books

'I'm Mamamia's pop culture editor. Here are the 7 books I think you should read in May.'

It's getting chilly outside, which means it's the perfect time to break up with your boyfriend, assume a new identity, move to a new town, and spend all your time curled up on the couch with a good book.

This month, I've got a couple of page-turning thrillers full of plot twists, a funny, dysfunctional family drama, and a memoir from one of the most accomplished women in Hollywood. 

Here are the 7 books I think you should read in May: 

People Person by Candice Carty-Williams

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Candice Carty-Williams, the bestselling author of Queenie, is back with a warm, funny book about family and finding your own place in the world. 

People Person follows the story of Dimple Pennington, a 30-year-old aspiring lifestyle influencer with a wayward boyfriend, who feels like her life is going nowhere. 

Then a catastrophic incident brings Dimple's five half siblings back into her life and they're forced reconnect with their absent father Cyril. 

In the process, the siblings learn about what family really means, even if it means you have a dad who cares more about his Jeep than he does about you. 

Read it if you like: Dysfunctional families, Instagrammable book covers, and laughing out loud at the most inappropriate moments. 

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Rattled by Ellis Gunn

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Years ago, Scottish-born poet Ellis Gunn met a stranger at an auction house. That stranger, who Ellis refers to as 'The Man' soon began to stalk her. 

The Man turned up everywhere. At cafes. In the park. At her son's school. Outside her house. 

Ellis reported The Man to the police but they couldn't do anything because he hadn't actually 'done' anything to her. 

Rattled is the story of Ellis' experience with stalking and how it brought to the surface past trauma that she had written off as "normal". 

Rattled is the kind of book you'll read in one night and think about for years to come. 

Read it if you like: Being on the edge of your seat, sleeping with the lights on, and learning about an issue far too many women deal with. 

The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan

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Dervla McTiernan knows how to write a bloody good murder mystery. 

The Murder Rule tells the story of Hannah, a law student who transfers to the University of Virginia, leaving her alcoholic mother Laura behind in Maine. 

Once she arrives at the university, Hannah lands a coveted job working for the school's Innocence Project, where she's assigned to the case of Michael Dandridge, the man who is on death row for the rape and murder of Sarah Fitzhugh.

To everyone on the Project, Hannah appears to be a young, idealistic law student, who's determined to save an innocent man from death row. But Hannah has... other motivations. 

Read it if you like: Anything written by Ruth Ware, alcoholic moms with dark pasts, and plenty of plot twists. 

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

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Meet the unconventional, uncompromising Elizabeth Zott.

It's the early 1960s, and Elizabeth is the only female scientist working in an all-male team at Hastings Research Institute. Most of Elizabeth's colleagues ignore her - except for Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with - of all things - her mind. 

Flash forward a few years, and Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America's most beloved cooking show Supper at Six.

But Elizabeth is not only teaching women how to cook... she's daring them to change the status quo. 

Lessons in Chemistry is a joyful book about a woman determined to change the world. 

Read it if you like: Mad Men, cooking shows, and secretly leading the resistance. 

True Biz by Sara Novic

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A Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, True Biz follows the story of the students and teachers at the River Valley School for the Deaf. 

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There's Charlie, a rebellious transfer student who’s never met another deaf person before; Austin, the school’s golden boy, whose world is rocked when his baby sister is born hearing; and February, the hearing headmistress, a CODA (child of deaf adult(s)) who is fighting to keep her school open and her marriage intact, but might not be able to do both. 

True Biz is a story about sign language and lip-reading, first loves and fast friendships, and the power of human connection.

Read it if you like: CODA, reminiscing about your first love, and remembering the good ole' days. 

Finding Me by Viola Davis

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In Finding Me, Viola Davis tells the story of a little girl who ran from her past until she made a life-changing decision to stop running forever. 

From a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, the memoir follows Davis' journey from poverty to becoming one of the most distinguished and powerful actresses of our time. 

Finding Me is Davis' love letter to herself, which she hopes will inspire readers to rediscover who they were before the world put a label on them. 

Read it if you like: Annalise Keating and getting away with murders, rags to riches, and finding inspiration in other people's stories. 

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WAKE by Shelly Burr

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For fans of Jane Harper, comes a thrilling debut about the disappearance of a young girl from a country town in NSW and the twin sister she left behind. 

Nineteen years ago, Evelyn McCreery vanished from the bedroom she shared with her twin sister. 

Now Mina McCreery lives alone on her family's desolate sheep farm. The million-dollar reward her mother established to solve her sister's disappearance has never been paid out.

Then along comes Lane Holland, a private investigator who dropped out of the police academy to crack cold cases. Lane has his eye on the unclaimed reward money, but he also has darker motivations for wanting to solve the case. 

Wake is a thrilling debut that will keep you guessing right up until the final page. 

Read it if you like: Anything by Jane Harper, sheep farms with no sheep, and plenty of plot twists. 

Keryn Donnelly is Mamamia's Pop Culture Editor. For her weekly TV, film and book recommendations and to see photos of her dog, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

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