Nikki Parkinson is a former journalist and an award-winning fashion blogger at stylingyou.com.au. She lives in Brisbane with her husband and children. Her first book, Unlock Your Style (Hachette Australia), guides women of all ages to develop their own look.
Puberty Blues – Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey
As a teenager growing up in a country town, to say this book was an eye-opener was like saying Chiko rolls contain vegetables so therefore are nutritionally sound. I read this a few years after it was released and felt every one of Debbie and Sue's emotions. It was a coming-of-age text that offered a gritty, realistic view of what it was like to be a teenager in Australia at the time.
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
My Dad was head of English at my high school. To his despair, I was a reluctant reader of the prescribed school texts. That was until I started this one. The narrative was engaging and brought to life a very real issue that as a sheltered country girl had very little knowledge and understanding of.
Bachelor Kisses – Nick Earls
Brisbane was where I spent my university years. When Nick Earls released this novel I was well beyond those years but this novel whipped me right back to the mid-'80s. Nick's ability to take me on a journey of student-life nostalgia had me once again in the midst of perms, polo shirts and Dunlop Volleys.
Bridget Jones's Diary – Helen Fielding
My Dad may have tried to get me to love all manner of literary offerings but once he realised I was a lost cause in this department, his message to me was, "as long as you're reading something". The advent of "chick-lit" proved to be my something. Bridget Jones made me laugh, cry and take note that a relatable female character had way more appeal than a glam, aspirational one.