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Book Lists


Oh The Pressure! Second Book Syndrome

Ah, the difficult second book… often an author will write their debut book and find it’s a bona fide bestseller. It’s everything they could have dreamed it would be, and an amazing experience. And then it comes time to write the next one! This one comes with usually a lot less time to work on […]

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What Do You Really Want for Mother’s Day? 20 book gift ideas

On Sunday 14 May everyone around Australia will be celebrating and thanking their mothers – and what could be a better gift than a book?  We know there’s nothing tougher than wandering into a bookstore trying to pick for someone else. Sometimes choosing the right book can be total agony, because there are so many […]

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2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award Longlist Announced

Australian writing has never been finer, which means this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award Longlist is jam-packed with extraordinary books, ranging from literary to exhilarating and everything in between. There are nine books competing for the prestigious award and all of them have been picked for their strength in representing the concerns of Australian modernity, such […]

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Exciting New Releases This May!

May has come roaring down upon us with some of the biggest releases we’ve seen so far this year! There’s new work by homegrown storyteller Nikki Gemmell, crime miracle-worker Jeffrey Deaver, and the long-awaited, bone-crunching second novel from Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train. John Safran comes out swinging with his latest book Depends […]

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Ten of the best ‘Faction’: Fictional Books Based on Real Events

Writers of fiction look for ideas everywhere – to their own life experiences, people they know or their own imaginations. Sometimes though, they take inspiration from real life events and people. Writing about these events as fiction can give the author a greater flexibility around the characters, their thoughts and their motivations. And for readers, […]

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New Releases in April

2017 has already proven itself as a ferocious year for new releases, and if you thought April would give you a chance to read through some your TBR list: think again! This month, there is something for everyone, including crime thriller buffs, romance lovers, and literary bookworms. Plenty of new Australian authors coming out swinging with […]

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What’s In Mei Fong’s Book Bag?

By Mei Fong, author of One Child: the story of China’s most radical experiment I just spent three weeks on book tour in Australia, hitting Perth Writer’s Festival, Adelaide Writer’s Festival and the Sydney Opera House’s All About Women Festival. Each stop was tremendous fun, as I got to talk shop with writers and sit […]

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Books to Surprise and Delight: My Top Ten Classic Novels by Rebecca Huntley

Rebecca Huntley is a well-known Australian social researcher and her latest compelling book Still Lucky  is a wise and engaging look at who we are now and where we are heading in the future… Here, Rebecca tells us about her love of classic books and reveals her all-time, top ten favourites. Rebecca will be joining us on […]

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9 Books that Inspired her Novel about Selfies, Selfishness and Cyberbullying by Wendy James

The Golden Child by Wendy James is a story that grapples with modern-day spectres of selfies, selfishness and cyberbullying. It plays with our fears of parenting, social media and ‘queen bees’, and asks the question: just how well do you know your child? Wendy James is a prolific author, having published The Lost Girls, The Mistake, […]

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Some of Our Favourite Irish Authors for St Patrick’s Day

We love Irish authors – not just at St Patricks Day, but all year round. Here we have a look at some of our favourites. Whether set in Ireland or elsewhere, they definitely have the gift of the gab. We could have put all of Colm Toibin’s work on this list, but we couldn’t go […]

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Famous Authors Whose Work Was Rejected

In this list, we’d like you to spare a thought for publishers and literary agents… they get sent thousands and thousands of submissions each year, and sometimes they let some great stuff slip though! Here we’re looking at some of the most famous rejections; where bestselling and award winning authors had their works turned down. […]

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The Australian Authors Everyone’s Talking About

Who are some of the hot Australian authors on everyone’s lips? One of our reader’s request for recommendations recently sparked an exciting discussion on our Facebook page about favourite Australian authors and our audience threw out so many amazing suggestions that we’ve put together an easy-to-navigate list of the most mentioned authors. Of course, these are just a few […]

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What’s Hitting The Stands This March In Kids & YA…

Can you believe it’s March already? There’s so many books for all ages coming out this month, so we at Better Reading have compiled a list of some of the highlights you and your children should definitely keep an eye out for. Picture Books A Walk in the Bush by Gwyn Perkins: A lovely storybook that […]

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Another exciting round of New Releases in March!

Here at Better Reading we are still getting over the fact that the year has just begun – but as the year settles into a rhythm, the relentless quality of new release books shows no signs of slowing. In March we are thrilled to welcome the return of many steadfast, brilliant writers, and the arrival […]

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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’, but she soon found out that television was, for women, less about news and more about helmet hair, masses of makeup and fatuous fashion. It was an era when bosses told you to “stick your tits out”, “lose two inches off your arse”, and “quit before you’re too long […]

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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,  Never Never (with the one and only James Patterson) and most recently the nail-biting, Crimson Lake has taken the Australian crime fiction world by storm, garnering praise from critics worldwide and other authors – including James Patterson and Lee Child. Here, Fox reveals her top ten true crime […]

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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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