As the nation enters yet another lockdown, we’ve decided to use this time to sort through our ever growing shelf of books waiting to be read and start ticking a few off our list.
If you’re trying to get back into reading or simply looking for recommendations then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of the books which we’re most excited to pick up this January, so hopefully you can find a read or two which takes your fancy.
The Godmothers by Monica McInerney
Eliza Miller grew up in Australia as the only daughter of a troubled young mother, but with the constant support of her two watchful godmothers, Olivia and Maxie. Despite her tricky childhood, she always felt loved and secure. Until, just before her eighteenth birthday, a tragic event changed her life.
Thirteen years on, Eliza is deliberately living as safely as possible, avoiding close relationships and devoting herself to her job. Out of the blue, an enticing invitation from her godmothers, now both based in the UK, prompts a leap into the unknown.
Within a fortnight, Eliza has swapped her predictable routine in Melbourne, for life in the middle of a complicated family in Edinburgh. There's no such thing as an ordinary day any more. Yet, amidst the chaos, Eliza begins to blossom. She finds herself not only hopeful about the future, but ready to explore her past.
Her godmothers have long been waiting for her to ask about her mother's mysterious life – and about the identity of the father she has never known. But even they are taken by surprise with all that Eliza discovers.
The Stranger Times by C.K. McDonnell
A weekly newspaper dedicated to the weird and the wonderful (but mostly the weird), it is the go-to publication for the unexplained and inexplicable.
At least that's their pitch. The reality is rather less auspicious. Their editor is a drunken, foul-tempered and foul-mouthed husk of a man who thinks little of the publication he edits. His staff are a ragtag group of misfits. And as for the assistant editor . . . well, that job is a revolving door – and it has just revolved to reveal Hannah Willis, who's got problems of her own.
When tragedy strikes in her first week on the job The Stranger Times is forced to do some serious investigating. What they discover leads to a shocking realisation: some of the stories they'd previously dismissed as nonsense are in fact terrifyingly real. Soon they come face-to-face with darker forces than they could ever have imagined.
Shiver by Allie Reynolds
When Milla is invited to a reunion in the French Alps resort that saw the peak of her snowboarding career, she drops everything to go. While she would rather forget the events of that winter, the invitation comes from Curtis, the one person she can't seem to let go. The five friends haven't seen each other for ten years, since the disappearance of the beautiful and enigmatic Saskia.
But when an icebreaker game turns menacing, they realise they don't know who has really gathered them there and how far they will go to find the truth. In a deserted lodge high up a mountain, the secrets of the past are about to come to light.
Ex-Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon (January 26)
Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade. Meanwhile, Dominic Yun is fresh off a journalism master's program and convinced he knows everything there is to know about the biz.
When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On ‘The Ex Talk’, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it's this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it's not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts.
As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers.
Girl A by Abigail Dean
Lex Gracie doesn’t want to think about her family. She doesn’t want to think about growing up in her parents’ House of Horrors. And she doesn’t want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. When her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can’t run from her past any longer.
Together with her sister, Evie, Lex intends to turn the House of Horrors into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her six siblings – and with the childhood they shared.
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants – as long as she isn't herself. Because Muslim girls aren't lesbians. Nishat doesn't want to lose her family, but she also doesn't want to hide who she is, which only gets harder once Flávia walks into her life.
Beautiful and charismatic, Flávia takes Nishat's breath away. But as their lives become tangled, they're caught up in a rivalry that gets in the way of any feelings they might have for each other. Can Nishat find a way to be true to herself… and find love too? Adiba Jaigirdar is a stunning new voice in young adult fiction, writing uplifting, authentic stories from a Bengali-Irish perspective.
You Have a Match by Emma Lord
From the beloved author of 'Tweet Cute' comes Emma Lord's 'You Have a Match', a YA novel of family, friendship, romance and sisterhood…
When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already. But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister…
When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.
And so Abby devises a fool-proof plan to attend the same summer camp as Savannah and find out why her parents gave her up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby's growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.
Hidden Lies by Rachel Ryan
All children have imaginary friends. It's perfectly normal. But when Georgina's young son Cody tells her about his 'New Granny', a mysterious friend from the park, the words send shivers down her spine. Georgina's beloved mother died only months ago. Her husband Bren is certain the woman is an invention, Cody's way of grieving for his grandmother, but there's something in the way Cody talks about his new friend that feels so real . Is someone out there, watching Georgina's family from the shadows? Is Cody's imaginary friend not so imaginary after all?