Half a dozen books, three men in a tub, and a rubber duck!

Heartwarming, thrilling and witty. Take your pick of fabulous reads for book club this month combined with a bottle of playful wine.

Audacity – courage or confidence of a kind that other people find shocking or rude. And Katherine Ryan’s full of it. She’s known, she says, to live her life embracing the reality that you can’t please everyone, so you might as well put yourself out there and have a laugh. This comedian, writer, presenter, podcaster and (she says terrible) actress says being audacious led her to being someone who doesn’t care what strangers think of her (the pearl-clutchers have loads to say), and who can always take a joke. In The Audacity, she writes of everything from How to Become French, Fast (she was sent to L’Ecole St Tomas D’Aquin, no English allowed), to How to Waste All Your Money on Designer Dogs (she became obsessed with teacup dogs as a freshman and bought a tiny shih tzu, who she called Biggie and who smelt of delicious cherry lip gloss from being kissed all the time). Very entertaining (probs not to those pearl-clutchers). Blink

Meet Lexi. The big 4-0 is looming, and she’s not the slightest bit fazed that she’ll be celebrating it without a man. If she had one, she wouldn’t be able to watch movies on repeat and eat crisp sandwiches in bed. But then she has an electrifying encounter, takes a leap of faith and a flight across the Irish Sea, and sparks fly. Love an Irish author, and Caroline Grace-Cassidy’s The Unexpected Love Story of Lexie Byrne (aged 39-and-a-half) is as heart warming and funny as it gets. Black and White Publishing

In the beginning. This first chapter, the introduction, to this remarkable book sets the tone. Honest. Heartbreaking. Strong. Moving. Brave. It’s the true story of a 13-year-old girl who was coerced into taking, and then blackmailed into sending, explicit photos, which were then spread around her school. The story of when she lost it. And it’s the story of her mother, who feels all the things a mother feels. Guilty. Alone. Desperate for help, skills, advice. And for understanding, care, compassion. All in short supply. The story of when she lost her daughter. Written by Gay Longworth and her daughter Roxy, When You Lose It is a memoir by both of them, written from two perspectives, a story of a mother-daughter relationship stretched to its absolute limits, a story of consent and coercion. You’ll start the book with your heart in your mouth … it’s disturbing and upsetting but such an important read, particularly for mothers … those of teen sons (lots of lessons for them, too) and daughters. Welbeck, R370

Exploring the dark relationship between social media and mental health, and the strength of sisterhood, Scarlett Brade’s The Hive opens with Charlotte revealing, to 100 000 watching her Instagram Live broadcast, that she shot her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend … going so far as to turn the camera onto the still-bleeding out body. She then poses a question via the linked poll … should her ex (tied up in the hotel room from where she’s filming) live or die. But before they decide, she’s going to tell them about his past. This is Scarlett’s first psychological thriller … and it’s an adrenalin rush from start to finish. Zaffre, available from

She’s called The Queen of the Killer Twist, so you know what you’re in for. Lesley Kara’s latest thriller, The Apartment Upstairs, revolves around Scarlett, who’s aunt lived – and was brutally murdered – in the apartment upstairs from hers. And funeral director Dee, who’s busy balancing her job with organising an event to mark the disappearance of her best friend, ten years ago, and who happens to be receiving threatening messages on her company’s Facebook page. When Scarlett approaches Dee about planning her aunt’s funeral, an unexpected link emerges between them. Together, the two women could uncover secrets that have long been buried. Penguin, available from

From humble beginnings in the early 1800s, when Thierry Hermés opened his equestrian supplies business – making bridles, harnesses and carriage fittings and becoming particularly famous for his exceptionally strong saddle-stitch (with a unique method of stitching still used by Hermes today), to today’s iconic pieces – the Kelly (Grace Kelly held it over her stomach to hide her pregnancy) and the Birkin (which came about after actress Jane Birken’s wicker basket broke on a flight from Paris to London and she just happened to be sitting next to Hermes CEO, who listened to her ideas for the perfect bag and presented it to her a year later). And there’s nothing as redolent of luxury as the Hermés silk carré – which simply translates as ‘square’. Favoured by aristocracy and celebs – hello Victoria Beckham … she apparently owns more than 100 Birkins, the Queen of England, who rocks a Hermés headscarf, as did Marlene Dietrich, while the divine Kate Moss is a long-time fan of the label. The bags and scarves may be a little pricey, but an affordable buy is the Little Book of Hermés by Karen Homer – crammed with titbits and images as glam as the label itself. Welbeck Publishers

The three men in the tub are Kevin, Jacques and Raymond, and as they say … “what goes on in the tub stays in the tub”. And the Duck is not quacking! Three Men In A Tub with a Rubber Duck (you have to buy it for the name alone, don’t you!) is a red blend of a trio of classic varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz, which result in a playful wine that has aromas of fresh picked red berries and vanilla and tastes of cherry, liquorice and violets. R92 from your fave wine store. Instagram @bevintners, Facebook @BEVintners

Compiled by: KYM ARGO

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