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Book Lists


8 Fantasy Series Older Teens Will Love

Anyone who has been paying attention to young adult fiction lately will know that fantasy is all the rage. In creating a new, fantastic world, authors are able to explore real world scenarios and themes in a removed setting, making them accessible on a moral level for teens. Lately, however, dystopian fantasy, such as The Hunger Games […]

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12 Children’s Books That Have Stayed With Us As Adults

We all remember them: the stories that lulled us to sleep, that spawned worlds in our minds during the day, that allowed us imagination and play. We all have at least one book that we read or was read to us as a kid, that has stayed with us into adulthood. If you have our […]

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Who Are They? The most reclusive and mysterious authors

It’s well-known that many authors prefer to distance themselves from their art – but do readers let them get away with it? Pen names, solitude, social withdrawal, and media avoidance are just some of their strategies. While many have attempted anonymity, few have maintained it. Better Reading brings you a list of the most elusive, […]

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Turning Back Time: The lure of historical fiction

We love historical fiction. Historical novels offer such fascinating insights to times past, whether they’re based on actual events, historical figures  or simply set in times gone by way. They can be a compelling way to learn about history, and make people who lived long ago seem much more real to us. Here are twelve […]

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Stella Prize announces 2017 Longlist

Arguably one of Australia’s most prestigious awards, the Stella Prize is presented annually to one female Australian author in recognition of their contribution to the literary landscape. Even though it’s relatively young, having been first awarded in 2013, its previous winners represent some of Australia’s best contemporary women writers, including Mateship with Birds by Carrie […]

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The Books That Made Me: Erin Kelly

He Said/She Said is the latest book by Erin Kelly, the London-based author of three riveting psychological thrillers. While it may not be your average thriller, He Said/She Said packs in more twists and turns than some of the most explosive books in the genre, and Kelly’s social consciousness provides us with meditations on the legal […]

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The 89th Academy Award Nominated Films That Started As Books…

The awards season is right around the corner, and while we gather to celebrate the original and innovative films put out each year, it’s worth giving a nod to those books that some fantastic films took their inspiration from. And this year, there’s quite a few. The Academy Awards are announced on February 26th – why […]

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Saucy Summer Reads: The Dirty Dozen by Author Fiona Higgins

Fiona Higgins is the author of three novels – Fearless (2016), Wife on the Run (2014), The Mothers’ Group (2012), and a memoir, Love in the Age of Drought (2009). After a saucy summer’s read? Here’s Fiona’s selection of her cheeky favourites, classic and modern: Hymn to Venus by Homer Here you were thinking that […]

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Escape the summer heat with this February’s New Release titles!

Are you looking for a reason to escape the summer swelter? Or maybe a companion at the beach? This February, we have a mixed bag of genres and more page-turners than you can read in a month. Fans of crime and mystery will be thrilled to see a massive collection of gritty stories, while readers […]

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Check out February’s New Releases in Kids and YA!

Are you and the kids looking for something to read this February? Take a look at these new titles hitting the stands in the next month! Kids Hooray for Birds! by Lucy Cousins (2+): In this fun, rhyme-filled offering by the creator of Maisy, children will be eager to join in as honorary fledglings, whether […]

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Brendan James Murray’s Top Ten Anti-War Books

Brendan James Murray, author of The Drowned Man, a true story of life, death and murder on HMAS Australia, reveals his top ten anti-war books: A list of anti-war books could be a thousand pages long. In fact, every book ever written about war could be argued as an anti-war book… A writer who sets […]

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Love Dogs? Love Reading? Top ten books about dogs by author Alex Cearns

Internationally renowned animal photographer Alex Cearns is the Creative Director of Houndstooth Studio and the author of Zen Dogs  Her images have won a multitude of awards and have been published widely across Australian and international print and online media, in books, magazines and campaigns. Inspired by the joy of working with animals, Alex’s philanthropy and passionate […]

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Australian stories for Australia Day

