Winter Indulgences: 5 Must-Read Books

From romance and crime to self-help and family sagas, you’ll get lost in these page turners.

Pour a glass of red wine, curl up under a blanket and switch off with one of these five must-read books.

1/ The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

We’ve all had a crazy flat share experience, but for those of you who have managed to escape this rite of passage, you can experience it vicariously via this gem – The Flatshare. This modern Rom-Com reinvents the flat share experience. Main characters Tiffy and Leon share a flat and a bed, but, errr, they’ve never met! It’s a bit like online dating – you know, when you’ve never actually met the person you’re dreaming about but have enough clues about their life for sparks to fly? Both Tiffy and Leon’s mates think they’re whacked but hey, rent’s expensive! And if Leon works nights and Tiffy works days, it’s kinda the perfect solution, right…?

Perfect pick for: Romantics!

The Flat Share by Beth O'Leary Hachette

2/ The Rip by Mark Brandi

Slight change of pace … but oooh, ooh, ahh, ahh, from the critically acclaimed bestselling author of Wimmera comes this equally enthralling urban crime novel. Not for those at risk of scary dreams (or reading until 1am on a school night!), The Rip is actually a bit like an ocean rip (hmm, could that be where the title came from?!), lulling you into a sense of calm, hooking you in, making your care about the characters then RIP! You’re confronted by a horrific crime – one that your favourite characters might never recover from. OK we’ve probably said to much already … Read it. It will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

Perfect pick for: Thrill seekers and crime lovers. 

The Rip by Mark Brandi Hachette

3/ Calm the Fuck Down by Sarah Knight

Gawd we love a self-help book – and especially one that calls a spade a f**king spade.

But seriously, what would you expect from New York Times bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, Get Your Sh*t Together, and You Do You, Sarah Knight? In the latest instalment, Calm the Fuck Down, those in need of a little self-improvement will get a no B.S approach with sound advice for managing break-ups and family feuds to overthinking those things you can’t do jack about, calming freak outs and learning to get a grapple on anxiety (that’s sabotaging any chance of living a happy life). You know, how to bounce back when life dishes out crap?

Pair with a G&T – it’s a hard-ass read like our favourite aperitif.  

Perfect pick for: Realists and those looking for alternatives to the traditional self-improvement advice  

Calm the F**K Down by Sarah Knight Hachette

4/ The French Photographer by Natasha Lester

We’re suckers for anything that’s even loosely inspired by truth, and when you add historical settings, fashion models, and generational sagas into the mix, well, SSSSHHHH! We’re reading! And so it is with The French Photographer by Natasha Lester – bestselling Australian author of Her Mother’s Secret and The Paris Seamstress. Inspired by the incredible true story of Lee Miller, Vogue model turned one of the first female war photojournalists, The French Photographer sweeps you into the worlds of brave women during key historical moments. It all starts in 1942, crossing the seas from Manhattan to Paris, when Jessica May’s career makes an abrupt U-turn from model to Vogue photojournalist covering the war. Naturally sexism and discrimination take shape, with battles between Jessica and male soldiers on the front line, but this snapper learns how to break the rules and get the images to tell her stories. But not without a cost. 

Fast forward to France, 2005 and Australian curator D’Arcy Hallworth arrives in Paris to curate a collection of photographs. And it turns out, D’Arcy has a bigger connection to the historical photographs than she could have ever imagined.

Perfect pick for: History enthusiasts, feel-good feminists and those in need of a little XY empowerment!

The French Photographer by Natasha Lester Hachette

5/ The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

Maybe it’s our real-life family dramas that find us so captivated by stories that take place in the past and present involving generations of one family. Maybe generational sagas make our dysfunctional families feel normal! Regardless, we love the twists and turns and secrets and grudges buried deep in the past that threaten the future. In The Things We Cannot Say Alice’s life is turned upside down when her son, Eddie, is born with autism spectrum disorder. Alice is determined to do whatever it takes to support Eddie. But then, a box containing a tiny leather shoe, a tattered photo of a young man and a letter is discovered. Alice’s beloved grandmother makes a hospital-bed-bound request – begging Alice to go to Poland and find out what happened to her dearest love; the man in that photograph. There, Alice discovers the story of WW11 sweethearts Alina and Tomasz – separated by the Nazi invasion. And that’s not all Alice discovers…

Perfect pick for: Romantics, history enthusiasts and those who love a little ‘based on a true story’ between their pages.

the things we can not say by Kelly Rimmer

Related stories