A Quick Guide To The 8 Hottest Books To Read This Winter

books hero miss bettina zanui

Looking forward to cosy afternoons on the couch with a few good books, but not sure what to read? We’ve been keeping an eye on the publishing world and we’re here to give you the scoop on the hottest stories to hit the market

It’s no big secret that I’m a bookworm. My book addiction spans the hundreds of covers on my bookshelves, and even into social media with online communities like #bookstagram (yes, it’s a thing!).

I was so excited about what’s going on in the book world this year that I just had to make a list.

From new releases to books being made into film, I’ve got you covered. Here are 8 books creating a buzz that I think you should check out…

books zanui
The perfect spot to read! L to R: Bookworm Bookshelf by Willow & Wood, Sheepskin Rug, Esha Rug by Bambury, and the Marble Triangle Print Art from Americanflat.
Hero image features the Hey Honey! Quilt Cover from Miss Bettina.

1. Home-Grown Fiction

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

This modern Aussie classic was dubbed the ‘Australian To Kill a Mockingbird’, and it definitely lives up to it! Jasper Jones has been transformed into a stage production by Belvoir and a film (released in early 2017).

jasper jones books zanui


Late on a hot summer night in 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan.

Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him to his secret glade in the bush, and it’s here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper’s horrible discovery.

Paperback, 397 pages

Published in 2010 by Allen & Unwin

2. New Release Mystery

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

With a beautiful cover and an intriguing plot, Swimming Lessons is making waves across the bookish world at the moment. This is the second novel from Canadian author Claire Fuller.

swimming lessons books zanui


Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan.

Twelve years later, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window, but he’s getting older and this unlikely sighting is chalked up to senility. Flora, who has never believed her mother drowned, returns home to care for her father and to try to finally discover what happened to Ingrid.

But what Flora doesn’t realize is that the answers to her questions are hidden in the books that surround her. Scandalous and whip-smart, Swimming Lessons holds the Coleman family up to the light, exposing the mysterious truths of a passionate and troubled marriage.

Hardcover, 350 pages

Published in February 2017 by Tin House Books

3. Must-Read Fiction

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This debut fiction novel from Angie Thomas takes inspiration from the Black Lives Matter movement, and is widely praised for its heartbreaking exploration of racism in our modern age. The Hate U Give shot to the top of the New York Times Bestseller List and has countless 5-star reviews.

the hate u give books zanui


Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Hardcover, 464 pages

Published in February 2017 by Balzer + Bray

4. Easy, Weekend Reading

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Much more than a stunning cover, Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon is a YA novel with a film set to hit the box office in May 2017. The book is easy to read and engrossing – perfect for losing yourself between the pages on a weekend!

everything everything books zanui


My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Hardcover, 310 pages

Published 2015 by Delacorte Books

5. Short Stories

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

Award-winning author, Roxane Gay, is not only an exceptional writer but a commanding woman. Her acclaimed essay Bad Feminist was a New York Times bestseller, and now she returns with a brand-new collection of short stories.



The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail. A pair of sisters, grown now, have been inseparable ever since they were abducted together as children, and must negotiate the marriage of one of them. A woman married to a twin pretends not to realize when her husband and his brother impersonate each other.

From a girls’ fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbours conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July.

Hardcover, 260 pages

Published January 2017 by Grove Press

6. Going to be a Movie

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Stephen King lovers are hanging on the edge of their seats for the film adaptation of The Gunslinger later in 2017, starring Idris Elba as Roland. New readers wishing to delve into Mid-World or the works of The King should start here!

gunslinger dark tower books zanui


King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.

Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is King’s most visionary feat of storytelling, a magical mix of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that may well be his crowning achievement.

Paperback, 231 pages

First published in 1982

7. Going to be a TV Show

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is renowned for his modern gothic, sci-fi fantasy fiction. There are two ‘versions’ of American Gods: the original publication, and an unabridged ‘author’s preferred text’ for hardcore fans. The TV show of American Gods is due to be released in 2017.

american gods books zanui


Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what – and who – it finds there…

Paperback (Authors Preferred Text), 636 pages

Published in 2005 by Headline Review

8. Hot New Fantasy (and I mean HOT)

A Court of Wings and Ruin (Book 3 in A Court of Thorns and Roses) by Sarah J. Maas

Her books are bestsellers. Her fans are passionate (sometimes crazy). And her next book A Court of Wings and Ruin (book three in the series) is due out in May 2017. If you love high-action fantasy and erotic fiction (oh yeah, did I mention it’s erotica?), you’ll love anything by Sarah J. Maas.

a court of wings and ruin books zanui


Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

Paperback, 648 pages

Expected publication May 2017 by Bloomsbury


Kyra Thomsen is a writer and editor from Sydney, NSW. She has experience in copywriting, blogging, journalism, and social media. After completing two degrees in Creative Writing and English Literature in 2013 she began work with the content team at Zanui. Kyra was the winner of the 2012 Questions Writing Prize and her work has been published in print and online for numerous sources, including Writer's Edit, Seizure, and Fairfax Media among others.