Our librarians top picks for holiday reading

From harrowing true tales to a witty guide to modern life, get inspired with these titles for all ages.

Need inspiration for books to pack in your suitcase? Or audiobooks to keep the kids entertained on a long drive?

We asked our expert City librarians for their book and audiobook suggestions. You can read their reviews below or explore the full list of suggestions for adults and kids on our website.

Our library offers all titles below to borrow. If you're not already a City of Sydney library member, join now. Membership is free if you live in NSW.

Adult fiction and non-fiction picks

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

Cilka had 2 choices: Death or do as she was told. A journey with Cilka takes you on an unimaginable path of determination to survive and the resilience to find hope and love. Based on a true story, this book can be read as a standalone or as a sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

Trick Mirror: Reflections on self-delusion by Jia Tolentino

This enjoyable collection of 9 essays about navigating the 21st century as a millennial covers topics from the internet and feminism to the cult of the difficult woman. This is Jia’s first book. She was previously an editor at Jezebel and The Hairpin and is currently a staff writer at The New Yorker.

Beastie Boys Book by Michael Diamond and Adam Horowitz

A history of the group from its beginnings, as told by band members Mike and Adam, and their friends. A fun but at times bittersweet read considering the passing of third Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch in 2011.

Smashed Avocado: How I cracked the property market and you can too by Nicole Haddow

A readable how-to with plenty of anecdotes that young people will relate to. In addition to the author's own pathway, the book includes strategies that other people have used to enter the housing market. Overall, something of a pep talk for aspiring home owners. The cute infographic summary at the end of each chapter helps to distil and reinforce the main points.

488 rules for life: The thankless art of being correct by Kitty Flanagan, Sophie Braham, Penny Flanagan and Adam Rozenbachs

Comedian Kitty Flanagan was inspired by Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, but she thought, surely 12 rules are not enough. This is a funny guide to all aspects of modern life, from what fruit to put in fruit salads to what food is appropriate to reheat in the microwave at work. Spoiler alert: She doesn't quite make it to 488.

The Wife and the Widow by Christian White

This page turner is the second book from the award winning Australian author of Nowhere Child. The story is a thriller told from 2 perspectives: The wife of the man who goes missing and the wife of the man accused of the murder. This book might have you questioning your own relationships with the people you love.

The Body: A guide for occupants by Bill Bryson

If you liked Bill’s A Short History of Nearly Everything and The Mother Tongue, you’re going to love his latest book. Full of extraordinary facts and stories about the human body, you’ll be amazed by many of the functions you probably knew nothing about. We’re awesome as a species and Bill, as usual, has thoroughly researched his topic.

Australia Day by Stan Grant

Since publishing his bestselling memoir Talking to My Country, Stan has continued to shed light on racism at the heart of our history. In this new book, Stan looks at the current debate around the date of Australia Day. His view is that the need for indigenous peoples to develop a sense of what it means to be Australian is more important than the date. An interesting and thought-provoking read.

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