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 of fresh authors hitting the scene, with a healthy balance of genres and styles to cater for everyone’s sensibilities. If you want to go directly to the books scroll to the end, otherwise enjoy a brief summary of what the books are about and why we loved them so much!
Ragdoll by Daniel Cole: Debut author Daniel Cole hits the ground running with this spectacular thriller, which involves a murder scene with one body, and six victims. The crudely named ‘Ragdoll Killer’ releases a hit list specifying the identities of the next six victims and the date of their demise…
Mrs Kelly by Grantlee Kieza: Respected biographer and bestseller, Grantlee Kieza, delivers another lively, informative portrait of a significant Australian figure in time: Mrs Kelly, the mother of infamous bandit Ned Kelly. Born out of hardship, Ellen Kelly learnt toughness through experience, and Kieza uses this narrative as a way of investigating the making of modern Australia from its backwater origins. A serious must read!
Momo Freaks Out by Samone Bos: A novelised version of Samone’s blog, Momo Freaks Out explores that subterranean world of personal blogs in 2002, before Facebook and the mainstream popularity of self-expression on the Internet. Insightful, vivacious, and hilarious, we enjoyed every second reading this one.
Juliet’s Answer by Glenn Dixon: Determined to heal his broken heart, Glenn travels to fair Verona, where he works as the only male in a team that responds to letters from lovesick people all over the world devoted to the spirit of ‘Juliet’. It is an irresistible modern-day love story set against the backdrop of one of the most enduring love stories of all time – guaranteed to warm your heart!
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline: Christina’s solitude is broken by the arrival of Andrew Wyeth, a young artist who is fixated on the isolated farm house. In Christina he will discover more than a kindred spirit; for him, she will become a muse like no other… From the bestselling author of Orphan Train comes a luminous portrait of a woman of grit and grace, as heartwarming as it is gripping.
Dregs by Jorn Lier Horst: Dregs begins with a police report giving the place and time of the discovery of a training shoe washed up on the sand, containing a severed foot. Soon a second shoe is washed up, but it is another left foot. What is the explanation for this? Has there been some kind of terrible accident at sea? Does it indicate the killing and dismembering of two victims? Is there a link with the unsolved mystery of a number of disappearances in the Larvik area in recent months? Another gripping murder mystery thriller with more twists and turns than tangled earphones!
Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey: Eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home one day to find the house covered in blood, and Kate, her mother, gone. There may not be a body, but everything else points to murder. Maeve Kerrigan is young, ambitious and determined to prove she’s up to her new role as detective sergeant. She suspects Chloe is holding something back, but best friend Bethany Norris won’t let Maeve get close. What exactly is Bethany protecting Chloe from? Mysterious, sinister, and brooding, Let the Dead Speak will haunt you after its final pages…
The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty: The Fifth Letter is a searing examination of the bonds of women’s friendship groups, the loyalty and honesty they demand, and the pain of ending relationships that once seemed essential but might be outgrown. The Moriarty family, Australia’s literary powerhouse, has proven itself once again with the wonderfully evocative and entertaining storytelling of Nicole Moriarty. This one cannot be missed!
The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo: A masked man with a gun enters a sandwich shop in broad daylight, and Meredith Oliver suddenly finds herself ordered to the filthy floor, where she cowers face to face with her nemesis, Lisa Bellow, the most popular girl in her eighth grade class. The minutes tick inexorably by, and Meredith lurches between comforting the sobbing Lisa and imagining her own impending death. Then the man orders Lisa Bellow to stand and come with him, leaving Meredith behind. There’s something horrifically resonant in Perabo’s masterfully told tale, something that echoes and addresses the reality of tragedy.
The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan: This is a delightful novel of wartime gumption and village spirit that will make your heart sing out. Filled with intrigue, humour and touching warmth, and set against the devastating backdrop of the Second World War, this is a lively and big-hearted novel told through the voices of four very different but equally vibrant characters, who will win you over as much with their mischief as with their charm.
Finding Hannah by Fiona McCallum: Hannah Ainsley has the perfect life — an adoring husband, a close relationship with her parents, a wonderful job, and amazing friends. But this year will be like no other. Tragedy strikes and Hannah’s world is shattered. If she’s going to cope, she’s going to need all the support she can gather and draw on every bit of her strength. Life will never be the same again but it’s soon clear she has no alternative but to pull together a future from the remaining fragments.
The Hope Fault by Tracy Farr: The Hope Fault is a novel about extended family – about steps and exes and fairy godmothers; about parents and partners who are missing, and the people who replace them.
After by Nikki Gemmell: Nikki Gemmell’s world changed forever in October 2015 when the body of her elderly mother was found and it became clear she had decided to end her own life. After the immediate shock and devastation came the guilt and the horror, for Nikki, her family, relatives and friends. No note was left, so the questions that Elayn’s death raised were endless. Was the decision an act of independence or the very opposite? Was it a desperate act driven by hopelessness and anger, or was her euthanasia a reasoned act of empowerment? With affecting tenderness, acclaimed author Gemmell tells one of her most personal stories to date.
New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson: Science fiction titan Kim Stanley Robinson, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards, hits the scene again with his latest novel, envisioning what would happen if the water level rose and submerged New York and yet the city still found ways to survive. Perceptive, prophetic, and wildly entertaining, New York 2140 is a welcomed return of science fiction at its best.
War Cry by Wilbur Smith: In a triumphant return to his much-loved Courtney series, Wilbur Smith introduces us to the bravest new member of the famed family, Saffron Courtney. As the Second World War looms over them all, Saffron and Gerhard’s worlds collide – but will there be more to unite them than tear them apart?
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne: In Boyne’s most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit. Another gem from the well-loved author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
Death by Dim Sim by Sarah Vincent: Sarah Vincent once tipped the scales at 122 kilos. She worked at the back of a hospital making calls and answering emails, but at three o’clock every afternoon she would answer a very special call – the call of the dim sim. Running the gauntlet of smokers in the hospital car park one day for her daily dim sim fix, Sarah had an epiphany: just like those nicotine addicts, who continued dragging on their cigarettes even while attached to IV drips, Sarah was an addict and was slowly killing herself with food.
The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker: Funny and heartbreaking by turn, The Animators is a dazzling story of female friendship, the cost of a creative life, and the secrets that can undo us. Sharon and Mel are an award-winning animation duo, living and working in Brooklyn, and poised on the edge of even greater success after the release of their first full-length feature. But with this success comes self-doubt and cracks in their relationship start to form. When unexpected tragedy strikes, long-buried resentments rise to the surface, hastening a reckoning no one sees coming.
A Whole New Way to Eat by Vladia Cobrdova: The healthy recipe collection all households need. Everyone is welcome at the table with this way of eating – whether you’re looking for inspirational vegan, paleo or vegetarian recipes or you’re simply after truly delicious food that just happens to be good for you. From The Best Turmeric Yoghurt and Tahini Potato Salad to the hands-down most delicious Raw Caramel Slice you’ve ever tried, your body will thank you from your tastebuds to your gut.
So that’s all from us for now but make sure to check out our Facebook page for regular updates and new releases throughout the month – there are always some fantastic reads just around the corner! And don’t forget to check out the Children’s March New Releases here!