Books + Music

10 Must-Read Books This Autumn

By Millie Lester - 26 Apr 2017


We’re heading into the cooler months, which means only two things: hot milos and frayed paperbacks. And accidentally dropping your housemate’s copy of Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things in the bath. So, to save you all time you could otherwise we spending heaping tablespoons of Milo into your mouth mug, we’ve put together a list of this season’s best page-turners.

#1 Exit West

Mohsin Hamid

This hard-sitter is set in a country on the verge of civil war and details the lives of two youngins who embark on a passionate love affair which is suppressed by their city’s unrest. When the city eventually explodes (!!), the two decide to flee for safety and leave their old lives behind, making for a profoundly intimate and hella unforgettable story of love and resilience. She’s a heavy read, but well worth the tears.

#2 The Arrangement

Sarah Dunn

If we’re going by stats, this book has already been named one of the nine most addictive books of 2017 (so far), but if we’re going by engrossing storyline, then how about a hilarious and emotional novel about a traditional New York couple, with a Titanic-obsessed autistic son, who enter a 6-month ‘experiment’ wherein they can bump uglies with other peoples, no quezzies asked? It’s a real page-turner/Kindle-swiper.

#3 The Refugees

Viet Thanh Nguyen

This book is a collection of short stories surrounding the lives of Vietnamese refugees and their relocation to America. It’s a short read which makes it light and PERFECT for your daily commute, but also an extremely moving tale of freedom, suffering and hella complex relationships. If this one isn’t already on your bedside table, it should be.

#4 Difficult Women

Roxane Gay

This bad boy is another collection of short stories, however they document the privileged, impoverished, loved and haunted lives of various female figures. It includes tales of two sisters who were abducted as children, a married woman who pretends not to realise when her husband and twin brother impersonate each other and a stripper who fends off the advances of an overzealous customer. It’s a heavy read, but a damn good one.

#5 The Idiot

Elif Batuman

Set in the year 1995, when the concept of ‘E-mail’ is still very phresh, the daughter of Turkish immigrants arrives in America to begin her freshman year at Harvard. While there, she begins emailing an older mathematics student from Hungary (hullo, hullo), and their correspondence grows increasingly ‘mysterious’. At the end of the school year, she heads to Europe to sort her life out (been there, darl) however her summer is nothing like the typical experiences of American college students. This little ode to first love, travel, self-realisation and running away to Europe to escape real-life responsibilities is a highly relatable read.

#6 The Amateurs

Sara Shepard

Written by the genius behind the highly frustrating but successful book series Pretty Little Liars (yes, it’s a book series), Sara Shepard has returned with yet another chilling mystery about the disappearance of a high school senior and her sister’s mission to find out the truth (no, Sara Harvey did not kidnap her). After posting a desperate note on an online message board, three of the users band together to solve the mystery. If you love a good whodunnit, you’ll love this one.

#7 The Meaning Of Michelle

Veronica Chambers

This collection of sixteen essays is dedicated to the Whitehouse’s Beyoncé—Michelle Obama. Each piece details the way the First Lady challenged traditional American notions of beauty, strength and fashion and how she started conversations about race, class, marriage and womanhood. Contributors to the book included the formerly mentioned Roxane Gay amongst a host of other legends. If you’re after a juicy yet informative read, this is the book for you.

#8 How To Murder Your Life

Cat Marnell

How To Murder Your Life is a perfect read for any despairing twenty-something who’s worried their life isn’t on track because they can’t afford a power blazer from Trenery every other week. At age 15, Cat Marnell became hooked on ADHD medication, which then grew to a dependence on Xanax, which was then became a slippery slope to hard drugs. And during all of this, Cat was juggling a high profile job at Condé́ Naste, which is apparently a lot different to turning up to your job at Pizza Hut hungover on a Tuesday. Read this book for a red hot wake up call.

#9 All Grown Up

Jami Attenberg

This gut-wrenchingly honest read details the struggle of Andrea Burn, a modern-day designer with a bajillion inner demons. While everyone around her appears to have their lives together, much to her frustration, Andrea is still searching for that lil summin summin to give her life meaning. This life meaning rocks up on her doorstep in the form of her ailing niece who could be the key to bringing Andrea’s family back together again. This book is ultimately about a woman living life on her own times, so if you love strong independent women, add this title to your list.

#10 We: A Manifesto For Women Everywhere

Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel

Penned by brilliant actress, Gillian Anderson, and equally brilliant journalist, Jennifer Nadel, this book is a tale of a decade-long friendship packed with experiences of learning, failure, tears, laughter and resilience (a.k.a a forty minute episode of Grey’s Anatomy). It’ll tell you how to live happier, be more fulfilled and will probably get you off your Instagram feed for at least an hour a day, so you should defs pick up a copy toot sweet.

Image credit: CNBC

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