With temperatures topping the outta control-ometer, there’s really only two ways to cope.
Either you retreat to the sofa directly under the air-conditioner or make a break for the beach.
Whichever escape you opt for, we’ve picked out a selection of seven easy but smart reads to keep you entertained while you slowly overheat.
If you loved Gone Girl, this page-turning thriller clearly takes a leaf out of that book/film, even down to the vaguely demeaning use of ‘girl’ instead of ‘woman’. It also invokes Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Divorcee Rachel has to take the train past the home she once shared with her ex-husband. Instead of looking there, she fixates on the apparently blissful neighbours she dubs Jess and Jason. But then Rachel witnesses something that shatters the fantasy. Packed full of red herrings and shifting character motivations, it’ll keep you guessing.
Similarly slippery, Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair penned by Swiss French author Joel Dicker and subsequently translated into multiple languages, packs a massive twist into its already convoluted murder mystery. When the famous author of the title is accused of killing Nola Kellergan, his onetime teenage lover who has been dug up in his backyard many years after her disappearance, it’s left to his loyal protégé Marcus Goldman to prove Quebert’s innocence. But just who is telling the truth?
Gregory David Roberts
While the cumbersome size of this Shantaram sequel may put off some, those backpackers who happily dragged that best-selling brick around the planet on their far-flung travels surely won’t baulk at slinging the The Mountain Shadow over their shoulder. Gregory David Roberts returns to Mumbai and Lin’s vision quest packed with seedy gangland crime antics and cod philosophy. Those who were entranced first time round will find plenty more to love here.
Jack Reacher returns in this 20th adventure that kicks off in a backwater American town in the middle of nowhere but slowly uncovers a hideous global crime ring that makes a nightmare of our increasingly online lives. Reacher has capable back-up in the form of new character, private detective Grace Chang, and there’s a definite spark between the pair in this smart mystery thriller.
Sick In The Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy
Random House Australia
The director of Trainwreck and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, plus the executive director of Lena Dunham’s Girls, has put together a hilarious and insightful collection of his interviews with fellow funny folks, sourced both from his ambitious college days and his current crop of celeb besties. Trainwreck star Amy Schumer features, as does Dunham, as well as Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart and Harold Ramis. It’s a laugh a minute, and if you don’t like one essay, just skip to the next.
In this, the last of the Neapolitan Novels, the reclusive mega best-selling author Ferrante, who has never revealed her true identity, caps off the emotional rollercoaster ride shared by best friends Elena and Lila. At almost 500 pages, it’ll keep you gripped for ages, especially if you’re yet to embark on the first three in the sequence. Our advice? Just get a bigger, stronger bag.
Originally titled The Price Of Salt, in an obtuse biblical reference, this cracking lesbian romance set in 1950s New York was assumed to be so controversial that The Talented Mr Ripley author Highsmith published it under a pseudonym, not reclaiming it until much later in her illustrious career. She needn’t have bothered, because it was an instant hit. Beautifully written, it still makes hearts soar today, so much so that Todd Haynes has adapted it into an Oscar-magnet movie starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, set to hit Australian cinema screens in January.