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6 new books that will get you out of your reading slump

IMAGE VIA @ZIGS_MOM/INSTAGRAM

WORDS BY MAGENTA PORTER

You won’t be able to put these down.

November is the worst month of the year. Yes, I said it. It’s like a Thursday – you’re nearly at the end, summer is just around the corner, but it’s not quite time to pop the champers just yet, and work is only ramping up. 

If you’re feeling as worn out and tired after the year we’ve had as I am, you’re no doubt dreaming about a day in the not so distant future when you can finally be somewhere sunny with a good book and a mojito in hand (without a Zoom meeting in sight).


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Thank god we’re almost there. With only two weeks until summer and the silly season officially kicks off, I thought it would be the perfect time to deliver you a list of the best summer reads. Think beach day worthy, lazy Sunday mornings in bed type of books. Books, that will not only keep you entertained, but hopefully teach you a thing or two as well. 

Love & Virtue by Diana Reid

 

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Written over lockdown by first-time author Diana Reid, Love & Virtue is a story of consent, power and sex. Often compared to Sally Rooney’s campus-based, nuanced novels, Reid’s first book hits a little closer to home. Set at a residential college at one of Sydney’s prestigious universities, the story follows a friendship between two new students from different worlds, Eve and Michaela. 

After a foggy, drunken, sexual encounter at an O-Week party, the friendship dynamics shift, as confident Eve begins to take ownership and power over Michaela’s experience of sexual assault. In this brilliant novel, Reid explores the complexity of sexual consent and violence, female friendship and the difficulty and excitement of starting university in the big city. It’s a story that not only has an immense amount of cultural relevance in 2021, but a tale that hits close to home for so many young women in Australia, both literally and figuratively.

Get it here.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

 

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This autobiography by Michelle Zauner is a personal retelling of what it’s like growing up Korean American in the small town of Eugene, Oregon. The memoir explores Zauner’s life – the stress of trying to meet her mother’s high expectations, her difficult and painful teenage years, and her love for her grandmother and her tiny apartment in Seoul.

Zauner grapples with her cultural heritage and identity and becomes further and further removed from it as she enters adulthood, despite living her dream life, spending her days studying on the East Coast, dating and playing in her band. 

When her mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer, everything changes. Zauner is forced to reflect and reclaim the legacy her mother and grandmother gave her – the food, the language and the history. Crying in H Mart is an eye-opening memoir, with a very high, 4.35-star rating on Goodreads, so you can be sure that Zauner has done something (everything) right. 

Get it here

How We Love by Clementine Ford

 

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Fresh off the press, this bestselling author and feminist icon’s latest book is a personal exploration of love, in all of its glorious forms. The memoir takes the reader on Ford’s personal ‘love’ journey, covering stories of loss, grief, family and romantic love. Ford explores the intensity of first love, and the way love contorts and changes in adulthood, as life throws many a spanner straight into the face of it.

She acknowledges all the different kinds of love we experience and highlights how no type of love, romantic, familial or parental, is more strong or important than another. This is the perfect book to read over summer – it will fill you with joy, it will make you laugh, and above all, it will strike you right where it matters most: in the heart. All of the feels, truly. 

Get it here

The Hush by Sara Foster

 

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This one is for all of you thrill-seekers out there. If you’re not in the mood for a relaxing beach read this summer and like to be kept on the edge of your seat, Sara Foster’s latest novel is the one for you. This book follows the disappearance of several young pregnant women, as a pandemic (not the kind starting with a C) sweeps over the country.

Newborn babies stop breathing and the government starts monitoring the movement of all of its citizens… sound familiar? Foster’s thriller, however, won’t throw you back into day 189 of lockdown. This brand new, female-led thriller explores a society on the edge, while highlighting the unwavering power of female friendship. 

Get it here

You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry

 

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This wouldn’t be a proper summer reading list without an actual summer vacay book, now would it? From the author of Beach Read, Emily Henry’s latest rom-com was made for lying by the pool, smelling like SPF 50+. You and Me on Vacation is a classic love story – a will-they-won’t-they push and pull between best friends, Poppy and Alex.

It’s an easy, fun-filled, romantic read, that will have you filled with anticipation, annoyance, and giddiness all at the same time, like any romantic comedy should. This book delivers on its promise, and if you’re looking to lay back and enjoy the rollercoaster of love, then this is the one for you. 

Get it here

Caught in the Act by Courtney Act (Shane Jenek)

 

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Another memoir I know, but I shan’t apologise. It seems that everyone has done some deep internal reflection over the pandemic and memoirs are, quite simply, very hot right now. In this autobiographical book, we meet Shane Jenek, the boy from the Brisbane ’burbs who makes a promise to himself that he is destined for bigger and better things. Then we meet Courtney Act, born in Sydney (on Oxford Street, the home of Mardi Gras), who goes onto star on Australian Idol, RuPaul’s Drag Race and Celebrity Big Brother UK, just to name a few. 

This is a story of growth, gender, sexuality, and of embracing your truest self. It’s heartbreaking, hilarious and, of course, an absolute scream. This is a blast of fun, fresh and fabulous air from Australia’s beloved drag and entertainment icon, Courtney Act, that we all need after this shemozzle of a year.

Get it here.

To discover more amazing new releases and find your perfect summer read, head here

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