Books are a wonderful snapshot of our daily lives, and give us a better understanding of what goes on around us. In this list, we’ve taken a look at a few of our favourite novels set in Australia. Whether it be the country or city, past or present day, here are some of the books that […]

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Short on Time? These Collections of Short Stories May Be For You

Short story collections are small but perfectly formed works of fiction. Sometimes interlinked, sometimes stand alone, short story compilations can pack so many ideas into one book, and leave you reeling at the power of the author’s imagination. Here are some of the short story books we love. Anthropology is quite simply, brilliant. 101 short […]

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Debut Author Mark Smith on His Own Favourite (Recent) Debuts

As a debut novelist this year with The Road to Winter, I know well the trepidation first time authors feel when their baby is released into the clutches of the reading public. Whether it’s waiting for that first review, hoping at least family and friends turn up to your launch, coming to grips with maintaining […]

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Indie Book Awards 2017 Shortlist – Kids and YA

Here are the Children’s and YA titles vying for the Indie Book Awards for 2017! Chosen by Australian Indie Booksellers, the award recognises the best of Australian writing. Click on the titles or covers below for more information on the Kids and YA shortlist!   Children’s Circle by Jeannie Baker (Walker Books Australia) Pig the […]

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Author and Bookstore Owner Len Vlahos Picks His Favourite Books for Teens

Len Vlahos dropped out of NYU film school in the mid-eighties to play guitar and write songs, but after the band broke up he followed his other passion, books. He is the author of The Scar Boys, a William C. Morris Award finalist and a #1 Indie Next pick, and Scar Girl, the book’s sequel, […]

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10 of the Best Books to Escape with by Tricia Stringer

Tricia Stringer, author of A Chance of Stormy Weather, a comic rural romance about life after marrying a farmer, reveals her top ten list of books to escape with… We all read for different reasons at different times. I have to admit most of the time I read to be transported from my current reality […]

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My Favourite Reads of 2016 by Cathryn Hein

Cathryn Hein author of Wayward Heart, a sweeping story of love, loss and new beginnings, reveals  her favourite reads of 2016, month by month… January Disclaimer by Renee Knight When a story makes you feel fretful for fictional characters, the author is doing something right. This book has a fantastic premise: imagine if the next […]

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Ten books with Inspiring Female Protagonists by Sally Hepworth

Sally Hepworth, author of The Mother’s Promise, a novel about four strong female protagonists, reveals to Better Reading her other favourite females in books: As a woman and a writer of women’s fiction, I enjoy nothing more than reading female-centric books with inspiring female protagonists. And there are plenty of them. Below are some of […]

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Tracey Spicer’s Top Ten ‘Femoirs’

Tracey Spicer was always the ‘good girl’. Inspired by Jana Wendt, this bogan from the Brisbane backwaters waded through the “cruel and shallow money trench” of television to land a dream role: national news anchor for a commercial network. But the journalist found – for women – TV was less about news and more about […]

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Comedian Meshel Laurie’s Top Five Comedy Memoirs

With her new book, Buddhism for Breakups, due for release in February, Australian comedian and radio presenter Meshel Laurie delivers laughs instead of tears with her top five comedy memoirs: My Life with Groucho by Arthur Marx is a true Hollywood classic. As quirky comedy trailblazers from the Jewish slums of New York, via Vaudeville, The Marx […]

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9 of the Best Australian Contemporary Young Adult novels

YA author Steph Bowe chooses the cream of the crop in recent Australian YA releases that can be read by teenagers and adults alike! Steph Bowe was born in Melbourne in 1994 and now lives in Queensland. She has written two earlier YA novels: Girl Saves Boy and All This Could End, and her newest, […]

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New Year, New You – 12 Books to Make This Your Best Year Yet

If, like many others, you’re making resolutions this New Year, there’s probably a book to help you. Whether your aim is to get healthy, learn a new skill, be more mindful or have a tidier house, we’ve pulled together a list of titles that may inspire you, whatever your resolution is… From the incredibly popular Kayla […]

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Meredith Jaffe Best Books of 2016

Meredith Jaffé is a writer and occasional book critic. For four years she wrote the weekly literary column ‘The Bookshelf’ for the online women’s magazine The Hoopla; sharing literary news, reviewing books and interviewing writers. Meredith regularly chairs panels, presents workshops and interviews fellow authors for various literary events and writers’ festivals. Her latest book, […]

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The Cookbooks We’ll Give This Christmas (And Hope to Receive Too!)

