Reading has almost become like meditation for me. Losing myself within the pages of a great book allows me to wind down, calm my racing mind and relax. Nothing feels better than being swept away by a beautiful story and then there’s the bittersweet moment when you finish a book that you’ve loved, and you don’t want it to end.
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.
I am a sucker for a light-hearted romance but at the end of the day I enjoy any book with a great plot that practically turns the pages itself and leaves you wishing for more. I also like to throw in the odd non-fiction as well.
I’m often searching for my next page turner, so I’m sharing what I’m reading and loving in case anyone else is in need of a little inspiration. (This is all in the hope that you repay the favour of course, so please let me know what pages you’ve devoured and loved recently.) Here are the best books I’ve read this winter (so far). Take your pick and let me know what you think.
WHILE I WAS SLEEPING By Dani Atkins
“I don’t remember what happened or what has changed. I can still hear your voices but you can’t seem to hear me. I was about to be married and had everything to look forward to. Now I have to find a way back – to you, to our family, to us.” – Dani Atkins | While I Was Sleeping
After a terrible accident Maddie wakes up in hospital and discovers she has been in a coma for six years. This is a beautiful tale about love in all its forms and what transpires when time stands still.
I was enthralled from the beginning and the characters in this novel captured my heart. It was beautifully written, full of twists and turns, humour and incredible sadness. I loved this book and could not put it down.
Buy It On Amazon
BECOMING By Michelle Obama
“Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same.” – Michelle Obama | Becoming
Michelle Obama’s memoir is a personal story that invites you into her world and gives you a new understanding of her journey. She chronicles the experiences that have shaped her and given her a voice, from her childhood to meeting Obama and becoming First Lady of the United States. She writes with honesty and wit and shares a little wisdom on the way.
I thoroughly enjoyed this biography. It is beautifully written and left me in awe. You can’t help but be inspired by Michelle’s humble nature – her empathy and dignity.
Buy On Amazon
ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE By Gail Honeyman
“If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn’t spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.” – Gail Honeyman | Eleanor Oliphant
Brilliant but socially awkward Eleanor Oliphant has a lonely existence but could that all change?
This is a special story about scars that run deep, about being different, about loneliness and human relationships. It is at once hilarious, heart-warming, heart-breaking, hopeful, inspiring and completely unforgettable. A great debut novel.
Buy On Amazon
BIG LITTLE LIES By Liane Moriarty
“They say it’s good to let your grudges go, but I don’t know, I’m quite fond of my grudge. I tend it like a little pet.”― Liane Moriarty | Big Little Lies
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, gossip and the little lies that can turn lethal. I’d class this as women’s fiction/mystery, not romance.
This was my introduction to Liane Moriarty, and I loved it so much that I devoured it in a weekend and recently re-read the book. The characters are so relatable that you feel like they could be someone you know. Her writing is honest, detailed, observant and multi-sided and the characters reinforce that you never really know what someone else is thinking or going through, what they’re capable of or what secrets their keeping.
The novel begins with a death, but you are kept guessing who the victim is until the very end. This left me in a state of constant anticipation as I discovered the history of the characters and uncovered the tangled web of jealousy, gossip, different perspectives and lies. It’s smart and witty, serious and tender and sometimes a little scary.
Buy On Amazon
WHAT ALICE FORGOT By Liane Moriarty
“Each memory, good and bad, was another invisible thread that bound them together… It was as simple and complicated as that. Love after children, after you’ve hurt each other and forgiven each other, bored each other and surprised each other, after you’ve seen the worst and the best…-well, that sort of love is ineffable. It deserves its own word.” ― Liane Moriarty | What Alice Forgot
After an accident, Alice wakes with amnesia and like a detective she has to carefully reconstruct the events of a lost decade of her life she cannot remember. Alice soon realises that she doesn’t like the woman she has become and must determine if it’s possible to change the direction of her life.
This is without a doubt one of my favourite books by Australian author, Liane Moriarty. She manages to weave emotional themes into a story that remains humorous and uplifting. It is a though provoking story that will have you questioning what you’ve done in the last 10 years? What did you want to become? What would you change if you had the chance?
Buy On Amazon
LOST WITHOUT YOU By Rachel Johns
“A man is lucky if he is the first love of a woman. A woman is lucky if she is the last love of a man.” – Rachel Johns | Lost Without You
I first picked up a book by Rachel Johns in lockdown. Libraries had shut, I’d downloaded a book to my phone but became desperate for some physical pages. I’ve since read three of her intricately woven tales about life and relationships.
Lost With Out You is set around the stories of four very different women and the secret that binds them all. The novel centres around relatable, flawed characters and some pretty heavy emotional themes that are woven amongst the lighter storyline of a much-loved wedding dress.
Above all, this is a touching, heart-warming story of how our lives intertwine and touch each other in unexpected ways and how one decision can have far reaching consequences.
Buy On Amazon
YOUR DREAM LIFE STARTS HERE By Kristina Karlsson
“What would you do if you knew you could not fail? What would you do with your life if you had all the time and money you needed? This takes you to another level altogether – giving yourself permission to cast off the restraints of everyday life and dream big. To reimagine what is possible for you.” – Kristina Karlsson | Your Dream Life Starts Here
Kristina Karlsson is the woman behind the inspiring global success story, kikki.K. This book is easy to read and full of inspiring stories and wisdom from people who’ve dared to dream big. It uses simple ideas to show you how to harness your dreams and goals to transform your life in small, simple steps.
I know what you’re thinking … another self-help book! But I found this one inspiring and full of practical tips. I thoroughly enjoyed working my way through the exercises. It is a motivating and practical guide with easy techniques to discover your dream life and achieve it.
Buy at Amazon
Statista claims that on average Australians spend 1 hour and 39 minutes using social media each day! Can you believe it? If you spent just half that time reading you would plough through over 60 books per year.
Now, don’t forget the most important part of a book club is reciprocating! Please, please let me know what you’re reading and loving. I can’t wait for all your tips on the best books you’ve read this winter.