22 May 2024
Books for January: Great reads you’re not going to want to miss
Books Culture

Books for January: Great reads you’re not going to want to miss

With the warm weather still in the distance there’s plenty of time to curl up with a great book while we wait (and wait) for the warmer weather to arrive.


We’ve done a lot of reading during the cold, dark winter and plan on doing plenty more.  Here’s five great reads for January, from mystery to fun to thought-provoking. Enjoy!

1. The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty 

While ostensibly a ‘woman’s’ novel, this book is something more.  It all takes place in a tight-knit Irish-Catholic community in Sydney and goes a long way towards exploring what makes us tick while titillating us with mystery, sex, no sex, murder and the oppressiveness of trying to live the ‘perfect’ life.  Definitely one for a chilly weekend where you want to immerse yourself in a world you may know nothing about.

2. The Good House – Ann Leary

Divorced, middle-aged and living in a fictitious New England town Hidly Good is an alcoholic realtor who slyly delights in the voyeurism of her profession while speculating about the affairs -both figurative and literal – of her fellow townspeople. Grab a glass of wine for this one – although you may not finish it as you dash through the pages.

3. Muddle Your Way Through Being a Grandparent & Muddle Your Way Through Fatherhood – Paul Merrill

This is two for the price of one (not literally, we’re afraid!), mainly because both books will have you chuckling over the odd family dynamics we all experience, despite those sometimes awkward moments we may have endured at the holidays having (hopefully) already faded away. Merrill has a sharp eye for the absurd which, combined with a sly wit, lovingly mocks the great institution of family.  Be prepared to annoy those around you when you burst out in to laughter every few minutes.

4. The Guilty One – Lisa Ballantyne

Kids killing kids – we’ve seen it enough in recent years and we’ve read a few books from the kid’s perspective, the family’s perspective, and the victim’s perspective.  This books explores the troubling issue from the lawyer’s perspective, through his own life experiences as well as through his desire to understand this seemingly disturbed young child who has committed the ultimate crime.

5. A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki

If you missed this fantastic 2013 offering I strongly suggest you find a copy, lock the doors, turn off the phone and get stuck in.  The discovery of a Hello Kitty lunchbox on a beach leads to the discovery of Proust, a broken watch, some old letters and, most importantly, a diary.  This discovery gives us characters we never meet yet will come to know, as well as wonderful meditations on life, both personally and in the world at large.

Have a great book to recommend?

Let us know in the comments below or on the forums!


Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke is an experienced  journalist who, when she’s not shackled to her computer, enjoys reading, cooking and sometimes watching embarrassingly bad reality TV.  Judi also works with communications and thinks coming up with clever ideas is about as much fun as one can have without taking off one’s clothes.

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