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Article  •  24 May 2019


Staff picks for winter

Warm recommendations from the readers at Penguin Random House Australia.

With the days getting shorter and the temperature dropping many of our staffers are relishing the opportunity to read more. Pull on a dressing gown, make a cup of tea and get cosy with our top picks for beating the winter chills.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

‘This book is the ultimate in winter hibernation inspiration. The narrator decides that the best way to cope with her entitled and empty life is to completely drop-out, and with the help of a cocktail of prescription medication, she slowly works towards her ultimate goal of 24/7 slumber. The mood is darkly humorous, sarcastic, and a little surreal – with her waking moments filled with 80s movies, Chinese takeaway and piecing together clues of what she got up to while she was sleeping.’ – Cathie, Marketing.

Star-crossed by Minnie Darke

‘Minnie Darke herself persuaded me to pick up this book but I must say, it didn’t take much convincing, I’m a total sucker for a horoscope and a love story! This is the perfect pick for a winter read. Slippers on and cup of tea in hand, you’ll be lost in the world of Justine Carmichael and the whirlwind she creates around her. This book will make you laugh and warm your heart. There are so many characters to keep up with and every twist and turn has a way of linking together. This book will leave you wanting more – I hope they make a movie out of it!’ – Helen, Human Resources.

The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta

‘If you’re looking for a perfect book to snuggle up on the couch with this winter, look no further. The Place on Dalhousie, with its beautiful cover of warm and delicious hues of pink, orange and purple, is a family drama in typical Melina Marchetta fashion. It’s about losing loved ones and making amends. It’s about hardship and grief and about how everyone deals in their own way. It’s about opening up to others and accepting help, and ultimately, it’s about love.’ – Tina, Young Readers Marketing and Publicity.

Vacationland by John Hodgman

‘Staying in a holiday house puts you outside of time and space – it’s not home, but it’s not not home either. From that position, you can’t help but become a ruminative middle-distance starer; it’s why these places are all legally required to have a fireplace in them. There could be no better companion for that condition than John Hodgman – warm, wise and wisecracking – charming you with stories of fatherhood, middle-age and finding a way through the not-that-bad muddle of middle-class dad life. Set all across the tourist country of the American north-east, full of heart and hope, Vacationland is the perfect book to keep in your lap, marking your page with your thumb, while you pensively gaze out of a rain-streaked window and ignore your family.’ – Johannes, Adult Publishing.

Journey of a Thousand Storms by Kooshyar Karimi

‘As I read the story outlined in Journey of a Thousand Storms, I wouldn’t have thought Kooshyar Karimi and his family had many decisions to make as Iranian asylum seekers in Turkey. After all, what freedoms do they have? But daily life presents some small decision points which could have major implications.  The intrigue piques my interest in this tale of uncertainty.

Kooshyar chats to those in the waiting queues at the United Nations. Hearing their stories he is deeply discouraged, and so am I as I eavesdrop on his conversations. There is a lot of time and frustration in front of him. How will he make their limited funds last? He is in personal danger back in Iran, however should he send his wife and young daughters back? But this book is a message of hope. As an eminent doctor, having to cope with things he has never experienced before, his story is a lesson in the importance of relationships, resilience and not losing sight of a vision.’ – Jeff, Commercial and Finance.

The Whisper Man by Alex North

'If you like crime and mystery stories The Whisper Man by Alex North is a captivating, haunting thriller that is a perfect read to bunker down with on a cold night in. When Jake loses his wife suddenly he moves to a new town for a fresh start and hope of connecting with his young son – who plays with ghosts. As Jake and his son struggle to navigate their way through grief and their new lives, a local boy goes missing and soon Jake and his son learn how memories can play tricks on us and no one can escape the past.

This book is creepy. But unlike a lot of stories in this genre, it is beautifully written and is as compelling as it is haunting. The Whisper Man will leave readers breathless in parts, and checking their locks long after the final chapter.' – Kellie, Commercial and Finance.

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