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New Must-Read Australian Fiction for Your Summer Reading List

Get excited about these brand-new books from talented Aussie authors.

Whether you're the type who reads a book once a year on the beach in summer, someone who reads your way through your morning commute or maybe you're the type of diehard bookworm who never leaves home without a novel, you're guaranteed to love our list of must-read new release Australian fiction.

These engaging, entertaining, humourous and sometimes heart-breaking books by some of Australia's best authors should be at the top of your literary wish list!

Smart Ovens For Lonely People by Elizabeth Tan
Smart Ovens For Lonely People by Elizabeth Tan
Smart Ovens for Lonely People by Elizabeth Tan (2020)

With wit and quirk comingling with slicing social commentary, Elizabeth Tan’s writing is like talking to your funniest friend. The collection of twenty standalone short stories that genre hop from sci-fi, satire and fantasy and touch on the themes of conspiracy, celebrity and therapy, the hilariously named Smart Ovens for Lonely People is a fun and poignant exploration of pop culture.

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The Performance by Claire Thomas
The Performance by Claire Thomas
The Performance by Claire Thomas (2021)

The premise of The Performance is almost simple – “As bushfires rage outside the city, three women watch a performance of a Beckett play.”- if you’ve never experience a Beckett play then, all we can say is that absurd doesn’t really begin to cover it. Yet the absurdity of Beckett provides the perfect backdrop for the internal monologues of three women as they watch the play before them.

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Hold Your Fire by Chloe Wilson
Hold Your Fire by Chloe Wilson
Hold Your Fire by Chloe Wilson (2021)

Hold Your Fire is the perfect new-release for lovers of short stories. This dynamic debut from Chloe Wilson, is extraordinary in the way it leans into the topics we as a society typically shy away from, tugging at the fraying thread of societal constructs and moral certainties. Her deadpan humour, rejection of structural storytelling rules and chillingly funny characters makes this an absolute must-read.

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The Truth About Her by Jaqueline Maley
The Truth About Her by Jaqueline Maley
The Truth About Her by Jacqueline Maley (2021)

This literary debut from award-winning journalist Jacqueline Maley is a story that will make us question the echoes of modern day cancel culture and everything that comes with it. Through this intelligent and nuanced tale, we follow journalist and single mother, Suzy, as she comes to terms with the ramifications of her investigative exposés. After Suzy exposes, 25-year-old wellness influencer as a deeply deceptive fraud, said-influencer then commits suicide. The story then shows us what Suzy does next.

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Lucky's by Andrew Pippos
Lucky's by Andrew Pippos
Lucky’s by Andrew Pippos (2020)

Lucky’s, like all the best stories, is about family. Following decades in the life of one Greek-Australian family and their café franchise, Lucky’s, the way the saga takes epic twist and turns reaches the heights of Greek mythology. In the book which was shortlisted for a whole slew of literary prizes, Pippos skilfully weaves multiple storylines in a beautiful takes of hope, heartbreak, migration and mystery.  

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A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville
A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville
A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville (2021)

Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s most beloved authors and all you have to do is look at The Secret River (2005) to see that historical fiction is where this writer thrives. In A Room Made of Leaves Grenville uses the real life letters of Elizabeth Macarthur. Wife of the notorious and corrupt, wool baron, John Macarthur, to explore the space between fact and fiction. Though we have real letters from Kate Grenville, the novel plays with the seductive appeal of false stories and questions whether these letters sent from Australia to family and friends in England, were facades constructed to both hide and subtly hint at the truth. A truly fascinating read!

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Love & Virtue by Diana Reid
Love & Virtue by Diana Reid
Love & Virtue Diana Reid (2021)

One of the year’s most talked about debut novels, Love & Virtue – which will be released in October – is a story of sex, scandal, friendship and feminism. When two young women move into adjoining rooms at a residential college and become bonded by their shared view of the world around them but quickly find their bond tested by something that happens one night in O-week which will make them question the fibre of their friendship.

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When Things Are Alive They Hum by Hannah Bent
When Things Are Alive They Hum by Hannah Bent
When Things Are Alive They Hum by Hannah Bent (2021)

The story of two sisters, Marlowe and Harper, is an examination of the bonds we forge through pain and a tribute to the true meaning of sisterhood. Celebrating life, love and everything that comes after, if you liked My Sister’s Keeper you’ll absolutely love this.

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If you've loved our guide to the best new Aussie fiction and you're looking for more great books to get your hands on, check out our guide to the best classic Australian literature. and the best Australian coffee table books. Also, please support local and buy books from your local bookstore. Check out our favourite local bookstores in Sydney, the best bookstores in Melbourne and Adelaide's ultimate bookstore guide.