We’ve heard all the quotes about a reader having lived a thousand lives, loved a thousand loves, traveled the world from an arm chair, and all the rest. They’re true, but to me the real power of books is that whatever you’re going through, there is or once was a writer who has been through the same thing and has found down the words to express it, even when you can’t find them yourself. Your twenties are a weird time, and sometimes you need to escape into fictional books and come out the other side with a new perspective.

Netflix is great, but our romance will forever be eclipsed by my first love: books. Staying in bed with your laptop is lazy, but staying in on a Friday night with a book and a glass of red wine is artsy and adult. Don’t be lazy, read a book.

Here are 10 books I love – and the moods that are perfect to read them in.


1. If you feel like crying…

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini


More like a thousand splendid tears. Hosseini writes about friendship and hope that could as easily exist in our own lives, set instead in war torn Kabul. It’s smart, inspiring, and will rip your heart out. Read with waterproof mascara.


 2. If you haven’t finished crying…

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman


The Swedish are good at a lot of things- minimalist interior design, paid parental leave, and very dry humour. This book has plenty of the latter, introducing us to a grumpy old man named Ove who is resigned to his old ways until some new neighbors creep into his life and heart. After hearing Ove’s story, you’ll never want to say goodbye to him. You’ll smile as much as you cry.


3. If you want to laugh…

Bossypants by Tina Fey


We all know Tina Fey is a genius and everybody’s celebrity BFF, but the story of how she got there is equally brilliant to her current work. She’s hilarious, smart, driven and outspoken. If I could choose one person dead or alive to share a bottle of wine with, it would be her. More books by Tina, please.


 4. If you want to be French…

Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda


This one is quintessentially Parisian, quirky and sweet. Driven by four seemingly clashing characters who are all dysfunctional and lost in their own ways, it’ll make you think about fate and friendships. Read it while eating a baguette, perched elegantly on a park bench (preferably by the Eiffel tower, but make do as you see fit).


 5. If you want to play detective…

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty


Reese Witherspoon put it on her Book Club list, so you know it must be good. The characters are unnervingly relatable and there’s enough drama to hook you from the first page. Someone’s dead, someone else did it, everybody’s lying about something, and the parents are behaving worse than their primary school aged children.


6. If you want to be inspired…

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan


The author of these essays and stories was tragically killed in a car crash days after graduating from Yale, which makes this collection even more poignant. Each one is full of the hope and anxiety that comes with embarking on these strange years we’re all in the midst of. They will all strike a chord and inspire you to think about what you’d want your lasting words to the world to be.


7. If you’ve got a lot of time on your hands…

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara


I’ve never so much wanted to throw a book at a wall and simultaneously hug it to my chest as I did with this. Luckily I chose to hold onto it, as it’s big enough to leave a decent dent in my wall. It’ll get you thinking about life, the people in it, and what’s important to you. An epic tale of four college friends weaving in and out of each others lives throughout life and adversity, you’ll watch them grow up and learn the same lessons we all do. Warning- it will reach into your soul and tear out every emotion you never knew you could feel.


8. If you’re thinking about a getting 1920’s bob…

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Read it before it becomes an internationally acclaimed classic and is made into multiple blockbuster movies! Just kidding, that already happened. But do still read it, because even a man like Leonardo Di Caprio cannot do justice to the beauty of these words. It’s got parties, prohibition and lots of moral corruption. Read while wearing a flapper dress.


9. If you don’t feel like actually reading…

How to Be Parisian by Caroline de Maigst, Anne Berest, Sophie Mas, Audrey Diwan


It looks cute on your coffee table, fits in your purse and will make you laugh (in a very French, chic way). With chapter titles such as ‘How to Destabilize a Man’ and ‘The 6:00pm Debate: The Gym’, you can’t really lose.


 10. If you’re thinking about change…

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho


Pretty much every life lesson you’ll ever need is in here- some shiningly obvious, some hidden within the twists of the tale of dreams, travel and destiny. Read it if you’re in the middle of a quarter-life crisis (hello, everyone) and need to take a leap of faith.


Pippa is a 22 year old Australian Communications graduate from the University of Western Australia, currently lost in London. Her top skills include recommending books, brunching, and spending all her money on expensive yoga studios and weekends in Europe.

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