The Autumn Bookshelf – Cosy Up With One Of These Hot Reads…

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It’s getting very close to that time again… time to cosy up in your comfy sweater, snuggle up on the couch with a big fluffy blanket and dive into a great book. We don’t know about you, but there’s something about autumn weather that makes reading so appealing (although to be fair, any time is a good time to read) especially if you’re lucky enough to do so in front of a crackling fire.

We’re quietly confident that our Autumn reading list has something just for you! In fact we know you’ll find a page-turner you’ll love, because as always, we’ve covered every genre, books for all ages and we’ve even included our fave audiobooks too. We think it’s important to recommend audiobooks (audiobooks will literally change your commute to and from work – they’re the best!) because a great book can be ruined by a bad narrator, so we’ve based our recommendations on both the story and the narrator.

Without further ado, here is our Autumn reading list…

Passenger - Alexandra Bracken

Jeffery Deaver – The Steel Kiss

Bestseller Deaver’s 12th Lincoln Rhyme novel is a fast-paced thriller with a brilliantly complex suspect, diverse cast and ingenious interpretations of trace evidence and profile interwoven through the nicely balanced plot. Don’t expect to put this one down easily. It’s definitely one of those sought after “just one more chapter and then I’ll go to sleep” books.

Amelia Sachs is hot on the trail of a killer. She’s chasing him through a department store in Brooklyn when an escalator malfunctions. The stairs give way, with one man horribly mangled by the gears. Sachs is forced to let her quarry escape as she jumps in to try to help save the victim. She and famed forensic detective Lincoln Rhyme soon learn, however, that the incident may not have been an accident at all, but the first in a series of intentional attacks. They find themselves up against one of their most formidable opponents ever: a brilliant killer who turns common products into murder weapons. As the body count threatens to grow, Sachs and Rhyme must race against the clock to unmask his identity–and discover his mission–before more people die.

The Autumn Bookshelf - Cosy Up With One Of These Hot Reads...

Passenger – Alexandra Bracken

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them – whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

First reaction upon finishing this book? How the hell are we going to be able to wait for book two to be released?! We’re already jealous of anyone who hasn’t read this book, because they get to read it for the first time.

Oh the places we got to time travel to in Passenger – amazing! And what really makes the time travel storyline so fun, in addition to the intense race against the clock for answers the characters are dealing with, is how the detail Alexander weaves really just drops you head first into all these places to make you really feel like you are there and really getting a sense of the time. One moment you’re on a ship in the 1700’s and the next you’re outrunning bombs during WWII.

If you loved the Time Travellers Wife – you’re going to fall in love with Passenger.

The Autumn Bookshelf - Cosy Up With One Of These Hot Reads...

The Invitation – Lucy Foley

The world’s darkest hour had made her a ghost. Only he can see the light…

Rome, 1953: Hal and Stella meet by chance, two outcasts in a city far from home. Or perhaps it was the hand of the gods that night as the Eternal City welcomed the beautiful elite to its rooftops. It’s a bright awakening for Hal, he believes he’s found the love of his life – his Stella, his star.

To his dismay, the mysterious girl disappears as quickly as she swept in, and Hal’s life as a journalist falls back into its familiar routine. But when he’s asked by an Italian Contessa to assist on a trip of a lifetime – acting as the reporter on a tremendous yacht, skimming its way along the Italian Riviera towards Cannes film festival, the most famous movie stars and directors of the day as its cargo – Hal can’t believe his good fortune. Especially when a familiar beauty becomes passenger.

Yet not all that glitters is gold, for many secret histories lurk beneath the surface of these Bright Young Things. Stella is bound to a powerful and profoundly dangerous man, and as Hal’s obsession grows with every passing wave, they sail closer towards a tragic fate . . .

The Autumn Bookshelf - Cosy Up With One Of These Hot Reads...

The Siren – Kiera Cass

“You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won’t lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time…”

The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can’t bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she’s been waiting for doesn’t seem nearly as important as the one she’s living now.

Don’t dismiss this book based on Cass’s The Selection series (that is, if you didn’t enjoy The Selection series) because the truth is the two are nothing at all alike. The characters, the world, the tone of voice, are all so very different.

The Autumn Bookshelf - Cosy Up With One Of These Hot Reads...

Flawed – Cecelia Ahern

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed.

In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.

Still looking for a sign that this book is worth the read? Cecelia Ahern’s, Flawed, has been snapped up by film giants Warner Bros. and is set to made into a movie. There’s your sign!

The Autumn Bookshelf - Cosy Up With One Of These Hot Reads...

Grace & Style; The Art Of Pretending You Have It – Grace Helbig

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Grace’s Guide, YouTuber comedian, and the host of The Grace Helbig Show on E! comes a beautifully illustrated, tongue-in-cheek book about style that lampoons fashion and beauty guides while offering practical advice in Grace Helbig’s trademark sweet and irreverent voice.

At first glance, this may look like a quirky style guide from the perspective of your favourite YouTuber, but it’s actually a fun read about how Helbig faces the world of fashion. Unlike typical style guides that advise readers about what to wear on a job interview or how to achieve the perfect winged eyeliner, Helbig takes the opportunity to talk about her personal relationship with clothes, share her favourite ways to trick people into thinking you took a shower, and her dedication to what she believes are the 10 commandments of online shopping.

Helbig doesn’t sugarcoat anything. We don’t know about you, but we’d much rather read a breakup letter to a pair of heels (which Grace does) than an essay about why we should create a ‘capsule wardrobe’ with only 10 pairs of need-to-own heels (yawn).

