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Article  •  16 August 2020


5 escapist reads!

There’s nothing better than curling up on the couch with a good book and a cosy blanket, especially when it’s a bit chilly outside.Here are some great escapist reading suggestions that’ll have you staying up well past your bedtime and saying “just one more chapter…” 

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
If you loved the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy/movie then this should definitely be your next read! When Lucie Churchill first sets eyes on George Zao she can’t stand him, but slowly this all begins to change. Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan is the coming-of-age tale of a young woman caught between two cultures, and a comedy of manners set amongst the world’s summer playgrounds of privilege. It’s the first in a new trilogy that you’re sure to fall in love with!

Liar by Lesley Pearse
If a thrilling murder mystery is more your speed, then how about Liar by Lesley Pearse? Amelia White dreams of being a reporter, but she’s never really come close to selling a story. When a murder victim is found around the corner from her home, she’s horrified to hear the lies and assumptions being spread about the young woman by the media. Determined to protect the victim from these smears, she convinces her paper's editor to let her tell the true story. Now all she has to do is work out who the liar is…

The Tally Stick by Carl Nixon 
This book is truly a staff favourite here at the Penguin Random House NZ office and is getting great reviews! On 4 April 1978 after being in the country for only five days, the Chamberlain family vanished into thin air. The remains of the eldest Chamberlain child are found over 30 years later showing evidence that he had lived for four years after the family disappeared. How had he survived? Where was the rest of his family? It's an absolutely chilling tale that you simply won't be able to put down! 

HRT: Husband Replacement Therapy​ by Kathy Lette –
If you’re looking for a book that’ll give you a good laugh then maybe HRT: Husband Replacement Therapy is the one for you! Ruby has always been the generous mediator among her friends, family and colleagues, which is why they have all turned up to celebrate her 50th birthday. But after a devastating cancer diagnosis and a few too many glasses of champers, Ruby’s speech doesn’t exactly go to plan. Instead of delivering the witty and warm words her guests are expecting, Ruby takes her moment in the spotlight to reveal what she really thinks of every one of them, then upends her life to spend every remaining minute exploring new pleasures.

Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo –
Or, for something smart (Booker award-winning no less), how about Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo? From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, this book is teeming with energy, humour and heart. It’s a love song to black Britain told by twelve very different people, who are each looking for something - a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope… a truly brilliant book.


You can read the first chapter of all these books, plus some other great reads in our digital sampler pack here

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