Rachael Johns needs little introduction, considering she is the most read Australian romance writer around. Her latest book The Greatest Gift has been a Better Reading favourite since publication, popping up constantly in conversation and also at the top of readers’ ever-growing TBR piles.
So we went straight to the source and asked Rachael for her top book recommendations.
Rachael Johns: In the last few years I’ve been introduced to many wonderful Aussie authors, so I find that I’m usually reading books by writers I know personally. However, in addition to these firm favourites, I have some authors who have been auto-buys for me for a LONG time. In no particular order, here they are:
I’ve been reading her books since her very first novel and I’m hard-pressed to pick a fave (she just keeps getting better and better), But you never forget your first and I picked up Ralph’s Party at a time when I knew I wanted to write, but wasn’t really sure what I wanted to write about. When I read Ralph’s Party, I fell in love with Lisa’s writing style and knew I too wanted to write in this genre one day!
I’m proud to say I discovered Liane long before she was a global sensation. Her first book Three Wishes is still one of my faves – I listened to the first half on audio while driving from the country town we were living in to the airport to take a trip. This was in the days before smartphones and the book was on CDs which I couldn’t take on the plane with me, so I bought the book at the airport and devoured the rest of it on the way to Sydney. I’ve been a fan ever since.
This author holds the title of having written the only book that has made me cry (yep, I’m hardcore, I didn’t even cry in Me Before You by Jojo Moyes)! That book is Goodnight, Beautiful, which is my fave of Dorothy’s, but all of her novels are absolute delights.
I would read this woman’s shopping list. She’s so funny and I adore her quirky but real characters. It’s touch and go whether my fave of hers is Last Chance Saloon or the more recent The Woman Who Stole My Life, which I thought very clever.
She’s the only author on my list I’ve been lucky enough to meet and she’s as nice in person as she is online. Although I’ve enjoyed all of Kristan’s books, my fave is still the first I ever read – Too Good to be True (ebook publication).
I came late to the Nora party, but the first book I read of hers was Northern Lights and then I glommed many, many more books from her backlist. I think Northern Lights is still my favourite but I also loved her Bridal Quartet series. I’m lucky enough to have listened to Nora speak and she’s a true inspiration for authors – she’s a hard worker and reminds us that the secret of writing lots of books is as simple as sitting down in a chair and actually writing.
I must admit I’m not a fan of the Shopaholic series but I LOVE her stand-alone novels. My fave has to be Wedding Night – I don’t think I’ve ever laughed out loud as much as I did while reading that book.
I discovered Diane in a library and then read as much as I could find from her backlist. That first book was Keeper of the Light (about a lighthouse obviously) and I must admit I like almost any books about lighthouses so I’ll say my other fave of hers was The Good Father.
I’m proud to say that Jane’s another author I’ve been reading right from her very beginnings. I still remember loving Mr Maybe and Jemima J, but I also recently really enjoyed her latest book The Sunshine Sisters.
I must admit his earlier lad-lit books are my favourites – About a Boy and A Long Way Down are two of my all-time best reads – but I’m still willing to try anything he writes.