books

"I stayed up until the small hours." The 11 books we couldn't put down this month.

There's never been a better time to escape into a good book. 

This month I buried my head in an addictive thriller that could best be described as Thelma and Louise but more... murdery.  

The rest of the Mamamia team have been ploughing their way through fast-paced thrillers, losing themselves in beautiful literary worlds, and catching up on some of the best from our favourite Australian authors. 

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

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Image: Bloomsbury/Mamamia. 

"The Song of Achilles is a dazzling re-telling of Homer's The Iliad. The setting is obviously a huge plus for a history nerd like me but the relationship at its core is what makes this book unforgettable. The tale follows Patroclus who befriends Achilles as a young boy. The two form a beautiful connection and when fate calls, Achilles must follow, despite the fact both he and Patroclus know he is doomed. 

"Don't let its mythological setting throw you; the characters are so well-written that you instantly care so much about them and you almost forget that it's set thousands of years ago. Beautifully capturing the complexities of friendship, love, and grief, this book is one of those rare ones that take your breath away. Just a fair warning though, it'll absolutely break you. Prepare accordingly with tissues and comfort food." - Brydee Goodall, Branded Content Coordinator 

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I Give My Marriage A Year by Holly Wainwright

Image: Pan Macmillan/Mamamia. 

"Despite the fact that my partner gave me a suspicious side-eye every time I picked this up as if I was about to put a timer on our relationship, I did not let it deter me from reaching for it again and again. It's such an incredible portrayal of a real, human relationship and the fact it's set around cities and suburbs I wander around just made it feel like I was getting a proper nosey into a neighbour's marriage. Each chapter, which flicks from the perspective of Lou and Josh, has you sympathising with each character's struggle and finding yourself tossing up whether they should stay together or separate.

I inhaled this book in about four days, staying up way later than I should after a night shift to get to know these characters better and got myself way too emotionally invested in the outcome! You'll be hooked on the will-they-won't-they concept, but you'll stick around for the incredibly honest relationship moments peppered throughout. A bloody good read. - Katie Stow, Evening Editor 

We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz

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"We Were Never Here is a quick paced thriller that could best be described as Thelma and Louise meets Single White Female.

If Thelma and Louise were millennials and more... murdery.

The Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick follows the story of twenty-something Emily, who lives and works in Milwaukee. A few years ago, her best friend Kristen moved to Australia and they meet up every year at some exotic location to go backpacking. 

During a trip to Chile, Emily comes back to their hotel room to find Kristen covered in blood and a dead backpacker on the floor. Kristen tells Emily the backpacker attacked her, and she had no choice but to kill him. Emily helps her bury the body and they swear to take the secret to their grave. But soon Emily begins doubting Kristen's version of events. 

There are so many twists, it’s the kind of book you’ll want to inhale in one day." - Keryn Donnelly, Pop Culture Editor 

The New Hustle by Emma Isaacs 

Image: Pan Macmillan/Mamamia. 

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"It’s changed the way I think about work. And has even changed the way I work. It’s smart and fresh and full of great tips!" - Lize Ratliff, Head of Podcasts 

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

Image: Penguin Australia/Mamamia. 

"I would most liken it to Where The Crawdads Sing. It’s really engrossing and beautifully written and follows the life of a woman who had something awful happen to her as an adolescent. Will win lots of awards I’m sure." - Jessie Stephens, Assistant Head of Content. 

The Lost Man by Jane Harper 

Image: Pan Macmillan/Mamamia. 

"I'm late to the Jane Harper party I know. It was such a page-turner, and I loved the barren landscape and how it was such a major part of the narrative." - Madeline Joannou, Managing Producer.

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The Mother in Law by Sally Hepworth 

Image: Pan MacMillan/Mamamia. 

"I finally read my first Sally Hepworth book, and it did not disappoint. A really interesting story that demonstrates the importance (and power!) of perspective. What I loved most is how it went places I didn't think it would, so it kept me thoroughly entertained. An original take on something that is often discussed (the relationship between mother/daughter in laws), I really couldn't put it down." - Nicolle Stuart, Head of People and Culture 

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Special by Melanie Dimmitt

Image: Simon & Schuster/Mamamia. 

"I think it's 100 per cent a must read for any parent of a child with a disability, it's helped me so much, more on an emotional level than practical, but it's full of practical advice too." - Jacqui Capel 

Into the Night by Sarah Bailey

Image: Allen & Unwin/Mamamia. 

"This is the second book in Bailey's Detective Gemma Woodstock series (the first being The Dark Lake, which I devoured last year). In this next instalment, Detective Woodstock has moved to Melbourne and is heartbroken by the decisions that have landed her there. There isn't much time to dwell, though, as Woodstock - newly partnered with the hostile Detective Sergeant Nick Fleet - finds herself in embroiled in the high-profile murder of actor Sterling Wade, who was brutally stabbed on the set of his new movie. 

"Into the Night is riveting, suspenseful, and chock-full of fascinating characters - I stayed up until the small hours to find out who the killer was. While Bailey plays with the tropes of the troubled, hard-boiled cop, she's created something a little different with Woodstock, and I can't wait to spend a few more hours in her dark, messy mind when I read book three, Where the Dead Go." - Polly Taylor, Commissiong Editor.

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Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Image: Hachette Australia/Mamamia. 

"I'm a bit late to the party, as I'm not great when a book takes a little bit to get into it. But boy, once you’re in, you’re in, you feel just so emotionally engrossed in supporting Kya and her resilience." - Gemma Fredericks. 

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Image: Allen & Unwin/Mamamia. 

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"I’ve just finished The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave - it’s a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick and I totally understand why. At first I saw the title and thought… I feel like I’ve read this same story before. But I decided to give it a go and I’m so glad I did. 

"It’s a domestic suspense/mystery that takes a look at family and how well we really know the people we love. With short chapters and a quick pace, I found myself flicking through the book super quickly, eager to devour each page. Aaaand it was worth it for the ending." - Leah Porges, Audio Producer 

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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