And we’re back! After a brilliant break of overindulgence and finally tearing open the book-shaped prezzies that were waiting patiently under our Christmas trees, Good Reading is back in business for another year of bringing you the best in books. Here’s what we had our noses buried in during lazy afternoons on the couch after being rendered catatonic by enormous lunches.
Rowena (Editor): Oliver of the Levant by Debra Jopson. A boy moves with his family from Bondi to Beirut at the age of fifteen. An enjoyable read that readily conjures 1970’s Beirut and gives you a better understanding of what happened there, before conflict reduced this beachy and bustling city to a shell of its former self. It’s out in April this year.
Beth (Sales Manager): Hope Farm by Peggy Few. A fascinating story about a mother and daughter’s move to a hippy commune in the winter of 1985. Their relationship and differing ways of dealing with their new lives is particularly intriguing.
Tim (Deputy Editor): George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl. The story of a boy who creates a volatile concoction of deodorant, gin, anti-freeze and other unstomachable substances in the hopes of poisoning his grandma, who he is convinced is an insect-devouring witch. Not quite as good as Matilda, but full of trademark Dahl black humour. I also finished Creatures of a Day by Irvin D Yalom, a compilation of insightful adventures in psychotherapy from a psychiatrist who’s refreshingly forthright about his patients and himself.
Leonie (Fabulous New Girl): The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins & The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. Both scary and thrilling in different ways, and both brilliant reads. Looking forward to the upcoming movie adaption of Girl on the Train!
Merle (Children’s Editor): The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf and Grandma by Diane Fox & Christyan Fox. This book is as ridiculously funny as its title. It’s an inventive retelling of an infamous fairytale that begs to be read aloud to children (and to adults who haven’t quite grown up yet).
Angus (Editorial Assistant): Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey. It’s brilliant. I’m kicking myself that I hadn’t read it earlier. It’s a coming of age novel, a murder mystery and a rumination on racism all wrapped into one heartbreaking and completely hilarious story, told by characters that felt like friends. My cheeks were pretty darn wet by the end.