There is no companion like a particularly brilliant book.
Some books have the power to transport you to another world entirely, and once they spit you back out, you find yourself completely changed.
We spoke to dozens of women to compile the ultimate list of books you must read before you die. There are a few classics, but we decided to leave out any of those books people a little bit pretend to have read because they make you sound smart and sophisticated.
Without even necessarily intending to, the list includes an incredibly diverse range of authors and characters – representing a spectrum of human experience.
These books explore themes of sexuality, race, mental illness, disability, the meaning of life, motherhood, love, heartbreak, grief and fear.
Consider this your ultimate checklist.
Just a note: With small businesses doing it especially tough at the moment, consider buying from your local bookshop. To find out more, check out loveyourbookshop.com.au.