Bookclub – A rich harvest of autumn reads


Emily Maguire, acclaimed author of An Isolated Incident, brings us the story of Nic and her beloved niece Lena in her latest novel, Love Objects. The two meet for lunch every Sunday until one day, Nic fails to show up. When Lena arrives at Nic’s house, which she hasn’t visited since she was a child, she discovers her aunt buried under a pile of stuff she’s been collecting for years. As Nic is hospitalised, the family’s dysfunctional history is revealed through flashbacks and present-day events that include Lena’s battle with an all-too contemporary revenge-porn issue and Nic’s sympathetically treated hoarding disorder. Allen & Unwin, RRP $32.99.

A compelling historical novel, The French Gift brings together events from World War II and their repercussions decades later. In 1940, two women meet in prison in France, one a former maid (Margot Bisset), the other a French Resistance fighter and famous novelist (Josephine Murant). They spend four years in a German work camp, where the secrets they share will be unravelled by Evie Black, a bookshop owner in modern-day Paris. Kirsty Manning’s previous historical fiction include The Midsummer Garden and The Lost Jewels. Allen & Unwin, RRP $32.99


Allie Reynolds’s debut thriller, Shiver, is set in the French Alps, a place the former professional snowboarder knows well. Five friends meet for a reunion at an isolated mountaintop lodge, 10 years after the disappearance of the 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. Narrated by Milla in chapters alternating between the present day and the events of 10 years ago, Shiver is an atmospheric page-turner. Hachette, RRP $32.99

Fans of Joël Dicker’s literary crime epic The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair (now a TV miniseries) will be just as gripped by his new offering, The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer. In the summer of 1994, the quiet seaside town of Orphea reels from the discovery of two brutal murders. Two young police officers, Jesse Rosenberg and Derek Scott, crack the case but 20 years later, Rosenberg is approached by Stephanie Mailer, a journalist who believes the real murderer is still out there. Stephanie then mysteriously disappears, forcing Rosenberg and Scott to confront the possibility that her suspicions might have been proved true. Hachette, RRP $22.99


How to Fake Being Tidy is a collection of hilarious true stories by award-winning feature writer Fenella Souter that will have you laughing out loud. Subtitled And other things my mother never taught me, the book celebrates the highs and lows of domestic life – from the author’s attempts to run the house like a grown-up to lessons in good cooking; from accidentally killing her wisteria, divorcing the cat and shirt-fronting bossy tradies to wondering if the ‘hostess gift’ is still a thing or why some people have impeccable taste. Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99

The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel explores the bestselling, award-winning graphic novelist’s lifelong love affair with exercise, set against a highly entertaining chronicle of fitness fads over the past few decades. Ultimately, she discovers the secret to superhuman strength lies not in six-pack abs, but in something much less clearly defined: facing her own non- transcendent but all-important interdependence with others. Penguin/Jonathan Cape, RRP $35


Sharon Stone, Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actress (Total Recall and Basic Instinct) was one of the most renowned actresses in the world – until a massive stroke in 2001 cost her not only her health, but her career, family, fortune and global fame. In her honest, often painfully funny memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, Sharon talks about her pivotal roles, life-changing friendships and her efforts to rebuild her life post-stroke. A truly heartfelt and inspiring read. Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99

Dublin-born actor Gabriel Byrne has appeared in some 80 movies during his 40-year career, but until he was 15, he was headed for the priesthood. Walking with Ghosts is Gabriel’s beautifully written autobiography, taking readers from his working-class upbringing in 1960s Ireland to finding his love of acting and subsequent rollercoaster life as a Hollywood and Broadway star. He writes about his battle with alcohol addiction and the ambivalence he feels about fame as well as painting unforgettable pictures of the people and places that helped shape his life. Pan Macmillan, RRP $39.99


Central Coast Life & Style's editor is now a resident Coastie, having visited many times over the years. Sally is a well-known travel and cruise writer and loves exploring near and far. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve got a local story to tell!