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Friday 9 December 2016

#NationalBookLoversDay: Nine great books to read in one sitting

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 09/08/2016 | 15:41

National Book Lovers Day is celebrated on August 9
National Book Lovers Day is celebrated on August 9
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
The Girls by Emma Cline
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld.
The Vegetarian by Han Kang
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik
The Widow by Fiona Barton
Not Working by Lisa Owens
You'll Grow Out Of It by Jessi Klein

In honour of National Book Lovers Day, we’ve compiled a list of the best books to curl up with.

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We’ve picked a selection of recently-published titles that you’ll burn through in one afternoon, so prepare to lose a day to these gripping reads.

If you’re looking for…

A sweet family drama: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

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The bestselling author of The Vacationers returns with a perfect slice of summer for a rainy day. Fans of New York-based stories will love this tale about a group of college friends living in the same Brooklyn neighbourhood who are forced to finally ‘grow up’ as their adolescent children leave school and begin exploring their sexuality.

A portrait of cult brainwashing: The Girls by Emma Cline

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The biggest book of the year lives up to the hype with the story of a lonely teenage girl who gets sucked into a Manson-esque cult in 1960s San Francisco. As well as re-imagining the world of Manson’s female followers, it offers a fascinating coming-of-age narrative about the young heroine.

Startling literary fiction: The Vegetarian by Han Kang

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Originally published in 2007, the Korean novelist’s work was translated into English and won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. Hailed as one of the best books of the year, it’s set in contemporary South Korea and follows a married woman whose decision to become a vegetarian has catastrophic results for her extended family, as she begins to abstain more and more from human behaviours.

A love letter to food: Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

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The former waitress’s delectable debut novel is the steamiest food book of the year, and it’s probably going to leave you hungry. It’s also a treat for anyone who dreams of making it in a big city, as it follows Tess, a young woman who lands a job in an elite Manhattan restaurant and must navigate the high-adrenalin dining scene along with her own burgeoning sexuality.

Chick lit with a twist: Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

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Romantic-comedy fans will love Malik’s debut, which is written in journal entries in the style of Bridget Jones’s Diary. After a bad break-up with her fiancé, Sofia, a British Muslim woman, is convinced she’s done with men, until she’s asked to write a book about Muslim dating. It has all the light-hearted humour we expect of good chick lit, but the non-stereotypical representation of its Muslim characters sets it apart.

A nail-biting thriller: The Widow by Fiona Barton

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If you’re looking to fill the Gone Girl-shaped void in your life, this psychological thriller is sure to do the trick. It follows a British woman in the suburbs fending off media attention after her husband is accused of abducting and murdering a little girl. Barton is a former reporter for the Daily Mail, and the story is filled with shocking revelations that will keep you guessing until the last pages. It’s set to be adapted into a mini-series next year.

Something to get you through your quarter-life crisis: Not Working by Lisa Owens

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This sharp comedy is deliciously addictive, as heroine Claire gives up her job to seek out what it is she really wants to do with her life. In her debut novel, Owens presents a brilliantly observed account of a middle-class quarter-life crisis, ideal for anyone feeling stuck in a routine or struggling through a job hunt as all your friends start to get married and have kids.

A modern update of a classic: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

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It’s one of the buzziest books of the year: a contemporary reimagining of Pride and Prejudice that combines Jane Austen with The Bachelor in modern-day America. Heroine Lizzie Bennet is pushing 40 and her sister Jane is secretly doing IVF, while Darcy is a neurosurgeon and Bingley a reality TV star.

Candid personal essays: You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

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From the head writer behind the hit sketch show Inside Amy Schumer, this collection of autobiographical essays explores the life of a woman growing up in the 21st century in the vein of Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey’s memoirs. If you’re looking for hilarious and occasionally poignant musings on being a tomboy, wrestling with Spanx and reality TV addiction, this is for you.

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