There’s something special about a truly good book. One that immerses your imagination, one that you can’t put down and one that when you do emerge you can’t believe where the day has gone. We spoke with authors and found our own recommendations for the 20 books you should take a look at this April.
Enthralling historical fiction
Published children’s author, book reviewer and life-long bookworm, Kellie Byrnes shared with us one of the books she comes back to time and time again:
“Asking about my favourite book is like getting a parent to name their favourite child, but here's one I can say I read regularly and absolutely adore: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.
I typically read this book, and the other two in the trilogy, each year. The series could loosely be called 'paranormal romance', but it's so much more. Written by an historian, the books have a literary feel and make you feel like you have travelled back in time. The characters are realistic and memorable, and the stories stay with you for days and months. I'm excited about the upcoming TV series based on the books too. I highly recommend the series for lovers of everything from paranormal themes to romance, history, mystery and literary fiction.”
If you want more historical fiction in your life take a look at these other great titles:
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon; there’s 9 books to read plus a popular TV series to keep you busy
- Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood; recently adapted to a Netflix series as well
- The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham; exposing Australian small towns in the 1950s
MyDeal Pro Tip:
How to DIY a perfect reading nook
Turn any window into your own mini library with a few bookcases and a great seat. Start with a bookcase or two at either edge of the window to create an enclosed space. If you’re after simple then pick up an ottoman seat in MyDeal furniture and add a few cushions for comfort. For a full-on daybed grab yourself a single bed base and add a small mattress. Cover with a mattress protector, a sheet and thick blanket so it looks more like a seat. Style with cushions, fairy lights and anything else that takes your fancy. We recommend a side table too so you have somewhere to place your bookmark, snacks and a cup of tea for a long reading break.
From paperback to Hollywood
D. Roepcke is an author and podcaster whose favourite book of the moment is a true story turned Hollywood blockbuster:
“One book I can read over-and-over is 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup. I don't know what it is about this book - the fact that it's an autobiography of a man that experienced both freedom and servitude, or whether it's because it is completely as he wrote it, but it's so utterly fascinating and un-put-downable that I'm currently reading it for the fifth time.”
In case you missed the memo plenty of famous films were actually based on books. In recent years we’ve had:
- The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
- Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
- Gone Girl by Gillian Finn
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
If you’re all up to date then check out these titles which have just had films released this month:
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Schaffer; a tale of community, friendship and fun in the aftermath of WW2.
- Every Day by David Levithan; a young adult romance with a twist.
- A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle; the story of Meg Murry and her brother Charles as they search for their father. A fantasy adventure book turned Disney blockbuster.
MyDeal Pro Tip:
Prioritise your posture
The best books are the ones you don’t want to put down but hours spent in odd positions is the bane of many a chiropractor’s existence. Ideally you’d swap positions every half hour to avoid stiff muscles and poor posture but we know when the book is that good you aren’t keeping time. Many of us love to read snuggling up in bed so why not sort your bed for the best posture. Prevent neck, shoulder and back pain with a supportive headboard. If you spend at least half your reading time sitting up straight against a stiff bed head then your posture is sure to improve.
For more vice, less virtue in your reading
Sydney-based crime author and former detective A.B. Patterson loves sinking his teeth into the nitty gritty underbelly of society through his work and in his leisure time:
“So many to choose from as I average a book a week. Recently my favourite is The Last Good Kiss by the late James Crumley. Hard-boiled writing at its very best, equal to Chandler and Macdonald. A highly flawed, usually highly drunk protagonist, private investigator C.W.Sughrue, trailing through all manner of seedy episodes and wretched parts of society. My style of writing and story, and a quality of writing to aspire to.”
New to the crime and detective genres? Dip your toes in with the classics from Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie’s Poirot novels. Or for books exploring crime in the age of modern tech and terror attacks try The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
Self-help without the stigma
If you feel uncomfortable in the self-help and motivation aisles of your local bookstore, perhaps you’ve been picking the wrong titles. Chris Christoff, author of Goal Setting For People Who Can’t Set Goals, shares his favourite book that helped him find the power to set greater goals and then write about it:
“My current favourite book is Start With Why by Simon Sinek. When setting and working towards goals, a key motivator is WHY you want the outcome. Knowing the WHY at a deep and personal level gives the drive to keep taking action and to overcome obstacles, provide a foundation for making decisions, and help you accept that you deserve the goal (Impostor Syndrome). Sinek explores the psychology of the power of WHY, and the benefits to leaders and companies in understanding their WHY. The companion book "Find Your WHY" gives clear instructions for individuals and groups for finding their WHY.
Goal setting not your problem? Here’s a few other popular titles that may be the push you need to improve:
- The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson
- Who Moved My Cheese? By Dr Spencer Johnson
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
- Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
With new books hitting the shelves every month and plenty of classics to keep you busy all you need is the right recommendations to get started.