The books from 2016 that every woman should add to her ‘to read’ list.

Video by Mamamia Women's Network.

Summer has arrived and so too, hopefully, have the warm, sunny days spent lounging by a pool, on the beach or in your backyard with a good book in your hand.

Been too busy Christmas shopping to hunt for a decent read lately? We thought you might be.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best books for women to entertain you all summer long –  from bestsellers you’ll be proud to display on your bookshelf to personal stories from some of the world’s funniest women.

The Course of Love

By Alain de Botton

It's been described "compulsory reading before getting married", but regardless of what stage of attachment you are in, Alain de Botton's The Course of Love is sure to strike a chord.

The novel follows Rabih and Kirsten, a couple who find each other fall in love and get married. However, this moment is not where life ends. De Botton's story takes readers beyond where fairytales fear to tread and asks the question: 'What does it mean to live happily ever after?' Be prepared to take a good look at your own relationships after reading this insightful novel.


By Holly Throsby

Get ready to recommend this novel from emerging Australian writer Holly Throsby - who also happens to be a talented musician and songwriter - to all your friends, just so you can discuss it.

The mystery takes place in the fictional town of Goodwood, where two of its much-loved residents go missing in the space of a week. Throsby brings the story to life with humour, beautiful descriptions and great characters.

For those who come from a small town, the claustrophobic yet comforting feeling that comes with everyone knowing everyone's business with be all-too-familiar. If not, don't fear; you'll soon understand why it's impossible to keep a secret in Goodwood.

You'll Grow Out of It

By Jessi Klein

Stand-up comedian Jessi Klein is the woman who brought the Mamamia Out Loud podcast team - and women everywhere - their new favourite game: asking the question are you a poodle or a wolf?

But there's so much more to love about the American comedy writer's debut novel You'll Grow Out of It.

Read along and relate hard to Jessi's exploration of what it means to be a modern woman: from trying to sculpt the perfect butt, to attempting to find watchable porn, and deconstructing Oprah's obsession with taking baths. This collection of essays is perfect for the stop-start nature of holiday reading.

Watch: Mamamia Out Loud decide which celebrities are poodles and wolves.  (Post continues after video.)

Video by Mamamia Women's Network.

The Natural Way of Things

by Charlotte Wood.

If you love mysteries, you're going to be blown away by this intriguing, disturbing and yet beautiful tale of misogyny, corporate control, love and courage. Prepare to be gripped from the first page.

In The Natural Way of Things, two women wake from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of a desert. They have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two vicious armed jailers and a 'nurse'.  You'll be gripped by this un-put-downable novel as the mysterious reasons behind the two stranger's circumstances are revealed.

Truly Madly Guilty

by Liane Moriarty

Liane Moriarty has done it again with another page-turner, filled with relatable characters who are brought to life through her clever narrative style.

It is the story of friends who are dealing with the fallout of the events at a backyard barbecue. Moriarty is a best-selling author for a reason; you'll devour her latest novel in days, and then call your best friend and tell her how much she means to you.

Mia interviewed Liane for her No Filter podcast, and here's her response to being referred to as being a 'housewife who writes for a hobby'. (Post continues after audio.)

Sex Object: A Memoir

By Jessica Valenti

In this revealing memoir, author and Guardian US columnist Jessica Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes, not just on women in general, but on those in her own family, herself included.

It's honest, intelligent writing - in an excerpt featured on Mamamia, Jessica discusses the sexual abuse of her grandmother and mother and the vile sexual harassment she often faces.

Valenti shares the painful, funny, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped her adolescence and young adulthood in New York City.


by Ann Patchett

The characters from best-selling author Ann Patchett's 10th novel will stay with you long after you finish the last page.

After getting to know the six step-siblings featured in Commonwealth over the course of 50 years you'll feel completely invested in their lives... and probably start to miss them.

The story begins on a Sunday afternoon in Southern California, when Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited and later kisses Franny's mother, Beverly. That moment begins the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.

You Can't Touch My Hair

By Phoebe Robinson

Pheobe Robinson produces a hilarious essay collection about race, gender, and pop culture. The comedian and 2 Dope Queens podcaster shares the old prejudices and fresh absurdities she faces daily as a black woman in America.

She she’s been unceremoniously relegated to the role of "the black friend," as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she’s been questioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel (“isn’t that... white people music?”); and yes, people do ask her whether they can touch her hair.

This isn't the typical celebrity memoir you can breeze through in a few hours, but it's entertaining and thought-provoking.

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

By Amy Schumer

Comedian Amy Schumer proves she's more than the girl who tells a lot of sex jokes. In her highly-anticipated collection of essays, Schumer shares stories from her childhood, her path to becoming a recognisable comedian with her own TV show and her romantic dalliances.

She doesn't hold back, either - sections discuss her father's illness, the domestic violence she experienced, and the day she found out two women had been killed at a screening of her movie, Trainwreck.

There was some controversy in the Mamamia office about this book's inclusion on this list and we can comfortably conclude that if you weren't a fan of Amy before, you're probably not going to be after reading this book.

What was your favourite book of 2016? 

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