  This year, there’s been an abundance of mouth-watering cookbooks hitting the shelves. The Better Reading team have chosen their six favourite books we wished we were getting ourselves and that we’ll give as gifts. From Mexican to Italian, from mastering the basics and do-it-yourself cocktails  these six books are the ones to keep an […]

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Ballast for the suitcase: Caroline Brothers’ summertime reading list

Caroline Brothers is the author of the hauntingly beautiful novel The Memory Stones about Argentina’s ‘disappeared’. Our previous Book of the Week, it’s a novel that will break your heart but ultimately offers hope with its themes of loss and redemption. Caroline reveals her recommendations for summer reading: Summer – hurrah! Time to catch up on […]

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17 Thrilling Reads for 2017 as Recommended by James Phelan

James Phelan is the bestselling, award-winning author of twenty-eight novels, including Dark Heart. From his teens he wanted to be a novelist but first tried his hand at ‘a real job’, studying and working in architecture before turning to English literature, spending five years at a newspaper and obtaining an MA and PhD in literature. James […]

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From Jane Austen to Chilling Thrillers, Ten of the Best Books about Siblings

Many of the best fiction books are based on families, and siblings in particular. Whether they get along well or at each other’s throats, they can make for some very interesting stories! Here are some of our favourite books about brothers and sisters. The five Bennet sisters is a classic tale – whether the close […]

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Mandy Magro’s Top 10 Favourite Books of All Time

Bestselling Australian romance writer Mandy Magro, author of The Wildwood Sisters, tells us her top ten favourite books of all time: THE FAMOUS FIVE SERIES – Enid Blyton This is where my love for the written word really started. I’m a big fan of Enid’s books, and I have passed my passion onto my eight-year-old daughter….my […]

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Candice Fox’s Top Ten True Crime Books For Crime Writing Research and Enjoyment

Bestselling Australian crime writer Candice Fox, author of Fall, Hades, and Never Never (this last one written with the one and only James Patterson), tells us her top ten true crime books… Be warned, these books are not for the faint hearted but for those interested in true crime, or even those wanting some inspiration for writing […]

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Top 10 Books I’d Love To Re-Read In the Holidays By Rachael Johns

Rachael Johns, author of the bestselling novel The Patterson Girls (#13 on Australia’s Top 100 2016), Outback Sisters (#23 on Australia’s Top 100 2016), The Art of Keeping Secrets and many more gives us her ‘Top Ten Books I’d Love To Re-Read’ List. As a writer I’d love to re-read some of my favourite books […]

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Books I’ve Loved Reading Over Long Hot Summers by Ann Turner

Ann Turner, author of Out of the Ice,  is an award-winning screenwriter and director, avid reader, and history lover. She is drawn to salt-sprayed coasts, luminous landscapes, and the people who inhabit them all over the world. She reveals the books she recommends reading over a long hot summer: With summer creeping in and the promise […]

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Big W Book Buyer Meredith Drake Reveals Her Top 10 Fiction Picks of 2016

  It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it! Meredith Drake is the book buyer for one of Australia’s major chains, Big W. In an article last year, The Australian described her as one of – it not THE – most influential people in the Australian book industry. She has the highly enviable job of choosing […]

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Ten books to help you survive the festive season by Emma Viskic

Emma Viskic is an award-winning Australian crime writer. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, Resurrection Bay, won the 2016 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction, as well as an unprecedented three Davitt Awards: Best Adult Novel, Best Debut, and Readers’ Choice. Resurrection Bay was iBooks Australia’s Crime Novel of 2015. She is currently writing the second novel in […]

