books

15 books that were so bloody good, we read them in one day.

Right now, we could all do with escaping into a good book for a day. 

To help you escape, I asked my Mamamia colleagues to tell me what books they've read that were so unputdownable; they devoured them in one day. 

Here's the 15 books the Mamamia team read in one day: 

We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz

Image: Penguin/Mamamia.   

We Were Never Here could best be described as Thelma and Louise meets Single White Female

Emily is on holiday with her best friend, Kristen, in the stunning mountains of Chile. It's the holiday of a lifetime, until the final night of the trip, when Emily returns to their hotel suite to find it covered in blood. 

Kristen claims a backpacker attacked her, and she had no choice but to kill him in self defence. 

Emily helps her hide the body but soon she begins to doubt Kristen's versions of events. 

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Image: HarperCollins/Mamamia.   

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A Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, Lucy Foley's The Guest List is the kind of book you'll inhale in one day.

It's set on a remote island off the windswept Irish coast, where guests have gathered for the wedding of TV celebrity Will Slater and women's website mogul Jules Keegan. 

By the end of the night, someone will be dead, and every single guest will be a suspect. 

The Guest List is a thrilling page-turner and who-dunnit that's perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Ruth Ware and Paula Hawkins. 

Heartsick by Jessie Stephens

Image: Pan Macmillan/Mamamia.   

Ana is in her 40s and married with three kids. Then, she falls in love with someone else. Claire is in her 30s and married to Maggie. Then, one day, she finds something on Maggie's phone. Patrick is in his 20s and engaged. Then his entire world blows up. 

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Based on three true stories, told by people in the throes of heartbreak, Jessie Stephens' debut book is a compelling account of the many lows and the occasional surprising highs of heartbreak. 

Bruising, beautiful and ultimately healing, Heartsick is the perfect read for fans of Lisa Taddeo's Three Women and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love, and anyone who has ever had their heart broken. 

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett 

Image: Hachette Australia/Mamamia.   The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. 

But after they run away from home at 16, their lives take radically different paths. 

One sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past.

Despite their different lives, their fates remain entwined. And they begin to wonder about the legacy they'll leave behind. 

Psst! Watch this video about how to trick your baby into loving books. Post continues after video.


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Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid 

Image: Penguin/Mamamia.   Taylor Jenkins Reid's new novel Malibu Rising is the very definition of a page turner. 

Set in Malibu in the summer of 1983, it follows the story of the famous Rivas family and all the drama that goes down at their annual end-of-summer party.

It's beautifully written (seriously, you'll want to get the highlighter out) and you'll be so invested in the characters by the end of the novel, they'll feel like family. 

Oh, and the film rights have already been sold so you need to read the book before the movie comes out! 

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Image: Allen & Unwin/Mamamia.   At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, the star of the school soccer team, while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. 

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But once their paths cross, they fall deeply for each other. They try to keep their connection a secret, but one year later, when they're both studying at Trinity College in Dublin, Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. 

They circle each other for years, two damaged people further damaging each other. 

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Image: Mamamia.   

Sharp Objects in the debut novel of Gillian Flynn, the author would go on to write Gone Girl. 

Flynn is known for her mind-blowing plot twists, and Sharp Objects does not disappoint. 

The story focuses on Camille Preaker, a journalist from a small Chicago newspaper who returns to her hometown of Windgap, Missouri, to report on a series of brutal murders. 

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While investigating the murders, Camille reconnects with her estranged mother Adora and her half-sister Amma.  

She's also forced to face her past and the mysterious death of her sister Marian. 

At the end of the novel, Camille discovers that she's closer to the truth than she ever thought possible. 

Magpie by Elizabeth Day

Image: HarperCollins Australia/Mamamia.   Magpie follows the story of 28-year-old Marissa who falls in love with a man named Jake and soon moves in with him. Not long after, they're over the moon when Marissa becomes pregnant with their first child. But not everything is quite what it seems.

Lisa Taddeo described Magpie as "a book that needed to exist in the world" and she's completely right. 

It's terrifying, beautifully written and ultimately uplifting. 

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Image: Bloomsbury/Mamamia.   

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 The Other Black Girl has been described as The Devil Wears Prada meets Get Out.  

The debut novel from Zakiya Dalila Harris follows the story of 26-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers, who is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. 

When Hazel starts working in the cubicle next to her, Nella thinks she'll finally have someone who'll understand the microaggressions and isolation she experiences every single day. 

Then a note appears on her desk: LEAVE. WAGNER. NOW. 

The Other Black Girl is full of twists that will keep you guessing right up until the final page.  

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Image: Pan Macmillan/Mamamia.   When Alice wakes in hospital after being injured at her gym, she immediately wants to see her husband Nick. 

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And she’s worried about their unborn child. 

But Alice soon finds out that she’s a mother-of-three who is in the middle of a divorce. She’s lost 10 years of her life and she’ll do anything to get them back. 

Animal by Lisa Taddeo

Image: Bloomsbury/Mamamia.   

Lisa Taddeo's non-fiction book, Three Women, became a global sensation when it was published in 2019. 

Now she's releasing her first fiction book. Animal follows the story of Joan, an unforgettable anti-heroine, who transforms from prey to predator throughout the pages of the book. 

Joan has spent a lifetime enduring the cruel acts of men. After a man kills himself in front of her, she flees New York City in search of Alice, the only person who can make sense of her past. 

Then she unravels the traumatic incident she witnessed as a child and finally finds the power to strike back. 

If you liked Promising Young Woman and Gone Girl, you'll love Animal. 

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Image: Allen & Unwin/Mamamia.   Between life and death, there is a library.

When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right.

The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren't always what she imagined they'd be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger.

Before the end of the book, Nora must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live? 

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A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing by Jessie Tu

Image: Allen & Unwin/Mamamia.   Jena Lin was once a child prodigy. She now uses sex to fill the void left by worldwide recognition and praise. 

When Jena is awarded an internship with the New York Philharmonic, she thinks the life she has dreamed of is about to begin. But when Trump is elected, New York changes irrevocably and Jena along with it. 

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Jessie Tu's debut novel explores female desire and the danger of wanting too much and never getting it. 

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Image: Simon and Schuster/Mamamia.   The Last Thing He Told Me is another Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick and it will soon be adapted into a TV series starring Julia Roberts. 

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his new wife, Hannah. The note simply says: PROTECT HER. 

As Hannah's increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, his boss is arrested for fraud. Then Hannah realises Owen's 16-year-old daughter Bailey may hold the key to his true identity and the reason for his sudden disappearance. 

Fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng will love this unputdownable thriller.

Tell Me Lies by J.P Pomare

Image: Hachette Australia/Mamamia. 

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Tell Me Lies is a fast-paced psychological thriller set in an affluent suburb in Melbourne. Psychologist Margot Scott seems to have the picture-perfect life – a thriving private practice, a nice house in the suburbs, an adoring husband, and two healthy and happy children. 

But Margot made a mistake early in her career that she's never been fully honest about. Then there is the suspicious behaviour of several of her patients. 

Full of twists and turns, Tell Me Lies is the perfect page-turner for fans of Jane Harper, Pip Drysdale and Gillian Flynn. 

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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