books

The 6 books everyone will be reading in October.

October is all about new books from some of our favourite Australian authors. 

Christian White, Sally Hepworth and Anna Downes all have new books coming out, and Diana Reid's debut novel is set to make waves across the literary world. 

Also Chantelle Otten is going to teach us all the sex ed we didn't get in high school. 

Start your literary journey this month by solving the mysterious disappearance of a teenage girl in a typical Australian suburb. Then welcome a 'younger wife' to the family with... murderous results, and finish by exploring sex, consent and friendship fragility inside one of Australia's most exclusive universities. 

Here are the six books everyone will be reading this October: 

Wild Place by Christian White

Image: Affirm Press/Mamamia.  

If your mind is still blown by that The Wife and The Widow twist, you're going to want to get your hands onto Christian White's latest book, Wild Place, as soon as possible.

The thriller peels back the layers of suburbia and attempts to answer the question: why do good people do bad things?

It's the summer of 1989 when a local teen goes missing in the quiet suburb of Camp Hill. 

With rumours of a satanic ritual swirling, local schoolteacher Tom Witter decides to investigate the disappearance himself. But Tom soon finds himself in deeper than he could have ever imagined. 

Read it if you like: Perfectly executed twists, suburbs full of secrets, and amateur sleuths. 

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

Image: Pan Macmillan/Mamamia.  

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Sally Hepworth has established herself as the queen of the domestic thriller and her latest book, The Younger Wife, is set to be her best yet. 

A blood-soaked wedding. A garage full of stolen goods. And an old hot-water bottle, stuffed with cash.

And that's just beginning. 

When Heather starts dating Stephen, she knows it's going to be an uphill battle to win over his two adult daughters, Tully and Rachel. 

After all, Stephen is still married to their mother, who is in a care facility with end-stage Alzheimer's disease.

And then when Heather and Stephen announce their engagement, it sets off an explosion in the family, with deep-seated secrets coming to the surface. 

Read it if you like: The Mother In Law, your weddings with a side of... murder, and hiding your money in the most unexpected places. 

The Younger Wife will be released on October 26 and it's available for pre-order now.

The Sex Ed You Never Had by Chantelle Otten

Image: Allen & Unwin/Mamamia.  If your high school sex education class merely involved putting a condom on a banana and... giggling, you're going to want to read Chantelle Otten's new guide to all things sex. 

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In The Sex Ed You Never Had, the award-winning psychosexologist breaks myths about reproductive health, explores consent and teaches readers all the fun and pleasurable things they can do with their own bodies. 

The Sex Ed You Never Had is a fun, empowering and shame-free guide to sex and your own body. 

Read it if you like: Learning new things, candid conversations and helpful illustrations. 

L.A Weather by María Amparo Escandón

Image: Pan MacMillan/Mamamia.  L.A Weather is a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick so you know it's going to a bloody brilliant read with a woman at the centre of the story. 

The novel follows the story of affluent Mexican American couple Oscar and Keila and their three adult daughters. 

When Oscar and Keila announce their impending divorce after nearly 40 years of marriage, their daughters Olivia, Patricia and Claudia are forced to take a hard look at their own disjointed relationships.

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Read it if you like: Epic family dramas, beautiful weather, and plenty of family secrets. 

Love and Virtue by Diana Reid 

Image: Ultimo Press/Mamamia.  

Diana Reid has been described as Sally Rooney meets Elena Ferrante so you know her debut novel is going to be making waves. 

Love and Virtue explores feminism, sex and power through the eyes of two Australian university students. 

Michaela and Eve are two bright young women who befriend each other during their first year at a residential college at university, where they live in adjacent rooms. They could not be more different; one assured and popular – the other uncertain and eager-to-please. But something happens one night in O-week – a drunken encounter, a foggy memory that will force them to confront the realities of consent and wrestle with the dynamics of power.

Read it if you like: Anything by Sally Rooney, Below Deck by Sophie Hardcastle, and reading the stories that often don't get told. 

The Shadow House by Anna Downes

Image: Affirm Press/Mamamia.  

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The Shadow House is Anna Downes much-anticipated second book. 

The thriller follows the story of single mother Alex, who flees her abusive relationship and moves with her teenage son and baby girl to a rural ecovillage called Pine Ridge. 

Soon Alex realises things aren't quite what they seem at Pine Ridge and that in escaping her own shadowy past, she may have stumbled into someone else's. 

Read it if you like: The Safe Place, mysterious pasts, and gritty Australian thrillers. 

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

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