books

"YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK." The 11 books we couldn't put down this month.

This month, I read a book I can't stop telling people about. 

It's called Malibu Rising, and it's set at an 'end of summer' party in Malibu in 1983. 

It's the kind of book you'll wish you could go back in time and experience for the first time all over again. 

It's got all the elements of a crackin' good novel - a page-turning plot, fully fleshed out, flawed, relatable characters, GOSSIP AND DRAMA, and little lessons you'll take with you long after you've read the final page. 

The rest of the Mamamia team have been racing through twisty thrillers, gripping memoirs and cult favourites. 

Here are all the books the Mamamia team couldn't put down this month: 

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Image: Penguin Books Australia/Mamamia. 

"This is honestly one of the best books I’ve read in the past few years. It’s set in 1983 and it tells the story of a deadbeat rockstar dad who abandons his family, the mother who stays and the kids who are left to pick up the pieces. Also, there’s a huge party in Malibu with the kids from Family Ties doing lines of coke and I love that for them. Jenkins is a beautiful writer and there were so many passages I wanted to underline and commit to my memory forever. Did I mention the huge party and also the fire?" Keryn Donnelly, Pop Culture Editor. 

Read more: Should I Read It? Malibu Rising, the epic family drama everyone is talking about.

Phosphorescence by Julia Baird

Image: HarperCollins Australia/Mamamia. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"I picked up Phosphorescence again (you know, given the circumstances) and I feel like I'm doing good for myself every time I go to read a chapter. There are so many passages I've highlighted and annotated as it's so, so insightful. Reading it is as good as going to therapy with the number of realisations I've had." Emma Gillman, Editorial Assistant.

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Image: Bloomsbury/Mamamia. 

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

ADVERTISEMENT

It 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. 

While it's a bit of a slow burner, The Other Black Girl has a twist ending and surprising message that you'll think about for weeks after you've read it." - Keryn Donnelly, Pop Culture Editor.

The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle

Image: Allen and Unwin/Mamamia. 

"This is a novel about an event that transpires on a boat in the middle of the ocean, involving a set of beautiful twins. And only one of them gets off the boat. The rest of the book is a thrilling ride full of jealousy, lust and deceit that knocks you over the head with a killer twist. Trashy, pacey goodness." - Tamara Davis, Head of Lifestyle.

Insatiable by Daisy Buchanan

Image: Mamamia. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"Two of my favourite writers described Daisy Buchanan's debut novel as FUNNY (Marian Keyes) and FILTHY (Dolly Alderton) and look, they nailed it. I laughed out loud so many times I started to take photos of the lines that particularly tickled my fancy. Then there were the non-stop orgies which I couldn’t stop telling my friends about. ‘YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK, THERE’S JUST SO MANY ORGIES’ seemed like a normal thing to yell at 11am on a Tuesday. 

But Insatiable is more than that. It’s about a woman learning to love her own body, beginning to understand her own self worth, and figuring sh*t out. It’s about the loneliness of your twenties and taking the road less travelled. It’s a sexual coming of age story packed with hilarious, laugh out loud observations. A must read." - Keryn Donnelly, Pop Culture Editor. 

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz

Image: Allen and Unwin/Mamamia. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"I just finished Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz. It explores trauma, connection, and our cultural obsession with dead girls and it’s written in the most amazing way. It had me hanging onto every word." - Leah Porges, Podcast Producer.

Of Gold & Dust by Samantha Wills

Image: Allen and Unwin/Mamamia. 

"I'm currently reading Of Gold & Dust by Samantha Wills and I'm really enjoying it. Her honesty is refreshing and being a Port Macquarie girl myself, it's a timely reminder that no matter where you come from, you can do and be great things." - Rikki Waller, Strategic Partnerships Manager.

Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre

Image: Hachette Australia/Mamamia. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"I love a twisty thriller, especially when you throw in any of the following: rich family, sparkly European setting, affairs and murder. This has all of that and then some. I could not stop reading until the last big twist." - Tamara Davis, Head of Lifestyle. 

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides 

Image: Hachette Australia/Mamamia. 

"Alex Michaelides is the king of the unexpected plot twist. He got me with his international bestseller The Silent Patient and he got me again with his latest thriller, The Maidens. 

Set at Cambridge, The Maidens follows the story of Mariana Andros, a group therapist who is still reeling from the sudden death of her husband 18 months prior. 

When her niece Zoe's best friend is murdered on campus, Mariana returns to her old campus and is soon dragged into a murder mystery packed full of twists and turns."  - Keryn Donnelly, Pop Culture Editor. 

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Image: Mamamia. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"This book is very hard to describe but in a nutshell it's about losing someone you love and what that can mean for your life and decisions. Also, it has Abraham Lincoln and ghosts." - Jacqui Capel, General Manager Social Squad. 

Circe by Madeline Miller

Image: Bloomsbury/Mamamia. 

"Look, I don't usually go for the whole Greek mythology kinda vibe with my books, but I ripped through this one. Stuffed with beautiful imagery and paired with a chaotic plot, this is an easy speed read to get you out of any rut." - Katie Stow, Evening Editor.

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

More like this: