We’re already halfway through 2017, which is turning out to be a year of reading delights. July is rich with more hugely anticipated releases, including the likes of Monica McInerney, Michael Robotham, Daniel Silva, Kate Forsyth, and Robert Dessaix. But there are some debut voices that demand attention, too. Get excited for the gritty Australiana of Mark Brandi’s ‘Wimmera’ and Iain Ryan’s neo-noir ‘The Student‘, or immerse yourself in fresh memoirs from Lizzie Velasquez, Jamila Rizvi, and Holly Fitzgerald.
Check out the full list of our favourite picks below:
Wimmera by Mark Brandi: Touching on small-town solitude, Brandi reminds us how many quiet tragedies happen in ordinary lives, and how their resonance continues many years after. It’s a story of trauma, convalescence, and revenge. As a debut novel Wimmera makes a powerful statement, stamping not only Brandi’s compelling narrative voice, but his willingness to tackle and explore the vast solitude of the Australian landscape
The Trip of a Lifetime by Monica McInerney: Here it is, at last: a brand new Monica McInerney book! The wilful and eccentric Lola Quinlan is off on the trip of a lifetime, taking her beloved granddaughter and great-granddaughter with her. But as she embarks on her journey, the flamboyant Lola is still hiding the hurtful reasons she left Ireland in the first place. What – and who – will be waiting for her on the other side of the world?
Ruthless River by Holly Fitzgerald: A terrifying story of love and survival by raft on the Amazon’s Madre de Dios. A couple survive a plane crash only to end up clinging to a raft surrounded by death at every turn . . . a scintillating read!
Dare to be Kind by Lizzie Velasquez: Considering the cruel mistreatment of Lizzie Velasquez by the Internet and people who don’t understand her rare genetic condition, Dare to be Kind remains an uplifting book. Although the books is largely based on Lizzie’s experiences with bullying and cyberbullying, it is also a manifesto of kindness and compassion, reflecting on the underlying reasons for cruelty and also offering ways to overcome it. Her philosophy is to counter people’s negativity and hate by spreading love and positivity.
The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham: Everyone has an idea of what their perfect life is. For Agatha, it’s Meghan Shaughnessy’s. These two women from vastly different backgrounds have one thing in common – a dangerous secret that could destroy everything they hold dear. Both will risk everything to hide the truth, but their worlds are about to collide in a shocking act that cannot be undone.
Court of Lions by Jane Johnson: Court of Lions brings one of the great turning points in history to life, through the stories of a modern woman and the last Moorish sultan of Granada. Kate Fordham, desperate to escape her past, has fled to the beautiful sunlit city of Granada, where she is scraping by with an unfulfilling job in a busy bar. One day in the glorious gardens of the Alhambra, once home to the last Sultan of Granada, Kate finds a scrap of paper hidden in one of the ancient walls. Upon it, in strange symbols, has been inscribed a message from another age.
The Party by Robyn Harding: Sweet sixteen. It’s a coming of age, a milestone, a rite of passage. Of course Jeff and Kim Sanders would throw a party for their daughter, Hannah. She was a good kid with good grades and nice friends. And it wasn’t a big, indulgent affair. It was just four girls coming over for pizza and cake, movies and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong? But things did go wrong, horrifically wrong. When a tragic accident leaves one of the young guests disfigured, Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb begins to unravel. Published 1 July.
The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne: When the notorious child abductor known as the Marsh King escapes from a maximum security prison, Helena immediately suspects that she and her two young daughters are in danger. Packed with gripping suspense and powerful storytelling, this is a one-more-page, read-in-one-sitting thriller that you’ll remember for ever.
The Boy Who Saw by Simon Toyne: The second book in an electrifying new thriller series from Sunday Times bestselling author, Simon Toyne. Only one boy can see the darkness. Only one man can save him from it. By finishing what was begun.
