Summer is officially over and the idea of hibernating at home with a good book is more than a little appealing.
The challenge is finding a book that grips your attention from the first few pages, yet is easy enough to delve into between the kids' demands. We know just the book(s).
Here, five new feelgood reads that'll leave you feeling warm, fuzzy and potentially like you've lost an entire weekend glued to the story. Perfect. Add them to your reading list and earmark them for
wine book club.
'Surprise Me' by Sophie Kinsella
The ultimate read on a rainy weekend, 'Surprise Me' is the latest release by Sophie Kinsella of 'Shopaholic' fame. Though this time it's marriage, family and everlasting love under the spotlight (not spending habits).
Sylvie and Dan are your average couple. Happily married, good jobs, twin girls, they even finish each other's sentences. Basically the definition of eye-rolling happiness. But when, one day, someone points out that 'spending the rest of their lives together' actually means another 68 years together (yikes), panic stations set in.
Funny, addictive and on-the-money, this is Kinsella at her best bringing all of our deepest, rawest thoughts alive on the page. Unputdownable. (No, that isn't a real word. Yes, we think it should be too.)
'The Little Book of Big Happiness' by Bernadette Fisers
Everyone wants to be happy, right? Or at least happier. But Bernadette Fisers, who some of you may know from 'The Little Book of Big Weightloss', argues that happiness isn't some faraway magical place. It's right here. Right now.
In her latest small, yet mighty book she tackles the topic on everyone's lips: happiness. Frank, empowering and practical, Fisers breaks down the illusion and mythical sense of the word giving readers the tools they need to be happy.
From being present and living in the moment to the simple act of moving more and embracing failure, these are easy-to-apply tips that will benefit even the grouchiest people. A pocket handbook that you'll come to rely on and live by.
'The Pearler's Wife' by Roxane Dhand
If you're crying out for a little escapism (or an Outlander-esque tale) this winter, allow us to point you in the direction of Roxane Dhand's debut novel, 'The Pearler's Wife'.
Inspired by the Broome pearl-fishing industry in the early 20th century, the book is an enchanting piece of historical fiction that will have you hooked from the first page.
Ordered to marry a cousin she has never met, Maisie Porter is forced to board the SS Oceanic, leaving behind Britain for a life in Western Australia. But while en route to meet her future husband — who works as a pearl fisherman in Broome — Maisie meets William Cooper, the Royal Navy's top man, whom she finds herself increasingly drawn to. See, very Outlander.
A twisting tale of forbidden love and deadly secrets, it is the ultimate read to while away dull, dreary days.
'The Whole Bright Year' by Debra Oswald
Written by the creator of Offspring, 'The Whole Bright Year' is a gripping novel about love and letting go.
After tragically losing her husband, Celia takes her newborn daughter Zoe away from city life to rural NSW where she works on a stone-fruit orchard. Fast-forward to teenage Zoe who yearns for a more exhilarating life, desperately longing to escape her mother's protectiveness, and throw in the addition of troubled 18-year-old Kieran at the farm and you've got the whole trifecta: lust, excitement and trouble with an increasingly-alarmed Celia worrying about her daughter's welfare.
Set in the sunny Australian '70s, this beautiful told story belies a darker examination of the extremities of parental devotion and young love. Both tender and heartfelt, it'll tug on your heartstrings just as much as Nina Proudman.
'Women in Sunlight' by Frances Mayes
Author of 'Under the Tuscan Sun', Frances Mayes, is back with another warming tale of love, sisterhood and adventure.
After moving into a villa in Tuscany, four American women unexpectedly become friends and embark on a friendship that completely alters the direction of each of their lives. Thrusting themselves into Italian culture, the women pursue long-lost passions with unpredictable results.
Spirited, fun and full of sunshine to balance the chill outside, Mayes' emotive storytelling captures the beauty of female friendship, Italian life and a renewed sense of self like no one else. A great one for book club or to lend to your mum afterwards.