books

"It's the book the world needs right now." The 11 books we couldn't put down this month.

This month, I buried my head in a fast-paced thriller set in Paris that would pull even the most reluctant of readers out of a rut.

The rest of the Mamamia team have been reading unputdownable mystery novels, some life-changing literary non-fiction, and a musician's colourful memoir. 

Here are the 11 books we couldn't put down this month: 

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

"I'll be honest - this book is behemoth, and it's an effort. It's more like reading prose than a novel, but the way the story is weaving together (so far) is unlike anything I've read before and the characters are incredibly memorable. 

"Yanagihara's concept - to tell a story over three generations with an alternative viewpoint of history - is so unique and I know it will be worth the time investment!" - Tamara Davis, Head of Lifestyle.

The Way From Here by Jane Cockram 

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"The Way From Here is a stunning Australian book about family, secrets and grief. It's laced with incredible suspense, and it's impossible to stop turning the page.

"The book is about two sisters, Susie and Camilla. When Susie suddenly dies at 40, Camilla receives a mysterious bundle of letters that basically reveal a whole other life Camilla had no idea about. This is the book that will get you out of a reading rut!" - Jessie Stephens, Executive Editor.

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner

"Last month, I devoured Lisa Gardner's One Step Too Far, before realising it was the second in a series, featuring recovering alcoholic and amateur sleuth, Frankie Elkin. 

"So this month, I went back to the beginning where I learned more of Frankie's tragic backstory as she investigates another mystery; this time Haitian teenager Anqelique Badeau has gone missing from her Boston home. 

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"The characters - and Mattapan, the rough Boston neighbourhood Elkin finds herself in - are so vividly drawn by Gardner as she peels back the layers of this mystery about the underbelly of a city and child abduction, this was another immersive experience. I hope there are more Frankie Elkin novels." - Polly Taylor, Commissioning Editor.

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

"Over the past few years, Lucy Foley has cemented herself as one of the best thriller writers in the game, and her new novel, The Paris Apartment, lives right up to expectations.

"It follows Jess as she tries to uncover what happened to her missing brother Ben, set inside a Paris apartment block where everyone has something to hide. I love fast-paced books with short chapters that have you itching to read the next, and The Paris Apartment has this in droves. Plus, it's set in Paris which is a huge bonus." - Emma Gillman, Editorial Assistant.

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason

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"I took this book away on a hiking trip for a week which is a huge deal because book = weight, so I could only bring one. Let me tell you — it was so, so good. I couldn't wait to get to camp each afternoon just so I could sit in my tent and devour it.

"Every page was so packed full of nuance, witty references and poignant paragraphs. It deals with relationships, family and mental illness. Highly recommend." - Eleanor Katelaris, Social Media Producer. 

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl

"I'm listening to the audiobook version of The Storyteller. It's so great hearing Grohl's story in his own voice! This memoir is a collection of stories from Grohl's career from the early days with Nirvana to the present day. Plus, like any good music memoir, it's filled with stories about some of the biggest names in the world - think Paul McCartney, Barack Obama, etc." - Jessica Staveley, Managing Editor. 

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Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover

"I'm slowly making my way through all of Colleen Hoover's books, but this one had me hooked from the start. Her writing really takes you into the world of her characters and gives you all the feels. I loved it!" - Simone Masci, Sales Manager.

The Nowhere Child by Christian White 

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"I'm shook by how clever this storyline was! This book is classed as a psychological thriller, and is centred around family secrets, kidnapping, conspiracies, betrayal and a cult. A lot going on... but it is SO GOOD.

"The book unfolds with alternating chapters jumping between two different timelines: the past (of when Sammy went missing) and the present day (when Kim is uncovering the truth about what really happened). 

"I really enjoyed how pacey and unputdownable that made the story and of course I love an Australian setting, so 10/10 for having the two key settings switch between Kentucky, USA and Melbourne, Australia. It's a harrowing story that has so many unexpected twists and turns that to me weren't predictable at all. I kept trying to anticipate what was next, and I was a mile off every time, it was so well plotted. High recommend!" - Shell Webb, Branded Content Manager. 

Animal by Lisa Taddeo

"I'm partway through Animal by Lisa Taddeo and the protagonist Joan is a really weird, complex person with a lot of baggage. The way it’s written reminds me of the style from Where The Crawdads Sing but better (sorry!). I’m really excited to finish it." - Shannen Findlay, Editorial Assistant. 

The Call of the Weird: Travels in American Subcultures by Louis Theroux

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"Anyone who is a fan of Louis Theroux, and especially his travels through America, needs to get their hands on this book. Louis revisits some of the most intense and offbeat characters he's come across in his documentaries and grapples with their unique way of life. It's funny, gasp-inducing, in parts mortifying and absolutely fascinating." - Tamara Davis, Head of Lifestyle. 

Love Stories by Trent Dalton

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"A friend at work recommended this on her Instagram, and described it as 'the book the world needs right now' and I was instantly interested. I bought my own copy and am only halfway through but am in LOVE with it. It's so beautiful and understated and makes me feel curious about the world and the people we pass every day. 

"Trent Dalton sat on the side of a street in Brisbane in 2021 and asked random strangers to tell him a love story - from family to relationships to friendships - it's truly a beautiful read." - Lily Allsep, Audience Development Manager.

Emotional Agility by Susan David

"Recently, while going through a tough time, I watched a TED Talk by psychologist and author Susan David called 'The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage'. I'm not exaggerating when I say it completely changed my life. Less than 10 minutes later, I purchased her book, Emotional Agility

"Susan's work is all about recognising our emotions, being truthful about how we feel, and having the agility to act accordingly. She rejects the notion of false positivity (never a better time for that, in my opinion) and says it has become 'a new form of moral correctness'. Instead, she intones that: 'Discomfort is the price of admission to a meaningful life. I think about that daily." - Polly Taylor, Comissioning Editor.

Feature Image: Mamamia. 

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