"It's the definition of a page turner." The 9 books we couldn't put down this month.

This month I read a book that I will think about for years to come. 

It was the kind of book that hooked me in from the very first page and had me racing home from work each night so I could fit a few more chapters in. 

The book was Dancing With The Octopus by Debora Harding, which you can read more about below. 

The rest of the Mamamia team have been busy reading page-turning thrillers from some of Australia's best female authors and a controversial international bestseller. 

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

Dancing With The Octopus by Debora Harding

Iamge: Allen & Unwin/Mamamia 

"I might struggle to explain how brilliant this book is. While Harding writes about her experience of being kidnapped and sexually assaulted at 14, the book is much more than a true crime narrative. It's a memoir about family and how the people who raise us can do irreparable damage to us. It's a love story between a daughter and an emotionally unavailable father. It's a lesson in restorative justice and the power of forgiveness. You won't be able to put it down." - Keryn 

Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth

Image: HarperCollins Australia/Mamamia.  


"I really liked this. It was funny and clever and had so many moments where Unsworth articulated something I really related with. It's about a young woman with a social media addiction, and it's all about how it ruins your life." - Jessie.

Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion

Image: HarperCollins Australia/Mamamia.  

"I just finished reading Let Me Tell You What I Mean, it’s a new collection of pieces written by Joan Didion, 12 in total, from the early years of her career. Usually with essay collections I read one or two a night with a glass of wine when I get home from work, but with this book I caved and read it all across one afternoon and night. Her writing is just so funny, so smart and she has a way of examining both big and more mundane issues through a completely different lens to other writers. 

"The essay topics are pretty wide ranging. She writes about everything from the time she dropped into a meeting of recovering gambling addicts to being rejected by her dream college, her years at Vogue and her thoughts on media, Hemingway and even Martha Stewart. And if you’re a writer, or just interested in the process of brilliant writers, the book also contains her famous 'Why I Write' article, that was published in The New York Times and it’s a must-read." - Laura 


American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Image: Hachette Australia/Mamamia.  

"Once I picked it up, I honestly couldn’t put it down and I know that is such a cliche but It’s all about a mother and son who have to leave their home in Mexico after a tragedy occurs and flee through the desert, encountering all kinds of horrors along the way. It was just so eye-opening and beautifully written and I could almost see the whole journey in my mind as I was reading, 10/10 would recommend." - Leah

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty

Image: Pan Macmillan Australia/Mamamia.  


"Whenever I'm in a reading rut, I like to read a good suburban thriller. Three Wishes follows 33-year-old triplets Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle as they deal with their own share of ups and downs. It's a super easy read and an interesting look into the dynamics of twins and triplets." - Jess. 

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Image: Pan Macmillan Australia/Mamamia.  

"I literally read this book in two days, it's the definition of a page turner, I couldn't put it down. Gripping until the very end, I will recommend this book (and all books by Jane Harper) to anyone and everyone!" - Maddie

Faithful Place by Tana French

Image: Mamamia.  


"I looove a good murder mystery and this one hit the spot. It’s set in Dublin so features plenty of Irish colloquialisms and it really keeps you guessing until the end." - Leah 

How Good Is Scott Morrison? by Peter van Onselen and Wayne Errington

Image: Hachette Australia/Mamamia.  

"I've just finished How Good Is Scott Morrison? and it was quite interesting learning about how our Prime Minister came to power and to read about the issues with how he responded to the bushfires and the pandemic. It was honestly much more interesting than I ever expected it to be AND I feel like I have 'trivia knowledge' (is that a term? I don't know) on ScoMo now which I will feel smug about if I ever happen to go to trivia and and there is a question about ScoMo." - Billi 

Stranger Care by Sarah Sentilles

Image: Text Publishing/Mamamia.  


"Part memoir, part novel, the book explores author Sarah and her husband's experience trying to adopt a baby in the US foster care system. After taking Coco home from the hospital at three days old, and fostering her for 10 months, the family receive contact from authorities about Coco's birth mother. This leads to an agonising ordeal where they are forced to surrender the child they've taken in as their own. It's a heartbreaking and poignant examination of what it means to be a mother." - Tamara

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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