U:L By You

10 Of The Best Books To Read Right Now, As Chosen By You

By Morgan Reardon
29th Oct 2021

a stack of books next to a bottle of wine on the beach

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. As it's our 10th birthday we asked for your favourite read right now and you didn't disappoint. From crime and romance to non fiction wonders and heartbreaking reads, there's something for everyone in this list. 

The ultimate way to escape reality and travel through time periods and continents, put these epic books to the top of your reading list.  

The Night Circus 

By Erin Morgenstern 

@dgperth describes The Night Circus as “an incredible feast to escape into” and we couldn’t agree more. Compared to the wonders of Harry Potter, the book follows the intriguing Le Cirque des Rêves which magically appears in Victorian London one day, drawing attention for its black and white striped tent and odd operating hours—sunset to sunrise only. But behind the bright lights, the story really centres around two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been pitted against each other since birth. But despite the competition and everything that is at stake, the two fall in love and suddenly everything—including which magician will be left standing— hangs dangerously in the balance. Read it here. 

Where The Crawdad’s Sing

By Delia Owens

@emmawagerwelsh threw this stellar read into the mix and we couldn’t agree more with her choice. Where The Crawdad’s Sing follows Kya Clark, a loner who lives on the outskirts of a sleepy fishing village in America in the early 1920s. Abandoned by her parents and dubbed ‘Marsh Girl’ by the kids in town, she lives a life of solitude, catching mussels for dinner and counting the wildlife as her friends. But when she’s accused of murdering the most popular guy in town, her private life is thrown open for all to scrutinise and she must prove her innocence. A mix of crime, drama and romance, read this beauty here

A Little Life

By Hanya Yanagihara

A critically acclaimed bestseller, put A Little Life on your must read list. The novel follows the lives of four best mates from a small Massachusetts college who move to New York to chase their dreams. There’s kind, handsome Willem, who longs to make it big as an actor; JB, a quick-witted painter; Malcolm, a frustrated architect who comes from a wealthy family and enigmatic Jude, a lawyer who suffers from health issues and hidden trauma. Over the course of the novel, the foursome grow up together, encountering many struggles such as abuse, addiction, love and loss. @jessgfitz summed it up perfectly calling the novel, “heartbreaking but oh so wonderful”. @hankt87 and @tessy_gallagher are also huge fans of the book. Read it here. 

A Fine Balance

By Rohinton Mistry

Set in India in 1975, A Fine Balance tells the stories of four people from varied backgrounds who are thrown together when a chain of circumstances sees them seeking shelter in one small flat. Stubbornly independent Dina, takes in Maneck, the college-aged son of a childhood friend. She also reluctantly gives shelter to Ishvar and his nephew Om, two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village. Throughout the chapters you’ll learn their back stories—which are at times harrowing—and what has led them to this tiny flat. If you’re wondering whether or not to keep the tissues close for this one, @annafranklyn revealed she “has never cried so much in public” when she finished the book. Read it here. 

Such A Fun Age

By Kiley Reid

@Kirrasmithphotography said it best when she described Such A Fun Age as “a complex, layered and important read”. The debut novel from Kiley Reid tells the story of two women: 25-year-old Emira Tucker, a young black woman juggling her university studies and her boss, 33-year-old former New York writer turned mummy blogger in the burbs Alix Chamberlain. Despite babysitting Alix’s two-year-old daughter Briar for over a year, Emira and Alix have never really bonded. That is until one night, when a grocery store manager accuses Emira of kidnapping Briar, setting off a chain of events that no one could have predicted. 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 this novel from Beth O'Leary. The Road Trip follows Addie who along with her sister, embarks on a road trip to a wedding in 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… what could go wrong? @jessrosemurphy said she finished The Road Trip in a single sitting! Us too! Read it here

Villa Vanessa 

By Gary Brun

@kcoulcher is a big fan of Aussie author Gary Brun and in particular his latest novel Villa Vanessa. It tells the story of Paul Greene whose life is torn apart when his daughter Vanessa is killed in a terrorist attack in Paris. In an effort to feel closer to her, Paul packs up his life in Australia and moves to France. Consumed by his grief his days begin to bleed together, a mess of drunken afternoons by the sea. But when a surprise email from his daughter’s mysterious friend arrives, everything changes. With plans to restore a villa over the summer in the memory of his daughter, the pair grow close—eventually falling in love before falling apart. Read it here

Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life

By Emily Nagoski

Come As You Are uses groundbreaking science and research to prove that the most important factor in creating and sustaining a sex life filled with confidence and joy is not what the parts are or how they’re organised but how you feel about them. Which means that stress, mood, trust, and body image are not peripheral factors in a woman’s sexual wellbeing; they are central to it. Divulging new information and research on mindfulness, desire, and pleasure, Nagoski has crafted a revolutionary book. @ameliaedwaards agrees adding, “it’s an amazing book all about women’s sex science”. Read it here.

The Last Thing He Told Me

By Laura Dave

@janna_hrastovec admits the reason she originally picked up The Last Thing He Told Me was because it was on Reese Witherspoon’s famous Hello Sunshine Book Club hit list, but it turned out to be one of her favourite books this year. It follows Hannah, whose new husband Owen mysteriously disappears, leaving her a note that simply says: "protect her". Hannah knows who Owen needs her to protect—his moody 16-year-old daughter, Bailey. But when Hannah’s calls to Owen go unanswered, his boss is arrested for fraud and the police start questioning her, she realises that her husband isn't who he said he was and Bailey could be the key to figuring it all out. This thriller is about to be adapted into a TV series starring Julia Roberts so trust us (and @janna_hrastovec), you want to read this. Grab a copy here. 

The Ruin

By Dervla McTiernan

@theworldisatmyfeet loves this fast-paced mystery saying they “were on the edge of my seat until the final pages”. Set in Galway, Ireland, The Ruin follows Detective Inspector Cormac Reilly who is investigating the apparent suicide of a young man in town. As he digs deeper into the case, Reilly begins to suspect not everything is as it seems, and soon draws a shocking connection to an unsolved murder he worked on 20 years prior. It seems the further he investigates, the more troubling information he finds—including some foul play within the police force. With no one to trust but himself, Reilly stops at nothing to solve the case. Read it here. 

Once you've finished these awesome reads, work your way through the best new movies on Netflix in Australia or New Zealand

Image Credit: Urban List

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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