Spring reads from the OTR team

(Image source: Polina Zimmerman)

By Marco Krantis | @KrantisMarco

Spring has arrived. Reading outside and enjoying the nice weather is upon us. A few members of the OTR team have recommended their favourite books, helping you decide your next read or expand your horizons in the reading genre.

Meika Bottrill | @meikabottrill

The Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Suusann

The Valley of the Dolls is a contemporary novel set in the 40s – 60s following the lives of actresses in New York City. The book so effortlessly delves into the realities of sex, drugs and navigating female friendship in a toxic industry dominated by the male gaze. The characters in this book are deeply flawed and yet there is still something so compelling and magical about them. This book provides the perfect escapism from the harsher realities of the world, and I loved every single moment in it.

Ashleigh Buck | @ashkbuck

The Woods by Harlan Coben

A gripping thriller that hooks you from the very beginning. The prologue introduces you to the main character Paul Copeland, a recently widowed father who is haunted by an incident of his past. The book continues to twist and turn through secrets and mistakes that ultimately left me wanting more and unable to put it down. A decent read and not too lengthy, this novel is one of my favourites and perfect for any crime lovers who enjoy curling up on the couch with a good mystery and a cuppa on a sunny afternoon.

Marco Krantis |@KrantisMarco

The Narrow Road To the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

A World War 2 themed journey of Australian POW’S on the Thai-Burma death railway. The book follows Dorrigo Evans, a surgeon for the Army and leader for his fellow prisoners who is an imperfect man forced to be someone he believes not, for the care of his men. Flanagan takes the reader down a horrible path in human history, yet, with vivid literature and emotion, the book shows how even the worst of moments can sometimes birth the most beautiful.

Lauren Wisgard | @LaurenWisgard

One Day by David Nicholls

One Day by David Nicholls is a book I have read about five or six times. It’s a romantic novel that spans a 20-year time frame of the lives of Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew who we meet at university in 1988. Each chapter takes place on a single day of each year – July 15, St Swithin’s Day,  and we see how the two characters change from young adulthood to middle age.  It’s a hard book to describe because it’s much more than just a love story. It’s got the perfect combination of humour, nostalgia, awkwardness, and it will definitely make you cry.

Alexandra Bull | @ally_bull19

Normal People by Sally Rooney

My spring read for 2020 is the smash hit Normal People by Irish author Sally Rooney. The novel was published in 2018 but after being made into a TV series on the streaming service Stan, it has since seen a revival. The novel follows the story of two teens, Connell and Marianne navigating their way through high school and college, along with all the dramas that comes along with it. Rooney’s novel will want to make you laugh, cry and throw the book in anger, all within the space of ten pages. It’s an easy and captivating read that I believe should be read this spring. If you have already read it, check out her first novel Conversations With Friends.

Nikita Skuse | @nikita_skuse

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey has gained a wildly unjustified label of ‘basic’ (see its very own Know Your Meme page) but Kaur wrote, illustrated and self-published the poetry collection as a 21-year-old university student and has since sold millions of copies. Her poetry explores themes that are often taboo such as trauma, abuse, race and female sexuality. It’s the kind of book you can revisit at any stage of your life and still find something that resonates with you so deeply it’s as though she plucked the words straight out of your brain. 

Jordan Wheat |  @JordanBWhite1

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

This book ripped out my heart in the best possible way. Call Me By Your Name is the story of a romance that blossoms during one fleeting Italian summer in 1983, but still lasts a lifetime. Aciman accurately encapsulates the agony and excitement of youth, love, loss, and many other powerful themes. He does this while letting readers escape into a vibrant and atmospheric world, with characters so deep it feels as if they exist beyond the pages of their story somewhere. Powerful, raw, and beautiful, this is the type of story you’ll carry with you for a lifetime.

There you have it, six reads to add to your list. If you are finding it difficult to decide what to read this spring, be sure to check these out.

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