a coffee at a Church St cafe, it’s always more pleasant with a decent book in hand.
Here are five highly-rated, best-selling books that we think will make for a perfect summer read.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
This debut novel by Paula Hawkins follows the life of Rachel who takes the same commuter train to work every day. Each morning the train stops at a signal that allows Rachel to peer across the tracks and watch a couple eating breakfast in their backyard. Rachel even feels like she knows them – and refers to them as “Jess and Jason”. She sees their life as perfect and not unlike the life she used to have herself. But one day as she is staring out the window to catch a glimpse into this perfect couple’s lives, Rachel sees something shocking. Now everything has changed. Rachel cannot help but become involved in their lives. But has she done more harm than good? This compelling read will have you gripped.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and by the time she turns twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and both flee to Saint-Malo. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel. Orphan boy Werner grows up with his younger sister in a German mining town. Werner becomes fascinated by a simple radio he finds and becomes an expert at building and fixing them. It’s a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge. This stunning novel will leave you deeply moved.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo’s guide to decluttering the home takes readers through the KonMari Method for simplifying, organising and storing. Kondo takes tidying up to a new level, promising that if you do it properly the first time you’ll never have to do it again. Her tidying category-by-category method, as opposed to the more traditional room-by-room approach, leads to lasting results. Kondo also details direction for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and those that don’t) making for a cleaner, tidier home and a motivated mindset.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
As another new year kicks off, many feel inspired to take on a new creative project, make a change or introduce something new into their lives. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert can help you on the path to living with creativity and, as Gilbert so eloquently puts it, will make your life “a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting”. Gilbert guides the reader through the stages of courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust and divinity – all of which are crucial to embracing, inviting and enduring creativity in your life. Big Magic is not reserved for distinguished artists but for anyone seeking to live a life that is more inspiring.
The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham (film tie-in edition)
After spending 20 years in Paris mastering the art of dressmaking, Tilly Dunnage returns to her small home town in rural Australia – the same town she was banished from as a child. Tilly plans only to tend to her sick mother and leave. But she decides to stay in Dungatar, and even though she is still an outcast, her exquisite dresses prove to be appealing to the local women. Through her fashion business and developing friendships, Tilly finds a level of reluctant acceptance in her old town. But as her dresses begin to arouse competition and envy in town, old resentments resurface and Tilly plots revenge on those who wronged her. This modern Australian novel is best enjoyed by readers who love bittersweet humour and eccentric characters.