It’s fun, real, quirky and enjoyable. Worth picking up.

The Autumn Bookshelf - Cosy Up With One Of These Hot Reads...

This Is Where The World Ends – Amy Zhang

Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivien moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship – as long as no one finds out about it. But then Janie goes missing and everything Micah thought he knew about his best friend is coloured with doubt.

Using a nonlinear writing style and dual narrators, Amy Zhang reveals the circumstances surrounding Janie’s disappearance in a second novel.

Similar to Falling Into Place, This Is Where The World Ends by Amy Zhang is one of those read-in-a-single-day kind of books that will have you feeling a rollercoaster of emotions.

The Autumn Bookshelf - Cosy Up With One Of These Hot Reads...

The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F**K – Sarah Knight

Meet the new breed of self-help books that are bypassing life-affirming speeches and swearing by… well, swearing.

This brilliant, hilarious, and practical parody of Marie Kondo’s bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame, and guilt – and give your f**ks instead to people and things that make you happy.

The easy-to-use, two-step ‘not sorry method’ for mental decluttering will help you unleash the power of not giving a f**k about: family drama, having a “bikini body”, co-workers’ opinions, pets, and children and other bullsh*t! And it will free you to spend your time, energy, and money on the things that really matter.

Close your eyes, breathe in deeply and say it with me…“F**k it.”

F**k dithering because you might be wrong. F**k persevering with that dead-end conversation. And definitely f**k giving a f**k about what anyone else thinks.

It isn’t just shock tactics; studies have shown that swearing can help release the body’s natural analgesic. Screaming “F**k!” when you absent-mindedly smash your funny bone, can genuinely make the throbbing hurt a little less.

The word takes all your frustration, exhaustion and fury and boils it down into one satisfying syllable, so transferring that response to mental or emotional trauma makes sense.

Sarah Knight’s The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k aims to advise you “how to stop spending time you don’t have, doing things you don’t want to do, with people you don’t like”.

Don’t know if you can tell from the above – but we genuinely f**king love this book!

The Autumn Bookshelf - Cosy Up With One Of These Hot Reads...

Coffee Table Book of The Month: Your Beauty Mark – Dita Von Teese

Dita Von Teese divulges the beauty secrets that have earned her a frequent spot on international best dressed lists and high-profile fashion show rosters. She takes the reader through every step of her signature looks – from her perfectly coiffed hair to her flawless skin and makeup – and turns to experts and friends for advice.

Not only does this book hold a plethora of knowledge, alongside stunning photography, it looks absolutely drop-dead-gorgeous on your living room table (and quite the conversation starter at that).

The Autumn Bookshelf - Cosy Up With One Of These Hot Reads...

Carole’s Flower Truck; Flowers Every Day for New Zealand Homes – Carole Bowden

There’s nothing we love more than bunches and bunches of beautiful flowers. They’re what makes a house feel like a home; yet I think everyone can relate when we say, trying to recreate a floral arrangement that’s room-worthy is actually damn hard and even more so, frustrating. Envisaging a beautiful arrangement of freshly cut flowers, we go to our garden and snip away, only to find that once we’ve put flower to vase, our arrangement looks nothing like what we imagined. Why? Because floral arrangement is an art, and who better to teach us this art than Carole.

Carole Bowden’s flower truck is a Remuera fixture on Shore Road, rain or shine, winter and summer, and Carole’s mission is to inspire everyone to enjoy flowers in their homes every day. Her floral philosophy is based on using locally grown, market-fresh flowers rather than imported blooms – this is both better for the environment and easier on the budget. We’ve referred to this book religiously over the last few months and it’s simply brilliant. There are tips and hints on getting the most from your flowers, plus step-by-steps to creating Carole’s famous ‘park posies’, jam jar posies and hydrangea bouquets and how to make circlets and garlands. Great ideas for every day as well as special events including weddings, table settings and more.  If you love blooms but struggle with the end-result-aesthetics, this is the book for you!

Audio Books

The Autumn Bookshelf - Cosy Up With One Of These Hot Reads...

The Haunting Of Sunshine Girl – Alyssa Sheinmel & Paige McKenzie (narrated by Paige McKenzie)

Something freaky’s going on with Sunshine’s new house . . . there’s the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mom believes her. Sunshine’s always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort . . .

If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can’t help them?

As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

The first in a frighteningly good new series based on the popular YouTube sensation The Haunting of Sunshine Girl Network, created by Paige McKenzie.

We love a scary ghost story and this one is brilliant. The narration was excellent and we were straight into the sequel (The Awakening of Sunshine Girl) the moment it ended.

The Autumn Bookshelf - Cosy Up With One Of These Hot Reads...

The House At Riverton – Kate Morton (narrated by Caroline Lee)

There isn’t a Kate Morton book we haven’t listened to on, and yes, we’ve loved every one. Add to a wonderful, historical mystery, the honey-toned brilliance of narrator Caroline Lee (she narrates most, if not all of Kate’s audio books) and you have yourself audio-book-perfection. The narration and storyline are so perfectly paired that you can’t help but be transported to another place and time, and the descriptive is so good that you can easily visualise every single detail.

Summer 1924: On the eve of a glittering Society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again. Winter 1999: Grace Bradley, 98, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet’s suicide. Ghosts awaken and memories, long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace’s mind, begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge; something history has forgotten but Grace never could. Set as the war-shattered Edwardian summer surrenders to the decadent twenties, The House at Riverton is a thrilling mystery and a compelling love story.

To view more reading suggestions check our ‘Holiday Reads’ post:

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