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The FJ team shares their favourite winter page-turners

WORDS BY KATE STREADER

This is what we’re reading this winter.

During the cold months, a lot of things tend to fall by the wayside – exercise, social outings, and outdoor activities don’t pair so well with rainy winter weather. But staying in more does usually lead to more reading time.

So, as we all prepare to spend more time indoors across the weeks ahead, I asked the FJ team what books they’ve loved recently and what’s on top of their winter to-read pile.


For more content like this, browse through our Life section.


Whether you’re looking for a quick, easy read, a slow burn, thought-provoking theory, or something dense that will keep you occupied for a while, here’s what we’re reading this winter.

Emotional Female by Yumiko Kadota

Recommended by: Ella Taverner, Fashion Journal‘s Accounts Manager

Recommended to me by a number of friends and family members, Yumiko Kadota’s debut novel Emotional Female is a personal memoir recounting her experience as a surgeon in Australia’s public health system. Kadota bravely narrates the emotional and physical trauma she experienced at the hands of a taxing and relentless male-dominated industry, and how she found the resilience to rebuild her life. Based on the blurb alone, I’m interested to read about her experience with the pressure of perfectionism in the workplace, an issue I think plagues a lot of successful women today.

Get it here.

Childhood by Tove Ditlevsen

Recommended by: Kate Streader, Fashion Journal contributor

I was gifted this book by my partner shortly after we started dating and was instantly taken by it. Originally published in Danish, the English translation of this novel is meticulous! The first instalment in a trilogy of memoirs spanning Childhood, Youth, and Dependency, this short novel sees the Danish poet and author reflect on her childhood, her relationship with her family and how those things influenced the way she saw the world. Her writing is so bleak and blunt yet beautiful and expressive, I just adore this book.

Get it here.

Sundressed by Lucianne Tonti

Recommended by: Cait Emma Burke, Fashion Journal‘s Digital Editor

 

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Sundressed is the debut book from The Saturday Paper‘s Fashion Editor, Lucianne Tonti, and I have the privilege of making my way through an advance copy at the moment (it’s out on July 19). Sundressed is a deep dive into the future of genuinely sustainable fashion and focuses on the importance of natural fibres like cotton, flax, cashmere and wool. Tonti is a superb writer, and while I’ve only recently started reading Sundressed, I can tell it’s going to be an engrossing read for any fashion lover.

Get it here.

Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg 

Recommended by: Daisy Henry, Fashion Journal intern

Though I’m not usually one for short stories, I picked this one up after hearing my friend’s raving review (plus I’ll admit, a nice book cover will win me over any day). Having read it in only a few days, I’m so glad I ventured out of my reading comfort zone and tried something new. From its clever way of discussing absurd marriage-related traditions through a story about a ritual goat sacrifice to telling a story about the breakdown of a relationship in a list of lies, it is simultaneously the strangest yet most wonderful book I have come across.

Get it here.

Sunbathing by Isobel Beech

Recommended by: Ruby Staley, Fashion Journal contributor and content creator

 

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In preparation for my own solo Euro trip, I smashed through Sunbathing – a story that follows a young woman’s journey through grief against the backdrop of the Italian countryside – in a matter of two days. It’s Beech’s debut novel and surprisingly so. Sunbathing is written with so much generosity that it’s almost bursting at the seams with emotion.

Centred around beautiful descriptions of everyday life, the main characters’ natural surroundings and interactions, the book slowly unravels a deep sadness from within. It broke my heart towards the end, but not in the way I expected. Such a lovely and heartwarming, but also soft and sombre read.

Get it here.

Seeing Other People by Diana Reid

Recommended by: Daisy Henry, Fashion Journal intern

For the Diana Reid fans out there, I’m also about to finish an advance copy of her upcoming release, Seeing Other People and I just have to say, wow. Though I hold Love and Virtue as one of my all-time favourite reads, this one might be even better. It’s fairly character-driven (which I adore), with tight, witty dialogue and brilliant observations about relationships, morality and desire.

Get it here.

Pachinko by Lee Min-Jin

Recommended by: Cait Emma Burke, Fashion Journal‘s Digital Editor

 

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I’m currently reading Pachinko for a book club I’m in, and while it’s taking some time to make my way through (it’s almost 500 pages, and quite dense), it’s become the book I most look forward to reading when I climb into bed at night. I often have several books on the go, which some people think is a terrible way to read, but personally, I enjoy the variety. The book follows four generations of a Korean family who move to Japan amid Japanese colonisation, and it’s tough reading at times. In the beginning, the characters live bleak, tough lives, but the way Min-Jin writes – full of insight and heavy on the details – makes it hard to put down.

Get it here.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Recommended by: Ella Taverner, Fashion Journal‘s Accounts Manager

I stumbled across this book when scouring Good Reads’ list of the Top 30 Fiction Books of 2020. The story follows the life of Nora Seed, a lonely and dejected protagonist in search of purpose for her existence. Feeling a sense of resentment for the life that she’s created, Nora happens upon a library housing an infinite number of books, each filled with a story of an alternate reality. Though, at times a confronting and emotional read, Haig’s writing is rooted in a sense of whimsy and nostalgia similar to that of a children’s bedtime story, making it the perfect novel to delve into this winter.

Get it here.

The Right To Sex by Amia Srinivasan

Recommended by: Kate Streader, Fashion Journal contributor

 

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A collection of essays by feminist philosopher, writer and academic Amia Srinivasan, The Right To Sex looks at the taboo subject of sex through various lenses. Bold and boundary-pushing, Srinivasan’s debut book unpacks topics including pornography, desire, consent, power dynamics, and liberation and the roles they play in our sex lives. I haven’t picked this up yet, but I expect it to be a very thoughtful and provocative read.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Recommended by: Ruby Staley, Fashion Journal contributor and content creator

My housemate recently lent me her copy of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it, having had no expectations going in. What started out as a bit of a strange introduction to an oddball character, one I found I couldn’t relate to at all, I quickly became invested in the titular character’s tragic life. I don’t think I’d classify this one as a must-read by any means, but it was interesting and easy to get through. Although it goes down a bit of a dark path, the end left me feeling all the warm and fuzzies, so that’s a plus for sure.

Get it here.

For more reading recommendations, head here

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