6 Amazing Books to Read with a Cup of Nerada Tea

There are few things in life more pleasurable than curling up with a cup of tea in one hand and a great book in the other. And there are few things we love more than a really compelling Australian-grown story, much like Nerada’s own.

So to help celebrate Book Week, we thought we’d share just a few of our favourite Australian novels that are totally worth putting the kettle on for. Enjoy at liberty with your preferred Nerada brew.

1. Breath – Tim Winton (2009)

Tim Winton is one of Australia’s most revered and celebrated authors. He is a passionate environmentalist and renowned for his deep love of the Australian landscape and its stunning depiction within his work.

Winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2009, Breath is Winton’s ninth novel and is, in its essence, a coming-of-age story about the wildness of youth, taking risks and the damage you can do to yourself when you’re young. Set in the 70s on the rugged and isolated coast of Western Australia, two young teenage boys fall in with a mysterious big-wave surfer named Sando who teaches them to surf and ultimately, pushes them to carry out increasingly reckless exploits.

This gripping tale, and Winton’s remarkable ability to describe nature, will have you hooked from the moment you put on the kettle. If you haven’t read any Winton yet, do yourself a favour and pull one of his extraordinary novels off the shelf today. READ MORE >

2. The Slap – Christos Tsiolkas (2008)

At a suburban backyard barbeque in Melbourne, a man slaps a child who is not his own. This single act has major repercussions for the lives of all who witness it. Told through the eyes of the eight people present at the barbecue, this bestseller is a story of raw emotions that shows how one instant can change so many lives.

It sparked heated discussions around the world from the moment it was published and made into an eight-part ABC TV series. The characters are not particularly likeable, but for author Tsiolkas this was quite deliberate, as he wanted to shine a spotlight on modern families and the complacent state of Australia at the turn of the century. “Once in a while a novel comes along that reminds me why I love to read: The Slap is such a book . . . Tsiolkas throws open a window on society, picks apart its flaws, embraces its contradictions and recognises its beauty, all the time asking the reader, Whose side are you on?”, said acclaimed author John Boyne.

It’s a confronting, brilliant and highly recommended read. READ MORE >

3. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (2014)

Liane Moriarty is one of Australia’s most successful authors and no stranger to the New York Times Bestseller List. Perhaps you’ve even watched the hugely successful TV adaptation of her novel, Big Little Lies starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. The good news is that the Sydney author has plenty of other page-turners that accompany a cup of Nerada tea quite perfectly.

The Husband’s Secret tells the story of three women whose lives become unexpectedly intertwined after one of them discovers a devastating secret. Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia, comes across a letter from her husband to be opened “only in the event of his death”. Curious, she opens the envelope, and must then deal with the secret confession and consequences of her husband’s terrible mistake.

Moriarty is a master of writing about families and relationships and of portraying ordinary lives that can so easily teeter on the edge of a disaster. The Husband’s Secret is a compelling psychological thriller and no exception. Its plot twists and complex characters will keep you completely engaged and simultaneously pausing for self-reflection while you sip your cuppa. READ MORE >

4. Journey to the Stone Country – Alex Miller (2003)

This novel is set in the heart of tropical North Queensland, like our Nerada tea plantation. The story focuses on Annabel Beck, a quiet Melbourne-based academic, who returns to her childhood home on a Queensland cattle property following the breakdown of her marriage. There she meets Bo Rennie, a local indigenous man who remembers Annabelle from her childhood and helps her delve back into her own family history.

Alex Miller’s book won the 2003 Miles Franklin Award and is not for those who like fast-paced thrillers. Rather, the language and pace is deliberately slow and nuanced. According to Andrea Stretton from the Sydney Morning Herald, “Miller’s fiction has a mystifying power that is always far more than the sum of its parts . . . his footsteps – softly, deftly, steadily – take you places you may not have been, and their sound resonates for a long time.’

At its heart, Journey to the Stone Country is about love and redemption and the relationship of people to land.  Take a pause, relax and drink up this novel like a warm cup of your favourite Nerada tea. READ MORE >

5. Lifel1k3 (Lifelike) – Jay Kristoff (2018)

If you’re more into sci-fi than psychological drama, then it’s hard to go past international bestselling Aussie author Jay Kristoff. Lifel1k3 is the first book in his latest series and is described as “Romeo and Juliet meets Mad Max meets X-Men, with a little bit of Bladerunner cheering from the sidelines.” We’re intrigued to say the least!

Set in post-apocalyptic USA, the robotic populace have been reduced to slaves and androids (robots who look like humans) have been outlawed. The story centres on a 17-year-old girl, Eve, and her best friend Lemon who find a ruined android in a scrap heap. Adventures ensue. It’s a fast-paced plot with plenty of twists and turns, loveable characters and laugh-out-loud moments.

The best part? There are two more soon-to-be-released books in this series that you’ll be dying to get your hands on once you’ve finished. Ensure a strong and powerful brew for this one! READ MORE >

6. I Came to Say Goodbye – Caroline Overington

If you’re after a truly powerful Australian novel that you can read in one sitting, then look no further. I Came To Say Goodbye is a complex psychological thriller that culminates in a gripping courtroom battle.

This story is primarily told through the voice of 59-year-old Med, who grew up in a little town of Forster on the NSW Central Coast, and finishes with the perspective of his adult daughter, Kat. The format of the book consists of a series of long letters written to a judge who must decide the custody arrangements of a child in the family court. This unique storytelling device really allows you to get to know the characters intimately and feel all their emotions along the journey. 

I Came To Say Goodbye deals with some extremely heavy and difficult issues like adoption, the welfare system and mental illness and is not a light, uplifting read. However, it has been applauded by critics for its honesty and conviction and comes highly recommended. Keep the tissues handy next to your teapot. READ MORE >