And the best books for summer are …

If you love books, there is no better gift to receive on Christmas day than a pile of new titles.

Part of the fun is the surprise and the anticipation of some terrific summer reading. But it’s also heart-warming to think that the giver has spent a bit of time contemplating which genre, and which title you might love.

And it’s a gift you can keep forever. So we’ve chosen a handful we feel certain you will enjoy giving – or buying for yourself.

Literary reads

Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan ($32.99*)
Readers follow a young woman’s journey to discover the mystery surrounding her father’s sudden disappearance when she was a child. We predict this will be one of the summer best-sellers.

A Long Way From Home, Peter Carey ($32.99)
The dual-Booker Prize winner returns with a highly engaging novel set in 1950s Australia and a car race around the continent that changes the lives of its participants forever.

Mrs Osmond, John Banville ($29.99)
Banville’s sequel to Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady is a masterly novel of betrayal, corruption and moral ambiguity.

City of Crows, Chris Womersley ($32.99)
This historical fiction thriller is set in 1673 France, at a time of death, violence, witchcraft, magic and superstition.

Beach reads

Force of Nature, Jane Harper ($32.99)
After the success of her debut novel The Dry, former Melbourne journalist Jane Harper is back with another well-paced novel, once again featuring Federal Police agent Aaron Falk and the case of a missing female bushwalker.

The Rest of Their Lives, Jean-Paul Didierlaurent ($29.99)
One of our favourite ‘happy’ novels for summer, this is the story of the growing relationship between Ambroise, an embalmer in a small French tow, and Manelle, who works as a home helper to elderly people.

A Vineyard in Andalusia, Maria Duenas ($32.99)
When Mauro Larrea meets Soledad Montalvo, wife of a London wine merchant, she drags him into a most unexpected future.

Edge-of-your-seat reads

On The Java Ridge, Jock Serong ($29.99)
A boat loaded with Australian surfers inadvertently gets in the way of an Indonesian people-smuggling operation.

Heather, The Totality, Matthew Weiner ($24.99)
Set in New York, this family drama traces a failing marriage as a menacing and dangerous outsider arrives.

Origin, Dan Brown ($39.99)
The action begins at the Guggenheim art museum in Bilbao where billionaire computer scientist and entrepreneur Edmond Kirsch is about to reveal a discovery that will change the way humanity perceives religion.

Quality crime novels 

The Rooster Bar, John Grisham ($33.99)
Three disillusioned law students come to understand their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specialising in student loans.

Accident on the A35, Graeme Macrae Burnet ($29.99)
A lawyer is killed in a road accident on the A35, and Inspector George Gorski realises this is no straightforward accident. 

Best biographies

Memoirs, Mike Willesee ($44.99)
Mike Willesee’s reflections on his 50-year career are reminders of his immense contribution to Australian journalism. 

Leonardo da Vinci, Walter Isaacson ($39.99)
Da Vinci’s combination of science, art, technology and imagination remains an enduring recipe for creativity. So, too, was his ease at being a bit of a misfit.

Working Class Man, Jimmy Barnes ($49.99)
The sequel to Barnes’ 2016 bestseller Working Class Boy takes readers on the rock ‘n’ roll journey of one of Australian music’s elder statesmen.

Sporting reads

Lillee and Thommo: The Deadly Pair’s Reign of Terror, Ian Brayshaw ($29.99)
A fine account of Australian cricket’s 1970s explosive fast bowling combination.

The Things That Make Us, Nick Riewoldt ($39.99)
The St Kilda champion traces his development as a key player, a flawed hero and a dedicated captain.

A Season with Richmond: Yellow & Black, Konrad Marshall ($34.95)
The intimate story of the Richmond Football Club through the highs and heartaches of its 2017 premiership season.

Grow. Food. Anywhere., Mat Pember, Dillon Seitchik-Reardon ($45)
A comprehensive and authoritative guide to gardening in any space – whether it’s the balcony or a big back yard.

Life in the Garden, Penelope Lively ($35)
Lively takes us from Eden to Sissinghurst and into her own backyard, traversing the lives of writers like Virginia Woolf and Philip Larkin while imparting her own wisdom. 


River Cottage Much More Veg, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall ($45)
Each recipe celebrates the herbs, fruit, vegetables and grains that can be found in the landscape.

Ostro, Julia Busuttil Nishimura ($44.99)
Nishimura promotes fresh and easy-to-source product, great flavours and food combos that are simple to assemble and big on wow factor.

Sweet, Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh ($55)
From Rolled Pavlova with Peaches and Blackberries to Fig and Pistachio Frangipani Tartlets, these recipes will encourage you to take the sweet leap.

Babies and toddlers

The Very Noisy Baby, Alison Lester ($24.99)
It’s always exciting to note a new book by one of our favourite children’s authors and illustrators, Alison Lester. The townsfolk hear unusual noises and can’t work out where the sounds come from. Is it the tiger, escaped from the zoo? The pony club horse who strayed from his field? Or Mr McAlpine’s cockatoo? No – but guess who?

Lois Looks for Bob at the Park, Gerry Turley ($12.99)
A visually arresting, quirky lift-the-flap book series from Gerry Turley. All little readers will love helping Lois search for her friend Bob behind the object, and encountering their friends along the way.

Animal Opposites, Alphaprints ($9.99)
This brightly-coloured, touch-and-feel board book explores the concept of opposites through the animal kingdom: a tall giraffe meets a short warthog; a fast cheetah and a slow tortoise – and on it goes. Great price, fabulous little book.

Children 4–7

Here We Are: Notes For Living On Planet Earth, Oliver Jeffers ($24.99)
We are taken on a journey around the planet, under the sea, across communities, the solar system, inside the animal kingdom – all in one picture book.

After The Fall, Dan Santat ($26.99)
Young children will love this book about Humpty Dumpty, post-fall and put together again by the King’s men.

Excuse Me!, Dave Hughes and Holly Ife ($16.99)
The trend of comedians entering the kids’ literature book space continues with this take on a sensitive topic.

Children 8–13

Guinness World Records 2018 ($44.99)
Fans will be delighted to explore the thousands of amazing new records.

Bad Dad, David Walliams ($19.99)
The new heart-warming story tells the story of dads, who come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

The Girl With The Lost Smile, Miranda Hart ($19.99)
Join Chloe on a life-changing adventure that is both poignant and massively entertaining.

What are you reading?

* Recommended retail price

Corrie Perkin is the owner of My Bookshop By Corrie Perkin in Malvern Road, Hawksburn, website

Written by Corrie Perkin