Sun, sand and a sizzling story—there’s no better recipe for summer. But with so many books out there, it’s hard to pick one that you know will be a page-turner worthy of your time on that sun lounger.
To help you along, our Amazon Australia Books Editor has pulled together a list of the six most essential titles that you should read next. From a whodunnit to fantasy and non-fiction, there’s something for everyone—and every mood—this summer.
#1 Something Bad Is Going To Happen by Jessie Stephens
Adella is facing the dawn of a new year and the end of her twenties—and she's in a psychiatric unit recovering from a mental breakdown. A decade earlier, her life held such promise; she had every option in her hand. How did it come to this?
Raw and revelatory, Something Bad is Going to Happen is a heart-stopping new work from one of Australia's most exciting writers. Dealing with the weight young women bear through pressure, anxiety, rejection, this is a generation-defining novel—wise, witty, deeply compelling.
What our Books Editor says: “Stephens’ debut bestseller, Heartsick, shared deeply moving stories of the most universal human experience of heartbreak and healing. This is her first go at fiction and she has tapped into a universal feeling again—when we find out life is not turning out as we had always thought or planned, and the irrepressible fear that something bad is going to happen. I found myself relating unnervingly to Adella and her pursuit of purpose. You'll find this opens up something new in you, in a convincing, witty manner.”
Get it here.
#2 Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson
From the author of Steve Jobs comes this astonishingly intimate story of the most fascinating and controversial innovator of our era—a rule-breaking visionary who helped lead the world into the era of electric vehicles, private space exploration, and artificial intelligence. Oh, and who also took over Twitter.
For two years, Isaacson shadowed Musk, attending his meetings, walking his factories with him, and spending hours interviewing him, his family, friends, co-workers, and adversaries. The result is a revealing inside story, filled with triumph and turmoil, that addresses the question: are the demons that drive Musk also what it takes to drive innovation and progress?
What our Books Editor says: “We recently interviewed the author of this biography, which delves into the upbringing and life that has developed Elon into the influential and unpredictable visionary that he is. You'll be inspired and surprised by Elon's life, probably frustrated by his behaviour and its dichotomy with the brilliance that has driven his success.”
#3 Everyone On This Train Is A Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson
When the Australian Mystery Writers' Society invites protagonist Ernest ‘Ern’ Cunningham to their crime-writing festival aboard the Ghan, the famous train between Darwin and Adelaide, he goes, seeking inspiration for his second book. The program is a who's who of crime-writing royalty.
Then someone is murdered, and six authors quickly turn into five detectives. But how can you find a killer when all the suspects know how to get away with murder?
This ingenious blend of classic and modern murder mystery is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Stevenson’s international bestseller, Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone.
What our Books Editor says: “I am an absolute sucker for a whodunnit. Something about desperately unravelling a clever ploy draws me in—and that’s the real hook of this thriller—every suspect is a writer who knows how to get away with murder. When one of them dies, you'll find yourself changing suspects page to page.”
Get it here.
#4 Iron Flame: The Empyrean Book 2 by Rebecca Yarros
Everyone expected Violet Sorrengail to die during her first year at Basgiath War College, Violet included. But Threshing was only the first impossible test meant to weed out the weak-willed, the unworthy, and the unlucky.
Now the real training begins, and Violet's already wondering how she'll get through. It's not just that it's gruelling and maliciously brutal, or even that it's designed to stretch the riders' capacity for pain beyond endurance. It's the new vice commandant, who's made it his personal mission to teach Violet exactly how powerless she is—unless she betrays the man she loves.
What our Books Editor says: “Reminiscent of Hunger Games and Divergent, this is the sequel to the bestseller Fourth Wing that rose to popularity via TikTok. It’s expected to be one of the biggest releases of the year, and perfect as a gift for young adults.”
Get it here.
#5 Holly by Stephen King
When Penny Dahl calls the Finders Keepers detective agency hoping for help locating her missing daughter, Holly is reluctant to accept the case. Her partner, Pete, has Covid. Her (very complicated) mother has just died. And Holly is meant to be on leave. But something in Penny Dahl's desperate voice makes it impossible for Holly to turn her down.
Blocks from where Bonnie Dahl disappeared live professors Rodney and Emily Harris. They are the picture of respectability: married octogenarians, devoted to each other, and semi-retired lifelong academics. But they’re harbouring an unholy secret in the basement of their well-kept, book-lined home, one that may be related to Bonnie's disappearance. And it will prove nearly impossible to discover what they’re up to: they are savvy, patient, and ruthless.
Holly must summon all her formidable talents to out-think and out-manoeuvre the shockingly twisted professors in this chilling new masterwork from King.
What our Books Editor says: “I tend to gravitate to thrillers—I like the complexity, and Stephen King is the master of thrillers and suspense. This book focuses on a character who was originally a 'walk-on' character in Mr Mercedes, Holly Gibney. Holly's journey into her own confidence is classic—you'll find her instantly endearing.”
Get it here.
#6 Heartstopper Volume 5 by Alice Oseman
Nick and Charlie are very much in love. They've finally said those three little words, and Charlie has almost persuaded his mum to let him sleep over at Nick's house. But with Nick going off to university next year, is everything about to change?
By Oseman, winner of the YA Book Prize, it encompasses all the small moments of Nick and Charlie's lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.
Contains discussions around mental health and eating disorders, and sexual references.
What our Books Editor says: “This is the next release in the Heartstopper series from Osman— the TV adaptation continues to be a favourite on Netflix for its heartwarming feel and open approach to diversity."
Get it here.
For more recommendations on what to read, check out our Amazon Editors’ Choice suggestions.