If streaming back-to-back episodes on Netflix is wearing thin, it might be time to dive back into summertime reading. Whether you’re lounging on the beach or spending time in your local park, reading is a wonderful way to pass the time on balmy summer days.
But don’t worry if you’re not sure what books to read this summer. We’ve put together a fabulous list of highly regarded fiction and non-fiction books. And even some suggestions to share with the grandkids.
By Emma Grey
With its mix of romantic comedy and raw, confronting grief, The Last Love Note is sweet, heartbreaking and brimming with love and laughter. Can Kate, a sole parent emerging from a devastating loss, face the possibility of a second chance at love? The story will have you bawling tears of grief and joy from start to finish. 'A sparkling Australian romantic comedy that will break your heart into a thousand shards and piece it back together again.’
This Australian best-seller features high on the must-read list. It's a tale of love, a lost father, a mute brother, a mother in jail, a heroin dealer and a notorious criminal for a babysitter. Set in Brisbane's violent working-class suburbs in 1983, the story is a blend of fiction and non-fiction based on Dalton's upbringing. With stellar reviews, multiple awards, and critics describing it as ‘extraordinary and beautiful storytelling’ and ‘funny, tender and raw,’ it's a must-read this summer.
This is a funny tale of a quirky family planning a wedding in a dilapidated house. Cohen is a serious comedian. She writes about unforgettable characters and the hilarious dynamics of a large family. And captures how family secrets and events can change lives and reverberate through generations. Critics have praised Cohen's novel as ‘funny and tender but also provocative and wise’ and ‘serious yet joyous comedy.’
By Bernadine Evaristo
Awarded the 2019 Booker Prize, this is one you won't be able to put down. The British author tells the tale of 12 people, mostly black British women aged between 19 to 93, whose lives are somewhat connected. It follows their struggles over the years and how they navigate their families, friends, and lovers. It's a ‘love song to modern Britain and black womanhood.’
This memoir tells an astonishing true-life story of finding joy through survival. From her tough childhood in Kenya to becoming the 2021 Australian of the Year - Local Hero recipient, Rosemary’s story is powerful and important. Full of inspiration and radical hope, the author encourages the reader to seek joy and never give up. ‘Her journey will inspire you to dance.’
A true story of murder and memory in Northern Ireland, the New York Times and Washington Post proclaimed this book as one of the top 10 books of 2019. The true story centres around the notorious killing of Jean McConville in 1972. The 38-year-old mother was dragged from her Belfast home as her 10 children clung to her legs. They never saw her again. The murder was committed by the IRA, and Keefe's gripping book goes on a journey through the brutal conflict of Northern Ireland.
In this book, the author reveals herself as ‘Emily Doe’ from the high-profile criminal case against Brock Turner in the United States. Miller was attacked by Turner while she lay unconscious outside a fraternity house party before two cyclists intervened. Miller only revealed her identity ahead of publishing Know My Name in a powerful move to reclaim her story. Critics around the world have hailed this memoir as a must-read.
This memoir-in-essays is relatable and wise. It navigates its way through complex feelings when you ‘have it all’ but still don't feel content. Philpott discusses how when she had completed her life's to-do list (husband, babies and the white picket fence), she felt anxious and dissatisfied instead of feeling successful and happy. It's a warming book, and one many can relate to.
Winner of the 2022 CBCA Book of the Year: Early Childhood award, Jetty Jumping delightfully captures the joys of childhood summers and the bravery of overcoming your fears. Beautifully illustrated by Hannah Sommerville, the book is fast becoming an Australian childhood classic.
By Dr Suess
You can't go past Dr Seuss for a dose of quality time with a side of rhyme. You could even go one step further and bring the book to life with a breakfast of green eggs and ham! The little ones will love it, and it's those precious memories they'll hold with them for years to come.
Rather than buying your summer reading list books, save money and reduce the clutter by borrowing from your local library. Check with your local council to find libraries in your area.
And remember, if you live in one of our villages, most have libraries in their community centre. Check with your village manager to see if they have any of the books you’re looking for.
If you love reading books on an electronic device or listening to audiobooks, you can borrow these from your local library, too.
If the books you’ve already read are taking up too much space, why not donate them? Round up your pre-loved reads, pop them in a box and take them to your local op shop or charity. Or consider donating your books to your village’s community centre library.
You could even ask the grandkids to do the same, so you can share in the good spirit of giving. And while you’re at the op shop, pick up some new-to-you books to add to your reading pile.
If you’ve read through our summer reading list, why not try a list fit for the Prime Minister? Here’s the Grattan Insitute’s 2022 Pime Ministers’ Summer Reading List. It’s more ‘cracking good reads’ the Grattan staff think the PM - and any Australian - should add to their bedside table.
For more information about the lifestyle and support offered at our retirement villages, call our customer service team on 1800 550 550.
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