The Student by Iain Ryan: Gatton, Queensland. 1994. Nate is a student, dealing weed on the side. A girl called Maya Kibby is dead. No one knows who killed her. Nate needs to refresh his supply, but his friend and dealer is missing. Nate is high. He is alone. Being hunted for the suitcase
Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash by Eka Kurniawan: Told in short, cinematic bursts, Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash is gloriously pulpy. Ajo Kawir, a lower-class Javanese teenage boy excited about sex, likes to spy on fellow villagers in flagrante, but one night he ends up witnessing the savage rape of a beautiful crazy woman by two policemen. Deeply traumatized, he becomes impotent. His efforts to get his virility back all fail, and Ajo Kawir turns to fighting as a way to vent his frustrations. He gets such a fearsome reputation as a brawler that he is hired to kill a thug named The Tiger, but instead Ajo Kawir falls in love with Iteung, a gorgeous female bodyguard who works for the local mafia. Alas, the course of true love never did run smooth..
Pulse Points by Jennifer Down: The characters in Jennifer Down’s Pulse Points live in small dusty towns, glittering exotic cities and slow droll suburbs; they are mourners, survivors and perpetrators. Pulse Points is a gutting collection that showcases her singular voice, and reminds us once more that this is a writer of great talent.
The Duchess by Danielle Steel: Angélique Latham has grown up at magnificent Belgrave Castle under the loving tutelage of her father, the Duke of Westerfield, after the death of her aristocratic French mother. At eighteen she is her father’s closest, most trusted child, schooled in managing their grand estate.
The Late Show by Michael Connolly: A pulse-pounding thriller, introducing a driven, young detective trying to prove herself in the LAPD. Includes an extract of Two Kinds of Truth, the new Harry Bosch novel to be published in November 2017.
Beauty in Thorns by Kate Forsyth: A spellbinding reimagining of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ set amongst the wild bohemian circle of Pre-Raphaelite artists and poets. Bringing to life the dramatic true story of love, obsession and heartbreak that lies behind the Victorian era’s most famous paintings, Beauty in Thorns is the story of awakenings of all kinds.
House of Spies by Daniel Silva: A brand new thriller from the master of contemporary espionage, featuring Gabriel Allon – international art restorer, spy, and assassin.
The Destroyers by Christopher Bollen: Ian Bledsoe is on the run, broke and humiliated, fleeing the emotional and financial fallout of his father’s death. His childhood friend Charlie – rich, exuberant and basking in life on the Greek island of Patmos – is his last hope. At first, Patmos is like a dream – sun-soaked days on Charlie’s yacht and the reappearance of a girlfriend from Ian’s past – and Charlie readily offers the lifeline he desperately needs. But, like Charlie himself, this beautiful island conceals a darkness beneath.
Not Just Lucky by Jamila Rizvi: Australian women are suffering from a crisis of confidence about work. Accustomed to being overlooked and undervalued, even when women do get to the top, they explain their success away as ‘luck’. But it’s not. Not Just Lucky exposes the structural and cultural disadvantages that rob women of their confidence – often without them even realising it. Drawing on case studies, detailed research and her own experience in politics and media, Jamila Rizvi is the warm, witty and wise friend you’ve been waiting for. She’ll give you everything you need to start fighting for your own success and for a more inclusive, equal workplace for all. (She’ll also bring the red wine.)
Corfu by Robert Dessaix: Set in the physical landscapes of the Greek islands, Adelaide and the suburbs of London, Robert Dessaix’s second novel is about the nature of friendship, love, the ordinary and extraordinary. At its core is a perfectly placed meditation on literary landscapes – Homer, Sappho, Cavafy and Chekhov – and the part art can play in making our lives beautiful.
Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera: In the court of the King, everyone knows their place. But as the Artist wins hearts and egos with his ballads, uncomfortable truths emerge that shake the Kingdom to its core. Part surreal fable and part crime romance, Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera questions the price of keeping your integrity in a world ruled by patronage and power. Described as ‘Mexico’s greatest novelist’, Yuri Herrera has followed up The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World with an extraordinary story about passion and violence, about the vital role of the Artist in our society, and about the strangeness of our world.