Podcasts & Books

10 Of The Best New Books To Read Right Now

By Morgan Reardon
28th May 2021

a collage of book covers

Whether you’re a life-long bookworm or you’ve never quite gotten into reading, now is the perfect time to fall in love with books. From crime and romantic drama to historical fiction and everything in between, we’ve found your next favourite read.

The ultimate way to escape reality and travel through time periods and continents, these are the best new books you need to know about. 

Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray

By Dr Anita Heiss

One of Australia’s most prolific First Nations authors, a yarn from Dr Anita Heiss is a must read (trust us, Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms was incredible). Her latest offering, Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (meaning River of Dreams), follows Wagadhaany, who after losing everything and everyone she loves meets Wiradyuri stockman Yindyamarra, who begins to heal her broken heart. But Wagadhaany still longs for true freedom, to return to country and escape from the degradation of being “owned”. Set in Wiradyuri country in the late 1800s and based on devastating true events, Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray is a heartbreaking story of love, loss and belonging. If you’re looking for one of the best new books out there, this is it. Read it here

The Road Trip

By Beth O'Leary

If smart, thoughtful, romantic dramas are your vibe (aka the perfect weekend read) then look no further than anything written by Beth O'Leary. The Sunday Times bestselling author is back with The Road Trip and honestly, we wouldn’t be surprised if you finish this in a single sitting. The plot goes like this: Addie and her sister are about to embark on a road trip to a friend's wedding in rural Scotland but everything is derailed when they get into a car accident… with Addie's ex, Dylan, who she's avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier. Dylan and his mate are heading to the wedding too, and they've totaled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. The car is soon jam-packed full of luggage and secrets, and with four hundred miles ahead of them… what could go wrong? Read it here

Firekeeper's Daughter

By Angeline Boulley

Ok, facts first. Is this a young adult novel? Yes. Should you read it regardless of your age? Absolutely yes. Why? Because besides being an epic read, The Firekeeper's Daughter, is soon to be adapted into a TV series at Netflix with former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground in charge. Yep, it’s got some seriously high ticks of approval. The book tells the story of 18-year-old Daunis, whose mixed heritage has always made her feel like an outsider, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. When she witnesses a shocking murder, she agrees to be part of a covert FBI operation into a series of drug-related deaths while pursueing her own investigation using her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the criminals. Get your crime fix here.

The Anthropocene Reviewed

By John Green

From the king of young adult faves like Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars, comes this incredible collection of essays on modern life and the human experience. The Anthropocene Reviewed is John Green’s first ever non-fiction offering and yes it’s one the best books on offer right now. The Anthropocene is the current geological age, in which human activity has profoundly shaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this series of essays adapted and expanded from his ground-breaking, critically acclaimed podcast, Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet—from the QWERTY keyboard and Halley's Comet to Penguins of Madagascar. Intrigued? Get your copy here

The Girl Remains

By Katherine Firkin

Crime lovers listen up, this new book from Katherine Firkin will chill you to your core… and lowkey ensure you keep the lights on at night. The Girl Remains is an eerie police thriller set in a small coastal town of Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsula where a 20-year-old cold case—the disappearance of fifteen-year-old Cecilia May—resurfaces. After the teen vanished on a night out with two friends in 1998 no one has seen or heard of her whereabouts since… until human bones are discovered on an isolated beach. Now it’s up to Detective Emmett Corban and his team to dig up decades of trauma, and find the missing piece of an investigation that’s as complex as it is tragic. Get your detective hat on and read all about the mystery right here. 

F*ck It, I'll Start Tomorrow

By Action Bronson

If you’re not already a fan of Action Bronson, it’s time you got familiar with the larger-than-life rapper, chef and TV presenter. Famous for his travel program Fuck, That's Delicious, on Viceland (which has starred the likes of Mario Batali and Rick Bayless), Bronson has just released this empowering memoir meets self-help guide and yes you need to read it immediantly. F*ck It, I'll Start Tomorrow is a brutally honest read about his struggles with weight, food addiction, and the journey to self-acceptance. In his own voice, Bronson shares all that he's learned in the past decade to help you help yourself. It’s not about getting the “perfect bod”, rather Bronson reveals, in a raw, no holds barred way his journey to find confidence, keep the negative vibes at bay and how to not look in the mirror hoping to see anyone but yourself. Feel all the good vibes with this new read right here

The Last Thing He Told Me

By Laura Dave

Look, we wouldn’t say we’re groupies but basically if a new novel makes it into Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club then we’re absolutely going to buy it (what? She has excellent taste). Penned by the international bestselling author Laura Dave, The Last Thing He Told Me is a thought-provoking thriller, and a must-read for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng. It follows Hannah, whose new husband Owen mysteriously disappears, but not before he manages to slip her a note that simply says: protect her. Hannah knows exactly who Owen needs her to protect—his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child and who wants nothing to do with her new stepmother. As her calls to Owen go unanswered, his boss is arrested for fraud and the police start questioning her, Hannah realises that her husband isn't who he said he was. And that Bailey might hold the key to discovering Owen's true identity, and why he disappeared. Did we mention it’s also about to be adapted into a TV series starring Julia Roberts? Trust us, you want to read this before it hits the small screen. Grab a copy here. 

Love Objects

By Emily Maguire

Love Objects follows the sweet relationship between Lena and her best friend, Aunt Nic—a 45-year-old checkout chick and fairy godmother to the neighbourhood's stray cat. But she’s hiding a secret from her niece… Nic is a hoarder, her house filled to the brim with a decade's worth of newspapers, enough clothes to fill Big W three times over and a pen collection which, if laid end-to-end, would probably circle her house twice. When Nic fails to turn up to their lunch date, Lena discovers her aunt unconscious under an avalanche of stuff at her home. Devastated and shocked her beloved aunt has been living in such squalor all this time, Lena sets about cleaning things up. But what she doesn’t realise is that the end result will devastate Nic and change their relationship forever. Read about this modern, moving family drama here. 

With the Falling of the Dusk

By Stan Grant

If you’re a fan of Stan Grant’s previous work then you won’t be disappointed by his latest offering, With the Falling of the Dusk, which many are calling his best work—and we’d back that claim. A moving and powerful read, the Wiradjuri journo deep dives on the challenges facing our world today–from enormous geopolitical shifts, compounded by the global pandemic, economic collapse and growing inequality, Islamist and far right terror, and a resurgent white supremacy. At this moment, as we stand on a precipice, Grant asks the question—what will become of us? Get your copy of this thought-provoking read right here. 

Still

By Matt Nable

Is there anything Matt Nable can’t do? The former rugby player turned actor turned author has just dropped his latest novel Still, and we reckon it’s one of the best new books in Australia right now. Set in Darwin, during a blistering summer in 1963, Senior Constable Ned Potter discovers the dead body of an Aboriginal man, beaten and shot to death in a shallow marshland grave. The discovery sets off a chain of events that Ned could never have foreseen. With racism rife and more bodies appearing, Ned must dig deep into the town’s dark past and uncover secrets that have long been hidden. If you loved Jane Harper’s The Dry, you’ll love this page-turning crime thriller. Get yours here

Once you've finished these awesome reads, work your way through the best new movies on Netflix. 

Design Credit: Juliette Davies

Editor's note: Urban List editors independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. Urban List has affiliate partnerships, so we get revenue from your purchase.

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