Books & Literature

Recommended Reading – Summer Sizzlers!

Some of our book review team have put together their personal recommendations for these hot summer days. Grab a cool drink, find some shade and thumb through our suggested reading list, from picture books to sci-fi; football to cooking.

Just before Christmas, we asked our book reviewers to send us their recommendations for summer reading. The Holiday period may be over, but the heat goes on…and on…and on… so find yourself an air conditioner, top up the ice in a nice cold drink, and check out some of these fantastic reads from a few of our dedicated contributors!

Zoe Butler joined our review team in April last year and has thrown herself into reading a wide variety of books, from science fiction to cookbooks. Of the sixteen reviews we’ve published from Zoe, one stood out above all others for her:

The Children’s House, by Alice Nelson
The Children’s House tells the tale of Marina and her family, as they come face to face with some of the horrors and atrocities that the human race is capable of committing. Despite this, they remain hopeful – it’s heartbreaking and enlightening, exploring complex issues around humanity. Alice Nelson is a local author telling global stories and it’s perfect for a sunny day with a cup of tea and a cool reading spot.
Read Zoe’s full review | Explore Zoe’s other reviews


Michelle Baylis has dabbled with reviewing for us since 2015, covering books, DVDs and film, but she’s a bibliophile at heart, as her 21 book reviews can attest. Perhaps the only thing our resident ranga loves more than books is football, so it’s no surprise that a book about the sport made her list of top recommendations:

Sons of Guns, by Matt Watson
It’s that time of year with no AFL footy & we count the days until the next bouncedown. Sons of Guns can help you get through this with stories of players who have followed in the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers – stories that will entertain, inspire and help you get to know more about players and clubs.
Read Michelle’s full review | Explore Michelle’s other reviews

Michelle also threw Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding into the mix and tells us it is the original, hilarious story of how not to make New Year’s resolutions or live the single life. Check it out over at Penguin Random House Australia.


It’s almost the first anniversary of Jessica Incoll joining our book review team and she didn’t hesitate to offer up a thriller/mystery for suggested reading:

No Turning Back, by Sam Blake
Detective Garda Cathy Connolly must investigate the connection between two university students who meet an untimely end on the same fateful night in very different circumstances. Little does she know, she is about to stumble upon a terror plot bigger than she could have imagined. This book is perfect for those who enjoy realistic mysteries. It’s a page-turning thriller that will leave you suspicious of the technology you use on a daily basis.
Read Jessica’s full review | Explore Jessica’s other reviews

For a bit of variety, Jessica also recommends the fantasy novel, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas, which is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. You can find out more about it from the Bloomsbury Australia website.


Jan Kershaw is perhaps our most prolific reviewer, having written almost 200 reviews since July 2016, most of them book reviews. Wowza! That’s an average of more than 6 reviews per month! If you need a speed reading lesson, we know where to point you! Of all those reviews, two stood out for Jan:

The Last Hours, by Minette Walters
This historical mystery is a gripping tale about the Black Death in 14th Century England. The heroine, Lady Anne, rejects the idea of a Heaven-sent punishment and uses her formidable intelligence to protect her people from infection.
Read Jan’s full review | Explore Jan’s other reviews

Little People, Big Dreams series, by Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Each title in this collection of children’s picture books focusses on a famous woman, detailing the life and dreams of an artist, designer or scientist. Series includes Frida Kahlo, Ada Lovelace, Coco Chanel and more women who went on to achieve incredible things.
Read Jan’s reviews | Visit Murdoch Books for more titles


Rod Lewis is our Editor for the Books & Literature portfolio and will be celebrating 9 years with Glam Adelaide in February. In that time, he’s published almost 800 reviews and articles under his name (and a whole lot more generically!). In recent times, he’s focused a lot on reviewing cookbooks but when the choice of awesome recipes become too much, he curls up and resorts to simple homespun comforts and easy fare, like these two favourites:

Everything I Know About Cooking I Learned from the CWA of NSW
The Country Women’s Association of NSW offers a modern ode to grandma’s cooking, featuring many of the home-cooked meals and snacks he enjoyed as a child (sausage rolls!!), along with multicultural influences like Moussaka.
Read the full review | Explore our other recipe book reviews

Food Hacker, by Rosie Mansfield
A ‘Food Hack’ is defined as an inexpensive recipe that takes under an hour, using familiar equipment in original ways. With a by-line proclaiming it’s “clever cooking for busy people”, Food Hacker delivers on every promise with fast, healthy meals that require minimum preparation and skill. Perfect for those summer days when it’s too hot to be in the kitchen.
Read the full review | Explore Rod’s other reviews


Happy reading, everyone!

More News

To Top