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Writers’ Picks: Graeme Simsion recommends twelve books he is delighted to endorse

Graeme Simsion had a huge international hit with The Rosie Project which won ABIA Book of the Year in 2013 and its sequel The Rosie Effect. His latest book is The Best of Adam Sharp, about love, music and coming to terms with the past. He talks to Better Reading about endorsing books – and […]

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18 of our Favourite Books for Young Readers in 2016

There’s something for all kinds of young readers aged 8-12 here, with new releases starring favourite characters like Alice-Miranda, Nikki Maxwell, Andy and Terry or Greg Heffley as well as some new books with fresh new faces like Hamish Ellerby, Ivy Pocket and Max Crumbly.     Missed our list of picture books? Check it […]

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Our Picks for Teen Reads in 2016

It can be challenging to find a great read that’ll engross and inspire your teenage reader – here are some of our favourites from 2016. Be advised that they are recommended for ages 13+.   Need to catch up on our 2016 lists? There’s our list of picture books here, and primary school readers here.

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The Books that Made Me Think This Year by Sara Foster

Sara Foster, author of All That Is Lost Between Us, a gripping family drama, and compelling story of motherhood, marriage and the perils of adolescence, reveals the books that really got her thinking this year: THE GOOD PEOPLE by Hannah Kent. After her husband suddenly dies, Nora is left alone to care for her ailing, crippled grandson […]

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Fiona McCallum’s Top Ten Favourite Reads in 2016

Fiona McCallum spent her childhood years on the family cereal and wool farm outside the small town of Cleve on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. While she now lives in Adelaide, she remains a country girl at heart. Standing Strong (the sequel to Wattle Creek) is her eighth novel, and will be followed in 2017 with […]

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10 Books to Ease Your Christmas and New Year Hangover by Anna Snoesktra

Anna Snoekstra, bestselling author of the psychological thriller Only Daughter recommends the books for reading when you’re too tired to move from the couch after all those end of the year parties… That week between Christmas and New Year is a strange time of year. Depending on where you live, it’s either unbearably hot, or icy cold. […]

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20 of Our Favourite Picture Books for 2016

This was a tough one, but here are just some of the many, many picture books we loved sharing with little ones this year! You can click on the covers below for more information.   What were your favourites? Let us know! Missed our lists for older readers? Check out our primary school picks and […]

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Top 10 Reads for Lazy Summer Days by Mary-Anne O’Connor

Author Mary-Anne O’Connor is no stranger to a good read. With Gallipoli Street, an Anzac tale of three families whose destinies are entwined by war, tragedy and passion, at number 13 in our Australia’s Top 100 2016 list, we trust her judgement… Jasper Jones, by Craig Silvey. One of my all-time favourite reads, Jasper Jones […]

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Lindsey Kelk’s 10 Best Books About Breakups

Wondering whether or not your ex was a douche? He probably was. Why do we love books about break-ups? Because they’re a sure-fire way to make us feel better about our own of course. That’s why we asked bestselling author Lindsey Kelk to tell us about her best fictional books about breakups. Lindsay’s recent book, We […]

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From Gone Girl to Roger Ackroyd, the Best ‘Unreliable Narrators’ by Aoife Clifford

The award-winning Australian crime writer Aoife Clifford, author of All These Perfect Strangers, a chilling novel featuring an ‘unreliable narrator’, tell us some of her favourite books featuring this literary device. ‘Unreliable narrators’ are found in some of the best crime novels, many classics, and even non-fiction.  I began my own novel, All These Perfect Strangers, with the […]

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Author Sarah Ridout on the Best Books She Read This Year

Sarah Ridout, author of Le Chateau – an absorbing, romantic and slightly creepy tale set in the wine regions of southern France, but with an Australian twist – tell us about the best books she read in 2016 Eyrie by Tim Winton I enjoyed this book for the public and angry cry it is about the […]

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