books

BOOKS TO READ: We asked 25 women for the one book they just couldn't put down in 2018.

Book recommendations might just be some of the most underrated things in the world.

Choosing what book to spend your hard earned dosh on next is stressful – the cover’s really nice but what if it’s boring? Am I going to like it? So many uncertainties.

That’s when a good book recommendation from a friend, co-worker or your mum swoops in and saves the day, sorting through the mountain of books and making life easy.

What we really need is more book recommendations, right? More is more.

That’s why we asked 25 women for the one book they simply couldn’t put down in 2018.

Here are their top picks, and why you should read them.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.

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Image: Book Depository.

Why you should read it: "Pervy, outrageously funny and a lot rude... it's like diving headfirst into a world you never knew existed."

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey.

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Image: Amazon.
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Why you should read it: "It's an Aussie small town murder mystery centred around a female lead, it feels nostalgic and terrifying at the same time."

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker.

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Image: Booktopia.

Why you should read it: "The forbidden love affair between a grown man and a young girl is an old trope, but this one feels more true crimey and keeps you guessing right to the end. Read this before watching the TV show on Stan."

The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983 - 1992 by Tina Brown.

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Image: Booktopia.
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Why you should read it: "SO PERVY. The details are so delicious, but it's not just a fluffy read."

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

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Image: Booktopia.

Why you should read it: "Better than the film by miles, it's the ultimate psychological thriller because you don't know what's real and what's not."

Insomniac City by Bill Hayes.

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Image: Booktopia.

Why you should read it: "It's as much as a love story to New York as it was to Bill Hayes' late partner, neurologist Oliver Sacks, as he spent the last months of his life battling cancer. The story of love and loss was deeply warm, heartbreaking and life-affirming all at the same time. Needless to say I cried."

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The Dry by Jane Harper.

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Image: JaneHarper.com.au

Why you should read it: "The Dry explores rural mental health brilliantly. A great insight into these tight knit communities, really hits home."

The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth.

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Image: Dymocks.

Why you should read it: "This book is basically everything you've ever thought about your neighbours, and sums up neighbourhood politics."

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

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Image: Book Depository.
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Why you should read it: "I haven't overhauled my life since consuming the very quick read, it made me reconsider my relationship with my possessions, clothes and nostalgic knick knacks. A great read for the new year."

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty.

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Why you should read it: "I love how this book shows, no matter how beautiful, popular or blessed someone's life looks like on the outside, there's always sh*t going on no one else can see."

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie.

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Image: Booktopia.
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Why you should read it: "This novel feels urgent and so compelling like you just have to get through it. It's about politics, religion, family and loyalty, all the things we all deal with every day."

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now by Gordon Livingston.

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Image: Booktopia.

Why you should read it: "It's equal parts no nonsense, reflective advice based off of Livingston's real life work as a psychiatrist and a tribute to the loss of his two children - one from a bone marrow transplant gone wrong, and the other to suicide."

Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton.

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Why you should read it: "It's completely unique and compelling, yet dark and disturbing. You also get the glamour and shine of New York, something murder mysteries don't often have."

How To Be Perfect by Holly Wainwright.

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Image: Allen and Unwin.

Why you should read it: "So fun to read, and funny! It's more than a lightweight page-turner, very witty and smart."

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons.

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Image: Book Depository.
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Why you should read it: "I'm late to the party on this one but this is a book that will change you. I laid in my bed and cried and cried and cried, so good."

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick.

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Why you should read it: "If you're fascinated by North Korea and the lives of the people who live there, this book will capture you. Concise and well-researched."

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Story about Anxiety by Sarah Wilson.

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Image: Pan Macmillan.
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Why you should read it: "This book talks about anxiety with facts, studies and research, but also with descriptions that help you understand what anxiety can feel like for other people. I've never experienced anxiety but such an interesting read."

Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey.

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Image: Amazon.

Why you should read it: "This book is a real life read about the author's illness that led her to be confined to darkness, but it's also a love story and super uplifting."

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain.

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Why you should read it: "I felt compelled to read Bourdain's book after his death, it's about working in New York's frantic kitchens and it didn't disappoint."

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

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Image: Book Depository.

Why you should read it: "This was so frustratingly good, I read it in one day. I had to put my life on hold for an entire day so I could get to the bottom of the frustrating mystery that is Eleanor Oliphant."

The Woman in the Window by A J Finn.

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Image: Book Depository.
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Why you should read it: "A classic who-dunnit page-turner. It's about a woman who sees something she wasn't supposed to see, and whether anyone will believe her."

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.

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Why you should read it: "The TV series is incredible but the book goes into so much more detail about the grit of the three female leads' lives. Just really bloody good."

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz.

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Image: Booktopia.

Why you should read it: "This is a British detective BBC-style novel, couldn't put it down. If you like ABC murder mysteries, you'll really love this."

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South and West by Joan Didion.

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Image: Booktopia.

Why you should read it: "This was the first book I've ever read by Joan Didion and her descriptive prose had me hypnotised from the first sentence. She paints a picture of 1970s America that's hauntingly eerie."

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

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Image: Booktopia.

Why you should read it: "Great characters, interesting plot that leaves you desperate to read more and written beautifully. I loved it and highly recommend it."

Is your favourite book that you've read in 2018 on this list? What would you recommend reading next?

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