So as the pandemic started and people started to think that they would never have enough things to do with all their time at home (like we don’t live in a cancel culture and most of us spend 80% of our non-working life at home scrolling Insta), every influencer and their dog got busy asking for book recommendations (which IMO is one of the more worthwhile things we could do to occupy our time).
Like any faithful follower, I screenshotted almost every post which compiled the responses, and added a few more of my own below. I’m going to be completely transparent and say that these are likely to be 95% chick lit favourites… comme ci comme ca my friends.
|Where the Crawdads Sing||Delia Crawford||Following two timelines that slowly intertwine, this concerns a murder mystery in a small town.|
|Queenie||Candice Carty-Williams||A 25 year old British-Jamaican is going on disastrous dates and making ruinous life decisions.|
|Sex and Vanity||Kevin Kwan||The next hit from the ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ author this time we’re hanging out in Positano (because we can’t actually get there ourselves).|
|Boy Swallows Universe||Trent Dalton||An Aussie favourite, this is a coming of age story about a boy with an ‘interesting’ family.|
|The Alchemist||Paulo Coelho||The mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure|
|Cilka’s Journey||Heather Morris||A sequel to the Tattooist of Auschwitz this is the story of 16 year old Cilka Klein in Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp.|
|The Time Traveller’s Wife||Audrey Niffenegger||The story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder.|
|The Cuckoo’s Calling||Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)||The story of detective Comoran Strike and his sidekick Robin investigating the murder of a Mayfair model socialite at the request of her suspicious brother.|
|The Silkworm||Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)||Cormoran strikes again, this time investigating the disappearance of novelist Owen Quine.|
|Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine||Gail Honeyman||I don’t know how to describe this other than it is described everywhere else:|
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything
|The Perfect Wife||JP Delaney||Abbie wakes in a hospital bed with no memory of how she got there. The man by her side explains that he’s her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative startups. He tells Abbie she’s a gifted artist, a doting mother to their young son, and the perfect wife.|
Five years ago, she suffered a terrible accident. Her return from the abyss is a miracle of science, a breakthrough in artificial intelligence that has taken him half a decade to achieve.
(sounds very Girl on the Train to me).
|The Family Upstairs||Lisa Jewell||So as not to detract from the suspense:|
n a large house in London’s fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.
In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note
|The Wife and the Widow||Christian White||The Wife and the Widow is a mystery/thriller told from two perspectives: Kate, a widow whose grief is compounded by what she learns about her dead husband’s secret life; and Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside down when she’s forced to confront the evidence that her husband is a murderer.|
|The Tattooist of Auschwitz||Heather Morris||The story of Gita and Lale in Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.|
|Call me by your name||Andre Aciman||The story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera.|
|Inheritance||Dani Shapiro||Dani Shapiro determines her father is not her biological father. A murder thriller…|
|Normal People||Sally Rooney||Now a motion picture, you’d have to be living under a rock if you hadn’t heard of this one.|
TBH it really didn’t do much for me, coming of age love story yada yada… if someone could please let me know what all the fuss is about I would be v appreciative.
|Little Fires Everywhere||Liane Moriarty||Another cult following for Liane Moriarty and a motion picture to boot.|
LFE concerns Shaker Heights, where everything is meticulously planned, except the life of new occupant Mia Warren, who quickly becomes ensconced in the small town then manages to shaker things up a bit (see what I did there).
|The Turn of the Key||Ruth Ware||Rowan, a nanny, finds what appears to be the perfect work opportunity. Until she finds herself accused of murder…|
|The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart||Holly Ringland||Following a tragedy, nine year old Alice goes to live with her grandmother on a flower farm which also acts as a women’s refuge. Alice uses the language of flowers to say the things that are too hard to speak, but as she grows older she realises that flowers cannot say everything.|
|Catch & Kill||Ronan Farrow||This is the story of Ronan Farrow, the journalist investigating Harvey Weinstein. The story considers the challenges to his investigation and the case brought against him.|
|Becoming||Michelle Obama||Michelle Obama. Nuff said.|
|Into the Water||Paula Hawkins||The author of Girl on the Train is back again with a thriller which follows the story of Julie after the suspicious death of her sister after plunging ‘into the water’.|
|Princess||Jean Sasson||Based on true events from inside the Saudi Arabian Royal Family|
|Notes on a Nervous Planet||Matt Haig||Looking at sleep, news, social media, addiction, work and play, Matt Haig invites us to feel calmer, happier and to question the habits of the digital age|
|I am Pilgrim||Terry Hayes||Plot twists about a murder. All the reviews were dramatic and suspenseful.|
|The Couple Next Door||Shari Lapena||A thriller about a couple who go for dinner at their neighbour’s house, where said neighbour requests they don’t bring their 6 month old daughter. They check on her every 20 minutes and ultimately return home to find her gone. |
All very Madeleine McCann.
|And the Mountains Echoed||Khaled Hosseini||Perhaps because his writing captures a picture of a world we are so rarely exposed to, I feel that Khaled Hosseini can do no wrong. |
And the Mountains Echoed
|Expectation||Anna Hope||Three female friends in London navigating their mid thirties and relationships with one another.|
|Girl, Woman, Other||Lisa Taddeo||Girl, Woman, Other follows the journey of 12 characters throughout the past 100 years in the UK.|
They are all looking for something…
|Girl||Edna O’Brien||Tale of a girl abducted by Nigerian Terrorists, speaks to the most relevant issues of modern society.|
|The Surrogate||Louise Jensen||Hopeful parents meet a friend from the past which might be their last chance. But all is not as it seems. Another thriller… are you seeing a theme here?|
|The Power||Naomi Alderman||All over the world discover they have absolute power, with a click of the fingers.|
|To kill a Mockingbird||Harper Lee||Relevant.|
|Nothing to envy: real lives in North Korea||Barbara Demick||Tracing the lives of six ordinary citizens in this extraordinary country.|
|Frankenstein in Baghdad||Ahmed Saadawi||In Baghdad, Hadi sews together body parts from rubble to form a human corpse in an attempt to force the government to consider the corpse as a real person. However, shortly after murder abounds and there is rumour of a flesh-eating monster on the loose.|
|The Book Thief||Markus Zusak||This is a story of 1939 Germany, where Liesel lives with a foster family. This is the story of Liesel, the book thief, and those who live on her street.|
|Everything I know about love||Dolly Alderton||This book has a cult following amongst the insta set.|
A raw account of the realities of singledom.
|Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind||Yuval Noah Harari||This enormous title follows the history of humankind and asks the big questions about human existence on Earth.|
|Year of Yes||Shonda Rhimes||The story of how saying yes can change your life.|
|Any Ordinary Day||Leigh Sales||Written by journalist Leigh Sales (7.30 Report, ABC) my Grandma’s girl crush, this chronicles Leigh’s interviews with people who have experienced the unimaginable.|
|The Farm||Joanne Ramos||I was absolutely hooked on this one. |
The tale of a ‘surrogate farm’ which is actually a luxury retreat transforming the fertility industry. There, women get the best of everything – food, fitness, healthcare and money to boot. Provided they dedicate themselves entirely to producing the perfect baby. For someone else.
. Equal parts sad and gripping this speaks to issues of race, money, power and inequality.