This week we are excited to welcome our guest member About Duffy, share her latest bookworm news and her favourites with our members.

Well, we made it!  We all hurtled through 2017 in the blink of an eye, can see the light at the end of the tunnel and a well earned Christmas break.  The festive season is the perfect time for many of us to unwind, reconnect with family, get some sun, take a swim, and disappear into a good book. So, which one to do first? Dip your nose into a decent summer read of course!

As a book reviewer, I set myself a challenge to read 50 books and to also try some genres outside of my thriller/suspense comfort zone. I came across a few surprises I can tell you. I’m lucky enough to have the privilege of trying books I would never naturally pick up in a bookstore, and I’d like to share some of my favourites of with you.

Darkest Thriller
Thrillers and suspense will always be my favourite genre and See What I Have Done is one that got right under my skin and stayed there.  It’s a haunting, historical fiction based on the infamous Lizzie Borden murders of the 1800’s which spawned the unsettling children’s skipping rhyme:-

‘Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her father 40 whacks.

When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.’

Most Original Fiction
Just when you think that all the stories have been told, one comes along which is utterly original. An Unremarkable Body is a new release which took me in completely, becoming one of my all-time favourites of the year. When Laura finds her mother dead at the bottom of her stairs, she starts to uncover the secrets her mother kept her whole life. Told through the body parts dissected in her post-mortem; the heart, the eyes, the spine Laura slowly puts the pieces of her mother’s life together. Heartwrenching and incredibly detailed, you won’t fail to fall in love with Laura and her family, and you’ll be sure to find an element of her story which will resonate on a personal level.

Great Australian Author
Any book by one of the queens of Australian storytelling Jenn J McLeod, will make your summer.  Jenn creates relatable characters and places them in strikingly detailed Australian small town settings. Don’t think you’re in for a gentle ride though. As soon as you are comfortable, Bam! Jenn hits you with a plot-twist, heartbreak, or surprise character appearance. If you want to truly lose yourself in the pages of a good fiction, hit up Jenn.

Best Non Fiction
If you like your books based in the realm of reality, then I have a couple of (Christmas) crackers for you.  Patient 71 is the story of Julie Randall who without warning faced terminal cancer and a very short life expectency. Julie writes honestly about her struggles with the health system, her family, her own emotions and mindset. Her sheer determination not to give up and to trial groundbreaking treatment alone in the United States will leave you feeling damn lucky and very inspired.

Barbarian Days is one of the best autobiographies I’ve ever read, and even though it was a 2016 read, I still highly recommend it. Read about the colourful childhood and life of journalist William Finnegan and his surfing days in Hawaii and across America.  You don’t need to be a surfer to be in love with this one, although you may end up a little envious of the old days during the emergence of surfing in popular culture.

Hopefully, you all get a bit of time to dip your nose in a good book and find something here to awaken your inner bookworm over a hot hot summer!

Duffy The Writer