Christmas Book Guide 2023

by LukeAdmin

Ho ho how’s about a book for Christmas? Sorry, that was terrible…Forgive me, it’s the end of the year. But seriously, any of these reads would make an excellent present.

  1. What happens when a married couple retires together but don’t agree on what to do next? In Mrs Winterbottom Takes a Gap Year, by Joanna Nell, newly retired Heather Winterbottom leaves her husband, Alan, at home to tend to his veggies and embarks on a lone adventure to Greece.
  2. A mother and son move to a remote Australian island to escape grief. Local resident Grappa believes something sinister is happening on the island. His granddaughter, Ayla, has other ideas. A love story, a mystery, Beneath the Mother Tree, by Donna M Cameron, is a hauntingly beautiful novel interweaving Indigenous history and Irish mythology.
  3. Sons of Beaches is a warts and all music memoir about two brothers, Bill and Guy McDonough and their success at the top of the charts in the band Australian Crawl. It’s a true story about the good, the bad and how the trappings of fame ultimately lead to Guy’s tragic death in 1984.
  4. Beachdaze, by T.W. Lawless, follows the story of investigative journalist, Peter Clancy. Surviving a heart attack, Clancy moves from the city to a coastal town in Victoria, set on peace and quiet. His tranquillity is short lived. When an unexpected friend turns up and crimes in the small town go unsolved, old habits die hard, and Peter Clancy jumps back in the game.
  5. The Gemarine Chronicles, by JP McDonald. In a distant part of the galaxy, different species unite on a utopian world, but nothing is as it seems. Be immersed in this two–book Sci–Fi adventure and follow the crew through four separate missions, three new worlds, two opposing sides of a revolution and one final chance to repair the galaxy.
  6. When We Fall, by Aoife Clifford, Alex and her mother find a body on the beach in a coastal town. The police say it’s an accidental death, but it isn’t the first, and there are whispers of murder…
  7. Late: A Novel, by Michael Fitzgerald. What if Marilyn Monroe had faked her own death and was living as Zelda Zonk in a Harry Seidler apartment in Sydney?… An American actress, living in Sydney in the 1980s, meets a young man, while he’s housesitting in her building. Together they form an unlikely but strong bond as their stories unfold.
  8. Over seventy years had passed since Mira Unreich was freed from a concentration camp in Germany. A Brilliant Life is her story told by her daughter, Rachelle Unreich. It weaves the past and the present to capture the powerful connection between a mother and child. It’s about resilience of the soul and the ability of the heart to heal.
  9. The Vulnerables, by Sigrid Nunez, three strangers are thrown together in one Manhattan apartment: a solitary writer; a Gen Z college drop–out; and a spirited parrot named Eureka. This is a story about what happens when strangers are willing to open their hearts to each other and how far even small acts of caring can go to ease another’s distress.

Jessica Sanford is a writer living on the Central Coast. She has a passion for literature and writes fiction and non–fiction. Jessica was the winner of the Wyong Writers’ 2021 Short Story Competition and has also been longlisted for the Furious Fiction prize. She’s currently working on a novel set in rural NSW. https://jessicasanford.com

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